WCFTR’s Theater Posters

The oldest material at the WCFTR comes from the world of the theater. The Center has some marvelous posters for theater productions and shows dating back to around 1860. Posters helped entice people to buy a ticket for the latest comedy or melodrama and sometimes the action on the poster matched the action on the stage. The 1899 production of Ben-Hur at the Broadway Theatre included the famous chariot race with a rotating backdrop and horses running on treadmills built into the stage. If you’d like to see more of the WCFTR’s theater posters dating from the late 1890s to the 1910s, please visit the UW-Madison Libraries’ Digital Collections site: https://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/theaterposters/.