The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXXI. Non-English Writings I

§ 24. Milwaukee

Second to New York was the German theatre of Milwaukee. Beginning in the fifties with amateurish performances, good traditions were established with the Stadttheater in 1868. The same struggle to maintain the classical drama along with the more popular and financially more successful comedy and farce is also to be observed in the history of the Milwaukee German theatre. Later the engagement of too many stars here also brought about an overstimulation and a perversion of taste. The stock company system rescued the situation under the management of Richard, Welb, and Wachsner, 1884–1890. Richard subsequently managed a German theatre in Chicago, Welb in St. Louis. A new home was provided in Milwaukee in 1895 by F. Papst, and in this well-equipped play-house, under the able management of Leon Wachsner, the stock company developed an artistic ensemble during some seasons not inferior to Conried’s best. As at the Irving Place Theatre, stars were not altogether banished, and visits were welcomed from Sonnenthal, Kainz, and Agnes Sorma, but they were introduced toward the end of the season. A just local pride has been felt by Milwaukians in their German theatre, as is shown by the payment of heavy annual deficits incurred to keep the standard high.