Dion Boucicault (1820-1890) was a prolific and innovative playwright, actor, producer, manager, and director of the 19th-century, English-speaking stage. By his own account, he wrote, directed, and acted in 250 plays, many of which were wildly popular in Ireland, England, Australia, and the U.S. A virtuoso at pleasing audiences, Boucicault developed many conventions of melodrama that shaped American drama for generations. He not only influenced his contemporaries, but also brought important social and cultural issues of historical significance to the stage.
The Dion Boucicault Theatre Collection primarily contains manuscript and printed plays. The collection consists of approximately 781 items, including printed and manuscript play scripts, sides, stage directions, letters, and musical scores. The collection also includes set design sketches, prompt books, photographs and select musical segments.