Not on the Bill. A Farce in One Act. [cover title].

Jackson’s farce satirizes a provincial actors troupe

Original unpublished manuscript for a one-act play by Philadelphia author and historian, Joseph F. A. Jackson.

Written at the age of 19, Jackson’s farce satirizes a provincial troupe of actors—the Royal Excalibur Dramatic Company—and is set on “the stage of a country theatre.” Jackson’s list of characters gives each player’s name and his or her dramatic specialty. A play about players:

Richard Mitten, manager of the “Royal Excalibur Dramatic Company” also “does heavy business;” Gilbert Heathorn, who “does Low comedy;” Arthur Chizzletrip, a sentimental young man who “does lovers and heroes;” Tupkin Railling, “character comedian;” Wilburton Ornament, the “Great dramatic author of the R. E. D. Co.,” also “2nd villain,” “utility,” and scenic artist; Mrs. Emily Mitten, the young wife of the manager; “does” “heroines” and “tragic;” Miss Jane Watkins, the “handsome young soubrette;”  Miss Laura Travel, the “charming and talented young comedene [comedienne];” Mrs. Hannah Figgins, does “walking,” “old ladies, ”and who was “on with Forrest.”

The play script appears to have been written out by Jackson himself for the reason that every page contains emendations and corrections. Even the play within the play—“The Yellow Bandit”—has been edited and tweaked by him.

Joseph F. A. Jackson was the author of Literary Landmarks of Philadelphia; American Colonial Architecture, Its Origin and Development; Development of American Architecture, 1783–1830; Early Philadelphia Architects and Engineers; and numerous other publications about Philadelphia including the four-volume Encyclopedia of Philadelphia; all this in addition to being a staff writer for the Philadelphia Ledger newspaper for over 30 years.

Juvenilia, but most likely Jackson’s earliest attempts at writing a full-length composition; possibly for a college play.

Description: Not on the Bill. A Farce in One Act. [cover title].

[Likely Philadelphia:], June 1886. Quarto. [1, title-leaf], 27pp., in manuscript, hand-numbered. Stiff, tan paper wrappers; leaves and wrappers affixed with two brass brads. With emendations and corrections. Very good.


HSP holds 2 linear feet of the Jackson, Joseph, 1867-1946. Papers, 1926-1939.

Price: $150.00

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