rhe e/ eaissacle of the alesto
1tkary reViwall's first Seaso, 1867-1868
JOSEPH S. GALLEGLY
THE FALL OF 1867 marked the beginning of a new era in
the theatrical history of Galveston--and, indeed, in that
of Texas as well. German-born, Confederate sympathizer
Henry Greenwall, who at that time entered the managerial field
in the city, was to become one of the most important figures in
the development of the professional stage that the state has known.
After a movement to build a new theatre had failed, Greenwall
acquired the "old box" at the corner of Market and Tremont
Streets (later the site of a more notable playhouse), a building
that had served managers Neitch and Hunter, and with many
yards of muslin, much paint, and the aid of a talented scenic
artist by the name of Sala, soon transformed the unattractive
structure into a respectable place of amusement.
Neitch-who, it appears, is known to stage historians of Gal-
veston by no name other than the unqualified patronymic-had
tried for several years to satisfy the public taste for drama on
the Island, but never with any accountable success. The able but
eccentric Mrs. Harry Hunter, in charge of the "old Drury" dur-
ing the season of 1866-1867, made a more lasting impression in
the field; to her must be accredited the honor of introducing
grand opera to Texas; it was she, too, who discarded the obsolete
roller type of scenery and replaced it with the newer "flats" then
in vogue in the larger centers; and lastly she did away with the
old and uncomfortable straight-backed pine benches in the par-
quet and installed comfortable chairs.
It was Henry Greenwall, however, who actually put the "legiti-
mate" stage of the city on a firm and permanent foundation.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed March 10, 2014.