OF INTEREST TO: fans of 18th-century theater, readers of American literature
LETITIA: It is whispered that if Maria gives her hand to Mr. Dimple, it will be without her heart.
CHARLOTTE: Though the giving the heart is one of the last of all laughable considerations in the marriage of a girl of spirit, yet I should like to hear what antiquated notions the dear little piece of old-fashioned prudery has got in her head.
-from Act I
It is the first American comedy to be performed on stage. THE CONTRAST, which debuted in New York in 1787 to great acclaim and was performed in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston between then and 1792, literally set the scene for American dramatics, creating characters that have become iconically American, from the "Yankee" Johnathan to the vapid Charlotte and Letitia... characters we continue to see in film, TV, and fiction today. Frequently likened to British playwright Richard Sheridan's The School for Scandal, this remains a delightful satire-and a quintessentially American one.
American playwright ROYALL TYLER (1757-1826), born William Clark Tyler, wrote many other plays, some of which have been lost, as well as novels, essays, and humorous verse.