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The Great American People Show

Illinois State Theater

Sketch of young Abe Lincoln (public domain image on Wikipedia).

Illinois Theatre of Lincoln and the American Experience

In 1995, Illinois designated "The Great American People Show" as the official "state theatre of Lincoln and the American Experience." All State Theaters

"The Great American People Show" was a not-for-profit theater company known for plays about Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. A regional favorite for years - the theater played for twenty seasons in New Salem, IL (near Springfield), beginning in 1976, and ending with the dissolution of the theater company in 1996.

History of Theater

The origin of theater goes back to prehistoric people acting out their hunting experiences and ancients singing and dancing for religious ceremonies. Theater as pure entertainment evolved slowly - the first recorded European theater was in ancient Greece about 600 BC (for a festival honoring the god of wine and fertility). A poet named Thespis won a dramatic play competition at this celebration and is so considered "the first actor" (origin of the term thespian).