Our American Cousin
The Play That Changed History.
A distant cousin stands to inherit a large British estate on
the brink of financial ruin. Sound familiar?
The main storyline from the phenomenally popular British series Downton Abbey shares its roots with the 19th-century play,
Our American Cousin, in which an American travels to England to survey his British cousins and his inheritance.
Our American Cousin wasn’t just the last play President Lincoln saw. It was one of the great commercial successes of its day. Today, it is the play that changed history.
It made a star of E. A. Southern and cemented the reputation of Laura Keene, America’s first successful woman actor and theatrical businesswoman.
The plotline is still capable of capturing the imagination of a wide audience 150 years later.
Museum of the City of New York
S. Wilson Dutcher, R. Rich Myers, & J. Lynn Myers