The Contrast



  • A work by the US playwright Royall Tyler (1757 - 1826),usually considered the first American comedy. It introduced the stockcharacter of the rural Yankee who considers himself superior to othermen. It was produced with great success by the American Companyat the John Street Theatre, New York, in 1787. When it played in Tyler'shometown of Boston, it had to be disguised as a "moral lecturein five parts" because of prejudice against the theater. GeorgeWashington was a subscriber when The Contrast was publishedin 1790.

    The play is a light comedy that shows the influence of bothSheridan and Goldsmith. It contrasts the devious behaviour of Dimple,who deserts his fiancée for a wealthy woman, with the simplenative honesty of Dimple's brother.