Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

History, MA


School of Arts and Humanities

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Janet Brodie

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Robert Dawidoff

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2013 Mark Hauser


This paper discusses the emergence of vaudeville in California’s Inland Empire region of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. It will consider the social changes underway in late nineteenth-century America and their impact on attitudes towards popular entertainment. This paper will draw on Lawrence Levine’s observations of cultural hierarchies that emerged during the late nineteenth century and shaped American understandings of culture. Entertainment of the nineteenth century will be examined for the ways it was unable to match urban trends, and contrasted with vaudeville’s appeal to a diverse urban populace. The cities of San Bernardino, Redlands and Riverside were home to a number of opera houses and theaters to serve rapidly growing communities, and a review of the performances offered in these communities and at these venues will demonstrate these shifts in popular entertainment.