actor-manager system

actor-manager system

Method of theatrical production prevalent in 19th-century England and the U.S. In this system, an actor formed a theatre company, chose the plays he wanted to produce, played the leading roles in them, and managed the company's business arrangements. The first actor-managers emerged in the 17th century, and in the 18th century actor-managers such as Colley Cibber and David Garrick gained prominence. The system produced high performance standards, typified by 19th-century figures such as William Macready, Henry Irving, and Herbert Tree. It waned as actor-managers were replaced first by stage managers and later by directors.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on actor-manager system, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up actor-manager system? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More