Today's Quakers are considerably less "hard-shelled" and "mole-eyed" and there are signs on both sides of the Atlantic that the Society of Friends has made progress toward making peace with the theatre. Indeed, one could argue that the situation has changed radically in the last three hundred fifty years, but there remains an ambiguity at best, an antipathy at worst, between Quaker thought and the theatre. This topic is too broad to be encompassed within the limits of this essay, which can merely open doors slightly to a subject that should be treated in more depth at another time and place. Accordingly, this essay will only survey and illustrate the changes in Quaker position toward the theatre and suggest some of their implications. Specifically, it will attempt two things: (1) to sketch historically the development of Quaker attitudes toward the theatre prior to the 1960's, and (2) to document some of the changes in attitude since 1960.
Graves, Michael P., "The Anti-Theatrical Prejudice and the Quakers" (1996). Truth's Bright Embrace: Essays and Poems in Honor of Arthur O. Roberts. 27.