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Nebraska State Journal


March 25, 1894
page 13

Between the Acts

Special lettering of "Between the Acts"

The JOURNAL'S "ardent and talented" dramatic critic has been receiving a good deal of kindly advice from equally troublesome friends and foes, but has not yet lost as much sleep over it as might be expected. Written personalities are as unworthy of retort as spoken ones, and for the same reason that men who use them are not gentlemen and cannot be approached as such. They cannot be appealed to, for they have no standards of either good taste or good breeding. The only one of these attacks that had either dignity or fairness or literary tone enough to make it answerable was one entitled "Clara Morris and Her School," in last Sunday's JOURNAL, in which the same unfortunate critic was handled with gentle and kindly irony along with Clara Morris and Miss Craigen and Carlyle and Ruskin and several other people of more or less notoriety. For myself I have nothing to say, but I must ask respect for my little tin gods. It is a score of years too late to say that Clara Morris is not a great actress. Time and the world have decided otherwise. That she is past her prime no one denies, but she has done her work and she will go down in stage traditions as one of the greatest actors of all time. That she is no longer beautiful is also unfortunately true, but beauty is not an absolute essential in an emotional actress. As to Clara Morris ranting, she has too fine a sense of humor to make that possible. An actor only rants when he does not make the effort to control himself; after that effort is once made every inch that an actor's emotion overflows its barrier is his gain, it is just so much emotional power that conquers his physical strength and heightens and colors his intellectual conception. Clara Morris is undoubtedly a loud actress; she uses freely both noise and intensity; but she plays only loud and stormy roles. She has never offended public taste by shouting the lines of Juliet, nor sobbing those of Marie Stuart. She has never even attempted to portray refined characters on the stage. She plays roles that are altogether outside of the drawing room atmosphere and utterly devoid of drawing room manners. She has always impersonated women who live harder, love harder, hate harder and die harder than the women of our world. She is coarse grained mentally and spiritually. She dresses gaudily and in bad taste. She is rather awkward; her favorite literature is the heavy, massive school of Tolstoian realism. Like George Sand she has the temperament of an unbalanced woman and the imagination of a great artist. Of Clara Morris' "school" I do not approve. Sometimes in art there can be no "school," but only an individual. A school of Kipling would be tiresome, but Rudyard himself is very otherwise. It is not every actress whom the world will allow to weep and gag Morris fashion, but in her case it is so great and so genuine that even William Winter, the follower of Ada Rehan , the devotee of "suppression," says of her with humble reverence: "All that I can say of her is that she is surpassingly great."

          

The curse of every school and phase of modern art is the guild of drawing room critics; critics who sneer at the great and powerful, and adore the clever and the dainty. They refuse to read any thing more stimulating than Howells' parlor farces, and to hear any play more moving than "The Rivals." This race of critics has declared Ruskin and Wagner and Turner and Modjeska blasé and have taken unto themselves new gods in the very airy and fragile shapes of Whistler and Jerome K. Jerome and De Koven and Julia Marlowe . They take the books that look well on their tables; the music that is not too loud for their parlors; the pictures that hang well on their walls; the actresses who most gracefully adorn their receptions, and say, "This is art, and these are artists; everything else is overdrawn, coarse, stagey, unnatural." It is no new phase of criticism for people with a poverty of emotion and imagination to say that everything more pronounced is overdrawn and unnatural. Whatever they cannot feel they claim is beyond the range of human feeling, and whatever they have not experienced they claim is beyond the limit of human experience. These critics have had a wonderful effect upon the authors and playwrights of the Nineteenth century. A playwright cannot write without presenting emotions any more than a painter can paint without laying colors. The world in which playwrights are born has no emotions; it furnishes its parlors in dull grays and cold blues and has society and guests to match. Following the creed of realism, the playwright can no longer create knights and ladies, but tells of the things that are. Artists of every nation have escaped from the chilling atmosphere of their own world, and have gone to the so-called crust of society for types which at least have the all redeeming virtue of sincerity. The greatest play that has been written to amuse society is "Camille;" the greatest book that has been written to instruct it is "Anna Kerenina." One would think Mephistopheles' sides would ache with merriment over the satire of it.

However, the parlor people have a right to run their parlor world the way they want to, but let them leave the stage world alone. On the stage let people love and hate each other to the death. Your driveling lover and hater are not worth an actor's exertions. On the stage friendship must be something more than "intellectual sympathy;" hatred something fiercer than a lack of affinity. Make your own world as moderate and proper and conventional as you wish, but behind the footlights let people love with kisses and suffer with tears.

          

The author of "Clara Morris and Her School" states that "the ardent and talented dramatic critic on THE JOURNAL suggests that Maida Craigen is following in the footsteps of Clara Morris; if this be so, would that the young actress would pause, for in that way lies deserved oblivion." Now even a dramatic critic may rightly demand and expect justice and the truth. The truth is that Clara Morris' name was only mentioned once in connection with Miss Craigen, and then it was not to "suggest" a similarity, but to emphasize a difference. The sentence ran as follows: "Her work in the insane scene is not so finished as that of the great Clara, but neither was it so painful. It is a question just how far realism ought to go in stage insanity; perhaps Morris might be better with a little less, Miss Craigen with a little more." I that language is obscure I will say that on seeing Miss Craigen the third time in the "Duel," I was convinced that her acting of insanity was less repulsive and heartrending and more effective and artistic. A critic suffers enough indignities without that of direct misquotation.

          

The author of "Clara Morris and Her School" evidently debased Clara Morris to exalt Julia Marlowe. That is fair enough; we all do it. Never are we so zealous and tireless in idol breaking as when we have some new idol of our own that we want everybody to worship. But in blind worship this devotee has not considered Marlowe as Juliet, but Juliet as Marlowe. I do not deny that Julia Marlowe can play Marlowe and play it beautifully. Someone has said that if Shakespeare were alive he would write Marlowe for Julia to act. Juliet was certainly the most girlish of Shakespeare's heroines, but she is more than a girl. No one can read the "Gallop apace" scene (scene 2, act 3) and say that Shakespeare did not mean Juliet to be a woman. Great love and girlhood cannot exist together. "Modjeska is stagey when compared to Julia Marlowe;" well, that is a doubtful compliment to Marlowe. "She (Marlowe) is altogether piquant and charming;" the final word of doom to any great artist. One could not breathe that fatal word "charming" anywhere near even the pictures of Siddons, Modjeska, Rachel, or Bernhardt . In literature, painting or acting charmingness means agreeable mediocrity. Miss Marlowe's admirer goes on, "The present writer would be honored and delighted to know her. I think this a final test." Not at all. Most of us remember the first time the woman as an actress spoke to us and made us feel that she was something more than a professional. Most of us know that feeling which sometimes creeps to us across the footlights and makes us long to know and love a human personality behind them. This is a final test of womanhood, perhaps, but not of art. Very few of the world's great artists have been desirable acquaintances. I would ask no greater boon of heaven than to sit and watch Sarah Bernhardt night after night, but heaven preserve me from any very intimate relations with her.

          

Hermann , the magician, once met his match and thus pleasantly tells how an innocent looking young man cleverly outwitted him:

"We were at a private room in a hotel one evening, and there I met some friends, and was introduced to a simple looking youth of the dude persuasion, whose face was as vacant in expression as a pound of putty. This youth had been bragging of his powers as a poker player, and had made the others so tired that they whispered to me to take the conceit out of him for the fun there was in it. I was ready and we sat down. Well, when we began the games I allowed the youngster to win in order to get him interested; and the better to enjoy the circus, the others dropped out, and my victim and I had the table to ourselves. Of course I was to give back whatever I won from him — that was understood. We made the game a quarter ante and a dollar limit, so that we could use money without making any awkward change. Every time my callow friend won a pot he put the silver and bills in his pocket and would chip in the money as he needed it. After he had won a respectable pile, I began to get my work in, and, by handling and dealing the cards in my own peculiar way I soon had his pile considerably diminished. Occasionally I would let him win, just to keep the fun up; and I don't know but I enjoyed my opponent's innocence as much as did my friends. But all things must have an end. Finally I cleaned him out, much to his surprise; and then my friends could not keep it in any longer.

" 'I say, old man,' said one, 'do you know with whom you've been playing?'

" 'Yes,' replied my victim calmly, 'Herrmann, the magician, and he's a good player.'

"This was somewhat of a surprise all around. But I laughed and handed him back the money I had won. He wouldn't take it. No, sir. Said I had won it; had he won mine he would have kept it, and under no circumstances would he take it back; that was not his way of playing poker. It was no use for me to protest and tell him that I had deliberately robbed him. He was sorry that he had got in with a man who didn't play a square game, but said it was his lookout; he ought to have seen that he was being fleeced, and with his eyes wide open, too, but he was not the man to squeal.

"I tell you I felt mean. I did not think it half so funny as I did before. But all I could do or say made no impression on my victim, and, with a dignified bow, he left us.

" 'All I can do,' I said to one of my friends, 'will be to give this money to some charitable institution.' Then I gave the waiter one of the bills I had won to pay for some wine. He came back with it and the information that it was a counterfeit. Yes, sir, that guileless youth had won my good money and rung in over a hundred dollars, worth of paper on me that wasn't worth a cent a pound. I'm pretty good on handling cards, but poker is a very uncertain game — very uncertain."

          

A new star has been discovered who will one day take the place of some of the many great luminaries who are waking. Her name is Olga Nethersole and she has been playing in "The Transgressor" in London. It is said that even the London public is quite excited over her, and that is saying a great deal. London don't often get excited. She is playing in an exceedingly weak and unpopular play, but even that does not seem to count against her. The plot recalls slightly "Jane Eyre." Mr. Eric Langley's wife had been in a madhouse for many years. He met Miss Sylvia Woodville , a modern woman, an educated, independent, high spirited young woman, and he loved her. She felt the strength of the love the melancholy widower (so he was supposed to be) gave her. She loved him and wished to bring happiness to him. He, poor creature, was jealous of a curate and asked Sylvia to consent to a secret marriage. She did so. He asked her down to his place as a guest. The curate was there, and Sylvia, finding it unpleasant, besought her husband to declare their marriage. This scene is pronounced beautiful and womanly. He refused, giving no reason, and soon, accidentally, Sylvia learned the truth. Then follows the great scene, the acting which makes the critics hail this young woman as the coming actress.

It comes in a flash — the knowledge that she has been deceived: that her idol is unworthy.

"And there she stands — stiff, stricken, listening, paralyzed and petrified. You can feel the woman getting cold. You can hear her shiver. You can see how the distracted brain is reeling, how the world seems tottering under her feet. She is blanched, she is pale as death; her features are hidiously distorted with the mental pain. The beautiful woman has become positively ugly with grief."

Into this anguish surged the thought of how she loved him. Her "come to me" is the great point in the play. She was so strong, her love was so protecting. She comforted him, she strengthened him, and the play ends with Eric Langley giving himself up to be punished for the crime of bigamy, with the knowledge that Sylvia's love will always be his; that she will always be waiting for him.

          

Mediocrity is of all things the most hopeless. In every profession the conscientious, painstaking people who can never be anything more than good are to be pitied. That is what is the matter with Lewis Morrison. He is fairly good. To be an actor that must be the most exasperating of all things. One can never get out of it or rise above it. There is no known means by which one can pass out of the carefully imitating sphere into the creative. Mr. Morrison stops just where elocution ends and acting begins. He is a very much better and more gentlemanly actor than Keene and he is not so offensive. Yet once and a while through all Keene's barn-storming there is a ring of genuineness which Morrison lacks. Mr. Keene might have made a good actor, but he has sold himself for the beloved dollar of his country. He has aimed too high, not at a star, but just three flights up. He has lost his head, not in the clouds, but in the third gallery. When an artist forces the public to take him at his own worth and with his own standard the public resents violently for a while, but in the end it worships, for what the public wants is new standards and new types. But if an actor panders to their taste he gets only a cap and bells for his crown of fame. The public likes a man who is larger than it is and who will not be belittled.

          

The London Theatre has had the heroism to say that though Daly's "Twelfth Night" is very well, Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" is not a playable play. That it lacks action and interest and is out of date and out of touch with modern audiences. However that may be, surely the plot of "Twelfth Night" is a little old. Twins have had their day in dramatic literature. As a rule they are not very interesting and they are no better because there are two of them. From the days of Plautus to the days of Pinafore playwrights seem to have had a most unconquerable impulse to "mix those children up."

          

"The Charlatan," Mr. Buchanan's new and rather risky play, is meeting with good success in London. The plot runs thus wise:

Miss Arlington is fragile, pallid and intense. She lives in the clouds, has premonitions and can feel no happiness in the loyal affection, handsome rent roll, title and political celebrity of Lord Dewsberry, her robustious fiancé. Moreover, she suffers from disturbing memories. One is of her father, an adventurous explorer in Thibet, good news of whom is now almost past praying for. The other is of a love passage in Calcutta years ago. Its nature is soon learned. While singing — very prettily and touchingly — in the glow of a saffron sunset, a visitor glides stealthily into the darkened room. It is her rejected Eurasian lover of long ago. He bears a different name, is now a shining light of the sham theosophists and is there to work out a vile revenge for her (not undeserved) past disdain.

He knows that Colonel Arlington lives, and to lure the impressionable girl into his net proposes to use that knowledge in a startling way. With the help of a rather too obvious Russian adventuress, a famous theosophist, also a guest of the earl's, a séance is given, during which a vision of the missing traveller is by a trick made to appear to skeptics and believers alike immediately prior to the arrival of a telegram from the explorer himself announcing his safety and return. This cruel jugglery is merely the first step, however, in Phillip Woodville's scheme. Since Miss Arlington will not and cannot marry him he resolves that she shall marry no one else. To this end he employs his hypnotic influence over her as Joseph Balsamo used his over Lorenza in Dumas' "Memoirs of a Physician." From his quarters in the turret room at the dead of night he wills the poor girl to leave her bed and come to him. Obedient to the summons her white-robed figure glides along the terrace and enters his room. In hypnotic sleep, again like Balsamo's victims, she avows her love for Woodville. But her virginal presence calms his passion. Her avowal of love disarms him. His better nature is aroused, and he awakes her only to soothe her wild fears and confess his whole course of treachery and baseness. This confession, strong in his resolve to make amends, he repeats next morning to his host and fellow guests, as did Mr. H. A. Jones' Judah before him. But his ignominious departure for his native land does not take place before Miss Arlington has let him know that his remorse and atonement have brought her happiness, not sorrow, and that eagerly she will look for his return when the new life just begun has completely effaced the old.

Of course the play is risky and exaggerated, but Mr. Tree's acting is enough to save a much poorer play. Woodville's character is so interestingly drawn, and above all this hypnotic Hindoo is so superbly played by Mr. Tree that no amount of criticism of this kind can diminish the effect of the piece. Full of "picture," glowing with color, the drama is an admirable composition of memorable scenes, and in the hands of other actors would no doubt be impressive enough. But Mr. Tree, most cleverly assisted by Mrs. Tree, makes far more of it than that. The romantic glamour they cast over the well-poised, skilfully contrasted central figure is a very triumph of imagination and skill. Their handling of the third act — the dangerous scene of the sleep walking and Woodville's startling volte-face is quite masterly. On the one hand the suggestion of turbulent passion beneath an almost unruffled exterior, the throes of moral anguish, the bitterness of the man's voluntary humiliation; on the other, the impression of girlish innocence, of childlike fear, of touching indifference to her own peril in the face of her lover's shame, could hardly have been more simply or more powerfully conveyed. Indeed, Mr. Tree's impassive, dignified oriental, sparing of gesture but lavish of facial play, commanding in manner and look, sallow and sleek, with raven hair and strange lustrous eyes, must rank with the most striking creations which even he has accomplished.

Cues.

Richard Mansfield leaves for England next month.

Kate Claxton will revive "Two Orphans" next spring.

Jefferson's new houses on Buzzard's bay will be ready for occupancy May 1. It is said to be even more beautiful than his residence which was burned last year.

Eleanora Duse is now playing "The Second Mrs. Tanqueray."

The New York papers are rather down on Stuart Robson and don't scruple to say so.

Professor Herrmann's wife celebrated the thirty-fifth anniversary of his stage career by giving him a banquet in Chicago.

In spite of the "violent abuse" of American newspapers Mrs. Kendal will return next season to scorn Americans, but not their ducats.

Last week Laura Burt received a racing saddle and gold mounted whip from her Kansas City adorers. She will use them in "In Old Kentucky"—that is, the whip and saddle.

Realism may congratulate itself. Lincoln J. Carter has produced a new melodrama, with a dissecting room scene in which the hero comes near cutting up the heroine by mistake.

Eunice Vance appeared on March 5 at the Madison Square theatre in "A Trip to Chinatown." The role of Flirt was resumed six by Lottie Mortimer. This week Sadie Kirby reappears in the character.

A serpentine dancer now performs in a lion's den in London and comes forth daily without harm and "no manner of hurt is found on her." This is certainly a very modern version of Daniel, but no doubt the lions enjoy it fully as much as they did the original Daniel episode.

Madame Janet Patey was stricken with paralysis while singing on the stage in Sheffield, England. She was considered the best contralto singer in England. The immediate cause of her death is said to be excitement from the intense applause she had just received when she fell. It is not permitted to many actors to die that way.

At a recent dinner in the Imperial hotel, Jessie Bartlett Davis placed at the plates of her twenty guests pencil sketches on cards of each from memory and when they filed into the dining room they were requested to select their places by identifying their portraits. It was a compliment to Miss Davis' artistic ability that no confusion followed.

Miss Julia Marlowe a few weeks ago read a paper on actors and acting before the Kansas City high school. The youthful audience was so carried away that they made a perfect stampede for the stage and all insisted upon shaking Miss Marlowe's hand. If Miss Marlowe should read a paper in Lincoln we are not at all sure that her many admirers here would be satisfied with shaking her hand.

L. W. Washburn and Dave B. Levis will produce "Lost in Egypt," a spectacular melodrama next season. A street parade, with camels, dromedaries, Arabian horses, donkeys and a troupe of Soudanese Arabs in native costumes, together with a uniformed band, are among the features. The scenery, costumes and printing will be entirely new and the time has been all filled in the best houses.

January 21 Miss Olive May married Henry Guy Carleton, the author of "Butterflies," in which Miss May has made such a great success. Miss May and Mr. Carleton first met two years ago when she was playing in the "Henrietta." Mrs. Carleton will remain in Mr. Drew's company until the close of the season. After that she may appear occasionally in New York in productions of her husband's plays.

Robert Cutler, well known to the theatrical profession as the originator of much of the stage mechanism seen in "Superba," "Fantasma" and other spectacles, has been in Washington, D. C., for several days. In conjunction with Schrode Brothers, the clowns, he has composed a spectacle to be known as "The White Cat." The piece is a pantomime and is filled with new mechanical effects, the invention of Mr. Cutler, whose business in that city is to patent his devices.

The following notice is from the New York Clipper: Among the people engaged for the summer season at the Lincoln Park theatre, Lincoln, are O. D. Woodward and wife, Kate Woods Fiske, Minnie Dehn, Robert F. Parkinson, Ferd Phillip Sites, Dave Seymour, Harry C. Long and Will Davis. The company is being organized by Pressley B. French, and is under his management. He will do his own leads. The season opens June 10 and continues eleven weeks, two plays being presented each week. Arrangements are being made for a presentation of Mr. Parkinson's plays, "Two Americans," and "The Man in Black."



Notes

Go back Clara Morris and Her School: An article, "As to Clara Morris and Her School," signed "Jane Archer," appeared in the March 18, 1894, Nebraska State Journal. Bernice Slote suggests the writer may have been Sarah B. Harris, editor of the Lincoln Courier, for which Cather would later write. Harris and Cather became friends and were for a time co-editors of the Courier.

Go back Clara Morris: Born Clara Morrison, Morris (1848-1925) made her New York debut in 1870 and was a great success playing passionate, suffering heroines in roles in such plays as Jezebel, Camille (1874), Miss Multon, a version of East Lynne (1876), Jane Eyre (1877), and The New Magdalen (1882). She formed her own company about 1878 and toured the country. She was never famous for her beauty, and her voice was flawed, but the emotional power of her acting overcame these defects. Morris retired in the 1890s as the new kinds of realistic plays of Ibsen and Shaw and Pinero made the older dramas seem old-fashioned and histrionic. In retirement she wrote articles and columns on acting, as well as volumes of reminiscences that show her acting was not so instinctive and unpracticed as Cather supposed.

Image available at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

Image available at the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections.

Clara Morris Clara Morris Clara Morris Clara Morris Clara Morris

Go back Maida Craigen: Maida Craigen (d. April 1942), according to Odell's Annals of the New York Stage, had made a hit in Boston playing in The Jilt before making her stage debut in New York in 1886, playing opposite Richard Mansfield in his New York debut, Prince Karl. She played lesser roles in a series of distinguished companies: with Kate Claxton and Salvini in 1885, with Mrs. Potter and Kyrle Bellew in 1887, with Booth and Modjeska in 1889, with Rose Coghlan in 1891, with Thomas Keene in 1893, and with Alessandro Salvini in 1893. Frederick Paulding had also played with Keene's company, and he and Craigen presumably decided to form their own touring company later in 1893.

The New York Times reviewer said of her performance in Prince Karl: "Miss Craigen is unaffected, and she has an intelligent and expressive face. Her performance was certainly graceful and interesting, and she was particularly successful in depicting the amiable qualities of the heroine" (4 May 1886). However, Odell described her an "an amateur turned not very first-rate professional" (Annals of the New York Stage, v. 13, p. 439).

Maida Craigen

Go back Carlyle: Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) was born and educated in Scotland. He gained fame as an historian and as a stylist with his The French Revolution (1837). His philosophy of history, particularly its admiration for strong men of strongly-held convictions, was expressed in On Heroes, Hero Worship and the Heroic in History (1841) and Past and Present (1843). His difficult, troubled, and uncompromising personality became almost legendary.

Go back Ruskin: British art and social critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) was influential in many areas of Victorian life and thought. In an age when access to works of art was limited, his writing sought to convey the visual and emotional qualities of the works he discussed. His Modern Painters (1843 and 1846) led to public appreciation of the work of J. M. W. Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites. His Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849) and The Stones of Venice (1853) did the same for Gothic architecture, and led to the founding of such organizations as the National Trust and the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings. As a social critic (and socialist), Ruskin was also influential in the trade union and arts and crafts movements.

Ruskin was also a poet and artist himself, as well as a writer of such fantasies as The King of the Golden River (1841).

Go back Juliet: The heroine of Shakespeare's early romantic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet (c. 1594-95), the part was considered one of the great roles for an actress. Romeo and Juliet come from families feuding with each other, the Montagues and Capulets, but fall immediately in love. They are forced to meet in secret—the balcony scene being the most famous in all of Shakespeare—and try to marry in secret. The friar gives Juliet a potion that simulates death, and Romeo, in despair, kills himself. When Juliet awakes to find Romeo dead, she kills herself.

Go back Marie Stuart: Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. Schiller's historical drama (1801) takes place in the last three days of Mary's life, while she is imprisoned by Elizabeth I and awaiting her execution. Although Schiller took liberties with historical facts, his analyses of the political and personal situations were powerful: the judges are pressured into their verdict of treason by the political authorities. Mary, convicted unjustly, comes to accept her punishment as expiation for her former sins, and thus is spiritually reborn.

Go back Tolstoian: Russian Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was recognized in his own time as one of the greatest novelists, both for his powers of observation and his understanding of the complexities of human nature. Born in an aristocratic Russian family, he was orphaned young. He left the University of Kazan without a degree in 1847, lived the life of an aristocrat, and joined the army in 1851, serving in the Crimean War (1853-56). His first great novel, War and Peace, was published 1864-69; his second, Anna Karenina, in 1875-77. He experienced a religious conversion after falling into depression in the late 1870s, but ultimately rejected much of conventional religion to found his own version, advocating pacifism, abstinence, and a kind of non-violent anarchism. Among his last works were The Kreutzer Sonata (1891), Resurrection (1898), and What is Art? (1898).

Image available at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

Go back George Sand: Amandine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin (1804-1876) was brought up in rural France. She married Casimir Dudevant in 1822, but left him in 1831 and went to Paris where she began her career as a journalist. She adopted the pseudonym George Sand for her first novel, Indiana (1832); it made her famous with its protest against the social conventions of marriage and its plea for the freedom to love. Sand herself claimed the freedom to take lovers, among them Prosper Mérimée, Alfred de Musset, and Frédéric Chopin. Her novels of rural life, with their theme of love overcoming conventionality and class obstacles, such as La Petite Fadette (1849), are considered her best; however, critics considered that she wrote too quickly and at too much length. Sand published her memoirs in 1854-55.

Go back Rudyard Kipling: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay, India; he was educated in England, first in a foster home (an experience rendered in "Baa Baa, Black Sheep" [1888]) and then at boarding school (Stalky & Co. [1899]). He returned to India in 1882, working as a journalist for seven years and exploring Indian and Anglo-Indian life in poems and stories. His verses were collected in Departmental Ditties (1886) and his stories in Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) and other collections published before his return to England in 1889, where he found himself famous for his vigor and the freshness of his style and material. Kipling married an American, Caroline Balestier, in 1892 and they came to America to live until 1896. His best work was published in the 1890s and shortly thereafter: The Light That Failed (1890), Barrack-Room Ballads (1892), the Jungle Books (1894 and 1895), Captains Courageous (1897), and Kim (1901).

Go back William Winter: William Winter (1836-1917) was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1857. He became part of literary circles in New York and became drama critic for the New York Tribune from 1865-1909. He was among the conservative critics who resisted the rise of realism in the drama. His volumes of criticism and reminiscence, such as Other Days (1908) and The Wallet of Time (1913), are valuable as histories of the drama and especially of the actors and actresses of the period.

Go back William Winter, the follower of Ada Rehan: Winter said of Rehan's performance as Viola in Twelfth Night, which she first performed in 1893: "It was a performance not less brilliant than gentle. Its salient qualities were poetic condition, physical beauty, innate refinement, and ardent feeling artfully restrained" (Shakespeare on the Stage [1916], 74}.

Go back Ada Rehan: Ada Crehan (1857-1916) was born in Ireland, but grew up in Brooklyn. She went on stage when she was fourteen; when she played in Mrs. Drew's Arch Street Theater company her name was misspelled as Rehan on the program, and she adopted it as her stage name. She played in stock companies before making her New York debut in 1875, but continued to play supporting roles until Augustin Daly invited her to join his company in 1879. There she achieved her greatest success, becoming the leading lady of his company, playing opposite John Drew. A European tour in 1884 confirmed her stardom. She excelled in Shakespearean comedies as well as roles adapted from the French drama; her greatest role was said to be Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew (first played in 1887). After 1893 she divided her time between New York and London, but when Daly died in 1899, her career floundered, and she retired in 1905. Ada Rehan as Katherine in "The Taming of the Shrew" Ada Rehan Ada Rehan Ada Rehan

Go back William Dean Howells: William Dean Howells (1837-1920), American novelist, critic, and editor, grew up in Ohio. He became assistant editor (1865), then editor (1871-1881) of The Atlantic Monthly, and then of Harper's New Monthly Magazine (1886-1892 and 1899-1909) where he was a publisher and champion of literary realism and of writers such as Henry James, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Charles Chesnutt, as well as European writers such as Ibsen, Zola, and Tolstoy. His first novels were about middle-class life, followed by international novels of manners, then by novels examining current social problems; A Modern Instance (1882), The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885), and A Hazard of New Fortunes (1890) are some of his best-known works.

Go back Howells' parlor farces: William Dean Howells (1837-1920), American novelist, critic, and editor, also wrote farces and comedies, many of which were published in the magazines of the day. Cather may mean that the plays were set in parlors and similar genteel settings, or that they were meant to read in the parlor rather than produced on the stage. Some of these include The Garroters: A Farce (1885); A Likely Story: A Farce (1888), A Letter of Introduction: A Farce (1892), and A Previous Engagement: A Comedy (1895), all published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine.

Go back The Rivals: Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy, The Rivals (1775), is perhaps his best known: the name of one of his characters, Mrs. Malaprop, has entered the language. In the play, Captain Absolute courts the romantic heiress, Lydia Languish, under the guise of a poor ensign; one of his rivals is Bob Acres, a country squire. An Irishman, Sir Lucius O'Trigger, thinks he is courting Lydia, but his love notes are going to her aunt, Mrs. Malaprop. O'Trigger persuades Acre to challenge the ensign to a duel, but all is resolved when Acre recognizes his rival as his friend and gives up Lydia.

Cather may have seen Joseph Jefferson in The Rivals when it played in Lincoln November 30, 1891.

Go back Wagner: Richard Wagner (1813-1883) revolutionized European music, especially opera. He was born in Leipzig, Germany; although he was indifferent to formal education, he taught himself to play the piano and the principles of composition, partly by studying the scores of Beethoven's works. He was also deeply influenced by his reading of Shakespeare, Schiller, and Goethe. His first operas until Rienzi (1842) were unsuccessful; his next operas began to develop his more characteristic style; though The Flying Dutchman (1843), Tannhäuser (1845), and Lohengrin (1850) were popular, the critics were often hostile. His involvement with the Revolution of 1848 in Germany forced him to flee into exile in Zurich, where he wrote on social and musical issues, and composed the poem, The Ring of the Nibelung, upon which his four Ring operas were based. The difficulty of staging these titanic works led him to put them aside for such works as Tristan and Isolde (1859). His financial difficulties were alleviated when Ludvig II of Bavaria became his patron. Wagner toured Europe to raise money for a new kind of theater at Bayreuth, which would be capable of presenting the Ring; the work was first given in its entirety at Bayreuth in 1876. His last work was Parsifal (1882).

One of Cather's early stories, "A Wagner Matinée" (1904), dramatizes the effect of Wagner's later music on a Nebraska farm woman who has been isolated from music for thirty years.

Go back Turner: John Mallory William Turner (1775-1851) was one of the greatest English landscape painters. He won success at an early age, becoming a member of the Royal Academy in 1802. His paintings became increasingly atmospheric and abstract visually, anticipating the Impressionists, though his paintings retained literary and historical content as well.

Go back Modjeska: Helena Modjeska (1840 or 1844—sources differ) was born in Cracow, Poland, and went on stage in 1861; the name by which she is best known is a simplified version of her Polish stage name. She was acclaimed as the greatest Polish actress, but emigrated to a ranch in Orange County, California, in 1876 with her husband, Karol Chlapowski, a minor Polish nobleman; the titles of Count and Countess appear to have been bestowed on them later. Modjeska learned English quickly enough to make her American stage debut in 1877 and soon became one of the best known and most respected actresses in the country, known for her historical and Shakespearean roles as well as the modern emotional dramas. She retired in 1907 and died in 1909.

Modjeska appears in Cather's My Mortal Enemy (1926).

Image available at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery and the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections.

Helena Modjeska as Ophelia Helena Modjeska

Go back Whistler: James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) was born in America, but spent much of his life abroad, especially in England, where he was as famous for his flamboyant personality as for his art, which was often controversial. He began painting his nocturnes (a series of paintings of the Thames River at twilight) in the early 1870s. Many of his paintings have titles reminiscent of music, such as nocturne, arrangement, or variation, to separate them from the conventional 19th century paintings which sought to convey stories or dramatic feelings. He said, "Art should be independent of all claptrap—should stand alone, and appeal to the artistic sense of eye or ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism and the like. . . . that is why I insist on calling my works 'arrangements' and 'harmonies.'"

Pictures: www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/whistler/ or www.artcyclopedia.com/artist/whistler_james_mcneill.html

Go back Jerome K. Jerome: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) was born in Staffordshire, England; he left school in 1873 and worked at various professions, including that of acting: his first book was The Stage—and Off (1885). His next two books, The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow (1886) and Three Men in a Boat (1889) were very successful and widely translated; his gentle humor made him popular, although his later works, which include plays, an autobiographical novel, Paul Kelver (1902), and a volume of memoirs (1926), did not achieve the same success.

Go back De Koven: Reginald de Koven (1859-1920) was born in the USA, but educated in England, then went to Europe to study music before returning to the US in 1882 to go into business in Chicago. His successful real estate and commercial ventures enabled him to return to his first love, music. He is best known as the composer of romantic operettas, most notably Robin Hood (1890), which contains his most popular song, "Oh Promise Me," which quickly became a favorite at weddings.

Go back Julia Marlowe: Marlowe (born Sarah Frost in England in 1866) made her stage debut in 1878 and first appeared in New York in 1887. Her beauty and refinement made her immensely popular with audiences, and she toured frequently with her own company, with both her first husband, Robert Taber (married 1894, divorced 1900), and her second, the almost equally well-known actor, E. H. Sothern (married 1911). She was considered a romantic rather than an emotional actress, especially famous in Shakespearean roles. She retired in 1924 and died in 1950. Julia Marlowe Julia Marlowe Julia Marlowe Julia Marlowe

Go back crust of society: The Crust of Society, an English version of Alexandre Dumas fils' play, Le Demi-Monde, had played in Lincoln the previous year, on March 1, 1893, and May 2, 1893 (Slote 187).

Go back Camille: The English play Camille is based on the play La Dame aux camélias (1852), based on the novel (1848) by Alexandre Dumas the younger (1824-1895). In the play, Armand Duval, a poor young man of a good family, falls in love with a famous courtesan, Camille (named Marguerite Gautier in the original). Skeptical of his love at first, she comes to return it and the two retire to an idyllic life in the country. However, Armand's father comes to her and begs her to set Armand free for the sake of his reputation and for the marriage chances of Armand's young sister. Camille pretends to be tired of Armand and returns to Paris and her old life. She is, however, dying of tuberculosis, and the two are reunited before her death. The role of Camille was also a favorite of Sarah Bernhardt and many other tragic actresses.

Verdi's opera La Traviata (1853) is based on the story of Camille, and the play has been made into films as well, notably one starring Greta Garbo (1936).

Go back Anna Karenina: Tolstoy's novel (1874-1876) was early recognized as a masterpiece by critics such as Matthew Arnold. The story is mainly concerned with four people: Konstantin Levin (thought to be a character much like Tolstoy himself), who loves Kitty Oblonsky; Kitty loves Count Vronsky, but he loves Anna Karenina, who is married to Aleksei Karenin, a government minister. Anna leaves her husband and child to live with Vronsky, by whom she has a daughter, but their relationship deteriorates under the pressures of conventional society, and she at last throws herself under a train. In the meantime, Kitty and Levin marry and settle down to a more conventional but potentially more productive marriage.

Go back Mephistopheles: In Goethe's Faust, Mephistopheles is the name of the devil who gives Faust the things of this world in exchange for his soul.

Go back "A Duel of Hearts": A play by Frederick Paulding (1859-1957), according to Cather, although WilliamCurtin says it was by Maida Craigen, and copyrighted in 1893 (82). The New York Times said it was by both Paulding and Craigen, based on a plot supplied by Jean Davenport Lander (19 May 1895), which it described: Count Eugene de Ligny, who has lost his faith in women, decides to take revenge on Lady Anita Stanhope, whom he believes is responsible for his brother Louis's suicide. He courts her only to spurn her, leaving her affected with brain fever. The doctor cures her with a shock of joy by bringing her face to face with the count and all the misunderstandings are cleared up. The version Cather saw in 1894 may have differed in some respects from that first presented in New York by Craigen in 1895.

Go back William Shakespeare: William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born in Stratford-on-Avon, in Warwickshire, England. Documents of the time show his father, John Shakespeare, to have been a well-respected tradesman who held office in the town. His mother, Mary Arden, came from an old land-owning family. He was probably educated at the grammar school in Stratford; at the age of eighteen he married Anne Hathaway, by whom he had three children. Not until eight years later, in 1592, does his name start to appear connected with the London stage. By 1594 he was a part of the Lord Chamberlain's company, which by 1598 had their home at the Globe theater. His plays were successful with both the public and royalty, enabling Shakespeare to buy various properties in London and Stratford. He retired to Stratford about 1613, where he died.

Many anecdotes and legends grew up in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries about Shakespeare's life, whose authenticity cannot be now be proven, but some of which have been widely accepted: that his father was a butcher, that Shakespeare as a youth got into trouble poaching deer, that he held horses at the stage doors when he was trying to break into the London theater, that he was lame, or that he caught the fever of which he died in a drinking bout, for instance.

Some of his fellow actors collected his plays in 1623 in what is now known as the First Folio. The only works Shakespeare himself seems to have published are the early poems Venus and Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594), both dedicated to the Earl of Southampton, a young nobleman who may also have been the subject of many of Shakespeare's sonnets, apparently written over the decade from 1593-1603.

Shakespeare's authorship of the plays ascribed to him began to be seriously questioned only in the late eighteenth century, largely on the ground that he was too humbly born and poorly educated to be capable of writing such great works. The most serious alternatives—and the question was warmly debated in the nineteenth century—put forth were Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and the Earl of Oxford.

Go back Siddons: British actress Sarah Siddons (1755-1831) was a member of the Kemble theatrical family, marrying William Siddons in 1773. Her early appearances in London did not bring her success, so she spent six years touring in the provinces; when she returned to London in 1782, she scored a triumph, and became the most renowned actress of her day. She was especially celebrated as Lady Macbeth, and was painted by Gainsborough and Reynolds (the latter painted her as "The Tragic Muse"). Siddons retired from the stage in 1812.

Go back Élisa Rachel Félix: French actress Élisa Rachel Félix (1821-1858) was born in poverty in Switzerland; she and her sisters sang on the streets for pennies. Their singing attracted a music teacher who sponsored her into the Conservatoire in Paris. After an indifferent debut, she scored a triumph in Corneille's Horace in 1838 and became the greatest tragedienne of the French classical tradition. One of her greatest roles in contemporary drama was that of Adrienne Lecouvreur in Scribe's play of that name (1849). She toured the United States in 1855 as the tuberculosis which eventually killed her was undermining her health. She is buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

Image at University ofWashington Library's Digital Collections

Go back Sarah Bernhardt: Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), generally acknowledged as the greatest actress of her time, was born Rosine Bernard. She made her debut at the Comédie Française in 1862. By the mid 1870s her position was secure; though critics were divided as to her beauty, they agreed on the power of her golden voice, her realism, and her magnetic personality, which she cultivated off-stage as well. She owned her own theater in Paris and toured throughout the world in the 1880s and 1890s; Cather saw her in Omaha in 1892. Bernhardt played most of the great roles of the 19th century theater, and American and English emotional actresses such as Morris and Fanny Davenport frequently followed her lead, since a role Bernhardt made popular had a good chance of success elsewhere. University of Pennsylvania Library Sarah Bernhardt Sarah Bernhardt Sarah Bernhardt Sarah Bernhardt

Go back Herrmann: Alexander Herrmann (1844-1896)—known as "Herrmann the Great"—was born in Paris. As a boy he served his older brother, magician Carl Herrmann (d.1887), as an assistant, thus getting his own start. He became tremendously successful in Europe and the U.S., where he became a citizen, making as much as $100,000 a year, with a house on Long Island, a private railroad car, and a yacht. He married Adelaide Scarcez in 1875; she served as his assistant and after his death of a heart attack in 1896, continued the act with his nephew, Leon Herrmann. Herrmann, the Magician: His Life, His Secrets was published in 1896.

Go back Olga Nethersole: British actress Olga Nethersole (1863-1951) was born in London. Her stage debut was at Brighton in 1887, where her talent was recognized; she joined John Hare's company at the Garrick Theatre in London in 1888. She toured in Australia for nearly a year in the early 1890s. By 1894 she was a star, with her own theater in London. She made her debut in New York on October 15th, 1894, where she was an immediate success; she divided her subsequent career between London and the U.S. Nethersole was noted for emotional roles such as Camille, and particularly for those in modern plays, such as Pinero's The Second Mrs. Tanqueray. She created a sensation in 1897 with "the Nethersole kiss" in her production of Carmen, then again in 1900 when she was arrested (and acquitted) for corrupting public morals in her role in Clyde Fitch's Sapho. Nethersole retired from the stage in 1912, but served as a nurse in London during World War I; thereafter she worked for the improvement of health care in Britain, and was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1936.

Picture at the University of Pennsylvania Library

Go back "The Transgressor": The Transgressor, a "problem" play by A. W. Gattie, argued that the insanity of one of the partners in a marriage ought to be grounds for divorce in its portrayal of the plight of a man with an incurably insane wife. Olga Nethersole had produced the play herself in London, and it was the first which she performed in the U.S. Critics disliked the play but praised the power of Nethersole's performance.

Go back Jane Eyre: One of the play versions of Charlotte Bronte's 1847 novel Jane Eyre; it was a staple for emotional actresses, in part because of its big scene where Jane, at the altar, discovers that Mr. Rochester, the man she loves, is already married to a madwoman.

Go back Eric Langley: In A.W. Gattie's play, The Transgressor (1894), Eric Langley is the hero, a man whose wife is incurably insane; he falls in love with Sylvia Woodville and marries her despite the laws which make it bigamy. Langley was compared inevitably with Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre. Maurice Barrymore played the role in Olga Nethersole's New York debut.

Go back Sylvia Woodville: In A.W. Gattie's play, The Transgressor (1894), Sylvia Woodville is the heroine, played by Olga Nethersole in both the New York and London openings; she chooses to stay with the man she has married after he reveals the marriage is illegal because he has a wife, though she is insane.

Go back Lewis Morrison: Lewis Morrison (1845-1906) was born Morris W. Morris in Jamaica, and came to the U.S. before the outbreak of the Civil War; he served as an officer in the Union army. After the war he became an actor, appearing with Lawrence Barrett, Tommaso Salvini, Edwin Booth, and Charlotte Cushman. Having made his reputation in supporting roles, he formed his own touring company with his wife, Florence Roberts, as leading lady. His most famous role was as Mephistopheles in Faust, which he opened in New York in April 1889.

Morrison's daughter Rosabel was also an actress; movie stars Constance and Joan Bennett were two of his granddaughters, and actor Morton Downey, Jr., was his great-grandson.

Go back Mr. Keene: Thomas Wallace Keene (1840-1898), a New York-born actor whose real name was Thomas R. Eagleton, made several cross-country tours of America with his own company between 1880 and his death in 1898. He generally appeared in Shakespearean companies, and was known as a tragedian. Thomas W. Keene

Go back The London Theatre: Probably The Theatre, a monthly illustrated magazine published in London from 1877 to 1897. Addison Bright became the editor in July 1893.

Go back Augustin Daly: Augustin Daly (1838-1899) was interested in play production and creation from his youth, though he began his professional career at the age of twenty-one as a drama critic for various New York newspapers. His first play, Leah the Forsaken, the first of many adaptations of foreign plays, became a favorite vehicle for leading ladies for the rest of the nineteenth century. His first original play was Under the Gaslight (1867), which featured the hero tied to the tracks as a train approaches. In 1869 Daly became manager of the Fifth Avenue Theatre and built up a "company of stars," as he advertised. He was quick to spot talent and developed it through a rigorous system. Some of his stars, like Clara Morris, left to head their own companies, but many, like Ada Rehan and John Drew, stayed loyal to his troupe for many years.

Otis Skinner, who joined his troupe in 1884, said, "Augustin Daly was a tall man who carried himself awkwardly and wore the same peculiar stiff black hat year after year, giving an annual order to his hatter for a new edition. No martinet was ever more strict in discipline and cast-iron rule. While he had able lieutenants, he left little but the veriest drudgery to them. He ran the entire establishment from the ticket office to the stage door. He was ubiquitous. . . . His capacity for work was limitless" (Footlights and Spotlights [1923] 135).

Image available at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

Augustin Daly from the Collection of Miss Elizabeth Daly

Go back Twelfth Night: Shakespeare's Twelfth Night; or, What You Will (c. 1601) follows the misadventures of the shipwrecked twins, Sebastian and Viola. Viola disguises herself as young man and serves the Duke Orsino, with whom she falls in love. The duke, however, at first loves the countess Olivia, who falls in love with Sebastian. In the end Viola reveals herself as a woman and the duke realizes his love for her.

Go back Plautus: Titus Maccius Plautus (c. 254-184 B.C.) is the earliest Roman playwright whose work—twenty plays in whole or in part out of more than a hundred—has survived. (The name Plautus, meaning "flatfoot" may be a nickname rather than a family name.) He is believed to have been a stagehand of some sort; after attempts to follow more lucrative trades failed, he began selling his plays, based on Greek plots and with Greek character names, to the managers of the public games. His broad humor and characters influenced Renaissance comedy; the character of the "miles gloriosus," the swaggering soldier, is taken from Plautus's play of that name.

Go back Pinafore: Gilbert and Sullivan's fourth comic opera, HMS Pinafore; or, The Lass that Loved a Sailor, opened in London in 1878. It became tremendously popular throughout the English speaking world, appearing in many pirated versions by professionals, amateurs, and juvenile companies.

The plot concerns several characters who love people of other ranks; Josephine, the daughter of the captain of the Pinafore, loves a common sailor on her father's ship, Ralph Rakestraw. However, her father, Captain Corcoran, who loves the humble Buttercup, wants Josephine to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty. All turns out well with the revelation that Buttercup had switched Corcoran and Rakestraw as babies; thus Rakestraw becomes the captain, eligible to marry Josephine, and Corcoran becomes a humble seaman—and free to marry the Buttercup.

Go back mixed those children up: In the denouement of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore, Buttercup confesses that long ago,

Oh, bitter is my cup!However could I do it?I mixed those children up,And not a creature knew it!

Go back "The Charlatan": A New York Times account of the London production of The Charlatan (1894), a play by Robert Williams Buchanan, called it a "satire on theosophy" (19 January 1894). In the play, Mme Obnoskin, a character possibly based on a founder of theosophism, Mme Blavatsky, uses her occult powers in a séance and in "a thrilling scene, where the charlatan compels [the heroine] to walk in her sleep and confess her love."

The Charlatan was made into a silent film in Great Britain in 1916.

Go back Mr. Buchanan: British writer Robert Williams Buchanan (1841-1901) grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where his father was a journalist. Buchanan went to London, where he wrote poetry, much of it about Scottish country life; reviews, including the attack on the Pre-Raphelites, "The Fleshly School of Poetry;" novels such as The Shadow of the Sword (1876); and plays, some of which—such as The Charlatan—were very successful. He lost his money through speculation and died in poverty.

Go back Miss Arlington: The heroine of Buchanan's play, The Charlatan.

Go back Lord Dewsberry: Miss Arlington's fiancé in Buchanan's play, The Charlatan.

Go back theosophists: Theosophists, members of the Theosophical Society founded in New York in 1875 by Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891), believe in the evolution of all beings to higher spiritual planes and the unity of nature—although the processes and the reasonings are far more complex. The movement had roots in Eastern mysticism, and both Blavatsky and a later leader, Annie Besant, settled and studied in India.

Go back Colonel Arlington: Miss Arlington's father, an explorer feared lost in Tibet, in Buchanan's play, The Charlatan.

Go back Phillip Woodville: The Eurasian villain in Buchanan's play, The Charlatan.

Go back Joseph Balsamo: In Alexandre Dumas' Memoirs of a Physician (1846), Joseph Balsamo is a reputed sorcerer who goes by the name of the Count de Fenix. He had predicted that Madame du Barry would one day be queen of France; he uses his wife to obtain information to aid the plots of Richelieu and du Barry.

Go back Lorenza: Lorenza is the wife of Joseph Balsamo in Alexandre Dumas' Memoirs of a Physician (1846). She serves unwillingly as his medium.

Go back the elder Dumas: French writer Alexandre Dumas père (1802-1870) was the grandson of a French nobleman and a former Haitian slave. His father had been a general in Napoleon's army, but died when the writer was a small child, leaving the family impoverished. However, Dumas made his first reputation as a writer of plays in the 1830s. In 1838 he rewrote one of his plays as a serialized novel and embarked on a prolific career as a novelist, aided by collaborators, mostly uncredited, who often drafted the plots, leaving Dumas to fill in details, dialogue, and climaxes. The Three Musketeers (1844) and its sequels, and The Count of Monte Cristo (1845-46) are still the most popular of his works, which have been translated into many languages and inspired many plays and movies.

Dumas fathered several children, in and out of wedlock, the most notable being the writer Alexandre Dumas, fils, author of La dame aux camellias.

Go back "Memoirs of a Physician": Alexandre Dumas' Memoirs of a Physician (1846), an historical novel of eighteenth century France, is part of his Marie Antoinette series.

Go back Mr. H. A. Jones: British playwright Henry Arthur Jones (1851-1929) was the son of a farmer, and earned his living as a traveling salesman until he was thirty years old. His first play was produced in 1878; four years later his melodrama, The Silver King (1882), written in collaboration with Henry Herman, scored a great success in London with Wilson Barrett in the lead. Most of his later successes were well-constructed comedies of contemporary upper-class life, a break from the melodramas and sentimental plays that had dominated the late nineteenth century theater, although they upheld conventional moral standards. Jones wrote more than ninety plays, such as Saints and Sinners (1884), The Middleman (1889), The Masqueraders (1894), The Triumph of the Philistines (1895), and Mrs. Dane's Defense (1900), as well as essays on the drama and on social issues. Many of his plays were made into silent films in the teens and 1920s.

Go back Judah: Judah (1890), a serious play by Henry Arthur Jones, featured Vashti Dethic, a fake faith-healer who falls in love with Judah Llewellyn, a noble half-Jewish minister. In the end she confesses and is forgiven, leaving the couple to continue his ministry.

Go back Mr. Tree: Mr. Tree: English actor-manager Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1852-1917) was born Herbert Beerbohm in London, and educated in Germany. He began his professional career in 1878, and made his first London success in 1884. In 1887 he was manager of the Haymarket Theatre in London, where he became known for his meticulous productions of a wide variety of plays, from Trilby to Ibsen, Wilde, and Shakespeare, a tradition he continued when he built His Majesty's Theatre in 1899. He was considered the foremost actor in England after Sir Henry Irving's death, and was himself knighted in 1909.

Tree was the half-brother of caricaturist Max Beerbohm. He married actress Helen Maud Holt in 1882; their daughters were actresses Iris and Viola Tree, and Felicity Tree. He had several children by actress May Pinney, and became the grandfather of actor Oliver Reed.

Tree became involved in the new media of the time, appearing in the first film of a Shakespeare scene to survive, King John in 1899. He also starred in a film production of Macbeth in 1916, and made five recordings of famous soliloquies from Shakespeare and Du Maurier—his Svengali was considered the best rendition of the role.

Image at: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Herbert_Beerbohm_Tree_Vanity_Fair_1890.jpg

Go back Mrs. Tree: British actress (Helen) Maud Holt (1858-1937) married Beerbohm Tree in 1882. She often played opposite him. The couple had three daughters, actresses Iris and Viola Tree, and Felicity Tree.

As Lady Tree, she appeared in the silent film, Little Dorrit (1920) and several sound films in the early 1920s, including The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933).

Go back Richard Mansfield: Richard Mansfield (1857-1907) was the son of soprano Erminia Rudersdorff, and grandson of violinist Joseph Rudersdorff. His start on the stage came in light opera, including character roles in Gilbert and Sullivan's Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance. Mansfield came to America in 1882 and joined Palmer's Union Square Theatre company, making his success as an aging roué in A Parisian Romance (1883). His title roles as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1887 further increased his reputation, which was never simply that of a leading man or romantic hero; he played Richard III and Cyrano de Bergerac and Beau Brummell along with more conventional roles. His early success enabled him to form his own company, and as a manager he was noted for lavish and meticulous staging—sometimes financially successful and sometimes disastrous. He was one of the first to produce George Bernard Shaw's plays in America, playing the anti-hero Bluntschli in Arms and the Man in 1894 and Dick Dudgeon in The Devil's Disciple in 1897. Mansfield was a serious student of acting, and was one of the most important actors of his time, though a minority of critics felt he was unsuited for some of the parts he played. He married his leading woman, Beatrice Cameron (1868-1940), in 1892. Richard Mansfield in multiple roles

Go back Kate Claxton: American actress Kate Claxton, née Kate Cone (1848-1924) made her debut in Lotta Crabtree's company in Chicago, then joined Daly's company in New York. She made a success in Led Astray in 1873; in 1874 she first appeared in the role she was identified with for the rest of her life, as Louise in The Two Orphans. She headed her own company in touring with this play for many years. Claxton married and divorced Isidor Lyon, and then married actor Charles Stevenson in 1878; they were divorced in 1910.

Go back "Two Orphans": Based on a French play, Les Deux Orphelines, by Cormon and d'Ennerly, A. M. Palmer's version of The Two Orphans tells the story of Henriette and her blind sister Louise (played by Kate Claxton) in pre-Revolutionary France. The sisters are abducted and separated, Henriette imprisoned in a chateau and Louise forced to beg in the streets by a gang of thieves. (A famous scene shows her in rags in the porch of the church of St. Sulpice in the snow.) Both are saved by chivalrous men and finally discovered to be the daughters of a countess.

Claxton bought the rights to the play from Palmer in 1877 and toured with it as late as 1903; she sold the film rights to director D.W. Griffith, who starred Lillian and Dorothy Gish as the sisters in the film, Orphans of the Storm (1920).

Go back Joseph Jefferson: Actor Joseph Jefferson III (1829-1905) was part of the third generation of a theatrical family, and was performing on stage by the time he was four. His first success was as Asa Trenchard in Laura Keene's production of Our American Cousin in 1858. He developed his own version of Washington Irving's story, "Rip Van Winkle," basing it on older stage versions, in 1859, but it did become a hit until it was revised by Dion Boucicault for the London production in 1865, where it ran for 170 performances. Jefferson became identified with Rip, playing the part for the rest of his life; that role, along with those of Bob Acre in Sheridan's The Rivals and Caleb Plummer in The Cricket on the Hearth, made him America's foremost comic actor. Jefferson was as popular with the other members of his profession as with the public, becoming the second president of the Players Club following the death of founder Edwin Booth. He retired from the stage in 1904. Jefferson's autobiography was serialized 1889-90 and published as The Autobiography of Joseph Jefferson in 1891. He played Rip Van Winkle in eight short films, scenes from the play, in 1896, and in a longer version in 1903. He was the father of actors William and Thomas Jefferson and grandfather of writers Herbert and Eleanor Farjeon. Joseph Jefferson as Dr. Pangloss Joseph Jefferson Joseph Jefferson Joseph Jefferson as Rip Van Winkle Joseph Jefferson as Bob Acres in "The Rivals" Joseph Jefferson as Rip Van Winkle

Go back Jefferson's new houses: Joseph Jefferson's country house on Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts, built in 1889, burned on April 1, 1893. The house, called "Crow's Nest," was rebuilt in 1893-94.

Go back Buzzard's bay: Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts, is on Cape Cod, near where the Cape joins the rest of the state. A number of distinguished people built summer homes there in the late nineteenth century.

Go back Eleonora Duse: Eleonora Duse (1859-1924) was born into an impoverished Italian acting family and began performing at an early age; when her mother became ill, Duse had to take over her roles. Her first success was as Juliet in 1873, though her career did not take off until 1879, after performing in Zola's Thérèse Raquin. She toured Italy and by 1885 was acclaimed as Italy's greatest living actress. After a tour in South America, Duse formed her own company in 1886, with a large repertoire ranging from classical and contemporary French drama to Shakespeare and Ibsen. She met with great success in Paris, where she was considered Bernhardt's only rival. In 1893 Duse came to the U.S., where the restraint and naturalism of her style (for many years she wore no makeup on stage) were also acclaimed. She became the type of the actress who subsumes herself in her art. Her health was fragile, and she retired from the stage in 1911, returning to it in 1921; she toured Europe and then the U. S. in 1923. She collapsed and died in Pittsburgh in April 1924; her body lay in state there and then was taken to be buried in Asolo, Italy.

Duse became known for her love affairs, both with men and (perhaps lesser known at the time) with women. She was married to actor Teobaldo Checchi in 1881, with whom she had a daughter; they were divorced in 1885 after an affair with another actor. The most famous affair was a tempestuous one with Italian poet and playwright Gabriele d'Annunzio, whom she met in 1895; he wrote several verse dramas for her.

Image available at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

Eleonora Duse Eleonora Duse

Go back The Second Mrs. Tanqueray: Arthur Wing Pinero's 1893 play deals with a man who marries "a woman with a past"; she is not accepted by his innocent young daughter or into his social circle. When it is revealed that the daughter's fiancé is one of Mrs. Tanqueray's former lovers, the daughter condemns her stepmother for the same sin that she condones in her fiancé. Mrs. Tanqueray then kills herself. The play created a sensation and was condemned by many for subject matter unfit for the stage. Mrs. Patrick Campbell created the role.

Go back Stuart Robson: Comic actor Stuart Robson (1836-1903) was famous for his squeaky voice. He made his theatrical debut in 1852, and was for a time a member of Laura Keene's company and Mrs. Drew's Arch Street Theatre company in Philadelphia. He achieved his greatest fame in his partnership with William H. Crane from 1877 to 1889. The pair was especially noted as the two Dromios in Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. Robson saw Nat C. Goodwin perform at a private entertainment and gave Goodwin his start in one of Robson's own shows in the mid-1870s.

Robson's second marriage was to actress May (Mary Dougherty) Waldron (1858-1924), in 1891; their son, Stuart Robson,Jr., had a brief stage career and ran a magic shop in New York for many years.

Image available at the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections.

Stuart Robson as Bertie in "The Henrietta" Stuart Robson

Go back Herrmann: Alexander Herrmann (1844-1896)—known as "Herrmann the Great"—was born in Paris. As a boy he served his older brother, magician Carl Herrmann (d.1887), as an assistant, thus getting his own start. He became tremendously successful in Europe and the U.S., where he became a citizen, making as much as $100,000 a year, with a house on Long Island, a private railroad car, and a yacht. He married Adelaide Scarcez in 1875; she served as his assistant and after his death of a heart attack in 1896, continued the act with his nephew, Leon Herrmann. Herrmann, the Magician: His Life, His Secrets was published in 1896.

Go back Mme. Herrmann: Adelaide Scarcez (1854-1932) married Alexander Herrman in 1875; she served as his assistant and after his death of a heart attack in 1896, continued the act with his nephew, Leon Hermann. She wrote The Art of "Palming" (1905).

Image available at the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections.

Go back Mrs. Kendal: Madge (née Margaret Robertson) Kendal (1849-1935) was born in an established English theatrical family (her brother Tom Robertson was a well known playwright). She and her husband, William Kendal, helped to make the theater and theatrical people more respectable in the 1870s and 1880s by imposing a strict code of decorum on their companies and their productions. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1929.

Go back Laura Burt: Actress Laura Burt (1872-1952) was born in England. One of her greatest successes was as the star of In Old Kentucky; a scene from the play was filmed in 1900. She played in a musical, The King's Carnival, in 1901, along with Marie Dressler. Later in her career she played older women in silent movies such as Love and the Woman and The Social Pirate, both in 1919.

See image one and image two at University of Washington Libraries.

Go back In Old Kentucky: This popular play by Charles T. Dazey (1855-1938) premiered in New York October 23, 1893. Set in the bluegrass and mountain areas of Kentucky, the plot featured feuding families and climaxed in a horse race. The play was made into a novel by Edward Marshall, and several films using this title were made—one in 1909 by D.W. Griffith, others in 1919 and 1927, and another in 1935 with Will Rogers and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.

Go back Lincoln J. Carter: American playwright Lincoln J. Carter (1865-1926) wrote many popular melodramas with realistic effects (many of which he invented himself) and props, including The Fast Mail (1890), Tornado (1894), The Heart of Chicago (1898), Under the Dome (1898), Remember the Maine (1898), Chattanooga (1899), and While 'Frisco Burns (1906).

Go back Eunice Vance: British singer Eunice Vance came from the British music halls, touring with "The Great Vance" (Alfred G. Vance) and his company, Vance's Merry Makers, in the early 1880s. She became identified with the song "Tottie Coughdrop" and came to the U.S. with the Trans-Atlantique Vaudevilles later in the 1880s, and appeared in a burlesque, Little Jack Sheppard with Nat Godwin and others c. 1887. Vance toured in vaudeville until c. 1914 and is mentioned as a headliner at the Casino Roof Gardens in the summers of 1893 and 1894; her picture appears on sheet music covers with "as sung by English comedienne Eunice Vance" at this time. A Christmas pantomime, The Voyage of Suzette (1893) featured her, as did an imported melodrama, A Woman's Revenge (1894).

Several contemporary sources identify Vance as a daughter of Alfred G. Vance (1839-1888), one of his four children. A modern source identifies her as Eunice McLewee (b. 1858), also known as Eunice Irving, the common law wife of Alfred G. Vance and a cousin of British actress Ethel Irving (Michael Kilgariff, Sing Us One of the Old Songs http://freespace.virgin.net/m.killy/sing-uz.htm).

Images at: University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections and NYPL Digital Gallery

See also Vaudeville by Caroline Caffin, 1914

Go back Madison Square theatre: The Madison Square Theatre was rebuilt and fitted out with many innovations by playwright-manager Steele Mackaye in 1880. It was taken over by Palmer in 1884, and was co-owned by Charles Hoyt in the early 1890s.

Go back A Trip to Chinatown: In Charles Hoyt's musical "A Trip to Chinatown", Mrs. Guyer, a widow from Chicago, comes to San Francisco and fosters romance among several young couples with the help of a rich man's lost wallet. The song, "The Bowery" (music by Percy Gaunt, words by Charles Hoyt), was one of the first big Broadway show tune hits. Later the song "After the Ball" was added; the two songs came to exemplify two dominant strains of the 1890s stage, the slightly naughty and the overtly sentimental. This was Charles Hoyt's biggest success. It toured the country for nearly a year before opening on Broadway in 1891, where it ran for a record-breaking 657 performances—a record that would not be broken for nearly thirty years. It toured the country for years after.

A 1912 musical, A Winsome Widow, was based on the play, and later commentators have seen many echoes of the plot in the mid-twentieth century hit, Hello, Dolly!

Playbill: http://www.musicals101.com/News/chinatownpbl.jpg

Go back Flirt: In Charles Hoyt's musical, A Trip to Chinatown (1891), Flirt is the French maid of the widow, Mrs. Guyer.

Go back Lottie Mortimer: Dancer Lottie Mortimer was described as a "serpentine dancer" by the New York Times when she appeared in the show of the roof garden of Madison Square Garden (30 May 1893). She also appeared at the Eden Musée earlier in 1893, according to Odell's Annals of the New York Stage, and and then played Flirt for a week in Hoyt's A Trip to Chinatown in March 1894. An 1896 song, "The Racoon and the Bee" by Edward S. Abeles was dedicated to her.

Go back Sadie Kirby: Actress Sadie Kirby, who toured with Pauline Hall in Erminie in 1887, joined the cast of Charles Hoyt's The City Directory in 1890. She was best known for her role of Flirt, the French maid in Charles Hoyt's musical, A Trip to Chinatown (1891); she played it on Broadway and was still touring with it in 1896. In 1897 she supported Lillian Russell in An American Beauty; in 1898 she played with E.E. Rice in a musical, Monte Carlo, and she toured in Why Smith Left Home.

The New York Times said Sadie Kirby was the only actress to play Flirt in Charles Hoyt's musical, A Trip to Chinatown (1891), through an entire season of its two-year run.

Go back A serpentine dancer: Dancer Loie Fuller claimed to have invented the serpentine dance in 1892; it involved the manipulation of the fabric of a voluminous skirt as she moved. Fuller also employed changing colored lights to help give the effects such as fire or butterflies. She had many imitators.

Film, "Serpentine Dance" (1895) at http://www.archive.org/details/dance1895

Go back Daniel: The Bible's book of Daniel tells the story of the prophet Daniel, one of the Jewish youths carried into captivity in Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel became known as an interpreter of dreams for Nebuchadnezzar, and of the angelic handwriting on the wall for Belshazzar, and rose to be one of the chief administrators under Darius and Cyrus after the Persians conquered Babylon. Jealous rivals forced Cyrus to throw Daniel in a den of lions, as Daniel 6:1-28 tells, but he was saved by God.

Go back Madame Janet Patey: British contralto Janet Whytock (1841-1894) was born in London of working-class parents. She made her debut in 1860, but continued her studies, becoming widely known in the late 1860s. She toured the U.S. in 1871, made successful appearances in Paris in 1875, and toured in Australia and the Far East in 1890, singing in concerts, oratorios, and opera. She began a farewell tour of England in 1893; in February 1894, as she responded to tumultuous applause at the end of a concert in Sheffield, she suffered a stroke and died in her hotel room five hours later.

Go back Sheffield, England: Sheffield, in north central England, became famous in the nineteenth century for its production of steel, aided by proximity to coal mines. The town had been famous as a center for the production of knives since the fourteenth century.

Go back Imperial hotel: Many cities had an Imperial Hotel; Cather does not give sufficient information here to identify one, although New York might be likely.

Go back Jessie Bartlett Davis: Jessie Fremont Bartlett (1860-1905) married manager William J. Davis in 1880 and was best known under her married name. She was born in Illinois; her father, a farmer, was musical and recognized her talent early. She went to Chicago to study music, singing in a church choir to support herself. Her stage debut was as Buttercup in a Chicago production of Pinafore. In the 1880s she toured with the William T. Carleton Opera Company in the west, with Theodore Thomas's National Opera Company, and the Boston Ideal Opera Company. A contralto, she sang supporting roles with Adelina Patti in New York in grand opera, but she was best known for light opera. About 1889 she became the leading contralto with the Bostonian Opera Company, with whom she sang until the late 1890s. She became famous singing "Oh, Promise Me" in De Kovens' Robin Hood (1891); she recorded the song for Victor Records in 1898.

Cather met Davis in Pittsburgh in 1896; though she admired Davis's infectious spirits, she aroused Davis' ire by referring to her age and weight (Pittsburgh Leader, 5 January 1897; Lincoln Courier, 4 December 1897).

Go back Julia Marlowe: Marlowe (born Sarah Frost in England in 1866) made her stage debut in 1878 and first appeared in New York in 1887. Her beauty and refinement made her immensely popular with audiences, and she toured frequently with her own company, with both her first husband, Robert Taber (married 1894, divorced 1900), and her second, the almost equally well-known actor, E. H. Sothern (married 1911). She was considered a romantic rather than an emotional actress, especially famous in Shakespearean roles. She retired in 1924 and died in 1950. Julia Marlowe Julia Marlowe Julia Marlowe Julia Marlowe

Go back L. W. Washburn: American showman Leon W. Washburn (1840-1930) owned and operated circuses, minstrel shows, and, after 1900, "Uncle Tom shows"—traveling productions of Uncle Tom's Cabin. His first wife was actress Kate Riddell (1855-1883); his daughter, Grace Washburn, acted in the Uncle Tom shows at one time.

Washburn's circus was scheduled to play in Lincoln September 12, 1893.

Go back Dave B. Levis: Dave B. Levis was associated with Washburn's Circus in the early 1890s, for a time as treasurer. He was associated with the "Uncle Josh Spruceby" company in the winter of 1892-94.

Go back "Lost in Egypt": The New York Clipper announced on July 25, 1891, thatproduction of Washburn's Lost in Egypt had been canceled.

Go back Miss Olive May: Olive May (c. 1870-73-1938) was born in Chicago; her family had moved to Beatrice, Nebraska, by the early 1890s, although she may have already gone on the stage by then. She appeared onstage in Lincoln with Stuart Robson's company in the fall of 1892, and made her New York debut in Henry Guy Carleton's Butterflies (1894), playing Suzanne to Maude Adams' Miriam. She married Carleton later that year and retired from the stage until 1897. She had a fairly successful career playing soubrettes and comediennes until about 1920. After Carleton's death she married John Albaugh.

The New York Times reviewer "E. A. D." wrote of May's performance in Butterflies: "Olive May has made the individual hit in the performance at Palmer's. She is young, small, and trim, round-faced, agile, and pretty. She has a bubbling laugh, and her speaking voice is pleasing. Above all, she is something new. . . . Olive May has the richest part in "The Butterflies"; she says a lot of things Mr. Carleton wouldn't be ashamed to say himself in an after-dinner speech, and she is not a bit like anyone else now before the public" (Feb. 11, 1894; 10:4)

Cather interviewed May in Beatrice and wrote about it in the August 4, 1895, Nebraska State Journal; she saw May in Pittsburgh in 1899, reporting on it in the December 23, 1899, Courier.

Go back Carleton: Henry Guy Carleton (1856-1910) was one of the relatively few American writers of original plays, rather than adaptations of foreign ones. His Victor Durand had appeared in 1884, and he had some solid successes in the 1890s, including A Gilded Fool (1892), written for Nat Goodwin and made into a silent film in 1915, and Butterflies (1894); That Imprudent Young Couple (1895), however, ran for only two weeks. He was the son of General James Henry Carleton, commander of the Department of New Mexico during the Civil War, who forced the Navajos on the disastrous "Long Walk" to Bosque Redondo. Henry Guy Carleton married actress Effie Shannon in 1890; they were divorced in 1892; in 1894 he married actress Olive May, whose family lived in Beatrice, Nebraska, in the 1890s.

Cather devoted much of a 4 August 1895 column to discussing Carleton and his integrity as a playwright.

Go back "Butterflies": Henry Guy Carleton's The Butterflies opened at Palmer's Theater in New York on 5 February 1894, with John Drew as Frederick Ossian, the man-about-town whose love for Maude Adams causes him to try to earn his own living. The play ran for three months.

Actress Olive May, later Mrs. Henry Guy Carleton, won praise for her performance as Suzanne Elise, a bouncy ingénue.

Go back "Henrietta": Bronson Howard's play, The Henrietta (1887) , dealt with the stock market and the panic that ensues when a son tries to ruin his father, a successful stock trader, by causing a bear market. The play, which originally starred W. H. Crane as the father, and Stuart Robson as "Bertie the Lamb," ran for over a year and was frequently revived.

Crane reprised his role in a silent film version of the play, The Saphead (1920), with Buster Keaton in the Robson role.

Go back Mr. John Drew: John Drew (junior) (1853-1927) was the leading man in Charles Frohman's stock company. He had been a leading man with Augustin Daly's stock company; with Frohman's production of A Masked Ball (October 1892), opposite Maude Adams, he became a major star. Drew came from an acting family, one that would go on to become even more famous as the Barrymore family of stage and screen. His father, John Drew senior (1827-1862) was an Irish-born actor who married Louisa Lane, who was of an acting family that dated back to the mid-eighteenth century. Louisa Drew managed the Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia, the first woman manager of a major theater. Her daughter, Georgiana (known as Georgie) married Maurice Barrymore; their children were Ethel, Lionel, and John Barrymore.

Otis Skinner recalled John Drew as he knew him in the 1880s with Daly's company: "John was looked to always to furnish perfect light comedy, perfect manners, and perfect clothes, and he never failed in his duty. There was another perfection . . . perfect camaraderie, but that was for his fellows, not for the public. Accomplished, hospitable, generous, a good acquaintance, a splendid friend, a capital raconteur, there was no circle where John Drew did not find the warmest welcome" (Footlights and Spotlights 141)

John Drew John Drew, jr. as Belleville in "The Country Girl" John Drew. jr. as Charles Surface in "The School for Scandal" John Drew, jr. as King of Navarre in "Love's Labor's Lost"

Go back Robert Cutler: Robert Cutler, described in 1887 as a "stage machinist," was responsible for devising and managing the stage machinery for the special effects and transformations in pantomimes and similar spectacular productions.

Go back "Superba": Superba, a spectacular show produced by the Hanlon Brothers' company, opened in 1890, and featured special effects and many specialty acts in a story that the New York Times reviewer described as an "incomprehensible . . . admixture of fairies and mortals (25 November 1890), with the powerful fairy Superba coming to the aid of the lovers.

Go back Fantasma: Fantasma, produced by the Hanlons' Company, opened in New York November 10, 1884. The New York Times review described it as a "spectacular pantomime," with transformations and "tricks and acrobatic feats and the practical jokes and pummelings" as well as tableaux of "arctic horrors and heroism," but "entirely free from vulgarity or suggestiveness" (11 November 1884).

Go back Schrode Brothers: The four Shrode brothers performed in vaudeville as clowns, pantomimists, and acrobats in the 1890s and in the Hanlon Brothers' productions, Fantasma and Superba. George Shrode was performing as an acrobat in circuses in 1879; William Shrode was singled out for his work in Superba by the Times reviewer. The youngest brother, Henry Shrode, died in 1897. Two other Schrodes, John G. and Joseph, were performing in New York in the first years of the twentieth century.

Go back "The White Cat": Neither Odell's Annals of the New York Stage nor the New York Times drama review index list a play of this name in the 1890s, although there was one in 1905.

Go back New York Clipper: The New York Clipper—later shortened to The Clipper— was begun by Frank Queen in 1853; it was a weekly trade paper specializing in entertainment, especially the circus and the theater, the performing arts, and sports (it dropped sports coverage in 1894, however). The paper was absorbed by Variety in 1924.

Go back The Lincoln Park theatre, Lincoln, Neb.: Lincoln Park, at 1st and Van Dorn Streets was developed as a recreation area in 1888; its two hundred acres featured shade trees and areas for picnicking, a mill pond for boating, a dance hall, and an open-air pavilion for concerts. The park was used for Chautauquas from 1897 to 1903, and is now part of Wilderness Park. It is possible that the theater in the park was a tent theater rather than a permanent structure, especially as the theater season was summer: tents were considerably cooler than the relatively unventilated conventional theaters.

Go back O. D. Woodward: American manager O.D. Woodward ran stock companies in various Midwestern cities, such as Lincoln, Omaha, Kansas City (c. 1900-1909), St. Louis (c. 1913) and Denver, in the 1890s and early years of the twentieth century; later he managed a company in Spokane, Washington from 1918 to 1922. In 1928 he produced a play version of Dracula in Los Angeles that starred Bela Lugosi, and again in 1943 in Washington, DC.

Go back Mrs. O.D. Woodward: Mrs. O.D. Woodward's birth name has not been found.

Go back Kate Woods Fiske: American actress Kate Woods Fiske (1862-1947) was born in Ohio and grew up in Pennsylvania. She made her debut with Newton Beers' touring company, becoming the leading lady. She married comedian Edward Fiske, with whom she toured in stock companies. Her New York breakthrough was in Belasco's The Stranglers of Paris (1895). After Fiske died, she married playwright James K. McCurdy. She retired after his death to her house on Long Island, but wrote thrillers for pulp fiction magazines under the pseudonym of Katherine Wald.

Go back Minnie Dehn: Neither Odell's Annals of the New York Stage nor the New YorkTimes drama review index list an actress of this name. A Minnie Dehn who co-directed a production of East Lynne in Batavia, NY in 1890, assisted by local talent, may be the same aspiring actress.

Go back Robert F. Parkinson: Neither Odell's Annals of the New York Stage nor the New York Times drama review index list an actor or playwright of this name.

Go back Fred Phillip Sites: Neither Odell's Annals of the New York Stage nor the New York Times drama review index list an actor or playwright of this name.

Go back Dave Seymour: Neither Odell's Annals of the New York Stage nor the New York Times drama review index list an actor of this name.

Go back Harry C. Long: Possibly the actor and director Harry Long (1871-1910), who was born in Kansas City, Missouri, according to Stage Deaths. His wife was Mary Hill.

Go back Will Davis: Possibly the Will S. Davis who directed silent films c. 1913-18. A Will Davis appeared in Blue Bird in 1910, and a William Davis in Burmah in 1896, according to the New York Times drama review index.

Go back Presley B. French: Presley B. French worked as a printer in southern Texas and again in Kansas in the mid-1880s. He was also, intermittently, an actor.

Go back "Two Americans": Two Americans is a play by Robert F. Parkinson, c. 1890.

Go back "The Man in Black": The Man in Black is a play by Robert F. Parkinson, c. 1890.


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