American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930

By Weldon B. Durham | Go to book overview

Theatre, located approximately one mile north of the central business district, was considered a "neighborhood" theatre, and, as such, was a home for "popular" drama only.

The Blaney-Spooner Stock Company followed standard stock company organization practices in most other aspects. The company offered weekly changes of bill. Eleven performances were given weekly with evening performances given daily (except Sunday) and matinees offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Admission fees were in the popular vein, ranging from 15 to 50 cents. The management offered special inducement to early arrivers by supplying the first twenty-five persons with free seats. They also advertised "1,000 seats at 25¢."

While the company apparently entertained sizable audiences, internal troubles plagued its prosperity. Edna May Spooner and her husband, Arthur Behrens, established their popularity as leading actors with Philadelphia audiences only to leave the company after two months duration, presumably to "head another stock organization." Various leading actors and actresses were hired and fired until, late in the season, Grace Huff and Jack Chagnon proved to be an amenable pair. However, Charles Blaney was sufficiently disenchanted with his Philadelphia stock company to turn over his managerial position to his partner and brother, actor and manager Harry Clay Blaney. The company was reorganized and henceforth known as the American Theatre Stock Company*.


PERSONNEL

Management: Charles E. Blaney, Edna May Spooner.

Musical Director: Joseph F. Nugent.

Actors and Actresses: Adra Ainslee, Walter Bass, Arthur Behrens, Jack Chagnon, Daisy Chaplin, Clarence Chase, Florence Gear, George Drury Hart, Florence Hill, Grace Huff, Harold Kennedy, James Moore, Harry Sedley, Marie Snyder, Edna May Spooner, Francis Thomson, Fred Tidmarsh, Marie Warren.


REPERTORY

1911-12: The Squaw Man, The Lion and the Mouse, The House of a Thousand Candles, Chimmie Fadden, St. Elmo, In the Bishop's Carriage, Zaza, The Dairy Farm, Barbara Frietchie, The City, A Child of the Regiment, Three Weeks, My Partner's Girl, Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Fortunes of Betty, Paid in Full, The Adventures of Polly, In Darkest Russia, Lena Rivers, The Christian, The Regeneration, Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall, Our New Minister, Arizona, Dora Thorne, The Woman in the Case, Beverly of Graustark, The Sign of the Four, Romeo and Juliet, The Charity Ball, Salomy Jane, Thelma, Where the Trail Divides, Sapho, The Prisoner of Zenda, The Wife.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Published Sources:

New York Dramatic Mirror, 1911-12.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 1911-12.

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