American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930

By Weldon B. Durham | Go to book overview
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The presence of a dagger (†) indicates the play was presented with casts drawn from outside the regular company.

1909-10: Antony and Cleopatra, The Cottage in the Air, Strife, The Nigger, The School for Scandal, Liz, the Mother, Don, Twelfth Night, The Witch, Brand (Act IV), Sister Beatrice, A Winter's Tale, Beethoven.†

1910-11: The Blue Bird†, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Thunderbolt, Old Heidelberg, Vanity Fair, The Piper, Nobody's Daughter, The Arrow Maker.


Published Sources:

New York Dramatic Mirror, 1906-11.

New York Times, 1906-11.

Unpublished Sources:

Jennings John. "A History of the New Theatre, New York, 1909-1911." Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1952.

MacArthur David E. "A Study of the Theatrical Career of Winthrop Ames from 1904 to 1929." Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State University, 1962.

Archival Resources:

New York, New York. New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Collection. Winthrop Ames Collection; James Hazen Hyde Collection; Lester Sweyd Collection.

Timothy D. Connors

NEW THEATRE COMPANY. The idea for the New Theatre Company was first discussed in 1905 by Arthur T. Aldis, Arthur Bissell, Robert Herrick, and Hobart Chatfield-Taylor, all members of the Musical and Dramatic Direction Company, an organization formed to arrange for and promote visiting stars and their productions in Chicago, Illinois. In December 1905, the company sent a letter to prospective patrons informing them of the plans and purposes of the new project and asking for season subscriptions to supply guaranteed operating capital. The letter set forth the purpose of the noncommercial company: "The establishment of a theatre in which there shall be produced the best standard and modern plays of distinct merit and interest, with a worthy company and intelligent stage management" (From an original letter in Chicago Historical Society Library).

Of the various theatres available to them, the group selected Steinway Hall at 64 East Van Buren Street, and the owners agreed to major alterations that cost about $50,000. The changes created an intimate little theatre with one row of boxes, a gallery, and a small but adequate stage. The scope of the rebuilding efforts prevented the company from rehearsing there until two weeks before the theatre opened.

For director, the group of backers selected Victor Mapes, then the director of the Globe Theatre in Boston. Prior to his Boston directing assignment, Mapes had worked as stage manager at Daly's Theatre and the Lyceum Theatre in New


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