Magazine article Stage Directions

Happy 100th BIRTHDAY!

Magazine article Stage Directions

Happy 100th BIRTHDAY!

Article excerpt

The Drama Book Shop began on a small scale as a tiny startup in the offices of the Drama League of New York. It was a hundred years ago, in 1917, that the new Drama Book Shop offered a few books for sale and has since grown and prospered to serve the world-wide performing arts community. In the early 1900s, scripts were not available to the general public. Marjorie Seligman, a determined stage-struck theater lover and Drama League member, saw the need to put the scripts in the hands of the theater going public who wanted to read what they had just seen. The public loved it and they wanted more. The shop incorporated in 1923, opening a storefront of its own. Inventory expanded to include additional subjects about performing arts: producing, designing, make-up, lighting, criticism, and more. Almost 100 years later, in 2011, in recognition of its place in the theater community, The Drama Book Shop received a Tony Award for Excellence in the Theatre, the first such award given to a book shop.

In 1958, Arthur Seelen, an actor friend of Marjorie's, bought a share of the shop from Seligman, now on West 52nd Street, and with her retirement, he and few other actors took over the concern completely. Seelen expanded the inventory and shepherded its growth and its place in the performing arts community all while keeping the shop cozy and manageable. He met his wife, Rozanne, when she came to work at the shop, and they expanded again with a new location on the 2nd floor at West 48th Street and 7th Avenue. They made the shop a place to meet and greet, to find everything you need as an actor, a director, a designer. …

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