American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930

By Weldon B. Durham | Go to book overview

G

[GRACE] GEORGE'S PLAYHOUSE COMPANY. Grace George's Playhouse Company ( New York, New York) opened with Langdon Mitchell social comedy, The New York Idea, at the proscenium-equipped Playhouse Theatre (built in 1911 at 137 West Forty-eighth Street) on September 8, 1915. William Brady, who owned the theatre, functioned as producer; his wife, comedienne Grace George, managed the company and played female leads. George, in her own words, "had to select the actors, oversee the staging, direct the rehearsals, consider the arrangement of the repertory, and advertising policies, . . . not to mention the development and costuming of [her] own parts" ( Theatre Magazine, June 16, p. 339).

George's company represents one of the many noble attempts to establish a high-quality repertory company in New York City. George, who had garnered popular success in light comedies, sought to produce more thoughtful works, especially those of George Bernard Shaw. While she undoubtedly hoped to grow as a serious artist, she also complained that New York's commercial theatres staged scripts of little literary merit. She believed an audience existed for these plays, that society contained many intelligent, learned people who would respond favorably to sophisticated, complex scripts. While William Brady did not often subsidize this kind of theatre, he was willing to do so for his wife, so long as his losses were minimal or, preferably, nonexistent.

Unfortunately, Grace George's Playhouse Company did not draw enough customers. Soon after the Playhouse's opening, George lowered the ticket prices for the first three nights of the week plus Wednesday matinees. The regular rate, $2.00-$1.50-$.75, was fairly high at that time. The revised rate, $1.50-$.75- $.50-$.25, did not have the effect of increasing audience size, however, and the theatre rarely showed a profit.

Although audiences did not flock to the theatre, critics generally praised George's venture. They found the technical effects satisfactory and gave special

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American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • A 1
  • Bibliography 4
  • Bibliography 8
  • Bibliography 13
  • Bibliography 22
  • Bibliography 24
  • Bibliography 27
  • Bibliography 31
  • Bibliography 36
  • Bibliography 38
  • Bibliography 40
  • B 41
  • Bibliography 51
  • Bibliography 55
  • Bibliography 61
  • Bibliography 63
  • Bibliography 68
  • Bibliography 72
  • C 73
  • Bibliography 80
  • Bibliography 86
  • Bibliography 90
  • Bibliography 94
  • Bibliography 97
  • D 99
  • Bibliography 103
  • Bibliography 111
  • Bibliography 118
  • Bibliography 126
  • Bibliography 134
  • Bibliography 140
  • Bibliography 145
  • Bibliography 150
  • Bibliography 152
  • Bibliography 158
  • E 159
  • F 165
  • Bibliography 168
  • Bibliography 171
  • Bibliography 177
  • G 179
  • Bibliography 181
  • Bibliography 183
  • Bibliography 188
  • Bibliography 190
  • Bibliography 194
  • Bibliography 197
  • Bibliography 203
  • H 205
  • Bibliography 208
  • Bibliography 210
  • Bibliography 212
  • Bibliography 220
  • Bibliography 225
  • Bibliography 227
  • Bibliography 231
  • I 233
  • PERSONNEL 237
  • J 239
  • Bibliography 241
  • Bibliography 243
  • K 245
  • Bibliography 247
  • L 249
  • Bibliography 253
  • Bibliography 260
  • Bibliography 262
  • Bibliography 268
  • Bibliography 276
  • M 277
  • Bibliography 280
  • Bibliography 283
  • Bibliography 284
  • Bibliography 289
  • Bibliography 293
  • Bibliography 297
  • Bibliography 300
  • Bibliography 306
  • Bibliography 309
  • N 311
  • Bibliography 317
  • Bibliography 322
  • Bibliography 325
  • Bibliography 329
  • Bibliography 332
  • Bibliography 338
  • O 341
  • Bibliography 346
  • Bibliography 348
  • P 349
  • Bibliography 353
  • Bibliography 358
  • Bibliography 363
  • Bibliography 367
  • Bibliography 370
  • Bibliography 377
  • Bibliography 388
  • Q 391
  • R 393
  • Bibliography 396
  • Bibliography 399
  • Bibliography 402
  • Bibliography 404
  • S 405
  • Bibliography 407
  • Bibliography 411
  • Bibliography 413
  • Bibliography 416
  • Bibliography 424
  • Bibliography 428
  • Bibliography 432
  • T 433
  • Bibliography 442
  • U 443
  • Bibliography 447
  • V 449
  • Bibliography 453
  • W 455
  • Bibliography 460
  • Bibliography 463
  • Bibliography 470
  • Bibliography 472
  • Bibliography 478
  • Bibliography 482
  • Bibliography 485
  • Bibliography 488
  • Y 489
  • Bibliography 492
  • APPENDIX I CHRONOLOGY OF THEATRE COMPANIES 493
  • APPENDIX II THEATRE COMPANIES BY STATE 497
  • Index of Personal Names and Play Titles 501
  • About the Contributors 535
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