1902-3: Marta of the Lowlands.
1903-4: The Proud Laird.
1904-5: Mary and John, Monna Vanna.
1905-6: Thérèse Raquin, The Kreutzer Sonata.
Webb J. Edgar. "Harrison Grey Fiske's Management of the Manhattan Theatre, 1901- 1906". Ph.D., dissertation, Indiana University, 1971.
New York, New York. New York Public Library. Theatre Collection. Robinson Locke Collection.
Washington, D.C. Library of Congress. The Fiske Papers.
J. Edgar Webb
MANHATTAN PLAYERS. The Manhattan Players entertained audiences in the western New York city of Rochester for ten consecutive seasons from 1913 through 1922. Despite Rochester's growing population, totaling approximately 150,000 in 1915, it was not considered a favorable environment for resident winter stock theatre. Rochesterians apparently preferred traveling vaudeville, burlesque, and New York-based road shows to the sort of local stock company that was prevalent in so many eastern cities and towns during the first quarter of the twentieth century. The few stock organizations that had attempted residence did not prosper, and local theatre owners discouraged any new endeavors.
The surprising longevity of the Manhattan Players in Rochester attested to the cunning of the company's initial proprietors, John W. Rumsey and Edgar J. MacGregor. Rather than attempt to change winter-season audience habits, they decided to promote stock organization as alternative spring and summer entertainment. During the summer, theatres were plentiful, rentals were lower, and Broadway actors were often available for local engagements. Summer dramatic presentation was certainly not unheard of; however, the majority of theatres throughout the country continued to either close their doors or convert to motion picture or musical variety during the hottest summer months. Extended summer stock seasons were not yet a national vogue when the Manhattan Players opened at Rochester's Lyceum Theatre in the spring of 1913 with an April through August roster.
In the realms of organization, repertory, and ticket prices, the Manhattan Players adhered to standard stock company procedures. The company's actors were each proficient in a stock role and performed this role in a new play each week. Comedy was the primary genre of play presented. Their predilection for comedy and farce was more pronounced than in typical winter stock repertories: at that time, it was a theatrical dictum that summer audiences demanded light, frothy entertainment. The Manhattan Players chose to present primarily recent Broadway successes by popular playwrights such as George M. Cohan, Margaret