Seattle Daily Times, 1916-22.
Rohrer Mary Katherine. The History of Seattle Stock Companies from Their Beginnings to 1934. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1945.
Seattle, Washington. Suzzallo Library. University of Washington. Northwest Collection and Historical Research Project of the Works Progress Administration Theatre Project. Programs, miscellany.
Craig W. Turner
WOODLAND PLAYERS. See [BEN] GREET PLAYERS.
WOODWARD AND ARINGTON PLAYERS. See WOODWARD PLAYERS.
WOODWARD PLAYERS. The Woodward Players ( Spokane, Washington), known in 1918 as the Woodward and Arington Players, were organized in the fall of 1918 by veteran producer and director O. D. Woodward, who had acquired a lease on the American Theatre (built in 1910 at the corner of Post Street and Front Avenue). The theatre was renamed the Woodward, and the company presented their first production, Max Marcin Cheating Cheaters, on November 23, 1918.
The Woodward Players were Spokane's only resident stock company during the four years of its existence. The town had a history of support for live theatre in general and stock companies in particular (The Jessie Shirley Company* had survived successfully from 1905 to 1909, and the Woodward group was preceded by the Ernest Wilkes Stock Company* and the American Players*). Nevertheless, there was plenty of competition in the form of vaudeville at Pantages and the Hippodrome, popular road shows such as The Bat by Mary Roberts Rinehart at the Auditorium, and numerous motion pictures at houses such as the Clemmer, the Rex, the Liberty, and the Class A.
However, manager Woodward was well qualified to run a successful company. He had staged more than 1,000 plays in his career, managed stock companies in Kansas City and Omaha from 1897 to 1913 and in Denver from 1913 to 1918 (see Denham Stock Company). As president of the Elmwood Moving Picture Company and later vice-president of the Ore-Col Film Corporation, Woodward was much involved with the burgeoning film industry. His extensive theatrical experience led both the critics and the public to anticipate an excellent series of productions.
Unfortunately, the Woodward Players seemed jinxed from the start. The company arrived in Spokane in early November, only to find themselves in the midst of the 1918 influenza epidemic. Their opening was delayed three weeks until the ban on public gatherings was lifted, and even then potential audience members were cautious about venturing out. Problems were compounded by