America’s First Regional Theatre: The Cleveland Play House by Jeffrey Ullom (auth.)

By Jeffrey Ullom (auth.)

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41 The La Nuit Futuriste! ” This last offering suggests the only connection to the final participant, whose name is not included in any other existing record or document: Marthena Barrie. ”42 Barrie’s link to O’Neil, Keller, or any other Play House founding member remains unknown; however, it is clear that she can be linked to the gathering at the Brooks’ residence through artistic connections. This claim is corroborated by the fact that Minerva Brooks also began teaching interpretive dance at the same Noyes School of Rhythm in the early 1920s.

Listening to Raymond discuss Craig’s theories about performance and production, her intense enthusiasm prompted her to immediately suggest a new course of action. Minerva declared, “I think we should form a little theatre group to produce plays in this new art form. . ”29 The Angells kept their promise of support not only by attending the meeting at the Brooks’ house, but also by playing instrumental roles in the Play House’s earliest endeavors—Katharine was one of the six puppeteers for the first Play House production, Maurice Maeterlinck’s The Death of Tintagiles.

The clan that gathered at the Brooks’ residence in 1915 certainly was not only a collection of “businessmen and bohemians,” but also of misfits and social pariahs, be it because of their unpopular political views, their unappreciated artistic efforts, or their undesirable social connections. The frequently promoted history of the Play House failed to place the organization’s earliest events in a social and political context, and the repeated decision to omit any biographical information about the founders implies that these participants shared a vision for a theatre that would last a 100 years.

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