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Eva Le Gallienne Figure REDPATH Miss Le Gallienne was born in England of an English father, Richard Le Gallienne, the distinguished poet, and a Danish mother, Julie Norregaard Le Gallienne. She was educated in Paris, beginning at the age of five with a French kindergarten and progressed through a convent school to the College Sévigné. AT THE AGE of fifteen Eva LeGallienne left Paris and went to England. Here she attended Tree's Academy, and in 1914 made her first appearance on the professional stage in Maeterlinck's Monna Vanna. Less than a year after this she scored her first success as the cockney slavey, Elizabeth, in The Laughter of Fools. It was at the end of the run of this play in 1915 that the young actress came to America. Amusingly enough the first American performance of this girl, born in England and educated in France, was as a colored maid in a play called Mrs. Boltay's Daughters. AFTER APPEARING in a number of productions both in New York and on tour, Miss Le Gallienne scored a notable success in Not So Long Ago. Following this came her performances of Julie in Liliom and of Princess Alexandra in The Swan which established her as one of the foremost actresses in America. UPON FINISHING her long engagement in The Swan, the young star branched forth as a manager and in 1926 founded the Civic Repertory Theatre of New York where, between 1926 and 1933, she produced over thirty plays that included, among others, works of Shakespeare, Ibsen, Tchekov, Barrie, Dumas, Molnar, Glaspell, the Quinteros, Heijermans, Moliere, Sierra, and the highly successful dramatization of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. This theatre, subsidized by individuals who believed with Miss Le Gallienne in the place of the theatre as a fine art and the necessity of making it available to the public, played at popular prices and attracted large audiences from all walks of life. EVA LE GALLIENNE'S career already has been rich in fulfillment. That she will go on to even greater achievements is undoubted; her objectives are fresh, clear, and strong, and she has an unfaltering determination. She has a background of tradition,—of the old world culture; she has the vigorous contacts with life that are found in America; she has ideals; she has vision; she is still a young woman; and rarest of all in one of her attainments, she has modesty, and as a critic said in writing of her, Modesty goes with genius. It is seldom related to mediocrity. Miss Le Gallienne has the quality of courage, combined with vision and extraordinary talents that has made her one of the most exciting figures of today and has given her a public appeal that is universal. This sketch of Miss Le Gallienne's career is from an article in the New York Evening Post by John Mason Brown. Eva Le Gallienne Figure A DISCUSSION OF THE THEATRE Subject. The Importance OF THE Theatre In Our Cultural Life By EVA LE GALLIENNE The most vivid impression I am bringing back with me from a long tour is the hunger of theatre lovers throughout the country for the legitimate theatre. One of the most gratifying moments of my career was a one night stand when an elderly couple came back-stage after a performance of Hedda Gabler, told me that they had come a hundred miles to be there and thanked me with tears in their eyes for making it possible for them to see again one of the great plays of all time. In city after city visited on this coast-to-coast tour, I have been amazed at the number of persons who told me they had come long distances because their towns had no plays and they were hungry for them. Their enthusiasm and their appreciation has been both gratifying and touching, while the crowds of high school and college students who have swarmed back-stage after a performance or waited at the stage door has made me realize that the legitimate theatre exercised its magic over a supposedly movie-mad younger generation. Many of these students have told me the plays in my repertory were their first glimpse of the real theatre, and ended by begging me to come again. I have become more convinced than ever that the motion pictures have no more killed the legitimate theatre than the wholesale making of victrola records killed the concert stage. On the other side of the picture, I have discovered that trouping is not easy, suitable theatres are hard to obtain, so many of them having been taken over by the film interests or having been forced to close owing to the lack of enough touring attractions to keep them open,—railroad journeys are long and difficult between many stands, and because of these long jumps costs mounted at an alarming rate. There is, however, the most important thing for a renaissance of the theatre throughout America,—a potential audience, eager and discriminating. Therefore, I am preparing a carefully planned talk on the theatre, its evolution and importance up to our time; its present state, and the ways of enabling it to continue and develop. This talk will include anecdotes and references to incidents and personalities associated with the drama and with the theatre. ON TOUR: St. Louis, Missouri March 11, 1940 Figure Eva Le Gallienne Litt. D. D. H. L. Tufts College has conferred on Miss Le Gallienne the degree of M.A. (Master of Arts). President Woolley's citation, Mt. Holyoke College, May 8, 1937: Eva Le Gallienne, born in England, educated in France, proudly claimed by the United States as her own; recipient of many honors in recognition of your contribution, not only to dramatic art, but also to the social and political life of our day, in the name of the Trustees of Mount Holyoke College, I conger upon you the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, and admit you to all its rights and privileges. Miss Le Gallienne has received more important honors than any other member of the theatrical profession. She was the first woman to receive the gold medal of the Society of Arts and Sciences for vitally affecting our national culture. She received the 1934 medal of honor of the Town Hall Club of New York. She was awarded the Pictorial Review Prize of five thousand dollars for outstanding accomplishment. Russell Sage College has made her a Litt.D. (Doctor of Letters). In 1933 Miss Le Gallienne received the same degree from Brown University. President Neilson said, on June 16, 1930, when conferring on Miss Le Gallienne, the Smith College Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters: Eva Le Gallienne, an actress of rare distinction, sympathy and insight who, by her own high accomplishment and by the imagination and courage of her management, has brought new life to the American stage, and is leading the way out of darkness toward a splendid future for a great profession. MARIE ANTOINETTE IN Madame Capet Miss Le Gallienne during recent seasons, has toured with productions from her own Repertory. She was last seen on the New York Stage in Madam Capet, season 1938–39. In the summer of 1937, she played the role of Hamlet at the summer theatres. She was the first woman to play the difficult part in this country since Sara Bernhardt. Eva Le Gallienne's Hamlet shown for the first time this evening at Cape Playhouse should not by any means be judged as a curiosity. It is an honest and intelligent attempt on the part of an important actress of our time to play the greatest man's role ever written for the English speaking theatre, perhaps for the theatre of the world. It is easy enough to ask why the attempt should have been made at all, but Miss Le Gallienne has had illustrious predecessors—Sara Siddons, Charlotte Cushman, and Sarah Bernhardt, to name only a few—and if a woman must play Hamlet, certainly she has more outward qualifications than most. Slim and boyish in appearance, with a voice that lends itself to a crisp and often illuminating reading of lines, she is a sufficiently good artist to sink the woman in the role. The Boston Herald, Aug. 24, 1937 REGARDLESS of whether or not you are interested in working actively in the theatre, there is much work you can do for the theatre wherever you may be. You can help bring back the true meaning to the word Theatre by demanding and supporting true dramatic form, true dramatic art, wherever and whenever you can. The theatre is one of the greatest cultural and humanizing forces in the world. Europe, as well as the Orient, has always recognized this. There should be in every large community, a true Theatre, People's Repertory Theatre, presenting at nominal prices the finest examples of International dramatic art—a place where one can find recreation and mental and spiritual stimulation. With your cooperation and understanding from without, we workers within may hope to make the Theatre mean to this country what it means to other countries—an institution cherished and prized by the people, holding a high place in their hearts, minds and esteem. EL Gallienne Eva Le Gallienne THE DUKE OF REICHSTADT in L'Aiglon If what Bernard Shaw said is true and the theatre is a cathedral of the spirit, then surely we could ask for no more consecrated priestess than Eva Le Gallienne, whose crusading spirit has done much to elevate the theatre in this generation.— FLORENCE FISHER PARRY, The Pittsburgh Press MISS LE GALLENNE found time, in 1934, to write an autobiography, AT 33, which attained the best seller class in non-fiction, and has gone into eleven printings. She has steadfastly had the object to do her utmost to elevate the drama and to create more opportunities for more people to hear good plays. She puts it thus in her autobiography, AT 33, One ultimate goal from which I never again wavered for an instant; the Theatre—the power of the Theatre to spread beauty out into life. One thing I must say—she is, if there be one in our time, a great woman. —ALEXANDER WOOLLCOTT in While Rome Burns It interests me very much to hear that Miss Eva LeGallienne is to devote some time to lecturing. I remember well when she first appeared on the platform of Town Hall in our regular morning course of lectures. There was a capacity audience. She completely won the enthusiastic approval and support of her hearers. Thereafter we sought to have Miss Le Gallienne speak for us whenever her engagements permitted and she did so twice at least. Each time there was a repetition of her initial success. Redpath is to be congratulated and still more the audiences which will have the privilege of hearing her in so delightful an opportunity as this. ROBERT ERSKINE ELY Enterprises with the object of elevating the drama have been usually undertaken by amateurs or by those who have been unsuccessful professionally. Eva Le Gallienne was a matinee idol. She had scored one striking success after another. Her acting enchanted thousands of spectators. Her career was assured; a career free of care, free of risk, abounding in popularity and financial reward. But she voluntarily gave up this life of ease and security for hard work, because she was dissatisfied with the purely commercial theatre. —WILLIAM LYON PHELPS TOSCAIRN WESTPORT CONNECTICUT During the season of 1939–40, I have travelled over 30,000 miles, and played in well over a hundred cities and towns in the East and in the West, the North and the South. The extraordinary response to these performances has more than ever convinced me of the American Public's interest in the Living Drama. The enthusiasm of the Younger Generation has particularly aroused my crusading spirit; it is unthinkable that they should be deprived of the stimulating influence, mental, and spiritual, of the Theatre. There is much valuable work to be done. How can it best be accomplished? Many educators, and others, have encouraged me to devote some time to a discussion of the Theatre, its present state, and above all, to try to stimulate an active interest in its development for the Future. I have now agreed to set aside the Autumn of 1940 for this purpose, and have turned over the exclusive management of these lectures to the Redpath Bureau. It is my hope that these discussions will prove a valuable first step toward my future plan; that of bringing great plays to those countless communities, which have been almost totally deprived of the Living Theatre for years. On Tour Cedar Rapids, Iowa February 20, 1940 EL Galliene Lecture Engagements UNDER MANAGEMENT OF THE REDPATH BUREAU BOSTON NEW YORK PITTSBURGH CHICAGO Eva Le Gallienne's Own Life Story AT 33 by EVA LE GALLIENNE WHEN Eva Le Gallienne took time off to write her autobiography, the theatre lost three weeks of the time of one of its finest actresses and the world of letters gained one of its finest autobiographies. It is a straightforward, unpretentious story; but it carries a power of inspiration in its record of achievement that bears repeating. The first part of the book tells charmingly of early childhood in England, of girlhood and school days in Paris and the first years of struggle for success in America. The last half of the book is the story of Miss Le Gallienne's career as actress and director-manager, and of her great venture as head of the Civic Repertory Theater in New York. The book is filled with the great figures of the stage who have inspired and assisted Miss Le Gallienne—Sarah Bernhardt, Eleanora Duse, Constance Collier, William Faversham, Mrs. Patrick Campbell, Joseph Schildkraut, the Barrymores, and others—filled with anecdote, from the copying, at twelve, of the 800-page, out-of-print Memoires of Bernhardt to the bearding of Ogden Armour in the Ritz-Carlton in Paris for $3000 to keep Jehanne d'Arc in rehearsal. It is filled with the ideal of the theatre, with sure knowledge of the stuff that goes into the making of its truly great; best of all with understanding of the discipline that alone brings results in any sensible program of living. Covers a remarkable record of accomplishment, adventure, and unique experience.— Margaret Breuning in the Saturday Review of Literature. It sets a challenging standard.— C. G. Poore in the New York Times Book Review. It is a heartening book for any lover of the arts.— Christopher Morley in the Book of the Month Club News. Something of … gay, gallant determination breathes life into Miss Le Gallienne's story … Its enthusiasm is infectious.— Lewis Gannett in the New York Herald-Tribune. An exceptionally well written and entertaining record.— The New Republic. Her sincerity and straightforwardness make certain moments in the book most moving.— William Rose Benet. The portrait of a person without pretense or mock modesty.— The Christian Science Monitor. A fascinating self-portrait of a gifted woman.— Chicago Tribune. This is a book for the young to read; they will find inspiration in it.— Washington Herald. Would fascinate any young person standing tiptoe at the starting line of adult life.— Better Homes and Gardens. A book that reads easily and will make instant appeal.— Los Angeles Times. A magnificent witness to the tireless pursuit of an ideal.— Larchmont Times. No one can possibly read (it) … without a feeling of exultation, so tremendously sincere it is, so grave and forthright, so unpretentious.— St. Paul Daily News. 262 Pages. Frontispiece portrait and 22 pages of photographs. $3.50 Your Bookseller Will Provide AT 33 Or Write: LONGMANS GREEN AND COMPANY 55 FIFTH AVENUE NEW YORK, N. Y.
|Title||Eva Le Gallienne|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Le Gallienne, Eva|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||8|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|