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Figure Selma Lenhart REDPATH SELMA LENHART IN NOVEMBER, 1919, Selma Lenhart had an opportunity of witnessing in Pittsburgh the phenomenal work of Gay MacLaren, a dramatic reader of whom she had heard wonderful reports. Miss Lenhart, herself a successful exponent of dramatic art, was curious to know more about the girl with the camera mind. She sat through the performance, intensely interested, and at the finish was bold enough to determine that she could accomplish a similar result. Unlike Miss MacLaren, there is no attempt on the part of Miss Lenhart to attain the lines and mannerisms of a play through seeing it performed, but she is capable, after two days' study, of giving a story that requires an hour and a half for reproduction. This is true in the case of Erstwhile Susan, the delightfully human play which she recently added to her repertoire. Certain critics who have heard the most famous Lyceum monologists, have ventured the strong assertion that Miss Lenhart excels her contemporaries in the matter of differentiating her characters. She has the dignity necessary for the heaviest parts, and at the same time is surprisingly competent in simulating lighter characters. It is possible for her to draw such a marked distinction between seven or eight members of a cast that an audience can easily follow the entire play, even though seated in absolute darkness, and without a line of explanation. Since her fourteenth year Miss Lenhart has been doing dramatic work—not commonplace dramatics, but dramatics of a type stamping her as unique in her profession. She devoted several seasons to directing and taking leads in plays in her home city of Pittsburgh. At the same time she was equipping herself through private study, and training at the King School of Dramatic Art. Her first work for the Redpath Bureau was done in 1920 when she appeared on courses which had booked such notables as Katharine Ridgeway, Gay MacLaren and Strickland Gillilan. Miss Lenhart's Repertoire ERSTWHILE SUSAN. In Marian DeForest's story of the Pennsylvania Dutch, Miss Lenhart has full opportunity to reveal her talent as a dialect artist. She relates in three acts the efforts of Juliet (Erstwhile Susan) to bring sunshine into the life of her unhappy little stepdaughter, Barnabetta. The thread and incidents of the story are at once amusing and pathetic. Seven characters are introduced. ALL-OF-A-SUDDEN PEGGY. This three-act play by Ernest Denny revolves about the sudden emotions and actions of the Irish heroine, Peggy O'Mara, who cannot understand why she should be ruled or governed by anything but her own honest, wholesome impulses. The consequences of Peggy's suddenness keep the play moving rapidly. In addition to these full evening entertainments, Miss Lenhart is capable of presenting a highly interesting program of miscellaneous numbers. Unqualified Approval The saying that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country is not true in the case of Selma Lenhart. In substantiation there are submitted herewith comments from newspaper critics in Miss Lenhart's home city of Pittsburgh. Chronicle Telegraph: Personally, Selma Lenhart is an excellent consolation for tired eyes; professionally, she can entertain the most indifferent. She is to return by popular acclamation. Press: Last night Miss Lenhart was given another hearty reception. She is highly gifted in her art and will long be remembered for her personal charm. Leader: At the Schenley theatre last night Selma Lenhart achieved a brilliant success. Her work ranks with that of artists of the highest calibre. The Wheeling, W. Va., Intelligencer reports: Her presentation of the play was wonderful, and the large audience was charmed. Printed in U. S. A.
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Lenhart, Selma|
|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||2|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|