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1907 MRS. WILLIAM DOUGLAS TURNER Reader and Impersonator Figure STECKE L. F. Address MISS GRACE HORTENSE TOWER, Secretary, 332 North Raymond Avenue Home Phone 1392 PASADENA, CALIFORNIA Sunset Phone 2632 Mrs. William Douglas Turner ........ Reader and Impersonator Personal Comment Mrs. Matthew S. Robertson, President of the Daughters of the Confederacy, Chairman Outdoor Art Committee of the Civic Federation, and Vice-President of the Shakespeare Club, Los Angeles: To those who have not heard Mrs. William Douglas Turner read, I know not what to say. Those who have, will realize how poor are all words to give any idea of her wonderful impersonations and versatility. If it is Shakespeare you wish, have her give you Henry the V's vigorous wooing of the gentle Katherine of France, and you will realize as never before the poet's appreciation of, and the power to portray such scenes. Let Mrs. Turner unfold for you the story of Monsieur Beaucaire, and the characters are henceforth living realities. Perhaps you prefer dialect. She can transport you to the bogs of Ould Ireland and give you the best Irish and Negro stories you ever heard. Make her tell her laughing story, and I am sure it will echo in your heart long after and brighten many days. Rev. Chester P. Dorland, Pastor Congregational Church, Long Beach, and President of the Chautauqua Association of Southern California: I want to tell you how much we appreciate your work for the Chautauqua. You have made a wonderful development of your gifts and are entitled to a place among the best artists. Your delineation of childhood is especially fine. Mrs. Kate Tower Pinney, Chairman: The Ways and Means Committee of the Pasadena Shakespeare Club were fortunate enough to secure Mrs. William Douglas Turner for an evening in their winter lecture course, and she delighted her audience on that occasion. Mrs. Turner is a star of the first magnitude. A pleasing personality, a gracious manner and a very unusually charming voice are among her many attractions. I have no hesitation in pronouncing her to be one of the most fascinating readers I have ever heard. Mrs. J. W. Bishop, President of the Santa Ana Ebell Club, and Vice President of California Federation of Women's Clubs: No one ever came before the Ebell Club who was more thoroughly enjoyed than you, and we do hope the treat is in store for us again. Mrs. Turner has a repertoire of over two hundred numbers from standard authors including many whole plays and books, all given from memory Mrs. Turner's time is available for Clubs, Chautauquas, Church Societies, Etc. Personal Comment Doctor Malcolm James McLeod, Pastor First Presbyterian Church, Pasadena, California: Mrs. Turner is one of the most natural artists I have ever heard. Her ease is contagious. If she had gone on the stage, she would have been another Joseph Jefferson. She has mastered the strange secret of sinking completely into the character she is portraying, and disappearing like a lump of sugar in your coffee,—the coffee becoming even more delicious because sweetened by her charm. In certain dialects I have never heard her equal. Her laughter is irresistible. She stands here, in my judgment, in that rather lonely place we call the top. Miss Anna L. Meeker, Past-President of the Shakespeare Club of Pasadena, Corresponding Secretary of the California State Federation of Women's Clubs, writing as chairman, says: The recital given by Mrs. William Douglas Turner at the First Congregational Church on the evening of January 22d was a pronounced artistic success. Covering a wide range of subjects, Mrs. Turner showed herself master of many styles; and in each one she captured her audience, moving them to laughter or tears or serious thought at will. It is not every public reader who would dare to give some of the reflective poems of Jean Ingelow, so difficult of rendition, on the same program with bits of dialect and Margaret Cameron's amusing monologues; but Mrs. Turner accomplished it without any sense of incongruity. As marked as her versatility, is her power of self restraint. Throwing her whole personality into each part, yet nothing is overdone, and there is in her reading an absence of anything like rant, which is really refreshing. Her fun is pure, her pathos genuine, her whole performance pervaded by a sense of womanly dignity. Dr. Solon Briggs, chairman committee First Methodist Church, Pasadena. It gives me great pleasure to assure you of our hearty enjoyment of your recital, which was given with great dramatic power, and completely captured the audience. Wishing you continued successes—you will have them—I am, Yours sincerely, SOLON BRIGGS (for the committe.) Personal Comment Mrs. Mary M. Coman, President of the Pasadena Shakespeare Club: Mrs. William Douglas Turner has given a number of most successful recitals in Pasadena, and I have counted myself especially fortunate in being privileged to have enjoyed the rare treat of her clever impersonations and thoughtful interpretations. Her excellent recital upon Shakespeare's Katherines gives one a new value of the deeper meanings of the Bard of Avon, and of the strong personality of the heroines. Mrs. Turner's stage presence is most pleasing, and she invariably holds from the first the enthusiastic attention of her audiences. In both lighter and more thoughtful selections Mrs. Turner is equally successful, her dialect being especially happy. Mrs. R. W. Pridham, Corresponding Secretary Los Angeles Dist. C. F. W. C: MY DEAR MRS. TURNER: At a meeting of the Los Angeles District C. F. W. C., held Nov 20th to 22d, the following resolution was adopted: We extend our thanks to all who took part in the programs—with especial mention of Mrs. William Douglas Turner, who gave us such a delightful evening with Dickens. Please feel assured, my dear Mrs. Turner, the women of the Convention were most charmed and grateful to you for all you did toward making the Convention both interesting and enjoyable. Thanking you most heartily, Very sincerely, ALTHEA L. PRIDHAM. MY DEAR MRS. TURNER: May I send you just this word to tell you of our appreciation of your delightful reading last evening before the Convention of the Los Angeles District, California Federation of Women's Clubs. The interpretations were so well given, the humor so fine, the dialect so perfect, and the tragedy so grand, as to make such an evening as we are rarely privileged to enjoy. I wish to add my personal gratitude for the evening's program, for the high standing and merit, which the Convention of 1906 is proud to record. Sincerely yours, CARRIE P. BRYANT, (MRS. OLIVER C.) Pres. Los Angeles Dist. C. F. W. C. Shakespeare, Dickens, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Victor Hugo, Longfellow, Mark Twain, Ian MacLaren, James Whitcomb Riley, Kipling, Stephen Phillips, Etc. Personal Comment (From an earlier note.) Mrs. Turner carries her audience with her. They are in gales of laughter, or sitting spellbound over a bit of character delineation, and again in tears. Her programs bear that high standard and merit which renders them always desirable and assures her audiences of a most pleasurable hour. CARRIE C. BRYANT. President Galpin Shakespeare Club, Los Angeles. From Mrs. Grigg, Director of the Cumnock School of Expression: Mrs. Turner's reading of Henry the Fifth's Wooing gave me the greatest pleasure. I was impressed by her rich contralto voice, her sincerity, her power of conception, and her strong, forceful action. I am rejoiced that we are to be enriched by the acquisition of a reader of Mrs. Turner's rare ability. ADDIE MURPHY GRIGG. From Mrs. Galpin, Shakesperean Teacher and founder of the Galpin Shakespeare Club, Los Angeles: DEAR MRS. TURNER: Your reading of last Tuesday was so much the event of the morning, that I hear praise of it continually. You did wonderfully well. Of course you care most for Mrs. Grigg's criticism. She expressed herself with great satisfaction regarding it. Your Henry V. is the best I have heard. You make him strong and considerate. Perhaps you will care more for my opinion when I tell you that I have heard both Mrs. Scott Siddons and Miss Helen Potter read the scene, besides many of less note. Thank you again, dear Mrs. Turner. Gratefully yours, KATE TUPPER GALPIN. Los Angeles February 10th, 1906. Carrollton Patriot: Mrs. Turner is a charming lady, cultured, refined, and without affectation. She is an accomplished reader, with a repertory at her command ranging from classic to dialect, and during the evening she gave several pleasing selections. These came quite spontaneously, and fitted into, instead of breaking up, the social informality. Press Notices The Pasadena Daily News: Mrs. William Douglas Turner, the gifted and charming Pasadena woman who has just refused the nomination as president of the Los Angeles district of the California Federation of Women's Clubs, is also one of the best known and talented readers in Southern California. At the recital-reception tendered Mrs. Robert Potter Hill, the state president, at the Ebell club-house in Los Angeles, Mrs. Turner gave the entire program of readings which was enthusiastically received. Today Mrs. Turner gives the program at the recital-reception at the Ebell Club in Santa Ana which marks the founder's day of the club. Pasadenans are also to have the pleasure of hearing her this winter, as she will give an evening recital under the auspices of the Woman's Aid Society of the First Congregational Church in the middle of January, and will be heard before the Shakespeare Club February 12. Possessing a rarely musical voice and gracious personality, added to her fine interpretations, Mrs. Turner is always welcomed and appreciated, and her recitals are social events of the season. Los Angeles Graphic, March, 1907: Mrs. William Douglas Turner, the well-known dramatic reader, and former president of the Shakespeare Club, than whom no reader in Southern California can do better negro dialect work, captured her audience in the part of the negro mammy. From Local Press: Mrs. Turner's first group of readings were excerpts from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, which were given with excellent expression, all the lights and shades of the lines being carefully studied and interpreted. The strong pathos of the excerpt from King John in the scene between Robert and the Little Prince was well brought out and showed the reader's versatility in being able to give grave or gay selections with equal power. Mrs. Turner was gowned in a princess gown of white crepe, decollette, with garniture of white velvet and lace. She was the recipient of many beautiful flowers. In Booth Tarkiugton's Monsieur Beaucaire, Mrs. Turner is at her best, and she gave the dramatic story with rare charm, so that each character was a living personality to those who listened. The applause after this fine interpretation was so prolonged that Mrs. Turner responded with a little dialect sketch which she gave in her own inimitable way. Figure Among Mrs. Turner's many programs are delightful ones for children and lists suitable for Sunday evening services which are unique and helpful. Press Notices The Daily Morning Union, Nevada City, California: The ladies of the Shakespeare Club duplicated their past successful anniversary entertainments when a large and appreciative audience greeted Mrs. William Douglas Turner of Pasadena, at the Nevada theatre last evening, Mrs. Turner, who furnished the evening's entertainment, is a lady of pleasing appearance, and possessed of a very entertaining delivery. She opened her remarks with a humorous little story which put her audience in a good humor, and brought herself closer to them, as it were, before giving them the real meat of the entertainment. The first half of the program was devoted entirely to Shakesperean readings, and in these Mrs. Turner showed her thorough familiarity with the Bard of Avon. The latter half of the program was of a wider range, including a monologue, selections from Dickens, and recitations. The audience in this part of the program was carried through the whole gamut of human emotion, from the deepest pathos to the most sparkling wit, and the lady's great versatility was exemplified splendidly throughout the whole entertainment. Seldom has a more attentive and appreciative audience gathered in the Nevada theatre, and when the end came, all were reluctant to leave. The ladies of the Shakespeare Club are to be congratulated for their efforts of last evening, and in being able to bring so talented a lady to the city. Mrs. Turner has scored many triumphs in many cities, and wherever she has appeared has carried away with her the encomiums of her audiences. She has the honor of being a past president of the Pasadena Shakespeare Club, an organization of more than four hundred and fifty members. Santa Ana, Cal., Register: Last night's program was of surpassing excellence and most happily chosen. Mrs. William Douglas Turner has delighted Santa Ana audiences before, and her reappearance was greeted with much enthusiasm. Besides her cleverness as an entertainer, Mrs. Turner is possessed of a rare charm of manner that makes her a welcome presence at any social function. Her Shakespereian readings were splendidly done, but perhaps her last night's audience appreciated most her lighter work. Her rendering of the monologue Unexpected Guests was inimitably given and James Whitcomb Riley's Bear Story was charming. As an encore, Mrs. Turner gave an altogether irresistible imitation of an hysterical woman's attempt to tell a funny story, which fairly convulsed her audience.
|Title||Mrs. William Douglas Turner: reader and impersonator|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Turner, Mrs. William Douglas|
|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||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|