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Figure A Message from Mars REDPATH COME WITH ME YOUR HOME IS IN FLAMES GOING 'ARVES THE GLITTERING THRONG Am I My Brother's Keeper? Figure Figure MAN'S INHUMANITY Figure A Message From Mars The beauty of otherdom and of altruism and the failure of selfishness are effectively emphasized in Richard Ganthony's great story and play, A Message from Mars. It is stated that when the play was running in New York and Chicago it was necessary to send special details of police to the theatre doors to keep away the mobs of beggars who gathered to profit by the lesson of unselfishness taught so forcibly in this great comedy-drama. Horace Parker, central figure in the play, refuses for personal reasons to keep an engagement to escort his fiancee to a reception. Annoyed by domestic and social conditions, he seeks comfort in pursuing a favorite study—astronomy—with special reference to the probability of the habitation of Mars. He falls asleep over the subject and has a most vivid dream. He awakes to find several real experiences like those of his dream. Changed in mind and in heart, he wins back his family's love, as well as the approval and respect of his friends. From the man who would give to the poor, luckless inventor two and a half per cent on the results of his inventions, to the man who would go 'arves, partner, was a long step, but it didn't take Horace Parker long to take it, as the result of the journey about town with the messenger from Mars. The story relates that the Martian had been exiled from his home planet because he had committed a crime, and sentenced to find the most selfish man in the world and to turn his heart of stone into one of flesh. Parker, searcher into the possibility of Mars being inhabited, student of science and pamperer of self, was the man chosen. SOME RARE CHARACTERS Among the interesting characters, in addition to that of Horace Parker, are the Aunt who can work herself into a passion at a moment's notice, giving fine opportunity for comic acting, and the tramp who goes 'arves. Parker, a bachelor, is a type of selfish egotism. He is too much bound up in business to think that he owes any love or attention to his family or his neighborhood. He is shocked by the dynamic power of the messenger from Mars and is made to see his real self, reduced to poverty and deprived of all domestic relations. The lesson is so terrific that Parker turns at once from his selfishness and avows that he will order his life after the plan shown him by the man from Mars. The play is full of humor, with many striking situations. It is a tragedy in a dream and a lessonful comedy in reality. It has been said that A Message from Mars approaches most nearly the universal drama of any play ever written, because it strikes at and reveals in a most charming, fascinating and direct way the most universal negative passion of all mankind, that of selfishness. WHY THIS PLAY IS POPULAR It appeals, first of all, because it is human, and second because it presents a message most subtilely. Again, it appeals to the public because it partakes of mystery. The almost uncanny appearance of the messenger, the strength and psychological power of an inhabitant of our nearest planet, the revelation of possible life on that star, the question of the habitation of planets other than our own, the kind of an inhabitant that he is revealed to be—all of this makes the play most interesting and fascinating. Then, too, we always like the Good Samaritan and he compels the selfish, self-centered Horace Parker to act the part of the Good Samaritan and in so doing finds that it is the joy side of life. We are all interested in dreams and this is a dream play. The dream is the key to the plot. There are no triangles in the play, no unpleasant romancing, and when it is all over a good taste is left in the mental mouths of all listeners. WHEN PRODUCED IN NEW YORK (Reprint from the New York World) A Message From Mars A CLEVER PLAY WELL DONE Dramatic Novelty From London Proves Big Hit One of the large, finely appreciative and hospitably enthusiastic audiences such as invariably turns out in New York to greet a gifted actor from across the sea gave a not uncertain welcome to Mr. Charles Hawtrey, the London actor-manager and his English company at the Garrick Theatre last night. His new play, A Message from Mars, also came in for an emphatically cordial reception. It was an event in theatricals in New York and it forged a new link in the bonds which are rapidly marking the American and English stages identical in interest. THE GHOST-LIKE VISITOR The play, A Message from Mars, was the work of Richard Ganthony, an American. It was novel, both in conception and treatment. It told the story of the redemption of a most disagreeably selfish man, with a mysterious accompaniment of fantastical and uncanny phenomena which were supposed to fall in the track of a ghost-like visitor from his celestial sphere, for his own shortcomings could only rehabilitate himself with his fellow-Martians by reforming the worst man on earth. The extremely selfish man came in out of the biting cold and settled himself to spend an evening in comfort by his fireside. He complacently accepted all the attentions of his household, refused to accompany his fiancee to a ball, turned a beggar from his door and dozed off over a scientific article on the planet of Mars, having first reasoned to his satisfaction that everyone on earth was narrow and selfish except himself. ON PERILOUS JOURNEY Then came his dream. Through transparent walls stalked a Martian in purple robes, a half-Sphinx in appearance. The selfish man first scoffed and then became terrified as the awful manifestations of the mysterious visitor's power revealed themselves. Furniture danced a fandango to hideous clatter, brick-a-brack swayed and romped and the pictures swung like pendulums. The Martian led the selfish man through a mass of hair-raising experiences. He was driven out into the snow where he was forced to look upon the effects of the scorn in which he was held. Still obdurate, he became a beggar in the twinkling of an eye. He reached the life of the outcasts of the street and his selfish heart began to relent and he did a simple kindly act. Presto! Change! And the Martian soared away to its own planet with his earthly message accomplished. A CHANGED MAN In the last act the selfish man awoke. The dream had had its effect and he had become the helper of his fellow men. His fiancee returned, his poverty vanished, and consideration for the feelings and welfare of others took the place of his self-centered proclivities. The entire novelty of the idea embodied in the dreamer, however, made it attractive to the audience. Humor on the surface and a melodramatic strain furnished a substantial background. Mr. Hawtrey and A Message from Mars are sure to remain visitors at the Garrick for many months to come.— New York World. This play is to be offered by a competent cast of six New York players, under Redpath direction. Its appeal is assured, for although A Message from Mars was written by an Englishman and has a London setting, and contains much of the cockney English of the lower classes of that city, it is applicable to any country, to any city, to any town, and to almost any family.
|Title||A Message From Mars|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||Plays|
|Corporate Name Subject||A Message From Mars Company|
|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.|