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1936 Figure Smilin' Through An Emotional Classic of the Modern Stage Redpath Figure Figure Smilin' Through Produced, coached and offered under Redpath management and Redpath guarantee Figure Figure Figure Rich In Heart Interest This three-act play by Allen Langdon Martin, is a fantastic comedy with a wealth of human appeal. When the play was originally produced in New York, Jane Cowl portrayed the central figure, Kathleen, and achieved an artistic triumph which has continued into the present season. Critics have branded the story a classic of the modern stage. Dealing as it does with the always vital themes of youth, love, misunderstanding, and a sadly misplaced desire for revenge, it is not strange that Smilin' Through played to capacity houses when introduced in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and intervening cities. In 'Frisco the receipts from the play reached a peak of $25,000 a week. Motion picture journals refer to Smilin' Through as one of the sweetest stories ever told on the screen. Norma Talmadge is credited with her finest emotional artistry in the photoplay as released by First National in 1922. While the play as a whole is of an emotional type, there is plenty of humor. One of the truest-to-life comedy scenes ever written is at the outset of the story when the obstinate old uncle and his life-long friend, the sweet-tempered doctor, appear in dialogue over a game of dominoes. The prologue explains the play's name. In it two figures—the mother of the boy and the mother of the girl—are shown smiling through and wishing they might help the man to see and understand. They fade out and the action of the play begins. CHARACTERS INTRODUCED The story, admittedly fanciful at times, throbs with heart interest that is grippingly sustained. Each character stands out as a great human etching. The rise of the curtain, following a weird but lessonful prologue, reveals John Carteret, guardian of Kathleen, the girl in the case. With him, playing dominoes, is Dr. Owen Harding, his next-door neighbor, life-long friend and physician. Hale and hearty, they give the impression of being younger than their seventy odd years. Dr. Harding is a splendid old man—gentle, loyal and of uniform temper. Carteret is lovable, engagingly brusque, with no temper at all—for he loses it continually. But somewhere back of his honest eyes you feel that there is a world of sorrow, partly overcome by philosophy and patience. His great fault of ruthless obstinacy is tempered by his humor, his ever-recurring tenderness, and his all-'round fineness. Those who really know him, love him, but—smooth him the right way, if possible. Kathleen, Carteret's ward, is the personification of Irish wit and girlish charm. Deep love and respect for her guardian, as well as for Kenneth Wayne, son of the man who was responsible for Carteret's greatest sorrow, lead to complications that, for a time, seem hopeless. But love and youth are served. Characters less manifest are: Willie Ainley, suitor in vain for the hand of Kathleen; Ellen, Carteret's faithful housekeeper; Jeremiah Wayne; Moonyeen and Mary Clare. Smilin' Through Figure There's a little green gate At whose trellis I wait, While two eyes of blue Come smilin' through. JOHN Carteret and Moonyeen Clare are to be married. On the night of the wedding Jeremiah Wayne, a rejected suitor, kills Moonyeen with a bullet intended for Carteret. Wayne escapes. In the years that follow, Carteret bitterly remembers that Wayne has slain the woman who was to have been his wife. His only joys are the memory of Moonyeen, the love of HER niece and HIS ward, Kathleen, and the companionship of his intimate friend, Dr. Owen Harding. It is a terrific shock when Carteret learns that Kathleen and Kenneth Wayne, son of Jeremiah Wayne, are lovers. Carteret orders Kenneth to leave the premises and forbids Kathleen to see him again. Disregarding the wishes of her guardian, Kathleen goes to say goodbye to her lover as he leaves for the war. As she returns home she is met in the garden by Carteret and his friend, Dr. Harding. The former tells her the reason for his long-standing hatred for any member of the Wayne family. Dr. Harding, however, tells his friend that it is cruel to keep this young couple apart because of his own misfortune which dates back a half century. Here occurs a break in the friendship of the two men. During the four years of the war Kathleen bears her misery. Kenneth returns disabled and tells Kathleen that he is not worthy of her. To Dr. Harding, however, he confesses that he is still in love with the little Irish girl, but that he is willing to sacrifice his own desires for the good of his sweetheart. Here the quaintness of the piece again is interjected. Back through the hazy film of years that have passed, comes memory visualized. Carteret lives over again those days he can never forget, and from them learns the lesson that he failed to draw from the actual experience. Appearing to him is his Moonyeen, who seems to break the spell of their separation by sweeping from his thoughts the cobwebs of revenge and hatred. The dark shadows of unkindness and anger are lifted. Carteret and Dr. Harding repair their broken friendship, and the lovers, Kathleen and Kenneth, are re-united. Carteret finds a happiness he has not known for fifty years. The play ends with a scene that is unique and extraordinary.
|Title||Smilin' Through: an emotional classic of the modern stage|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Corporate Name Subject||Smilin' Through 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.|