1-20 of 38 results  for:

  • theater critic x
  • Media and performing arts x
Clear all

Article

Atkinson, Brooks (28 November 1894–13 January 1984), drama critic, was born Justin Brooks Atkinson in Melrose, Massachusetts, the son of Jonathan Henry Atkinson and Garafelia Taylor. His father was a Boston newspaperman, and when he was in primary school young Brooks decided that he would also be a journalist. At the age of eight he “printed” with rubber type a home newspaper called ...

Image

Robert Benchley. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-108029).

Article

Benchley, Robert (15 September 1889–21 November 1945), humorist, drama critic, and actor, was born Robert Charles Benchley in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Charles H. Benchley, the mayor’s clerk, and Maria Jane Moran. After the death of his older brother Edmund in the Spanish-American War, an event that stunned Benchley’s family, Edmund’s fiancée, Lillian Duryea, largely financed Robert’s education. Benchley attended Phillips Exeter Academy, where his bent for satire early revealed itself when his assigned essay on “a practical subject,” embalming, earned an ...

Article

Brackett, Charles William (26 November 1892–09 March 1969), writer and motion-picture producer, was born in Saratoga Springs, New York, the son of Edgar Truman Brackett, a lawyer and state legislator, and Mary Emma Corliss. For a time, he seemed destined to follow in his father’s footsteps as a prominent lawyer in Saratoga Springs. Brackett did, indeed, pursue such a career in his college studies, first taking a B.A. from Williams College in 1915 and then receiving an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1920. While at Harvard, Brackett interrupted his studies in 1917 to serve in World War I, positioned in St. Nazaire, France, as a second lieutenant in the American Expeditionary Forces and serving as vice-consul and assistant liaison officer to the French general. His efforts were acknowledged with the awarding of the Medaille d’Honneur en Argent....

Article

Brown, John Mason, Jr. (03 July 1900–16 March 1969), critic, author, and lecturer, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of John Mason Brown, a lawyer, and Caroline Carroll Ferguson; they divorced when Brown was two. John and his older sister were brought up by their mother and maternal grandmother. Brown became stagestruck at the age of eight, when he saw the aging ...

Article

Clurman, Harold Edgar (18 September 1901–09 September 1980), founder of the Group Theatre, director, and critic, was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York, the son of Samuel Michael Clurman, a physician, and Bertha Saphir. When asked late in life who had been most influential in shaping his character, Clurman “answered without hesitation, ‘My father.’ ” Clurman’s formal education included matriculation at Columbia University from 1919 to 1921 and at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Paris-Sorbonne from September 1921 through 1923. He received the ...

Article

Felicia Hardison Londré

Dale, Alan (14 May 1861–21 May 1928), theater critic, was born Alfred J. Cohen in Birmingham, England. The names of his parents are not known. He was educated at King Edward’s School in Birmingham and attended Oxford University, where he passed junior and senior local examinations. He married Carrie Livingston Frost in 1886; they had two children. He began a career in journalism and thirty years later recalled that “in the seventies and eighties, when the drama in England was at its lowest ebb, when wretched, ill-made adaptations from the French enlisted the services of cheap hacks, and poverty-stricken translators, drama criticism went under. Any fool wrote about the ‘drama.’ The newspaper selected their least valuable reporter, and sent him to the theatre” (1915, p. 164). His decision to emigrate to the United States in 1887 may have been influenced by those conditions....

Article

Denby, Edwin Orr (04 February 1903–12 July 1983), poet, dance critic, and actor, was born in Tientsin, China, the son of Charles Denby, II, an American diplomat, and Martha Orr. Denby lived in Austria and Detroit, Michigan, with his parents before attending Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, where he earned distinction as class poet. In 1919 he enrolled at Harvard University but left as a sophomore and went to England for a year. When he returned to the United States, he lived and worked on a farm in New Hampshire for five months, then tried Harvard once more before moving to Greenwich Village. He received no college degree. In 1923 Denby returned to Austria, where he underwent psychoanalysis for depression with Dr. Paul Federn, a colleague of Sigmund Freud’s. With Federn’s encouragement, Denby enrolled in 1925 at the Hellerau-Laxenburg School, where he earned a three-year degree in gymnastics and specialized in ...

Article

Dithmar, Edward Augustus (22 May 1854–16 October 1917), journalist, was born in New York City, the son of Henry Dithmar and Anna (maiden name unknown). His father was foreman of the composing room at the New York Evening Post. Dithmar’s public school education ended at seventeen when he joined his father at the ...

Article

Eaton, Walter Prichard (24 August 1878–26 February 1957), critic, theater educator, and author, was born in Malden, Massachusetts, the son of Warren Everett Eaton, a schoolmaster, and Mary Prichard. His lifelong involvement in theater arts was kindled in his formative years by viewing performances of actors such as ...

Article

Freedley, George (05 September 1904–11 September 1967), curator of the New York Public Library theater collection, drama critic, and author, was born George Reynolds Freedley in Richmond, Virginia, the son of George Washington Jacoby Freedley, a manufacturing executive, and Maude Reynolds. He grew up in Richmond, where his grandfather and father were prominent in the city’s commercial life; he attended Richmond Academy and John Marshall High School, from which he graduated in 1920. He received a B.A. from the University of Richmond in 1925 and studied with ...

Article

Gassner, John Waldhorn (30 January 1903–02 April 1967), critic, educator, and author, was born in Szeged, Hungary, the son of Abraham Gassner, a furrier, and Fanny Weinburger. Until age eight he was educated at home while the family moved to Budapest, Vienna, and Rotterdam, emigrating to the United States in 1911....

Article

Gibbs, Wolcott (15 March 1902–16 August 1958), drama critic, editor, and author, was born Oliver Wolcott Gibbs in New York City, the son of Lucius Tuckerman Gibbs, an electrical engineer and inventor, and Angelica Singleton Duer. When Gibbs was six years old his father died, and his alcoholic mother lost custody of Gibbs and his sister. ...

Article

Hamilton, Clayton (14 November 1881–17 September 1946), educator and drama critic, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of George Alexander Hamilton, a merchant, and Susan Amelia Corey. Christened Clayton Meeker Hamilton, he deleted his middle name before he reached age twenty-one. His interest in a life of letters began during his youth. He received a B.A. from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1900 and an M.A. from Columbia University in 1901. Hamilton married Gladys Coates in 1913; they had two children....

Article

Hammond, Percy Hunter (07 March 1873–25 April 1936), drama critic, was born in Cadiz, Ohio, the son of Alexander J. Hammond, a merchant, and Lottie E. F. Hunter. Hammond’s fascination with the theater began at age thirteen, when he attended a tent performance of ...

Article

Hapgood, Norman (28 March 1868–29 April 1937), journalist, critic, and reformer, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Charles Hutchins Hapgood, a farm implement manufacturer, and Fanny Louise Powers. He grew up in wealth in Alton, Illinois. In 1890 he graduated with an A.B. from Harvard University, where he was strongly influenced by Professor ...

Image

Walter Kerr. Courtesy of the Northwestern University Archives.

Article

Thomas W. Collins Jr.

Kerr, Walter (08 July 1913–09 October 1996), theater critic, was born Walter Francis Kerr in Evanston, Illinois, the son of Walter Kerr, a construction foreman, and Esther Daugherty Kerr. He became a critic at the precocious age of thirteen, when he came up with the idea of writing “a movie column ...

Image

Louis Kronenberger Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1955. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 12735, no. 640 P&P).

Article

Kronenberger, Louis (09 December 1904–30 April 1980), writer and critic, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Louis Kronenberger, Sr., a merchant, and Mabel Newwitter. From 1921 to 1924 he attended the University of Cincinnati, but he left without completing a degree; instead, he moved to New York City to become a writer. He took a clerical job at the ...