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Broadhurst, George Howells (03 June 1866–31 January 1952), playwright and producer, was born in Walsall, England. His parents hoped that he would enter the clergy, especially after the local bishop presented him with an award for his theological knowledge. To avoid a clerical life, he ran away to America, probably in 1886. He settled in Chicago and obtained work as a clerk at the Board of Trade. Subsequently he moved to Milwaukee, where he had been offered the job of managing a theater. Similar assignments followed in Baltimore and in San Francisco. He then spent a while as a journalist, serving briefly as editor of a newspaper in Grand Forks, North Dakota....

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Burnside, R. H. (13 August 1870–14 September 1952), director, producer, and playwright, was born Robert Hubber Thorne Burnside in Glasgow, Scotland. His father, unnamed in biographical sources, was the manager of Glasgow’s Gaiety Theatre; his mother was Margaret or Marguerite (maiden name unknown), an actress. Burnside’s first name is sometimes given in biographical sources as “Richard,” a mistake that arose because he invariably went by his initials “R. H.” (or his nicknames “Burny” and “Zipp”) and made a point of keeping his given names secret. As a child, Burnside traveled on theatrical tours with his mother. His formal education was sketchy and ended early after he performed, costumed as a dog, in the musical burlesque ...

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Campbell, Bartley, Jr. (12 August 1843–30 July 1888), playwright and producer, was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, the son of Bartley Campbell, the owner of a brickyard, and Mary Eckles. The family had emigrated from Ireland in 1840. Campbell received little formal education, spending much of his childhood working with his two older brothers in their father’s brickyard....

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Cook, George Cram (07 October 1873–14 January 1924), writer and leading spirit of the Provincetown Players theatrical group, was born in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Edward Everett Cook, a railroad attorney from a prominent local family, and Ellen Katherine Dodge. Fellow students at a private school gave him his lifelong nickname of “Jig.” Cook grew up artistic and idealistic in his views. He desired deeply to recapture in modern life the community, simplicity, and depth he found in ancient Greek civilization and drama. In appearance he was a romantic figure: ...

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Dunning, Philip Hart (11 December 1891?–20 July 1968), playwright, producer, and stage director, was born Philip Hart Dunn in Meriden, Connecticut, the son of John Michael Dunn, an electrochemist, and Mary Hart. Dunning’s parents sent him to the public schools of Meriden. By the time he was sixteen he had spent a summer as a magician’s assistant in a medicine show that traveled through rural New York and New England, and formal schooling was no match for the lad’s dreams about the next time he might get on “the road.” His parents recognized young Dunning’s passion for the stage and, reluctantly, took him to New York City while still in his teens to seek his fortune in show business....

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Golden, John (27 June 1874–17 June 1955), theatrical producer, songwriter, and playwright, was born in New York City, the son of Joel Golden, a teacher and proprietor of a summer hotel, and Amelia Tyreler. Raised in Wauseon, Ohio, he went to New York at age fourteen to pursue a career as an actor. For seven years he struggled, accepting odd jobs and selling comic verses, the latter written after the manner of W. S. Gilbert, to the weekly humor magazines ...

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Hirschbein, Peretz (07 November 1880–16 August 1948), playwright, producer, and director, was born in a mill near Klestchel, Grodno Province, Belarus, the son of Lippe der Milner, a miller, and Sheyne Hollander. He studied in a traditional religious school in Klestchel and in yeshivas in Brest-Litovsk and Vilna. By age twenty he had decided to abandon a rabbinical career and remained in Vilna, supporting himself by tutoring....

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Kennedy, Charles Rann (14 February 1871–16 February 1950), playwright, actor, and producer, was born in Derby, England, the son of Edmund Hall Kennedy and Annie Leng Fawcett. He was the grandson and namesake of a famous Greek scholar and English barrister who was best known for his translations of Demosthenes’ orations. Educated at College School in Saltley of Birmingham, Kennedy initially intended to enter the Anglican priesthood but at the age of thirteen changed his mind and entered business as a clerk. At sixteen he began to write short stories, poetry, articles, and drama, became a lecturer, and cultivated a talent and desire for acting....

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Logan, Joshua (05 October 1908–12 July 1988), director, producer, playwright, lyricist, and actor, was born Joshua Lockwood Logan in Texarkana, Texas. His lumberman father, Joshua Lockwood Logan, Sr., died when Logan was only three years old. He was raised in Louisiana by his mother, Susan Nabors, and stepfather, Howard F. Noble, an officer on the staff of the Culver Military Academy, where Logan attended school. Logan began his theatrical career in 1928 as a student at Princeton University, where he was a founder of the University Players, a summer stock group that performed on Cape Cod and that also included ...

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Muse, Clarence E. (07 October 1889–13 October 1979), actor, producer, and writer of plays and films, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Alexander Muse and Mary Sales. He was educated at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he became interested in music and participated in choral groups; although he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international law in 1911, he immediately embarked on a musical and theatrical career. In 1907 he married Frieda Belle Moore; the marriage was apparently dissolved soon after the birth of their son in 1910....

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Ward, Theodore James (15 September 1902–08 May 1983), playwright and theatrical pioneer, also known as “Ted,” was born in Thibodaux, Louisiana, the son of John Everett Ward, Sr., and Louisa Pierre Ward. His father was a country schoolteacher who also sold patent medicines and books to black sharecroppers. Little is known of Ward’s early education, except that he attended school in New Orleans to at least the seventh grade. His mother died in childbirth when he was thirteen, and he left home the next year with only six dollars, working his way around the country by doing odd jobs as bootblack, boat boy, barber shop porter, and bellhop. Ward’s wanderlust took him to St. Louis, Chicago, New York, and Seattle, where he won $2,800 in a Chinese gambling house, which enabled him to take extension courses at the University of Utah....