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Draper, Ruth (02 December 1884–30 December 1956), actor/monologist, was born and raised in New York City, the daughter of William H. Draper, a physician, and Ruth Dana, his second wife. Her maternal grandfather was Charles A. Dana, editor and part owner of the ...

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Howe, Helen (11 January 1905–01 February 1975), writer and monologuist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe, a writer, and Fanny Huntington Quincy, also a writer. Though the children did not want to listen, their father tried to read poetry to them on Sunday afternoons. Helen and her brothers preferred the times he sat at the piano to lead them in hymn sings. The family also participated together in tennis, sailing, swimming, and clambakes. Howe was so attached to her parents that, when they sent her to a boarding school only twelve miles away, she became homesick and stayed in bed three days. She graduated from Milton Academy in 1922, after which she attended Radcliffe College for one year only (1923–1924). At Radcliffe, she acted in college plays and decided to work and study toward becoming an actress. Her favorite authors were Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, ...

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Webb, Mary (1828–17 June 1859), dramatic reader, was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Her parents' names and specific details of her youth remain unknown, though nineteenth-century accounts spin rich tales of her parentage and childhood. According to her husband Frank Webb, her father was “a Spanish gentleman of wealth” and her mother “a woman of full African blood” who escaped from slavery while pregnant with Mary and later died from anxiety produced by the Fugitive Slave Act (Webb, p. i). Other sources claim she was the child of a Cuban official, and a letter of introduction written by ...