By Milly S. Barranger
"In Milly Barranger, Margaret Webster has discovered the correct biographer. In Margaret Webster, Milly Barranger has came across her excellent topic. She brings to bright lifestyles a desirable and critical theater determine whose private and non-private lives have been of equivalent curiosity. during this rigorously researched publication, Webster's colleagues, enthusiasts, and buddies shine as brightly as she did. I want she have been the following to learn it."-Marian Seldes"Margaret Webster is a hugely great addition to our wisdom of the 1st very important woman director in American theater. Remembered now specially for her staging of Othello with Paul Robeson, Uta Hagen, and Jose Ferrer, Margaret Webster used to be most likely the best-known, in-demand, and well known director of Shakespeare in the United States within the Forties and Nineteen Fifties. interesting all through, the book's discussions of operating with Robeson, and of HUAC, which particular her simply as her occupation used to be attaining a top, make for particularly engrossing reading."-Oscar BrockettMargaret Webster: A existence within the Theater is an engrossing behind the curtain account of the lifetime of pioneering director Margaret Webster (1905-72). this is often the 1st book-length biography of Webster, a groundbreaking level and opera director whose occupation challenged not just degree culture but additionally mainstream attitudes towards specialist ladies. usually credited with first having introduced Shakespeare to Broadway, and well known for her daring casting of an African American (Paul Robeson) within the function of Othello, Webster used to be an artistic strength in smooth American and British theater.Her tale unearths the independent-minded artist undeterred by way of level culture and unmindful of ideas a few woman's position within the expert theater. as well as offering attention-grabbing glimpses into Webster's own and relatives existence, Margaret Webster: A existence within the Theater additionally deals a who's-who record of the largest names in long island and London theater of the time, in addition to Hollywood: John Gielgud, No?l Coward, George Bernard Shaw, Uta Hagen, Sybil Thorndike, Eva LeGallienne, and John Barrymore, between others, all of whom crossed paths with Webster. Capping Webster's striking tale is her research through Senator Joseph McCarthy and HUAC, which left her not able to paintings for a 12 months, and from which she by no means absolutely recovered.
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Additional resources for Margaret Webster: A Life in the Theater (Triangulations: Lesbian Gay Queer Theater Drama Performance)
In 1911, Peggy was enrolled in the Burlington School for Girls in Old Burlington Street, where she remained until the zeppelin raids over London 12 ᪐ Margaret Webster prompted her parents to send her to a small Christian Science school, Bradley Wood House, in Devonshire. Until she went to boarding school, Peggy helped her mother and a growing number of surrogate “aunts” from her parents’ theatrical world who were absorbed in organizing bene‹ts and charitable work for the “good causes” related to England’s war effort.
In the theater, the actor-managers were replaced by managers who were most often theater owners running a An Itinerant Childhood ᪐ 19 speculative business. Working conditions deteriorated and actors experienced high unemployment. May and Ben now spent more weeks out of work than they did on stage. They found themselves both out of work and out of fashion with the new managers who were producing serious dramas by John Galsworthy and Somerset Maugham and fashionable modern comedies of contemporary manners by Frederick Lonsdale.
Dear Peggy,” it began, “AT LAST! You are engaged to understudy for St. ”1 Shaw himself attended rehearsals, and the tour opened in early September 1925 in Manchester. This was Webster’s ‹rst experience with a touring company. Little had changed in living and travel conditions since her parents’ days in the United States. In England’s northern industrial towns, the boardinghouses were located on shabby back streets, a streetcar or tram ride from the theater. Accommodations consisted of iron bedsteads with lumpy mattresses, little hot water or even indoor plumbing.