Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ethel Barrymore and the Democracy of Summer Theatre

One of the most fascinating and irresistible aspects of summer theatre is the prevailing panache of democracy not clashing, but complimenting stage “royalty.”

Here we have an ad from a Cape Playhouse program from August 1935 announcing the upcoming appearance of the legendary Ethel Barrymore in “The Constant Wife.” Her name is followed by a group of lesser actors, most of whom are probably unknown to most of us today, but who for that moment are noted forever as colleagues of the great Ethel Barrymore.

Ethel Barrymore, Library of Congress photo.

The producer, Raymond Moore, also boldly proclaims with equal enthusiasm, a couple of kiddy shows featuring a magician and some puppets. Ethel had to share the bill with puppets, but probably took it in her stride.

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