Murray Carrington

(1885-1941) Carrington made his first stage appearance in 1904, and the next year, he played his first part in Shakespeare in Cymbeline at the Queen’s Theatre, Manchester. He spent eight years with Frank Benson‘s company and played many major roles in Shakespeare. After leaving the military in 1919 he revived his career at Stratford where, eventually, he played in over 140 productions. Among his parts were Caliban, Mark Antony (Julius Caesar), Oberon, Ford (Merry Wives of Windsor), Leontes, and MercutioRead more

Project: Past and Present

“You are now out of your text: but we will draw the curtain and show you the picture.” – Olivia, Twelfth Night (1.5. 520-1) “Shakespeare & the Players” may look new, but its origins are quite old, dating back to the early days of the web and public digital scholarship. When Dr. Harry Rusche, English professor and Shakespeare scholar, began the site with the help of a handful of graduate students in the 1990s, he envisioned a practical, simple wayRead more

Moments of Note: The Players on Stage

These are selected and exemplary performances from across the site interspersed with major world events. See our bibliography, here. 1890 On April 24 and 25, Frank Benson’s company travels from Stratford to give two performances of Othello at the Globe Theatre in London. Benson plays Othello, and his wife Constance plays Desdemona. Benson performs in blackface as there are no black actors on any major British or American stage playing Shakespeare between the late Ira Aldridge, who died in 1867,Read more

Postcard Backs

Don’t forget to take a look at the backs of the postcards. Verso is how we refer to the reverse side of a folio, or a full page. In many ways, the back is the most important part of the postcard in that many of them feature interesting messages, some very of which are very personal, from history. Many of the backs feature advertisements for other performances by the depicted player. Many shows would take and sell these types ofRead more

Henry Baynton

(1892-1951) Henry Baynton first appeared on stage in 1910 and almost immediately began a long career during which he performed in almost every important part in Shakespeare’s plays. In 1911, he joined the company of Oscar Asche and then in the same year moved to Frank Benson‘s company. He worked with Benson for several years and played, among other parts, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet (1915). Then in the summer of 1916 he played Shakespeare at the StratfordRead more

Dorothea Baird

(1875-1933) Born in England in 1875, Dorothea Forster Baird made her first stage appearance with the Oxford Union Dramatic Society (OUDS) in 1894 as Iris in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She then married friend and former OUDS player Henry B. Irving, the son of Sir Henry, in 1896, so her career was quite naturally entwined with that of her husband. They seldom appeared separately on stage. In 1894, Baird joined Ben Greet’s company where she played many Shakespeare roles, among themRead more

Marie Lohr

(1890-1975) Lohr was four years old when she first appeared on stage in her birthplace of Sydney, Australia. Her family moved to England, and she played at the Garrick Theatre in 1901 when she was eleven. Lohr married Anthony Leyland Val Prinsep and from 1918 to 1927, they co-managed the Globe Theatre in London. She was in dozens of stage performances in a long and busy career, including, between 1916 and 1968, fifty motion pictures. She played only one ShakespeareRead more

William Stack

(1882-1949) William Stack was born in the United States, but he began his acting career in London at the Court Theatre in 1908. Between 1914 and 1916, he played with the Old Vic Company, and in 1920, he joined the Ben Greet Company where he played Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice. In 1922, he performed with the New Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on-Avon; he had parts in Twelfth Night, Cymbeline, Othello, Hamlet, and Julius Caesar. The Internet Movie Database listsRead more

Fred Terry

Benjamin and Sarah Ballard Terry lost two children in infancy, but the nine surviving children all were connected in some way with the stage; the most famous of these children was, of course, Ellen Terry. Her youngest brother Fred made his stage debut in 1880 at the Lyceum Theatre as Sebastian (Ellen played Viola) in Twelfth Night. His youth and his physical likeness to his sister gave, the critics said, some verisimilitude to Sebastian and Viola as brother and sister in theRead more

Basil Sydney

(1894-1968) Basil Sydney is an actor most teachers of Shakespeare immediately recognize; he played Claudius in Laurence Olivier’s benchmark 1948 film of Hamlet. His first stage appearance was in 1911 and his first part in Shakespeare was as Claudius in 1914 at the Old Vic. Over the years he played Romeo, Mercutio, Hamlet, Prince Hal, and in 1914 appeared in productions of six of Shakespeare’s plays at Stratford-upon-Avon.  He spent over a decade in New York playing the title roles inRead more