Viola Allen

(1869-1948) Viola Allen was born in Huntsville, Alabama. She first appeared in New York with John McCullough in Othello and Richard III. Her part as Gloria Quayle in Hall Caine’s The Christian, an adaptation for stage of his own novel, was so successful that from then on she was given “star” billing. Over the years she took parts in various Shakespeare plays: Twelfth Night, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, and As You Like It. She played no more Shakespeare until 1915-16 when she went on tour as LadyRead more

Ivah Wills Coburn

(1882-1937) Ivah Wills was co-founder in 1905 of the Coburn Shakespearean Players with Charles Coburn, whom she married the following year in 1905. They performed together, primarily in the plays of Shakespeare, for many years until her death in 1937 due to heart disease.Read more

Lily Brayton

(1876-1953) Elizabeth “Lily” Brayton was born in England on June 23, 1876. She made her first stage appearance in 1896 with Frank Benson’s company in Richard II (see anecdote below). She remained with the troupe for some time, so as a “Bensonian” she played many roles in the plays of Shakespeare, appearing several seasons in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Her last appearance on the stage was as Portia in Julius Caesar. She married fellow actor Oscar Asche in 1898 and theyRead more