1. Above is the original Stage Manager’s script from the 1955 Broadway production of Inherit the Wind

    The iconic courtroom drama ran for 806 shows at the National Theatre (now Nederlander) before closing in June of 1957.

    The fictional play is based on the unfortunate and very real story of a Tennessee high-school teacher who, in 1925, was put on trial for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. 

    An equally dramatic and “winded” trailer for the 1960 film adaptation can be seen here.

  2. In 1948, the Episcopal Church worked with our organization to create a radio show called “Great Scenes from Great Plays.”

    22 half hour programs were recorded, many of which featured the voices of major stars like Henry Fonda, Jessica Tandy, Gene Tierney, and Ingrid Bergman. 

    Most wonderful for theatre nerds today is that many of these programs can be heard online HERE

    More postings soon on this great bit of history, but for now…Happy Listening! 

  3. On a quick post-vacation dig through the stacks, I found these old but vibrant tourist pics of Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon. 

    At the top is the room in which the bard doth emerged from thy womb, and below it we have two hatted ladies taking in the home’s exterior.

    The wooded scene at the bottom is of Shottery Manor, which is home to the real balcony (unseen) that is believed to have inspired the fake one in Romeo and Juliet

    "Good place to get some thinking done." 

  4. Long before Quickbooks, there was…well…fountain pens and lined paper. Here’s a Guild ledger from 1930. 

    Highlights: 

    - Wages for a maid (can we bring that back?)

    - For less than $30, you could hire a full orchestra.  

    - $3.00 spent getting an actors’ “overcoat out of pawn.” 

    The last one is my favorite, because it’s 84 years later and EAG is still helping actors in whatever way they need. 

  5. From our extensive magazine collection comes a still vibrant Theatre Arts from June 1954. On the cover is Mel Ferrer and Audrey Hepburn who, a few months later, would be married. 

    The two played opposite in Jean Giraudoux’s Ondine, which closed just shy of 160 performances. For her work, Hepburn won the Tony for Best Actress in a Play, which no doubt looked nice next to the Oscar she won that same year for Roman Holiday

    The Guild connection lies with Marian Seldes, who played Bertha in this production and is today a long-standing member of our Advisory Board. 

  6. fieglet said: I am wondering if there are any older members of the Guild who have any memories of Jessie Van Brunt who created and donated the Actor's stained glass window in the Little Church Around the Corner. She is an ancestor of mine and I have done a great deal of research on her. Would love to know if there is anyone who has firsthand memories of her. They would have to be quite elderly by now as she died in 1947. Thanks!

    Great question. I have certainly heard the name many times, but haven’t met anyone here that had the pleasure of meeting Jessie Van Brunt. I will pass this along to our archives team and maybe something will come from it.

    Thanks for reading! 

  7. Did you know…that in addition to being a 19th-century mega-star actor, Joseph Jefferson was also an avid painter? This particular work has proudly hung on our wall for many years, and was donated by stage/silent film actress Viola Allen.

    Going places this summer? Take our pal Flat Joe Jeff along. At the end of summer, we’re giving away prizes for the most creative FlatJoeJeff pic and for the pic taken the furthest from Guild Hall (Midtown NYC). 

    Tweet all pics using @actorsguild1923 and #FlatJoeJeff. 

    Email matt@actorsguild.org to get your own FlatJoeJeff. 

  8. By 1863, Miss Laura Keene had already lived the life of ten people. As a young mother of two in Britain, her husband was sent off to criminal camp. To survive, Keene moved to America, then became an actress, then a very successful actress, and then a very successful manager. 
Two years after this performance at BAM, Keene’s acting company was performing Our American Cousin in DC when President Lincoln was shot. As legend goes, Keene found her way to his box, where she cradled the dying leader in her arms.

    By 1863, Miss Laura Keene had already lived the life of ten people. As a young mother of two in Britain, her husband was sent off to criminal camp. To survive, Keene moved to America, then became an actress, then a very successful actress, and then a very successful manager. 

    Two years after this performance at BAM, Keene’s acting company was performing Our American Cousin in DC when President Lincoln was shot. As legend goes, Keene found her way to his box, where she cradled the dying leader in her arms.