Sidney Howard and Clare Eames: American Theater's Perfect Couple of The 1920s

Overview

In the 1920s, the playwright Sidney Howard and his wife, actress Clare Eames, were at the heart of the movement to change the American theater from a commercial enterprise to one with art at its center. Sidney, who won a Pulitzer for They Knew What They Wanted in 1924, became the voice of American theater's fight against censorship. Energetic and ambitious Clare played some of the greatest dramatic roles for women, including Queen Elizabeth and Lady Macbeth. For a time, Sidney and Clare were an ideal couple, ...
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About the Book In the 1920s, the playwright Sidney Howard and his wife, actress Clare Eames, were at the heart of the movement to change the American theater from a commercial ... enterprise to one with art at its center. Sidney gained fame writing They Knew What They Wanted (which won the Pulitzer Prize) in 1924. A dramatist for the Theatre Guild, he wrote Ned McCobb’s Daughter and The Silver Cord and became the voice of American theater’s fight against censorship. Energetic and ambitious Clare played some of the greatest dramatic roles for women, including Queen Elizabeth, Lady MacBeth, and Hedda Gabler. For a time, Sidney and Clare were an ideal couple, collaborating on dramas and drawing admirers in both England and America. This dual biography illuminates the growth of the American art theater, gives intimate details into the work of the couple, and reveals a glamorous doomed romance. The letters interspersed throughout the text detail the couple’s thoughts on the artistic process, acting, writing, and the social and theatrical circles in which they moved. Including many letters and reviews from the era, this study describes Sidney and Clare’s relationships, careers, and the dramatic disintegration of their marriage, set against the background of one of the most artistically fertile periods of American drama. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In the 1920s, the playwright Sidney Howard and his wife, actress Clare Eames, were at the heart of the movement to change the American theater from a commercial enterprise to one with art at its center. Sidney, who won a Pulitzer for They Knew What They Wanted in 1924, became the voice of American theater's fight against censorship. Energetic and ambitious Clare played some of the greatest dramatic roles for women, including Queen Elizabeth and Lady Macbeth. For a time, Sidney and Clare were an ideal couple, collaborating on dramas and drawing admirers in both England and America. This dual biography illuminates the growth of the American art theater, gives intimate details into the work of the couple, and reveals a glamorous doomed romance, set against the background of one of the most artistically fertile periods of American drama.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786417513
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/26/2004
  • Pages: 295
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Writer and reviewer Arthur Gewirtz is Associate Professor of English emeritus at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. He lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 5
1. Clare 9
2. Annus Mirabilis 1924: Clare 23
3. Annus Mirabilis 1924: Sidney 55
4. Sidney 65
5. Clare and Sidney 91
6. Clare in Hollywood: An Interlude 119
7. Consequences 149
8. Theatre Guild Year 176
9. Smash! 207
10. Divorce and Death 242
Epilogue 274
Bibliography 283
Index 285
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