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This Month in Theatre History

The founding of the Old Globe and Cape Fear Regional Theatre, and other noteworthy December events.

105 years ago (1907)

Broadway producer Herman Levin is born in Philadelphia. In addition to his many Broadway hits, Levin will win three Tony Awards in the course of his career, two as producer for My Fair Lady in 1957 and another as producer of The Great White Hope in 1969.

80 years ago (1932)

Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus mount their original stage adaptation of Alice in Wonderland at the Civic Repertory Theatre in New York City using only Lewis Carroll’s dialogue from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. The cast includes Burgess Meredith, Joseph Schildkraut and Le Gallienne as the White Queen. The production runs for 127 performances and spawns numerous
revivals.

75 years ago (1937)

San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, built in 1935 as part of the California Pacific International Exposition, is remodeled for permanent use. Craig Noel stars in the opening production, John Van Druten’s The Distaff Side. Noel will go on to lead the theatre as artistic director for more than five decades.

50 years ago (1962)

North Carolina’s Cape Fear Regional Theatre is founded as Fayetteville Little Theatre. The company opens with Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. This small community of local actors will grow into a professional theatre highly committed to arts in education and will be recognized as one of the state’s leading regional theatres.

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