125 Years Ago (1888)
Bronson Howard’s Shenandoah premieres at the Boston Museum, where it is poorly received. After the dramatist revises the piece at the encouragement of his agent, Charles Frohman, it triumphs in other cities and yields $150,000 in profits.
100 Years Ago (1913)
At the Empress Theatre in Kansas City, Mo., Charlie Chaplin gives his final performance with Fred Karno’s British vaudeville troupe. Chaplin is leaving to join Mack Sennett’s Keystone Film Company in Los Angeles; his initial salary is $150 a week. Three years later, he will be one of the highest paid actors in the U.S.
75 Years Ago (1938)
Georg Büchner’s Danton’s Death, presented by New York City’s Mercury Theatre, closes after a financially and artistically disappointing 21 performances. Economic and other factors make it the last production in the company’s playhouse. Co-founder Orson Welles will relocate to Hollywood, where he will feature members of the Mercury Players in his films.
25 Years Ago (1988)
The Los Angeles Theatre Alliance merges with the League of Producers and Theatres of Greater Los Angeles to form Theatre League Alliance (Theatre LA). In 2003 the organization becomes LA Stage Alliance, whose programming includes training in business for arts administrators.