THE BEAS&BOH2N HMDIEPEHBEfTir
M- W GVr JFrote
FRANCES L. GARS IDE
s - 'SwE&ai''
T ! wore never, in the history of the stage, as
(1 shows on tlic h",uU as there are in
t York C ity this winter. It is of more than
jajtJnf It tO heir that the one which theater-goers,
(Wing "iice, are seeing second and third time,
was in by very young girl from St. Lottis,
jj( e 11 Zoe Akins, and when Ethel Barrymore
nia(K : appearance in "Declassee," she subtracted
oee auti resi frocn the Promising Dramatists' group,
and pla her solidly among those who have arrived.
Hin rinks in New York with the best of
It was not always ,. She has lingered on the
horizon ! ?er than most writers of plays for the rea
son that she stuck to her guns. She has written her
pbyi ti were her story, and she stuck to them.
In othei ll the Iteadfastly refused to consent to the
endless re-writing and re-arranging which is the cus
tom m (r new plajr-writer appears. She knew
what ihi wanted; she lost in the beginning by refusing
10 d hai iron more in the end by sticking to
her Opink 1. Somehow this seems quite characteristic
of the Middle West. Discouragements a-plenty, but
never i i oi conviction or courage!
"Winn I was 21. " she says. "1 wrote a play called
The ! ed l ady.' which May Robson accepted and
began to rehearse. As loon as the company had been
asseinf)!- d I was informed that certain ICCtiei would
have to be changed I made the changes. Then, after
a couple of rehearsals, I was told that one whole act
would hue to be rewritten. I rewrote it. Then there
were lORie more rehearsals, after which I was told an
other act uld have to DC done over in the same way.
I took the manuscript home with me, tore it up, threw
it into the tire, mailed Miss RobtOfl a check for the
advance royalty I had received, and swore a little oath
to myself that I would never rewrite another play.
"And I've stuck to my vow. All three of the plays
I have had produced 'The Magical City.' 'Papa,' and
DeclasseV have been presented practically as I wrote
them originally. I have made minor changes, of course,
but I have never had the slightest trouble in recogniz
ing my brain-children when they appeared on the stage
and that is something a whole lot of American play
wrights are not able to say."
Miss Akins came from Missouri. She is a daughter
of Thomas Jasper Akins, a member of the Republican
National Committee since 1904. She got her early
writing experience on the staff of "Reedy's Mirror," at
the age of seventeenonly a girl, and she is only a
As a member of the staff of the "Mirror," she wrote
poems, stories, criticisms, a little of everything as
everyone does on a Mid-West paper. She first came
before the public eye as a poetess; a volume of her
poems was published in London in 1912 under the title
of "Interpretations," and two years later it was brought
out in N'ew York. She wrote a pageant, "Peace Tri
umphant," which was done at the Hippodrome last
year, and an "Ode to the Allies," which Ethel Barry
more recited at the Stadium in New York on July
She also contributed to the Mirror a series of forty
articles under the title of "The Shadow of Parnassus,"
which William Marion Reedy declares to be the most
complete critical anthology in the English language.
She has done a tremendous amount of literary work in
a short time poems, stories, novels, plays. A novel
by her, "Cake Upon the Waters," was published in
Xew York early in the fall, and she is under contract
to write three more.
Her comedy of "Papa." published in 1915. will be
produced in London later in the season, and "The
Magical City" is being made into grand opera. For
a season she acted, but tired of it and returned to her
Miss Akins has had many of that which others
might call discouragements, but she was never dis
couraged. She put the best that she had into her
efforts, and then refused to be turned aside from her
MISS ZOE AKINS
convictions. Do you stand by your guns like that ? It
is one way to win Success. She has won it a must
unique success, to have written what is considered by
critics to be the best play produced in Xew York in
The Opera Singer and Her Old Clothes
fl Laa Hl
H, , ? aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal
The i ; om of whose garment ia an international affair.
JUST novf everybody is talking about clothes, wo
men is clothes, of course. It there is anything par
ticularly puritanical or sednetive about a man's
Wrments, no one has looked at him long enough to
over it. Hence, he is escaping the criticism which
... uih iien at tne women,
that T Uv'lIuTi' or Una the Beautiful, for she is
mtnon'u ,,istimtin of being about the only wo
tionsn tagC wJl Sives out no advice, or sugges
w ' PProval, or disapproval, about the way the
She dr thcmsclves these days. Why? Because
worno? "T ,,kl n) one (1m" herself, and thinks every
of all0 o .(1jn k' Very (,ark' She wears gorgeous gown
but UsuS j ' s nt green, snnu-times some other color,
reen so Rrcen witn ,oosc De,ts trimmed with odd
in the t m&l somehow suggest discoveries made
one of th f the old KKvptian queens. The cost of
Irse stones would more than pay for the ex
tremely narrow, short skirt and pneumonia waist of the
girl one sees on the streets, with enough left over to
pay for her high heels.
This explains why Cavalieri doesn't criticise; she
can afford to dress to suit her taste, and her heart is a
little too big to let her condemn the girl whose in
come is so small she has to buy what the department
stores offer, even if it is so much like the dresses
hundreds of other women wear that she becomes part
of an epidemic.
"What," she was asked, "since you think the wo
men of today are competent to work out their own
clothes problems, and have no remarks to make on the
new styles, do you think a woman should do with her
old clothes? What do you do with yours?"
With many pretty gestures and many appeals to an
interpreter for the right word, for Cavalieri speaks
Italian and French and but little English, she told that
the disposal of her wardrobe had become an interna
tional affair. And this is how it happened.
Cavalieri didn't always have gorgeous velvet gowns
trimmed with precious stones; she didn't always have
clothes to keep her warm, and there were days when
she almost starved, back there in Italy. If any one
had told her then that "Hut, ah, ma cherie," she said,
"it is hard, so hard, to think of. Me, I have suffered !
As a child to go hungry. It is sad, is it not?"
Her father was a hodcarrier ; the Italian word for
it makes the job sound easier, but the work was as
hard. She was one of six children and they lived in
Rome, and they were poor, so poor ! Unless you have
lived in Italy, the interpreter explained, you can form
no idea of how poor one may become, without perishing.
The father died. It is a habit to which many fathers
who are poor and have large families are addicted.
T.ina was only thirteen. She could sing though she had
had no training, and she was given an engagement in
a second rate music hall at 60 cents a performance. To
one who has gone hungry, sixty cents a day means life
itself, and the family lived on that till she climbed to a
dollar a night, and in a brief period she was earning
the royal salary of twenty dollars a week.
Her beauty helped, of course. Many a man sighed
for her, and, mcrci bu n. Mon Picu, and all the others,
many a man, maybe, paid her that greatest of all trib
utes a man pays a woman in Italy, by committing crimes
She was turning the heads of grand dukes in Paris
and St. Petersburg before she was 20, and it was in
the latter city that she left the music hall stage to
study for grand opera, making her debut nine months
later in Naples in i-a Boheme." It is said of her that
she created Thais, which she sang for two years in the
Grand Opera House in Paris, but this was after her
first season at the Metropolitan in New York, where
her charm, her sensational story, her temperamental act
ing and her jewels were more talked of than her voice.
Indeed, the real polite critics say her voice is not
flawless, and that, since she can act, the screen is af
fording her greater opportunity than the stage.
But to go back to her clothes. Lina Cavalieri was
married a few years ago to I.ucien Muratore, the
famous French tenor. This explains why the disposal
of her cast-off garments has become an international
affair. She is compelled because of her numerous ac
tivities as an operatic, concert and motion picture star,
to maintain a tremendous wardrobe. This fact has
long been a source of gratification to Italy because
every article of clothing she discards is packed away
and shipped there.
But since her marriage to a Frenchman, sin has
felt it her duty to divide. So that every time a trunk
filled with clothing goes to Italy, another follows it to
France. Every time she goes into her beaded purse to
help the land of her birth, she dips into it again for
her husband's beloved France.
She had a message to women; it is so unlike the
messages women usually receive from others of their
sex as to be worth repeating. It is a pity that in
translating it in'.o English, one can not give with the
translation the pretty gestures, the easier look of the
eyes, the fascinating smile and the pleasing personality
of the woman sending it to all her sisters in America.
It is this :
"There is no woman who can claim to be a good
Christian who lets the moths feed on clothes that some
poorer person might be wearing. I have no critieisms
on what the women are wearing; I have criticism only
for those women who hang up discarded garments on
nails in the attic. There is an old saying that if you
wish to learn if a woman is neat, look at her bread
board. I think there should be another; If you wish
to know if a woman is charitable, look in her attic."
Every effort is being made to effect early ratifica
tion of the woman suffrage constitutional amendment
which twenty states already have adopted, but there
is some opposition in states which have not ratified,
although a statement issued by the National W oman's
party at Washington names twenty-two stat- s as " ex
pected to ratify." The reluctance of western governors
to call special sessions for ratifications has caused dc
lays not anticipated.
George McAdam, writing in The World's Work on
Governor Smith of New York, says: "The most in
teresting thing about Alfred E. Smith is himself. His
greatest achievement is that he has raised himself out
of the pinch and stress and obscurity of the Lower East
Side of Manhattan Island to the governorship of the
greatest state of the American Union."
xml | txt