La Marquise by Noel Coward starring Lillian Gish
Ogunquit Playhouse Program presented By George Abbott
Who’s who in the cast:
LILLIAN GISH (Marquise Eloise De Kestournel) has long been acknowledged one of the outstanding favorites of film and theatregoers.
Miss Gish made ·her initial appearance when six years old which she followed up with an appearance in one of Sarah Bernhardt’s productions at the age of seven.
Before beginning her motion picture career she played in “Good Little Devil” in support of Mary Pickford, directed by the late great David Belasco. Her film career remains unparalleled.
Among her brilliant portrayals are those in “Intolerance”, “Way Down East”, “Broken Blossoms” and the film classic, “Birth Of A Nation”.
She is being seen currently in the widely discussed “Duel In The Sun”.
Miss Gish returned to the stage in “Uncle Vanya”, followed by “Nine Pine Street”, and “Camille”.
Her Ophelia to John Gielgud’s “Hamlet” was the talk of the theatrical world.
MARY SINCLAIR (Adrienne) will be remembered by Playhouse patrons for her portrayal of Alexandra Giddens in “The Little Foxes”. Before coming to the New York stage Miss Sinclair studied with the late Max Reinhardt and appeared in many leading roles at the world-famous Pasadena Playhouse. Sought after by the major film companies, Miss Sinclair chose the legitimate theatre with its rigorous demands as the answer to an actress who wishes to develop her technique and emotional scope. A young actress with a happy future-Mary Sinclair.
JUDSON LAIRE (Esteban El Duco De Santaguano) is a veteran if Broadway where he appeared in a long series of successful productions including Sam Harris’ “First Lady”, George . Abbott’s “All That Glitters”, “Mr. Big”, “The Patriots”, and “Doctors Disagree”. He subsequently appeared in the role of John in “The Constant Wife”, in George Abbott’s “Best Foot Forward” and as Bunny in “Biography”. During the war Mr. Laire travelled with U. S. 0. Camp Shows,. “Over 21” and “Here Today”.
MARY MacARTHUR (Alice), promising young ingenue, was seen last summer in many summer theatres in support of Helen Hayes in “Alice Sit By The Fire”. Miss MacArthur has toured with Miss Gish in “The Marquise” and received plaudits from all quarters .
Now, with only one week of the season left, the management of the Ogunquit Playhouse pauses to first review the season and then to look ahead. It is always interesting and sometimes gratifying to measure what has been accomplished with what was intended. To begin with, Mr. Abbott felt that much might be gained by engaging a succession of the most brilliant and distinguished stars to appear during the course of the season. He initiated this policy opening week in presenting a pair of Ogunquit’s long-standing favorites, Daisy Atherton and Francis Compton. The following week brought Ruth Chatterton who characteristically broke all attendance records established in fourteen years with a superb performance.
She broke another established precedent, incidentally, by returning last week to appear in “Caprice” in answer to earnest requests from all quarters. Since Miss Chatterton’s debut in Ogunquit, Zasu Pitts, Faye Emerson, Judith Evelyn, Richard Widmark and Jane Cowl have contributed to making this what we consider a most successful season.
This week we are privileged to introduce Lillian Gish and next week, Peggy Wood. Mr. Abbott also wished to choose a series of plays which would insure a schedule of many faceted interest. He and Robert Fryer, compiled a versatile program choosing proven favorites “TheLate Christopher Bean”, “The Little Foxes”) as well as recent hits (“Years Ago”, “State Of The Union”, “The Fatal Weakness”). All types of theatre entertainment were represented from the political satire to the drawing room comedy, drama, and musical comedy. The plays themselves have been the products of playwrights of credited excellence. Ruth Gordon’s “Year’s Ago”, Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes”, the Lindsay-Crouse Pulitzer prize play “State Of The Union”, Maxwell Anderson’s “Joan Of Lorraine”, St. John Ervine’ s “The First Mrs. Fraser”, Noel Coward’s “The Marquise” and next week George Kelly’s “The Fatal Weakness” all evidence a competent authorship to which we have tried to do justice in execution.
Mr. Abbott had further expected the Playhouse to function as a proving-ground for new talent which he will want to use in his New York productions. He has not only found this new talent, both technicians and actors, but has provided an opportunity for it to come to public notice.
In conclusion, this has been a season successful in many respects. We have tackled a new thing and have come to feel that our patrons share a bit of our enthusiasm.
The close of this season will be the starting-point for plans and new objectives which we shall look forward to attaining next year. We thank you for your patronage, your interest, and, your suggestions.
- ADRIENNE, HIS DAUGHTER … MARY SINCLAIR
- JACQUES RIJAR, HIS SECRETARY … GEORGE LAMBROSE.
- FATHER CLEMENT… MARVIN HORNE
- ESTEBAN EL DUCO DE SANTAGUANO … JUDSON LAIRE
- MIGUEL, HIS SON … CHARLES ~AKER
- HUBERT, SERVANT IN THE CHATEAU DE VRIAAC … BILL SWETLAND
SYNOPSIS OF SCENES
The action of the play passes in the main “living-room of Chateau de Vriaac, a few hours from Paris.
PERIOD: Eighteenth Century TIME: Autumn
The Rodney Ackland dramatization of “Crime And Punishment” was set for a December 1947 opening. Boris Marshalove would be working with Lillian at the end of the summer.
To provide summer income, Lillian signed an engagement to play in stock house. Touring with her was Mary MacArthur, the teen-aged daughter of actress Helen Hayes. The vehicle was Noel Coward’s The Marquise (La Marquise), which was set in eighteenth century France and offered good roles for an older woman and a young girl.
The play had but two productions on record: the original London production starring Marie Tempest (for whom the play was written), and an American production the following year.
Stuart Oderman /Lillian Gish: A Life on Stage and Screen