I recently heard from Mari Lyn Henry, founder of the Society for the Preservation of Theatrical History which stemmed out of her many years of research and advocacy on behalf of forgotten artists who had a major impact on the development of theatre, especially in New York. It brings together historical scholarship on the people, circumstances and societal forces that shaped the modern era and allows these innovative and important voices to be heard again by today’s audiences.
She wanted to share with me a couple of mementos that she acquired through researching the life and career of Alla Nazimova. This photo and letter come from Harry Ellerbe who started in a 1936 production of Ibsen’s Ghosts.
I’ve never before read a first-hand account of what it was like to work with Nazimova, but I never expected such a glowing account. She really does sound extraordinary…not that I expected anything less.
Harry Ellerbe’s listed on the Broadway Internet Database.