Category Archives: On This Day

Today In History: April 18-19, 1775: “I Set Off Upon a Very Good Horse”

On the night of April 18, into April 19, in 1775, Paul Revere made his famous ride. The spring of 1775 was a tense time. Prominent Bostonians were under constant threat of arrest from the British, and many of them … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Thornton Wilder

Three things about Thornton Wilder: 1. Peter Hunt (once Executive and Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival) relates a story about Thornton Wilder and Nikos Psacharopoulos (founder of Williamstown). Peter Hunt: Directing is sometimes doing nothing, sometimes dowin more … Continue reading

Posted in James Joyce, On This Day, writers | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

“There fell upon the ear the most terrible noise that human beings ever listened to – the cries of hundreds of people struggling in the icy cold water, crying for help with a cry we knew could not be answered.”

– Ruth, “Titanic” survivor On the night of April 14, 1912, 100 years ago, the RMS Titanic of the White Star Line hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank, killing 1,517 people, due to not enough lifeboats for … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Christopher Smart

“I do not think he ought to be shut up. His infirmities were not noxious to society. He insisted on people praying with him; and I’d as lief pray with Kit Smart as anyone else. Another charge was that he … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Marlon Brando: We Can Still Hear That Roar

“You can’t always be a failure. Not and survive. Van Gogh! There’s an example of what can happen when a person never receives any recognition. You stop relating: it puts you outside. But I guess success does that, too. You … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Lon Chaney

In tribute, here are some screen grabs from his beautiful and disturbing performance as the clown Tito, in love with tightrope-walker Simonetta (Loretta Young) in 1928′s Laugh, Clown Laugh. An unforgettable evocation of love, loneliness, and hope, with madness coming … Continue reading

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“Make voyages! — Attempt them! — there’s nothing else …”

Tennessee Williams (Thomas Lanier Williams) was born on this day in Columbus, Mississippi in 1911. Will you do a total stranger the kindness of reading his verse? Thank you! Thomas Lanier Williams – Tennessee Williams, letter to editor Harriet Monroe, … Continue reading

Posted in On This Day, Theatre | Tagged | 5 Comments

On This Day: March 24, 1955

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened on this day, in 1955, in New York. Brooks Atkinson, one of Williams’s staunchest critic supporters, wrote: “[The play seemed] not to have been written. It is the quintessence of life.” The performances … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Henrik Ibsen

James Joyce and Ibsen James Joyce, as a young man, was an enormous fan of Henrik Ibsen, who was doing something very radical and very new with his plays. Here’s an excerpt from Richard Ellmann’s biography in regards to Joyce … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Wilfred Owen

“My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.” Wilfred Owen (now known as one of the best “war poets” of World War I) was born on this day in 1893. He was killed … Continue reading

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