Charles Frohman: Manager and Man, page 131
by Isaac Frederick Marcosson
, as always, one of his supreme ambitions in life was to gratify her every wish, so he announced that he would present her in a special all-star production of "Romeo and Juliet."
Charles Frohman himself was always frank enough to say that he had no great desire to produce Shakespeare. He lived in the dramatic activities of his day. It was shortly before this time that his brother Daniel, entering his office one day, found him reading.
"I am reading a new book," he said; "that is, new to me."
"What is that?" was the query?
"'Romeo and Juliet,'" he replied.
When Maude Adams dropped the rôle of Babbie to assume that of Juliet some people thought the transfer a daring one, to say the least. Even Miss Adams was a little nervous. Not so Frohman. To him Shakespeare was simply a playwright like Clyde Fitch or Augustus Thomas, with the additional advantage that he was dead, and therefore, as there were no royalties to pay, he could put the money into the production.
When Frohman went to rehearsal one day he noticed that the company seemed a trifle nervous.
"What's up?" he asked, abruptly.
Some one told him that the players were fearful lest all the details of the costume and play should not be carried out in strict accordance with history.
"Nonsense!" exclaimed Frohman. "Who's Shakespeare? He was just a man. He won't hurt you. I don't see any Shakespeare. Just imagine you're looking at a soldier, home from the Cuban war, making love to a giggling school-girl on a balcony. That's all I see, and that's the way I want it played. Dismiss all idea of costume. Be modern."
The production of "Romeo and Juliet" was supervised by William Seymour. It was rehearsed in two sections. One half of the cast was in New York, with Faversham and Hackett; the other was on tour with Miss Adams in "The Little Minister." Seymour divided his time between the two wings, with the omnipresent spirit of Frohman over it all.
Miss Adams had made an exha
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