Strongheart


Strongheart
   The 1905 play by William C. deMille, opening on 30 January 1905 at New York's Hudson Theatre, became a popular favorite with audiences, was revived in August 1905, and toured to London in 1907. Robert Edeson played Soangataha (Strongheart), a chief's son who excels at football at Columbia University. But after the flag-waving fun and the student slang of act 1, according to the reviewer (New York Times, 31 January 1905), "it turns into a play with a social problem involving the love of a white woman and an Indian. . . . a phase of the sometimes rather tiresome 'race problem.'" Although the girl accepts him over her brother's objections, Soanga-taha finally answers the summons to tribal leadership, along with the stricture that "you no bring the white woman." The London Times review (quoted in the New York Times, 9 May 1907) expressed English bemusement: "The accent of the players is not our accent, their football is not our football, their racial difficulty is not our racial difficulty, the undergraduates are not our undergraduates, the crudity of the play is not the crudity of our plays, and so one spends a pleasant evening amid strange, if rather noisy, surroundings."

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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