Frohman, Charles


Frohman, Charles
(1860-1915)
   Born in Sandusky, Ohio, Charles Frohman worked in various capacities in the theatre before succeeding as a producer with Bronson Howard's Shenandoah (1889), a long-running hit acclaimed for introducing a heightened realism and social commentary to the melodrama-inclined commercial theatre. The income from this success permitted Frohman to establish the Empire Theatre stock company with John Drew as its star. Frohman created a stable of young actors who emerged from the company to be exploited by Frohman as stars in touring productions. His "star and combination" system also worked effectively in the English theatre, when Frohman ran the Duke of York Theatre in a similar fashion beginning in 1898. Among the major stars in Froh-man's stable besides Drew were Maude Adams, Arnold Daly, Annie Russell, Margaret Anglin, Julia Marlowe, William H. Crane, Otis Skinner, and Ethel Barrymore.
   Frohman was one of the six businessmen who formed the Theatrical Syndicate in 1896. He continued to produce as many as a dozen new productions a year until his death in the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. Among his notable offerings were Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), William Gillette's Secret Service (1896), J. M. Barrie's The Little Minister (1896) and Peter Pan (1904), and Clyde Fitch's Barbara Frietchie (1899). His brothers, Daniel and Gustave, were also producers.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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