The Acosta, Mercedes de


The Acosta, Mercedes de
(1893-1968)
   Born into a milieu of wealth and privilege in New York, the youngest of her parents' eight children had ready access to theatre, even spending a great deal of time in childhood with producer Augustin Daly and his leading lady Ada Rehan. As Robert A. Schanke shows in "That Furious Lesbian": The Story of Mercedes de Acosta, she enjoyed a close friendship with Eva Le Gallienne from 1920, and this inspired her first venture into playwriting. Le Gallienne played the title role in Acosta's Jehanne d'Arc (1922) in Paris. Subsequent plays were Jacob Slovak (1923), The Mother of Christ (1924), World Without End (1925), The Dark Light (1926), and Illusion (1928). While Acosta's flamboyant life may have been her most remarkable achievement, the plays offer heartfelt portraits of women wrestling with spiritual and sensual impulses.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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