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Saints and Sinners

EJ Phillips cast in 1885-1892

On Nov 7th 1885 "[AM] Palmer presented, under the direction of the author Henry Arthur Jones' fine play Saints and Sinners... [cast members] EM Holland, [CP] Flockton, [William] Davidge and Mrs. Phillips (she so long Palmer's colleague at the Union Square Theatre) were among the best stock actors in America". Saints and Sinners ended its run on  Feb 22nd 1886.   [Odell]

In Saints and Sinners one of J. H. Stoddart's most memorable performances was "the juicy role of Jacob Fletcher, a devoted, self-sacrificing clergyman who refuses to knuckle under to a blackmailing deacon and so destroys his own career by admitting to his flock that his daughter has gone astray.  He suffers through years of poverty and aimless wandering.. and justice is finally meted out...In one of his great moments, as Fletcher is putting the finishing touches on a table he has prepared for his daughter and the man he hopes she will marry, his joy and expectation are shattered by the news that his daughter has eloped with a rakish army officer.   Palmer's excellent supporting players, many of whom, like Stoddart, had worked with him for long seasons at the Union Square Theatre, gave a brilliant ensemble performance."  [Oxford Comp Am Theatre]

Saints and Sinners program, Madison Square Theatre 
week commencing Dec. 21, 1885

 

Another S & S program has the following quote 
Then gently scan your brother man, 
Still gentler, sister woman,
Tho ' they may gang a kenning wrang.
To step aside is human
Burns, Address to the Unco' Guid

In this cast were JH Stoddart, Herbert Kelcey, Louis Massen, WJ Lemoyne, EM Holland, CP Flockton, William Davidge, Frank Drew, Walden Ramsey, Herbert Milward, Mr. MB Hofman, Henry Hogan, Marie Burroughs, Mrs. EJ Phillips, Miss Lizzy Duroy, and Marie Greenwald, and "School Children, Members of Congregation, etc. "Music was under the direction of Frank A. Howson. The sets were designed and painted by Richard Marston.  Also credited were  Matthew Lynch, Master Machinist and Lawrence McGivney, Gas and Lights.   

William LeMoyne self-portrait  “Sam Hoggard”  The “Saint” to E.J.P. “The Sinner”

Playwright Henry Arthur Jones "had great faith in the public's judgment, but in the course of his career this faith was tried on a number of occasions when he made a move to break out of the confinement imposed by popular taste and prejudice.  One such occasion was the production of Saints and Sinners in 1884.  Jones attempted to bring out something superior to the 'cheaper and coarser art of melodrama', but he relied on a frankly melodramatic plot, in which a dissenting minister's daughter runs away with an unscrupulous philanderer, bringing disgrace and ruin to herself and her father. ...   Saints and Sinners was not one of [Jones'] best works, though it had a long, if controversial  London run.  "After Saints and Sinners Jones had a reputation as an unconventional dramatist who daringly exposed folly.  Saints and Sinners began his fight for theatrical freedom of expression, and he published the play in book form -- not standard practice of the time -- in order to give its ideas permanence as serious literature. [Magill]

Saints and Sinners was a commercial success, but to Jones's dismay the opening night was disrupted by the audience's objections to the use of scriptural expressions by unsympathetic characters -- a painful instance of the pious triviality of mind he had grown up with and satirized in the play". [Jackson]

Boston, May 8, 1886 I cannot yet tell you how I shall be able to arrange for [Hattie] visiting you as if I possibly can, I would like to go with her and that will depend upon whether Sealed Instructions will be done or not.  If Saints & Sinners should please the 1st week, I think it's likely they may play it the last week.  If so, I cannot go to see you.

San Francisco, Aug. 21, 1886 Business has been very large this week for Saints & Sinners.  Every seat is taken for today's Matinee.

Salt Lake City, Sept. 14,1886 Last night we opened to a crowded house and that means something here, for the auditorium of the Mormon Theatre is pretty well as large as the Grand Opera House, NY.  Saints & Sinners never went better. ..Thursday we leave at  11:30 AM for Pueblo to play there on Friday night.  Sat night Colorado Springs.  Spend Sunday there.  Monday morning, go to Denver about four hours ride.  Remain there one week.  7 Saints and Sinners go to Kansas City for three nights & Matinee, St Jo on Thursday, Omaha Friday and Saturday.   

Salt Lake City, Sept. 15, 1886 We leave tomorrow 11:30 AM en route to Colorado Springs where we, if on time, are due at 6:50 PM on Saturday - scarcely time to go to hotel before going to theatre to play Saints & Sinners,  Monday AM go to Denver.  I shall not play more than four times in Denver, twice in S[aints] & S[inners] and twice in Our Society, but the last week I shall have to play every night in S[aints] & S[inners].

Denver, Sept. 20 [1886] Arrived from Colorado Springs at 12 noon.  Feel tired and want to rest.  Arrived at Colorado Springs at 9 PM on Saturday and gave a performance of Saints & Sinners, pretty tough work for an old woman. 

Chicago, July 2, 1887 The weather has been very warm for the past week and to-day promises to excel the other days in intensity.  And we have two performances of Saints & Sinners to go through.  Hard on Mr. [JH] Stoddart, his part being very long and he has to wear such heavy old coats. 

Boston, Spring 1888 Things generally are in a muddle.  The plays to be done in San F'co are Saints and Sinners, Partners, Heart of Hearts, Jim the Penman, and another play that A.M. [Palmer] thinks I will not be in.

Wissinoming, June 8, 1890 The heat of the weather being so intense, I was deprived of strength and motion and could not attend to half of the things I wanted to.  I rehearsed on Thursday in Saints & Sinners and on Saturday in Capt Swift.

Tacoma, June 25, 1890  Good Matinee for "Saints & Sinners".  Last night house $1400.

San Francisco, July 8, 1890 We had a splendid house last night, and rec'd very fine receptions, mine being second to none in warmth and enthusiasm.  The papers today speak highly of the performances, but do not seem to care for the play.  We play it all week, and next week Jim - following week Aunt Jack, 4th week S[aints] & S[inners] and the 5th week a repetition of each I suppose.  This is a dull month here.

Omaha, Sept. 12, 1890 Last night we left St Joseph after performance.  We played Saints & Sinners to a very fine house.  Had a nice sleeping car and a section all to myself which is always a great comfort.  I do not play tonight, but do twice tomorrow and leave for Chicago at 12:45 on Sunday Afternoon.  Due in Chicago 7 AM Monday. 

Chicago, Sept, 15, 1890 Hear that AMP[almer] is to be here on Friday when we shall be told something about business I suppose.  Should Aunt Jack not catch on tonight we may have to play Saints & Sinners next week & possibly Capt Swift, so I have to remain here.

Chicago, Sept. 18, 1890 I will not have so easy a time here as I expected, having to play next week in Saints & Sinners.  I have been taking a good rest this week and I needed it for I was not feeling very well, and on Tuesday went to Dr. Ogden to get some medicine.  He said the trouble came from so many changes of food and water.  

Philadelphia, Oct. 7,1890 Aunt Jack this week. Next week Capt Swift, Saints & Sinners and Jim the Penman.  I am in all three plays and we give a Wednesday & Sat Matinee. 

Philadelphia, Oct. 20, 1890 Saints & Sinners being so late on Friday night I could not catch the 1:17 train, so I took a room at the Stratford Hotel,   Broad Street  for the night, and did not return here until after performance of Jim [the Penman] on Saturday night. 

New York, Dec. 24, 1890 I have to tell you that I am going out of the City for four weeks with the Madison Square Co. Two weeks to Phila and two to Boston, so that it will be Feby before I return to New York.  They are afraid A Pair of Spectacles will not be sufficiently strong to run two weeks in those cities, and are going prepared to change the programme for the 2nd week in each place -- doing Jim the Penman, Saints & Sinners, Capt Swift, and Aunt Jack.  Besides it is possible that a new play will be put into rehearsal during our journey, which we shall produce on our return to the City.  

New York, Mar 24, 1891 I told you our season would close about the 1st of May but on going to the theatre last night I was informed through an official notice that the season closes on the 18th of April and the Company leaves on the 19th (Sunday) for Washington DC.  The plays are Jim, Saints & Sinners, Capt Swift, Pharisee, [A Pair of] Spectacles, Sunlight and Shadow.  I was told the "Madison Square" [Theatre] was rented to someone [a production of Martha Morton's The Merchant] for the Summer, hence the sudden change I suppose.  No one seems to like the change, but all have to put up with it. 

Detroit, Dec. 13, 1892  Have had a letter from Maud [Harrison] this Morning.  A.M. [Palmer] takes a company to Boston on the 26th of Decr. They are to open with Saints & Sinners (New play) don't it, eh?  Miss [Julia] Arthur is to play Maud's part.  He has left Maud out in the cold.  Also Mrs. [Agnes] Booth.  Miss [May] Brookyn takes her place in the plays that are to follow.  The engagement is for 4 or 6 weeks, then they are to open in New York with Lady Windermere's Fan.  Glad I did not wait for A.M. P[almer]. 

Bibliography  
Jackson, Russell,  Plays by Henry Arthur Jones, New York : Cambridge University Press, 1982.
Henry Arthur Jones, Saints and Sinners 1891 http://books.google.com/books?id=cDpMAAAAMAAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Saints and Sinners first edition http://tarquintarsbookcase.blogspot.com/2009/02/you-freakish-homunculus-henry-arthur.html
Henry Arthur Jones, Wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Arthur_Jones 

Last revised Feb 15, 2011

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