Elizabeth Perry, Performer
Elizabeth Perry (Actor/Playwright) began her career with a Helen Hayes Award Scholarship to the American Theatre Wing presented by Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur. At a young age she appeared with Paul Muni and Ed Begley in Inherit the Wind, was Polly Peachum in The Three Penny Opera, created the role of Catherine Howard in Royal Gambit, and played Allison in Look Back in Anger, and Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in summer stock before going to Hollywood, where she starred in numerous TV classics such as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and Outer Limits, as well as in the West Coast premieres of The Great God Brown, The Balcony, The Collection, and Touch of the Poet. (pictured: Elizabeth Perry as Elizabeth Cady Stanton.)
On her return to New York, under the artistic direction of Ellis Rabb and Jack O'Brien, with the APA Phoenix Repertory at New York's Lyceum Theatre and at the APA base in Ann Arbor, she played Lady Macbeth, The Player Queen in Hamlet, Eliante in The Misanthrope,Verenanda in Chronicles of Hell, The Little Queen in The King Dies, and Woman in Beckett's Play.
On Broadway, Ms. Perry played opposite George C. Scott in the hit revival of Present Laughter, in 84 Charing Cross Road, The Women, and in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. Off-Broadway she played in Isn't it Romantic, A Perfect Ganesh, The Chairs, and Fefu and Her Friends, among many other outstanding productions. Her regional credits include Painting Churches, The Subject Was Roses, Midsummer Night's Dream, The Farm, Peer Gynt, Glass Menagerie, Steel Magnolias, and On Golden Pond.
On television she has played major roles on Kate and Allie , Another World, As the World Turns, Nurse, and MacDowell’s Ride, a historical drama for PBS made at WGBS Boston. Previously in her Hollywood years she guest starred on numerous TV classics such as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and Outer Limits.
She is a winner of the Villager Award for her performance in "A Difficult Borning". She is co-founder with the late Robert Elston of the American Renaissance Theater Company. 'Sun Flower' debuted in Mrs. Stanton's birthplace, Johnstown NY, has played in the Capitol Rotunda, the Senate Building, at Governor Pataki's Summit for Young Women, at the Washington Arena's Old Vat Theatre, in New York at the Neighborhood Playhouse, the Homegrown and Houseman Theatres, at the Celebration of Women's Rights in Seneca Falls, and at the invitation of the White House for the Millennium Celebration in Washington, DC.
She has performed as Elizabeth Cady Stanton on CNN, CSPAN, CNBC, NYI, and NPR She has appeared in 'Sun Flower' from Palm Springs to Alabama. She has even played Carnegie Hall (in West Virginia) and Vegas!
Philip Roses (Ms. Perry's recently deceased producer) made his Broadway producing debut with Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sidney Poitier which won the Drama Critics Award. He also produced the film. He has been involved as director, producer and/or author of many Broadway plays including The Owl and the Pussycat , Broadway's first venture into non-traditional casting, Purlie Victorious, and Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? with Al Pacino. Among his musical productions are Purlie for which he received three Tony's (director, producer, and co-author) and Shenandoah starring John Cullum which received six Nominations and two Tony Awards. He directed the TV production of Purlie, receiving the ACE and Silver Awards from the International Film and TV Festival of New York. Mr. Rose was the Executive Producer of the Disney film, The Cemetery Club starring Ellen Burstyn and the independent film starring F. Murray Abraham and Eric Roberts, By the Sword.
Mr. Rose’s excellent book “You Can’t Do That on Broadway” is available in stores and on line and also featured in libraries and schools in Theatre and African American Studies departments, a book memorable for his unflagging dedication to the causes he has always believed in.
He recently has been receiving rave reviews for his theatrical memoir published by Limelight Editions, "You Can't Do that on Broadway! - Raisin in the Sun and other Theatrical Improbabilities'. a book "most memorable for his unflagging dedication to the causes he has always believed in, so often reflected in the plays he produced." Recently he was honored at the Majestic Theatre for his outstanding contributions to the American theatre and nontraditional casting
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in 1815 and married a like mind, the abolitionist Henry Brewster Stanton, in 1841. While raising seven children, she was a fledgling journalist for Amelia Bloomer's 'The Lily' under the pseudonym "Sun Flower" and a full-fledged journalist under her own name for Horace Greeley's 'New York Tribune'. While at the international abolitionist convention in London in 1841, Elizabeth was stunned that her fellow abolitionists refused to allow women to speak, especially the most admired Lucretia Mott. There the two women formed a friendship which led to Elizabeth's authoring and delivering The Declaration of (Women's) Sentiments', at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. Elizabeth, her Cousin Libby Smith, and Amelia Bloomer united in popularizing women's trousers, later called Bloomers. A mentor to Susan B. Anthony, the women formed a lasting partnership for the recognition of women's rights, the consequence of which resonates into the twentieth century. She died in 1902 never having achieved her dream of the vote for women. The nineteenth amendment granting women their inalienable right to vote was finally ratified in 1920 by one crucial vote. A young Senator from Tennessee who was planning to vote otherwise received a note from his mother which said, "Son, do the right thing."
FAREWELL TO MY DEAR PHILIP
Philip Rose, Daredevil Broadway Producer Who Advanced Liberal Causes, Dies at 89
By Robert Simonson
02 Jun 2011
|Philip, my dear friend and producer died Tuesday, May 31st 2011 and left a big hole in my heart and in the hearts of so many. He was a gentle man and a strong social voice in the arts. Elizabeth Perry
Philip Rose, a Broadway producer who bet?and sometimes won?on unlikely theatrical projects, including several works that advanced the cause of African-American stage artists?most famously the original production of Raisin in the Sun died May 31 in Englewood, NJ. He was 89.
Small, scrappy and politically courageous, Mr. Rose's producing ethos was aptly captured by the title of his memoir, "You Can't Do That on Broadway." Lorraine Hansberry's Raisin in the Sun made history in 1959 as the first Broadway drama written by, directed by and mainly starring African-American artists. It astounded the theatre community by becoming a hit and running more than a year.
He went on to produce Purlie Victorious, a comedy by actor Ossie Davis, about a black Southern preacher in the Jim Crow South who wants to build a church for his congregation; The Owl and the Pussycat, a romantic comedy by Bill Manhoff that daringly starred the interracial couple of Alan Alda and Diana Sands; Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?, a drama that introduced a young Al Pacino to theatre audiences; Purlie, a musical version of Davis' play; and Shenandoah, a Civil War-set musical that starring John Cullum that ran for more than 1,000 performances.
Short and slight, Mr. Rose was nevertheless a man of driving confidence. "He never thought of himself as diminutive either in size or in ambition," said Merle Debuskey, his publicist of many ventures, including Raisin. "He would play tennis as if he were Pancho Gonzales and shoot pool with the confidence of Willie Hoppe." A gambler in outlook and in practice, he would have his stage manager call him at his weekly poker game with playwright Neil Simon to read off the grosses of whatever show he was producing at the time.
Mr. Rose was a music publisher with no track record as a producer when he attended a casual reading of Raisin in the Sun in the Greenwich Village apartment of Hansberry and instantly insisted on bringing the play to Broadway. He had one ace in the hole; he knew actor Sidney Portier, who agreed to take the lead role. Portier recommended an old acting school friend, Lloyd Richards, to direct. The cast was filled with actors who would become stars later on: Claudia McNeil, Louis Gossett, Diana Sands, Douglas Turner, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.
Still, theatre owners and backers wouldn't touch the property. The only African-American shows to succeed at the box office until then had been musicals. With no theatre to put his play in, Mr. Rose took Raisin out of town. New Haven reviews were positive, and weekend sales were strong, particularly within the black community. A four-week stand in Philadelphia followed, again with great notices and strong box office. Yet, Broadway was silent. Finally, the Shubert Organization sent down a emissary, a man named Jack Small, to check the show out. Backstage, after the show, Small offered Mr. Rose the Barrymore Theatre, but only after another run at the Shubert Theatre in Chicago. Mr. Rose jumped on the chance. The drama was later nominated for a Tony Award as Best Play.
Bringing in the longest of long shots, Mr. Rose was thereafter addicted to taking chances. Often this resulted in a flop. His follow-up to Raisin, a play called Semi-Detached, ran less than a week in 1960. Also quickly forgotten were 1963's The Heroine and 1964's Nobody Loves an Albatross. But when he hit his mark, the results could be memorable. In the late '60s, he decided Purlie Victorious, the Ossie Davis play he had produced in 1961, would make a good musical. He tried to get Frank Loesser to write the score, but eventually hired one of Loesser's proteges, Peter Udell, and Gary Geld, with whom Udell had written the pop hit "Sealed With a Kiss." The show opened in 1970, ran for 688 performances, and made stars of Cleavon Little and Melba Moore, both of whom won Tony Awards.
Geld and Udell also wrote the score for Shenandoah, which opened in 1974 and was an even bigger success. Mr. Rose's decidedly liberal bent shown through in most of his productions?many of which he also directed?and the musical was no exception. Though set in the Civil War, many critics identified its subject as the Vietnam War. John Cullum played a pacifist Virginian who wants no part of the conflict. Nonetheless, the war tears apart his family. Cullum won a Tony Award for his portrayal, as did James Lee Barrett, Udell and Rose for the book, which was based on the 1965 film written by Barrett.
Shenandoah was Mr. Rose's last great success. Kings, The Trip Back Down, Angel, My Old Friends, and Comin' Uptown, all produced in the 1970s, failed to find an audience. Mr. Rose fared no better in the next decade, with Amen Corner, Late Nite Comic and Checkmates all closing quickly. In 1989, he revived Shenandoah, but it ran only a month. After Truly Blessed and The Cemetery Club in 1990, Mr. Rose's Broadway activity ceased.
Philip Rosenberg was born Jul 4, 1921, on the Lower East Side of New York to Russian Jewish parents. His family moved to Washington, D.C. during the Great Depression. There, he began working for many of the local stores in the area, and became acquainted with the black neighborhoods of Washington.
"I was only 16 with no skills and took this job of collecting 50 cents or a dollar a week for the credit department stores. They sold to the black community who lived in slums just blocks from the capitol," he later recalled. "So I ended up going into people's homes. Where I was born, I never had occasion to meet black people. In Washington, I was scared, but after a while I was accepted by some of the families and made many friends. I was from a poor background, too?one of five children?and we had discussions about our lives. I learned so much from them about gospel music and jazz. Washington was a very segregated city, but we found ways to go out together. That experience changed my life."
The experience would later inform which plays he chose to back. "Both in the theatre and in real life, Phil fought for what he believed in and believed what he fought for," said Steven Suskin, a theatre historian who worked as a stage manager on several of Mr. Rose's Broadway productions. "He was at the same time a fighter and a gentle man."
He moved to New York in 1945. While acting in a Gilbert & Sullivan company, he met actress Doris Belack, who became his wife. She survives him.
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