"Sunflower" The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and "African-American Portrait Gallery" playwright, performer, painter, portraits






Video Promo




Broadway, Television, and Film actress Elizabeth Perry
starring in her critically acclaimed one person show

The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Cady Stanton

A funny and touching play about the long, long, struggle beginning in 1848 when Elizabeth Cady Stanton read the first woman's rights protest to an audience gathered in Seneca Falls,most of them to jeer... As a journalist she used the pseudonym 'Sun Flower', mentored Susan B. Anthony, and formed a partnership that shook the nineteenth century!!

"Wife, mother, champion of woman's rights
Who dared to speak out for women when no one would!"





A one-person play written and performed by
Elizabeth Perry

directed by
Anita Khanzadian

Watch the Promo Now!

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Elizabeth Perry is available to launch your special event with a dynamic and entertaining twenty minute excerpt from her full length play which includes the famous "Declaration of Sentiments"




I call my one-person play "Sun Flower" because it was the pseudonym Elizabeth Cady Stanton used when she was a fledgling joumalist and perhaps a bit shy in expressing her progressive ideas about a woman's place in society. At the time I sat down to write "Sun Flower" Elizabeth Cady Stanton had been sadly overlooked. Her courage and determination had inspired a century and a half of women to pursue not only suffrage but a broad spectrum of equal rights for themselves. I felt strongly that an introduction to Elizabeth Cady Stanton's life would be an inspirational and illuminating experience for a modern audience.

"Sun Flower" doesn't play up or down to any level of sophistication. It's just a good story. In it I play twenty characters including Mrs. Stanton, her busband, her family members, her friends, including her partner and prodigee Susan B. Anthony, as well as some others who were not so friendly.

Elizabeth Cady married the famous abolitionist Henry Brewster Stanton in 1840. An abolitionist herself, she was a loyal friend to many prominent activists of the nineteenth century. In "Sun Flower" you will meet Emerson, Thoreau, Sojourner Truth, Lucretia Mott, and Frederick Douglass, the great African-American orator and journalist.

"Sun Flower" explores Elizabeth Cady Stanton's childhood, her love story, and the pursuasive wit and incisiveness that led to her national fame as a journalist and activist. People from all economic and educational levels, people who vaguely recall their mothers' struggles, people who are already dedicated fans, academics from diverse concentrations who may not have focused on the reform movements of the nineteenth century, men and women of all ages ... leave with a more sympathetic perspective of women.


Hillary Clinton, Ana Roosevelt, Elizabeth Perry

 Hillary Clinton, Anna Roosevelt and Elizabeth Perry

In 1998 Elizabeth Perry gave the Declaration of Sentiments in Seneca Falls before an enthusiastic crowd estimated at over 10,000. CNN featured it with their report on Hillary Clinton's speech.

Engagements include:

  • Debut: Johnstown Colonial Theatre, N.Y. Stanton's birthplace
  • Homegrown Theatre - New York City
  • Arena Theatre's Vat Playhouse - Washington, DC
  • John Houseman Studio Theatre, NYC -- Produced by the American Renaissance Theatre with a generous grant from Bell South.
  • West Virginia Nurses Association, Carnegie Hall, Lewisburg, Virginia
  • Southern Conference of Professional Women sponsored by Bell South, Rialto Theatre, Atlanta
  • Univeristy of Alabama/Huntsville
  • Governor Pataki's Summit for Young Women, Albany, New York
  • Baird Auditorium, Smithsonian - Washington, DC
  • University of Arkansas, Little Rock
  • American Nurses Association National Convention, Indianapolis
  • Mills College, Oakland, California
  • Johnstown, New York - return engagement - County Business and Professional Women
  • Riverside Theatre/Theatre Guild in Vero Beach, Florida
  • Saint Francis College, Brooklyn
  • Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Florida
  • Williams Island Resident Association, Aventura, Florida
  • United Congregational Church of Hollywood, Florida
  • United Congregational Church of Cornwall, Ct.
  • Bucks County Community College, Pa.
  • Migrant Education Program, Kennett Square, Pa.
  • Blake Library, Stuart, Florida

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 “A warm human portrayal …A tribute not only to Elizabeth Cady Stanton but to the actress herself.” 


New York City
Dec. 3 1999.


Reviewed by Irene Backalenick

Presented by the American Renaissance Theater Company and the National Women’s History Museum at the John Houseman Studio Theatre, 450 W.42nd St. NYC

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the 19th century leader of the women’s rights movement, has received considerable recognition of  late.  Hardly known beyond feminist circles until recently, she is now the darling of film and television.  Noteworthy among such tributes is “Sunflower”, a one-woman play that has just gone into full schedule at the John Houseman Studio Theatre.  Written and performed by Elizabeth Perry, the show is a tribute not only to Stanton, but to the actress herself. 

One-person shows can be tiresome, especially when they focus on a legendary figure, often degenerating into a history lesson dominated by facts and dates.  But Perry’s spirited characterization is a warm, human portrayal, concentrating more on the inner woman than the public persona.  Stanton’s flaws and insecurities are on display as much as her remarkable strength, intelligence, and determination.  Even while she concerns herself with women’s disenfranchisement, she constantly indulges in sweets.  Her love for her children is interspersed with impatient outbursts.

Perry the researcher has done her homework carefully and thoroughly.  But on stage the gifted actress takes over. With considerable flair, Perry carries us through Stanton’s long life, from a rebellious, outspoken girl, through her impassioned courtship and marriage, her giving birth to seven children, her growing concern with women’s oppression, and ultimately her emergence as the grand dame of the suffragist movement.  Along the way, Perry skillfully offers the parade of men and women who cross Stanton’s path.  It is a cast of hundreds it would seem, but it is all Perry.  Her energy never flags, nor does her ability to switch roles in an instant as she tells Stanton’s tale.  Certainly, we need to be reminded of the existence of such visionary historical figures.  But how fortunate when the discourse goes down as easily as one of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s beloved “daisy creams”.




Tuesday, November 30, 1999

The New York Times

Sun Flower:  The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Theatre Events: Drama

The intent of this eloquent one-woman show, an admiring portrait of suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, is to demonstrate that the fight for women’s rights a hundred years ago remains remarkably contemporary.  Written by and starring Elizabeth Perry, it presents the reformer’s life in flashback, on a simple set adorned with just a lectern and some chairs.

The play is history lite, and events are necessarily folded into each other and simplified.  Famous faces make cameo appearances – Frederick Douglass, Thoreau, Amelia Bloomer, Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth – in a particularly moving segment about the compromise which pushed racial equality to the forefront at the expense of sexual equality. – David Mackler



“A Brilliant tour de force … an amazingly human monologue”

The New Voice of New York   January 20th – 26th 2000


By Marjorie Gunner

“Sun Flower” at the John Houseman Studios is a brilliant tour de force acted and written by Elizabeth Perry.  Fascinated by history, Ms. Perry has shaped the life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton to suit her considerable talents.  From an upbringing among abolitionists Stanton helped slaves escape to Canada and with the help of Susan B. Anthony, she worked unceasingly for women’s rights through the births of seven children. 

  At the age of 87, she wrote to Teddy Roosevelt urging him to support women’s right to vote. But not till 17 years later was the 19th Amendment finally ratified by one crucial vote due to a note from a young congressman’s mother saying, “Son, do the right thing.”

  Ms. Perry instills the passionate ongoing love affair she had over the years with her husband, the famous abolitionist Henry Brewster Stanton.  She plays all the parts of this amazingly human monologue citing without ever sounding preachy the difficult barriers and ridicule she endured to push her beliefs.  One’s interest never flags.  This is the way history should be taught.  Bravo!





Elizabeth Perry as Elizabeth Cady Stanton

by William Triplett

  ‘In many ways the one-person play is something of a misfit.  Lacking multiple actors with conflicting objectives to creat e and drive the action, the enterprise depends as much on the actor’s ability to tell a story as to act it.  Indeed “one-person play” almost seems a contradiction in terms.

  But in the right hands, it can transport you out of your seat and into a world somehow unfolding right in front of you, courtesy of a bravura performance … Elizabeth Perry delivers such a performance in “Sun Flower”, a solo piece she has written about the life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the 19th century co-founder of the woman’s suffrage movement.  The play opened Tuesday as an independent production in Arena’s Stage’s Old Vat Room.

  Perry and director Anita Khanzadian take us on an impressionistic ride through Stanton’s life via a series of scenes and vignettes.  Appearing also at different times are about two dozen other characters, all of whom Perry acts out.

   A virtuoso down to the way she mimes the eating of candy, Perry infuses her heroine with exuberance, intelligence, wit and vulnerability, all of which bring color to the hard outlines of Stanton’s determined and outspoken character.  With a sure hand Khanzadian ultimately brings out the nobility of that character.  When, for example, the suffragist decides near the end to run for Congress - for a woman in the last century, a losing proposition if there ever was one - she declares, “I know I can’t win but I have much to say and I will  be heard!”  As Perry speaks the line, it’s both an acceptance of and a challenge to reality.

  A veteran stage, screen and television actress, Perry acts each (character) with superb skill … There’s no doubt Perry knows how to make history come alive.’






Theatre / Nelson Pressley

Elizabeth Perry’s Stanton Makes

‘Sun Flower’ a Winner

“I wish you were a boy,” Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s father told her when she was young.

  Luckily, the lass didn’t let that potentially traumatizing gender put-down keep her from great things.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the subject of writer-performer Elizabeth Perry’s one-woman “Sun Flower” (directed by Anita Khanzadian), went on to become the founder of the women’s suffrage movement.

  The drama, which is playing at Arena Stage’s Old Vat Theater for two weeks before heading off-Broadway (where it has not yet secured a theater), is told in flashback style.  We meet Stanton on her 80th birthday. (Susan B. Anthony introduces her.)  Stanton begins a speech, but her mind quickly reels back to her childhood experiences, in which she repeatedly learned about the privileges accorded to boys.  From there, the story spins through the rest of Stanton’s unconventional, productive, happy life.

  Information tumbles out of Miss Perry’s play as the actress nimbly guides us through the people and places of Stanton’s life.  We meet the bold, intellectually lively young Elizabeth, who meets her soul mate and future husband in Henry Brewster Stanton (an abolitionist crusader who has a gift for saying exactly the right thing to this independent woman). 

  We watch Elizabeth find her orating style, take a shy, squeaky-voiced Susan B. Anthony under her wing, raise seven children and become a grand old lady of the suffragist movement.  Along the way, we hear of encounters with the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass and Henry David Thoreau; we even hear Sojourner Truth speak up at one of the suffragist sessions.

  Miss Perry glides confidently through the material, taking on different personas with ease and arguing like a champion when Stanton’s cause is on the line.  “Sun Flower” is a loving and instructive portrait … Stanton’s life was undoubtedly packed with battles, yet the theatrical edge in “Sun Flower” resides entirely in Miss Perry’s performance … Miss Perry functions more than ably within the genre, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton is certainly a woman worth knowing.’





Gloversville, Johnstown, N.Y. Saturday June 8 1996

Elizabeth Perry shines as Elizabeth Cady Stanton
    By Dianne Nevich
        The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN – (Mrs. Stanton’s birthplace) - From the moment she hobbles out from the rear of the theatre on two canes, Elizabeth Perry dominates the stage in her portrayal of Johnstown native Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Perry shone in Friday’s performance of “Sun Flower” at Colonial Little Theatre, a one-woman interpretive play based on the life of the famous suffragette.

The play is being sponsored by the Johnstown Historical Society in conjunction with Colonial Little Theatre, as a fundraiser for both groups.

Not at all stuffy, Perry makes a dry dusty figure from the history books come alive.  Wry, humorous touches, like Stanton’s penchant for sweets or Jaunty remarks out of the side of her mouth, make her seem like a real and likeable person.

A heaping dose of history is presented, spanning a time from Stanton’s childhood in Johnstown to the celebration of Stanton’s 80th birthday at the t(then brand new) Metropolitan Opera House.  The play consists of  An amazing and expressive performance is delivered by Perry, who plays around 20 characters – in the same breath switching from Stanton to her Irish maid to the stern Judge Cady.

Interesting and thoughtful, Perry must be admired for her non=stop performance. A very talented actor, all she needs to do is raise the crook of her elbow to transform herself into a harried mother with newborn and several little ones clutching her skirts.

The simple stage is very effective – a few chairs, a table and oil lamp. Perry spends most of most of the play wearing a long black dress with jet burrons, a white crocheted collar and brooch, although she does reveal her shocking “bloomer” outfit for a bit.

But not only did Perry, an experienced Broadway and television actress, act in “Sun Flower”, she also researched the material and wrote the two-act play.

Local residents will catch familiar references, since a large portion of the first act is set in Johnstown.

The play is directed by Anita Khanzadian, who has directed many productions in New York and Los Angeles.

Perry, who lives in New York City, got interested in Stanton as part of another, broader project on women suffragettes.  She continued to do research, and eventually wrote the screenplay for Sun Flower, which she has performed in front of small audiences and the American renaissance Theater in New York, which she helped co-found in 1975.

 “Frankly, I had written it as a dramatic vehicle for myself out of my intense identification with the character,” she said. “In my zeal to fulfill the artistic merits of the piece as writer and performer, I didn’t fully realize how relevant Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s thinking remain to this day.  A vast audience of all descriptions is still grappling with many of the same problems.”

The public still has a chance to see “Sun Flower” with performances scheduled for 7p.m. tonight and 2p.m. Sunday.  Tickets can be purchased at the box office of Colonial Little Theatre.





The Recorder

Saturday, June 8, 1996  Amsterdam, N.Y.

Play captures the essence of the suffrage movement

Recorder News Staff

JOHNSTOWN – Actress/playwright Elizabeth Perry has expertly captured the essence of Women’s Suffrage founder Elizabeth Cady Stanton and all the people in her life.

  Perry’s one –woman play, Sun Flower, opened Friday night at the Colonial Little theatre in the play’s public theatrical debut.  The play continues today at 7p.m. and Sunday at 2p.m.

  From Stanton’s 80th birthday celebration in New York City to Johnstown to Seneca Falls back to New York and a half a dozen places in between, Perry not only took on the role of Stanton herself, but some 25-odd other characters that were all important to Stanton’s fight for women’s equality.

  The play starts with Stanton appearing in front of thousands of people all out to wish her a happy birthday.  While speaking to the crowd, Perry cast away the canes and the shawl of an 80 year old woman to become an outspoken child in a home where her eldest brother has just died.  It was then the audience captured the pain Stanton must have felt a century and a half ago when she heard her grief-stricken father say “I wish you were a boy” to his beloved daughter.

  Throughout Stanton’s childhood to early womanhood to old age, Perry showed an Elizabeth Cady Stanton who was torn between her love for her family and her love for her cause.  Unlike the stereotypes feminists have battled throughout history, Perry also showed an Elizabeth Cady Stanton who was very much a 100 percent, undiluted all-American woman, “The grand old lady of America”.

  A woman split with her responsibilities became the theme of the two-hour performance, as Perry switched characters back and forth deliberately and with such ease, it was easy to follow which character she took on.

  As the audience was brought back to the celebration in New York, Perry gave a Shakespearean-like soliloquy that really made the crowd believe they were in 1895, when women were close but still were not treated as equals, capped by a booming “BUT WE STILL DO NOT HAVE THE VOTE” capturing the very essence that made Stanton who she is.

  Kudos must also go out to David Paul, who magically worked the lighting to aid the mood Perry set so well for the entire two-hour show.




Sun Flower is a two act play with a ten minute intermission. It can, however, be presented very successfully in a one act, one hour version. In addition, Elizabeth Perry is available to launch your special event with a dynamic and entertaining twenty minute excerpt from her full length play which includes the famous 'Declaration of Sentiments'

Judy Kaplan, Organizer for "Women Speak Out Now" event at Florida Atlantic University.
Your performance was wonderful. You managed to play so many characters and yet, as a viewer, I had no trouble knowing who was speaking! Your presentation really set the stage for the event. Thank you so much."

Gonzalee Ford, President of SPBC Chapter of NOW
"Elizabeth Perry's performance of Elizabeth Cady Stanton brought tears to my eyes and really fired me up for the work we all have ahead of us..."

Ann E. W. Stone, National Chairman, Republicans for Choice
"Your performance in Sun Flower took my breath away. I felt like I had a front row seat watching history as it unfolded. In fact I enjoyed it so much I have now seen it at least 6 or 7 times and each time I am amazed that I notice something new that I missed the time before! Thank you for creating this piece about this revolutionary woman whose courage and vision not only shook up the 19th century but shaped the future of the 20th and 21st as well."


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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

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."



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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Other work by playwright Elizabeth Perry...

African-American Portrait Gallery

Polished Portraits


The African American Portrait Gallery was originally written and directed by Elizabeth Perry for award winning actor Larry Robinson, whose rich base voice is reminiscent of the noted singer/actor/activist Paul Robeson.

The play reaches across ethnic and demographic lines to delight and inform audiences from school-age children to adults and is now available as a playscript for other performers.

In 2007 Mr. Robinson played to enthusiastic audiences of more than 12,000, sponsored largely by corporations and foundations, especially during African American History Month performing nearly every day at universities, schools, libraries, churches, and homeless centers from South Florida to Boston.



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Elizabeth Perry studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, The New School, at UCLA, and privately with Arnold Shiffrin and Greg Flinn. She has had two one person shows at the Tiglietto Gallery in Kent, Ct, and has been a prize winner at the Broward Art Guild, Artserve, and the Glass Gallery in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Her history painting, "Nine Eleven" is on permanent exhibition at the City Hall in Pembroke Pines. She is also a produced playwright and has acted extensively on Broadway. She has toured America with her one person play on the suffragist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and has recently been concentrating joyfully on painting.




 "Courage" - the historical series

MOZART ON THE MOON ? First in the series, 'Courage', this 4'X5' oil on canvas commemorates the 1969 landing of the astronauts on the rocky surface of the moon and leaves behind a phantom harpsichordist. (privately owned)



NINE/ELEVEN ? Second in the series, ?Courage?, this 4'X5' oil on canvas is a tribute to the courage of the victims who in the final exercise of life reached out to others, transforming tragedy to the perfection of the human soul.

"Nine Eleven" is presently on loan to the
City of Pembroke Pines and is displayed in theGlass Gallery of the Pembroke Pines City Hall, Florida - The Commissioners' Meeting Room



Third in the series, ?Courage?,
this 3'X4' oil on canvas honors the unerring contribution of American women to the growth of our society despite total disfranchisement from 1776 to 1920. Ms. Perry's play, ?Sun Flower? based on the life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton has toured America and been featured on NPR and CSPAN. Ms. Perry was specially invited to perform her one woman play at the president's millenium celebration in Washington, DC.



Detail of Elizabeth Cady Stanton painting



THE LONG MARCH ? Fourth in the series 'Courage', this 3'X4' oil on canvas was inspired by Jean Batiste Carpeaux's 1868 sculpture, ?Pourquoi naite esclave?? (Why born slave?) which is in the Hirschorn Museum in Washington, DC. It depicts the African/American journey from the cotton fields to Martin Luther Kings Freedom march to Selma, Alabama in 1965 as well as the aftermath of the Civil War in Charleston, South Carolina. Ms. Perry's one man play, ?The African American Portrait Gallery? is presently touring South Florida."












Germany, 1938-39

Fifth in Perry's Courage Series. With the destruction of Jewish synagogues and property and Jews being taken to the camps, desperate parents sent their children to England for safety. Very few of the children ever saw their parents again.

Oil on canvas - 5 ft X 4 ft
















Aside from her Historical series 'Courage' featured above, Elizabeth accepts commissions for oil portraits of which there are samples below.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the paintings you see on this site or giclee copies of them, or if you are desirous of commissioning an original oil portrait, you may contact Elizabeth at her email address. She can fulfill your request for any size painting starting at 8"X10" at $300. Perhaps you have an heirloom photo, a favorite picture of your pet, photos of children and other family members. Any request will be considered. An oil portrait is not only a deeply personal gift, but a treasure to be handed down to succeeding generations.

Live modeling session in workshop.

Painting entitled "Seaman" -16" X 20" - "O7




"Mary on Hollywood Beach" -- oil on canvas 9" 12" -- 2009


"Nerissa with Flowers in the Ruins of Charleston" - 16" X 20" - 07




 "Broadway Actress in the Tropics - Ruby in her 80's" - 16"X 20" - 07


"Marsha and Gomez at Tea" - 16" X 20" - 09



"David at Work" - 16" X 20" - 07 


 "Howey, the Mayor of Maple Grove" - 2008



 "Annette holding Gibran" - 18"X24" oil on canvas "06



"Camilla" - watercolor on paper- 14"X20" - 07



"Heather with Little Katherine" - 8"X10"- oil on canvas 2009  


"All Flower paintings, oil on canvas, 8"X10" -
Giclees available on stretched canvas, enhanced and signed by the artist. $45.00"


Flowers 1


Flowers 2



Flowers 3


Flowers 4



Flowers 5


Flowers 6





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