Transformations in Society and the Arts (03:24)
By the 1900s, the Industrial Revolution, rapid urban growth, and the Civil War had forced American society to redefine itself politically, morally, and socially. One family, the Booths, and their acting careers mirror this period.
Edwin Booth: "Prince of Players" (02:53)
In 1918, the Players' Club paid homage to its founder, Edwin Booth, the most extraordinary nineteenth century American actor. Edwin, his performances of Hamlet, and his citizenship gave legitimacy to both acting and the American theater.
Edwin Booth's Acting Style (05:25)
Edwin first modeled the melodramatic style of his father and Edwin Forrest. He soon developed his own inward style, capitalizing on his musical voice and slight frame, thus becoming one of the first actors to personalize his roles and become the character.
John Wilkes Booth (05:02)
John Wilkes Booth and his sister, Asa, idolized each other. As he grew older, Wilkes became more prone to emotional outbursts and involved in politics. The Confederate defeat in the Civil War drove him to assassinate President Lincoln.
Junius Brutus Booth, Sr. (04:33)
Patriarch to a large family, rival to Edmund Kean, and America's first great tragic actor, Junius Brutus Booth, Sr., suffered from erratic behavior and alcoholism. Edwin traveled with him, thus learning the craft from his father and fellow actors.
Edwin Booth's Personal Tragedies and Theater Legacy (05:45)
Edwin's wife, Mary Devlin, was a stabilizing force in his life affected by deep melancholy. The remainder of his life was filled with tragedy--his wife's death, bankruptcy, and his second wife's death--and success, including the Players' Club.
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