Forgotten Leading Ladies of the American Theatre: Lives of Eight Female Players, Playwrights, Directors, Managers and Activists of the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries by Mary M. Turner (Paperback, 2014)
These eight women made remarkable contributions: Laura Keene challenged tradition in 1858 by heading her own dramatic troupe; her career was ruined by Lincoln's assassination. Mrs. John Drew, a star at 7 who toured until she was 76, was the matriarch of the Barrymore dynasty. Anna Cora Mowatt eloped at 15 with a lawyer more than twice her age, and went on the stage when he lost his fortune. She wrote a play, Fashion, that is still performed 140 years later. Five other women also have fascinating stories of courage and talent: Susanna Haswell Rowson, Sophia Turner, Charlotte Cushman, Fanny Kemble and Minnie Madern Fiske.
Mary M. Turner is a former associate professor and technical design coordinator at Point Park University. A costume designer for more than 300 theatrical productions, she is also the founding executive director of the Smyrna Opera House. She lives in Smyrna, Delaware.