1916 Season

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1916 Season
Manager(s) Joseph W. and Will J. Dusenbury
a.k.a. Dusenbury Brothers
The Olentangy Park Company
Opening Day April 23, 1916 (open Sundays)
April 30, 1916
May 28, 1916 (open daily)
Stock Manager Fred Kimball
Band(s) Philip Cincione's Band
Carbone's Dance Orchestra
Selby Orchestra

Olentangy Park's 1916 season opened first on Easter Sunday, April 23, 1916, with Philip Cincione's band providing afternoon and evening open-air concerts and Carbone's Dance Orchestra playing music for the Dancing Pavilion.[1][2] Due to bad weather, the park held a second opening a week later on April 30, 1916.[3] More than 5,000 people visited the park during the first opening despite the poor weather.[4] A week later, on April 30, there was an attendance of over 20,000 visitors.[5] Similar to past years, the park was only open on Sundays until May when it went to daily operation until Labor Day. The park's managers were J.W. and W.J. Dusenbury.[1][2] Fred Kimball and his stock company, headed by Frances Ring and Albert Roscoe, began performing on May 29 with the opening play, "Under Cover."[6][7]

Until May 28, the park was open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. with a double orchestra (Carbone-Selby) playing continuous music in the Dancing Pavilion from 2 p.m. until close.[8] After May 28, the park was open every day until Labor Day, September 4, before returning to being open only on Sundays and ultimately closing for the season only a week later on September 10.[9][10]

The Dusenbury Brothers repaired their constructed dam across Olentangy Park in July to help raise the river waters to be more enjoyable for canoeing and boating.[11]

Rides and Attractions

List of Rides and Attractions

Activities

List of Activities

Music Performances

Philip Cincione's orchestra provided afternoon and evening open-air concerts and for many theater performances.

Orchestra Members[12]

  • First Violin/Leader: Maurice Sharr
  • Second Violin: Mr. Thorne
  • Piano: Ed Lee
  • Bass: R. Losch
  • Clarinet: Alphonse Cincione
  • Clarinet: O. Mannestroon
  • Cornet: Frank Carbone
  • Trombone: Philip [or Philipe] Cincione
  • Horn: L. Manaco
  • Cello: Mr. Kank
  • Drum: Mr. De Bloom

Theater Performances

Olentangy stock, managed by Fred Kimball and headed by Frances Ring and Albert Roscoe, began performing on May 29.[6][7] Matinee shows were generally 25 cents (about $6.40 in 2022) and night shows ranged from 25 cents to 50 cents ($12.80 in 2022). There were many contest and free shows as well. Reservations were able to be made at Olentangy Park and The Grand, another Columbus theater.

Members

The Olentangy stock company included:

  • Fred Kimball, manager
  • George Farren, director[13][14]
  • Frances Ring, headliner actress
  • Albert Roscoe, headliner actor, later known as Alan Roscoe
  • Alleta Servoss, actress[15]
  • Kenneth Tooll [or Tooil], actor[16]
  • Burke Clark, actor[17]
  • George Tilton, actor[13]
  • Stewart Fox, actor[13] - sometimes spelled Stuart Fox
  • Sidney Mather, actor[18]
  • Edith Shayne, actress[18]
  • Oscar Wilde, actor[19]
  • Beatrice Prentice, actress[19]
  • Leonora Von Ottinger, actress[18]
  • Constance Mollineux, actress[20]
  • E. Raymond Black, stage carpenter[14]

Dispatch Contest

There were two pages of ads in the May 21 issue of the Columbus Sunday Dispatch with pieces in 23 ads when put together makes the photo of France Ring.[21] Readers who complete this puzzle could send them in to Dispatch with the advertisers' information to be entered into a contest with the following prizes:

  • First place prize - One entire box for the first performance and two season box seat tickets, a $34 value ($920 in 2022 dollars)
  • Second, third, and fourth place prizes - One entire box for the first performance and two season orchestra seat tickets, a $20 value ($451 in 2022)
  • Fifth place prize - Two season orchestra seat tickets, a $15 value ($406 in 2022 dollars)
  • 15 other winners a varying amount of orchestra seat tickets for the first performance, ranging from $1 - $3 ($27 - $81 in 2022)

Performances

Dates Performance Writer Genre Headliners Notes
May 29 - June 3, 1916 "Under Cover" Roi Cooper Megrue Drama Frances Ring and Albert Roscoe [6][7][21][22]
June 5 - 10, 1916 "The Marriage Game" Anne Crawford Flexner Comedy '' [23]
June 12 - 17, 1916 "The Woman" William C. deMille (as Cecil De Mille) Drama '' Directed by David Belasco.
June 19 - 25, 1916 "Kick In" Willard Mack Drama '' [15][24]
June 26 - July 1, 1916 "The Man on the Box" '' [25]
July 3 - 8, 1916 "Leah Kleschna" C.M.S. McLellan Drama '' [18]
July 10 - 15, 1916 "The Man from Home" Newton Booth Tarkington (as Booth Tarkington) Comedy '' [26][27]
July 17 - 22, 1916 "Marely Mary Ann" '' [28][29]
July 24 - 29, 1916 "A Pair of Sixes" '' [30]
July 31 - August 4, 1916 "The Rule of Three" Comedy '' [31]
August 6 - 11, 1916 "The Girl with the Green Eyes" '' [32]
August 13 - 18, 1916 "Elevating a Husband" Clara Lipman and Samuel Shipman Comedy-Drama '' [33]
August 20 - 25, 1916 "An American Widow" Constance Mollineux [20]
August 27 - September 1, 1916 "Her Husband's Wife" Comedy Frances Ring and Albert Roscoe [34]

Under Cover

"Under Cover" was first produced by Selwyn & Co. It was written by Roi Cooper Megrue, the author of "Under Fire" and "It Pays to Advertise." The play was originally staged in Boston on Christmas Day 1913 when it ran for 31 weeks. According to the Columbus Sunday Dispatch, the plot involves "a secret service investigation of smugglers and grifters. A certain man is known to have bought a $200,000 necklace in Paris and he does not declare it on arriving in New York. He is followed to the home of wealthy friends who have a country place on Long Island. The secret service detectives that this girl's young sister has defrauded a jewelry insurance company in order to pay her bridge debts and they use this knowledge to secure the elder sister's assistance. This complication provides the basis of the play..."[35]

This play is available to read for free through the Gutenberg Project here: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/40939/40939-h/40939-h.htm

The Marriage Game

"The Marriage Game" is a three-act comedy written by Anne Crawford Flexner, the author of "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch."

This play is available to read for free on Google Books here: https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Marriage_Game/fjFBAQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0

The Woman

"The Woman" is a drama written in 1911 by William C. deMille, billed as Cecil De Mille, possibly due to the popularity of his brother, the silent film director Cecil B. DeMille, whose film "Joan the Woman" came out in December that year. "The Woman" was the theatrical adaptation of the screenplay written by DeMille's father Henry and David Belasco.[36] Belasco directed the theatrical performance at the park. The Columbus Evening Dispatch describes the plot through a political lens as: "An honest man tries to protect the public rights against the party machine." The "machine" finds an affair he had with a woman that could destroy is public image, but cannot find the woman's name. Politicians that would benefit from the man's demise try to get the information from a "telephone girl" (a switchboard operator that connected calls at the time).[37]

The film made from the screenplay was released on May 3, 1915.

Kick In

"Kick In" is a four-act melodrama written by Willard Mack in 1914. The play was adapted to film with the same name in 1917, directed by George Fitzmaurice, and in 1931 directed by Richard Wallace.

On June 22, Roscoe fell ill. Actor George Tilton, who was playing the dope fiend, replaced Roscoe as Chick Hewes. Actor Stewart Fox took Tilton's original role. Stage manager George Farren assumed the part of Jack Riggs, the central office detective.

Leah Kleschna

"Leah Kleschna" is a four-act drama written by C.M.S. McLellan and originally produced by Minnie Maddern Fiske on Broadway. The play was adapted to film in 1913, directed by J. Searle Dawley. According to the Washington Post, Leah Kleschna is the daughter of a manipulative master jewel thief who has raised her to follow in his footsteps. When Leah is confronted by Paul Sylvaine, the owner of the house her father had sent her to rob, she is persuaded to contemplate her life as a thief. Eventually Leah returns the jewels she stole, abandons her father and leaves Paris to work on the country farm she was raised on. The story comes to a happy conclusion when a few years later Sylvaine reunites with Leah and a romance ensues.[38] The Columbus Evening Dispatch describes the plot as "a girl who, through love, is awakened to a spiritual purification after she has lived in an atmosphere of criminality and sordidness all her previous life."[18]

The Man from Home

"The Man from Home" is a comedy written in 1907 by Newton Booth Tarkington, the author of The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams, and Harry Leon Wilson. According to Google Books, "the play follows wealthy brother and sister Horace and Ethel Simpson as they tour Europe. They fall prey to Russian conmen, one of whom plans a marriage with Ethel. Executor of their fortune Daniel Pike, assisted by Grand Duke Vasill, exposes the Russians' devious game."[39] Albert Roscoe played Daniel Voorhees Pike, Stuart Fox played the English fop, Leonora Von Ottinger played Lady Creech, and Frances Ring played the heiress. George Farren, Burke Clarke, George Tilton, and Sydney Mather also held roles. The Cincione orchestra provided the music. The Columbus Evening Dispatch called it "one of the homeliest, most likeable plays of a decade."[40]

This play is available to read for free through the Gutenberg Project here: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/15855

The Rule of Three

"The Rule of Three" is a comedy. According to the Columbus Sunday Dispatch, the plot involves an attractive young woman, played by Frances Ring, who has three living husbands. She goes on a Vermont with her third husband, played by Sydney Mather, to a mountain retreat she usually honeymoons at. There, she meets her ex-husbands. It turns out that she is really in love with her second husband, played by Albert Roscoe, and never really was divorced from him. Matters are straightened out and the woman marries off her two other husbands to her friends as she settles down with husband number two. Stuart Fox played her first husband.[31]

Elevating a Husband

"Elevating a Husband" is a comedy-drama by Clara Lipman and Samuel Shipman with a plot involving a man named Charlie Sample, who grew rich from five-and-ten-cent stores and has no time for romance.[33]

Other Performances

Ila Lorbach sang for two Sundays in the summer with Cincione's band.[41]

Harry Hill's Big Wild West Show and Mexican Bull Fight opened on July 4 in the north arena of the park and ran for two weeks.[41] During this time, the park was transformed into "a moving picture village with cowboys and girls wandering here and there in their riding costumes." There was a bull fight for each performance.[42]

Sports

On Thursday, June 29, 1916, for the park's "Red Letter Day" for the Columbus's letter carriers, Young Joe Thomas, Columbus featherweight boxed in a match against Battling Phillips from Toledo. Thomas won. A wrestling match later that day featured Young Gotch from Columbus up against Jack Mills and Walter Reer.[43] Gotch agreed to pin his opponents in 15 minutes. He was able to pin Mills in 6 minutes and was not able to pin Reer in time.[44]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "To Open Olentangy." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 9 April 1916. Pg. 63.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Park Opening." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 23 April 1916. Pg. 51.
  3. "Real Opener Sunday." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 25 April 1916. Pg. 20.
  4. "The Original Clusters." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 26 April 1916. Pg. 22.
  5. "Park in Full Operation." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 1 May 1916. Pg. 16.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Sunday at Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 13 May 1916. Pg. 10.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "News of Stock and Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 25 May 1916. Pg. 20.
  8. "Hope for Better Weather." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 30 April 1916. Pg. 61.
  9. "Park Open on Sundays." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 3 September 1916. Pg. 23.
  10. "Last Day for Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 9 September 1916. Pg. 10.
  11. "Park Amusements." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 8 July 1916. Pg. 10.
  12. "Orchestra Personnel." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 25 August 1916. Pg. 22.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "Stock Co. Versatility." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 23 June 1916. Pg. 28.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Troubles of a Stock Producer." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 27 August 1916. Pg. 65.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Miss Servoss II. Appears." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 16 June 1916. Pg. 28.
  16. The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. Society section. 4 June 1916. Pg. 33.
  17. "Post-Convention Politics." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 12 June 1916. Pg. 14.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 "Strong Magnet at Park." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 4 July 1916. Pg. 13.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Stock and Repertory Notes." The Billboard. Vol. 28. Issue 24. 10 June 1916. Pg. 17.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Park Raves Over Her." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 19 August 1916. Pg. 10.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "$131 in Tickets; Free to Olentangy Park Theater 'Under Cover' - Opening Week of May 29th." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 21 May 1916. Pg. 24-25.
  22. "Company is Complete." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 19 May 1916. Pg. 30.
  23. "The Marriage Game." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 7 June 1916. Pg. 20.
  24. "Mounting His Pedestal." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 23 June 1916. Pg. 28.
  25. The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 2 July 1916. Pg. 30.
  26. "Comedy Role for Roscoe." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 8 July 1916. Pg. 10.
  27. "Olentangy Stock." The Billboard. Vol. 28. Issue 30. 22 July 1916. Pg. 17.
  28. "Clarke the Chameleon." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 20 July 1916. Pg. 16.
  29. "Stocklets." The New York Clipper. 22 July 1916. Pg. 16.
  30. "Von Ottinger a Scream." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 27 July 1916. Pg. 16.
  31. 31.0 31.1 "Miss Ring as Trigamist." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 30 July 1916. Pg. 45.
  32. "Was Protege of Fitch." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 3 August 1916. Pg. 16.
  33. 33.0 33.1 "Roscoe in Mann Role." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 14 August 1916. Pg. 12.
  34. "The Charm of Miss Servoss." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 31 August 1916. Pg. 14.
  35. "First Play of Stock Company." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 28 May 1916. Pg. 48.
  36. "The Woman (1915)." AllMovie. Website. Accessed 30 January 2022. https://www.allmovie.com/movie/v68157
  37. "Politics and Telephones." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 13 June 1916. Pg. 18.
  38. "Mrs. Fiske and Wyndham in Striking New Plays." The Washington Post. 18 December 1904. Pg. 46.
  39. "The Man from Home by Booth Tarkington and Harry Leon Wilson." Google Books. August 2006. Retrieved online 10 February 2022. https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Man_from_Home/ovs6CEmuYlQC?hl=en
  40. "Tarkington Play Returns." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 11 July 1916. Pg. 22.
  41. 41.0 41.1 "Wild West Doubled." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 3 July 1916. Pg. 12.
  42. "Wild West Starts Today." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 4 July 1916. Pg. 13.
  43. "Olentangy Thronged For Postmen's Outing." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 29 June 1916. Pg. 13.
  44. "Joe Thomas Wins From Toledo Pug." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 30 June 1916. Pg. 24.