Selwyn, Arch


Selwyn, Arch
(1877-1959)
   Born Archibald Selwyn in Canada, he followed his brother, Edgar, to New York. Edgar, an actor, secured Selwyn a position working in the Herald Square Theatre box office. The brothers branched out in the ticket brokerage business and eventually partnered with Elisabeth Marbury and John Ramsay to create the American Play Company. The brothers also set up as producers, building three theatres (Apollo, Selwyn, and Times Square) and Selwyn and Company staged many popular plays and musicals between 1912 and 1924, including Within the Law (1912), Under Cover (1914), Fair and Warmer (1915), the first Pulitzer PRizE-winning play, Jesse Lynch Williams's Why Marry? (1917), Smilin' Through (1919), The Circle (1923), and Jane Cowl's Romeo and Juliet (1923), among others. Selwyn and his brother went their separate ways after 1924, but he continued to produce on his own, including Noël Coward's* Easy Virtue (1925) and This Year of Grace (1928), and, in partnership with Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., he produced Coward's operetta Bitter Sweet (1929). Most of his later productions were failures, with the exception of Revenge with Music (1934).

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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