Davenport, Butler


Davenport, Butler
(1871-1958)
   Born in New York, Davenport was an actor from his youth when he understudied Augustin Daly and later performed with Richard Mansfield, Eleonora Duse, Sarah Bernhardt, and John Drew. He then turned to playwriting and achieved one notable success, Keeping up Appearances, which was produced by the Shuberts in 1910. From 1923 until his death, Butler Davenport devoted himself to running an admission-free theatre, which he sustained by passing the hat at each performance. He lived at the theatre, 27th Street and Lexington Avenue, where he presented the classics, occasionally interspersed by his own plays. His idea was to give New Yorkers free theatre to parallel the city's many free music and art events.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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