Hearts of Oak
- One of James A. Herne's earliest plays, Hearts of Oak had a plot and themes suggested by David Belasco, who encouraged Herne's playwriting aspirations. Originally titled Chums, the "six tableaux" play was written and first produced under that title on 17 November 1879 at Hamlin's Theatre in Chicago. Reworked, it toured successfully to several cities and opened at New York's Fifth Avenue Theatre on 29 March 1880, but achieved only a short run there.Hearts of Oak deals with an old sailor, Owen Garroway (critics noted a striking similarity with Charles Dickens's old salt, Dan Peggotty), raising two orphans, a boy and a girl, Little Chrystal (a character Herne named for his own daughter). Owen falls in love with Chrystal, but ultimately loses her to the boy. Herne was accused of plagiarizing aspects of the play and, in turn, he later sued a troupe performing a play called Oaken Hearts. Herne later reused elements of this play in his last dramatic work, Sag Harbor (1899). Director John Ford made Hearts of Oak into a 1924 motion picture, but it is presumably lost.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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Hearts of Oak (play) — Hearts of Oak is an 1879 play by American playwrights James Herne and David Belasco. The play is a melodrama. [Banham (1998, 485)] NotesReferences* Banham, Martin, ed. 1998. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.… … Wikipedia
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