- (1857-1934)St. Louis-born Augustus Thomas worked as a railroad man and journalist, and he considered a law career before he adapted Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel Editha's Burglar as a play for a local theatre. Revised in collaboration with Edgar Smith, it had a successful Broadway run in 1889. He replaced Dion Boucicault as the resident play doctor at the Madison Square Theatre and this led to a string of highly successful melodramas that were among the most acclaimed of the time, including Alabama (1891), In Mizzoura (1893), New Blood (1894), The Man Upstairs (1895), The Capitol (1895), The Hoosier Doctor (1898), Arizona (1900), Colorado (1901), Soldiers of Fortune (1902), The Witching Hour (1907), As a Man Thinks (1911), Rio Grande (1916), and The Copperhead (1918). He also wrote popular comedies, including On the Quiet (1901), The Earl of Pawtucket (1903), The Other Girl (1903), Mrs. Leffingwell's Boots (1905), The Education of Mr. Pipp (1905), The Embassy Ball (1906), Palmy Days (1919), and others. His plays were generally appreciated for his Americanizing of the enduring dramatic struggle of an individual against forces out of her/his control and they were varied in subject matter. Thomas was long-time president of the Society of American Dramatists. After Charles Frohman's death in the Lusitania sinking, Thomas managed Frohman's interests.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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Thomas, Augustus — ▪ American playwright born Jan. 8, 1857, St. Louis, Mo., U.S. died Aug. 12, 1934, near Nyack, N.Y. playwright important in the development of U.S. theatre for his consistent use of native material; he wrote or adapted nearly 70 plays.… … Universalium
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