- Founded in 1904 as a press agents' club, the organization formally became a theatre club called The Friars in 1907. Playwright Channing Pollock recalled in his memoirs that he had founded the group "which, with myself as first president, became the Friars Club" in order to "provide an exchange of information as to people who got free theatre tickets without reason" (1943, 145). They began in 1906 to fête distinguished men of theatre at dinners. In 1907, the group aligned itself specifically with the theatrical profession, took the name Friars, and elected George M. Cohan as Abbot (presiding officer), a position he held until he resigned in 1919.Vaudevillians, who were not eligible for membership in the Lambs or The Players, were welcomed to the Friars. Beyond their social function, the Friars sponsored the Frolics for charitable fundraising. Today's Friars club is located at 57 East 55th Street in New York City. The dining rooms of the elegant facility have chairs emblazoned with the names of illustrious members.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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