THE FIRST COMPANY TO PRESENT ALL OF SHAW'S PLAYS
IN NEW YORK CITY
AS STAGED READINGS AND IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER!
Our Current Series of Programs
Masters of Misbehavior
Readings with Music Dealing with the Wicked Side of Life
June 14, 2016 Bungling Burglars
May 9, 2017 Marriage a la Carte
August 20, 2017 Shakespeare Shenanigans
March 12, 2018 Paper Heroes
See our Upcoming Events page for more info
Shaw on "Augustus Does His Bit"
In January of 1917 as World War I continued to rage, Shaw was invited to Flanders by the Commander-in-Chief himself. As he prepared for the journey Shaw's short play "Augustus Does His Bit" was performed by the Stage Society. As GBS put it in his introduction to the printed version of the play: "I have always been treated with distinguished consideration in my contracts with bureaucracy during the war; but on this occasion I found myself persona grata in the highest degree. There was only one word when the formalities were disposed of; and that was 'We are up against Augustus all day.' ... Their problem was how to win the war with Augustus on their backs, well-meaning, brave, patriotic, but obstructively fussy, self-important, imbecile, and disastrous." Shaw harbored no illusions that his satirical portrayal of Augustus brought about any change. He wrote, "...Augustus stood like the Eddystone in a storm, and stands so to this day. He gave us his word that he was indispensable and we took it."
About the author of "Comrades in Arms"
Percival Wilde (1887–1953) was an American who wrote mystery novels, short stories and one-act plays. A graduate of Columbia University (1906), he went into banking but wrote book reviews for the NY Times and the NY Post on the side. In 1912 he published his first short story and the positive response encouraged him to turn the story into a play. Then in 1914 Wilde, working with Arthur Conan-Doyle, turned one of Doyle’s stories into a play titled Dawn. He also served in the US Navy during World War I and wrote 5 one-act war plays in 1916-1917 (The Unseen Host and Other War Plays; Little, Brown and Company; 1918). He went on to become a member of the New York Theater Guild and was on the advisory board of the Mystery Writers of America. While he wrote well-received mystery novels and collections of short stories, it is as a playwright that he was most prolific. Three of his plays ran on Broadway and at one point Who's Who reported that more of his plays were being produced in American “Little Theaters” than any other author.
DID YOU KNOW? George Bernard Shaw is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938 -- for his work on the film adaptation of his play Pygmalion).
Stay tuned for more wit and wisdom from GBS!
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