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The Light of the Star

Hamlin Garland

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . the lesser minds were actually curious to taste the quality of the play as a piece of writing.

As there was no greenroom in the Westervelt, the reading took place on the open stage, which was bleak and draughty. The company sat in a funereal semicircle, with the author, the star, and the manager in a short line facing them. All the men retained their overcoats, for the morning was miserably raw, and at Helen's positive command kept their heads covered; and the supernumerary women sat shivering in their jackets. Helen was regal in a splendid cloak of sable, otherwise there was little of the successful actress in her dress. At her suggestion a box-scene was set around them to keep off at least a part of the draught, and under these depressing conditions the reading proceeded.

Douglass was visibly disheartened by the surroundings, but set manfully to work, and soon controlled the attention of all the players except two, who made it a boast that the. . . Read More