Huntington, Catharine, 1887-1987

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Actress, director, and producer Catharine Sargent Huntington was born in Ashfield, Mass. on December 29, 1886. She graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1911 and taught English and theater at Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., 1915-1918. She was active in New England's Little Theatre movement from the early 1920s and was president and member of the board of directors of the Provincetown Playhouse in Provincetown, Mass. (1960-?).

From the description of [Poetry reading] [sound recording]. 1968. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 421909298

The daughter of Reverend George P. and Lilly (St. A. Barrett) Huntington, Catharine Sargent Huntington was born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1886. She graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1911, and taught English and theater at Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut, 1915-18. At the end of World War I, CSH continued her theatrical career abroad, acting under the direction of Joseph Lindon Smith on the French Riviera. Later she arranged and directed a pageant put on by French village children in the area of St. Quentin .

CSH directed her first production in Boston, a play by Chekhov, for the Boston Stage Society, an organization which she co-founded in 1922. In Boston she also worked as a coach at the Allied Arts Center, where a group of black artists worked together to produce original plays. From 1930 to 1935 she was with Mr. Punch's Workshop, a hand puppet company. In 1938, with Edwin Petett and Virginia Thoms, she established the New England Repertory Theater, which performed in Boston during the winter season and in Provincetown during the summer, where it became known as the Provincetown Playhouse . CSH owned the Playhouse from 1940 to 1973 and devoted much of its time to the work of her close friend, Eugene O'Neill, keeping his plays in the public view at a time when few theaters ventured to produce them. In 1966, the Provincetown Playhouse featured an O'Neill festival, performing ten of his plays. In 1977, the Playhouse and its library, which contained important O'Neill memorabilia, were destroyed by fire. CSH was also a founder of the Poets' Theater, which flourished in Cambridge during the 1950s and 60s.

The recipient of the 1966 Rodgers and Hammerstein Award for outstanding contributions to New England theater, CSH was also honored by the New England Theater Association and the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association . On her 97th birthday she received a citation from Governor Michael Dukakis and greetings from President Ronald Reagan, among others. The Boston City Council declared March 28 Catharine Huntington Day, in recognition of "a life which nourished and inspired generations of theater artists."

An active supporter of Sacco and Vanzetti, CSH was arrested in 1927 for taking part in a demonstration outside the State House in Boston. She served as a member of the Sacco-Vanzetti Memorial Committee after their execution. She was an avid gardener and was recognized repeatedly for her horticultural successes by a number of Massachusetts area garden clubs. CSH died in Roxbury, Massachusetts, on February 27, 1987.

From the guide to the Papers, 1913-1987 (scattered), n.d., (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Radcliffe College in France: scrapbooks, 1917-1920 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.). Records of the Poets' Theatre, 1950-1968 (inclusive), 1951-1958 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Nichols-Shurtleff family. Papers, 1780-1953, (bulk: 1850-1940) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Hathaway, Katharine Butler, 1890-1942. Papers, 1912-1947 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Autograph File, P, 1554-2005. Houghton Library
referencedIn Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968. Correspondence with Creighton J. Hill, 1927-1928 Houghton Library
referencedIn Hathaway, Katharine Butler, 1890-1942. Papers, 1911-1956 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.) records, 1936-1989 (inclusive), 1950-1960 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Holman, Anna Eveleth, 1892-1969. Papers, 1912-1968 (inclusive), 1917-1924 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Huntington, Catharine Sargent, 1887-1987. Papers, 1913-1987 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Ehrmann, Herbert B. (Herbert Brutus), 1891-1970. Papers, 1906-1970 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Huntington, Catharine Sargent, 1886-1987. Papers, 1919-1973 Houghton Library
referencedIn Saturday Morning Club (Boston, Mass.). Records, 1871-1983 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Huntington, Catharine Sargent, 1886-1987. [Poetry reading] [sound recording]. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Porter-Phelps-Huntington family papers, 1698-1968, (bulk: 1800-1950) Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
referencedIn Holman, Anna Eveleth, 1892-1969. Papers, 1912-1984 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937. Papers, 1859-1944 (bulk: 1882-1944) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Howe, M. A. De Wolfe (Mark Antony De Wolfe), 1864-1960. Additional papers, 1880-1959 Houghton Library
referencedIn Selden Huntington family papers, 1762-1914 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allied Arts Players. corporateBody
associatedWith Artists' Theatre (Provincetown, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Barn Experimental Theatre. corporateBody
associatedWith Boston Opera House Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Boston Repertory Theatre. corporateBody
associatedWith Boston Stage Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Brattle Theatre Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Cannell, Kathleen, 1891-1974. person
associatedWith Charles Playhouse (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Clark, Barrett H. (Barrett Harper), 1890-1953. person
associatedWith Colonial Theatre (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Copley Theatre (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Dunnock, Mildred, 1901-1991 person
associatedWith Ehrmann, Herbert B. (Herbert Brutus), b. 1891 person
associatedWith Evans, Elizabeth Glendower Gardiner, 1856-1937. person
associatedWith Gelb, Arthur, 1924- person
associatedWith Harvard-Radcliffe Theatre. corporateBody
correspondedWith Hathaway, Katharine Butler, 1890-1942 person
associatedWith Hewes, Henry, 1917- person
associatedWith Holman, Anna Eveleth, 1892-1969 person
correspondedWith Howe, M. A. De Wolfe (Mark Antony De Wolfe), 1864-1960 person
associatedWith Hughes, Elinor, 1906- person
associatedWith Huntington, Selden, 1786-1846 person
associatedWith Huntington, Selden, 1786-1846. person
associatedWith King-Coit Children's Theatre (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Lawrence, Reginald, 1900-1967. person
associatedWith Lederer, Francis, 1899-2000. person
associatedWith Margaret Chase person
correspondedWith Mary (Heaton) Vorse. person
associatedWith Masefield, John, 1878-1967 person
associatedWith Masefield, John, 1878-1967 person
associatedWith Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950 person
associatedWith Mr. Punch's Workshop. corporateBody
associatedWith New England Repertory Theatre. corporateBody
associatedWith Nichols family. family
associatedWith NICHOLS-SHURTLEFF FAMILY family
associatedWith Norton, Elliot, 1903- person
associatedWith O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953. person
associatedWith O'Neill, Eugene Gladstone, 1888-1953 person
associatedWith Peabody Playhouse. corporateBody
associatedWith Peterborough Players. corporateBody
associatedWith Phelps, Lyon, 1923- person
associatedWith Piscator, Erwin, 1893-1966. person
associatedWith Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.). corporateBody
correspondedWith Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.). corporateBody
associatedWith Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.). corporateBody
associatedWith Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family family
associatedWith Provincetown Playhouse corporateBody
associatedWith Provincetown Playhouse-on-the-Wharf corporateBody
associatedWith Provincetown Playhouse-On-The-Wharf. corporateBody
associatedWith Radcliffe College corporateBody
correspondedWith Radcliffe College Alumnae Association corporateBody
associatedWith Radcliffe College. Alumnae Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Sanders Theatre (Memorial Hall, Cambridge, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Sands, Dorothy, 1893- person
associatedWith Sands, Dorothy, 1893- person
correspondedWith Sands, Dorothy, 1893-1980 person
associatedWith Saturday Morning Club (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Saturday Morning Club (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Saturday Morning Club of Boston corporateBody
associatedWith Shubert Theatre, Boston. corporateBody
associatedWith Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968 person
associatedWith Theatre Company of Boston. corporateBody
associatedWith Theatre-on-the-Green. corporateBody
associatedWith Tributary Theatre of Boston. corporateBody
associatedWith Vorse, Mary Heaton, 1874-1966 person
associatedWith Vorse, Mary Heaton, 1874-1966. person
associatedWith Wilbur, Richard, 1921- person
associatedWith Wilbur Theatre (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Workman, Gertrude, 1885-1972. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Cape Cod MA US
Boston MA US
Provincetown MA US
Subject
Theater
Theater--History--20th century
Actresses--United States
Actors
Theater management
Little theater movement
Provincetown Playhouse-on-the--Wharf
College theater
Saturday Morning Club of Boston
Sacco--Vanzetti Trial, Dedham, Mass., 1921
Occupation
Producers
Actresses
Directors (performing arts)
Activity

Person

Birth 1887-12-29

Death 1987

Female

Americans

English

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