Ever since the school's
founding, PCS students have
performed for the benefit of
the Tuition Assistance Fund.
Over the years, some of the
greatest stars of stage and
screen have leant their
talents to these one-time-
only performances.

 

PCS 100: Let's Put on a Show: 1915

Daddy Long Legs 2

 

Benefit Performance
In April 1915, PCS students put on their first performance to benefit the school, an all–children production of the then-running Broadway hit, "Daddy Long Legs."

Jean Webster's stage adaptation of her popular novel "Daddy Long Legs" had been running on Broadway for over a year.  The story of a young orphan sent away to college by a wealthy benefactor, "Daddy Long Legs"  had a large cast of children, most of whom now  attended PCS.  The students would play all the roles -- the adults as well as the children -- for one special matinee performance directed by Miss Chatterton and co-star Daniel Pennell.   The producers provided the use of the Gaeity Theatre as well as the sets for the production and Jean Webster waived her royalties.

On the day of the performance, April 9, 1915, Bishop Greer welcomed an audience of society notables including Mrs. August Belmont, Mrs. John Hays Hammond, Mrs. William Sloane and  Mrs. Willard Straight.  Miss Chatterton and Miss Webster sat together in a box overlooking the stage.  Boots Webster, one of the children in the orphanage scene in the comedy, played Miss Chatterton's role.  One paper called her "miniature reproduction of Miss Chatterton's leading role the success of the day," and praised her "cheerily rotund figure and wholesome voice."   Frank Longacre was praised for his "remarkable imitation, particularly in his mimicry of his elder's habit of hitting himself in the jaw to indicate reproof and of twisting his mustache."  The children raised over $4,000 to help maintain the school. - John Tucker




 

 


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