Fitzi, true-believer: The legacy of M. Eleanor fitzgerald

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Abstract

M. Eleanor Fitzgerald (known to friends and colleagues as "Fitzi") was the long-Time business manager of the Provincetown Players and the subsequent incarnations of the group that continued until 1929. This article traces her legacy from her humble childhood in northern Wisconsin, experiences with the Seventh Day Adventist Church and Dr. Kellogg's Battle Creek Sanitarium, to her work and relationships with anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman and their publication Mother Earth. Beginning with the Players in 1918, she ultimately served as their business manager, as well as becoming their chief organizer, protector, guiding spirit, and conscience. Her work continued with the Group Theatre, Federal Theatre Project and, finally, the Dramatic Workshop at the New School for Social Research, run by German playwright and director Erwin Piscator. Because of her passion and devotion to her work and those she worked with, she developed close and influential friendships with O'Neill, Berkman, Goldman, Piscator, and the many playwrights and actors she shepherded over the years. Malcolm Cowley wrote, "The story of the new American theater cannot truly be told without mentioning Fitzi's part in it" and this article attempts to do just that.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-46
Number of pages34
JournalEugene O'Neill Review
Volume38
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Alexander berkman
  • Emma goldman
  • M. eleanor fitzi fitzgerald
  • Piscator dramatic workshop
  • Provincetown players
  • Provincetown playhouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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