Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Some Sunshine from the Lady Lunatic

Allene Crater as Cynthia Cynch.

Happy Holidays!

Today I share a report on how Allene Crater, who played Cynthia Cynch (the Lady Lunatic), organized a toy drive in The Wizard of Oz company in 1905. 

Allene Crater took over the role of Cynthia during the original Broadway run of The Wizard of Oz, on August 31, 1903. Just less than a year after she joined the show, she married Fred Stone (the Scarecrow) on July 23, 1904. 

A bit less than a year after that, on June 3, 1905, their first child was born—she was named Dorothy after Dorothy Gale.

And six months after that, while performing Wizard in Boston, we find Allene Crater trying to make the holidays as good for Boston's needy children as I'm sure she and Fred made the first Christmas for little Dorothy.

A display of the toys collected by the company.

Here is the report as printed in the Boston Post of December 15, 1905:

Clarity and generosity, which are ever the accompaniment of the Christmas season, find cheerful expression in the action of The Wizard of Oz company at the Boston Theatre. In this case the object is the International Sunshine Society, or, to be more specific, its dependents, the children of the worthy poor.

Thanks to Miss Allene Crater, who in private life is Mrs. Fred Stone, the wife of the famous comedian, a movement was started several days ago to secure a bountiful Christmas box for the Sunshine Society. Every member of The Wizard of Oz company put in his contribution and yesterday the whole collection of Christmas toys and trinkets, as varied as there were individual contributors, was arrayed for inspection in the property room. The apartment itself was beautifully decorated and, filled with all these Christmas offerings, it looked to be a veritable fairyland.

The scope of the International Sunshine Society, in brief, is to care for all classes of unfortunates, more especially the children, and it reaches out its protecting arm to orphans, homeless ones of every color, race and creed, the limp, the blind, the sick and destitute, wherever and whenever found.

Copyright © 2020 David Maxine. All rights reserved.