Monday, March 27, 2006

Staged Reading of Age of Innocence to be performed in New York

Age of Innocence, 1928 Dramatization of Wharton Novel, Gets NYC Reading March 27

By Kenneth Jones
27 Mar 2006

The Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning Mint Theater Company will continue its season dedicated to neglected plays by American women by presenting a staged reading of Margaret Ayer Barnes' 1928 and seldom-seen dramatization, The Age of Innocence, based on the novel by Edith Wharton.

The March 27 event is a benefit for the not-for-profit Mint company in Manhattan.

Barnes' dramatization played for over 200 Broadway performances in 1928 with Katharine Cornell playing Madame Olenska. Rollo Peters played Newland Archer. Cornell then toured the country in the role.

Stuart Howard will direct a cast of 11 that includes Jennifer Harmon, Darrie Lawrence, Claire Lautier, Michael Littig, Sal Mistretta, Dennis Parlato, Derek Smith, Samantha Soule, Molly Stuart, Jeff Talbott and Gregory Wooddell.
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Attend the reading only or plan to have dinner at Le Madeline before the show with Mint artistic director Jonathan Bank and special guest Linda Costanzo Cahir, co-editor of The Edith Wharton Review, to discuss Wharton and Barnes and to hear some fun backstage gossip from the Broadway production starring Katharine Cornell.
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Tickets for the reading at 7:30 PM are $25; tickets for the reading and dinner at Le Madeline (which begins at 5:30 PM) are $85 and either may be purchased by calling (212) 315-0231 or at

Mint Theater is located on the Third Floor of 311 West 43rd Street. Performances of Soldier's Wife continue to April 2. Tickets for the remaining performances of Soldier's Wife are $45 and are available by calling (212) 315-0231 or online at


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Age of Innocence at the Mint Theater, March 27, 2006


by Edith Wharton

Dramatised by

Margaret Ayer Barnes

Directed by Stuart Howard

Monday March 27th

Margaret Ayer Barnes took up writing at thirty at the encouragement of playwright Edward Sheldon. In 1929 she dramatized Wharton’s novel which ran on Broadway for over 200 performances starring Katherine Cornell and Rollo Peters. Barnes won the Pulitzer Prize in 1931 for her first novel, Years of Grace.

For more information or to order tickets, visit or call 212-315-0231

New Queries

These are recent queries from the Wharton Society site. To respond, please send an email to or use the comment form. You can also reply using the comments feature on this blog. Thanks.


Theatre Adaptations of Wharton's Works Hello - I'm looking for any recommendations for theatre adaptations of Wharton's novels. We're a new London-based company looking specifically for adaptations of female writers' work. If anyone has any recommendations, I would love to hear them, particularly if they have yet to be produced in the UK. Louise Hill

Updated 3/24/06 to include this response:

Regarding Louise Hill's inquiry about theater adaptations of Wharton novels: Mint Theater Company in New York has published the dramatization of The House of Mirth that Wharton wrote herself in 1906, along with playwright Clyde Fitch. The Mint text revises the play somewhat using material from the novel. Mint also has a copy of the Margaret Ayer Barnes' 1928 dramatization of The Age of Innocence. For more information please contact Mint Artistic Director Jonathan Bank:


Edith Wharton--travel to San Francisco? Did Edith Wharton ever visit San Francisco?

Deborah Doyle

Wharton's family--New York? Can you tell me if Edith Wharton's family originated in New York City society and if the family name is related to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. I know from my own New Jersey family that many of the old names came from one root. I am thinking of Vanevar Bush and George Bush both also from Massachusetts history. Thank you for you reply.

Carolyn Gill

People resembling their houses

In a memoir, A Place in the Country, by Laura Shaine Cunningham, she writes that Wharton wrote that people became their houses, even looked like them. Cunningham, of course, gives no citation. Does this ring true with you and do you have any ideas as to where I might find this thought. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Judith Church Tydings

Edith Wharton's dogs I'm the author of a series of books for young people about Impressionist painters and their circle ("Charlotte in Giverny," "Charlotte in Paris," "Charlotte in New York") published by Chronicle Books. Now Charlotte is off to Italy where she meets Edith Wharton. Charlotte loves dogs and has a Brussels Griffon named Toby. I'd like to know more about Edith Wharton and her dogs. Did she have any breeds other than Papillons? What are some of the names she gave her dogs? Many thanks! Joan Knight

Joan M. Knight


Scarcity of French Ways and their Meaning

Can you inform me as to the scarcity of dust jacketed copies of the first UK edition of 'French Ways and their Meaning' London,1919?

Used book sites on the internet all seem not to have seen a dust jacketed copy of "French Ways and their Meaning". Is it really that scarce?
B Benneworth