The Theater: Provincial on Broadway

To Londoners, Shakespeare in the modern theater generally means the Old Vic or John Gielgud; to the rest of England, it more likely means a tireless, 44-year-old trouper named Donald Wolfit.

Ten years ago, having set up a nonprofit touring company, Wolfit started offering the provinces a baker's dozen of Shakespeare's plays—along with other classics —at popular prices. Not liking the prices, provincial managers at first cold-shouldered him. He plugged away, and before the war he was breaking all records for classical repertory in the big provincial cities. When the war came, and he...

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