Benchley at the Theatre: Dramatic Criticism, 1920-1940

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Ipswich Press, 1985 - Performing Arts - 200 pages
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Contents

Heartbreak House
5
Rustlings of Spring
17
Announcing Defeat
58
Copyright

8 other sections not shown

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About the author (1985)

Robert Benchley, 1899 - 1945 Writer and actor Robert Benchley was born on September 15, 1899 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Benchley was best known for being a humorist and comedian. While an undergraduate at Harvard University, he gave his first comedic performance impersonating a befuddled after-dinner speaker. He became a campus celebrity and he landed the position of editor of the Harvard Lampoon. Benchley worked as a drama critic at Life magazine in 1920. Under the pseudonym Guy Fawkes, he wrote The Wayward Press column for The New Yorker. He also briefly served as managing editor for Vanity Fair where his lieutenants were Dorothy Parker and Robert E. Sherwood. He quit in protest to the firing of Parker. The three of them were among the regulars of the Algonquin Round Table, which was a social circle of New York wits that included Harpo Marx and George Kaufman. As a member of the Algonquin Round Table, he became a poplular radio personality, film actor and screenwriter. Several of Benchley's humorous monologues were performed in short films, which include "The Treasurer's Report" (1928). His comic sketches were collected in fifteen volumes, including "My Ten Years in a Quandary, and How They Grew" (1936) and "Benchley Beside Himself" (1943). His son Nathaniel edited a collection of his essays, "The Benchley Roundup" (1954) and published a biography of his father in 1955. Robert Benchley died in 1945.

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