George Bernard Shaw called St. John Hankin “the Mephistopheles of the new comedy.” At Hankin’s funeral, Shaw eulogized him as “a most gifted writer of the high comedy of the kind that is a stirring and important criticism of life.” Granville Barker rated THE CHARITY THAT BEGAN AT HOME as the best of Hankin’s plays and Hankin himself agreed.

Remarkably, none of Hankin’s plays had ever been performed in New York until the Mint’s production of THE CHARITY THAT BEGAN AT HOME in 2002. A comedy about how an Edwardian family’s all-consuming commitment to kindness turns its household upside down, the play’s last professional production had taken place in England in 1917.

Critics and audiences were thrilled with the discovery of this neglected play and its author. “Provocative…a layered and surprisingly rich play…very modern indeed,”1 enthused Bruce Weber in the New York Times, while Michael Feingold in the Village Voice declared Hankin’s stinging comedy “suggests Joe Orton with kid gloves on.”2

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CAST

  • Firket Chris Franciosa
  • Lady Denison Kristin Griffith
  • Hylton Benjamin Howes
  • Verreker Karl Kenzler
  • Mrs. Eversleigh Becky London
  • General Bonsor Lee Moore
  • Soames Troy Schremmer
  • Margery Harmony Schuttler
  • Mrs. Horrocks Michele Tauber
  • Anson Pauline Tully
  • William Bruce Ward
  • Miss Triggs Alice White

CREATIVES

  • Set Design Charles Morgan
  • Lighting Design William Armstrong
  • Costume Design Henry Shaffer
  • Properties Designer Judi Guralnick
  • Wig Design Robert-Charles Vallance
  • Dialects Amy Stoller
  • Casting Sharron Bower
  • Production Stage Manager Sara E. Friedman
  • Assistant Stage Manager Diane M. Ballering
  • Press Representative David Gersten & Associates
  • Graphic Design Hey Jude Design, Inc.

HELEN BLIEBERG AND STEPHEN D. SOLENDER

A panel discussion on philanthropy and the nature of charity, with special guests Helen Blieberg and Stephen D. Solender. Blieberg is an adjunct professor at The New School and City University of New York. Most recently she was the Fund Administrator of the A.R.T./New York – Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Arts Relief Fund. Solender is President-emeritus of United Jewish Communities. He is also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the UJA-Federation, New York.

J. ELLEN GAINOR

Professor J. Ellen Gainor from Cornell University speaks about St. John Hankin. Gainor is the author ofThe Plays of Susan Glaspell: A Contextual Study. She holds degrees from Harvard University, Princeton University, and the Yale School of Drama.

Program

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