My Present Past
A genealogical experience
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Background:
Imperial Theater
249 W 45th Street
New York, New York
1925
Lea Penman
Production
Date of Production
The Hummingbird by Maude Fulton
Lea Penman:
Billie Newman
Clunie Theatre  Sacramento, California
September 8-10, 1920
The Hummingbird by Maude Fulton
Lea Penman:
Ye Liberty Playhouse  Oakland, California
September 12, 1920
The Hummingbird by Maude Fulton
Lea Penman:
Broadway Theatre  Denver, Colorado
September 29, 1920
The Hummingbird by Maude Fulton
Lea Penman:
English Theatre  Indianapolis, Indiana
October 15, 1920
The Hummingbird by Maude Fulton
Lea Penman:
Jefferson Theatre
October 18, 1920
The Hummingbird by Maude Fulton
Lea Penman:
Grand Theatre  Anderson, Indiana
October 25, 1920
The Hummingbird by Maude Fulton
Lea Penman:
MacCauley's Theatre  Louisville, Kentucky
October 21-23, 1920
The Hummingbird by Maude Fulton
Lea Penman:
Plymouth Theatre  Boston, Massachusetts
November 29, 1920 - December 10 1920
Anna Ascends by Henry Chapman Ford
Lea Penman:
Fulton Playhouse  Oakland, California
July 10, 1921
Pinkie by Maude Fulton
Lea Penman: Lady
Curran Theater  San Francisco, California
August 07 1921
Sonny presented by Maude Fulton
Lea Penman
Curran Theater  San Francisco, California
August 21, 1921
Major Barbara by George Benard Shaw
Lea Penman
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
September 05, 1921
Belinda by A. A. Milne
Lea Penman: Belinda
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
September 13, 1921
Monna Vanna by Maurice Maeterlinck
Presented by Arthur Maitland
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
September 18, 1921
The Honeymoon by Arthur Bennett
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
October 03, 1921
An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde
Lea Penman: Lady Chiltern
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
October 11, 1921
Lady Frederick (Social Drama)
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
December 05, 1921
The Liars by Henry Arthur Jones
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
January 08, 1922
Jane Clegg by St John G Ervine
Lea Penman
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
January 23, 1922
Gay Lord Quex by Arthur Wing Pinero
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
January 30, 1922
The Rainbow by A. E. Thomas
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
February 06, 1922
The Lucky One  by A. A. Milne
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
February 13, 1922
A Night Off by Augustin Daly
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
February 20, 1922
Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
February 27, 1922
Man and Superman by George Benard Shaw
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
March 06, 1922
Duke of Killicrankie by Robert Marshall
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
March 13, 1922
The Climax by Edward Locke
Lea Penman:
Maitland Playhouse  San Francisco, California
March 19, 1922
While in New York, Lea caught the eye of Maude Fulton,
who convinced her to come to San Francisco and be a part
of a new entourage at the
Fulton Playhouse which her
manager, George Ebey had purchased
on September 17,
1918 as the Bishop Theater.
The Maitland Playhouse opened on September 22, 1919 at 332 Stockton Street, San Francisco, California.
Seating only two hundred patrons, it was a cumulative effort of a group of area performing arts aficionado's and
Arthur Maitland. The theatre hosted many plays and vaudeville performances including live concerts.
Sadly it was only operational from 1919 to 1923.
In the final performance at the Maitland Playhouse, Lea Penman played the only female role in the
Edward Locke
production of "The Climax".
The Maitland Playhouse, operated by Arthur Maitland, closed on
Saturday, March 25, 1922
Right:
Maude Fulton Says!

Source: Oakland Tribune
September 11, 1919
Lea Penman leads a double life. On the stage she impersonates regal ladies with lurid pasts, crooks, burglars,
blackmailers and similarly pleasant people. Off the stage she is a college professor, a lecturer, a student and a
woman of broad culture. And she enjoys both varieties of life with equal pleasure.
Said Miss Penman, while make-up was transforming her into the insolently superb
"Lady of Pinkie".
“It seems to be my fate to play “Lady” roles but it’s a happy fate when I am given such a wonderful role as

Miss Fulton has written for me in this play. Still like everybody else, I long to do the thing I know I should not
attempt and I suppose I shall always envy the Camille’s and the frail little creatures who cling and purr”.
To see Miss Penman play a role like Lady or her role in “The Humming Bird” a year ago, one would scarcely
imagine her directing school girls in a Perry Mackaye masque but that is what she did not so long ago in an
eastern seminary. Earlier than that she had taught classes in dramatic art and literature at the University of
Denver, where she took her own degree and she has given many lectures and study courses. Last year she went
to the National Park seminary to direct “Jeanne d’ Arc” and before she finished found herself conducting
another course for students.
One thing that appeals to Miss Penman in the type of role she plays so
often is the human note that she finds in the characters.
"All art or artistry, no matter how perfect, becomes mere tinsel and glitter beside a human document, even
though it be poor and tawdry. The great artists are those who make this their standard and who strive to
realize the human quality of whatever they do. There is more value in the true interpretation of a humble little
kitchen maid than in the artificial portrayal of a queen with nothing beyond the glitter of her crown.
It is this human note that reaches out and takes hold of an audience. One may be dazzled by brilliancy but if
there is no depth behind it, it cannot make its hold permanent."
Miss Fulton and Miss Penman have worked together for many months now and in fact, "Lady" was written with
Miss Penman in view.
“That’s one reason, perhaps why I like her so much,” said Miss Penman. Playing a part that you know is cut to
your measure is something like wearing a perfectly designed gown. You can’t be at your ease in a gown that you
are conscious is ill fitting or unbecoming and not even the best actor can be at his best in an uncongenial role.

An actor is perhaps more affected by his part than any other interpreter. An author doesn’t have to write
what he knows he can’t write, a singer can select his songs. Even an opera singer, if her voice isn’t precisely
suited to her role, has an opportunity to make an impression by her acting. But an actor, unless he is one of
those rare cases who is permitted to do what “he” wants to with a role, can’t get very much more out of it than
the role gives him”.
“Overture” came the summons from outside the door, that ominous sound that sends first-act people scurrying
down for their entrance. Miss Penman isn’t the type that scurries but she answered the summons with
unhurried quickness. In the wings she chatted a moment longer, quoting Conrad, speaking her work with Yvette
Guilbert, her friendship with many well-known people of the stage and the literary world.
A moment later Lady strolled on to the stage and in her first bored glance about her, defined herself precisely
in the eyes of the audience.

Source:
San Francisco Chronicle
August 21, 1921 E-3
Oliver Morosco was the Director for
"The Humming Bird" while Lea toured
with Maude Fulton and company in 1920
Fulton Playhouse 1518 Franklin, Oakland, California
Orpheum Theatre 568 12th Street Oakland, California
Ye Liberty Playhouse 1424 Broadway Oakland, California