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News & Events

February 13, 2024
Bejeweled Gloves & Throat Massagers:
Nineteenth Century Theatrical Treasures

We’re fortunate to be the caretakers of literally thousands of theatrical paintings and sculptures, books and manuscripts, objects and more at The Players Foundation. Due to space considerations, not everything can be on display.  To compensate, we regularly host our intimate Up Close & Personal series, where enthusiasts have the opportunity to hear about—and sometimes even touch—theatrical treasures that are stored in our archives.  Imagine a book-lined library conversation among friends centered on specific examples of theatrical history—that's the atmosphere at Up Close & Personal.

Player Elizabeth Jackson led a recent Up Close & Personal, which focused on two acting titans of the nineteenth century stage, Edwin Forrest and Robert Mantell. The Players Foundation has many items in our collection from both actors.


Here are but two examples from the Foundation collection that prompted lively discussion:


These beautifully preserved bejeweled gloves (pictured) were worn by Edwin Forrest. Nineteenth century actors, who were paid relatively well for the time, were expected to furnish their own costumes. The detail and quality of these exquisite gloves reflect the commitment to the high standards and authenticity prevalent in stage circles in the second half of the 1800s.


At the opposite end of the beauty spectrum was an ivory "throat massager," also owned—and presumably used -- by Forrest. To date, the Foundation has not been able to find other throat massager references. If you have information regarding this theatrical mystery, please contact us!  

Interested in joining us for an Up Close & Personal?  Please reach out to

January/February, 2024
Antiques, The Magazine

The Magazine Antiques, an esteemed publication focused on the decorative arts, architecture, preservation, and interior design, featured the Booth Room Restoration Project in its January/February issue. In an article by Player Lansing Moore, Jr., our preservation efforts are detailed, accompanied by beautiful photographs that capture the room, “a veritable time capsule preserving the accoutrements with which a Gilded Age man about town surrounded himself.”

March 10, 2023
Library Magic! A Lecture on Legerdemain Linked to Edwin Booth

Brooklyn Native, Richard Cohn is among Magic’s most entertaining scholars. With a globe-spanning career in the film industry, and a particular passion for the art of illusion, he has become a leading authority on the facts and falsehoods buried within the lost lore of legerdemain.

As lead archivist for the Society of American Magicians NYC, Richard is honored to share his insights with the Players Foundation for Theatre Education. The 50-min lecture will include a select showcase of early 20th century Magic Posters from John Mulholand’s collection, which currently resides within the Clubhouse of The Players on 16 Gramercy Park South.

February 3, 2023
Up Close and Personal 
Edwin and Mary Devlin, A Love Story 

The Foundation hosts monthly discussions in The Player’s Library. The series covers various aspects of the collection. Recent topics have included Charlotte Cushman, crowns and daggars from Edwin Booth’s Shakespearean performances, and letters to his first wife, and love of his life, Mary Devlin. Regular attendee Linda Porto
said, “Such a treasure trove for the club members to learn about!” Talks are held monthly at 6pm.

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November 8, 2022
Eric Pape & The Players Exhibition

The Players Foundation has been working with art collector and Player Greg Conn to show a collection of theatrical portraits and stage designs by Player Eric Pape which have not been seen publicly since his death in 1938. Pape, an early member of The Players, was seconded for membership by his friend Samuel Clemens in 1894 and remained active in the Club until his death in 1938. The Players is home to the largest public collection of Eric Pape’s surviving theatrical portraits.

The exhibition includes an accompanying 178-page book written by Dr. Conn and designed by Art Committee Chair Michael Gerbino and his team at Archigrafika. Eric Pape and The Players provides details about Eric Pape's life and how it informed his work, his relationship to the Club, and information about the individual portraits and their subjects. 

October 19, 2022
Hall of Fame Honorees

The Players Hall of Fame recognizes historical or incumbent Players whose artistic contributions are of particular impact inside and outside our clubhouse, and honoring those of special commitment to the club and The Players Foundation for Theatre Education. New inductions take place every few years, and new portraits of the honorees are added to the permanent collection.

October, 2022
Broadway for All
In partnership with Broadway for All, The Players Foundation for Theatre Education arranged for young performing artists to see to 2020 production of “Death of a Salesman” at the Hudson Theater in NYC.
March 1, 2022
Richelieu Costume

Theatre costumes from the past rarely survive. Either they wear out, or they are cut up and turned into new garments for new productions. This custom is why the Booth costumes in the Foundation’s collection are so extraordinary—they might be some of the oldest in the country. These elaborate pieces, made to a standard suitable for one of the era’s most acclaimed thespians, were Booth’s personal costumes. They have remained with The Players, gifted to the Club by his daughter.

In order to learn more about the history of these costumes and properly preserve them for posterity, the Foundation has recently formed a partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology. Sophia Daniel, an FIT graduate student specializing in textile studies and theatre history, has been welcomed to The Players to begin an internship spanning the next few months, where she will help research the history of Booth’s costumes. Our goal is to learn as much as we can about who made them and when, where they were used, fellow institutions that might have other Booth costumes, and where these ensembles at The Players stand in the context of other costumes from the era. All the information gathered will be published and used to guide future phases of this partnership: conservation and exhibition. 

February 18, 2022
Simon Jones at The Players

Join us as The Players Foundation for Theatre Education presents a Library Talk with the delightful Simon Jones.
Simon will explore the world of The Gilded Age, in which he plays the formidable Mr. Bannister. Created by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) this drama portrays the conflicts between New York old money, new money, and those that serve. 
Player Simon Jones has had a long and distinguished career on stage and screen. Some of his film and television roles include the Downton Abbey film as King George V, Bridey Marchmain in Brideshead Revisited, the BBC radio and television series The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and in the film Miracle on 34th Street.

December 14, 2021
Recent Restoration

Originally housed in the Booth Theater on 23rd and 6th Avenue, the window with a stained glass portrait of Shakespeare has graced the Equity Room of The Players for many years. Until recently it was in serious need of repair, as it was badly warped and cracked. Femenella Associates, who previously restored and installed the stained glass panels in the Kinstler Room, was called upon once again to undertake this project. The piece was returned to The Players around Christmas 2021. The restoration was made possible thanks to a generous donation to The Players Foundation by a fellow Player.

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