Starring Madame Modjeska: On Tour in Poland and America

Beth Holmgren

Slavic and Eurasian Studies professor Holmgren traces the fabulous life and career of Poland's leading actress, Helena Modrzejewska. In 1876, the actress immigrated to southern California accompanied by family and friends to establish a utopian commune that soon failed. Within a year she made her debut in the title role of Adrienne Lecouvreur at San Francisco's California Theatre. She changed her name to Modjeska and quickly became a leading star on the American stage, where she reigned for the next 30 years. During this time, she established herself as America's most esteemed Shakespearean actress, playing opposite such celebrated actors as Edwin Booth and Maurice Barrymore.

See story in Duke Today.