result is an informative and readable book, one that deserves
much better than the miserable printing it has received.
Footlights on the Border. By Joseph Gallegly. The Hague, The
Netherlands (Mouton and Company), 1962. Pp. 262. Illus-
trations, bibliography, index. $6.oo.
That a book on theater activity in Texas from the time of the
republic to 1900oo could find a publisher attests more to the
present general re-shifting of the center of theater than to any
very exceptional merit to be found in the triumphs and struggles
here described. The worth and interest of a chronicle such as
this lies in a kind of reaffirmation, of relating present resurgence
to the past to make a continuous whole.
The generation which yet remembers the tail-end of "The
Road" is about gone; those coming a little later probably will
be astonished to read of the fantastic activity of these troupes
of players making their annual tours down the eastern seaboard,
across the continent to California, and back. Some, like Edwin
Booth or Lily Langtry, made the trek in regal style; others, lesser
lights, made it the hard way. All, however, brought this intensely
alive activity to the people wherever they found them, and even
fairly stereotyped newspaper accounts cannot deaden this quality,
Professor Gallegly has done a good service in assembling these
facts. The record attests to the quality as well as to the amount
of activity; and also, indirectly, to what three generations in this
country largely have missed: a live theater. The usurpation of
the mechanical has been so complete we need such books to
bridge the gap. As one having more than routine interest in the
subject I wish there had been more than .a pause now and then
to broaden and evaluate the account. A hint of such is found in
Gallegly's concluding remarks on the role of empresario Henry
Greenwall when he says, "Perhaps Henry Greenwall's effort to
develop and preserve the independence of the provincial theater
was the most notable contribution a representative of the far
Southern area made to the American stage."
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed January 31, 2015.