The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 443
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The Renaissance of the Galveston Theatre
Aided financially by his brother, Morris, and encouraged by
Willard Richardson of the News, Greenwall completely altered
the seating arrangement of the old opera house: he enlarged the
dress circle, put chairs in the gallery, built a kind of "amphi-
theatre" for patrons of color, covered the aisles with India mat-
ting, and decorated the boxes with gold paper and tapestries.
Sala's oriental scene on the drop curtain was declared superior
to that of the Varieties stage in New Orleans. Of more importance
than these improvements was the enlargement of the stage by an
extension of the building at the rear; in this added part were the
property-room and "eight handsome and commanding dressing
The patrons were promised a full and complete company from
New York, every face of which would be new, not one person ever
having played in Galveston. Greenwall was the first manager in
the city who realized the need of a good stock organization. While
he was in New York arranging to return with the players, the
Greenwall Theatre (as the new playhouse was to be called) was
lighted one evening (October 25) so that all cultured and refined
playgoers could inspect "the first creditable theatre ever in Gal-
veston." Indeed, the establishment of the attractive amusement
house was a splendid accomplishment, the more remarkable, one
may believe, when it is learned that a hurricane of great force had
struck the Island late in the summer while a severe yellow fever
The dramatic corps, having received assurance from the How-
ard Association (a benevolent organization devoted to the care
of fever victims) that the violence of "Yellow Jack" had abated,
set sail from New York and reached the little Texas port on the
ship Tybee on November 2o; that is to say, the players themselves
arrived-their music books and wardrobes went by mistake to
Havana. Those who made up the company were listed as T. G.
Drummond, Britannia Theatre, London, leading man; E. K.
Mortimer, Broadway Theatre, New York, juvenile man; Harry
Richmond, Metropolitan Theatre, Buffalo, New York, leading
heavy man; James L. White, Chestnut Theatre, Philadelphia,
first old man; Harry Stewart, Boston Theatre, first walking gen-
tleman; George P. Moore, London Theatre, London, character
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/538/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.