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Charles Frohman

From Academic Kids

Charles Frohman (July 16, 1860 - May 7, 1915) was an American theatrical producer.

Frohman was born in Sandusky, Ohio, the brother of Daniel and Gustave Frohman. His birth date is frequently recorded as June 17th but his tombstone shows July 16. He left home as a boy and went to New York City where he eventually worked successively for a newspaper. He developed a love of the theatre that led to him becoming a booking agent and then worked his way up to producer and a theatre owner/operator. He founded the Empire Theatre Stock Company in 1892 and the following year produced his first Broadway play.

In 1896, Charles Frohman, Al Hayman, Abe Erlanger, Mark Klaw, Samuel F. Nixon, and Fred Zimmerman formed the Theatrical Syndicate. Their organization established systemized booking networks throughout the United States and created a monopoly that controlled every aspect of contracts and bookings until the late 1910s when the Shubert brothers broke their stranglehold on the industry.

As a producer, among Frohman's most famous successes was James M. Barrie's Peter Pan with actress Maude Adams.

Frohman died in the 1915 sinking of the RMS Lusitania by the German submarine, Unterseeboot 20. His body was recovered and brought back to the United States for burial in the Union Field Cemetery in Ridgewood, New York.


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