The Two Sons
Other Plays by Neith Boyce
Boyce, Neith (American playwright, 19__-____), “The Two Sons,”
a __-minute play in English, set in _____, 1916,
© 1916 by Neith Boyce, probably in public domain;
• in The Provincetown Plays, 4 Series, edited by Frank Shay, 147-169 (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1916).
• also, in Neith Boyce’s The Two Sons (Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.: Shay, ____);
• script/rights agent unknown for Neith Boyce estate, probably in public domain; interested persons could contact the curator of Yale University’s Collection of American Literature.
_____ (m), __, _____; _____ (m), __, _____; _____ (f), __, _____; _____ (f), __, _____.
• Probably out of print and in public domain.
• Not to be confused with Charles T. Ford’s Two Sons, a play in five acts (Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.: The Christopher Publishing House, 1933), LCCN 33-23957.
• Research could include Neith Boyce and Carol DeBoer-Langworthy’s The Modern World of Neith Boyce: Autobiography and Diaries (Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.: University of New Mexico Press, 2003), ISBN 0826331475, OCLC 51615304.
• Neith Boyce (1872-1951) was a Progressive-Era writer who worked in poetry, theater, short stories, novels, and various forms of creative nonfiction. She began her literary career with fiction published in her father's newspaper in Los Angeles and in California ‘little magazines,’ moving to write for cultural magazines edited by her mother in Boston in the late 1880s. From there she migrated to New York and worked on Lincoln Steffens' Commercial Advertiser in the 1890s and lived in Greenwich Village. There she met the radical journalist Hutchins Hapgood (1869-1944), whom she married in 1899. Together the couple had a life of ideas, the arts, social issues, and four children. Thanks to Hutch’s private income, they lived in all the places where modernism bloomed: Paris, Florence, New York, and Provincetown—with many stops in between. They also maintained a large circle of friends who became famous: Carl Van Vechten, Gertrude Stein, Mabel Dodge Luhan, John Reed, Margaret Sanger, Susan Glaspell, John Dos Passos, Mina Loy, and many others. Their papers at Yale’s Collection of American Literature comprise some 100,000 items and are a rich trove for mining by scholars of social and cultural history. Perhaps the most-used items are the couple’s letters to each other, which they never intended for publication or even for reading by their children. These remarkable epistles chart a complicated marriage initiated on the basis of equality, but that proved to be difficult. In fact, it was a forecast of the struggles in many later-century marriages, which assumed sexual expression and personal autonomy as basic rights. Neith published four critically acclaimed books between 1900-1910, dozens of short stories in major magazines through 1920, and plays that are once again being assessed as crucial to an understanding of the development of ‘New Theater’ in America. Her ‘Constancy’ opened the Provincetown Players in 1915, performed in her home, the rented Bissell Cottage, in Provincetown. Two volumes that appeared in 1923, the memoir Harry: A Portrait and the novel Proud Lady, signaled the end of her publishing career. However, she continued to write with publication in mind until the end of her life. These works include an autobiography, diaries, several works of history that bend the definition of the genre, a novel about Key West, short stories, and plays (including one that nearly made it into production on Broadway). Largely ignored as a writer after the 1930s, Neith was ‘rediscovered’ in the 1970s for her involvement with the women thinkers of Greenwich Village in the early years of the 20th century. Her role in the creation of literary modernism was highlighted in the 1987 book, Writing for Their Lives: The Modernist Women 1910-1940 by Gillian Hanscombe and Virginia L. Smyers (Northeastern Press). Recent biographies of her friend, Susan Glaspell, show that Neith, along with others, was instrumental in the new strategies of voice, staging, and theme that invigorated American theater in the 19-teens. In fact, Neith published in all the ‘new’ forms of writing in the early 20th century, pushing the boundaries of every literary genre. She died in early December 1951, in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her personal revisionist history of the U.S. was privately published as The Story of an American Family: Letters and Commentary on the Hapgood Family, 1648-1917 in 1953. In 1991 the Feminist Press brought out an edition of her and Hutch’s letters and writings dealing with marriage, Intimate Warriors: Portraits of a Modern Marriage, 1899-1944, as edited by E. Kay Trimberger. In 1992 the Richmond, New Hampshire Archives brought out her history of this area, where she lived on a farm occasionally: The Town in the Forest: Life Story of Richmond, New Hampshire. The new book, The Modern World of Neith Boyce: Autobiography and Diaries . . . continues this revival.”—Carol DeBoer-Langworthy - Home, http://www.neithboyce.net/, accessed July 29, 2008.