Woman of the Century/Laura Sedgwick Collins
laura sedgwick collins. COLLINS, Miss Laura Sedgwick musician, dramatic reader and amateur actor, was born in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. At an early age she gave unmistakable evidence of marked ability, and even genius, both as a musician and an elocutionist. She studied under able masters and was graduated several years ago from the Lyceum School of Acting, New York City. She is a skilled pianist, a reader of established reputation, and, though not upon the professional dramatic stage, has appeared in many difficult rules for the benefit of charities, in the theaters of New York, Brooklyn and other cities. She has studied vocal music and has a sympathetic voice of wide range. She has composed music, much of which is published, and has a large collection of songs, part-music and pianoforte selections and a volume of poems yet to be brought out. "The Two Republics," a march which she wrote, was played at the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty, and Monsieur Bartholdi expressed to her his compliments upon its merits. She composed a minuet for the first performances in English in this country of "Les Precieuses Ridicules," given at the Lyceum Theater, New York. She was also prominently identified with the performance of Sophocles' tragedy of "Electra," which was given in March, 1889, in the Lyceum Theater, New York, and subsequently in the Mollis Street Theater, Boston, Mass., and by the request of the Faculty in Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass. She composed all of the music for that play and taught it to the chorus, which contained only a few persons who could read music. On 10th December, 1S89, at Proctor's Twenty-third Street Theater, New York, was the occasion of the first presentation of a character sketch in four acts, entitled "Sarah Tarbox, M A.," which was written especially for Miss Collins by Charles Barnard. In that work six won a brilliant success. She spoke with imaginary characters, rode in an imaginary railroad train, went to the theater, attended a reception; yet no one was before the audience but herself. She interpreted vividly all the different parts throughout the entire play; she held the audience during the phases of a scene on Broadway, New York, a scene in a boarding-house room, closing with a scene in St. Luke's Hospital, without the aid of any properties and with but two plain chairs on the stage. In the play she used her various gifts and figured as composer, pianist, singer, dancer and reciter. The achievement was unique in the history of the stage. She has since brought out other successful monologues. Her versatility is coupled with high merit in each line of effort.