Creator: Aldis, Mary, b. 1872 (1872-1949)
Extent: 2.0 Boxes. More info below.
Arrangement: The play scripts, in folders with the original binders, are in a standard 5" Hollinger box. The large photos, with the reel of microfilm, are in a one flat box.
Date Acquired: 00/00/1990. More info below under Accruals.
Mary Reynolds Aldis, wife of Chicago developer Arthur Aldis, wrote one-act plays, poetry, and painted in watercolor. Born in Chicago and educated at St. Mary’s School in Knoxville, IL, she married her husband in 1892. After moving to Lake Forest in 1902, she occupied an estate on the southeast corner of Deerpath Rd and Green Bay Rd. She and her husband added and then converted a cottage on their property into an amateur playhouse which opened on June 11, 1911.
The Aldises were considered pioneers in amateur and community theater in Chicago. Mary’s Lake Forest summer playhouse ran full seasons until 1915 and ended by 1920. The playhouse put on plays by both amateur and professional playwrights and reflected Mary’s tastes as a writer, translator, and dramatist.
Aldis worked to support women's rights and other progressive causes. She, at times, lived independently from her husband and died in 1949 in Milwaukee.
Acquisition Source: Lake Forest Library, Estate of Herman Dunlop Smith, Babette F. Inglehart
Acquisition Method: The Mary Aldis Collection came from three sources during the 1980’s. The photographs were donated after the death of Herman D. Smith. The Lake Forest Library transferred the collection of unpublished play scripts. The microfilm was donated by Babette F. Inglehart.
The Blanche Mason Tellis papers, donated by the late Phyllis Peter Schrock of Lake Forest and a former College staff member, include periodical issues including one with an article on the Aldis Compound.
The Trimmed Lamp, a Periodical of Life and Art, v. V (5), June 1915-May 1916, includes two poems by Mary Aldis, "The Park Bench" (July 1916, 22-24) and "My Secret" (September 1916, 53), correspondence questioning her poetry as such in "The Park Bench," her reply, her appointment with Harriet Monroe to a judging panel for a December 1916 poetry prize, and her lengthy Jan. 1916 (125-27) letter reporting on the contest, her statement on the art of poetry. She is also defended by Eunice Tietjens in Sept. 1915, 59.
Aldis, Mary, b. 1872. Drift. New York: Duffield & Company, 1918. </span>
Aldis, Mary (Reynolds), Mrs. Plays for Small Stages. New York: Duffield, 1915. reprinted 1922.
At the Goodman Theatre : an exhibition in celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of Chicago’s oldest producing theatre, October 12, 1985-January 11, 1986 / by Sheila Ryan; sponsored by the Special Collections Division, Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall, The Chicago Public Library Cultural Center. Chicago: 1985, 31 pp.
Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. Too Late to Lament, an Autobiography. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1956 (orig. publ. London: Gollancz, 1955).
Coventry, Kim, Daniel Meyer, and Arthur H. Miller. Classic Country Estates of Lake Forest, Architecture and Landscape Design: 1856-1940. New York: W.W. Norton, 2003.
Ingelhart, Babette F. "Mary Aldis" in Women Building Chicago 1790-1990 : a Biographical Dictionary / editors, Rima Lunin Schultz, Adele Hast ; associate editors, Carolyn De Swarte Gifford ... [et al.]. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2001.
Kimbrel, Dawn K. The Aldis Compound. Lake Forest: Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical Society, 1994, 44 pp.
Photograph, black and white, 14" by 10.5".
"John Root, Mrs. Charles Hubbard, Martyn Johnson in ? a (tragic play) by Floyd Dell"
The stage background, wallpaper and satin drapes, show a stylized garden mixed flower border pattern.
Photograph, balck and white, in matboard.
"Le Village by Octave Feuillet"
"left to right Frances Shaw (Mrs. Howard Shaw) John Root, Mr. Baggot, Martha Atkinson, M. - - ?"
"Charles mather and ? (Lake Forest University Students) in a play by Charles Mather adapted from a short story by Charles Collins"
Stamped "Photo by International News Service" and, in pencil, "Compliments of HV Lee."
Photograph, black and white, 6" x 9" in matboard. Under the image, "Mary and Rose in By Products."
"Cissy Gizicka and Helen Poole in By-Products by Jo Patterson"
Stamped "Frederic H Wagner, Dearborn Ave. and Huron St. Chicago"
The Pocket Book
The Wanderer (2 copies)
Lady Madeleine (3 copies)
The Professor's Wife
A Country Doctor
The Red Inn
Two Timid Ones
The Lord's Prayer
A Country Doctor (2 copies)
The Red Inn
Two Timid Ones
The Recognition (2 copies)