Minnie Maddern Fiske

Mrs. Fiske, Marie Augusta Davey
12/19/1865 - 02/15/1932

Minnie Maddern Fiske is recognized as one of the finest actresses to perform on the American stage. She was a successful child actor who went on to become an enormously popular adult performer. Fiske played a wide variety of roles, but was particularly noted for her performances in the plays of Henrik Ibsen. She helped to introduce and promote realism in American acting. In 1890, she married playwright and theatrical manager Harrison Grey Fiske. Minnie Maddern Fiske was also an important opponent in the fight against the Theatrical Syndicate, an organization that took control of theatres and bookings across the country.

Fiske's Seattle productions include "Becky Sharp" (February 1901, Seattle Theater), "Tess of the D’Urbervilles" (February 1901, Seattle Theater), "Mary of Magdala" (April 1904, Third Avenue Theater),"Hedda Gabler" (April 1904, Third Avenue Theater), "Leah Kleschna" (June 1905, Seattle Theater), "New York Idea" (June 1907, Third Avenue Theater), "Salvation Nell" (July 1909, New Alhambra Theater), "Pillars of Society""Mrs. Bumpstead-Leigh" (June 1911, Moore Theater) and "High Road" (November 1913, Metropolitan Theatre).

Gender: 
Female
Cultural Identity: 
Notable Roles: 
Nora in Doll's House
Tess in Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Becky Sharp in Becky Sharp
Hedda in Hedda Gabler
Mrs. Cynthia Karslake in The New York Idea
Nell Saunders in Salvation Nell
Mrs. Helen Alving in Ghosts
Sources: 
Fiske, Minnie Maddern. Her Views on Actors, Acting, and the Problems of Production. Recorded by Alexander Woolcott. NY: Century Co., 1917. (https://archive.org/details/mrsfiskeherview01woolgoog) Binns, Archie. Mrs. Fiske and the American Theatre. NY: Cown Publishers, 1966. Fliotsos, Anne and Wendy Vierow. American Women Stage Directors of the Twentieth Century Donkin, Ellen. Mrs. Fiske's 1897 Tess of the D'Urbervilles : a Structural Aalysis of the 1897-98 Production. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Washington, 1982. Turner, Mary M. Forgotten Leading Ladies of the American Theatre. (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc. 1990. Ashby, Clifford. "Minnie Maddern Fiske: The Imperfect Ibsenite" Theatre Survey, v4 (19630521): 41-50. Mitchell, Langdon Elwyn Mitchell and William Makepeace Thackeray. The Picture Book of Becky Sharp; a Play in Four Acts. Chicago, New York, H.S. Stone and Co. [1899] Finding Aid to the Minnie Maddern Fiske and Harrison Grey Fiske Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, 2010. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/mss/eadxmlmss/eadpdfmss/2011/ms011133.pdf