Monday, August 12, 2019

Festival of the Flower Queen

On Tuesday evening, August 14, 1860, a performance of the Festival of the Flower Queen was held at Norman Hall, under the direction of Professor A.B. Chase of Cleveland, Ohio; he had directed productions of the same play in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1858, and in Cleveland in 1859.

The musical performance featured seventy five young ladies from the Sandusky area, all appearing in beautiful costumes which represented different flowers. Featured performers were: Josephine Chapman, Sarah Parish, Kate Burton, Sarah Monroe, Amelia Brainard, Nettie Wetherell, Alice Hard, Fanny Barney, Alice Porter, Jennie McGee, Lina Mills, Kate Monroe, and Miss Sallie Reber. The theme of the musical was that the flowers were meeting in a dell in order to choose their queen. A recluse, played by Professor Chase, was discontented with life. In song, the flowers told the recluse about love and duty, and by end of the performance he was ready to return to society among his fellow creatures.

The August 15, 1860 issue of the Sandusky Daily Commercial Register reported that the performance at Norman Hall was a “a most decided success in every way.” The article stated that the Daisy, who was played by Sallie Reber, was coaxed into an encore song; she would later go on to be a popular performer with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in New York. 

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