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Brief Biographical / Historical Sketch

History

This collection of Pittsburgh theatre programs and related clippings was compiled almost entirely by John M. Radovic, who attended Pittsburgh theatre regularly from 1916 until his untimely death in 1931 at age 31. The collection is of particular interest because it represents an almost complete record of the George Sharp Players, by far the best and most durable of Pittsburgh's stock companies.

The George Sharp Players enjoyed five consecutive seasons in Pittsburgh from 1927 to 1931, offering the typical stock company bill -- melodrama, light comedy, mystery, and farce. Among performers who went on to national stardom are Paul McGrath, Alexander Kirkland, Ralph Morgan, Anne Forrest, and Ann Harding. Leading lady Ann Harding, with her husband, Harry Bannister, broke away in 1928 to form a rival company, the Nixon Players, taking their name from the theatre in which they played; the company lasted only one season. The George Sharp Players performed at the Pitt Shubert until their final month in 1931 at the Pitt Alvin. Similar to other stock companies throughout the country, the George Sharp Players were forced to close because of the increasing popularity of motion pictures.

George Sharp returned to Pittsburgh for a brief season late in 1932, to manage the Edwin Vail Players, which then changed its name to the George Sharp Players. In 1934 he came again, to stage a few plays at the Fort Pitt Hotel. He died in Los Angeles in 1951.