On July 6, the Mint, which routinely uses its lung power to blow dust off "neglected but worthy" plays, will premiere J. M. Barrie's one-acts The Old Lady Shows Her Medals and The New Word, presented under the blanket title Echoes of the War.
Frances Sternhagen will star in The Old Lady, repeating the role she performed at a Mint reading earlier this year. Richard Easton, who has also done readings for the company, will appear in The New Word. Eleanor Reissa directs.
Both plays were first presented in New York at the Empire Theater, along with another piece, Old Friends, in 1917. The production ran 48 performances.
The Mint had a success this past spring by presenting two A.A. Milne plays in repertory: Mr. Pim Passes By, a revival of an early triumph for the company, and The Truth About Blayds.
The man who encouraged Milne to become a playwright is none other than Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie. The Scottish Barrie wrote many other plays beside Peter Pan, among them a couple notable vehicles for Ethel Barrymore, The Twelve Pound Look and Alice Sit-By-The-Fire. Sternhagen and Easton's involvement is a rare bit of star casting for the venerable Mint. In the past, the company has relied on lesser known performers, often returning to favorite actors such as Lisa Bostnar.
Performances begin July 6 at the Mint Theater at 311 West 43rd Street.