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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A Spokane actor stomped off the rehearsal stage and handed in his resignation in what his director said was “a fit of temperamental thoughtlessness.”

The actor, however, said the confrontation came as a result of what today would be called “creative differences.”

The actor, Howard Russell, was playing a cowboy named Pete during rehearsals for “The Cowboy and the Lady” at the Baker Stock Company. He was asked to make an entrance in tandem with another actor, as specified in the script.

Russell asked that the script be changed, so that he could make a solo entrance, on the theory that an actor’s entrance has more impact when alone. The director, who was also the leading man, told Russell to play the entrance as written.

Russell then threw his hands up and announced himself “quits” from the company. A new actor had to be hired and brought in from Chicago. The theater manager said Russell caused “considerable trouble and extra expense” just because he craved “individual applause.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1961: Nine black students from Tougaloo College in Mississippi staged a “read-in” at the whites-only Jackson Municipal Library and were arrested.

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