The Heart of Maryland

The Heart of Maryland
   David Belascos four-act melodrama opened on 22 October 1895 at the Herald Square Theatre, racking up 229 performances. Set during the American Civil War , the play examines the painful division within a Maryland family. Young Colonel Alan Kendrick chooses to fight for the North, while his father sides with the South. Complicating matters, Alan's fiancée, Maryland Calvert, is a Confederate sympathizer and her brother, Lloyd, is a Northern spy. Alan sneaks across the battle lines to see Maryland, but he is captured by Thorpe, a Confederate officer whose prewar court-martial had been carried out by Alan. Thorpe is bent on revenge and orders Alan shot as a spy. When the heartsick Maryland pleads for Alan's life, Thorpe attempts to seduce her. She stabs Thorpe, allowing Alan a chance for escape. The wounded Thorpe orders the church bell rung to signal Alan's escape, but Maryland prevents this by grabbing the bell's clapper to absorb the sound with her own body. Alan leads a raid with Federal troops and not only captures Thorpe, but also finds a cache of letters from Robert E. Lee denouncing Thorpe. As the curtain falls, Alan and Maryland are reunited. Mrs. Leslie Carter played Maryland opposite Maurice Bar-rymore as Alan. The Heart of Maryland toured for three seasons and was instrumental in the establishment of Belasco's producing predominance on Broadway.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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