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May Merrick



Singing actress May Merrick became an audience favorite in Boston playing comic opera in the summer seasons of the Boston Museum Theatre Company and the Boston Theater Company's productions. When in New York she contracted with producers Klaw & Erlanger, appearing in "The Court of Marie Johnson," "Delmonico's at Six" (1894), and "Miss Dynamite."

Trained as a soprano by Rachel Noah in Boston, her first public appearances were on the concert stage in 1887. This led the Boston Theater to hire her as a singer later that year in "A Run of Luck." Her ascent to leading roles was rapid. In 1888 she won fame for her portrayal of Martha Howard, the sinning sister in the melodrama "The Two Sisters" at Niblo's Theater in New York City. After touring in that play two years, she found her way to Boston and a decade of work singing and acting. In her final theatrical engagements she was leading lady in Marie Jansen's Company.

Merrick left the stage in 1900 to marry Bostonian James T. Ball. David S. Shields/ALS