by George J. Dance

Mary Aldis

Mary Aldis (1872-1948) as Gladys (with Richard Carpenter as Hugh) in Lake Forest Playhouse production of Aldis's Temperament. From Plays for Small Stages, 1915. Courtesy Internet Archive.

Mary Aldis (1872-1949) was an American poet, playwright, and patron of the arts.[1]


Aldis lived in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest with her husband, real estate executive Arthur T. Aldis.[2] She became an important figure in Chicago's noncommercial theatre scene during the 1920's and 1930's, building the Aldis Playhouse in a renovated cottage on the property, and recruiting her neighbors to act as the Lake Forrest Players.[3]

She provided financial support to numerous artistic ventures in Chicago, including Poetry magazine in its early days.[1]

In 1923 Aldis and her husband vacationed in Provincetown on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where she provided financial support to the the Wharf Players, an amateur theater group that included Harry Kemp, Mary Heaton Vorse, Frank Shay, and others. By one account, Aldis dropped her sponsorship of the group after they held a wild party next to her Provincetown lodging, and failed to invite her or any of the Players' other wealthy patrons.[1]

Aldis also served as President of the Visiting Nurses Association of Chicago.[2]




  • Plays for Small Stages. New York: Duffield, 1915.
  • Mrs. Pat and the Law: A play in one act. Boston: Walter H. Baker, 1923; Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • An Heir at Large: A play in seven scenes. Chicago: Old Tower Press, 1926.
  • Two Plus Two; or, Two and two make four. Chicago: Dramatic Publishing, 1929; Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • Extreme Unction. Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.
  • The Drama Class of Tanakha, Nevada. Alexandria, VA: Alexander Street Press, 2004.


  • Drift. New York: Duffield, 1918.


  • Florence Nightingale: An appreciation: Paper read at the Fortnightly Club of Chicago on April 2, 1914. New York : National Organization for Public Health Nursing, [1914?]
  • No Curtain: Suggested themes for impromptu plays. New York & Los Angeles: Samuel French, 1935.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[4]

Poems by Mary AldisEdit

  1. "The World Cry"

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mary Aldis, Greenwich Village Bookshop Door], University of Texas. Web, May 6, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Biographical Note, Guide to the Mary Reynolds Aldis Papers, 1904-1929, University of Chicago Library, University of Chicago. Web, May 6, 2015.
  3. Mary Aldis, Intimate Circles: American women in the arts, Yale University Library, Yale University. Web, May 5, 2015.
  4. Search results = Mary Aldis, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, May 6, 2015.

External linksEdit

  • Mary Aldis at Intimate Circles: American women in the arts
  • Mary Aldis at the Greenwich Village Bookshop Door
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