Ethel Barrymore at the Carolina Theatre

Stage actress Ethel Barrymore garnered high praise for her performance as an English schoolteacher, struggling against ignorance and indifference in a remote Welsh village. Written by British dramatist Emlyn Williams, The Corn is Green had a two-year run in London before wartime bombing forced the closing of playhouses. After coming to the United States, it quickly became a Broadway hit and earned numerous awards, including the New York Drama Critics’ Circle award for best foreign play of the year.

On the road in the U.S., the show enchanted audiences around the country, and Charlotte was no different. At the Carolina, Barrymore and supporting cast members performed before an avid crowd that packed the theater “to the walls,” with even the standing-room tickets sold out. The night’s performance got started an hour after the scheduled curtain time, due to the cast’s late arrival from Asheville, but Charlotteans pronounced The Corn is Green to be “worth the wait,” especially Barrymore’s performance, which was said to cast a “brilliant glow” over the entire show.


Charlotte Observer,
 March 7, 14, 18, 1943.
Charlotte News, March 18, 1943.