The Provincetown Playhouse, 133 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012
Florence Kiper Frank (1885 - June 27, 1976) was a a poet and author.
Florence Kiper was a graduate of the University of Chicago.
Before World War I she was a member of the Chicago Literary Circle, among whose members were Carl Sandburg, Sherwood Anderson, Edgar Lee Masters and Amy Lowell.
Her first published poem was a sonnet, “The Jew to Jesus,” which appeared in 1904. She was also the author of two poetic plays, “Jael” and “Cabined.” Florence Kiper Frank's plays were performed by the Provincetown Players and Chicago Little Theatre. She did not treat the character of Salome directly, but borrowed from Oscar Wilde’s play in telling other biblical stories in which women precipitated the deaths of men. Kiper Frank’s one-act Jael concerns a Kenite woman who caused the downfall of the Canaanite general Sisera as foretold by the biblical prophet Deborah. The Chicago Little Theatre production of this play followed in 1914, the same year as Kiper Frank’s essay “Some American Plays from a Feminist Viewpoint.” Although Kiper Frank’s essay is often quoted in books and articles on early twentieth-century feminist plays, this viewpoint has not been applied to a study of her own plays. In response to Kiper Frank’s call for a feminist theatre “to set forth sincerely and honestly, yet with vital passion, those problems in the development and freedom of women that the modern age has termed the problems of feminism,” Kari-Anne Innes proposed that her own dramatic work merits attention and may provide insight into an experimental form of feminist biblical drama in the early twentieth-century.
She married Judge Jerome N. Frank (1889-1957) of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals on July 18, 1914. They had one daughter, Barbara, born April 10, 1917. Florence Frank said of her husband: "Being married to Jerome is like being hitched to the tail of a comet".
The editors of Poetry, Harriet Monroe and Alice Corbin Henderson included in their 1917 selection for The New Poetry: An Anthology poems by Florence Kiper Frank. According to Adrienne Munich and Melissa Bradshaw, authors of Amy Lowell, American Modern, what connects these poets is their appartenance to the queer sisterhood.
The “new” Provincetown Playhouse theater at 133 MacDougal St., New York, opened in 1918 with one-act plays by Eugene O’Neill, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Florence Kiper Frank.
Kiper Frank's last published work, a volume of poetry entitled “The Silver Grain,” was published in 1956.
She died Sunday at her New Haven home. She was 90 years old.
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