MARK TWAIN FUSS IN ACTOR'S FAIR
Mrs. Rosenfeld, Christian Scientist, Didn't Want Him at Her Booth.
FROHMAN TO THE RESCUE
Puts Mr. Clemens with the Players, but Trouble is Brewing for Playwright's Wife.
Christian Science has got into the plans which are being made for the Actors' Fund Fair to open for a week next Monday at the Metropolitan Opera House. Things became so complicated yesterday in fact that Mark Twain was threatened with a request to abandon his intention of helping out at the Century Theatre Club booth, but has been transferred to the Players' booth instead.
Besides all this, the 400 members of the Century Theatre Club are divided into factions over whether or not the resignation of its President, Mrs. Sidney Rosenfeld, an Eddyite, who started all the trouble, shall be accepted if it is offered or asked for if it isn't. Mrs. Rosenfeld was willing to retain the Presidency, it was said, on condition that Mr. Clemens should not be present either in person or through his books at her club's booth.
A meeting of the entire membership of the club was hurriedly called yesterday afternoon after a stormy meeting of the Booth Committee. The meetings are usually held at 10:30 o'clock at the Hotel Aston. The 400 members were requested by postal yesterday afternoon to be on hand this morning "for important business." A member said last night that they would certainly be there - "all of us, too."
The Actors' Fund Fair is one of the most popular functions of the year. The Century Theatre Club, an organization formed "to band together intelligent theatregoers," agreed to take charge of a booth. The Booth Committee searched around for something that would make the club's counter one of the most "taking" at the fair.
The committee considered it a stroke of genius when Mr. Clemens was persuaded to lend himself to their booth. It was planned that he should send autograph copies of his books for sale. Some mottos and maxims of his should be shown off by electric lights. He himself agreed to come and serve at the booth at stated times.
Daniel Frohman, President of the Actors' Fund organization, complimented the committee. He thought that they had done a great thing. It was expected that wherever Mr. Clemens was there would come much money.
But he reckoned without Mrs. Rosenfeld, the President of the club. She is an ardent Christian Scientist. Several years ago when Mrs. Eddy issued her proclamation clubs she withdrew from all to which she belonged except the Century.
Mrs. Rosenfeld did not hear of the Mark Twain stroke until a few days ago. Then she sat down and wrote Mr. Clemens a letter hinting that it would be well for him not to connect himself with the booth according to the plans of the committee. She also offered him, so it was said last night, an easy way to get out of his promises. Mr. Clemens secretary replied that he was out of the city.
So yesterday Mrs. Rosenfeld called together the Booth Committee. She remonstrated with them for inviting Mr. Clemens to exhibit himself, his books and his mottoes for the benefit of the Century Theatre Club's booth. She reminded them from a long typewritten statement she had prepared that she was a Christian Scientist, and that the committee should have known that.
Then she said she would rather give up her post than be associated with an organization whose booth made Mark Twain, belittler of Christian Science, its headliner. Finally she issued an ultimatum to the effect that either Mr. Clemens would have to be cut out of the club's booth at the fair or she would cut herself not only out of the Presidency, but out of the club itself.
Daniel Frohman, President of the Actors' Fund Fair and diplomat in all affairs theatrical, was consulted. A member of the organization said last night that he was furious. He was even willing, so it was said last night, that if Mrs. Rosenfeld offered her resignation it should be accepted. Some members of the committee agreed with Mr. Frohman.
Mr. Frohman himself said last night that he couldn't see how Christian Science and the Actors' Fund Fair were in any way connected, and he thought that it had been a grave mistake to connect them at all. He decided at once to transfer Mr. Clemens to the Players' booth if he should continue willing to help at the fair. Mrs. Rosenfeld was said to be "out of town" and likely to be out.
"Mrs. Rosenfeld was very much affected at the committee meeting this morning," said a club member last night, who declared that she was present at the time. "She told the members that her Jesus and Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy were dearer to her than any club or anything else in the world, and that she would rather give up anything than be associated with persons who publicly said about Mrs. Eddy such things as Mark Twain had said. The committee was simply dumfounded [sic]. After the members recovered most of them were in favor or her resigning, though they did not say so right out."
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