Thursday, September 10, 2020

Aurelia in Drag

"When students of the Boston College of Practical Arts and Letters gave a play recently, Miss Aurelia Schober was the leading man," says the caption.

Discovered in the obscure Eustis [FL, near Orlando] Daily Lake Region newspaper, March 4, 1926, page 8: a unique photo of college girl Aurelia Schober in faraway Boston, Massachusetts, outfitted as a man for her role in her college's German Club play. At the all-female Boston University College of Practical Arts and Letters (CPAL) German-Club theatricals, Aurelia was often (always?) cast as a man, being tall and talented. [See an earlier, related post noting her acting.]

The image must have been quite striking for an editor in Eustis, population then 2800, to clip from its original background and print.

Boston University's College of Arts and Letters' well-staffed and industrious Press Club regularly sent press releases with college news to numerous papers. Occasionally the Club's copy or photos were published in the Boston Herald, Boston Traveler, Boston Globe, Boston Evening Transcript. Photos were expensive to print and send, so how did this get to Florida? We do know that CPAL enrolled at least one student from Florida.

Aurelia's stage career extended beyond her college graduation in 1928 to a role (as a female) at Brookline High School in 1930, a performance Aurelia remembered impressed a theatrical agent in the audience.

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