MacKaye, Percy

MacKaye, Percy (Wallace)

(1875–1956) playwright, poet; born in New York City. He graduated from Harvard (1897), taught in New York City (1900–04), then settled in Cornish, N.H. He had a strong interest in pageants and in amateur community theater. His pageant The Canterbury Pilgrims (1903) was made into an opera by Reginald De Koven (1917). Other plays using historical material were Jeanne D'Arc (1906), Sappho and Phaon (1907), and The Scarecrow (1908), based on Hawthorne's story "Feathertop." Several works produced in the 1920s drew on tales and folklore collected in Kentucky by him and his wife. In 1949 he produced The Mystery of Hamlet: King of Denmark, a series of four verse plays that develop the characters and plot to a point that precedes the action of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.