Frances Ann Drake (nee Denny) 1797-1875
Kathi is researching the life and work of Frances Ann Drake, sponsored in part by the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Miss Denny left Albany, NY in 1815 joining the Drake Company of Comedians – who were the first professional theatre company to come to Kentucky – eventually marrying actor Alexander Drake. For the rest of her life Mrs. Drake was primarily based in Kentucky while also performing on the east coast and throughout the burgeoning Western and Southern theatre circuit. She died in Oldham County, KY.
This research was inspired by the sparse information about the development of theatre in Kentucky in standard theatre history textbooks. She has presented about Mrs. Drake at the Southeastern Theatre Conference and the Ohio Valley History Conference, and continues to delve into the research around the country — and has already identified other women in several generations of this 19th century theatre family for further research.