Elizabeth Dorothy Schwieger of Southold, met with what Henry James called “That distinguished Thing” on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at San Simeon By the Sound in Greenport.
Born in Los Angeles to Charles and Bess W. Schwieger, she graduated with honors from UCLA in 1945 and was hired by the U.S. Army Special Services as a civilian actress technician in the European Theatre of Operations. There, under the stage name Liz Blake, she toured as Queen Margaret in Richard Whorf’s acclaimed production of “Richard III” and played the lead in Maxwell Anderson’s play, “Winterset,” directed by Guthrie McClintic.
Back in the States, Liz joined a dozen young actors to form the company, Touring Players, Inc. It was so successful they presented both classics and modern American plays throughout 16 states for the next eight years.
Exhausted but happy, she settled down in New York City as playwright for Ethel Barrymore Colt’s company, Plays for Living, a division of the Family Services Association of America. Her work was commended by Congress’ Committee on the Humanities for “giving dramatic emphasis to situations in our communities which need recognition and greater understanding”.
When Ms. Blake’s play, “The Man Nobody Saw,” was performed in our Nation’s Capital, it was praised so highly by The Washington Post, Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts received unanimous consent to have the full review printed in the Congressional Record.
Miss Blake’s next play, “Brewsie & Willie,” was co-written with playwright Ellen Violet and adapted from Gertrude Stein’s novel about American G.I.s. First produced at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, it was televised for the CBS program “Omnibus” and introduced by Alistair Cooke. It is listed and registered at the Paley Center for Radio and Television, where you may go and view it on request.
Ms. Blake’s lyric-writing ability is shown on Dave Brubeck’s classic album “Take Five.” One number, “Melentha,” became a popular recording by Carmen McCrae.
Always a great traveler, Ms. Blake spent time in China, Africa, Central America, Europe, the Caribbean, and Russia. Most recently she held a position as researcher for NBC’s Events Programming which meant she could work at home in Southold, a town she loved, and where she leaves an army of friends deeply missing her today.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
This is a paid notice.