Leland T. Powers

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Leland Todd Powers
Born 28 January 1857
Pultneyville, New York, United States
Died November 27, 1920(1920-11-27) (aged 63)
Brookline, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Occupation Educator
Known for Founder of the Leland Powers School

Leland Todd Powers (January 28, 1857 – November 27, 1920) was an American performing arts educator, author, and actor. The founder of the Leland Powers School, he was once renowned as "the highest paid man in the Lyceum field."[1]


Born in Pultneyville, New York, Powers attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and graduated there in 1875. In 1884, Powers gained popularity for acting all the roles in plays on his own, and was noted for being "the first man on the Lyceum platform in America to do this."[2] In 1888, he married his first wife Louise Baldwin. They were divorced in 1895.[3] He eventually traveled across the country and to South America, and was noted as being the best paid performer on the Lyceum circuit in America between 1890 and 1900, during which time he was managed by the Redpath Lyceum Bureau. In 1895, he married Carol Hoyt Powers, and they had two children. The family were Christian Scientists,[4] with Carol Hoyt Powers serving a three-year term as Second Reader of The Mother Church in Boston.

In 1893, it was written that, "Leland Powers is small and active, and tropical in temperament, and he dare enact a play with great fidelity."[5]

He married Carol Hoyt on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1895 in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Leland Powers School[edit]

In 1904, he founded the Leland Powers School of the Spoken Word in Boston, Massachusetts, joining his wife and more than a dozen staff members in teaching 140 students annually. Ten years later, in 1914, Powers had a building constructed in the Fenway next door to the Girls' Latin School. From the school Powers sold several books, including Talks on Expression, Fundamentals of Expression (with Mrs. Powers), and a practice book for learners.

Powers' pedagogy was credited as "offering a more holistic answer to the actor's problems," similar to his contemporary, Charles Wesley Emerson.[6]


  1. ^ Bacon, E.M. (1916). The book of Boston: Fifty years' recollections of the New England metropolis. Book of Boston Co. p. 236.
  2. ^ Bacon, E.M. (1916). The book of Boston: Fifty years' recollections of the New England metropolis. Book of Boston Co. p. 237.
  3. ^ (March 23, 1897.) "Louise Baldwin Married", New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  4. ^ Leonard, J.W. (1914) Woman's who's who of America: A biographical dictionary of contemporary women of the United States and Canada, 1914-1915. American Commonwealth Company. p 1695.
  5. ^ (1893) Proceedings of the National Speech Arts Association. p 208.
  6. ^ Wilmeth, D.B. and Miller, T.L. (1996) Cambridge guide to American theatre. Cambridge University Press. p. 383.

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