In 1897, Augustus Thomas was one of America’s most successful playwrights, but he’d hit a dry spell. So a neighbor in New Rochelle, NY suggested he go West, to Arizona, to come up with ideas.
Thomas took that advice—which came from famed artist Frederic Remington. And he spent weeks in southeast Arizona, getting to know military men, Apache and cowboys and ranchers. He came up with a Wild West melodrama which he called, appropriately, “Arizona.”
It was a big hit when it debuted in Chicago in 1899. The sets were designed by Remington.