She played the role of Bess (on Broadway) in DuBose and Dorothy Heyward's 1927 non-musical play "Porgy". It would later be transformed into the Gershwin opera "Porgy and Bess".
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Originated the role of Crown's Bess in the play 'Porgy,' written by Dorothy Heyward and DuBose Heyward, when it premiered on Broadway in 1927 under the direction of Rouben Mamoulian
. She returned to the role in a 1929 revival, also directed by Mamoulian.