Lakewood, N.J., November 3, 2017—In 1896, Edith Mary Kingdon and her husband, George Jay Gould, hired architect Bruce Price to create an estate, a winter residence in Lakewood, New Jersey, called “Georgian Court”, which today is the site of Georgian Court University.
For several years, Edith and George Gould and their seven children celebrated the holidays in the Great Hall of Georgian Court’s Mansion. This November and December, that tradition will continue with 23 performances of “Mrs. Gould’s 16th Annual Holiday Social,” presented by St. George Living History Productions, an organization that has produced historical theater for many of the country’s leading history museums. Visitors will enjoy actors portraying members of the Gould family as they celebrate the holidays.
The first Holiday Social at GCU was held in 2002 and, through the years, “special guests” have included Fanny Brice, Irving Berlin, Al Jolson, and Bob Hope. This year’s “guest” will be Ada Rehan, an American actress of the late 1800s who was popular for her performances in Shakespearean plays and adaptations of European comedies. Her most famous role was that of Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, which opened in New York City in 1887. She originated the role of Maid Marian in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Foresters, which premiered in New York in 1892, and, in 1894, she starred in a very successful London production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
George Jay Gould, a wealthy financier, married Kingdon, a stage actress, against his family’s wishes. The Goulds lived lavishly and held many extravagant parties. Mr. Gould was a sportsman and used much of the estate grounds for golf courses, polo fields, and tennis courts. The estate became a college in 1924 when it was sold to the Sisters of Mercy under the condition that it would become an educational institution called Georgian Court.
Performances of Mrs. Gould’s Holiday Social will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, November 7, 14, 21, and 28, and December 5, 12, and 19; Wednesdays, November 8, 15, and 29, and December 6, 13, and 20; Thursdays, November 9, 16, and 30, and December 7, 14, and 21; and Saturdays, November 11, and December 2, 9, and 16. Every performance includes a tea luncheon. Tickets are $45 and can be ordered at georgian.edu/events. Pre-purchase of tickets is required for all performances.
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court expands possibility for more than 2,300 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 33 undergraduate majors and more than 10 graduate programs. In 2015, GCU was named #25 among MONEY® magazine’s “Top 50 Colleges That Add the Most Value” and a Best Bang for the Buck School by Washington Monthly. GCU has also been recognized by The Economist and Colleges of Distinction and is a Military Friendly® School. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at Hazlet, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.