Post-Parade – The Major Figures

September 25, 2013

By Sally Ollove, Literary Manager

Note: This post provides additional information for our audiences after watching the Arden’s production of Parade and contains spoilers. 

Though the events of Parade conclude shortly after Leo’s death, many of the lives of the characters depicted continued to feel the reverberations of the event for years to come.


Only 27 at the time of the lynching, Lucille Frank never remarried. Until her death in 1957, signed her name: Mrs. Leo Frank. She rarely spoke about the case, and wrote just once of the men who killed her husband: “I only pray that those who destroyed Leo’s life will realize the truth before they meet their God—they are not perhaps entirely to blame, fed as they were on lies unspeakable, their passions aroused by designing persons. Some of them, I am sure, did not realize the horror of their act. But those who inspired these men to this awful act, what of them? Will not their consciences make for them a hell on earth, and will not their associates, in their hearts, despise them?”


As he predicted, Governor Slaton’s decision to commute the sentence of Leo Frank ended his political career. After his actions became public, an angry mob marched on his residence and Slaton fled the state. He never held public office again, though he served as president of the Georgia Bar Association, and chaired the Board of Law Examiners. Slaton died in 1955.



Hugh Dorsey was elected governor ofGeorgia in 1916, riding on his popularity from the Frank case. He was openly supported by Thomas Watson, whose anti-Semitic rhetoric had whipped up public opinion. Dorsey proved surprisingly progressive as a politician: taking a particular interest in eradicating unjust violence towards the African-American population in his state and taking a hard line on lynchings and mob violence. Dorsey remained in office as governor until 1921, and ended his career as a county judge.


Jim Conley is considered by many to be the real murderer of Mary Phagan, due to irregularities in his testimony and revelations from witnesses much later in the 20th century. Following his release from a 20 year sentence for armed robbery, Conley more or less vanishes from the record—though sightings were reported through the 1930s. The last recorded sighting occurred in 1941 when he was arraigned on charges of public drunkenness and gambling. During the questioning, Conley claimed that he’d been living “a quiet life.” An acquaintance in 1971 mentioned that Conley “had passed” with no indication when in the last 30 years that event occurred.


Britt Craig only lived a few more years. He died from pneumonia shortly after taking a job with The New York Sun.





18 Responses

  1. Sandra Clair says:

    Wonderful production! The graphics, the voices of the cast, the huge screen, all great. I’m running out of adjectives. Ben Dibble and Jennie Eisenhower were especially moving with there subdued performances.

  2. I truly enjoyed this production. Thanks for these afterword comments; I had left today wondering about what happened after the events presented. Dr. Ray Landers

  3. This is frustrating. I have posted a comment. So why won’t it go through. RAY LANDERS

    • Leigh Goldenberg says:

      Our apologies! The comments are set to manually approve, which we have now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

  4. Beverly C. Roen says:

    A splendid and moving production in every way! Although the musical dramatizes a true event that happened 100 years ago, the universal themes and lessons of the work resonate today. Thank you for another memorable, thought-provoking evening of theater. I will encourage everyone I know to experience the Arden’s production of PARADE.
    Thank you!
    Bev Rosen

  5. Susan R Croll says:

    I’ve been a subscriber for many many years and this has to be one of the best shows I’ve seen. I felt like I was given a Gift…Ben Dibble,who I’ve seen before,surely will be remembered for THIS PERFORMANCE! So many excellent voices… The sets were so imaginative, using so little and each scene truly captured that moment. The use of the Large Screen with Retro Images brought 1913 to life..Brilliant!

  6. renee zuritsky says:

    It’s a brilliant play, extremely provocative and moving. I hope it attracts a very wide and large audience.

  7. Peter Stevens says:

    After reading the Inquirer’s review I was looking forward to this production. However, after attending it I wondered what show the critic had watched. I found the solo voices far from outstanding, and certainly none of them “made the hairs on my arms stand up.” I’ve heard better singing in non-professional theaters such as Town and Country Players in Bucks County. Some of this was due to the music itself which seemed to be a series of recitations with notes added at random. Certainly there were no memorable melodies, although admittedly there were some good rhythmics. The story line about similar incidents has been told a thousand times before To Kill A Mocking Bird, The Dreyfus Affair, etc.), but this time it was dragged out interminably due to the non-appealing the music. On the other hand I could find little fault with the acting although some of it was a bit over the top. All in all a disappointing theater experience for us. We left at the intermission, as did a number of other people.

  8. Sharon Ceravolo says:

    Enjoyed the production very much despite the difficult and certainly thought provoking subject Ben Dibble was extraordinary. Great to see Jeff Coon again , such a talent

  9. Kaaren Lobel says:

    It’s hard to determine what to praise first: The fantastic and talented cast, which included some of my favorite Philadelphia artists (Jeffrey Coon, Ben Dibble, Sarah Gliko, Anthony Lawton and Jennie Eisenhower), the incredibly creative set, the moving and tragic story of Leo Frank…joined together to deliver a truly breathtaking theatre experience. I have not one word of criticism. Arden Theatre — you have outdone yourself with this production!

  10. David Heller says:

    I really enjoyed this production. I also enjoyed the Q&A afterward with Sally and the head of the National Museum of American Jewish History. I look forward to future shows at the Arden!

  11. janet cantor says:

    The always excellent Arden did a splendid job with Parade. I had the privilege of sitting in on a pre Broadway reading of this play.

    That dance number at the governor’s house was choreographed and acted so well. The opening number of the second act was terrific bringing up truths we face today.

    I liked the parade at the end of Act One. The people party as Frank is called guilty. And the last song, a reprieve of the earlier number, was typical of Harold Prince. An upbeat anthem that is a fraud. This heartfelt number is a celebration of the triumph of bigotry and hatred. It sounds so good, so satisfying until you think about what it is really about.
    Prince often has themes of paradoxes in our culture.

  12. Very much agree with all of the favorable comments listed here. I do want to thank you for the Post Parade information. I have never seen this done by other Philadelphia theaters. This is another reason why the Arden is THE BEST! A long time subscriber Santo DiDonato

  13. rebecca adams says:

    Parade was Fantastic. My husband and I were spellbound. The acting, voices, movement, set, clarity…I could go on and on…it was all remarkable. Ben Dibble was captivating. All of the actors soo good. Thank you all so very much for the privilege of experiencing such a beautiful piece of art.

  14. Randy M Rosenberg, MD says:

    Parade is an astonishingly moving musical drama. My wife points out that the music is a perfect counterpoint to the universal themes of enduring love during crisis and the ripple effect of prejudice linked to regional tradition. At the core is a riveting story that lays out perfectly and features a large cast of personalities that do not get diluted in the production. Mesmerizing set design makes you feel that you are being pulled irresistibly in the Parade of lies and misfortune. I must find out more about Leo Frank. One of the best Arden productions to date, and there have been many!

  15. Marian Halligan says:

    Absolutely Wonderful!
    Thank You!

  16. Jane A. Rose says:

    Because I knew this distressing story, I was apprehensive about attending. But I’m glad that I did. Your presentation was outstanding in every respect, one of the best we’ve seen in our more than 10 years of being season subscribers. Such talented actors and singers combine with innovative set design to provide thrilling theatre. It is a privilege to be a part of the Arden family. Thank you.

  17. Tim Wadas says:

    Magnificent. Having seen “The Scottsboro Boys” I have to wonder how the United States allowed such injustice to happen. Bravo for Jennie and Ben. Thank you for producing such a show.

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