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Carl A. Wade

playwright, drama critic, actress, and elocution teacher, was born in the British West Indian territory of Nevis, the eldest of the five daughters of Robert Spence, a planter, and Eno Anna Spence (née Lake), both natives of neighboring British colonies. The family migrated to the United States in 1901 following a hurricane that devastated the island's sugar industry and settled in New York City where Robert, like many black Caribbean immigrants of that era, experienced great hardship finding suitable employment. After high school, Eulalie attended the Normal Department of New York Training School for Teachers, and in 1914 started her career as a schoolteacher. The 1920 federal census found her living in Manhattan with her now widowed mother, and her four siblings.

Although her first production, Being Forty, appeared as early as 1924 Spence s entry into the theater arts began in earnest ...