Alice C.D. Riley

Alice C.D. Riley
Alice Cushing Donaldson Riley (1864-1953) was an author and playwright who lived in Evanston from 1898 until 1931. She wrote children’s poetry and stories, and several one-act plays. Her best known work is “Slumber Boat,” a familiar children’s lullaby which she co-wrote with Dorothy Gaynor. Her home at 1822 Sheridan Road (now demolished) was the scene for many amateur theatricals, writing workshops and club meetings. She and her friends formed the Riley Circle and the Drama Club of Evanston. She was also an active member of the Garden Club of Evanston and a founder of the Evanston Art Center. Her work with amateur drama groups led her to help found the Drama League of America, which for many years was the primary national organization for such groups. She and her husband Harrison retired to Pasadena, California.

2 thoughts on “Alice C.D. Riley”

  1. 5-1-14


    Is there an archive or other repository for the musical works by Alice Cushing Donaldson Riley?

    Also, is someone, scholar or otherwise, actively working on a biography or other project in re Alice Riley?

    I am particularly intersted in locating the libretto to ‘The Toy Shop,’ libretto and lyrics by Alice C.D. Riley, music by Jessie L. Gaynor and F.F. Beale, copyright 1922 by Clayton F. Summy Co., Chicago.


    Jan Boles, Archivist
    The College of Idaho
    Caldwell, ID 83605
    [email protected]

    1. Thanks for your inquiry. I will respond via email to your request. We do have an archival collection for Riley at the Evanston History Center and information in the collection about The Toy Shop. Lori Osborne, EWHP Director

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