Sweet Tornado: Margo Jones and the American Theater

December 12, 1911 - - Margaret Virginia Jones is born in Livingston, Texas, to Richard Harper and Martha Pearl (Collins) Jones.

1933 - - Jones graduates from the Girls' Industrial College of Texas (now Texas Woman's University) in Denton, Texas.

1933-34 - - Jones works and studies at the Southwestern School of the Theatre, Dallas.

1934 - - Jones studies directing at the Pasadena Playhouse Summer School.

1935 - - After directing at Ojai Community Theatre, Jones makes her first trip abroad. Upon her return, she's hired as assistant director of Houston Federal Theatre Project.

1936 - - During her second trip abroad, Jones visits the Moscow Art Theatre Festival. The same year, she founds the amateur Houston Community Players, which she directs until 1942.

1942 - - Jones joins the theater faculty at the University of Texas in Austin. That year, she meets playwright Tennessee Williams.

1943 - - Jones directs You Touched Me by Tennessee Williams and Donald Windham at the Cleveland Play House (October) and the Pasadena Playhouse (November).

1944 - - Jones directs Williams' The Purification in Pasadena. She co-directs the Chicago tryout of The Glass Menagerie.

1945 - - The Glass Menagerie opens on Broadway. The Dallas Civic Theatre is incorporated, but does not open until 1947.

1946 - - Jones directs Maxine Woods' On Whitman Avenue on Broadway. During a Washington, D.C. tryout, Jones is fired as director of Maxwell Anderson's Joan of Lorraine.

1947 - - Dallas' nonprofit professional theater opens as Theatre '47.

1948 - - Jones produces and directs the Broadway production of Williams' Summer and Smoke.

1949 - - The Alley Theatre in Houston is professionalized under director Nina Vance.

1950 - - Zelda Fichandler founds the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

1951 - - Margo Jones' book Theatre-in-the-Round is published.

1954 - - Mary John, the third pioneering woman to take inspiration from Margo Jones' example, co-founds Milwaukee Repertory Company.

1955 - - In January, Margo directs the world premiere of Lawrence and Lee's Inherit the Wind in Dallas.

July 24, 1955 - - Jones dies in Dallas after being accidentally poisoned by chemicals used to clean the carpet in her apartment. On July 27, Jones is buried in Livingston, Texas.

1961 - - Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee establish the Margo Jones Award.

1960s - - The regional theater movement expands across the country with financial support from the Ford Foundation. New theaters are founded in Minneapolis, Seattle, and dozens of other American cities.

1969 - - Margo Jones Theatre opens at Southern Methodist University.

1982 - - Texas Woman's University opens Margo Jones Performance Hall in Denton, Texas.

1989 - - Helen Sheehy publishes her biography Margo: The Life and Theatre of Margo Jones (SMU Press).

2006 - - KERA's documentary Sweet Tornado: Margo Jones and the American Theater airs on PBS stations nationally.