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Encyclopedia > Group Theatre

The Group Theatre was a left-wing theater collective, formed in New York in 1931 by Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford and Lee Strasberg. It was intended to be a kind of breeding ground for actors, directors, and playwrights. The Group were pioneers of the method acting technique. The name "Group" came from the idea of the actors as a pure ensemble; there were to be no "stars." The company's first original play was the labor one-act Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets, produced in 1935.


The Group included Elia Kazan, Stella Adler, John Garfield, Luther Adler, Will Geer, Howard Da Silva, Franchot Tone, John Randolph, Joseph Bromberg, Michael Gordon, Paul Green, Clifford Odets, Paul Strand, Kurt Weill, Sanford Meisner and Lee J. Cobb.


In the ten years of its existence, the Group Theatre produced works by many important American playwrights. In the 1950s, most of the former members were called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Those who appeared as "friendly" witnesses, such as Elia Kazan, Clifford Odets, and Lee J. Cobb, avoided the fate of their colleagues who stood for their principles and, as a result, were blacklisted.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Group Theatre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (287 words)
The Group Theatre was a theater collective, formed in New York in 1931 by Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford and Lee Strasberg.
The name "Group" came from the idea of the actors as a pure ensemble; there were to be no "stars." The company's first original play was the labor one-act Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets, produced in 1935.
In 1947, many former Group members formed or joined the longer-lasting Actors Studio, where the techniques they'd developed were refined and taught.
American Masters . Group Theatre | PBS (690 words)
They conceived The Group Theatre as a response to what they saw as the old-fashioned light entertainment that dominated the theater of the late 1920’s.
His highly charged plays, which were often expressed in the language and circumstances of working-class characters, mirrored the essence of what the group wanted to be and do, fulfilling the dream of a theater speaking to and for its audience.
Many of the group’s members went on to become leading acting teachers and directors, passing on to subsequent generations the spirit and principles that motivated them.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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