American Theater of the 1960s

By Zoltán Szilassy | Go to book overview
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3
The Dramaturgical Kaleidoscope of the Sixties

D RAMA, even in the so-called revolutionary periods, always finds itself thrown back on worthy and durable traditions by a cultural expectation reinforced by the practical ties of theater. Just as Albee is ready to admit that recent American drama still owes much to the post-Ibsen/ Chekhov tradition,1 the grand old dads of American theater (most notably Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman, Robert Lewis, and Elia Kazan) have always stressed their indebtedness to Stanislavsky's teachings.2 It is not only the one-time glory of Group Theater one must consider in this respect, but the activity of the Actors' Studio that produced the most lasting Kazan, Miller, and Williams hits.

The Actors' Studio, founded in 1947 by Kazan, Cheryl Crawford, and Lewis, all former members of the Group Theater, inherited a version of the Method enriched by other components. Within the scope of this work, I shall concentrate on the common aspects of Stanislavsky's system and its adapted version: the Method. The leaders of the Actors' Studio ( Kazan and Strasberg) especially

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