Group Theatre

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Group Theatre

Group Theatre, organization formed in New York City in 1931 by Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford, and Lee Strasberg. Its founders, who had worked earlier with the Provincetown Players, wished to revive and redefine American theater by establishing a permanent company to present contemporary plays of social significance and by developing the theaterical arts, in particular, that of acting. Under Strasberg's tutelage, the actors explored the interior techniques based on Stanislavsky's teachings that evolved into the American Method style of acting. Although never financially secure, the group was recognized as a vital theatrical force. It was at its height between 1935 and 1937, when it produced Awake and Sing, Waiting for Lefty, and Golden Boy, all by Clifford Odets. In 1937, Clurman became sole director. Although the group disbanded in 1941, its influence was great; many of its members became prominent actors, teachers, and directors.

See H. Clurman, The Fervent Years (1945).

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