New York Dramatic Mirror, 1894- 1904.
New York Times, 1894- 1904.
Zucchero William Henry. "The Contributions of James F. Neill to the Development of the Modern American Theatrical Stock Company." Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State University, 1964.
Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State University Theatre Collection. The Neill Scrapbooks.
New York, New York. New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Collection. The James Neill Collection.
Larry D. Clark
NEILL STOCK COMPANY, PORTLAND, OREGON. See BAKER STOCK COMPANY.
NEW PLAYWRIGHTS' THEATRE. The New Playwrights' Theatre ( New York, New York) was incorporated in January 1927 by four playwrights, John Howard Lawson, Michael Gold (also editor of New Masses), Em Jo Basshe, and Francis Edwards Faragoh. John Dos Passos, also among the planners, was abroad when the incorporation papers were signed. Later that year, Paul Sifton was added to the board of directors during the second season, completing the board, which was primarily chaired by Basshe until its disbanding in 1929. Later, the group reincorporated as "Theatre 1929, A Corporation," but continued to function under the orginal name.
In many ways, the company was an outgrowth of the Workers' Lab Theatre, founded in 1926 by Gold, Lawson, the Russian Alexander Artokov, Socialist writer Nathan Fine, and artists Louis Lozowick and Hugo Gellert. An amateur troupe which sought a working-class audience, it produced only one play, Gold Strike!, considered to be the first American example of agitprop. This production was backed by financier Otto H. Kahn, who had also been approached by Basshe in 1926 with a request for a private subsidy. Kahn was a generous patron of the arts and had made many gifts to various companies, and in the year he was approached by Gold and Basshe, he was chairman of the Honorary Committee for the International Theatrical Exposition. Ironically, the idea to found the New Playwrights' Theatre, devoted to Marxist-Leninst ideology, probably originated with Kahn, a tremendously successful capitalist.
The first professional American theatrical company to champion the ideas of the radical left, the New Playwrights' Theatre intended to uphold high standards of production, to attract a wide audience, and to receive as much publicity as possible. Basshe's manifesto of 1927, "The Revolt on Fifty-Second Street" (the location of the group's first theatre), clearly indicated their dedication to experimental theatre. The founding five were loosely allied in their Marxist
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Publication information: Book title: American Theatre Companies, 1888-1930. Contributors: Weldon B. Durham - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1987. Page number: 322.