Group Theatre, The

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Group Theatre, The


an American drama theater, organized in New York in 1931 by a group of actors who had broken away from the so-called little (community) theaters.

In the 1930’s the Group Theatre was the most important theater in the United States, and a national realist school of acting and directing was formed through it (following the traditions of the Moscow Art Theater). The activities of the theater were also tied to the contemporary labor movement in the United States. The theater affirmed the social direction of its repertoire with its production of Kingsley’s Men in White in 1933. Among its productions were Waiting for Lefty and Golden Boy by Odets, The House of Connelly by Green, My Heart’s in the Highlands by Saroyan, and The Good People by I. Shaw. The theater saw its period of greatest growth between 1935 and 1937. H. Clurman, L. Strasberg, and C. Crawford directed many of the plays; the troupe included S. and L. Adler, L. Cobb, M. Car-novsky, and J. Garfield, as well as E. Kazan and R. Lewis, who later became leading figures in the American theater. The Group Theatre also ran a school that trained directors and actors for workers’ amateur and semiprofessional theaters. In 1941 the Group Theatre closed down because of financial difficulties.


Clurman H. The Fervent Years. New York, 1945.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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He previously led Seattle Group Theatre, the Paul Robeson Theatre and the MultiCultural Playwrights' Festival, all in Seattle.
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