The Group Theater

The Group Theatre began as a small company that provided actors and actresses with a means and a location to practice plays.Three people, Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, and Cheryl Crawford formed The Group Theatre.The Group Theatre escalated in 1931 and ended abruptly in 1941 – prevailing through the years there were hits, periods of flops, financial straits, depressing inactivity, and spiraling to as glittering of a success as any on Broadway.This story however is also the story of growth and development throughout American cultural life in the thirties.
The year is 1928, and the tedious beginning of The Group Theatre began when Harold Clurman answered the call of a real estate man, Sidney Ross, who was thinking of going into theatrical production and was seeking an aide of some kind.Clurman then contacted his friend, Strasberg, and the two of them outlined their ideas.The proposal was quite simple, they wanted to work on a play that had no formal production plans, but the work would be instructive to the actors, and a new theatre might be born of their modest efforts.After many weeks of rehearsals their play was viewed by an exclusive audience, and Waldo Frank, who had written the play advised Ross that the play should be run, the members reviewed the idea and came up with their own proposal-they would rehearse another play, and if the outcome was the same response they would head to New York.After six weeks they performed the play to about 100 people, and got the same response, however nothing happened, and the experiment was finished.
Cheryl Crawford urged Clurman to prepare for future by finding actors for their more permanent company.Some actors that were considered were Franchot Tone, Morris Carnovsky, Meisner, and others.Since The Group Theatre had no money, no plays, the meetings of the actors were to be entirely unofficial. The new idea of The Group Theatre was to establish a theatre in wh…

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