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The Group Theatre and How It Transformed American Culture

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Date:
June 4, 2012
Cost:
Free
Venue:
Segal Theater
The Group Theatre, 1931 Photo by Ralph Steiner

The Group Theatre, 1931
Photo by Ralph Steiner

 

In 1931, three theatrical visionaries – Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, and Cheryl Crawford – created America’s first permanent company of actors, The Group Theatre. Modeled on the Moscow Art Theatre, The Group Theatre presented timely plays using Constantin Stanislavsky’s System of Acting with an ensemble that included Stella Adler, Sandy Meisner, Bobby Lewis, Sidney Lumet, and Elia Kazan. The Group Theatre premiered many legendary American plays over a ten year period, among them Clifford Odets’ Awake and Sing, and their influence continues. Theatre historian Mel Gordon and International artist/educator Ronald Rand invite you to join Lee Grant, Wendy Smith, Ellen Adler, John Strasberg and other distinguished guests for this special day. Discover 10 secrets about The Group Theatre – and reflect upon the broad cultural impact of this legendary ensemble. Featuring play readings, film screenings, Group Theatre exercises, sound and film clips, and panel discussions about The Group Theatre and its legacy.

 


Monday, June 4, 2012

All Day + 6:30 p.m.

Elebash Recital Hall. Free!

 

Afternoon (2-5.15)

2:00-2:10 p.m. General Introduction by Frank Hentschker

2:10-3:00 p.m.

Lee Strasberg (Mel Gordon and John Strasberg)

Lee Strasberg Video Interview on The Group (1982) [17 min].

Reading of an Affective Memory Exercise with Bud Bohnen from Success Story (1932)      [10 min] (Mel Gordon/Robert Ellermann).

Slide Presentation of Group Exercises [10 min].

Slide Presentation of Men in White (1933) [15 min].

3:00-4:00 p.m

Stella Adler (Mel Gordon and Ellen Adler)

Stella Adler Video Interview on The Group (1985) [12 min].

Recordings of Adler’s 1939 Monologs from Success Story (1932)
and Awake and Sing (1935) [6 min].­­

Reading of Adler’s 1934 Notes with Konstantin Stanislavsky and Stanislavsky’s Moscow Response [10 min].

Recording of Clifford Odets’ Sarah Bernhardt from Rudy Vallee Show (1936), starring Stella Adler and Morris Carnovsky [10 min].

 

4:00-5:15 p.m

Harold Clurman (Ronald Rand and Mel Gordon)

Video Interviews on Harold Clurman and The Group-Clurman, Karl Malden, Robert Lewis, and Lee Strasberg (1982) [30 min].

Slide Presentation and Stage Recording of Golden Boy directed by Harold Clurman (1937), starring Luther Adler and Frances Farmer [15 min].

Four Scenes from Hollywood Features (1938-1949), Where Group Actors Reprised their Golden Boy Roles [15 min].

 

Evening (6:30-8.30)

 

6:30-6:35 p.m. General Introduction by Frank Hentschker

6:35-6:40 p.m.

Readings from The Group Theatre’s Diary

( first summer at Brookfield Center, Ct.), 1931 (with Rita Fredricks, Sabra Jones, Tom Oppenheim, Elizabeth Parrish, Ronald Rand, Joanna Rottè, and other special guests)

6:40-6:45 p.m.

Reading of excerpts from Ronald Rand’s THE GROUP!

(with Laila Robins, Fritz Weaver, Ronald Rand, Gene Terruso and other special guests)

6:45-7:00 p.m. Group Theatre on Film

Group Theatre Screen Tests of Success Story, Men in White, Awake and Sing, Weep for the Virgins, and one unidentified scene (1936) [15 min].

7:00-8:30 p.m. Panel Discussion

Wendy Smith, Fritz Weaver, Ellen Adler, John Strasberg + Mel Gorden & Ronald Rand

Luther Adler and Morris Carnovsky in Golden Boy, p 129, Lively years, 1973 Photo courtesy of THE AL HIRSCHFELD FOUNDATION, Louise Kerz Hirschfeld, President

Luther Adler and Morris Carnovsky in Golden Boy, p 129, Lively years, 1973
Photo courtesy of THE AL HIRSCHFELD FOUNDATION,
Louise Kerz Hirschfeld, President