THE PERVENT YEARS by Harold Clurman


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An almost painfully intimate picture of the origins, failures and successes of the Group Theatre in the decade, 1931-41, of its activities. With a good artistic, intellectual approach, the author made the theatre his profession, and through playreadi at the Theatre Guild, met others with young ideas, and ideals, notably Lee Strasberg and Cheryl Crawford, anxious to experiment with their theories. Their one-track intensity, theatrical honesty, creative artistic technique, and relating of theatre to society gave new impetus to directing, production, acting, and they became an independent, if precarious, organization. Their story is one of trial and error, fanatical support of the theories, of mismanagement, isolation, conflicts within and without the Group, of the formation and dissolution of an artistic organism. Their players, -- the Adlers, Brombe Franchot Tone (problem child); their playwrights, Green, Lawson, Odetz, Saroyan; the plays -- The House of Connelly, Success Story, Men in White, Awake and Sing, Waiting for Lefty, etc. and the critical response to their efforts. This is minute detailing of the labyrinthine development of the company's progress, artistically, financially, psychologically, emotionally -- a decade of turbulence, theatrical revolt, that came to an end with the departure of various members. Not for those uninitiated in theatre, but for those concerned with its evolution, of interest, from the personal, autobiographical analytical angles.

Pub Date: June 11th, 1945
Publisher: Knopf