Our Town is a 1938 metatheatrical three-act play by American playwright Thornton Wilder. It tells the story of the fictional American small town of Grover's Corners between 1901 and 1913 through the everyday lives of its citizens. Throughout, Wilder uses metatheatrical devices, setting the play in the actual theatre where it is being performed; the main character is the stage manager of the theatre who directly addresses the audience, brings in guest lecturers, fields questions from the audience, fills in playing some of the roles. The play is performed without a set on a bare stage. With a few exceptions, the actors mime actions without the use of props. Our Town was first performed at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey in 1938, it went on to success on Broadway and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It remains popular today and revivals are frequent; the Stage Manager introduces the audience to the small town of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, the people living there as a morning begins in the year 1901.
Professor Willard speaks to the audience about the history of the town. Joe Crowell delivers the paper to Doc Gibbs, Howie Newsome delivers the milk, the Webb and Gibbs households send their children off to school on this beautifully simple morning. Three years have passed, George and Emily prepare to wed; the day is filled with stress. Howie Newsome is delivering milk in the pouring rain while Si Crowell, younger brother of Joe, laments how George's baseball talents will be squandered. George pays an awkward visit to his soon-to-be in-laws. Here, the Stage Manager interrupts the scene and takes the audience back a year, to the end of Emily and George's junior year. Emily confronts George about his pride, over an ice cream soda, they discuss the future and they confess their love for each other. George decides not to go to college, as he had planned, but to work and take over his uncle's farm. In the present and Emily say that they are not ready to marry—George to his mother, Emily to her father—but they both calm down and go through with the wedding.
Nine years have passed. The Stage Manager opens the act with a lengthy monologue emphasizing eternity, bringing the audience's attention to the cemetery outside of town and the characters who have died since the wedding, including Mrs. Gibbs, Wally Webb, Mrs. Soames, Simon Stimson. Town undertaker Joe Stoddard is introduced, as is a young man named Sam Craig who has returned to Grover's Corners for his cousin's funeral; that cousin is Emily, who died giving birth to George's second child. Once the funeral ends, Emily emerges to join the dead. Ignoring the warnings of Simon, Mrs. Soames, Mrs. Gibbs, Emily returns to Earth to relive one day, her 12th birthday. Emily watches with joy at being able to see her parents and some of the people of her childhood for the first time in years. However, her joy turns to pain as she realizes how little people appreciate the simple joys of life; the memory proves too painful for her, she realizes that every moment of life should be treasured. When she asks the Stage Manager if anyone understands the value of life while they live it, he responds, "No.
The saints and poets, maybe—they do some." Emily returns to her grave next to Mrs. Gibbs and watches impassively as George kneels weeping over her; the Stage Manager wishes the audience a good night. Stage Manager – a narrator and guide through Grover's Corners, he joins in the action of the play periodically, as the minister at the wedding, the soda shop owner, a local townsman, etc. and speaks directly to Emily after her death. Emily Webb – one of the main characters. George Gibbs – the other main character. Frank Gibbs – George's father, the town doctor. Julia Gibbs – George's mother, she doesn't get there. She saved $350 for the trip from the sale of an antique furniture piece but willed it to George and Emily. Dies while visiting her daughter in Ohio. Charles Webb – Emily's father, Editor of the Grover's Corners Sentinel Myrtle Webb – Emily and Wally’s mother. Secondary characters Joe and Si Crowell – local paperboys. Joe's intelligence earns him a full scholarship to MIT, his promise will be cut short on the fields of France during World War I, according to the Stage Manager.
Both he and his brother Si hold marriage in high disdain. Simon Stimson – the choir director and church organist. We never learn the specific cause of his alcoholism and suicide, although Joe Stoddard, the undertaker, observes that "He's seen a peck of troubles." He remains bitter and cynical beyond the grave. Howie Newsome – the milkman, a fixture of Grover's Corners. Rebecca Gibbs – George's younger sister. Elopes with a traveling salesman and settles in Ohio. Wally Webb – Emily's younger brother. Dies of a burst appendix on a Boy Scout camping trip. Professor Willard – a rather long-winded lecturer Woman in Auditorium – concerned with temperance Man in Auditorium – concerned with social justice Another Woman in Auditorium – concerned with culture and beauty Mrs. Louella Soames – a gossipy townswoman and member of the choir Constable Bill Warren – the policeman Three Baseball Players – who mock George at t
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
A Man for All Seasons
A Man for All Seasons is a play by Robert Bolt based on the life of Sir Thomas More. An early form of the play had been written for BBC Radio in 1954, a one-hour live television version starring Bernard Hepton was produced in 1957 by the BBC, but after Bolt's success with The Flowering Cherry, he reworked it for the stage, it was first performed in London opening at the Globe Theatre on 1 July 1960. It found its way to Broadway, enjoying a critically and commercially successful run of over a year, it has had several revivals, was subsequently made into a multi-Academy Award-winning 1966 feature film and a 1988 television movie. The plot is based on the historical events leading up to the execution of Sir Thomas More, the 16th-century Chancellor of England, who refused to endorse King Henry VIII's wish to divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon, who did not bear him a son, so that he could marry Anne Boleyn, the sister of his former mistress; the play portrays More as a man of principle, envied by rivals such as Thomas Cromwell and loved by the common people and by his family.
The title reflects 20th century agnostic playwright Robert Bolt’s portrayal of More as the ultimate man of conscience. As one who remains true to himself and his beliefs while adapting to all circumstances and times, despite external pressure or influence, More represents "a man for all seasons." Bolt borrowed the title from Robert Whittington, a contemporary of More, who in 1520 wrote of him: "More is a man of an angel's wit and singular learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, sometime of as sad gravity. A man for all seasons." A Man for All Seasons struggles with ideas of conscience. More argues that a person is defined by his conscience, his own position is depicted as indefensible. But as More says to Norfolk, "What matters is not that it's true, but that I believe it. More fears that if he breaks with his conscience, he will be damned to hell, while his associates and friends are more concerned with holding onto their own temporal power.
At another key point of the play, More testifies before an inquiry committee and Norfolk attempts to persuade him to sign the Succession to the Crown Act 1534: Norfolk: Oh, confound all this.... I'm not a scholar, as Master Cromwell never tires of pointing out, frankly, I don't know whether the marriage was lawful or not, but damn it, look at those names.... You know those men! Can't you do what I did, come with us, for fellowship? More: And when we stand before God, you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? More's persecution is made to seem more unjust by the inclusion of Eustace Chapuys, the long-time Imperial ambassador to England, in the story. Chapuys recognizes More as a stout man of the church, in Act II, after More's resignation from the Chancellorship, he informs More of a planned rebellion along the Scottish border, expecting More to be sympathetic. Instead, More informs Norfolk of the plot, showing him to be loyal to the King.
This, along with More's refusal to speak out against the King, shows him to be a loyal subject, thus Cromwell appears to prosecute him out of personal spite and because he disagrees with the King's divorce. Bolt establishes an anti-authoritarian theme which recurs throughout his works. All people in positions of power – King Henry, Wolsey, Chapuys Norfolk – are depicted as being either corrupt, evil, or at best expedient and power-hungry. Bolt's plays and film screenplays delve into this theme; the theme of corruption is illustrated, in Rich's rise to power, the Common Man being drawn into the events of the storyline, in the anachronistic portrayal of Henry as a younger, athletic man. Although it is the law that forces More's execution, the play makes several powerful statements in support of the rule of law. At one point More's future son-in-law, urges him to arrest Richard Rich, whose perjury will lead to More's execution. More answers that Rich has broken no law, "And go he should if he were the Devil himself until he broke the law!"
Roper is More is adamant. "What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?... And when the last law was down, the Devil turned round on you – where would you hide, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's, if you cut them down – and you're just the man to do it – do you think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!"The character of the Common Man serves as a narrator and framing device. A Brechtian character, he plays various small parts – More's servant, a publican, a boatman, More's jailer, jury foreman and executioner—who appear throughout the play, both taking part in and commenting on the action. Several sequences involving this character break the fourth wall—most notably, a sequence where the Common Man attempts to exit the stage and is addressed by Cromwell, who identifies him as a jury foreman; the place of the Common
A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes plays. The word "play" is from Middle English pleye, from Old English plæġ, pleġa, plæġa ("play, exercise; the word "wright" is an archaic English term for a builder. The words combine to indicate a person who has "wrought" words and other elements into a dramatic form—a play; the first recorded use of the term "playwright" is from 1605, 73 years before the first written record of the term "dramatist". It appears to have been first used in a pejorative sense by Ben Jonson to suggest a mere tradesman fashioning works for the theatre. Jonson uses the word in his Epigram 49, thought to refer to John Marston: Epigram LXVIII — On Playwright PLAYWRIGHT me reads, still my verses damns, He says I want the tongue of epigrams. Playwright, I loath to have thy manners known In my chaste book. Jonson described himself as a poet, not a playwright, since plays during that time were written in meter and so were regarded as the province of poets; this view was held as late as the early 19th century.
The term "playwright" again lost this negative connotation. The earliest playwright in Western literature with surviving works are the Ancient Greeks; these early plays were for annual Athenian competitions among play writers held around the 5th century BC. Such notables as Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophanes established forms still relied on by their modern counterparts. For the ancient Greeks, playwriting involved poïesis, "the act of making"; this is the source of the English word poet. In the 4th century BCE, Aristotle wrote his Poetics, in which he analyzed the principle of action or praxis as the basis for tragedy, he considered elements of drama: plot, thought, diction and spectacle. Since the myths, on which Greek tragedy were based, were known, plot had to do with the arrangement and selection of existing material. Character was determined by action. Tragedy is mimesis—"the imitation of an action, serious", he developed his notion of hamartia, or tragic flaw, an error in judgment by the main character or protagonist, which provides the basis for the "conflict-driven" play.
The Italian Renaissance brought about a stricter interpretation of Aristotle, as this long-lost work came to light in the late 15th century. The neoclassical ideal, to reach its apogee in France during the 17th century, dwelled upon the unities, of action and time; this meant that the playwright had to construct the play so that its "virtual" time would not exceed 24 hours, that it would be restricted to a single setting, that there would be no subplots. Other terms, such as verisimilitude and decorum, circumscribed the subject matter significantly. For example, verisimilitude limits of the unities. Decorum fitted proper protocols for language on stage. In France, contained too many events and actions, violating the 24-hour restriction of the unity of time. Neoclassicism never had as much traction in England, Shakespeare's plays are directly opposed to these models, while in Italy and bawdy commedia dell'arte and opera were more popular forms. In England, after the Interregnum, restoration of the monarchy in 1660, there was a move toward neoclassical dramaturgy.
One structural unit, still useful to playwrights today, is the "French scene", a scene in a play where the beginning and end are marked by a change in the makeup of the group of characters onstage, rather than by the lights going up or down or the set being changed. Popularized in the nineteenth century by the French playwrights Eugène Scribe and Victorien Sardou, the most schematic of all formats, the "well-made play" relies on a series of coincidences that determined the action; this plot driven format is reliant on a prop device, such as a glass of water, or letter that reveals some secret information. In most cases, the character receiving the secret information misinterprets its contents, thus setting off a chain of events. Well-made plays are thus motivated by various plot devices which lead to "discoveries" and "reversals of action," rather than being character motivated. Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House is an example of a well-made structure that began to integrate a more realistic approach to character.
The character Nora's leaving is as much motivated by "the letter" and disclosure of a "past secret" as it is by her own determination to strike out on her own. The well-made play infiltrated other forms of writing and is still seen in popular formats such as the mystery, or "whodunit." Full-length play: Generally, two or three acts with an act break that marks some kind of scene change or time shift. These acts are divided into scenes, which are defined by shifts in time and place; this type of structure is called episodic. Episodic plays contain scene changes and require careful attention to transitions, so as to maintain entails a more causal relationship between units and is defined by the unity of time, and/or action. Short play: A more popular format the short play does not have an intermission and runs over an hour, but less than an hour-and-a-half. One-act play: A useful form for experimental work with less reliance on character development and arc; these remain under an hour in length.
In the US the 10-minute play
Flower Drum Song
Flower Drum Song was the eighth musical by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. It is based on The Flower Drum Song, by Chinese-American author C. Y. Lee, it premiered on Broadway in 1958 and was performed in the West End and on tour. It was adapted for a 1961 musical film. After their extraordinary early successes, beginning with Oklahoma! in 1943, Rodgers and Hammerstein had written two musicals in the 1950s that did not do well and sought a new hit to revive their fortunes. Lee's novel focuses on a father, Wang Chi-yang, a wealthy refugee from China, who clings to traditional values in San Francisco's Chinatown. Rodgers and Hammerstein shifted the focus of the musical to his son, Wang Ta, torn between his Chinese roots and assimilation into American culture; the team hired Gene Kelly to make his debut as a stage director with the musical and scoured the country for a suitable Asian – or at least, plausibly Asian-looking – cast. The musical, much lighter-hearted than Lee's novel, was profitable on Broadway and was followed by a national tour.
After the release of the 1961 film version, the musical was produced, as it presented casting issues and fears that Asian-Americans would take offense at how they are portrayed. When it was put on the stage and songs that might be offensive were cut; the piece did not return to Broadway until 2002, when a version with a plot by playwright David Henry Hwang was presented after a successful Los Angeles run. Hwang's story retains the Chinatown setting and the inter-generational and immigrant themes, emphasizes the romantic relationships, it received poor reviews in New York and closed after six months but had a short tour and has since been produced regionally. C. Y. Lee fled war-torn China in the 1940s and came to the United States, where he attended Yale University's playwriting program, graduating in 1947 with an M. F. A. Degree. By the 1950s, he was making a living writing short stories and working as a Chinese teacher and journalist for San Francisco Chinatown newspapers, he had hoped to break into playwriting, but instead wrote a novel about Chinatown, The Flower Drum Song.
Lee had no success selling his novel, but his agent submitted it to the publishing house of Farrar and Cudahy. The firm sent the manuscript to an elderly reader for evaluation; the reader was found dead in bed, the manuscript beside him with the words "Read this" scrawled on it. The publishing house did, bought Lee's novel, which became a bestseller in 1957. Lee's novel centers on a 63-year-old man who fled China to avoid the communists; the wealthy refugee lives in a house in Chinatown with his two sons. His sister-in-law, Madam Tang, who takes citizenship classes, is a regular visitor and urges Wang to adopt Western ways. While his sons and sister-in-law are integrating into American culture, Wang stubbornly resists assimilation and speaks only two words of English, "Yes" and "No". Wang has a severe cough, which he does not wish to have cured, feeling that it gives him authority in his household. Wang's elder son, Wang Ta, woos Linda Tung, but on learning that she has many men in her life, drops her.
Linda's friend, seamstress Helen Chao, unable to find a man despite the shortage of eligible women in Chinatown, gets Ta drunk and seduces him. On awakening in her bed, he agrees to an affair, but abandons her, she commits suicide. Impatient at Ta's inability to find a wife, Wang arranges for a picture bride for his son. However, before the picture bride arrives, Ta meets a young woman, May Li, who with her father has come to San Francisco; the two support themselves by singing depressing flower drum songs on the street. Ta invites the two into the Wang household, with his father's approval, he and May Li fall in love, he vows to marry her after she is falsely accused by the household servants of stealing a clock, though his father forbids it. Wang struggles to understand the conflicts. In the end, taking his son's advice, Wang decides not to go to the herbalist to seek a remedy for his cough, but walks to a Chinese-run Western clinic, symbolizing that he is beginning to accept American culture.
Rodgers and Hammerstein, despite extraordinary early successes, such as Oklahoma!, Carousel and South Pacific, had suffered back-to-back Broadway flops in the mid-1950s with Me and Juliet and Pipe Dream. While Oklahoma! had broken new ground in 1943, any new project in the late 1950s would have to compete with modern musicals and techniques, like the brutal realism in West Side Story, with other Broadway musical hits such as The Music Man, My Fair Lady and The Pajama Game. Rodgers and Hammerstein had made it their rule to begin work on their next musical as soon as the last opened on Broadway, but by the start of 1957, six months after Pipe Dream closed, the pair had no new stage musical in prospect, they had, been working since 1956 on the popular television version of Cinderella, broadcast on CBS on March 31, 1957. Rodgers was still recovering from an operation for cancer in a tooth socket, he was drinking and suffering from depression. In June 1957, Rodgers checked himself into Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, he remained there for twelve weeks.
According to his daughters and Linda, this did not put a stop to his drinking. Hammerstein, was in Los Angeles at the filming of South Pacific. While at the commissary, he met longtime friend, Joe Fields, who mentioned that he was negotiating for the rights to The Flower
The Jujamcyn Theaters the Jujamcyn Amusement Corporation, is a theatrical producing and theatre-ownership company in New York City. For many years Jujamcyn was owned by James H. Binger, former Chairman of Honeywell, his wife, Virginia McKnight Binger; the organization is now held by its President, Jordan Roth, President Emeritus, Rocco Landesman. The third-largest theatre owner on Broadway, behind the Shubert Organization and the Nederlander Organization, Jujamcyn owns five of the 41 Broadway district playhouses but has created a much-envied business model that has, at times, accounted for as much as one-third of the gross revenues on Broadway; this business model has involved the combination of real estate – Broadway theatre ownership – and producing – active development of new shows and scripts. Jujamcyn has had some notable successes with this model, which has prompted other theatre operators to emulate this approach, to varying degrees. William L. McKnight, former chairman of 3M, owned several theatres, two in New York and one in Boston.
McKnight's daughter, Virginia McKnight Binger and her husband, James H. Binger, a top executive at Honeywell, shared a love of theatre. In 1970 when William McKnight wanted to sell his theatres, Binger stepped in to assist, he found the business fascinating, after paying the gift tax and selling the Colonial Theatre in Boston, he and Virginia agreed to own and expand the operation on Broadway. Jujamcyn derives its name from the names of McKnight's grandchildren, the Bingers' children: Ju, Cyn. Over time Binger expanded Jujamcyn to five theatres to create the third-largest theatre-owning company on Broadway; the five Jujamcyn theatres are: St. James Theatre, Al Hirschfeld Theatre, August Wilson Theatre Eugene O'Neill Theatre, Walter Kerr Theatre,In 1987 Binger brought in Rocco Landesman to run Jujamcyn. Landesman was a successful theatrical producer and was friendly with Binger from previous theatrical productions and a shared interest in racehorses. Over the next 17 years, Landesman and the Jujamcyn organization would produce and house a successful string of Broadway hits.
Including box office juggernaut The Producers, which won a record 12 Tony Awards in 2001. Virginia Binger died in 2002, James Binger died in 2004. Rocco Landesman and President of Jujamcyn since 1987, announced that he planned to buy Jujamcyn Theatres, telling the New York Times that he had a long-standing understanding with Binger that he would buy Jujamcyn's five playhouses; the theatres had an estimated net asset value of about $30 million. Landesman closed the deal in February 2005 for $30M, but tried to sell a 50% stake in the group for $50M to enable investment in the Cincinnati Reds baseball team - his group lost out to Robert Castellini. In 2009 after 22 years with Jujamcyn, Landesman was tapped by the Obama administration to take a position in Washington as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, an agency of the United States government; that year, Landesman sold a half interest in Jujamcyn to Jordan Roth, a successful 33-year-old theatrical producer who had joined the company in 2005 as resident producer and vice president.
Roth assumed full control of Jujamcyn as Landesman departed for the NEA taking on the role of President. From his first year, Jordan began identifying a new era of shows for the company’s theaters with his first hits including, Spring Awakening, with eight Tony Awards, Grey Gardens, with three, his 2009 revival of Hair. In 2013, Roth bought the majority stake of Jujamcyn, making him the youngest principal owner of a Broadway theatre chain. Since Roth took over, Jujamcyn theaters have been home to notable shows including Tony-award winners The Book of Mormon, Springsteen on Broadway, Kinky Boots, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Clybourne Park among many others. Morris A. Mechanic Theatre, Baltimore Royal George Theatre, Chicago Weidner Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin Orpheum Theatre and State Theatre, Minneapolis Orpheum Theater, Omaha Portland Civic Auditorium, Oregon Ordway Music Theatre, St. Paul Broadway theatre Jujamcyn Award - award given for 20+ years to outstanding theatre organizations Notes Official website Jujamcyn Theaters at the Internet Broadway Database Theatre dBase
Theresa Helburn was an American playwright and theatrical producer best known for her work as a co-founder and producer of New York's Theatre Guild from 1919 to the 1950s. Helburn was born in New York City to Julius Helburn, a leather merchant, Hannah née Peyser, who established her own experimental elementary school, she attended the Horace Mann School and Windsor School in Boston before graduating from Bryn Mawr College in 1908. There she was active in theatre, she studied playwriting at Radcliffe College and at the Sorbonne. She taught theatre and wrote drama criticism. By 1918, the first of her own plays was produced on Broadway. Helburn was a co-founder of the Theatre Guild in 1919. There she acted first as a literary manager, reviewing scripts as casting director, became co-producer with Lawrence Langner; the Guild brought original dramas from European and American playwrights, such as George Bernard Shaw and Eugene O'Neill, to the Broadway stage, established relationships with such notable actors as Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, whom Helburn cast together for the first time in 1924.
She married scholar John Baker Opdycke in 1922. In 1925, just six years after the establishment of the production company, Helburn presided over the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Guild Theatre, she supported new plays and playwrights in smaller theatres. Some of Helburn's Broadway productions in the 1930s included Mourning Becomes Electra and The Philadelphia Story. In the early 1930s, she worked in Hollywood, she maintained strong ties with the film and television industries until the time of her death. For the Guild, she came up with the concept to turn the Guild's earlier production of Green Grow the Lilacs into a musical, which became Oklahoma! The Guild had produced Liliom, adapted as Carousel. Other important Broadway productions included The Iceman Cometh, Come Back, Little Sheba and The Trip to Bountiful. Helburn died at age 72 in Connecticut. A collection of theatrical ephemera and writings relating to Helburn's life and to the Guild is housed at Bryn Mawr College, she wrote A wayward quest.
The autobiography of Theresa Helburn, published in 1960 by Brown. Nolan, Frederick; the Sound of Their Music: The Story of Rodgers and Hammerstein. New York: Applause Books, 2002, ISBN 1-55783-473-3 Works by or about Theresa Helburn at Internet Archive Works by Theresa Helburn at LibriVox