On the occasion of The Group Theatre's 80th anniversary, the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (Frank Hentschker, Executive Director) presents a day of readings, panels, rarely-heard recordings and screenings of unseen footage all dedicated to understanding "The Group Theatre and How it Changed American Culture." All events are free, first-come-first-served, and take place in the Elebash Recital Hall at the Graduate Center, CUNY, at 34th Street and 5th Avenue.
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. Co-creators Mel Gordon and Ronald Rand have organized a day of spectacular insight into the Group, welcoming special guests like Lee Grant, Wendy Smith, John Strasberg and Ellen Adler.
During the day, we will highlight the extraordinary accomplishments of three of the Group's titans-Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, and Harold Clurman-which will be followed by an evening event that will combine new work with a panel discussion on The Group Theatre's influence in American culture and society.
2:00pm: Lee Strasberg, presented by Mel Gordon and John Strasberg.
A screening of a 1982 interview with Lee Strasberg, a reading of a 1932 affective memory exercise with Robert Ellerman, slide presentations of exercises conducted by the Group and the 1933 performance Men in White
3:00pm: Stella Adler, presented by Mel Gordon and Ellen Adler.