Theatre Guild

Theatre Guild

The Theatre Guild is a theatrical society founded in New York City in 1919 by Theresa Helburn, Lawrence Langner, and Armina Marshall. It evolved out of the work of the Washington Square Players.

Its original purpose was to produce non-commercial works by American and foreign playwrights. It differed from other theaters at the time in that its board of directors shared the responsibility of choosing plays, management, and production. The Theatre Guild contributed greatly to the success of Broadway from the 1920s throughout the 1970s.

The Guild has produced a total of 228 plays on Broadway, including 18 by George Bernard Shaw and seven by Eugene O'Neill. Other major playwrights introduced to theatre-going Americans include Robert Sherwood, Maxwell Anderson, Sidney Howard, William Saroyan, and Philip Barry. In the field of musical theatre, the Guild has promoted works by Richard Rodgers, teamed with both Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, George and Ira Gershwin, Jule Styne, and Meredith Wilson, all of which have become classics.

Under President John F. Kennedy, the Guild was engaged to assemble a US theatre company, headed by Helen Hayes, to tour the capitals of Europe and South America with works by Tennessee Williams, Thornton Wilder, and William Gibson.

In 1968, the Guild became involved in the travel field by taking 25 of its subscribers to European capitals to see plays. In 1975, it instituted its Theatre At Sea program with a 17-day cruise aboard the Rotterdam with Hayes and Cyril Ritchard. Since then they have hosted more than thirty cruises, each with seven or eight performers. Among them have been Alan Arkin, Zoe Caldwell, Anne Jackson, Cherry Jones, Richard Kiley, Eartha Kitt, Patricia Neal, Lynn Redgrave, Gena Rowlands, Jean Stapleton, Eli Wallach, and Lee Roy Reams, who now serves as the program's resident director.

Notable productions

*1920: "Heartbreak House"
*1923: "Saint Joan"
*1928: "Strange Interlude"
*1931: "Mourning Becomes Electra"
*1933: "Ah, Wilderness!"
*1935: "Porgy and Bess"
*1936: "Idiot's Delight"
*1939: "The Philadelphia Story"; "The Time of Your Life"
*1943: "Oklahoma!"
*1945: "Carousel"
*1946: "The Iceman Cometh"
*1947: "The Winslow Boy"
*1950: "Come Back, Little Sheba"
*1953: "Picnic"; "The Trip to Bountiful"
*1955: "The Matchmaker"
*1956: "Bells Are Ringing"
*1958: "Sunrise at Campobello"
*1960: "The Unsinkable Molly Brown"
*1965: "The Royal Hunt of the Sun"
*1974: "Absurd Person Singular"

External links

* [http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?ID=20920 Internet Broadway Database listing]


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