The Negro Ensemble Company

About the Company

Prior to the 1960s, there were virtually no outlets for the wealth of black theatrical talent in America. Playwrights writing realistically about the black experience could not get their work produced, and even the most successful performers, such as Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly McQueen, were confined to playing roles as servants. It was disenfranchised artists […]

Harold Clurman: A Life of Theatre

About Harold Clurman

“All around me the painters and composers groped for ways to express contemporary society in their work. Where, I wondered, was this parallel activity in theater?” Harold Clurman has been called the most influential figure in the history of the American theater. Between 1935 and 1980, he directed over forty plays, including Jean Giraudoux’s TIGER […]

Helen Hayes: First Lady of The American Theatre

About Helen Hayes

Long regarded as “the First Lady of American Theater,” Helen Hayes earned international esteem and affection during a career that spanned more than eighty years on stage and in films, radio, and television. As a screen actor she won two Oscars, as a stage actor she won a prestigious Drama League of New York award, […]

Sanford Meisner: The Theatre’s Best Kept Secret

About Sanford Meisner

“Take it from a director: if you get an actor that Sandy Meisner has trained, you’ve been blessed.” – Elia Kazan A leading acting teacher who trained some of the most famous performers of the stage and screen, Sanford Meisner was a founding member of the Group Theatre. The Group Theatre, a cooperative theater ensemble, […]

Stella Adler: Awake And Dream!

About Stella Adler

From 1905, at the age of four, until her death eighty-seven years later, Stella Adler dedicated herself to understanding the theater. The child of actors Sarah and Jacob Adler, Stella began her career in the Yiddish theater. At the age of eighteen, she went to London, where she worked for a year before returning to […]

Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds

About Richard Rodgers

Richard Rodgers’ contributions to the musical theatre of his day were extraordinary, and his influence on the musical theatre of today and tomorrow is legendary. His career spanned more than six decades, and his hits ranged from the silver screens of Hollywood to the bright lights of Broadway, London and beyond. He was the recipient […]