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The Life of the Neighborhood Playhouse on Grand Street

John P. Harrington

Cloth $29.95s    |    978-0-8156-3155-2    |    2007

The first full-length study of a landmark cultural institution in early twentieth-century American theater history.

"Harrington captures the spirit that made Neighborhood Playhouse one of the most vibrant theaters in New York...Highly Recommended."

"It was an exciting read. Heroes of my youth jump out at me, living and breathing."
Bearnstow Journal

Improbably located in the heart of the Jewish ghetto on the Lower East side of Manhattan, the Neighborhood Playhouse and its brief yet influential tenure offers a fascinating story from the annals of theater history. From 1915 to 1927, this progressive theater, along with the better-known Provincetown Players and the Theatre Guild, inaugurated the Little Theater movement in America.

In John P. Harrington’s detailed account of the Neighborhood Playhouse’s remarkable history, readers learn not only about its notable productions but also about its gradual shift in mission, and the tensions between art and social work. The story of this entirely female-led company is told through the biographies of the "New Playhouse Women." With vivid detail, this book provides a vital, yet often overlooked, piece of theater history and a lost key to understanding the growth of theater arts in New York City.

John P. Harrington is dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York. He is author of several books including The English Traveller in Ireland and The Irish Beckett, also published by Syracuse University Press.

6 x 9, 320 pages, 20 illustrations, notes, bibliography, index

Life of the Neighborhood Playhouse on Grand Street

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