My first experience as an actor was when I was in church. This was much later followed by a Middle School version of "The Hobbit" and then, in High School, I tried to act in at least two plays a year. College also found me acting many times. I have some experience on "both sides of the stage" so to speak, and, in preparation for my solo directorial debut, wanted a little extra background on directing. My answer is yes, to a degree.

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He attended Columbia and, at the age of 20, moved to France to study at the University of Paris. There he shared an apartment with the young composer Aaron Copland. In Paris, he saw all sorts of theatrical productions. He was influenced especially by the work of Jacques Copeau and the Moscow Art Theatre , whose permanent company built a strong creative force. He wrote his thesis on the history of French drama from to He became a stage manager and play reader for the Theatre Guild.

Career[ edit ] Clurman began work as an actor in New York. He felt that the standard American theater, though successful at the box office, was not providing the experience which he wanted. He said, "I was interested in what the theater was going to say The theater must say something.

It must relate to society. It must relate to the world we live in. In November , Clurman led weekly lectures, in which they talked about founding a permanent theatrical company to produce plays dealing with important modern social issues. Together with 28 other young people, they formed a group that developed a groundbreaking style of theater that strongly influenced American productions, including such elements as Stanislavski -trained actors, realism based on American stories, and political content.

In the summer of , the first members of the Group Theatre rehearsed for several weeks in the countryside of Nichols, Connecticut at the Pine Brook Country Club. Clurman was the scholar of the group — he knew multiple languages, read widely, and listened to a broad array of music.

Strasberg dealt with acting and directing, and Crawford dealt with the business. He believed that all the elements of a play—text, acting, lighting, scenery and direction—needed to work together to convey a unified message. Clurman would read the script over and over, each time focusing on a different element or character. He tried to inspire, guide and constructively critique his designers rather than dictate to them. He encouraged his actors to find "active verbs" to describe what their characters were trying to accomplish.

In , tensions among Clurman, Crawford and Strasberg caused the latter two to resign from the Group; four years later, the Group Theatre permanently disbanded. Clurman went on to direct plays on Broadway, more than 40 in all, and write as a newspaper theatre critic.

Marriage and family[ edit ] In Clurman married Stella Adler , a charismatic theatre actress and later a renowned New York acting coach. Clurman was her second husband. They divorced in He is considered "one of the most influential theater directors in America". She summarized his approach as demanding the human being within the character: In , I worked in a play under the direction of Harold Clurman. He opened a new world in the professional theatre for me.

At first I floundered badly because for many years I had become accustomed to using specific outer directions as the material from which to construct the mask for my character, the mask behind which I would hide throughout the performance.

Clurman refused to accept a mask. He demanded ME in the role. My love of acting was slowly reawakened as I began to deal with a strange new technique of evolving in the character. I was not allowed to begin with, or concern myself at any time with, a preconceived form. I was assured that a form would result from the work we were doing. Clurman died on September 9, in New York City of cancer. He is buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Glendale, Queens. Works on Broadway[ edit ].


Harold Clurman

Where, I wondered, was this parallel activity in theater? As the passionate and talented leader of the Group Theatre, Clurman invigorated American theater with his political and artistic idealism. Born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in , Harold Clurman had his first exposure to theater at the age of six, when his parents took him to see the great Yiddish actor Jacob Adler. I immediately had a passionate inclination toward the theater. After leaving home, he attended Columbia and later the University of Paris, where he wrote his thesis on the history of French drama from to


On Directing

Kagagami He believed that all the elements of a play—text, acting, lighting, scenery and direction—needed to work together to convey a unified message. There was a problem adding your email address. It uses personal anecdote and also a balanced perspective to convey points. Michael rated it really liked it Sep 12, But the main reason why this book is not getting a higher rating is that it is most useful to the director planning on a professional production, and those directors should have had experience and training equal to reading this book by the time they would pick it up. Harold Clurman, director of such memorable productions as A Member of the Wedding and Uncle Vanyadescribes the pleasures and perils of working with such celebrated playwrights and actors as Marlon Brando, Arthur Miller, Julie Harris, and Lillian Hellman. I only have 5 — 8 weeks for rehearsal and at most 5 hours per week for those rehearsals.


Harold Clurman Quotes


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