Real Life Drama
The Group Theatre and America, 1931-1940
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About the author
Wendy Smith is a contributing editor of The American Scholar. Her book reviews and author profiles appear frequently in The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Newsday, Publishers Weekly, and other publications. She has contributed articles to American Theatre magazine and is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women and the Board of Advisers of the ReGroup Theatre.
Real Life Drama is the classic history of the remarkable group that revitalized American theater in the 1930s by engaging urgent social and moral issues that still resonate today.
Born in the turbulent decade of the Depression, the Group Theatre revolutionized American arts. Wendy Smith's dramatic narrative brings the influential troupe and its founders to life once again, capturing their joys and pains, their triumphs and defeats. Filled with fresh insights into the towering personalities of Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, Cheryl Crawford, Elia Kazan, Clifford Odets, Stella and Luther Adler, Karl Malden, and Lee J. Cobb, among many others, Real Life Drama chronicles a passionate community of idealists as they opened a new frontier in theater.
In the press
"This is the coolest, most objective, most valuable book on the Group Theatre we will ever get." --Alfred Kazin
"The Group Theatre was unique.... It was literally the voice of Depression America. Anyone interested in the Group has to know what is in this fine book." --Arthur Miller
"Required reading on the development of modern American theatre. Dense with character, incident, ideas." --Library Journal