"Harrington captures the spirit that made Neighborhood Playhouse one of the most vibrant theaters in New York. . . . Highly Recommended."—Choice
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 in 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. Harrington traces the playhouse’s long-lasting legacy: it fostered The Neighborhood School of Acting made famous by Sanford Meisner, now the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, and it helped spawn the expansive network of community theaters that thrive throughout America today. Well-researched and detailed, 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, 328 pages, 29 black and white illustrations