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Provincetown Players.

An influential group of actors, producers, and playwrights who in various forms of organization from 1915 to 1929 produced about a hundred plays by almost fifty playwrights and led to the greatest era in American drama. The group started as an acting company in Provincetown, Massachusetts, under the direction of <IR> GEORGE CRAM COOK </IR> ; their first theater, called the Wharf Theater (1916), was an abandoned fish house on a pier owned by Mary Heaton Vorse. Among the plays given were <IR> SUPPRESSED DESIRES </IR> , by Cook and his wife <IR> SUSAN GLASPELL </IR> , Change Your Style, by Cook; and Contemporaries, by Wilbur Daniel Steele. Even more important was the first production of <IR> EUGENE O'NEILL's BOUND EAST FOR CARDIFF </IR> . Later the group moved to New York City, where it established the Playwrights' Theater in a private home on Macdougal Street, and two years later the Provincetown Playhouse on the same street. In 1929 the group moved uptown to the Garrick Theater and, after an unsuccessful season, it disbanded.

In New York the Players continued to produce plays by O'Neill, as well as works by <IR> FLOYD DELL </IR> , <IR> THEODORE DREISER </IR> , <IR> EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY </IR> , Susan Glaspell, <IR> SHERWOOD ANDERSON </IR> , <IR> PAUL GREEN </IR> , <IR> E.E. CUMMINGS </IR> , and <IR> EDNA FERBER </IR> . The great service of the group was the attention it focused on native writers. Helen Deutsch and Stella Hanau wrote In Provincetown (1931), and Susan Glaspell gave an account of her and her husband's experiences in The Road to the Temple (1926). Agnes Boulton, Eugene O'Neill's second wife, has also given a valuable account in her Part of a Long Story (1958).

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Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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