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Susan Glaspell shaped the development of American Modernism not only as an award-winning author but also as a founding member of the Provincetown Players, the…. The Little Theater Movement comprised a web of amateur theater activities undertaken across much of the United States between and Little Theater opposed….
Mina Loy, born Mina Gertrude Lowry, — , was a British artist, designer, model, novelist, nurse, playwright and poet, with ties to the Dadaist, Futurist and…. The Players were founded as an amateur group, and initially did not allow critics to attend to review their plays, hoping to protect their experimental nature. Finally they voted to allow critics tickets to performances, even though some founding members considered this means of evaluation to be the criteria of commercial theater, and therefore a violation of the mission of The Players.
At the end of the third New York season, Cook and Glaspell decided to step away from the Players for a year-long sabbatical — The cast was led by Charles Gilpin , who was the first African-American professional actor to perform with a primarily white company in the United States. Cook used the production of The Emperor Jones to advocate for a striking scenic innovation — the construction of a dome in the Playhouse modeled on the scenic element used in art theaters in Europe.
After the attention The Emperor Jones received, some members of the Players began to associate success with a Broadway transfer. Commercial success eroded the collective spirit of the Provincetown Players. As a result of the growing pressure to succeed in commercial terms, and with no new playwrights coming to them to be developed, Cook and Glaspell asked to incorporate the "Provincetown Players" so as to protect the name.
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They left in to travel to Greece. The Players suspended their work for the season. Though Cook wrote his subscribers promising a season beginning in October , the Provincetown Players did not produce again.
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After the formal dissolution of the Players, several associates sought to create a producing organization that would carry on their success and use the Players' name. When Jig Cook died in Greece January , Susan Glaspell could not prevent creation of a new producing organization, but she fought to protect the name "The Provincetown Players" from the new partnership. It marked a new phase in the life of the company that was still identified in the popular imagination as the Provincetown Players.
The Provincetown operated under the triumvirate for two seasons. The theater continued to wrestle with the tension between process and product. The original Provincetown Players were founded on ideals of simplicity, experimentation, and group process. Success, on the other hand, relied on finished products and expansion. The stock market crash abruptly added to their burdens. After the final performance of Winter Bound by Thomas H. Dickinson on December 14, , the theater company closed for good. Women were a prominent part of the Provincetown Players. Susan Glaspell and Jig Cook were partners in organizing the Players.
Neith Boyce and Glaspell who co-wrote a play with her husband Cook wrote the first two plays performed by the Players.
Mary Heaton Vorse donated the use of the fish house on Lewis Wharf as the Players' first home for two summers in Provincetown. Similarly, the Players gave voice to women artists. Of the forty-seven playwrights whose work was produced by the Provincetown Players, seventeen were women. Vincent Millay. The Little Theatre Movement in America came about in reaction to the tepid entertainment offered by the commercial theater.
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In an effort to appeal to a mass audience, Broadway took few chances with untested plays and playwrights. The Little Theatres provided an outlet for American playwrights, and stories of social significance. They were predominantly performed in a social realist style. The anti-commercial impulse, emphasis on artistic expression, and collective decision-making of the Provincetown Players were manifestations of the bohemian spirit of Greenwich Village of the s.
The Players were founded from a network of friendships among artists, intellectuals and radicals. Mabel Dodge , who hosted the most celebrated literary salon of the period, was the former lover of founding member of the Players Jack Reed actor. Their love affair was the thinly disguised subject matter of the first Players production, Constancy. Max Eastman , editor of the radical magazine The Masses , also participated with the Players.