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Lee Grant, Mel Gordon, Ronald Rand Set for 80th Anniversary Tribute to the Group Theatre logo
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center is set to present a day of free readings, panels, recordings, and screenings of unseen footage dedicated to understanding "The Group Theatre and How it Changed American Culture," June 4 beginning at 2pm in CUNY's Elebash Recital Hall at the Graduate Center, as an 80th Anniversary Tribute to the group.

Created by Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, and Cheryl Crawford, The Group Theatre was America's first permanent company of actors. They presented timely plays using Constantin Stanislavsky's System of Acting with an ensemble that included Stella Adler, Sandy Meisner, Bobby Lewis, Sidney Lumet, and Elia Kazan.

As a tribute to Strasberg, the day's events will include a screening of a 1982 interview with Lee Strasberg, a reading of a 1932 affective memory exercise with Robert Ellerman, and slide presentations of exercises conducted by the Group and the 1933 performance Men in White, presented by Mel Gordon and John Strasberg.

Then, there will be a screening of a 1985 interview with Stella Adler, actual recordings of Adler in on stage, a reading from Adler's 1934 notes to Constantin Stanislavsky (and Stanislavsky's response), and a radio broadcast of The Group in Clifford Odets's Sarah Bernhardt, presented by Mel Gordon and Ellen Adler.

To honor Clurman, there will be video interviews on Clurman from Karl Malden and Lee Strasberg, a slide presentation and stage recording of Golden Boy, and rare footage of Group actors reprising their Golden Boy roles, presented by Ronald Rand and Mel Gordon.

Finally, the day's events will include readings from the original 1931 Group Theatre Diary, a reading from Ronald Rand's play The Group! with Fritz Weaver, and screenings of the Group Theatre on Film and a panel discussion with Wendy Smith, Lee Grant, Ellen Adler, Mel Gordon, Ronald Rand, and John Strasberg.


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