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Primary Stages Launches Off-Broadway Oral History Project

Artists document the history of off-Broadway theater following World War II.

Oscar winner Estelle Parsons is among the contributors to Primary Stages' off-Broadway Oral History Project.
(© Tricia Baron)

Primary Stages has announced the launch of Off Center: The Off-Broadway Oral History Project. Officially launched on Thursday, March 2, at WNYC's Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the project was created to fill a gap in theater history and establishes a video archive featuring the innovative artists who transformed off- and off-off-Broadway in the years after World War II.

Since June 2014, contributors to this project have conducted over 250 hours of interviews with almost 100 off-Broadway leaders. In their own words, actors, casting agents, directors, designers, press representatives, producers, playwrights, theater founders, and others share their personal accounts of how off- and off-off-Broadway emerged and flourished. Now, Primary Stages is launching a website where future generations of audiences, artists, and scholars will be able to access these interviews and learn about different people's views on theater, art, and themselves in their own words.

Participating artists include JoAnne Akalaitis, B.H. Barry, George Bartenieff, Tanya Berezin, Patricia Birch, Anne Bogart, Robyn Burland, Shami Chaikin, Kathleen Chalfant, Tisa Chang, Lori Tan Chinn, Ping Chong, Marilyn Chris, Lynn Cohen, Bill Cwikowski, Barbara Dana, Merle Debuskey, Christopher Durang, Donald and Anne Farber, Fyvush Finkel, Richard Foreman, Paul Foster, Richard Frankel, Arthur French, Jack Garfein, Caryl Goldsmith, Micki Grant, John Guare, A.R. Gurney, Walter and Georgia Hadler, Joseph Hardy, Terese Hayden, Wynn Handman, Robert Heide, John Gilman, Israel Horowitz, Tina Howe, Tom Jones, Dana Ivey, Robert Kalfin, Willa Kim, Woodie King Jr., Arthur Kopit, Eric Krebs, Ralph Lee, Paul Libin, Jo Sullivan Loesser, Joan MacIntosh, Judith Malina, Peter Maloney, Norman Thomas Marshall, Marshall W. Mason, Elizabeth Ireland McCann, Michael McGrinder, Charles Mee, Robert Moss, Barbara Montgomery, Brian Murray, Julius Novick, Dorothy Olim, Steve Olsen, Gail Merrifield Papp, Estelle Parsons, Robert Patrick, Austin Pendleton, Larry Pine, Albert Poland, Everett Quinton, David Rothenberg, Donn Russell, Richard Schechner, Julian Schlossberg, Lois Smith, Black-Eyed Susan, Rosemarie Tichler, Jean-Claude van Itallie, Robert Walter, Douglas Turner Ward, Charles Weldon, Elizabeth Wilson, Moni Yakim, Mina Yakin, Paul Zimet, and Jerry Zaks.

To visit Primary Stages' Oral History Project website, click here.


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