American Laboratory Theatre

Definition

Theater

  • An acting school and production group established in 1924 inNew York by Richard Boleslavsky (1889 - 1937), who was soon joinedby Maria Ouspenskaya (1876 - 1949). Both were former pupils ofStanislavsky at the Moscow Art Theatre. Boleslavskyhad already taught the Method acting system for a year atNew York's Neighbourhood Playhouse after appearing in the Moscow ArtTheatre's first Broadway season.

    The Laboratory Theatre, which lasted until 1929, was the primaryadvocate of Stanislavsky's theories in America. Among its pupils wereLee Strasberg, who became director of the New York Actors Studio in 1951 and made it home to the Method, and Harold Clurman(who later complained that the Method produced "a kind of constipationof the soul"). Strasberg and Clurman were among the foundersof the Group Theatre in 1931.

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