Washington Square Players



  • A US theater group formed in 1914 by amateur players to performa summer repertory season at Provincetown, Massachusetts. The foundersincluded the Welsh-born producer Lawrence Langner, who later helpedto found the Theatre Guild in 1919. In 1915 the Washington SquarePlayers moved into a former stable in New York's Greenwich Village,before taking over the 40-seat Bandbox Theatre, where they presentedone-act plays. In 1916 the company transferred to the 600-seat ComedyTheatre, where they performed their first full-length productions,including Chekhov's The Seagull, Ibsen's Ghosts, andShaw's Mrs Warren's Profession.

    Members of the company included the actress Katharine Cornell,who made her professional debut there in Bushido in 1916, theset designer and director Robert Edmond Jones, and the theatricaldesigner Lee Simonson (1888 - 1967), who was later a founder anddirector of the Theatre Guild. The Washington Square Players brokeup in 1918, as a result of financial difficulties.