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Provincetown Players

PROVINCETOWN PLAYERS

PROVINCETOWN PLAYERS was an avant-garde theater group of authors, artists, and actors that produced Eugene O'Neill's Bound East for Cardiff in 1916 in a renovated fishing shack, the Wharf Theater, in Provincetown, Massachusetts. First under the direction of George Cram Cook, the group went on to become well known for producing or otherwise supporting the experimental work of such authors as Djuna Barnes, Susan Glaspell, e. e. cummings, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, in addition to O'Neill. Dramatic productions and other endeavors were managed by the artists themselves or others more interested in advancing literary expression than in reaping commercial profits. Eugene O'Neill went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for four of his plays, and in 1936, he became the first playwright to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. O'Neill's success brought attention and lasting credibility to, and nostalgia for, the Players, who had moved their work to Greenwich Village in New York City before they disbanded in 1929.

Works produced by the Provincetown Players, either in Provincetown or in Greenwich Village, include Millay's The Princess Marries the Page and Aria da Capo; Glaspell's Inheritors; Sherwood Anderson's The Triumph of the Egg; and e. e. cummings's him.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Cook, George Cram, and Frank Shay, eds. The Provincetown Plays. Cincinnati, Ohio: Stewart Kidd, 1921.

Deutsch, Helen, and Stella Hanau. The Provincetown: A Story of the Theatre. New York: Russell and Russell, 1931.

Egan, Leona Rust. Provincetown As a Stage: Provincetown, The Provincetown Players, and the Discovery of Eugene O'Neill. Orleans, Mass.: Parnassus Imprints, 1994.

Sarlós, Robert Karóly. Jig Cook and the Provincetown Players: Theatre in Ferment. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1982.

Connie AnnKirk

See alsoTheater .

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Provincetown Players

Provincetown Players, American theatrical company that first introduced the plays of Eugene O'Neill. The company opened with his Bound East for Cardiff at the Wharf Theatre, Provincetown, on Cape Cod in 1916 and later worked in New York City in conjunction with the Greenwich Village Theatre under the auspices of Robert Edmond Jones, Kenneth Macgowan, and O'Neill. By producing plays that were generally considered noncommercial, the company gave unrecognized dramatists the opportunity to experiment with new ideas. The group disbanded in 1929 but through its efforts, together with those of the Washington Square Players, a truly American theater was realized. Among the well-known writers associated with the Provincetown Players were Edna St. Vincent Millay and Djuna Barnes.

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