Saturday, February 25, 2012

Theodore Mann Dead at 87

Theodore Mann, who co-founded the Circle in the Square Theatre and, according to Robert Simonson of, "was one of the foremost figures in the birth of the Off-Broadway theater movement," died on February 24th after "a brief illness."

Simonson's article continues that, "In 1951, along with Panama-born director Jose Quintero and a few others, the young Mr. Mann created Circle in the Square in a small arena space just off Greenwich Village's Sheridan Square (hence the troupe's curious name). One year later, they staged a revival of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke, intending it as a vehicle for their friend, actress Geraldine Page. The play had disappointed on Broadway. Quintero's heralded new interpretation caused critics to reappraise the work. Though it wasn't the first production below 14th Street to gain public interest after World War II, many theatre historians regard the show as a benchmark in the birth of Off-Broadway."

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