The ReGroup Theatre Company Presents 1931-, 10/4-21
After an 80-year absence from the stage, The ReGroup Theatre Company presents 1931-, Claire & Paul Sifton's gritty tale of the Great Depression era. Allie Mulholland directs a cast of thirteen ReGroup members, including George Bartenieff (4 Obie Awards; Film: Julia & Julia; TV: 30 Rock, Law & Order), Carly J. Bauer, Nic Davies, Stephen Dexter, Matt Giroveanu, Daniel Hainsworth, Avé M. Lindon, Pete McElligott (Backstage magazine's 10 Memorable performances of 2011 for Johnny Johnson directed by Estelle Parsons), Kelsey Moore, Mateo Prendergast, Kofi Boakye, Shelley Valfer, and Shawn Verrier. 1931- will run for fourteen performances from October 4-21, 2012 at The Living Theatre, 21 Clinton Street (between East Houston & Stanton) in New York City.
1931- is the story of Adam, who is fired from his warehouse job. Proud and determined, Adam sets out to find another job, only to discover hundreds of other men in the same situation. Without a paycheck, Adam soon realizes how much he has to lose: health, dignity, hope, and possibly even the young shop girl he loves. 1931- it is the story of all the men and women, young and old, in Adam's situation. They sleep in the parks, beg for coins and even turn to crime when there seems to be no other option. When their story comes to a head, there seems only one way left to turn: revolution.
1931- was the second play produced by The Group Theatre, the most famous American theatre company, which existed from 1931-1940, featuring the talents of Lee Strasberg, Clifford Odets, Stella Adler, & Sanford Meisner. The original production lasted 12 performances, though the stories of the amazed reaction of the "balcony crowd," whose story was being depicted onstage, are legendary. The upper-class orchestra-set rejected the play for its alleged sensationalism.
The ReGroup Theatre Company presented 1931- as a staged reading in 2010 and was struck by the overwhelming response the play stirred in the audience. Many questioned whether the play had been updated to reflect our modern times, specifically the Occupy Wall Street movement, but not a word has been updated.
Out-of-print for 75+ years, ReGroup Artistic Director Allie Mulholland copied 1931- word by word from the Labor Library Collection. After obtaining permission from the Sifton family, The ReGroup published the play in 2011 in The "Lost" Group Theatre Plays: Volume 1.