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ReGroup to Stage THE HOUSE OF CONNELLY, 1/24-2/9

On the heals of their acclaimed productions of 1931- and Success Story, The ReGroup turns its attention to The Group Theatre's very first play, Paul Green's The House of Connelly. Presented with special permission and support of the Paul Green Foundation, this poetic tale of the last dying gasps of the Old South trying to prevent progress of new ideas gets a much overdue NY revival. Wayward son Will Connelly, heir to the famous Connelly estate finds himself unable to live up to the prestige of the legendary Connelly's of the past. When a new tenant farmer arrives with his daughter Patsy, is it love at first site or does she have her calculating eyes on becoming the new Mrs. Connelly? The struggle between tradition and change, black and white and truth versus secrets come to a shocking conclusion. Though the Group made Mr. Green rewrite the ending to make it more hopeful, the ReGroup will be presenting Mr. Green's original ending. It is sure to be jaw dropping even after 80 years.

Originally presented in 1931, The House of Connelly immediately propelled The Group Theatre to prominence. Directed by Lee Strasberg, the cast featured such future legends as Stella Adler, Morris Carnovsky, and Clifford Odets. In his New York Times review, Brooks Atkinson wrote that Mr. Green "has such abundant understanding, such integrity of character and such magnetism of passion that you are likely to remember the pure truth of his prose poem long after you have forgotten a thousand craftsmanlike plays about love, family and possessions. In 1934, the play was turned into the film Carolina starring Lionel Barrymore and pre-fame Shirley Temple.

The House of Connelly will run Jan 24th - Feb 9th at TBG Theatre, 312 W 36th St, 3rd floor. Shows run Mon, Thurs-Sat at 8 PM and at 3 PM on Sundays. Tickets are $18 and will be available starting in December via www.smarttix.com.

In addition to The House of Connelly, The ReGroup will be presenting free readings of two of Mr. Green's noteworthy plays. His 1927 Pulitzer Prize winner In Abraham's Bosom will be presented at 7 PM Jan 26, and his adaptation of Richard Wright's novel Native Son will be performed 7 PM Feb 2nd.

Paul Green (1894-1981) was a prolific author and civil rights activist. Besides writing the Group's first play, The House of Connelly, he also wrote their only musical, Johnny Johnson, with the first American score by Kurt Weill. (Both plays will soon be republished in The Lost Group Theatre Plays: Vol 3.) In 1927, his play In Abraham's Bosom won the Pulitzer Prize for its groundbreaking portrayal of realistic African American life in the South. Other plays of note are the stage adaptation of Richard Wright's classic novel Native Son and the longest running symphonic drama The Lost Colony (2013 TONY Award Winner for Excellence in Theatre). Besides plays, he wrote numerous short stories, novels, screenplays and essays. A lifelong civil rights activist, after his death, his friends and family established the Paul Green Foundation to continue his humanitarian work.


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