ReGroup Theatre's THE SILENT PARTNER Benefit Set for Tonight
Clifford Odets' The Silent Partner, was originally written for production by The Group Theatre, but the company sadly closed its doors before the play was ever mounted. It was never published, and other than a 1972 Lee Strasberg helmed workshop at The Actors Studio, the play has been unseen for 75 years causing it to be the source of much speculation. Often referred to as a long-form version of Waiting for Lefty as it deals with striking workers, it is an entirely original and savagely poetic 3-Act tale that only Odets could tell.
In The Fervent Years, Group co-founder, Harold Clurman referred to the play as Odets' "most complete script. It had a great theme... No play of Odets had a wider scope, a greater variety of characters, or more exciting scenes." Once the officials of the twin cities of Apollo and Rising Sun start deputizing outlaws to help break up the strike, striking workers are arrested and murdered and their wives are attacked. With food and essentials cut off, the strikers and their families must protect themselves against the scab workers and vicious new law enforcers in the middle of one of their hottest summers.
On the heels of ReGroup's five powerhouse productions in the past year, including 1931- and Success Story, as well as the recent big-budget Broadway production of Odets' Golden Boy and The Big Knife, this is sure to be one of the summer's hottest tickets.
The Silent Partner will be presented tonight, Monday, July 15th, 2013 at The Players Club: 16 Gramercy Park South, NYC. The evening begins with an open bar reception from 7pm - 8, followed by the 8 PM hybrid performance/reading of this rare play.
Having presented 11 fully staged readings of the Group plays, including Odets' Paradise Lost featuring guest actress Angelica Page and Johnny Johnson directed by Estelle Parsons, the ReGroup has established their own form of a 'reading', essentially akin to a script-in-hand production. In addition to productions, readings and their upcoming 3rd Volume of The Lost Group Theatre plays, ReGroup presented The Group Theatre 80th Anniversary Tribute, featuring an evening of scenes from all the Group plays, and featuring such guest artists as Lois Smith, Frances Sternhagen, and Ellen Adler. As The Silent Partner features a cast of over 35 characters, only a dedicated non-profit company like the ReGroup can effectively bring it to life.
Bartenieff and Morgan (granddaughter of Group Theatre members Lee J. Cobb, Harry Morgan and Ruth Nelson!) join Pete McElligott, Maurya Scanlon, Mateo Prendergast, Daniel Hainsworth, Kelsey Moore, Stephen Dexter, Shelley Valfer, Ave M. Lindon, Carly J. Bauer, Tami McCarthy, Gian Carbonara,John McCormick, Eli Bridges, and other surprise guests! The evening is directed by Allie Mulholland.
Though the bulk of their work has so far focused on the lost Group plays, the ReGroup isn't restricted to only presenting their plays. As a new company, they've decided if these plays were good enough to train our theatrical greats: Kazan, Adler, Meisner, Strasberg, Cobb, Odets, Lumet, and many more, it was a great place for them to learn. The project is akin to a Lazarus Pit, attempting to bring back this passionate, non-commercial theatre back into fashion. Hopefully, it will inspire a new generation of actors, directors and playwrights to start producing new works of this caliber just as the original Group inspired Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and the legendary names that came from the early Actors Studio.
Tickets are now on sale through and expected to sell out. For ticket information visit www.smarttix.com or call (212) 868-4444. For the list of the latest guest appearances, please visit www.regrouptheatre.org
Photo by Walter McBride