Tag Archives: Dore Schary

100 Years of The Theatre Guild

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

We are so excited about this upcoming year, which marks the 100th Anniversary celebrations for The Theatre Guild. The Theatre Guild was started in 1919 in New York City by my (Philip) father, Lawrence Langner along with Philip Moeller, Helen Westley, Maurice Wertheim, Lee Simonson, and Theresa Helburn. Lawrence’s wife (Philip’s mother), Armina Marshall, served as a co-director.

As we head into the new year, we would like to remind you that January is the perfect time to renew your love of theatre and urge you, now that the holidays will be winding down, to find a show or musical that has piqued your interest and go see it!

But before we jump ahead, we also wanted to take a moment to tell you about a very special place that was created by our dear friend Ed Asner. As you will remember, in recent years Ed had been touring around the U.S. in our production of Dore Schary’s play, FDR. Ed has, along with his son, Matthew, and daughter-in-law, Navah, created The Ed Asner Family Center. This center was created as:

a one-stop shop for those with special needs and their families seeking wholeness in all attitudes of life. The Center will act as an oasis of balance and thought, of interaction and education. Most importantly, The Center will give children and adults of all levels of ability a chance at dignity, confidence, and self-respect. At The Ed Asner Family Center, we do not only cater to the needs of the special child. We aim to enroll the complete family and help them meet the challenges they face with grace.

If you are looking to make a charitable contribution this holiday season, we ask you to please consider this inspiring and wonderful place that is truly making a difference in people’s lives. To read more about The Ed Asner Family Center, learn about the programs and services they offer, or make a donation, please visit their website at http://edasnerfamilycenter.org/

Best wishes for a Happy 2019!
Philip and Marilyn

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Playwrights

With the end of summer looming and a new school year and theatre season on the horizon, we thought we’d take a bit of a break and head down the coast to spend a bit of time with our daughter and granddaughters.

We started this Newsletter just over a few years ago and we have been very fortunate in our ever-increasing number of subscribers. But we also realize that many of you haven’t had time to go back and read all of our articles, and so we thought we’d share a few with you while we’re lounging away on the beach, watching our granddaughters play!

In this post, we revisit some of the great and phenomenal playwrights The Theatre Guild has worked with over the years…enjoy!

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

One of the fascinating aspects of The Theatre Guild is all of the wonderful playwrights we have worked with in our 95 years, such as:

George Bernard Shaw—possibly the greatest playwright of the century—had 14 plays produced by The Theatre Guild.

george bernard shaw

The Theatre Guild produced 9 of Eugene O’Neill’s plays.

Eugene O'Neill

Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine starred in 25 plays on Broadway for The Guild over a 30 year period from 1925 to 1956.

Lunt and Fontanne 2

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who wrote Oklahoma! at the suggestion of The Theatre Guild and collaborated with The Theatre Guild to create Carousel and Allegro.

rodgers and hammerstein

Of course, we can never forget Dore Schary—who wrote Sunrise At Campobello, which we produced and then later adapted to our current running play FDR, starring Ed Asner, which will be performing in Laguna Beach, CA in November, and Chicago in April 2015.

dore schary

These playwrights were so talented…

View original post 22 more words

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Sunrise at Campobello

Dear Friends,

Since we’ve been celebrating American history all week, we thought we’d share this post with you again, as it is where history and theatre intersect!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

Certainly one of the most exciting plays we ever produced was Sunrise at Campobello, the story of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the early 1920s.

We were extremely happy when Dore Schary, a prominent head of MGM, decided to leave Hollywood to concentrate on writing and producing plays in New York!

campo 2

His first play, Sunrise, was excellent!  We opened the play on what would have been Roosevelt’s 76th birthday—January 30, 1958.  It was directed by Vincent J. Donehue and starred Ralph Bellamy as Roosevelt, along with Mary Fickett, Henry Jones, Anne Seymour, Mary Welch, Alan Bunce and more!

The play ran for 16 months with 556 spectacular performances.  It was nominated for 6 Tonys in 1958 and won Best Play, Best Actor, Best Director…

  • Best Play (winner)
  • Outstanding Actor in a Play—Ralph Bellamy (winner)
  • Direction—Vincent J. Donehue (winner)
  • Featured Actor in a Play—Henry Jones (winner)
  • Featured Actress in…

View original post 95 more words

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chicago Performance

Exciting review from our latest performance of FDR, starring Ed Asner, last week in Chicago at the Roosevelt University Auditorium Theatre!

Ed Asner was an absolute delight as Franklin Roosevelt. We were proud to present his one man show, FDR, in celebration of Roosevelt University’s 70th birthday. FDR’s grand-daughter and great grand-son were in the audience and they were very complimentary about Ed’s portrayal of their family’s patriarch. He displayed FDR’s warmth and humanity and brought that special Asner touch to a complex character familiar to us all. In addition, he was very open and accessible, happily greeting our patrons and even spending an hour in the classroom with our theatre students.

Of course, we already know that Ed is fantastic in his role as FDR—but it’s always great seeing others agree!

ed flag

Tagged , , , , ,

Broadway Hit!

This picture is every producer’s dream—lots of people scurrying to buy tickets!  In fact, when Oklahoma! opened in 1943, we had to hire a full time policeman to handle the crowds (a rare expense a producer doesn’t mind paying!).

majority

At any rate, this picture of the line out front of A Majority of One in February 1959 makes us think of what a pleasure it is to have a hit play on Broadway.

Majority was written by Leonard Spigelgass and directed by Dore Schary.  Gertrude Berg plays a Jewish mother on a ship to Japan, where her son has been killed in the War.  On board the ship, she meets a Japanese business man, played by Sir Cedric Hardwicke (a lovely man!), with whom she falls in love.

We all know that only one out of four Broadway plays earns its money back, but that doesn’t seem to stop people from constantly fighting to get their plays produced.

All we can say as producers is “we’re sure this next one will be a hit!”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Read All About It!

Great News!

Yesterday we were discussing the magnificent play by Dore Schary, Sunrise at Campobello.  We found it on Amazon for you!  It’s a must have for any theatre enthusiast’s library.

sunrise
Sunrise at Campobello – A Play in Three Acts

Tagged , , ,

Sunrise at Campobello

Certainly one of the most exciting plays we ever produced was Sunrise at Campobello, the story of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the early 1920s.

We were extremely happy when Dore Schary, a prominent head of MGM, decided to leave Hollywood to concentrate on writing and producing plays in New York!

campo 2

His first play, Sunrise, was excellent!  We opened the play on what would have been Roosevelt’s 76th birthday—January 30, 1958.  It was directed by Vincent J. Donehue and starred Ralph Bellamy as Roosevelt, along with Mary Fickett, Henry Jones, Anne Seymour, Mary Welch, Alan Bunce and more!

The play ran for 16 months with 556 spectacular performances.  It was nominated for 6 Tonys in 1958 and won Best Play, Best Actor, Best Director…

  • Best Play (winner)
  • Outstanding Actor in a Play—Ralph Bellamy (winner)
  • Direction—Vincent J. Donehue (winner)
  • Featured Actor in a Play—Henry Jones (winner)
  • Featured Actress in a Play—Mary Fickett (nominee)

It was great fun producing and working with such talent!  The play itself was so masterfully written and so poignant and inspirational—transcending generations—and that’s why we adapted the play into a one-man show, FDR, which we have been touring all over the United States starring Ed Asner and playing in over 100 theatres during the last 6 years (since 2009).

campo 1

You can read more about our production of Sunrise at Campobello and many more Theatre Guild productions in our book: A pictorial history of the Theatre Guild by Norman Nadel.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

California Success!

ed laguna

Ed Asner recently finished a run November 19th-23rd at the Laguna Beach Playhouse, where he starred in our production of Dore Schary’s FDR.  As you would expect, he did very well and got a lovely review in The Orange County register:

Asner’s Roosevelt is a charming, demanding, uncompromising man of exceptional skill in dealing with people from every walk of life, and the actor imbues him with the kind of gruff bullishness and vitality we’ve seen in him from other roles.

For the full article, go here: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/roosevelt-642800-asner-fdr.html

Of course it’s not a big surprise to us, since he’s played in our production of FDR in more than 100 cities since 2009—and he’s a prime example of why we love producing plays!

It is a great way to sail into the holidays, with hopeful prospects of an amazing 2015 season (we start in Chicago on April 10, 2015)!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

FDR

One of the plays we are currently producing and are proud to feature is a play starring two iconic figures: Ed Asner and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The beauty of this play, FDR by the incredible Dore Schary, is its simplicity—no fancy sets or scene changes, just Ed doing what he does best: extraordinary entertaining.

We have been touring all over the United States with Ed for over 5 years—he continuously sells out shows and audiences everywhere love him.  Not only is he commanding on stage, but Ed always takes the time afterward to meet with his fans—a seemingly rare quality in today’s performers.

Ed is magnificent as FDR, and he delivers an unforgettable performance as one of our most legendary presidents.

Asner gave a refresher course in patriotism, duty and tenacity as the man who was elected four times as president because he had a job to do and he wasn’t finished.

                   —Geri Parlin, La Crosse Tribune

ed flag

FDR_poster

Our next engagement is in Laguna Beach for 5 performances November 19-23, 2014.

 

Tagged , , , , ,
Advertisements