Rice, Elmer, 1892-1967

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1892-09-28
Death 1967-05-08
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Dramatist Elmer Rice was born and raised in Manhattan. Working as a file clerk, he earned a high-school equivalency diploma and entered New York Law School, passing the bar exam. He quit his job with a law firm to write plays, and within eight months his play On Trial was a critical and popular success. In a career marked by success and innovation, the prolific Rice produced socially-conscious drama as well as accessible entertainment; he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1929 for Street Scene. He directed many of his plays, and also wrote screenplays and stories. He was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union, opposed censorship, and worked for social issues such women's suffrage and child labor laws.

From the description of Elmer Rice letter to Mrs. Brennan, 1941 April 15. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 62171655

American dramatist and lawyer, Rice won the Pulitzer Prize in 1929 for his play, Street Scene. His plays often reflected the social/political issues of their day.

From the description of Elmer Rice letters from various correspondents, 1915-1967. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612378035

An American dramatist and lawyer, Rice won the Pulitzer Prize in 1929 for his play, Street scene. His plays often reflected the social and political issues of their day.

From the guide to the Elmer Rice letters from various correspondents, 1915-1967., (Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

American dramatist.

From the description of Typed letter signed : New York, addressed "Dear Sirs" and directed to the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1957 Jan. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270617372

Elmer Rice (1892-1967), born Elmer L. Reizenstein, was an early 20th century American playwright. Among his works are On Trial (1914), The Adding Machine (1923), The Left Bank (1931), Judgement Day (1934), and Dream Girl (1945). His 1929 play Street Scene won him a Pulitzer Prize.

Rice helped establish and wrote for Playwrights' Producing Company and was the first director of the New York office of the Federal Theatre Project, a post he resigned in 1936 in protest of alleged government censorship of the FTP's Ethiopia, a "Living Newspaper" concerning Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia.

In addition to writing for the stage, Rice authored The Living Theatre (1960), a controversial book on American drama, and his autobiography, Minority Report, was published in 1964.

From the guide to the Elmer Rice Letters, 1932, 1951, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

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Subjects:

  • Autographs--Collectors and collecting
  • Radicals--United States
  • Literature--American Fiction
  • Theater--Political aspects
  • Playwriting
  • Dramatists, American--Correspondence
  • Dance and theatre
  • Radicalism
  • Male dramatists--20th century--Correspondence
  • Prompt-book
  • Tourism and art

Occupations:

  • Authors
  • Dramatists
  • Lyricists

Places:

  • Soviet Union (as recorded)