Crawford, Cheryl, 1902-1986

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Producer/director Cheryl Crawford (1902-1986) was a founding member of the Group Theatre in 1931, and of the Actors Studio in 1947.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Crawford became involved with the Theatre Guild in the 1920s, first as secretary, later as actress and stage manager, and ultimately as casting director. With Lee Strasberg she co-directed the Group Theatre's first production, THE HOUSE OF CONNELLY, in 1931, and went on to direct and/or produce many plays in the decades which followed, on Broadway and off, including ONE TOUCH OF VENUS, the 1942 revival of PORGY AND BESS, BRIGADOON, FLAHOOLEY, and SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH. Cheryl Crawford co-founded the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg, Elia Kazan, and Robert Lewis, and remained with that organization until her death.

From the description of Cheryl Crawford papers, 1920-1986. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 144651911

Producer and director Cheryl Crawford was born Sept. 24, 1902 in Akron, Ohio to Louella E. (Parker) and Robert K. Crawford. Crawford died on Oct. 7, 1986 in New York City.

Although involved in at least one high school dramatic production, Crawford began her formal acting career while at Smith College, when she became involved with Smith College Dramatic Association. While a student, she produced Shakuntala, a Native American drama. During the summer of 1924 Crawford was associated with the Provincetown Players of Cape Cod. In 1925 she graduated from Smith College, cum laude.

Following graduation, Crawford attended a school managed by the Theatre Guild in New York City. She worked with the Theatre Guild until 1930, working first as a secretary and a third assistant manager. Later she worked as a casting director and general assistant on Theatre Guild productions.

In 1930 Crawford left the Theatre Guild to form the Group Theatre, sharing the responsibilities as director of the group with Harold Clurman and Lee Strasberg. During this period she directed Big Night (1933), Till the Day I Die (1935), and Weep for the Virgins (1935) as well as assisting with the direction of the first production by the Group Theatre, The House of Connelly (1931). She left the Group Theatre in 1937 to begin directing on her own.

Between 1937 and her death in 1986 Crawford was involved in the production of more than 100 shows. From 1937 through 1945 Crawford worked primarily on Broadway. While working at the Maplewood Theatre in New Jersey, 1940-1942, she produced different shows on a weekly basis and worked with such stars as Tallulah Bankhead, Ingrid Bergman, Gloria Swanson in productions such as The Time of Your Life and Charley's Aunt.

In 1946 Crawford formed the American Repertory Theatre with Eva Le Gallienne and Margaret Webster. In 1947 Crawford united with Robert Lewis and Elia Kazan to form the Actors Studio. Crawford served as both a member of the board of directors and as an executive producer during the Actors Studio Theatre, which ran during 1963 and 1964.

Crawford was active as a producer for fifty-five years, co-producing So Long on Lonely Street in 1986. During that time she produced musicals such as Brigadoon, Porgy and Bess, Paint Your Wagon, and Celebration. Crawford also produced four Tennessee Williams plays, among them Sweet Bird of Youth, in which Paul Newman starred, and Period of Adjustment. Some of the highlights from productions during the last decades of her life include Yentl, Mother Courage and Her Children, and Do You Turn Somersaults.

Crawford's awards include an honorary Doctor of Literature from Smith College, awarded in 1962, and an Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award in 1951 for Tennessee William's The Rose Tattoo. She was named Woman of the Year in 1959. In 1964 she was awarded an Achievement Medal from Brandeis University.

From the description of Cheryl Crawford papers, 1862-1981. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 60196985

1902Born in Akron, Ohio 1921Enters Smith College 1924Goes to the Provincetown Theatre on Cape Cod 1925Goes to New York and enrolls in the Theatre Guild School July 1926Directs for Theatre Guild summer stock company Fall 1926Becomes casting secretary for the Theatre Guild 1929Takes Theatre Guild production of Porgy to London Fall 1929Becomes stage manager for Theatre Guild production 1931Founds Group Theatre with Harold Clurman and Lee Strasberg 1935Visits Moscow and Moscow Art Theatre with Harold Clurman 1937Begins working as an independent producer 1940First season of Crawford running the Maplewood Theatre 1942Maplewood Theatre closes; Porgy and Bess opens at the Majestic Theatre October 1943One Touch of Venus opens 1944Broadway revival of Porgy and Bess opens 1945Involvement in the beginning of ANTA 1946Produces for the American Repertory Theatre 1947ANTA begins experimental theatre project at the Princess Theatre 1947Actors' Studio founded; Brigadoon opens 1948Rejects offer to produce Death of a Salesman ; Paint Your Wagon opens 1951Lee Strasberg becomes Artistic Director of Actors' Studio 1951Resigns from ANTA 1956Leonard Bernstein introduces the project West Side Story 1957Rejects opportunity to produce West Side Story 1959Sweet Bird of Youth opens 1962Becomes involved with Actors' Studio 1963Opening of Actors' Studio Theatre 1964Actors' Studio Theatre closes - final production The Three Sisters 1966Produces Chu Chem 1974Yentl opens 1986Cheryl Crawford dies

Producer / director Cheryl Crawford was a founding member of the Group Theatre in 1931, and of the Actors Studio in 1947. Born in Akron, Ohio, Crawford became involved with the Theatre Guild in the 1920s, first as secretary, later as actress and stage manager, and ultimately as casting director. With Lee Strasberg she co-directed the Group Theatre's first production The House of Connelly in 1931 and went on to direct and/or produce many plays in the decades which followed, on Broadway and off, including One Touch of Venus, the 1942 revival of Porgy and Bess, Brigadoon, Flahooley, and Sweet Bird of Youth . Cheryl Crawford co-founded the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg, Elia Kazan, and Robert Lewis, and remained with that organization until her death in 1986.

From the guide to the Cheryl Crawford papers, 1920-1986, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Cronyn, Hume. Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy papers, 1885-2007 (bulk 1935-2000). Library of Congress
referencedIn Ffolkes, David. Costume design for Brigadoon, n.d. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Cheryl Crawford papers, 1920-1986 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Armistead, Horace, 1898-1980. Set design painting for Regina, 1945. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Gypsy Rose Lee papers, 1910-1970 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Lucille Lortel papers, 1902-2000 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn The E.Y. Harburg Collection, 1929-1968 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Carnovsky, Morris,. An oral history interview with Morris Carnovsky and Phoebe Brand Carnovsky / conducted for the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music by John Mucci, Pine Brook Lodge, Connecticut, 1987 September 14 : recording and transcript. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
referencedIn Odets mss., 1921-1963 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf McCullers, Carson, 1917-1967. Carson McCullers Collection, 1924-1976. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Carson McCullers Collection TXRC98-A16., 1924-1976 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Tennessee Williams Collection TXRC99-A14., 1880-1993, (bulk 1930s-1970s) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950. The papers of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, 1890-1984 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn American Theatre Wing. Tony award to Cheryl Crawford, producer of The rose tattoo, 1951 March 25. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Abelson, Hope, 1910-2006. Hope Abelson papers, 1914-2008, bulk 1949-2006. Newberry Library
referencedIn Ruth and Augustus Goetz papers, 1930-1966 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Crawford, Cheryl, 1902-1986. Cheryl Crawford papers, 1862-1981. University of Houston, M.D. Anderson Library
referencedIn Lewis, Robert, 1909-1997. An oral history interview with Robert ("Bobby") Lewis / conducted by Peggy Meyer Sherry for The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Weill-Lenya Research Center, New York City, 1991 May 29 : recording and transcript. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
referencedIn Yaddo records, 1870-1980 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950. General correspondence, [ca. 1925]-1950. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Blitzstein, Marc. Papers, 1918-2004. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Samuel and Bella Spewack Papers, ca.1920-1980 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. Autograph letters signed (2), dated Tangier, 21 September and 22 October 1990, to Joan Peyser, 1990 Sept. 21. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Muni, Paul, 1895-1967. Paul Muni papers, ca. 1920-1967. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn V. R. Lang papers, 1929-1974 (inclusive) 1943-1959 (bulk). Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn Actors Studio (New York, N.Y.). Recordings [sound recording], 1956-1969. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Powell, Dawn. Dawn Powell Papers, 1910-1998. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Tennessee Williams Art Collection TXRC99-A14., ca. 1928-1980, bulk 1930s-1970s Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Roman Bohnen papers, 1918-1976 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Ken Harper papers, 1972-1988 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Piscator, Erwin, 1893-1966. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1929-1937. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983. Papers, 1920-1983. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Paul Muni papers, circa 1920-1967 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950. Weill-Lenya correspondence, 1925-1948. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
referencedIn Register to the Papers of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, 1890-1984, inclusive Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950. The papers of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, 1890-1984 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Crawford, Cheryl, 1902-1986. Cheryl Crawford papers, 1920-1986. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy Papers, 1885-2007, (bulk 1935-2000) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Fabray, Nanette,. An oral history interview with Nanette Fabray / conducted for the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music by Peggy Meyer Sherry, Pacific Palisades, CA, 1991 October 1 : recording and transcript. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
referencedIn Tennesse Williams Papers, 1920-1983 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Vincent J. Donehue papers, 1946-1965 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Cheryl Crawford Collection 1978-002., 1862-1981 Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
referencedIn Nash, N. Richard. Papers, 1925-2000. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Wilenchick, Clement, 1900-1957. Clement Wilenchick drawings, 1931. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1875-2004 (inclusive), 1936-2000 (bulk). Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn Spewack, Samuel and Bella. Papers, ca.1920-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Webster, Margaret, 1905-1972. Margaret Webster papers, 1837-1974 (bulk 1937-1970). Library of Congress
creatorOf Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983. Tennessee Williams Collection, 1880-1993 (bulk 1930s-1970s). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Jo Mielziner papers, 1903-1976 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Lupas, Louis. Cheryl Crawford portrait, 19-- New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn George Balanchine archive, 1924-1989 (inclusive), 1961-1983 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Vera Zorina papers, 1910-2001 (inclusive), 1933-2001 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Papers, 1912-1970 (inclusive), 1912-1954 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Summer Workshop for Teachers of Migrant Children (1967 : Geneseo, N.Y.). Photograph album with brief captions / large pictures taken by Roger B. Smith ; picture captions by Cheryl Crawford. SUNY Geneseo, Milne Library
referencedIn Margaret Webster Papers, 1837-1974, (bulk 1937-1970) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Tennessee Williams correspondence and other papers, 1918-1980. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Abelson, Hope, 1910-2006. person
associatedWith Actors' Equity Association corporateBody
associatedWith Actors' Studio corporateBody
associatedWith Actors Studio (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Aldredge, Theoni V person
associatedWith American Repertory Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith American Theatre Wing. corporateBody
associatedWith Anderson, Judith, Dame, 1898- person
associatedWith ANTA corporateBody
associatedWith Archibald, William person
associatedWith Armistead, Horace, 1898-1980. person
associatedWith Aronson, Boris, 1898- person
associatedWith Audrey Wood person
correspondedWith Balanchine, George. person
associatedWith Ballet International, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Bay, Howard person
associatedWith Bel Kaufman person
associatedWith Bernstein, Leonard, 1918- person
associatedWith Bernstein, Leonard, 1918-1990. person
associatedWith Blane, Ralph, 1914- person
associatedWith Blitzstein, Marc person
associatedWith Blitzstein, Marc. person
associatedWith Bohnen, Roman, 1894-1949 person
associatedWith Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. person
associatedWith Brecht, Stefan, 1924- person
associatedWith Caldwell, Zoe person
associatedWith Carnovsky, Morris, person
associatedWith Chodorov, Edward, 1904-1988. person
associatedWith Clurman, Harold, 1901- person
associatedWith Coffee, Lenore person
associatedWith Cordell, Alexander person
associatedWith Crawford, Cheryl person
correspondedWith Cronyn, Hume. person
correspondedWith Cronyn, Hume Blake, 1864-1933 person
associatedWith Davis, Sammy, 1925- person
associatedWith Dello Joio, Norman, 1913- person
associatedWith De Mille, Agnes person
associatedWith Dietrich, Marlene person
associatedWith Donehue, Vincent J., 1915-1966 person
associatedWith Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945 person
associatedWith Duke, Vernon, 1903-1969 person
associatedWith Duncan, Todd, 1903? -1998 person
associatedWith Elia Kazan person
associatedWith Eli Wallach person
associatedWith E. Y. Harburg person
associatedWith Fabray, Nanette, person
associatedWith Fain, Sammy, 1902- person
associatedWith Feldshuh, Tovah person
associatedWith Ffolkes, David. person
associatedWith Fonda, Jane, 1937- person
associatedWith Fosse, Bob, 1927-1987 person
associatedWith Frings, Ketti person
associatedWith Gazzara, Ben, 1930- person
associatedWith Geraldine Page person
associatedWith Gershwin, George, 1898-1937. person
associatedWith Goetz, Ruth person
associatedWith Granville-Barker, Harley, 1877-1946 person
associatedWith Green, Paul, 1894-1981. person
associatedWith Group Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Group Theatre (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Halliday, Richard, 1905-1973 person
associatedWith Hapgood, Elizabeth Reynolds person
associatedWith Harper, Ken, d. 1988 person
associatedWith Harvey Schmidt person
associatedWith Hellman, Lillian, 1905-1984. person
associatedWith Hellman, Lillian, 1906- person
associatedWith Hopkins, Miriam, 1902-1972 person
associatedWith Hugh Binkie Beaumont person
associatedWith Ibsen, Henrik, 1828-1906 person
associatedWith Jack Holmes person
associatedWith Jackson, Anne, 1926- person
associatedWith James Thurber person
associatedWith Joanne Woodward person
associatedWith Johnstone, Anna Hill, 1913- person
associatedWith Jory, Victor, 1902-1982 person
associatedWith Kazan, Elia. person
associatedWith Kidd, Michael, 1919- person
correspondedWith Komisarjevsky, Theodore, 1882-1954 person
associatedWith Lamkin, Speed, 1927- person
associatedWith Lampell, Millard, 1919- person
correspondedWith Lang, V. R., 1924-1956 person
associatedWith Lee, Gypsy Rose, 1914-1970 person
associatedWith Leigh, Mitch, 1928- person
associatedWith Lenya, Lotte person
associatedWith Leventhal, Jules, 1889-1949 person
associatedWith Lewis, Robert, 1909-1977. person
associatedWith Lewis, Robert, 1909-1997. person
associatedWith Lillian Hellman person
associatedWith Linn, Bambi, 1926- person
associatedWith Loewe, Frederick, 1901-1988. person
associatedWith Lortel, Lucille person
associatedWith Lotte Lenya person
associatedWith Lupas, Louis. person
associatedWith Mannes, Marya person
associatedWith Maplewood Theatre corporateBody
associatedWith Martin, Mary, 1913- person
associatedWith Martin, Mary, 1913-1990. person
associatedWith Mary Martin person
associatedWith McCullers, Carson, 1917-1967 person
associatedWith Meltzer, Lewis person
associatedWith Merrill, Dina person
associatedWith Mielziner, Jo, 1901-1976 person
associatedWith Monroe, Marilyn, 1926-1962 person
associatedWith Morris, Lloyd R., 1893-1954 person
associatedWith Moskovskiĭ khudozhestvennyĭ akademicheskiĭ teatr corporateBody
associatedWith Moten, Etta person
associatedWith Muni, Paul, 1895-1967. person
associatedWith Nash, N. Richard. person
associatedWith Nash, Ogden, 1902-1971 person
associatedWith Newman, Paul, 1925-2008. person
associatedWith Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963 person
associatedWith O'Hara, John, 1905-1970 person
associatedWith Oscar Lewenstein person
associatedWith Page, Geraldine. person
associatedWith Patrick, John, 1907- person
associatedWith Paul Newman person
associatedWith Perelman, S. J. (Sidney Joseph), 1904- person
associatedWith Petracca, Joseph Ralph, 1914-1963 person
associatedWith Piscator, Erwin, 1893-1966. person
associatedWith Powell, Dawn. person
associatedWith Provincetown Players corporateBody
associatedWith Quayle, Anthony, 1913- person
associatedWith Rama Rau, Santha, 1923- person
associatedWith Randall Jarrell person
associatedWith Richard Halliday person
associatedWith Rodgers, Richard, 1902- person
associatedWith Romains, Jules, 1885-1972 person
associatedWith Saddler, Donald person
associatedWith Samrock, Victor, d. 1995 person
associatedWith Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 person
associatedWith Shepherd, Eva Jessye person
associatedWith Smallens, Alexander, 1889-1972 person
associatedWith Smith College corporateBody
associatedWith Spewack, Bella Cohen, 1899- person
associatedWith Spewack, Samuel, 1899-1971 person
associatedWith Spewack, Samuel and Bella. person
associatedWith Strasberg, Lee. person
associatedWith Summer Workshop for Teachers of Migrant Children (1967 : Geneseo, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Tabori, George, 1914- person
correspondedWith Tandy, Jessica. Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy papers. 1885-1994 person
associatedWith Tennessee Williams person
associatedWith Theatre Guild. corporateBody
associatedWith Thornton Wilder person
associatedWith Tom Jones person
associatedWith Tone, Franchot person
associatedWith Tovah Feldshuh person
correspondedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
associatedWith Wallach, Eli, 1915- person
associatedWith Webster, Margaret, 1905-1972. person
associatedWith Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950. person
associatedWith Wharf Players corporateBody
associatedWith Wilde, Cornel, 1915- person
associatedWith Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975. person
associatedWith Wilder, Thorton, 1897-1975. person
associatedWith Wilenchick, Clement, 1900-1957. person
associatedWith Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983 person
associatedWith Woodward, Joanne, 1930- person
associatedWith Yaddo (Artist's colony) corporateBody
associatedWith Zeffirelli, Franco, 1923- person
correspondedWith Zorina, Vera. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
New York (State)--New York
Subject
Theatrical producers and directors
Theater
Theater--New York (State)--New York
Occupation
Theatrical producers and directors
Function

Person

Birth 1902-09-24

Death 1986-10-07

Information

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