Playbill recalls Broadway’s Mercury Theatre: ’The House That Orson Built’
In response to a reader question, Playbill.com recently offered a condensed history of The Mercury Theatre on Broadway.
Worth checking out for those unfamiliar with young Orson Welles' pre-Hollywood career, the article chronicles his partnership with John Houseman from their days with the Federal Theatre Project, as well as the fate of the Manhattan building that once housed the Mercury. (It was renamed Artef, a Yiddish theater, in 1940 and demolished two years later).
"Though it had a short life, The Mercury Theatre's efforts retain a reputation for daring and ingenuity," Robert Simonson writes.
You can read Simonson's article in its entirety here
It includes recent photos of the site, including a plaque which reads: "On this site in 1937, legendary American actor-writer-director-producer Orson Welles founded the Mercury Theatre with John Houseman. Here Welles directed groundbreaking productions of Julius Caesar, The Shoemaker's Holiday, Heartbreak House and Danton's Death. Welles and the Mercury would go on to make history with 'The War of the Worlds' broadcast and 'Citizen Kane.' Astonishingly, he would accomplish all this by his 26th birthday."
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