Director Christopher Martin founded CSC Repertory in 1967 in a 100-seat theater at Rutgers Presbyterian Church on West 73rd Street. Following short stints in small spaces, first on Bleecker Street and then on West Third Street, Classic Stage Company grew to the point where it needed a permanent home. In 1973, the theater moved to its present premises on 13th Street. Mr. Martin led the organization until 1985, building an ongoing artistic company that performed the great plays of the world’s classical repertoire in a rotating schedule.
HEDDA GABLER (Henrik Ibsen)
THE CUCHULAIN PLAYS (W.B. Yeats)
DANTON’S DEATH (Georg Büchner)
Pictured: THE REVENGER’S TRAGEDY (Cyril Tourneur). Photo: Gerry Goodstein.
CSC went through a period of transition, first under Artistic Director Craig Kinzer and then Producing Director Carol Ostrow.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (William Shakespeare)
THE MAIDS (Jean Genet)
THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH (Thornton Wilder)
BRAND (Henrik Ibsen)
Pictured: Sigourney Weaver in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (William Shakespeare).
Carey Perloff became Artistic Director in 1987. Her five seasons brought Classic Stage Company a new level of recognition—not only in the Off-Broadway community, but nationwide as well. Ms. Perloff encouraged Classic Stage Company to regard the great plays of the 20th Century as legitimate “classics,” and did important work on plays by Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett and Bertolt Brecht, in addition to programming the mainstays of the classical canon.
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY (Harold Pinter)
MOUNTAIN LANGUAGE (Harold Pinter)
THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI (Bertolt Brecht)
HAPPY DAYS (Samuel Beckett)
Pictured: Pamela Reed in ELEKTRA (Ezra Pound).
David Esbjornson succeeded Ms. Perloff as Artistic Director in 1992. During his tenure, CSC continued to explore the classics of the 20th Century, but also produced a number of new plays based on classic material. Major American playwrights, including Pulitzer Prize winners Tony Kushner and Paula Vogel, created these works.
ENDGAME (Samuel Beckett)
ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE (Joe Orton)
TRIUMPH OF LOVE (Pierre de Marivaux)
Pictured: Cynthia Nixon in THE ILLUSION (Pierre Corneille, adapted by Tony Kushner). Photo: T. Charles Erickson
In 1998, Barry Edelstein became Artistic Director. In addition to continuing the theater’s tradition of producing major world classics and new adaptations of lesser-known works, Mr. Edelstein evolved the repertory to include forms such as dance and music theater.
WAITING FOR GODOT (Samuel Beckett)
THE UNDERPANTS (Steve Martin)
IN THE PENAL COLONY (Philip Glass)
THE MISANTHROPE (Molière)
Pictured: Bill Irwin in TEXTS FOR NOTHING (Samuel Beckett). Photo: Dixie Sheridan
Brian Kulick returned the theater to its roots with critically acclaimed productions of Shakespeare and multi-year programs like the Chekhov Cycle and Brecht Initiative. He instituted CSC’s popular Musical Theater Initiative with productions of Sondheim’s PASSION and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ALLEGRO, as well as brought new work to CSC with such important writers as David Ives’ whose VENUS IN FUR transferred to Broadway and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. He has also created The Young Company which brings Shakespeare to young and underserved audiences in all five boroughs of NYC.
VENUS IN FUR (David Ives)
THE TEMPEST (William Shakespeare)
AN ORESTEIA (Anne Carson)
GALILEO (Bertolt Brecht)
Pictured: Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal in THREE SISTERS
(part of the acclaimed Chekhov Cycle). Photo: Joan Marcus