Greenwich Village Theater in the 1960s

1960s: Days of Rage


“… In the 1950s, the West Village and, later, the newly designated, edgier East Village (rebranded from the northern part of the Lower East Side around 1964) became the cradle of New York’s Beat generation, with its new, raw, and mold-breaking style of poetry and writing; jazz, heard in Village night clubs and coffeehouses; challenging forms of painting and art such as Abstract Expressionism, especially ‘action painting’ (which was an impetus for the Happening) as exemplified by Jackson Pollock, a Village resident; and the revolutionary politics preached by its denizens and frequent visitors. With untried, non-commercial, or experimental plays or productions, using then-unknown talent and shoe-string budgets, Off-Broadway became an artistic magnet. … Such companies as the Living Theatre, New York Shakespeare Festival, Roundabout Theatre Company (1965), Chelsea Theatre Center (1965), Negro Ensemble Company (1967), and Circle Repertory (1969, as the Circle Theater Company), many of which started Off-Off-Broadway, presented…

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