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The Playwright's Theatre Club was founded in Chicago in the early 1950s by a group of young theater pioneers including Paul Sills, and David Sheppard. Other members and participants included Elaine May, Sheldon Patinkin, Rolf Forsberg, Mike Nichols, Joyce Piven, Josephine Forsberg, Ed Asner, Barbara Harris and many more. The theatre was noted for its original treatment of classic plays as well as original works.
The Playwright's Theatre Club led to the creation of The Compass Players and later The Second City.