Playwrights' Company

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Maxwell Anderson, S. N. Behrman, Robert E. Sherwood and Elmer Rice, four of the five founders of the Playwrights' Company (1938)

The Playwrights' Company (1938–1960) was an American theatrical production company.


Maxwell Anderson, S. N. Behrman, Sidney Howard, Elmer Rice and Robert E. Sherwood established the Playwrights' Company in 1938 to produce their own plays. Anderson had been frustrated with Broadway producers as well as drama critics. Anderson had stated the goal of the company “to make a center for ourselves within the theatre, and possibly rally the theatre as a whole to new levels by setting a high standard of writing and production,”. The founders had been unhappy with the policies of the Theatre Guild which had previously been their main producer. Robert Anderson, producer Roger L. Stevens, Kurt Weill and lawyer John F. Wharton joined later. It became a major production company. The company was dissolved in 1960 as only two founders were still alive, Behrman (who had already left) and Rice.


After Howard's death, the four surviving members of the group created the Sidney Howard Memorial Award in his memory. The $1,500 award was created as a way to encourage new playwrights; to be eligible, one had to have at least one play produced on Broadway in a given season after having little previous success.[1]

Notable productions[edit]


  1. ^ "16 Matinees Today; Dowling's New Play; New Prize for Plays". Daily News. New York, New York City. January 1, 1940. p. 35. Retrieved August 24, 2018 – via open access publication – free to read

External links[edit]