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Transcript of Elia Kazan
-emigrated to the United States-New York
-Graduated from New Rochelle High School, Graduated from Williams College
-attended Yale Drama School Professional Life -known as a Renaissance Man of sorts, Kazan worked as an actor, a stage manager, and, eventually, a director for both stage and motion picture
-Became an actor when he joined the Group Theatre as an apprentice in 1932
-Do we need a reminder about the Group Theatre?
YES WE DO...
The Group Theatre: -created around the idea of making a base for theatre that everyone involved believed in-the founders were the pioneers for what would become 'the American acting technique' derived from the teachings of Konstantin Stanislavski
-So who are these founders you say? The Group Theatre was founded by Sherrill Crawford, Lee Strasberg and Harold Clurman
Kazan and Communism Kazan was admittedly a member of the Communist Party from approximately July 1934 to January 1936. He was a member of a cell, or unit, that was behind professional theatre in NYC which tried to influence the goings on in what the Party called 'revolutionary theatre'. (this influenced the Group Theatre, among others)
On January 14, 1952 Kazan was called before the House Committee of Un-American Activity (HUAC). He did not name names. All seemed to be well and dandy but THEN he came back... But let's not get ahead of ourselves...
Here are some sassy quotes from Kazan's
first testimony: "I don't want to answer that question. I don't take refuge in anything, and I am not hiding behind immunity of any kind. It is a matter of personal conscience." "I knew I would be asked this question(who do you know? yuda yuda yuda), and I knew the risks I would run in connection with not answering it. I am not taking immunity. I just made up my mind not to answer, as a matter of personal conscience." When asked why he wouldn't name names:
"Well today if someone is brought down here to an open hearing...the result is that they cannot work in radio, movies, and television...If it weren't for the employment thing, I might feel differently about it. I feel, if I did give these names, I would harm someone." BUT THEN HE CAME BACK: On Thursday, April 10, 1952, Elia Kazan voluntarily reappeared before the Committee. He named:
J. Edward Bromberg
Paula Miller aka Lee Strasberg
Ted Wellman aka Sid Benson
Bob Caille aka Bob Reed
In this paper I will be examining two aspects of Elia Kazan’s life. First, I want to investigate what happened between Kazan’s initial testimony before HUAC and his second to motivate him to alter his position so drastically on naming names. Second, I want to look at the strife surrounding his 1999 Academy Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award. Should Kazan have been awarded with this honor? Some of his work: (Up until approx. April 1952):
'The Skin of Our Teeth'
'One Touch of Venus'
'Jacobowsky and the Colonel'
'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn'
'Sing out Sweet Land'
'Deep Are the Roots'
'All My Sons'
'A Streetcar Named Desire'
'Death of a Salesman'
'Panic in the Sreets'
'Flight in Egypt'
Kazan looking dapper...