MARGOT HARLEY TO STEP DOWN AFTER 43 YEARS
Margot Harley, who cofounded The Acting Company with John Houseman in 1972, will step down as its Producer effective the end of this year. The Acting Company began with the first graduating class of Juilliard’s Drama Division, which included Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, David Schramm and David Ogden Stiers. “They were classically trained, superbly talented and had worked together for four years,” stated Ms. Harley.
Immediately following graduation, Ms. Harley and Mr. Houseman took their young actors to Saratoga for the summer where they performed a repertory of classic theater to critical acclaim. “Mel Gussow wrote in The New York Times that ‘Anyone worried about the future of theater in America should see The Acting Company in Action.’ We kept that first group together for four years, some stayed for six and another for eight,” Ms. Harley continued. “The rest is history and it’s been wonderfully rewarding to develop young actors and introduce new audiences to Shakespeare and other classics. There have been so many milestones and awards but, I guess, the most meaningful was being honored with a Tony for ‘excellence in theater’. That’s been our goal all along, ‘excellence in theater’.”
Beyond the founding members, other Alumni of The Acting Company include Rainn Wilson, Jesse L. Martin, Harriet Harris, Frances Conroy, Keith David, Jeffrey Wright and Hamish Linklater in addition to 300 others who continue to work in the arts.
To watch a television INTERVIEW with MARGOT HARLEY on THEATER TALK, click HERE.
In addition to 43 national tours to 48 states and 10 foreign countries for The Acting Company, Ms. Harley produced the Broadway productions of Alfred Uhry’s The Robber Bridegroom and The Curse of an Aching Heart starring Faye Dunaway. She also produced John Houseman’s celebrated revival of Marc Blitzstein's musical play The Cradle Will Rock in New York and at the Old Vic Theatre in London.
Ms. Harley’s Off-Broadway productions include Ten by Tennessee, a two evening retrospective of Tennessee Williams' one-act plays, which was directed by Michael Kahn, the New York premiere of Eric Overmyer's On the Verge, directed by Garland Wright and Love’s Fire, a play directed by Mark Lamos based on Shakespeare Sonnets adapted for The Acting Company by Wendy Wasserstein, William Finn, Tony Kushner, John Guare, Eric Bogosian, Ntozake Shange and Marsha Norman. Her last production for The Acting Company will be the world premiere of Desire, for which she has engaged John Guare, Beth Henley, Rebecca Gilman, Elizabeth Egloff, David Grimm and Marcus Gardley to adapt six Tennessee Williams short stories. It will open at the 59E59 Theaters in September under Michael Wilson’s direction.
Previous to The Acting Company, Ms. Harley was Administrator of Juilliard’s Drama Division for its first twelve years, from 1968 to 1980. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she attended LAMDA on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Earl Weiner, Chairman of The Acting Company Board, said “Margot is an extraordinary talent and has been a major force in the development of young, classically trained actors in this country. She has built a solid foundation for those who follow in her rather large footsteps. We are pleased and fortunate that she has agreed to remain as a consultant.”