Theatre Genesis

1960s: Days of Rage

Radical thoughts, limited spaces: a performance at the Caffe Cino.

Theatre Genesis was an Off-Off-Broadway theater founded in 1964 by Ralph Cook. Located in the historic St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery in New York City, it produced the work of new American playwrights, including Lanford Wilson, Murray Mednick, Leonard Melfi, Walter Hadler and most notably Sam Shepard. It is regarded as one of four theaters responsible for the explosion of New York’s off-off-Broadway movement, along with Joe Cino‘s Caffe Cino, Judson Poets Theatre and La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. Known for its anarchistic, heterosexual and machismo energy, Theatre Genesis produced gritty and political plays that often attracted the post-Beat Generation street poets of the 1960s. Between the volatile and socially charged environment of New York City’s East Village, and the rejection of the city’s off-Broadway commercial producing model, writers and actors flocked…

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