Sunday, 5 December 2010

Francis Edward Faragoh's Pin-Wheel

Lowry mentions Pin-Wheel in his filmscript for Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night in a sequence where the character Dick Divers walks past cinemas and theatres on Broadway in New York where this show is showing.

Faragoh's Pin-wheel was performed at the Neighborhood Playhouse, NY, USA during February 1927.

John Howard Lawson was but one of the five experimental dramatists who organized the New Playwrights' Theatre in the winter of 1926-27. The others were EmJo Basshe, John Dos Passos, Francis Edwards Faragoh, and Michael Gold. While the critic Alexander Woollcott clubbed them the "revolting playwrights," the New York Times ( February 7, 1927) called the founders of the new theatre "recognized . . . advocates of the so called 'expressionistic drama.'" Dos Passos, who died recently, is well known as a novelist. Mike Gold, longtime editor of New Masses and champion of proletarian literature, died in 1967. Em Jo Basshe, like Gold, had been associated with the Provincetown Players, who produced his expressionistic Adam Solitaire in 1925. He died in 1939. Before joining the New Playwrights, Francis Edwards Faragoh had been drama editor of Pearson's Magazine and had translated Lajos Egri's expressionistic Rapid Transit. All five had had plays produced prior to the New Playwrights venture.

Most of the practical work involved in organizing the New Playwrights' Theatre was done by Mike Gold. The artistic pacesetter, however, was Lawson (and not Dos Passos as a recent study of the New Playwrights has rather unconvincingly tried to establish). Lawson's views on "the new theatre" were published in several New York newspapers as well as in the Pinwheel play-bill of the Neighborhood Playhouse (season 1926-27).

Francis Edward Faragoh was born in Budapest in 1895. Educated at the City College on New York and Columbia University.

Immigrated to the United States in 1909.

In a literary contest held by Pearson's Magazine in 1924, Faragoh's short story "Curtain" took the first prize, and his story "The Distant Street" won the fourth prize. The three judges were F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edmund Wilson, and Floyd Dell.

In 1953, the counsel to the House Un-American Activities Committee said the committee had testimony that Faragoh had been a Communist, although writer-director Robert Rossen testified that he believed Faragoh was not a party member.

Died in 1966.

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