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Let It Be Art! is a one-man play created by Ronald Rand[1][2] in which Rand depicts Harold Clurman in 1980 talking to his students in his apartment in New York City, wearing Clurman's signature long-flowing black cape, fedora and cane.


The genesis of the play grew out of Ronald Rand portraying Harold Clurman in his full-length play about The Group Theatre.[3] Rand's first production of his play called Clurman in 2001 was directed by Gregory Abels, and premiered Off Broadway at the Sande Shurin Theatre in New York City in 2001. For the past twenty years, Rand as Artistic Director has staged all productions. Rand’s performance was noticed by New York Director Sabra Jones in the Midtown International Theater Festival, at a performance attended by Phoebe Brand, an original member of The Group Theatre. Jones presented the show Off Broadway with the Mirror Repertory Company in repertory with Do Not Go Gentle and Lilia at the Arclight Theatre. Rand’s play was produced Off-Broadway by Clurman's second wife, Juleen Compton, at the Century Center of the Performing Arts. Compton placed on the set several of Clurman's original belongings from his desk and apartment on West 57th Street in Manhattan.

Let it be Art! centers on the life of Harold Clurman. Much of the play’s focus is on the period surrounding the life of The Group Theatre co-founded by Clurman, Lee Strasberg and Cheryl Crawford. Clurman gives his first talk to actors considering joining The Group Theatre, including Clifford Odets, Morris Carnovsky, Phoebe Brand, Franchot Tone, Robert Lewis, Sanford Meisner, and Katharine Hepburn. The play includes Clurman studying at the Sorbonne, rooming with Aaron Copland, working at the Provincetown Players in Greenwich Village, Clurman's trip to Russia meeting Edward Gordon Craig and Vsevolod Meyerhold, traveling to Paris with Stella Adler to meet Stanislavski, the first performance of Clifford Odets play, Waiting for Lefty at the Civic Repertory Theatre in 1935, rehearsing with Marlon Brando on the play, Truckline Cafe, traveling to Hollywood with Elia Kazan to become a Hollywood producer and director, and his time with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis when they attend a performance of Hello Dolly! on Broadway.

Performance historyEdit

Rand's play is the first American solo play performed at the Bafa Arts Festival, Zimbabwe;Voices of History International Theater Festival – Vologda, Russia, MerCoSur International Festival – Paysandú, Uruguay, Bareilly International Theater Festival – India, Baptizer International Theatre Festival – Bangalore, India, San Vicente del Caguán Cultural Arts Center – Colombia, Patravadi Theatre – Bangkok, Thailand, Trade Unions Palace of Culture – Minsk, Belarus, Palace Dar el-Makhzen – Tangier, Morocco, and the Harquail National Theatre – British West Indies.[4][5] Let It Be Art! has been performed in the Georgian International Theatre Festival – Tbilisi, Georgia, International Theater Festival for Peace – Barrancabermeja, Colombia, Kathmandu International Theater Festival – Nepal, M.E.S.S. International Theater Festival – Sarajevo's Chamber 55 Theatre, Colombo International Theater Festival – Sri Lanka,[6] International Winter Festival – Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Chevolek International Theater Festival – Chelyabinsk, Russia, Slavija International Theatre Festival – Belgrade, Serbia, and the Inaugural Harold Clurman Festival of Arts in New York City. Rand performed Let It Be Art! on five goodwill tours across India, including at the Rangayana State Theatre – Mysore,[7] Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew Delhi, Manipal UniversityJaipur, R.K. Film and TV Media Academy – New Delhi, Anupam Kher's Actor Prepares Academy – Mumbai, University of CalicutKerala, Sri Aurobindo Auditorium – Auroville, and the L'Alliance Française de Delhi.[8][9]

Let It Be Art! has been performed at University of ZagrebCroatia, Anadolu UniversityEskişehir, Turkey, University of the Visual and Performing ArtsColombo Sri Lanka, Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film UniversityTbilisi Georgia, National School of the Arts – Johannesburg, South Africa, Pace University, Northern Illinois University, University of North Alabama,[10] Gonzaga University, Western Washington University, University of Missouri, University of AlaskaAnchorage, Syracuse University, Lycoming College, Louisiana State University, Walla Walla University,[11] and Robert Wilson's Watermill Center on Long Island.[12]


Rand's play, Let It Be Art! represented the United States in the 8th Theatre Olympics with performances at the Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi, and Tagore Theatre in Thiruvananthapuram.[13] Let It Be Art! was the first American solo play invited by the Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara, to be performed at Malaysia's JKKN State Theaters in Ipoh, Alor Setar and Kuala Terengganu.


  1. ^ Skipper, Rihard. "Joel Grey, Louise Lasser, Ronald Rand...and More!". Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  2. ^ Stadt, Judy. "The Lunch and Judy Show: 'A Special Interview with Ronald Rand' by Judy Stadt". Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  3. ^ Stekette, Martha Wade. "The Group Theatre & How it Transformed American Culture Co-curated by Ronald Rand & Mel Gordon". Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  4. ^ Owbewcirk (March 19, 2013). "Let it be Art!! What's Happening at CNCF". Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  5. ^ "Let it be Art set for Harquail Theatre". March 22, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  6. ^ "Ronald Rand Represents USA In LET IT BE ART! At Sri Lanka's Colombo International Theater Festival". July 8, 2019. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  7. ^ Aravind, HM (February 18, 2015). "Capturing persona of Clurman". Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  8. ^ "North Coast Rep presents 'Let it be Art!'". March 18, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  9. ^ ""Let It Be Art!" to be performed at The Donald L. Oat Theater". October 8, 2007. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  10. ^ "Ronald Rand Brings LET IT BE ART! To George S. Lindsey Theatre". March 19, 2019. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  11. ^ "'LET IT BE ART! Harold Clurman's Life of Passion'". Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  12. ^ ""Harold Clurman" visits Penny Templeton Studio". Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  13. ^ Nath, Dapinita (February 24, 2018). "Theatre Olympics: Portrait of an Artist American performer Ronald Rand on creating a play on his teacher, the great theatre director Harold Clurman". Retrieved September 13, 2019.