The Wooster Group

The Wooster Group is a New York City-based experimental theater company known for creating numerous original dramatic works. It gradually emerged from Richard Schechner's The Performance Group (1967–1980) during the period from 1975 to 1980, and took its name in 1980; the independent productions of 1975–1980 are retroactively attributed to the Group.[1]

The Wooster Group
Performing Garage 33 Wooster Street.jpg
The Performing Garage in 2014
TypeTheatre group
Artistic director(s)
Elizabeth LeCompte

The ensemble is directed by Elizabeth LeCompte and has launched the careers of many actors, including founding member Willem Dafoe. The Group's home is the Performing Garage at 33 Wooster Street between Grand and Broome Streets in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. As of 2014, the company consists of 16 members. In addition, there are 29 "Associates".[2]

The Wooster Group is a not-for-profit theater company that relies on grants and donations from supporters. It has received multiple grants from the Carnegie Corporation. The Wooster Group are characterized by their extremely experimental style, often incorporating aspects of audiovisual such as interactive video art, live stream, recorded sound and pre-recorded video into their performance work. Their performances are often of classic texts such as Brecht, Shakespeare, Chekhov and Eugene O'Neill.[3]

Founding members[4]Edit

Current Company[4]Edit

  • Irfan Brkovic
  • Matthew Dipple
  • Mike Farry
  • Ari Fliakos
  • Clay Hapaz
  • Cynthia Hedstrom
  • Gareth Hobbs
  • Elizabeth LeCompte
  • Bona Lee
  • Michaela Murphy
  • Erin Mullin
  • Monika Wunderer
  • Scott Shepherd
  • Eric Sluyter
  • Kate Valk

Awards and honorsEdit

The Wooster Group has won nine Obie Awards, six Bessie Awards, and the 1985 National Endowment for the Arts Ongoing Ensembles Grant.[5]



  1. ^ Wooster Group, "Production History since 1975".
  2. ^ a b "Ron Vawter Papers, 1963-1994". New York Public Library. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  3. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (2016-09-28). "Elizabeth LeCompte of the Wooster Group Wins the Gish Prize". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  4. ^ a b "About the Company:Founding and Original Members" on the Wooster Group website
  5. ^ "History:Selected Awards" on the Wooster Group website

Further reading

  • Quick, Andrew. The Wooster Group Workbook, London: Routledge, 2007. ISBN 978-0-415-35334-2
  • Savran, David. Breaking the Rules: The Wooster Group. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1990. ISBN 0-930452-82-8.

External linksEdit