Harvey Grossmann is a stage director who discovered Gordon Craig at the age of 15 in his native New York. He saw a Craig design in a 'History of Theatre' book and decided, "This is my teacher". Waving the banner for Craig amidst neo-Stanislavski-ites at New York's High School of Performing Arts, Grossmann was happy at the age of 18 when a Boston magazine 'Chrysalis' asked him to write an article 'Gordon Craig and the Actor'. It gave him a pretext to write to Craig. Their correspondence spans ten years. Many of the letters from Craig are now in the archives of the Theatre Museum, London. The article was
recently uncovered by Patrick de Boeuf who has charge of The Craig Collection at the National Library of France. Mr. De Boeuf cite's Grossmann's understanding of Craig's 'Uber-marionette' as unique in being the only one with which Craig did not disagree. Still 18, Grossmann joined Craig (who was 80) in Vence, France, and became 'unofficial' pupil-assistant to his teacher. On Craig's advice he went on to study with mime, Etienne Decroux in Paris and work as an assistant to Erwin Piscator in Goteborg, Sweden, the scene also of his own first work as director. Teacher of mime in Israel, off-Broadway director in New York, Grossmann found ground for his Craigian roots in a New Hampshire touring company he founded: 'The Players' Theatre of New England', which transposed to the stage stories and legends not written for it, with actors playing many-faced roles – not only human roles, but those of storms, ships, trees and beasts – playing even the very scene in which they move, playing even the change from one scene to another. This work led to the construction of the mobile CRUCIFORM THEATRE, built under the auspices of the Instituut voor Scheppende Ontwikkeling, Antwerp, under a subsidy from the Netherlands Institute for Theatre Research, Amsterdam. Harvey Grossmann considers his CRUCIFORM THEATRE a direct continuation of the work of Gordon Craig. A point of mention is Harvey Grossmann's production of Hamlet According to Craig, with the actors of TEATR'UBI, Covilha, Portugal, which toured in the Portugal and Spain in the year 2000. Presently Grossmann continues to lead production workshops founded on Craig's work, to lecture about Craig, and about his own Cruciform Theatre, for groups of theatre practitioners and students at theatres, theatre academies and universities in the U.S.A, Belgium, France, England, Sweden and Portugal. Read an interview by Jelle Talsma.