Now that we have learned to fly in the air like birds and dive in the sea like fish, only one thing remains – to learn to live on earth like humans.
Gingold Theatrical Group creates theatre and theatre-related programs that promote the humanitarian ideals central to the work of activist playwright George Bernard Shaw, including universal human rights, the freedom of thought and speech, the equality of all living beings, and the responsibility of individuals to promote societal progress.
Our programs include full off-Broadway productions as part of our Shaw New York annual festival, our Project Shaw monthly reading series, outreach and education programs, as well as the cultivation of new plays through our Speakers’ Corner writers group.
All of GTG’s programming is designed to inspire lively discussion and peaceful activism with issues related to human rights, the freedom of speech, and individual liberty. This was the purpose behind all of Shaw’s work and why we’ve chosen him as our guide toward helping create a more tolerant and inclusive world through the exploration of the Arts.
Founded in 2006 by David Staller, GTG has carved a permanent niche for the work of George Bernard Shaw within the social and cultural life of New York City, and, through our Project Shaw reading series, was the first group ever to present all 65 of Shaw’s plays in performance. GTG brings together performers, critics, students, academics and the general public with the opportunity to explore and perform Shaw’s work and to create new work based on the values that Shaw championed. Through performances, symposiums, educational programs, new play development, and outreach, GTG encourages all people to rejoice in the possibilities of the future.
Gingold Theatrical Group is named after actress and Shaw enthusiast Hermione Gingold, a long-time friend of GTG Founding Artistic Director, David Staller.
Our full productions have included:
Caesar & Cleopatra
You Never Can Tell
Man and Superman
All GTG productions have been filmed and archived at the New York Library for Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
Our monthly series, Project Shaw, presents lively script-in-hand performances of plays by Shaw as well as writers such as Henrik Ibsen, Oscar Wilde, Rachel Crothers, Elizabeth Robins, and Harley Granville-Barker, who either inspired Shaw or were inspired by him.
Starting in 2017, each season of Project Shaw focuses on a specific theme. The 2017 season, Women Take The Stage, celebrates the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in New York with plays that either explore women’s rights or celebrate Shaw’s most indomitable women. In 2018, Project Shaw‘s theme addressed the socio-political climate by addressing The Power of Persistence, featuring plays that were written to encourage us never to sit back but to take an active part in our lives and the community around us. In 2019, our theme is more directly Art as Activism: A Theatrical Survival Guide, bringing plays by Shaw, Githa Sowerby, Lonsdale, Molnar, and Noel Coward. Each work features characters and themes that encourage us to challenge everything we’ve assumed to be universal truths and to find clarity the human insights these plays provide. Since every performance is followed by group discussions led by our directors, actors, and guest moderators, our audiences are offered the opportunity to take an active part in exploring these issues.
These readings attract the country’s top-level actors who play to consistently sold-out houses. All plays read by Project Shaw reflect Shaw’s humanitarian passions. Project Shaw is presented at New York’s legendary Upper West Side Mecca for the arts, Symphony Space.
Each month we use the upcoming Project Shaw offering as a spring-board for a lively and broad-based discussion that is free to attend. Each play will be emailed to those participating, but no preparation is required. You can simply come and share thoughts, ask questions, and socialize.
Shaw in the Classroom
With partners that have included SUNY Stony Brook, Manhattan’s Regis School, Lighthouse International, Baruch College, and The Broome Street Academy, GTG leads classroom residencies that bring Shaw’s plays and ideas to New York City’s students. Each residency is specifically tailored to the particular needs and focus of the students in question. Residencies generally begin with an examination of a specific play by Shaw, but may examine it from a literary, socio-political, or philosophical perspective. In some cases, Shaw’s writing is used to inspire students’ original creative work that engages with issues related to human rights, the freedom of speech, and individual liberty.
Shaw New York
Surrounding our full productions, Shaw New York is an annual theatrical and community festival consisting of panels, lectures, debates and public discussions exploring themes from that season’s production. As Shaw was a critic and journalist turned playwright, the festival also features a Critic Symposium including several critics and journalists discussing the evolving role of criticism in today’s theatre. Another popular festival event is GTG’s Shaw Concert, offering performances of composers Shaw championed as ‘modern’ in his music criticism, including Wagner, Elgar and Brahms. The Shaw Concert also includes at least one new piece by a young composer, highlighting Shaw’s determination to encourage new work.
So that Shaw’s ideas will continue to influence the American theatre, GTG also develops and produces new work inspired by Shavian themes.
2017 marks the inaugural season of GTG’s writers’ lab, Speakers’ Corner, which selects eight to ten writers of diverse backgrounds who spend the year exploring a specific Shaw play, and then writing new work in response to that play. Speakers’ Corner members are selected in August, and then meet monthly to share and respond to one another’s work. In the late spring or early summer, GTG holds public readings of the work generated through Speakers’ Corner, some of which may be selected for further development towards a future production.
Before Speakers’ Corner, GTG developed new work through its Press Cuttings program, named after one of Shaw’s more inflammatory comedies. As Shaw began his career as a critic, GTG chose journalists with strong backgrounds in playwriting to create plays inspired by Shaw’s visionary humanitarianism. These writers were then supported by GTG through readings and developmental workshops.
For more information about the programs GTG produces, please explore the pages listed on our website menu.