Clifford Odets: Waiting For Lefty

(3027 words)

Composition and Early Stage History

Clifford Odets’ long one-act play Waiting for Lefty was inspired by a strike by New York City taxi drivers and was first performed by the Group Theatre at the Civic Repertory Theatre in New York City on January 5, 1935, as a benefit for New Theatre magazine, before a pro-labour audience of about 1400, nearly all of whom were receptive to Odets’ impassioned call to arms for the working class in the middle of the Great Depression. There is a legend that the play was written in response to a contest, sponsored by the New Theatre League and announced in the September 1934 issue of New Theatre, calling for politically engaged plays that could be performed in any m…
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Citation:
Clausson, Nils. "Waiting For Lefty". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 August 2012
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8666, accessed 30 July 2014.]