Original typed letter signed from Robert Sherwood to Curtis L. Hellmer, presumably Kurt Hellmer, 1938
New York: The Playwrights Producing Company, 1938. Typed signed letter from Robert Sherwood to Curtis L. Hellmer, presumably Kurt Hellmer, excusing himself from being unable to meet and requesting an appointment in the near future, dated September 22nd, 1938, on The Playwrights Producing Company letterhead, with a "24 Sep 1938" stamp on the lower left.
One of the original members of the Algonquin Round Table, Robert Sherwood was a playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction author, and speechwriter and advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, "Idiot's Delight" (1936), "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" (1939), and "There Shall Be No Light" (1941), and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for "Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History" (1949), which recounted his time working for President Roosevelt. Sherwood's notable screenwriting work includes his collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock and Joan Harrison for Hitchcock's "Rebecca" (1940) and William Wyler's "The Best Year of Our Lives" (1946), which earned Sherwood an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.
The Playwrights Company was originally established as The Playwrights Producing Company on June 1, 1938, by Sherwood, Maxwell Anderson, S.N. Behrman, Sidney Hower, Elmer Rice, and John F. Wharton—all of whom were dissatisfied with the policies of the Theatre Guild. Their first production, Sherwood's "Abe Lincoln in Illinois," which opened on Broadway on October 15, 1938, was an enormous success, and The Playwright's Company proved to be a major force in American theatre for the next two decades, ultimately dissolving in 1960.
Kurt Hellmer was an influential playwright and theatre director in Germany and Austria, before fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930s to settle in New York City. There he became a prominent figure in the German Jewish exile community, and worked as editor of the journal "Aufbau," in which he forcefully advocated for the avant-garde, in particular, the epic theatre of Bertolt Brecht and Erwin Piscator, and the Theatre of the Absurd. In the 1940s he became a theatrical producer and literary agent with a commitment to aesthetic and social ideals, and over the next three decades represented, among others, Friedrich Durrenmatt, Max Frisch, Alen Pol Korbryn, Stawomir Mrozek, Michael Noon, Jacob Picard, and Jane Rule.
8.5 x 11 inches. Near Fine, with four small splashes, likely contemporaneous, and two horizontal folds from mailing.
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