Friday, January 8, 2010

Sam Wanamaker

Sam Wanamaker was born in Chicago on 14 June 1919.

His first job in the theatre was acting in Shakespeare, ironically in a representative Globe which was one of the highlights of the Great Lakes’ World Fair (sic) in Cleveland, Ohio. This early experience significantly influenced his entire career.

In 1949 Sam paid his first visit to the UK to star in (a) film.
- Shakespeare's Globe
Check the provided link for additional info on Sam and his cv, especially his British cv. The significance of his first visit to London, following his formative experiences in Cleveland, have become ensconced in myth.

He had apparently developed a burning desire to see the original theater where Shakespeare's plays had been performed, or what reconstruction thereof had been created to commemorate it. Shocked to discover that not only were there no functioning, or even non-functional Globe-like structure anywhere in the City, there was also merely a blackened plaque on the wall of a brewery to mark that Shakespeare's or anyone else's theater had even been near there.

And so began the almost fifty year drive of this Chicago-born, Cleveland-trained, Hollywood-employed and Washington-blacklisted, American theater artist to recreate a legitimate, accurate, professional recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. None would argue that due to his efforts, Shakespeare's Globe (which celebrates it's fourteen season this year - which was as long as the original Globe existed before burning to the ground) opened in the summer of 1997.

Wanamaker died in 1993.

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