Rice, Elmer


Rice, Elmer

▪ American playwright, director, and novelist
original name  Elmer Reizenstein  
born Sept. 28, 1892, New York City
died May 8, 1967, Southampton, Hampshire, Eng.

      American playwright, director, and novelist noted for his innovative and polemical plays.

      Rice graduated from the New York Law School in 1912 but soon turned to writing plays. His first work, the melodramatic On Trial (1914), was the first play to employ on stage the motion-picture technique of flashbacks, in this case to present the recollections of witnesses at a trial. In The Adding Machine (1923) Rice adapted techniques from German Expressionist theatre to depict the dehumanization of man in the 20th century. His most important play, Street Scene (1929), was a starkly realistic tragedy set outside a New York City slum tenement building. The play won a Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into a highly popular musical (1947) with lyrics by Langston Hughes (Hughes, Langston) and music by Kurt Weill (Weill, Kurt). Counsellor-at-Law (1931) was a rather critical look at the legal profession. In We, the People (1933), Judgment Day (1934), and several other polemical plays of the 1930s, Rice treated the evils of Nazism, the poverty of the Great Depression, and racism. He continued to write for the stage after 1945, but without much acclaim.

      Rice was active in the WPA Federal Theatre Project for a short time in the mid-1930s. He also championed the American Civil Liberties Union and the cause of free speech, and in the 1950s he was an opponent of U.S. Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy (McCarthy, Joseph R.). Rice also wrote several novels and an autobiography, Minority Report (1963).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rice, Elmer — (1892 1967)    Elmer Leopold Reizenstein was born in New York and studied law before giving it up for playwriting, renaming himself Elmer Rice. He wrote plays ranging from gritty realism to expressionist fantasy. His first successful drama, On… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Rice, Elmer — pseud. di Reizenstein, Elmer …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

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  • Rice,Elmer Leopold — Rice (rīs), Elmer Leopold. 1892 1967. American playwright noted for his expressionist plays, including The Adding Machine (1923) and Street Scene (1929). * * * …   Universalium

  • Rice, Elmer (Reisenstein, Elmer Leopold) — (1892 1967)    American writer. Born in New York City, he began to write plays in 1913. He wrote over 50 plays, most of which appeared on Broadway …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Elmer Rice — Elmer Rice. Elmer Rice (* 28. September 1892 als Elmer Reizenstein in New York City; † 8. Mai 1967 in Southampton) war ein US amerikanischer Dramatiker. Er führte etliche Neuerungen auf dem Theater ein und genaß in der Zeit zwischen den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Elmer L. Rice — Elmer Rice Elmer Rice vers 1920 (?) Elmer Rice est un dramaturge, metteur en scène, producteur, écrivain et scénariste américain, né Elmer Leopold Reizenstein à New York le 28 septembre 1892, dé …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elmer Rice — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Elmer Rice Fotografía de Elmer Rice por Carl van Vechten (1936) Nombre Elmer Leopold Reizens …   Wikipedia Español

  • Elmer Rice — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rice. Elmer Rice vers 1920 (?) Elmer Rice est un dramaturge, metteur en scène, producteur, écrivain …   Wikipédia en Français