NEW YORK – Theodore Mann, a producer and director who, as a founder of the influential Circle in the Square, was a driving force in the rise of Off Broadway theater in the 1950s, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 87.
Founded in 1950 by Mr. Mann, the director José Quintero and others, Circle in the Square significantly expanded New York’s then Broadway-centric theater landscape, notably with 1952 production of Tennessee Williams’s “Summer and Smoke.”
Both through the theater and the Circle in the Square Theater School, which was founded in 1961, Mr. Mann had a hand in discovering or nurturing many stage actors who would go on to celebrated careers. Some, like Colleen Dewhurst, Jason Robards and Geraldine Page, had major professional breakthroughs with the company.
Other actors linked with the theater over the years have included George C. Scott, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Jane Alexander, Laura Linney, Kevin Kline and Raul Julia. Kevin Bacon and Philip Seymour Hoffman are among the school’s alumni.