The Life of Robert Lewis: Method or Madness?

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Robert Lewis was one of the most reputable renaissance men of the theatre world, devoting much of his life to acting, teaching, directing, and writing. On March 15, 1906, Lewis was born in Brooklyn, New York, with the given name Robert Lewkowitz. From a young age, Lewis was fond of the arts. His first interest was music; he played the cello and took up his studies at the Institute of Musical Art In Manhattan and the Brooklyn Music School Settlement. In the 1920’s, Lewis decided to switch gears and he began to pursue acting. He first entered the theatre scene when he began acting with the Civic Repertory Theatre and Sue Hastings’ Marionette Company. Lewis is well known for his contributions to Group Theatre and Actors Studio, along with his other workshop, teaching and acting endeavors. From 1931 to 1941, Robert Lewis acted for the Group Theatre, a theatre created by Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman, and Cheryl Crawford. He served as one of the original members of the company. Lewis appeared in many of their plays during this decade. The Group Theatre worked under the principles of Konstantin Stanislavski and Eugene Vakhtangov. After the ultimate collapse of the Group Theatre, these ideas carried over to the Actors Studio. Before the Actors Studio was created, a project called the Dollar Top Theatre went underway but was never completed. The Actors Studio was developed by Robert Lewis in collaboration with Cheryl Crawford and Elia Kazan. It was an acting workshop created in
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