Discipline: Theatre – playwriting

Stanley Young

Discipline: Theatre – playwriting
MacDowell Fellowships: 1947, 1948, 1961

Stanley Young (1906-1975) was a poet, playwright, publisher and literary reviewer. After his retirement in 1971 from Hofstra University as professor emeritus Young had planned to finish a long epic poem about America entitled “The Middle Country,” a part of which was published in 1955 in Botteghe Oscure, the international literary magazine edited by Princess Marguerite Caetani in Rome.

A short poem from this work, “The Concord Poem,” was published in a number of magazines. Young continued his lifetime interest in the theater, serving actively on the board of the New Dramatists, Inc.

Before his death, he had begun work. at the request of Beatrice Straight, the actress, on a series of dramatic vignettes drawn from the book, “Westward the Woman,” written by his wife, Nancy Wilson Ross. Miss Straight and Mildred Dunnock had planned to appear in the short plays during the bicentennial year.

Young was the author of five full‐length plays, four of which were presented on Broadway. They were “Robin Landing” (1937), “Bright Rebel” (1938), “Ask My Friend Sandy” (1943) and “Mr. Pickwick” (1952), a freely drawn comedy from incidents in Charles Dickens's “The Pickwick Papers.”

His fifth, “Laurette,” based on the life of the actress Laurette Taylor, was destined for Broadway in 1964, but it closed in Philadelphia after its star, Judy Holliday, became ill. “Laurette” was produced at the Dublin Festival with Siobhan McKenna in the starring role.

Born in Greencastle, Indiana, Young received a bachelor of philosophy degree from the University of Chicago in 1929 and an M.A. at Columbia University in 1931. He taught at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute in 1930–31 and at Williams College 1931–34. He was literary adviser to the Macmillan Company from 1934 to 1936 and was for many years a literary critic for The New York Times Book Review. From 1939 to 1942, he was trade book editor at Harcourt, Brace & Co.

From 1961 to 1963, Young was executive director of the American National Theater and Academy and then served as executive vice president of the Congressionally chartered organization from 1963 to 1965. President Johnson appointed him to the first National Council on the Arts in 1965. In 1968 he was an observer of the UNESCO International Conference in Budapest.

For 20 years, Mr. Young served on the board of the National School for Negroes. In 1970, he was named to the Selection Committee for Fellowships for the Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France.



Stanley Young worked in the MacDowell studio.

Built in 1912, Pine Studio was renamed MacDowell Studio in 1943 in recognition of support from a group of Edward MacDowell’s music students. It was built as a composers’ studio and the stuccoed walls were intended to be soundproof. Like many of the studios on property, MacDowell was winterized in the 1950s when the program began welcoming…

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