Caffe Cino Pictures

The Silent Era – The Caffe Cino Before Decor

Posted in Uncategorized by Robert on January 1, 1905

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From 1958 through 1968, the CAFFE CINO in New York’s Greenwich Village presented plays on its tiny floor. LANFORD WILSON, SAM SHEPARD, JOHN GUARE, and others apprenticed there. But early shows were mainly pirated works by Williams, O’Neill, Wilder, Anouilh, and the like. The Cino later became famous for its costumed habitues and elaborate decor, but at first its casts wore suits and ties, and the walls sported art exhibits. Most early productions are lost in the shadows of what I call “The Silent Era,” but some pioneers have shared these snapshots dated 1958-63 of plays, people, and the place before its stage shone with invention, its walls fluttered with clippings, and its ceiling twinkled with tinsel.

THE EARLIEST DATABLE CINO PLAY-PERFORMANCE PHOTOS are of the April, 1960 production of Edna Milay’s “Aria De Capo.” Here BILL MITCHELL, KITTY MCDONALD, PETER RATRAY, and DEAN SELMIER take a bow. GLENN DUBOSE directed.