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|Name:||Bessie Breuer; Bessie Breuer; Elia Kazan; Julie Harris|
Bessie Breuer; Elia Kazan; Julie Harris
Directed by Elia Kazan, SUNDOWN BEACH marked the first Broadway venture of the newly-formed Actors' Studio. The cast featured several young actors who went on to notable careers, including Julie Harris, Cloris Leachman, Martin Balsam, Nehemiah Persoff, and Phyllis Thaxter. The play concerned the rehabilitation of World War II fliers suffering from combat trauma. Despite some public support, the play received mostly negative reviews and closed in less than a week. Much of the Bessie Breuer collection consists of letters offering emotional support in the wake of the production's failure. Among the correspondents are writers John Dos Passos and Stark Young, as well as Julie Harris. There are also several typed pages of notes from Breuer to director Elia Kazan, apparently written during the play's rehearsal process; Kazan's replies to Breuer are pencilled in the margins.