Elizabeth McCormick, American Director and Producer, is Dead at 89

Obituaries   Elizabeth McCormick, American Director and Producer, is Dead at 89 Elizabeth McCormick, an American theatre director in the 1930s and '40s -- a time of few women directors -- died Aug. 15 in New York after a long illness, Variety reported.

Elizabeth McCormick, an American theatre director in the 1930s and '40s -- a time of few women directors -- died Aug. 15 in New York after a long illness, Variety reported.

Ms. McCormick, who was 89, had been a playwright, director and producer and her notion to offer affordable theatre in New York City is thought to be one of the seeds of the Off-Broadway theatre movement.

The Cleveland native studied with famed director-teacher Hallie Flanagan (who headed the Federal Theatre Project) at Vassar College. After Ms. McCormick graduated in 1931, she directed for theatres along the East Coast.

She is the author of the plays, Valentine and the Gargoyle (1933) and The Dragon Who Giggled (1934), which were published by Samuel French, Variety reported. She produced a series of six American plays for On Stage Productions in New York in 1948. For the series, she directed Billy the Kid and The Contrast, establishing her reputation as a director.

She formed a professional repertory company in New York City, producing works that were affordable for both producer and theatregoer, heralding the Off-Broadway movement. According to Variety, Ms. McCormick retired from theatre in 1971 but became an advocate for the stage, focusing on children's interest in theatre.