Rare Hemingway Play Gets World Premiere at Mint Theater Company

News   Rare Hemingway Play Gets World Premiere at Mint Theater Company The Mint Theater Company will unearth a curious treasure this winter when it presents the long overdue world premiere of Ernest Hemingway's drama The Fifth Column.

One of America's foremost writers — having written the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Old Man and the Sea" as well as "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "The Sun Also Rises," "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "A Farewell to Arms" — Hemingway would be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. A candid war correspondent and American expatriate, Hemingway is known for his lifestyle as well as his literary works.

The Fifth Column was a rarity for Hemingway, as it marked his only full-length drama. Originally published within a collection of short stories, the play wasn't as well received in print as were his other works, and went un-produced until 1940. However, the 1940 production under the direction of Lee Strasburg, presented an altered adaptation of Hemingway's original, and though it was well received by critics, the author would have nothing to do with what he felt was a bastardized representation.

Almost 70 years later, Hemingway's The Fifth Column will be seen in its original version for the first time.

Set during the Spanish Civil War, The Fifth Column, according to press notes, "revolves around the personal and political passions of Philip Rawlings, a counter-espionage agent living in the Hotel Florida and working for the Loyalist cause. 'It has the defects of having been written in war time,' Hemingway conceded, 'but if being written under fire makes for defects, it may also give a certain vitality.'"

The Fifth Column will begin performances on Feb. 26, 2008, at The Mint Theater Company, located at 311 West 43rd Street in New York. For more information visit www.minttheater.org.

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