West Virginia History OnView

Maryat Lee on her farm near Hinton, W. Va.

Maryat Lee on her farm near Hinton, W. Va.
ca. 1970-1989
Maryat Lee lived on her farm near Hinton, W. Va. in Summers County from 1970 until 1984 when she moved to Lewisburg, W. Va. She called her farm near Hinton "The Women's Farm" and it also served as the home of EcoTheater. Maryat Lee (born Mary Attaway Lee; May 26, 1923 – September 18, 1989) was an American playwright and theatre director who made important contributions to post-World War II avant-garde theatre. She pioneered street theatre in Harlem, and later founded EcoTheater in West Virginia, a community based theater project. Early in her career, Lee wrote and produced plays in New York City, including the street play “DOPE!” While in New York she also formed the Soul and Latin Theater (SALT), and wrote plays centered around the lives of the actors in the group. In 1970 Lee moved to West Virginia and formed the community theater group EcoTheater in 1975. Beginning with local teenagers from the Governor’s Summer Youth Program, the rural theater group grew, and produced plays based on oral histories collected from the local community. Each performance of an EcoTheater play involved audience participation and discussion. With the assistance of the Humanities Foundation of West Virginia, guest scholars became a part of EcoTheater.
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Personal Names:
Lee, Maryat, 1923-1989.
Hinton (W. Va.)
AM 3300