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S. N. Behrman (Samuel Nathaniel Behrman) Biography

(1893–1973), (Samuel Nathaniel Behrman), Amphitryon 38, Auprès de Ma Blonde, I Know My Love

plays social columbia harvard

American dramatist, born in Worcester, Massachusetts, educated at Clark, Harvard, and Columbia Universities. He enrolled in George Pierce Baker's ‘47 Workshop’ at Harvard, and went on to graduate work at Columbia University under Brander Matthews and St John Ervine. Of Behrman's twenty-six plays, several were co-authored, and some were adaptations, such as his version of Jean Giradoux's Amphitryon 38 (1937) and of Marcel Achard's Auprès de Ma Blonde as I Know My Love (1949), both written for America's foremost acting duo, the Lunts. His first success was with The Second Man (1927), a comedy about a novelist torn between two women; this motif of a central protagonist faced by mutually exclusive choices—in social and sexual relations, and in vocation—is common in his work. His best plays are Biography (1932), about the emotional conflicts which polarize the life of a successful woman portrait painter, and the semi-autobiographical No Time for Comedy (1939), in which a writer of popular comedies yearns to write serious plays. Behrman's resolute yet stylish dialogue was perfectly suited to the sophisticated social world represented in his plays.

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