In Memoriam of George Bartenieff

George Barteneiff in Dinosaur door by Barbara Garson

Today our beloved friend and incredibly talented George Bartenieff passed away, moving on to an even bigger stage than the ones where he mesmerized and inspired us all with his unforgettable performances.

George was Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Theater for the New City. Beginning in 1970, he co-produced, with Crystal Field, over 400 new works, in which he often acted. These included works by Maria Irene Fornes, Sam Shepard (Pulitzer Prize, Buried Child), Rosalyn Drexler, Romulus Linney and many others, including Us by Karen Malpede. At Theater for the New City, he also co-founded, with Crystal Field, the Annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, the annual free five borough Summer Street Theater tour, the anti-war and ecological art and performance festivals, and The Village writers on The Village festival, which included International Stud by Harvey Fierstein, which became the centerpiece for Torch Song Trilogy.  George was the recipient of four Obie Awards, one for Sustained Excellence as a Performer at Theater for the New City, and another of which was for Co-producing with Crystal Field at Theater for the New City. He co-produced with Crystal Field from Theater for the New City’s inception through 1988.

Please share with us any wonderful memories or photos of George you may have and let’s celebrate his life together. 

-Crystal Field
Executive Artistic Director
Theater for the New City

The founders of TNC: Larry Kornfield, Crystal Field, George Bartenieff, not in Picture Theo Barnes.
George holding Alex Bartenieff auditioning an actor in 1971

5 replies on “In Memoriam of George Bartenieff”

[…] It was in 1970 that he and then-wife Crystal Field (with others) founded Theater for the New City, along with its many programs, such as their annual street theatre productions, the Village Halloween Parade (which TNC split from a few years later) and its wonderful support of avant-garde playwrights. TNC’s tribute to Bartenieff (with some great photos) may be found here. […]

Rear in peace my friend. We had works that I photographed over many years and your bright, vivacious demeanor alway made our projects special. Who can ever forget the halloween parades through the Village. And those parties in the auditorium. Everyone will miss your contributions to the spirit of off-off-broadway.

His passing is loss to those who knew & loved him, but for the theater community to whom he contributed so much, we celebrate the incredible body of work he left behind!

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