George Cram Cook

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Date of Birth October 7, 1873
Place of Birth Iowa
Date of Death Jan 14, 1924 (50)
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George Cram Cook

George Cram Cook or Jig Cook was an American theatre producer, director, playwright, novelist, poet, and university professor. Believing it was his personal mission to inspire others, Cook led the founding of the Provincetown Players on Cape Cod in 1915; their "creative collective" was considered the first modern American theatre company. During his seven-year tenure with the group, Cook oversaw the production of nearly one-hundred new plays by fifty American playwrights. He is particularly remembered for producing the first plays of Eugene O'Neill, along with those of Cook's wife Susan Glaspell, and several other noted writers. While teaching English literature at the University of Iowa from 1896 to 1899, Cook also taught what is thought to be the first creative writing course. Titled "Verse-Making," the course was continued by Cook's colleagues at the university after he left. It was not until the 1950s that the Iowa Writers Workshop was founded.

Born: George Cram Cook, October 7, 1873, Davenport, Iowa, United States
Died: January 11, 1924, Delphi, Greece
Other names: Jig Cook
Alma mater: University of Iowa, Harvard
Occupation: Theatre Producer
Known for: Provincetown Players
Spouse(s): Sara H Swain, Molly Price, Susan Glaspell
Children: Nilla Cram Cook, Harl Cook

About George Cram Cook

Playwright who co-founded the Provincetown Players and aided in the development of the American theater.

Before Fame

He taught literature at Stanford University but left academia to financially support his writing career through working as a farmer.


He and his wife started the Provincetown Players in order to produce their jointly-written play, "Suppressed Desires." Eventually, the organization expanded to find and support other, budding playwrights.

Family Life

He was married to novelist and playwright, Susan Glaspell.


It was with Provincetown Players that dramatist Eugene O'Neill staged his career-launching plays.

Information related to George Cram Cook

  • Writers from Davenport, Iowa
  • Stanford University Department of English faculty
  • Modernist theatre
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Latest information about George Cram Cook updated on January 21, 2021.

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