In 1963, the Tyrone Guthrie Theater was founded in Minneapolis as an alternative to Broadway and its commercialism. Despite occasional financial setbacks, Tyrone Guthrie and his British proteges gradually established it as a major classical repertory theater. Guthrie died in 1971, and the British director Michael Langham succeeded him. Under his artistic direction, the Guthrie Theater stabilized and flourished. When Langham announced he would resign at the end of the 1977 season, an international search for his successor commenced. For the first time during the Guthrie's existence, an American was selected for the post of artistic director. Alvin Epstein, formerly Associate Director of the Yale Repertory Theater, was chosen, beginning a new era in the history of the Guthrie. The repertory for Epstein's first season included such plays as The Pretenders, Hamlet, Tiebele and Her Demon, Bonjour, La, Bonjour, and The Marriage.
The following interview with Alvin Epstein and Literary Manager Michael Feingold was conducted by Joel Schechter and Mark Bly on March 8, 1979 in New York.