Development of Professional Regional Theatre in America -Focusing on A Few Significant Models in Early to Mid Periods- Hur, Soon-ja This paper concerns about the regional theatre movement of the American theatre which began to occur during the post World War era. It was to flourish during the 1970s and 1980s when nearly every major regional states or cities in the U.S. established performing arts centers and theatre companies in the form of permanent not-for-profit institution. However, most of the important conditions for the development of such regional theatre movement to facilitate decentralize the American theatre were largely made by those leaders who had struggled to found their own institutions during its early to mid eras that ranges from 1947 to the 1960s. Their profound contributions toward the decentralization aimed at liberating the American theatre from the Broadway commercial theatre, which had often referred to as the American theatre itself. As motivated by their truly impressive ideas and examples, this study concentrates, in particular, on those leading entities in those periods. With intentions to offer some wisdoms, even demerits, hopefully to Korean theatre, where, in recent years, a number of performing arts centers were(and still are) constructed by local governments throughout the major cities in the nation, and yet they appear to have been lacking in true professionalism in terms of both founding and running their institutions. As nothing starts from completely nothingness, either in inspiration and imagination or in practice, this paper goes back to the historical roots of the decentralization in the American theatre. This study, following an introduction, consists of main chapters(Precedents of the Regional Theatre Movement: Little Theatre Movement and the Group Theatre; Background and the Early Leaders of the Regional Theatre Movement; and At the Highpoint of the Mid Period in the Regional Theatre Movement), each begins with a brief historical background in order to provide readers, for certain basic information. And then, the conclusion will be made in the final chapter with a brief summary of those previous chapters. The little theatre movement which was spreaded over many places in the U.S. cities and towns during the 1910s and the 1920s as the alternative theatres to the Broadway commercial theatre, was the first attempt to put into practice their ideals beyond the geographical limits of the Broadway or New York City. But they were essentially amateur groups with little or no hopes to grow up as permanent professional institutions. As demonstrated in the selected examples of the most representative ones in the study, the Washington Square Players and the Provincetown Players, when their groups develop as large entities, there were, without exceptions, conflicts from different opinions and financial stress, arose forcing their premature disappearances from the scene. This happens to have also been true to a more mature producing organization Group Theatre(1931-1941). Though it was located on Broadway, it, as originally intended to emulate the Stanislavsky`s Moscow Art Theatre, was truly an artistic(and politically left-winged) organization, nursing many fine actors, resident playwrights and designers. Despite its discontinuation after 10 years of ``fervent`` existence, the Group Theatre left many important traditions and heritages to the following generations of artists who will start, eventually, the resident theatre movement in the next decades. Beginning with Margo Jones` Theatre ``47, Dallas, Texas in 1947, American theatre took a different turn from the preceding eras. What she presented was a permanent professional not-for-profit theatre with a specially devised theatre-in-the-round style physical stage in her native town. The emergence of regional theatres in a true sense of decentralization as she set a fine example with her vision and practice, was to be ensued immediately after her initiation such as Nina Vance`s Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas in that same year, and Zelda Fichandler`s Arena Stage in Washington D.C. in 1950. Although it was not her original idea to start a theatre in D.C. but her professor, Edward Mangum, but she is the one who actually took the burden of founding the organization as a permanent one. Unlike their mentor Jones, both Vance and Fichandler began their companies as amateur groups, but soon transformed into professional ones establishing the appropriate acting companies and staff members, by which they could quickly step onto the ground of the permanent regional theatre movement. They were, after some years of Bohemian lives, not only able to construct the custom-built theatre buildings, but also prove themselves as the founding artistic directors of the country`s leading professional institutions. But these charismatic leaders of the early regional theatre movement centered their practice on their individual vision, taking fully in charge of both the artistic and administrative obligations. With their exclusive position as the sole leaders of their organizations, they tended to have neglected a much-desired civic involvement, often causing them to rely upon corporate funding. The opening of the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May 1963 became a turning point in the American regional theatre movement. It had taken four and a half years just for the preparatory works towards its birth. Unlike those regional theatres in the previous decades, it was born by those who had careers on Broadway or in international theatre world such as Oliver Rea, Zoseph Zeigler, and world-renowned English director, Sir Tyrone Guthrie. And the trio, instead of an individual, appear to have been well aware of the means how to publicize their intention, and thereby achieving an unusual national attention and attracting a large sum of funding and unusual support from the community itself throughout the preparatory and the beginning phases. In other words, they reverse the processes of founding regional theatres as utilized by those leaders ahead of them. Having been equipped with a professional acting company, staff members, let alone constructing their multi-million dollar purpose-built thrust stage which was specifically designed for its classical repertoires, the Guthrie Theatre was able to start its life, from the beginning, as a highly coveted artistic organization so rare in those days. Rather, it was, indeed, a summation, a climax of the regional theatre movement done thus far. However, this all-powerful Guthrie Theatre happened to have encountered with crises when Guthrie and Rea left the organization a few years later, thereby bringing, eventually, a gap in leadership and resulting in the inevitable confusions in artistic direction as well as substantial decrease in subscription. The financial stress became, no doubt, one of major blocks in the continuous development of this institution. It was to take more than a decade for it to recover fully from that difficult situation and to regain the original confidence. Nevertheless, Guthrie Theatre manifested itself as the highest point in the development of the professional regional theatre movement in American theatre. And with both of its achievements and drawbacks together, Guthrie Theatre created, truly, a myth, and much of its traditions and heritages are to be inherited to those forthcoming generations who desire to create permanent regional not-for-profit-theatre institutions in the twenties century onwards.