This multi-volume work began as a biography of Martha Wadsworth Coigney, who was a pioneering thought leader and advocate of internationalism in the American theatre during the cold war. It was expanded to include the contributions of her mentors and friends Rosamond Gilder, Maurice McClelland, Roger L. Stevens, and Ellen Stewart. Coigney served as director of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) of the United States for thirty-two years and President of ITI International from 1987-1995. The International Theatre Institute is an independent NGO devoted to the UNESCO mission of peace through mutual understanding. After World War II the organization sustained cultural exchange between artists on either side of the Iron Curtain, across religious divides and war zones.