American Theatre

American Theatre is a magazine containing news, features and opinions on American and international theatre. Published six times a year by the Theatre Communications Group, this periodical was founded in 1984.Subjects for American Theatre include drama and theatre. Nicole Estvanik Taylor is the Managing Editor and Jim O' Quinn is the Editor-in-Chief.

Articles from Vol. 21, No. 5, May-June

10 Playwrights and Theatres Win Residency Grants
Ten playwrights and theatres have been selected for the 2003 NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, developed and administered by TCG in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts. The program was created to afford playwrights...
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8 Companies Selected for Extended Collaborations
TCG HAS AWARDED $33,000 TO SUPPORT the creative work of eight theatre companies and more than 20 artists in the latest round of Extended Collaboration Grants, funded by the MetLife Foundation. Established in 1989, this semiannual award enables theatre...
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All Night Long: Joyce's Ulysses, in Irish Rep's Eyes, Is Simpler and Funnier Than You'd Expect
James Joyce turned his first date with Nora Barnacle, on June 16, 1904, into a day forever associated with the 20th century's most important novel. So Matt O'Brien, artistic director of Chicago's Irish Repertory, always knew that honoring the centenary...
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An African Oedipus in Athens: On the Second Anniversary of 9/11, an American Troupe Finds Itself Ensconced in the Very Bosom of Democracy and Drama
Last September, Shakespeare Theatre of Washington, D.C., remounted its 2001 production of The Oedipus Plays at the 2003 Athens Festival in Greece. The production, a single-evening adaptation of Sophocles' Oedipus trilogy, set the story in ancient Africa,...
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A Reversal of Intimacies: Vietnam Savors the Hybrid Flavors of French Rule, Ancient Chinese Tradition and Western Kitsch
In January 2003. Erika Block traveled to Vietnam with freelance set designer Susan Rogers, hosted by the Indochina Arts Partnership. Tran Thi Huynb Nga of Blue Space Contemporary Arts Center arranged Block's meetings with artists in Ho Chi Minh City....
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Are We Dancing to Our Own Beat? How Hip-Hop Theatre Conforms to Categories-Including Race; the Second Part in a Series on the Convergence of Hip-Hop and Theatre
... one of our basic political tasks lies precisely in the ceaseless effort to remind the American public of the radical difference of other national situations.--Fredric Jameson I write about race in the hope of undermining the notion of race in America.--Richard...
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A Tokyo Story: After Decades of Trying to Be Produced in Japan, a Questing Japanese-American Playwright Comes upon an Oasis
In October 2003, Philip Kan Gotanda's A Song for a Nisei Fisherman, in a new translation by Toyoshi Yoshihara, was performed at Tokyo's Maple Leaf Theater under the direction of Takehisa Kaiyama. BY 1992, I HAD BEEN TRYING UNSUCCESSFULLY TO GET...
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Awards & Prizes
Brooklyn-based playwright Lynn Nottage was twice blessed by the American Theatre Critics Association this year, winning both the Francesca Primus Prize and the Steinberg New Play Award for her play Intimate Apparel. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Nottage's...
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Call Board
PLAYWRITING CONTEST The Mountain Playhouse, Western Pennsylvania's premiere professional summer stock theater, announces a playwriting contest. Winning submission will receive $3000, be a part of the 2005 Play Reading Series and also be considered...
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Charleston, S.C.: Spinning Griffiths in His Grave
"WE LIVE IN THE ERA OF THE REMIX," says the writer and musician Paul D. Miller, explaining that the Internet, television and other media have turned all cultural products into source material. "You can hear a remix of Bush's State of the Union address...
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Chicago: Just How Bad Were the Shaggs?
"IT stopped me cold in my tracks. My brain hurt. I had to turn it off after 10 minutes." Director John Langs is describing his initial response to the Shaggs' Philosophy of the World, an album so bad that Frank Zappa decided it was a work of genius;...
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Curse of the Gendered Class
New York City: Here we go again. Yet another gender-reversed revival of a drama that was originally written for male actors has reportedly been ordered to close by a draconian agent and licensing organization. Can you hear the "poor us" violins playing...
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Editor's Note
The year was 1993, and, thanks to someone's savvy recommendation, I showed up at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco's Mission District to see a show called Eight Saint Plays. I'd never heard of Erik Ehn, but when this brainy, occasionally hilarious,...
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Entrances & Exits
New York City's Women's Project and Productions is greeting two new staff members this month. Taking on the title of managing director is Jane Ann Crum, who just wrapped up a seven-year stint as executive director of the Gotham-based Drama League....
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Foreign Affairs
Some travelers obsessively follow exotic footsteps. Driven by a desire for nearness, yearning to merge with native cultures, these adventurers take extreme lengths to conceal their own identity, put on elaborate manners and trappings and attempt to...
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Global Viewpoints
A recent visit from an international delegation of theatre artists and managers sparked a spirited discussion about government and the arts. The group, from Egypt, Gaza, Grenada, Iceland, Kenya, Kosovo, Peru, Uganda and the West Bank, all first-time...
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Habeas Theatre: A Boston Program Aims to Educate Young Citizens by Impaneling History-Based Plays
From their seats in a chamber of Boston's federal courthouse, 90 or so ninth-graders stand, raise their right hands and swear "as a member of the United States House of Representatives [to] faithfully and impartially perform all the duties incumbent...
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Havana Especial: An Asian-American Troupe Discovers a Vibrant City Where Time Stands Still
Exactly two years after the Sept. 11 attacks, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre of New York City became the first major Asian-American theatre to participate at the XI Havana Theatre Festival in Cuba. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE HAVANA THEATRE FESTIVAL...
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Knoxville, Tenn., and Avignon, France: Are You Talking to Me?
THE TOWER OF BABEL MAKES ONLY ONE brief appearance in the Bible, but it lives on as a symbol of mankind's hubris (the tower was created in an attempt to reach heaven) and diversity (God responded by splintering its builders into 12 tribes, each speaking...
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Manila Notes: Women Playwrights-Including Four from a Highland Tribe in the Philippines-Gather to Preserve Their Voices
In November 2003, 120 female playwrights came together from 30 countries to attend the sixth Women Playwrights International Conference in Manila. Tuan was part of the American delegation, along with Ellen Stewart of New York City's La MaMa ETC and novelist/playwright...
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May/June: Theatre Almanac
80 YEARS AGO (MAY 1924): Peggy Cass, the comic actress with a signature gravelly voice, is born in Boston. She will grow up to play Agnes Gooch in the 1956 Broadway play Auntie Mame, for which she will win both Tony and Theatre World awards. For...
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Out of Buryatia: New York City-Based Artists Open the Floodgates to a New Appreciation of Eastern Siberia's Culture and Shamanism
IN 1996, I GOT OFF A PLANE IN SIBERIA AND WAS MET BY three actors from the Buryat National Theatre. I had never seen them before. We had been brought together by chance, and despite our struggle to communicate, we soon realized that we shared the same...
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Providence, R.I.: TV in the Barnyard
PLAYWRIGHT RINNE GROFF IS VERY PARTICULAR when it comes to role models for her pioneering heroine, Ruby Sunrise. "I'd been watching a 'Nova' special about Philo T. Farnesworth, the man who invented television," Groff says. "He was this Mormon farm...
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Saints, Sin and Erik Ehn: Mysticism Ignites the Plays-And Theories-Of a Theatrical Visionary
ERIK EHN HAS A WEAKNESS FOR IMPOSSIBILITY. A WIND-IN-A-SIEVE idealism wafts through his saints-plays project, designed to create a play for every haloed human known to Catholicism (there are over 10,000, if you count the beati). A rope-of-sand utopianism...
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San Diego, Calif.: A Mayan Romance
In the plays of Luis Valdez, the legendary co-founder of EI Teatro Campesino of San Juan Bautista, Calif., the present always carries with it the past. Spiritual emblems are kept under wraps, like the Aztec loincloth worn underneath the flashy outfits...
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Shanghai Surprise: A People's Art Theatre Emerges in a Futuristic Setting
7 Stages of Atlanta's production of Ionesco's The Chairs was the only U.S. theatre performance invited to the 2003 Shanghai China International Arts Festival in November. It was truly an intercultural affair: a classical text written by a Romanian...
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Summer Fever
Glen Falls, N.Y.; Winona, Minn.; Reno, Nev.: Summer-time, and the theatregoin' is easy. The joints are jumpin' and the hopes are high. On June 17, Adirondack Theatre Festival of Glen Falls, N.Y., kicks off its 10th year with a brand-new $2.6-million...
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The Art of CompuPlay
Albany, N.Y.: In the future, every play will be staged on CD-ROM. That is one of the tantalizing prospects held out by the Technology Play Project, Capital Repertory Theatre of New York's ambitious collaboration with the University of Albany in which...
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Twenty Questions
Chicago chronicler and personality STUDS TERKEL will see his Pulitzer-winning book "The Good War": An Oral History of World War II turned into a stage musical this month when David H. Bell and Craig Carnelia's adaptation premieres at the Windy City's...
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Wanted: Performers Who Stutter; Taro Alexander's Company Nurtures Creativity and Confidence, on Stage and Off
For 31-year-old actor Taro Alexander, founding a theatre company is something of a family tradition. His father, Robert Alexander, started the groundbreaking Living Stage Theatre Company of Washington, D.C., and his brother Jace Alexander is one of...
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William Mastrosimone Return to Kabul: An Outspoken Playwright Realizes His Fate Is in Afghanistan
When you sit down with William Mastrosimone, you'd better hold onto your seat. No topic is off limits to the 56-year-old playwright (Extremities, Bang Bang You're Dead), and he's got a muscular, informed opinion on most things you're likely to bring...
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Willkommen Multimedia: In the Birthplace of Buchner, an Overload of Multimedia Effects Creates a Technical Breakdown
In February 2004, Bob McGrath recreated his multimedia production of Mac Wellman's Jennie Richee at the Staatstheater in Darmstadt, Germany. Performing with a German cast in English, Daniel Zippi reprised his role as outsider artist Henry Darger, with...
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Women and Exile: In Kabul, a U.S.-Afghan Theatrical Collaboration Places Women and Men on Stage Together
AFGHANISTAN IS A VISIT TO ANCIENT TIMES: GREAT expanses of desert, rutted dirt roads, trains of camels, villages of mud houses that have never had electricity or running water. In the cities, refugees try to make a life in little shops wedged amid...
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