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. 27, No. 3, March

20 Questions
You haven't directed play on Broadway since 1992. So how did this high-profile Miller revival come about? I thought we were tar enough along in the Columbia program for me to sneak away at least part of the time and direct a play-Nobody sends me...
A Single-Shooter Celtic Myth
YOU DON'T USUALLY HEAR THE NAMES OF HOLLYWOOD titan James Cameron and Mabou Mines in the same sentence, but technology has made strange bedfellows of us all. The pop genius behind Avatar and the avant-garde troupe, it turns-out, both employ motion-capture...
Don't Fret, Just Text; Turning Your Cell Phone on at the Theatre May Just Get You Talking to Your Neighbor
WHEN IT COMES TO CELL PHONES, YOU MAY PICK your poison: BlackBerrys, Androids, flip, brick, smart and not-so-smart phones. Everyone is mobile these days, especially young people. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study found that U.S. kids aged 8 to...
For Enda Walsh's Damaged Characters, Talk Is Both a Prison and an Escape Route
IN the view of Irish playwright ENDA WALSH, most people--himself included--aren't that far from the cliff's edge of madness. Given a chemical imbalance or the right series of circumstances--divorce, bankruptcy, the death of a loved one--you too could...
Gadg and Tenn's Extraordinary Adventure: Was 'Camino Real' a Wrong Turn or Fortunate Swerve in the Path of the American Theatre?
FRANCES KAZAN IS A CHARMING, BEAUTIFUL woman who will cheerfully tell you that she doesn't like theatre at all. At least, that's what she told me when we met in 2006, though the more I chatted with her, the more it became clear that she loves theatre--when...
Hiking the DNA Trail: 7 Playwrights Reckon with Science's Most Personal Revelations
THERE IS A BIT OF A YELLOW BRICK ROAD FACTOR to DNA testing. Perhaps you seek a sense of "home," knowledge of your origins, a feeling of belonging--and the testing is supposed to provide a pathway. Yet, by most accounts, what you find is never what...
MCNALLY'S Operatic Trio
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Terrence McNally was 10 years old when he heard his first Puccini: a collection of love duets played by his fifth-grade teacher on a low-fi phonograph. It was his introduction to opera, and to theatre. He was hooked. "I was taken...
Meet Enda Walsh. He's Quite a Playwright-And Quite
A personality, as arts reporter Christopher Wallenberg discovers in his sometimes alarmingly candid video-assisted conversation (page 22) with the Dublin-born writer, who lives these days in London. Once you've gotten acquainted with Walsh, take a...
Odets, out of the Kitchen: Rescuing Him from Cold War Politics and the Method, a New Generation of Directors Is Rediscovering a Quintessential American Writer
CAN CLIFFORD ODETS BE COOL AGAIN? He certainly was in the 1930s. Odets was only 28 years old when his Waiting for Lefty became an overnight sensation, and his most ardent followers at the time were in the same age bracket. For fellow scribe William...
Only Connect
AT THE ASSOCIATION FOR PERFORMING ARTS A Presenters' town hall meeting in New York City in January, presenters wrestled with the desire of audiences--predominantly but not exclusively younger ones--to be digitally and Internet-ically connected at...
Opening the Golden Gate: For Generations of Asian-American Artists in the Bay Area, Life in the Theatre Has Meant a Passionate Struggle for Opportunity and Change
1. Cabaret and Chop Suey In Bay Area playwright Philip Kan Gotanda's 1986 play Yankee Dawg You Die, an older Asian-American actor says to an upstart younger star, "We built the mountain, as small as it may be, that you stand on so proudly." Since...
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb Ideas to Spare; This Writer with San Francisco in His Veins Hits All the Buttons, from Comic to Melancholy
DON'T GO ON FACEBOOK, DON'T GO ON FACEBOOK. That's the desperate mantra of the self-employed everywhere, and at this very moment it's probably running through the mind of some playwright sitting alone, wrestling with an act-three disaster or a line...
Quilters Denver Center Theatre Company
Penny Metropulos, DIRECTION: I had many chats about Quilters with my old friend Barbara Damashek and with Molly Newman (who became my pen pal) during the production process. The play has a homespun, story-theatre quality, but we wanted to move it somewhat...
Reorientalism: A Festival of Middle Eastern Drama Witnesses the Emergence of a New Immigrant Community-And a New Category of U.S. Theatre
ON DECEMBER 1--FOUR DAYS BEFORE GOLDEN Thread Productions staged a two-day forum as part of ReOrient Festival 2009 at Theatre Artaud in San Francisco--President Barack Obama gave an Afghanistan war speech at West Point that left many Americans feeling...
Russ Tutterow Fresh Twists: At Chicago Dramatists, He Offers a Novel Approach to New-Play Development-Actually Producing New Works
ON AN OVERCAST SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN October, a small crowd gathers in the intimate lobby of Chicago Dramatists, awaiting the start of the company's weekly Saturday Series staged reading of a new work-in-progress. There isn't a celebrity in sight,...
Sending in the Clowns (Again)
SAN FRANCISCO: Major economic trends and the fortunes of political theatre must be passing each other on some grid index somewhere. In a climate of recession, theatre audiences tend to hunger for work that speaks to their immediate concerns--and better...
Theodore Hoffman: 1922-2009
This letter was written by New York University theatre professor Richard Schechner to his onetime colleague Theodore Hoffman, an educator, critic and theatre activist, shortly before Hoffman's death last July at his home in Arizona. Hoffman was instrumental...
Thug 4 Life
"AMERICA HAS BECOME A PLACE where people think of different ways to lie to themselves," declares a fictionalized Tupac Shakur in Michael Oatman's latest play Eclipse: The War Between Pac and B.I.G., running at Karamu House in Cleveland March 26-April...
True, True Blood
When you're Red Bull Theater, you can describe John Webster's blood-spattered, 17th-century tragedy The Duchess of Malfi as "intimate," and you can consider a cast of 12 "small." That's because the New York company specializes in rarely seen Jacobean-era...
Various Cities, Wales
NATIONAL THEATRE WALES INAUGURAL SEASON: Instead of a season announcement, National Theatre Wales has issued a season map. After more than two years of planning, the brand-new institution kicks off its ambitious first season, putting on a different...