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. 28, No. 1, January

2011 Is for Action
ENTER 2011! THIS NEW YEAR IS A SPECIAL ONE for TCG: The stage is being set for our 50th birthday, and we plan to celebrate! Believe it or not, TCG was founded all the way back in 1961. That's the year John F. Kennedy became president, that the Beatles...
20 Questions
Drama Desk Award-winner JOSE LLANA got his big break in the 1996 Broadway revival of The King and I, and has since starred in On the Town and Saturn Returns, both for the Public Theater, and on Broadway as Angel in Rent, Wang Ta in Flower Drum Song...
A Change of Scene: Expand the Expectations and Assumptions in Theatrical Design Training, and Students, Teachers and the Profession Will Benefit
SEVERAL YEARS AGO I ATTENDED ONE OF those weekend exhibitions affectionately known to stage designers as the Clambake--produced and organized by Ming Cho Lee and his wife Betsy, and now unfortunately defunct--devoted to showcasing the portfolios of...
Actors on the Move: 10 Performers Analyze the Training Regimens That Animate Them on Stage
The interviews in this collage of voices--actors and actor-trainers who are devotees of a range of movement techniques--were conducted by the American Theatre editorial staff. Some are presented entirely in the artist's voice and others incorporate...
Actors, We Sometimes Worry, Get Short Shrift in The
ACTORS, WE SOMETIMES WORRY, GET SHORT SHRIFT IN THE pages of American Theatre. Their work, as theatre journalists know all too well, is difficult to write about with any measure of objectivity or precision. The kinds of stories about actors you most...
A Fiasco of an Encore
NEW YORK CITY: Don't pay attention to the unfortunate implications of being a small itinerant company named Fiasco Theater. Humiliating failure has by no means been the fate of this New York troupe's Cymbeline, a spirited, barebones production that...
A Midsummer Night's Dream: La Jolla Playhouse
Christopher Ashley, DIRECTION: There were three anchors for our Midsummer production: The first is the idea that the world of the court turns upside-down, literally, for the dream portions of the play--the forest is a dream that happens on the ceiling...
Arthur Penn:1922-2010
I had a date with a dentist to see the film of The Miracle Worker. I came away determined to be directed by Arthur Penn. Under his direction, the actors in The Miracle Worker were so expressive and full emotionally and physically--it was what I was...
Autumn for a Naughty Patriarch
The avant-garde playwright/director John Jahnke, with a wicked grin, describes Men Go Down (Part 3) as "almost like a Noel Coward absurdist Victorian chamber drama--style series of odd events." In this elliptical, Greek myth-inspired fairy tale, a...
Back to Life, Dangerously
IN THE WEEKS AFTER CHRONIC financial problems caused the shuttering of California's historic Pasadena Playhouse in early 2010, artistic director Sheldon Epps would visit the empty auditorium and sit alone, the room illuminated by a single ghost light....
Big Boy in Bondage
MONTCLAIR, N.J.: In Prometheus Bound, Aeschylus' tragic version of the Greek legend, Prometheus is a Titan chained to a rock in the Caucasus Mountains. In the Belgian auteur and visual artist Jan Fabre's orgiastic new creation (co-authored with Jeroen...
Chronicle of an Award Ungiven: The Wasserstein Prize for Young Female Playwrights Caused a Stir by Not Naming a 2010 Winner. What Happened, and What's Next?
IN 2008, CHICAGO PLAYWRIGHT LAURA JACQMIN checked her voicemail and to her surprise found Christopher Durang's voice on it. He called bearing good news. Jacqmin had won the Wendy Wasserstein Prize, a $25,000 award for an early-career female playwright....
Clayton Corzatte & Susan Corzatte Vinegar and Honey: Two Lives in the Theatre Intertwine-To the Delight of Seattle Audiences
IT'S A TRUTH UNIVERSALLY ACKNOWLEDGED that the Seattle theatre community boasts a pool of actors who are deeply committed to their craft--actors who work with the kind of professional shorthand that comes from years of collaboration and can be counted...
In Search of Stillness: Capturing the Purity and Energy of Not Moving Is the Root of the Invisible Body
I'VE BEEN HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME SITTING still to write about stillness. What does the study and practice of stillness entail for the theatre artist? Perhaps my difficulty is an illustration of how elusive this knowledge remains, and how potent...
In the Beginning Was the Body: From Lecoq and Laban to Michael Chekhov and Suzuki, U.S. Movement Training Derives Its Strength and Purpose from Abroad
THE AMERICAN ACTOR-IN-TRAINING TODAY CAN CHOOSE TO STUDY MANY DISCIPLINES that are based in physical expression. Body awareness and alignment, mask work, clowning and circus skills, physical characterization, spatial relationships, ensemble work, improvisation,...
Joseph Stein: 1912-2010: Jerry Bock: 1928-2010
It's impossible for me to write about Joseph Stein and Jerry Bock without talking about Fiddler on the Roof. It's the way I knew them both. When I think about Fiddler, I think about the atmosphere of kindness in which that original production (and...
Let's Get Physical: What's Happening Now? U.S. Movement Teachers Prefer Either a Hybrid or an Integration of Disciplines in the Service of Training the Actor's Body
While sharing his thoughts on the current state of movement training for actors in the U.S., Daniel Stein speaks of a play he's written called Still. Going Forward Backward. "It's basically about men and woman using the same words but speaking a different...
Mark Russell Catching the Next Big Thing: A Week in the Life of under the Radar's Impresario
IF THERE IS ONE THEATRE EVENT IN NEW YORK City that draws a cross-section of theatre types--enthusiasts, hybrid artists, students, professionals, intellectuals, hipsters, arts presenters and international guests--it is the Public Theater's Under the...
Moved to Silence: A Good Mime, Asserted the Late Marcel Marceau, Trains to Be an Athlete of the Heart
IN 2003 Marcel Marceau went through the motions in the United States for nearly the last time. After 48 years of touring almost annually in the country that sealed his reputation as the world's greatest mime--even before his native France recognized...
Mr. January: A Sexy, Silly Calendar Is Both a Product and a Marketing Tool
SN'T IT STRANGE THAT CALENDARS EVEN exist in the first place? Why do humans need bound paper (or electronic charts) to tell them what day and year it is? Shouldn't we know this information automatically? How ironic that calendars can seem so ... outdated....
Oscar Brockett: 1923-2010
Oscar G. Brockett's influence on American theatre education and the field of theatre history cannot be overstated. During a teaching career that spanned more than four decades, Brockett taught multiple generations of theatre scholars and practitioners...
Rah. Rah. Rah
CHEERLEAD1NG IS as all-American as apple pie--so why has there never been a musical about the sport? "There aren't a lot of stories that make for good musicals," confesses Jeff Whitty, book author of Bring It On: The Musical, which also features music...
Tackling the Bear
COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS LIKE A RELIGION IN ALABAMA. Or maybe religion is like college football. "The first time you meet people here," says Michael Vigilant, "there are two questions you're asked: 'Are you Auburn or Alabama?' and 'Which church do you belong...
The Articulate Body
THIS SPECIAL SECTION DEVOTED TO MOVEMENT TRAINING FOR ACTORS BEGAN TO GEL AFTER a series of key conversations. Moni Yakim, for starters, quickly disabused us of the notion that "physical theatre" was the appropriate term to use when referring to the...
The Roots of 'Hair': How the Scrappy Hippie Musical Survived Creative Tumult and Turnover-And a Disastrous Uptown Transfer-To Take on Broadway and the World
SHORTLY UPON BEING APPOINTED DEAN OF the Yale School of Drama in 1966, theatre critic Robert Brustein invited notables from New York's experimental theatre scene to New Haven, Conn., for professorships and residencies. One was Joseph Papp, the pugnacious...
The Theatre of Making Something Happen: The Place Is the Web; the Audience Is Potentially Huge; the Artist Could Be You
I WANT TO CONFESS: I DON'T SCREEN MY CALLS. I'm too curious, too hopeful it will be someone with an outrageous idea, a new thing, an offering--not an offering of help but of needing mine. A call to action. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] My day begins...
Vancouver, Canada
PUSH INTERNATIONAL PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL: Audiences may come and go as they please to a number of this festival's 17 main shows. Spectators must simply don headphones and begin moving around the igloo-shaped performance space of Iqaluit--the latest...
Yokohama, Japan
SUGIMOTO BUNRAKU: On Jan. 11, the city of Yokohama gets a new theatre. 'The Kanagawa Arts Theatre (KAAT) will open its doors, putting its 1,300-seat hall, plus studios and rehearsal spaces, at the service of the performing arts. Kanagawa Arts Foundation,...