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. 12, No. 1, January

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way through the Internet
Editor's Note: When American Theatre found out about Anne Joelle's cyberspace theatre piece The Confessional, we assigned correspondent Ferdinand Lewis to keep tabs on the project. Joelle, executive director of the Massachusetts-based Priscilla Beach...
A Method of One's Own
MICHAEL HOWARD Founder/Director, Michael Howard Studios, New York City I taught at Juilliard in the drama division for eight years. During that period I continued my private class, working with actors who had begun their professional careers. Clearly...
An Asian Accent in a Western Setting: Hawaii's Theatre Program Offers a Distinctive Range
Fifteen theatre students sit, Japanese-style, on a classroom rug with their legs tucked tightly underneath their thighs. They face a blackboard with one cryptic sentence scrawled across its width - soo ja wai na ("Isn't that so?"). Someone pushes a tape...
An Italian Straw Hat
Edith Evans once responded to Donald Sinden's protestations about the difficulty of playing farce by saying, "Of course. You see, in a farce you don't have a play to help you." In fact, the stuff of farce - namely its extreme physical and comic appeal...
At the Mount with Tina Packer: Her Commitment Is to Reanimating the Classics
By her own estimate, Tina Packer has directed more Shakespeare plays than any professional theatre woman, ever. Immodest as it may sound, this is the legitimate claim of a human dynamo, a woman with a seemingly inexhaustible ambition to body forth her...
Awards: Sondheim Takes Texas
Stephen Sondheim wore khakis - rumpled ones a couple of sizes too big, and an old burgundy pullover - as he fielded questions from a rapt audience in the intimate Greer Garson Theatre on the campus of Dallas's Southern Methodist University. It was a...
Derek McLane: Panic in the Living Room
Derek McLane has an anxiety about living rooms. "Whenever there's a living room to do, I start to panic a little," the 36-year-old set designer admits. However, playwrights love to write for living rooms, and McLane is constantly faced with the challenge...
Election Overshadows NEA Changes
Major shifts in Congress and internal NEA reorganization trigger uncertainty about future arts support As the Republican Party gained control of both the Senate and House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years in a stunning victory, the National...
Erik Ehn: Bowling for Transcendence
In person, Erik Ehn is congenial. Amusing, self-deprecating. Quirkily normal. All of which is remarkable, because Ehn's hallucinatory dramas are anything but normal. They're disorienting, fascinating bursts of strangeness. Stage directions from Little...
Gaudeamus
Is high art starting to come down to earth? Maybe, if recent samplings from the Next Wave Festival at New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music - home away from home for the "serious" avant-garde - are any indication. Last year, for instance, Robert Wilson...
How the Other Half Writes
Say "contemporary European playwright" to anybody in American theatre, and you conjure up images of Sartre and Ionesco conversing over expressos at a sidewalk cafe in Paris, or owlish Bertolt Brecht chomping on a cigar and spouting Marxist theory to...
Marooned on the Islands of Machado
What happens when a gifted playwright, a committed director and a risk-taking theatre bite off more epic than they can chew? Floating Islands almost killed Eduardo Machado. The near-death experience did not occur, as one might expect, after the critics...
Monograms
The "latitude" of the Romance, as Nathaniel Hawthorne once defined that genre, is achieved through the meeting of a bygone time and the flitting present. In Monograms, the poem written by Hazel Hall, a wheelchair-bound seamstress imagines the bride for...
Mood Swings
The nation and the arts community alike are trying to assess the meaning of the mid-term election that put Republicans in the majority in both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. The election results indicate - as did the 1992 election...
The Body Is the Source: Four Actors Explore the Rigors of Working with Master Teachers Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki
When directors Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki rounded the Saratoga International Theater Institute in 1992, they sought to create a center for an international fellowship of artists that could flourish in the context of a contemporary global village....
The Grown-Up Dreams of Constance Congdon
This month, TCG releases Tales of the Lost Formicans and Other Plays, the first collection of works by Constance Congdon. The anthology includes Losing Father's Body, No Mercy and Casanova. In the volume's introduction, excerpted below, playwright Tony...
The Old Matador
A short, pudgy boy of 15 pulls his broken bike up in front of a small wood-frame house dominated by one of those famous Southwestern sunset-filled skies. He switches off the radio rap music, while inside the voices of his aging parents rise to an angry...
The Sensitive Society
We are living increasingly in what I refer to as a Sensitive Society. I use the word "sensitive" not in its meaning as "caring" or "sympathetic." Rather, I use it to mean a society that is thin-skinned, ready to take offense, intolerant of criticism...
The Way of Inclusiveness
ROBERTA UNO Artistic Director, New WORLD Theater, University of Massachusetts, Amherst New WORLD Theater is situated in a major university with a graduate program. To my knowledge, there aren't any similar multi-cultural theatre programs, which really...
Training for What? 17 Views: Theatre Educators Speculate on the Changing Dynamics of Training
"Although I have read all the modern plays I could lay my hands on, and many books on the subject of Drama, I realize how inadequate such a haphazard, undirected mode of study must necessarily be. With my present training I might hope to become a mediocre...
Walter Dallas: Ringing Freedom Theatre's Bell
Walter Dallas sits in his office, relaxes his six-foot frame and laughs heartily over the Candide-like odyssey that has taken him from Atlanta to Africa and finally to Philadelphia, where the 49-year-old director heads Freedom Theatre, Pennsylvania's...
What Does 'Professional' Really Mean?
JIM O'CONNOR Chairman, Theatre Department, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. Any discussion of graduate training programs in theatre must begin with the participants accepting two facts: There are entirely too many programs for the talent pool...
Why the "Y" (in Ybor)?
It's a hot Saturday night in November, and the grand drag of Ybor City - Tampa's once-revolutionary, turn-of-the-century cigar-manufacturing district - is receiving what Jackson Browne would call "the benediction of neon light." Eagle Talons cruise...