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. 13, No. 2, February

Ballad of Yachiyo
Upstage: a large screen for slides and video. We hear the haunting strains of a Japanese plantation working song with both traditional and contemporary accompaniment. Sepia-toned period photos of Kauai life dissolve in to each other giving a sense...
Blanka Zizka: Her Long, Winding Road
Most Czechs share a particularly well-developed sense of irony, and BUM Zizka is no exception. The Czech-born artistic director of Philadelphia's Wilma Theater notes that the government of her native country denied her a university education but then...
Choice and Chance
How did the writing process for Ballad of Yachiyo begin? I worked on the play on and off for about 10 years, while I was working on other projects. A lot of my works tend to gather aspects of their stories; I sit on them until something...
Emily Mann: Searching for Survivors
About a year ago, Emily Mann found herself "sitting in a room with the devil." The McCarter Theatre's artistic director was in Greensboro, N. C. for the 15th anniversary of the attack on a "Death to the Klan" rally by a convoy of Klansmen and American...
Hugo Sans Gargoyles
Writing The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Victor Hugo found inspiration in medieval architecture. Working down from its gothic towers and silent gargoyles, he resurrected a rowdy Paris whose underworld of beggars, thieves and gypsies carried on a vital...
Metaphor's Funeral
The National Endowment for the Arts had an amazing thought in 1965: It set about making more theatre, more dance, more orchestras, more operas accessible to more people. In the America of '60s and early '70s, as the NEA graph moved upward and outward,...
Nonprofits in Peril
Now that the short-term fate of the National Endowment for the Arts has been resolved - at least until next year's appropriations process - arts groups are turning their attention to a host of other legislative threats that target or affect all nonprofit...
Songs for Salvation
They have names like Meatloaf, Cookie, Tangy, Slim Goody and Big W"'. Their ranks include a drug-dealing dealing playboy, a light-skinned gold-digger, a flaming drag queen resembling Little Richard, and a jail-bird who boasts of turning his fellow...
Sternheim's Comic Masks
In Carl Sternheim's wicked social satire The Unmentionables, all hell breaks loose when the elastic snaps in the underwear worn by a beautiful young wife watching a royal procession, and she all-too-publicly loses her panties. Not surprisingly, the...
The Emperor Garvey
When playwright Charles Smith was in the throes of researching Black Star Line, his new drama about a major figure in black political history, he received a rather cryptic message from the Chicago chapter of the United Negro Improvement Association...
The Gift of Doubt
In Fascinating Rhythm, her insightful book on the Gershwin collaborations, Deena Rosenberg states that only in his libretto for the 1927 version of the Gershwin's musical Strike Up the Band did George S. Kaufman produce "a script that he felt pulled...
Thinkers and Doers Hobnob in Toronto
Andrea Breth put it bluntly. In her reassuring German accent she insisted, "The question should be How theatre?, not Why theatre?" Breth, successor to Peter Stein as head of Berlin's Schaubuhne, was one of many on hand at the University of Toronto...
True Worth
Irene Worth appears onstage, radiant and blonde in a magnificent Fortuny gown of the creamiest apricot velvet. Her Portrait of Edith Wharton, a solo evocation of the American novelist fashioned from Wharton's own writings, is performed under exquisitely...
Yo', Harriet
Was that the sound of Harriet Beecher Stowe spinning in her graver? It was one thing when the San Francisco Mime Troupe nurtured Robert Alexander's agitprop theatre piece, I Ain't Yo' Uncle: The New Jack Revisionist Uncle Tom's Cabin, in 1990. But...