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. 15, No. 7, September

Amy Freed on Desirability
A playwright gets permission to keep going You might peg Amy Freed - a tall, willowy, blue-eyed blonde with a knockout California smile and murderous cheekbones that belie her late-thirty-something years - as an actress. You'd be right - she cut her...
...And an Artist Is an Artist Is an Artist
I agree with the headline of the article signed by certain members of New Dramatists ("An Author Is an Author Is an Author," July/Aug. '98). But remember, in the Copyright Act only one word - author - is used for anyone who creates copyrightable expression....
Attack Mode
May and June were difficult months for the arts community. After Manhattan Theatre Club held readings of a new Terrence McNally play, the New York Post printed second-hand accounts of the work, describing it as the story of a gay Jesus figure who indulges...
Betty Comden: That Ol'zappo Punch
The female half of musical theatre's most prolific writing team still gets carried away The setting is a grungy Theater Row casting office in 1938. Lyricist and librettist Betty Comden, a shy 21-year-old New York University student, stands in line,...
Carey Perloff, Heather Kitchen and Melissa Smith: ACT's Three Sisters
A powerful San Francisco triumverate challenges the status quo American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, it must be said, was a definitively male institution before Carey Perloff took the helm in 1992. In the first 25 years of the company's history,...
Caro Newling: Industrial Light and Magic
The executive producer of London's Donmar Warehouse flexes her artistic muscle You don't expect someone with a marketing background to point out with evident pride that the word "theatre" doesn't actually appear anywhere outside the building where she...
Five Lesbian Brothers: No Whining!
This queer quartet boldly goes where no man has gone before A middle-aged sub-urban woman was one of the first to pipe up during an after-play discussion of The Secretaries at the New York Theater Workshop in 1994. "Thank you," she cooed to the Five...
Frances Sternhagen: A Question of Age
The Tony-winning actress broaches a touchy subject The tape recorder is running, but Frances Sternhagen and I are contending with an enormous bee that, on this hot spring day, has impudently buzzed into the actress's New Rochelle, N.Y., home. The bee's...
Gender, Creativity & Power
Frank talk from seven accomplished directors on a touchy topic: Is directing different for men and women? In Rebecca Daniels's new book Women Stage Directors Speak (McFarland & Co.), 35 well-known women directors working in the American theatre...
How Now, Chairman Mao?
While playwright Chay Yew may prize his own "total lack of political correctness," the political timing of his new play Red - which debuts this month at Seattle's Intiman Theatre - couldn't be more correct. Red revolves around a Chinese member of the...
Jane Alexander: She Stoops to Conquer
The former NEA chairman revisits the creative life Bloodied - but defiantly unbowed - from her four years as the embattled chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Jane Alexander returned to Broadway this year. "After being away from theatre...
Karen TenEyck: A Surreal Eye
An innovative designer pushes the technological envelope Well, I'm not a technophobe - that's for sure," declares scenic designer Karen TenEyck. Indeed, she's fascinated by the prospect of bringing virtual and theatrical worlds together. Best known...
Lillian Garrett-Groag: Playing with Fire
A California playwright probes politics in her magical new work I'm an immigrant in a country of immigrants," begins Lise, the central character in The Magic Fire, a new play by Los Angeles-based actress, director and playwright Lillian Garrett-Groag....
Molly Smith: Intuition and Intellect
Ms. Smith goes to Washington, and brings a new aesthetic to town Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage, founded by Zelda Fichandler in 1950, is staking its 21st-century future on a 46-year-old director with a reputation for clear-sighted leadership and bold...
Naomi Iizuka: Raising the Stakes
A young playwright mixes the lofty with the lowly There aren't many young playwrights who name the Roman poet Catullus as one of their literary inspirations, along with Maria Irene Fornes and Adele Edling Shank. But for rising dramatist Naomi Iizuka,...
Ruby Dee: The Power of Words
The esteemed actress mines theatrical riches with a new book Ruby Dee adores words. The way they sound, their dynamics - words carefully, lovingly chosen. You can hear it in her voice: throaty, full of life. "I'd like to be known as one who appreciated...
Ruth Maleczech: Her Life in Art
The doyenne of Mabou Mines goes her own way In all of New York there is only one actor whom I blindly follow wherever she performs: Ruth Maleczech. That's because I'm always surprised. One evening she is Lear, an imperious Southern matriarch screaming...
Sources of Inspiration
Where do plays came from? Seven writers peer into their own psyches for an answer In November 1997, as part of the Women's Project of New York's "Women in Theatre: Mapping the Sources of Power" conference, seven playwrights - Maria Irene Fornes, Wendy...
Sue Frost, Vicki Nolan & Laura Penn: Top Girls
Three managers talk about work, power and prowess There's a widely held perception that women are better represented as administrative leaders than in any other capacity in the professional American theatre. Is the perception accurate? And if so, why?...
Tension in the Kitchen
An interview with the playwright by Mame Hunt Let's break the ice with a few Vanity Fair questions. What figure in history do you most identify with? Richard Nixon, mostly because of the enemies list. And picking partners with substance abuse problems....
The Chemistry of Change
The Characters Lee, 50's, the matriarch. Vain and self-possessed, glamorous. Corlis, 39, Lee's daughter. Plain, but attractive, intelligent and controlling. Dixon, 48, Lee's sister. Baron, 40, Lee's son. Charming, dissolute, an alcoholic. Farley,...
The Possession of Julie Taymor
The project of a lifetime pushes a prodigious artist to new levels of accomplishment Writing about Julie Taymor should be easy, says the choreographer Garth Fagan. "Just start with genius, end with genius and make sure all the words in between are genius."...
Thulani Davis: Keeping It Real
Her latest project mixes Southern languor with scholarly rigor Some people have hot karma - I'm nor that kind of person," Thulani Davis will tell you. But for the theatre writer and novelist, the past year has encompassed the premiere in Chicago of...
Tina Landau: The Rest Is Metaphor
The director and playwright discovers the merits of storytelling As a proponent of the performance technique known as Viewpoints and in her boldly experimental productions, Tina Landau has revealed herself to be one of those rare theatre artists who...
Uta Hagen: In Praise of Common Sense
The godmother of contemporary acting is still a rebel after all these years Even on the telephone, Uta Hagen makes a grand entrance. "I am so happy," she says, in that distinctive wood-smoked voice of hers. "I am so incredibly happy." Here she is,...
Vicky Boone: Frontera Spirit
From Boston to Austin, an artistic director only wants to do the impossible Southern." "Small town." "Kind of a libertarian." "A bit of a spy." That's how Vicky Boone, artistic director of Austin's Frontera @ Hyde Park Theater, describes herself. They...
Women's Work: White Gloves or Bare Hands?
Why is it, playwright TINA HOWE wonders out loud before an audience of women, that men can write with knuckles bared but women have to pull their punches? When my friend, Honor Moore - the poet, biographer and feminist - produced my first play, The...