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. 21, No. 9, November

6 Theatre/artist Collaborations Earn Grant Support
Six theatre companies and more than 15 artists have been awarded a total of $33,000 in the latest round of Extended Collaboration Grants, supported by MetLife Foundation. Established in 1989, this semiannual award allows theatre companies to offer...
A Girl's Own Story: A Pair of Variations on A Little Princess Flavor the Season with British Indominability
They say the sun never sets on the British Empire--but if it is going to set, the event certainly won't be recorded as a fatality of the 2004-05 season. This theatrical year has greeted not one but two high-powered, ostensibly Broadway-bound musicals...
Arlington, Va: From Ear to Eternity
LET'S JUST GET THAT NAGGING QUESTION out of the way: In the words of playwright/book writer John Strand, there will be "No sliced ears!" on stage in The Highest Yellow, the new musical about oft-unhinged painter Vincent van Gogh. Admittedly, Strand's...
Awards & Prizes
Several theatrical luminaries were feted at the dance world's Bessie Awards--which honor dance and performance--presented jointly by Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project and the Joyce Theater in September. British director Deborah Warner took the...
Boston: Cuban Currents
CUBAN-AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHT/performer Melinda Lopez may have grown up in the chill winds of New England snow and Yankee stoicism, but every so often the warm breezes of her parents' native country blew through her life. She vividly recalls family events...
Dallas and Los Angeles: A Poet for Dark Times
The short, tortured life of playwright Sarah Kane, who committed suicide at 28 in 1999, may someday make a great play, but until then, her gut-wrenching, visceral work will continue to speak for itself--more often in Europe, it turns out, than in the...
Editor's Note
When I interviewed John Patrick Shanley in 1988 for London's Tatler magazine, on the occasion of his Oscar nomination for the screenplay of Moonstruck, he had just blown $700 of what he called "my astronomical fee" for that Hollywood writing job on...
Entrances & Exits
The 12-year-old Aurora Theatre Company of Berkeley, Calif., launched its 2004-05 season with a new leadership team: artistic director Tom Ross and managing director Sandra Weingart. Ross, who has been associated with the theatre (most recently as producing...
Is There a Dramaturg in the House? Should There Be? Dramaturgs and Playwrights Hash out What They like and Don't like about the New-Play Development Process
Dramaturgs and playwrights. Playwrights and dramaturgs. How do they work together? Do they enjoy working together? And what does it achieve? Discussions like these can tend toward the contentious. Certainly Alec Harvey, theatre and entertainment...
Jerry Turner: 1927-2004
Jerry Turner was known for his intellect and conscience, his passion for Ibsen and Strindberg, and his storytelling--instead of giving a stage direction, he often told the actor a story and let him figure out what it meant. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]...
Minority Report
PHILADELPHIA AND COSTA MESA, CALIF.: One of the country's foremost black theatres on the East Coast has scaled back its operations this season, while a major regional theatre in California has shut down a festival exclusively devoted to Latino playwrights....
New York City: Rosebud Was a Sled
TWO OF THE BEST PLAYS FROM THE 2004 Edinburgh Fringe Festival come to New York this month, Nov. 5-9, for an Off-Broadway run at the Michael Schimmel Theater at Pace University. Rosebud: The Lives of Orson Welles, by Mark Jenkins, and Sisters, Such...
November: Theatre Almanac
115 YEARS AGO (1889) Playwright George S. Kaufman is born in Pittsburgh, Pa. Kaufman goes on to write Dinner at Eight and The Man Who Came to Dinner, as well as winning Pulitzers for You Can't Take It with You and Of Thee I Sing. 70 YEARS AGO...
Philadelphia: Suspicious Characters?
Raj, an Indian doctor with dark skin and a propensity for foreign travel, and Susan, his Jewish girlfriend, are stopped at an airport and interrogated. The event--not difficult to imagine in our post-9/11 world--resonates through their relationship...
Saffron Nightmares: In Gujarat, Indian Theatre Artists Face Death Threats, House Arrest and Violence. South Asians in the U.S. Are Feeling the Heat of Anti-Muslim Fundamentalism, Too
WHILE 'BOMBAY DREAMS' CAPTIVATES THE AMERICAN theatregoing public on Broadway, the lives of some performing artists in India have more closely resembled a nightmare. Internationally acclaimed actress, dancer and choreographer Mallika Sarabhai never...
Singing in the Rain: Theatres Respond to Uncertain Weather with Bright New Ideas
IT CERTAINLY WASN'T THE BEST OF TIMES; but then, it wasn't the worst of times either. That's the impression one might get when sifting through tables and charts in Theatre Facts 2003, the latest installment in TCG's annual survey of the financial...
Target: Younger Audiences
I'm about to say something not revolutionary: We need to tap into a younger theatregoing audience if this art form is to survive. Great, so now that it's been said, what exactly does it mean? And more important, how the hell do we do that? I've...
TCG/ITI Travel Grants Send Artists to Bulgaria, Bosnia and Beyond
Three theatre companies and five independent theatre professionals are traveling to or from countries such as Russia, Bulgaria and Hungary with support they have received from the latest round of TCG/ITI Travel Grants, funded by the Trust for Mutual...
The Clean House
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT Sarah Ruhl's plays include The Clean House (Susan Smith Blackburn Award, 2004), Melancholy Play, Eurydice, Late: a cowboy song, Orlando and Passion Play. Recent projects include The Clean House at Yale Repertory Theatre, directed...
The Entrepreneur's Lament
As Ben Pesner's coverage of our annual fiscal survey (page 37) amply demonstrates, the theatre field has become immensely creative and imaginative in developing and maximizing earned revenue streams. The great majority of theatres in this country do...
The Evolution of John Patrick Shanley: From 'Danny' to 'Doubt,' the Bronx to Brooklyn Heights, the Playwright Contemplates a Fate He Never Envisioned
John Patrick Shanley's Bronx characters don't sidle up and ask--they demand to be seen and heard. Saying exactly what they feel, almost without appearing to think about it, they're posturing and naked at once, far-fetched, mercurial and profane, and...
The Follies of Chinese Dissident Politics: Theatre Is One Bastion China's Communist Guardians Are Unwilling to Relinquish
ONE OF THE BASIC CONTRADICTIONS OF MY LIFE IS THAT AS my theatre struggles with the fast, changing realities of China, my plays have to be produced in an environment that is closely guarded by my government. That is the source of my life's frustrations....
Twenty Questions: Polly Carl, the Producing Artistic Director of the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, Produces the Center's Annual PlayLabs Festival and Co-Produces Three to Five Shows per Year in Collaboration with Area Theatre Companies
Everybody has a new-play development program. What makes yours different? A lot of times theatres use new-play programs to test plays and decide if the audience will like them or not. That's an old way to create art. I feel nervous about that, but...
Witold You So
LUBLIN, POLAND; NEW HAVEN, CONN.; AND NEW YORK CITY: It's definitely no ferdydurke. Eastern European theatre enthusiasts have gone gaga over early Polish avant-gardists with well-nigh unpronounceable surnames. In New York City, translator Daniel Gerould...