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. 20, No. 7, September

A Time of Reinvention
What on earth is going on these days? In recent months, the National Endowment for the Arts has hired a development director; Mayor Bloomberg of New York has announced his intention to solve the city's fiscal crisis by raising charitable dollars from...
Blood Ties in the Underworld
Family reunions can seem like hell--so it's not surprising that, in her new play Eurydice, Sarah Ruhl chose to set kinship rekindling in the fiery depths. Well, Eurydice's milieu isn't hell exactly, but it is the ancient Greek underworld, and--as...
Casey Stangl One-Two Punch: In the Hands of a Minneapolis Director, New Work Delivers a Wallop
I'm going to need live snakes!" moaned playwright Carson Kreitzer when she recognized that a crucial turn of events in her newest play would render her chances at a fully staged production into a slippery pursuit. "I thought, 'If I run into an actress...
Dreamer from Cuba: For Pulitzer-Winner Nilo Cruz, Exile Is a Window into Hothouse Landscapes of the Imagination
SINCE TAKING THE FREEDOM FLIGHT TO MIAMI IN 1970 at the tender age of 9, Nilo Cruz has set foot in Fidel Castro's Cuba only once. It was 1979, and he was 19. At the time, the Cuban government allowed families to visit their relatives, so Cruz and his...
Editor's Note
Several times a year, American Theatre offers readers a theme issue, a package of feature material that examines a resonant topic in depth and from multiple angles. For an editor, the pleasures and challenges of theme issues are considerable--but let...
Head Games: Wilde's 1892 Salome, in a Wave of New Productions, Is a Rorschach Test for Artist
Oscar Wilde wrote it but never saw it. Sarah Bernhardt opted not to purchase it. Richard Strauss set it to music, "Bosie" turned it into English, Norma Desmond pushed herself over the edge adapting it, and Al Pacino can't get enough of it. Salome...
Highway Ulysses
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT Rinde Eckert is a critically renowned composer, writer, director, singer, actor and movement artist, celebrated for his remarkably flexible and inventive singing voice and electric physical presence. He conceives, creates, composes,...
How to Eat Yourself
"You can't eat yourself," said the late Peter Jeffries of the Royal Shakespeare Company. "Start with a hand or foot, maybe make it to your knee or just past a shoulder, but eating your-self is a self-limiting endeavor. It probably won't kill you."...
In Memoriam
Playwright Jack Gelber, who, at 26, penned the early Off-Broadway phenomenon The Connection, died in May at age 71. The Connection, an avant-garde piece proffering several levels of reality, was produced in 1959 by the Living Theatre, earning Gelber...
John Henry Redwood: 1942-2003
In the spring of 2003, the playwright John Henry Redwood had a fatal heart attack in his Philadelphia home. A prolific writer and actor, he had amassed a body of work that included performances in TV and film (Mr. Holland's Opus, Passion Fish), as...
Joseph Chaikin: 1935-2003
On Sept. 16, 2003, Joe Chaikin would have turned 68. It's 40 years since I met him. In September 1963, Joe's 28. I'm 27 and in grief over my mother's death. My ex-lover (male) is sleeping with my ex-fiancee, and I'm feeling painfully alone. I'm...
Legends at Home
Genesee, Wis.: So, when you imagine the heavenly host--from the seraphim on down--you always see the cherubs with the face of Alfred Lunt, right? If not, and you'd like to ogle some angels who have that likeness, you should pay a visit to Ten Chimneys,...
Love to Love You, Baby
TRUE LOVE HAS ALWAYS been difficult to find, whether in biblical times or in the modern age. Its discovery forces us to face some deceptively simple questions: Who am I? Where am I? What am I? "We spend our whole lives answering those questions, and...
Rina Yerushalmi: Ceremonies of War: An Israeli Director Finds Insights in an Ancient Epic
At the 2003 Lincoln Center Festival of the Arts, New Yorkers finally had the opportunity to see the work of one of Israel's most respected and innovative directors--Rina Yerushalmi. Widely I known in Europe as well as in her native country, Yerushalmi...
September Theater Almanac
100 YEARS AGO (1903): The William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre, in Berkeley, Calif., is dedicated with a staging of Aristophanes' The Birds, performed in the original Greek. Modeled on the stages in Pompeii, Epidaurus and other ancient sites, the...
Shape-Shifting for a Viable Future: TCG's National Conference Connects Theatre to a World in Transition
THE ENORMITY OF CHANGE--BOTH ONGOING CHANGE AND THAT ON THE HORIZON-reverberated throughout TCG's 14th biennial National Conference, held June 11-14 in Milwaukee, Wis. Over four days, the labyrinthine Milwaukee Repertory Theater (itself a physical...
Songs for Rachel Carson
NOTED SEATTLE COMPOSER and recording artist Robin Holcomb found her own way to honor the late Rachel Carson, a pioneer environmentalist famed for her landmark 1962 book about the dangers of pesticides, Silent Spring. Halcomb's new musical theatre piece,...
The Road Less Traveled: In a Town of Labyrinths and Legacies, the New Harmony Project Sets a Course for Utopia
"UTOPIAS ARE OFTEN ONLY PREMATURE TRUTHS," The 19th-century French poet and historian Alphonse de Lamartine once wrote. So it is perhaps no accident that the founding of one would-be Eden on the banks of Indiana's Wabash River, in the early 1800S,...
Twenty Questions
KATE MONSTER is currently appearing on Broadway in Avenue Q, the people-and-puppet musical that premiered last spring at New York's Vineyard Theatre (co-produced by the New Group). She answered these questions between facials and a manicure while checked...
What Really Happened?
Why bother? I sometimes ask myself, when I read a misrepresentation of the Performance Group's Dionysus in 69, like that in Rachel Shteir's "Stormy Weather" (April '03). But what happened or did not happen deserves to be reported accurately. Shteir...
What's in a Name?
Around the country: Not since the mad scramble for domain names on the Internet has there been such a rush to answer that most puzzling of questions: "Exactly what do we call ourselves?" But while Internet firms merely snatch up dot-com addresses for...
Who's Who? Hard to Tell at the PQ: A Global Vocabulary Emerges at the World's Most Prestigious Design Event
During World War I, Gertrude Stein, observing the camouflage of the various armies at the front, noted that the whole history of art could be seen in the patterns used by each adversary: Cultural identity was manifested through visual forms and color...