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. 27, No. 6, July-August

20 Questions
Your work is not frequently seen in the U.S. I've seen your production of Verdi's opera Falstaff at Brooklyn Academy of Music and your Elektra for the National Theater of Greece at City Center. Meanwhile, your reputation precedes you. [ILLUSTRATION...
A Gay Marine's Journey Home: A Crisis of Conscience in Iraq Becomes the Raw Material for 'The Eyes of Babylon'
WHEN I WAS WRITING THE EYES OF BABYLON, I had no idea I was writing a play. But that's what it turned out to be. To date I've performed the play around the U.S. and in Dublin, and it's scheduled to open Off Broadway this fall. Babylon was developed...
America's Last Taboo: Canvassing Unfamiliar Territory, a Playwright and Performer Learns That Class Can't Be Dismissed
Class Vklas\: one group of a usually society-wide grouping of people according to social status, political or economic similarities, or interests or ways of life in common. --Wehster's Third New International Dictionary INSTINCTIVELY SAID,...
Anatomy of an Experiment: When the Tectonic Team Returned to 'The Laramie Project,' the Docudrama's Sequel Became a Collective Creation Seen and Heard 'Round the World
It WAS MORE THAN 10 YEARS AGO THAT THE MEMBERS of the Tectonic Theater Project visited Wyoming, in the weeks and months after the murder of Matthew Shepard, to write The Laramie Project. We found a town devastated by the torture and murder of this...
At a Festival of Brooklyn Writers, There Will Be Blood
NEW YORK CITY: What better name for a festival of literature-to-stage adaptations than Bring a Weasel and a Pint of Your Own Blood? In the five-year-old program's early days, students who passed through Mac Wellman's MFA playwriting program at Brooklyn...
A True History of the Johnstown Flood: Goodman Theatre
Robert Falls, DIRECTION: We've had a long relationship with Rebecca Gilman, from whom we've commissioned at least a dozen plays--after August Wilson, she may be the most-produced writer at the Goodman. After Hurricane Katrina, Rebecca was mulling over...
Border Bill Outrage
TUCSON, ARIZ.: This past May, the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) reluctantly went ahead with a planned semi-annual meeting in Tucson--despite the controversial passing of SB1070, a bill signed into Arizona law that lets state police perform checks...
Craig Noel: 1915-2010
THERE ARE GIANTS in the sky," counsels Stephen Sondheim. On earth, sometimes, too. And occasionally the earth shrugs and even the giants disappear. One such man, the ineffable Craig Noel, after a lifetime of service to the art of the theatre, and...
Editor's Note
IT HAS BEEN MORE THAN 11 YEARS, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, since we lived through the dismay and heartbreak of Matthew Shepard's brutal murder in Laramie, Wyo., and the intense national soul-searching that followed. Has the intervening decade brought with...
June Havoc: 1912-2010
WHEN THE NEWS came that Miss June Havoc was coming to town as the new artistic director of the Repertory Theatre of New Orleans, the city's theatre community was abuzz. Was it really true that "Baby June," the near-legendary actress of stage and screen,...
Let There Be Light
"HOW DO YOU DO A PLAY ABOUT TORTURE," wonders playwright Sharr White, "that isn't torturous?" [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] White's answer to his own rhetorical question--the drama Sunlight, on the schedules of four U.S. theatres this season, including...
New Plays: Survivor or Lost? 5 Theatre Professionals React to TDF's 'Outrageous Fortune'
WHEN THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND, THE NEW York City--based service organization for the performing arts, issued its first full-fledged book at the beginning of this year--a wide-ranging study of new-play production practices in U.S. theatres, based on...
Regions of Honor
NATIONWIDE: New York City's big awards, including the Tonys, highlighted many shows with origins at far-flung professional theatres. A spate of awards shows in cities nationwide demonstrated a similar trend, honoring productions that either originated...
Shabby Chic: This Year's Humana Paired Old-Fashioned Plays with Experimental Ensembles
FROM AFAR, I HAD VIEWED THE HUMANA FEStival of New American Plays as a kind of godly celebrity, the kind with flawless skin and enviable style. Meeting Humana in person--that is, sporting a press badge, rubbing elbows with important theatremakers and...
Sit + Twit = Discount Ticket: A Chicago-Area Theatre Uses Social Media to Fill Those Last Few Free Seats
MAR 8 2:40PM Despite knowing 'breves like omg + jk + lol (and despite employing them in real, non-electro life) I don't know a damn thing about Twitter. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] MAR 8 3:30PM ... I mean I have Facebook. I e-mail, g-chat and...
Space Race in 4 States
BERKELEY, CALIF.: The first phase of California Shakespeare Theater's major renovation has been completed. The Berkeley troupe has raised 95 percent of its $8.2-million capital campaign goal for its environmentally correct artist and patron center,...
Stein's G.I.S in a Media Vortex
WHEN POOR DOG GROUP'S BREWSIE AND WILLIE hits Los Angeles on July 12, it will embody more than just the renegade bravado for which this young performance collective, founded by a group of CalArts graduates in 2008, has already gained international...
Temperamental Circles
NEW YORK CITY: Awards season swept through Gotham in May and June, spreading its beneficence on Broadway and Off. Though the Tonys were given out after this issue went to press, the regional Tony was announced months ahead, and this year it went to...
The Aliens
PLAYSCRIPT Annie Baker The Aliens Zooming In An interview with the playwright BY STUART MILLER [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It's not often that a playwright goes so quickly from unheard of--and unproduced--to getting as much attention as you...
The Future Is Immersive
KANSAS CITY, MO.: At USITT's golden-anniversary Conference & Stage Expo this past spring, human minds scrambled to keep up with dizzying spurts in technology as hundreds of exhibitors and dedicated techies touted their company's latest gizmos (A.C....
Tomorrow's Hit Musicals Now
EVANSTON, ILL.; WILLIAMS-TOWN, MASS.; GLENS FALLS, N.Y.; AND POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.: A surprising number of new musicals are being developed in U.S. theatres this summer. The American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.,...
To the Penthouse!
WHEN THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE Arts was established in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson gave a speech that is often resurrected and quoted: "Art is a nation's most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves, and...
When the Silhouettes Break
ONE MISPERCEPTION ABOUT visual artist Kara Walker is that she's stuck in a previous century. Her dislocated figures--room-sized tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes that alternately lull and startle us--are drawn from a format that was popular in...
William Kentridge Frame by Frame: The Celebrated South African Artist Animates an Opera and a Landmark Exhibition with His Fiercely Beautiful Images
TWO WEEKS BEFORE HIS DIRECTING DEBUT AT the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, William Kentridge is in a rehearsal room three stories underground working out a crazy-doctor episode in The Nose. And, in this scene at least, Dmitri Shostakovich's absurd...