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. 11, No. 1, January

All in the Interactive Family
In his latest sound-and-light, multimedia stage extravaganza, director George Coates turns his well-honed use of cutting-edge, computer-animated video technology to a serious subject: the impact of two-way, interactive TV on family privacy and social...
Amy Hill: A Double Agent with Personalities to Spare
As Amy Hill explains it, the Japanese language uses deep feeling to slice through contradictions. Her Japanese dictionary defines the word "shibui," for instance, as sulen; an astringent; tasty; a trained voice.... "Hear the contradictions?" she asks...
Andrei Serban: Educating Prosperos
Andrei Serban, looking remarkably youthful at 50 in his black jeans and crewneck sweater, darts out of his office at Columbia University, where a year-and-a-half ago he was hired as head of the Oscar Hammerstein Center for Theatre Arts. Thin, edgy, sporting...
Beneath the Plumage
The Tale of the Green Bird is the most daring play that ever issued from my inkwell," declared Carlo Gozzi, the 18th-century Italian fabulist. "Daring" is a relative term, of course. But when the dizzyingly original Gozzi claims something as his most...
Bill Womack: A Trustee First
Bill Womack is used to being a "first." As a person of color in the largely white profession of child psychiatry, he's accustomed to breaking new ground. Still, he wasn't quite prepared for the overwhelming isolation he felt when he joined the board...
Dancing with Diablo: An International Education in Collaboration
"Here's how you meet Diablomundo," rumbles cultural impresario Philip Arnoult of Baltimore Theatre Project,proffering a small brown cup of murky leaves penetrated by a delicately detailed silver straw. A tentative sip draws a dose of pungent South American...
Dickenz in the 'Hood
When you rip your heart out of your chest in the Fichandler Theatre at Arena Stage, you don't just yank it out and drop it on the bed--especially if you are the ghost of Jacob Marley and you've been dead for seven years, and it's Christmas Eve. And even...
Elizabeth Smith: Articulating the Actor
George Bernard Shaw once wrote of Henry Higgins in Pygmalion, "The reformer we need most today is an energetic phonetic enthusiast: that is why I have made such a one the hero of a popular play." Today, Shaw's hero could easily be Elizabeth Smith. For...
Jewel Walker: Body Talk
The 40-odd students in the professional theatre training program at the University of Delaware are sprawled across the floor of what was once a women's gym, waiting to begin the daily ritual of their group warmup. It's 9:00 a.m. on a chilly November...
Kiss of the Spider Woman
In some sports and intellectual pursuits, results are evaluated both by the success of the final product and the "degree of difficulty" of the attempt. By this system, the figure skater, gymnast or test-taker gets a better grade for doing a harder thing--even...
NEA Emerges Intact: Congressional Process Is a Tortuous Path
The months of debate, the annual attempt by Sen. Jesses Helms (R-N.C.) to defund the agency, and a weeks-long delay in resolving Western land grazing rights may have seemed like deja vu, but they were in fact the elements of this year's federal arts...
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
No Shakespeare play has been subjected to so furious, sharply divided and sustained debate over its basic merit as Timon of Athens. The play is seldom produced, in part because it seems unfinished. It lacks Shakespeare's usual consistency of poetic genius,...
Roger Rueff: Oil Engineer with a Bug
The rise of 36-year-old Roger Rueff in the theatre world is not remotely connected with any of the usual points on the map of an American Playwright's Progress. No Yale, no Humana Festival, no Mark Taper Forum or O'Neill National Playwrights Conference...
Silence, Cunning, Exile
DONALD: The young Thomas Wolfe. BERYL: The infant Thomas Wolfe. FRANK: Don't you start! BERYL: I'm not the one who started. SUZIE: I'd like to know what it means. Pause. About the Play Silence, Cunning, Exile was developed, in part, at the Sundance...
Suzan Zeder: Welcome to the Real World
"My belief is that the most neglected writer's tool in many curriculums is the writer," playwright Suzan Zeder says emphatically. "We talk about craft and we talk about structure and we deal with all these kinds of externals. But just as an actor has...
The Collapse of Marxism: ATL's Classics in Context Festival Examines a Not-Enough-Distant Past
A classic, to hear Mark Twain tell it, is something everyone praises, but nobody reads. In a theatrical context, maybe that would become--nobody produces. At Actors Theatre of Louisville each year, scholars (some travel-weary, some eager, some with the...
The Music of Term Papers
Many of the undergraduates who study theatre and film with me in the Bronx hold badly paid jobs all day. They take evening and Saturday courses. In high school they were steered through--indoctrinated into--novels, plays and poems but do not look back...
The Pickles Take over the Circus
Can you imagine it? You're out on a bus-and-truck tour and you get a phone call from the president of your board. "We're declaring bankruptcy," he says. "Pull up your stakes and come home." This was the scenario that confronted the 21 members of San...
What Is Performance Studies? NYU and Northwestern Define an Elusive Field
Performance studies is the ideal field of study for the intellectually promiscuous. In what other academic program can you research the death rituals of the Yanomamo tribe, compare them to the construction of the self in a Jane Fonda exercise video,...
What Makes a Manager?
It's a familiar request. A board member or patron of the theatre calls to ask a favor: "Would you take a few minutes to talk with my daughter? She's just out of college and is interested in theatre management." Yikes! You'd think after 20 years of working...