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. 6, July-August

A Dream of Becoming
In August, my aunt gives me a key chain with a prayer for travelers on it. The prayer beckons peace, safe return--simple things anyone would want when leaving home on a journey. At the time, I don't know I am going anywhere. A couple of weeks later...
A Kingdom for a Concept: How to Reimagine Shakespeare for a New Millennium? Three Companies Craft Their Own Approaches
A Bollywood-style Anthony and Cleopatra. A fin-de-siecle Vienna King Lear. Orson Welles's storied voodoo Macbeth. Ever since the Lord Chamberlain's Men staged The Merry Wives of Windsor as a medieval mystery play--okay, we made that one up--directors...
Allison Narver: Filling the Empty Space; a Jazzily Eclectic Director Keeps a Feisty Theatre Going through Challenging Times
When Allison Narver bid her hometown goodbye and headed for the Yale Drama School graduate directing program, it was unclear if Seattle had lost her talents to the wider world. Later, when the post-graduate Narver became "house director" of the blockbuster...
A Portland Primer: Some Things about a Maverick City That Chris Coleman Probably Knows by Now
A few things you need to know before moving to Portland to take over a theatre company: * It's the biggest city in OR-e-gun, not in Or-y-GONE. * It isn't the place with lobster, it's the one with Dungeness crab. * If you can't stand the rain,...
Arts Advocates Converge on Washington
ON MARCH 25 AND 26, REPRESENTATIVES of TCG and other arts advocates converged in Washington, D.C., for Arts Advocacy Day--an annual event that, despite its name, takes place over 48 hours. This year, the first day-long session was devoted to arts-advocacy...
A Sampler from the World Stage
Halifax, Canada WORLD THEATRE CONGRESS AND FESTIVAL: Looking for a production that's truly international an a high-wire act? Try this: Theatre Project of Estonia's award-winning Niagaara, a play written by a Peruvian about a Frenchman who was the...
A Show of Hands: Deaf West Signs and Sings Its 'Big River' to Broadway
Any empty space can be a stage, director Peter Brook A famously declared. Stripped of star turns and special effects, the theatre at its core relies on artists and audiences joining together in a game of make-believe. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ...
A Sort of Religion: Michael Chekhov's Classic Book on Acting Spurs a Revival of His Provocative Technique
TO THE ACTOR: ON THE TECHNIQUE OF ACTING by Michael Chekhov, with a foreword by Simon Callow. Routledge, New York. 288 pp, $19.95 cloth. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] FIFTY YEARS AGO I READ A FASCINATING book about acting by Michael Chekhov. I...
Awards & Prizes
John Guare and Craig Lucas earned this year's PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Awards for Drama. Guare, who was named a master American dramatist, will receive a specially commissioned artwork and Lucas, honored as a mid-career playwright, a $5,000 stipend....
Broadway Wigs out for Hairspray
In a sweep that unleashed the punster in headline writers everywhere ("Good 'Hair' Day!" exulted one New York tabloid), the exuberant, candy-colored musical Hairspray--the hit stage adaptation of John Waters's subversive 1988 film comedy--racked up...
Columbia, S.C.: The Vine That Ate the South
FIGHTING THE CIVIL WAR AIN'T what it used to be. By the time he shoots out his nephew's eye, Zeb Tillman has been laying out in the mud for days, eating gray meat and dodging a TV news crew while waiting to ambush the Union infantry. He'd gladly die...
Dallas Gets the Koolhaas Touch
Dallas: Stage sets are like architecture--they're architecture that tours, architecture that disappears like an illusion. And world-renowned architects have been trying their hand at those illusions lately. Dutch designer-guru Rem Koolhaas was picked...
Entrances & Exits
Proclaiming himself "very proud of what we've been able to achieve at the O'Neill over the past several years," Eugene O'Neill The ater Center executive director Howard Sherman announced that he will resign the position he has held for the past three...
Facing the Unknown
This past spring, I had the pleasure of teaching a graduate seminar in arts-management issues at Columbia University. The students, drawn from the graduate programs in administration, directing, dramaturgy and playwriting, were a fantastic group. Our...
From Sea to Shining Sea
New York isn't the only American city to come down with a spring fever passion for awards; Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., fell under the spell of the statues as well, with major awards events in each city. For complete listings...
Grants Totaling $1.4 Million Benefit 22 Theatres
Twenty-two theatres have been selected to participate in the third round of the New Generations Program, a grant initiative cooperatively designed by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and TCG. In the first three...
Honoring the American Dream: Baseball and Hairspray Rack Up the Pre-Tony Awards in New York City
The whirlwind of New York's 2003 awards season--which began in early May with the Off-Broadway Lucille Lortel Awards and culminated in early June with Broadway's Tony festivities--reads like a love letter to classic Americana, from rock-and-roll, to...
I Am a Witness
I am a Witness. I was born in 1970, not 1960. I have a grandmother who grew up in a Segregated American South with a sixth-grade education. I have never seen the words "Whites Only" over a Bathroom Door or a Water Fountain. I have never had to eat...
In Search of the Unbearable
I went to visit the Occupied Territories, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the refugee camps and Gaza; I went because I am an American and a Jew and a playwright. I carried with me as reading material the recently published volume of Gershom Scholem's...
July/August on Stage
These schedules are for TCG constituent theatres nationwide. For the most up-to-date information on monthly schedules, visit our website at www.tcg.org. Alabama ALABAMA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, Montgomery, (800) 841-4273, www.asf.net Festival...
July/August Theatre Almanac
90 YEARS AGO (1913) Walter Kerr is born in Evanston, III. He will go on to become the theatre critic for Commonweal, the New York Herald-Tribune and the New York Times, and will win the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. 75 YEARS AGO (1928) The...
Last Tuesday
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT Donald Margulies is the author of many plays, including Dinner with Friends, Collected Stories, The Model Apartment, Sight Unseen (originally published in American Theatre in November 1992) and The Loman Family Picnic. His plays...
Lives I Could Not Have Led
When Naomi Wallace asked me to go with a delegation of American playwrights to meet with Palestinian theatre artists living and working under Israeli occupation--the longest military occupation of one people by another in modern history--my first reaction...
Location, Location, Location: Studio Arena Theatre Puts Buffalo, N.Y., in the Limelight
If you wanted to pick an American city to celebrate on stage, you might not, perhaps, think immediately of Buffalo, N.Y. Nicknamed "The Queen City," it was once one of the wealthiest communities in the United States--a center of industry, shipping...
M-60 Shells by the Seashore
There are plenty of things I'm scared of--heights and the dark--but when I was invited on the trip to Palestine my answer without pause was a resolute "YES!" And since we never climbed mountains or traipsed through the night woods, I was rarely afraid--but...
On the Road to Palestine: Six American Playwrights Come upon the Checkpoints-Both Military and Metaphorical-That Define the Daily Realities of Palestinian Life
In June 2002, playwright Naomi Wallace traveled with British theatre director David Gothard to the Middle East. They met with Palestinian theatre artists in the Occupied Territories and set up meetings for a second trip that Wallace had, for years,...
Reno, Nev.: Hearts and Letters
AMIGAS AT FIRST SEEMS LIKE A closet drama--an epistolary piece meant to be read rather than staged. As you watch it, however, the two-hander seizes you with its poetry, its lament for a lost home-land and its cry for social justice. Written by the...
Risky Business: Nicholas Hytner Sets the National on an Adventurous Course
Pundits eager to compare the Royal National Theatre regime of Trevor Nunn that has just ended with the still-aborning one of Nicholas Hytner--the latter took the company's reins in hand this past April--need look no further than the two directors'...
The Naked Truth: Onstage Nudity Strips the Magic from Theatre, a Critic Argues
You know what would really get me excited? If I knew that I never had to see another naked actor on stage. It's not that I'm a prude or particularly puritanical. I know that the human body can be beautiful or hideous and perform all manner of erotic...
The Play's the Thing
In this issue, American Theatre publishes its 100th and 101st complete play scripts--and to mark the occasion, we've compiled a full rundown of the plays the magazine has made available to readers over the past 18 years. It's a remarkable list, encompassing...
The Retreating World
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT Naomi Wallace is the recipient of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and an OBIE Award, and was a 1999 MacArthur Fellow. Her other plays include In the Heart of America (originally published in American Theatre in March 1995) and...
The Young Man from Atlanta: Chris Coleman Went West, All Right-And Shouldered the Job of Transforming Portland's Flagship Theatre
EDITOR'S NOTE: Nobody could be sure it was a marriage made in heaven. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The groom was a brash and energetic 38-year-old actor-turned-director who had grown up in the Deep South. He'd spent most of his career running Actor's...
Twenty Questions: Jack O'Brien, Artistic Director of San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, Will Stage the National Tour of Broadway's Hairspray, and Henry IV, with Kevin Kline, for Lincoln Center Theater in Fall 2003
What do you always have with you when you direct a new show? A sense of humor. What's the best part of being a director? Not having to worry about how you look all the time. What's the worst part? Realizing that even if the day goes...
Washington, D.C.: When We Ghosts Reawaken
It's reductive to say that Jane Alexander is once again flinging herself into the bitter cultural wars over indecency in the arts--but there's no question that the four bruising years she spent as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts lend...
We Are Also Each Other
"Politics is not separate from lived experience or the imaginary world of what is possible," writes historian Robin D. G. Kelley in his book Race Rebels. And it was this very idea of interconnectedness and imagination that led me to envision making...
When Bad Things Happen: A Conversation between Donald Margulies and Naomi Wallace
Margulies and Wallace spoke via telephone in May. He was in rehearsals in Costa Mesa, Calif., and she was at home near Leeds, three hours north of London. NAOMI WALLACE: Do you consider yourself a political artist? DONALD MARGULIES: I guess I...