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. 8, October

Animal Acts for Changing Times: When Does the Non-Human Become More Than a Metaphor on Stage?
The fabulous frogs currently cavorting on the Lincoln Center Theater stage belong to a long line of theatrical animals that have delighted audiences since theatre began, momentarily distracting them from the antics of that most self-absorbed of animals,...
Anna Shapiro Putting It Together: Her Steppenwolf Specialties Are Actorly Insights and New-Play Savvy
Anna Shapiro still remembers what one of her Yale classmates from the early '90s jokingly called her: "The truck-stop waitress who will one day run American theatre." "I think I was the butchest person in the MFA program, which was also very associated...
Awards & Prizes
Awards have been flying thick and fast in the middle of the country in recent weeks. The Cleveland Theater Collective, a four-year-old organization that promotes professional theatre in northeast Ohio, distributed a bevy of achievement prizes at its...
Broadway on My Mind
ACROSS THE COUNTRY: Julie Andrews once warbled that the hills were alive with the sound of music. Forty years later, she points out that a certain, sometimes-glitzy, sometimes-grotty nook of New York City is vibrant with the same. Starting Oct. 19...
Creative Abrasion
As the economic pressures on theatres have increased--an increase that will be especially apparent in next month's American Theatre report "Theatre Facts 2003"--people are increasingly asking, "Will we ever get to a point where the artistic and the...
Dr. Freud, I Presume? A Pair of Piercing New Dramas Are Steeped in Freudian Thought
One Sigmund Freud is a young Austrian neurologist grappling emotionally with the recent death of his father and articulating his bold new theory of the Oedipal complex in a lecture to fellow physicians. The other Dr. Freud is the kindly dean of...
Entrances & Exits
As the new season gets under way, several new managing directors are taking the helms of theatres across the country. In New York City, Andrew Hamingson, who has spent the past 12 years at Manhattan Theatre Club, has moved to the managing director...
Fascinatin' Savages
NEW YORK CITY: Last July, some descendants of the Igorots of the Philippines who joined the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904 as living exhibits were refused entry visas to the U.S. for a centennial commemoration in Missouri. This denial was ironic, considering...
Festival Watch
Shakespeare tours aren't the only rage of the new fall season--festivals of international theatre fare are also making their presence felt in cities across the country. These are no longer strictly summer staples, as promulgated by New York City's...
Hot Seats and Safety Nets: A Mentorship Program Nurtures New Theatre Leaders
In the spring of 1999, TCG, with the support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, conducted a series of in-depth conversations among representative theatre leaders and managers to identify the major challenges and opportunities that the not-for-profit,...
It's a Mean, Mean, Mean, Mean World: Moliere's Cynical Classic the Miser Rides the Line between Hilarity and Tragedy
"Christ on a bike!" It's an absurdly profane invective, delivered by a character in fuchsia tights and lime-green boots carrying a bucket for a purse. But with that delirious pronouncement (and quite a few irreverent others, such as "Jesus on a...
La Jolla, Calif.: Behind the Doo-Wop
GIVEN THE VOGUE FOR COMMERCIAL, pop-band-songbook musicals (Mamma Mia!, Movin' Out, All Shook Up), a whiff of been-there-done-that might greet Jersey Boys, based on the story of the Four Seasons. The band, after all, sold 175 million records worldwide,...
New Brunswick, N.J.: Talking the Talk
"The aesthetics of today built on the aesthetics of yesterday"--that's how Crossroads Theatre artistic director Ricardo Khan describes History of the Word, a cross-cultural spoken-word performance that fuses hip-hop rhythms and original poetry with...
New York City; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; and Skokie, Ill.: Sturm and Twang
IT SOUNDS LIKE THE SETUP OF A JACKIE Mason joke: the one about the homesick Russian Jewish immigrant named Haskell who lands in Hamilton, Tex., in 1909. Why does he go there? Because there are already too many greenhorns on the Lower East Side of New...
October: Theatre Almanac
80 YEARS AGO (1924) Director Jose Quintero, who will found Circle in the Square Theatre and become the quintessential interpreter of Eugene O'Neill plays, is born in Panama City, Panama. Before his death in 1999, Quintero will win Tony awards for...
Out of Obscurity: Before A Raisin in the Sun, Socially Relevant Black Dramas Worth Revisiting
Lorraine Hansberry has been extolled as the playwright who opened the doors of contemporary theatre for African-American theatre artists. Her 1959 breakthrough drama A Raisin in the Sun, which won the New York Drama Critics Circle award, shattered...
Portland, Maine: Portland Exposure
IT'S BECOME TRADITIONAL FOR NEW England playwrights to write about the repressed lives of New Englanders, whether it's Eugene O'Neill setting The Oresteia in Massachusetts, or Thornton Wilder observing the dead wryly lamenting the blindness of the...
Ron Milner: 1938-2004
My first memory of Ron Milner dates to early 1960, during a touring production of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun at Detroit's Cass Theater. We must have known each other prior to that time because we both worked as messengers at the city's...
TCG Board Adds 7 Members
SEVEN NEW BOARD MEMBERS HAVE BEEN elected to serve four-year terms on the TCG's board of directors: Carlyle Brown is a Minneapolis-based writer/performer whose plays include The African Company Presents Richard III, The Little Tommy Parker Celebrated...
The Art Guy: BAM's Guru Joseph V. Melillo Presides over Wave after Wave of Genre-Defying Theatre
tHE FLEMISH THEATRE DIRECTOR JAN LAUWERS WAS beside himself with worry. In November 2001, a short two months after the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City, his nihilistic version of King Lear was bound for the Brooklyn Academy of Music as...
The Spell of History: How Shakespeare's War-Soaked 'Tetralogies'-In 3 Epic Stagings-Are Shedding New Light on Our Troubled Times
interviews with SCOTT KAISER, LIBBY APPEL, BARBARA GAINES and OSKAR EUSTIS History often seems to consist of nothing much more than one horrid catastrophe following another. Admittedly, this appears to be a terribly pessimistic viewpoint--so politicians,...
Twelve Artists Named for Career Development Program
Twelve artists from around the country have been selected to participate in the latest round of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program, which benefits talented early-career stage directors and designers seeking a career in America's not-for-profit...
Twenty Questions
Hairspray's choreographer JERRY MITCHELL spends this month putting the Old Globe of San Diego's Broadway-bound musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels through its paces. He may be best known for Broadway Bares, an annual striptease extravaganza that raises...
What's on Your: Can't-Miss List in 2004-05?
Back by popular demand: For a second year, American Theatre asked more than 50 theatre professionals across the U.S. to tell us what--other than their own work or work at their theatres--they were most looking forward to this season. Here, running...
Wide-Opening Spaces
BOSTON; CHARLOTTE, N.C.; LEXINGTON, N.Y.; LOS ANGELES; PROVINCETOWN, MASS.; and NEW YORK CITY: Two planks and a passion? That expression is so yesterday. The future of the theatre rests on the eruption of performing arts facilities that are designed...
You Can Go 'Home' Again: How Samm-Art Williams Finally Got the Collaborator-And the Musical-He Always Envisioned
When Samm-Art Williams's comedy Home debuted in 1979, no one saw it as anything but a complete, fully rendered drama. The play was one in a series of high-profile successes for the Negro Ensemble Company. Audiences adored the homespun southern charm...