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. 5, May-June

20 Questions
Why did you decide to revisit Family Week? I didn't decide, really. I was blessed that Jonathan Demme was interested in it since he saw it 10 years ago. I have to give the credit to him for getting this play out of the trunk--or the coffin, or wherever...
A Flower in Havana: Flora Lauten and Cuba's Teatro Buendia Make Their U.S. Debut
Our experiences of displacement, insecurity, mobility and difference are framed within increasingly globalized cultural images of security, prosperity, identify and idealized or normalized behaviors. --Raquel Carrio, Teatro Buendia's dramaturg,...
A Freshly Pressed 'Zoot Suit': After 30 Years, Luis Valdez's Classic Gets a Mexican Homecoming
IN 1978, LUIS VALDEZ'S ZOOT SUIT RAN FOR 11 months in Los Angeles, then hopped the continent for a brief Broadway run before being turned into a 1981 film. On April 29, 2010, the best known and most commercially successful play of Chicano theatre finally...
Bogota and Beyond
MY FIRST TRUE SPARK OF INTEREST IN COLOMBIA was inspired by the founder of Cabellos Hair Salon in New York, who talks passionately about the beauty and cultural richness of his native land. Until hearing his stories, I hadn't thought much about Colombia....
Brave Newt World
ITS TITLE AND PLOTLINE MAKE WAR WITH THE Newts sound like a 1950s B-movie. But Karel Capek's 1936 novel about a race of sentient lizards turning on the humans who have exploited them is considered by his fellow Czechs to be Capek's masterpiece (he's...
Calderon to the Fore: The Writer-Director Is a Leading Voice of Chile's New Generation
"A GREAT AUDIENCE IN A GREAT VENUE-it was a thrill to show our work at REDCAT," remarks Guillermo Calderon of the Los Angeles stop on Teatro en el Blanco's recent U.S. tour of his play Diciembre. "We performed days after the Wooster Group, so it was...
Climb Every Mountain
IT'S BEEN A LONG JOURNEY UP THE MOUNTAIN for the creative team behind the new musical The Burnt Part Boys, which is being presented as' a first-tame co-production between two nonprofit Off-Broadway theatres, the Vineyard Theatre and Playwrights Horizons,...
Coming Full Cycle: West Coast Theatres Entice Theatregoers with Bike Nights
WOMAN NEEDS A MAN LIKE A FISH NEEDS A bicycle. Or so proclaimed feminists in the 1970s. Consider what Susan B. Anthony said of two-wheeled vehicles 74 years earlier: In 1896 the civil rights leader declared, "The bicycle has done more for the emancipation...
Controversy in Caracas
CARACAS, VENEZUELA: On March 7, tear gas was lobbed into the dressing-room area in the middle of the Sunday evening performance of Palo de Agua's production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Aula Magna Theatre, located at the Central University of Venezuela....
Counting the Cost: Angelenos and Bolivianos Dramatize Casualties of the Drug War
IN THE PRADO IN LA PAZ, BOLIVIA, A STAGE IS SET with 13 pristine American flags behind a table and a dais. Given the rocky relations between the neoliberal U.S. and the proudly leftist government of President Evo Morales, this unlikely image confounds...
Excavating an American Cafe: American Conservatory Theater and San Francisco Ballet Dance around History in the Tosca Project
IT'S THE WAY THE SUNLIGHT SLANTS ACROSS the bartop, bracketed by kettle-like steel vintage espresso machines at either end. It's the way the light catches on tumblers smudged with fingerprints and deepens in the red vinyl booths In the back room, still...
Forging Connections in a Fragmented Hemisphere: Searching for Latin American Theatre at International Festivals Can Mean Navigating an Intricate Maze
IN attempting to map out what is happening in Latin American theatre--and in so doing, interrogate and unravel the diverse, necessary roles that a handful of U.S. theatre companies and nonprofit organizations are playing in reimagining and interacting...
High Intensity: The Best of Today's Bulgarian Theatre Raises the Stakes of Familiar Texts
A PRIM FELLOW IN DRESS CLOTHES AND WHITE gloves recites to us the beginnings of a story about reclusive Parisian Jonathan Noel, a bank employee so dependent on monotony that he is unhinged by the appearance of a pigeon on his doorstep. But wait--our...
Hitting It out of the Park
DO YOU HATE MUSICALS? Die-hard Red Sox fans do--for historic reasons. Sports history buffs know that 1919 Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in order to fund the Broadway musical No, No, Nanette; legend has it that this sale is...
In Bogota, an Homage to a Diva of Iberoamerica
HOW DO YOU TAKE THE PLACE OF A TSUNAMI? How do you follow on the heels of a red-haired sorceress of Latin American theatre, known for her magical ability to turn Bogota's dream of international recognition into reality--a sort of female Prospero who...
In Katrina's Wake: When the Levees Broke in August 2005, Everything Seemed Lost. but a Jolt of New Theatrical Activity Is Offering New Orleanians Fresh Perspectives on the Disaster and Its Aftermath
NEW ORLEANS THEATRE ARTIST NICK SLIE IS trekking along a dirt pathway on a warm and bright Sunday in late February, pushing past overgrown bushes and tree limbs in an abandoned golf course within New Orleans's sprawling City Park. The bearded Slie,...
Nan Martin: 1927-2010
IN 1962 NAN MARTIN visited San Francisco State, where David Emmes and I were studying theatre under Jules Irving. She was a well-known Broadway actress at the time and a Tony nominee for MacLeish's J.B. in 1960. She spoke passionately to our group...
Navigating the Cuban Blockade: U.S./Cuba Collaborations Are Using Technology as a Bridge
IN MARCH 2010, ON INTERNATIONAL WORLD Theatre Day, the University of Miami Center for Latin American Studies and Florida International University's Cuban Research Institute presented convened some of Cuba's most important living playwrights from the...
New York-Based American Theatre Affiliated Writer
NEW YORK-BASED AMERICAN THEATRE AFFILIATED WRITER Christopher Wallenberg flew out of New Orleans on a gray Sunday in early March--he'd spent an eye-opening week there getting to know the variegated post-Katrina theatre scene (see page 54)--and we flew...
No Space like Home: Global Connections Bolster Local Artistry at Los Angeles's REDCAT
ENTERING THROUGH THE LONG MAIN HALL OF the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) and into its warm, wood-paneled Lounge--where an elevated window looks out, at traffic level, on South Flower Street in downtown Los Angeles--one has the impression...
On Memory and Imagination: The Burgeoning Exchange between Mexican and U.S. Writers Is Not a Simple Theatrical Transaction
The first time I went to Mexico City, I arrived on an overnight bus from the northern city of Monterrey. I had fallen asleep riding through deserts and mountains, Vicente Fernandez singing in glowing VHS from the bus's TV screens above me, and woke...
Puppet Encounters of the Bulgarian Kind
TWO ACTORS EMERGE FROM THE AUDIENCE WEARING military trench coats and creepy storm-trooper gas masks. With searchlights strapped to their heads and a rock beat blaring through the house, the moles collect mangled body parts scattered across the stage,...
Quartet V4.0: WaxFactory
Ivan Talijancic, CONCEPT AND DIRECTION: Our ever-so-slightly retitled version of Heiner Muller's play is one of four different iterations of that work we've done over the years. One of them, Quartet v2.0, was staged in the dank, musty basement of a...
The Circus Is in His Bones: La Arena's Argentinean Acrobats Elevate the Average Joe
UPON RETURNING TO HIS NATIVE BUENOS AIRES in the '90s, after having completed an internship at La Escuela Nacional de Circo de Cuba, Argentina's Gerardo Hochman founded a theatre company. "With La Trap," Hochman says of his original group, "we succeeded...
The House(s) Joy Built
Joy Zinoman has entered the Time of Last Things. The soon-to-retire founding artistic director of the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., ticks off a long "lasts" litany: "Last gala, last retreat, last first rehearsal, last play I'm directing," before...
These Feet Were Made for Walking
IT'S NOT EVERY DIRECTOR WHO can transform a lyrical history of perambulation into ripe theatrical fodder, but Matthew Earnest--whose original adaptation of Rebecca Solnit's Wanderlust: A History of Walking will have its world premiere at Cleveland...
Toward a Revolution? A Reflection on Buendia
I first saw the work of Teatro Buendia when I was in Havana in 2003 for a seminar on ritual in Afro-Caribbean theatre. My friend Beatriz Rizk, who is the education director for the international Hispanic Theatre Festival in Miami, was also attending...
World Theatre Day
WORLD THEATRE DAY was created in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) and is celebrated annually on March 27 by ITI Centers and the international theatre community This year, ITI-Worldwide asked Dame Judi Dench, to share her reflections...