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. 13, No. 5, May-June

A Case for Civility
This has always been a fractious and contentious society; that is the price of all the freedoms we venerate, the price of divided powers and maximum individual liberty. Nothing is ever quite settled. Whenever Americans are at risk of standing still,...
A Show Business Tale/tail
Like a planetary conjunction, Richard Foreman has converged with playwright Suzan-Lori Parks to stage her newest work, Venus. I caught the first performance at Yale Repertory Theatre (Venus's co-producer with the New York Shakespeare Festival, where...
A Standoff in Charlotte
'Angels' provokes a legal and cultural confrontation Charlotte Repertory Theatre's production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America opened on schedule on a blustery Wednesday night last March, but it took a judge's last-minute court order to prevent police...
Channel Surfing for a Song
On Christmas Eve 1951, NBC-TV broadcast Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors. Commissioned specifically for television, Amahl (about the crippled boy who asks the Three Wise Men to deliver his crutches to the baby Jesus) was the first television...
Confidence Artist
About two years ago, my wife and I met a working theatre artist in downtown New Haven. It's not that working theatre artists are hard to find on Chapel Street, two blocks up from the Shubert and a block over from the Yale Rep, but this one was distinctive....
Death Becalms Her
Complicite's brave new theatre arrives at Lincoln Center It's a shameful sign of the increasing American neglect of international theatre that finds Theatre de Complicite making its New York debut this summer some 13 years into the company's history....
Deb Margolin: Take Back Your Proscenium
Like Bert in Mary Poppins, New York performance artist Deb Margolin must have vaudeville in her blood. Margolin hauls her exuberant solo shows around downtown New York, jumping in and out of stories like sidewalk paintings and making you laugh so hard...
Edinburgh, U.S.A.: The Fringe Is a Theatrical Phenomenon Whose Time Has Come
Lloyd Brant is frustrated. Any time this classically trained clown wants to present his one-man show The Egg Head: The Crack in the Cosmic Egg in a new city, he must rent a theatre, advertise, attract press coverage and supervise the box office. In a...
Forging New Myths for New Realities
Blacksmyths, the black playwrights' project of the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, is in its second season of developing new plays by black writers. The program, founded and headed by director L. Kenneth Richardson, sponsored a symposium in June 1995...
Gotta Sing
The spate of musical theatre recordings reissued on compact disks in the past 10 years or so has proven an almost overwhelming bounty for lovers of the genre. Mining of the Columbia, RCA and Capitol back catalogues has returned to circulation a wide...
Hip-Hop Homer
Ifa Bayeza's hip-hop political satire Homer G. and the Rhapsodies in the Fall of Detroit begins with a provocative quotation about the prototypical poet of ancient Greece from the Autobiography of Malcolm X: In a debate about whether or not Homer had...
Let Them Eat Plays
Last year I went to Washington with Melanie Griffith, Joanne Woodward and Walter Moseley to lobby for the National Endowment for the Arts. The Speaker of the House had not met with NEA chairman Jane Alexander in the entire time she had been there, and...
Mary Lou Rosato: Out of This World
One of these days the jig will be up for Mary Lou Rosato. Though she claims to have been born in Miami, Fla. to an ordinary Italian-American family, it seems more likely she was accidentally down-loaded into the 20th century by a malfunctioning but serendipitous...
Robocop, 16th-Century Style
Vilna's Got a Golem, a new play by Ernest Joselevitz, arrives at the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays at the Annenberg Center May 2-19 with extraordinary fanfare: It is already the recipient of two major grants, one for $40,000 from the Fund...
Shall We Dance?
For the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, 'State Fair' is the tip of the iceberg Nestled in the middle of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatre Library's elegant, sepia-toned brochure celebrating Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein's respective centennials,...
Stage Door Johnny
For the better part of four years, John Lahr has been waging a lover's rebellion in the theatre pages of the New Yorker. It's a rebellion mounted, in a sense, against criticism itself, against the practice of edged objectivity and pithy judgment, against...
Steppenwolf Howls Again
It's pouring rain in Chicago, and the season's first snowstorm is predicted to arrive after midnight. Looming through the early evening mists on North Halsted Street - a nondescript thoroughfare lined with banners for a quarter-mile honoring the 20th-anniversary...
The Artist in Us All
It's possible that we owe Shakespeare far more than we've heretofore imagined The intensity of my impatience with him occasionally reaches such a pitch, that it would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him." So wrote the...
Time to Pay the Piper
Jim Grimsley has a vision of a world on the edge of apocalypse. It's not an Orwellian futurist fantasy, however - the world he sees is our own. "I think we're in trouble," Grimsley says. "Something is moving on a grand scale." After an absence of several...
When the Group Sang
Two 'Johnny Johnson' veterans turn back the clock Sixty years ago, composer Kurt Weill, who had fled Hitler's Germany, made his Broadway debut with the landmark musical Johnny Johnson. Presented by the Group Theatre, Paul Green's antiwar script (about...
Where and When
Monkey Bars Red Peter, a Gregor Samsa sort of chimpanzee, is torn between instinct and intellect as he fights to save his soul in the jungle of Western civilization. Inspired by Kafka's short story "Report to the Academy," Kafka's Chimp features seven...