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. 28, No. 5, May-June

A Burnished Barroom Glow and an Air of Half
A BURNISHED BARROOM GLOW AND AN AIR OF HALF- acknowledged alienation suffuse Mark Barton's photograph on this issue's cover. The understated, rich-hued image is from Elevator Repair Service's well-traveled five-hour work The Select (The Sun Also Rises),...
A Real Media Hero
TELEVISION, SAID EDWARD R. Murrow, can teach, illuminate and inspire--but "only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box." [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Change "lights and wires"...
Armistead Maupin and Jeff Whitty: Their Much-Anticipated Tales of the City Musical Will Debut-Where Else?-In San Francisco Moderated
Writers Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) and Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City) have joined forces on a new musical version of Maupin's best-selling series of novels populated by colorful characters occupying a San Francisco apartment house in the 1970s. The...
Arms and the Man
Ethan McSweeny, DIRECTION: As a kid I loved toy soldiers--my friend and I would lay out our toy troops in sort of "Land of Counterpane" battles that were oh-so-dramatic and exacted terrible tolls. So for this production I pulled my treasured soldiers...
Basic Instincts: His Hit-All-the-Bases Career Has Circled Back to Where It Began-On the Boards
ICHAEL CRISTOFER HAS FINALLY FIGURED out what he wants to be when he grows up. The 66-year-old has been a prize-winning playwright, pocketing both a Pulitzer and a best-play Tony Award for his 1977 drama The Shadow Box. He has run a theatre, as...
Bilateral Bedfellows
VALENCIA, CALIF., AND MOSCOW: "This is a lot more fun than doing arms control," quips David Siefkin, press attache for the U.S. embassy in Moscow, who in his non-working hours takes in as much Russian theatre as he can. But that's not the "fun" he's...
Drug Trip with Greek Chorus
"AMERICA IS KIND OF CATCHING up to the Gary Plays," says Guy Zimmerman, the director of DaddyO Dies Well, the fifth installment in a planned octet about a flailing, perpetually down-on-his-luck actor named Gary, penned by L.A. eminence grise Murray...
Firing Up the Dialogue: Theatres Can Benefit by Partnering with Social-Service Organizations on Relevant Shows-As Long as Expectations Are Clear
WHEN ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE PREmiered The Legacy Project: It Happened in Little Rock, in 2007, producing artistic director Bob Hupp expected to see some familiar faces in the audience. Two years in the making, the show culled nearly 100 interviews,...
Great Exportations: What Can We Learn from the Successful Efforts of Other Nations to Promote Their Theatre Overseas?
IT'S ST. PATRICK'S DAY IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THE Union Station Metro stop is plastered with black posters bearing-cryptic, foreboding comments: Cutting your commute time is wishful thinking. Cutting government spending shouldn't he. The dark-suited,...
Interconnectedness Is the Word
IN JANUARY 2010, 1 ATTENDED (AND TWEETED from) the opening plenary of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference in New York City. This session stuck with me for many reasons, most notably because it pulsed with a sense of invention and...
In the Pros' Garage
CHICAGO AND EVANSTON, ILL.: College theatres are where young artists can dare and go wild, while the professional stage is where they learn to compromise with a paying audience's expectations. Right? In fact, the situation is somewhat reversed at...
Irene Lewis: Hang on to the Big Questions
In June, Irene Lewis will step down after 20 years as artistic director of CENTERSTAGE in Baltimore. Known for her bold takes on classics and commitment to diverse programming, the irreverent and ever-curious Lewis sat down to talk about the job, the...
Jailbirds and Garlic Bulbs
WHAT'S IT LIKE BEING INCARCERATED IN LOS Angeles County's Men's Central Jail, the largest jail in the world, where it's so overcrowded you can't get even minimum medical care and 70-80 percent of your fellow prisoners are still awaiting trial? Find...
Making a Federal Case
WASHINGTON, D.C: For four years the U.S. federal government directly funded theatre productions of all sizes and types across the benighted land--and American theatremakers have been marveling incredulously at that remarkable period, and citing it...
New Plays at High Altitudes: An Array of Topics Enliven DCTC's Summit, but the Actor and the Word Stay Central
DENVER CENTER THEATRE COMPANY LAUNCHED its Colorado New Play Summit five years ago, and attendance has grown steadily year by year. The 2011 edition, mounted over a wintry February weekend, featured four readings of new scripts, a playwrights' slam,...
On Taking Work Abroad
You know that feeling you have when you're walking out of an exceptional theatre performance--your brain and heart buzzing with what you just saw--and you think, "If only [insert-name-here] could have seen that ..."? This magazine is grounded in...
Putting the 'Theatre' 'Movie Theatre': More and More Hit Shows Are Taking the High-Def Stage-to-Screen Gamble
TODRICK HALL GREW UP IN THE SMALL TOWN of Plainview, Tex., many miles from a legitimate theatre. But at age 10, he saw three live performances that changed his life: Cats, Jekyll & Hyde and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. And he's...
Shanley Goes South
NASHVILLE, TENN.: When you think about it, John Patrick Shanley is the very model of a regional playwright; from Italian American Reconciliation to Doubt, his writing springs more or less directly from his Bronx, N.Y., roots. So it made sense for Tennesssee...
Tales of the Quad Cities
DAVENPORT, IOWA: Before the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, gay people in Iowa's Quad Cities congregated in secret, password-protected locales. Why? There was the real chance they'd be ticketed for "sauntering." These were just a few of the reminiscences...
The Americans Are Coming: Yankee Groups of Different Sizes and Aesthetics Find More Than One Way to Reach International Destinations
WHY AREN'T MORE AMERICAN PLAYS SEEN abroad? "Travel," Mark Twain once remarked, "is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness"--and certainly we theatre folk are an open-minded bunch. Shouldn't it stand to reason that we'd be eager to share...
Theatre Plain and Tall: The Great Plains Theatre Conference Offers a Collegial Atmosphere for Theatre Artists of Many Stripes
WHEN I ARRIVED AT THE GREAT PLAINS THEATRE Conference in Omaha last year--a summer camp of sorts for theatre professionals, hosted on Metropolitan Community College's idyllic tree-lined campus--it was with nervous trepidation. I didn't know anyone...
Theoni V. Aldredge: 1922-2011
Upstairs, the usual chaos. This was familiar territory--the out-of-town try-out of a musical in trouble: I Can Get It for You Wholesale, 1962. Director Arthur Laurents was practically sobbing with frustration. Choreographer Herb Ross was trying...
The Trials and Triumphs of Austin Pendleton: A Pair of Lustrous Chekhovs Has Put a New Spotlight on a 71-Year-Old Artist-Who-Does-It-All
AUSTIN PENDLETON IS ONE OF THOSE BLESSED theatre artists who has never stopped working. From the time he was six years old, watching a community theatre being born in his mother's living room, he knew that he wanted to do nothing else but theatre....
Up, Up and Away? Not So Fast! Money Is One Factor Keeping Artists Stuck on Their Home Turf, Funders and Foundation Reps Agree. but It's by No Means the Only One
MCDONALD'S GOLDEN ARCHES LOOM ON streets around the planet. Hollywood makes much of its money overseas. People are probably talking about "Jersey Shore" in Timbuktu. By contrast, America's not-for-profit theatre travels in a more modest way across...
Where Did You Grow Up
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and immediately escaped at 18. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] What did you want to he when you grew up? I wanted to be a lawyer, but when I got to college I realized the only reason was because...
Women's Studies
ITHACA, N.Y.: "All the Turkish playwrights we talked to said, 'Forget about the headscarf--it's a much deeper issue than that,'" recalls Gabriele Schafer, co-artistic director of International Culture Lab (ICL), which launches an ambitious U.S./Turkish...