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. 23, No. 2, February

20 Questions
Writer, director and actor TIM ROBBINS, who co-founded Los Angeles's Actors' Gang in 1981, is the author of the company's antiwar satire Embedded. His production of 1984, adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan, runs at the Gang's new space, the historic...
After the Fall
ACROSS THE COUNTRY: When an artist is extinguished prematurely, like a moth in a flame (think Jonathan Larson, Joe Orton or Alan Bowne), he or she is inevitably remembered in a special way. The story of the rise, fall and hard-won resurrection of playwright...
Behind the Boardroom Door
As executive director of TCG, I spend much of my time on the road--more than 20 days of some months--attending meetings with funders and theatre leaders, participating in cultural think tanks, speaking at community meetings and more. None of these...
Board Members Get Naked
SAN DIEGO: How far would you go to support the theatre? Would you pose for a nudie calendar? [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] San Diego Performing Arts League recently unveiled its 2006 calendar, featuring more than a dozen artistic directors, actors,...
Breaking the Sound Barrier: Composers Parlay Their Experience as Sound Designers into New Musical Forms
IT'S GETTING HARDER AND HARDER TO SPOT A MUSICAL. Take Lady Madeline, a "musical re-imagining" of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" that opens at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company this month. The show will feature several songs...
Chicago: It's a Bird ... It's a Plane ... It's Valentine
OKAY. LET'S SEE IF WE CAN FIND our way through Parts 1 and 2 of Nathan Allen's pop epic The Valentine Trilogy and arrive at Part 3 (on the boards through March 11 at Chicago's House Theatre, directed by Dennis Watkins) with our suspension of disbelief...
David Grimm: Party Talk; in His Plays, Sex, Love and History Tangle in Lively Conversation
If culture is a conversation, then the works of David Grimm are a roaring dinner party. Whether living in Elizabethan England or Depression-era Park Avenue, his characters will speak (and frequently drink) freely as they perform what it means to be...
Echo of an Earthquake: Haruki Murakami's Enigmatic Stories of Super-Frogs and Lost Souls Live an Alternate Life in the Theatre
Sitting in the darkened hall and listening to the lines of Steppenwolf Theatre Company's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's short-story collection after the quake, I had a thrill unavailable to anyone else in the audience--even to Murakami himself, had...
Editor's Note
Whither the American musical theatre? It's a question nobody seems able to venture a confident answer to. The talented composers featured in Mark Blankenship's lead feature "Breaking the Sound Barrier"--all of whom cut their theatrical teeth as professional...
"Electricidad": A Chicano Take on the Tragedy of "Electra"
Electric Youth An interview with the playwright You've been working on Electricidad for several years. Where did you get the idea to adapt Electra? [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I developed it in stretches. I started it at Borderlands Theater...
Festival Watch
The winter is a busy time for new-work development. Here's a roundup of this winter's festivals from coast to coast. LOS ANGELES: Phillip William Brock joins Moving Arts's Winner's Circle, starting Feb. 10, when his one-act play The Normal Child...
Frederic B. Vogel
It was in late September that my former assistant at FEDAPT, Alice Chebba Walsh, called to tell me Fred Vogel was sick. Fred himself had called me before I talked to Alice, but I hadn't gotten back to him yet. I should have known there was something...
Houston: Life Decisions
"You know, way back there behind those tubes and wires, there's a baby," Jenny Beech tells one of the many doctors attempting to keep her daughter, Annie, alive in a neonatal unit. "The cardiologists think she looks like a heart, and the hematologists...
Playing for Keeps
NEW YORK CITY: Five years ago, Douglas and Jonathan Rand had an idea they thought could revolutionize play publishing. The twentysomething brothers founded a company in New York called Playscripts, Inc. based on three simple concepts: 1) Make excerpts...
Restoration Comedy: Seattle Repertory Theatre
Sharon Ott, DIRECTOR: I'd describe the production style of this play as Restoration on a high-energy drink. After working on The Beard of Avon in 2002, I knew that the danger of working on Amy Freed's plays is making them too camp. She is very true...
Starting Over: Dollars and Dreams Dwindle for Hurricane-Damaged Theatres
Beyond the immediate destruction that Hurricane Katrina dealt to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, it turns out that the flooding has caused a drought of sorts--one that's initially invisible but that poses substantial long-term damage to the cultural...
St. Louis, Mo.: When Race Is in the Genes
CASSANDRA MEDLEY'S Relativity has been called the "African-American Proof" and "the black Copenhagen." Not by critics--but by some of Medley's own producers in an earnest attempt to win broader media recognition for her fascinating and combustible...
The Greenberg Juggernaut: This Is the Season When Everyone Wants a Piece of Richard the Prolific
A conversation with Richard Greenherg, the Tony-winning writer of more than 20 plays, comes with an unsettling disclaimer. "Every interview I've given is a pack of lies," he declares. But whatever the level of veracity in his public comments, Greenberg...
They Do It like the King's Men Did-Almost: W.S. Would Feel Right at Home at Virginia's ASC
You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but can you teach a new dog the old tricks? That's the question posed, in a manner of speaking, by the American Shakespeare Center, the 17-year-old company that's rocketing along--fueled by "vaulting ambition,"...