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. 3, March

20 Questions
Not so long ago, JOHN LLOYD YOUNG was between acting jobs and ushering on Broadway for 42nd Street. Now, 10 blocks north, people are filling the seats at the August Wilson Theatre to see him star as Frankie Valli in the bio-musical Jersey Boys. ...
6 Degrees of Sammy Beckett
So it's begun--the juggernaut birthday toast to the gravest comic dramatist who has ever lived. The Year of Beckett 2006 was rung in Kassel, Germany, on New Year's Eve. Everyone who ever waited by a stunted tree, recorded himself on tapes or buried...
After More Than 40 Years with Kentucky's Actors Theatre of Louisville, Executive Director Alexander Speer Will Retire April 3
After more than 40 years with Kentucky's Actors Theatre of Louisville, executive director Alexander Speer will retire April 3. Speer joined the theatre in 1965, when he was in his early twenties, and remained to shepherd ATL to its current Main Street...
"Amerika, or the Disappearance": Theatre De la Jeune Lune/American Repertory Theatre
Dominique Serrand, DIRECTOR, SET AND VIDEO EDSIGNER, CO-ADAPTER: Kafka wrote his novel Amerika in the very early age of cinema--when celluloid was replacing narrative. Kafka was very aware of Charlie Chaplin--the novel is dark with laughter. Karl,...
Baltimore, MD.: Political Asylum
The Murder of Isaac "was written with anger and hatred," says Israeli playwright Motti Lerner. His visceral response to the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was first produced (in Germany) in 1999, four years after that killing shook worldwide...
Can "Awake and Sing!" Still Sing? Fichandler and Sher Are out to Prove That Odets's Family Saga Isn't Obsolete
Nineteen-thirty-five: It was the year a skinny, fuzzy-haired Jewish-American writer still in his twenties emerged from the fringes of the Group Theatre to become one of America's most celebrated dramatists. The writer was Clifford Odets, and the play...
Dreaming with Dahlquist
NEW YORK CITY: Gordon Dahlquist is going to be famous, or so they say. Apparently, the buzz on the playwright's first novel, which Bantam Dell Publishing Group's Delacorte Press imprint will release in September, is so hot right now that big-time publishers...
Editor's Note
The equally inimitable subjects of this month's two lead features, Will Power and Lisa Kron, are veteran solo artists at crucial junctures in their careers. Both are writer-performers with fresh, distinctive voices and multi-layered gifts of self-presentation....
Hip-Hop Visions of an Ancient World: Will Power and Company Turn Aeschylus Every Way but Loose
Will Power is best known for his high-octane writing and performance in Flow, the widely toured hip-hop solo show produced by New York City's Hip-Hop Theatre Festival and New York Theatre Workshop [see sidebar, page 30]. But the kinetic performer and...
Houston: Front Lines
YOU MIGHT THINK AN ACTOR OF LAURENCE OLIVIER'S CALIBER WOULD HAVE NO regrets about the roles he'd chosen to pass over. Actually, Olivier harbored a gnawing pang over his decision to give up the role of the doomed, hard-drinking Captain Stanhope of...
Is It Time to Stop?
It is easy to forget how relatively young our not-for-profit professional theatre field is. I'm often met by gasps of surprise when, in speeches, I note that fewer than three dozen of today's not-for-profit professional theatres in the country were...
John Spencer: 1946-2005
In rehearsal John Spencer seemed to run on a mix of quadruple-shot venti lattes, cigarettes and Eau Sauvage cologne. But what he really thrived on was the work. "The words, the words," he'd tell everyone. "That's why we're here." [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]...
Jordan Harrison: Nothing's Impossible; Designers Have a Field Day Bringing His Quirky Worlds to Life
Jordan Harrison can't come up for air. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Since he received his MFA in playwriting from Brown University in 2003, Harrison has been busier in three years than most writers expect to be in ten, racking up awards, workshops...
Kristine Nielsen: What's So Funny? the Actress Slyly Seduces Audiences with Her Specific Brand of Mania
Kristine Nielsen's father did not laugh easily or often. But when he did.... [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "He couldn't control it," declares the Obie-winning actress, who's cultivated a knack for inducing belly laughs herself. It might be assumed...
Mametogram, or How to Write like David Mamet
CHICAGO: The old neighborhood. Almost 30 years after the Goodman Theatre's 1977 premiere of A Life in the Theatre. JOHN reads a passage from Mamet's one-act No One Will Be Immune. CAROL, a student who is inquiring about the Goodman's "David Mamet Write-Alike...
Minneapolis: Don't Speak!
Little Fellow is managing one narrow escape after another--getting chased in and out of windows and trash cans, dodging falling houses, evading Big Man and slipping on banana peels, all with a bevy of Keystone Kops in hot pursuit. And, unlike his silent...
No Places like Show Places
Whether it's a renovation or a new construction, the architectural face of the American theatre is morphing in front of our very eyes. Here is a photo gallery showing how some theatre companies have grown, expanded and, in some cases, been rebuilt...
San Francisco: La Segunda Venida
Jesus is back. And he's a rebellious healer who's in love with his beautiful cousin Mari. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] This passionate love affair is one of many evocative elements in Juan Gelion Dances for the Sun, a contemporary re-imagining of the...
The Importance of Being Lisa Kron: In Well, She Plays Herself Writing a Play about Herself. Will Broadway Get It?
FEW WRITERS TURN HUMBLE PIE INTO haute cuisine quite like Lisa Kron. She's made a name for herself penning one-woman shows--such as 101 Humiliating Stories and the widely produced 2.5 Minute Ride--in which the bitter pill of self-abasement comes sugarcoated...
Washington, D.C.: Georgia on Their Minds
Experimental theatre? In the nation's capital? Avant-garde fever, it turns out, burns in the eccentric sensibility of a tiny, shoestring D.C. company whose storytelling is rooted in the dance and mime tradition of Tbilisi. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]...
When We Ibsen Awaken
ANN ARBOR, MICH.; BERKELEY, CALIF.; BROOKLYN; GREENVILLE, S.C.;LANESBORO, MINN.; and OLNEY, MD.: Like Beckett, Henrik Ibsen has never truly left the American imagination. This year is the centennial anniversary of the great Norwegian's death, which...
Who Needs Moscow? A Guru of Russian Playwriting Holds Court in Distant Ekaterinburg
EKATERINBURG, RUSSIA: Nikolai Kolyada has dirty hands, a black fez and the warm eyes of a holy man. He shares his name with a pagan god of happiness, but his playwriting students call him "our mafia boss." People on the street want to touch him. Before...