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. 22, No. 6, July-August

24 Theatres Win Grants in 3 New Generations Programs
Twenty-four theatres have been selected to participate in the fifth round of the New Generations Program, a grant initiative cooperatively designed by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Theatre Communications...
Alaska Is in the Heart: How a New Musical and a Community-Based Drama Vie to Capture the Frontier Lives and Immigrant Dreams of Filipino Alaskans
Isang magandang senyora, libot na libot ng espada (There is a beautiful lady, surrounded with swords). --a warning in Tagalog to newcomers to America Prologue MARCELO QUINTO II OF JUNEAU, ALASKA, IS FILIPINO. He is also Tlingit Indian. "I'm...
A Redford Runs through It
SUNDANCE, UTAH: From July 11-31 the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab is cooking up some very hot potatoes. The most controversial, Most Wanted, by composer Mark Bennett and book writer Jessica Hagedorn, is the too-hot-to-handle new musical about Gianni...
A Report on Arts Advocacy Day
TCG AND OTHER ARTS ADVOCATES CONVERGED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., for the Arts Advocacy Day conference on March 14-15. Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns delivered the 18th annual Nancy Hanks Lecture, which kicked off the first day's events. Arts advocacy...
Ashland, Ore.: Love, Lost at Sea
The Golden Gate Bridge is the most popular place in the world to commit suicide. Two people a month, it's estimated, fling themselves into oblivion, inevitably facing the San Francisco Bay rather than the Pacific Ocean's endless horizon. But in Octavio...
Boardroom with a View: What Happens When Artists Mix It Up with Boards of Trustees?
A fuller version of this conversation, which took place in May 2004, appears in The Art of Governance: Boards in the Performing Arts, edited by Nancy Roche and Jaan Whitehead, scheduled for publication in September by TCG Books. The book is a collection...
Brooklyn Bridge
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT Melissa James Gibson's recent plays include [sic] (Obie Award for playwriting, Kesselring Prize, The Best Plays of 2001-02; produced at Soho Repertory Theatre and other theatres, regionally and internationally); Suitcase, or those...
But Can He Sing?
MADISON, N.J.; ABINGDON and NORTON, VA.; NEW YORK CITY: Suddenly, everyone's got an album to sell. Playwright Carlyle Brown released a spoken-word CD of his solo show, The Fula from America, about his travels to West Africa (www.carlylebrownandcompany.org)....
Can You Train to Be Funny? If Comedians Are Born, Not Made, Why Are Comedy-Training Programs Thriving like Never Before?
THE BEGINNER STANDUP COMEDY COURSE AT THE Hyena Comedy Institute in San Francisco was hurtling toward its climax. Each of the nine novice comedians in the class was gearing up to perform eight minutes of original material in front of a live audience--but...
Design Tectonics: The Basics Converge with High-Tech Spectacle at a New Stage-Design Expo
There was a startling piece of sculpture at the back of the Toronto hotel ballroom that housed the World Stage Design exhibition this past March. Imagine a row of five tall, white, bookcase-like columns of rectangular blocks. Each of the blocks has...
'Doubt,' 'Piazza' Grab Tony Grail
INSIDE RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL--where Doubt and The Light in the Piazza swept the 59th annual Tony Awards this past June--King Arthur's round table of singing knights, marketing execs and neurotic producers were getting scared. Nervous sweat ran down...
Dream Houses: Architects Take Notes as Six Playwrights Imagine the Ideal Theatrical Space
This July, for the 15th year running, Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, W.Va., showcases a select group of new American plays. The 2005 quartet is comprised of Melinda Lopez's Sonia Flew, Sam Shepard's The God of Hell, Lydia...
Editor's Note
"Stuff Happens is a history play," says David Hare of his new drama about how and why the U.S. went to war in Iraq, "which happens to center on very recent history." Having been at the Mark Taper Forum in late May for the first preview of Gordon Davidson's...
Entrances & Exits
The League of Resident Theatres has a new president: Susan Medak, who was sworn in in April, succeeding Michael Maso of Boston's Huntington Theatre Company. The managing director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre since 1990, Medak has served as LORT's...
Extended Collaboration Final Round Announced
Theatre Communications Group has awarded $33,000 to support the creative work of six theatre companies and more than 25 artists in the latest and final round of Extended Collaboration Grants, funded by MetLife Foundation. The chosen theatres will receive...
Los Angeles: Exit Fervently
We can thank George W. Bush for this, at least: that Gordon Davidson is not going quietly. To cap his 38-year reign as artistic director of the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, Davidson first mulled staging two classics in repertory....
Pasadena, Calif., and Chicago: Purlie's Back in Town
THE MUSICAL VERSION of the 1960s Ossie Davis play Purlie Victorious ran for 19 months on Broadway in the early '70s, earning Tonys for stars Cleavon Little and Melba Moore. Since then, few theatres have tackled Purlie, despite a crowd-pleasing score...
Summer Festival Watch
NEW YORK CITY: A show of Hans, please: Who wants to see Fiona Shaw embody Danish-born children's author Hans Christian Andersen in the musical My Life as a Fairytale? The much-anticipated headliner for Lincoln Center Festival 2005 was conceived and...
Tangled Up in Blue: Political Trepidation Translates to Unfocused Theatre at Humana Festival
In addition to a roster of six new full-length plays and four 10-minute ones, the impeccably run Humana Festival's 29th incarnation featured a collaboratively written exercise subtitled On Democracy and Other Fictions, Featuring Patriotism Acts and...
The Eye of the Critic
At the NEA-sponsored Arts Journalism Institute at the University of Southern California, I met theatre critics from around the country to discuss our future: the impact--and the opportunities--of an increasingly diverse nation; the changes in modes...
The Real Thing: Identity and Cultural Authenticity Are Dramatic Fodder for William S. Yellow Robe Jr
This whole thing of who is more Indin, what we do to be Indin, or don't do because it might make us look less Indin, is a sickness beyond any thinking. --Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers, Act 2, Scene 1 I was a Lakota man/child in my twenties,...
The Uncertainty Principle: Doubt Is Sure Thing at New York City's Pre-Tony Awards Ceremonies
The juggernaut of this year's pre-Tony awards season boasted no 11 o'clock number, no flying machines, no swindlers and no knights who say "Ni." Instead, an unassuming drama--with a headlines-echoing plot and disquieting conclusion--swept the honors....
Three for the Show: Seattle's Male Acting Divas Switch Genders in High Style
It's unlikely you'll ever spot Nick Garrison or Kevin Kent in a bar, dolled up in full Cher or Madonna wig and makeup, lip-synching to the oldies. And Burton Curtis says that when a local weekly paper branded him "Seattle's best drag queen," he...
'Tis the Season
Wallace Shawn and Dael Orlandersmith are the winners of this year's PEN/Laura Pels Foundation drama awards as master American dramatist and mid-career playwright, respectively. Shawn receives a rare first edition of dramatic literature, while Orlandersmith...
Twenty Questions
B.D. WONG recently ended a run headlining the first Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures at Roundabout Theatre Company. He can currently be heard on the cast recording of that show, released by PS Classics in May, and seen on TV...