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. 26, No. 7, September

20 Questions
Judith Ivey recently directed Vanities at New York City's Second Stage and will play Ann Landers in The Lady with All the Answers at the Cherry Lane Theatre, starting Oct. 7. American Theatre caught up with the two-time Tony-winner between projects,...
A Different Destiny
AS A GRADUATE STUDENT AT NYU, WRITER and performer Danai Gurira recalls a teacher showing her an article titled "Black Diamond," with an image of Liberian female rebels. "They were clad in cutesy gear and jeans and were carrying AK-47s. I wanted to...
Augusto Boal: 1931-2009
WHEN I HEARD THAT Augusto Boal, the great Brazilian director and playwright, had died in Rio, the first word that jumped at me was elastic. He was a tall man, with hands always moving up and down as if conducting an orchestra. Something about him was...
Dreaming in Yoruba Land: Tarell Alvin McCraney's Trio of Profanely Poetic Ritual Dramas Signals the Emergence of a Major New Voice
Remember this: against all that destruction Some yet remained among us unforgetful of origins, Dreaming secret dreams, seeing secret visions, hearing secret voices of our purpose. --Ayi Kwei Armah, Two Thousand Seasons 1 growing up in the...
Editor's Note
AFTER CHEWING THROUGH DOCUMENTATION, TESTIMONIALS and personal experience in an effort to encapsulate TCG's 2009 National Conference into the manageable dimensions of a magazine article ("You Can Get There from Here," page 32)--an exercise in futility,...
Front & Center: Four-Legged Hip-Hop
WHEN GEORGE ORWELL PUBLISHED ANIMAL Farm in 1945, he intended it as a criticism of Joseph Stalin at the brink of World War II. Bay Area writer/director Jon Tracy's stage adaptation of that book, The Farm--presented by Berkeley's Shotgun Players though...
Good Thing Growing: A Pioneering Urban Drama Program Expands to Serve a New Generation of Kids
AT THE HEADQUARTERS OF NEW YORK'S 52ND Street Project, colorful signs direct you two floors up to the Clubhouse. Inside, a teenager works the desk. At a large table, a group of kids are coloring. Shelves near the reception desk hold board games and...
Keeping It Real: Live Performance Anchors the Jim Henson Company's Journey into Digital Puppetry
THE INITIAL INNOVATION THAT JIM AND JANE Henson brought to puppetry was to use the television screen as the puppet stage proscenium. When they started their work in the 1950s, one of the most popular puppets was Charlie McCarthy, who sat on the lap...
Keep It Going, Keep It Good: Ensembles Wrestle with Their Better Angels at a San Francisco Summit
MANY MEMBERS OF THE NETWORK OF ENSEMBLE Theaters would like nothing better than to see the Obama Administration fund a big new Federal Theatre Project, bankrolling an ensemble theatre in every community. But NET's six-day June summit in San Francisco...
Legnica, Poland
INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL "CITY": Sometimes the power of site-specific theatre stems from the artist's familiarity with a site and his or her ability to channel its history. But what if the theatremaker is a foreigner, with no prior relationship...
Marry Me a Little
IdahoSHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL CAME Idaho to wive it wealthily in Cleveland, Ohio. What it found, 1,766 miles east of Boise, was no damsel, although she was in some distress: Great Lakes Theater Festival, a dowager princess who was a little down on her...
My Own Baltimore Waltz
NEARLY THREE MONTHS HAVE PASSED SINCE TCG's 19th National Conference. However, those days in June--reported on by Jim O'Quinn in this issue--continue to occupy our thoughts daily. In spite of the year's economic and political turmoil, attendance at...
New World to Close
AMHERST, MASS.: Unless this 30-year-old multicultural theatre on the campus of the University of Massachusetts finds a financial angel or new host, New WORLD Theater will cease operations at the end of September. This past July the Amherst university...
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
SHAW FESTIVAL: A trip to Ontario this fall holds plenty of Shaw in store, as one would expect, plus some Coward and O'Neill (Joseph Zeigler helms A Moon for the Misbegotten, only the second O'Neill play to appear at the festival--the first, Ab, Wilderness!,...
On Rock, Risk and Redemption
"JOE PAPP SAID THAT TIMES of scarcity are the best times to take risks. I agree. What do you have to lose?" Artistic director Tony Taccone is sitting with his feet up in his Berkeley Repertory Theatre office, looking a little rock-and-roll in jeans...
People without History
Grist for Society An interview with the playwright BY ELIZABETH LECOMPTE ELIZABETH LECOMPTE: You wrote People without History after directing Shakespeare's Henry IV Part 1 [at Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2003]. What made you write it? ...
Seize the Mime: At 50, the San Francisco Mime Troupe Is Still Too Good to Fail
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR A STORY?" THE SUDdenly materialized griot (Michael Gene Sullivan) calls out in a hearty West African accent. It's an invitation that the July 4 crowd, stretching in their hundreds over a sunny sweep of San Francisco's Dolores...
Strange Gems at Land's End
PROVINCETOWN, MASS.: Two more never-before-seen Tennessee Williams oddities are getting professional bows Sept. 24-27 during the fourth edition of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. The Remarkable Rooming House of Madame LeMonde,...
The Real Star of OSF Finally Makes His Entrance
ASHLAND, ORE.: Over the centuries, Shakespeare's politics have proven harder to pin down than his biography. Do his histories favor the Tudors because he was a sincere royalist or because he knew where his bread was buttered? Can we read between his...
True West: Williamstown Theatre Festival
Daniel Goldstein, DIRECTION: This was one of those productions that just seemed to come together naturally. We situated the play on an empty sound stage--which is an idea that comes right out of Shepard. At the beginning of the script, he writes, "Don't...
Tuners on a Roll
NEW YORK CITY: Move over, jukebox musical, and make way for what might be called the "juicebox musical"--a show inspired by some pop-cultural preoccupation or instant-nostalgia artifact of the Facebook generation. The moniker suits Fat Camp and Fantasy...
United We Mail: In the Bay Area, the Big List Is Arts Marketing's Next Big Thing
AS ARTS ORGANIZATIONS FACE A DISMAL economic climate and disappearing audiences, one might expect to hear a cry of "Every man for himself!" echoing across the creative community. But cooperation is the name of the game in the arts world. How better...
Why Are the Dutch Invading Governors Island? to Show Americans the "Moving Landscape Art" (and Other Out-of-the-Box Works) They've Made De Rigueur at Home
FROM AFAR, IT'S AS IF A SWARM OF BUTTER-flies has swooped down and landed on the dazzlingly vast stretch of mudflats of the Noordvaarder, situated at the western point of Terschelling, an elongated Frisian island off Holland's north coast. It is the...
You Can Get There from Here: TCG Keeps the Future of the Field in the Conference Crosshairs as Theatre Leaders Mix It Up in Baltimore
IT WAS EARLY FEBRUARY, AND TERESA EYRING and her crackerjack conference-planning posse were a little worried. A little anxious, a little wary. Theatre Communications Group's 19th National Conference, slated for the first week of June in Baltimore,...