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. 6, July-August

20 Questions
Critic, playwright and author ERIC BENTLEY, who will turn 90 in September, was honored in May with an Obie for lifetime achievement, and finds himself a main character in a new play about his long, productive relationship with Bertolt Brecht. ...
A Body of Water
Fluid Identities An interview with the playwright DOMINIC PAPATOLA: This play is a stylistic departure for you. Was there anything in particular that inspired it? [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] LEE BLESSING: I think of...
A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur: Hartford Stage
Michael Wilson, DIRECTOR: Creve Coeur was the eighth installment of our projected 10-year Tennessee Williams Marathon--we've been alternating between his popular works and the neglected or little-seen works from the canon. Going on adventures in...
Awake and Paint!
NEW YORK CITY: An Egyptian-looking woman with full breasts. A crucified Christ flanked across the hips by a wavy ladder. Macabre women in full-body black, resembling Charles Addams's enigmatic Cousin Itt, referred to as "nuns returning home." This...
'Boys' Night Out
Frances de la Tour isn't sure why, but those rowdy actors of The History Boys keep calling her--the only woman in the cast--J. Lo. Affectionately. "I'm a bit like a mother to them," the Brit muses, after collecting a featured-actress Tony for her...
Change Is in the Air
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA: Not that this Alaskan troupe has become any less eccentric. But the enterprising company founded in the 1990s by Sandy and the late Jerry Harper, which used to be known as the Eccentric Theatre Company, has decided to face the...
Editor's Note
This edition of American Theatre casts an appreciative eye on the working lives of two important directors--the increasingly visible Ethan McSweeny, who recently took up the reins (along with his partner, Vivienne Benesch) of the venerable Chautauqua...
Festival Watch
BLUE LAKE, CALIF.: Juggler Sara Felder's solo piece Out of Sight and director Giulio Cesare Perrone's Artemesia headline Dell'Arte International's Mad River Festival, which runs through July 22. Dancers, musicians, puppets and masked players gather...
Final Things
While every editorial column during my tenure at Theatre Communications Group has generated floods of self-doubt and panic, never has the weight felt more crushing than it does this month. For this is, of course, my last. After eight fantastic...
Frida People
The world of tortured Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is a ripe one for the stage: Her very life was theatrical, full of suffering and passion, and her clothes and surroundings were as colorful as her paintings. A renewed interest in Kahlo, who would...
Gigi Bolt: In the Eye of the Storm; Her Specialty Has Been Negotiating the Thickets of Art and Politics
There's something theatrical about Washington, D.C.--the pageantry of the White House and the Mall; the persuasive sweep of the Potomac; the brooding presence of the Pentagon; the triumphant showstopper that is the Washington Monument. From the...
Hometown Heroes
ACROSS THE COUNTRY: Regional accolades came thick and fast in recent months. Here are highlights from coast to coast (the full listings are online at www.tcg.org/americantheatre): [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics...
Irrational Visions: A Maximalist Scenic Designer Describes His Fantastical Architectural Ideas for Grendel
THE COSMIC ROCK--A CLIFF, A WALL--IS FLOATING IN THE VOID. IT'S THE WORLD OF GRENDEL, the monster, the murderer and the poet, all-powerful and pathetic at the same time. He can climb this wall, he can hide in its crevices and caves, he can traverse...
July/August 06 on Stage
Here's what's playing this month at TCG theatres nationwide. For the most up-to-date information about performance schedules, contact the theatre or visit Theatre Profiles online: www.tcg.org/profiles. ALABAMA Alabama Shakespeare Festival,...
New York City: Synge Our Contemporary
Have you ever wondered why the Irish theatre is littered with dead babies? You know, those children who die offstage somewhere in a distant corner of Ireland--unbaptized infants who are never seen or heard, but who leave their poor mothers grieving...
Pittsfield, Mass.: A Different Kind of War
"LET'S DO IT," Joseph Papp said, on first hearing Hair composer Galt MacDermot's score for The Human Comedy. Based on the lyrical, impressionistic novel by William Saroyan (1943), the show chronicles the adventures of 14-year-old telegraph messenger...
Seattle: Shades of Gray
"WE'RE HERE TO BEGIN A play about a late-term abortion. Downer subject, don't you think? Moist and slightly repellent, like most female issues." [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] So opines sainted 13th-century Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas, a narrator...
So Far, Yet So Close: An Off-Broadway Hit Strikes All the Right Notes for Audiences in Harare, Zimbabwe
Actors expect the unexpected when a show hits the road. For Nikkole Salter and Danai Gurira, the first stop on the road on this late-April Friday is a makeshift black-box theatre halfway around the world from New York's Primary Stages, where their...
Taymor Meets the Monster: Assembling the Opera Grendel in Los Angeles Has Been a Gargantuan Challenge
HEROES NEED MONSTERS. MINOTAURS, CYCLOPES AND GORGONS PROVIDE THE PROVING GROUND for mythic overachievers, serving as adversaries against which they can measure and define themselves. In this tradition, Beowulf journeyed from Geatland to prove himself...
The Irresistible Rise of Ethan McSweeny: The Director Credits Luck and Timing for His Eclectic Career
ETHAN MCSWEENY SEEMS TO HAVE A MIDAS TOUCH. It's not that the plays he directs turn into gold. But they do sail across the footlights with a vibrant, magnetic sheen. At 35, McSweeny, the wunderkind director who made his Broadway debut before some...
The World's a Stage
NEW YORK CITY: Oriza Hirata, artistic director of Tokyo's Seinendan Theater Company, brought home some quiet news this past March to the Japan Society in New York City. "When Japanese soldiers went to Iraq, it was the first time in 60 years that...
Two 'Boys' and a 'Chaperone'
NEW YORK CITY: In the flurry of New York awards leading up to Tony night, The Drowsy Chaperone stuck close by Jersey Boys for bragging rights in the musical category--and Alan Bennett's The History Boys was in a class of its own among this season's...
What's the Verdict, Doc? Actors Mix It Up with Med Students in Training Sessions
A doctor enters a hospital room where a nurse and a patient are waiting. The patient describes chest pains, and the nurse provides the patient's vitals and EKG. She begins to administer medication as instructed, then suddenly exclaims, "Doctor,...
Where Are We Now? TCG Calls Together Theatre Pros to Take the Pulse of the Field
How does one go about tapping the collective wisdom of a community? In February and March, Theatre Communications Group set out to listen to what working professionals are saying about the current state of the American not-for-profit theatre. More...
Women of Distinction
NEW YORK CITY: Who are the women in your life? What female theatre artists do you know who have made a big difference? For Newsday theatre critic Linda Winer and first-time filmmaker Passion (both of whom have a passion for herstory that would make...