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. 29, No. 8, October

2012-13's Top 10 Most-Produced Plays: Plus: Production Insights from a Dozen Dramaturgs and Directors
This season, theatres nationwide are hardly shying away from big social issues. David Lindsay-Abaire's quiet-but-daring exploration of class and privilege, Good People, is slated for a hefty 17 productions, making it the most-produced play of 2012-13...
20 Questions
How are you doing over in Africa? It's very intense, very incredible and disturbing at the same time. Telt me about the work you're doing in Congo. There's been a war going on here for the past 15 years, and women have been raped and tortured....
Acting for Corporations Is Acting, Too: Performance Is Sought-After Tool in Training Programs for Business Organizations
EVEN PROPONENTS OF JERZY GROTOWSKI'S Poor Theatre probably don't want a Flat Broke Theatre. With long-term economic doldrums making grants and other donations scarce, theatre companies and actors these days are inevitably on the lookout for new ways...
A Different Kind of Season
EVER SINCE MY FIRST DAYS AT TCG, PEOPLE have asked me if I miss working in a producing theatre. How does it feel, they want to know, to ride an elevator to the 24th floor of an office building every day, instead of passing through a scene shop filled...
A Little Bit of History Repeating
Christopher Shinn's play Now or Later debuted at the Royal Court Theatre in London, two months before Barack Obarna was elected president, in the fall of 2008--lending the play's premiere a very specific timeliness. Shinn's play takes place on election...
Apocalypse Then
TIME AND GENRE EVAPORATE IN Elsewhere, a multimedia "cello opera" premiering Oct. 11 at Carolina Performing Arts in Chapel Hill, N.C., then traveling to the Brooklyn Academy of Music Oct. 17-20. Created by super-cellist Maya Beiser and iconoclastic...
Embodying Empathy, "Djeli"-Style
PRINCETON, N.J.: It comes as no surprise that immersive and experiential trends in theatre are impacting the art form in all areas and at all levels. "This shift is evident throughout the field, in the popularity of shows like Punchdrunk's Sleep No...
Freud's Last Session
What if Theo Sigmund Freud and CoSe Lewis met? Against the backdrop of World War the physically deteriorating psychoanalyst and the upsand--coming professor clash over quintessential questions about God, faith, sex and suicide. B STREET THEATRE...
Global Spotlight
Limoges, France= FRANCOPHONIES EN LIMOUSIN: This year marks the 29th edition of this celebration of worldwide Francophone theatre (and other performing arts). It launches with dancing in the streets of Limoges choreographed by Tunisia's Aicha M'Barek...
Good People
Margie, a single mother with a handicapped daughter, is fired from her retail jobs She turns to Mike, a doctor and an old flame, for work. What ensues is a verbal spar, encompassing Boston terrain, from the working class "Southie" to the upper--class...
House / Divided: The Builders Association
Marianne Weems, DIRECTION: Master Builder was the Builders Association's first project in 1994, and it featured a three-story house. For all these years, I've thought about trying to revisit that house somehow. In light of where we are almost 20 years...
Italian Theatre Bogs Down as Funding Evaporates
THE WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS HAS BEEN TOUGH ON THE arts almost everywhere, and Italy is no exception. Without detailing the many misdeeds of the former government of Silvio Berlusconi or offering a perspective on the work thus far of his successor, Prime...
John Steppling the Artist as Outsider: This Expat Playwright Hasn't Found Much Love in U.S. Theatres, and the Feeling Is Mutual
JOHN STEPPLING WAS ONCE UPON A TIME, AN American playwright, hovering over the West, a ghostly and dangerous presence, chronicling the madness that nobody else wanted to notice. He now lives in the opposite of Southern California--a small town in Norway....
Katori Hall-Who Will Be One of the Most-Produced
KATORI HALL--WHO WILL BE ONE OF THE MOST-PRODUCED playwrights at U.S. theatres during the 2012-13 season--is as photogenic as she is accomplished. During a recent outdoor photo shoot with the great American photographer Bruce Davidson behind the camera,...
Living for Design: Design Is about More Than Pretty Pictures, as Reviews of Three New Books on Costuming, Scenography and Lighting Prove
A THEATRE PROJECT By Richard Pilbrow (with David Collison). PLASA Media, Inc., New York City, 2011. 468 pp., $49.99 paper. Reviewed by Richard Stein IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE WHAT THE WORLD OF theatre would be like today if Peter O'Toole had gotten...
Martin E. Segal: 1916-2012
* Martin E. Segal, a 20th-century Prospero, died this past August at the age of 96. He is best known for his leadership at Lincoln Center, where he served as chairman from 1981 to 1986, a time that spanned my 1985 arrival at what we now call Lincoln...
Martin Pakledinaz: 1953-2012
* Anyone passing West 45th Street in Manhattan on the evening of July 12 would have witnessed an amazing sight. More than 200 people had gathered at the north end of Shubert Alley, spilling out into the street. Then, at 8 p.m., the marquee lights of...
Panthers and Lords
WHEN THE BRONX-BASED ensemble Universes was approached by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival about writing a commissioned piece for its "American Revolutions: United States History Cycle," the company wanted to shy away from one-sided, mythologizing tropes...
Queering the Air
BOSTON: "Queer" was once a perfectly respectable adjective, but transformed into a noun, it became a slur. Now activists are working to reclaim the word as a verb. "We need to think about 'queering' our work," suggested, Brendan Healy, artistic...
Ray Bradbury: 1920-2012
* There are certain images that carry with them a visceral weight, a well of emotional association that bypasses the brain and immediately registers in the heart or in the gut. One such image, for me, was a stack of books, tattered and dog-eared, lying...
Rolling with the New-Play Surge: Teamwork and Trust Are Watchwords for NNPN Honcho Jason Loewith
LIKE OIL AND WATER, HOT AND COLD, CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN PUMPS AND FLIP-FLOPS, the concepts of expansiveness and intimacy seem inherently at odds. Harnessed together, however, the two principles have sped the progress of the National New Play Network,...
Samuel D. Hunter His Private Idaho: Arena Stage's New Resident Playwright Carves out His Own Psychic Terrain
I FIRST MET SAM HUNTER AT THE SEVEN DEVILS Playwrights Conference in McCall, Idaho. A native son of the state, he seemed naturally, utterly at home there--and, at the same time, slightly removed from his big-sky surroundings. Tall and broad-shouldered...
Season Preview 2012 13: Production Schedules for the Coming Season at TCG Theatres Coast-to-Coast
ALABAMA Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Montgomery, (334) 271-5353, www.asf.net Season TBA ALASKA Cyrano's Theatre Company, Anchorage, (907) 274-2599, www.cyranos.org American Night: The Ballad of Juan Jose, Richard Montoya; dir: Dick...
Serban Rekindles the Fire in Chekhov: But Why, a Critic Protests, Should Romanian Audiences Have All the Luck?
I'VE BEEN SITTING IN THEATRES ELECTRIFIED with ferocious, spectacular performances of classical plays in incomprehensible languages, directed by Andrei Serban. No, this isn't another revival of Serban's legendary Fragments of a Greek Trilogy, first...
The Ascent of Katori Hall: The Mountaintop Scribe Pulls No Punches-And Neither Do Her Characters
THE PLAYWRIGHT KATORI HALL has a voice like a luxury brand of caramel, sweet and rich and not a little salty. It has more than a dash of her Memphis upbringing--a high tone and a plush timbre with a tendency to lengthen short vowels into lush, long...
The Commons Touch: Thanks to a Triumvirate of Forward-Lookers, a Think Tank Grows in Boston
BOSTON IS A REVOLUTIONARY CAPITAL OF LONG STANDING, not only as the young nation's first "city on a hill," or as the site of its initial stirrings of revolt, but as a crucial hub for national upheavals like abolition and the Industrial Revolution,...
The Motherfucker with the Hat
A mysterious hat. Two cheating couples catch each other in a tangled web of lies. Fueled by drugs, alcohol and passions the plot thickens. With time and truth, the lovers try to move forward with their lives. SPEAKEASY STAGE COMPANY ...
The Whipping Man
At the end of the Civil War, Caleb, a wounded Jewish Confederate soldier, returns home to discover his father's two former Jewish slaves, Simon and John. As they nurse Caleb's leg and celebrate Passover, the men's faith is tested and painful past secrets...
The Wisdom of Crowds: Crowdfunding Online Can Work to Your Advantage-If You Plan and Shop Around
ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS ON the funding landscape in the past few years has been the rise of crowdfunding: socially networked fundraising programs managed by websites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and RocketHub. In a sign of just how fast...
What Do We Want? Theatre! When Do We Want It? Now! Theatre Now! Podcast Gives Voice to Influential Women in Contemporary Theatre
THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF DISCUSSION OVER THE past few years about women's voices being underrepresented in the theatre--there aren't enough female playwrights being produced, not enough women in executive positions in regional theatres, not enough female...
What Dramaturgs Want
Calling all dramaturgs, one-time dramaturgs, would-be dramaturgs! What production in the coming season have you heard about that you wish you were working on as a dramaturg? What it is about this show that afflicts you with dramaturgical envy? JULIE...