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. 10, December

20 Questions
Where are you from? I grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla., horn in Tallahassee. But I call Atlanta home, even though about 70 percent of the time I'm in New York. What was your first memorable theatrical experience? I went to Asolo Theatre in...
50 Slices of America: Thanks to CENTERSTAGE and Hal Hartley, You Can Sample Them All Online
What's your America? On Nov. 6, after two years and billions of political ad dollars, American voters were given two possible answers to that question: Romney or Obama. On the same day, out of the spotlight, in Baltimore, Md., the six-week rollout...
A Legacy of Art
NEW YORK CITY: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in our nation's capital signals that political family's particular devotion to the power of art--and now another prestigious Kennedy dedication has arrived on the theatrical front. Columbia...
An All-Nighter That Leads to Broadway
NEW YORK CITY: Each November, "24-Hour Plays on Broadway" attracts some of the performing arts' biggest names to create six short plays, literally overnight. Playwrights meet with actors, select their cast, then stay up all night writing; directors...
C'mon, Get Happy!
ROBERT CAISLEY CONSIDERS HIMSELF A GENERALLY HAPPY PERSON, FOR A PLAYWRIGHT. "For a long time, I thought, 'Shouldn't I have a deep, psychological scar that I should write about?" he muses. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, Caisley couldn't identify...
Coming Home Again
MY BROTHER'S NUMBER WAS 16. MY SISTER'S fiance drew the number 2. If you grew up as I did, at the tail end of the Vietnam War, you know what those numbers mean. I remember one sun-drenched and breezy summer afternoon, sitting on the front porch...
Engage and Edify: That's the Name of the Game When Theatres Design Educational Programs for Adults
"THEATER 101" MIGHT SOUND LIKE THE NAME of an undergraduate college class, but it's actually a program at Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage. According to literary manager Amrita Ramanan, it began as a way to test ideas about the transparency of the new-play...
Ever Headed off to London for a Theatre Binge?
EVER HEADED OFF TO LONDON FOR A THEATRE BINGE? Maybe you crammed half-a-dozen shows into one long weekend, or stretched your stay to accommodate a full week of trundling between funky fringe theatres and the bright lights of the West End. Don't try...
Freeing the Beast
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Play-wright Mia Chung's You for Me for You marks the first production supported by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company's Free the Beast fundraising effort. The program, which launched in May, aims to raise $4 million over the next 10 years...
Gidion's Knot
CHARACTERS HEATHER CLARK: 30s-50s CORRYN FELL: 30s-50s SETTING A fifth grade classroom in a public school in the Lake Forest suburb of Chicago. TIME Early April. The present year. Tuesday. 2:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTES...
Grief Encounter: An Interview with the Playwright
My first and most essential question is this: How did you come to write this extraordinary play? Well, I wrote it in class (laughter)--at Hunter, which you'll remember, of course. You had to sit through all the scenes I brought in. It was a longer...
Happy as a 'P' in 'S'
PLAYWRIGHT ROBERT ASKINS has inhabited several different universes. He grew up on a tree farm in rural Texas, attended a privileged Baptist private school and now resides in New York City. His latest play, P.S. Jones and the Frozen City, is a follow-up...
Identity and the Word: A New Anthology Stages a Conversation between Hip-Hop Culture and the World at Large
SAY WORD! VOICES FROM HIP HOP THEATER An anthology edited and with an introduction by Daniel Banks. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2011. 400 pp., $40 paper. BY DESIGN, HIP-HOP DEFIES DEFINITION. IT IS a culture of resistance and...
Keeping Beckett Company: At BAM and beyond, His Plays Propel the Willing on a Rueful Search for Meaning
LANGUAGE IS TRANSITIVE. ITS MEANING SHIFTS over time as words evolve and devolve. We like to think of writing as permanent, and in basic respects it is--but understanding what a text means is an intangible that's tied to our surroundings, our lifestyles,...
Master Harold: Two New Books Make the Case for Pinter in Performance as Opposed to Pinter as Literature
HAROLD PINTER: THE THEATRE OF POWER By Robert Gordon. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2012. 226 pp., $49.50 cloth. HAROLD PINTER HAS BECOME THAT MOST forbidding of writers, the "contemporary classic"--so classic, in fact, that...
Opera Buffa
CHICAGO: They might seem like strange bedfellows: Second City is known for its comedy improv prowess, while the Lyric Opera presents classic opera. But the two groups have teamed up in Lyric Unlimited, an unlikely program that features performers from...
Oskar Eustis Seizes the Moment: As He Unveils a Landmark Renovation, the Public's Progressive A.D. Talks about Love, Money and Joe Papp's Footsteps
IN 1966, JOSEPH PAPP STRODE INTO AN IMPRESSIVE, triple-arched building on Lafayette Street in Manhattan's East Village that had fallen into disuse. It had been built more than a century before to house the Astor Library and had more recently served...
Over There: Do New Plays Have a Better Shot at Success in Britain Than in the U.S.? Let's Investigate
IN 2009 WE READ OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE: THE LIFE and Times of the New American Play. In February 2010 we heard the author of that widely discussed book, Todd London, along with his collaborator Ben Pesner, Theatre Development Fund executive director Victoria...
Stars upon Thars
NEW HAVEN, CONN., AND PALO ALTO, CALIF.: Bullying is wack. Everybody says so, including Dr. Seuss and Prince Gomolvilas. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The text of Dr. Seuss's The Sneetches is the artistic jumping-off point for a new after-school program...
The Holiday Hustle: Move over, Ebenezer. U.S. Theatres Are Hatching Audience-Pleasing Alternatives to Dickens-And They Want Those Shows to Become Seasonal Traditions, Too
EACH AUTUMN, WHETHER WE'RE READY OR NOT, THE SIGNS OF CHRISTMAS come glittering into focus. The first glimpse of red and green decor. The first opportunity--or obligation--to see family. A cinematic street scene of Christmas lights and falling snow...
The Internet, Cyberspace
121212 UPSTAGE FESTIVAL OF CYBERFORMANCE: Just when you thought that theatre had fallen behind the times, with its old-fashioned notion of butts in seats and the requirement of actually leaving the home to enjoy live entertainment: Think again. The...
The Lily's Revenge: American Repertory Theater
Taylor Mac, PLAY WRIGHT: The Lily's Revenge is my attempt to create a new myth that will help dream the culture forward. It was conceived on the day I saw an AIDS documentary in which ACT UP activists threw ashes of their dead loved ones on the White...
Those Evil Machines
TURNING SOUND RECORDINGS INTO STAGE SHOWS has become a cottage industry for Tony-winning director Des McAnuff. He directed the theatrical debut of The Who's Tommy and the 2012 Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, both of which began life as...
Working against the Clampdown: Activist Watchdogs Offer Support to Artists While Sorting out Fact from Rumor, Propaganda and the Netherworld Between
BRITISH PRODUCER DAVID CECIL SERVED FOUR days in a Ugandan jail because he produced a play about a gay man. Adel Imam, an Egyptian comic actor, was sentence to three months in jail (though the sentence was later reduced to a fine of $170) for offending...
X-Mas 2.0
From interpretive to zany, the spectrum of Christmas entertainment has never been more varied. Read on for a diverse sampling of holiday shows at theatres around the country--there's something for every reveler. THE LOCAL MOVEMENT * A Tucson...