The Regional Alternative Theater
IT IS NOT THE VAST regional centers (like Guthrie, Arena Stage, and SF, ACT) that I want to deal with here. An almost complete map of regional theatrical culture of the American 1960 s is offered by Julius Novick in his Beyond Broadway.1 As the "flying reporter" of Village Voice, he has surveyed the major developments in theater. He seems to have been everywhere where a drum was being banged. Washington and Philadelphia, the South and Southwest, the Pacific Coast, Minneapolis and the Midwest, New England and New York all get a chapter in his book, not to mention his attention to nonresident professional theaters, university theaters, summer festivals, and poor people's theaters (most markedly The Free Southern Theater).
I was fortunate to be in close contact with three theater companies -- Minneapolis Playwrights' Laboratory, Provisional Theatre, L.A., and San Francisco Mime Troupe -- observing performances and their rehearsals, practices, exercises, and everyday life. The Playwrights' Laboratory -- during my stay there -- was chiefly occu-