An Ideal Theater: Founding Visions for a New American Art

by TCG News

in TCG Books

Post image for An Ideal Theater: Founding Visions for a New American Art

We are pleased to announce the publication of An Ideal Theater: Founding Visions for a New American Art, a wide-ranging, inspiring documentary history of the American theatre movement as told by the visionaries who goaded it into being. This anthology collects over forty essays, manifestos, letters and speeches that are each introduced and placed in historical context by the noted writer and arts commentator, Todd London, who spent nearly a decade assembling this collection. This celebration of the artists who came before is an exhilarating look backward, as well as toward the future, and includes contributions from:

Jane Addams • William Ball • Julian Beck • Herbert Blau Angus Bowmer • Bernard Bragg • Maurice Browne
Robert Brustein • Alison Carey • Joseph Chaikin
Harold Clurman • Dudley Cocke • Alice Lewisohn Crowley
Gordon Davidson • R. G. Davis • Doris Derby
W. E. B. Du Bois • Zelda Fichandler • Hallie Flanagan
Eva Le Gallienne • Robert E. Gard • Susan Glaspell
André Gregory • Tyrone Guthrie • John Houseman
Jules Irving • Margo Jones • Frederick H. Koch
Lawrence Langner • W. McNeil Lowry • Charles Ludlam
Judith Malina • Theodore Mann • Gilbert Moses
Michaela O’Harra • John O’Neal • Joseph Papp
Robert Porterfield • José Quintero • Bill Rauch
Bernard Sahlins • Richard Schechner • Peter Schumann
Maurice Schwartz • Gary Sinise • Ellen Stewart
Lee Strasberg • Luis Miguel Valdez • Nina Vance
Douglas Turner Ward

As well as the founding visions of theatres from across the country:

The Actors Studio • The Actor’s Workshop • Alley Theatre
American Conservatory Theater • American Repertory Theater Arena Stage • Barter Theatre • Bread and Puppet Theater
Carolina Playmakers • Chicago Little Theater
Circle in the Square Theatre • Civic Repertory Theatre
Cornerstone Theater Company • Federal Theatre Project
Ford Foundation Program in Humanities and the Arts
Group Theatre • Hull-House Dramatic Association
KRIGWA Players • Living Theatre
La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club • Mark Taper Forum Mercury Theatre • Minnesota Theater Company (Guthrie Theater)
National Theatre of the Deaf • Negro Ensemble Company
Negro Theatre Project, Federal Theatre Project
Neighborhood Playhouse • New Dramatists
New York Shakespeare Festival • Open Theater
Oregon Shakespeare Festival • Performance Group
Provincetown Players • Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center Ridiculous Theatrical Company • Roadside Theater
San Francisco Mime Troupe • Second City
Steppenwolf Theatre Company • Theater ’47 • Theatre Guild
Theatre of the Living Arts • Washington Square Players
Wisconsin Idea Theater • Yale Repertory Theatre
Yiddish Art Theatre


Todd London is artistic director of New Dramatists in New York, the nation’s oldest laboratory for playwrights. A George Jean Nathan Award-winning essayist, he’s the author of numerous books, including Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play (with Ben Pesner); The Artistic Home (TCG); The World’s Room, a novel; and his collected essays, The Importance of Staying Earnest (NoPassport Press). In 2009 Todd became the first recipient of TCG’s Visionary Leadership Award for “an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to advance the theatre field as a whole, nationally and/or internationally.”