From the category archives:

American Theatre magazine

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(Frank Langella as Lear in the Chichester Festival Theatre’s production in January) “These late eclipses of the sun and moon portend us no good.” So predicts Gloucester in King Lear, a play that has eclipsed in our skies four times so far in this calendar year – beating theatrical records, not to mention astronomical ones. And though those [...]


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“By the pricking of my thumbs,/Something wicked this way comes.” A veritable army of Macbeths have been marching through New York these past few years, culminating in the spectacular one led by Kenneth Branagh at the Park Armory last month. You can’t ignore them.  After all, this was the play – we were taught -  [...]


En Garde Arts Redux

by Anne Hamburger June 5, 2014 American Theatre magazine
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(Image from En Garde’s BASETRACK. Photo by Balazs Gardi.) I’m sitting on the floor of the Lambs Club with two wonderful part time interns, leaning on a pool table that looks like it hasn’t been used in 50 years. Paintings of early 20th century thespians and nude women hang on the walls. This opulent room is [...]

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The Incubator Arts Project Says Goodbye

by Samara Naeymi May 28, 2014 American Theatre magazine
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(The following post is adapted from an email sent announcing the closing of the Incubator Arts Project. We publish it here with their permission.) As of July 1 2014, the Incubator Arts Project will close its doors at St Mark’s Church. It has been a long and wonderful ride in support of emerging work, dating back [...]

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by Eliza Bent May 20, 2014 American Theatre magazine

“It’s Complicated—like on Facebook,” uttered Michael Feingold, chairman of the Obies. He was attempting to describe how the Obies work to the uninitiated in his opening remarks—awards that confuse many and remain coveted by all. His comment garnered a hearty laugh, that is, for those who were listening. You see, the Obies—and the ceremony that’s [...]

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Pops’s Last Stand

by Rob Weinert-Kendt February 25, 2014 American Theatre magazine
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The following article ran in the July/August issue of American Theatre in advance of the play’s run at Shakespeare & Company and at the Long Wharf Theatre. The play is now in previews at the Westside Theatre in New York City, and will open on March 4. As theatre critic for the Wall Street Journal, Terry [...]

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(A)pollonia: A Festival of Readings of New Polish Plays

by Robert Avila December 17, 2013 American Theatre magazine
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(Cast and director of Foreign Bodies.) A slate of 9 compelling works reveals a nation at odds with its own history On or about May 2009, Polish theatre changed. That’s probably a little grand and a little too specific. But sometime in the early 21st century, something new definitely arrived on Polish stages. A little [...]

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Fifty Years: An Oral History

by Diep Tran November 12, 2013 American Theatre magazine
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[Photo: Billy Budd at Trinity Repertory Company.] “Tell me a story.” That was what we asked a handful of artistic director across the country. Why? Because the theatres they are in charge of are turning 50, a momentous number that shows the resiliency and longevity of the American theatrical landscape. The institutions celebrating 50 years are [...]

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Safe Home

by Lisa Loomer August 7, 2013 American Theatre magazine
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As I write this, in Ashland Oregon, the summer sky is dark, full of smoke from wildfires, an apocalyptic sky reminiscent of bad, scary B movies—a sky which has driven tourists, die-hard theatregoers all…away. It’s made me think about where I live. I live in a town that is dependent on theatre. Theatre is our [...]

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Hollywood Beginnings

by Russell M. Dembin June 27, 2013 American Theatre magazine
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Christopher Patrick Mullen as Fredrik Egerman and Patti-Lee Meringo as Anne Egerman in Arden Theatre Company’s production of A Little Night Music. Photo by Mark Garvin. In the weeks leading up to the Tony Awards ceremony earlier this month, there was much discussion among journalists and theatre enthusiasts regarding the proliferation of Broadway musicals based [...]

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Let the Right One In

by Naomi Wallace March 13, 2013 American Theatre magazine
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(Photo by Jenny Graham. Pictured: Naomi Wallace. This essay was originally published in the January 2013 issue of AMERICAN THEATRE.) On resistance, hospitality and new writing for the American stage All writing for the theatre is in some sense an act of violation. By this I mean that when we enter into the lives of [...]

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Go Small or Go Home

by Diep Tran October 16, 2012 American Theatre magazine
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Last Saturday, I was at church. No, I did not just suddenly find God (unless that God is at the bottom of a banana pudding cup). I was at the theatre, the performing arts lover’s version of church, which was located in the basement of a church. And I was watching a very secular musical [...]

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“Raisin” Rises Again

by Rob Weinert-Kendt October 2, 2012 American Theatre magazine
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TCG’s annual Top 10 Most Produced Plays list is among the theatre season’s most anticipated, and most talked-about, barometers—though, as Gus Schulenburg pointed out recently, the conversation as much as the programming can get stuck in some familiar ruts. One list-inspired discussion that Gus’s story didn’t mention was the one begun by a Terry Teachout [...]

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Top 11 Most-Produced Playwrights of 2012-13 Season

by August Schulenburg September 20, 2012 American Theatre magazine
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Every year, the October issue of American Theatre features a list of the nation’s upcoming seasons, including which plays are slated to receive the most productions. That information will be released in October, but yesterday on the IM Wire and now here on the Circle we’re able to share another important piece of data – [...]

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May Days: The Best of American Theatre’s Facebook Page

by Rob Weinert-Kendt May 31, 2012 American Theatre magazine
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American Theatre has an active and engaged Facebook community, and they’re not just using the shared wall to scribble and joke. Yes, there are some wits among our more than 12,000 fans, but there’s a large amount of wisdom among them, as well. So when we ask a substantive question, either about a nuts-and-bolts theatrical [...]

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“Proud” To Be Canadian

by Rob Weinert-Kendt May 9, 2012 American Theatre magazine
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In early February, Canadian theatres felt a chill quite apart from the nip in the winter air: It was then that Michael Healey, a leading Canuck playwright best known for his three-hander The Drawer Boy, resigned from his residency at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, taking with him a play called Proud, which Tarragon had refused to [...]

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When Sports and Theatre Mix

by Lauren Smart May 8, 2012 American Theatre magazine
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Photo from the Broadway production of Magic/Bird. Earlier this year, I found myself in an argument with my Dad. He was coming to visit me at Syracuse University and had purchased two seats to the basketball game. The catch? They weren’t next to one another. “Why would I want to sit by myself at a [...]

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Why is the Sequel Never the Equal?

by Harrison Hill January 20, 2012 American Theatre magazine
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(Laila Robins, J. Smith-Cameron, and Maryann Plunkett. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus.) The holidays herald one thing for theatre journalism (aside from the expected swipes at A Christmas Carol, that is): Annual “Best Of” lists. 2011’s winners are largely unsurprising (those Mormons!), but one small, unassuming entry has unexpectedly burrowed its way onto several high-profile, critical [...]

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Publish? Perish? Does Anyone Care?

by Eliza Bent December 6, 2011 American Theatre magazine
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(Photo: Benjamin Privitt. Pictured: Mark Jackson and Peter Ruocco in the 2009 Shotgun Players production of Jackson’s Faust Pt1, published by EXIT Press). In the age of the internet, does anyone care about printed plays anymore? A recent panel discussion and performance at the Martin E. Segal Center was titled “Publishing Performance in the 21st Century: [...]

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Holland in Texas

by Rob Weinert-Kendt November 21, 2011 American Theatre magazine
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(Pictured: Holland Taylor. Photo by: Linda Matlow) Ann, Holland Taylor’s one-woman show about late Texas governor Ann Richards, opened recently at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre. American Theatre wrote about the show in its first iteration in Richards’s home state, when it had a more colorful title, in our May/June issue. After our recent post [...]

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Somewhere That’s Green

by Harrison Hill November 16, 2011 American Theatre magazine
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Last year, American Theatre told you about one theatre’s creative stab at sustainability in a story that prompted two responses on The Circle (here and here). Well, when it rains, it pours: We’ve just caught wind of another regional company’s efforts to stay green in a unique confluence of art and economics. Per its mission [...]

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Reasons to be Critical

by Diep Tran November 9, 2011 American Theatre magazine
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For a full ill-advised minute (actually, more like ten months), I had considered being a theatre critic. And then, I realize two things: I really disliked reading my own opinions and criticism was a hard and mostly thankless job. When you give a theatre artist a good review, they admire you and your writing and [...]

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The Canadian Club

by Harrison Hill October 21, 2011 American Theatre magazine
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(Photo by Kevin Berne. A legendary Russian ballet dancer (Pascal Molat) visits Tosca Cafe.) “Why aren’t more American plays seen abroad?” asked Eliza Bent in the May/June 2011 issue of American Theatre. We Yanks have got the goods, Bent argued, but the challenges of taking homegrown productions outside U.S. borders have proven too hard for many [...]

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Keeping it (Dramatically) in the Family

by Diep Tran October 19, 2011 American Theatre magazine
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Is there nothing in life more rewarding and simultaneously frustrating than your family? If you’ve ever had your mother call at inconvenient moments and when she asks, “How is everything going?” (in which you grit your teeth and cheerfully (usually falsely) reply, “Fine!”) then you know what I’m talking about. This week, I saw a [...]

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Catching the Pass

by August Schulenburg October 7, 2011 American Theatre magazine
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(Photo: Gerry Goodstein. Pictured: Amy Staats and Lynette Freeman from WAKING UP by Cori Thomas, directed by Tea Alagić) Having previously featured the ACTpass in Eliza Bent’s April 2011 Strategies column in American Theatre, we were excited when Ensemble Studio Theatre’s ESTpass press release crossed our transom. Was this an idea with legs? How would [...]

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The Theater of 9/11

by Diep Tran September 12, 2011 American Theatre magazine
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Why art? Or, more specifically, why theater? Especially in the face of great tragedy, what can art do to help heal the wounded or to bring everything back to normal? On the cusp of the 10th anniversary of September 11th, I was looking through a selection of plays that were being mounted to commemorate the [...]

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Signature Stories

by Bryna Turner August 10, 2011 American Theatre magazine

There’s no doubt Signature Theatre Company is an all-around hit with playwrights. Romulus Linney, its first playwright-in-residence, called it “the best thing that’s ever happened to me in the theatre.” The twice-Signature-celebrated Horton Foote said, “It is truly a theatre home.” And Tony Kushner, the current playwright-in-residence, will even go so far as to say, [...]

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How to See a Forest

by Bryna Turner July 13, 2011 American Theatre magazine

Friday, June 24: My friend Jane and I are walking down Ninth Avenue in New York City on a quest for deli coffee. As we cross the street, the air is suddenly filled with little white wisps. I stop breathing instinctively, thinking of airborne diseases, wondering if bedbugs can be carried through the wind. Panicking [...]

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Copyright or Wrong?

by Eliza Bent June 30, 2011 American Theatre magazine

Navigating licensing agreements and copyright laws can be a thorny and expensive endeavor. What is the line between adaptation and overstepping artistic and legal boundaries? The following open letter from Boxcar Theatre’s artistic director is an unusually frank perspective on his company’s struggle with such issues. What do you think about his comments? An Open [...]

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Reviving Repertory

by Jessica Showers February 23, 2011 American Theatre magazine

“Repertory” has morphed over the years into a relatively meaningless term. Thirty-seven of TCG’s current member theatres use the word in their company names, but how many of them regularly run in actual rotating rep? With the costs and mental and physical challenges associated with the practice—when a company of actors performs in concurrently running [...]

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All Comedy Is Local

by August Schulenburg December 14, 2010 American Theatre magazine
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(Dana Quercioli, Ric Walker, Katie Caussin, Micah Sherman, Kiley Fitzgerald and Tim Sniffen in the Second City’s “One If By Land, Late If By T”. Photo by Michael Brosilow) Eliza Bent’s October 2010 Strategies article looked at the ingenious local approach to Chicago’s 50-year-old Second City national touring. The company creates shows based on local [...]

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Transcending Transcendence

by August Schulenburg December 13, 2010 American Theatre magazine

An interesting conversation is breaking out over at the American Theatre magazine article, Casting Without Limits. In that article, Richard Schechner advocates for casting without consideration of “gender, race, age and body type.” Schechner identifies four benefits to this open casting: First, it would give actors the chance to play roles that have been off [...]

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The List, Continued

by Rob Weinert-Kendt September 16, 2010 American Theatre magazine

As promised earlier this week, here is the list of the 10 playwrights scheduled to receive the most productions at TCG member theatres in the 2010-’11 season: 1. Patrick Barlow: 26 productions 2. Tracy Letts: 20 3. Sarah Ruhl: 19 4. Lynn Nottage: 17 5. August Wilson: 17 6. Annie Baker: 17 7. Tennessee Williams: [...]

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What’s In A List?

by Rob Weinert-Kendt September 14, 2010 American Theatre magazine
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Among the things TCG is best known for—its annual national conference, its far-reaching artistic and management programs, its lovely Manhattan conference room—arguably its most popular yearly feature is American Theatre’s “Top 10 Plays” list, which each October gives a snapshot of which shows are slated to receive the most productions in the coming season. Apart [...]

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American Theatre’s Randy Gener Awarded the ‘Rube’

by TCG News June 10, 2010 American Theatre magazine
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[Photo by Rick Maiman] The Deadline Club, the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), honored the best of the best in New York area journalism June 7 at the Annual Dinner of the Deadline Club Awards, one of New York City’s most prestigious journalism awards, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. American [...]

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Haiku You: Great Plains Theatre Conference

by Eliza Bent June 10, 2010 American Theatre magazine
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I recently returned from the Great Plains Theatre Conference in lovely Omaha, Nebraska and for me it was a half-week filled with readings, workshops, full productions and meeting new people. Part of what was so nice about the experience was the lack of posturing or posing among participants. Perhaps that had to do with the [...]

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The Regional Tony

by Rob Weinert-Kendt May 5, 2010 American Theatre magazine
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The Tony Awards are famously circumscribed in their purview: Only productions that played in the past year in theatres of a certain size within about a dozen city blocks on the island of Manhattan are eligible (but there are no guarantees even then). What could be more provincial than that? Actually, of course, theatre may [...]

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Lynn Redgrave Remembered

by Rob Weinert-Kendt May 4, 2010 American Theatre magazine
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Lynn Redgrave touched many lives in the intersecting worlds of theater, film, and television, and on two sides of the ocean, from the film Georgy Girl to her recent Manhattan Theatre Club show Nightingale. And though she came from acting royalty, she wore her status with a common touch and democratic aplomb. Her death over [...]

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The Medium Is the Message

by Eliza Bent April 28, 2010 American Theatre magazine
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Last night I dreamt of my Colorado hosts and today I am wearing the sweatshirt (photographed left) they gifted me upon visiting them a few weeks ago. I was in Colorado Springs over Good Friday to see The Thorn, a passion play of an acrobatic order. The Thorn has been performed since the mid ‘90s [...]

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DIY: Lumpia Campesina (Filipino Eggroll)

by Ashley Faison April 1, 2010 American Theatre magazine
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American Theatre magazine’s April “Food Issue” has hit the stands! This issue explores (among other things) the relationship between food and theatre (complete with eight great tear-out recipe cards, suitable for using, abusing, spilling on, scribbling on and filing away). How do we know these eight recipes make for such a fine and fancy feast? [...]

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In Humana

by Eliza Bent March 24, 2010 American Theatre magazine
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Just returned from the 34th annual Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville and am reminded of how important it is to meet colleagues from different areas of our vast nation. It’s invigorating! As one of the oldest new play festivals in the United States, Humana attracts a VIP crowd plus loads of local [...]

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