From the TCG Bookshelf, October 2013
One of the most bracing and critically acclaimed plays in recent Broadway history, Tracy Letts's August: Osage County is a portrait of the dysfunctional American family at its finest — and absolute worst. This new edition of the play, now available, coincides with the December 25, 2013 release of a major film adaptation starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard, Juliette Lewis and Ewan McGregor.
This and Other Plays, the debut collection by Obie Award-winning playwright Melissa James Gibson, includes This, an un-romantic comedy about a group of friends; Suitcase, an anxious verbal quartet about stalled dissertations and improbable romantics; [sic], in which three young, urban failures navigate the slippery allegiances of their triangular friendship and Brooklyn Bridge, about a latchkey kid who embarks on a journey through both the architecture of her building and the nature of kindness.
An Ideal Theater: Founding Visions for a New American Art is 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. A decade in the making, this collection of founding visions from over thirty U.S. theatres includes Joseph Papp, The New York Shakespeare Festival; Ellen Stewart, La MaMa E.T.C.; Luis Valdez, El Teatro Campesino and many more.
Late in the ten-year process of researching this…I realized that this was not just a history of theatres, a history of pioneering inspiration. It was a study of idealism in action…An important, early chronicler of the art theatre movement, Sheldon Cheney, wrote that idealism is "the first ideal of the art theatre." He nailed it. That's where the title comes from. That's what the book is ultimately about: idealism in a world of pragmatism and compromise, the big artistic YES in a world of NO.
– Todd London
A dazzling new comedy from Lynn Nottage, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Ruined, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark draws upon the screwball films of the 1930s to take a funny and irreverent look at racial stereotypes in Hollywood. The comedy premiered in 2011 at Second Stage Theatre with an extended run and received a Lily Award and Drama Desk nomination.
Eric Bogosian, one of America's premier performers and most original playwrights, offers his two newest works in Sex Plays: Skunkweed details the culture clash between a L.A. screenwriter and a working-class girl and her rural Florida clan in a hotel room, and the parable 1+1 explores desire, greed and responsibility to others through the lives of an aspiring actress, an assistant restaurant manager and a photographer.
During the forty-five years Richard Foreman has been staging his wildly inventive work, he has been wrestling with the basic question of "What is art?" The Manifestos and Essays collects his writings on the subject, from his early manifestos through his recent transition to the use of film, and provides a fascinating window into this singular artist's mind and creative process.
by Daniel Maclvor
Playwrights Canada Press
This bittersweet comedy from one of Canada's most beloved playwrights — the Obie Award-winning author of In On It — explores the many ways in which we grieve and the love we find in unexpected places.
Reflections on Shakespeare
by Peter Brook
Nick Hern Books
In a sequence of essays, one of the world's most revered theatre directors reflects on a variety of Shakespearean topics such as who wrote Shakespeare's plays, why the Bard is never out of date and how actors should approach his verse.
compiled by Nick Hern
Nick Hern Books
This collection includes sixty-six miniature memoirs by leading playwrights, actors and directors — including Caryl Churchill, Conor McPherson, Bruce Norris and Nina Raine — recalling the plays that first influenced them.
53rd State Press
This summer, TCG was thrilled to become the distributor of 53rd State Press, a publisher of new plays and performance texts that interrogate, challenge, renew and emblazon the language of performance. 53rd State Press's current catalog includes innovative works by noted ensemble theatres Pig Iron Theatre Company and Nature Theater of Oklahoma, as well as by playwrights and artists including Erin Courtney, Erik Ehn, Sibyl Kempson and Kristen Kosmas.
Founded in 2007 by Karinne Keithley Syers, who was joined shortly thereafter by Antje Oegel, 53rd State Press is co-edited by Keithley Syers and Oegel, who work on a small, sustainable model, publishing writing for performance that particularly tends toward new directions in the theatrical imagination of language. 53rd State Press is also engaged in finding and distributing documentation of interdisciplinary performance and choreographic composition.
I started the press out of an impulse to both preserve and disseminate the writing coming out of my community. All these extraordinarily imaginative pieces of performance language were being written, but for the most part were heard, or if lucky staged, for no more than two or three nights…I was inspired by indie rock labels in the sense that I felt we could take responsibility for representing ourselves.
– Karinne Keithley Syers
Founder of 53rd State Press
Welcome aboard, 53rd State Press!
A Reading with Todd London
Tuesday, November 12 at 6:30 PM
Yale Bookstore; New Haven, CT
Author Todd London (Artistic Director of the Tony Award- winning institution New Dramatists) will discuss his new book, An Ideal Theater: Founding Visions for a New American Art. He will be joined by Joan Channick, associate dean of Yale School of Drama; Victoria Nolan, managing director of Yale Repertory Theatre and deputy dean of Yale School of Drama and other guests for readings from the book and a Q & A.
And Ideal Theater for an Ideal City
Wednesday, December 18 at 6:30 PM
Segal Theatre; NYC
Todd London will discuss his new book, An Ideal Theater, and will be joined by a group of artistic directors who forged their own theatre in New York to discuss the citywide impact of their work.
For more information on both events:
Each month, a TCG staff member selects a TCG Books title that holds a special meaning to him or her, and we offer a special 50% discount off that title for the month.
Currently, Emilya Cachapero, director of artistic programs/ITI-US, has selected Donna Walker-Kuhne's Invitation to the Party: Building Bridges to the Arts, Culture and Community, and here's why.
1. August: Osage County by Tracy Letts
2. Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner
3. Sex Plays by Eric Bogosian
4. Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes
5. Doubt by John Patrick Shanley
6. In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) by Sarah Ruhl
7. Contemporary American Monologues for Women edited by Todd London
8. By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage
9. Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks
10. The Lyons by Nicky Silver
TCG Titles Currently in Production
October – December
Grasses of a Thousand Colors by Wallace Shawn, Public Theater (NY)
4000 Miles by Amy Herzog, Philadelphia Theatre Company (PA)
By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage, Alliance Theatre (GA)
Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, Virginia Repertory Theatre (VA)
4000 Miles by Amy Herzog, South Carolina Theatre Company (CA)
Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts (CA)
Port Authority by Conor McPherson, Writers Theatre (IL)
Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, Salt Lake Acting Company (UT)
The Seafarer by Conor McPherson, OpenStage Theatre & Company (CO)
Collected Stories by Donald Margulies, Florida Repertory Theatre (FL)
Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, Gamm Theatre (RI)
Penelope by Enda Walsh, California Repertory Company (CA)
The Last Night of Ballyhoo by Alfred Uhry, Commonweal Theatre Company (MN)
Race by David Mamet, Kitchen Dog Theater (TX)
A Civil War Christmas by Paula Vogel, Center Stage (MD)
A Civil War Christmas by Paula Vogel, Main Street Theater (TX)
Fences by August Wilson, Long Wharf Theatre (CT)
The Lyons by Nicky Silver, Round House Theatre (MD)
Obama Awards National Medal of Arts and Humanities by James Warren
NY Daily News
Angels in America playwright, Tony Kushner, receives the prestigious award.
Letts on the Pains of Adapting by Associated Press Edge on the Net
Tracy Letts discusses adapting August: Osage County into a film: "That push and pull of what goes, what stays — it's a fight…It's a fight I'm willing to fight. It's a fight, on some level, I have to be willing to lose."
Wallace Shawn: From Toy Story Dino to Highbrow Playwright by Tom Vitale NPR
As his Grasses of a Thousand Colors receives its New York premiere at the Public Theater, Wallace Shawn discusses his work: "I sort of enjoy the fact that I have made a living in an innocent way. And because I found a way to make a living, I didn't face a temptation to write in a way that would be popular."
London's Calling by Stephen Nunns American Theatre magazine
Author Todd London discusses his theatrical influences, An Ideal Theater and his take on his role at New Dramatists: "Basically, I never want to be alone, and I don't want anyone else to be alone either."
Stephen Sondheim Awarded Edward MacDowell Medal for Lifetime Achievement
by Associated Press
This is the first time the medal has been awarded for achievement in musical theatre.
Eric Bogosian on the Art of the Monologue By David Gordon TheaterMania
The playwright and performer Eric Bogosian on the process and potential of an artistic form: "Direct address creates an intense relationship with the audience. I wanted my theatre to be as intense as possible."
24 Recipients of MacArthur "Genius" Awards Named by Felicia R. Lee New York Times
Tarell Alvin McCraney, author of The Brother/Sister Plays and Choir Boy, receives the prestigious "Genius" grant.