13 theater books to bring to the park this spring
Relax in the new grass with a memory of Come from afarby Sharon Wheatley or perhaps an anthology of plays written and translated by Chinese playwright Stan Lai.
As the days get longer and the weather begins to warm up, check out these new theater books to take along for a day in the park or indoor entertainment during a spring rain. This season’s roundup features memoirs like To drive by Come from afarby Sharon Wheatley, books on theory and technique including that of Liza Gennaro Broadway dancingand an anthology of translated plays by Stan Lai.
Also be sure to check out the Winter Roundup which featured the memoir of Harvey Fierstein I was better last night.
Don’t Miss This: A Decade of Quirky Performing Arts
by Jim R. Moore
Photographer Jim R. Moore has captured a variety of arts throughout his career. Moore presents her documentary performance photographs from 2010 to 2020, from drag kings and burlesque queens to showrunners and performance artists, in this volume of images accompanied by essays. Available after May 9.
Drive: Stories from Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere
by Sharon Wheatley
Broadway actor Sharon Wheatley (Come from afar) took a trip across the United States with his family when Broadway was closed due to the COVID pandemic. Exploring family memories and new places along the way, Wheatley documents the adventure in this travel memoir. Available now.
Elizabeth and Monty: the untold story of their intimate friendship
by Charles Casillo
This exploration by biographer Charles Casillo looks at the relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift who starred together in Cat on a hot box Roof, Cleopatraand more, and has developed a deep connection over the decades. Available from May 31.
Facing the Music: A Broadway Memoir
by David Loud
Music director David Loud publishes his first memoir about his experiences of sexual abuse as a teenager, his trip to Broadway and how his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease nearly ruined his theatrical career. Strong highlights working for Stephen Sondheim and with some of Broadway’s biggest stars. Available now.
Gemignani: Life and Lessons from Broadway and Beyond
by Margaret Hall
Playbill’s Margaret Hall presents the story of Broadway musical director Paul Gemignani, bringing readers into the orchestra pit through Gemignani’s collaborations with Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and more. Available from May 15.
Wait, Please: Act Out Pandemic Management
by Richard Hester
This memoir of the pandemic Boys jersey Stage manager Richard Hester collects Hester’s daily social media posts during the Broadway shutdown. As the theater lights went out everywhere, Hester continued to guide others via her messages through the many events that unfolded from March 2020 to April 2021. Available now.
by Liza Gennaro
Choreographer Liza Gennaro delves into the analysis of musical theater choreography and choreographers, as well as the artistry of the art form in all of its styles, aesthetics, and methodologies. With attention to important influences such as George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Camille A. Brown, and more, Gennaro takes readers through the artistic process. Available now.
Mysticism in the theatre: what we need now
by Tom Block
This new volume from Routledge presents producer and playwright Tom Block’s ideas on how to infuse historical mystical ideas into contemporary theatre, tracing mysticism in the history of theatre, from Greek theater to Shakespeare and up to the present day. . Available now.
Offstage Observations: Inside Tales of the Not-So-Legitimate Theater
by Steve Suskin
Step back to another era in the theater world as drama critic Steve Suskin navigates a decade of his life, from sharpening pencils for producer David Merrick to producing himself. The book treats readers to personal anecdotes, nuanced insights, and great tales of life on stage. Available now.
Scenography: An Indian look
by Satyabrata Rout
A contemporary Indian theater designer and director, Dr. Satyabrata Rout examines the evolution of Indian theater and the differences between Western and Indian approaches to scenography. Available now.
Stan Lai’s Selected Pieces
Written and translated by Stan Lai
Fans of Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) can now enjoy a three-volume set in English of selected works by the playwright. Lissa Tyler Renaud edits the collection of the famous Chinese playwright and director, including the works Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, The Villageand A dream like a dream. Available now.
Solo Transformation On Stage: A journey into the organic process of the art of transformation
by Ronald Rand
Solo performer Ronald Rand shares a step-by-step guide to creating your solo performance using Stanislavski’s original acting chart and his own two-hour transformation into Harold Clurman. The book includes interviews with performers of solo pieces such as Christopher Plummer and personal experiences with others like Stella Adler. Available now.
by Robert Emmett Maddock
This debut novel by Robert Emmettt Maddock, lyricist and recipient of a Jonathan Larson Fellowship and a Daryl Roth Award, tells the story of Oliver Pyke, a struggling lyricist in New York City, as he finds a way to succeed thanks to a wealthy pianist. Sam Arkright. Their collaboration is put to the test in this exploration of the world of theater and the American dream. Available now.