Vol. 26, No. 1

Waiting for Triumph: Alan Schneider and the American Response to Waiting for Godot

Alan Schneider, one of the most important American directors of the twentieth century, was know for being a “playwright’s director.” He believed it was his responsibility to interpret the script as a faithful representation of the playwright’s intent. For this reason, so many major playwrights [ . . . ]

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Feminist Periodization as a Structural Component of Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles

“People are products of the time in which they came of age. I know that to be true. In my plays these women are very much of their times.” — Wendy Wasserstein. Most scholarship and critical studies on the dramatic works of Wendy Wasserstein (1950-2006), during her lifetime and after her untimely death at the […]

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“One Live as Two, Two Live as One”: Bert Williams and the Uprooted Bamboo Tree

As a black blackface entertainer and influential international star, Bert Williams has held a continuous fascination for theatre historians, in large part because Williams signifies the contradictions of blackface as much as he lived the history of African American minstrelsy. His work with George Walker starting in the 1890s, groundbreaking musicals of the 1900s, and […]

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Playwright as Publicity: Reexamining Jane Martin and the Legacy of the Humana Festival

In May 2011, Marc Masterson departed Actors Theatre of Louisville for a similar position as the artistic director of South Coast Repertory Theater in San Diego. Reportedly, he initially offered to remain and assist with the search for a replacement, but his proposal was not accepted as the leadership of the theatre wished to proceed […]

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Between Blackface and Bondage: The Incompletely Forgotten Failure of The Underground Railroad‘s 1879 Midwestern Tour

In 1879, nineteen-year-old Pauline Hopkins’s musical slave drama, The Underground Railroad, flopped. Reviews panned the production, suggesting the plagiaristic knock-off of Joseph Bradford’s Out of Bondage “lacked interest and was devoid of plot.” Audiences noted the lackluster performances, asserting “the company can’t sing like the Hyers sisters” (the pioneering African American sister act who had […]

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