As days lengthen and the weather begins to warm, check out these new theatre books to pack for a day in the park or to keep you entertained indoors during a spring rain. This season’s round-up features memoirs like Drive by Come From Away’s Sharon Wheatley, theory and technique books including Liza Gennaro’s Making Broadway Dance, and an anthology of Stan Lai's translated plays.
Be sure to also check out the winter round-up which featured Harvey Fierstein’s memoir I Was Better Last Night.
Don't Miss This: A Decade of Eccentric Performing Arts
by Jim R. Moore
Photographer Jim R. Moore has captured variety arts throughout his career. Moore presents his documentary photographs of performances from 2010 to 2020, from drag kings and burlesque queens to sideshow stars 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 Away) took a trip across the United States with her family when Broadway shutdown 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 from biographer Charles Casillo takes a look at the relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift who starred together in A Place in the Sun, Raintree County, and Suddenly Last Summer, developing a deep connection over the decades. Available starting May 31.
Facing the Music: A Broadway Memoir
by David Loud
Musical director David Loud releases his debut memoir about his experiences of sexual abuse as an adolescent, his journey to Broadway, and how his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease nearly ruined his theatre career. Loud 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 own Margaret Hall brings Broadway musical director Paul Gemignani’s story to the page, bringing readers into the orchestra pit through Gemignani’s collaborations with Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and more. Available starting May 15.
Hold, Please: Stage Managing A Pandemic
by Richard Hester
This memoir of the pandemic from Jersey Boys stage manager Richard Hester collects Hester’s daily social media posts from during the Broadway shutdown. As theatre lights everywhere went dark, Hester continued to guide others via his posts through the many events spanning March 2020–April 2021. Available now.
Making Broadway Dance
by Liza Gennaro
Choreographer Liza Gennaro delves into analyzing musical theatre choreography and choreographers, and the artistry of the artform in all of its styles, aesthetics, and methodologies. With attention paid to important influences like George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Camille A. Brown, and more, Gennaro takes readers inside the artistic process. Available now.
Mysticism in the Theater: What’s Needed Right 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 theatre’s history from Greek theatre to Shakespeare and up to present day. Available now.
Offstage Observations: Inside Tales of The Not-So-Legitimate Theatre
by Steve Suskin
Go back to a different time of the theatre world as drama critic Steve Suskin goes through 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 tall tales from life on the stage. Available now.
Scenography: An Indian Perspective
by Satyabrata Rout
Scenographer and director of contemporary Indian theatre Dr. Satyabrata Rout looks at the evolution of Indian theatre and the differences in Western and Indian approaches to scenography. Available now.
Selected Plays of Stan Lai
Written and Translated by Stan Lai
Admirers of Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) can now enjoy a three-volume English-language set of selected works from the playwright. Lissa Tyler Renaud edits the collection from the celebrated Chinese playwright and director, including the works Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, The Village, and 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. Included in the book are interviews with performers of solo plays such as Christopher Plummer and personal experiences with others like Stella Adler. Available now.
by Robert Emmett Maddock
This debut novel from Robert Emmettt Maddock, a lyricist and recipient of a Jonathan Larson Grant and a Daryl Roth Award, tells the story of Oliver Pyke, a struggling lyric writer in New York City, as he finds a way to success through wealthy piano player Sam Arkwright. Their collaboration is tested in this exploration of the theatre world and the American Dream. Available now.