9 Theatre Books to Check Out This April | Playbill

Book News 9 Theatre Books to Check Out This April

New releases for this month include a romance novel set in Broadway’s Golden Age, a Sam Shepard biography, and a look at Barbra Streisand’s recording career.

Shelter from those April showers or bask in the early spring sunshine, but make sure you bring along one of these new theatre reads. 

We’ve rounded up 9 new releases for Broadway bookworms, including a tween novel series from Mandy Gonzalez, and an analysis of works of theatre in times of crisis.

Crisis: The Theatre Responds
By Carol Rocamora
Rocamora’s book investigates how playwrights have responded to crises, from the AIDS epidemic to the climate emergency. With discussion of pieces from recent Broadway seasons like Slave Play, Angels in America, and Ain’t No Mo, Rocamora assesses how theatre can heighten awareness and promote change. Available April 28 from Salamander Street Ltd.

True West by Robert Greenfield

True West: Sam Shepard’s Life, Work, and Times
By Robert Greenfield
This biography chronicles the life of the late Sam Shepard, actor and playwright (True West, Buried Child). Greenfield’s book explores Shepard’s works as well as his relationships with stars like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, and includes a collection of interviews from sources who had never spoken on record about the publicity-averse playwright before. Available April 11 from Penguin Random House.

Broadway Baby
By Russell Miller and Judith A. Proffer
Broadway Baby is a new children’s book with a motivational message for aspiring performers of all ages. The “whimsical love letter to Broadway” encourages theatre-loving toddlers, parents, and teachers to be creative, pursue their dreams, and become whoever they want to be. Available April 4 from Meteor 17 Books.

Contemporary Black Theatre and Performance: Acts of Rebellion, Activism, and Solidarity
By DeRon S. Williams, Khalid Y. Long, Martine Kei Green-Rogers, William C. Boles, and Anja Hartl
Artists and scholars come together to study Black performance art in the 21st century in this new release. The book includes analysis of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy and Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, a look at Black Lives Matter protests of summer 2020, and queer and Black feminist theories, all to examine the relationship between theatre, racial identity, and activism. Available for Kindle April 6 from Methuen Drama.

Fearless by Mady Gonzalez

In the Mix (Fearless Series)
By Mandy Gonzalez and Sushil Preet K. Cheema
From actress Mandy Gonzalez (In the Heights, Hamilton) comes the third installment of the tween fiction series Fearless. The novel follows twelve-year-old Hudson Patel, who struggles to balance his passion for theatre with his love for baking. Available April 4 from Aladdin.

Blanche: The Life and Times of Tennessee Williams’s Greatest Creation
By Nancy Schoenberger
This new release is all about the character Blanche DuBois, protagonist of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. Author Nancy Schoenberger considers Blanche’s story as well as how the character is intertwined with themes of “womanhood, sexuality, mental illness, and the idealized South.” Available April 4 from Harper Collins.

300 Thoughts for Theatremakers: A Manifesto for the Twenty-First-Century Theatremaker
By Russell Lucas
This self-empowerment book is made up of “reflections and provocations” for actors, directors, producers, and anyone else involved in making live theatre. The piece includes tips for brainstorming and idea development, collaboration, show promotion, and more. Available April 18 from Nick Hern Books.

Barbra Streisand: The Music, The Albums, The Singles by Matt Howe

Barbra Streisand: the Music, the Albums, the Singles
By Matt Howe
For fans of the Funny Girl herself, this new book outlines Barbra Streisand’s recording career since the release of The Barbra Streisand Album in 1963. Readers can learn how Streisand would begin to top the charts at the ripe age of 20, and eventually become one of the most celebrated artists of her time. Available April 24 from Fayetteville Mafia Press.

Quick Bright Things
By Michael Golding
Quick Bright Things follows a New York City rehearsal pianist, director, and his “Girl Friday” as they work together to create a musical production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1948. Golding’s novel is a “glittering love letter to the Great White Way” as he tells a story of life during Broadway’s Golden Age. Available April 4 from Michael Golding.

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