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Theatre Bookshelf

A roundup of notable publications.

Plays and Anthologies

My Name Is Saroyan by William Saroyan, James H. Tashjian, ed., Coward-McCann, New York, NY, 1983. 391 pp, $22.50 cloth. This collection of Saroyan’s earliest poems, stories and short plays is culled from his contributions to The Armenian Review in the ’30s. Compiled and annotated by the editor of that publication, the short pieces underscore Saroyan’s warmth and sense of humor, and trace the early career of this major American author and playwright.

West Coast Plays 13/14, Summer/Fall issue, Rick Foster, ed., California Theatre Council, Los Angeles, CA, 1982. 300 pp, $12.50 paper. The best from West Coast theatres’ 1982 seasons, including R.A. Shiomi’s Yellow Fever, Allan Miller’s The Fox, Israel Horovitz’ The Widow’s Blind Date, Martin Weetman’s Estonia You Fall, Ellen V. Sebastian’s Your Place Is No Longer with Us, Leon Martell’s Hoss Drawin’, Murray Mednick’s Coyote V: Listening to Old Nana and Alan Finneran’s Renaissance Radar: A Performance Landscape. Also included are an interview with Alan Finneran and Theodore Shank’s essay on playwriting in England. Available from CTC, 549 South Broadway, Suite 621, Los Angeles, CA 90014.

The Public and Play Without a Title, two plays by Federico Garcia Lorca, Carlos Bauer, trans., New Directions, New York, NY, 1983. 69 pp, $12.50 cloth, $5.25 paper. Two plays left unfinished by Lorca at the time of his death are translated and published for the first time in English. The volume includes an introduction by Bauer with a brief history and analysis of each play.

Strindberg: Five Plays by August Strindberg, Harry G. Carlson, ed., University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1983. 297 pp, $8.95 paper. New translations of Strindberg’s most frequently produced plays—Miss Julie, A Dream Play, The Dance of Death and The Ghost Sonata—printed with extra-wide margins for notations.

Scenarios for the Living/For the Dead, three plays by John D. Schneider and Theatre X, Bridges Books, Amsterdam, Holland, 1983. 139pp, $6.50 paper. Developed at the Mickery Theatre in Amsterdam over a four-year period, these three plays investigate our possible responses to diminishing personal communication and constant media-bombardment. The collection includes An Interest in Strangers, I Used to Like This Place Before They Started Making All Those Renovations and Acts of Kindness. Available in the U.S. from Bookslinger, 213 East 4th Street, St. Paul, MN 55101.

The Best Plays of 1981-82, Otis L. Guernsey, Jr., ed., Dodd, Mead and Co., New York, NY, 1983. 529 pp, $24.95 cloth. Guernsey once again lists his choices for the 10 best plays of the ’81-82 New York season with summaries of and excerpts from each play. Production shots, facts and figures of the season in New York, a summary of Off-Broadway activity and a brief survey of resident theatre seasons across the country are also included.

Music and Musical Theatre

Getting the Show On: The Complete Guide-Book for Producing a Musical in Your Theatre by Lehman Engel, Schirmer Books, New York, NY, 1983. 226 pp, $14.95 cloth. The award-winning music director has written a practical guide for musical theatre production geared to local amateur and professional theatre groups. Engel gives advice on subjects ranging from forming a production staff to handling artistic egos. Also included is a special appendix covering more than 150 popular musicals with pertinent information on each.

All American Music: Composition in the Late Twentieth Century by John Rockwell, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1983. 286pp, $15.95 cloth. This pioneering work by a major American music critic explores the varieties of composition and artists found in this country today. Rockwell’s critical essays cover artists who reflect not only contemporary classical forms but also those experimenting in more innovative and popular styles, from Stephen Sondheim to the Talking Heads.

Perspectives: Creating and Producing Contemporary Opera and Musical Theatre, OPERA America, Washington, DC, 1983. 135 pp, $7 paper. Composed of 15 specially commissioned monographs, this work “examines the forces that have deterred the development of a vital indigenous American opera” with the purpose of creating a new viewpoint on developing an American repertoire of opera and musical theatre. Of particular interest to the theatrical community is Eric Salzman’s “Notes for An American Music Theater,” which traces the historical crossover between opera and musical theatre, and calls for a new perspective on this hybrid form. Available from OPERA America, 633 East St., NW, Washington, DC 20004.

Annuals and Directories

British Theatre Directory 1983, John Offord, ed., John Offord Publications, East Sussex. England, 1983. 575 pp, $25.95 cloth. With an introduction by The Guardian critic Michael Billington on the state of British theatre in 1982 and a calendar of events for the past year, this book contains contact information for more than 10,000 organizations, including theatres, agencies, colleges and universities, TV and radio companies, arts councils and commercial suppliers. Available from John Offord Publications, Box 64, Eastbourne, East Suffix BN21 3LW, England.

British Alternative Theatre Directory 1983/84, Catherine Itzin, ed., John Offord Publications, East Sussex, Englcind, 1983. 262 pp, £6.00 paper. This directory contains listings of alternative theatre companies under a variety of headings, including small and middle scale touring; producing venues in England, Scotland and Wales; community theatre; performance art; dance; mime; children’s theatre and puppet theatre. Also included is information on arts councils, organizations, and dates and contact information for Britain’s principal national festivals. Available from John Offord Publications, Box 64, Eastbourne, East Suffix BN21 3LW, England.

California Theatre Annual: 1983, Barbara Isenberg, ed., Performing Arts Network, Beverly Hills, CA, 1983. 380 PP, $40 cloth. Copiously illustrated with production shots from the 1982-83 season, this book documents over 800 productions from California’s professional theatres. With complete cast and credit listings for 120 production companies, the volume also includes critical articles on trends and specific companies by West Coast critics. Available from Performing Arts Network, 9025 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 210. Beverly Hills, CA 90211.

Dance Magazine Annual ’84, Dance Magazine, NY, 1981 338 pp. 320 paper. A compilation of contact information for individuals and organizations dealing with all acts of dance in the U.S. and abroad. The book is divided into comprehensive listings ranging from individual artists and artists’ agencies to information and merchandise resources. Available from Dance Magazine, Inc. 33 West 60th St., New York NY 1123.

A Guide to Black Organizations and A Guide to Hispanic Organizations, Philip Morris, U.S.A., New York, NY, 1983. Both of these slim 100 pages each contain current and comprehensive lists of national, regional and state organizations for the black and Hispanic populations. Each includes addresses, a list of principal officials, special events sponsored by the organizations and a brief statement of history and purpose. The Hispanic guide also includes information on current Hispanic congressmen. Available from Philip Morris, U.S.A., 120 Park Ave., New York, NY 10017.

1984/85 Performing Arts Touring Program Guide, Affiliated State Arts Agencies of the Upper Midwest, Minneapolis, MN. 32 pp, free. The guide lists program descriptions, artists’ fees, touring dates and technical requirements for 22 professional dance, performance art, theatre, music and opera companies. Community presenters from the Upper Midwest are eligible for fee subsidy provided by the Affiliation. Available from the Affiliation, 528 Hennepin Ave., Suite 302, Minneapolis, MN 55403.

Theatre Crafts Directory 1983-84, Vol. 17, No. 6, June/July 1983, Ronn Smith, ed., Theatre Crafts, New York, NY, 1983. 224 pp, $10 paper. This year’s directory contains more than 900 manufacturers and distributors of products and services for theatre, film, video and performing arts production. The information listed is divided into company profiles, including contact information, a product index and a trade name index. Available from Theatre Crafts, 135 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Summer Theatre Directory 1984, Jill Charles, ed., Dorset Theatre Festival & Colony House, Dorset, VT, 1984. 99 pp, $7.95 paper. Includes extensive listings for U.S. and Canadian summer theatres with contact information and a brief description of each, plus a listing of combined auditions held across the country. Available from Dorset Theatre Festival, Box 519, Dorset, VT 05251.

Put Comics in Thy Purse

Following on the heels of last year’s comic book Macbeth, Workman Publishing brings us Shakespeare’s Othello, complete and unabridged with panel-by-panel, full-color illustrations. Shakespeare’s own poetic imagery is highlighted with masks, shadows, mirrors and creatures that stalk and lurk behind the brilliant, gaudy cartoon figures. Othello by William Shakespeare, illus. Oskar Zarate, Workman Publishing, 1 West 39th St., New York, NY 10018. 130 pp, $7.95.

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