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An Ideal Theater

An Ideal Theater

Edited by Todd London


An Ideal Theater is a wide-ranging, inspiring documentary history of the American theatre movement as told by the visionaries who goaded it into being. This anthology collects over forty essays, manifestos, letters and speeches that are each introduced and placed in historical context by the noted writer and arts commentator, Todd London, who spent nearly a decade assembling this collection. This celebration of the artists who came before is an exhilarating look backward, as well as toward the future, and includes contributions from:

Jane Addams • William Ball • Julian Beck • Herbert Blau • Angus Bowmer • Bernard Bragg • Maurice Browne • Robert Brustein • Alison Carey • Joseph Chaikin • Harold Clurman • Dudley Cocke • Alice Lewisohn Crowley • Gordon Davidson • R. G. Davis • Doris Derby • W. E. B. Du Bois • Zelda Fichandler • Hallie Flanagan • Eva Le Gallienne • Robert E. Gard • Susan Glaspell • André Gregory • Tyrone Guthrie • John Houseman • Jules Irving • Margo Jones • Frederick H. Koch • Lawrence Langner • W. McNeil Lowry • Charles Ludlam • Judith Malina • Theodore Mann • Gilbert Moses • Michaela O’Harra • John O’Neal • Joseph Papp • Robert Porterfield • José Quintero • Bill Rauch • Bernard Sahlins • Richard Schechner • Peter Schumann • Maurice Schwartz • Gary Sinise • Ellen Stewart • Lee Strasberg • Luis Miguel Valdez • Nina Vance • Douglas Turner Ward

As well as the founding visions of theatres from across the country:

The Actors Studio • The Actor's Workshop • Alley Theatre • American Conservatory Theater • American Repetory Theater • Arena Stage • Barter Theatre • Bread and Puppet Theater • The Carolina Playmakers • The Chicago Little Theater • Circle in the Square Theatre • The Civic Repertory Theatre • Cornerstone Theater Company • The Federal Theatre Project • Ford Foundation Program in Humanities and the Arts • The Free Southern Theater • The Group Theatre • The Hull-House Dramatic Association • KRIGWA Players • The Living Theatre • La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club • The Mark Taper Forum • The Mercury Theatre • Minnesota Theater Company (Guthrie Theater) • The National Theatre of the Deaf • The Negro Ensemble Company • The Negro Theatre Project, Federal Theatre Project • The Neighborhood Playhouse • New Dramatists • The New York Shakespeare Festival • The Open Theater • Oregon Shakespeare Festival • The Performance Group • The Provincetown Players • The Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center • The Ridiculous Theatrical Company • Roadside Theater • The San Francisco Mime Troupe • The Second City • Steppenwolf Theatre Company • El Teatro Campesino • Theater '47 • The Theatre Guild • The Theatre of the Living Arts • The Washington Square Players • The Wisconsin Idea Theater • Yale Repertory Theatre • The Yiddish Art Theatre

Todd London is in his 18th season as artistic director of New Dramatists, the nation’s oldest center for the creative and professional development of American playwrights. In 2009 Todd became the first recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s (TCG) Visionary Leadership Award for “an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to advance the theater field as a whole, nationally and/or internationally.” He’s the author of The Importance of Staying Earnest: Writings from Inside the American Theatre, 1988-2013 (NoPassport Press), Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play (with Ben Pesner, Theatre Development Fund), The Artistic Home (TCG), and The World’s Room, a novel (Steerforth Press), among others. His column, “A Lover’s Guide to American Playwrights,” tributes to contemporary playwrights, appears on He has won the prestigious George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for his essays in American Theatre and a Milestone Award for his novel. Under his leadership, New Dramatists received a special Tony® Honor and the Obie’s Ross Wetzsteon Award

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