TCG Press Release


Phillip Matthews
Director of Communications
212 609-5900 ext. 230


New York, December 2007 - A special 25-page section called "Ready, Set, Act," which examines contemporary actor-training from the perspectives of both master acting teachers and working actors in the field, leads off the oversized January 2008 issue of American Theatre magazine.

The national arts monthly, published by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), focuses each January on various aspects of theatre training. The three articles in this year's special section are devoted to the broadest, most visible and in some ways most contentious sector of the training universe: the preparation of actors for careers on the stage and beyond.

The articles include:

  • "Shaping the Independent Actor," revealing interviews by acting specialist Ellen Orenstein with eight master teachers—Christopher Bayes, Valerie Curtis-Newton, Olympia Dukakis, William Esper, Robyn Hunt, Mary Overlie, Andrei Serban and Ron Van Lieu—all of whom are associated with important U.S. university training programs.


  • "For Working Actors, the Readiness Is All," an essay by actor and director Charlie Hensley about how actors in search of their distinctive voices create a new brew from training ingredients they've gathered over time. Hensley investigates the points of view of such notable performers as John Earl Jelks, Jordan Lage, Franchelle Stewart Dorn, André De Shields, Sean Dugan, Ellen Lauren, Benjamin Bauman and Peter Francis James.


  • "Madness in the Methods?", arts reporter Eliza Bent's account of two unlikely in-progress production that tackle the ins and outs of actor-training as subject matter, created by Theatre MITU of New York and Rude Mechanicals of Austin, TX.

Alongside the special section, the issue headlines an exclusive interview by author and scholar Carol Rocamora with playwright Edward Albee, who celebrates his 80th birthday on March 12, 2008. Albee appears on the magazine cover and inside in portraits by photographer Peter Bellamy.

Rocamora's candid interview, "Albee Sizes Up the Dark Vast," ranges over the writer's long and distinguished career, but zeroes in on the flurry of new work happening in the current season, including a new full-length play, Me, Myself and I, which premieres January 11 at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, N.J.

The play deals with a pair of identical twins and their relationship with their mother (a theme that has haunted Albee since childhood) and stars Tyne Daly and Brian Murray. In keeping with the actor-related theme, such Albee stalwarts as Marian Seldes, Bill Pullman and Rosemary Harris offer observations about appearing in Albee plays.

According to editor in chief Jim O'Quinn, the January issue also includes:

  • A profile of experimental director Jay Scheib, who is making a name for himself outside the traditional resident theatre network;


  • "How to Act Better," a survey by critic John Istel of five manuals about acting;


  • "Blasts from the Past," playwright Jeffrey Sweet's recommendations of new DVDs and MP3s of classic (and rare) productions from theatrical history.


  • Lively and incisive first-hand reports by American Theatre's staff critics Randy Gener and Eliza Bent about contemporary theatre in Sweden and Iceland.


And, as always, the magazine provides listings of production schedules and directors for TCG member theatres nationwide. The issue will be available on selected newsstands nationwide on or about January 1.

American Theatre
is published monthly by TCG, the national service organization for the not-for-profit theatre in America. It is available through an Individual Membership with TCG, which can be obtained online at; or from the Customer Service Department, TCG 520 Eighth Ave., 24th Fl., New York, NY 10018; by phoning 212-609-5900; or e-mailing


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