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Nonprofit Directors in the 1990s

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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)

Abstract

After the pioneering efforts of theatres such as the Public Theater and Playwrights Horizons, the idea of the serious nonprofit musical spread to theatres across America during the 1990s. While these shows met with varying levels of economic and critical success, the very existence of this alternative home for the art form began to redefine the musical, offering an alternative to both the traditional Broadway musical and the new West End shows. As the economics of the commercial theatre became increasingly forbidding, the nonprofit theatres became vital incubators for musical dramas and nurtured a new generation of musical theatre writers including William Finn, Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, Adam Guettel, Michael John LaChiusa, Jason Robert Brown, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jeanine Tesori, and Kirsten Childs. They also helped to produce a new generation of directors whose approach to musical theatre was shaped by the aesthetics of nonprofit drama rather than Broadway musicals. A closer examination of two directors (George C. Wolfe and Tina Landau) and three key musicals from this era (Jelly’s Last Jam, Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk, and Floyd Collins) reveals the central role of a new kind of musical theatre director in creating these shows.

Keywords

Nonprofit Sector Original Production Musical Theatre Musical Drama Nonprofit Director 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Alex Witchel, “The Man Who Would Be Papp,” New York Times Magazine, November 8, 1998.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ed Morales, “Theatre and the Wolfe,” American Theatre (11, no. 10, 1994) 20.Google Scholar
  3. 17.
    Rex Reed, New York Observer, May 4, 1992.Google Scholar
  4. 18.
    John Heilpern, New York Observer, May 4, 1992.Google Scholar
  5. 19.
    Frank Rich, New York Times, April 27, 1992.Google Scholar
  6. 22.
    John Heilpern, “Breathtaking Jelly’s Lost Jam Is a Breakthrough Musical,” New York Observer, May 4, 1992.Google Scholar
  7. 23.
    Frank Rich, New York Times, April 27, 1992.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Miranda Lundskaer-Nielsen 2008

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