Thinking/Writing Theater—What is it?
This is a collection of about a hundred essays I’ve written as humanities scholar and dramaturg for Maine’s two professional theaters: Portland Stage Company, and The Public Theatre of Lewiston-Auburn. They discuss the plays these theaters have been staging over the past few decades, and were originally addressed to the audiences that would be attending the shows. The theaters invited me to write these essays hoping, I think, that they would add to their patrons’ enjoyment and understanding of the plays they would be seeing in performance.
In talking to directors and actors, I’ve discovered that a fair number of the people involved in putting these plays on stage have also found my essays helpful in answering their questions about character or plot, or in suggesting general perspectives on the plays that they hadn’t previously considered.
Because some of these essays are available on the Public Theatre website, various far-flung readers have also been finding them. Theaters outside Maine have requested permission to use my writing in their own educational or audience-outreach materials. And several students, writing undergraduate papers or graduate theses on these plays, have sought permission to cite my work.
So, I’m hoping this website will be of interest to theater-goers in general; to actors, directors, and producers about to tackle one of these texts; or to students looking for ideas as they think and write about the plays discussed here.
To keep in mind.
You won’t find much in the way of scholarly apparatus in these essays—footnotes, page-references, bibliographies, etc. The theaters that commissioned them didn’t ask for materials of that kind. I have, however, always named the writers whose words I have quoted.
I am the Charles A Dana Professor of Theater at Bates College. Here's more about me.
Where to go from here.
This site is not exhaustive. You might check out these links on your own.
Normal font are audience guides, those put on for the Portland Stage Company are indicated in blue italics