24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List

Broadway authors this season include Phillipa Soo, Mandy Gonzalez, Judi Dench, and more!

By: Mar. 23, 2024
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Need a great book to spring into the new season? This spring, Broadway's best have put pen to paper to turn out theatre page-turners of every kind. From theatre biographies to theatre fiction; theatre books for kids to theatre history; check out our collection of 24 new Broadway books for every theatre lover's Spring 2024 reading list.

Check out recent releases and view upcoming books for later this year!

24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List The Tony Awards: A Celebration of Excellence in Theatre 

By Eila Mell
Available on April 16, 2024

The Tony Awards: A Celebration of Excellence in Theatre pays tribute to the magic that happens when the curtain goes up and Broadway's best and brightest step onto center stage. Supported by the American Theatre Wing, the arts organization that founded the Tony Awards in 1947 and continues to produce the Tony Awards live telecast each year, author Eila Mell has interviewed a cavalcade of past and present Tony winners, including actors, producers, writers, costume designers, and many many others. Their voices fill the pages of this book with fascinating, behind-the-scenes stories about what it's like to win the theatre world's highest honor.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Broadway Melody

By Jack Viertel
Available on April 2, 2024

A show business romance crossing 7000 miles and 70 years, Broadway Melody lands securely in the confines of Times Square and the Theater District, as a crackerjack trumpet player and a blue-collar spotlight operator vie for the love of an aspiring ingenue who holds them both in thrall for their entire lifetimes. Filled with theater lore and history, vivid characters both real and imagined, and a great number of songs in its heart, this novel delivers the ultimate valentine to Broadway then and now.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Off Book: Devised Performance and Higher Education

By Heather Fitzsimmons Frey
Now Available

In the theater industry, “off book” refers to the date by which performers are to have memorized their lines and will no longer carry their play script—the “book”—on stage. But for the authors of this volume, the question is not when the book needs to be memorized, but why is there a need to be “on” book in the first place? Practitioners of devised performance choose to compose live performances from scratch rather than follow instructions in someone else’s script; educators of devised performance prefer to practice learning, too, as a generative and creative process that can never be confused with mere memorization.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List The Long Revolution: Sixty Years on the Frontlines of a New American Theater

by Zelda Fichandler
Now Available

This volume gathers sixty years of essays, speeches, and manifestos by the founding mother of the resident professional theatre movement. As a founder and artistic director of the flagship Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and chair of New York University’s Graduate Acting program, the late Zelda Fichandler changed the where and how of the American theatre. The Long Revolution gathers Fichandler’s most prescient writing about that movement, ranging over such topics as The Institution as Art-Work, the Profit in NonProfit, Race and a Deepening Aesthetic, and Creativity and the Public Mind. It also includes intimate portraits of artists with whom she frequently collaborated and director’s notes from the major productions that defined her vision. Celebrated as the defining architect and builder of the most sweeping transformation of twentieth-century American theatre, her brilliant writing reestablishes Fichandler as one of its most expansive and provocative thinkers.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Letters from an Actor

by William Redfield
Now Available

The legendary 1964 Broadway run of Hamlet directed by John Gielgud is one of the most famous productions of Shakespeare’s most important play. Audacious for its time in concept and execution, it placed the actors in everyday clothes within an unassuming “rehearsal” set, with the Ghost of Hamlet’s father projected as a shadow against the rear wall and voiced by the director himself. It was also a runaway critical and financial success, breaking the then-record for most performances of a Broadway show. This was in no small part due to the starring role played by Richard Burton, whose romance with Elizabeth Taylor was the object of widespread fascination.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Song of the Season: Outstanding Broadway Songs since 1891

By Thomas Hischak
Avialable on March 21, 2024

What links the popular songs "You'll Never Walk Alone", "Send in the Clowns", "Memory" and "I Am What I Am"? They all originated in Broadway musicals. Song of the Season is for those who believe that the score is at the heart of a musical and is the essential building block on which the rest of a show is built. Through a systematic historical survey from 1891 to 2023 it argues that the best musicals survive because of their songs, from early 20th century classics such as Show Boat and Oklahoma! through to the contemporary sound of Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List The American Musical: Evolution of an Art Form

By Ben West
Available on April 1, 2024

Individual in both its approach and coverage, The American Musical traces the form’s creative journey from its 19th century beginnings, through its 20th century maturation, and to the turn of the 21st century, shedding new light on a myriad of authors, directors, and craftspeople who worked on Broadway and beyond. This book actively addresses the form’s often overlooked female and African-American artists, provides an in-depth accounting of such outside influences as minstrelsy, vaudeville, nightclubs, and burlesque, and explores the dynamic relationship between the form and the consciousness of its country.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List The Intimacy Coordinator's Guidebook

By Brooke M. Haney
Available on April 1, 2024

With contributions by over 30 industry professionals, this book aims to bring awareness to a wide range of needs a project may have and how intimacy professionals use their cultural competency specialists in practice to create the most compelling storytelling. In Part One, the book addresses the scope of practice of an intimacy professional by discussing competency, finding your lens and tangential fields in the industry like fight directors, mental health coordinators and cultural competency specialists. Part Two covers specialties like working with minors, prosthetics, intimacy and disability, staging queer intimacy, working with fat actors, Black American intimacy, dance, working on scenes of trauma, sexual violence and non-consent, and BDSM. Between each chapter is a conversation with an actor, director or producer on their experiences working with an intimacy coordinator. In Part Three, the book looks at what it means to be qualified and intimacy professionals' hopes for the future of the industry.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Piper Chen Sings

By Phillipa Soo and Maris Pasquale Doran
Available on April 2, 2024

Piper Chen loves nothing more than to sing. She sings to the sun, and she sings to the moon. She sings to her stuffed animals and with the birds outside her window. So, when her music teacher asks if Piper would like to sing a solo in her school’s Spring Sing, all she can say is “yes!” But as practice continues, doubt and worry creep in and Piper’s confidence wavers. She feels like butterflies are having a dance party in her belly. At home, Piper finds Nai Nai, her grandmother, at the piano. They’ve always shared a love of music, and Piper knows if anyone can help her through the unsettling feeling in her stomach and to shine her brightest at the Spring Concert, it’s Nai Nai.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List The Takeover (Fearless Series) 

By Mandy Gonzalez
Available on April 2, 2024

Better Nate than Ever meets Love Sugar Magic in this fourth and final novel in the Fearless middle grade series from Hamilton and Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez about a young thespian and emerging influencer whose social media gets hacked. Twelve-year-old April DaSilva loves performing—and connecting with fans on her social media accounts. Thanks to her role in the hit Broadway show Our Time, she is close to reaching a huge follower milestone. In celebration, she’s hosting a contest: three lucky followers will win a special backstage tour and tickets to the show.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List The Improv Dictionary

By David Charles
Available of April 4, 2024

This accessible resource reveals and interrogates the inherited wisdoms contained in the very words we use to describe modern improv. Each detailed definition goes beyond the obvious clichés and seeks a nuanced and inclusive understanding of how art of the moment can be much more than easy laughs and cheap gags (even when it is being delightfully irreverent and wildly funny). This encyclopedic work pulls from a wide array of practitioners and practices, finding tensions and commonalities from styles as diverse as Theatresports, Comedysportz, the Harold, narrative long-form, Playback Theatre, and Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Entries include nuanced definitions, helpful examples, detailed explorations of the concepts in practice, and framing quotes from a leading practitioner or inspirational artistic voice.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List To Repair the World (Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies) 

By Mary B. Robinson
Available on April 5

This book is a biography in the form of an oral history about a woman whose founding of Arena Stage in Washington, DC in 1950 shifted live professional theater away from Broadway and inspired the creation of non-profit theaters around the country. Dianne Wiest, James Earl Jones, Stacy Keach, and Jane Alexander, among many others, share their memories of this intrepid pioneering woman during Arena Stage’s early years.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Hamilton, History and Hip-Hop: Essays on an American Musical 

By Kevin J. Wetmore Jr.
Available on April 21, 2024

The volume is a collection of scholarly essays and personal responses that contextualizes Hamilton: An American Musical in various frameworks: hip-hop theatre and history, American history, musicals, contemporary politics, queer theory, feminism, and more. Hamilton is arguably the most important piece of American theatre in 25 years in terms of both national impact and shaping influence on American theatre. It is part of a larger history of American theatre that reframes the United States and shows the nation its face in a manner not before seen but that is resolutely true.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent

By Judi Dench and Brendan O'Hea
Available on April 23, 2024

For the very first time, Judi opens up about every Shakespearean role she has played throughout her seven-decade career, from Lady Macbeth and Titania to Ophelia and Cleopatra. In a series of intimate conversations with actor & director Brendan O'Hea, she guides us through Shakespeare's plays with incisive clarity, revealing the secrets of her rehearsal process and inviting us to share in her triumphs, disasters, and backstage shenanigans.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Playhouse Square and the Cleveland Renaissance

By John Vacha
Available on April 23, 2024

How five beloved Cleveland theaters escaped the wrecking ball and inspired city-wide urban renewal. Shortly after World War I ended, five new theaters were constructed in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, all within a two-block radius. The concentration of these venues, which featured movies, vaudeville, and “legitimate” theater, became known collectively as Playhouse Square. For 50 years, the State, Ohio, Hanna, Allen, and Palace theaters enjoyed varying degrees of financial success until television, suburbanization, and urban decline darkened four of their marquees by the end of the 1960s.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List The Irish Repertory Theatre: Celebrating Thirty-Five Years Off-Broadway (New Directions in Irish and Irish American Literature)

By Maria Szasz
Available on April 30, 2024

The Irish Repertory Theatre: Celebrating Thirty-Five Years Off-Broadway is the first book-length history of the multi-award winning Off-Broadway Irish Repertory Theatre Company, from its beginning in 1988 to its thirty-fifth season in 2023. The book considers how the Irish Rep’s plays and musicals reflect the Irish diaspora, the relationship between Ireland and America, and what it means to be Irish and Irish American, both historically, and in the twenty-first century, including how the Irish Rep is showcasing more diverse voices and experiences, from women, the LGBTQIA+ community, and Irish and Irish American people of color.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Relentless: My Story of the Latino Spirit That Is Transforming America 

By Luis A. Miranda
Available on May 7, 2024

A veteran of New York and national politics, Luis Miranda embodies the relentless spirit of progress of American immigrants. There is no one on the Latino, New York, and national political scene with the breadth of experience, passion, and storytelling charm of Luis Miranda. In Relentless, he shares a fascinating narrative of his life and career—from his early days as a radically minded Puerto Rican activist to his decades of political advice and problem-solving. Miranda recounts the thrill of the ascendency of Hamilton, created by his son Lin-Manuel, and he details the suffering after the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria. Amid the triumphs and challenges, Miranda examines what his experience reveals about our ever-changing politics, demographics, and society.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List On Bette Midler: An Opinionated Guide

By Kevin Winkler
Available on May 21, 2024

Bette Midler today is a beloved legacy star, best known for her comic witch in Disney's Hocus Pocus (1993) and its 2022 sequel. She has also gained prominence for sentimental, anthemic ballads like "Wind Beneath My Wings," her initiation of green space projects in New York City, and tussling with Donald Trump on Twitter. Her profile is that of an articulate, civic-minded matriarch enjoying thoroughly mainstream stardom. But more than fifty years earlier she emerged from the steam of the subterranean Continental Baths as the Divine Miss M, the bawdy, campy, fearless alter ego she created in front of an audience of towel-clad gay men who came to the baths seeking not just sex, but a sense of community and safety from an often-harrowing outside world. "I was able to take chances on that stage that I could not have taken anywhere else," she later wrote. "Ironically, I was freed from fear by people who, at the time, were ruled by fear. And for that I will always be grateful." Overnight, Bette Midler became a much-loved icon of the gay community.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Too Funny for Words: Backstage Tales from Broadway, Television, and the Movies

By Jerry Adler
Available on May 21, 2024

Who almost almost turned down his iconic role on The Sopranos because he could not sing? Did Katharine Hepburn really build the Uris building? How did a simple handshake with President Kennedy almost end in disaster? In his debut memoir, Too Funny for Words, Jerry Adler reveals all for the first time! In his career as a theater director, producer and actor that has spanned over 70 years, Adler has certainly had his fair share of laughs, and is ready to take readers on a reminiscent journey of Hollywood tales past.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Upstaged (A Graphic Novel)

By Robin Easter
Available on May 28, 2024

This is it: the last hurrah, the final curtain call. Ever since sixth grade, Ashton Price and their best friend and enduring crush, Ivy Santos, have spent their summers together at theater camp. Now it’s their last year before they part ways for high school, and Ash is determined to end it on a high note! With Ash as stage manager and Ivy the lead in this year’s musical, this summer’s shaping up to be everything the two could have hoped for. Maybe Ash will even work up the courage to ask Ivy out! But between Ivy rehearsing long hours with her colead and Ash throwing themself into an ambitious stage production, will they end up drifting apart instead?


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Analysis through Action for Actors and Directors: From Stanislavsky to Contemporary Performance

By David Chamers
Available on June 3, 2024

Analysis through Action for Actors and Directors is a comprehensive view of an innovative and exciting process for making new theatre. As well as an understanding of how Analysis through Action has developed over time, this book also demonstrates how it can be put into practice in today’s theatre. The first part of this book traces the exciting genealogy from Stanislavsky’s unfinished experiments, through the insights of geniuses Maria Knebel and Georgii Tovstonogov, down to today’s avant-garde auteurs. 


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Closer than Ever: The Unique Six-Decade Songwriting Partnership of Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire

By Joshua Rosenblum
Available on June 3, 2024

How do musical theater songs actually get written? What enables some composer and lyricist partnerships to last for decades? Composer David Shire and lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr., two of the most gifted songwriters of our time, are revered among musical theater lovers for their ground-breaking off-Broadway revues Starting Here, Starting Now and Closer Than Ever, as well as for the Broadway musicals Baby and Big. Rosenblum sets out to increase appreciation for Maltby and Shire's large and impressive body of work and establish their place in musical theater history.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List Theatre Kids: A True Tale of Off-Off Broadway

By John DeVore
Available on June 18, 2024

An unforgettable ode to the ephemeral, chaotic magic of the theatre and the weirdos who bring it to life, Theatre Kids is DeVore’s buoyant, irreverent, and ultimately moving account of outsize ambition and dashed hopes in post-9/11, pre-iPhone New York City. Sharply observed and bursting with hilarious razzle-dazzle, it will resonate with anyone who has ever, perhaps against their better judgment, tried to bring something beautiful into the world without regard for riches or fame.


24 Theater Books for Your Spring 2024 Reading List TikTok Broadway: Musical Theatre Fandom in the Digital Age

By Trevor Boffone
Available on June 28, 2024

TikTok Broadway: Musical Theatre Fandom in the Digital Age takes readers inside the world of TikTok Broadway, where fans create, expand, and canonize musical theatre through viral videos. It argues that TikTok democratizes musical theatre fan cultures and spaces, creating a new canon of musical theatre that reflects the preferences and passions of the fans. Readers will also see how TikTok Broadway influences other aspects of U.S. popular culture, from Broadway shows to TV adaptations.


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