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25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List

Need a Broadway book for your summer reading? We've got all of the latest titles!

By: Jun. 30, 2024
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Summer is here and there is no better time of year to soak up the sun and dive into a new book. You're in luck, because 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 25 new Broadway books for every theatre lover's Summer 2024 reading list.

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

25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageAnalysis through Action for Actors and Directors: From Stanislavsky to Contemporary Performance

By David Chamers
Available Now

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. 


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

By Joshua Rosenblum
Available Now

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.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageTheatre Kids: A True Tale of Off-Off Broadway

By John DeVore
Available Now

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.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageJocelyn Bioh: Three Plays: Merry Wives; Nollywood Dreams; School Girls, Or, The African Mean Girls Play 

By Jocelyn Bioh
Available Now

This first collection of plays from American contemporary playwright Jocelyn Bioh brings together a trilogy of celebrated work recently seen in New York and around the world. "Ms. Bioh, a native New Yorker whose parents emigrated from Ghana in 1968, has made it her mission, theatrically and personally, to tell stories about African and African-American characters that buck expectation and defy stereotype." (New York Times)


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageBallplayers on Stage: Baseball, Melodrama, and Theatrical Celebrity in the Deadball Era

By Travis Stern
Available Now

Since before the turn of the twentieth century, baseball greats have captivated audiences both on the diamond and the stage. Gracing the world of melodrama with their theatrical presence during the offseason, their forays into professional theater opened a portal between two distinct worlds of performance and entertainment that would shape the future of both. In Ballplayers on Stage, Travis Stern explores the relationship between professional baseball and professional theater in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, he argues that examining theater from this era helps us better understand baseball’s development and its transformation from a strictly working-class attraction to an entertainment that attracted interest from America’s emerging middle class. Baseball players’ theatrical productions drew audiences from the baseball world, and in turn their performances on the diamond began to attract middle-class crowds. But how did the on-field persona of those players as heroes or villains contribute to their image in the theater, and vice versa?


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageYankee Doodle Dandy: George M. Cohan and the Broadway Stage

By Elizabeth Titrington Craft
Available Now

Playwright, composer, actor, director, and producer George M. Cohan looms large in musical theater legend. Remembered today for classic tunes like "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Give My Regards to Broadway," he has been called "the father of musical comedy," and his statue stands in the heart of the New York theater district. Cohan's early twentieth-century shows and songs captured the spirit of an era when staggering social change gave new urgency to efforts to define Americanism. He was an Irish American who had the audacity to represent himself as the Yankee Doodle emblem of the nation, a vaudevillian who had the nerve to unapologetically climb the ranks and package his lower-brow style as Broadway.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageMike Bartlett (Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatists) 

By William C. Boles
Available Now

Hailed as one of the most talented playwrights to have emerged in the late 2000s, Mike Bartlett's diverse range of plays strike at the heart of the various crises predominant in the early twenty-first century. Offering the first extensive examination of the plays and television series written by award winning playwright Mike Bartlett, this volume not only provides analysis of some of Bartlett’s best-known works (Cock, Doctor Foster, King Charles III, and Albion), but also includes new interviews with Bartlett and some of his closest and oft relied upon collaborators. In this book, Bartlett’s plays and television series are grouped together thematically, allowing the reader to observe the cross-pollination between his works on the stage and screen. The book also includes an introductory biographical chapter that discusses early influences on his writing (Harold Pinter, Mark Ravenhill, Tony Kushner, and Quentin Tarantino), his time in the Young Writers Programme at the Royal Court, and his work with the Apathists.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageFrom the Back of the House: Memoir of a Broadway Theatre Manager

By Dan Landon
Available Now

My name is Dan Landon, and I was a Broadway theatre manager for 37 years. I worked on fifty shows. Over 9000 performances. This is my love letter to Broadway, and all the stars and luminaries my job allowed me to meet and know… Whoopi Goldberg. Bob Fosse. Ian McKellan. Bernadette Peters. Robert De Niro. August Wilson. Alec Baldwin. Kathleen Turner. Jessica Lange. Maggie Smith. Judi Dench. Mikail Baryshnikov. Madeline Kahn. Paul McCartney. Stephen Sondheim. Tom Stoppard. David Mamet. Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Hillary Clinton. Al Pacino. Richard Dreyfuss. Patti LuPone. Philip Seymour Hoffman. Daniel Craig. Lin-Manuel Miranda. Denzel Washington.

In these pages you’ll meet them, too, as they wait in the wings, glow in the spotlight, and take their bows.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageMerrily We Roll Along History and Criticism Book

By Naomi Jeffery
Available Now

Discover the fascinating journey of a musical that defied the odds and transformed from an initial Broadway flop into a celebrated classic. This book "Merrily We Roll Along: History and Criticism Book - Exploring the Journey of Stephen Sondheim’s Timeless Musical from Flop to Classic" looks deep into the heart of one of Stephen Sondheim’s most intriguing works. Immerse yourself in the compelling story of "Merrily We Roll Along," a musical with a unique reverse chronological narrative that puzzled audiences and critics alike at its debut. Learn how it has evolved over the decades, gaining appreciation and acclaim through subsequent revivals and adaptations. This book offers a rich craft work of insights, from the challenges faced during its original production to the critical acclaim it enjoys today.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageBeyond The Technique: an exploration of artistry & authenticity 

By Susan Eichorn Young
Available Now

If you are an artist, a performer, a singer, or a creative, your journey matters! This book is part of that journey. Susan Eichhorn Young uses her 30 plus years of experience as artist and teacher to challenge you to explore the depth of your craft, posing thought-provoking questions that allow you to explore artistry, authenticity, and mindset. Beyond the Technique gives the artist permission to find their own perspective. Each section stands alone and finishes with a summation of reflection questions that you can utilize and add to your personal journaling and musings. It is more than a "to-do" list; Beyond the Technique is an opportunity to focus inward and allow your artistic spirit to step out and claim its space.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageTikTok Broadway: Musical Theatre Fandom in the Digital Age

By Trevor Boffone
Available 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.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageA Sense of Theatre: The Untold Stories of the Creation of Britain’s National Theatre

By Richard Pilbrow
Available July 1, 2024

A Sense of Theatre is an eye-witness account of the birth and subsequent triumph of one of the world’s most famous theatres. Since the iconic building opened in 1976 on London’s South Bank, The National Theatre’s deployment of extraordinary architecture and exemplary theatrical talent has drawn audiences worldwide. However, the 100-year dream of a national theatre for the nation did not happen without crises and setbacks. The theatre architecture has challenged generations of theatre makers, leading to innovation that has changed theatre worldwide. The architect, Sir Denys Lasdun, initially a neophyte in theatre design, subsequently became an initiator of a new way of approaching theatre design: through deep collaboration between architecture and theatre.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageSay It with a Beautiful Song: The Art and Craft of the Great American Songbook

By Michael Lasser and Harmon Greenblatt
Available July 15, 2024

Working within the limits of a popular song, the songwriters of the Great American Songbook wrote with a combination of familiarity and freshness—sentiment and wit. The songwriters were masters of craft who created a distinctively American popular music that still resonates strongly today. This book looks at the Great American Songbook’s craft and its mastery. Michael Lasser and Harmon Greenblatt uncover the essential elements of these beloved songs and investigate the qualities that make the songbook a unique staple of American culture. Filled with interesting anecdotes, each chapter looks at a variety of songs thematically and dives into the lives of songwriters. Ultimately, Lasser and Greenblatt reveal the genius behind this body of music and show us why the Great American Songbook has stood the test of time.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageAppropriate/An Octoroon: Plays (Revised Edition)

By Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins
Available July 16, 2024

A double-volume containing two astonishing breakout plays from one of the theatre's most exciting and provocative young writers. In Appropriate, strained familial dynamics collide with a tense undercurrent of socio-political realities when the Lafayettes gather at a former plantation home to sift through the belongings of their deceased patriarch. An Octoroon is an audacious investigation of theatre and identity, wherein an old play gives way to a startlingly original piece.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImagePeople, Places and Things

By Duncan MacMillan
Available July 18, 2024

Emma was having the time of her life. Now she's in rehab. Her first step is to admit that she has a problem. But the problem isn't with Emma, it's with everything else. She needs to tell the truth. But she's smart enough to know that there's no such thing. When intoxication feels like the only way to survive the modern world, how can she ever sober up? People, Places & Things premiered at The National Theatre in 2015 before transferring to London's West End and St. Ann's Warehouse in New York. This edition is published to coincide with the return to the West End in June, 2024


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageDirecting Amateur Musical Theatre: A Practical Guide for Non-Professional Theatre

By Dom O'Hanlon
Available July 25, 2024

Demystifying the pre-production process and auditions through to rehearsals and opening night, this book offers a roadmap for success for amateur directors everywhere.
Rooted in the wide-ranging experience of a working practitioner who specialises in directing amateur musical theatre across various different formats, it details ways to stage different types of musical numbers, through to blocking and staging a scene, as well as how to approach a text and expanding the acting skills of a mixed-ability cast. Considering the opportunities offered by different musicals, it equips you to direct shows ranging from the golden age through to more contemporary works with imaginative, sensitive and informed direction.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageFrom Broadway to The Bronx: New York City's History through Song

By Sabrina Mittermeier and Veronika Keller
Available July 26, 2024

A fascinating and vibrant depiction of New York City in song across a variety of different genres, focusing on Broadway, musical theatre, hip hop, punk, folk, and jazz genres, as well as the work of New York born artists and those who are intimately connected with the city.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageBrian Friel: Beginnings

By Kelly Matthews PhD
Available August 2, 2024

When Brian Friel died in 2015, the New York Times described him as ‘ the Irish Chekhov’ , and the Guardian called him ‘ the father of modern Irish drama’ . He had long been acclaimed as Ireland’ s leading contemporary playwright, with 24 plays for Broadway and West End theatres, including the iconic Faith Healer, Translations and Dancing at Lughnasa. But Friel’ s beginnings are more elusive, as was the playwright in his later years. He stopped giving interviews and cultivated a reclusive mystique that grew in proportion to his theatrical success. Based on newly discovered documents in the BBC and New Yorker archives, Brian Friel: beginnings reveals Friel’ s youthful personality and his struggles to get noticed as a young writer. Friel’ s correspondence with his first mentors – Belfast BBC radio producer Ronald Mason, New Yorker editor Roger Angell, and theatre director Tyrone Guthrie – shows how he shaped his early work, how he chose to write for the theatre, and how the patterns that became so memorable in his later plays were set in motion by his beginnings.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageWho Is Lin-Manuel Miranda?

By Elijah Rey-David
Available August 6, 2024

Born in New York to Puerto Rican parents, Lin-Manuel Miranda had a passion for the arts and creativity from a young age. He participated in theater as a child and wrote his first Broadway musical, In the Heights, while he was still in college. That show won him his first Tony Award for Best Musical! He went on to create and star in the beloved musical Hamilton about the life of Alexander Hamilton. A nonstop writer, Lin-Manuel contributed music for other major projects such as Moana, Encanto, Star Wars, and The Little Mermaid. He has won a Pulitzer prize, five Grammy awards, three Tony Awards, and two Emmy awards so far in his successful career as a composer, lyricist, actor, and director.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageHelen Morgan: The Original Torch Singer and Ziegfeld's Last Star 

By Christopher S. Connelly
Available August 6, 2024

An emotive soprano voice, heartrending melodies about unrequited love, and a draped-over-the-piano persona made Helen Morgan (1902–1941) the original torch singer, but she was so much more. The versatile actress appeared on Broadway, in film, and on radio. In a number of stage revues, she danced, sang, and excelled in sketch comedy. She played Julie in Kern and Hammerstein's Broadway musical Show Boat (1927) and also starred in the duo's Sweet Adeline in 1929. That same year, Morgan appeared in Rouben Mamoulian's classic film Applause. When the Great Depression made theater roles scarce, she headed the CBS radio program Broadway Melodies and worked in the emerging medium of television.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageThe Hirschfeld Broadway Tarot: Deck and Guidebook

By Emly McGill
Available September 3, 2024

There is something innately spiritual and magical about the theater, from its stories and artists to the magic that happens on stage. Emily McGill, a spiritual practitioner, tarot card reader, and former Broadway publicist captures this inexplicable energy and has now cast Broadway characters, icons, and performers in traditional tarot roles, knowing that these characters and their stories will reveal something deeper, beyond traditional interpretations of the tarot. These figures have just been waiting to be cast in this deck, like Maria & Tony from West Side Story as “The Lovers” and Jean Valjean from Les Miserables as the “Justice” card. In the guidebook, McGill offers an interpretation and reading of each card, filled with references to the characters and plays themselves.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageMusical Theatre Education and Training in the 21st Century

By Jessica O'Bryan and Scott D. Harrison
Available September 5, 2024

Musical Theatre Education and Training in the 21st Centurypresents a wide range of viewpoints on the musical theatre profession. It brings together research from the UK, US, Australia and beyond, providing an essential resource for educators, students, and all those involved in training for musical theatre. The research draws on best practice from creatives, producers, practising artists and the academy to reveal a multiplicity of approaches and educational pathways for consideration by performers, educators, institutions and the profession.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageActor Training the Laban Way (Second Edition): An Integrated Approach to Voice, Speech, and Movement

By Barbara Adrian
Available September 10, 2024

Actors, teachers, and students of performing arts: sharpen your skills and release your potential with Actor Training the Laban Way, a groundbreaking approach to physical and vocal movement. Utilizing theories of preeminent movement theorist Rudolf Laban, acting teacher and performer Barbara Adrian integrates voice, speech, and movement training with illustrated individual and group exercises.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageOne Tough Dame: The Life and Career of Diana Rigg

By Herbie J. Pilato
Available September 16, 2024

One Tough Dame: The Life and Career of Diana Rigg offers a sweeping portrait of the revered performer’s life and career. Deemed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1994, Diana Rigg (1938–2020) initially found fame as super sleuth Mrs. Emma Peel in the 1960s BBC/ABC-TV espionage series, The Avengers. A classically trained and multi-award-winning thespian, Rigg is known for her diverse body of work ― from her big-screen debut in 1969 as Countess Teresa di Vincenzo, wife of James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, to her Tony Award–winning, leading role in Medea on Broadway, culminating with her Emmy-nominated portrayal as Lady Olenna Tyrell on the heralded small-screen gem, Game of Thrones.


25 Theater Books for Your Summer 2024 Reading List  ImageThe Third Gilmore Girl: A Memoir 

By Kelly Bishop
Available September 17, 2024

Kelly Bishop’s long, storied career has been defined by landmark achievements, from winning a Tony Award for her turn in the original Broadway cast of A Chorus Line to her memorable performance as Jennifer Grey’s mother in Dirty Dancing. But it is probably her iconic role as matriarch Emily in the modern classic Gilmore Girls that cemented her legacy. Now, Bishop reflects on her remarkable life and looks towards the future with The Third Gilmore Girl. She shares some of her greatest stories and the life lessons she’s learned on her journey. From her early transition from dance to drama, to marrying young to a compulsive gambler, to the losses and achievements she experienced—among them marching for women’s rights and losing her second husband to cancer—Bishop offers a rich, genuine celebration of her life.