Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List

Broadway authors this season include Harvey Fierstein, Alexandra Billings, Mandy Gonzalez, Rachel Bloom and more.

Winter is here and what better time of year to stay in and snuggle up with a great book? You're in luck, because this year, 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 winter reading list.

Check out releases from 2021 and view upcoming books for later this year!

25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List The Phantom of the Opera - Official Graphic Novel

by Cavan Scott
Now Available

From the original libretto of Andrew Lloyd Webber's world-famous, multi-award-winning musical that has been playing continuously around the world for over 33 years comes this fully authorized graphic novel adaptation. In 1881 the cast and crew of a new production, Hannibal, are terrorized by the Phantom of the Opera, a mysterious, hideously disfigured man who lives beneath the Paris Opera House. Hopelessly in love and obsessed with one of the chorus singers, the Phantom will stop at nothing to make her the star of the show, even if that means murder.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List The Musical, Second Edition: A Concise History

by Kurt Ganzl and Jamie Findlay
Now Available

The Musical, Second Edition introduces students and general readers to the entire scope of the history of musical theater, from eighteenth-century ballad operas to nineteenth-century operettas, to the Golden Age of Broadway to today. In this comprehensive history, master theater historian Kurt Gänzl draws on his vast knowledge of the productions, the actors, the music and dance, and the reception of the central repertory of the musical theater. Focus boxes on key shows are included in every chapter, along with a chronology of the major musical productions described in the text. Production photographs from around the world enhance the descriptions of the costumes and staging. This book is an ideal introduction for college-level courses on the History of Musical Theater and will also appeal to the general theatergoer who wants to learn more about how today's musical developed from its earliest roots.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List B is for Broadway

by John Robert Allman
Release Date: February 1, 2022

From AUDITIONS to ZIEGFELD, grab a ticket to this smash-hit, rhythmic alphabet book featuring your favorite performers, creators, songs, and shows from the Broadway stage! Step into the spotlight and celebrate a cavalcade of Broadway legends! Start with "A" for "audition" with the iconic line-up from A Chorus Line, then peek behind "B" to see the "backstage" buzz, and dance along with "C" for "choreographers". Children and grown-ups alike can spot beloved stars and creators from today and yesterday, such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patti LuPone, Michael Bennett, Jennifer Holliday, Ethel Merman, and Billy Porter. Readers will also see famous New York theaters, beloved shows such as Hamilton and Hairspray, and the crew, stylists, and technicians who are vital to each performance. It's a celebration of the American stage that no fan is going to want to miss.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act

by Iasaac Butler
Release Date: February 1, 2022

On stage and screen, we know a great performance when we see it. But how do actors draw from their bodies and minds to turn their selves into art? What is the craft of being an authentic fake? More than a century ago, amid tsarist Russia's crushing repression, one of the most talented actors ever, Konstantin Stanislavski, asked these very questions, reached deep into himself, and emerged with an answer. How his "system" remade itself into the Method and forever transformed American theater and film is an unlikely saga that has never before been fully told.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Sondheim in Our Time and His

by W. Anthony Sheppard
Release Date: February 8, 2022

Sondheim in Our Time and His offers a wide-ranging historical investigation of the landmark works and extraordinary career of Stephen Sondheim, a career which has spanned much of the history of American musical theater. Each author uncovers those aspects of biography, collaborative process, and contemporary context that impacted the creation and reception of Sondheim's musicals. In addition, several authors explore in detail how Sondheim's shows have been dramatically revised and adapted over time. Multiple chapters invite the reader to rethink Sondheim's works from a distinctly contemporary critical perspective and to consider how these musicals are being reenvisioned today. Through chapters focused on individual musicals, and others that explore a specific topic as manifested throughout his entire career, plus an afterword by Kristen Anderson-Lopez; by digging deep into the archives and focusing intently on his scores; from interviews with performers, directors, and bookwriters, and close study of live and recorded productions--volume editor W. Anthony Sheppard brings together Sondheim's past with the present, thriving existence of his musicals.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Get the Job in the Entertainment Industry: A Practical Guide for Designers, Technicians, and Stage Managers

by Kristina Tollefson
Release Date: February 10, 2022

Looking for a job in the theatre and entertainment industry can be daunting, especially when you are newly entering the work market. How do you take the skills and experience acquired through study and present them to prospective employers in the arts industry? Where does your search begin and what should you consider as you plan your future career steps? What is expected in a portfolio and what should you expect in an interview?


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Doing the Time Warp: Strange Temporalities and Musical Theatre

by Sarah Taylor Ellis
Release Date: February 24, 2022

Doing the Time Warp explores how song and dance - sites of aesthetic difference in the musical - can 'warp' time and enable marginalized and semi-marginalized fans to imagine different ways of being in the world. While the musical is a bastion of mainstream theatrical culture, it also supports a fan culture of outsiders who dream themselves into being in the strange, liminal timespaces of its musical numbers. Through analysing musicals of stage and screen - ranging from Rent to Ragtime, Glee to Taylor Mac's A 24-Decade History of Popular Music - Sarah Taylor Ellis investigates how alienated subjects find moments of coherence and connection in musical theatre's imaginaries of song and dance.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Pinter and Stoppard: A Director's View

by Carey Perloff
Release Date: February 24, 2022

Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard, by most accounts the leading British playwrights of our time, might seem to come from very different aesthetic, cultural and political worlds. But as Carey Perloff's fascinating new book reveals, the two have much in common. By examining these contemporaries alongside one another and in the context of the rehearsal room, we can glean new insights and connections, including the impact of their Jewish background on their work and their passion for the details of stagecraft. Readers of Pinter and Stoppard: A Director's View will emerge with a set of tools for approaching their work in a performance environment and for unlocking the mysteries of the plays for audiences.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir

by Harvey Fierstein
Release Date: March 1, 2022

Harvey Fierstein's legendary career has transported him from community theater in Brooklyn, to the lights of Broadway, to the absurd excesses of Hollywood and back. He's received accolades and awards for acting in and/or writing an incredible string of hit plays, films, and TV shows: Hairspray, Fiddler on the Roof, Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, Cheers, La Cage Aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy, Newsies, and Kinky Boots. While he has never shied away from the spotlight, Mr. Fierstein says that even those closest to him have never heard most of the tales-of personal struggles and conflict, of sex and romance, of his fabled career-revealed in these wildly entertaining pages. I Was Better Last Night bares the inner life of this eccentric nonconforming child from his roots in 1952 Brooklyn, to the experimental worlds of Andy Warhol and the Theatre of the Ridiculous, to the gay rights movements of the seventies and the tumultuous AIDS crisis of the eighties, through decades of addiction, despair, and ultimate triumph.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Building Utopia: The Barbican Centre

by Nicholas Kenyon
Release Date: March 1, 2022

A beautifully designed celebration of the 40th birthday of the Barbican Arts Centre, in the heart of the City of London. It is the largest multi-arts centre in Europe, encompassing an art gallery, theatres, concert halls, cinemas and a much-loved conservatory, and regular collaborators include the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Shakespeare Company.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Performing in Contemporary Musicals

by David Sisco and Laura Josepher
Release Date: March 14, 2022

Performing in Contemporary Musicals brings into sharp focus the skills performers must possess when tackling shows that are newly written, in development, or somewhere in between. The authors bust myths about contemporary musical theatre and analyze the development timelines of musicals from around the world. They also explore how performers can become invaluable to a creative team by developing the skills needed to move a new musical forward including: contemporary acting and singing techniques, dramaturgy, quickly picking up new material, and collaboration. Each chapter features insightful industry interviews, recommended activities, an extensive reading list, and an online companion for further study.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List The Golden Age Musicals of Darryl F. Zanuck: The Gentleman Preferred Blondes

by Bernard F. Dick
Release Date: March 15, 2022

Beginning with The Jazz Singer (1927) and 42nd Street (1933), legendary Hollywood film producer Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979) revolutionized the movie musical, cementing its place in American popular culture. Zanuck, who got his start writing stories and scripts in the silent film era, worked his way to becoming a top production executive at Warner Bros. in the later 1920s and early 1930s. Leaving that studio in 1933, he and industry executive Joseph Schenck formed Twentieth Century Pictures, an independent Hollywood motion picture production company. In 1935, Zanuck merged his Twentieth Century Pictures with the ailing Fox Film Corporation, resulting in the combined Twentieth Century-Fox, which instantly became a new major Hollywood film entity.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Fearlessly Different: An Autistic Actor's Journey to Broadway's Biggest Stage

by Mickey Rowe
Release Date: March 15, 2022

Fearlessly Different: An Autistic Actor's Journey to Broadway's Biggest Stage is Mickey Rowe's story of growing up autistic and pushing beyond the restrictions of a special education classroom to shine on the stage. As an autistic and legally blind person, living in a society designed by and for non-disabled people, it was always made clear to Mickey the many things he was apparently incapable of doing. But Mickey did them all anyway-and he succeeded because of, not in spite of, his autism. He became the first autistic actor to play the lead role in the play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, landed the title role in the play Amadeus, co-created the theatre/philanthropy company Arts on the Waterfront, and founded the National Disability Theatre. Mickey faced untold obstacles along the way, but his story ends in triumph.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Facing the Music: a Broadway memoir

by David Loud
Release Date: March 22, 2022

Unforgettably entertaining and emotionally revealing, Loud is pitch-perfect as he describes his path to the podium, from a stage-struck kid growing up at a school devoted to organic farming and mountain climbing, to the searing formative challenges he faces during adolescence, to the remarkable behind-the-scenes stories of his Broadway trials and triumphs. Skilled at masking his fears, Loud achieves his dream until one fateful opening night, when in the midst of a merry, dressing room celebration, he can no longer deny reality and must suddenly, truly, face the music.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List This Time for Me: A Memoir

by Alexandra Billings
Release Date: April 1, 2022

Born in 1962, Alexandra Billings grew up in a decade in which being herself was illegal. When she started transitioning in 1980, the word "Transgender" was not commonly used. With no Trans role models and no path to follow, Alexandra did what her family, teachers, and even friends said was impossible: Alexandra forged ahead. Spanning five decades, from profound lows to exhilarating highs, This Time for Me captures the events of a pioneering life. An award-winning actor and history-making LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activist, Alexandra shares not only her own ever-evolving story but also the parallel ways in which queer identity has dramatically changed since the Stonewall riots of 1969. She weaves a true coming-of-age story of richly imaginative lies, of friends being swept away by a plague that decimated the community, of her determination to establish a career that would break boundaries, and of the recognition of her own power.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Fearless: Boulevard of Dreams

by Mandy Gonzalez
Release Date: April 5, 2022

Twelve-year-old Relly can't wait for his beloved grandfather to finally see him on stage! Along with the rest of the Fearless Squad, Relly has just opened Our Time, a brand-new musical at the infamous Ethel Merman Theater. Though his grandfather would prefer his grandson pursue something more "practical," Relly just knows when he sees the show, he will change his mind and come around on Relly's love of theater and dance. But right before their night show, a member of the Squad loses their phone down an open manhole. When the entire Squad goes down to help retrieve it, they find themselves in 1950s Manhattan. A big problem, considering the curtain goes up in about two hours-and over sixty years in the future!


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Anne Bancroft: A Life

by Douglass K. Daniel
Release Date: April 5, 2022

In the first biography to cover the entire scope of Bancroft's life and career, Douglass K. Daniel brings together interviews with dozens of her friends and colleagues, never-before-published family photos, and material from film and theater archives to present a portrait of an artist who raised the standards of acting for all those who followed. Daniel reveals how, from a young age, Bancroft was committed to challenging herself and strengthening her craft. Her talent (and good timing) led to a breakthrough role in Two for the Seesaw, which made her a Broadway star overnight. The role of Helen Keller's devoted teacher in the stage version of The Miracle Worker would follow, and Bancroft also starred in the movie adaption of the play, which earned her an Academy Award. She went on to appear in dozens of film, theater, and television productions, including several movies directed or produced by her husband, Mel Brooks.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are: Essays and Other Stuff

by Rachel Bloom
Release Date: April 5, 2022

Rachel Bloom has felt out of place her whole life, whether in the hallowed halls of Manhattan Beach Middle School or on Twitter. So she's decided to figure out exactly what makes her so different. I WANT TO BE WHERE THE NORMAL PEOPLE ARE is a hilarious exploration of all of Rachel Bloom's formative missteps, mishaps, and misanthropic moments. In a collection of laugh-out-loud funny essays, all told in the unique voice (sometimes singing voice) that made her a star, Rachel writes about everything she thought made her abnormal, from her struggles with mental health, to her love of Disney and Spanx, to the story of how she didn't poop in the toilet until she was four. Her stories are hilarious, smart, and infinitely relatable (except for the pooping thing).


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Single-Sentence Shakespeare

by Courtney Gorter
Release Date: April 12, 2022

This amusing approach to Shakespeare's classic dramas features the plot of each of the Bard's 39 plays reduced to a single descriptive sentence.
For this volume Shakespeare's 39 plays are divided into their five canonical groupings: comedies, tragedies, histories, problem plays, and collaborations. Each single-sentence summary will be foregrounded against a two-page spread featuring classic artwork that speaks both to the seriousness of the play illustrated as well as to the points made by the summary.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Offstage Observations: Inside Tales of the Not-So-Legitimate Theatre

by Steven Suskin
Release Date: April 15, 2022

Broadway, once upon a time. A place where people buy tickets at the box office, with cash; where patrons dress for theatre, with no sneakers, no water bottles, and no backpacks; and the only text messages are the ones put there by the playwright. A place where iconic legends of stage and screen can be found in plain view, smiling politely or egotistically preening. Where three dollars will get you a balcony seat at the biggest hit-or the lowliest flop-in town. And a place where an innocent teenager from the suburbs can buy a ticket, slip through the stage door, and wander o'er the threshold into the magical world backstage.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Critique Is Creative: The Critical Response Process® in Theory and Action

by Liz Lerman and John Borstel
Release Date: May 3, 2022

Devised by choreographer Liz Lerman in 1990, Critical Response Process® (CRP) is an internationally recognized method for giving and getting feedback on creative works in progress. In this first in-depth study of CRP, Lerman and her long-term collaborator John Borstel describe in detail the four-step process, its origins and principles. The book also includes essays on CRP from a wide range of contributors. With insight, ingenuity, and the occasional challenge, these practitioners shed light on the applications and variations of CRP in the contexts of art, education, and community life. Critique is Creative examines the challenges we face in an era of reckoning and how CRP can aid in change-making of various kinds.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List From Gay to Z: A Queer Compendium

by Justin Sayre
Release Date: May 10, 2022

Based on Sayre's five-part show in New York City, From Gay to Z is a humorous collection of the rich legacy of gay culture, told through the letters of the alphabet. From ABBA to addiction, hair and makeup to HIV, Fannie Flagg to fierce, Sayre offers their own perspective on the things that have influenced gay culture today, including iconic figures, historical moments, ongoing issues in the LGBTQIA+ community, and everything in between. As gay culture is always evolving and different for everyone, this book does not serve as a definitive guide-instead, Sayre encourages readers to use this knowledge to reflect on the things that have informed their personal identities. Engagingly written and beautifully designed, From Gay to Z is a distinctive and dynamic look at gay culture for LGBTQIA+ readers everywhere.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List GEMIGNANI: Life and Lessons from Broadway and Beyond

by Margaret Hall
Release Date: May 15, 2022

Paul Gemignani is one of the titans of the modern musical theater industry. Serving as musical director for more than forty Broadway productions since 1971, his collaborations with Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Hal Prince, Michael Bennett, and Alan Menken have led to countless accolades for his collaborators, but due to the near invisible position of the musical director in the Broadway industry, Gemignani's story is often overlooked. GEMIGNANI seeks to not only bring the reader into the orchestra pit to learn Gemignani's story, but also to educate the reader about the crucial role a music director plays in bringing some of the most iconic musicals in Broadway history to life.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Ali and the Sea Stars

by Ali Stroker
Release Date: May 17, 2022

Ali loves to dance, sing, and act. But she had never thought of putting on her own show until her neighbor asks, "Why wait?" Immediately energized, Ali gets to work. There's so much to do before showtime-choosing the right musical, auditions, rehearsal, costume and set design-but Ali can do anything with her family and friends. When a storm threatens to undo all their hard work, Ali must use her imagination and adapt so the show can go on! Includes an inspiring letter from Ali to readers on how she developed confidence while on-stage and how theater encourages teamwork and creativity.


25 Theater Books for Your Winter 2022 Reading List Broadway Bird

by Alex Timbers
Release Date: May 24, 2022

Louisa is a tiny parakeet with a HUGE dream: to be a Broadway star. But no matter what she does, everyone keeps telling her she's too small to make it big! When a chance at her big break comes, Louisa learns that no matter how small you are, with a little talent and a lot of hard work, you can do anything - even be on Broadway! With colorful, charming illustrations by artist Alisa Coburn, this heartfelt picture book from renowned Broadway director Alex Timbers is about persistence, believing in yourself, and, of course, the magic of Broadway.


Macgyver Contest
Related Articles

From This Author - Team BWW