25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List

Broadway authors this season include Sutton Foster, Billy Porter, Mel Brooks, and more!

By: Nov. 06, 2021

Fall has arrived and chilly weather means lots of time to snuggle under your favorite blanket 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 fall reading list.

Check out releases from earlier this year and view upcoming books for 2022!

25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Putting It Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created "Sunday in the Park with George"

by James Lapine
Available now!

Putting It Together chronicles the two-year odyssey of creating the iconic Broadway musical Sunday in the Park with George. In 1982, James Lapine, at the beginning of his career as a playwright and director, met Stephen Sondheim, nineteen years his senior and already a legendary Broadway composer and lyricist. Shortly thereafter, the two decided to write a musical inspired by Georges Seurat's nineteenth-century painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Ever After: Forty Years of Musical Theater and Beyond 1977-2020

by Barry Singer
Available now!

Ever After remains far more than a detailed show-by-show history. With nearly one hundred first-person interviews, it is also a definitive behind-the-scenes account of how those shows were made. Singer invites the people who created the last forty years of musical theater on and off Broadway to tell their own stories. From an unparalleled look at A Chorus Line's final bow through the revolutionary evolution of Sunday in the Park with George, as recounted by Stephen Sondheim, the tragic triumph of Rent, the real people behind Disney's mega-musicals, and even an afternoon with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ever After proceeds to a moment-by-moment account of the birth of Wicked, by composer Stephen Schwartz; the extraordinary journeys of shows like Fun Home, Dear Evan Hansen, The Band's Visit, and Hadestown, through the eyes of their respective creators; and, finally, the miracle of Hamilton, as reconstructed by its producer Jeffrey Seller.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Balanchine's Apprentice: From Hollywood to New York and Back

by John Clifford
Available now!

In this long-awaited memoir, dancer and choreographer John Clifford offers a highly personal look inside the day-to-day operations of the New York City Ballet and its creative mastermind, George Balanchine. Balanchine's Apprentice is the story of Clifforda??an exceptionally talented artista??and the guiding inspiration for his life's work in dance.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Remember to Dream, Ebere

by Cynthia Erivo
Available now!

When Ebere's mother puts her to bed at night, she always says, "Remember to dream, Ebere." And dream, Ebere does! Encouraged by her mother to make her dreams as big as possible, Ebere imagines herself as the captain of a rocket ship with the ability to go anywhere in the universe. A message of hope and possibility, award-winning star of stage and screen Cynthia Erivo's debut picture book is an ode to a child's imagination, a parent's love, and the big dreams shared by both.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Pick a Pocket Or Two: A History of British Musical Theatre

by Ethan Mordden
Available now!

In Pick a Pocket Or Two, acclaimed author Ethan Mordden brings his wit and wisdom to bear in telling the full history of the British musical, from The Beggar's Opera (1728) to the present, with an interest in isolating the unique qualities of the form and its influence on the American model. To place a very broad generalization, the American musical is regarded as largely about ambition fulfilled, whereas the British musical is about social order. Oklahoma!'s Curly wins the heart of the farmer Laurey--or, in other words, the cowboy becomes a landowner, establishing a truce between the freelancers on horseback and the ruling class. Half a Sixpence, on the other hand, finds a working-class boy coming into a fortune and losing it to fancy Dans, whereupon he is reunited with his working-class sweetheart, his modest place in the social order affirmed.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Sing Like Never Before: A Creative Look at Vocal Technique & Pedagogy for Singers & Voice Teachers

By Justin Stoney and Mark Pate
Available now!

Written by New York Vocal Coaching founder Justin Stoney, the Award-winning book Sing Like Never Before was created to help Singers and Voice Teachers understand complex ideas and concepts while still keeping the fun and the Joy throughout the process. With its colorful artwork and entertaining style, Sing Like Never Before is making vocal technique practical and accessible for vocalists and pedagogues everywhere.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Your Legacy: A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History

by Schele Williams
Available now!

Beginning in Africa before 1619, Your Legacy presents an unprecedentedly accessible, empowering, and proud introduction to African American history for children. While your ancestors' freedom was taken from them, their spirit was not; this book celebrates their accomplishments, acknowledges their sacrifices, and defines how they are remembered-and how their stories should be taught.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life

by Sutton Foster
Available now!

Whether she's playing an "age-defying" book editor on television or dazzling audiences on the Broadway stage, Sutton Foster manages to make it all look easy. How? Crafting. From the moment she picked up a cross stitch needle to escape the bullying chorus girls in her early performing days, she was hooked. Cross stitching led to crocheting, crocheting led to collages, which led to drawing, and so much more. Channeling her emotions into her creations centered Sutton as she navigated the significant moments in her life and gave her tangible reminders of her experiences. Now, in this charming and poignant collection, Sutton shares those moments, including her fraught relationship with her agoraphobic mother; a painful divorce splashed on the pages of the tabloids; her struggles with fertility; the thrills she found on the stage during hit plays like Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes, and Violet; her breakout TV role in Younger; and the joy of adopting her daughter, Emily. Accompanying the stories, Sutton has included crochet patterns, recipes, and so much more!


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Unprotected

by Billy Porter
Available now!

Billy Porter's Unprotected is the life story of a singular artist and survivor in his own words. It is the story of a boy whose talent and courage opened doors for him, but only a crack. It is the story of a teenager discovering himself, learning his voice and his craft amidst deep trauma. And it is the story of a young man whose unbreakable determination led him through countless hard times to where he is now; a proud icon who refuses to back down or hide. Porter is a multitalented, multifaceted treasure at the top of his game, and Unprotected is a resonant, inspirational story of trauma and healing, shot through with his singular voice.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Working Backstage: A Cultural History and Ethnography of Technical Theater Labor

by Christin Essin
Available now!

Working Backstage illuminates the work of New York City's theater technicians, shining a light on the essential contributions of unionized stagehands, carpenters, electricians, sound engineers, properties artisans, wardrobe crews, makeup artists, and child guardians. Too-often dismissed or misunderstood as mere functionaries, these technicians are deeply engaged in creative problem-solving and perform collaborative, intricate choreographed work that parallels the performances of actors, singers, and dancers onstage. Although their contributions have fueled the Broadway machine, their contributions have been left out of most theater histories.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Particle and Wave: A Conversation

by Daniel Alexander Jones and Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Available now!

In a roving, shimmering conversation that took place in May 2021, scholar, poet, and activist Alexis Pauline Gumbs and playwright, songwriter, performance artist, and educator Daniel Alexander Jones discuss love as a foundational principle of artistic practice and societal change. Reflecting on Love Like Light, Daniel Alexander Jones's collection of seven plays and performance texts (published by 53rd State in July 2021), DAJ and APG illuminate the ways in which an attention to care, community, nuance, invitation, perceptual particularities, and embodied conditions can resist the profoundly extractive context in which life is lived and art is made. As they discuss the work of Audre Lorde, Billie Holiday, Beah Richards, Bayard Rustin, and Malcolm X, as well as that of DAJ's grandma Daisy Mae and APG's grandmother, aunt, and niece, DAJ and APG propose that love, like light, suffuses everything, and that love, like light, creates a field in which transformation, justice, healing, and radical beauty are not just possible-they are already, now.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Lying in the Middle: Musical Theater and Belief at the Heart of America

by Jake Johnson
Available now!

The local and regional shows staged throughout America use musical theater's inherent power of deception to cultivate worldviews opposed to mainstream ideas. Jake Johnson reveals how musical theater between the coasts inhabits the middle spaces between professional and amateur, urban and rural, fact and fiction, fantasy and reality, and truth and falsehood. The homegrown musical provides a space to engage belief and religion-imagining a better world while creating opportunities to expand what is possible in the current one. Whether it is the Oklahoma Senior Follies or a Mormon splinter group's production of The Sound of Music, such productions give people a chance to jolt themselves out of today's post-truth malaise and move toward a world more in line with their desires for justice, reconciliation, and community.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Vamp Until Ready

by James Magruder
Available now!

"I figure that some of you have been in plays, and so know how a closing night feels. With some shows, it's a relief. With others, you're fighting tears. Robin's theory is that it depends on how you feel about the makeshift family you've created for those weeks." Says Cary Dunkler, chorus boy turned master baker, who forms part of the network of protagonists in Vamp Until Ready. Cary, Isa Vass, Kristy Schroyer, Judy Gabelson, and Mark Shinner have lives that are transformed in surprising ways by working on or backstage at the Hangar Theatre, a summer stock outfit in upstate New York in the 1980's. They make--and remake--their families in this closely observed, ultimately comic valentine to the Socialist-leaning hamlet of Ithaca and to the pleasures of putting on a show at warp speed in hot weather.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Smile: The Story of a Face

by Sarah Ruhl
Available now!

With a play opening on Broadway, and every reason to smile, Sarah Ruhl has just survived a high-risk pregnancy when she discovers the left side of her face is completely paralyzed. She is assured that 90 percent of Bell's palsy patients see spontaneous improvement and experience a full recovery. Like Ruhl's own mother. But Sarah is in the unlucky ten percent. And for a woman, wife, mother, and artist working in theater, the paralysis and the disconnect between the interior and exterior brings significant and specific challenges. So Ruhl begins an intense decade-long search for a cure while simultaneously grappling with the reality of her new face-one that, while recognizably her own-is incapable of accurately communicating feelings or intentions.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List When The Lights Are Bright Again

by Andrew Norlen
Available now!

It began as an artist's desperate desire to express himself inside a worldwide pandemic, but in one year's time it has grown into a theater industry and country-wide outlet for healing, grief, justice, and hope in the theater community. The Covid-19 pandemic revealed what a world without live performance looks and feels like. This book captures a small fraction of the powerful and transcendent internal heartbeat that never went away within the theater community. When the Lights Are Bright Again immortalizes the stories, struggles, and successes of an industry that was the first to be shut down and one of the last to return. Andrew Norlen weaves more than 200 letters from Broadway theater veterans, devout theatergoers, teenage dreamers aching for their day in the spotlight, long-time ushers, designers, creatives, and countless other arts workers with a brand-new, breathtaking photo series by Broadway photographer Matthew Murphy.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Tiny Dancer

by Siena Cherson Siegel
Available now!

All her life, Siena has dreamed of being a ballerina. Her love of movement and dedication to the craft earned her a spot at the School of American Ballet, with hopes of becoming a member of George Balanchine's world-famous New York City Ballet company. Siena has worked hard for many years to be a professional ballet dancer, but injury and doubt are starting to take their toll. Maybe it's time to look beyond the world of dance-but Siena's whole identity has been shaped by ballet. When you have spent your entire life working toward something, how do you figure out what comes next? And how do you figure out who you are without the thing that defined you? This is a moving and beautifully drawn memoir of a dancer struggling to find her next step-and a young woman finding her true footing in the world.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Noël Coward on (and in) Theatre

by Noël Coward
Available now!

Noël Coward on theatre was as dazzling and entertaining as his masterful plays and lyrics. Here his ideas and opinions on the subject are brilliantly brought together in an extraordinary collection of commentary, lyrics, essays, and asides on everything having to do with the theatre and Coward's dazzling life in it. The book Noël Coward wanted, promised, threatened to write-and never did. Including essays, interviews, diary entries, verse, his views on his fellow playwrights: "My Colleague Will," Shaw, Wilde, Chekhov, Barrie, Maugham, Eliot, Osborne, Albee, Beckett, Miller, Williams, Rattigan, Pinter, and Shaffer.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List A Bit of Me: From Basildon to Broadway, and back

by Denise Van Outen
Release Date: November 11, 2021

Denise Van Outen, original 90s 'ladette', West End star and primetime TV favourite, reveals for the first time the true story of grit and graft beneath the famous Essex sparkle. In this refreshingly candid memoir, Denise speaks openly and sensitively about her rollercoaster career, her struggles in a past high-profile relationship and the betrayal she suffered at the hands of those once closest to her, with the hope that in doing so, she can help empower others to avoid and overcome any similar difficulties they may face.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Everything Is Choreography

by Kevin Winkler
Release Date: November 15, 2021

Grand Hotel. My One and Only. Nine. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine. The Will Rogers Follies. For two decades, Tommy Tune was the maestro presiding over a string of glittering Broadway musicals that took the tradition of complete musical staging by a director-choreographer into a new era defined by spectacle and technology. He was last in a grand lineage led by Jerome Robbins, Gower Champion, Bob Fosse, and Michael Bennett, but also provided a link to a new generation of choreographers-turned-directors like Susan Stroman, Jerry Mitchell, and Casey Nicholaw.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List The Art of Bob Mackie

by Frank Vlastnik
Release Date: November 16, 2021

The Art of Bob Mackie is the first-ever comprehensive and fully authorized book showcasing Mackie's work, from his early days as a sketch artist for the legendary Edith Head at Paramount to his current, cutting-edge costumes for pop stars and line of accessible, wearable clothing for QVC. In addition to hundreds of glorious photos and dozens of dishy recollections from Mackie and his many muses, this gorgeous volume features never-before-seen sketches from throughout his prolific career, from Marilyn Monroe's iconic "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" gown to Carol Burnett's "Went with the Wind" curtain-rod dress, to Cher's show-stopping 1986 Oscar look. As other designers have burst onto the scene and faded out of fashion, Mackie has soared from success to success, always remaining relevant because he has always been spectacularly fashion-forward.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List My Daddy Can Fly!

by Tom Forster
Release Date: November 23, 2021

For young dance lovers, a picture book about a young boy whose father has the unique position as a ballet dancer. Written by American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Thomas Forster. Ben and his friends are playing in their favorite part of the classroom-- the dress-up corner! They are talking about what they want to be when they grow up. Rachel wants to be a tae kwon do master, Dixie wants to be a doctor like her auntie, and John wants to be a teacher just like their teacher, Mr. Underwood. But when Ben says he wants to fly just like his daddy, his friends are sure his daddy must be a pilot.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List All About Me! My Remarkable Life in Show Business

by Mel Brooks
Release Date: November 30, 2021

All About Me! charts Mel Brooks's meteoric rise from a Depression-era kid in Brooklyn to the recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Whether serving in the United States Army in World War II, or during his burgeoning career as a teenage comedian in the Catskills, Mel was always mining his experiences for material, always looking for the perfect joke. His iconic career began with Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows, where he was part of the greatest writers' room in history, which included Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, and Larry Gelbart. After co-creating both the mega-hit 2000 Year Old Man comedy albums and the classic television series Get Smart, Brooks's stellar film career took off. He would go on to write, direct, and star in The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs, as well as produce groundbreaking and eclectic films, including The Elephant Man, The Fly, and My Favorite Year. Brooks then went on to conquer Broadway with his record-breaking, Tony-winning musical, The Producers.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List B is for Broadway

by John Robert Allman
Release Date: December 7, 2021

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 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List Booze Over Broadway: 50 Cocktails for Theatre Lovers

by Michael Goff
Release Date: December 14, 2021

Enjoy a delicious cocktail while belting out Broadway tunes with this witty guidebook that perfectly pairs your favorite showtunes and Broadway musicals with innovative libations. Do you have a strong love for Andrew Lloyd Weber or Stephen Sondheim? Do you consider "Defying Gravity" to be the ultimate, underrated karaoke song? Then get ready to raise your glass and belt out that high-C with Booze Over Broadway. Featuring 50 delectable drinks from a rising star in the New York City bar scene, this clever and creative manual allows you to make delicious cocktails right from the comfort of your home. This witty, accessible book also includes commentary, step-by-step instructions, and whimsical illustrations throughout.


25 Theatre Books for Your Fall Reading List The Lost Conversation: Interviews with an Enduring Avant-Garde

by Sara Farrington
Release Date: December 21, 2021

In this collection of interviews conducted between 2019-2021 with New York theater artists who have spent their lives working in and inventing the avant-garde, playwright Sara Farrington brings to light a series of "lost conversations" about class, race, difficulty, endurance, and privilege in the New York avant-garde of the past fifty years, as well as conversations about the ephemerality, the always-about-to-be-lostness of the medium itself. Featuring conversations with JoAnne Akalaitis, Anne Bogart, Lee Breuer, Ping Chong, Richard Foreman, Andre Gregory, Deborah Hay, Bill T. Jones, Adrienne Kennedy, Lola Pashalinksi, Jennifer Tipton, Kate Valk, Mac Wellman, and Robert Wilson, The Lost Conversation is also a record both of the avant-garde's past and of its urgent present.



Reading Into It- Broadway Books for 2024 Photo
Reading Into It- Broadway Books for 2024

A new Broadway season is on its way, full of exciting new shows and revivals of beloved classics. While many of them are original concepts or based on plays, five are based on books that you can add to your reading list today.

21 Theater Books for Your Fall 2023 Reading List Photo
21 Theater Books for Your Fall 2023 Reading List

We're falling into fall with a great Broadway read! This season, 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 21 new Broadway books for every theatre lover's fall reading list.

27 Theater Books for Your Summer 2023 Reading List Photo
27 Theater Books for Your Summer 2023 Reading List

From theatre biographies to theatre fiction; theatre books for kids to theatre history; check out our collection of 27 new Broadway books for every theatre lover's Summer reading list.

23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Photo
23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List

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 23 new Broadway books for every theatre lover's spring reading list.



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