Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Broadway Bookshelf - Must Read Theater Books

Jump to: Media Room | Videos | Books | Albums

Biography | Autobiography | Show Books | For Actors | Musical Scores | Reference Books | History

Anne Frank & Emmett Till: Why I Wrote the Play Anne & Emmett (10/22/2022)

By Janet Langhart Cohen, who wrote the play Anne & Emmett, which has been performed across the U.S. since 2007 (the play is also being published in paperback and Kindle format). An effort to reveal how some of the people the author has known and the seminal events she experienced enabled her to link together, in an imaginary conversation, the seemingly disparate lives of Anne Frank and Emmett Till, two iconic figures who were murdered by societies that couldn’t protect them.

Anne Frank & Emmett Till: Why I Wrote the Play Anne & Emmett Cover
Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman (10/18/2022)

Twenty-five years of diaries, from thoughts and insights on theater performances, the craft of acting, politics, friendships, work projects, and his general musings on life. 480 pages.

Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman Cover
Give My Swiss Chards to Broadway: The Broadway Lover's Cookbook (10/4/2022)

llustrated by Justin "Squigs" Robertson. Collection of musical-inspired recipes includes dishes like Yolklahoma!, Clafoutis and the Beast, Yam Yankees, Dear Melon Hansen, and more. Each dish comes with a brief history of the show that inspired it, a summary of the plot, and "Listening Notes" of behind-the-scenes trivia. 200 pages.

Give My Swiss Chards to Broadway: The Broadway Lover's Cookbook Cover
WARHOLCAPOTE: A Non-Fiction Invention (9/20/2022)

Play by director Rob Roth (Beauty and the Beast, Lestat), who unearthed eighty hours of tapes of conversations between Andy Warhol and Truman Capote in 1978 (made to be the source of a play, then abandoned). Every word in the play comes directly from these two 20th century geniuses. The structure of the conversations springs from Roth's imagination. The play made its world premiere at American Repertory Theater in 2017. 224 pages.

WARHOLCAPOTE: A Non-Fiction Invention Cover
Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies (revised and updated) (8/15/2022)

Insider's view of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's musical, Follies. New afterword brings the history of the show forward, diving into recent productions around the world, new recordings, and the continued promise of a film version.

Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies (revised and updated) Cover
Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers (8/9/2022)

The memoirs of Mary Rodgers—writer, composer, Broadway royalty, and "a woman who tried everything." Her story, with copious annotations, contradictions, and interruptions from coauthor Jesse Green.

Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers Cover
Transforming Space Over Time: Set Design and Visual Storytelling with Broadway’s Legendary Directors (8/1/2022)

Tells the stories of six diverse productions: five on Broadway and one Off-Broadway ... beginning with the moment he was offered each job, and taking readers through the conceptual development of the set, in collaboration with the director, the challenges of its physical creation, and the intense process of readying it for the stage. Extensive conversations with the directors of the productions ... such as James Lapine, Kenny Leon, Hal Prince, Susan Stroman, Jerry Zaks, and Stephen Sondheim.

Transforming Space Over Time: Set Design and Visual Storytelling with Broadway’s Lege Cover
Made-Up Asians: Yellowface During the Exclusion Era (7/25/2022)

Traces the development of yellowface in the U.S. context during the Exclusion Era (1862–1940), when Asians faced legal and cultural exclusion from immigration and citizenship. Examines a wide-ranging set of primary sources, including makeup guidebooks, play catalogs, advertisements, biographies, and backstage anecdotes, providing new ways of understanding and categorizing yellowface as theatrical practice and historical subject. 296 pages.

Made-Up Asians: Yellowface During the Exclusion Era Cover
The Complete Book of 1900s Broadway Musicals (7/15/2022)

Surveys every single book musical that opened during the decade. Each musical has its own entry which features: Plot summary; cast members; creative team; song lists; opening and closing dates; number of performances; critical commentary; film adaptations, recordings, and published scripts, when applicable. Numerous appendixes include a chronology of book musicals by season; chronology of revues; chronology of revivals of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas; a selected discography; filmography; publ...

The Complete Book of 1900s Broadway Musicals Cover
The Jukebox Musical: An Interpretive History (6/30/2022)

Comprehensive guide to the unique genre of the jukebox musical, delving into its history to explain why these musicals have quickly become beloved for multiple generations of theatergoers and practitioners.

The Jukebox Musical: An Interpretive History Cover
The Long Revolution: Writings from the Frontlines of a New American Theatre (6/28/2022)

Gathers sixty years of essays, speeches, and manifestos by the founding mother of the resident professional theatre movement. Topics such as: The Institution as Art-Work, the Profit in NonProfit, Race and a Deepening Aesthetic, and Creativity and the Public Mind. Also includes intimate portraits of artists with whom Fichandler frequently collaborated and director's notes from the major productions that defined her vision. 320 pages

The Long Revolution: Writings from the Frontlines of a New American Theatre Cover
Grease, Tell Me More, Tell Me More: Stories from the Broadway Phenomenon That Started It All (6/7/2022)

How the show that started in a converted trolly barn in Chicago in the Eden Theatre February 14, 1972, short of money, short of audience, short of critical raves ... became a musical classic. Collection of memories and stories from over one hundred actors and musicians, including the creative team and crew who were part of the original Broadway production and in the many touring companies it spawned, including Barry Bostwick, John Travolta, Adrienne Barbeau, Treat Williams, Marilu Henner, Peter...

Grease, Tell Me More, Tell Me More: Stories from the Broadway Phenomenon That Started Cover
Broadway Bird (5/17/2022)

Picture book about a little bird who dreams of making it big on Broadway. Ages 4-6 years.

Broadway Bird Cover
Paul Gemignani: Life and Lessons from Broadway and Beyond (5/15/2022)

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 ...

Paul Gemignani: Life and Lessons from Broadway and Beyond Cover
Don't Miss This: A Decade of Eccentric Performing Arts (5/12/2022)

Pictorial paean to the stars of today's circus, sideshow, burlesque, and new vaudeville scenes. More then 200 photographs taken between 2010 and 2020 plus accompanying essays that chronicle the last decade of eccentric performing arts.

Don't Miss This: A Decade of Eccentric Performing Arts Cover
Creating Back to the Future: The Musical (5/3/2022)

About the creation of the musical that opened at the Manchester Opera House in February 2020, music and lyrics by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard and a book by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale (adapted from their original screenplay). Pairs exclusive, in-depth interviews with previously unpublished photography; excerpts from Bob Gale’s personal journal; and a foreword by Gale to reveal and detail the years long process, and the creative ingenuity and technical innovation.

Creating Back to the Future: The Musical Cover
The Letters of Oscar Hammerstein II (5/1/2022)

Hundreds of previously unpublished letters that show off all facets of Hammerstein's many engagements and his personality: correspondence to and from major Broadway figures like Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Kern, and Josh Logan, as well as those with politicians and activists. Reveals a man who was sharp, opinionated, and funny but also cared deeply about addressing the social ills that his musicals explored beyond the stage. 1000 pages.

The Letters of Oscar Hammerstein II Cover
Randy Rainbow: Playing with Myself (4/27/2022)

Intimate and light-hearted memoir by viral sensation Randy Rainbow: "the highs, the lows, the lipstick, the pink glasses, and the show tunes."

Randy Rainbow: Playing with Myself Cover
For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy (4/27/2022)

Play by Ryan Calais Cameron. Premiered at the New Diorama Theatre in 2021, now at the Royal Court in London. 80 pages. Kindle Edition previously released.

For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy Cover
Deep Are the Roots: Trailblazers Who Changed Black British Theatre (4/27/2022)

Celebrates the pioneers of Black British theatre, beginning in 1825, when Ira Aldridge made history as the first Black actor to play Shakespeare's Othello in the United Kingdom, and ending in 1975 with the success of Britain’s first Black-led theatre company.

Deep Are the Roots: Trailblazers Who Changed Black British Theatre Cover
Finding Me: A Memoir (4/26/2022)

Memoir by Viola Davis. Audiobook editions narrated by the author. 304 pages Released 4/26/22.

Finding Me: A Memoir Cover
On Stage with Bette Davis: Inside the Famous Flop of Miss Moffat (4/21/2022)

Follows the story of the 1974 musical Miss Moffat (a musical adaptation of The Corn in Green), which closed during its pre-Broadway run. Dearing had a minor role in Miss Moffat and kept a journal of his observations and experiences throughout production. 75 pages.

On Stage with Bette Davis: Inside the Famous Flop of Miss Moffat Cover
Cora Witherspoon: A Life on Stage and Screen (4/21/2022)

Broadway and film actress Cora Witherspoon was in 35 Broadway productions from 1910 - 1946, including Daddy Long Legs, The Awful Truth, The Constant Wife, Camille, and The Front Page and many films. This biography details her upbringing and family background and discusses her struggle with substance abuse, which resulted in two highly publicized arrests and one conviction. 220 pages.

Cora Witherspoon: A Life on Stage and Screen Cover
Offstage Observations: Inside Tales of the Not-So-Legitimate Theatre (4/15/2022)

The author introduces Broadway, once upon a time ... taking the reader through a decade's worth of adventures, working his way from a menial pencil sharpener for producer David Merrick toward a career as a full-fledged manager, producer, and drama critic. The book follows the author's progress from the wintry night after his sixteenth birthday, when he unexpectedly finds himself alone on the empty stage of a Broadway theatre, peering out at the silent, empty auditorium lit only by a solitary gh...

Offstage Observations: Inside Tales of the Not-So-Legitimate Theatre Cover
This Time for Me: A Memoir (4/1/2022)

An emotional, funny, and fabulous memoir by trailblazing and award-winning Trans actor and activist Alexandra Billings. Spanning five decades, from profound lows to exhilarating highs ... captures the events of a pioneering life ... award-winning actor and history-making LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activist 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 ric...

This Time for Me: A Memoir Cover
Fifty Key Stage Musicals (3/31/2022)

This volume in the Routledge Key Guides series provides a round-up of the fifty musicals whose creations were seminal in altering the landscape of musical theater discourse in the English-speaking world. Chapters: 1. The Black Crook by Sebastian Trainor; 2. HMS Pinafore by Rupert Holmes; 3. The Merry Widow by Andrew Child; 4. Shuffle Along by Jerrell L. Henderson; 5. Show Boat by Benjamin Nissen; 6. Of Thee I Sing by Laura Frankos; 7. Anything Goes by Scott Miller; 8. Porgy and Bess by Isaiah W...

Fifty Key Stage Musicals Cover
Hold, Please: Stage Managing a Pandemic (3/29/2022)

By Broadway stage manager Richard Hester. Foreword by Rick Elice. A journey through one of the most fascinating periods in both our cultural and our personal histories. Written with humor and compassion ... provides a unique perspective on this time and delivers the most important lesson of all - Hope.

Hold, Please: Stage Managing a Pandemic Cover
Lord Knows, At Least I Was There: Working with Stephen Sondheim (3/22/2022)

By pianist Paul Ford, whom Stephen Sondheim called the "indefatigable master of the musical theatre." Foreword by Mandy Patinkin. Ford looks back on the performances and personalities that defined the American musical theatre in the waning years of the twentieth century. Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Donna Murphy, Elaine Stritch, Victor Garber, Bob Fosse, Gwen Verdon, Stockard Channing, Donna McKechnie, Lauren Bacall, Chita Rivera, Liza Minnelli, Martin Charnin, Liv Ullman, T...

Lord Knows, At Least I Was There: Working with Stephen Sondheim Cover
Facing the Music: a Broadway memoir (3/22/2022)

From his "wildly entertaining and deeply poignant trek through the wilderness of his childhood and the edge-of-your-seat drama of a career on, in, under, and around Broadway for decades ... He reveals his struggle against the ravages of Parkinson's and triumphs repeatedly ... The extraordinary cast of characters in his life also includes John Kander, Fred Ebb, Angela Lansbury, Chita Rivera, Roger Rees, Marin Mazzie, Scott Ellis, Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Garth Drabinsky, and Barbara Cook, am...

Facing the Music: a Broadway memoir Cover
The Golden Age Musicals of Darryl F. Zanuck: The Gentleman Preferred Blondes (3/15/2022)

First book devoted to the musicals that Darryl F. Zanuck produced at Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Pictures, and Twentieth Century Fox. Spotlights how he placed his personal imprint on the genre and how he nurtured and showcased several blonde female stars who headlined the musicals, including Shirley Temple, Alice Faye, Betty Grable, Vivian Blaine, June Haver, Marilyn Monroe, and Sheree North. 320 pages.

The Golden Age Musicals of Darryl F. Zanuck: The Gentleman Preferred Blondes Cover
Fearlessly Different: An Autistic Actor's Journey to Broadway's Biggest Stage (3/15/2022)

The story of an autistic and legally blind person and pushing beyond the restrictions of a special education classroom to shine on the stage ... to become the first autistic actor to play the lead role in the play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, landing the title role in the play Amadeus, co-creating the theatre/philanthropy company Arts on the Waterfront, and founding the National Disability Theatre. 200 pages.

Fearlessly Different: An Autistic Actor's Journey to Broadway's Biggest Stage Cover
25 Plays from The Fire This Time Festival: A Decade of Recognition, Resistance, Resilience, Rebirth, and Black Theater (3/10/2022)

Featuring plays by by Katori Hall, Antoinette Nwandu, Roger Q. Mason, Dominique Morisseau, Francisca Da Silveira, Deneen Reynolds-Knott, Charly Evon Simpson, and Angelica Cheri. Edited and curated by Kelley Nicole Girod.

25 Plays from The Fire This Time Festival: A Decade of Recognition, Resistance, Resil Cover
Pinter and Stoppard: A Director's View (2/24/2022)

Carey Perloff examines these contemporary playwrights alongside one another and in the context of the rehearsal room, to glean new insights and connections, including the impact of their Jewish background on their work and their passion for the details of stagecraft. The author draws upon her first-hand experience of working with both writers, creating case studies of particular plays in production to provide new ways of positioning the work today. 240 pages.

Pinter and Stoppard: A Director's View Cover
Best of Enemies (2/24/2022)

Play by James Graham, inspired by the documentary by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon. This edition was published to coincide with the world premiere at London's Young Vic, December 2021. 128 pages.

Best of Enemies Cover
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus (2/8/2022)

In Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, Taylor Mac’s singular worldview intersects with William Shakespeare’s first tragedy, Titus Andronicus. Set during the fall of the Roman Empire, Mac’s extraordinary play picks up where Shakespeare’s blood-soaked tale left off: the coup has ended, the country has been stolen by madmen, and there are casualties everywhere. Two lowly servants, Gary and Janice, are charged with cleaning up the bodies. It’s the year 400—but it feels like the end of the world.

Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus Cover
Sondheim in Our Time and His (2/8/2022)

Offers a wide-ranging historical investigation of the works and career of Stephen Sondheim. Each author uncovers those aspects of biography, collaborative process, and contemporary context that impacted the creation and reception of Sondheim's musicals. Several 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 mu...

Sondheim in Our Time and His Cover
The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act (2/2/2022)

Chronicles the history of the Method in a narrative that transports readers from Moscow to New York to Los Angeles, from The Seagull to A Streetcar Named Desire ... traces how a cohort of American mavericks—including Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, and the storied Group Theatre—refashioned Stanislavski's ideas for a Depression-plagued nation that had yet to find its place as an artistic powerhouse. Long after its midcentury heyday, the Method lives on as one of the most influential—and misundersto...

The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act Cover
The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act (2/2/2022)

Chronicles the history of the Method in a narrative that transports readers from Moscow to New York to Los Angeles, from The Seagull to A Streetcar Named Desire ... traces how a cohort of American mavericks—including Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, and the storied Group Theatre—refashioned Stanislavski's ideas for a Depression-plagued nation that had yet to find its place as an artistic powerhouse. Long after its midcentury heyday, the Method lives on as one of the most influential—and misundersto...

The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act Cover
B Is for Broadway: Onstage and Backstage from A to Z (2/2/2022)

From "Auditions" to "Ziegfeld" ... rhythmic alphabet book featuring favorite performers, creators, songs, and shows from the Broadway stage ... Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patti LuPone, Irving Berlin, Jennifer Holliday, and Billy Porter ... famous New York theaters, beloved shows, and the crew, stylists, and technicians who are vital to each performance.

B Is for Broadway: Onstage and Backstage from A to Z Cover
Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (1/27/2022)

Play by Alice Birch. 80 pages.

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. Cover
Sportin' Life: John W. Bubbles, An American Classic (1/26/2022)

Biography of groundbreaking tap dancer John W. Bubbles, who played Sportin' Life in the original production of Porgy and Bess. His life, from 1902-1986, from vaudeville to Broadway to TV, then to acclaimed performances from his wheelchair. 328 pages. Kindle Edition released earlier.

Sportin' Life: John W. Bubbles, An American Classic Cover
BAM... and Then It Hit Me (1/25/2022)

Memoir by Karen Brooks Hopkins, President Emerita of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Numerous photographs. 320 pages.

BAM... and Then It Hit Me Cover
If I Forget and Other Plays (1/25/2022)

In the final months before 9/11, liberal Jewish studies professor Michael Fischer has reunited with his two sisters to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday. Each deeply invested in their own version of family history, the siblings clash over everything from Michael’s controversial scholarly work to the mounting pressures of caring for an ailing parent. As destructive secrets and long-held resentments bubble to the surface, the three negotiate—with biting humor and razor-sharp insight—how much...

If I Forget and Other Plays Cover
The Phantom of the Opera Collection (1/11/2022)

Fully authorized graphic novel adaptation by Cavan Scott, illustrated by José María Beroy, of the Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe original libretto.

The Phantom of the Opera Collection Cover
Damn Shame: A Memoir of Desire, Defiance, and Show Tunes (1/11/2022)

Memoir by Broadway/Off-Broadway/TV/fim performer David Pevsner. 368 pages.

Damn Shame: A Memoir of Desire, Defiance, and Show Tunes Cover
The Minutes (1/4/2022)

Debuted at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago in November 2017. Finalist for 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The Minutes Cover
Morning Sun (12/24/2021)

Play by Simon Stephens. Currently in production at Manhattan Theatre Club. 104 pages. Kindle Edition released 11/16/21.

Morning Sun Cover
Bette Davis Black and White (12/22/2021)

Analyzes four of Davis’s best-known pictures— Jezebel (1938), The Little Foxes (1941), In This Our Life (1942), and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)—against the history of American race relations. Stern also weaves in memories of her own experiences as a young viewer, coming into racial consciousness watching Davis's films on television in an all-white suburb of Chicago.

Bette Davis Black and White Cover
The Lost Conversation: Interviews with an Enduring Avant-Garde (12/21/2021)

Collection of interviews conducted between 2019-2021 with New York theater artists who have spent their lives working in and inventing the avant-garde ... 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...

The Lost Conversation: Interviews with an Enduring Avant-Garde Cover
Actors' and Performers' Yearbook 2022: Essential Contacts for Stage, Screen and Radio (12/16/2021)

New version of this annual book includes newly commissioned interviews conducted by Polly Bennett and Joan Iyiola (co-founders of The Mono Box) with theatre industry professionals including Cherrelle Skeete, Hazel Holder, Ned Bennett and Tom Ross Williams; a new foreword by Polly Bennett; updated listings covering training and working in theatre, film, radio, TV and comedy, it contains invaluable resources such as a casting calendar and articles on a range of topics from your social media profi...

Actors' and Performers' Yearbook 2022: Essential Contacts for Stage, Screen and Radio Cover