8 Theatre Must-Reads for May | Playbill

Book News 8 Theatre Must-Reads for May

This month’s new releases include a collection of essays from Andrew Rannells and a book of Broadway-themed cocktail recipes.

It’s May! It’s May! This month is full of new books that will catch any theatre fan’s eye, with selections of everything from historical analysis to cocktail recipes. While Broadway lovers bask in the pre-summer sun, any one of these nine books are a great activity to take along.

New releases for the month also include a guide to the set and costume design process, a young adult novel with a Broadway-bound protagonist, and a look at digital formats in the performing arts.

Sustainable Theatre: Theory, Context, Practice
By Iphigenia Taxopoulou
This new release explores how the performing arts can operate more sustainably, as well as how the climate crisis influences theatre. Taxopoulou’s piece includes interviews and case studies to demonstrate the importance of sustainable theatre, both in performance and in production. Available May 18 from Methuen Drama.

Uncle Of The Year by Andrew Rannells

Uncle of the Year: & Other Debatable Triumphs
By Andrew Rannells
From The Book of Mormon and Falsettos star Andrew Rannells comes this collection of essays detailing his career, lessons he has learned, and his struggles with “adulting.” In a vulnerable literary self-portrait, Rannells “challenges us to take a long look at who we’re pretending to be, who we know we are, and who we want to become.” Available May 16 from Crown. 

Live Digital Theatre: Interdisciplinary Performative Pedagogies
By Aleksandar Sasha Dundjerovic
In an ever-intensifying digital age, many productions have found ways to incorporate more technology into performances, especially throughout the pandemic. This new book investigates how digital performance, from Zoom shows to live recordings, has become an important part of the theatre world. Available Now from Routledge.

I'll Drink To That! by Laurence Maslon and Joan Marcus

I’ll Drink to That!: Broadway’s Legendary Stars, Classic Shows, and the Cocktails They Inspired
By Laurence Maslon and Joan Marcus
Author Laurence Maslon would like to propose a toast—and what better way than with a Broadway-inspired cocktail? This book includes drink recipes from a Hamilton-themed “My Shot” to an Evita “Rainbow High,” each photographed by Joan Marcus at the famous Sardi’s restaurant. Available May 23 from Weldon Owen. 

Here for the Hearing: Analyzing the Music in Musical Theater (Tracking Pop)
By Michael Buchler and Gregory John Decker
This series of essays takes a comprehensive look at how musical structure (harmony, melody, rhythm, meter, form, and musical association) contributes to the making of theatre. With a focus on works of theatre from the 1920s to present day, the book presents a thorough discussion of how music can enhance onstage storytelling. Available May 22 from University of Michigan Press.

Dance on the American Musical Theatre Stage by Ray Miller

Dance on the American Musical Theatre Stage 
By Ray Miller
In Dance on the American Musical Theatre Stage, author Ray Miller offers a historical study of how various styles of dance have interacted on the musical theatre stage. By analyzing choreographic styles and cultural context, the book considers how dance both impacts and is impacted by society. Available May 19 from Routledge. 

The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom
By Allison L. Bitz
This novel geared toward young adults follows Bridget Bloom, a young, gifted singer with dreams of a Broadway career. When she arrives at boarding school to begin training in the music program, she learns that she may have to work outside of her comfort zone to succeed in this coming-of-age story. Available May 2 from HarperTeen. 

Bringing Set and Costume Designs to Fruition: Made by Teams
By Jennifer Dasher, Lynne M. Koscielniak, and Jonathan Shimon
Three designers in the costume, set, lighting, and scenery fields come together to create this breakdown of the creative process, from concept to construction. With a focus on the teamwork between designers and scene/costume shops, the book is an in-depth guide to bringing designer’s visions to life. Available May 25 from Focal Press.


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