Once a weak sibling of Broadway, a nationwide movement of not-for-profit resident theaters has, in just a half-century, transformed America's cultural landscape, replacing Broadway as the originator of new American plays. Notably, 30 of the last 32 Pulitzer Prize winners for Drama originated at regional theaters. And resident stages have also trained a whole generation of actors, including Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Sigourney Weaver, and James Earl Jones. In the past 50 years, the movement has grown from a handful of scattered stages in major metropolitan centers, to a network of more than 1200 theaters dispersed across every state.
The series will take listeners behind the scenes at not-for-profit theaters across the country as they develop new works, and reinterpret established classics, with each report examining a different aspect of the regional theater experience.
The March 24 program will focus on how regional theaters involve local audiences while bringing diversity to the stage.