Theater: Bland Bard Henry Iv, Part

I by William Shakespeare

The American stage community cherishes a persistent dream: the creation of an equivalent to Britain's National Theater or Royal Shakespeare Company. New plays would be mounted and the classics reconsidered in an environment sheltered from the hit-or-extinction extremities of Broadway. Over the decades attempts have been made, with varying degrees of success, at New York City's Lincoln Center and Public Theater and at regional companies including the Guthrie in Minneapolis, the Yale Repertory Theater and Robert Brustein's American Repertory Theater at Harvard. Last week the newest candidate took center stage. The American National Theater, headed by Peter Sellars, 27, opened at...

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