Theatre Arts Magazine

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Theatre Arts Magazine
Theatre Arts Magazine cover April 1919.jpg
April 1919 cover
FounderSheldon Warren Cheney
Year founded1916
Final issue1964
CompanyTheatre Arts, Inc.
CountryUnited States

Theatre Arts Magazine, sometimes titled Theatre Arts or Theatre Arts Monthly, was a magazine published from November 1916 to January 1964. It was established by author and critic Sheldon Warren Cheney.


Cheney established the magazine as a quarterly publication[1] with the support of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, which provided him with a workspace and financial support.[2] The society's support proved short-lived. When the United States entered World War I, censorship of German art became common. Cheney criticized this practice in the magazine's August 1917 issue, leading the society to drop its support. Cheney responded by moving the magazine to New York City.[3] Cheney served as the magazine's editor until 1921, with several co-editors being added as of volume three.

With Cheney's departure, Edith J.R. Isaacs took over as the lead editor. In 1924 the name of the magazine changed to Theatre Arts Monthly, and its frequency of publication increased to match the new title. In 1939 the name was changed again to Theatre Arts.[4] As editor, Isaacs included arts such as music and dance in her view of "theatre". She supported the Little Theatre Movement and the establishment of the American National Theater and Academy. She publicized emerging artists, including Martha Graham, Robert Edmond Jones, Jo Mielziner, Donald Oenslager, Eugene O'Neill, and Thornton Wilder.[5]

In 1945 the magazine was purchased by Robert W. Dowling and Henry Steeger. Isaacs retired due to health issues in 1946,[6] and Rosamond Gilder took over as editor. Across three years, Dowling and Steeger lost some $60,000. By the beginning of 1948 they were prepared to close the magazine down, but instead they sold it to another publication, Stage, which merged with it, keeping the Theatre Arts name.[7] Charles MacArthur became the editor. Byron Bentley took over as editor and publisher in 1962.[8]


  1. ^ Shalett 1941, p. X1
  2. ^ Toten Beard 2010, p. 12
  3. ^ Toten Beard 2010, pp. 13–14
  4. ^ Chansky & Brino-Dean 2012, p. 379
  5. ^ Swerdlove 1980, p. 370
  6. ^ "Mrs. Isaacs Dies; Stage Expert, 78". The New York Times. January 11, 1956.
  7. ^ "Theatre Arts Sold to Stage Magazine". The New York Times. January 23, 1948.
  8. ^ Chansky & Brino-Dean 2012, p. 389

Works cited[edit]

  • Chansky, Dorothy & Brino-Dean, Terry (2012). "A New Theatre: Theatre Arts (1916-64) and Drama (1911-31)". In Brooker, Peter & Thacker, Andrew (eds.). The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume II: North America 1894-1960. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 377–397. ISBN 978-0-19-954581-0. OCLC 428818638.
  • Shalett, Sidney M. (January 19, 1941). "Theatre Arts Through the Years". The New York Times. pp. X1-2.
  • Swerdlove, Dorothy L. (1980). "Isaacs, Edith Juliet Rich". In Sicherman, Barbara; Green, Carol Hurd (eds.). Notable American Women: The Modern Period: a Biographical Dictionary, Volume 4. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 370–371. ISBN 0-674-62733-4. OCLC 6487187.
  • Toten Beard, DeAnna M. (2010). Sheldon Cheney's Theatre Arts Magazine: Promoting a Modern American Theatre, 1916-1921. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-7266-0. OCLC 425960129.

External links[edit]