Welcome to what was formerly the website for Hardcover Theater, a Minneapolis theater company that operated from 2002 to 2016. Now it memorializes what we accomplished and makes our scripts available to other theater companies.
A quick rundown:
- Hardcover created shows based on literature. We specialized in working with texts that had never before been adapted for the theater (e.g., A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, She by H. Rider Haggard, Behind a Mask by Louisa May Alcott). And we always wrote our own scripts.
- We staged the unstageable. Twelve-foot-tall monsters with insect-like heads and an extra pair of forelimbs, for A Princess of Mars. An attack by hundreds of native warriors, for She: Immortal Witch-Queen of a Lost World. A human hand – only the hand, no body attached – for “The Beast with Five Fingers.”
- We told stories and we told them fast. Our full-length shows might race through 30-40 scenes without pause. Sometimes they felt like movies onstage, with big action sequences.
- We “broke the fourth wall.” At certain points the actors would address the audience directly, in order to share what their characters were thinking or to move the story along. Rather than trying to represent scenery or action literally, we used actors’ speech and movement to help the audience imagine what couldn’t be seen. Breaking the fourth wall was our signature move. It added psychological richness to the stories we told, helped us stage the unstageable, and gave our shows narrative momentum by eliminating the need for scene changes.
More about Hardcover’s history and artistic philosophy, and about performance rights, here and here. [links coming soon]
This website is maintained by Steve Schroer, Hardcover’s founder and producing artistic director. Steve wrote the great majority of Hardcover shows; shows that he didn’t write are not represented on the website because he doesn’t own the rights. Texts adapted are all in the public domain.