Hardcover Theater Home Page

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 felt like movies onstage because they ran through 30-40 scenes without pauses in between. We also borrowed cinematic devices for our stagings.
  • Our scripts often broke the so-called fourth wall. Sometimes our actors would talk to the audience, in order to share what their characters are 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 see things in the mind’s eye. 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 to them.