Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 5

Playbill Vault   Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: July 5
Lanford Wilson arrives in New York City in 1962, and Alan Cumming stars in Macbeth at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2012.

1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the American National Theatre and Academy bill, calling for a self-supporting national theatre. ANTA gets off to a slow start but eventually is responsible for raising money for both the American Repertory Theatre and the Experimental Theatre. It also hosts an annual "ANTA Album" revue, highlighting the best of Broadway theatre and beyond.

1962 Aspiring playwright Lanford Wilson arrives in New York, determined to start a career. Wilson has nowhere to stay and finds himself sleeping in Central Park. Fortunately, he does not remain homeless forever, as Wilson soon becomes a highly successful, Pulitzer-winning playwright. He immortalizes the date of his New York arrival as the title of his 1978 play, Fifth of July.

2012 Alan Cumming is a psychiatric patient reliving the story of Macbeth in a one-man adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy, presented at the Rose Theater as part of the 2012 Lincoln Center Festival. John Tiffany and Andrew Goldberg direct the National Theatre of Scotland production, which returns to New York the following year for a limited Broadway run.

More of Today's Birthdays: Jean Cocteau (1889–1963), Alvin Colt (1916-2008), Ben Edwards (1916-1999), Katherine Helmond (1928–2019), Shirley Knight (1936–2020), Stanley Silverman (b. 1938), Nicholas Wright (b. 1940), Douglas Sills (b. 1960), Edie Falco (b. 1963), Kathryn Erbe (b. 1965), Michael Stuhlbarg (b. 1968), Jonathan Kaplan (b. 1980).

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