Dream Dealer: Stuart Walker and the American Theater
by JoAnn Yeoman
Publisher: Star Cloud Press
Year of Publication: 2007
Page Count: 150
"Theatregoers should be grateful to JoAnn Yeoman for her fascinating book Dream Dealer: Stuart Walker and the American Theater, which brilliantly revives the career of a theatrical legend who is virtually forgotten today. Walker, a protege of the famed David Belasco, founded the prestigious Portmanteau Theatre which toured memorable plays. He also designed the plays' imaginative sets. Later in his career he became a respected movie director. Walker died in 1941 and Ms. Yeoman has skillfully etched his contributions to theatre arts."
—Louis Botto, Senior Editor of PLAYBILL, New York City
"Dream Dealer reminded me yet again of why I continue to strive to work in the theater. These days we are sorely in need of the kind of passion that Stuart Walker possessed. Surely this book is required reading for anyone interested in creating theater and building audiences. This is part of our American theatrical heritage. And, I found myself surprisingly moved and more than a bit proud to be part of it."
—Judy Kay, Tony Award Winning Actress, "Phantom of the Opera"
"This is an inspirational and fascinating read for anyone who is either contemplating a theatre career or who is already working as a theatre professional. Ms. Yeoman has written a unique biography which goes much further than tracing Stuart Walkers life in entertainment. She shows the undeniable influence that one man's leadership and perseverance can have on an entire industry, from establishing the Repertory Stock methods and schedules that are in use to this day in many theatres, to his adapting to every daunting situation. Ms. Yeoman gives you an entertaining and educational insight into the business of show providing anecdotes about recognizable stars who got their start with Walker and sharing the interesting history that shaped American theatre and film."
—John Holly, Western Regional Director, Actors' Equity Association
"An utterly fascinating look at one of Americas pioneers in the theatre. As a theatre professional, I was very interested in learning about Stuart Walkers role in the history of the American theatre. His accomplishments certainly contributed to making the not-for-profit resident theatre in this country what it is today. We should all be grateful to him for what he achieved and to JoAnn Yeoman for telling his story to those of us who have tried to follow our own dreams."
—Jessica L. Andrews, Executive Director, Arizona Theatre Company, the State Theatre of Arizona
JoAnn Yeoman started writing about theatre in New York City where she wrote articles and interviews for publications that included Playbill, Grit, Dramatics, Key, CNS Wire Service of Canada and People, Places & Parties. Her fiction includes the plays: Under the Broom Tree, The Manhattan Papers, And Lead Not Into Penn Station, and The Little Mischief as well as the short stories: Pas de Trois and Borders.
JoAnn comes by her passion for and knowledge of theatre quite honestly. She has performed and choreographed in theaters throughout the country including New York's Lincoln Center, Playwright's Horizon, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory's Hot Summer Nights, St. Luke's Chamber Opera in NYC, and for the Royal Viking Cruise Ship Lines. Her Musical Theater production, No Legs, tours to school districts and presents a "living history" of the American Musical by recreating landmark Broadway choreography within the context of developing styles. She has worked professionally with such personalities as Michael Bennett, Larry Fuller, Shirley Jones, Buddy Ebsen, JoAnne Worley, John Raitt, John Cullum, Nick Nolte and Ray Walston.
A Professor of Practice at Arizona State University, JoAnn teaches Musical Theater, Stage Movement, Acting, Broadway Dance, Period Dance, Auditioning, and Musicals on Film, and can currently be heard on KBAQ(89.5) as the "voice" of ASU in Concert. She also travels to universities giving workshops and master classes in choreographic style, musical theater history, and "survival" in the business of theater. JoAnn is a member of Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
She is married to playwright and novelist Alan Tongret and lives in Phoenix, Arizona with their dog, Puck and their cat, Bunthorne.
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