The theater producer behind The King and I (2015) and Oslo (2017)—both of which he won Tony Awards for—has served as the artistic director of New York’s Lincoln Center Theater since 1992. Here, Bishop shares the books he was first drawn to: “I have a habit of staring at my bookshelves while eating (my bookshelves are in the dining room),” he says, “just to make sure that these four books, all with dust jackets, are still there!”

Act One, by Moss Hart

This is the greatest theatrical memoir ever written and it reads like a Dickens novel. I was 12 years old when it first was published—an impressionable age and a perfect age to read about a young man’s dreams of breaking into the theater. Those were Moss Hart’s dreams and they were mine and those of many like me. Act One contains two immortal lines: one at the beginning and one at the end. “The theatre is an inevitable refuge of the unhappy child” starts the book off, and the last line of the book, after the triumphant opening of Moss Hart’s first successful play, comes from an old Broadway pro, who tells the young author, “Not bad, kid. Not a bad curtain for a first act.”