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"I was the bravest in battle - I never lost my wits"

In 2008, Outside the Wire, a theater company, began productions of Sophocles' Ajax and Philoctetes to audiences of soldiers and marines returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.
And whither must I go? What end, what purpose Could urge thee to it? I am nothing, lost And dead already. Wherefore- tell me, wherefore?- Am I not still the same detested burthen, Loathsome and lame? Again must Philoctetes Disturb your holy rites? If I am with you How can you make libations? That was once Your vile pretence for inhumanity. Oh! may you perish for the deed! The gods Will grant it sure, if justice be their care And that it is I know. You had not left Your native soil to seek a wretch like me Had not some impulse from the powers above, Spite of yourselves, ordained it. O my country! And you, O gods! who look upon this deed, Punish, in pity to me, punish all The guilty band! Could I behold them perish, My wounds were nothing; that would heal them all.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 21, 2014 - 14 comments

Well, women are used to worrying over trifles.

Trifles is a powerful, brief, one-act play written by Susan Glaspell and published in 1916. It is for this play (and a short story version of it entitled "A Jury of Her Peers") that Glaspell is best known today, but she deserves to be better appreciated: "Her plays received better reviews than those of Eugene O’Neill, and in 1931 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her play Alison’s House [pdf summary]. . . . Glaspell was the co-founder with her husband George Cram Cook of the Provincetown Players (1916-1922), the Little Theatre that did most to promote American dramatists, and her diplomacy and energy held the group together for seven years. It was largely thanks to Glaspell’s intervention that O’Neill’s first plays were performed, and she played a major role in stimulating and encouraging his writing in the following years."
posted by ocherdraco on Sep 18, 2014 - 5 comments

"Am relieved to find their Cordelia's integrity unconvincing."

Performances of Shakespeare are common enough that various reimaginings are often deemed necessary. One of the latest? King Lear With Sheep.
posted by rhymes with carrots on Aug 3, 2014 - 13 comments

TREASURES!

A Piece of Monologue is a treasure trove of modern, contemporary, and avant-garde expression in literature, philosophy, art, design, painting, music, theater, and more. A smattering of insides: Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand. An online guide to the life and work of Samuel Beckett. Twin Peaks Behind the Scenes Photographs. Rare photographs of John Coltrane. And wow.
posted by whimsicalnymph on Jul 10, 2014 - 2 comments

'Fashionable bigotry' creeps into Twin Cities theatre scene

"Fashionable bigotry (also called "hipster racism" or "ironic racism") is this strange, newish phenomenon that's been popping up all over the arts and entertainment industry. You've got the Flaming Lips, Macklemore, Fallin, Ullman and Silverman to name a few. Count Tarantino in, too, as he's basically the modern godfather of the stuff." -- Minneapolis artist/performer/critic Rob Callahan.
posted by artof.mulata on Jun 28, 2014 - 94 comments

these stories happened to so-and-so, they’re happening to us.

can theatre bring justice to homeless transgender youth?
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jun 11, 2014 - 1 comment

Bluebird Express

Prison of Oz: Staying Human in an Ohio Prison Dorothy, something of a diva, let the laughter subside. Then she started to sing with a voice of resounding beauty about a land she once heard of in a lullaby, about chimney tops and lemon drops and wanting to fly away. "Why oh, why, can't I?" [more inside]
posted by EvaDestruction on May 23, 2014 - 6 comments

"Thank you for what I assume is a standing ovation"

"Live comedy thrives off an audience, but what if the comics have no idea how the crowd is responding? At 7 Minutes in Purgatory, half a dozen local [Chicago] comics were tasked with doing a set alone in a soundproof room while the crowd watched via live stream elsewhere in the venue." [more inside]
posted by Iridic on May 20, 2014 - 24 comments

and, with a quaint device, the feast vanishes.

“Putting magic at the center of a play about a magician doesn’t seem like that radical a choice,” explained Teller’s  co-director and co-adapter Aaron Posner. "But in the history, at least the modern history of producing 'The Tempest', it is a radical choice."

posted by divabat on May 15, 2014 - 24 comments

Hurt Locker: The Musical

Neil Patrick Harris is getting glowing reviews for his turn in the title role in Hedwig And The Angry Inch, now playing on Broadway. But wait, why is "internationally ignored song stylist" Hedwig even playing Broadway in the first place? Because the Belasco Theater was suddenly available because Hurt Locker: The Musical opened and closed on the same night. In fact, the floor of the theater is found to be littered with discarded Playbill magazines for the failed production. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Apr 22, 2014 - 46 comments

Bernstein's "Mass"

Written for the dedication of The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts in 1971, Leonard Bernstein created MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers as a memoriam for John F Kennedy and as a thoroughly modern theater musical piece to reflect both its current times and universal questions of faith and existence. A recasting of the Tridentine Mass (in Latin), featuring additional lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a brilliant lyric quatrain from Paul Simon, the full staging requires multiple choruses, a full stage performance company (including ballet cast), a marching band, a rock band, and many others. The 2012 BBC Proms featured a concert performance [1h56m, including introduction sequences]. MASS has had very few full theatrical stagings since its premiere, although now, over 50 years after its creation, it is beginning to find new acclaim and appreciation. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Mar 31, 2014 - 10 comments

"You shouldn't dream your film, you should make it!" ~ Spielberg

Filmmaker IQ offers an extensive variety of free online courses, articles and tutorial videos for aspiring filmmakers. Their image gallery is also fun to browse through. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 27, 2014 - 8 comments

If you have the chance, please work with Dame Judi Dench.

23. On screen, your hero can blow away 500 bad guys, but if he smokes one fucking cigarette, you’re in deep shit. Sam Mendes’s 25 Rules for Directors
posted by timshel on Mar 24, 2014 - 16 comments

The Cinema That's Always Deserted

"On a sunny day at the very beginning of this millenniums, a crazy frenchman found himself in the desert of Sinai. After some puffs of a magic smoke he wondered - how come that there are no cinemas in the middle of the desert...?"
posted by miss lynnster on Mar 13, 2014 - 28 comments

Teach your audiences to want surprises - not pacifiers.

"Every play in your season should be a premiere—a world premiere, an American premiere, or at least a regional premiere. Everybody has to help. Directors: Find a new play to help develop in the next 12 months. Actors: Ditto. Playwrights: Quit developing your plays into the ground with workshop after workshop after workshop—get them out there. Critics: Reward theaters that risk new work by making a special effort to review them." -Ten Things Theaters Need to Do Right Now to Save Themselves
posted by Navelgazer on Feb 24, 2014 - 89 comments

Sho Nuff

Terrible PR Pictures from the Theater of the United States (SLTumblr)
posted by xingcat on Jan 15, 2014 - 66 comments

Matt Berry is the Toast of London

Toast Of London stars Matt Berry (IT Crowd, Snuff Box, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place) as troubled theatre actor Steven Toast, an eccentric middle-aged actor with a chequered past who spends more time dealing with his problems off stage than performing on it. With a recent divorce, a highly controversial play to perform every night, a shell shocked army officer for a brother and an audition in a prison - it’s turning into another very busy day for Toast in this, the pilot episode for the Channel 4 series. [SLYT] [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Dec 31, 2013 - 25 comments

Christmas Time in the Trailerpark

Y'all, consisting of Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and James Dean Jay Byrd, first surfaced in New York city in 1992, touting themselves as the first openly gay country music act. That same year, they preformed Y'all's First Xmas Xtravagaza: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Dec 20, 2013 - 8 comments

REⱭЯUM

Perhaps you watched the documentary Room 237 and were intrigued by the version screened by Brooklyn's Spectacle Theater simultaneously superimposing The Shining played forwards and backwards. Here's a 13-minute excerpt from the middle and a tumblr with numerous screenshots throughout the film. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Dec 1, 2013 - 32 comments

Fun Home (the musical)

Fun Home: Is America Ready for a Musical About a Butch Lesbian?
YouTube montage
Q&A from Alison Bechdel
Watching Sondheim Watch Fun Home
More reviews

posted by Wordwoman on Nov 23, 2013 - 28 comments

United States of America

Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased, entry for the United States of America
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 29, 2013 - 49 comments

Papercraft project blog Paper Matrix

Paper Matrix is a blog that gives instructions for cool papercraft objects, "reinterpreting the Danish tradition of woven paper hearts and ornaments." Cut paper in the prescribed ways and weave it together carefully to make a mobile of colorful hot air balloons, gorgeous and complex boxes; simple but satisfying pennants and much more... including a full theater for performances by paper dolls.
posted by LobsterMitten on Sep 23, 2013 - 18 comments

She'll drink to that!

Elaine Stritch Is Really Not Thrilled About Her Golden Years (June 2013), but she's making it work (September 2013). A documentary about her life will premiere this fall. In the meantime, perhaps you'd be interested in the Elaine Stritch Alarm Clock?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Sep 23, 2013 - 17 comments

And this is why we torrent

Disney has announced plans to rerelease The Little Mermaid to theaters on September 20. However, the rereleased film has been synced with an iPad app that gives users the ability to play games, sing-a-long to the movie and interact with the characters. While in the movie theatre.
posted by Wordshore on Sep 11, 2013 - 106 comments

Buffalo School Board stages theater of the absurd

Buffalo News theater critic reviews a recent school board meeting.
posted by latkes on Aug 26, 2013 - 14 comments

"Mrs Chater demanded satisfaction and now you demand satisfaction."

Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia," Twenty Years Later. Novelist Brad Leithauser muses on "the finest play written in my lifetime": One sign of "Arcadia"'s greatness is how assuredly it blends its disparate chemicals, creating a compound of most peculiar properties. The play’s ingredients include sexual jealousy and poetasters and the gothic school of landscape gardening and duelling and chaos theory and botany and the perennial war between Classical and Romantic aesthetics and the maturing of mathematical prodigies. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Aug 9, 2013 - 39 comments

From Pong to Pizza Entertainment: Nolan Bushnell and Chuck E. Cheese

Nolan Bushnell was a co-creator of Pong and Atari, and he also sold Atari arcade machines. When he noticed that he sold the arcade machines for $1,500 to $2,000 but the new owners would earn twice that much in the life of the machines, he started thinking of how to make an arcade destination that wouldn't compete with his arcade machine clients. His solution: a pizza parlor, with an arcade for the kids and an pneumatic-powered animatronic coyote mascot to fool the parents it was restaurant with free entertainment. The coyote became a rat named Chuck, and what was code-named Coyote Pizza was briefly renamed Rick Rat's Pizza, but the marketing department thought the name wasn't such a great idea, and instead we got Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theater. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 18, 2013 - 38 comments

He Loves It That Way

What happens when the executive director of your lobbyist organization is hosting the national conference with a technical theater degree burning a hole in his pocket? A bewildering and Christopher Guestian piece of musical theater called "I'm In Payroll."
posted by Shadax on Jul 14, 2013 - 21 comments

And Indrani believes works of art can change individuals

Wallace Shawn reads his monologue The Fever, at The Lannan Foundation, in Two Parts. (Wallace Shawn previously, previouslier.)
posted by Going To Maine on Apr 24, 2013 - 4 comments

Using the F-word in PG-13/12A movies

Den of Geek looks at the MPAA rule that a PG-13 movie can contain only one utterance of the word "fuck".
posted by reenum on Mar 24, 2013 - 57 comments

Paid in Vibes

Last week a debate erupted in the US comedy community between stand-up comedians (like Kurt Metzger and Mike Lawrence) and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater about the fact that at none of their three theaters pay any of their performers (including UCBEast in New York, which often has Saturday Night Stand-up shows). Other comics such as Chris Gethard eloquently came to their defense. This week two of the founders Matt Besser and Matt Walsh released an episode of Besser's pocast Improv for Humans that goes into details about the club's philosophy, including why they have never taken any money from founding and running the theater. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 1, 2013 - 68 comments

Do you guys need me to call AAA?

In 1994, Tony Randall and Mandy Patinkin's car broke down outside David Letterman's studio and they needed a place to rehearse. Did Dave mind if they used the stage? Great take it away Mandy! [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 30, 2012 - 39 comments

Shakespeare: Globe to Globe

Shakespeare: Globe to Globe was a series of 37 Shakespeare plays performed in 37 different languages presented at the reconstructed Shakespeare Globe theatre in London this summer. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 30, 2012 - 20 comments

Ephemeral New York

Ephemeral New York 'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 11, 2012 - 5 comments

Snow White Is Dead / Long Live Snow White

Highlights from Snow White Live, filmed in 1980 at Radio City Music Hall: "I'm Wishing/One Song" - "Heigh-Ho" - The Queen hires a huntsman - Snow White and the huntsman - "Someday My Prince Will Come" - The Queen becomes the hag - Poisoned apple - The Queen's death - The Prince's kiss
posted by hermitosis on Sep 30, 2012 - 2 comments

“What Exactly Does a Dramaturg Do?”

“What Exactly Does a Dramaturg Do?”
posted by shivohum on Sep 25, 2012 - 50 comments

Meet Your Creator

"Meet Your Creator" is a stage show involving mirrors and light and quadrotors.
posted by brundlefly on Sep 18, 2012 - 9 comments

Plum trees that grow crooked over standing pools.

In the year 1612 John Webster began what would be his greatest work, The Tragedy of the Dutchesse of Malfy. A shocking work of madness, brutally corrupt power struggle and incest, it continues to challenge audiences. YouTube has the 1972 BBC production in full. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]
posted by winna on Aug 26, 2012 - 7 comments

He’s documenting history, one Asian movie theater at a time

Three years ago, Phil Jablon (aka The Projectionist) started a concerted effort to start documenting the rapidly-vanishing stand-alone movie theaters and former theaters in Southeast Asia. Today his website, The Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project is a historian and movie-theater lover's dream. Jablon has captured the faded, the lost, the torched, the almost lost, the repurposed, the reborn, and the unbounded. [more inside]
posted by blueberry on Jul 1, 2012 - 6 comments

What went wrong during Dave Chappelle’s Austin appearance?

Dave Chappelle, still facing pressure from audiences who want him to do bits from "Chappelle's Show", did not amuse an audience in Austin. Which begs the question: Do we expect too much from entertainers?
posted by reenum on Jun 25, 2012 - 107 comments

Death of a Salesman

The revival of Death of a Salesman starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman is taking Broadway by storm. It's directed by Mike Nichols and also stars Andrew Garfield. It's one of the theater's most respected works. But there's a bittersweet irony with this revival. "Tickets for the original run, in 1949, cost between $1.80 and $4.80; tickets for the 2012 run range from $111 to $840. After adjusting for inflation, that’s a 10-fold increase, well beyond the reach of today’s putative Willy Lomans." "Certainly few middle-class people, or at least anyone from any “middle class” that Loman would recognize, are among the audiences attending this production."
posted by Cool Papa Bell on May 3, 2012 - 89 comments

Never forget, never again

We Japanese Americans must not forget our wartime internment - George Takei on the the treatment of Japanese-Americans during WWII and Allegiance, his new musical. Previously.
posted by Artw on Apr 29, 2012 - 45 comments

I'm A Swinger Here, Myself

Standing in the wings and hoping someone on stage will get injured was never part of my big Broadway dreams. I had been working professionally long enough to know that many actors considered swings to be the second-class citizens of Broadway, the spares whose talent wasn’t distinctive enough to merit their being seen on stage every night. I knew those generalizations to be false, and though they stung, I had reasons beyond my pride for wanting my own track in Chicago. [more inside]
posted by Danf on Apr 17, 2012 - 5 comments

Singularity, I don’t know

The American Repertory Theater presents a musical by The Lisps about the Civil War, Ada Lovelace, and the Singularity, including such songs as Singularity, which is breathtakingly terrible but ever so catchy. [more inside]
posted by dmd on Mar 24, 2012 - 23 comments

Pin-Ups of the Past

In our continuing series on pin-up girls of the past (previously and previously previously), this lady's costume was a source of some puzzlement. Welcome to the wonderful world of Poses Plastiques. [more inside]
posted by Sidhedevil on Mar 14, 2012 - 23 comments

The Devil's Auction

Why this lady is wearing a horse costume. previously.
"For the drama and the way it may happen to be played, and the plot or moral or meaning of it, nobody seems particularly to care. The point of interest is, first, the dancing; next, the dancers, and last, the scenery."
[more inside]
posted by zamboni on Mar 13, 2012 - 25 comments

Rachele Gilmore’s 100 MPH Fastball

Andy Ihnatko writes a charmingly enthusiastic post about listening to the same aria, from the same production, sung in two very different ways: by the star, and by the understudy: Rachele Gilmore’s 100 MPH Fastball [more inside]
posted by danny the boy on Mar 9, 2012 - 44 comments

Bleached

At Plano Children's Theatre, They've Shampooed All the Black Kids out of Hairspray
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! on Jan 31, 2012 - 125 comments

Theatre geeks rejoice!

Susan Blackwell is an American actress, writer and singer, best known for playing herself in the musical [title of show].[1] The web series "Side by Side by Susan Blackwell" chronicles her unconventional encounters with Broadway celebrities: sorting laundry with Daniel Radcliffe, feeding goats with Jonathan Groff, researching rectal surgeries with Norbert Leo Butz, naming dogs with Zachary Quinto and consulting a ouija board with Andrew Rannells, to name a few. [more inside]
posted by Zephyrial on Jan 25, 2012 - 5 comments

Our Stratfordian Cousin

Lincoln and Shakespeare [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Jan 14, 2012 - 30 comments

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