200 posts tagged with theater.
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“To be a jester is, and always has been, a serious matter.”

Italian playwright Dario Fo died this morning at the age of 90. [more inside]
posted by spheniscus on Oct 13, 2016 - 19 comments

How do you like your death tolls?

Which Shakespeare Play Should You See? An Illustrated Flowchart
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Sep 14, 2016 - 44 comments

Live Broadcast of Midsummer Night's Dream from London's Globe Theatre

Live Broadcast of Midsummer Night's Dream. Right now! "First ever production to be live streamed around the world from The Globe. Sunday's sold-out show is the final Dream performance in the Wonder Season. The Globe says to expect naughtiness of a sexual nature!" The production has gotten some fine reviews: "a glittering, unnerving comic triumph."
posted by storybored on Sep 11, 2016 - 72 comments

Avante Garde Nostalgia

The 1980s in San Francisco was fertile ground for a new type of theater, involving not only performance art but graphics, sculptural artists and musicians. Some astonishing productions were staged every year, each being a collaboration between the various disciplines. After each show had its run it dissolved into memory as only through those specific contributors could the production be realized. This was different than a standard play which existed on paper and could be performed ad infinitum by any number of theater companies. These "multi-media" shows existed only as long as the collaborators worked together. One sensed a specialness to each production, knowing that it would most likely never be staged again. [more inside]
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis on Jun 9, 2016 - 10 comments

home forever

The House Of Eternal Return is a ... place ... built and run by Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 1, 2016 - 14 comments

This massive bookcase is hinged and hides a secret closet...

Joe Patten was born in 1927, and he lived until his death last week inside Atlanta's Fox Theatre, which opened in 1929. Over 35 years ago Joe, who was instrumental in saving the theater in 1974, was granted rent-free, lifetime occupancy of a deluxe Moorish-style apartment in a space that used to belong to the Shriners. This is that apartment. [via]
posted by jessamyn on Apr 14, 2016 - 35 comments

In the greatest city in the world....

"The statistics tell us that changing the way we think of race and ethnicity in the theater will not be easy. Of Equity’s 50,823 active members, 68% identify themselves as Caucasian." -- Actors' Equity President Kate Shindle, on the Hamilton casting debacle, and the real problem of diversity in theatre. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 8, 2016 - 39 comments

Not blackface but black faces. Well, blackface too.

He wanted to do not “Shuffle Along” but the making of “Shuffle Along” (official title: “Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”). He would tell the story of the original creators and cast and how they pulled it off ... Interesting approach, you say, sounds great. But to make it work, you couldn’t stint on the dancing and the songs. Those were what made the show go: syncopation, fire, artistry.
posted by ChuraChura on Mar 25, 2016 - 5 comments

Yeah, that's a concern.

I saw Hamilton, so now I'm going to orphan my son (McSweeney's) [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 24, 2016 - 47 comments


On Monday, the cast of Broadway's Hamilton will be going to the White House today to test a pilot version of its educational program as well as perform a concert of “Hamiltunes” for the kids and the First Family. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 10, 2016 - 163 comments

Six-Time Tony Winner Returns to the Great White(?) Way

Shocking As It Is to Believe, the Theater May Be in a New Golden Age One reason: Audra McDonald, Broadway’s greatest voice, is back.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Mar 9, 2016 - 16 comments

That's what she [redacted]

That'swhatshesaid, a one-person play by Courtney Meaker and Erin Pike, consists entirely of lines and stage directions for female characters in the top 11 most-produced plays of the 2014-15 season. The play opened Thursday night for a four-night run at Seattle's Gay City Calamus Auditorium. An hour before curtain on the show's second night, the publisher of Joshua Harmon's play Bad Jews, which is featured in the production, served Gay City Arts a cease and desist order , and the publisher's VP left Pike a voicemail claiming they'd "go after" Gay City Arts if the show continued. Instead, That'swhatshesaid went on as planned--but with a few last-minute changes. Among them: every time a line from Bad Jews came up, Pike merely mimed the stage directions as someone offstage shouted, "Redacted!" Today, according to Meaker, another cease and desist has been delivered--for a play that was not included in That'swhatshesaid because it featured no women. [more inside]
posted by duffell on Feb 8, 2016 - 120 comments

Going to the Puppies

This is in response to repeated requests on the grey for puppy theater FPPs.
In 1986, Dutch performing artist Wim T. Schippers put up his stageplay "Going to the Dogs", performed entirely by canines. It's available on Youtube in seven parts (poor quality video). Apparently, questions were raised in parliament.
posted by bleston hamilton station on Feb 4, 2016 - 8 comments

The menu, the venue, the seating

In the Room Where It Happens, Eight Shows a Week and 8 Places to Celebrate Alexander Hamilton's birthday in New York and Beyond
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 11, 2016 - 104 comments

"Authorial intent wins. Period."

In the wake of the recent casting controversies over Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop and Lloyd Suh’s Jesus in India, there have been a number of online commenters who have cited Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton as a justification for their position in the debate. What’s intriguing is that Hamilton has been offered up both as evidence of why actors of color must have the opportunity to play both characters or color and characters not necessarily written as characters of color – but it has also been used to say that anything goes, and white actors should be able to play characters of color as well. What does Lin-Manuel Miranda have to say? After all, it's not like he hasn't been been very deliberate about his casting.
posted by sciatrix on Dec 14, 2015 - 66 comments

"The secret of happiness is here"

Off-Broadway's "Daddy Long Legs" musical (based on the novel that inspired the 1955 movie) is livestreaming tonight's 8 pm ET New York performance right now. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Dec 10, 2015 - 20 comments

God, I Need This Job

RIP: Workshops. WTF is a Lab? "Now you're confused. 'Then, what's a Lab?' 'It's the exact same thing as a workshop, but without the good shit." [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein on Dec 4, 2015 - 1 comment

Four Hamlets

The Many Facets of Hamlet: Hamlet's most famous monologue, spliced together from performances by Mel Gibson, Laurence Olivier, David Tennant, and Kenneth Branagh. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Nov 21, 2015 - 28 comments

Suppose someone started an adults-only car wash…

In 1991, The Supreme Court heard Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc. (spoilers!) (Number 90-26), in which two strip clubs contented that laws against nude dancing violated their first amendment rights.
The oral argument (as recorded and transcribed at Oyez) is just as titter-inducing and thoughtful as you would expect a hypothetical-filled conversation between lawyers talking about nudity would be; it was later adapted verbatim into the play Arguendo.
posted by Going To Maine on Nov 15, 2015 - 10 comments

The Message

Robin: And just to clarify, Nicky, your recording equipment is live right now, yeah?
Nicky: Yes.
Robin: So if, Perry, you really meant what you said about this being declassified, you won't mind saying it right now.
Col. Eubanks: Can we sit down first, or...?
Robin: Right after you repeat the thing. On the record.
Col. Eubanks: The NSA would like to hire Cypher to decode a message we have reason to believe was transmitted by an extraterrestrial. Now can we sit down?

The Message Podcast, Episode One [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Oct 26, 2015 - 26 comments

Buck up, you melancholy dadbod!

Was Hamlet fat? Isaac Butler (previously) investigates for Slate.
posted by Cash4Lead on Oct 7, 2015 - 24 comments

You get disqualified if you don't have your hands behind your back.

American schoolkids had spelling bees, British schoolkids had Shakespeare competitions, Malaysian schoolkids had choral speaking: a Greek-theatre-inspired cross between spoken word and choir, commonly used to teach English. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Aug 1, 2015 - 10 comments

6th round Fortinbras

Theater reported like sports! Marcus DeMarcus - 6'7" 275 - commits to Juilliard with a minor in ballet! Claudius and Gertrude? It's a no-brainer. Featuring Steppenwolf theater gains AND losses. Top choice for Ophelia? It's Jenna, 5'7", 132, out of the London Academy. In the crawl: MATCHUPS: Elphaba vs. the Wizard, Land of Oz. MATCHUPS: Montagues vs. Capulets 6PM ET Verona.
posted by goofyfoot on Jun 13, 2015 - 4 comments

"I no longer believed in the various justifications for our existence"

Wallace Shawn interviewed by Liese Spencer in The Guardian. Wallace Shawn interviewed by Susan Bernofsky for Public Books. Wallace Shawn interviewed by Hilton Als for The Paris Review. Wallace Shawn interviewed by Andrew O'Hehir for Salon. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 1, 2015 - 12 comments

Straight from Second Avenue

"Fischel Kanapoff’s salty 1924 couplet song Hu-tsa-tsa is a quintessential vaudeville vehicle in which the sets of couplets — always subject to alteration, variation, addition, or substitution, even on the spot, as well as to augmentation by dance and other stage shtik — frame spoken jokes or comic monologues to a muted, vamped orchestral accompaniment."
posted by griphus on Apr 8, 2015 - 5 comments

"I think society is in trouble when culture is ignored"

Have you ever fantasized about what you would do if you won the lottery? In June, Roy Cockrum of Knoxville, TN won the Powerball jackpot, taking home $115 million after taxes. Cockrum, whose varied career has included stints as an actor, stage manager, and Episcopal monk, has announced that he plans to use his new wealth to support ambitious productions by American non-profit theaters. [more inside]
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious on Mar 21, 2015 - 52 comments

AMC testing subscription service for movie theaters

Alamo Drafthouse aside, not many movie theater chains have reported increased attendance in the past few years. Large chains have propped up revenues with ticket price hikes, premium concessions and drinks, but the specter of Netflix and other home viewing platforms looms ominously over the industry. Annual ticket sales in the U.S. have declined to 1995 levels from their high in 2002 (although revenues have grown 3.6% annually over the same period, well outpacing inflation). This January, AMC Theaters will begin testing a new business model in partnership with MoviePass, beginning in Denver and Boston. Subscribers can pay $30-45 a month for a membership good for one film per day at any AMC location. The move echoes a 2013 effort to reopen an independent theater in Oakhurst, CA using a member subscription model. Will it be enough to get more film aficionados off their couches and into a theater seat? The jury's still out.
posted by deludingmyself on Dec 17, 2014 - 101 comments

"Telomeres: keeping your cells alive since forever."

"Thanks to enzymes, humans are solar-powered." 24th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony & Lectures. [more inside]
posted by simulacra on Nov 28, 2014 - 17 comments

as her withers wither with her

With the all-star Into the Woods movie coming this Christmas, it's good to take a look at some versions with more modest production values.
posted by nonane on Nov 15, 2014 - 49 comments

The new trend in movies actually is new

Tired of movie sequels? Good news, The Sequel Is Dead -- The Universe Is Where It's At [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 16, 2014 - 98 comments

"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


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


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

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