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."
“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."
offers an extensive variety of free online courses
and tutorial videos
for aspiring filmmakers. Their image
gallery is also fun to browse through. [more inside]
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
"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
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Susan Blackwell is an American actress, writer and singer, best known for playing herself in the musical [title of show]
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]
Original Pronunciation (OP)
"...performance brings us as close as possible to how old texts would have sounded. It enables us to hear effects lost when old texts are read in a modern way. It avoids the modern social connotations that arise when we hear old texts read in a present-day accent." The site includes transcripts
of Shakespeare plays and other writings with IPA
notations, indicating how to pronounce them in OP. It also includes some audio recordings
. [more inside]
Ellen Stewart, RIP [more inside]
Defamation by Twitter
Broadway actor Marty Thomas has filed papers in court asking that the identify of the "bwayanonymous" Twitter account (cache
) be revealed, after the account made a post alleging Thomas has crabs.
The Royal Shakespeare Company presents Hamlet
, starring David Tennant as Hamlet, Sir Patrick Stewart as Claudius and the Ghost, Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius, Mariah Gale as Ophelia, and Edward Bennet as Laertes. Directed by Gregory Doran. [more inside]
Oy coom too berry Sayzurr, nut too preyze im.
That's a reconstruction of how Brutus's famous speech from "Julius Caesar" may have sounded to Shakespeare's original audience. (Scroll down in the linked page for the rest of the speech -- or look inside this post.) If you'd like to learn more about Original Pronunciation (OP), check out www.pronouncingshakespeare.com
, where you'll find several recordings by David Crystal
, the scholar who probably knows most about the subject. You can also listen to this example
or this NPR broadcast
, first linked to in this 2005 post, here
. Ben Crystal
, David's son, tries some OP here
. [more inside]
The Royal Shakespeare Company presents King Lear
, starring Ian McKellen, directed by Trevor Nunn, adapted for broadcast and available in its entirety online. [more inside]
Every movie has a few scenes in there somewhere that aren't crucial to the plot. Every movie has a few minutes you can miss and not be lost when you sit back down. Now you can go see a movie and get that extra large soda without worrying about missing anything important. No more guessing when to run and pee
Monologuist Mike Daisey has a beef
with the way theater is made in the United States: . He's made that beef the substance of one of his monologues, How Theater Failed America
. Now, Todd Olson, Producing Artistic Director (scroll down for bio)
at the American Stage Theatre Company in St. Petersburg, Florida, has beef with Daisey, too. Olson says: balance my budget, wretched actor miscreant; Daisey says: bring it. [more inside]
The Tale of the Heike (Heike Monogatari) is a medieval Japanese account of the rise and fall of the Taira clan and has inspired many other works of art. Click on the chapters and scroll down to see Heike illustrations
(or start here
), see more art
inspired by the Heike. Would you rather read? [more inside]
, son of Viola Spolin
and one of the fathers of Chicago style improv comedy
through his work with The Compass Players
(who sort of morphed into Second City
) and through his Story Theatre
work has passed away at age 80
. Chicago has lost two of its legends
in one day.
Theatre composer imitates teen heartthrob
to plug his upcoming Broadway show. Features a cameo from one of Broadway's teen heartthrobs. [more inside]
Photographs of the dancers, actresses, cafe-life figures and prostitutes who were the subjects of Toulouse Lautrec's paintings,
including such luminaries as Sarah Bernhardt
, "La Goulue
" (Louise Weber; remember this
?), and Jane Avril
, who was the model for this last, iconic, Lautrec poster
. View pages of the art matched up with photos, here
, and here
, and go to this page
to rummage around in even more collections that include photos of Lautrec, his friends and family, street and location scenes, and lots of other tidbits. [Spanish language site; NUDITY]
has been doing a video diary of Legally Blonde: the Musical
as it moves toward Broadway. See the first rehearsal
with director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell, visit a costume fitting
, or catch a sneek peek
of the show's pre-Broadway tryout in San Francisco. Legally Blonde
starts performance in New York City on April 3rd.
The Black Light Theatre
("Černé Divadlo" or simply Black Theatre) is a Czech performance style
characterised by the use of black box theatre augmented by black light trickery. Although this performance style can be found in many places around the world, nowhere is it more prolific or specialized than in Prague. Some sample images: 1 2 3 4
. YouTube: 1 2 3
At what point did the muse disappear and become replaced by the dramaturg? "Scripts aren't written, they're rewritten", goes the cry from all the script gurus - all the literary managers, editors, producers, dramaturgs - not just in theatre but film, too. Why do they say this? Because their jobs depend on it. If scripts were left alone, what would they do?
Dominic Dromgoole writes about playwriting in the UK.
After a three-year absence
and $108 million in renovations
, Europe's premier grand dame of opera houses, Milan's Teatro alla Scala
, will reopen
on December 7, 2004
. The honor of the opening night opera has been delegated to Antonio Salieri
obscure opera-ballet Europa Riconosciuta
, which is the very same opera that inaugurated La Scala's
first season in 1778, and has not been performed in 226 years.
"A Shoggoth on the Roof,"
a musical theater adaptation of HP Lovecraft's
work, was set to be staged this fall by Chicago's Defiant Theatre
, but the production has been scrapped due to legal threats
by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, the creators of "Fiddler on the Roof".
Want to see some great theater and learn a bit about our great system of justice and capital punishment? Then The Exonerated
may be the show for you.The other night I went to see The Exonerated, which has been playing Off Broadway since last fall and is also appearing in theaters around the country this year. Composed wholly from court records and interviews by playwrights Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, this documentary drama recounts true tales of horror from the American criminal-justice system. The actors sit downstage and read their parts as the stories of six innocent citizens condemned to death row unfold. If this sounds like a worthy endeavor, it is; if it sounds dull or didactic, it isn’t.
Jerry Springer: The Opera?
You know, whenever I happened to have this misfortune to watch Springer, I too thought "It's got tragedy. It's got violence. There are people screaming at each other and you can't understand what they're saying." but I didn't quite make the leap that "It's perfect for opera."
But now on an operatic journey that takes us the tv studio to hell
, the British National Theatre
is realizing this vision.
To quote from the libretto: "This is a Jerry Springer moment!" sing the chorus. "We don't want this moment to end, so cover us in chocolate and throw us to the lesbians."
Skeptical? Read the reviews!
The Federal Theatre Project Collection.
"The Federal Theatre Project was the largest and most ambitious effort mounted by the Federal Government to organize and produce theater events. It was an effort of the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to provide work for unemployed professionals in the theater during the Great Depression which followed the stock market crash of October 1929." Arguably the high water mark in the history of live theatre in America, The Federal Theatre Project was a program introduced as part of The New Deal. The production archives
for three of the major productions (two by Orsen Welles) are of particular interest. The success of Tim Robbins' The Cradle Will Rock
may have influenced other's perceptions
about the importance of Mark Blitzstein's lackluster (but controversial) play of the same title
That Show-Stopper: The Bloody Audience!
Interrupting a performance of Hamlet, John Barrymore
once threw a large fish
at a group of coughing members of the audience
, shouting: "Busy yourselves with that, you damned walruses!" Stephen Pollard
, in The Independent, suggests people now behave in public as they do at home, oblivious of their fellow concert or theatre-goers. Art-house audiences
are equally annoying. Perhaps show rage will become the road rage of the 21st Century? [The main link, addressing rock audiences, comes in very small type but is worth reading all the same. The third link is an amusing mini-play about audience harrassment.
A boffo glossary of the language of American Vaudeville. Visit the main site
for tons of links to famous performers and theatres. For more hokum, you can visit here to watch and hear some actual Vaudeville acts
. No applesauce!
Ray would stay.
Hawai'i actor Ray Bumatai's brain tumor hemorrhaged on stage. He finished the show blind and returned, after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, to finish the run of the play. Is this taking the old "the show must go on" adage a little too far?