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."
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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."
“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."
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]
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]
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?
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]
"On Saturday June 18, 2011, representatives from the licensing agency came to watch our production. I met them before the show and explained the reasons behind my actions and that I understood the consequences. The cast was also prepared. We could have restored the production to the original script, we could have canceled the show and left them to wonder, we could have faked a medical emergency or technical failure – believe me, all of these scenarios crossed my mind. In the end, we chose to be honest and share the production we had created." Artistic director Nick A. Olivero writes an open letter to the theatre and arts community discussing the recent forced closure of his show, Little Shop of Horrors, at San Fransisco's Boxcar Theatre Company. [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]
Theatre composer Jason Robert Brown (bio) tries to explain to a young fan why it’s wrong to download sheet music from the Internet for free. Via.
The American Theatre Wing hosts MP3 interviews with actors, directors, playwrights and other artists. e.g. Stephen Sondheim and Anna Deavere Smith and F. Murray Abraham and Eric Bogosian and John Patrick Shanley and Edward Albee and Venessa Redgrave and Alan Ayckbourn and...
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!
If an artistic director has quantified the dream of theatre on a spreadsheet, they are dead already.
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 recession has hit the theatre world (and the arts scene in general) very hard - but some argue that theatre practitioners aren't doing themselves any favours when seeking funding. The main question insufficiently addressed is "who is the funding for?" - hint: it's not about you. Approaching theatre as a product isn't working, not when MFA acting programs don't often allow its graduates to earn enough to earn back their debt. So now the question is: how can the economics of theatre be changed?
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 or figures inspired by the Heike. Would you rather read? [more inside]
Paul Sills, 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, 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]
Broadway.com 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 of Prague ("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.
How are you celebrating Ibsen Year 2006? Reading Henrik Ibsen’s plays? His poems? What about his paintings? There’s always Peer Gynt: The Videogame.
“The Emperor Jones was a landmark drama, not only in conception but also in production: a black actor, Charles Gilpin, was permitted for the first time to enact the leading role in a New York drama.” James Earl Jones and collaborators discuss and rehearse a later production. Currently Elizabeth LeCompte directs Kate Valk, a middle-aged white woman in blackface, in a contemporary production from the Wooster Group. They’ve courted this type of controversy before. The NYTimes loved the show, this review isn’t as glowing.
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 through his 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.
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