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Another one bites the dust...

No Bailout for the Arts? Many organizations could use the help.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Dec 30, 2008 - 21 comments

Theatre of the New Ear

Theatre of the New Ear. Two radio plays: one by Charlie Kaufman, the other by the Coen Brothers, recorded live and starring Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep. [more inside]
posted by jack_mo on Nov 20, 2008 - 18 comments

Thus did the sons of the Heike vanish forever from the face of the earth.

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]
posted by ersatz on Nov 16, 2008 - 10 comments

The Things He Carried

The Things He Carried. "Airport security in America is a sham—'security theater' designed to make travelers feel better and catch stupid terrorists. Smart ones can get through security with fake boarding passes and all manner of prohibited items—as our correspondent did with ease."
posted by chunking express on Oct 16, 2008 - 91 comments

ObitFilter: Paul Sills

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.
posted by Joey Michaels on Jun 2, 2008 - 4 comments

The Great White Way?

When Brad and Amy got married, Amy's "Man of Honor" got up to give his toast -- a musical toast. Other friends and family joined in, much to Amy's surprise, and the result, captured here on video, is pretty darned delightful.
posted by houseofdanie on May 4, 2008 - 109 comments

Obsessed

Comedian Julie Klausner (of "Hot Jewish Girls want to talk to you!!") has obsessions. So do her friends. As you do, she hosts a comedy night in New York where people can confess and explain (sometimes via powerpoint) the things that drive their compulsions. [more inside]
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats on Apr 30, 2008 - 12 comments

From Abati to Zoppio: historic Italian texts

OPAL Libri Antichi from the University of Turin offers over 3,000 books as free, open PDF files. Most of these date between AD 1500 and 1850 and most are in Italian, with many in French. They tend to be plain books with few illustrations. A few English titles are present, including David Hume's 1800 Essays on Suicide and the Immortality of the Soul; several texts by William Wycherley such as Love in a wood: or St. James's-Park (1735); and Richard Lassels 1686 work The voyage of Italy: or, a compleat journey through Italy with the characters of the peaple, and the description of the chief towns ... (volume 2) - an early travel guide. The PDFs are unsearchable plain scans. via this thread in the W4RF forum which contains hundreds of links to free online historical documents
posted by Rumple on Mar 10, 2008 - 3 comments

The Case for the First Folio

The Case for the First Folio For centuries, editors of Shakespeare's plays have conflated different published editions (quartos and folios) in an attempt to create one true text as the writer intended. In this essay (.pdf file) Jonathan Bate, one of the editors of The RSC Shakespeare makes the case that in fact what they're doing is editing together different drafts of the play originated by the bard at different times in his life attempting to make better dramatic sense. Essentially that none of the texts you studied at school are what Shakespeare intended to be performed at all. [more inside]
posted by feelinglistless on Jan 25, 2008 - 29 comments

Probably not quite a fiasco!

Atlanta's Theat(er|re) community is unloading on a local Christmas show. [more inside]
posted by bovious on Dec 11, 2007 - 32 comments

Obscure timelines and curiosities

Artslynx's theatre resources section is a goldmine of links to research and support sites for every aspect of theatrical production and dramaturgy. Especially useful are the Artslynx timelines. Need to know when cling wrap came into usage? Check out the prop timeline. Lots of additional links to outside timelines and history sites for anyone with a thirst for obscure sociological information, a love of craptacularly designed scrolling pages, and generally and too much time on their hands. For example: food, fashion, ephemera, and people who have died onstage [more inside]
posted by stagewhisper on Dec 7, 2007 - 3 comments

Hi. Bye.

Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre
posted by jmhodges on Oct 29, 2007 - 7 comments

Smile, Mahtha

Northeast Historic Film is the best of quirky Maine. They archive home movies, collect postcards of New England movie houses, and study depictions of New England in major films. Browsing the list of collections is tantalizing; if only some of these were available as clips or on YouTube. They're one of many archives preserving home movies. Also.
posted by Miko on Oct 23, 2007 - 9 comments

Composer spoofs HSM to plug Broadway show

Theatre composer imitates teen heartthrob to plug his upcoming Broadway show. Features a cameo from one of Broadway's teen heartthrobs. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Oct 4, 2007 - 21 comments

Lautrec's models in photographs

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]
posted by taz on Jul 5, 2007 - 10 comments

Elaine Stritch as Ursula? Kinda makes sense...

"Why (For) Pat Carroll wasn't actually Disney's first choice to voice Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid'? The casting story of one of Disney's most delightful demons.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jun 15, 2007 - 18 comments

The arts world digs ninjas

Tiny Ninja Theatre does Macbeth at the National Center for the Performing Arts to raves.
posted by 1-2punch on Jun 12, 2007 - 18 comments

Free audio podcast of The Globe’s 2007 production of Much Ado About Nothing

A free audio podcast of The Globe Theatre’s 2007 version of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing has been posted online by the UK's Department for Education for use by teachers and pupils without easy access to a professional production but can be downloaded by everyone. Streaming and mp3 versions available. [via]
posted by feelinglistless on Apr 24, 2007 - 6 comments

The acoustics of the theatre of Epidaurus

An ancient theatre filters out low-frequency background noise. The ancient Greek theatre of the Asklepieion of Epidaurus, built mostly during the 4th century B.C. and now a World Heritage Site, is renowned for its extraordinary acoustics. Researchers have figured out that the arrangement of the stepped rows of seats are perfectly shaped to act as an acoustic filter, suppressing low-frequency background noise while passing on the high frequencies of performers' voices. [Via MoFi.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 28, 2007 - 16 comments

Legally Blonde on Broadway

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.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Mar 26, 2007 - 13 comments

Black Light Theatre

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.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Feb 8, 2007 - 13 comments

Mad, Risky Ventures

A short history of Richard Foreman's Ontological-Hysteric Theatre. // "[Richard Foreman's] 'Strong Medicine' (Quicktime) is the kind of mad, risky venture one hesitates to interrupt." // A recent interview with Richard Foreman. (Youtube) // "This website contains hundreds of pages of unedited text which Richard Foreman is making available freely for use by theatrical authors/directors from which to create plays of their own." (Richard Foreman Previously)
posted by jrb223 on Jan 29, 2007 - 7 comments

Electronic Civil Disobedience for Oaxaca

Electronic Blockade of Mexican Government: Hactivism and Oaxaca; The Electronic Disturbance Theatre, founded by Ricardo Dominguez has organized a virtual sit-in of Mexican embassy and consulate websites. [More Inside]
posted by jrb223 on Oct 30, 2006 - 7 comments

The spoken, then sung monologue of a prostitute

The Nickel Under The Foot is one of the most important songs in the history of the American theatre. The back story.
posted by tellurian on Aug 4, 2006 - 7 comments

The Curtain Rises on Vermont

Vermont's Painted Theatre Curtains were made between 1880 and 1940 and are on display thanks in part to The Vermont Museum and Gallery Alliance and a grant from the NEA. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon on Jun 25, 2006 - 9 comments

The Room: Best/Worst/Best Vanity Project Ever

The Room: The Movie. Triple-threat (actor/writer/director) Tommy Wiseau made his cinematic debut in 2003 with the The Room (see trailer and various scenes), "a blend between a softcore porn flick and a Tennessee Williams stageplay." Wiseau ("who's not just one of the most unusual looking and sounding-with an unidentifiable Eastern European accent-leading men ever to grace the screen, but a narcissist nonpareil whose movie makes Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny" seem the apotheosis of cinematic self-restraint...may be something of a first: A movie that prompts most of its viewers to ask for their money back-before even 30 minutes have passed." - Variety), allegedly raised $6 million outside Hollywood to cover production and marketing costs of the self-described "black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies" (see various rough dress rehersals). Audience members, including comedian David Cross, have been "marveling at the bizarre editing, bad bluescreen, uncomfortably explicit sex scenes and, of course, the enigma of Wiseau himself" as the film played monthly for years in Los Angeles. Available on DVD, diehard "roomies" swear by the theatrical experience, shout out their own commentary, hurl spoons at the screen and singalong to the soundtrack. Some call it "The Rocky Horror of the New Millenium" and stage "Room" parties. If you look at the marketing campaign or survived a screening you might see The Room as "a seminar on how NOT to make a movie." [Inspired by Boing Boing]
posted by boost ventilator on Jun 1, 2006 - 28 comments

Face to Face

The Ingmar Bergman site is now available in English. I find the 'Universe' section (examining repeated themes) is particularly interesting.
posted by tellurian on May 22, 2006 - 6 comments

Street theatre

The Sultan's Elephant. A 42-ton wooden elephant materialises on the streets of London, thanks to Royal de Luxe (previously). The BBC has lots of background, including video (obligatory YouTube link). More from TimeOut and The Guardian.
posted by cbrody on May 6, 2006 - 35 comments

Ibsen Year 2006

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.
posted by jrb223 on Apr 12, 2006 - 12 comments

“a little in love with death”

Forty-nine published plays. Four Pulitzer Prizes. Three marriages. A suicide attempt. A celebrity for a father. A drug-addicted mother who blamed her habit on her son. A daughter estranged, a son who committed suicide. A Nobel Prize, the only ever awarded to an American playwright.
Eugene O'Neill from inside out: a documentary film for American Experience. More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 30, 2006 - 16 comments

The Emperor Jones

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.
posted by jrb223 on Mar 28, 2006 - 8 comments

I'm Movin' Out.... to a courtroom

Dancer Sues Movin' Out for breach of contract and sexual harassment she claims to have suffered during her run in the National Touring company of the Broadway hit. In an interesting move, the dancer, Alice Alyse, has created a lawsuit website to explain her side of the story. Perhaps she'll win, but will she ever work again?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Mar 23, 2006 - 29 comments

"The drama of our times seems to have upstaged even you". "Not Booth".

America's First Superstar. He was the highest paid actor in the world, beloved by fans so passionate about his performances that a riot (23 people killed, more than a hundred wounded) ensued when a rival dared to perform the role that had made him famous. He enjoyed all the trappings of a superstar's life: portraits taken by America's most famous photographer, a large mansion (now a historic landmark), and of course a scandalous divorce trial (he lost). He was also one of the most prominent book collectors in the country. Edwin Forrest was born 200 years ago.
posted by matteo on Mar 21, 2006 - 19 comments

The things I will not do when I direct a Shakespeare production, on stage or film

The things I will not do when I direct a Shakespeare production, on stage or film. "32. I will not employ a conception of Caliban which would require him to wear a ghastly furry costume reminiscent of a hypothetical offspring of Chewbacca and the Wolf from Into the Woods." "358. If cast members, especially fairies, are supposed to sing, I will make sure they can actually sing before opening night." Some of these appear to have been agreed to through bitter experience. I don't know about you but I'd like to add 400. I will not set A Comedy of Errors in a climbing frame which is meant to represent a lunatic asylum and have lookalikes played by the same actor in both parts as if has a split personality (watching that show was possibly the longest two hours I've spent in a theatre).
posted by feelinglistless on Feb 26, 2006 - 90 comments

Robots Battle on Broadway and Big Screen

Performing Artists and The Robot Uprising: Writers, Actors, and Directors bring us one step closer to the robot apocalypse, or provide us the necessary training to win the battle.
posted by jrb223 on Feb 14, 2006 - 4 comments

Those darn kids again. I think it's time to hold them up and see how shiny they are.

This week we had the the Sphinx Competition (old article) here in Detroit. Following on the heels of rampant consumerism and willy-nilly football, The Sphinx Organization brings urban diversity to classical music - Latino and African American students between 12 and 22 years old are challenging their elders with talent and enthusiasm.
posted by Slap Incognito on Feb 11, 2006 - 3 comments

Historic theatrical and performing arts ephemera

Theatre History is the Theatre Museum of London's vast online collection of ephemera, containing more than 1500 objects that record the history of the performing arts in Britain since the 1600s. There's lots of goodies, but don't miss the goldmine of fabulous photos, posters, and prints.
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 15, 2006 - 5 comments

MK & Ash

The Misadventures of the Wholesome Twins. A Musical Parody. Song titles here. My favourite moment from the website is in the cast list -- Courtney Love (et al): Robyn K. Pilarski.
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 20, 2005 - 3 comments

after a movie glorifying guns and violence, a man was violently shot.

Man shot and killed after viewing of "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" yesterday at Loews theatre in Pittsburgh. "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" is the title of the new movie by rapper 50 cent, who appeared on ABC's "The View" this morning- 50 Cent says he is sorry for the loss of life, but neither he or his movie is responsible. This isn't the first time that this theatre has had trouble; last Christmas a mob of unruly teenagers overran the theatre. Loews has since pulled the movie from its theatres nationwide, and will do so until the investigation is complete, which may be awhile- in the extremely crowded theatre nobody saw the attackers leaving.
posted by ackeber on Nov 11, 2005 - 55 comments

Harold Pinter at 75: "Voices"

Harold Pinter at 75. In One for the Road, the protagonist is Nicolas, a whisky-sodden interrogator who has brought in a family for questioning (and, it is implied, raping and torturing). In the short, sharp shock of The New World Order, we eavesdrop on a conversation between two torturers, held over the top of their mute, blindfolded victim's head ("We haven't even finished with him. We haven't begun."). In Ashes to Ashes, the interrogation of Rebecca by Devlin takes a sinister turn as we learn that her ex-lover participated in state-sponsored violence. In Mountain Language, a sadistic guard plays power games with a group of mountain dwellers, who are forbidden from speaking in anything but the language of the state. In Party Time, Pinter lampoons the smug security of the middle classes, portraying an insufferably élite party which carries on regardless of the violence and terror on the streets outside.
Now, for Pinter's 75th birthday, some of the tormentors and the tormented so potently etched in his later plays are assembled together in a new dramatic work with a musical setting by the composer James Clarke.
posted by matteo on Oct 7, 2005 - 12 comments

April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005

Frederick August Kittel, known as August Wilson , passed away yesterday. The playwright wrote tremendously strong plays wining the Pulitzer Prize in both 1986 for The Piano Lesson, and in 1985 for Fences. 2005 saw the production of the finial play (Radio Golf) in his cycle of 10 plays examining African-American experience in the 20th Century in the United States. Broadway will honor him by dimming the lights tomorrow (Oct 4th). As well, on Oct 17th, the Virginia Theatre on Broadway will be renamed for Wilson. A 1990 audio program from MPR about Wilson. (RealAudio, 54 mins). Thank you Mr. Wilson
posted by edgeways on Oct 3, 2005 - 9 comments

But Where the Hell Are the Singing Cats?

Taking NYC by Storm: The Moscow Cats Theatre. Also with dogs and clowns, apparently.
posted by Dr. Zira on Sep 17, 2005 - 15 comments

... to the M*taF*lter...

Found in translation: Much more than / Hip hop Chaucer, and it don't stop / Hip hop Aeschylus, and it don't stop / Hip hop Shakespeare, and it don't stop / Yeah [3.4MB .wmv], and it don't stop, and it don't quit.
posted by fatllama on Aug 5, 2005 - 15 comments

Coldplay Rip Off U2... Again

Sometimes You Can't Fix You On Your Own. (Quicktime and Windows Media.) If there has ever been doubt about Coldplay's burning ambition to be U2, let it be put to rest.
posted by Saellys on Aug 5, 2005 - 85 comments

I'm being toyed with by a bunch of depraved children

The Game? University of Central Florida instructor Jeff Wirth - an Interactive Theatre pioneer, author, and one time editor of the long defunct ITN resource - brings something like David Fincher's The Game to life. Interactive Theatre describes forms of theatre that directly involve audience members in the action, from plays like Tony and Tina's Wedding to kitschy dinner theatre like the Murder Mystery Players to the one actor/one audience member pieces of Cruel Theatre.
posted by Joey Michaels on Aug 4, 2005 - 16 comments

Theatre by the Sea

Cornwall's Minack theatre. Perched on the cliffs at the SouthWestern tip of the UK, the Minack offers the chance to see classic theatre with a spectacular natural backdrop. The open-air theatre was originally conceived by Rowena Cade in the 1930s, and she was also personally responsible for much of the construction of the facilities that still exist. The pictures and 360 panoramas available here should give you some idea of the place. A few more here.
posted by biffa on May 19, 2005 - 5 comments

Tim Gracyk's amazing American Popular Music site

Buying Rare Race Records in the South. Music That Americans Loved 100 Years Ago. The Cheney Talking Machine. Just three among dozens of amazing articles about early recording machines and American popular music at the astonishingly detailed site of Tim Gracyk, author of Popular American Recording Pioneers: 1895-1925. Scroll down for bios of forgotten stars, including Nora Bayes - who performed in the Follies of 1907, before Flo Ziegfeld's name became part of the title, George W. Johnson - "the most important African-American recording artist of the 1890s," and piano player Zez Confrey, whose sheet music for the 1921 hit "Kitten on the Keys" sold over a million copies and became "the third most-frequently recorded rag in history."
posted by mediareport on May 17, 2005 - 39 comments

"The Last Days of Judas Iscariot"

What About Judas? Dante condems Judas to eternal damnation in the darkest, deepest circle of hell. But what if someone came to the great traitor's defense in a trial to win his entrance into heaven? The playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis imagines just such a scenario in "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot," directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and running at the Public Theater in New York City. More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 24, 2005 - 21 comments

It's Fingerrific! Redux

Remember Lejo? He's got the funk now. From the guys who brought you Shitty Bum (and who are now probably living it up with #1 down in Austin for SXSW), here is C-Mon & Kypski vs. Lejo (Flash). [via]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 19, 2005 - 4 comments

masks

I have been thinking about masks lately. Masks are ancient and universal, our ancestors put on masks to become an other, to become a god, even unto this day. Greek tragedy and comedy began in the worship of Dionysos, the god of wine, intoxication, and creative ecstasy, in rituals where worshipers often wore or worshipped masks. Indeed, the word for mask in Greek drama was persona, now commonly used to describe constructed online identities. And so we understand ourselves as wearing masks, whole series of masks--behind which we find only emptiness, for we can never see ourselves truly.
posted by y2karl on Feb 24, 2005 - 30 comments

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