Stephen Adly Guirgis Wins $200K Steinberg Playwrighting Award

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“With their abrasive characters and often profane language, the plays of Stephen Adley Guirgis aren’t crowdpleasers in the conventional sense. The New York playwright specializes in chronicling the rougher side of city life, and has earned critical raves and a Tony Award nomination for his work.”

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Stratford Festival To Offer Shakespeare In Movie Theaters And On TV

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“As the first installment of a long-term project, in which the festival hopes to document its productions of the entire Shakespeare canon, three of this year’s stagings will be filmed in HD. The films will be screened in cinemas around the world in 2015 and television broadcasts by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will follow, as will on-demand digital releases.”

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Martin Amis’s Latest Book Rejected By German, French Publishers

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“In France, they say they’re puzzled by the humor. In Germany, they say it will be difficult to market. Martin Amis’s latest novel, The Zone of Interest, a satire set in a concentration camp during the Second World War, is having trouble gaining traction in Europe, where his longtime French and German publishers have rejected it.”

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Matisse Show At Tate Modern Breaks Attendance Records

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“Newly published figures showed that Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs received 562,622 visitors, surpassing the Matisse Picasso exhibition of 2002, the previous record holder at 467,166, and the Damien Hirst exhibition of 2012, with 463,087.” (The show opens at MoMA in New York next month.)

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Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial May Lose Most Of Its Gehry-Ness (Including Gehry Himself)

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“The project faces a major crossroad this week over its controversial Frank Gehry design, which uses woven steel tapestries strung on 80-foot columns to depict the modest Kansas roots of the decorated soldier and statesman. The Eisenhower Memorial Commission on Wednesday will review two approaches, including one that removes most of these elements. If that plan is selected, Gehry informed the commission, he will ask for his name to removed.”

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Prada Marfa Is Saved

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The artists Elmgreen & Dragset, who built the installation in 2005 on a highway about 40 miles from the art town of Marfa, Texas, “wanted the mock-up store, the size of shack but with Prada shoes and bags inside, to be a critique of the luxury goods industry. But it was threatened when it was deemed an illegal roadside advertisement.”

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2014 MacArthur Fellows Include Alison Bechdel, Joshua Oppenheimer, Samuel D. Hunter, Terrance Hayes, And A Poetry Translator(!)

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Cartoonist/graphic memoirist Bechdel (Fun Home), Oscar-nominated documentarian Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing), playwright Hunter (The Whale), poet Hayes (Lighthead, Arabic poetry translator Khaled Mattawa, jazz saxophonist/composer Steve Coleman, artist/Project Row Houses founder Rick Lowe, nd their fellow “geniuses” win five-year, $625,000 grants.

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“Three Tenors” Impresario Tibor Rudas Dead At 94

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The former opera singer and Holocaust survivor “made a name for himself in the United States by bringing Las Vegas-style brio to performances by highbrow artists. He presented the New York Philharmonic in an Atlantic City casino and produced large outdoor concerts for other classical artists at the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Super Dome and other unconventional venues.”

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Misty Copeland’s Long, Strange Journey

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“Copeland’s proceeding along a kind of inevitable music-box destiny, but her path to becoming a star ballerina has been as dramatic, unlikely, and hinged on coincidence as the plots of most ballets – the ones that have plots, anyway.”

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Netflix Launches In France, Beginning European Expansion

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Despite opposition from French telecom providers worried about competition l’exception culturelle, Netflix began service in France this week, with Germany and Belgium being added later this month. The company has a partnership with one large French ISP (Bouygues) and has already commissioned one original French series.

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Adulthood Is Not Dying In American Culture – It’s Just Starting To Bloom

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Don Draper, Tony Soprano, Walter White – “Each of these tragic exemplars of ‘adulthood’ is destroyed exactly because of his failure to behave like an adult. … In the main they are frauds who merely assume the trappings of ‘adulthood’ in order to participate in a society that would reject them if it knew the truth. … It’s not to do with having ‘killed off all the grown-ups’ as [A.O.] Scott has it: quite the contrary. It’s adulthood defined for the audience by its very absence on the screen.”

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If Adulthood Is Dying In American Culture, It’s The Modern Economy That’s Killing It

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Andrew O’Hehir: “Well, if [A.O.] Scott gets to play frustrated English professor in his article, I get to play former college Marxist in mine … There really is something beneath his ‘death of adulthood’ premise, whether or not you like the prejudicial phrase. But to coin a phrase: It’s the economy, stupid.”

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A Feeling of Control: How America Can Finally Learn to Deal With Its Impulses

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“The ability to delay gratification has been held up as the one character trait to rule them all – the key to academic success, financial security, and social well-being. … Which lends a kind of overpowering weight to the question: If self-control is so important, how are we supposed to achieve it?” Sheer willpower, it’s turning out, isn’t the best approach.

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It’s The Little Annoyances That’ll Really Kill You

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“The godawful commute. The fight you had with your partner this morning. The kitchen sink that won’t stop leaking. Minor annoyances? Maybe. But these little, everyday hassles can add up and may be as likely to do you in as the bigger, more serious stressors in life, like divorce or job loss, according to new research.”

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David Lynch Thinks No One Will Ever Agree On What “Eraserhead” Is About

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“No one, to my knowledge, has ever seen the film the way I see it. The interpretation of what it’s all about has never been my interpretation.” (But what’s scary: “I love the world of Eraserhead. I would love to live in that world.”)

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E-Books Get Radically Better At Doing Poetry

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“Digital poetry is still dwarfed by print, and some writers and publishers question whether there is much demand for poetry e-books.”

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In The UK: More Kids Now Play The Electric Guitar Than The Violin

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“Some 13% of five- to 17-year-olds play the electric guitar, compared with 12% for the violin. Keyboard is the most popular instrument, played by 30% of the 1,726 children, questioned by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.”

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When Technology Improves Movie Clarity It’s Better Right? (Not Necessarily)

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“On the one hand there’s tremendous possibility, but the challenge is to maintain the artistry and craftsmanship. Once everything is in focus it requires a lot more staging, and a lot more sophistication in visual effects, and more attention to prop work, set design, and costuming.”

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Frozen In Time? Is Dance Stunted By Attempts To Label It?

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“Just when the dance world has become so stimulating with its jumble of influences from all over the world, and when classical ballet and contemporary dance are criss-crossing in interesting ways, we have recently seen announcements for two major initiatives that stake out claims for a certain kind of dance—a limited kind of dance that is easy to name.”

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What Do We Mean When We Talk ABout Digital Literacy?

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Most people who use computers don’t know how to build software. Does that mean they’re digitally illiterate?

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What Role Does Taste Play In Our Appreciation Of Books?

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“Good taste precedes the individual. It is an inheritance, an invisible monument, a millennium of exquisite micro-choices all embedded in the fibers of the mind! Surely it will prevail!”

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Report: Women’s Employment In TV Has Plateaued

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“Female creators, executive producers, producers, directors, writers, editors and directors of photography working on prime-time television airing on broadcast networks account for 27% of individuals working behind the scenes.”

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Critical Dilemma: Criticism Versus Reviewing (When The Two Are At Odds)

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“We are starting to see a schism as more and more AAA games are becoming worse from a critical standpoint while becoming better from a less critical, more general perspective.”

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Could Artificial Intelligence Lead To Our Destruction?

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“Why is it a good idea that we continue to exist? Given that humans have caused the extinction of others, wouldn’t it be poetic justice if advanced forms of intelligence, which could probably run the world better anyway, caused our extinction?”

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National Book Awards Poetry Longlist Announced

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Two former U.S. poets laureate, Louise Glueck and Mark Strand, have made the longlist for the National Book Awards.

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Vienna State Opera Loses Second Conductor In Two Weeks

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Bertrand de Billy says he refuses to work under opera director Dominique Meyer, mentioning “dishonesty” and “lack of loyalty.”

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A Tale Of Four Florida Orchestras

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It’s a fact. Orchestras have struggled in Florida, and they have to scramble to stay viable. Here are four orchestras with new music directors working to find the winning formula.

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Getting Humans To Comprehend “Deep Time”

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“For someone whose life expectancy is usually less than 100 years, it’s nearly impossible to imagine something so vast as geological or deep time,” says J.D. Talasek of the National Academy of Sciences. So he – a believer in the power of metaphor – assembled a group of 18 artworks to help get the idea across.

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Kevin Kline Has Issues With Authority (And That Includes Maggie Smith)

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Just for instance, when he played Hamlet for Liviu Ciulei, he recounts, “The first day’s rehearsal, I picked up a chair and moved it a few feet, and he said, ‘No, no, Hamlet would never do that, he’d never move a chair himself, because he’s a prince.’ I said, ‘I’m the prince, I can do whatever I want.'” The next time he played Hamlet, he directed himself.

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