“Cleveland Playhouse prides itself on being a longtime champion for new work, having presented Tennesee Williams before “The Glass Menagerie” and, more recently, premiering titles by Ken Ludwig, Lee Blessing and Deborah Zoe Laufer. Pulitzer winner Quiara Alegria Hudes is working on a commission for the company that will bow next season.”
“It’s a paradox. In TV studios and on Twitter, British politics seem trapped in a spin cycle of claim and counter-claim, carefully massaged soundbites and kitchen-sink (or kitchen-counting) drama for an audience largely looking the other way. But on stage – particularly in the hands of young, experimental theatre-makers – the workings of democracy have rarely seemed so charged with possibility.”
“Religious drama is one of the oldest forms of British theatre, with the incorporation of performance into worship recorded from the time when Christianity was only 500 or so years old.” Mark Lawson gives an overview of the 15 centuries since then, from medieval mystery plays through Murder in the Cathedral and Jesus Christ Superstar right up to The Testament of Mary.
“Cirque has already played to over 160 million people around the world and I firmly hope it will continue to dazzle us with sights and wonders. But you’ll have to prove to me that a financial group whose major achievement has been the “branding” of J. Crew and Nieman Marcus will understand the impulse that made those crazy buskers from Baie-Saint-Paul become a bright, dazzling comet that streaked so thrillingly across the world entertainment sky.”
“The new wage could quadruple what actors earn from a typical production. But opponents say a change could backfire on actors by shutting down the most economically fragile theaters and putting the rest under pressures that would drain much of the flavor and adventure from L.A.’s small-theater menu.”
“Carole Rothman, the artistic director of Second Stage, said the theater would be used for plays by contemporary American writers, with a particular emphasis on works by women and minority members. She said having a Broadway stage should enable the company to pay higher salaries to writers and actors, to run shows for a longer period of time, and to attract a wider audience.”
“Under the eaves of a hospice for Syrian refugees in Amman, Jordan, a wounded young Romeo reaches out to the blurred image of a girl on a screen. From the besieged and bombed-out city of Homs, Syria, Juliet gazes back. Her head is covered because of her religion; her face is masked to protect her identity from the watchful regime of Bashar al-Assad. This is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, performed by young people separated by war and reunited, in real time, via Skype.”
Lyn Gardner: “Ditching the label ‘fringe’ would put all theatre-makers on an equal footing, wherever they work and in whatever form. It would stop the segmentation of audiences into those who do fringe and those who don’t. It would prevent grant-makers and funders from taking refuge in the labels, and saying ‘Well we don’t fund that kind of theatre, we only fund this kind of theatre’.”
“In short, a mediocre play, at least by Shakespeare’s standards, and in this instance, mediocre is perfect: It’s hard to understand how good Shakespeare could be until you’ve seen him at his worst (and Shakespeare at his worst is still better than most). So imagine how much more some 11th-grader might appreciate Much Ado About Nothing after reading Double Falsehood.”
Drama students from Weston College in England and UNLV “will perform the same piece simultaneously, with the overseas actors being broadcast on a screen behind the live action in both locations. The synchronised performance has been made possible by the development of two supercomputers, named ultra grids, which have removed the transatlantic time delay in broadcast.”
“‘August: Osage County’ was the last serious drama by an American playwright to become a multiyear hit. Since 2010, the only straight play of any kind to have run on Broadway for more than a year was the Lincoln Center Theater transfer of the London production of ‘War Horse.'” Also, it doesn’t help as much as you might think to cast a TV or movie star.
“We can tentatively add another play to the Shakespeare canon. Using a unique form of text analysis, in which they weigh the “psychological signatures” of three possible authors, psychologists Ryan L. Boyd and James Pennebaker of the University of Texas-Austin conclude Double Falsehood was written largely by the man who brought us Twelfth Night and King Lear.”
“[It] pulls information from databases with names of locations, people, organizations in the city at the time, as well as reference material about the early modern period in London. These data are layered on to the ‘Agas’ base map [from 1561]. So if you click on the Middle Temple building, for example, the map will give you an idea of what it is and how it was used, back when Shakespeare was around.”
“In making the leap from movie mogul to lead theater producer … [he] has fired or lost more actors, artists and executives than most impresarios do on their shows. … Yet Mr. Weinstein has been more than a hands-on producer. At 63, he has also become a student again, learning the art and craft of making musicals, one of the trickiest entertainment forms to get right.”