Theatre

In Defense Of The Jukebox Musical

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“Done well, jukebox musicals, which are by nature about popular music, can have great music and dramatic insight, too. I propose that we stop being embarrassed by them, and I hope that producers and librettists continue to make the genre better. Great pop music can be celebrated well and enjoyably.” Sarah Lawson explains how, with examples.

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Keeping Kabuki Populist – And Funny

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“Compared with some other forms of Japanese theatre – Noh, for example – Kabuki had humble beginnings. It was made by common people for common people. … Other forms of Japanese theatre, such as Noh and Bunraku, subsist on government funding. Kabuki lives on ticket sales.”

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How Theatre Is Finally Making A Borderless Future

Luis Alfaro: Playwright of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Photo: Jenny Graham.

“This conference was what many of us in el movimiento have been waiting for: that moment when the next generation of amazing young artists, scholars, producers, and administrators are not only ready to step it up, but have also been trained through mentorship programs, internships, and good old theater jobs.”

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Should Playwrights Be Worried About Piracy If They Digitize Their New Plays?

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“Since theater is a live art form, to me there’s nothing about digitization that intrinsically makes piracy easier. Unlike the music and film industries, where digitization (and the attendant problem of piracy) has had a vast and industry shaking effect, I don’t anticipate the same thing for theater. As a friend once said, the worst piracy tool of the century is the photocopier.”

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Unfunded UK Theatres Warn They’ll Have To Close

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“We don’t want to close because we would be letting down whole communities and a new generation of young theatregoers in rural areas whose access to quality professional theatre is limited, but there is only so long that you can struggle on unfunded. Even though we have been hugely successful in our fundraising, this work cannot operate unsubsidised.”

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Edinburgh Fringe To Begin Cinemacasts

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“Productions from the Edinburgh fringe – including a one-man show from Steven Berkoff – are to be broadcast live to Odeon cinemas. The cinema chain has teamed up with online arts service Hibrow to bring live performances from the festival to [UK] cinemagoers in August.”

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Philadelphia Theatre Co. Hangs On And Hopes

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“Its finances are precarious, the mortgage is in foreclosure. Real estate agents are busily showing its home to potential buyers. A possible savior – Philadelphia’s Roberts family – might offer a helping hand, but not yet. As the Philadelphia Theatre Company hangs on by a thread, theater leaders say its loss would be a blow – artistically, and to the city.”

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OK, So What’s A LORT?

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Unless you’re a theatre junkie, you might not know that hiding behind the acronym is a nationwide organization of almost 75 theatres in all major cities (and many other cities) across the U.S. And oh hey? They pay their actors.

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Convincing People To Come See Your Show, Even If It’s Free

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“That the majority of people don’t go to the theatre is fine: it’s a free choice. But when too many people think it’s not for them, that’s a problem. They would have an amazing time if they just rocked up one night.” So this artistic director went to a supermarket parking lot to talk people into coming, one at a time.

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Kristin Chenoweth Joins Entrance Applause Debate: Let ‘Em!

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“If someone wants to applaud somebody, let them. I get why [people who hate entrance applause] get their panties in a bunch but I just want people to go and experience the show. A good actor is a good actor, and if people want to reward him or her they should.”

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A New Theatre Row For Baltimore?

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“The Howard Street theater proposal envisions three separate venues, each with its own street-level performance space and its own marquee announcing events presented by the likes of Annex Theater, EMP Collective, Acme Corporation and Stillpointe Theatre Initiative. Upstairs areas are envisioned as a beehive of various cultural, social and business enterprises.”

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‘Star Wars’ Becomes A Malay Shadow Play

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The art of shadow puppetry may be thriving in Bali and Java, but the Malaysian version has been steadily losing ground to films and video games. So a video game creator and an old master puppeteer decided that George Lucas’s sci-fi saga is as epic a myth as the Ramayana – and that Luke, Leia and Darth Vader are more audience-friendly than Rama, Sita and Ravana. (includes video)

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A Festival’s Censorship Exposes A Polish Culture War

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“On June 20, the organizers of the Malta International Theater Festival, which takes place annually in Poznan and is one of the largest such events in this part of Europe, gave in to a coalition of Catholic fundamentalists and right-wing hooligans and canceled the performance of “Golgota Picnic,” after repeated accusations that the play was blasphemous.”

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Broadway Musical Crisis – Today’s Musicals Are Commodities

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“A few years ago, I started using the phrase “commodity musical” to describe them. The genre has established itself as the most significant development in the Broadway musical form since Stephen Sondheim started writing his own scores. What is it that makes these shows so popular—and what effect is their popularity having on the American musical?”

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