Theatre

The Death Of American Playwrighting

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“In 21st-century America, playwriting cannot be thought of in earnest as a rival of screenwriting. In reality, it is more like a barnacle clinging to it. Indeed, the economic ruin of the playwriting profession is a 20th-century story, not a 21st-century one. It began in the 1920s, or thereabouts, with the rise of commercial motion pictures, and was more or less complete by the 1980s, with the introduction of cable TVs and VCRs.”

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No Prosecutions Over West End Theatre Ceiling Collapse

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“A council investigation found the collapse happened because of the age of the roof, which dates back to the theatre’s original construction in 1901, and no laws had been broken. … The accident at the Apollo Theatre last December left 88 people injured when plaster fell from the roof … during a performance of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time.”

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Theatre Is Definitely Not “A White Invention,” Says UK Culture Minister

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Responding to actress Janet Suzman’s controversial comments of last week, Ed Vaizey said, “Every community has a tradition of performance and theatre so I wouldn’t agree with those comments. … If you talk to the black, Asian and ethnic minority community, the frustration is they feel this conversation has been going on for 30 years, and nothing has changed. I have a lot of sympathy for that.”

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All The World Really Is A Stage: Shakespeare’s Globe Actors Report Back From “Hamlet” Tour To Every Country On Earth

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“On 23 April this year, to mark the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, a company of 12 actors … set sail on an epic journey. Their mission: to take the world’s most famous play – Hamlet to every country in the world … during [a] two-year-long tour … Here, in personal diary entries, the players reflect on some of their experiences so far.”

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Olivier Awards Invite Civilians To Become Judges

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“Members of the public can now apply to become judges of the 2016 Olivier Awards, after the Society of London Theatre opened applications. Alongside professional panellists, members of the public are required to judge four different categories: theatre, affiliate – which covers smaller, non-West End theatres – opera and dance.”

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Why Would A Journalist Leave The Theatre At Intermission? Well…

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“The objections to the column seemed to fall in two camps. People in the business, who feel they are wasting their money, and impassioned theatergoers who say they would never ever leave a show, no matter what. I understand both points of view, though I’m not wedded to either side.”

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Michael C. Hall on Being Hedwig

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“You get [from audience members] the stand-offish, I’m-not-gay-don’t-look-at-me-that-way vibe; you get the I’m-not-gay-but-I’m-kind-of-feeling-funny-in-a-way-that-I’m-not-entirely-uncomfortable-with vibe; you get the I’m-gay-and-I-entirely-approve-of-your-behavior vibe … And I think it’s compelling for a woman to see a man behave as a woman, and it might be liberating for her to watch a man jump off of hoods of cars in platform heels.”

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A Dismaying Idea Of What Theatre Is

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“To say the kind of theatre performed in the West End (which is what she believed she was talking about) is one invented by white people is one thing, to say white people invented theatre ignores a whole host of other storytelling and performance traditions from Kabuki to Indian dance.”

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Janet Suzman Defends Statement That Theatre Is “A White Invention”

Dame Janet Suzman

The South African-born actress – a longtime campaigner against racism who had a famous anti-apartheid activist for an aunt – drew some outrage on Monday by saying that theatre is a “European invention and white people go to it. It’s in their DNA.” She clarified her remarks with a call for more work from black and Asian playwrights – and then said “theatre is a pretty white way of spending an evening – and expensive.”

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Venerable Canadian Theatre Launches Painfully Modest Fundraising Campaign (Really? That’s All?)

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“In good Passe Muraille tradition, McKim argues that an achievable campaign that asks a lot of people to give small sums lets all donors feel they are making a difference. But can the citizens of Toronto really value this past and this present so lightly that a contribution of $1 a week is all they can be expected to offer?”

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Veteran British Actor Gets In Hot Water For Saying “Theatre Is A White Invention”

Janet Suzman citywith Khayalethu Anthony in the South ASfrican play Solomon and Marion in 2013.

Janet Suzman, frustrated at the lack of black faces in the audience at a South African play she recently did in London, said, “I rail against that and say why don’t black people come to see a play about one of the most powerful African states? And they don’t bloody come. They’re not interested. It’s not in their culture, that’s why. Just as their stuff is not in white culture.”

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Why Theatre Should Take Risks

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“Failure is an inevitable part of risk-taking, and you discover things along the way. But of course, failure and success and risk-taking all mean different things in different places and different contexts, too.”

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Movie Stars Talk About Acting On Broadway

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“As much as Broadway now relies on Hollywood actors to bring in the crowds, so A-listers increasingly view stints onstage as integral to a rich career. Here, seven award-winning actors” – Bradley Cooper, Glenn Close, Jake Gyllenhaal, Patricia Clarkson, Martha Plimpton, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Alessandro Nivola – “on their new roles.”

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Are Smartphones In The Audience Bad For Stand-Up Comedy?

Chris Rock

As Chris Rock puts it, “If you think you don’t have room to make mistakes, it’s going to lead to safer, gooier standup. You can’t think the thoughts you want to think if you think you’re being watched.” Brian Logan observes, “And, let’s face it, they are being watched – by which I mean (and he means) recorded, and apt to be broadcast – out of context, probably, and whether or not their material is ready.”

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RSC to Begin on Restoration of Swan Wing at Stratford-Upon-Avon

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“The Swan Wing, which contains the Swan Theatre, is the only remaining part of the original 1879 Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, which burnt down in 1926. It originally housed a library, reading room and picture gallery, and it currently includes the façade and entrance, hallway, bar area, staircase, Ferguson exhibition room and the bridge that links it to the Swan Theatre auditorium.”

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Theatre Critics – Theatres Miss Them, Now That They’re Disappearing

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Tim Walker: “‘Another day, yet another newspaper critic in @ThatTimWalker faces the axe,’ the Tricycle Theatre in north London tweeted recently, when it was announced the curtain was coming down on my run as the Sunday Telegraph‘s chief theatre critic. ‘What’s going on? Theatre will be the poorer without these voices.'” Many professionals, not least the director Michael Grandage, “retweeted this howl of despair – and one can well understand it.”

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