Theatre

Pa. Drama Teacher Fired Over “Spamalot” Controversy

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“[South Williamsport, Pennsylvania] school officials on Friday dismissed the show’s director after months of back-and-forth arguments – which drew unflattering media attention – over whether the [high school] principal canceled Spamalot because of the show’s gay content.”

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Disney/Taymor “Lion King” Is Now Top-Earning Title In Any Medium

The Lion King follows the journey of Simba, a young lion born into animal royalty

“With a worldwide gross of over $6.2 billion, The Lion King stage musical has now achieved the most successful box office total of any work in any media in entertainment history. … The show quietly took over top spot from the $6 billion-earning The Phantom of the Opera late this summer.”

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Yo, What Fools These Mortals Be: When Plays Keep Reminding The Audience That They’re Plays

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Sir Isaac Newton, Chris Jones observes, probably did not say “yay” – except in a new play about him now running in Chicago. “That in itself is not a new idea; playwrights have been modernizing historical subjects and simplifying conversations for generations. But in [this case and others], the anachronisms are intended to draw attention to themselves. … So what gives with this trend? To some degree it’s a consequence of the Wikipedia-ization of our culture.”

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If Theatre Is Going To Be Relevant, It Needs Better Technology

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“We need technology to be fully focused on how to improve the live experience. Like: Get me to my seat faster, make the actors more excited, give me stuff that makes being in the venue better. I don’t think live events are going anywhere. I’ve doubled down. This is my business and my life, but we’re becoming irrelevant because we have to figure out how to remain relevant in peoples’ lives. And technology is a part of that.”

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What Makes Good Acting? (It’s Not Objective)

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“If anyone tells you there are objective standards, they’re full of crap. This is a matter of personal taste. There are trends. There are many people who loved Philip Seymour Hoffman’s acting. But if you don’t, you’re not wrong. At worst, you’re eccentric.”

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Rob Ford Musical Will Go On, Cancer Or No Cancer

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“The mostly sold out production of Rob Ford the Musical: Birth of a Ford Nation will open as planned Thursday night, regardless of Wednesday’s health update” that the embattled Toronto mayor has cancer. (They’ve changed the ending, though.)

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Finally, Playwriting Awards Are Going To People Who Want To Write Plays (And Not Hollywood Scripts)

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Charles McNulty: “Don’t look now, but a positive trend seems to be developing: A bumper crop of talented American playwrights more interested in artistic expression than commercial validation is being recognized with the most prestigious awards and lucrative fellowships available.” Exhibit A: the MacArthur Fellowship that just went to Samuel D. Hunter.

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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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Meet The Czar Of The World’s Biggest Theatre Empire

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“Few producers will criticize Sir Howard [Panter], … given that his company holds the keys to 40 theaters and has plans for more in Asia and Australia.” That company – Ambassador Theatre Group – is about to open its own Broadway house, the Lyric (formerly the Foxwoods Theater).

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New Playwrights Will Never Defeat Romeo & Juliet – But Can They At Least Get A Hearing?

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“I get it. Dead people work for cheaper than those of us who breathe air. And they’ve got more name recognition and audience draw. Plus, they won’t show up to rehearsal with script changes or input. There’s no need to spend money ‘developing’ their plays. Their work is finite. Frozen forever in perfection.”

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How Should Theatre Deal With Works In Translation?

Rakata perform Punishment Without Revenge by Lope de Vega at Shakespeare's Globe.

“Good surtitles are a real art. One issue with surtitles is positioning. Poorly sited surtitles are like trying to hold a conversation in a room where a TV is on. However much you try not to look at them, your eye is constantly drawn towards them, even if you speak the language.”

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How The Belarus Free Theatre Keeps On Battling A Stalinist Regime

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In Belarus, the KGB attends Free Theatre shows, sometimes just to scare the performers. Other times, the evenings end in arrests. Criminal cases brought against the company drove four members to permanent exile in London. But they never cease their work. … The company now functions as a two-pronged operation: In England they perform with a rotating ensemble of British and Belarusian actors, and in Belarus they continue to write, develop and rehearse new material.”

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“Wolf Hall / Bring Up The Bodies” Plays Headed To Broadway

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Broadway and London producers are in talks about a New York run of the hit British play Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies, based on the historical novels by Hilary Mantel about Henry VIII and his adviser Thomas Cromwell … Both plays are running in repertory in London’s West End, where they have enjoyed critical acclaim and record-breaking ticket sales.”

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Partying With The Hedheads

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Those are the superfans of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Sarah Larson joins them for an old-style (as in 1990s) punk concert with the Hedwig band – called The Angry Inch for the show but, when on their own, performing under the name Tits of Clay.

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Study: Few Brits Are Exposed To Theatre When They’re Young

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“Results of the first wave of a ‘tracking study’ conducted by King’s College London’s Culture and Major Events Consortium, commissioned by KCL as part of its Culture at King’s programme, showed that 46% of respondents went to the theatre as children, compared with 86% who went to libraries and 75% who visited museums and art galleries.”

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