“That requires what Power describes as ‘two types of gardening at the same time: planting really deep and at the same time growing stuff quickly. Not quicker than it needs, but being instantly responsive and finding a place in the repertoire as quickly as possible, so that artists and audiences understand what we stand for and what we want to be.'”
“Channing wasn’t the center of attention. The show was mostly built around the Southern University marching band performing a tribute to Mardi Gras. And the highlight was not Channing or the band, but a bizarre re-enactment of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, waged by actors dressed in period costume firing cannons and pretending to fall dead on the turf.”
“An interesting paradox: The fewer seats you have in a theater, the less money you can bring in at the box office, but the more you can connect with your audience, and your audience includes your best donors. No arts organization can fund a building of this scale from ticket sales. It can from donors.”
Call it an evaluative essay instead. Charles McNulty: “Pinter may have felt as strongly as Beckett about the sanctity of a playwright’s work, but he was also a ferocious champion of artistic expression. The theater, the most public of literary art forms, depends on such freedom.”
“The losing theatres will incorporate an element of the winning team into the scenic design of an upcoming production; the staff of the losing theatre must wear the winning team’s colors to work the following Monday and post evidence on social media; and the defeated theatres must decorate their main box offices with a stuffed version of the winning team’s mascot.”
“The one-person play, created and performed by Erin Pike and written by Courtney Meaker consists entirely of dialogue from the female characters that appear in the 10 most-frequently-produced Amercian plays during the 2014—2015 season.”
Both The Yard and the Park Theatre originate in the ambitions of impressively determined founders. Though in some ways the two venues are very different, Miller and Bond express the purpose of what they’re doing in much the same way. “How do you engage with your community and how do you diversify your audience? But I think it’s especially true in London which is growing so quickly and the population is changing all the time.”
“National Theatre director Rufus Norris has committed to ensuring gender equality in terms of the directors and living writers the venue employs by 2021. … He added: ‘There are a lot of women playwrights and women directors coming through, so it’s our responsibility to encourage that and reap the benefits.'”
Just as Camelot was the emblematic show of JFK’s day (“about the idealism and glamour of courtly power, and also about its fragility”) and South Pacific was of the Truman-Eisenhower era (“about what America was going to do and be after the Americans had won their terrible war”), argues Adam Gopnik, Hamilton captures both the changes and the contradictions in the U.S. during this President’s term.
Jeremy Gerard of Deadline noted, “There’s no other kind of journalism where the journalist says, ‘Is it OK if I report this kind of story?’” That said, the allowance for theatrical productions to be developed and previewed in front of paying audiences has become generally standard practice and important to countless creative artists, the result of a détente between the natural instincts of the press and the creative process of artists.
Samuel French chief Bruce Lazarus “maintains that the Pinter estate had not been prepared to grant any subsequent license [for The Room] because the British agent had lined up a ‘first-class’ production in the UK, which had an option for a U.S. transfer. Lazarus points out that French could have simply said no but said his company persuaded the U.K. agent to allow the L.A. production, with restrictions.”
“National Theatre director Rufus Norris said Sunday performances had been axed as the venue looks at ways of “contracting”. The theatre faces the loss of revenue from the West End production of War Horse and a 30% cut in real terms to its subsidy since 2010.”
Maxine Peake, who appears regularly at Manchester’s Royal Exchange (Sarah Frankcom, artistic director): “I just think actually women are probably better for running buildings, because they can multitask. And I think – without sounding terribly sexist, and I’m not saying across the board – they generally have a smaller ego.”
“The $100,000 2016 Vilcek Prize in Theatre, presented to an immigrant artist with a record of major achievement, is awarded to Blanka Zizka, artistic director of the Wilma Theatre.” The Vilcek Prizes honor scientists and artists who have immigrated to the U.S. The prizes focus on a different discipline each year; among previous winners are Mike Nichols, Yo-Yo Ma, and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Ross Jackson takes on the practice of putting the one African-Amrican-themed show in a theater’s schedule during February (Black History Month); “that one black actor onstage,” often in a subsidiary role; colorblind or nontraditional casting (“the terms are inherently aggressive and inappropriate”); and “dehumanizing” casting of black actors as subservients, animals and/or magical beings.
“You’d have to have your head in the sand, or perhaps somewhere else, to not anticipate that there would be criticism of this in Toronto in 2016, amid the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and right after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s speech on diversity ‘as a source of strength’ at Davos.”
“On Thursday, the theater’s artistic director canceled the last four performances of the play, saying in a statement that it had caused ‘more pain than room for thought’ and had led to ‘threats,’ without disclosing further details.”
“We’re here for the people who need stimulus… they are in an environment that is not providing any excitement [or] nourishment for the brain.”
“It is not clear how theater critics will respond to the request that they not review the Los Angeles run, which begins performances on Thursday. An offended actor/playwright, Colin Mitchell, published on the local theater website Bitter Lemons a plea for defiance: ‘Let’s flood the LA Media outlets with writing about this show.’ The theater critic for The Los Angeles Times, Charles McNulty, said Thursday that he was in discussion with his editors.”
Lyn Gardner: “In a tight funding climate, it’s not surprising that independent theatre-makers are attracted to the opportunities and financial support that the mainstream can offer. But those opportunities sometimes come at a price … Sometimes it leads to a leeching of the very things that made an artist’s work most distinctive in the first place.”
“It would take 45 minutes just to explain what the novel is about,” said the director of Chicago’s Goodman Theater. “I became weirdly obsessed with this novel years ago, and I still don’t quite know why. The process of staging it is part of trying to figure out what it is I personally respond to. I still don’t quite know.”
Broadway continues to have serious diversity problems in terms of audiences and artists. But what “Hamilton” and “Fun Home” spectacularly demonstrate is that making an investment in extremely talented artists from diverse backgrounds is still the best business plan for simultaneously growing prestige and revenue.
The highly anticipated new production of Harold Pinter’s “The Room” by The Wooster Group has run into difficulties after the licensing company for the play said that critics may not review the show when it has its world premiere in Los Angeles next month.
Mya Kagan: “Over the past few years, I have been increasingly disheartened by the statistics on women in theatre and TV. The exact number varies from study to study, but they all come in around 20 percent. … With all these numbers reminding me that my industry sees and treats me as inferior to my male counterpart, I started wondering … would I have been more successful if people straight-up thought I was a dude?”
Mya Kagan: “As a playwright, I am basically a professional character developer, so before I could do anything, I had to get my head around who this person was.”
“Theatre companies across the UK will have benefited from an estimated £25 million of tax relief in the first full year of a government scheme for the sector, according to figures published by HM Revenue & Customs.”
“For the bulk of my life, “TV writer” has been a gentle euphemism for “failed playwright.” A serious theatre person would barely admit to having a television, much less watching one. Those days are long gone.”
In which one unhappy patron, while his fellows are applauding, calls out, “Booooo! Kill the playwright!”, and another patron – herself a playwright – takes umbrage: “I imagined myself confronting the man who’d shouted for Annie Baker’s death. Calling him on his privilege; his insistence on making his experience everyone else’s.”
Paula Garfield, director of Deafinitely Theatre: “Rehearsing was a painful, slow process. We began with a two-week translation stage: it’s not about simply doing it word for word. … Even translating the title into BSL was difficult. I began with the signs for ‘love’, ‘work’ and ‘loss’ – but that doesn’t really make it clear.”
“Despite the massive storm that shut down Broadway on Saturday and forced the cancellations of appearances by several high-profile celebrities at BroadwayCon, including the actors Darren Criss and Jeremy Jordan, the show went on, with panel discussions, singalongs and a Saturday night cabaret that turned a ballroom into a theater camp-style slumber party.”