“Even when someone from working class origins is in the profession we are finding that they are about £10,000 less well off than other people, in theory for doing the same jobs.”
When Tony LoBianco starred in a one-man show about New York City’s 99th mayor on Broadway in 1989, the production closed after 12 performances. Then the actor started rewriting the script, kept at it, and now has spent a quarter-century taking the piece, now titled The Little Flower, everywhere from Manhattan to Moscow to Milan.
At the award ceremony for the Molières, the country’s top theatre honors, Sébastien Thiéry came onstage completely nude to scold Fleur Pellerin: “Do you know, madame minister, that playwrights are the only ones in the profession not to have the right to receive unemployment benefits? Do you think that’s fair? … Why this discrimination? Is it because we are physically ugly?”
“Five years ago, Athol Fugard, the great chronicler of South Africa’s apartheid past and its post-apartheid present, heard a surprising tale. It was about a farm laborer named Nukain Mabuza, who had spent about 15 years, in the late 1960s and ’70s, painting vivid, highly patterned designs on the boulders and stones in arid terrain of the eastern province of Mpumalanga.”
Charles McNulty: “Producers have built flourishing shoestring operations on the backs of virtually unpaid actors. If the majority of performers aren’t complaining, why should their union interfere? … That’s not the way I see it. I believe that the union is concerned about the future of Los Angeles theater, recognizing that institutional growth over the long haul is in the best interest of its membership. Only time will tell whether L.A. is capable of such growth.”
“HartBeat does not look at its Greater Hartford community as potential audience members but rather as an important part of the play-making. Ensemble members regularly spend months researching a subject by interviewing people from whatever the community or neighborhood the subject is about as it develops its works.”
“The Tony system canonizes a subset of a subset, making the odds of any one show or person pocketing a Tony rather less impressive. What’s more, the awardees and runners-up have typically been nurtured beyond Broadway — often in the nonprofit theaters that have grown up across the United States since the mid-20th century.”
“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.”