A Broadway Play’s Long, Messy Journey To Cinema Screens

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“Efforts to screen high-definition broadcasts of Broadway shows in movie theaters have been random, halting and frustrating. Yet, in little more than a month, a filmed-live version of the recent Broadway production of Of Mice and Men came together and, beginning in November, will be beamed into about 1,400 theaters around the world. It required an unlikely series of coincidences and a measure of sheer doggedness.”

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When Critics Become Playwrights

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“From George Bernard Shaw to Nicholas de Jongh, there is a tradition of reviewers penning their own scripts. So can you learn to write plays by watching them? And does being a playwright make you a better critic?”

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That Time Britain Put On More Than 120 ‘Fun Palaces’ To Honor A Legendary Theatre Director

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“In 1961, partly inspired by traditional pleasure gardens and working men’s institutes, [Joan Littlewood] tried to build a venue where visitors could enjoy performances, learn practical crafts and skills, watch events on giant screens or just eat and drink.” More than 50 years later, theatres in the UK mounted 120 productions in her honor.

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Steppenwolf Theatre Co. Has A New Artistic Director

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“Martha Lavey, the theater’s artistic director since 1995, said that she will step down from her position at the end of the current 2014-15 season. She will be replaced by Anna D. Shapiro, a longtime artistic associate, ensemble member and director at the theater.”

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A Charles Manson Musical (What Will Those German Theatre Directors Think Of Next?)

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“The former cult leader who is serving a life sentence in a California prison is still a touchy subject, at least in the U.S. In Germany, a new stage musical about the convicted killer recently opened and provides a glimpse into Manson’s failed music career and his relationship with his followers who became known as the Manson family.”

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Why A Popular Seattle Theatre Suddenly Shut Down

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“The popular company, which specialized in new and contemporary musicals, surprised many in the local arts community — and drew national interest — with a Sept. 24 announcement that it was deep in the red and suspending operations permanently.”

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Toronto Theatre Has An Odd New Policy For Critics

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“Factory wants to have a week of previews, then an opening night, and only then, five days after the opening, will they invite the media, at a point when the run is half over. Why? Most other theatres beg the critics to come and review their shows ASAP because they need the publicity.”

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UK Stage Directors Form Their Own Union

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“Increasing fees in the sector is one of Stage Directors UK’s first priorities. It will also represent directors on issues such as royalties, contracts, digital rights and copyright, as well as leading on training initiatives.”

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“Children Of A Lesser God” Returning To Broadway After 35 Years

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Children of a Lesser God, a groundbreaking play about the relationship between a deaf woman and a hearing man, who clash over ideas about speech even as they fall in love, will be revived on Broadway during the 2015-16 theater season … The director will be Kenny Leon, who won a Tony Award in June for staging the Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun last spring.”

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First Theatre Certified Paying “Living Wage”

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“Theatre Delicatessen has said it will pay all of its permanent staff the London living wage, which is £8.80 an hour. All other temporary staff, such as box office attendants and bar staff, will get the living wage rate of £7.65 an hour.”

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“Wolf Hall” Confirmed For Broadway Run

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Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s hit adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s best-selling novels about Henry VIII and his chaotic court, will open on Broadway next spring at the Winter Garden Theater, the show’s producers announced on Thursday.”

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Theater Folk In L.A. Say Entire Scene Needs Overhaul

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“A group of theater artists in Los Angeles is calling for major changes in the city’s stage industry, saying that companies are relying on outdated modes of doing business and that union rules over artist compensation, especially at small venues, need revision.”

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Leading UK Theatres Say They Commit To Better Gender Balance

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“Gender equality organisation Tonic Theatre analysed productions staged on September 13. This found that of the 24 productions staged across the top 20 theatres in receipt of the most Arts Council England core funding, women accounted for just 8% of writers, 37% of performers and 38% of directors. Women made up 17% of sound designers, 22% of lighting designers and 57% of set designers.”

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Barbican Cancels “Human Zoo” Project After Protests

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Exhibit B came under attack for its alleged racist portrayal of black African people, with campaigners demanding its withdrawal from the Barbican programme. The Barbican confirmed today that it had been forced to cancel the remaining performances due to “the extreme nature of the protest and the serious threat to the safety of performers, audiences and staff”.

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The Problems With Cross-Gender Casting In Shakespeare

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“The two best justifications for the practice are a relative shortage of major roles for women and a desire to freshen up overfamiliar texts.” Yet, argues Mark Lawson, cross-casting sets carefully wrought father-daughter and mother-son relationships (Prospero and Miranda, Lear, Hamlet and Gertrude) awry, and “if the governing aim of a production is to make the play seem different, perhaps those involved ought to be doing a different play.”

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India Develops A Stand-Up Comedy Scene

Aditi Mittal

“Affluent Indian urbanites – till now weaned on a censorship-prone diet of cinema and soap operas – are awakening to this new form of entertainment, fascinated by the prospect of non-stop laughs for an hour. And they’re willing to pay for it.” But comedians doing their usual skewering of taboos face more-than-usual risks.

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