Thursday, July 29, 2021

ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre — Under A Microscope

"I hope that the theatre generally, will be open to the idea that when you limit yourself to doing only primarily white theatre for primarily white audiences, there is well over half the city you are excluding.” - American Theatre

“Sunday In The Park With George” Barely Escaped Being A Disaster

First, Stephen Sondheim couldn’t come up with songs because he didn't think James Lapine's script needed any. So began a cascade of calamities, right up to the Broadway opening, until the show shocked everyone involved by getting 10 Tony nominations and a Pulitzer Prize. - The New York Times

Theatre Critic Assumes Fellow Critic Is White, Then Has To Reassess When She Discovers Otherwise

I felt ashamed of my mistake, for not seeing a colleague for who he really is. “How limited your perception is, Lily!” I thought. And: “I wonder how much else I miss?” Probably, I decided, quite a bit. - San Francisco Chronicle

Charles McNulty Panned A Play. The Playwright’s Hurt Father Wrote Him, And That Got McNulty Thinking

"Generosity for generosity's sake will only hasten (critics') redundancy. But candor and compassion aren't antithetical terms." - Yahoo! (Los Angeles Times)

Study: Seeing Theatre Increases Empathy, Influences Behavior

Seeing theatre changed people’s behavior. After seeing the plays, people donated more to charity — whether or not the charity was related to the topics in the plays.” - Psypost

What Are Los Angeles’ Theatres Doing In Response To The Delta Variant?

Pivot, pivot, pivot, keep on pivoting - and require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests. - Los Angeles Times

DC Has Re-Emerged As A Broadway Tryout Town

The post-pandemic (and possibly post-45) change: "As theater returns to robust live-ness, Washington has been cast in a significant role once again, as a test-market locale with sophisticated theater tastes." - Washington Post

Live Theatre Is Endangered Again, Still

On Friday, the Public Theater canceled its show for the third night in a row because of a positive COVID-19 test. Can we ever depend on live performances again? - The New York Times

Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Appoints New Artistic Directors (Yes, That’s Plural)

Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis, both members of the company's ensemble, "said that the pairing will allow them to ensure 'there is always somebody tending the garden,' without forcing either of them to give up national acting careers." - Yahoo! (Chicago Tribune)

Wallace Shawn, ‘The American Theatre’s Most Insistent Class Traitor’

"Other writer-actor types have played the upper-middle-class intellectual as a kind of sheepish hero, all the while hiding, or prettifying, or justifying the dark interiors that often accompany that seemingly benign performance. Shawn turns this kind of character inside out and shows the demon within." - The New Yorker

Big: Actors Equity Opens Up Membership

Actors’ Equity said it was waiving prior restrictions on membership in its quest to become a more equitable organization. - Broadway News

Sound Crew Stages Walkout At Williamstown Theater Festival

They'd been working 13-hour days with no overtime pay, outdoors with expensive electronics during an unusually wet summer. When a final tech rehearsal was delayed and they were told to set up in the still-pouring rain, they walked out. The artistic director cried. - Yahoo! (Los Angeles Times)

Revising Mamet’s “Oleanna” Post-#MeToo

The production can be read as a post-#MeToo critique of the invidious yet slippery ways in which male power exerts itself without being easy to call out as inappropriate. - The Guardian

How The United States Took Shakespeare To Heart

Very, very firmly, that's how — and that goes back nearly to the beginning of the republic. Brooke Gladstone interviews Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro. (audio) - On the Media

Hell And High Water Came: Andrew Lloyd Webber Shutters ‘Cinderella’ Because Of COVID

In June he said that he would open his new West End musical at full audience capacity no matter what. Yet, now that England has lifted all COVID restrictions, Cinderella has halted performances and put the company in quarantine after a member tested positive. - The Guardian

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