ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


“Queen’s Gambit” To Be Made Into Theatre

Level Forward, a company whose founders include Abigail Disney, a grandniece of Walt Disney, said on Monday that it has won the rights to adapt Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel, which has become newly noteworthy thanks to the enormous success of last year’s streaming series adaptation on Netflix. - The New York Times

A Year Of Turmoil At The American Shakespeare Center

Over the last year, American Shakespeare Center—a $4.3 million theatre company in Staunton, Va., known for producing the Bard’s work in repertory with a stripped-down style and a resident company of actors—became a contentious, mistrustful, even traumatic place for many who had called it home. - American Theatre

Will European Theatre Bounce Back?

Basically, the pandemic has changed the performing arts audience. "Fans have had access to virtual theater from all over the world. Some venues have expanded their audiences far beyond what’s possible in their physical spaces. Around 160,000 viewers watched a streamed performance of Carmen last year by the Berlin State Opera, whose auditorium seats 1,300. The shift has raised questions about whether audiences will return to theaters in the same numbers as before, and whether a blend of online and in-person viewing will become the new norm." - The New York Times

Melbourne Theatre Company Starts Rehearsals With Hope

The director of a play in tech rehearsal says of the theatre building, abandoned a year ago as the pandemic swept the world, "I walked in, it was very quiet and I found myself touching everything, it was hard to believe it was actually real and it was happening." - The Age (Melbourne)

Will European Audiences Come Back To The Theatre?

"The shift has raised questions about whether audiences will return to theaters in the same numbers as before, and whether a blend of online and in-person viewing will become the new norm. … To find out how the pandemic might affect Europe's theater scenes, both large and small, we spoke with theatergoers in seven different countries." (Said one, "I couldn't get into the theaters' digital offerings. It's not theater, it's evidence of theater.") - The New York Times

A Tour Of Plays In Storefront Windows

Presented as a “walking tour with theatrical displays,” and running Feb. 19-21, the performance was not a traditional narrative play, but rather a collection of six short individual vignettes performed within the storefronts of six separate businesses in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. - American Theatre

COVID Could Not Stop The Wooster Group

"They're our holy fools, who — even when no one is watching — keep the art's sacred fires burning. Rehearsal isn't so much a preparation-to-show as it is a kind of religious practice — as endless, deliberative, and open to inspiration as a Shaker meeting." Helen Shaw reports on what's kept them busy through the pandemic: their own original translation and staging of Bertolt Brecht's The Mother. - New York Magazine

How Weird Are This Season’s Tony Awards Going To Be?

Weirder than ever before, no doubt. As the voters fill out their ballots this week and next, none of the shows they're considering have been onstage for a year, and they can't vote in a given category unless they've seen all the nominees. What's more, one of the major awards has only one nominee, but it's still possible for him to lose. - The New York Times

Why Working Digitally Will Be Here To Stay In The Theatre

“There are so many benefits to all this stuff, It’s going to make theatre more accessible. It’s going to help tackle the issue of diversity. It’s going to enable us to tell stories in completely new ways. And I know from experience that it actually encourages live audiences to come to the theatre. It’s actually going to support the industry.” - The Stage

What Have Theatre Artists Been Doing This Past Year? Eight Tell Their Stories

“This notion that we have to do something, that we have to find other ways to work. I was like, ‘Hello, this is an opportunity to just stop. Everybody just stop. Can we really not do that?’ I would say my track record is 50-50, but I’m more interested in looking than forcing things out.” - Los Angeles Times

On Zoom, Vimeo, PBS, Or An iPod, If A Theatre Company Does It, Is It Still Theatre?

Says the artistic director of a Twin Cities company, "I believe that theatre is storytelling and we are creating a new hybrid art form. It's not quite theatre in that it's video and not onstage, and it's not exactly film or television because it's live — but I still call it theatre." Here's a look at what exactly she and some of her counterparts are trying. - American Theatre

Survey: When Theatre-Goers Will Be Ready To Return To Theatres

With the disclaimer that this wave of the research reflects current expectations about the pandemic, based on anxieties about vaccine distribution and the spread of COVID variants, and that theatregoers may adjust attitudes if they see prospects improve, the findings are unavoidably bleak for theatres. - American Theatre

Reviewing The First Play Written By An Artificial Intelligence Bot

"The biggest revelation, though, is that while a computer's imagination touches, somewhat randomly, on themes of love, loneliness, clowning and performance, it is most often obsessing about sex, which may not be surprising, given the prevalence of internet pornography." - The Guardian

How To Reopen Theatres Safely? Artists Turn To Global Network

The protocols these countries have developed the past year to permit some live performances depend greatly on the magnitude of the pandemic and the efforts by government to contain it. South Korea, for example, has operated some theater almost completely uninterrupted since the coronavirus manifested itself, and Australia has been inching back to widespread theater openings since the fall. American arts workers and theatergoers alike are entitled to ask: Why not us, too? - Washington Post

Stratford Festival Will Open This Summer, But With A Short Season Held In Tents

In a regular year, it's North America's largest summer theatre festival, but with the pandemic only barely starting to subside, Stratford is planning to present just a dozen or so performances, each featuring no more than eight cast members and running about 90 minutes, on two stages under large canopies outside their theatres in central Ontario. - Global News (Canada)

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