ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


West End Theatre Folk Look Eagerly, Nervously Toward Reopening

"What's it actually like for the theatermakers who are starting work again after 15 months? Has the pandemic shaped the way they think about theater? We visited four" — a director, a producer, an actor and a costumer — "to find out." - The New York Times

Scotland Says Theatres Can Reopen. Theatres Say “No”

In a survey conducted by the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST), 96% of members responded that it is not economically viable for them to reopen under the current restrictions. - The Guardian

A Musical About COVID, Titled ‘Breathe’

"Before we get to the logistics of writing, staging and filming a musical" — one with five songwriting teams, four directors plus a supervisor, a passel of actors, and creators Jodi Picoult and Timothy Allen McDonald — "in the midst of a pandemic, let's address the elephant in the Zoom: Why would anyone want to watch a 90-minute theatrical...

Andrew Lloyd Webber Restores/Updates London’s Oldest Theatre, Built in 1663

In 2000, Lloyd Webber purchased the building, which he calls “objectively marvellous.” For the past two years, with Stephen Thurley’s help, he has been restoring it to its Georgian grandeur, a sixty-million-pound undertaking. There’d been some wear and tear since 1812. “The architecture had been greatly compromised,” Lloyd Webber said. - The New Yorker

The Compromises Of Live-Streaming

Livestreaming adds an additional layer of technical complexity and cost but doesn’t necessarily improve the audience’s experience of the play itself. Pre-recording allows the various elements of the production – editing, sound, etc – to be fine-tuned in advance. But then why not go the whole hog and just release an actual film? - Irish Times

The Improbable Survival Of Seattle’s Annex Theatre

“Our motto is ‘big, cheap theater.’ ” “I’d rather make a glorious failure than an apologetic win.” “We’re the cockroach of the arts — we may be ugly, but we’re really hard to kill.” - Seattle Times

Cirque De Soleil Is Back, Almost

The pandemic forced Cirque to shutter 44 shows all over the world. Now, performers are getting ready - as ready as they can, within their apartments - to return to Las Vegas this summer and London in January. But: "At a time when the pandemic is still raging and uncertainty remains about people’s willingness to return to large theater...

Streaming Theatre Will Do For Now

But nothing can replace the live experience. "Call it immediacy or authenticity, unpredictability or uniqueness, but it’s part of the reason people pay more to attend a single concert than they will to purchase the entire recorded works of the same musician." Live streaming theatre, though, is tricky. - Irish Times

Broadway Reopens In Four Months, But Theatre Workers Still Need Help

A survey released by the Actors Fund says that "40% of the arts and entertainment respondents reported being more food insecure during the pandemic, 28% were behind in rent or mortgage payments and 20% had been forced to change housing" - and nearly 80 percent could use some mental health help as well. - Broadway News

Young Vic Says “Theatre Has Changed Forever” And Will Livestream Its Work

Kwame Kwei-Armah told the Guardian the pandemic had changed theatre forever, with the livestreaming of plays becoming “hard baked” into how the industry operates. - The Guardian

One Of London’s Leading Theatres Says It Will Keep Live-Streaming Productions Permanently

" Kwame Kwei-Armah told The Guardian the pandemic had changed theatre forever, with the livestreaming of plays becoming 'hard baked' into how the industry operates. said that during lockdown he had resolved to 'innovate, not just replicate' resulting in a project titled Best Seat in Your House which will use multiple cameras and allow online audiences to change...

Why Broadway Isn’t Restarting Until September

"With as many as eight shows a week to fill, and the tourists who make up an important part of their customer base yet to return, producers need time to advertise and market. They need to reassemble and rehearse casts who have been out of work for more than a year. And they need to sort out and negotiate...

Cuomo: Broadway To Reopen Sept. 14

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that Broadway will reopen on Sept. 14, with some tickets going on sale beginning tomorrow. Theaters will be open at 100% capacity, the governor says. - Deadline

The World’s Longest-Running Play, Coming Back From Its First Closure In 69 Years

The producers of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap in London's West End have "employed two casts who will rehearse and work completely separately, and appear in alternating runs of three performances. If an actor were to test positive, the other cast – contracted to be available and in reach of the theatre in their time off – will immediately take...

Plexiglass, Screens, Headphones — A Return to Theatre Spaces?

In these uncertain, transitional days, theater companies remain perplexed about how and when to open their doors, and so many potential ticket-buyers fret over how safe it is to be in public. So at this point, my analytical eye is focused more on the rituals of theatergoing than on theater itself. - Washington Post

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