ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


We’re Longing For The Communion That Only Theatre Can Provide

We mourn together for our lost months and years. "Every day the theatre is dark, an opportunity for transformation is lost—yes, for the performers, remaking themselves so completely that, on the best of days, they lack any tether to the real world. But just as importantly, for the audiences who find that bearing witness to those performances, has remade them just the same." - American Theatre

A Broadway Pop-Up Concert Slash Rally Briefly Invigorates New York

With Chita Rivera, André De Shields, and an array of singers and dancers, the pop-up on the anniversary of Broadway's shutdown gave paying work to performers who haven't seen much of it in a year. And it was hopeful: "Although they aren’t likely to perform inside theaters again until after Labor Day, the message of the show was that the end of the industry’s nightmare seemed to be getting closer." - The New York Times

Live Theatre Finally Gets Its Own Guidelines In Los Angeles

The guidelines are stringent - each county must cycle completely out of "colors" of COVID-19 infections before indoor theatre can open, and they have to cycle way lower rates before outdoor theatre can open at a low capacity, with reservations and assigned seating, and only with people from within 120 miles of the theatre. It's weirdly different from movie theatres, but: "Any progress — any change that allows arts groups to rebuild a sense of community — is critically important." - Los Angeles Times

Theatre In America After A Year Of The Pandemic

Rob Weinert-Kendt: "So what happened — what changed — in this past 12 months, and how will this lost, frantic year be remembered? I asked dozens of theatre workers from all over the U.S. to answer those questions. Their responses are a panorama of grief, gratitude, frustration, affirmation, resolutions and questions." - American Theatre

UK Theatre’s Darkest Year

Ridiculous as it might seem now, eight to 10 weeks was initially discussed as a likely closure period. The more pessimistic were talking about the summer of 2020. - The Stage

Hindu Supremacists Force Shutdown Of Indian Theatre Festival

"The annual theatre festival organised by the Indian People's Theatre Association in the small town of Chhatarpur became the object of abuse and violent threats by Bajrang Dal, a hardline Hindu group linked with the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). The festival has been running since 2015, with theatre groups from across India taking part in plays and workshops over five days. However, this year Bajrang Dal began a campaign, accusing the organisers of programming 'anti-national' and 'anti-Hindu' plays, despite only knowing the titles." - The Guardian

Touring Broadway Shows Are Gearing Up To Restart In The Fall

"Subscription packages for some of Broadway's biggest hits are being sold at a handful of the nation's performing arts centers, while a host of others have booked dates and plan to subscriptions later this spring. Although performances are almost six months away and could change, … the return of Broadway road shows is critical to the financial recovery of regional arts centers." - The Washington Post

The Constant Crises Of British Theatre

The UK’s theatrical culture is obsessed with the idea of theatre as storytelling, both as a discourse and as a conditioning of what the work is and should be like. This is extremely rigid: theatre is not storytelling but an experience. In London almost every season announcement sounds the same, everyone seems to be saying, “We are telling new and important stories.” - Howlround

Hollywood Stars, The Theater Needs Your Help!

"In one of the more surprising revelations of the shutdown, it turns out that the American theater has no towering figure even attempting to lead it through this crisis, the way Andrew Lloyd Webber has in Britain. … In such a scarily perplexing time, there is no one to rally the troops, let alone do what I'm hoping you will: Make the theater's case to the culture at large. You, with your incandescent charm, would be brilliant at that. Even though, in some ways, it's a very tough sell." - The New York Times

Milwaukee Repertory Theatre Will Pay Its Employees To Get Vaccinated

"We are incentivizing each one of our employees with a payment of $200 to get vaccinated," Chad Bauman said. "We believe it's incredibly important not only in terms of protecting our staff in general, but also protecting our patrons and artists when they come to us and know that the highest number of employees that they see at the Rep will be vaccinated as well." If all 150 people get vaccinated, it will be about a $30,000 investment. - Milwaukee Business Journal

So What Will The Financiers Who Bought Second City Do With It (Or To) It?

"Though private-equity firms are notorious for ruthlessly wringing efficiencies out of the properties they pick up, the investors who just bought one of Chicago's most treasured cultural institutions contend a growth strategy is the only play that makes sense." - Crain's Chicago Business

I Miss Theatre. I Didn’t Know I’d Miss The Audience Too

"What it has taken me a year to realize is how much I also miss the community of the audience — the strangers surrounding me, obscured by the dark, who have tacitly agreed to escape and exalt and squirm together." - Washington Post

Marie Antoinette’s Private Theatre Has Been Restored

The queen had the little playhouse built as part of her pretend village at Le Petit Trianon; she and her friends attended plays and operas there and even performed themselves. (Her Majesty once played Rosine in Beaumarchais's The Barber of Seville.) The theatre is now so fragile (much of the interior is made of papier-mâché over wire mesh, just like a stage set) that it can only be used for performances once a year or so, but it has the only surviving 18th-century stage machinery in all of France. - Apollo

“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

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