ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Theatre Festivals Are Reopening In The UK. But What Should Their Role Be?

Many will grapple with an uncertain theatre landscape and uncertainty over how audiences might behave as society opens up. And this is at a time when cities have been devastated by the pandemic, and many are still reeling from the loss to life and livelihoods. - The Stage

That Long-Awaited Final Sondheim Musical? It’s Not Coming

The show, titled Buñuel and based on that filmmaker's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel, had been in development with playwright David Ives (Venus In Fur) and the Public Theater for about a decade, with a workshop held in 2016. Now the Public says that the 91-year-old composer told the theater last year that he...

The Forgotten Female Playwrights (150 Of Them!) Of 17th- and 18th-Century France

"Now a growing movement within French theater is reclaiming the work of forgotten female artists, and reviving a lost concept along the way: le matrimoine. Matrimoine is the feminine equivalent of patrimoine — translated as patrimony, or what is inherited from male ancestors. In French, however, patrimoine is also the catchall term to describe cultural heritage. By way of...

“Not The Civil Service”: Cameron Mackintosh Defends Cutting “Phantom” Orchestra In Half

"I've had a terrible year trying to keep on as many people as I can, but our job is to try to put a show on that can run and be brilliant," he said. "Am I sorry? I'm sorry they're upset, but I do find it odd why musicians would want to keep doing the same thing year after...

Does ‘The King And I’ Need To Be Decolonized? Yes (And It’s Largely Anna’s Fault). Can It Be? Maybe.

Not everything in Anna Leonowens's memoirs about her time at the Siamese court is a lie, but quite a lot is untrue, especially about Anna's own mixed-race, plebeian origins. (For instance, she'd never even been to Britain when she went to Bangkok.) Thence come many of the problems in the musical, like the white-savior narrative. David Henry Hwang's rewrite...

Shakespeare’s Birthday Just Went By, And He Barely Seems Older At All

Charles McNulty on the Bard in 2021: "Shakespeare’s characters keep drawing us back because we want to understand them more fully. They leave us with an impression of unfinished business. Just as no one in our lives can be fully known, so the figures in his plays reveal only so much about what they think, feel and believe." -...

David Byrne’s Socially-Distanced Theatrics

"Each of the attendees submits a screening form in advance and undergoes a COVID rapid test on-site, in an ivory-walled corridor that suggests a 1940s hospital on a Ryan Murphy set. Face masks are mandatory; wearable “passports” reflect row assignments, and the “Social Distance Ground Crew” lights the way with tarmac-style batons. To me—effectively a pandemic-era shut-in, having spent...

In Defense Of The Art Of Broadway

"If you live and die at the box office, as does Broadway, you are not rewarded for indulgence or self-involvement. More importantly, you often are better able to reach non-elites. Broadway attracts more lower-middle class theatergoers than many pretentious nonprofit institutions; it pulls more young people to shows like “Mean Girls” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and it is...

Bankrupt One Year Ago, Cirque Du Soleil Begins Reopening

"Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, which emerged from Chapter 15 protection after a sale in November, announced on Wednesday that it is restarting four of its unique offerings, including O and Mystère. Most Cirque du Soleil shows have been dark in the U.S. since March 15, 2020." - Deadline

How Do We Structurally Change Theatre Criticism?

“The answer is not more diverse critics because what the fuck does that mean? More diverse critics and then they go where? More diverse critics writing for £25 an article. Is that going to change anything?” - The Stage

Bad Feelings At Second City In Chicago: Old Food Service Staff Is Fired And President Resigns

The 90-odd people who worked, some for decades, as waiters, bartenders, dishwashers and the like were told last fall that their furloughs were officially layoffs. But now Second City has a new owner and is making plans to reopen — and those workers find out that, rather than getting a chance at their old jobs, all catering at the...

At Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater, New Leader Means To Really Live Up To Its Mission: ‘A Theater For All’

Says Ken-Matt Martin, who was named artistic director last month after having been Robert Falls's number-two at the Goodman, "If I figured out how to get Black people to come to a theater in Des Moines," — he founded the Pyramid Theatre Company, which present the work of Black artists in Iowa's capital — "I can probably figure out...

Lesson: Streaming Theatre Works When It’s Designed For It

The problem that companies like ACT had been having, said Randy Taradash, was that they weren’t just having to juggle new technology, but also new tech partners whose business models didn’t necessarily fit the way nonprofit regional theatres function. The difference with the National Theatre Network, he noted, is that it’s not a tech company or ticket seller coming...

Study: The Psychological Benefits Of Attending Live Theatre

We found that attending these plays increased empathy for people depicted in them and changed people’s political attitudes about a variety of issues related to the show, such as income inequality. Additionally, seeing theatre changed behavior. After attending these plays, people donated more to charity — whether or not these charities were related to the show. - Psychology Today

Make Room For Theatre Visionaries

Lacking in visionary leaders? Absolutely not. They're just blocked from the table by their status as a young person, or as a queer person, or as an artist of color. - Theatre Mania

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