ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Theatres Are Closed, Staff Are Furloughed, Colleagues Have Died, So How To Move Forward In 2021?

With joy. No, truly: "We must now work urgently, with purpose, centered in joy. ... This is not joyful expression solely for the purpose of joy; they are the tools that work in community and can withstand great stress." - American Theatre

With Their Theatres Closed, The French Turn To Puppet Shows

Performances for kids in schools are the only ones allowed under current COVID restrictions, so puppet shows are the only live theatre happening in France now. "The situation for French puppeteers is bittersweet. While it constitutes a return to their roots, as children remain their most faithful fans, many of them have worked hard to position the form as...

LA Theatre Raises $700K In A Single Online Fundraiser. Here’s How

It was with no small amount of happiness that Center Theatre Group this week said it had generated more than $700,000 through a single fundraising event: a boisterous Zoom party featuring an impressive list of theater makers and celebrities. The event was part of the RWQuarantunes program, launched last year by WME partner Richard Weitz and his teenage daughter,...

Theatre Of Screens (But Is It, Though?)

Whether or not onscreen theater feels like theater may depend on whether it offers a feeling of liveness, with all the potential for error and surprise and invention and anything-could-go-wrong-at-any-moment contingency that liveness affords. - The New York Times

Could We Really Revive The Federal Theatre Project? How Would That Work In 2021?

The short answer is that it couldn't work the way it did in the 1930s: the legal and theatrical landscape then was too different. (For a start, there was no such thing as not-for-profit theatre.) But there are certainly possibilities; here are a few of them. - American Theatre

Key Lesson For Theatres In The Pandemic? Adapting Is Key

“Are we going to come out of this moment with a new model or new models? No. But what if we were in a constant state of evolving our model? What if we didn’t do what we just did … and get so entrenched in it that getting out of it and moving past becomes this national conversation and...

Staging Theatre In A Row Of Empty Miami Beach Storefront Windows

"The pandemic closed the city on March 13, the eve of the opening of Miami New Drama's first musical. To keep the 5-year-old company going, Hausmann … commissioned seven notable playwrights — five Latino or Latina, two Black — to write short works that would fit under the 'Seven Deadly Sins' rubric. … Guides led audience groups of...

How Theatre Works As A Political Force

"In my research, it became clear how the techniques used in theatre are used in politics, which further cemented my opinion that theatre artists have the capacity to deeply understand the political machine and work toward dismantling the status quo, creating a more equitable and community-based iteration of governing." - Howlround

She Was Fired From ‘The Color Purple’ And Is Suing. But She Would Probably Have Quit The Show Anyway.

Actress Seyi Omooba had been engaged to play Celie in the musical adaptation of Alice Walker's novel in Leicester, England in 2019 — but she was let go when a 2014 Facebook post of hers containing anti-gay comments became public. She's suing for breach of contract. But testimony before a tribunal revealed that Omooba had previously told her agents...

If One Could Only Read Samuel Beckett’s Thoughts On His Best-Known Phrases

"All in all, the oracular quality of these lines, their sheer wisdom, makes of Beckett, much against his will, no doubt, something of a sage." - The Irish Times

When Broadway Returns, Ticketing May Be Different

Why did Jujamcyn switch from Ticketmaster to SeatGeek (more commonly a sports ticket app in the U.S.)? For one thing, SeatGeek is very commonly a contactless system, which now seems possible valuable for preventing viral spread. Also, there's the ease of selling more things: "Beyond selling tickets, its technology could be used to allow customers to order food and...

Time To Bring Back Leonard Bernstein’s Musical?

Mark Swed thinks so: Bernstein "devoted four years to the musical. He wrote more music for it than for any other theater work. The show had a $900,000 sponsorship from Coca-Cola. It was billed as the musical of the decade. The show closed on Broadway after seven performances. It was the biggest artistic disaster of Bernstein’s life. The reviews were just...

Tonys Voting Has A Plan, But The Awards Date Is A Mystery

The Broadway League and the American Theater Wing: "One, the much-delayed awards will be scheduled 'in coordination with the reopening of Broadway.' And two, the voting will take place from March 1 to March 15." OK. Why not be flexible at this point? - The New York Times

Why “Our Town” Still Resonates 80 Years Later

With the country splintered, its institutions shaken, a book documenting a classic American play affirming shared life experiences and bedrock values seems especially timely. Published Jan. 28, “Another Day’s Begun: Thornton Wilder’s ‘Our Town’ in the 21st Century” is an oral history of a dozen or so recent productions of this famously stoical and spare play. It’s a drama so...

Mike Birbiglia On Doing Comedy Over Zoom

"I've done about 18 of these virtual shows, and I've learned things from them that I thought I had long understood after 20 years of being a professional comedian. People need comedy. At very least, they need to laugh — particularly when life is most burdensome and unwieldy. People need to laugh to be reminded what laughter feels like...

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