ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


A 15th-Century English Manuscript Gives A Rare Glimpse Of A Real-Life Traveling Minstrel’s Routine

"The manuscripts were copied by cleric Richard Heege, a tutor to the Sherbrooke family, part of the Derbyshire gentry. … Dr. Wade concluded that Heege copied the text of an unknown minstrel who performed near the Derbyshire-Nottinghamshire border in about 1480." - BBC

Oregon Shakespeare Festival In Crisis: Appoints New Leader, Says It Needs To Raise $7.3 Million To Finish Season

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced Thursday that former tech executive Tyler Hokama has been appointed the company’s interim executive director, and at the same time announced a new fundraising goal to complete its 2023 season. - The Oregonian

Toronto’s Fringe Festival Is In Trouble

Behind the scenes, Toronto’s largest theatre festival was struggling. Audience attendance fell below expectations. Fundraising efforts came up short. All that while the festival saw COVID subsidies wind up and operating costs increase. - Toronto Star

The Winner Of This Year’s Tony Award For Teachers Has His Students Perform Both Aloud And In ASL

"The special Tony Award that honors educators will go this year to Jason Zembuch-Young, a drama teacher in Florida who has closed the gap between the deaf and hearing worlds by having productions performed in both voice and American Sign Language." - AP

What’s Holding Broadway Back From A Full Audience Recovery? The Burbs.

"Grosses are down about 13% from the record 2018-19 season but only 7% from the (previous) year. The remaining gap is largely caused by the reluctance of suburban audiences to return — (partly because) many suburbanites have not returned to working in their city offices during the week." - The Hollywood Reporter

Their High School Canceled Their Play. So Students Raised Money And Produced It Anyway

LGBTQ storylines drew complaints from parents, spurring Carroll High School to cancel “Marian” in February out of concern for students’ safety. But the cast decided to put the play on anyway. Now, on a chilly evening in late May — after raising almost $84,000 for a show adults had warned them not to do. - Washington Post

The Lead Producer Of “Shucked” Talks About What May Be Broadway’s Most Unlikely Hit

"After years of development, Shucked ... became what it is today, an irreverent comedy that both delights in its Dogpatch characters and knows full well how to convey that delight to sophisticated New York theater-goers whose remnant recollections of Minnie Pearl are likely fading by the minute." - Deadline

Broadway’s “Here Lies Love” Plans To Use Recorded Instrumentals. The Musicians’ Union Says That’s Breach Of Contract.

The producers say the immersive musical, about Imelda Marcos, is based in karaoke (near-mandatory for Philippine politicians) and that recorded instrumental tracks are integral to the show's concept. The AFM says the contract with the theater the show's playing in requires 19 musicians, period. - The New York Times

British Theatre Audiences Behaving Badly, Part XVII: Actors Have A Whinge About It

"I'm doing this emotional ballad, quiet at the start, and someone gets their phone out. They're on WhatsApp and start leaving a voice note saying, 'I'm just watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks, I'm really enjoying it, I think it finishes in 10 minutes'. I can hear the entire conversation." - The Guardian

Are America’s Regional Theatres Reaching The End Of Their Useful Lives?

It is certainly not a popular theory, but it’s quite possible that, at this moment, America’s cultural venues may be larger than needed. Now companies must grapple with sustaining their homes at a critical time when audiences may not be attending in the same way they were 50 years ago, 25 years ago, or even in early 2020. - The Stage

An Apparent Family Suicide Pact Rocks Japan’s Kabuki Theater Scene

Ennosuke Ichikawa IV — scion of an eminent kabuki family, the force behind an updated style called super-kabuki, and a popular television star — was found unconscious near his now-dead parents. All had overdosed on psychotropic drugs, and Ichikawa IV, caught in a sexual harassment scandal, had written a suicide note. - The Guardian

Actors And Stage Managers In London’s West End Win 17% Pay Raise, Drop Strike Threat

"About 94% of (Actors Equity) members who voted backed the deal with the Society of London Theatre, which will see them get 16.7% pay rises over the next two years. Some members including understudies could be in line for up to a 43% rise in payments." - London Evening Standard

Rethinking Celebrity Casting For The Theatre

The nature of celebrity has changed. Social media has made us as interested in people’s kitchens as we are in their performances on TV. We want to know the whole story about them, we want to go on a journey with them and invest in their lives not just their talents. - The Stage

2023 Tony Award For Regional Theatre Goes To Pasadena Playhouse

"The award marks an astonishing turnaround for Pasadena Playhouse, which was on the verge of shutting down in 2010, when it laid off most of its staff, canceled the remainder of its season and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection." - Yahoo! (Los Angeles Times)

Broadway’s First Full Post-Pandemic Season Sold 12.3 Million Tickets And Grossed $1.58 Billion

"The promising numbers are both comparable to pre-pandemic totals, if still falling short. … This season's figures reflect a drop of 16.83% for attendance and 13.76% for grosses from" the 2018-19 season, the last one unaffected by COVID. "They're also, unsurprisingly, a giant leap from last season's numbers." - Playbill

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