ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


The Musical About A Finnish-Candian Socialist Island Utopia Opens In Finland

"Although set at the start of the 20th century, play producer Mika Kaartinen says the theme of searching for a better life resonates just as strongly today." - CBC

An Epic Pandemic Theatre Trek

Part I, in which "a Lakota playwright, 7 Indigenous actors, and an L.A.-based ensemble survive a pandemic, cross thousands of prairie miles, and confront centuries of history to make a play." - American Theatre

No, Please Do Not Add Sex To Tom Stoppard Plays

Just why? Why? The irony of trying to sex up Arcadia "is that it makes the show infinitely less sexy." - Vulture

The Playwright Of ‘Vietgone’ Tried To Escape Theatre

But his family, and his family's stories, pulled him back in. Now he's writing what he calls, in shorthand, Vietgone 3. - The New York Times

At DC’s Arena Stage, The New Director Bravely Faces A Leaner, More Challenging Time

Hana S. Sharif: "The institutions that will survive and thrive in the next 10-to-15 years are the ones that are able to be adaptive, to be nimble, to reimagine, to hold on to the core while building a bridge to the future. ... So that’s my work, right?" - MSN (The Washington Post)

Magicians Are Less Prone To Mental Illness Than Any Other Artists: Research

The study "measured psychopathological traits of almost 200 magicians and … concluded that magicians scored significantly lower than other types of creatives and 'normal' folk. Despite their job involving the illusion of delving into mystery, magicians were less likely to have unusual experiences such as hallucinations or cognitive disorganisation." - The Guardian

Do Hot Guys Make Sense As Stand-Up Comedians? Conventional Wisdom Says No, But …

"Comedy has been the rare field where square jaws and chiseled features can count against you," writes Jason Zinoman. "The assumption in stand-up has long been that it’s better to be relatable or ridiculous than ravishing." This just might now be changing. - The New York Times

A Father Makes Theater Of His Son’s Murder In The Parkland School Shooting

"Manuel Oliver donned a paper mask of the face of Joaquin, who was a 17-year-old senior when he was killed. He grabbed a hammer and turned to a life-size portrait of Joaquin and methodically banged it four times — once for each bullet that had struck him." - The New York Times

South Coast Repertory Theatre Loses Its Leader After 44 Years

Paula Tomei is SCR’s first and only managing director, and she steered the Tony-winning institution through many years of growth, transformation and challenges. During Tomei’s time at SCR, the company has presented 435 plays, 149 of which have been world premieres commissioned and produced with SCR's support. - CultureOC

Texas School District That Cancelled “Oklahoma!” Rather Than Let A Trans Student Appear In It Has Backed Down

"The school board in Sherman voted unanimously Monday to reinstate the original show and cast after a meeting in which dozens criticized them and spoke in support the 17-year-old transgender boy who’d lost his role in the production because of a new policy." - AP

Read A New Play By Anna Deavere Smith: “This Ghost Of Slavery”

"For this work, Smith’s decision to blend her contemporary interviews with historical accounts of Maryland in the mid-1860s is apt. The echoes of history reverberate loudly, revealing the power of historical trauma to shape behavior in the present day." - The Atlantic

Happy Banned Theatre Week, From California

At Santa Monica College, "the campus police chief told if protesters breached backstage during a performance, they could grab fire extinguishers to defend themselves." - Los Angeles Times

Alfred Molina On Playing A Lawyer In The Scopes Monkey Trial

"We've had a lot of excited conversations after the play with members of the audience who are responding very energetically to the questions that the play brings up." - LAist

The Secret Life Of A Times Square Busker

"A stream of passengers walked by, searching for anything to look at other than the 32-year-old man struggling to fit an egg-shaped cardboard headpiece imprinted with the visage of a Nintendo mascot onto his neck." - Slate

When The Final Curtain Is Only The Beginning Of The Evening

New York theatres are finally starting to take advantage of relaxed laws around alcohol so they can be their own theatre bars. It's a new mix for a city that had weirdly puritanical laws for a long time. - The New York Times

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