ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


As Broadway Reopens, Who Is Broadway For?

Representation absolutely matters. But ever since Broadway announced that so many Black plays would reopen its season, there has been a feeling of dread that if these plays don’t do well, there may not be opportunities for future artists. That pressure is unfair. - American Theatre

Theatre Workers Aren’t Just Leaving Jobs, They’re Leaving Theatre

Theater salaries, even for full-time jobs, are so low so often that the weekly nationwide theater newsletter Nothing for the Group recently debuted a section called That’s Not a Living Wage. - San Francisco Chronicle

This Theatre Is Avoiding Founder’s Syndrome By Shutting Down When Its Founder Retires

First Folio Theatre, a small Equity company in the Chicago suburbs, will close when David Rice retires in 2024. He and his wife founded First Folio in 1996; they had other sources of income, and the theatre can't afford to properly pay a successor. - MSN (Chicago Tribune)

Think There Aren’t Any Serous Female Magicians Or Jugglers? Let’s Make That Idea Disappear

Los Angeles magician Krystyn Lambert and puppeteer Pam Severn have launched a new variety show called "No Man's Land" featuring circus artists, jugglers, ventriloquists, comics, and, of course, prestidigitators — the goal being "normalize female-dominated shows." - MSN (Los Angeles Times)

Broadway Box Office Rebounds

In all, the 30 productions had a combined paid attendance of 193,309, about 82% of total capacity. The previous week’s attendance was 78% of capacity. - Deadline

Most US Theatres Lost Money And Audience On Their Digital Projects During Lockdown (But That May Be OK)

A survey of top execs at 64 companies in 25 states found that, following an initial flurry of interest in the spring of 2020, the vast majority of theaters had disappointing viewership and revenue from their online presentations. Many think it was worthwhile nevertheless. - American Theatre

After A Difficult Few Years, DC’s Mosaic Theater Gets A New Director And A New Start

One year ago, founding director Ari Roth was forced to resign after angry protests from staffers about his, er, management style. (It was the second job Roth lost within a decade over behavioral issues.) Roth's successor is Reginald L. Douglas of the District's Studio Theatre. - MSN (The Washington Post)

In COVID, Theatre Moved Outside. We Should Stay There

Being outside makes theatre more precarious, open to a larger universe of weather and chance. Historically the Athenian tragic festivals embraced and marked the seasons. But in the middle ages the pageant wagons of the York mystery plays wisely filled the city streets in June. - The Conversation

A Row Over A Potentially Antisemitic Name At The Royal Court Theatre

Playwright Al Smith says he didn't mean one of his characters - a zillionaire Silicon Valley bro meant to represent Elon Musk - named "Hershel Fink" to read as Jewish, but after protests, Britain's Royal Court theatre has changed the name. - The Observer (UK)

A Naked Man Got Trapped In A Theatre’s Bathroom Walls

Sounds like a horror novel, but this was real. "The man got into a crawl space in the building. ... He was in the hiding spot for two days before he fell into a space in the wall of the men’s bathroom and became trapped." - Syracuse Post-Standard

Broadway Attendance Down. But What Does It Mean?

The anecdotal evidence, gleaned from social media and private conversations with industry leaders, suggests a variety of challenges — lingering fears of the coronavirus, the disinclination by some patrons to wear masks and resistance to high ticket prices. - Washington Post

Broadway Box Office Slips Again. Did It Open Too Soon?

Big picture: the 27 shows currently running grossed $19.66 million together last week, with 168,169 butts in seats. That’s a 11% box office drop from the week before, and a 5% drop in overall attendance. - Forbes

Alice Childress Should Have Been The First Black Female Playwright On Broadway, After 66 Years, Her Play Is Finally There.

Her Trouble in Mind treats a touchy subject, even now: it's about an interracial cast rehearsing an anti-lynching play written and directed by whites. In 1955, the Off-Broadway producers made her tack on a happy ending; in 2021, it's playing as she intended. - The New York Times

Edinburgh Fringe Once Again Feeds The West End

There remained no shortage of quality work presented at the fringe, but its own aesthetic had changed over this time, contributing to making it feel less conducive for West End and commercial productions. - The Stage

Another Major Theatre Company In The Berkshires Changes Leadership

Less than a week after news broke of Mandy Greenfield's departure from the Williamstown Theater Festival following reports of poor working conditions, co-founder Julianne Boyd has announced her retirement (on good terms) from Barrington Stage Company. - The New York Times

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