Saturday, September 18, 2021

ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

THEATRE

Wave Of New Plays By Black Playwrights…

The plays are arriving at an existentially challenging moment for Broadway, when theaters have been closed for a year and a half, when the Delta variant has set back the nation’s recovery from Covid, when tourism is way down. - The New York Times

Stephen Sondheim, At 91, Is Working On A New Musical

As he told Stephen Colbert this week, "I've been working on a show for a couple years with a playwright named David Ives, and it's called Square One. … With any luck, we'll get it on next season." - The New York Times

After 35 Years, Chicago’s Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls To Depart

" decision, which he said was not made under any kind of internal or outside pressure, brings the exit of Chicago theater's premier auteurist director, … known for the expansiveness of his ambition, the boldness of his risk-taking and the richness of his conceptual productions." - Chicago Tribune

There’s Lots Of Complex, Intricate Movement In The Broadway Play ‘Pass Over’. Don’t Call It Choreography

"There's not even blocking," says director Danya Taymor (Julie's niece). "I mean, there's a little blocking." That was worked out by the director and actors with Broadway's great clown, Bill Irwin. He and Taymor talked to Lauren Wingenroth about the play's non-choreography. - Dance Magazine

How 9/11 Changed Comedy

Some of the comedic experimentation that immediately followed 9/11 tested the limits of free speech for entertainers, who made up the new rules as they went along and found that even jokes about 9/11-adjacent subject matter occasionally crossed a line. - The Atlantic

As London’s West End Reopens, It May Scrap Wednesday Matinees

There's plenty of demand for seats from theatregoers within England, but the audience for midweek afternoon shows is almost entirely tourists from abroad, of whom (thanks to COVID) there are still very few. - The Guardian

Broadway’s Biggest Hits Are Back Onstage At Last

Eighteen months after the novel coronavirus shut them all down, the long-running audience favorites — Hamilton, Wicked, The Lion King, Chicago — resume their runs on Tuesday. Reporter Michael Paulson looked in on the preparations. - The New York Times

Theatre Has An Internship Problem

Or, you might say, an exploitation problem. - American Theatre

The Real-Time September 11 Conversation Between August Wilson And John Lahr

August Wilson, responding to Lahr, on the morning of September 11, 2001: "Yesterday was a different world, and I am mourning for it." - Slate

Stand-Up Comedians Look Back On Their First Shows After 9/11

"Every comedian's response to the attack wasn’t necessarily positive, just like every American's wasn't. Comedy didn't save the country after 9/11, but it did reflect it." - Vulture

RSC Chief Gregory Doran Steps Down Temporarily

The Royal Shakespeare Company's artistic director is taking indefinite compassionate leave (the UK equivalent of family/medical leave) to care for his husband, actor Antony Sher, as he faces a terminal illness. - The Guardian

How On Earth Did Experimental Downtown Drama Land On Broadway?

"An unusually large proportion of the 10 plays opening this fall are what one producer calls ‘formally inventive’ and others might label downtown, avant-garde, or (that dread word) challenging." Jesse Green considers three of them: Is This a Room?, Dana H., and Pass Over. - The New York Times

Rethinking The Idea Of Theatre As Public Space

In a world dominated by Netflix, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter, the idea of using theatre to drive change and inform our political life may seem naïve, even quaint. But theatre offers something none of these platforms can: space. - American Theatre

Broadway’s Costume Shops Rush To Prepare For Reopening Nights

"As Broadway rolls out its return, costumers are again busy with the meticulous, mess-making handiwork that makes the industry sparkle onstage. … 'When you need a costume for Hamilton, … you can't just buy it from the 18th-century clothing shop down the street.'" - The New York Times

We Can’t Address The Problems With Classic Musicals Just By Casting A Few Nonwhite Actors

"It would be absurd to call for them to be abandoned entirely. But if they're going to be embedded in the fabric of musical theater forever, then we shouldn't shy from putting the ugly parts of them on display" the way that Daniel Fish's revisionist Oklahoma! did. - Slate

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