Essays, Practice, Opinions

Journalin-depth stories

  • Beyond Cool: Moving Towards True Transgender Visibility MJ Kaufman
    I hear in theater constantly: a talented artist can write or act anything. Suggesting that an artist can only express their lived experience is limiting. While a cisgender writer certainly could write a nuanced, specific, and well-written trans character, I rarely see it. Instead I see cisgender writers, producers, and actors recycling offensive stereotypes and sensationalizing trans bodies.
  • Against the Dramaturgy of Punishment: From the Greeks to The Normal Heart Andy Boyd
    Tragedy arises not because of one character’s flaw, but because of the irresolvable clash of mutually exclusive value systems: family loyalty clashes with patriotism, sexual gratification clashes with social order, or friendship clashes with the realities of war.… The power of the great Greek tragedies, and the great tragedies of our age, is to be found in their unwillingness to dogmatically assert one value system over another. In a world of easy answers, tragedy dares to ask profound questions. That’s what they did in ancient Greece, and that’s what we need them to do today.
  • Making the Residency Work for You: Robert O’Hara, Playwright-in-Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Robert O'Hara, Ronee Penoi
    …my concerns were how much time would I have to be in residency in DC and will they allow me to continue my directing career. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it. So we structured the residency around who I am. And quite frankly, one doesn’t have to be in residency to write a play. This is not solely about playwriting, this is about embedding the playwright in the building.
  • On History, Ideals, and Asian American Theater Jane Jung
    From the very beginning, there has been a struggle on the part of actors of Asian descent to assert their humanity in the face of a history and culture deeply entrenched in exotification and other-ing, an inextricable aspect of Western dominance and national identity building throughout modern history.

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NewCritcriticism & analysis

  • Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival: A Big Little Festival Martha Steketee
    There are many theater festivals and conferences that select participants and winners carefully behind closed doors. Some of these programs have public performances, and some have readings only for theater insiders and participants after the selection has occurred. The Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival provides something different—a blend of private reading and ranking that continues into a public vetting stage with the prize of publication. With a bit of elimination round talent competition flavor, finalist playwrights from around the country bring a production of their play to New York City for juried performances that serve as the final stage of the selection process.
  • Biking Beyond Linear: Past and Future in The Kirkbride Cycle Haley Honeman
    How do we harness the power of arts to inscribe places with cultural value? How does that valuing affect the wellbeing of our communities? That day, many of us brought with us the knowledge of estate’s unclear fate. The performance gave us the symbolic power to determine its future in our town.
  • Twelve Hours of Epic Tragedy with The Hypocrites Dani Snyder-Young
    "All Our Tragic," adapted and directed by Sean Graney and produced by The Hypocrites at the Den Theatre in Chicago, features all thirty-two surviving Greek tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides compiled into a single twelve-hour epic. It includes seven intermissions of varying lengths and a vegan feast of Mediterranean food is served throughout. The result is rather like a contemporary version of a Dionysian festival.
  • Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days at The Theatre @ Boston Court, Pasadena Brighde Mullins
    Andrei Belgrader directs this riveting, hilarious, and ultimately heartbreaking production of one of Beckett’s masterpieces. Playing a Beckett heroine is a departure for Brooke Adams—she’s never acted in a Beckett play before—but she is perfectly at home in the lyric cadences and verbal pratfalls that characterize this punctuated monologue, this "cri du coeur," this most challenging of roles.

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Blognews, trends, insights

  • Not Here for the Bard: Candor from a Shakespeare Detractor Azure D. Osborne-Lee
    Imagine, if you will, a slumber party. A group of tweens huddles around a television in the carpeted family room of a two-story house. Most of them stare, mouths slightly open, entranced by leading man Leonardo DiCaprio. Caught up in his twenty-something good looks, they have found what they’re looking for. But not all of them. Not me.
  • Livestreaming The Mirror up to Nature: Reflecting the Environment in Designs, Maps, and Theater—CultureHub, NYC—#newplay—Sun, Oct 26 HowlRound TV
    How do different creative disciplines construct a narrative around ecology and environmentalism? CultureHub in New York City presents the discussion "The Mirror up to Nature: Reflecting the Environment in Designs, Maps, and Theater" livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday, October 26 at 22:00 GMT (London) / 6pm EDT (New York) / 5pm CDT (Austin) / 3pm PDT (Vancouver) / 9am AEDT on Monday, October 27 (Sydney). In Twitter, use #newplay.
  • Devising the New Avant-garde—Part 2: The Renaissance Kid and the Open Play Kate Kremer
    The rise of artistic multi-functionalism, and the open, assimilative, and collaborative values it implies, has coincided with the emergence of devising as a major theatrical discipline. Although devising is hardly new the process of developing work through collaboration among a group of artists has gained traction in recent years. It makes sense: both multi-functionalism and devising are solutions to an economic downturn, ways to continue creating complex and multivalent art in a scale-back climate.

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