Essays, Practice, Opinions

Journalin-depth stories

  • Just Say Yes Annie Danger
    …you begin with hope. Not dependence on false hopes. Not faith in some distant heaven. But real, hard, daily belief that we can make the drastic, bone-deep changes necessary to make our world a better place. Every morning, every evening, rising and resting with hope in our hearts is the only way we can make it through the lifetimes of hard work we have ahead of us as people committed to a better world.
  • 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.

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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

  • Going In: Gender Discovery Through Performance Dominic Bradley
    I gravitated towards performance art. Many questions emerged from my practice. What am I on fire to do? What gender(s) can I explore? Where is the niche for performers like me? How do I engage my entire history? Do I pursue opportunities that call for a specific gender(s)? Who is my audience? How do I market myself effectively? Will my intentions and choices determine how I am read or is that something outside my control?
  • Your Guide to Theater Education: The Theatre School at DePaul University David Dudley, John Culbert
    The Theatre School at DePaul University has been around for a long time. It's no wonder, given that they offer degree programs in nearly every discipline one could hope for, from playwriting to directing, scenic design to arts management, costume design to dramaturgy, one can acquire a top-notch education at DePaul, where theory and practice are afforded equal emphasis. This round, I interview John Culbert, Dean of The Theatre School at DePaul.
  • The Adventures of a Male-Bodied Transwoman in Drama School Bianca Leigh
    I was often cast in small roles or the chorus. I learned to watch and listen. Creating a point of view about everything that happens onstage—even when I didn’t have a single line—was invaluable experience. I could make up whatever backstory I wanted. The many pages and youths I played didn’t have strict binary restrictions, so in my heart I was the saucy kitchen wench.

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