Essays, Practice, Opinions

Journalin-depth stories

  • Attending My Own Wake: The End of an Ensemble Meg Taintor
    So often when theaters close or companies disband, we learn about it in shock the next day, after it is too late for us to say goodbye or rally in support. For small theaters, like Whistler, often the end is marked by a fading away rather than a specific moment in time.
  • About Ensembles and Universities: 100 Questions, 3 Ideas, 1 Story and a Ghost Michael Rohd
    Network of Ensemble Theaters just concluded a National Symposium called "Intersections", looking at the relationship between ensembles and universities across the US. It was held at The New School in New York City and was attended by artists from all over the US. What follows is the text of a talk I gave as the Opening Plenary on the final day of the Symposium, November 2, 2014. It also exists as a video archive at HowlRound TV.
  • The Best New Works Festival in the Galaxy Steve Lyons
    The overwhelming majority of people in America experience the art of theater at their local community theater. Many of these audience members are in rural communities where this is the richest art form they experience. They do not have a dance company, a music hall, or an art museum—but they have a theater.
  • Let Us Not Thumb Our Noses Samuel Taylor
    Ignoring the distance between Shakespeare’s theater and our own causes us to make his plays sanctimonious, formal, and yes: unrelatable.…We can bridge that distance by closing the social loop between crowd and stage that Shakespeare never intended to break, and by taking advantage of a very contemporary, even Millennial, desire to relate to what we watch.


NewCritcriticism & analysis

  • Your Problem with Men? It's You, Not Him: A Teatro Luna Comedy Vickie Vértiz
    Wearing little more than a white tank top and tiny white shorts in her mother's dressing room, Asún (Abigail Vega) bemoans her engagement. Her fiancée Juan (Tommy Rivera-Vega) didn't pop the question the way she had dreamed. In fact, Juan didn't pop the question at all—in a fit of desperation over her disappearing eggs, Asún hastily proposed. She doesn't tell us about her dream proposal, only that what she got was all wrong. This becomes a central question... What kind of love will make you happy? As Asún might say, “I don't know. Just not this one.”
  • The Latino Theater Company's Premeditation Carol Kearns
    The Latino Theater Company has a twenty-six -year history and draws on collaborative methodology. This long standing collaboration can be felt through and through the ensemble work on display. "Premeditation" is tantalizing with promise—a talented cast and inventive staging in a noir 1940’s-esque comedy about marriage, infidelity, and murder.
  • Theater about Theater Jonathan Mandell
    At a time when an increasing number of people are questioning the vitality and relevance of live theater—if not explicitly, then by how they are spending their money and time elsewhere—these Broadway revivals of theater about theater felt almost like a declaration of surrender. If the theater appeals to a shrinking audience, they seem to be saying, let’s just cater to the in-crowd.
  • New Play Wizard Richard Washer on First Draft and the D.C. Theater Scene Patricia Davis, Richard Washer
    Richard Washer is a Washington fixture, having worked in the Washington, D.C. area for more than thirty years as a playwright, director, dramaturge, and educator. He is humble, unassuming, and quietly essential to many in the DC area who are developing new plays.


Blognews, trends, insights

  • It All Comes Back to the Hook Chad Lindsey, Carrie Heitman
    Our process is open-source, inquiry-based and ever-evolving. We love hyphens. We flirt at the intersection of playmaking and script writing. We believe that theater requires the whole performer—mind, body, and voice. Often we draw strong, immediate connections that open up a dialogue between past and present, and play on themes of history, science, mathematics, and social justice.
  • Thirty Years of Collaborative Creation Davis Robinson
    Beau Jest in Boston is thirty years old. Over that time we have seen several transformations, but the impulse that brought us together has never changed. We are actor-driven. We only do projects we are personally invested in pursuing as a group. We like work that is physically inventive and imaginatively staged. We like to take our time developing a piece, and will spend anywhere from two months to two years on it. We use Beau Jest as a laboratory to explore new ways of combining gesture, text, and physicality.
  • All or Nothing: The Life of an Improbable Ensemble Rebecca Noon
    In this, Strange Attractor’s first major process, we put our commitment to the test, and through that difficult process, we became an ensemble. We still worked without a director, but unlike our first casual process, now we cared about the outcome. We’d fundraised for airline tickets and stipends and gotten our communities excited about our company. Suddenly it wasn’t enough to make something—we wanted it to be good.