Articles and Links

SYDNEY PLAYWRIGHT DISOWNS PERTH PRODUCTION

Richard Watts for artsHub

The opening night audience at Perth Theatre Company’s production of Alienation by Lachlan Philpott was greeted with a terse note from the playwright distancing himself from the production. Philpott asserted that more than a third of his script and 50 per cent of his stage directions had been removed during its production process at PTC, rendering it unauthentic to his original vision. Read more here

The production was due to tour to Q Theatre in Sydney, however Q has cancelled the co-production in solidarity with Philpott. Read more here

 

OUT OF THE SPOTLIGHT: ACTORS WHO TURN PLAYWRIGHT

Lyn Gardner in The Guardian

From John Osborne and Harold Pinter to the American playwright Bruce Norris, there is a strong tradition of stage actors who turn to playwriting. Currently in the UK a growing band of actors including Rory Kinnear, Cush Jumbo, Oliver Cotton and David Haig, are taking up writing alongside successful acting careers.

Read more here

 

DAVID HAREWOOD ON BLACK THEATRE: WHO SAYS WE CAN'T DO CHEKHOV? 

David Harewood in The Guardian

Producers used to say: 'Black plays won't work in the West End.' Not any more, says actor David Harewood, as the National Theatre celebrates 50 years of breakthroughs with a series of debates called Walk In Light.

Read more here

 

THE PARADOX OF DEVISED THEATRE ON THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY STAGE

Vanessa Garcia for HowlRound

For a long time, devised theatre has lived on the fringes, in large part due to lack of funding. It takes time to create a devised product, and this kind of time and patience is antithetical to the quick flash of Googleized seconds we live in, and yet, in another paradox, the form itself makes sense in this self-same Googleized world because of its hybridity, it’s ability to straddle varying media. And, for this reason, in an interesting twist, devised theatre has become more and more popular.

Read more here

 

A VIRTUAL STAGE THAT BENDS REALITY AND PUSHES THEATRE'S BOUNDARIES

Liz Stinson for Wired

Théâtre du Corps latest show, Mr. & Mrs. Dream, eschews a traditional set for interactive virtual reality. The brains behind the high-tech set is Dassault Systèmes, a French software engineering company that typically uses its virtual reality technology to test, model and simulate products for companies like Boeing.

Read more here

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYERS

Matthew Westwood in The Australian

Australian theatremakers Lee Lewis, Wesley Enoch and Kristine Landon-Smith discuss cultural diversity on the Australian stage and argue that roles in classic and contemporary drama should be available to any accomplished actor, irrespective of skin colour.

Read more here

 

A PLAYWRIGHT RESPONDS

In a NZ Herald opinion piece entitled Men still pull strings in Auckland theatre (26 January, 2013), Janet McAllister commented on the lack of female playwrights and directors in Auckland theatres. You can read the original article here. Below is a response from playwright Fiona Samuel, printed several days later in the Letters to the Editor section.

Re Janet McAllister's Opinion column in Saturday's Herald Weekend section, pithily titled 'Men still pull strings in Auckland theatre', I thank the Herald for this timely analysis.

In Janet's final paragraph, she hopes that the presence of two plays-in-development by female playwrights in the Auckland Theatre Company's Next Stage showcase for 2012 indicates change to come. Don't hold your breath, Janet.

To my knowledge, ATC has never taken a play by a female playwright from this development initiative on to presentation on the main bill stage. One male/female writing team has made the leap, but that's it - one co-writing credit in seven years.

During that time, nine female playwrights had work in Next Stage; none progressed to production as sole author of a main-bill drama under the aegis of the ATC.

The men fared differently. In those same years, plays by Stephen Sinclair, Michael Galvin, Dave Armstrong, Victor Rodger, Geoff Chapple, Arthur Meek and Eli Kent have progressed from development workshop to full theatrical presentation.

Is this just a surprising coincidence? After seven years, it looks more like a pattern.

So - will things be different in 2013 and beyond? I'd like to think so, but this record doesn't fill me with optimism.

Fiona Samuel (NZ Arts Laureate & playwright)

 

IN BATTALIONS – Risking the Future of UK Theatre

Research by playwright Fin Kennedy and Oxford University's Helen Campbell Pickford on the effects of Arts Council cuts on new theatre writing shows that not only are small scale, regional and specialised theatres suffering, but that even the most prestigious companies anticipate negative effects in the years to come, as the talent that feeds them ‘shrivels’.
Read the report here

 

Cuts will impact on new writing, say leading theatre directors.
Nicola Merrifield for The Stage

Theatres are becoming more “risk averse” when commissioning new writing due to cuts to arts funding, leading theatre directors have warned. National Theatre Associate Director Marianne Elliott said that venues will be less likely to take on new writers in the future if they are seen to be too much of a risk.
Read more here

 

That's my Professor cursing on stage
Allan Kizinn for The New York Times

Fairfield University, Connecticut, is using theatre as the basis for interdisciplinary study. The university staged a production of Glengarry Glen Ross, cast with faculty members, as part of the syllabus for a dozen classes in business, economics, philosophy, communications and politics.
Read more here

 

Cuts to arts programs at the University of Western Sydney
artsHub

Just a week after playwright David Williamson warned against cuts to training in the creative industries and despite having a $30 million projected budget surplus, the University of Western Sydney has cut a number of programs, including the Bachelor of Communication sub-majors of writing, performance and animation.
Read more here

 

Depictions of violence in theatre: Revelation, not nihilism
Charles McNulty for The Los Angeles Times

Disturbing actions can awake an audience's empathy, but lines blur if events tip into a mere celebration of destruction.
Read more here

 

Broadway, coming to a non-profit theatre near you
Peter Marks for the Washington Post

As 17 professional theatres throughout the United States prepare to mount productions of David Lindsay-Abaire’s play Good People, Peter Marks asks what effect is copycat programming by theatre companies having on the creative health of the regional theatre movement?
Read more here

 

The new script for teaching handwriting is no script at all
Valerie Bauerline for the Wall Street Journal

Across the United States, teachers are committing what once would have been heresy: they are writing off cursive script. At a growing number of schools, young students are no longer tracing curving Ls and arching Ds with pencil and paper, no longer pausing at the end of words to dot an i or cross a t. The common core state standards, a set of math and English goals agreed upon by 45 states and now being implemented, sends cursive the way of the quill pen, while requiring instead that students be proficient in keyboarding by fourth grade.
Read more here

 

The man who can make Bruce Lee talk
Alex Witchel for The New York Times

A quarter-century after M. Butterfly won him the Tony Award, David Henry Hwang, a first-generation Chinese-American, still bends under the lifelong weight of expectations from his high-achieving immigrant family. He will come to sparkling life on a panel or at a lectern; he will give a pithy quote about multiculturalism to the media. But the real Hwang, the one with the wicked sense of humor, the soaring emotionalism of an opera diva and the pounding anger of a neglected child, is glimpsed almost exclusively onstage. So today, in his new play Kung Fu, it is Bruce Lee who gets all the best lines, the ones Hwang would never even consider saving for himself.
Read more here


 
Nicholas Hytner: 'The arts are on a knife's edge'
Charlotte Higgins for The Guardian

Nicholas Hytner has had a phenomenally successful run at the helm of the National Theatre, this week picking up an armful of awards. But it's his outspoken attack on the government over the future of the arts that's making all the headlines.
Read on here

 
Hannah Hessel: Dramaturg
Spotlight in 2Amt

How do you explain dramaturgy? This is always the difficult question. I’ve been explaining dramaturgy for so long to so many people that I have no set way of thinking about it, though I did explore it in a recent post for 2amtheatre.
I think that dramaturgy is a tool. I like the idea that dramaturgy is a way of intellectually and creatively engaging with a work of art. It allows the user to see the piece as a whole and understand the steps needed to move it forward.
For myself, I’ve been attempting to come up with a name for what I do (or think I do) without using the name dramaturg. I would love to have a way of explaining myself that didn’t sound like you need to have a master’s degree in theater to understand (though I have a master’s degree in theater and still don’t fully understand). I fully believe that what I do is an art, but I rarely see myself as the primary artist.
Read on here


The shifting landscape of theater for young audiences
Kim Peter Kovac for Howlround

In the world of theater for young audiences, the ground is shifting under our feet: unstable and unfamiliar, far less funding, and the zeitgeist is way different than just a few years ago. As we look ahead, we have little idea what the future will look like. This is very scary.
And very exciting.
Read more here

Theatre is a place of here, now and destiny
Andrew Upton for The Australian

Theatre is now. It is of now and therefore, inevitably about now.
That is the most abiding characteristic of the form for me. 'Now' is its it-ness. It happens now, in front of you and is gone forever. Forms of recording drama have evolved mighty quickly into other forms in their own right.
Theatre remains. Now only. A deliberate live act, witnessed by an audience. And the audience is vital too actually because the theatre bear does not shit in the woods unless it is being watched. Rehearsals are not performances and performances are only cancelled when no-one turns up to watch them. If someone turns up, the show must go on.
The definition of theatre's now-ness gets increasingly complicated and elusive the more an attempt is made. Because it is now but it is a special kind of now. It is a now that has been talked about, planned and discussed.
Continue reading here

Theatre sells carrots for performances instead of tickets to avoid higher taxes
Mary Beth Quirk for The Consumerist

After the government slapped a 21% tax on theatre tickets, one theatre in a small town came up with quite a clever way to avoid shelling out extra cash — he sells carrots instead of tickets, and then “gives” performances away for “free.”
The theatre director was worried no one would come to see shows with such a hefty price on tickets and unemployment becoming more common. Since he didn’t want to see the theatre go dark, he hatched the carrot plan.
Read more here
 
Adapting for the stage by Caleb Lewis – part one
Griffin Theatre Blog

Caleb Lewis is the writer of Rust and Bone, which is the current show at Griffin produced by Griffin Independent and Stories Like These. Rust and Bone was originally a set of short stories by Canadian author Craig Davidson and in this essay Caleb discusses the art of adapting work for the stage. Caleb’s essay will be in 2 installments.
Read the first here

Samuel French to develop 'E-Script' library
Marissa Maier for Backstage

Newspapers and magazines are now widely read on iPads. Books are quickly downloaded onto Kindles. And now, with a little help from Samuel French and Scene Partner, theater scripts will soon be widely available on the digital marketplace as well.

The companies announced today that Samuel French, one of the premier play publishers and licensors in the world, has reached an agreement with mobile app developer MyTheaterApps.com to expand the company’s digital “e-Script” library. MyTheaterApps.com created Scene Partner, an app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, which helps actors learn their lines. This partnership will make a selection of Samuel French plays digitally available through the Scene Partner app to actors and theaters for use in memorizing lines and mounting future theatrical productions.
Read more here

Truthiness in the Politics of Theatre
Polly Carl for Howlround

Our problem with straightforward communication has everything to do with how good we are at producing stories, at weaving those tiny multiple threads on our stages. We understand in the very fabric of our DNA as theater practitioners what Foucault is saying—that the more successfully the production can persuade and convince, the more power we have to not only get our audiences to return for the next production and maybe even donate to our theater, but the more power we have to shape the country we want to live in. My concern is that our producing acumen is causing us to believe our own spin and to lose sight of what values must lie beneath our productions. We produce truths because we are driven by certain moral imperatives—most politicians start off their political careers with the very best of intentions and an idealism that drives them to believe they can change the world. But in the words of Rich, “lies are usually attempts to make everything simpler—for the liar—than it really is or ought to be.”
Read more here

Is interviewing playwrights always a good idea?
Mark Lawson for The Guardian

Some dramatists, such as Caryl Churchill and Debbie Tucker Green, refuse point blank to talk about their work. Is this vow of silence defensible – or detrimental?

Before the opening of a new work in the UK, the sort of dramatists whose plays win prizes – Stoppard, Bennett, Hare, Mamet – are generally to be found being interviewed in the newspapers or on Start the Week, Front Row or The Culture Show. Yet although Caryl Churchill belongs in the pack of highest-profile living playwrights, this Friday's premiere of her latest drama, Love and Information, at the Royal Court in London will be preceded by complete silence from her.
Read more here

Writing Dialogue
Fin Kennedy

It's a new term, and I've been going through my old notes, collating handouts and exercises for various teaching commitments I have coming up. I found one handout in particular, breaking down some of my thoughts on writing dialogue, which I'd forgotten I'd put together. I think I did it a couple of years ago for the Goldsmiths MA Playwriting modules that I teach. Anyway, I thought it wasn't bad, and that some of you might enjoy it. So here it is:
Writing dialogue
Notes from Fin Kennedy
Mastering writing dialogue can be tricky, especially for the wide variety of voices you will need to use in your work as a professional dramatist. It can be just as hard a skill to teach, and is often just a matter of endless practice. I personally found it to be like riding a bike – after years of trying and failing (it always sounded too ‘written’, too pre-meditated, or just too like me), one day I found I could suddenly do it and there was no looking back.
Read more here

The future “Under Forty” producers – are there any?
Ken Davenport for the Producer’s Perspective

As the costs and risks increase, and as it becomes more and more challenging to make shows happen, will we have enough Producers tomorrow to make sure that Broadway remains as “healthy” as it is today?

As someone who, just today actually, finally tip-toed over into his fourth decade, I’m concerned that we don’t have enough folks under 40 doing shows now, which could jeopardize how full our theaters are in 20 years or so.

So, I decided to analyze the age demographics of the Broadway League.  I looked at all the members who classified themselves as Producers and using my own knowledge of who’s-who plus a little help from the Google machine, I figured out a rough percentage of those Producers working today who are under forty years of age (with a margin of error of course, but I think it’s close enough).

The answer?

About 8%
Read more here

Theatre companies as social enterprises
Wayne Ingram for The Guardian

If more of us become social enterprises, arts organisations could become less fragmented and less reliant on public funding.

Social enterprises aim to address and solve issues at the heart of society - theatres companies can too, says Wayne Ingram.
Read more here

How the Edinburgh Fringe is financed: the article which you cannot read in this morning’s edition of The Scotsman

"Comedian Bob Slayer was asked by The Scotsman newspaper to write a piece about the way the Edinburgh Fringe is financed.

One week ago, they told him it would be printed in today’s issue.

Yesterday, they told him they had decided not to run it.

This is the article they are not printing for whatever reason…"

A play that could go 84 million ways

Dan Falk for New Scientist

Anthropologists believe Homo sapiens started talking around 50,000 years ago - and since then, it seems, we’ve rarely shut up. That explosion of chatter has always given Annie Dorsen pause for thought. “What does it even mean to even produce so much language?” asks the New York-based artist. Her recent stage production, Hello Hi There, is, among other things, an attempt to "take the mystique out of language” by removing the human element.

Without humans, who - or what - is left to keep the conversation going?

Read more here

 

Black Audiences Should Feel Included Rather than Targeted: What Is the Theatre Industry Doing to Reach Them?

Tamika Sayles for The Huffington Post

“…Broadway - a place often perceived as uncharted territory for Black audiences. That perception appears to be declining as the theatre industry relies on celebrities, and non-traditional casting to target Black audiences.”

Read the article here

 

Edgar paints bleak picture as funds dry up for new writing

Matthew Hemley for The Stage

Playwright David Edgar has warned that a lack of funding for new-writing initiatives will have “bitterly clear” consequences for the UK’s theatre industry.

Backing a Writers’ Guild of Great Britain campaign calling on Arts Council England to reinvest in development agencies such as Theatre Writing Partnership and North West Playwrights, Edgar said the next generation of playwrights could be unable to develop their craft without financial support for such organisations.

Read more here

 

Fake members only: why theatre should handle realism with care

Mark Lawson for The Guardian

The sight of Stephen Mangan's prosthetic p*n!s in Joe Penhall's Birthday was too much for preview audiences, who thought it was real. Why can't theatre cope with too much reality?

Read the article here

 

Pip Hall: My journey of discovery and joy through water ballet

TED2013

Pip Hall co-founded Wet Hot Beauties, a water ballet company for people without synchronized swimming experience. She is also a playwright, actor, producer and believer in the art of joy.

Watch her talk here

 

Where is our Tiki Barber? Theater Makers As Theater Critics

Sherri Kronfeld for Howlround

During the Critiquing Criticism discussion this March at Humana I felt a familiar rush of anger. Here were arrayed before us a group of prominent theater critics from a variety of web and print publications, as well as an artistic director of a well-respected theater company, and someone who worked at a major theater in play development. There were spats between the internet generation and the older folks, regarding the merits of social media—Facebook, Twitter, blogs like this site, etc.—and whether they were an enhancement to popular theatrical discourse. This was certainly a lively and interesting conversation, so why was I angry?

Read the blog here

 

Robot and human actors take bows together

Sara Krulwich for The New York Times

Will robots ever develop the acting chops to compete for top billing? Probably not anytime soon. Nonetheless some robotics researchers and experimental dramatists are finding fertile ground in working with a new generation of increasingly sophisticated robot actors.

Read more here

 

It's time we cut Shakespeare's allowance

Lyn Gardner for The Guardian

Shakespeare is the most subsidised playwright in the world, but as non-subsidised outfits such as the Globe and all this summer's pop-up shows prove, he can survive very well on his own. A breathing space would allow theatres to spend their money in other ways.

Read the article here

 

Y for Young Writers

Michael Billington for The Guardian

It's never been a better time to be a young playwright – but are we missing out on older voices?

Read the article here

 

Should playwrights bow to directors' changes?

Matt Trueman for The Guardian

Arthur Miller stuck to his guns when asked to change the title of Death of a Salesman. Should modern writers do the same?

Read the article here

 

#badwritingtips

Ben Meyers for The Guardian

The #badwritingtips hashtag that has been trending on and off for the past month and has produced a plethora of barbed nuggets by and for writers, professional and amateur alike. Agents, book cover designers and publishers chipped in too.

"Write in the fifth person."(@MyVogonPoetry)

"Use as many different synonyms for 'said' as possible, he ejaculated."(@stevehuff)

"Name your characters so it's really obvious who's good & who's bad, i.e. Nickelback J Hitler"(@brx0)

Read more here

 

Why I Write: George Orwell’s Four Motives for Creation 

Brainpickings

Literary legend Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell, would have been 109 this month. Though he remains best remembered for authoring the cult-classics Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, he was also a formidable, masterful essayist. Among his finest short-form feats is the 1946 essay Why I Write.

“I give all this background information because I do not think one can assess a writer’s motives without knowing something of his early development. His subject matter will be determined by the age he lives in — at least this is true in tumultuous, revolutionary ages like our own — but before he ever begins to write he will have acquired an emotional attitude from which he will never completely escape.”

Read more here

 

Spoiler alert: the tough task of keeping a play's plot secret

Mark Lawson for The Guardian

Too much publicity threatens the surprise and suspense of narrative art. That is why the Royal Court and the National Theatre have tried to keep quiet the entire content of a play.

Read more here

 

How to write a grant application

Artshub Australia

While cultural policymakers mull over the Australia Council Review and the National Cultural Policy, which could both change the shape of the size and types of grants available in Australia, artists still cling to government grants with voracity. Maybe they’re just hungry, but grants are essential to the survival of many creative professions in this country.

So, while you wait for department heads to make their decisions over what goes where, it might just be worth your while to use the time to learn how to successfully write a grant application.

Read more here

 

'Now cross the Andes.' In praise of the impossible stage direction

Mark Lawson for The Guardian

Whether it's calling for live bear attacks or expeditions across imaginary mountains, playwrights have made some intriguing demands. But part of the thrill of theatre is seeing what can't happen.

Read more here

 

NEW ZEALANDERS AND THE ARTS

New Zealanders continue to enjoy and support the arts despite the difficult economic environment, according to Creative New Zealand’s latest survey.

Most New Zealanders (80%) agree the arts help define who we are as New Zealanders.  Engagement in the arts also remains strong, with 85% of New Zealanders attending or being actively involved in the arts in the past 12 months.

The results are included in Creative New Zealand’s triennial survey, New Zealanders and the Arts: Attitudes, Attendance and Participation in 2011. Read the report here.

 

LISTENER CUTS BACK ON THEATRE REVIEWS   

The Listener's commitment to the arts in New Zealand is being questioned following the release of a statement by Guy Somerset, Books & Culture Editor, announcing the monthly magazine’s plan to “dial back” theatre reviews.

“What we are doing is bringing our theatre reviewing policy in line with that we have for other arts reviews (including visual art, classical music, dance, etc – all of which continue) and ensuring we concentrate on what is most noteworthy.” A full statement can be read on Theatreview here.

A panel chaired by Lynn Freeman and comprising Colin McColl, John Smythe, and Arthur Meek discussed the state of theatre criticism in the wake of the recent decision and can be heard here.

 

THE END OF NEW WRITING

Alex Chisholm for Exeunt Magazine

I am not talking about getting rid of writers, or plays, putting on plays by first time writers or young writers or not quite as young as they once were writers. I am still as passionate as I ever was about putting on plays written by all kinds of people.

What I am talking about is re-thinking and re-fashioning of the processes, assumptions and aesthetics that make up the sub-genre of British theatre known as New Writing, and most particularly an end to the, in my opinion, unnecessary opposition between New Writing and New Work.

Read the article here

  

STAGE DIRECTIONS AND THE 17%

Andie Arthur for 2Amt

It took flipping out about stage directions for me to realize how much I have internalized all the various messages I’ve heard and witnessed over the past seven years. And it’s even sadder that I felt the need for permission from others to embrace something that used to be instinctual to my process.

Read the article here

  

DEUTSCH COURAGE

Simon Stephens for The Guardian

British playwrights have tended to fall into two camps in the past 15 years: the type that succeeds on Broadway and the type that succeeds in Berlin. This is a gross simplification, of course – based on no research whatsoever and instinct so acute that it is practically made up. But I suspect there is something in it.

Read the article here

 

LIVE AND LAUGHING

Charles Isherwood for The New York Times

Theater folk like to talk about the magic of the live theatrical experience, and how its pleasures are unique and inimitable. But how often are such theories really put to the test? My double-dip of “One Man, Two Guvnors” – once taped, once live — turned out to offer prime evidence to suggest that there is assuredly a significant difference between attending live theater and seeing a taped performance of the same show.

Read the article here

  

AWG REACTS TO CONVERGANCE REVIEW

Arts Hub Australia

Representing their members, during the course of the Convergence Review the Australian Writers’ Guild generated a number of submissions and responses to interim reports, framing their recommendations to preserve Australian voices across rapidly progressing communication platforms. One of their major achievements was that the concerns raised for performance writers were taken into account in the final recommendations.

Read more here

  

ART IS LONG; COPYRIGHTS CAN BE EVEN LONGER

Patricia Cohen for The New York Times

It is there in the new 3-D version of Titanic, as it was in James Cameron’s original film: a modified version of Picasso’s painting “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” aboard the ship as it sinks. Of course that 1907 masterpiece was never lost to the North Atlantic. It has been at the Museum of Modern Art for decades — which is precisely the reason the Picasso estate, which owns the copyright to the image, refused Mr. Cameron’s original request to include it in his 1997 movie. But Mr. Cameron used it anyway.

Read more here

  

CANNES 2012 - WHERE ARE THE WOMEN?

Vanessa Thorpe for The Guardian

Of the 22 films in contention for the prestigious Palme d'Or, not one has a female director. And while women's lives are getting more attention on screen, the struggle to break in to the rough and tough old boys' club of directing appears as hard as ever.

Read the article here

 

ELI KENT ON SATURDAY MORNING WITH KIM HILL

Radio New Zealand

Actor, film-maker, poet and playwright, whose multi-award-winning third play, The Intricate Art of Actually Caring, will tour to small towns and community venues after a season in Wellington.

He speaks with Radio NZ’s Kim Hill. Listen here

 

WOMEN IN THEATRE

Australia Council for the Arts

After concerted policy and strategy interventions in the 1980s through to the mid-1990s, the issue of gender equality in creative leadership in the theatre sector largely fell off the policy agenda until December 2009, when a media storm erupted and created momentum for change in the form of new networks, events and debates. A report was commissioned in July 2011 by the Australia Council for the Arts to bring the research on the issue of women in creative leadership in Australia up to the present day, and provide a basis for the sector to discuss these issues and to reach agreement on some strategies to address the situation.

The full report is available to download here.

Sydney Morning Herald

''[Artistic directors] say 'I only choose what's best'. So why is there a predominance of white, middle-class men?'' was a typical response from the 44 people surveyed for the report. ''It's embarrassing and protectionist and reeks of elitism.''

Read the article here

Tony Adams for 2AMt

"There is no way any argument could be made that a classical theatre can’t find plays to broaden their season beyond exclusively white men–other than he didn’t bother to try.

I stopped and thought about it for a couple minutes. Two. I set a timer for one-hundred twenty seconds. I was curious to see if I could come up with a possible twelve play season, without consulting google or my bookshelf. Here’s what I came up with."

 

REVELATIONS OF CANTERBURY UNIVERSITY'S SECRET DEAL

Tina Law for The Press

Documents obtained by the Tertiary Education Union through the Official Information Act and obtained by The Press show deputy vice-chancellor Ian Town met polytechnic chief executive Kay Giles on August 18 last year, when they discussed a proposal put forward by Town about theatre arts. The revelation has outraged staff and the T.E.U.

Read more here

 

PLAYWRIGHT BOOTCAMP

Patrick Healy for The New York Times

As theater games go, this one was a brainteaser that might give even Shakespeare a headache: write a scene that would be impossible to stage. That was the first gauntlet Paula Vogel threw down to the 30 participants in her latest roving “boot camp” on playwriting.

Read more here

 

THE AUDIENCE PROBLEM

Gwydion Suilebhan’s blog

In DC, audiences have grown absolutely fat on Shakespeare, chestnuts, American classics, and Shear Madness. Most of the “new” work in the city has already had productions elsewhere, particularly New York, which means it arrives here with a road-tested seal of approval. The goal seems to be to minimize the sense of risk associated with going to the theater. “This is a good product, a known quantity,” we seem to be telling our audiences. “You have nothing to fear.” So how on earth do we begin transforming audience expectations, after decades and decades of messages like that, most of them subtle and insidious? How do we start to develop an atmosphere that’s welcoming to new plays?

Read the full blog post here