TAGGED WITH THEATER

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On Observing Artists in Their Junior Year

I’m in Seattle this week.Some very nice people have made it possible for me to speak, in my capacity as a critic, to a class of university theater students on why to become professional theater practitioners. They’re lovely kids. I’ve met some of them; I’ve seen some perform; I’m going to deliver the first lecture tomorrow. I guarantee I’m more excited about it than they are.Last night I saw a junior class put up a ten-minute play festival. Watching people half my age act in stuff...
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Just Because...

…we sometimes need a laugh that also makes us think…...
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The Promise of Happiness

The opening minutes of Murder Blood Bear Story offer a scary tableau: a vital young woman cringes on her knees, making a spiritual obeisance to a potential catastrophe she hopes will save her from despair. There is no bear, not represented onstage except as a projection between the persuasion of an actor and the faith of her audience. But it’s there.This is a play, more than most solo theater pieces one can see at the Hollywood Fringe or elsewhere; it’s a crafted and affecting artistic exploration, ...
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When Topicality Isn't Enough: Treya's Last Dance

The one person show, regardless of its quality, has always been a bit enigmatic.On one hand, one person shows are hard to market. Theater thrives off of drama and conflict and while these are possible to manifest in a one person show, it is a harder task than creating conflict between two or more people.On the other hand, one person shows are relatively cheap to produce, are fantastically portable and, when armed with an incredibly gifted performer and a cohesive theatrical language, have the possibility of being hu...
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Voices from the Fringe: Michael Evans Lopez and Maria Pasquarelli

One of the most intriguing solo shows at this year’s Fringe is The Inside Edge of the World (or Where Have All of the Good Serial Killers Gone?). It’s a fascinating study of a wannabe forensics detective who communicates telepathically with his dog and is simultaneously dealing with the trauma of being brainwashed by a suicide cult.It’s an intense and complex piece, and writer/producer Michael Evans Lopez and director Maria Pasquarelli had their work cut out for them to delineat...
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Pay What You Decide

There have been many explorations of this Pay What You Want variation of ticket prices, Coeurage Theatre Company has been using it as their ticketing model since day one.Here’s a new Guardian first person take from Annabel Turpin, leader of Britain’s ARC Stockton company. She talks about what happened when they instituted this new PWYD model where the audience decides what to pay after seeing the show:Six months on, I’m pleased to say it has been a huge success, with some startling result...
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Caution: Live Audience in Attendance, Keep Hands and Feet Away from the Fourth Wall

A great little article from Rob Weinert-Kendt over at AT. In it he responds to Patti Lupone’s recent engagement with a mad texter at one of her shows, an incident so traumatizing she actually had the gall to say this:“I am so defeated by this issue,” she confessed, “that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage anymore.”Good Lord.I once had a dog come on stage with me during a performance. Now why someone brought a dog into the theater, I have no idea, but I simply...
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"Father, Son and..." Holy Crap that Was Good!

I knew I was in trouble the moment I heard the title, “Father, Son and Holy Coach.”Ever been in a Christian gift store?  You find some really ludicrous items in them.  Like tee shirts with graphic etchings of Jesus’ hand with a nail driven into the cross and his blood flowing out to spell “Jesus loved you so much it hurt!”   Or plaques that read, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.”And there’s always this totally kitsch line of cheap ce...
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NO FUNICELLO

About two-thirds of the way through Without Annette, the character of the improv teacher says to the rest of the cast, “I think you guys are almost ready to put on a show.” My theater companion laughed out loud. To be fair, there are other laughs in this show, almost all of them intentional.Hope Juber and Jeff Doucette are credited with creating and writing this Juber Production that also ran last summer (with a different cast, at a different venue), in which a Hollywood improv class goes through it...
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A cause, a cause! My theatre for a cause! By Ezra Buzzington

Lately I seem to be writing a great deal about the American theatre. I’m enjoying it immensely and, from the reports trickling back to me, it would appear that others have been as well. This thrills me no end. But, I keep asking myself why am I suddenly doing this? To be honest, I’m not sure. A sudden awareness of the importance of personal history plays a part, I think. Legacy and all that. But, I’m just not sure. What I do know is that looking back at the myriad experiences I’ve had and the...