Monthly Archives: February 2010

DRAMA BOOK SHOP PICKS: ANDREW BOVELL ·

Every week the staff of Manhattan’s renowned Drama Book Shop undertakes the formidable challenge of helping actors find the best monologues for auditions and classes, answering hundreds of questions regarding the latest—and classic—plays from the U.S. and around the world; and recommending theatre craft titles–from lighting design to beating the pavement–which give best value. They even have a working theatre in their basement!

Here they are on Stage Voices, picking the best of published work to keep us up to date and aware of the little known—the next best thing to actually being in the shop, listening to their wise counsel and sage advice. 

DRAMA BOOK SHOP WEEKLY PICK:

WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING by Andrew Bovell

This is the play that Lincoln Center has chosen for its 25th Anniversary show. That is a singular honor. But this is a remarkable play. Time spins from 1959 London to 2039 Australian desert.

Here's a hint of this Pinteresque play.

In the opening scene, rain is pouring down. Everyone has umbrellas, (a la Our Town) and a fish suddenly falls from the sky. It appears to be a miracle. Fish are now extinct. Then Gabriel reads an excerpt from the book he has: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire 1975-2015.

This play is filled with the mysteries of what patterns are passed down through the generations and reveals patterns of love and betrayal from parent to child to grandchild.

There is the metaphysical search for one’s parents. The play delves into the parental conflict: how much one loves their parents but also rejects them. The play resonates with the consequences of what we say and what is left unsaid, especially with those we have our most intimate relationships.

There are marvelous monologues in this drama such as Gabriel's opening one, some can be performed by either men or women.

The characters appear as both their young selves and their older selves. The dialogue is poetic and edgy and actors will relish working on the memories that are elicited from the characters’ pasts.

It often seems the hardest thing for a playwright is the ending, and this one is satisfying and appropriate. It brings together all the varied themes of love, of loss, of what we need and never get and wish we’d loved more.

This is such a gorgeous play. Reading it took me back to my teens before college when I first discovered I could read plays as a private reader, not for auditions or for a degree, but to read the play for pure joy.

Review by Nancy Reardon

The Drama Book Shop, Inc.
250 W. 40th St.
New York, NY 10018
Tel: (212) 944-0595
Fax: (212) 730-8739

Order online: http://www.dramabookshop.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp

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SCENE-A-DAY-A SHAKESPEARE: READ ALONG WITH US–DAY 3! ‘THE WINTER’S TALE’ (ACT II, SCENE 1) ·

This online version of THE WINTER’S TALE by William Shakespeare is from Open Source Shakespeare (www.opensourceshakespeare.org).

Play menu: http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/views/plays/playmenu.php?WorkID=winterstale

Read Act II, Scene 1 here: http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/views/plays/play_view.php?WorkID=winterstale&Act=2&Scene=1&Scope=scene

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‘THE DEAD SCHOOL’: “ASTONISHING THEATRE AND POIGNANT IMMEDIACY” (REVIEW) ·

(Henry Hitchings's article appeared in the Evening Standard, 2/25.)

A classroom culture clash in The Dead School

The Dead School is a feast of madness — a carnival of quirks, part A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and part Daliesque foray into the backwoods of psychosis. 

Patrick McCabe is a dark and often hilarious chronicler of Irish manners, and this adaptation by him of a novel he published 15 years ago is disorderly, surreal and effervescent.

The two main characters are Raphael Bell, an authoritarian teacher, and Malachy Dudgeon, the small-town boy he recruits to work alongside him. Bell finds Malachy wanting. They fall out. Then, in true McCabe style, madness encroaches.

(Read more)

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/theatre/review-23809962-a-classroom-culture-clash-in-the-dead-school.do

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CAROL LASHOF: RYAN COOGLER FILMS ‘GAP’ AFTER READING ‘DUO!: THE BEST SCENES FOR TWO FOR THE 21ST CENTURY’!! ·

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From Page to Stage to Screen

Playwright Carol Lashof and filmmaker

Ryan Coogler talk about his screen adaptation

of her play, "Gap."

Monday, March 8th
4:30-6:00
Claeys Lounge
The Soda Center

Playwright Carol Lashof taught at Saint Mary's for 25

years before leaving to devote herself to her writing full

time. Among her many acclaimed works is "Gap," a

play about a large and diverse urban high school. This fall,

a scene from "Gap" was chosen by Rebecca Dunn Jaroff

for Duo! The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century.

Filmmaker Ryan Coogler attended Saint Mary's in

2003-2004, playing wide receiver for the Gaels' football

team during its final season. Ryan completed his

undergraduate degree and football career at Sacramento

State, where he stood out as both a player and a scholar.

He was named to the Big Sky Conference All Academic

Team for all three years of his eligibility. Ryan is now a

graduate student in USC's prestigious film school, where

his work has garnered praise and awards. "Locks," the first

short film he entered for competition, brought him to

the TriBeCa and Cannes film festivals. Ryan is pictured,

left, with Brian Gott, Publisher of Variety magazine

at Cannes.

 

Ryan_@_Cannes1

This fall, for a class in directing, Ryan was assigned the

task of adapting a two-person scene from a published

source.  His search for material brought him to the

Samuel French Bookstore in Los Angeles where he

found the anthology Duo! He read through the book,

rejecting scene after scene until he came to one from a

play called "Gap," by Carol Lashof.

Please join us, on Monday, March 8th as we celebrate

this inadvertent collaboration between these two artists,

both members of the Saint Mary's community. We will

screen Ryan's rendering of the scene from "Gap," and

then talk with him and Carol about the challenges and

rewards of writing for stage and screen. We will also talk

about the issues the scene raises, the many gaps–in

communication, achievement, perception–we all face

living in a diverse society.

 

From Page to Stage to Screen

A screening and conversation with playwright

Carol Lashof and filmmaker Ryan Coogler

Monday, March 8th
4:30-6:00
Claeys Lounge
The Soda Center
Light refreshments provided.

 

1928 St. Mary's Rd.

Moraga, California 94575

 

 

For further information, contact the Saint Mary's

College English Department, 925-631-4414.

 

 Ad copyright: Rosemary Graham

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ANUPAMA CHANDRASEKHAR: ‘DISCONNECT’ (TALES FROM HIGH TECH—IN AN INDIAN CALL CENTER) ·


(Charles Spencer's review appeared in the Telegraph, 2/23.)

Disconnect at the Royal Court, review

There is much to admire in Anupama Chandrasekhar's gripping account of that phenomenon of our hi-tech times, the Indian call centre. Rating: * * * *

The Royal Court has a long and honourable tradition of plays about work, ranging from Storey's The Contractor and Wesker's The Kitchen to the recent Jerusalem, which depicts, among much else, the vicissitudes of a rural drug dealer.

Now comes Anupama Chandrasekhar's Disconnect, a gripping account of that phenomenon of our hi-tech times, the Indian call centre.

When my computer at home goes down, I phone a number to discover that I am speaking to someone in Mumbai. If I didn't pay my credit-card bills, Chandrasekhar suggests, I might well be bombarded with calls from Chennai (formerly Madras) where she lives and has researched this play in satisfying detail

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturecritics/charlesspencer/7300686/Disconnect-at-the-Royal-Court-review.html

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SCENE-A-DAY-A SHAKESPEARE: READ ALONG WITH US! ‘THE WINTER’S TALE’ (ACT I, SCENE 2) ·

This online version of THE WINTER’S TALE by William Shakespeare is from Open Source Shakespeare (www.opensourceshakespeare.org).

Play menu: http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/views/plays/playmenu.php?WorkID=winterstale

Read Act I, Scene 2 here: http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/views/plays/play_view.php?WorkID=winterstale&Act=1&Scene=2&Scope=scene

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MICHAEL FEINGOLD ON ‘THE BOYS IN THE BAND’ AND ‘A LIE OF THE MIND’ ·

(Feingold's article appeared in the Village Voice, 2/23.)

Crowley's The Boys in the Band and Shepard's A Lie of the Mind Still Look Fresh

I never understand complaints about plays being "dated." Naturally, all plays that weren't written yesterday are dated: Their diction, their costumes, their stage conventions, and their mores all belong to the time when they were conceived. That's what makes them interesting: the excitement of comparing their view of the world with ours, of seeing how well their sense of humanity still holds up, or doesn't, despite all the obstacles time has piled in between.

Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band is approaching its 41st birthday; Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind premiered 25 years ago. Though both are "dated," neither feels old-hat: The flaws perceivable in them now are the same ones noted when they were born. And thanks to largely effective productions, the life in both seems fresh, a vivid picture of Then that tells us, by comparison, a lot about Now.

http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-02-23/theater/crowley-s-the-boys-in-the-band-and-shepard-s-a-lie-of-the-mind-still-look-fresh/

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SCENE-A-DAY-A SHAKESPEARE: READ ALONG WITH US! ‘THE WINTER’S TALE’ STARTS TODAY (ACT I, SCENE I) ·

This online version of THE WINTER’S TALE by William Shakespeare is from Open Source Shakespeare (www.opensourceshakespeare.org).

Play menu: http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/views/plays/playmenu.php?WorkID=winterstale

Read Act I, Scene I here: http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/views/plays/play_view.php?WorkID=winterstale&Act=1&Scene=1&Scope=scene

THE WINTER'S TALE

CHARACTERS:

LEONTES, King of Sicilia

MAMILLIUS, young prince of Sicilia

Four Lords of Sicilia: CAMILLO, ANTIGONUS, CLEOMINES, DION

POLIXENES, King of Bohemia

FLORIZEL, prince of Bohemia

ARCHIDAMUS, a lord of Bohemia

OLD SHEPHERD, reputed father of Perdita

CLOWN, his son

AUTOLYCUS, a rogue

[Mariner],  [Jailer]

HERMIONE, queen to Leontes

PERDITA, daughter to Leontes and Hermione

PAULINA, wife to Antigonus

EMILIA, a lady [attending on Hermione]

2 shepherdesses:

[MOPSA], [DORCAS]

TIME, as Chorus

Other LORDS and GENTLEMEN, [LADIES, OFFICERS,] and SERVANTS, SHEPHERDS, and SHEPHERDESSES 

SCENE: Sicilia and Bohemia

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CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE REMEMBRANCES: JOYCE E. HENRY ON O’NEILL’S ‘ICEMAN’ (Part V) ·

Exclusive

 

RE-PRODUCING 'THE ICEMAN'

 

Joyce E. Henry, Ph.D. 

 

There were other unwelcome visitors to my lobby box office besides the copulating rats.  From time to time Bowery residents would stop in, looking for a handout.  At showtime, with customers waiting for the theater to open, their presence was a tad embarrassing, and drove Ted Mann crazy.  He would tell them in no uncertain terms to “Get Out!” and instructed me to say the same.  And as a New Yorker, I could be as callous as he.

 

But there was one fellow who seemed to be a little different.  He would not come right before the show started, but, perhaps, in the middle of the afternoon.  He was a giant of a man, with a big head surrounded by a wisp of white hair; his cheeks were ruddy and his eyes were blue.  I fancied he might have been a sailor—he looked as though he belonged on a ship. There was no question he was looking for a handout, though, but he had the decency or tact not to approach customers—just me.  My finances were stretched thin as it was, but I could usually find a quarter or so to send him on his way with “Many thanks” and a “God bless you” or two.

 

His visits came almost weekly, and I grew quite fond of him.  I even fantasized that perhaps I should offer him shelter—take him home to my Village apartment, give him a bowl of soup and a shower, and even help him to find a job.  Or maybe he could sleep on my pull-out sofa.  I didn’t tell Ted, of course, who would have thought me certifiable.

 

And then one day I realized that I hadn’t seen the bum for a while.  A couple of weeks went by, a month, two, and even three months.  I thought maybe he’d become ill, or even died, and I felt a little guilty that I hadn’t done something for him.  Then my schedule changed, and I pretty much forgot about the rehab plans.  One Sunday afternoon, when I ordinarily didn’t work, I was organizing the evening’s reservations, and I saw a familiar figure pass the glass entrance doors. 

 

He passed the door, then apparently stopped, turned back, looked, and shouted in the most thrilled voice, “Yeee-re Heere!”  They could have heard him down in Washington Square.

 

He came in, of course, as I was searching for some coins in my purse.  He looked good; he had on a red checked shirt and his face was tanned and healthy.  We had a fond

reunion, and he gave me a hug—a bear hug, I must say.

 

I found out later, from Timmy, the cop on the beat, that fellows of his ilk take off for Florida when it gets too cold.  They hitchhike down, sleep on the beach, and do their panhandling there.  But they’re New Yorkers at heart, and when the weather warms

up, they’re back in the Bowery.  So my friend was doing quite well for himself—he’d spent the winter months in Florida, while I froze in New York City!

 

(This is the final segment of Joyce Henry's articles on Circle in the Square.)  

© 2010 by Joyce E. Henry.  All rights reserved.   

 

(A graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse, Joyce E. Henry acted off-Broadway and in regional theaters, managed a dozen off-Broadway shows, wrote A Matter of Conscience, a play about Fanny Kemble, directed the theater program at Ursinus College, and edited five books, including One on One:  The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century; One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century; and Duo!:  The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century—all from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. For three years or so in the late ‘50s, during the runs of Iceman, Children of Darkness, and Our Town, she worked at Circle in the Square.)

 

(Read Theodore Mann’s memoir, Journeys in the Night, also from Applause. Visit his Web site for the book: http://www.journeysinthenight.com/index.htm.) 

 

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VANESSA REDGRAVE BAFTA ACCEPTANCE SPEECH AND TELEGRAPH INTERVIEW ·

 

(The following interview with Vanessa Redgrave appeared in the Telegraph, 2/22.)

Bafta Awards 2010: Vanessa Redgrave interview

The Bafta Fellowship winner discusses regrets, favourite films, and the real 'Tash’How to address Vanessa Redgrave is the question. She’s 73 and a living legend, so to call her Vanessa feels far too cheeky. But Ms Redgrave sounds too formal, and her married name Mrs Nero (she married her on-off boyfriend of 43 years, Italian actor Franco Nero three years ago) seems quite unsuitable for such an Amazonian creature.

'Ha ha ha,’ she chortles in her languid smoker’s tones, when I ask her what she’d prefer. 'We’re going to be speaking to each other for an hour, so Vanessa is fine.’ My instincts, I say, are that she should be Dame Vanessa, the third hypostase of the Trinity whose other members are Dame Judi and Dame Maggie. But Redgrave, in keeping with her reputation as a champagne Trotskyist and enemy of the Establishment, is rumoured to have declined a damehood in 1999. Is that true? 'Even to talk about the subject would be totally incorrect, lèse majesté,’ she reprimands, gently but sternly.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/7290940/Vanessa-Redgrave-interview.html

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