ABSOLUTELY EVERY SHOW IN THE NEW YORK CITY 2024 IN SCENA! ITALIAN THEATER FESTIVAL, 4/29-5/13! ·

(via Emily Owens)

The 11th annual In Scena! Italian Theater Festival, NYC’s premiere festival of Italian theater taking place in all five boroughs of NYC, April 29-May 13. Performances will take place at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU (24 West 12th Street New York, NY 10011-8604), Casa Belvedere (79 Howard Ave, Staten Island, NY 10301), Culture Lab LIC (5-25 46th Ave, Queens, NY 11101), Center For Italian Modern Art (421 Broome St 4th floor, New York, NY 10013), The Brick Aux (628 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211), The Atelier at Theaterlab (357 W 36th St. 4th floor, New York, NY 10018), BAAD (2474 Westchester Ave, Bronx, NY 10461), NOoSPHERE Arts (520 Kingsland Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222), and Playwrights Downtown (440 Lafayette St 4th floor, New York, NY 10003). 

All shows will be performed in Italian with projected English supertitles.

 

THE GENESIS OF REGENERATION (GENESI DEL RIGENERO) 

Written & Performed by Beppe Allocca

Directed by Beppe Allocca and Roberta Provenzani

An exhilarating storytelling that through biblical stories, fashion writers and artisans tells the origins of the rag-pickers (cenciaioli), the artisans from Prato (Tuscany) who have been recycling used clothing since 1850.  

Tue 4/30 at 7pm @ Casa Belvedere, Sun 5/5 at 7:30pm @ Culture Lab LIC & Fri 5/10 at 8pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo Running Time: 65 min

 

SCIARA – PRIMA C’AGGHIORNA

Written by Luana Rondinelli, Directed by Giovanni Carta

Performed by Luana Rondinelli and I Musicanti (Gregorio Caimi – chitarra, Enzo Toscano – violoncello, Debora Messina – singer)

Produced by I Musicanti

The compelling human and judicial story of Francesca Serio, the first woman to denounce the mafia and mother of Salvatore Carnevale, the trade unionist barbarously killed by the mafia on May 16, 1955. 

Wed 5/1 at 7pm @ Center for Italian Modern Art & Fri 5/3 at 8pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU Running Time: 73 min

 

THE GREAT MAGIC (LA GRANDE MAGIA)

Adapted from the original play by Eduardo De Filippo and directed by Rosario Sparno

Performed by Luca Iervolino, Antonella Romano & Rosario Sparno

Costumes by Alessandra Gaudioso, Magic Tricks Coach Massimiliano Foà

Produced by Casa del Contemporaneo

“Everything that happens before your eyes is just an illusion” On the 40th anniversary of one of the most important Italian playwrights Eduardo De Filippo’s death, Rosario Sparno presents his own adaptation for only three actors of “The Great Magic”, the 1948 wonderful play by De Filippo about theatrical illusion and obsessional delusion. 

Thu 5/2 at 7pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU & Sat 5/4 at 7:30pm @ Culture Lab LIC Running time: 66 min

 

HELP WANTED – SINGLE FEMINIST MOTHER OF A TEENAGE BOY LOOKS FOR SUPPORT (AAA CERCASI SOSTEGNO PER MADRE SINGLE E FEMMINISTA CON FIGLIO MASCHIO E ADOLESCENTE) 

Written & Performed by Monica Faggiani

Using the Stand-up style, the protagonist tells her story and her challenges as a feminist and as a mother of a teenage son. 

Sat 4/27 at Villa Charities in Toronto, Fri 5/3 at 6pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU & Sat 5/4 at 2pm @ The Brick Aux Running Time: 70 min

 

LIKE A LITTLE GRAIN OF SAND (COME UN GRANELLO DI SABBIA)

Written & Directed by Salvatore Arena and Massimo Barilla

Performed by Salvatore Arena

Set Design by Aldo Zucco, Original Music by Luigi Polimeni

Lighting Design by Stefano Barbagallo

Historical Consultants Giuseppe Gullotta & Nicola Biondo

Produced by Mana Chuma Teatro 

At the age of 18, Giuseppe Gulotta is forced to confess to the murder of two policemen in a small barracks in Alcamo. The crime hides an unspeakable mystery: statesmen who deal with neo-fascist groups, arms trafficking and drugs. In order to cover up the silence, any scapegoat would do. Through the “human” story of Giuseppe (but also those of Salvatore and Carmine – the other designated scapegoats) the play attempts to give justice to its personal dimension, that of a life nearly entirely taken away for dreadful reasons. The performance is the last chapter of the quadrilogy A Sud della Memoria that Mana Chuma has devoted to the contemporary history of Southern Italy. 

Mon 5/6 at 8pm @ Theaterlab & Fri 5/10 at 6pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU Running Time: 65 min

 

OPERA BUFFA!

By and With Maria Cassi and Leonardo Brizzi

Produced by Compagnia Maria Cassi 

Presented by Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU

Small “musical” jokes through musical gags, catchphrases, human and non-human tics, passing through musical arrangements ranging from jazz to classical and popular music. An almost mimed performance, as per Maria Cassi’s tradition, assisted for the occasion at the piano by Maestro Brizzi.

Tue 5/7 at 7pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU

 

THE VISIT (IL COLLOQUIO)

Written & Directed by Edoardo Di Pietro

Performed by Renato Bisogni, Alessandro Errico, Marco Montecatino

Assistant Director Ceciclia Lupoli, Costume Design by Federica Del Gaudio

Organization Martina Di Leva

Produced by Collettivo lunAzione

The visit is inspired by the admission system for weekly meetings with inmates at the Poggioreale prison in Naples. The tragicomic show presents situations experienced by women queuing to enter prison: a perpetual wait in daring and tense conditions, which outlines a symbolic humanity, crushed by the apparent impossibility of change. The actors were an integral part of the creative phase through a stage writing process and by participating in a series of interviews with women who have experienced or are experiencing deep ties with the penal institution. 

Wed 5/8 at 8pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU & Thu 5/9 at 7:30pm @ BAAD Running Time: 60 min

 

PERSONA METROPOLITANA

Written by Annachiara Vispi & Giulia Macrì

Performed by Valentina Ghelfi and Giulia Macrì

Music & Composition Lorenzo Saini

Presented in collaboration with Dominio Pubblico

This is Giulia. Like 55% of us, Giulia lives in a city. It is predicted that by 2050, almost 70% of us will live in a city – two thirds of the people on the planet. Giulia wonders if we’ll all fit. Giulia doubts it. A piece for an actor and a dancer set on an imaginary Rome metro carriage / Paris RER line / New York subway / seat on the Tube / last Dart home. In cities we feel invisible, Giulia thinks. Or free.

Sat 5/11 at 6pm @ NOoSPHERE Arts & Sun 5/12 at 3pm @ Playwrights Downtown Running Time: 60 min

 

THE SECOND COMING OF JOAN OF ARC (GIOVANNA D’ARCO – La rivolta)
Written by Carolyn Cage, Translated by Edy Quaggio
Directed by Ester Tatangelo and Luchino Giordana
Performed by Valentina Valsania

Assistant Director Giulia Cosentino, Music by Arturo Annecchino

Lighting Designer Diego Laboni, Set Design by Francesco Ghisu

Costume Design by Ilaria Capanna
Produced by Hermit Crab Production
Giovanna returns to share her story with contemporary women, unmasking through documents the misogyny of the male leaders of the Church, State and Army. A teenager fleeing from a violent and alcoholic father, from a destiny of wife and mother, which had already marked her mother and sister. Giovanna dies for the right to wear men’s clothes, she is a rebel, irreverent, more cunning than her judges, unrepentant and unswervingly faithful to her own vision.

Sat 5/11 at 8:30pm @ NOoSPHERE Arts & Sun 5/12 at 8pm @ Theaterlab

Running Time: 75 min

 

THE RUB: THEATRE CONFRONTED, April 5-April 12 ·

A look at current issues, challenges, and controversies spilling beyond the proscenium. The following stories, discussed by prominent stage journalists, provided tension and debate within the industry this week, uncovering uneasily resolved perspectives. Gemini and Perplexity provided information, insights, and materials for this article (facilitated by Bob Shuman).

  1. Public Outcry Forces Cancellation of Reality-TV Musical in Chicago

The Story: “Chicago Scraps Reality-Show Musical After Backlash Over Exploitation Concerns” by Sarah Miller, April 1, 2024, Chicago Tribune

The highly anticipated Chicago premiere of a new musical based on a popular reality TV show has been abruptly cancelled following mounting public pressure. The musical, titled “Behind the Scenes,” promised audiences a behind-the-curtain glimpse into the lives of the show’s contestants. However, critics decried the project as exploitative and insensitive, arguing that it sensationalized the emotional manipulation and psychological stress often inherent in reality TV.

A petition calling for the cancellation of the musical garnered over 50,000 signatures, with prominent theatre professionals and mental health advocates voicing their concerns. The producers, facing significant backlash from both the public and the artistic community, ultimately decided to pull the plug on the project.

What This Means: The Chicago incident underscores growing anxieties surrounding the ethics of using reality TV personalities and their experiences for artistic fodder. It raises important questions about the responsibility of theatre to grapple with sensitive subject matter without perpetuating exploitation.

  1. Berlin Director Fired Over Allegations of Racial Insensitivity

The Story: “Accusations of Racism Rock Berlin’s Schaubühne Playhouse” by Katja Schroeder, April 3, 2024, Der Spiegel (translated) *Author: Katja Schroeder

The Schaubühne, one of Berlin’s most prestigious theatres, has erupted in controversy following the sudden dismissal of artistic director, Peter Baumann. The termination comes on the heels of mounting accusations of racial insensitivity within the company. A group of anonymous actors of color released a scathing statement, alleging a pervasive culture of microaggressions and a lack of opportunities for diverse voices. Specific examples included the consistent casting of white actors in roles originally written for people of color, and the dismissal of concerns raised by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) playwrights and directors.

Baumann, in a public statement, denied the allegations, claiming a “misunderstanding” and calling the accusations “unfounded.” However, the damage appears to be done. The firing has sparked a national conversation about systemic racism within German theatre institutions, prompting calls for introspection and reform.

What This Means: This incident exposes the deeply entrenched nature of racial bias within European theatre. It raises urgent questions about representation, power dynamics, and the need for proactive measures to dismantle discriminatory practices. The Schaubühne now faces the daunting task of rebuilding trust with its BIPOC artists and audiences.

  1. Walkout at London Premiere Over Sexual Harassment Claims

The Story: “Outrage Erupts at London Premiere as Actors Walk Out Over Sexual Harassment Allegations” by Philip Fisher, April 2, 2024, The Guardian

Opening night at London’s esteemed National Theatre descended into chaos when several cast members abruptly walked offstage during the premiere of a new play, “The Price of Fame.” The actors, citing a “toxic work environment” and unaddressed allegations of sexual harassment against the play’s director, refused to continue the performance. The remaining cast, visibly shaken, attempted to finish the play in front of a stunned and increasingly uncomfortable audience.

The National Theatre, in a statement released later that evening, expressed “deep regret” for the incident and pledged a “full and independent investigation” into the accusations. The play has been suspended indefinitely.

What This Means: This high-profile walkout underscores the ongoing fight for safety and accountability within the theatre industry. It compels a hard look at the power dynamics between actors and directors, and the necessity for robust grievance procedures to address harassment claims. The National Theatre’s swift response sets a precedent, but the industry as a whole must do more to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all artists.

  1. Melbourne Festival Cancels Controversial Play Due to Protests

The Story: “Melbourne Festival Caves to Pressure, Cancels Play Deemed Offensive to Indigenous Community” by Claire Jones, April 4, 2024, The Sydney Morning Herald

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival has come under fire for its decision to cancel a satirical play, “Black Humor,” just days before its opening night. The play, written by a non-Indigenous playwright, lampooned contemporary issues surrounding cultural appropriation and identity politics. However, Indigenous community leaders lodged strong objections, arguing that the play was insensitive and disrespectful to their lived experiences.

What This Means: The Melbourne Festival’s decision to cancel “Black Humor” reignites the complex debate about artistic freedom and the boundaries of satire. Can humor challenge sensitive topics without causing harm? Should marginalized groups have a say in what stories are told about them, and how? This incident compels the theatre industry to grapple with these questions. The Festival’s choice to prioritize cultural sensitivity may set a precedent for increased dialogue and collaboration with diverse communities. However, it also raises concerns about potential censorship and the chilling effect on artistic expression. The path forward lies in fostering open communication and finding a theatrical space that is both artistically bold and respectful of all voices.

Share your views and leave a reply. Thank you.

Stage Voices

‘SHAKESPEARE’S SISTERS’ BY RAMIE TARGOFF REVIEW – FOUR WOMEN WHO WROTE THE RENAISSANCE ·

(Stephanie Merritt’s article appeared in the Guardian, 4/8;Photo: Child prodigy Elizabeth Cary, the author of the first published play by a woman in English. Photograph: Magite Historic/Alamy.)

This lively, accessible insight into a quartet of female writers in Elizabethan and Jacobean England explores the complex political, patriarchal and religious backdrop to their lives

Virginia Woolf, in her seminal essay A Room of One’s Own, famously asserted that any hypothetical sister of William Shakespeare would have had her literary gifts thwarted from the outset, thanks to the restrictions on women’s education in the Elizabethan age, not to mention the burdens of motherhood and domestic drudgery.

In the last few decades, the field of feminist literary and historical studies has vastly expanded, holding up to the light those female writers who, despite Woolf’s dismissal, did exist and create in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Ramie Targoff, professor of English at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, sets out to examine the life and work of four of the most prominent in Shakespeare’s Sisters: Four Women Who Wrote the Renaissance. One is the prolific diarist Anne Clifford, who was certainly known to Woolf because her lover, Vita Sackville-West – a direct descendant of Clifford – had published Anne’s early diaries. Where Woolf regarded Anne as “practical and little educated”, “busied with all the cares of wealth and property”, Sackville-West praised her “sharp, vigorous mind”. In Targoff’s account, Anne – who lived to be 86 – emerges as determined and independent minded, her writing offering a vivid account of her personal battle to assert her rights after she was disinherited from her father’s estate.

Most striking is the way the women had to accommodate a world of male expectations and bend their way around it

Targoff’s other three subjects are equally fascinating. There’s Mary Sidney, sister of the poet Sir Philip and later Countess of Pembroke, whose translations of the Psalms were praised by her male contemporaries, including John Donne; Aemilia Lanyer, daughter of an Italian (possibly Jewish) immigrant musician, whose name may be more familiar since Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s 2018 hit play Emilia brought her to a new audience; and Elizabeth Cary, a child prodigy who went on to become the author of the first published play by a woman in English, despite having 11 children. These women and their writings are not unknown, but to see their individual and occasionally interwoven stories set out side by side is to understand with greater clarity that, while Woolf was not wrong about the obstacles faced by female writers, she was mistaken about the quality and reception of their work.

Most striking in Targoff’s account is the way the women had to accommodate a world of male expectations and bend their way around it in order to make their voices heard. Mary Sidney used her famous brother as a foil, slipping her own earliest work into print under cover of his name. When Elizabeth Cary was newly married and her husband, Henry, went abroad to fight in the Netherlands, Elizabeth’s mother had someone else write to Henry on his wife’s behalf, lest the evidence of Elizabeth’s ferocious intelligence put him off; Elizabeth’s play, The Tragedy of Mariam, was published with only her initials on the title page, to conceal her identity.

 (Read more)

‘LYSISTRATA’ (LISTEN NOW ON BBC RADIO 4–IN OUR TIME–DISCUSSION PROGRAM) ·

‘LYSISTRATA’

Listen

In Our Time

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Aristophanes’ comedy in which the women of Athens and Sparta, led by Lysistrata, secure peace in the long-running war between them by staging a sex strike. To the men in the audience in 411BC, the idea that peace in the Peloponnesian War could be won so easily was ridiculous and the thought that their wives could have so much power over them was even more so. However Aristophanes’ comedy also has the women seizing the treasure in the Acropolis that was meant to fund more fighting in an emergency, a fund the Athenians had recently had to draw on. They were in a perilous position and, much as they might laugh at Aristophanes’ jokes, they knew there were real concerns about the actual cost of the war in terms of wealth and manpower.

With Paul Cartledge AG Leventis Senior Research Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge

Sarah Miles Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University

And James Robson Professor of Classical Studies at the Open University

Producer: Simon Tillotson

CONSTANT STANISLAVSKI (165) ·

The words and wisdom of Constantin Stanislavski:

(For a role) add a whole series of contingencies (using the idea of if ), based on your own experience in life, and you will see how easy it will be for you sincerely to believe in the possibility of what you are called upon to do on the stage.

Work out an entire role in this fashion, and you will create a whole new life.

The feelings aroused will express themselves in the acts of this imaginary person had he (or she) been placed in the circumstances made by the play. (AP)

 

PHYLLIS WHEELER: ‘SECRET OF THE LOST DRAGONS’–SELAH AWARD FINALIST! ·

(from Phyllis Wheeler, friend of Marit Literary and Stage Voices)

In the news! Secret of the Lost Dragons, Book 2 of my Guardians of Time series, has been named a finalist in the prestigious Selah Awards for Christian Fiction, 2023. Book One, The Dog Snatcher, also received this distinction in the previous year.

Find Secret of the Lost Dragons in the Chapter Books category: https://www.facebook.com/TheSelahAwards/posts/pfbid02hA1Qpx5BxbHixGciQwgVP39r975hJzXXA7dD3HC6rdtWzjSxgtj2kLK5bfFdMrowl

Rejoice with Phyllis!

COLE PORTER’S “RED, HOT AND BLUE” CLOSES ON BROADWAY (A DAY IN THEATRE) ·

On October 29, 1936, the Broadway musical “Red, Hot and Blue” made its highly anticipated debut at the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon Theatre) in New York City. The production was the brainchild of legendary composer Cole Porter, whose witty lyrics and infectious melodies had already made him a titan of the American musical theater.

The musical’s plot centered around Nails O’Reilly Duquesne, a newly wealthy young widow who was formerly a manicurist. Loud and brassy, Nails organizes a nationwide benefit for her favorite cause – the rehabilitation of ex-convicts. Together with her sidekick, Policy Pinkle (an “ex-con” himself), and her boyfriend, lawyer Bob Hale, Nails embarks on a search for Bob’s old girlfriend, which is revealed to be the real reason for the enterprise. The national lottery that Nails starts to fund the benefit gets the attention of the Finance Committee, leading to a complicated situation in Washington D.C. where the Supreme Court ultimately declares the lottery unconstitutional.

The musical’s star-studded cast was led by the renowned Ethel Merman as Nails O’Reilly Duquesne, with comedian Jimmy Durante as Policy Pinkle and Bob Hope as Bob Hale. While the book was criticized as “fairly elementary,” Porter’s songs, including the popular “It’s De-Lovely,” were well-received by critics. The production’s “dazzling choreography” also earned praise.

However, the musical’s success was short-lived. “Red, Hot and Blue” closed on April 10, 1937, after a run of 183 performances. According to theatre writer Stanley Green, the show was not a success, and the major problem was the book.”  Green noted that Porter’s songs were more “inspired,” with Merman’s performance of “Down in the Depths” being a particular highlight.

During the out-of-town tryouts, the libretto was deemed too long and did not blend well with Porter’s music. The producer, Vinton Freedley, made numerous suggestions for overhauling the show, which were accepted by all except Porter himself. Additional conflicts arose over the billing of the lead actors, which was ultimately resolved by having Merman and Durante’s names form an X-shaped cross on posters and marquees.

Despite its relatively brief time on Broadway, “Red, Hot, and Blue” has left a lasting legacy. The a cappella group “Redhot & Blue” at Yale University, Porter’s alma mater, takes its name from the musical and still performs the title song. While the production itself has largely faded from the public consciousness, it remains a testament to the enduring artistry of Cole Porter and the golden age of Broadway musicals.

Sources:
1 Cole Porter: A Biography by Charles Schwartz The World of Musical Comedy by Stanley Green Playbill.com – “Red, Hot and Blue! Opens at Goodspeed in CT, Nov. 3” Redhot & Blue of Yale University website The New York Times – “Stage: Cole Porter’s ‘Red, Hot And Blue!’ Revived”

Onthisday.com

Written with ChatGPT and Perplexity

SHAKESPEARE PLAYED JEALOUS HUSBAND IN 1598 BEN JONSON DRAMA, SCHOLAR’S ANALYSIS FINDS ·

(Dalya Alberge’s article appeared in the Guardian, 4/7/2024; A 1610 portrait of William Shakespeare. Darren Freebury-Jones said that Shakespeare, ‘being a genius, takes another dramatist’s feathers and transforms them into a peacock’. Photograph: Akademie/Alamy.)

Exclusive: lecturer finds ‘striking similarities’ between lines in Jonson’s Every Man in His Humour and later Shakespeare works

He was an actor, as well as the greatest dramatist of all time, but no one has been able to name with certainty a single role that William Shakespeare performed himself.

Now a leading scholar has concluded from linguistic analysis that Shakespeare played an obsessively jealous husband in a 1598 drama by fellow playwright Ben Jonson.

Dr Darren Freebury-Jones, a lecturer in Shakespeare studies at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, has discovered “striking similarities” between phrases recited by Thorello in Every Man in His Humour and those in Shakespeare’s Othello, Hamlet and Twelfth Night – all written between 1600 and 1603.

He told the Guardian: “What I’ve found are some really interesting connections in terms of language, which suggest that Shakespeare was, perhaps unconsciously, remembering his own lines.”

Elizabethan actors generally did not have copies of an entire play. Instead, their scripts were limited to their particular lines and their cues – just the last few words of preceding speeches.

Freebury-Jones said: “Players like Shakespeare would therefore need to be alert during performance, relying heavily on their aural understanding. So there was a real emphasis on listening during the period …

“The grammatical patterning and likenesses of thought between his lines and those of Thorello – renamed Kitely in Jonson’s revision – suggest that Shakespeare was intimately familiar with that role. But Shakespeare, being a genius, takes another dramatist’s feathers and transforms them into a peacock.”

Singling out examples, Freebury-Jones said: “In Jonson’s play, you’ve got Bianca, unfortunate wife of the jealous Thorello, who suspects she’s having an affair. She says: ‘For God’s sake, sweetheart, come in out of the air,’ to which Thorello responds with an aside: ‘How simple and how subtle are her answers?’

“In Hamlet, Polonius asks: ‘Will you walk out of the air, my lord?’, to which Hamlet responds: ‘Into my grave.’ Polonius says: ‘Indeed, that is out o’th’ air.’ He then offers an aside: ‘How pregnant sometimes his replies are.’ The corresponding structures and similarities in context are striking. Is this a case of Shakespeare remembering one of his cue-lines and an aside?”

He added: “Shakespeare seems to have recalled another of Thorello’s asides: ‘Spite of the devil, how they sting my heart,’ for Maria’s speech in Twelfth Night: ‘La you, an you speak ill of the devil, how he takes it at heart.’

“The grammatical structure is very similar and the unique word string, ‘of the devil how’, embraces the noun ‘heart’. Are we witnessing Shakespeare’s recall of lines he delivered on stage here?

A 1834 drawing of Polonius and Hamlet by the French artist Eugène Delacroix. Photograph: Heritage Art/Getty Images

“Shakespeare also remembered Thorello’s line: ‘They would give out, because my wife is fair,’ when he depicted Othello’s destructive jealousy: ‘’Tis not to make me jealous / To say my wife is fair.’ Shakespeare inverts Thorello’s comic jealousy in his similarly named tragic protagonist Othello.”

Freebury-Jones found that other comparative phrases were “nowhere near as contextually interesting as those shared with Thorello”.

He observed that scholars had not been certain of any particular roles that Shakespeare took as an actor: “There’s oral traditions connecting him to the role of the ghost of Hamlet’s father and an old man named Adam in As You Like It.

“We know he acted in his own plays because the 1623 First Folio tells us, but it does not confirm any specific role he took.

“We also know he acted in two plays by Jonson, as a cast list printed in the 1616 Jonson Folio shows that Shakespeare was one of the principal players in Every Man in His Humour and that he was also listed among the principal tragedians in Sejanus [His Fall]. But again the documentary evidence does not specify roles.”

He said: “I can’t say that Shakespeare definitely played Thorello, but this is new evidence. No one’s ever discovered it before. I think it makes an interesting, quite compelling case.

(Read more)

KOSOVO’S ‘FIRST ASHKALI ACTOR’ FIGHTS PREJUDICE TO BUILD DREAMS ·

 

(Bekim Bislimi’s, Arben Hoti’s, and Kosovo Unit RFE/RL’s Balkan Service’s article appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2/9/2024.)

Ergjan Mehmeti says he’s the first actor from Kosovo’s small Ashkali community. Ashkalis are an ethnic minority who have struggled with discrimination, poor access to education, and unemployment. Mehmeti has now returned to his hometown with a project that he hopes can help overcome prejudice.

OFF-oFF THE (4th) WALL:  NEW SHOWS ANNOUNCED, 4/2–4/8, 2024 ·

Discovering the vibrant landscape of Off and Off-Off Broadway reveals a tapestry of diverse narratives and artistic innovations that defy conventional norms. Here’s a glimpse into the upcoming performances that promise to captivate audiences with their unique storytelling and creative prowess.

Off and Off-Off Broadway Shows

  1. Mary Jane (Drama): Captivating story of a single mother facing challenges with humor and the support of the women around her. Opens April 21st at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway (261 West 47th Street, New York, NY). Stars Rachel McAdams.–Michelle Farabaugh
  2. Fat Ham (Comic Tragedy): A modern, award-winning, hilarious take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with a Black protagonist. Runs April 17th to May 12th at TheatreSquared’s West Theatre (477 W. Spring Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas)Andrea Newby
  3. Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis/ Phoenix Theater ensemble (Immersive, Absurdist): An interactive and strange experience based on Kafka’s novella, combining physical theatre and audio tech. Plays May 7th-12th at STUDIO EXHIBIT | 62 ORCHARD ST (62 Orchard St, New York, NY).—Elise Stone, Craig Smith
  4. The Bread And Roses Gala (Staged Reading, Drama): A staged reading of a play about a wrongly accused rape victim, followed by a tribute to legendary lawyer Martin Garbus, the iconic folk singer and songwriter Judy Collins, and former NYPD Deputy Chief Special Victim’s Unit Mike Osgood. Held on April 21st at Adler Hall at The New York Society for Ethical Culture (64th Street and CPW, New York, NY).–Gary Springer
  5. GRENFELL at St. Ann’s Warehouse (Drama): A powerful story based on verbatim interviews and public inquiries, following the Grenfell community in London before, during, and after a deadly fire. Presented by St. Ann’s Warehouse. Special offer: Use code GFPUBLIC at checkout for $39 tickets to all performances through April 20th.—Blake Zidell
  6. Rosie’s Theater Kids: Passing It On Gala (Musical Theater): An evening celebrating 21 years of mentorship, honoring writer, director, and producer Charles Randolph-Wright. Featuring performances by Rosie’s Theater Kids and professional artists and mentors. Held on Monday, April 15th, at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, with a dinner to follow hosted by Judy Gold.–Shane Marshall Brown
  7. Constellations (Romantic Drama): The Company We Keep (TCWK) Theater Company presents a Latinx take on Nick Payne’s play exploring love, destiny, and infinite possibilities. Performances are April 18-28 at Chain Theatre (312 W. 36th Street, 3rd Floor).—Jonathan Slaff
  8. In Scena! Award Ceremony (Award Ceremony): IndieSpace’s Executive Director Randi Berry is awarded the 2024 In Scena! Award for her dedication to supporting indie theater. Playwright Rossella Fava receives the 2024 Hystrio Scritture di Scena Mentorship with her play M(o)thers. www.inscenany.com –Emily Owens

Be part of Off and Off-off’s vibrant landscape!

(Gemini, Perplexity, and Chat GPT provided writing for this article.)