(from the Associated Press, 3/20)
German composer and music director Heiner Goebbels has won the International Ibsen Award for creating new insights in theatre that have influenced producers and musicians.
(via Katheen Warnock)
Recognizing that many of the current MFA programs in the country are cost-prohibitive, we’ve learned of an exciting program in the heart of New York City at Hunter College and felt we should share this with you:
• A two-year program with Playwright-in-Residence, award-winning dramatist, Tina Howe and the nationally known new play Dramaturg Mark Bly. This MFA Program in the heart of New York City, places an emphasis on production where you’ll have the opportunity to discover and deepen your dramatic voice.
• You’ll learn about the act of writing for the theatre through transformative writing exercises, readings, and workshops with Bly and Howe and celebrated visiting playwrights.
• Your thesis project will receive a showcase production in the innovative Hunter Playwrights Festival working with professional directors, designers, actors, and students. No other MFA Program in the United States offers such a theatrically unique professional opportunity.
• You will meet leading industry professionals in classes and have your work seen by them and many others theatre professionals at the Hunter Playwrights Festival.
• An affordable program that will cost you approximately $7,400 (in state) or $12,000 (out of state) — not the usual tuition that’s five times that amount.
In short, an exciting MFA program in Playwriting that will help you refine, share and celebrate your voice in the theatre capital of the world, New York City. To apply, visit http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/theatre/graduate-program/m.f.a.-in-playwriting
The application deadline is April 15th, 2012
For all the heated debate, for all the excess that Jesus Christ Superstar has engendered since 1971, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s techno-ice version, now on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre, is the most controlled and purposely nonexpressive, parceling out only calculated jolts of raw emotion. It refuses to set us in a punk world, as was the case with the 2001 video production, or remind us of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as did the 1973 film. Silver ponytails won’t especially flash back to the early Seventies counterculture, either. Instead, two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff, the director, gives his unruly, thankless, hedonistic charge a buzz cut (his interpretation of the rock opera runs just under two hours with an intermission, which, from the audience’s point of view, isn’t really needed) and revels more in Brecht than the divine: supertitles, like the news ticker in Times Square, put events squarely on track for a countdown to Passover in the year 33. Andrew Lloyd Webber had once discussed the work as “a train, [going] from A to B,” which may have had to do with its success. Now, however, sung virtually straight through, it’s a streamlined express, starlight or otherwise.
(Soloski’s article appeared in the 3/14 Village Voice.)
Can a play ever be too truthful? The Pulitzer committee once thought so. In 1994, it disallowed Anna Deavere-Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992from its drama prize on the grounds that Deavere-Smith relied solely on the words of those she interviewed. (The Tonys permitted the play, though it lost to Angels in America: Perestroika.)
Eighteen years on, a successful solo show is again fomenting questions about drama and journalism, art and accountability. But in this instance, regarding Mike Daisey’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, the problem is not that the piece is too truthful, but that it apparently isn’t truthful enough.
(from the Telegraph, 3/14)
Inspired by working with Kevin Spacey, Sir Trevor Nunn has claimed that American accents are "closer" than contemporary English to the accents of those used in the Bard's day.
The eminent Shakespearean scholar John Barton has suggested that Shakespeare's accent would have sounded to modern ears like a cross between a contemporary Irish, Yorkshire and West Country accent.
Others say that the speech of Elizabethans was much quicker than it is in modern day Shakespeare productions.
Well, now you can judge for yourself.
(Read and hear more)
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(Billington’s article appeared 3/20 in the Guardian.)
It's a shock to realise that few people under the age of 60 will ever have seen Laurence Olivier on stage. It came as an even greater shock to be told recently that many young actors have either scarcely heard of him, or routinely dismiss him as an "old ham". Nothing could be further from the truth. I first came under Olivier's spell when, as a 15-year-old schoolboy, I saw him play Malvolio, Macbeth and Titus Andronicus in a single Stratford season. He was not only a great actor. He was also, allowing for changes of style and taste, a quintessentially modern actor.
(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/18.)
Sometimes how cool you look depends on where you’re standing. When I first saw the musical “Once” at the New York Theater Workshop last December, it registered as a little too twee, too conventionally sentimental, for the East Village. Yet on Broadway — at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater to be exact, where “Once” opened on Sunday night — what is essentially the same production feels as vital and surprising as the early spring that has crept up on Manhattan.
THE BIG MEAL
Sam Gold directs Dan LeFranc’s play, about an eighty-year romance, set in the suburban restaurant where it began. Opens March 21. (Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St. 212-279-4200.)
Bruce Norris wrote this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, which expands on Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” Pam MacKinnon directs the original cast, which includes Christina Kirk, Annie Parisse, Jeremy Shamos, and Frank Wood. Previews begin March 26. (Walter Kerr, 219 W. 48th St. 212-239-6200.)
END OF THE RAINBOW
Tracie Bennett stars as Judy Garland in this play, by Peter Quilter, set in December, 1968, less than a year before her death. Also starring Michael Cumpsty, Tom Pelphrey, and Jay Russell. Terry Johnson directs. In previews. (Belasco, 111 W. 44th St. 212-239-6200.)
Ricky Martin (as Che), Michael Cerveris (as Juan Perón), and Elena Roger (as Eva Perón) star in a revival of the 1978 musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Michael Grandage directs. In previews. (Marquis, Broadway at 46th St. 877-250-2929.)
(Jon Henley’s article appeared in thee Guardian, 3/18.)
Solidarity among crisis-hit Greeks is showing up in unexpected places these days.
At one end of Thessaloniki's long, cafe-lined seafront, behind the 15th-century White Tower that is the city's symbol, is the resplendent main stage of the National Theatre of Northern Greece (NTNG), as imposing a temple to high culture as anyone could wish for.