Monthly Archives: October 2016

WUZHEN THEATRE FESTIVAL STRIVING TO BECOME THE WORLD’S BEST ·

(from Sina English, 10/25.)

If “China speed” has become a synonym for ground-breaking and tremendous economic growth of the country since its reform and opening-up, then “Wuzhen speed” is very likely to become an epitome of the city’s ambitious changes in the field of culture and art in the future.

From October 13 to 22, the 4th Wuzhen Theatre Festival staged a total of 79 performances by 22 invited productions, half of which came from Europe, at 13 theaters, while also expanding its regular programs to include two exhibitions and five forums about theatrical art and the theater industry. Participants at the forums included members from the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC), 16 artistic directors from central and eastern Europe, as well as art festival directors and cultural officials from seven Arabian countries.

“How long will it take for the Wuzhen Theatre Festival to become the best theater festival in the world?” Yu Kwok-lit, executive director of Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA), asked Meng Jinghui, the artistic director of the Wuzhen festival in 2015 and 2016, at a producers’ forum hosted by WKCDA during the festival.

(Read more)

http://english.sina.com/culture/her/2016-10-25/detail-ifxwztru7107303.shtml

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HUGO/GROSE/PHILLIPS/TEITLER: ‘THE GRINNING MAN’ (SV PICK, UK) ·

(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/23.)

You can see why Victor Hugo attracts the makers of musicals: his novels are almost excessively theatrical. After Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables and Lionel Bart’s Quasimodo, we now have a new version of L’Homme qui rit (1869), already twice filmed, with a score by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler and a book by Carl Grose. Although it still needs work, it makes for a wonderfully weird, macabre musical.

The novel is specifically set in late 17th-century England which, in Grose’s version, becomes a mythical Bristol. The disfigured hero, Grinpayne, is employed as a fairground freak, is loved by a sightless girl and aches to learn how his face came to be lacerated.

(Read more)

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/oct/23/the-grinning-man-review-victor-hugo-musical

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J.M. BARRIE: ‘MARY ROSE’ (LISTEN NOW ON BBC RADIO 3—LINK BELOW) ·

Listen to ‘MARY ROSE’ at:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0801l4v

JM Barrie’s haunting play about a sinister Scottish island and a girl who never grows up. A soldier sits staring into the fire in an empty, dark house while an unsettling and tragic history unfolds before him. Written in the aftermath of the First World War, Barrie’s play about loss and the mystery of life is by turns comic, eerie and heartbreaking.

Original music is composed and performed by Laura Moody, singer cellist. Laura was recently nominated for an Off-West End Theatre Award for her Sound Design of DREAMPLAY at The Vaults in Waterloo, London.

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‘THE NEW YORKER’ THEATRE LISTINGS, 10/31 PLAYDECK ·

In previews. Opens Oct. 24.

A Life

In Adam Bock’s play, directed by Anne Kauffman, David Hyde Pierce plays a man who recovers from a breakup by looking for answers in astrological charts.READ MORE »

Playwrights Horizons

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Oct. 30.

Coriolanus

Red Bull Theatre presents Shakespeare’s politically minded tragedy, directed by Michael Sexton and starring Dion Johnstone as the Roman general.READ MORE »

Barrow Street Theatre

Downtown

In previews.

Dead Poets Society

Jason Sudeikis plays a nonconformist teacher at an all-boys school, in Tom Schulman’s adaptation of his screenplay for the 1989 film, directed by John Doyle.READ MORE »

Classic Stage Company

Downtown

 

In previews.

The Death of the Last Black Man in…

Suzan-Lori Parks’s comedy, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, explores the archetypes of the African-American experience in absurdist vignettes.READ MORE »

Pershing Square Signature Center

Midtown

 

Through Nov. 6.

Duat

SoHo Rep presents a new piece—part vaudeville, part gospel show—created by the performance artist Daniel Alexander Jones and featuring his soul-singing alter ego, Jomama Jones.READ MORE »

Connelly

Downtown

In previews.

Falsettos

James Lapine directs a revival of the 1992 musical, with a score by William Finn, in which an unconventional family navigates gay life, AIDS, and bar mitzvahs in Koch-era Manhattan.…READ MORE »

Walter Kerr

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Nov. 6.

Finian’s Rainbow

Melissa Errico stars in the 1947 musical, about an Irish father and daughter who escape to the Jim Crow South after stealing a pot of gold from a leprechaun.READ MORE »

Irish Repertory

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In previews. Opens Oct. 20.

The Front Page

Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, Sherie Rene Scott, Holland Taylor, and Robert Morse star in Jack O’Brien’s revival of the 1928 comedy, about Chicago newspapermen…READ MORE »

Broadhurst

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Nov. 6.

Homos, or Everyone in America

Robin De Jesús and Michael Urie portray a couple whose life is complicated by a violent crime in Jordan Seavey’s play, directed by Mike Donahue for Labyrinth Theatre Company.…READ MORE »

Bank Street Theatre

Downtown

 

Opens Nov. 2.

Kingdom Come

In Jenny Rachel Weiner’s play, directed by Kip Fagan for Roundabout Underground, two women venture under false identities into the world of Internet dating.READ MORE »

Black Box, Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Oct. 30.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Janet McTeer, Liev Schreiber, and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen star in Josie Rourke’s revival of the Christopher Hampton drama, depicting the seductive games of aristocrats in pre-Revolutionary France.READ MORE »

Booth

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Nov. 7.

“Master Harold” . . . and the Boys

Athol Fugard directs his 1982 drama, set in a tea shop in South Africa in 1950, where two black men and a white boy face the cruelties of apartheid.READ MORE »

Pershing Square Signature Center

Midtown

 

In previews.

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Josh Groban and Denée Benton star in Dave Malloy’s electro-pop adaptation of a section of “War and Peace.” Rachel Chavkin directs the immersive production, which originated at Ars Nova.…READ MORE »

Imperial

Midtown

 

Opens Nov. 2.

Notes from the Field

Anna Deavere Smith’s new solo work, based on more than two hundred and fifty interviews, explores issues of education, inequality, and criminal justice.READ MORE »

Second Stage

Midtown

In previews.

Othello: The Remix

The Q Brothers (“The Bomb-itty of Errors”) perform their five-person, eighty-minute hip-hop retelling of the Shakespeare tragedy.READ MORE »

Westside

Midtown

 

 

In previews.

Party People

The Universes ensemble stages this piece about the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords, based on interviews with veterans…READ MORE »

Public

Downtown

 

In previews. Opens Oct. 20.

Plenty

In David Leveaux’s revival of the David Hare drama, last seen at the Public in 1982, Rachel Weisz plays a British secret agent adjusting to everyday life after working…READ MORE »

Public

Downtown

 

Oct. 26-29.

Request Concert

At the Next Wave Festival, the Latvian director Yana Ross stages Franz Xaver Kroetz’s play, which consists of only stage directions and depicts a woman (Danuta Stenka) alone in…READ MORE »

BAM Fisher

Brooklyn

 

In previews. Opens Oct. 31.

Sagittarius Ponderosa

The National Asian American Theatre Company presents MJ Kaufman’s play, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, in which a transgender man returns home to central Oregon as his father’s…READ MORE »

3LD Art & Technology Center

Downtown

 

Oct. 24-26. Closing soon

Sunday in the Park with George

Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford star in a special concert performance of the 1984 Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical, to benefit New York City Center.READ MORE »

City Center

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Nov. 3.

Sweat

Kate Whoriskey directs a new play by Lynn Nottage, about a group of friends from an assembly line who find themselves at odds amid layoffs and pickets.READ MORE »

Public

Downtown

 

In previews.

Terms of Endearment

Molly Ringwald stars in Dan Gordon’s play, based on the Larry McMurtry novel and the 1983 film, which follows a mother and daughter coping with love and tragedy over…READ MORE »

59E59

Midtown

 

In previews. Opens Oct. 23.

Two Class Acts

A. R. Gurney premières a pair of short plays: “Squash,” about a college professor grappling with a student’s provocative take on Plato, and “Ajax,” in which an actress turned…READ MORE »

Flea

Downtown

 

In previews. Opens Oct. 25.

Vietgone

Manhattan Theatre Club stages a play by Qui Nguyen, directed by May Adrales, about two Vietnam War refugees (based on the playwright’s parents) in a relocation camp in Arkansas.…READ MORE »

City Center Stage I

Midtown

 

Opens Oct. 26.

Wilderness

En Garde Arts presents a multimedia piece about the pressures of addiction, trauma, and sexual identity, based on interviews with young adults and accompanied by a folk score.READ MORE »

Abrons Arts Center

Downtown

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CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE CREDITED AS ONE OF SHAKESPEARE’S CO-WRITERS ·

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(Dalya Alberge’s article appeared in the Observer, 10/23.)

The long-held suggestion that Christopher Marlowe was William Shakespeare is now widely dismissed, along with other authorship theories. But Marlowe is enjoying the next best thing – taking centre stage alongside his great Elizabethan rival with a credit as co-writer of the three Henry VI plays.

The two dramatists will appear jointly on each of the three title pages of the plays within the New Oxford Shakespeare, a landmark project to be published by Oxford University Press this month.

Using old-fashioned scholarship and 21st-century computerised tools to analyse texts, the edition’s international scholars have contended that Shakespeare’s collaboration with other playwrights was far more extensive than has been realised until now.

(Read more)

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/oct/23/christopher-marlowe-credited-as-one-of-shakespeares-co-writers

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THE AMORALISTS 2016-2017 SEASON TO INCLUDE KEN URBAN’S ‘NIBBLER’, DIRECTED BY BENJAMIN KAMINE, AND SIX NEW AUTHORS IN THE COMPANY’S YEAR-LONG PLAYWRIGHT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ·

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(Via David Gibbs, DARR Publicity)

PREVIEWS FOR KEN URBAN’S ‘NIBBLER’ BEGIN FEBRUARY 23, OPENS FEBRUARY 27, RUNS THROUGH MARCH 18

New York, NY – The Amoralists has announced their 2016-2017 season, which will include the world premiere of Ken Urban’s NIBBLER, directed by Benjamin Kamine, and ‘Wright Club’s ‘Wright Nights, featuring six new authors in the company’s year-long playwright development program.

NIBBLER runs from February 23 – March 18, 2017 in a limited engagement at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, located at 224 Waverly Place between Perry & West 11th Streets in New York City. Previews begin February 23 for a February 27 opening. Tickets will go on sale in January 2017 at http://www.TheAmoralists.com or by calling 1-866-811-4111.

In the summer of 1992 in Medford, New Jersey, Adam and his gang of friends face life after high school. But when the fivesome encounter a mysterious visitor from another world, their lives are forever changed. A dark comedy with music about that time when everything and nothing seems possible.

The cast and design team for NIBBLER will be announced at a later date.

‘Wright Club is The Amoralists year-long playwright development program, in which six authors face off with their harshest critics, themselves, through guided artistic challenges and structured peer support. They are a community of playmakers bound by the principles, and strengthened in the practice, of courageous vulnerability.

The Amoralists ‘Wright Club mission is to build a community of artists, focusing primarily on writers for the theatre; To deepen authors’ understanding of their own process through production; And to broaden the theatre community’s conversation about playmaking.

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This season’s six authors include Lawrence Dial, Tanya Everett, Jessica Hinds, Stacey Rose, Becca Schlossberg and Lizzie Vieh.

All ‘Wright Club ‘Wright Night events begin at 7pm and are free to the public. For venue information and to reserve seats visit http://www.TheAmoralists.com.

‘WRIGHT NIGHT “ROUND 2” 2016-2017 SCHEDULE

Monday, November 21 – ‘Wright Night 1: CIRCLE MIRROR ALTERCATION
Monday, January 9 – ‘Wright Night 2: ABRASION IN THE SUN
Monday, March 6 – ‘Wright Night 3: ‘FIGHT, MOTHER
Monday, April 17 – ‘Wright Night 4: HOW I LEARNED TO PILE-DRIVE
Monday, June 5 – ‘Wright Night 5: IN THE NEXT ROUND, or THE FLY-WEIGHTER PLAY
Monday, July 17 – ‘Wright Night 6: KUNG FU AND HER FRIENDS

Dedicated to an honest expression of the American condition, THE AMORALISTS produce work of no moral judgment. From New York Times’ Critics’ Pick productions and world premiere work from writers including Adam Rapp, Emily Schwend and Ken Urban, THE AMORALISTS bring audiences stories that are incisive, at times outrageous, and always entertaining. With a cadre of artists known for their raw and visceral performance style, “nobody else weds old-fashioned realist structure to working-class-hero lunacy quite this way” (Time Out New York).

Now in their tenth season and third residency at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, “THE AMORALISTS have cemented their reputation as the most promising, crowd-pleasing ensemble to emerge downtown” (The New York Times). For info visit http://www.TheAmoralists.com, Like them on Facebook at https://www.Facebook.com/TheAmoralists, and follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheAmoralists and Instagram at https://www.Instagram.com/TheAmoralists.

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ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Ken Urban is a playwright and screenwriter based in New York. His plays have been produced Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 59E59 Theatres, The Summer Play Festival at The Public, and Studio 42. He has developed new work at a number of theaters including Playwrights Horizons, Huntington Theatre Company, Theatre @ Boston Court, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Donmar Warehouse (London) and Primary Stages. In 2015, A Future Perfect received its World Premiere at SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston. Sense of an Ending opened in London at Theatre503 in May, then in New York at 59E59 Theatres in August. He wrote the screenplay for The Happy Sad, which screened internationally at over 25 film festivals, and is now available on iTunes and Amazon. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service in the United States and Methuen in the United Kingdom and Europe. Awards include the Weissberger Playwriting Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Playwriting, Huntington Theater Playwriting Fellowship, Headlands Artist Residency, Djerassi Artist Residency, Dramatist Guild Fellowship, and MacDowell Colony Fellowships. He is a member playwright at New Dramatists in New York, and a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis.

Benjamin Kamine is a Manhattan-based stage director with a focus on new work. His recent credits include the world premieres of Carlyle by Thomas Bradshaw (Goodman Theatre) and A Comedy of Manors by Zoe Samuel (Adirondack Theatre Festival), the New York premiere of Washer/Dryer by Nandita Shenoy (Ma-Yi Theatre Company), and the world premiere of a cautionary tail by Christopher Oscar Pena (Flea Theater). Kamine is an Associate Artist at The Flea Theater and the Resident Director at the Jewish Plays Project. He has developed new work with Ars Nova, Berkeley Rep, Cape Cod Theatre Project, the Civilians, Ensemble Studio Theater, the Goodman Theatre, the Lark, Ma-Yi Theater Company, New York Theatre Workshop, PlayPenn, Playwrights Realm, Primary Stages, and Soho Rep among many others. Kamine has been a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, the 15-16 and 16-17 Civilians R&D Group, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and he is a 16-17 LABA Fellow.

Photo of Ken Urban:  Credit Kevin Thomas Garcia.  All rights reserved.

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ALAN BENNETT READS EXTRACTS FROM HIS RECENTLY PUBLISHED DIARIES (LINK BELOW) ·

Listen on BBC Radio 4 at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07zyg5p

Following on from Alan Bennett’s bestselling, award-winning prose collections Writing Home and Untold Stories, Keeping On Keeping On is a newly-published third anthology featuring his unique observations, recollections and reminiscences.

In these entries, covering the years 2005 to 2014, Bennett looks back on a packed decade that included writing four highly-acclaimed plays – The Habit of Art, People, Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, all of which premiered at the National Theatre – as well as the screenplays for the hit films of The History Boys and The Lady in the Van.

In addition, he reflects on his 25 years of friendship and collaboration with director Nicholas Hytner, life with his partner Rupert Thomas and, radical views notwithstanding, his status as ‘kindly, cosy and essentially harmless’ – a view which these diaries do their best to disprove.

Today, Alan’s play The History Boys has its last production at the National Theatre and he laments the many abandoned pieces he has written.

Abridged and produced by Gordon House.

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THIS TIME, ANNA DEAVERE SMITH CUTS CLOSE TO HOME ·

(Kate Taylor’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/14; via Pam Green.)

Anna Deavere Smith is coming home.

The protean actress and playwright has spent her career interviewing and then embodying people of different races and divergent points of view — “chasing that which is not me,” as she put it in a recent interview. But her new play, “Notes From the Field,” a prolonged meditation on education and criminal justice, is different.

“This piece,” she said, “is about me.”

That may not be obvious to the audience. Like her previous work, including her most famous one-woman plays, “Fires in the Mirror,” about the 1991 race riots in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992,”about the Rodney King riots, “Notes From the Field” is based on scores of interviews.

Ms. Smith plays 19 characters, including Linda Wayman, the dedicated principal of a struggling high school in Philadelphia; Kevin Moore, the deli worker in Baltimore who videotaped police officers dragging Freddie Gray into a police transport van; and Niya Kenny, the high school student in Columbia, S.C., who videotaped a sheriff’s deputy slamming a 16-year-old girl on the floor in an effort to extract her from her desk.

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/theater/anna-deavere-smith-notes-from-the-field.html

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SIMON CALLOW: WHY ‘AMADEUS’ STRIKES A CHORD ·

(Callow’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/22.)

The first I heard about Amadeus was a characteristically vivid telephone call from the legendarily foul-mouthed director John Dexter (at that time head of productions at the Metropolitan Opera in New York). “Callow? What d’you know about Mozart?” “Well, er, I …” “You’d better find out, hadn’t you, because you’re about to fucking well play Mozart in Peter fucking Shaffer’s new play, aren’t you?” An hour later it was in my hands, in my bedsit in Hampstead.

I read the play with some surprise. I was not taken aback by the story of Mozart’s alleged poisoning at the hands of Antonio Salieri (which I knew from Rimsky-Korsakov’s operatic setting of Pushkin’s play on the same theme), nor by the scatological language; what amazed me was what I took to be the crudeness of the dramaturgy. Mozart appeared to be defined by his giggle; the emperor Joseph II – the most powerful monarch of the second half of the 18th century – simply repeated his catchphrase (“Well, there it is!”); and Mozart’s wife, Constanze, used words such as “delish”.

(Read more)

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/oct/22/from-the-scatological-to-the-sublime-why-amadeus-strikes-a-chord

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LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA: “ARTS EDUCATION…SAVED MY LIFE” ·

(from 98.7 wfmt; via Pam Green.)

Lin-Manuel Miranda has impacted many lives through his Pulitzer Prize-winning work Hamilton: An American Musical. Recently, Miranda revealed how the arts have impacted him, saying that arts education, “saved my life.”

The room where it happened was a studio at Hubbard Street Dance Center in Chicago’s West Loop, home of Hubbard Street Dance. Since Hamilton has landed in Chicago, Miranda stopped by to speak with his college friend and Hubbard Street Director of External Affairs Suzanne Appel about the musical, his career, his journey with dance, and the importance of arts education in his life.

“The impact of arts education on my career is complete, total, and it saved my life. I had the good fortune to go to a magnet school in New York called Hunter and I went there from elementary through high school. There, my life was really changed by an elementary school music teacher named Barbara Ames. She and our shop teacher, Robert Sherman, would direct the sixth grade play. It started when Barbara first arrived at Hunter and that was when I was in kindergarten; so the accident of timing could not be more perfect.

(Read more)

http://www.wfmt.com/2016/10/07/lin-manuel-miranda-arts-educationsaved-life/

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