Monthly Archives: July 2019


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Drew/AP/Shutterstock (6529474b)
Hal Prince, Harold Prince Harold Prince holds his Tony award at Broadway’s Minskoff Theater in New York, . Prince won the best director in a musical for “Show Boat,” the lavish production of the landmark Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical
Tonys Hal Prince, New York, USA

(Mark Kennedy’s article appeared on the AP,  7/31.)

NEW YORK (AP) — Harold Prince, a Broadway director and producer who pushed the boundaries of musical theater with such groundbreaking shows as “The Phantom of the Opera,” ″Cabaret,” ″Company” and “Sweeney Todd” and won a staggering 21 Tony Awards, has died. Prince was 91.

Prince’s publicist Rick Miramontez said Prince died Wednesday after a brief illness in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Prince was known for his fluid, cinematic director’s touch and was unpredictable and uncompromising in his choice of stage material. He often picked challenging, offbeat subjects to musicalize, such as a murderous, knife-wielding barber who baked his victims in pies or the 19th-century opening of Japan to the West.

(Read more)



Listen on BBC Radio 3 

Vladimir Mayakovsky was THE poet of the Russian Revolution. A revolutionary in his personal life as well as in his art, Mayakovsky sought to overthrow traditional practices and became the spokesperson for a radical new society. But the tensions and demands of speaking on behalf of the state would take its toll. In 1930 a nation went into mourning when Mayakovsky took a pistol and shot himself through the heart. Ian Sansom has been reading Mayakovsky since he was a teenager, inspired by Mayakovsky’s uncompromising example as a total artist, prepared to sacrifice everything for his vision. Ian travels to Mayakovsky’s birthplace in Georgia and speaks to poets, translators and academics who are seeking to keep Mayakovsky’s legacy alive. With rare archive recordings of Mayakovsky reading his own work, a Russian Futurist soundtrack from the period and on-location recordings from Moscow, Georgia and London, Ian attempts to resurrect the spirit of Mayakovsky.

Producer: Conor Garrett.



PTP/NYC (Potomac Theatre Project), in association with Middlebury College, proudly presents its 33rd repertory season, its 13th consecutive in New York City, running to August 4, 2019 in a limited Off-Broadway engagement at The Atlantic Stage 2, located at 330 West 16th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues.

This season’s line-up includes DOGG’S HAMLET, CAHOOT’S MACBETH, by Tom Stoppard, directed by PTP’s Co-Artistic Director Cheryl Faraone, and HAVEL: THE PASSION OF THOUGHT, comprised of five serio-comic one act plays by Vaclav Havel, Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett, directed by PTP’s Co-Artistic Director Richard Romagnoli.

Performances are Tuesdays – Sundays at 7pm, Saturdays – Sundays at 2pm, and select Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2pm. Schedule varies – for exact days and times visit Tickets are $37.50, $22.50 for students and seniors, and $20 for previews. Purchase online at or by calling 1-866-811-4111.

The New York Times says PTP/NYC “stands out amid the summer season’s fluff and fringiness as one to turn to for serious work” and The New Yorker calls the company’s work “daring and provocative.” The Village Voice states, “Every July, PTP/NYC presents a season of serious drama, a powerful burst of counter-programming to New York’s summer silliness. Since PTP moved to New York in 2007, its program at Atlantic Stage 2 has become one of the grounding moments of this city’s theater scene, with the ensemble focusing on stories of sociopolitical struggle—always thorny epics, always rich with language.” Huffington Post says, “Potomac Theatre Project bring intelligent, beautifully directed and performed fare to New York and we are so much luckier for it.” One Magazine states, “PTP/NYC are an extraordinary company. They choose powerful, thought-provoking work, and their actors, directors and technicians work together in such a seamless way, there are no chinks in this armor. PTP/NYC is necessary theatre, right here, right now.”

The Atlantic Stage 2 is accessible from the A, C, E, L trains to 14 St./8 Ave. or the 1, 2, 3 trains to 14 St.

For more info visit, Like them on Facebook at, follow on Twitter at @ptpnyc (, and on Instagram at @ptpnyc.official (

(via David Gibbs, DARR Publicity)



Tuesday, August 20, 2019 from 6:30pm-8:30pm

Polaris North Theatre

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) announces a Free Introduction to TRU’s Producer Program on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at Polaris North Studio, 245 W. 29th St, 4th floor, NYC. Tickets are free but space is limited! RSVP at

TRU will host a free meet-and-greet info session about their Producer Development and Mentorship Program (PDMP). Prospective applicants will have the opportunity to learn from and network with TRU’s commercial producer instructors: R. Erin Craig of La Vie Productions (Himself and NoraStalking the BogeymanMr. Rickey Calls a MeetingAusten’s Pride, Academy) who runs the Foundations Class; and Jane Dubin (The Prom, Farinelli and the King, An American in Paris) and Rachel Weinstein (Tony Award winner for The Ferryman and Dear Evan Hansen), who run the Master Class which is open to graduates of Basic Class, and a limited number of producers with a high level of experience. Participants will also meet and hear from successful program graduates.

PDMP’s purpose is to give members the knowledge and resources to become commercial theater producers, non-profit theater producers and/or self-producing artists. (There may come a time in every theater artist’s life when you need to self-produce a show and create your own opportunities, and PDMP aims to provide the tools for that occasion.) TRU’s program teaches necessary skills such as developing a business plan, raising money, budgeting, marketing and putting together creative production teams. For more information, below is the link to the full program description and application.

PDMP is the only theater production program to offer such in-depth instruction from accomplished and active commercial producers at such an affordable price. TRU’s Foundations Class meets one evening of each month for 9 or 10 months, and the cost is $295 ($29.50/class). There will be limited discount “scholarships” for college students and recent grads. Master Class costs $425 for nine sessions and has a highly competitive submission process. Email for more details. The informational session on August 20th is completely free. Reserve using the red ticketing box at


R. ERIN CRAIG/La Vie Productions LLC – Since 1997, Erin and her company, La Vie Productions, have worked with artists and new projects in theatre, film and music through their work as a General Manager, Production Manager, Grassroot Marketing / Branding Consultant, Executive Producer and Producer. Current projects include: Austen’s Pride: A New Musical of Pride and PrejudiceMr. Rickey Calls A MeetingAcademyNonsense and BeautyChick Flick, The Musical Recent projects include: Easter Mysteries (live film), Himself and NoraFor Heaven’s SakeLiberty: A Monumental MusicalStalking the BogeymanVelocity of AutumnIn The HeightsHigh FidelityIrena’s Vow,  How We Got Away With It (film), and with Houses On The Moon Theatre Company, The Assignment and gUN COUNTRY. Erin is a member of The Broadway League, The Off-Broadway League, The League of Professional Theatre Women, Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) and NY Women in Film and Television.

JANE DUBIN is a TONY Award-winning producer and the President of Double Play Connections, a theatrical production and management company committed to supporting emerging artists and playwrights in the creation and development of new works. Jane is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute’s 14-week (NYC) and O’Neill Center Intensive (CT) Producing Workshops and past Director of Theater Resources Unlimited’s Producer Development Program, and current Director of the program’s Master Class. Current Broadway: The Prom.  Previously:  Farinelli and the King (5 Tony nominations), starring Mark Rylance, BandstandAn American in Paris on Broadway (4 TONY Awards), National Tour and in London, Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey(Off Broadway and on Tour). Upcoming: Fingersmith. Previously: Peter and the Starcatcher(Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tour), winner of 5 TONY Awards; Ann, starring Holland Taylor (Lincoln Center); The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (London); The 39 Steps (OB, Tour); The Norman Conquests (TONY Award, Best Play Revival), Groundswell (the New Group), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (2008 GLAAD Media Award for Theatre). Other: OPA! at TBG Theatre (Best Commercial Production, MITF 2008), Take Me America (Best Musical, MITF 2007), Count Down, (Bank Street Theatre) and the one-woman show that started it all, MentalPause by Margaret Liston. Ms. Dubin is a full voting member of the Broadway League. She is President of the Board of Directors of Houses on the Moon Theater Company and a prior Board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. For two years she was co-curator of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center New Play Reading Series. She co-produced Hudson River Rising, presenting events for One Billion Rising (V-Day) 2013 and 2014. She has been a member of the Grand Jury for NYMF from 2015 through the current 2019 season.

RACHEL WEINSTEIN is a Broadway producer with over two decades of experience in professional performing arts management.  She is currently represented on Broadway with the Tony winner The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth. Rachel began her career in the not-for-profit sector holding leadership positions at theatre companies around the globe including: Roundabout Theatre Company (New York), Donmar Warehouse (London), Writers’ Theatre (Chicago) and The Old Vic (London/New York). In 2012, Rachel segued to the commercial side of the business producing for Broadway.  Her producing credits include: The Heiress (starring Jessica Chastain), the Pulitzer-prize winning Disgraced, Hughie (starring Forest Whitaker), the world premiere musical of An American in Paris and Farinelli and the King (starring Mark Rylance). Rachel is also an Associate Producer of the Tony Award-winning musical, Dear Evan Hansen, which is currently playing on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre.  Rachel’s upcoming projects include: the new Broadway-bound musical, Jagged Little Pill, developed from Alanis Morissette’s Grammy Award-winning album.  Rachel is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute’s 14-week Intensive (New York) and a former member of TCG’s National Council for the American Theatre.

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-five year old 501c3 nonprofit organization created to help producers produce, emerging theater to emerge healthily and all theater professionals to understand and navigate the business of the arts. Membership includes self-producing artists as well as career producers and theater companies.

TRU publishes an email community newsletter of services, goods and productions; presents the TRU VOICES Annual New Play Reading Series and Annual New Musicals Reading Series, two new works series in which TRU underwrites developmental readings to nurture new shows as well as new producers for theater; offers a Producer Development & Mentorship Program whose mentors are among the most prominent producers and general managers in New York theater, and also presents Producer Boot Camp workshops to help aspirants develop the business skills they need. TRU serves writers through a Writer-Producer Speed Date, a Practical Playwriting Workshop, How to Write a Musical That Works and a Director-Writer Communications Lab; programs for actors include the Annual Combined Audition, Resource Nights and “Speed Dating” as well as actor workshops.

For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit or call 212 714-7628.

(via Michelle Tabnick)



(Laura Cappelle’s article appeared in The New York Times, 7/18; via Pam Green.)

An underwhelming official lineup led many festivalgoers to branch out into the less well-known complimentary program.

AVIGNON, France — There isn’t one Avignon Festival every July, but two. On the one hand, France’s biggest theater event presents an official selection of productions, known in Anglicized French as “le In.” On the other, you have “le Off” — an open-access, Fringe-style festival which has mushroomed to include more than 1,500 productions this year.

This summer, the contrast between the two events has been especially stark. Disappointment in the main lineup has dominated conversations here, inevitably followed by recommendations for the Off. The In and its director, Olivier Py, have themselves to blame for the downturn. Too often, the theme of this year’s edition — odysseys — led to predictable and preachy theater. Productions raced straight to answers, political or otherwise.

The journey was at least intriguingly personal in “Outside,” a hotly anticipated new work by the Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov. Mr. Serebrennikov, who has been accused of fraud in Russia, was released on bail in April after nearly 20 months of house arrest, yet remains banned from leaving Moscow.

The case against him is widely seen as a trumped-up attack on artistic freedom, and Mr. Serebrennikov has continued to work regardless, directing productions from afar. For “Outside,” he took inspiration from another artist who fell afoul of the authorities in his country: the Chinese photographer and poet Ren Hang, who was arrested several times for his explicit work before killing himself in 2017, at age 29.

(Read more)










A celebration of the simple joys of life, and the story of Brecht’s much-loved poem that described them.

In 1954, poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht was the leader of his own theatre company and an international literary star. But his relationship with the East German communist party was growing increasingly strained, with projects derailed and poems censored. It was a time of disappointment, as he began to see the gap between the hopes that kept him alive throughout the years of war and exile, and the reality of life in the GDR.

Out of this context came a simple poem, Vergnügungen, a list of pleasures, which moves from “the first look out of the window in the morning” via showering, swimming, the dog, dialectics and “comfortable shoes” to “being friendly”, a phrase that for Brecht signified a utopian ideal.

The poem is a statement of the delights of the everyday, but it also looks out into the world beyond the private sphere.

Writer and ecologist Joanna Macy, philosopher Christopher Hamilton, pleasure activist Adrienne Maree Brown and German scholar Karen Leeder reflect on what Brecht’s list of simple pleasures can tell us about our own time.

Music composed and performed by Phil Smith. 
Piano pieces recorded on location at Brecht’s house in Buckow, Germany

Produced by Phil Smith 

A Somethin’ Else production for BBC Radio 4



(Michael Paulson’s article appeared in The New York Times, 7/13; via Pam Green.)

Most theaters closed down on their most lucrative night of the week, but some casts gave their fans a memorable moment.

“The Phantom of the Opera” was one of about two dozen Broadway shows that had to cancel performances during the blackout.

Nightly at Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theater, Hades, the king of an industrial underworld, boasts of his “power chords and power lines” before bellowing, as the lights flash, “I conduct the Electric City!”

But on Saturday night, even the title character of “Hadestown” turned out to be powerless.

The blackout that darkened parts of Manhattan’s West Side forced the closure of all but a handful of Broadway shows — as well as movie theaters, Carnegie Hall, a Jennifer Lopez concert at Madison Square Garden, much of Lincoln Center and many smaller venues, stranding ticketholders and disappointing tourists who had flocked to performance venues for a Saturday night out.

“There was a line of people outside waiting, so we hate to have to not do the show for them,” Aaron Tveit, one of the stars of “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” which is now in previews, said disappointedly as he left the shuttered Hirschfeld Theater. “Hopefully everyone is just safe.”

The electricity failed about an hour before curtain for most shows, meaning the casts and crew were already in place and audiences were on their way.

(Read more)

Photo:  The New York Times



(From Andrea Alton, Alton PR and Production)

Hip to Hip Theatre Company Announces Summer Dates & Venues for 2019 Season Tour of Free Shakespeare in the Parks

A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard III

Running in Repertory July 24 – August 25 in Parks in all Five Boroughs, New Jersey and Long Island

Hip to Hip Theatre Company is pleased to announce their summer tour dates which will include performances in fifteen parks throughout Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, The Bronx, New Jersey and Long Island. The company’s 2019 Free Shakespeare in the Parks tour runs July 24 – August 25.

Audiences will have a chance to enjoy the romantic comedic romp, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (directed by S.C. Lucier), and the historic tragedy Richard III (directed by David Frederick Mold), under the stars. The two productions will perform in rotating repertory. Hip to Hip’s popular interactive children’s workshop “Kids & the Classics,” will be offered thirty minutes before each performance. Audience members are encouraged to bring a blanket or low chair, picnic fare and enjoy a Shakespeare play in the open air. No tickets are necessary.

Artistic Director Jason Marr, discussed this season’s play selection,  “Hip to Hip’s new radical adaptation of Richard III attempts to bridge the divide between the real man and the caricature the Tudors, aided and abetted by Shakespeare, perpetuated . . . With the discovery of Richard III’s remains . . . the exhumed skeleton reveals Richard had severe scoliosis, but it bears no suggestion that he was a hunchback with a withered arm and unequally sized legs.” 

The repertory cast includes Leah Alfieri, Kendall Devin Bell, Katie Fanning*, Rebecca Wei Hsieh, Kurt Kingsley*, Tristan Land, Axel Marr, Bree Marr, Jason Marr*, Joy Marr*, Josh Miccio, Austin Nguyen, Anuj Parikh, Sophia Parola, Patrick Singer and Colin Wulff*.

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Four young lovers escape the tyranny of the court to find love in a magical forest. On the same night and in the same forest, the king and queen of the fairies declare war on each other and a company of amateur actors meet to rehearse a play. See what happens when a mischievous sprite called Puck weaves their three stories into one.
Richard III
After a long civil war, England enjoys a period of peace under King Edward. But Edward’s younger brother Richard, who helped him to the throne, grows restless in the shadows. Shakespeare’s searing drama chronicles the bloody rise and fall of the last English king to die on the battlefield.

Kids & the Classics
“Kids & the Classics” is the companion piece to Hip to Hip’s program of “Free Shakespeare in the Parks.” This free interactive workshop is offered 30 minutes before every performance, and is designed for children ages 4 to 12. It gives children a chance to interact with the text by previewing the characters and situations and creating links between the text and their own lives.

2019 Performance Schedule

*Kids & the Classics, interactive workshop begins 30 minutes prior to each performance.
Wednesday, July 24 @ 7:30 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
QUEENS Flushing Meadows Corona Park (@ the Unisphere)
Thursday, July 25 @ 8:00 pm – Richard III
QUEENS Cunningham Park (Union Turnpike & 196th Street)
Friday, July 26 @ 7:30 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
BROOKLYN Fort Greene Park (Monument Steps) 
Saturday, July 27 @ 5:00 pm – Richard III
MANHATTAN Jackie Robinson Park Bandshell (85 Bradhurst Avenue @ 148th Street)

Tuesday, July 30 @ 8:00 pm – Rain date

Wednesday, July 31 @ 7:30 pm – Richard III
BROOKLYN Bushwick Inlet Pop-Up Park (50 Kent Avenue)

Thursday, August 1 @ 7:30 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
QUEENS Crocheron Park (35th Avenue & Corbett Road) 

Friday, August 2 @ 7:30 pm – Richard III
BROOKLYN Fort Greene Park (Monument Steps) 
Saturday, August 3 @ 5:00 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
STATEN ISLAND Alice Austen House (1000 Richmond Terrace)
Sunday, August 4 @ 5:00 pm – Richard III
QUEENS Socrates Sculpture Park (32-01 Vernon Boulevard)

Wednesday, August 7 @ 7:00 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
JERSEY CITY Newport on the Green (14th St & River Drive S.) 
Thursday, August 8 @ 7:00 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
QUEENS LeFrak City (59-17 Junction Boulevard, Corona)
Friday, August 9 @ 7:30 pm – Richard III
QUEENS Voelker Orth Museum (149-19 38th Avenue, Flushing)
Saturday, August 10 @ 7:30 pm – Richard III
QUEENS Gantry Plaza State Park (4-09 47th Road) 
Sunday, August 11 @ 5:00 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
QUEENS Socrates Sculpture Park (32-01 Vernon Boulevard)

Tuesday, August 13 @ 7:00 pm – Rain date

Wednesday, August 14 @ 7:30 pm – Richard III
QUEENS Sunnyside Gardens Park (48-21 39th Avenue @ 49th Street)
Thursday, August 15 @ 8:00 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
QUEENS Cunningham Park (Union Turnpike & 196th Street)
Friday, August 16 @ 7:30 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
QUEENS Voelker Orth Museum (149-19 38th Avenue, Flushing)
Saturday, August 17 @ 7:30 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
QUEENS Gantry Plaza State Park (4-09 47th Road) 
Sunday, August 18 – 6:00 pm – Richard III
BRONX Van Cortlandt Park (Broadway & 245th Street) 

Tuesday, August 20 @ 8:00 pm – Rain date
Wednesday, August 21 @ 7:30 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
QUEENS Sunnyside Gardens Park (48-21 39th Avenue) 
Thursday, August 22 @ 7:30 pm – Richard III
QUEENS Crocheron Park (35th Avenue & Corbett Road) 

Friday, August 23 @ 7:30 pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
SOUTHAMPTON Agawam Park (25 Pond Lane) 
Saturday, August 24 @ 7:30 pm – Richard III
SOUTHAMPTON Agawam Park (25 Pond Lane) 

Sunday, August 25 @ 5:00 pm – Rain date

About Hip to Hip Theatre Company Hip to Hip, now in its 13th year, is dedicated to stimulating and developing interest in the theatre arts in underserved communities by providing free, family-friendly, professional productions of popular classics, and free theatre workshops for children, in public spaces.

Photos (from top): Demelza Leffert, Ann Price



(Georgianna Ziegler’s article appeared in Shakespeare & Beyond, 7/9; via Pam Green.)

Shakespeare by the sea, on the river, in the park or garden, on the common – in the summertime Shakespeare’s plays are everywhere outdoors! High-profile shows in New York’s Central Park or at Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival may come to mind for active theatergoers today, but the inspiration for this kind of outdoor performance actually came from semi-amateur theatricals, often led by women, in England and America in the late 19th century.

Lady Archibald Campbell, Agnes Booth, and As You Like It

One of the earliest and most influential of these productions was organized by Janey Seville Pastoral Players. In 1884 and 1885, they put on productions of As You Like It at the Coombe Warren estate in Surrey, with proceeds going to charity. (The Folger Shakespeare Library owns an archive of ima Callander, better known as Lady Archibald Campbell.

(Read more)


(Mark Fisher’s article appeared in the Guardian, 7/9.)

Crucible, Sheffield

Transformative puppetry, design and direction, and a great human lead, make this adaptation of Yann Martel’s book unmissable

5/5 stars  

A tip for playwrights: when you want to field a formidable character, make sure you give them a good build-up. Do as Lolita Chakrabarti does in her theatrically savvy adaptation of the Yann Martel novel and keep us waiting. By the time Richard Parker, the accidentally named Bengal tiger, slinks on stage, she has primed us to expect something awesome. We already believe in his animal power and carnivorous appetite.novel and keep us waiting. 

(Read more)