Europe's Hottest Theatre Directors, Student $30 ‘All Access Season Pass', #TheatreToo Campaign and More Local, National, and International News to Inspire, to Stir, and to Entertain


The Lemon

The Lemon

Writer


LOCAL

Audio Interview: The cast of “PARADISE - A Divine Bluegrass Musical Comedy” at The Ruskin Group Theatre

Going from coal mine to prime time, a small town sees hope for salvation. On the verge of living the American Dream, this satirical musical lowbrow hoedown is about to be outsourced. Can a charming new preacher and a bombshell sidekick, he's rescued from the stripper pole at the Innuendo Lounge, save the day. listen to it here


Audio Interview: The cast of “The Glass Menagerie” at International City Theatre

The iconic American classic that launched the career of American playwright Tennessee Williams, this autobiographical “memory play” captures the fragility and stifled yearning of characters clinging to hope against the harsh realities of a rapidly changing world. Confined to a tiny St. Louis apartment on the eve of World War II, the Wingfield family struggles to find beauty amid the rough circumstances that surround them. listen to it here


Audio Interview: Kirsten Vangsness - Penelope Garcia on CBS's Criminal Minds stars in ‘Marian or The True Tale of Robin Hood' at Theatre of NOTE

A gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic tale. Robin Hood is (and has always been) Maid Marian in disguise, and leads a motley group of Merry Men (few of whom are actually men) against the greedy Prince John. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, who will stand for the vulnerable if not Robin? What is the cost of revealing your true self in a time of trouble? Modern concerns and romantic entanglements clash on the battlefield and on the ramparts of Nottingham Castle. A play about selfishness and selflessness and love deferred and the fight. Always the fight. The fight must go on. listen to it here


Audio Interview: André de Vanny stars in ‘Swansong' at Skylight Theatre

Pulled from the streets of 1960's Ireland, this gritty monodrama tells the story of Austin “Occi” Byrne, abused and isolated, violent, vulnerable, and searching for redemption. listen to it here


Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Offers Student $30 ‘All Access Season Pass'

Shrewd college students ages 17 to 30 can enjoy one of the best bargains in the city with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's (LACO) Campus to Concert Hall All Access Pass, which provides admission to some thirty LACO concerts and events for $30, the equivalent of just $1 per ticket. read more here


NATIONAL

American Theatre Magazine's #TheatreToo Issue Tackles Harassment and Abuse in the Theatre

American Theatre Magazine, published by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), is proud to announce the publication of its September 2018 issue focused on harassment and abuse in the theatre.

American Theatre Magazine September 2018 Issue Called #TheatreToo after the #MeToo movement, the issue examines the problems of abuse, harassment, and sexism in the theatre. How have the nation's large and small theatres allowed these problems to persist, and what are they doing to disrupt and prevent them in the future? How have survivors told their stories and recovered their lives, onstage and off? read more here


State Theatre launches new season with more accessible theater

ITHACA, N.Y. — The State Theatre of Ithaca is launching its fall season this week with a big performance lineup and a more accessible theater to enjoy it.

"We're excited we're a more inclusive theater now," Executive Director Doug Levine said.

With the update, the theater has gone from five ADA-accessible seats to 13. The beauty of the project, Levine said, is that did not lose any seating with the upgrade. They are also adding a couple wider, "buddy seats" for people who don't feel comfortable in the smaller seats that will be available later in September. read more here


6 Theatre Workers You Should Know

From a lighting designer/electrician in Texas to a costumer in Chicago, here are some folks you should have on your radar.

Alison Lewis

Profession: Lighting designer and electrician
Hometown: Born in Central California, raised in Austin
Current home: Austin
Known for: From 2016 until this past July she worked at ZACH Theatre, where she was the company's first full-time board programmer and assistant master electrician and worked with the organization to help define that role to best suit ZACH's needs. She also served as the theatre's light board operator.
What's next: After spending some time at Maine State Music Theatreto help finish out their summer season as assistant master electrician, she plans to pick up freelance lighting design gigs in Austin and the surrounding areas. read more here


The new curtain at the SHN Golden Gate Theatre returns to the red of its original velvet drape.

Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco nears 100 with makeover

The grand opening of the Golden Gate Theatre — a building as massive as the old Yankee Stadium with a jeweled crown high above home plate — received a championship welcome 96 years ago. “New S.F. Playhouse to Have Continuous Vaudeville” read the banner above a photograph of it and the headline “Golden Gate Sets New Mark in Design.” read more here


Peppermint (center) and the cast of "Head Over Heels" on Broadway. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Queer Eye for Theatre Critics: 4 Writing Tips

Some writers have been stumbling in addressing work about and by LGBTQ artists. Here's a guide to help them do better.

In the past several months, Broadway has seen an influx of shows featuring queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming characters and actors, including Head Over Heels andStraight White Men.While this rush of new representation is heartening and has largely been praised both by members of the queer community and theatregoers, there has been a steep learning curve on the part of theatre critics regarding how to talk about queer folks in the context of these roles. read more here


FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Iran arrests Shakespeare theatre duo over video of men and women dancing together during a performance

Prominent stage director Maryam Kazemi and theatre boss Saeed Asadi were detained over the 'type of music played' and the actors' 'movements' in the trailer for  A Midsummer Night's Dream

TWO leading figures in Iranian theatre have been arrested by archaic lawmakers over a social media clip of their Shakespeare play showing men and women dancing together.

Prominent director Maryam Kazemi and venue boss Saeed Asadi were detained on Sunday on the orders of the judiciary, revealed the hard-line ministry of culture and Islamic guidance. read more here


Assembling the next generation of diverse theatre-makers

Embedding culturally diverse young people in the theatre-making community requires more than just offering them opportunities to write, act or direct.

Performers from Haresh Sharma's godeatgod, presented by The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & Squid Vicious (2018). Image by Ranson Media.

On Tuesday 7 August this year, the arrival of a new Australian – perhaps a migrant, perhaps a just-born baby – resulted in our population hitting the 25 million mark.

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) statistics indicate that around 30% of these 25 million were born overseas, and about 27% speak a language other than English at home. read more here


Edward Hayter and Josh Williams in rehearsal for Touching the Void, the first production at the Old Vic's reopened auditorium. Photograph: Geraint Lewis

New life for historic theatre as it faces up to ‘slave trade' past

Bristol's Old Vic confronts its controversial 250-year-old past on its relaunch after a £25m facelift 

One of the oldest theatres in Europe, Bristol Old Vic, is finally to have a proper front door. When it was built in 1766 it was deliberately hidden away from the street, as all public theatrical entertainment was officially banned. But later this month, at the end of a £25m project, a new glass foyer for its already refurbished auditorium will be unveiled, allowing the theatre to be seen from the pavement for the first time.

And, as the Old Vic welcomes back audiences, its acclaimed artistic director, Tom Morris, will also be facing up to the theatre's links with the slave trade that once made Bristol rich. read more here


Chinese audience's novel approach to immersive theatre – mob tactics and mini stampedes

Punchdrunk theatre company's Sleep No More, based on Shakespeare's Macbeth and staged in a five-storey Shanghai hotel, is not for the faint-hearted

I went to see British theatre company Punchdrunk's award-winning play Sleep No More fully prepared.

I wore sneakers to the immersive theatre piece, directed by Maxine Doyle and Felix Barrett, which takes place in the five-storey McKinnon Hotel in Shanghai. And I reread Shakespeare's Macbeth, on which the play is loosely based, so that, even if I got lost in the maze that is the performance venue, I would not be totally in the dark. read more here


Between shrine and shopping mall … Susanne Kennedy's version of The Virgin Suicides. Photograph: David Baltzer

Move over Ivo van Hove: Europe's hottest theatre directors

The Belgian director has blazed his way into the British theatre scene. Who's next? A French marathon man and an Austrian politico among others

Susanne Kennedy turns actors into avatars and makes human life seem alien. On her candy-coloured stages, masked figures glitch and glide like animatronics. Instead of speaking, they lip-sync along to recorded, distorted dialogue.

Yet her shows mostly sit in banal, suburban settings. She turned the small-town Bavarians of Marieluise Fleißer's 1924 play Purgatory in Ingolstadt into pallid zombies, and made a mannequin of Fassbinder and Fengler's Herr R, the petit-bourgeois conformist who ultimately cracks... read more here


Open to everyone: Common Wealth members work on costumes at their HQ, Speakers Corner, in Bradford last month. Photograph: Antonio Olmos for the Observer

All the world's a stage. And these women are radically changing that world…

Common Wealth is a female-led political theatre collective that aims to wrest the art form away from the elite. We joined them at rehearsals for their new show, Radical Acts

Evie Manning is a theatre-maker from Bradford. Rhiannon White is a theatre-maker from Cardiff. Together they are the driving force behind the Common Wealth theatre company. For them, theatre is a vehicle for change, a powerful form that can, in its best moments, encourage accountability, make you feel less alone and bring you closer to yourself. Their company was set up as a “reaction against the status quo” of stale theatre for middle-class audiences at £35 a ticket (if you're on benefits, you can see a Common Wealth show for £1).

“Theatre has created its own trap,” Evie tells me. “And all the theatres are freaking out, saying we want to get more diverse audiences, but they're so keen to cling to bricks and mortar, and they're so keen to stay safe and only put on the things they think are going to sell tickets and fill those seats, that no one will take a risk and think outside of what's been prescribed.” read more here


Reconstructed view of the entrance to The Theatre, Shoreditch ((c) David Toon and Lee Sands/MOLA)

London Excavations Reveal Theater Complex

LONDON, ENGLAND— Excavations at the site of Shakespeare's original London playhouse, the Theatre, suggest that the venue was part of a large complex for theatergoers designed by sixteenth-century actor and impresario James Burbage. According to a report in The Hackney Citizen, a team from Museum of London Archaeology has uncovered sections of an expansive gravel yard surrounding the polygonal playhouse—built in 1576—where patrons could eat, drink, and socialize during long performances. read more here