Howard Sherman surveys the current landscape, where experienced critics discarded by legacy publications are now turning up at high-quality websites, and, though an imbalance remains, a few of those legacy outlets have hired younger female and nonwhite writers. (Sherman seems to have forgotten about Hilton Als, though.)
With more than 200 Welsh actors having joined 40 of its playwrights in making public complaints about how little actual theatre the company is making and how few Welsh artists are being employed to make it, the chief executive of the Arts Council of Wales — which gives NTW £1.6 million each year — has issued a statement observing pointedly that “to be ‘national’ is a privilege, not a right.”
The man, who had been seated in the balcony, began shouting “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump.” Immediately after that, “People started running,” audience member Rich Scherr said. “I’ll be honest, I was waiting to hear a gunshot. I thought, ‘Here we go.’ ”The man was escorted out a few minutes later and the show continued.
Fortunately, Mike Birbiglia doesn’t do it quite the way Patti LuPone does. And he’s playing himself in his one-man Broadway show, The New One, so he can talk to offending audience members directly without breaking character. Here, with audio of recent examples, he explains how and why he does it.
If Shakespeare is the only named author on the national curriculum, how is it that 31% of those surveyed failed to recognise the playwright’s name? That only 53% had been on a school trip to a theatre is equally depressing, but the two stats might be related…After all, why should they know of him as a playwright if they have never experienced his plays as ‘play’?
Lyn Gardner: “Nobody thinks accountants should always put accountancy before everything else, so why is the ‘show must go on’ mentality, whatever the cost, so pervasive in theatre? In part, it is because jobs are hard to come by, and nobody wants to get a reputation for unreliability, but most of all I suspect it is because holding it together whatever the stress you are operating under is seen as a badge of honour, part of being a trouper. No wonder so many deal with the stress by self-medicating with alcohol.”
“The Arkansas Repertory Theatre on Tuesday announced it will offer a four-show season to spearhead its attempt to return from the brink of nonexistence. … The board had declared April 24 that it was suspending operations, canceling the final production of the 2017-18 season and the entire 2018-19 season because of critical cash-flow problems.”
“[Bob] Avian, credited as the musical’s co-choreographer [with the late Michael Bennett], and [Baayork] Lee, the original Connie Wong, travel the world to stage virtually every major production of A Chorus Line, passing on the steps to new casts and identifying dancers who might be able to do the same in the future.”