Is a Play Of Plays Making Fair Use Of Other Playwrights’ Words?

February 6th, 2016 § 5 comments § permalink

There’s nothing quite like getting a cease and desist letter. It may be commonplace if you’re an attorney and you’re receiving a cease and desist claim on behalf of clients, but for artists and arts administrators, at least, there’s a particular chill that accompanies opening a letter (or e-mail) that informs you that if you plan to present, or are currently presenting, a work that the sender feels is in violation of their rights and you don’t stop right away, you’re going to Continue reading...

Peeking Inside The Wooster Group’s Off-Limits “Room”

February 3rd, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

Let’s start with the basics: no one can possibly prevent critics from reviewing shows if they want to do. Whether it’s requested or even imposed by theatre company, a venue, a rights holder, or an author, members of the press – just like the public – can always buy a ticket to a theatrical production and express what they think. To actively prevent members of the press from entering a theatre is at least foolhardy if not potentially discriminatory; to prevent anyone from writing or broadcasting Continue reading...

Confronted By My Own Writing, Three Decades Later

January 30th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

I am not given to reveries about bygone days or a review of my life choices on my birthdays. The same holds true for New Year’s eve and day. But just in time for my birthday this year, I was forced to look back on a small portion of my past, thanks to an archiving project undertaken by my college newspaper at the University of Pennsylvania. I suspect that many other alumni of The Daily Pennsylvanian are having this experience right now. It just so happens that its debut timed out just prior to Continue reading...

Testifying For And Against “Testament of Mary” Near Boston

January 26th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s a reflex action for those in the arts to recoil and get angry when creative work is described as “intolerable blasphemies.” But it’s probably worth giving a small shout out to the America Needs Fatima organization as they protest the production of Colm Toíbín’s The Testament of Mary at the New Repertory Theater in Watertown MA. Why? Because amidst repeated variations of “blasphemy,” “blasphemous” and “blasphemies” in their rhetoric, the group is careful to call for “respectful Continue reading...

Something Unpredictable With “American Idiot” In High School Theatre

January 25th, 2016 § 15 comments § permalink

"Welcome to a new kind of tension. All across the alienation. Where everything isn't meant to be okay." The details are very sketchy. The drama director hasn’t yet responded to a call or e-mail. The school principal said that he “wasn’t comfortable” talking about it without the approval of the superintendent, which he did say he would seek. The licensing house that handles the rights for the musical has not responded to an e-mail inquiry about approved changes (although the company’s Continue reading...

Resolutions, Via Theatre, For 2016

January 2nd, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

  At first, they were a few lunchtime tweets, which proved of little interest, it seemed. But when I collected a couple, and added a few more, for a Facebook post at 9:30 pm on New Year’s Eve, they seemed to resonate. And so, with little ado, my New Year’s resolutions by way of lyrics and dialogue from works of theatre, but no less heartfelt for being so. Talk less, smile more. Wake each morning to realize I have a good thing going. Never walk alone. Decide what’s right, Continue reading...

Times Square Weirdness, A Photographic Portfolio

December 26th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

If the location of your office compels you to visit Times Square regularly, you are confronted at least twice a day (going to work and on your way home) by a crush of people, gaping tourists, perpetual construction and, of course, by opportunists dressed as cartoon characters, Marvel and DC superheroes, Star Wars figures and, here and there, barely dressed at all. The common reaction to all of this is to keep one’s head down and push through, muttering about the madness, wondering where all the Continue reading...

What Are Those Geishas Doing In Penzance?

December 23rd, 2015 § 1 comment § permalink

Oh, New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, what are we going to do with you? It was surprising to many that you thought you could do a “classic” yellowface Mikado in New York in 2015. But you also responded pretty quickly once there was an outcry against the practice, with the first blog posts of dismay (from Leah Nanako Winkler, Erin Quill, Ming Peiffer and me) posted on Tuesday and Wednesday and the production canceled by midnight on Friday morning. You’ve promised to bring your Mikado Continue reading...

A First-Time Glimpse Inside A One-Time Theatre

December 23rd, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

I was certainly going to the theatre, and to Broadway, by the 1980s, but I never did see a show in the Mark Hellinger Theatre on 51st Street before it was sold to the Times Square Church. I’ve often walked by the building, wondering about what lay inside its doors, where the original production of My Fair Lady played for six years. But I felt awkward about slipping inside as others gathered for prayer. This weekend, when the church offered up a live radio play with free admission, I felt Continue reading...

Of Race, Ethics, Education and Rights: My Top Posts of 2015

December 22nd, 2015 § 1 comment § permalink

I honestly wish I could figure out what makes one blog post a roaring success, and another a blip on the radar. Certainly the topic under discussion has some impact, but readership seems just as likely to be affected by the title, a photo, the Facebook algorithm, the timing of a tweet, what else is happening in the world, and so on. In short, I have no idea. In looking over my most-read posts of 2015, I do know which ones took a great deal of research and time, and which were dashed off in Continue reading...