Dropping and Dodging F-Bombs at the Florida Thespian Festival

April 15th, 2015 § 10 comments § permalink

A theatre scene performed al fresco on a spring Florida evening sounds idyllic. But when Tomas Roldan and Matthew Ferro, juniors at New World School of the Arts High School, took their award-winning scene from Stephen Adly Guirgis’s The Last Days of Judas Iscariot to a plaza outside the Florida State Thespian Festival in Tampa on March 28, they weren’t doing so seeking charm or fresh air. They made the performance choice as a third option after being given two official choices by festival Continue reading...

David Adjmi’s ‘3C’ Freed From Legal Purgatory

March 31st, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

After nearly three years during which playwright David Adjmi was prevented from authorizing any productions of, or the publication of, his play 3C, a dark parody of Three’s Company, he has emerged as the victor in his legal battle with DLT Entertainment, which sought to silence the play, charging copyright infringement. Adjmi's assertion of fair use was confirmed in the judgment. Quoting from the ruling by Judge Loretta A. Preska, Chief United States District Court Judge in the Southern Continue reading...

Despite Declaration, Doubting Deadline’s Diversity Apology

March 30th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

If you have any interest in the subject of diversity in entertainment, no doubt you’re aware of the firestorm kicked off last week by TV editor and co-editor-in-chief of the entertainment website Deadline, Nellie Andreeva. An article/op-ed under the headline “Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings – About Time Or Too Much Of A Good Thing” was taken by many (myself included) as an insensitive response to a greater commitment by TV networks to casting new shows with actors representing a Continue reading...

Up Periscope! Your Theatre May Be Infested By Meerkats!

March 27th, 2015 § 7 comments § permalink

Are you still grumbling about “tweet seats”? Oh, that is so 2013. Time to get with the program and start worrying about the newest development in mobile tech, which could have a vastly more significant impact on the live performing arts. At this year’s SXSW Festival, a new app, Meerkat, saw a frenzy of adoption by attendees, so much so that Twitter moved to quickly curtail the app’s access to Twitter data. The reason for that draconian move came clearer yesterday when the app Periscope, Continue reading...

Entertainment Reporter Employs False Balance To Undermine TV’s Diversity Efforts

March 25th, 2015 § 1 comment § permalink

In case you haven’t heard, Caucasian actors are being victimized by casting practices at the television networks. They, after holding primacy on screen since the earliest days of television, may – horrors! – have a few less opportunities to secure roles in new television series this year because of an effort by the networks to produce stories about characters who may not be Caucasian and to seek more actors of color for television series for roles that may not have been written with actors Continue reading...

In Two New Books, The Arts Apocalypse Now

March 23rd, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

If you happen to know of any young people who you’re trying to dissuade from careers in the creative arts, you might want to casually leave around two new books for them to find. Scott Timberg’s Culture Crash: The Killing Of The Creative Class (Yale University Press, $26) and Michael M. Kaiser’s Curtains?: The Future Of The Arts In America (Brandeis University Press, $26.95) both paint dark pictures of the state of the creative arts and where they’re headed, enough to send one right into Continue reading...

The Shameful, Inevitable Result Of The Trumbull Art Controversy

March 12th, 2015 § 4 comments § permalink

Last night, a painting hanging in the town library in Trumbull, Connecticut was defaced, while in the same building, the library board was holding a meeting about the display of said painting. I wish I could say I was surprised that this happened, but to be honest, I’m not. I’ve been expecting it. I believe this was the inevitable result of a series of events that broke into public awareness two weeks ago, when the town’s First Selectman ordered the painting removed. Let’s review the Continue reading...

There Are No ‘Bad Jews’ In London’s Underground

March 7th, 2015 § 1 comment § permalink

It is the policy of London’s Underground, commonly known as "the tube," to not accept advertising which, in the words of it supervisory authority, Transport for London, “may cause widespread or serious offence'.” By judging posters for the West End transfer of Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews as potentially doing so, and therefore banning them, TfL may well be giving greater widespread offense for its oversensitivity, even if it comes from a place of genuine concern, which now rises to the level Continue reading...

Are These Modern Reviews of ‘This Is Modern Art’?

March 6th, 2015 § 3 comments § permalink

If, like me, you’re connected to members of the Chicago theatre community on social media (I’m NYC based), you’ve certainly seen an outpouring of reaction to two major reviews of the new Steppenwolf for Young Adults show, This Is Modern Art (Based On True Events). Since all perception of what’s being said on any subject in social media is mediated by who you ‘follow’ and who you ‘friend’ and what you like and retweet, I can’t possibly tell you what the prevailing sentiments Continue reading...

What Does Trumbull Have Against The Arts?

March 4th, 2015 § 18 comments § permalink

Remember Trumbull, Connecticut? That’s the town where a new high school principal canceled a production of the student edition of the musical Rent in the fall of 2013. The resultant outcry from students, parents, town residents, the media and interested third parties (including me) was such that three weeks later, the show was reinstated. It was produced at the high school in 2014 without any incident. After my advocacy for Rent, I hate returning to the subject of the arts in Trumbull, for Continue reading...