Religion And Theatre Education Clash Over McNally’s ‘Corpus Christi’ At A Virginia University

February 25th, 2015 § 12 comments § permalink

It is not, sad to say, news that controversy has surrounded a production of Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi. It is certainly not surprising to hear that such controversy took place on a university campus. But when one hears that Corpus Christi became the subject of controversy as a result of a production at a Christian faith-based university, the reflex is to wonder how anyone ever thought it could be done there in the first place. But the production of Corpus Christi that was to have been produced Continue reading...

Upon Receiving The DLDF “Defender” Award

February 24th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Last night, I was extremely flattered and honored to receive the second annual Dramatists Legal Defense Fund’s “Defender” Award, for my work on behalf of artists' rights and against censorship. My remarks were fairly brief (I know a little something about brevity and awards presentations, even when there isn’t an orchestra to “play you off”), so for those who have expressed interest, or may be interested, here’s what I had to say, following a terrific and humbling introduction by playwright Continue reading...

Arts Education, The ‘Whiplash’ Way

February 20th, 2015 § 9 comments § permalink

Perhaps you’re unaware of it, but there’s an arts education film up for an Oscar this year. And no, I’m not referring to something in the documentary short subject category, but rather a Best Picture nominee. Though it hasn’t been called out as such in any of the articles or reviews I’ve read, Whiplash is a film about the mastery of music set largely in and around a music school. But it has primarily provoked stories about how the film managed to give viewers the impression that Miles Continue reading...

The New School for Drama Announces Arts Integrity Initiative

February 13th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

No, I’m sorry, it’s not a blog post; it’s a press release. But if you’ll read on, I hope you’ll understand why I’ve placed it here, and indulge me this once. – Howard NEW YORK (February 12, 2014) – The New School for Drama (Pippin Parker, Director) announces the launch of the Arts Integrity Initiative, a new project aimed at supporting and protecting the work of artists at every level of society and production. Under the leadership of arts administrator, writer and advocate Howard Continue reading...

Why David Adjmi’s “3C” Still Has No Company

February 10th, 2015 § 1 comment § permalink

  Seen any good productions of David Adjmi’s play 3C lately? Sorry, that’s a trick question with a self-evident answer: of course you haven’t. That’s because in the two and a half years since it premiered at New York’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, no one has seen a production of 3C because no one is allowed to produce it, or publish it. Why, you ask? Because a company called DLT Entertainment doesn’t want you to. 3C is an alternate universe look at the 1970s sitcom Continue reading...

Alone At The Audience Engagement Event

February 9th, 2015 § 10 comments § permalink

When I first started going to theatre in my teens, I loved attending post-performance discussions and special seminars and panels about plays. They were my education, my chance to learn from artists about how and why they did what they did. I was so fond of the form, that I began moderating these kinds of talks at my college performing arts center when I was only 19, leading off with JoAnne Akalaitis and Athol Fugard in my first year. Once I began working at theatres, I’d pitch in when a literary Continue reading...

‘Almost, Maine’ Asserts Itself In Hickory NC, Joining Past Precedents

January 21st, 2015 § 4 comments § permalink

There were, in my estimation, many interesting people at the first performance of Almost, Maine in Hickory NC this past Thursday night. To begin with, there was the author, John Cariani, who had come out to support the production, something he can’t do very often given how frequently his show is produced around the country. There was Jack Thomas, who produced the New York City premiere of Almost, Maine a decade ago. There was the doctor who had helped to found OutRight Youth of Catawba Valley, Continue reading...

Of Vagina Monologues And Dialogues, On Stage And On Campus

January 17th, 2015 § 5 comments § permalink

“I hope that The Vagina Monologues is a point of departure – it’s not a panacea, it’s not the only play, it’s not the definitive play. It’s a play, it’s an offering.” Those are the words of Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, spoken in the wake of the controversy that has arisen over the decision by the campus theatre group at Mount Holyoke College to abandon its annual production of The Vagina Monologues in favor of a newly written student work that is, in their judgment, Continue reading...

Down The Rabbit Hole With Meryl Streep, Kate Burton & More

January 4th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

One of the great pleasures of a long holiday period, with one's office is closed for an extended time, is the freedom to go exploring, be it in life or online, guilt-free (or at least relatively so). That’s exactly what happened when I spotted a single tweet from the New York Post’s film critic, Lou Lumenick, who I’ve found to be a terrific and entertaining source of film knowledge and trivia. Lumenick’s timing, of course, is particularly apt, as the tweet led to a complete online video Continue reading...

Of Censorship, Schools, Musicals & Authors’ Rights: My Top Posts of 2014

December 29th, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

Are these my “best” blog posts of 2014? I couldn’t say. All I know is that they’re my most read, from a year in which page views on my site more than doubled over 2013. Certainly 2014 was a year in which my writing found more focus, and whether the most-read posts bear out readers’ interest in that focus, or are simply a byproduct of a somewhat narrower range of subjects, I also don’t know. But if you’ve only discovered me part way through the year, or only read me sporadically, Continue reading...