Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Kind of Theatre = Marina Abramović: "The Artist is Present"

From the series of photos being generated as MoMA visitors sit in silent meditation facing Marina Abramović. The pilgrim above is reported to be the eight-year-old daughter of Björk and Matthew Barney.

Celebrities from the photo stream (and more about the work)

Complete photo stream

Peter Parnell on writing for TV: "These are not necessarily bad things."

From Adam's always essential blog.

Q:  Besides having plays on and off Broadway and in large regional theaters, you have worked extensively in TV drama. How does one navigate between the two worlds and how do you find time to do both?

A:  When I was starting out as a playwright, there was still a bit of a stigma attached to writing for TV. I didn’t actually work on a TV script until Aaron Sorkin and John Wells invited me to be a part of The West Wing in 1999. By that time, more and more playwrights were becoming involved in both being on staff and in writing pilots. Now, I think we’ve entered a kind of new golden age in writing for TV, and cable shows especially are finding provocative, exciting ways to tell stories. And it’s important for a playwright to learn the techniques of TV writing, if only to make a living while you’re working on your next play. I find the forms quite different, but that may be more because of the kinds of plays I write. Writing for TV is a job, and highly collaborative, and you’re often not the final arbiter of what gets on the screen (including your credit). But, you learn how to work quickly when you need to, and how to solve creative problems quickly, and you can get paid nicely for your time. These are not necessarily bad things.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

13P's charming Nazis

The Zero Hour  

An almost-love story

Sound Design ASA WEMBER

* Members, Actors' Equity Association

Rebecca and her chronically unemployed butch girlfriend, O, have created a happy nest in their run-down Queens walk-up. But domestic bliss starts slipping as their daily lives are overtaken by charming Nazis, family ghosts, and the secrets they keep. The two women fight for, and against, each other in this sharp, moving almost-love story.

June 22 – July 10
46 Walker Street (between Broadway and Church)

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Ziggy Stardust Meets Tiny Tim Songbook

While praising Taylor Mac for his ukulele-playing and gender-bending performances, over 20 international publications have, of their own volition, described Mac as, "Ziggy Stardust meets Tiny Tim." Being a queen who can take a hint, he has decided to write and perform an original conversation about comparison, while singing Tiny Tim songs and the entire Ziggy Stardust album. It promises to be a concert unlike any other.

May 21 & 22, 7pm, Joe's Pub

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Welcome for the New Dramatists class of 2017


(hushed silence)

Annie Baker!
Daniel Beaty!
Madeleine George!
Sibyl Kempson!
James McManus!
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb!
Betty Shamieh!
Francine Volpe!

(processional march of the playwrights)

(unfettered dance of the gorgeous crazy loons)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sometimes theatre is a strange place, full of fear.

This news item linked below leaves me almost speechless. Except to say this: every play Deb Margolin writes is important, and I look forward to this play finding a home. Or many homes.

Washington Post: Theater J pulls Madoff play after objections from activist Elie Wiesel

A Radio Play

Many of us spend part of each day in an acoustic world of our own choice, thanks to our little white earbuds. Doesn't it seem that this era would have produced at some kind of rebirth for radio drama? Yes, we have podcasts, and the narrative nonfiction of This American Life is among the most used. But I expected some enterprising theatre person to discover a way to move radio plays back on to the platter of American experience. They never left the BBC, where you can still hear, on any given day, a new play written for the ear.

There are voices out there, calling to us. Karinne Keithley's basement tapes of the mole cabal. Or Hotel Savant's The Archery Contest. One of the most inspiring pieces of theatre for me is actually a concert piece, Frederic Rzewski's Coming Together. (Worth seeking out: the unhistrionic version by California Ear Unit.) And then there is that rare animal, the richly imagined concept album yearning to be staged (or filmed?) — for example God in Three Persons by The Residents, or the new work at hand.

The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman is the 22nd album by Sparks, who are almost certainly the most interesting pop band old enough to be your fathers. While it may overstay its welcome a bit, it's the kind of new radio play I imagined this age would bring: not designed for the family sitting around the radio, but an intimate headphone drama for the inside of the listener's skull. In 2010, is the internal monologue the ideal storytelling medium?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meet our six newest MFA graduates, who are an extraordinarily lauded group — they can already boast of honors from the Great Plains Theatre Conference, Theatre Masters, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Centenary Stage's Women Playwrights Series, and The Playwrights' Center.

Plus there are cocktails!

Carnegie Mellon School of Drama Cocktail Party
Celebrating graduating students in Dramatic Writing, Design, Directing, Dramaturgy, and Production Technology & Management

Faculty: Peter Cooke, Dick Block, David Boevers, Michael Chemers, Rob Handel, Jed Allen Harris, Anne Mundell, Marianne Weems

Wednesday, May 19
Midtown Loft, 267 Fifth Avenue (at 29th Street), 11th Floor

Thursday, May 13, 2010

To Crumple, Scatter, Hide, Bend, Erase (putting green redux)

New Islands Archipelago started with a list of action verbs. I got the idea from Richard Serra who, early in his career, made lists of verbs and created sculptures by enacting these verbs — to crumple, scatter, hide, bend, erase, etc.  — on a material. So, my collaborators and I chose a number of verbs and explored how a single action can become the impulse for character, movement, scenery, costume and music. ... Regardless of where I start, the theme and story are ultimately entwined so they can’t be viewed as separate elements.

— Paul Zimet (via Adam)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Swamp and the Mall

The [Andrew W. Mellon] Foundation held a follow-on convening in 2005 to probe more deeply into some of these issues. Once again, the discussion was far-ranging, but participants were adamant and united in one recommendation: They encouraged us to support the “Swamp,” the fertile stew of small organizations they believed took risks and did innovative work, rather than the “Mall,” major institutions that were perceived as increasingly risk-averse in their programming.

Diane Ragsdale, "Creating New Work for Theatre: a panel discussion, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, February 16, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Kind of Theatre = a play with a putting green in the lobby

Starting half an hour before every show, Talking Band will be hosting a variety of activities in the extraordinary 3LD lobby space, to prepare you for the adventure to come.

Attendees can get in a couple of holes on our putting green, enjoy a rousing shuffleboard match, or challenge others to a game of darts. You'll also be able to peruse our art gallery, and bid on original art inspired by ocean journeys. 

Talking Band's New Islands Archipelago at 3LD

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nick Clegg says his hero is Samuel Beckett

This is not a political blog, but these facts from the London Review of Books blog must be noted:

Subjects addressed by party leaders in the Guardian Review’s ‘My Hero’ slot:
Gordon Brown: Nelson Mandela
David Cameron: n/a
Nick Clegg: Samuel Beckett
The Guardian Weekend magazine, 24 April 2010. Question: ‘Which living person do you most admire, and why?’
Gordon Brown: Nelson Mandela (‘for inspiring us never to give up, even in the darkest times, on the fight for justice and, with his wife, Graca, for championing the movement against poverty and for education that has changed hundreds of millions of lives’)
David Cameron: Nelson Mandela (‘for his grace and complete lack of bitterness’)
Nick Clegg: J.M. Coetzee (‘he writes with a simplicity which lays bare what really matters’)
Question: ‘What is your favourite book?’
Gordon Brown: ‘There are so many that have made a big impression on me – the one I’ve read and loved most recently was about the female winners of the Nobel prize.’
David Cameron: ‘Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves.’
Nick Clegg: ‘Life & Times of Michael K, by JM Coetzee.’
I'm reminded of many years ago when there was a small tempest between France and the UK after Margaret Thatcher made a critical remark about the French Revolution. A pundit pointed out that no American politician would even have an opinion about the French Revolution, unless it had been vetted by committee and tested with focus groups. (Gordon Brown, based on his responses above, is clearly an American.)

Madeleine George's "Precious Little" coming to Pittsburgh's City Theatre

Our final three plays represent bold new work by some of the hottest talents of the American stage" says Tracy Brigden, City Theatre's artistic director.

City Theatre fills final open slots in 2010-11 season

Madeleine on Adam's blog

Thursday, May 6, 2010

manifesto reading tonight

Ben Gassman says:
i'm gonna read a manifesto i have been calling a poem and dressing up as an organizational charter.  you should come. 

Letter Home Reading Series
@ Frank's Lounge
660 Fulton Street, Brooklyn
Thurs May 6th @ 7pm

Saturday, May 1, 2010