Showing posts from January 27, 2008

The End of the Theatre Is Near!!!

Thanks to Nick at Ratsass for the biggest laugh I've had all year!


A while ago, I wrote a post suggesting a way of garnering support for using local actors rather than imports. I created a website for SLAW where people could brainstorm. I was thinking about slightly different approach using the same "tear a page out of your program" approach. These can be used for other issues than imported actors, too.

This one involves the same target: a theatre that is importing actors, but is also employing some locals as well. Instead of creating a flyer addressing the issue directly, stand outside of the theatre and distribute a flyer with information about the actors in the play who are locals. Perhaps include their bio's, other shows they've done in Chicago, perhaps quotes from reviews for their previous shows, maybe a brief interview. And then suggest that the spectators show their support for those actors by tearing out the program page with their bio and leaving it in the aisle. So instead of seeming to attack a theatre for importing actor…

Fresh Fish!

Check out this new blog, called 99 Seats. It just started yesterday -- get in on the ground floor. I have a feeling that my readers will like this one.

Why Permanent Companies Increase Attendance

From The Necessary Theatre by Peter Hall:

"Creative work in a theatre has always been done by a company...A good theatre company is small -- some thirty or forty people;.... This is the size of a healthy tribe. Everyone can know everyone else. A good rehearsal with a creative company can feel like a metaphor for a healthy family, or an ideal society. The work is done well because the exchange is candid and free....

At the Old Vic with our small company of twenty-five actors we found that the audiences' traditional responses were still strong: they loved seeing the same actors in different parts; they had an enthusiasm for seeing young talent develop; a feeling that the group had a strong and intimate relationship with it which was growing with every production. The more cohesive the company became, the more it felt capable of an immediate dialogue with its audience, and the more it felt able to arouse an imaginative response. This is the true process of live theatre.

At the Old …

Betrayal of the Regional Theatre Movement -- The Guthrie

Back at the end of last May, I did an interview at Theatre is Territory where I said, among other things, that Tyrone Guthrie "hijacked the regional theatre movement." I wrote about this more fully in a post called "What Might Have Been" back in September. In the latter post, I quoted the matriarch of the American regional theatre movement, Margo Jones, who said in her brilliant book Theatre in the Round, published in 1951, the following:

I believe it is imperative in creating new resident professional companies to take a violent stand about the choice of plays. Personally I believe in the production of classics and new scripts, with emphasis on new scripts. Our theatre can never be stronger than the quality of its plays. We must, therefore, have a great number of good plays. The classics have proved their value through­out the history of the theatre, and I believe we should draw on them as great literature and great theatre. But if we produce only classics, we are …

Tap Tap Tap

In Made to Stick, the authors describe an experiment in which two people sat opposite each other across a table. One person was instructed to use the tabletop to tap out a well-known song ("Happy Birthday to You," for instance, or "The Star Spangled Banner"); the other person was supposed to identify the song after listening to the tapping. Prior to each test, the person who was to do the tapping was asked to predict the likelihood that his partner would successfully identify the song. Most predicted a 50/50 chance. The actual percentage was much lower: they got it right 2.5%. The authors wrote:

In the experiment, tappers are flabbergasted at how hard the listeners seem to be working to pick up the tune. Isn't the song obvious? The tappers' expressions, when a listener guesses "Happy Birthday to You" for "The Star-Spangled Banner," are priceless: How could you be so stupid? It's hard to be a tapper. The problem is that tappers have…

No Post Til Tuesday

I'm afraid a new post will have to wait until tomorrow. I have just arrived home from LA after flight delays in California ended up making me go to Phoenix and then take a red-eye to Charlotte. So I've been up for 24+ hours. Also, US Air has lost my luggage twice in three days. Gotta sleep.