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  • NBC Turns to Open Submissions for Its Next Hit

    23 Apr 2014 | 1:03 pm
    NBC will begin accepting pitches through a public submission process as part of a contest designed to develop two new comedies and a digital series. The democratized pitch contest, called “NBC Comedy Playground,” is closed to previous show creators; talent with a “first look” or “overall” deal with a TV studio or network; and those with co–executive producer, executive producer, or showrunner broadcast TV credits. In other words? Those invited to apply are from outside of the proverbial “wall.” “The networks usually just want…
  • Get Free Tix to Tribeca Film Festival!

    23 Apr 2014 | 1:01 pm
    This week brings us Film For All Friday, when Tribeca Film Fest venues open their doors for free screenings of 35 films on the TFF 2014 slate; Mikhail Baryshnikov is the “Man in a Case” at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage; “Pointe,” a book about a professional dancer, has just been published; BAMcinématek presents a film retrospective of Ellen Burstyn; and opera takes on Texas in “A Coffin in Egypt". CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDESHOW. And don't forget to check out our Tribeca Film Festival coverage, coming to you all week! 
  • Denzel, Cranston, and Cumming Among Nominees for Drama League Awards

    23 Apr 2014 | 10:26 am
    The Drama League has announced its 2014 nominees for the 80th annual Drama League Awards. First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, they’re the oldest theatrical honors in America, and are the only major theater awards determined by audience votes. The five competition sections—Distinguished Play, Distinguished Revival of a Play, Distinguished Musical, Distinguished Revival of a Musical, and Distinguished Performance Award—include nominations for “Of Mice and Men,” starring James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, and Leighton Meester; “Aladdin,”…
  • 1 Way to Give Your Audience What They Want

    23 Apr 2014 | 9:25 am
    Who remembers those old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books?  You’d be presented with a situation within in the book and, as the reader, you had to make a choice. For example, you’re in an abandoned warehouse hunting extraterrestrials for a government experiment and have to decide what part of the warehouse you want to investigate. To go down the staircase to your right, turn to page 36. To explore more of the floor you’re already on, turn to page 72, and the story would unravel from there. As a part of the Tribeca Film Festival’s Storyscapes section,…
  • L.A. Now Casting ‘Young, Broke and Married’ and Other Upcoming Auditions

    23 Apr 2014 | 7:35 am
    Media Heist is currently seeking talent for its Web series, “Young, Broke and Married.” “Young, Broke and Married” tells the story of “four young, broke and married couples embark on a remarkable journey of love, lessons, and laughter.” Several actors are being sought for lead roles, with meals and a copy of the project provided. Producers plan to apply for a SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement. Submissions are welcome from the Los Angeles area.  For more details, check out the casting notice for “Young, Broke and Marriage” here, and be sure…
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  • ‘Stepmom’ Writer Karen Leigh Hopkins’ #1 Tip for Getting a Film Made

    23 Apr 2014 | 2:25 pm
    Karen Leigh Hopkins—whose writing credits include “Stepmom” and “Because I Said So”—says there’s one key thing to remember when making a film, television show, writing a script, or with any artistic venture, really: “Have it matter.”  “It’s so hard, anyway, to get anything done or to do it right,” she says. “Give yourself the opportunity to succeed by having it be something that’s got meaning.” Hopkins offers this advice out of experience. Her latest film, “Miss Meadows,” which she wrote…
  • Spotlight On: Gregg Sulkin, MTV’s ‘Faking It’

    22 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    The former ”Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Pretty Little Liars” actor Gregg Sulkin has a juicy role as the popular golden boy Liam on MTV’s new comedy “Faking It,” about high school best friends who achieve instant popularity by posing as a lesbian couple. On forging relationships with casting directors. “The casting director of ‘Faking It’…I had tested for another project last year so I was on her radar. We always had an amazing relationship. She saw that ‘Faking It’ would be right for me; she brought me in; I met…
  • ‘Junebug’ Writer Angus MacLachlan on Casting His Directorial Debut

    21 Apr 2014 | 12:12 pm
    This year’s Tribeca Film Festival connected Backstage with the actor-writer (and newly credited) director Angus MacLachlan. Best known for writing the 2005 film, “Junebug,” and the short “Tater Tomater,” MacLachlan’s new film, “Goodbye to All That” (which he both wrote and directed), made its premiere on April 17. Starring Paul Schneider (“Parks and Recreation,” “Lars and the Real Girl”), “Goodbye to All That” follows Otto, who’s forced to get back into dating after his wife suddenly ends their marriage…
  • Deborah Aquila on Casting Outside the Box for ABC’s 'Black Box'

    21 Apr 2014 | 10:38 am
    ABC’s intense new drama “Black Box,” starring Kelly Reilly, tackles the challenging topic of mental illness. With the heavy subject, casting the right actors was important. But the independent financing through Bold and the ability to cast outside of traditional pilot season allowed the casting team—Deborah Aquila, Tricia Wood, and associate Jen Smith—to do a more extensive search than a typical pilot might have allowed. Not having a typical network pilot’s budget turned out to be beneficial: “Knowing that you were going to audition versus offer,…
  • Scott Aukerman’s Comedy Empire

    18 Apr 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Sooner or later, every performer gets asked the same thing: Why? For Scott Aukerman, co-creator of the Zach Galifianakis–starring “Between Two Ferns,” host of IFC’s “Comedy Bang! Bang!,” and co-founder of comedy podcast network Earwolf, that question came many years ago. “One night, after I had written an entire full-length musical for comedians that I put up one night only in a bar, and that we rehearsed for months and months and months, Bob Odenkirk [the two-time Emmy-winning writer for “Saturday Night Live” and “The Ben Stiller…
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    Jane Fonda


    21 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    I’ve been in Pittsburgh this week working on a film called “Fathers & Daughters” with Russell Crowe. It’s an intense, moving story about a Pulitzer Prize winning author (Russell) who suffers from depression and is trying to raise his five-year-old daughter (whom he adores) alone because his wife was killed in a car accident. His sister-in-law (Diane Kruger) is trying to forcibly adopt the daughter because she feels he isn’t a fit father and she blames him for the accident that killed her sister. The young daughter is played by 10-year-old Kylie Rogers.

    30 Mar 2014 | 5:32 pm
    Richard Perry, the man I live with, has Parkinson’s. He’s had it for over 10 years. He told me about it 4 and a half years ago on our first date. I knew it was a disease with no cure but he seemed so strong. He’s tall, well-built, athletic, despite the fact that childhood polio has left one leg without muscle from the knee down. I remember the first time I went to his house for dinner. I was on crutches because I’d had knee replacement surgery 10 days before. I looked at him walk and said, “wait a minute, I’m the one who’s suppose to be limping. What…

    23 Mar 2014 | 12:27 pm
    For a long time I have wanted to do a TV series that would let me address all the fascinating, surprising, sometimes sad, sometimes joyous, scary, sexy, clumsy aspects of life as an older woman. Even better if it showed the woman just as the rug–job, relationship, marriage, whatever– has been pulled out from under her. Finally, Marta Kaufman (originator of “Friends”) and Howard Morris (“Home Improvement” & “According to Jim”) came up with a story that has not one but two women of a ‘certain age’ and, (trumpets and drum rolls…
  • People Magazine: Jane Fonda’s Painful Childhood Inspires Her to Help Today’s Teens
    13 Mar 2014 | 3:35 pm
    After working with adolescents for more than 30 years, starting with a camp she founded and then working on behalf of various youth social causes, Jane Fonda considers herself a “lay expert” when it comes to teens and their questions about sexuality. Fonda’s new book, Being a Teen: Everything Teen Girls & Boys Should Know About Relationships, Sex, Love, Health Identity & More, is a frank and candid resource for adolescents. “I’ve learned a lot. I have a real soft spot for teens, having had a difficult adolescence myself,” says the Oscar winner,…

    3 Mar 2014 | 5:58 pm
    My new book, “Being A Teen: Everything Teen Girls & Boys Should Know About Relationships, Sex, Love, Health, Identity & More,” is officially coming out Tomorrow! Though people are already buying it, via Amazon etc. I’ve been doing lots of interviews and the response is thrilling for me. Obviously it’s adults I’m talking to but they’ve read the book and say they’ve learned things even they didn’t know and, those who have teens, have told me they want their child to read it. Heartwarming words! I’ve been working with teens around issues of sexuality, self-esteem and…
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    The Wicked Stage

  • Hall Monitor

    Rob Weinert-Kendt
    17 Apr 2014 | 10:12 am
    I happened to catch Michael C. Hall in two early-ish stage roles: as the young kid in the Taper's exquisite production of Skylight (with Laila Robins and Brian Cox) and as the emcee in Cabaret, opposite fellow replacement Susan Egan (a great Sally in the Julie Harris mold). His sinuous performance in that last role helped land him the first of his two iconic cable series, and he's seldom been back to the stage since. So it was a pleasure to sit down with him recently to talk about Will Eno's strange new play on Broadway, The Realistic Joneses, in which Hall is excellent, for the…
  • Shaking in the Grass

    Rob Weinert-Kendt
    14 Apr 2014 | 12:35 pm
    The 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama has just been announced, and I'm so happy to hear it went to Annie Baker's The Flick, I played I thoroughly enjoyed and admired. I don't know how Annie got the news or what she's up to today, but I happened to be interviewing Quiara Alegria Hudes recently for another publication; she was the only playwright on this year's Pulitzer committee, and she won the award, quite unexpectedly, in 2012 for Water by the Spoonful. Here's how she found out, and how she reacted:The play had only been done at Hartford Stage Company. I guess maybe I asked, "Did you guys…
  • Unnaturalism

    Rob Weinert-Kendt
    11 Apr 2014 | 1:43 pm
    I came across this lede in an old review of mine while working on my recent feature on Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, and it struck as worth highlighting. The review is of the Mike Leigh play Ecstasy, and though it may not sound like it, I intended this as a compliment to Leigh:Like documentary filmmaking, theatrical naturalism implicitly lays claim to direct, unmediated truth: This is how things really are, how people really behave, how time really passes. That's rot, of course. From the time we're children, it is storytelling and play-acting, and the distorting stylizations that…
  • Full Circle

    Rob Weinert-Kendt
    3 Apr 2014 | 10:24 am
    One reason I was so disappointed by Classic Stage Company's muddled, soporific staging of Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle last year was that two of the most formative theatergoing experiences of my life have been adaptations of that difficult, sprawling political fable: Cornerstone's Central Avenue Chalk Circle in 1995, in which playwright Lynn Manning reset the action in a near-future dystopian California, and Bill Rauch staged it all around a former union hall in Watts, with a deftly interwoven cast of pros and non-pros, a live band, several memorable coups de theatres, and a…
  • Why I Haven't Been Blogging

    Rob Weinert-Kendt
    18 Mar 2014 | 9:52 pm
    This is the 10th year of the Wicked Stage blog (predated by its few years as a weekly-ish column in the inky pages of Back Stage West), but so far it's been a sparsely populated, as you may have noticed.I have a number of excuses, most in the form of links, which includeA profile of the hard-working director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw on the occasion of his staging of Disney's AladdinA preview feature about These Paper Bullets!, Rolin Jones' mashup of Beatles London and Much Ado About Nothing for Yale RepAn interview with Suzan-Lori Parks and Diane Paulus, reflecting on their…
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    Jersey Boys Blog

  • Reviewers Rock to Jersey Boys in Orlando!

    JB Blogger
    23 Apr 2014 | 1:55 pm
    Critics all over Orlando are raving about JERSEY BOYS! Check out snapshots from recent reviews: Seth Kubersky, But when the first act climaxes with a spectacularly simple illusion that places you onstage behind Boys, staring into a sea of stage lights and flashbulbs, all flaws are forgotten in a flood of theatrical wonder. This [...]
  • Please Help Jeff Leibow Raise Money for 2014 Las Vegas AIDS Walk! @JeffLeibow @AFANLV

    JB Blogger
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:06 am
    As with previous years, Jeff Leibow (“Nick Massi,” Jersey Boys Las Vegas cast) is raising money for Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) by participating in this year’s Las Vegas AIDS Walk! Jeff has asked us to post a message asking for support from Jersey Boys Blog readers: Hello JERSEY BOYS fans! My wife and [...]
  • Video: Jersey Boys Natl Tour’s Marvelous Appearance on Good Day Orlando!

    JB Blogger
    19 Apr 2014 | 8:46 pm
    Marvelous appearance on WOFL’s Good Day Orlando with Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Nicolas Dromard, Skye Scott, and Adam Zelasko, including Shaun’s amazing rendition of “Cant’ Take My Eyes Off You”! Click HERE to watch! JERSEY BOYS national tour plays Orlando at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre through April 27.
  • Video: Jersey Boys Movie Segment on Entertainment Tonight!

    JB Blogger
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:14 pm
    Great segment tonight on ET about Clint Eastwood & the upcoming JERSEY BOYS movie!
  • Newsflash: Official Jersey Boys Movie Trailer Video Is Released!

    JB Blogger
    17 Apr 2014 | 7:13 pm
    We’ve all been waiting patiently (okay, maybe not some of us) for this day–for the highly anticipated release of the JERSEY BOYS movie trailer! OMG, Look at me, I’m tearing up…Mr. Eastwood, it was worth the wait–we’re completely, totally BLOWN AWAY! So, what do you guys think of the JERSEY BOYS movie official trailer?
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  • The Great Blog Hop Continues

    11 Apr 2014 | 12:17 pm
    By Isaac Butler Michael Barakiva. Where do I start?  He had just graduated from vassar when I got there, and had already ascended to the realm of legend. He then gave me one of my first jobs in New York, interning for him as he and Tommy Kriegsmann produced a festival of new plays for Soho Rep that happened to feature future heavyweights Steve "The Civilians" Cosson and Jesse "Red Bull" Berger in its slate of directors. (It's also where I met the infamous G.) He's super talented and a total sweetheart and I'm lucky to call him friend. Michael has a…
  • Follow Up On Rockstar Humanities Professors

    7 Apr 2014 | 7:19 am
    By Isaac Butler Last week, I talked about Gawker's plea for a Neil DeGrasse Tyson of the humanities and how we often over-credit "great men" when talking about change: I don't want to minimize the contribution of Neil DeGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye or anyone else, I thinkCosmos is great, and I share Weinstein's celebrration of it and desire for a rockstar humanities guy or gal to bring the humanities to a mass audience. Still, the cultural context in which Tyson et al operate is incredibly important.  They're able to do what they do in part because the…
  • It's Complicated: A (Hopefully Brief) Thought About Game of Thrones and Race

    5 Apr 2014 | 7:41 am
    By Isaac Butler [NOTE: There are spoilers up through the end of season 3 of the show, I am going to do my damndest not to spoil the books past that point in the plot, but I will talk about differences between the two for the parts shown thus far.] The twitter feed for Media Diversified is tweeting about race in Game of Thrones and its depiction of Daneaerys, the Dothraki and the various peoples she encounters while using her dragons to end slavery. In particular, they object to the Dothraki Wedding sequence in the first season (in which men literally murder each other over who gets to rape a…
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson and the Great Man Theory of Change

    1 Apr 2014 | 7:52 am
    by Isaac Butler Gawker's Adam Weinstein has a piece up asking "Where is the Humanities' Neil DeGrasse Tyson?": The National Endowment for the Humanities is more endangered than NASA. Funding for humanities research amounts to about 1/200th of the federal funding dedicated to scientific and engineering scholarship. Yet science has Tyson, whose show airs on the same channel as American Idol. More than that, it has Bill Nye and Brian Greene, all of whom stand on the shoulders of Sagan and Richard Feynman. The pure and applied sciences have always had champions…
  • Five Quick Tricks For Getting Unstuck

    17 Mar 2014 | 8:31 am
    By Isaac Butler I get stuck in my writing a lot. As a result, I have developed (and stolen) a few tricks to get me out of this hole. In the interest of helping anyone who might also be getting stuck, here they are: (1) Give up for the day. No seriously, sometimes you acutally just need to stop writing. It does not make you a bad person or a bad writer or someone who will never finish this essay/story/poem/play/screenplay/novel/memoir/article/whatever. Sometimes you're just done for the day.  It's okay! Yes, you're another day closer to death, but also, tomorrow,…
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    Available Light Theatre

  • “Most theatre is still really bad”

    23 Apr 2014 | 1:35 pm
    “Most theatre is still really bad,” says Cock playwright Mike Bartlett, in this interview from The Guardian. He goes on, “It isn’t church. There’s nothing innately good about it. Most theatre is still really bad.” Another choice quotation – “If you’re still going at theatre-in-the-1970s speed and your audience has been watching The Wire, then […]
  • Staying hydrated with my #avltheatre swag!! #h2o #swag by…

    23 Apr 2014 | 9:40 am
    Staying hydrated with my #avltheatre swag!! #h2o #swag by mlizmorelock via Tumblr
  • Hear playwright Mike Bartlett talk about “the cockfight play”

    22 Apr 2014 | 1:31 pm
    Hear playwright Mike Bartlett talk about how he began work on his play, "Cock," and what it really does have to do with cockfights.
  • Behind the Scenes with the “Cock” photo shoot

    Ian Short
    21 Apr 2014 | 1:08 pm
    The idea for the “Cock” photo shoot came to me when I was thinking of the Vanity Fair photo spreads of the “Mad Men” and “Sopranos” casts. Like these… I had a mental image of David Glover’s character lounging on a recliner, with Elena and Drew standing somewhere near him. For some reason I pictured […]
  • A show with no sets = lots of standing. So between scenes we…

    Elena Perantoni
    21 Apr 2014 | 1:06 pm
    A show with no sets = lots of standing. So between scenes we laze. #avltheatre #cockfightplay by lainiebelle13 via Tumblr
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    Theater Loop -

  • A Red Orchid extends 'Mud Blue Sky' 5 weeks

    23 Apr 2014 | 11:58 am
    A Red Orchid Theatre has extended its acclaimed production of Marisa Wegrzyn’s flight attendant comedy “Mud Blue Sky” five weeks, the theater said on Wednesday. It will now close June 29.
  • Goodman will celebrate Robert Christen's life on May 13

    23 Apr 2014 | 11:46 am
    On May 13, the Goodman Theatre will celebrate the life of Robert Christen, the theater’s Resident Lighting Designer who died on March 9 at the age of 64. Christen spent over three decades at the Goodman, providing the lights for plays as diverse and important as the world premiere of David Mamet’s “American Buffalo” and Scott McPherson’s “Marvin’s Room” as well as all 36 productions of the theater’s annual “A Christmas...
  • Chicago Children's Theatre announces musicals

    23 Apr 2014 | 9:22 am
    Chicago Children's Theatre said Wednesday that it will premiere a new musical based on Leo Lionni's book "Frederick," the story of a poetically inclined fieldmouse with a penchant for storytelling, even as his friends concentrate on surviving the harsh winter.  The book is well known among those with "early readers" in the house. 
  • Standup Scene: This is what a fond farewell looks like for comedians

    22 Apr 2014 | 5:18 pm
    “You guys, we’re all going to cry tonight, clap louder than that,” says Danielle Puterbaugh at a special “Entertaining Julia” at the Town Hall Pub on Sunday. She’s right. Tears will flow because we are all guests at a farewell show honoring Megan Gailey and Liza Treyger, two of the city’s best comedians who are both moving to New York this week.
  • Neil Patrick Harris makes Hedwig a glorious rock star

    22 Apr 2014 | 11:46 am
    BROADWAY REVIEW: "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" BROADWAY REVIEW: "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" ... Born of the rubble of the Berlin Wall, Hedwig Schmidt surely would never have imagined her tired body would be brought to life on Broadway by Neil Patrick Harris ...
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    On Stage Lighting

  • NEW VIDEO QLab 3 Tutorial : Moving on from Qlab 2

    Rob Sayer
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:34 am
    This tutorial is a quick overview of the QLab 3 interface for anyone that already uses Qlab 2 or who have learned using my QLab 2 for beginner’s videos.Including the answer to the question ” Where has Load To Time gone in Qlab 3?” NEW VIDEO QLab 3 Tutorial : Moving on from Qlab 2 is a post from: On Stage Lighting Hey Feed Readers, On Stage Lighting would like to get to know you a bit better. Follow me on Twitter . Contact with readers is the juice that drives the content at OSL and, hey, it's always nice to meet new people.NEW VIDEO QLab 3 Tutorial : Moving on from Qlab 2…
  • Book Review: A Practical Guide To Stage Lighting 3rd Edition – Steven Louis Shelley

    Rob Sayer
    2 Feb 2014 | 7:43 am
    Following the recent publication of the third edition of Steve Shelley’s book “A Practical Guide To Stage Lighting”, On Stage Lighting tackles this enormous beast of a book to see if we should replace our original copy. Shhh. It would be rude to say out loud but, like those of us that no longer tour, this book puts on more weight as the years go by. Originally published in 1999, Shelley’s editions don’t simply get revised with a few more pictures, tarted up or hacked about but actually re-appear like an old friend who seems to have had a few more trips to the buffet table since you…
  • The Rules Of Stage Lighting Design

    Rob Sayer
    27 Sep 2013 | 10:25 am
    Creative stage lighting design can be daunting to those starting out because, aside from the necessary technical understanding, it is essentially a game without rules. On Stage Lighting considers how the novice lighting designer can tackle such a game. Unlike the physics and the technicality and the budget and the time, facing the creative element of lighting design can seem to beginners like looking at a vast expanse of blank nothing, hoping for a clue that helps for better design than simply “making it up.” To help fill in this blank, it helps to be able to grasp certain parameters on…
  • Book Review – Light: Readings In Theatre Practice by Scott Palmer

    Rob Sayer
    9 Sep 2013 | 10:58 am
    New book out? Yes. Excited? Yes. On Stage Lighting takes a look at the newly published Light: Readings in Theatre Practice by Scott Palmer and wonders where such a book has been all our lives…. The arrival of a new book in the stage lighting world is always a bit of a red letter day for those of us keen on the subject. The early 21st century has seen growth of interest in lighting and increase of educational provision to meet the demand. Light in performance is a lot more, like, all up in everyone’s grill due big ol’ festies and the high profile TV shenanigans of things like Britain’s…
  • How to Light For IMAG – 5 Ways to Improve Your Lighting Rig for the Camera

    David Henry
    9 Aug 2013 | 10:08 am
    In an article from a special guest author, David Henry looks at lighting for camera in a world where IMAG is commonplace in a range of performance and event genres. If you’ve recently gone visited a large church, attended at child’s graduation or flown to a national sales meeting, chances are that you experienced what we know as IMAG, or Image Magnification. IMAG uses video cameras and projection systems to make far-away people and objects much more visible via large screens, making the experience at big events intimate for a large number of people. With the cost-effectiveness of…
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    The Theatrefolk Weblog

  • Set the Stage for Student-Written Monologues

    Lindsay Price
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:44 am
    A few months ago I was asked to teach first-time student writers how to write a monologue. Easy, I thought. I’ve been writing monologues for twenty years. This should be a no-brainer. I put together a lesson plan and walked confidently into the room. Boy was I surprised. Instead of theatre, the students were giving me story, and I wasn’t sure why. What was wrong with my plan? Are you in the same boat? Are you a drama teacher who wants your students to write their own monologues? Have you tried to incorporate monologue units into the classroom with less than satisfactory results?
  • Episode 89: Make a Mission Statement for Your Drama Classroom

    Lindsay Price
    23 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    Episode 89: Make a Mission Statement for Your Drama Classroom Discover drama teacher Amy Patel’s process for creating a mission statement with her students. Show Notes Free Live Training – Set the Stage for Student-Written Monologues The Golden Circle Ted Talk James Clemens Theatre Mission Statement Episode Transcript Welcome to TFP, The Theatrefolk Podcast. I’m Lindsay Price, resident playwright for Theatrefolk. Hello, I hope you’re well. Thanks for listening. Welcome to Episode 89. You can catch the links for this episode at So, I’m going to get…
  • Episode 88: Tips and Tricks for Directing Youth with Steven Stack

    Lindsay Price
    16 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    Episode 88: Tips and Tricks for Directing Youth with Steven Stack Playwright Steven Stack is a long time director. He shares his tips and tricks for directing youth. Bonus! Steven also shares some writing tips when you can’t wait for inspiration. Show Notes Ashland Falls Focus at Will Episode Transcript Welcome to TFP, The Theatrefolk Podcast. I am Lindsay Price, resident playwright for Theatrefolk. Hello, I hope you’re well. Thanks for listening. Welcome to Episode 88! Woohoo! Yeehaw! Oh ho! You can catch the links for this episode at Today, I’m talking…
  • Finding, Choosing, and Performing the Right Monologue [VIDEO]

    Lindsay Price
    15 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    Enjoy this replay of our live Drama Teacher Hangout. We talked with Michael Wehrli about the challenges drama teachers face when guiding their students to choose and perform monologues. Topics covered: Why monologue books are bad. Why monologue books are good. Making bold blocking choices. Pieces to avoid (and why to avoid them). What to do with “the chair.” And lots more! See below the video for a link to a transcript. Click here to get a transcript of the conversation. The post Finding, Choosing, and Performing the Right Monologue [VIDEO] appeared first on The Theatrefolk…
  • Character Interpretation – The Student’s Point of View

    Lindsay Price
    9 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    Episode 87: Character Interpretation – The Student’s Point of View Lindsay talks with two sets of students who prepared the same characters, in the same show, but in two different productions. How did they prepare? How did seeing their character played by another actor affect their work? Show Notes Cobweb Dreams (Two Act Version) Cobweb Dreams (One Act Version) Postcards from Shakespeare Hamlette Drop Dead Juliet Mmmbeth The Scarlet Heart Episode Transcript Welcome to TFP, The Theatrefolk Podcast. I am Lindsay Price, resident playwright for Theatrefolk. Hello, I hope you’re…
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  • Review: The Phantom of the Opera – Empire Theatre (Toowoomba)

    Kate Foy
    4 Apr 2014 | 5:28 pm
    Image: Empire Theatre A disclaimer up front – I’m currently serving on the Foundation of the Empire Theatre and am a former Board member. If, then, you think the following should be taken with a grain of salt, so be it! Theatre, oh theatre, how I love you in all your moods and guises. I’ve been in love with you for many years – too many to recall – and I’ve never lost the excitement and the anticipation of the magic that is made present from talent, sweat and tears. A group of strangers come together to experience something only fully realised in the…
  • Review: Cock – La Boite Theatre Company and MTC at the Roundhouse

    Rex J. Ablett
    31 Mar 2014 | 4:11 pm
    Images; Sean Dowling The American novelist Stephen King once described the best stories as those that focus on either almost everyone in an entire community or those that focus on just a few critical characters. Cock is definitely in the latter category. Directed by Leticia Cáceres, this touring production of Mike Bartlett‘s sharp and witty play takes the most fundamental concepts of a love triangle and turns them on their heads. I absolutely loved the production. With innovative direction, stellar acting and inspired writing, Cock is a fine example of modern theatrical…
  • Review: Guys and Dolls – Harvest Rain Theatre Company at Concert Hall QPAC

    Sita Borhani
    22 Mar 2014 | 8:10 pm
    Images: Nick Morrissey Guys and Dolls – what an absolute cracker of a show. I’ve seen it live several times, watched the (1955) movie with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando more times than is normal, and even played Miss Adelaide in my hometown’s local production. Needless to say I was thrilled to be headed to QPAC’s Concert Hall last Friday night for the opening of this play the first for Harvest Rain Theatre Company’s 2014 Season and also first full season as a professional musical theatre company. The show is set in New York in the 1940s and most of the action takes place on…
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    The Bad Boy of Musical Theatre

  • It's a Human Drama Kind of Thing

    Scott Miller
    23 Apr 2014 | 12:05 pm
    We've started blocking Hands on a Hardbody, and it's quite a challenge.First off, the whole premise of the story is that these people are just standing there. I mean it... Just. Standing. There. For a really long time. For ninety-one hours, sixteen minutes, and twenty-seven seconds. Not really doing anything. How do you make that visually interesting?The original production answered that with a truck that spins and moves, and a goodly amount of choreography. There were even some moments when the contestants all let their hands off the truck during a song, presumably relying on the audience to…
  • Hands on a Hardbody

    Scott Miller
    15 Apr 2014 | 10:18 am
    When I first heard about Hands on a Hardbody, my initial impression was that it didn't sound like a very good premise for a musical. Then again, neither does the life of Charles Bukowski. Or a zombie movie. Or a spelling bee.And really, the structure of Hardbody is essentially the same as Spelling Bee, and so is the dramatic content. It's endless suspense, as we wait for each character to be "out," getting invested in one or more of them and rooting for them. While Spelling Bee fills out that structure with wacky comedy, it also creates rich, nuanced characters, with complex, "adult"…
  • Connection in an Isolating Age

    Scott Miller
    30 Mar 2014 | 2:52 pm
    I started this process loving Rent, but I ended up also being endlessly impressed by it and constantly blown away by the level of craftsmanship and artistry in both the text and the music, much of which most people probably don't even register consciously.I didn't until now.The more I watched our show, the more I started noticing the various musical themes Jonathan Larson uses throughout the show (the "I Should Tell You" theme, the "Halloween" accompaniment figure, the "Santa Fe" vamp, "No Day But Today") and the many textual themes that are everywhere (fire, especially as a metaphor for…
  • No Other Path, No Other Way

    Scott Miller
    21 Mar 2014 | 12:15 pm
    I've always been uncomfortable with awards. I hate the idea of competition in art. The dozens of theatre companies in St. Louis are not in competition with each other. Someone can see a New Line show one weekend and a HotCity show the next weekend. It's always bothered me when local theatre companies claim to be the "best" or "premier" something-or-other. It's both nonsensical (who's to say who's "best" and by whose standard?) and it's sort of uncool too, explicitly saying you're better than the rest of us...But awards kind of do the same thing. You're the best, so you're not.In my…
  • Everything is Rent.

    Scott Miller
    15 Mar 2014 | 12:24 pm
    It's been about three weeks since I've blogged. Sorry about that. Opening a show always takes a lot out of me, and usually leaves me half brain dead. (I don't know how I once did this while also holding down a full-time job.) And even though 90% of my job is done on opening night, it's still very hard for me to focus on anything else during our four-week run. Sometimes I have to, sometimes we have to audition the next show, but not this time.Though despite my art-stupor, and thanks to ridiculous, record-breaking ticket sales, I was able to pay some bills that we wouldn't otherwise be able to…
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  • The Transvestite in Patrick Page’s Mind

    Eric Grode
    23 Apr 2014 | 9:20 am
    How he connects with his character in Casa Valentina — Welcome to Building Character, our ongoing look at actors and how they create their roles When Patrick Page was playing Cyrano de Bergerac at the Old Globe, he would walk the streets of San Diego imagining he really was a man with an enormous nose. more »
  • Melissa Errico Is Going “Crazy”

    Lauren Kay
    22 Apr 2014 | 7:59 am
    Inside her new cabaret at 54 Below — Recently, on a chilly April afternoon in her downtown studio/office, Broadway veteran Melissa Errico prepared for At the Corner of 54th & Crazy, the cabaret she’ll perform tonight and Thursday-Saturday at 54 Below. As she set up her music stand and shuffled through loads of sheet music, more »
  • I’m Lost On the Set, and It’s Good for the Play

    Mark Blankenship
    21 Apr 2014 | 5:50 am
    Inside Beowulf Boritt’s remarkable design for Broadway’s Act One — People have actually gotten lost on the set of Act One. Now on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont, the show adapts Moss Hart’s landmark memoir about his childhood in the Bronx, his early love of theatre, and his first collaboration with George S. more »
  • 6 Hours, 48 Playwrights, and the Entire Bible

    Kenneth Jones
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:36 am
    How dozens of writers came together to create The Mysteries — When invited to pitch a new project to The Flea Theater following his epic staging of These Seven Sicknesses—a five-hour, 40-actor adaptation of Sophocles’ seven surviving tragedies—director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar suggested something modest: Nothing less than “the entire history of the salvation of mankind,” more »
  • He’s Not Really Acting, So Why Is He Crying?

    Mark Blankenship
    15 Apr 2014 | 11:18 am
    The New York Neo-Futurists find the power in O’Neill’s stage directions — What do actors have to do to make us feel something? Do they need to cry? Do they need to speak? Do they even need to make expressions? Or can the simplest gestures, the most benign movements, pierce something inside us? Those questions more »
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    Theatrical Intelligence

  • The Actor Is What We See, But Only 1/8 Of What Is There

    Ann Sachs
    11 Apr 2014 | 6:36 am
    Two earlier versions of this post were published in 2010 and 2012. Several colleagues asked me to re-post it, so here it is. When I work with individuals or groups on ways Theatrical Intelligence can make a difference in their lives, my goal is to stimulate an exploration into their creative core. The term Theatrical Intelligence evokes responses such as: ”Yes! It’ll help me when I have to give a presentation” to “Not my kind of thing – don’t like being in the spotlight” or “No way. Acting? Yuck!” There is an assumption that Theatrical…
  • Falling In Love With A Theatre

    Ann Sachs
    27 Mar 2014 | 1:31 am
    This article is revised from our Studio Newsletter archives in honor of World Theatre Day. What makes someone fall in love with a theatre? I asked a bunch of theatrical colleagues to name a theatre that they love and say why they love it. Here are some responses: “There are so many! But the one that comes to mind is THE GUTHRIE when it was being built and I was going to be playing Hamlet in the inaugural production. Tony [Tyrone Guthrie] and I walked into what felt like Yankee Stadium and I was terrified. How was I going to fill that space? Then when we walked down onto the stage,…
  • My Daily Brain-Food Addiction

    Ann Sachs
    31 Oct 2013 | 1:47 am
    About a year ago I began posting a daily quote on Twitter, selected from my eclectic collection and using the hashtags  #TheatricalIntelligence or #WomanofWisdom: #TheatricalIntelligence: “I’m curious about other people. That’s the essence of my acting. I’m interested in what it would be like to be you.” Meryl Streep #WomanofWisdom: “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” Maya Angelou My Twitter followers enjoyed the quotes. (Some even suggested that I publish them in a “little book series”. Go figure.) Then…

    Ann Sachs
    8 Sep 2013 | 10:25 pm
    I’ve been thinking a lot about love.  It may be an age thing. I’m in my mid-60s and loving it, my husband Roger and I just celebrated our 43rd anniversary, and our love for each other and our work has grown exponentially over the decades. When we were blessed with grandchildren 3 and 5 years ago, I thought the level of love in our family might actually burst. It didn’t, of course. In fact, it has expanded into a three-generation-love-fest. And everywhere I look these days, I see love.  Can it be that love really belongs in this theatrical quotations series?

    Ann Sachs
    30 Aug 2013 | 8:16 pm
    The definition of the word CRITIC, fromthe Merriam-Webster Dictionary, seems simple and sensible. To me, however, it’s the most complicated of the 8 roles of Theatrical Intelligence. CRITIC:  from the Greek κριτικός (kri-ti-kós), Latin criticus(noun) “able to discern”. 1: one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique 2: one who engages often professionally in the analysis, evaluation, or appreciation of works of art or artistic performances 3: one given to harsh or…
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    Encore Atlanta

  • Brush up your Shakespeare with a half-price gift card to the Tavern

    Kathy Janich
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:30 am
      Eat, drink and be merry (or tragic, it’s your call) with a half-price gift card to the New American Shakespeare Tavern. The Tavern, on Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta, is unlike any other theater in town. It’s a place out of time, filled with live music, handcrafted period costumes, outrageous sword fights and the passion [...]
  • Outfit ’14-15 season: Gunderson, Fugard, Shanley

    Kathy Janich
    7 Apr 2014 | 12:02 pm
    Theatrical Outfit's 2014-15 season will "spotlight voices that will spark important conversations about class, education, faith, the stars and our places in the world," says Executive Artistic Director Tom Key.
  • ‘Annie’ at Atlanta Lyric Theatre: Bet your bottom dollar there’s a deal

    Kathy Janich
    4 Apr 2014 | 10:24 am
      The little orphan who never stops singing and dancing sets up shop in Annie at Atlanta Lyric Theatre. The 1977 Tony Award-winning musical has proven its mettle with stagings and revivals all over the country. The Lyric version features Kevin Harry (Javert in Aurora Theatre’s award-winning Les Miserables) as Daddy Warbucks. Return to 1930s America, where hard-knock lives [...]
  • ‘Estate’ deliciously divided in dark comedy at Theatrical Outfit

    Kathy Janich
    31 Mar 2014 | 8:53 am
      It’s time for … the family feud. In this corner is matriarch Stella Gordon, who’s determined not to divide her 100-year-old Texas estate, despite her family’s declining wealth and looming financial crisis. Her three children – a predatory daughter, an alcoholic son and a daughter who does little but worry — have other ideas. Theatrical Outfit stages Horton Foote’s dark [...]
  • VIDEO: Willy Wonka gets conserva(tory)

    Kathy Janich
    31 Mar 2014 | 8:51 am
    Join Encore Atlanta live at 1 p.m. Wednesday to learn how Fabrefaction Theatre Conservatory has bumped up its education mission.
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    Atlanta Theater Fans - Your Guide To Atlanta Theater And Online Community

  • Gutenberg! The Musical! – An Atlanta Theater Fans Review

    21 Apr 2014 | 7:15 pm
    From the moment you look at the program, the truth becomes obvious: this is a production that doesn’t take itself seriously. Dad’s Garage’s latest production Gutenberg! the Musical!, a spoof on the Broadway musical, provides plenty of laughs from this over-the-top story. A two-man show, the musical, written by Scott Brown and Anthony King, ran ...
  • Megan Hilty Will Headline Alliance Theatre’s A TONY EVENING

    Kenny Norton
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:58 pm
    Atlanta’s nationally acclaimed Alliance Theatre will host its 6th annual A Tony Evening at the W Hotel – Midtown on May 10, 2014.  The star-studded party of the year benefits the Alliance Theatre’s programs for youth and families, connecting the arts to children both young and young at heart. The 2014 A Tony Evening will ...
  • Disney’s The Lion King – An Atlanta Theater Fans Review

    15 Apr 2014 | 7:46 pm
    Having heard about Disney’s The Lion King, I knew that it would be something special, but until I saw it, I didn’t know how phenomenal it would be. The musical, which has returned to Atlanta, is making its Fox Theatre debut. Based on the beloved movie, the musical features new songs and an updated storyline ...
  • The Legacy Theatre Presents Chicago

    14 Apr 2014 | 7:52 pm
    The wait is over!  On April 18, 2014, the Legacy Theatre will present the Tony Award®-winning musical, Chicago! Boasting a popular score with songs like “And All That Jazz,” “Mr. Cellophane,” “Cell Block Tango,” and “Me and My Baby,” the Legacy’s production marks the first time Chicago has been seen on a local Atlanta stage in ...
  • Camelot – An Atlanta Theater Fans Review

    14 Apr 2014 | 7:26 pm
    Camelot, now onstage at Georgia Ensemble Theatre, has thrilled audiences for generations.  With a film, a Live HBO broadcast, three Broadway revivals and a few U.S. tours in its history, the musical has a rich legacy in American theater. Based on T.H. White’s famous novel The Once and Future King, the musical tells the story ...
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    Theatre Geeks

  • 121 Know what you’re getting into or stay home (Dave Dufour, John Shoup, Marcia Fulmer)
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:20 pm
    In another audience etiquette episodes, the Geeks talk about audience members who don’t do their “homework” when it comes to knowing what kind of show they’re going to see,... More info at
  • 120 Can there be too much theatre tech? (Dave Dufour, John Shoup, Marcia Fulmer)
    8 Apr 2014 | 3:00 pm
    The Geeks discuss the high- and ever higher-tech state of theatrical productions and wonder if “enough” is actually too much, and whether technology helps or hinders a community... More info at
  • 119 Leave that stuff at home! Dealing with bad behavior in the theatre. (Dave Dufour, John Shoup, Marcia Fulmer)
    28 Mar 2014 | 8:21 am
    What can you do to deal with backstage hanky panky and other disruptive “stuff” in community theatre? Community theatre is a great social activity, but problems do arise when behaviors... More info at
  • 118 Is it Actor or Actress? (Dave Dufour, John Shoup, Marcia Fulmer)
    18 Mar 2014 | 5:46 am
    Is the term “actress” outmoded? The Geeks have been accused of being a little “old school” at times (whatever that means), and all three of us remember when the term... More info at
  • 117 Awards Nights for Community Theatre: the pros and cons (Dave Dufour, John Shoup, Marcia Fulmer)
    12 Mar 2014 | 8:59 pm
    Are awards nights at a community theatre a good thing or a bad thing? After a peculiarly breathy beginning, the Geeks get down to the business of awards. Some community theatres have an annual... More info at
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    Shakespeare Geek

  • Today was good, today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.

    23 Apr 2014 | 7:13 pm
    Another Shakespeare Day has just about come and gone (although I'm sure I'll be tweeting for a few more hours yet!)Here is the complete list of blog posts on the day.  Did I break the previous record of 28?Counting this one it should be 29.  Record achieved.  :)This year it's not about just quantity. I've always said that the mission of the site is to prove that Shakespeare makes life better, and this year we're doing it with a couple of projects that are donating money to the American Cancer Society.First is the Shakespeare Haiku Project. One of the most popular posts ever on…
  • Shakespeare Books for Children, You Say?

    23 Apr 2014 | 5:30 pm
    Here's a list that's right up my alley -Top 10 Shakespeare Books for Children. My first thought is, "I wonder how many of them I have?"  My second is, "I wonder how many are "filler" that shouldn't on this list?"Charles and Mary Lamb make an appearance, of course. I never liked these, and I'm probably in the minority. Not only is the writing really dated, but the stories are painfully abridged. Their version of The Tempest completely cuts out the entire Trinculo/Stephano subplot.  Go ahead, search for their names, they're not in there.Usborne's Illustrated Shakespeare got the most…
  • The Complete Works of Shakspere

    23 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    The other day my family took a little vacation to the Newport Mansions, a neighborhood of Gilded Age mansions owned by families like the Vanderbilts. Everything we saw was all mid-to-late 1800's and basically looked like sets from Downton Abbey.Of course I spent all my time looking for Shakespeare references.At one point I did see a book open on a table that said something about the lamentable death of King Edward the something.  I leaned so far over the rope to read more that an alarm went off ;).  But I don't believe I was looking at anything Shakespearean.What I did see, in one…
  • Share Shakespeare!

    23 Apr 2014 | 4:30 pm
    I'm also happy to announce that version 2.1 of ShakeShare : Shareable Shakespeare, our iOS app, is now available!  This is a huge update, adding over 500 quotes to the database and two dozen new background images.What's your favorite quote/image combo that you've discovered so far?  Post them here!This year's Shakespeare posting marathon is sponsored by "Shakespeare is Universal." Help us prove that Shakespeare makes life better. Buy a t-shirt and support cancer research.
  • Please Don't Kill Shakespeare

    23 Apr 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Noticed that there's a new comic store in the town where I work, right next to where we sometimes get lunch. So I walked in one day and asked, "Got any Shakespeare?"  You know, like ya do. I'm actually on the lookout for a bobblehead, I don't have one of those yet.He comes out with the entire set of Kill Shakespeare Volume 3: The Tide of Blood. I originally mentioned Kill Shakespeare back in 2010 when I first heard about it but never put up a review because, quite honestly, I didn't like it. It has nothing to do with Shakespeare. It's not a version or interpretation of any…
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    Acting in London

  • Top 5 Absolute Best Books on Acting Business

    Tom London
    8 Apr 2014 | 10:30 pm
    It’s great how with all this technology and the mighty internet around, good old literature is still the first place thespians look for reliable information. I’ve previously listed my opinion on the six best acting technique books (I still stand by that list, by the way). Today, let’s look into what are the best books on acting business that you most likely haven’t read yet. Books are the number one go-to resource for actors, period. Having said that, there are two different kinds of books. First kind are the books that you should read, and the other kind are the books…
  • Top Secret Formula of How to Be a Successful Actor

    Tom London
    5 Apr 2014 | 10:32 am
    Ambitious people are always striving for success. Whether you’re trying to be a lawyer, entrepreneur, dancer or a plumber — if you’re ambitious enough, you won’t live a fulfilling life until your thirst for success has been satisfied. Acting is no different, and the question of how to be a successful actor has bothered more than one thespian. There’s good news, and then there’s bad news. The good news is that there IS such a formula on how to be a successful actor. The bad news, however, is that this formula is not easy to crack. But if you stick with it,…
  • 7 Things to Look For in Your Audition Classes

    Tom London
    4 Dec 2013 | 3:21 am
    Your audition experience can certainly mean the difference between executing a fine performance, that puts you well and truly under notice, or not being considered because you weren’t able to offer your best work. For many actors, the audition process can pass as a blur, without you ever having had control over the 10 or so minutes in the casting room. Numbers of audition workshops, or classes, cater to refining this particular set of skills. In order to discern which may hold the greatest benefit, I have compiled a list of the key things to look for, to ensure you get the most out of…
  • 3 Lessons Great Actors Learned from Sanford Meisner

    Tom London
    21 Nov 2013 | 3:46 am
    I’ve received some interesting responses for our 5 books every actor must own article. Most of them were opinions from other performers on exactly which books and teachers helped them the most. What I really found curious was actors paraphrasing quotes about “actor’s faith” and “truthful acting“, while at the same time saying how none of the Meisner books really spoke to them. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind our young thespians of some lessons that Sanford Meisner has taught thousands of successful actors and acting teachers that are…
  • Best Networking Tips for Actors

    Tom London
    15 Nov 2013 | 5:38 am
    Like it was said about a dozen times in our short handbook for actors, Networking (with a capital “N”) is a skill that every actor looking for a break has to master. Some of us choose to ignore this, but the fact remains that entertainment business is about who you know (or rather, who knows you). Check out below some of our best networking tips for actors to use whenever the opportunity comes up. Best Networking Tips for Actors Greatest places for networking are industry parties, gatherings and of course film festivals, as we have already covered. Now let’s say…
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    Your Performance Partners

  • “Hillbilly Music” No Longer – Country Music’s Rise

    Your Performance Partners
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:22 am
    Once relegated to static-filled AM radios or denigrated as “hillbilly music”, country music is flexing its muscle – in recordings and live concerts – across the United States, as evidenced by the following: Up and Down the Dial. At broadcast radio stations across the U.S., country music is the top-ranked music format. tracks country as the most popular format the past ten years, exceeding its closest, chatty rival (News/Talk) by 40 percent in 2013. Devoted country fans slice and dice the genre into various categories, evidenced by the streaming audio service AOL Radio…
  • Broadway…at the Movies?

    Your Performance Partners
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:35 am
    Broadway theatre in New York City, like other segments of the U.S. performing arts industry, competes for audiences against an increasing variety of at-home, on-demand entertainment options. How well Broadway adapts to these challenges will influence its future success. More Shows, Less Audience. According to Broadway League statistics, the 2012-13 season saw the highest number of productions opening (46) in the past 29 Broadway seasons, dating back to 1984-85. However, those productions entertained the smallest audience (11.57 million) since 2002-03. Younger Crowds. The 16th annual audience…
  • Appreciating the Art$?

    Your Performance Partners
    8 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Two recent news stories in the New York Times caught our eye as an interesting juxtaposition of the “value” placed on the performing arts today. $trato$pheric $tradavari. In June, Sotheby’s auction house will host a sealed-bid auction for a rare Stradavari viola built almost 300 years ago. The asking price for this instrument – one of only 10 known Strad violas – starts at $45 million! The previous record for a musical instrument was $15.9 million for a Stradavari violin sold at a 2011 auction. While rare instruments appreciate in value, some of the performing groups where those…
  • Become an April Fool – All Year Long!

    Your Performance Partners
    1 Apr 2014 | 5:00 am
    “When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.” ― William Shakespeare, King Lear Almost everyone dreads feeling foolish. But avoiding humiliation should not prevent us from risk-taking that frees our repressed, innate creativity. Participating in the performing arts is an important way to nurture a healthy sense of foolishness – a courageous imagination that embraces life’s possibilities. The arts keep the mind and spirit young. Childish Example. Most children play make-believe and create imaginary worlds. They explore characters, jobs and roles –…
  • Rigging 101, Part 1: A Question of Balance

    Your Performance Partners
    25 Mar 2014 | 6:53 am
    Whether you worked on the stage crew for your high school play or you’re a full-time professional stagehand in a big city opera house, chances are you’ve used counterweight rigging. The system of ropes, weights, and pulleys can seem both commonplace and mysterious, especially if you’ve never been formally trained in its use. It’s commonplace. Counterweight rigging systems have been installed in performance spaces for more than 100 years, and many new performing arts centers still choose counterweights over motorized rigging systems. They haven’t gone the way of Kodachrome film and…
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    The Study and Pursuit of Acting

  • Peer to Peer

    9 Apr 2014 | 10:16 am
    I’ve emphasized in plenty of entries here how important I think it is that actors follow up on all professional interactions. Auditions, callbacks, meetings, on-set work… Fact is, once an actor knows how to act, the business they’re really in is the name-collecting and followup business. In A Universal Career Jumpstart, I put down three lists I think every actor should draw up and add to on an ongoing basis. Setting to the side any and all internal work the actor might do to keep themselves moderately sane, and all the forward-gazing goals, mantras, and conceptualizing, if…
  • A Prism Doesn’t Think

    24 Mar 2014 | 1:25 pm
    An actor is a prism. The writing is the light. Each writer, being utterly unique, will create a different variation of light. Each actor, being utterly unique, will refract light in his or her own distinct way, before even thinking of making a choice about the matter. A director’s job is to look at the light, figure out which prism does the best job refracting that particular light, and manipulate a bunch of prisms during rehearsal or shooting so in combination they create a light show… like that. No… Like THAT. So one thing you can do is ensure you, the prism, are clear,…
  • What is Required Of Me By This Story?

    17 Mar 2014 | 12:06 pm
    Here’s a question I think actors should ask themselves more often: What is required of me by this story? Asking this question can lead to a much faster understanding of “what to play” than will hours of mental gymnastics regarding “what is my internal truth regarding the character/situation”? I’m not trying to knock that traditional question, but I find there to be a major pitfall with singular “what is my personal truth?” analysis: Sometimes your own truth about a given situation is simply not appropriate to the story before you. Take your…
  • Showcases, Workshops & Integrity

    2 Dec 2013 | 12:55 pm
    Lights up on…. An agent showcase. Over the next hour or so, fifteen scenes will be performed, about 3 minutes each. Almost all will be glib comedies with glib acting, no one giving a shit about anything other than whether this so-called ‘work’ will please… them. THEY. The all-powerful THEY, who will assess your talent, your look, and then hopefully represent you and get you auditions.  Recently a scene was performed in class. It was a two-and-a-half-minute rather glib comedically-tilted fight between a young couple at a party – an awkward compliment he had…
  • Patton Oswalt Nails It

    9 Aug 2013 | 10:38 am
    A student of mine sent this to me – comedian Patton Oswalt’s keynote at last year’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. It is awesome. Watch it. Live it.  
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    Performing Bum - Blog

  • Long Shots that Might Just Pay Off

    15 Apr 2014 | 8:08 pm
    So as you know, yeah, I have a large amount of debt that I have to pay off and I should be completely paid by the time I'm 66 years old, so if I didn't have some long shots, then I would be absolutely crazy. Those long shots to me are Falstaff Coffee Company, Valkyrie Theatre Company, Performing Bum and other business ventures.  I'm doing my best to cultivate these businesses and create a profit. Once the profit is achieved, I will be able to have an independence that I thought might not have been previously available. You've got to have some kind of a dream, and at some point, I…
  • A Way to Pay Off 108k

    15 Apr 2014 | 7:38 pm
    I don't know how in the hell I came out of college with 108k in student loans. They are a terrible burden which I must face alone. I dug this hole and I have to dig my way out of it. I am currently 36 years old. If I live to be the ripe old age of 80-100 years of age, I have on the outside about 50-70 years left. If  I were to pay about 20% of my current pay, I would have about 300 dollars a month to devote to the amount. That means that I'm looking at 3,600 a year. I'm looking at about 30 years of payments from today. So I have debt relief to look forward to when I am around 66 years of…
  • The Decline and Fall of the American Theatre

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:38 am
    There are a lot of people that speak about the decline of American theatre and it's effect on the way it is currently done and the way it will be done in the future. What I've always believed is that we really don't reinvent things but remix things. Over and over again. The elements it took to make the iPhone were here at the time that the pyramids, but our focus was on something completely different. There are a lot of individuals wondering why we still have to give the milk for free if the we are a capitalistic society and still many more that believe that we should really pick one if we…
  • The Handbook for the Theatrically Deceased

    12 Apr 2014 | 10:23 am
    There's a certain population of individuals who got into theatre at a very early age, and went through the education system. At one point, they decided to get of the train of unemployment and heartache following the dream of theatre in exchange for a real life. Usually these people still go and see a show every once in a while, but all to often, they leave the life all together. What is the ultimate deal breaker in living the life that they wanted to live? Kids? House? Food? Basic necessities of growing older? What is it that makes the theatrically inclined give up the limelight and…
  • Why You Should Listen Twice As Much As You Speak

    9 Apr 2014 | 7:35 pm
    There's a moment when you start believing your accolades. It's a moment when your past accomplishments seem larger than anything you will complete in the future. We all at one time or another think that we are completely phony. Recently I had a conversation where the individual who I was speaking to spent more time dancing around the issues rather than listening and being inquisitive about the individual that they were talking to. I spoke to another individual who had give and take in the conversation. There was an exchange of ideas, and I left that conversation feeling great. The other…
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    Theatre Geeks

  • 121 Know what you’re getting into or stay home

    Dave Dufour
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:20 pm
    In another audience etiquette episodes, the Geeks talk about audience members who don’t do their “homework” when it comes to knowing what kind of show they’re going to see, being prepared for possible “mature” content and not being taken by “surprise” that leads to indignation. We’ve been around long enough to know that there probably isn’t a show out there that won’t offend someone at some time, but often as not, the offended party has only himself to blame. Most theatres will note in their promotions if a particular show…
  • 120 Can there be too much theatre tech?

    Dave Dufour
    8 Apr 2014 | 3:00 pm
    The Geeks discuss the high- and ever higher-tech state of theatrical productions and wonder if “enough” is actually too much, and whether technology helps or hinders a community theatre’s creative approaches. Theatre Geeks - community theatre and the performing arts
  • 119 Leave that stuff at home! Dealing with bad behavior in the theatre.

    Dave Dufour
    28 Mar 2014 | 8:21 am
    What can you do to deal with backstage hanky panky and other disruptive “stuff” in community theatre? Community theatre is a great social activity, but problems do arise when behaviors that may (or may not) be ok away from the theatre become distractions or even liabilities within a cast. While we can’t regulate people’s feelings, we can set guidelines that make for a better experience for all. The Geeks discuss dealing with bad behavior, and more importantly, preventing it. Send us YOUR feedback. Music provided by Music Alley. Theatre Geeks - community theatre and the…
  • 118 Is it Actor or Actress?

    Dave Dufour
    18 Mar 2014 | 5:46 am
    Is the term “actress” outmoded? The Geeks have been accused of being a little “old school” at times (whatever that means), and all three of us remember when the term “actress” was the standard way of referring to a female on stage. In this abbreviated episode, the Geeks discuss why and when the terminology appeared to change, and whether or not it’s ok to still use the older term. What do YOU think? Is this even a debate worth having? Should those who say “actress” be subject to a social smackdown? Let us know via our contact form (below)…
  • 117 Awards Nights for Community Theatre: the pros and cons

    Dave Dufour
    12 Mar 2014 | 8:59 pm
    Are awards nights at a community theatre a good thing or a bad thing? After a peculiarly breathy beginning, the Geeks get down to the business of awards. Some community theatres have an annual in-company awards ceremony honoring best actors/actresses, directors, etc. Some may feel that this only breeds internal jealousies and bad feelings. Others may feel it provides an incentive for quality in all aspects of production. The Geeks tell you what they think. Now, what do YOU think. Let us know via our contact page. Music provided by Music Alley. . . . → Read More: 117 Awards Nights for…
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