'The Lion King' at 20: Remembering Jason Raize

Jason Raize should be starring on Broadway as George Washington in Hamilton right now. He should have a couple Tony nominations under his belt and maybe even a win. He should have been a regular fixture on shows like Law & Order: SVU or Blue Bloods. At the age of 41, he should be one of 42nd Street’s most popular leading men. He shouldn’t be dead at the age of 28.

“Look, Mom, I’m a Tree”: The Advantages of Small Parts

We all know the saying: “There are no small parts, only small actors.”

Yeah, whatever, Stanislavski. I still want the lead.

All actors pay their dues at some point when they see their name on the cast list under some vague label such as “Villager #3,” “Ensemble,” or “Tree.” No one auditions for bit parts, but at the end of the day someone has to do it. Often the hassle seems to outweigh the benefits. You work hard and pass up other opportunities to end up being just another forgettable face onstage. It’s tempting to insist on only settling for the bigger parts, but there are a few good reasons to tough it out on the edge of the spotlight.

What Would You Do with a Rude Audience Member?

We come to theatre to be thrown into a world for a couple hours, but sometimes, audience members want to disrupt this world, either wittingly or unwittingly. Its painful enough to be near these disruptive member as an audience member, but while you’re on stage? That’s the ultimate test of wits. How should an actor handle it? Different Broadway actors handle it in different ways. How should they handle it? Its too big a question for one person handle, so we at OnStage Blog threw it up to our staff, and we got some fun responses. 

The situation specifically posed to the staff was as follows: “You’re performing on Broadway, and you’re in the middle of a serious, tense scene. You can hear a group of 3 people laughing throughout this scene, loud enough to reach the stage and cause some audience to grumble and try to shush them. How do you, the actor, respond to this?”

Faith & Character: An Interview with Max Wolkowitz of Long Wharf’s “The Chosen”

In Long Wharf’s upcoming “The Chosen,” based on the novel by Chaim Potok, two Jewish boys in the 1940s form an unlikely friendship. While this is the world premiere of Gary Posner’s stage adaptation, it’s a return to the stories of Potok for actor Max Wolkowitz, who plays the show’s narrator Reuven. Two years ago, he played the title character in “My Name Is Asher Lev,” another play by Posner adapted from a Potok novel in New York. After what he called a “beautiful” and “challenging” experience at the Penguin Rep Theatre, Wolkowitz says he is happy to make his Long Wharf debut and once again inhabit a teenage Chaim Potok protagonist.

The Four Realities of a College Theatre Program, That No One Prepares You For

For high school seniors you're probably getting a ton of communication from your colleges about what to prepare for next fall. It probably includes what to pack, choice of meal plans, Resident Life tips, etc. 

But for theatre majors, there isn't a whole lot the school can do to help prepare you for what's truly ahead of you for the next four years. How could they? Being a theatre major has its own set of challenges and triumphs. Having come from a program like this, I know that many of the people I've talked have had the same experiences. For BFA students, it's going to be a bit different but maybe some of this applies to you as well. 

Working Class Performers are Losing Training Options in the UK

We need to address an issue within training for the performing arts in the United Kingdom. In England, Northern Ireland and Wales right now, you must pay tuition fees to go to a university, which means, any actors, directors or writers who wish to study a BA must have the money to afford this course or else look for a scholarship. In Scotland, the government funds the majority of our courses, which means that you would think that working-class students within the performing arts within Scotland would have a better chance to get the training they deserve.

Well you're wrong.