Representation Matters: Telling Queer Stories in a Significant Way

Representation Matters: Telling Queer Stories in a Significant Way

As pride month draws to a close, we’d be remiss if we didn’t call attention to the lack of diversity in telling LGBT+ stories for the stage. The theatre community is comprised of many different types of people, with an especially large number of people who identify as LGBT+. If our community is so largely composed with queer people, why aren’t we doing a better job of telling their stories?

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How Political Should Theatre Be?

How Political Should Theatre Be?

I recently went to see a broadcast of David Hare’s new play, ‘I’m Not Running.’ A political comedy that is excellently staged, one exchange stood out to me. “I’m not political” claims Pauline when she first meets Sandy as his doctor, “why not?” is Sandy’s response.

This question is important because we should all be political, whether we want to be actively involved or not we should all be focused on politics as it affects every part of our lives. If you are lucky enough not to be political, it shows how you feel so secure and protected in your existence and have never had to worry about how someone’s opinions will affect your daily life. How far into politics and political agendas should theatre delve? Should theatre stay away from specific political events such as Brexit, and controversial political figures such as Donald Trump?

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Should Theatre Boards Be Eliminated?

Should Theatre Boards Be Eliminated?

Recently I involved myself in an online controversy by making derogatory comments on the boards usually fastened to theatres.  Some board members responded in a fury.  One said that boards do the best they can with what they’re given.  Theatre, he reasoned, “(I)s a dying art form.”

Now regardless of whether board members work hard, a problem exists when someone attached to a theatre thinks that the art is dying.  And this indicates a widespread problems with U.S. theatres.

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Political Literacy in the Theatre

Political Literacy in the Theatre

So frequently in my rehearsal rooms, or in my classrooms, I hear theatre artists decry politics.  There seems to be an idea that one must learn their craft in a hermetically sealed bubble, lest the influences of the banal and mundane workings of the outside world impose themselves upon the art.  In the theatre, though, nothing could be farther from the truth. 

The fact is that ALL theatre is political.  The Public Theatre’s Oskar Eustis has said that it can be no coincidence that theatre and democracy were invented in at the same time.  He says “I think that theater is the democratic art—it's no mistake that they were invented in the same city in the same decade. It's the proper place to exercise democratic virtue, for the contesting of different points of view, identifying with other people, what citizens need”.

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Yellowface in 'Jerome Robbins Broadway' is as Confusing as it is Inappropriate

Yellowface in 'Jerome Robbins Broadway' is as Confusing as it is Inappropriate

The historic and prolific St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre (commonly known as The Muny), is marking a rare feat for regional theatres, its 100th season. It's a milestone that should rightfully be celebrated in not only the St. Louis theatrical community but here in New York City as well, as many a performer has graced that stage at one time or another. 

However, their season is off to a bumpy start, according to some who have seen how they've decided to stage various numbers in their production of Jerome Robbins' Broadway. The show, which serves as a tribute anthology to shows that Robbins worked on, features fully produced recreations of his choreography. That means these numbers are done in the context of the shows their from and with full costuming. And that is where the problem lies. 

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