New Year’s Resolutions for the Theatre Community

New Year’s Resolutions for the Theatre Community

For many people, the beginning of a new year also marks the time of year in which people try to come up with resolutions, in the hopes that these specific goals in their lives will have been achieved by this time next year. Those of us who are highly active in theatre most likely have already come up with such resolutions related to theatre. However, there might be a few additional ideas for resolutions that some of us might not have thought about and should be willing to consider to make their year in theatre even better than last year. 

So without further ado, here are just a few New Year’s resolutions – in no particular order – for all of us in the theatre community to consider…

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"The Book of Mormon" is Still the Greatest Satirical Musical of All Time

"The Book of Mormon" is Still the Greatest Satirical Musical of All Time

Prior to 2011, when most people heard the names Trey Parker and Matt Stone – if they had ever heard of them at all – they could easily be forgiven for immediately thinking of South Park and not much else. Most people who have never watched that show probably only know its history of raunchy and foul-mouthed humor, and while I personally love that kind of humor, I know that for many people that’s not exactly their cup of tea. Yet those of us who are very familiar with the show know that it is proof of Parker and Stone’s fearless approach to tackling current events and controversial issues in a way that is both highly irreverent and intelligent at the same time.

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10 Reasons Why Film Adaptations of Musicals Tend to Fail

10 Reasons Why Film Adaptations of Musicals Tend to Fail

Movie musicals: They have been around for nearly as long as sound has been a part of film. Naturally, many of the most notable of them have been adapted from Broadway musicals, and a good portion of them tend to be commercially successful. However, those of us who are used to seeing the real thing – and even some who aren’t – tend to be disappointed once we see these musicals come to the silver screen.

Why is this?

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Keep Going, and Be Proud That You Haven’t Given Up

Keep Going, and Be Proud That You Haven’t Given Up

For everyone who is deeply involved in the theatre community – whether you’re an actor, a playwright, a director, a technician, a designer, etc. – I’m sure there’s been at least one time when you’ve questioned whether you were good enough, when you worried that you might not have a bright future in the arts, or when you wondered if maybe you should just give it all up. It’s something that even the best of us have always experienced, and if you haven’t already, there’s a chance you will, at one point or another.

Personally, I’ve had these feelings on many past occasions,  during my high school and college years. Frequently, I doubted to myself whether I had what it takes to make it to where I want to be in 5 or 10 years, and whether or not I should even bother to keep going. I still know some people today, who seem to be going through this phase of uncertainty right now, and I’m sure others who are reading this might be, as well.

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The Balancing Act of Being Both a Playwright and a Critic

The Balancing Act of Being Both a Playwright and a Critic

I love playwriting, and the creative rush I get from writing so many plays – and often, seeing them produced – is practically what I live for. I’m also a theatre critic, and thus have the chance to see a diverse range of shows and offer my analysis and opinions of them. Depending on which person you talk to, if they’re familiar with my writing, they might know that I’m a playwright and a critic, but they may know me better for being one over another. There also may be some who know me only as a playwright, but have never read any of my reviews; or perhaps they’ve seen my past reviews of shows, but are totally unfamiliar with my work as a playwright.

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More Colleges Should Be Producing New Plays

More Colleges Should Be Producing New Plays

Two years ago, I graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a BA in Theatre and minors in Writing and Film Studies. Since it’s a smaller and lesser-known school, many people may not ever know it, but if there’s anything about the theatre program at ECSU that makes it special and sets it apart from other many colleges in the New England region, it is its consistent support for newer and lesser-known works, including some plays that may be more controversial or experimental. 

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Melodramatic Is Not a Dirty Word

Melodramatic Is Not a Dirty Word

Melodrama.

When the term comes up, many people tend to think of the old melodramas that theatergoers were accustomed to in the 19th century. Perhaps if they know enough about the history of theatre, they might think of plays such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Corsican Brothers and The Octoroon.

However, all of this overlooks what the term actually refers to: the usage of exaggerated aspects of performance and storytelling, whether it may be referring to the events in the plot or the emotions of the characters.

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If Math and Science Are Required in School, the Arts Should Be Too

If Math and Science Are Required in School, the Arts Should Be Too

A poll was conducted by the British performing arts newspaper The Stage (www.thestage.co.uk) to determine the opinion that a majority of people had on a topic that is close to the hearts of many people in the theatre community: arts education in school. More specifically, these people were asked whether or not they believed that the teaching of arts subjects should be compulsory. 

The results: Approximately 77% said “yes”, while approximately 23% said “no”.

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Every Great Show Should Do At Least One of These Three Things

Every Great Show Should Do At Least One of These Three Things

I believe that there are three certain things that every show should force an audience to do in order to be considered a genuinely great work of art. It doesn’t have to be all three of these things, and it doesn’t really get too specific beyond this.

However, when writing a new play – and ultimately, when it is eventually selected for production – the goal should be to make an audience do at least one of the three following things, in one way or another…

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