Dear High School Theatres, Stop Writing Your Own Shows Based on Movies

Dear High School Theatres, Stop Writing Your Own Shows Based on Movies

This weekend, students at the Heritage Private School in Cyprus are going to be performing a world premiere musical of sorts. The original musical is titled “As You Wish” and it’s directly based on the book and film “The Princess Bride.”

The problem with all of this? By taking a work this specific work and adapting it the way these teachers are technically violating copyright owned by the William Goldman estate and even bigger, the Walt Disney Company.

Read More

How a High School Aims to Show Just How Relatable "Heathers: The Musical" Is

How a High School Aims to Show Just How Relatable "Heathers: The Musical" Is

What’s your damage? For many students it’s the crippling fear of social pressure to succeed and prove themselves at a young age. Through the struggles of weaving through relationships and college applications while simultaneously trying to find who they are in this world, being a teenager can be the most stressful and worrisome time of a person's life. Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe write a beautiful story of the raw reality that is the high school experience in Heathers the Musical: High School Edition.

Read More

$carcity in the Arts

$carcity in the Arts

For a medium built on community, collaboration, and connection, I fear I am experiencing and witnessing a lot of scarcity minded behavior in the theatre. As I travel and direct around the country I am seeing more and more artists, myself included, being asked to work for less and less compensation. Worse so than that what often people report to me or I hear from potential employers is that as much as they would like to hire someone, they just don’t have the resources. “We accept volunteers!” 

Read More

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…

Read More

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”.

Read More

When a Freshman Gets the Lead Role...

When a Freshman Gets the Lead Role...

Let me know if this has happened to you: You're a senior in high school waiting for the cast list of your last spring musical to be posted. 

The moment it goes up, you race over to find your name, hoping it's somewhere at the top. 


After all, you're a senior. You've been in virtually every production since freshman year. You've joyfully accepted every ensemble or supporting role, hoping that it scores points to ensure a lead role in your last year.

You start reading the list and your heart drops. Not only are you not cast in the lead role but the role went to a freshman....a freshman!!!

Read More

Issues at Broadway's "Chicago" All Too Familiar When It Comes to Bullying in Theatre

Issues at Broadway's "Chicago" All Too Familiar When It Comes to Bullying in Theatre

After spending 22 years in a cast of a Broadway show, one deserves a curtain call worthy of that achievement. It could be a standing ovation during the final bow. Or a backstage celebration. Or parting gifts from the cast, creative and producers. 

But instead of being recognized for a rare achievement in New York theatre, Jeff Loeffelholz ended his own life with a mixture of painkillers and alcohol. 

What led Jeff to this point is going to be the subject of investigations by multiple organizations and their results could lead to a complete reshaping of working conditions in professional theatre.

While Jeff's alleged treatment behind-the-scenes at Chicago is horrific, for many other performers, it's all too familiar. 

Read More

High School Theatre Made Me a Better Person

High School Theatre Made Me a Better Person

My niece was in a musical recently and I went to watch it.

It was a group of kids age 10 to 14 and they were delightful. For many, it was their first time on stage.

I sat in the dark of the theatre and blubbered quietly to myself – not just because it was my amazing niece on stage, but it reminded me of what a powerful experience it is to take part in youth theatre.

Read More