Does Height Really Matter on Our Stages?

Does Height Really Matter on Our Stages?

I believe we are at the beginning of a tipping point where long held audition standards are going to be challenged. From actors of color to accessibility, the marginalizing factors that used to close so many opportunities for various people, are soon going to be wide open. At least one can hope. 

However, for the time being, there are more factors that disqualify a performer being cast aside from their talent. These are factors they have little to no control over such as their height. 

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Broadway is Trying to Sweep #metoo Under the Rug

Broadway is Trying to Sweep #metoo Under the Rug

No, you're not taking crazy pills. Take off the tin foil hats. You can come out of the basement. What you thought was true, is true. Broadway is doing everything it can to sweep incidents of sexual misconduct within its ranks under the proverbial rug. They've been doing it for decades. By doing so, it's allowed perpetrators' careers to flourish which has only led to further abuses. 

And the worst part is, we've allowed it to happen. We need to stop allowing it to happen. 

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"Opening Doors" with Animal Handler, Schuyler Beeman

"Opening Doors" with Animal Handler, Schuyler Beeman

One significant aspect of being involved in theater is the ability to combine different interests into unique pursuits. Like theater and history? Be a dramaturge. Like theater and technology? Create effects or projections. Like theater and martial arts? Choreograph stage combat. The focus of this latest Opening Doors column, 30-year-old Schuyler Beeman, was able to combine two of his biggest passions into a fascinating, burgeoning career. Schuyler is an animal handler and actor who tours the world working with (and starring alongside) the non-human performers needed in all manner of stage shows.

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Two Old White Guys are Offended by Hamilton....Call Me Shocked

Two Old White Guys are Offended by Hamilton....Call Me Shocked

Not everyone has to love Hamilton. You are allowed to dislike the show for a myriad of reasons. You can tell your friends and family how much you didn't like it. Just like any other show, you can do this. 

But the moment you print those comments or send them off to a newspaper for publishing, then you're entering my world. And if your goal is to have as many people see your comments, it's in our right to respond to them. I believe in Freedom of Speech, I own a blog. I also believe that Freedom of Speech extends to criticizing how others exercise that right. 

Which is why when I see moronic, ill-informed comments published in newspapers, I'm going to say something. 

Take for instance this week when the Denver Post published two letters written to them regarding the Hamilton tour stop. I'll let the comments speak for themselves.

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Giving Everyone the Spotlight: A Chat with Sir Richard Stilgoe

Giving Everyone the Spotlight: A Chat with Sir Richard Stilgoe

So the snow's melted, and it seems that those of us in and around London have a week of rain to look forward to. Perhaps we could all use a little inspiration to pick us up, and where better to find that inspiration than at the Orpheus Centre, an educational charity helping to improve the lives of young, disabled people with a passion for the arts. I've been talking to Sir Richard Stilgoe, founder and trustee, about the Centre's 20th anniversary year.

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As an Autistic Playwright, I Don’t Mind If Autistic Characters Are Played by Non-Autistic Actors

As an Autistic Playwright, I Don’t Mind If Autistic Characters Are Played by Non-Autistic Actors

In recent years, the topic of autistic characters being played by autistic actors – as well as the importance that some people say it has – is something that has gotten more and more attention, as more shows, films and television shows emerge that deal with autism and Asperger’s, and highlight how people on the spectrum deal with it. Indeed, I can’t help but notice that – for some people – it may even be controversial for characters in theatre, film, TV, etc. who are autistic do not always end up getting portrayed by autistic actors.

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"No Excuses": How One Theatre Teacher Changed My Self Image

"No Excuses": How One Theatre Teacher Changed My Self Image

Three weeks after my tenth birthday, I had an experience that would be the beginning of a change in the way I see myself. I walked into the Dayton Jewish Center multipurpose room, hit a button on a CD player, sang my best “Colors of the Wind”, and went home. There was no way I'd get to hear the word yes.

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#Oscarsnotsowhite but Certainly Not Asian

#Oscarsnotsowhite but Certainly Not Asian

For the record, I am thrilled to see the diversity in this year's Oscar nominees. We have both black and female directors nominated and four of the acting nominees are black as well. 

But as an Asian man, I'm tired of celebrating the small victories of singular nominations. For all the progress that the Oscars has made in a more diverse pool of nominees, Asians are still getting drastically left behind. 

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