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Tag: Theater

Chris Hedges and Wallace Shawn on Politics, Playwriting and Power (Video)

In the latest episode of “On Contact,” Hedges sits down with the actor, playwright and essayist to discuss Shawn’s new book, “Night Thoughts.”

Posted on May 31, 2017 WATCH & LISTEN


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‘The Designated Mourner’: A Play on Authoritarianism, Restaged for the Trump Era

Twenty years after its debut, playwright Wallace Shawn’s drama has taken on new meaning for American theatergoers. (Shawn is pictured at left.)

Posted on May 12, 2017 READ MORE



‘Building the Wall’: Staging America’s Worst Immigration Nightmare

Playwright Robert Schenkkan sounds the alarm about a scenario he says “absolutely” could come to pass in the United States.

Posted on Apr 5, 2017 READ MORE


Chris Hedges and Theater Director JoAnne Akalaitis Lament the State’s Assault on the Arts (Video)

Akalaitis tells the host of “On Contact” that lack of public support for the theater means we’ve lost “the soul of a society.”

Posted on Feb 28, 2017 WATCH & LISTEN



‘Lyrics From Lockdown’ Creator on Using Art as a Wake-Up Call

Playwright Bryonn Bain, who turned his own harrowing experiences into a one-man dramatic production, joins director Gina Belafonte for a Truthdig interview.

Posted on Feb 12, 2017 READ MORE



Much Ado About Very Little

What does it take to put on a Shakespeare play in a Midwestern regional theater? A new book seeks to answer this question, but far more interesting questions are left unasked. Why do these people devote their lives to their craft? Why does this particular play in this particular season for these particular people matter?

Posted on Dec 30, 2016 READ MORE



‘By Women Possessed: A Life of Eugene O’Neill’

His creative career as one of America’s greatest playwrights is unmatched. It is as difficult to put down this exhaustively reported re-examination of O’Neill’s dark family backstory as it is to ignore fresh productions of his great plays.

Posted on Dec 16, 2016 READ MORE



‘Notes of a Native Song’: Writer James Baldwin’s Work Resonates in the Time of Trump

Musical artist Stew’s ode to the literary icon is particularly welcome now, when Baldwin’s words have taken on fresh significance.

Posted on Dec 15, 2016 READ MORE



‘The Source’ Delves Deeply Into the Tale of Chelsea Manning

Now playing in Los Angeles, the oratorio by Ted Hearne patches the whistleblower’s story together using songs, video, Twitter feeds, cable news reports, testimony and transcripts.

Posted on Oct 20, 2016 READ MORE



Portraying the Mexican-American Experience in Six Hours

“A Mexican Trilogy: An American Story” is an epic production for the Latino Theater Company’s epic anniversary: telling the stories of its often-ignored community for 30 years.

Posted on Sep 22, 2016 READ MORE



A Racist Mecca, a Black Architect and Odious Politics That Refuse to Die

“Blueprint for Paradise,” in its world premiere in Los Angeles, is powered by an odd, real-life California tale of a pre-war Nazi center and its acclaimed designer, Paul Williams. Sadly, the political rot explored by the play survives: Check out the 2016 presidential campaign.

Posted on Aug 7, 2016 READ MORE



Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts

A new biography reclaims the playwright of “A Long Day’s Journey Into Night” as a self-conscious, committed artist who strove to break through the limits of production and consistently voice his lifelong contempt for American materialism, imperialism, racism and puritanism.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Scientist Acts Out Dramatic Effect of Climate Change

A spellbinding solo performance by veteran climate scientist Chris Rapley puts the climate debate center stage—and earns the admiration of London theater critics.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



Oregon Shakespeare Festival/UNIVERSES

Black Panthers: The Musical

“Party People” examines the complexity and struggle of the Black Panthers and Young Lords.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



The Actor and the Minister

In a time when corporate culture has marginalized our artists and those of compassion and vision, two such people merged for a moment at a Boston church. (Shown here, Michael Milligan in his one-man play.)

Posted on Jul 20, 2014 READ MORE


Chris Hedges and Eugene Jarecki: The Failed War on Drugs

Chris Hedges, who has written much about prison and also teaches in one, speaks with Eugene Jarecki about his amazing film, “The House I Live In,” the failed war on drugs and the life of human beings behind bars.

Posted on Apr 11, 2014 WATCH & LISTEN


Wallace Shawn Discusses Playing for Glenn Greenwald

The beloved playwright and actor Wallace “Wally” Shawn just returned from Brazil where he performed his play “The Designated Mourner” for journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Posted on Jan 31, 2014 WATCH & LISTEN


Bread and Puppet Theater: 50 Years of Art and Resistance

The Bread and Puppet Theater, one of the United States’ most beloved theater companies, is celebrating its 50th anniversary of using monstrous puppets to protest the “horror that happens” on the international stage. “Democracy Now!” spoke with Peter Schumann, the theater’s founder, for a full hour Thursday.

Posted on Dec 26, 2013 WATCH & LISTEN



AP/Ted S. Warren

The Play’s the Thing

Maximum-security prisoners in my classroom wrote a visceral and raw drama about life on the streets and inside prison. The bitter truth they told is their song. And now it is my job to make that song heard.

Posted on Dec 15, 2013 READ MORE



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‘Miserables’? More Like ‘Les Middling’

There are times when a cast of dozens, working intensely, is actually superior to a cast of hundreds working routinely.

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 READ MORE



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The Performance of Peace

Can theater help heal the wounds of war? With case studies from the Balkans, Uganda, Sri Lanka, India, Israel, Cambodia and others, “Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict, Vol. 1” answers with a powerful “yes.”

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 READ MORE



Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Going Beyond the Tale of a Boy and His Horse

For all the spectacle of thundering cavalry charges, muddy trenches and wartime love and loss, the current popular storytellers of the First World War skip over the conflict’s greatest moral drama by leaving out part of its cast of characters.

Posted on Feb 29, 2012 READ MORE


Netanyahu Responds to Palestinian Bid for Statehood

Less than an hour after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas finished speaking before the United Nations General Assembly about his wish for statehood, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to the lectern to give his side of the story. (more)

Posted on Sep 24, 2011 WATCH & LISTEN


Kucinich Says Obama Got the Deal He Wanted

Is the president a bad negotiator, or did he get the deal he wanted all along, as Rep. Dennis Kucinich suggests? Also on this week’s Truthdig Radio in collaboration with KPFK: the phony Social Security scare, teaching Shakespeare in Iraq and more. Update: Full transcript.

Posted on Aug 4, 2011 WATCH & LISTEN



Photo illustration from an image by Colin Grey

Kucinich Says Obama Got the Deal He Wanted

Is the president a bad negotiator, or did he get the deal he wanted all along, as Rep. Dennis Kucinich suggests? Also on this week’s Truthdig Radio in collaboration with KPFK: the phony Social Security scare, teaching Shakespeare in Iraq and more.

Posted on Aug 4, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Museo del Prado

On Art and Lying

It’s been noted before, by the likes of Marlon Brando and others, that art might be a socially sanctioned form of lying—or confabulating, as neuroscientists might call it. Could this be true?

Posted on Jun 7, 2011 READ MORE



Robin Williams as Atheist Tiger in Baghdad

The comedian and actor best known for his manic motormouth is starring on Broadway in “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.” Williams plays the tiger and, according to The New York Times, he plays it well.

Posted on Apr 1, 2011 READ MORE


Eve Ensler: Bald, Brave and Beautiful

The author of the hit play “The Vagina Monologues” sat down with me last week, in the midst of her battle with uterine cancer, to talk about New Orleans and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Ariel Schalit

Theatrical Resistance

It may be obvious to some, but Palestinians aren’t the only people upset about Israel’s settlement activity. More than 60 Israeli theater professionals have joined a boycott against a new West Bank cultural center in Ariel, an Israeli settlement 12.5 miles within Palestinian territory.

Posted on Aug 29, 2010 READ MORE



Worst Popes Edition

Glenn Beck’s Mormon masterpiece theater, why humans sigh, the 10 worst popes (and no, Benedict isn’t among them) and Aaron Sorkin’s response to the Newsweek gay actor saga.

Posted on May 13, 2010 READ MORE


Times Square car bomb
AP / Henny Ray Abrams

On the Fizzled Times Square Bombing Attempt

A smoking Nissan Pathfinder packed with explosive items set New York law enforcement officials on the trail of the alleged Times Square bomber on Saturday, and by Tuesday a self-described lone plotter by the name of Faisal Shahzad had emerged as the sole suspect.

Posted on May 4, 2010 READ MORE


The Man Who Put the Rainbow in ‘The Wizard of Oz’

The 70-year-old film classic bears close watching this year, perhaps more than in any other, for the message woven into the lyrics, written during the Great Depression by Oscar-winning lyricist E.Y. “Yip” Harburg.

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Eric Lax on Elia Kazan

Whatever one thinks of his politics, Elia Kazan was inarguably one of the 20th century’s greatest Broadway and Hollywood directors. A new book reveals the master at work.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


Bea Arthur
insidesocal.com

Goodbye to a Golden Girl

She had already enjoyed success on the stage by the time she became an even bigger star in midlife, thanks to ground-breaking television roles in “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.” Following the news of her death on Saturday, Bea Arthur was remembered for her distinctive style, her talent and her game-changing performances on stage and screen.

Posted on Apr 25, 2009 READ MORE


Harold Pinter
redelephant.wordpress.com

British Playwright Harold Pinter Dies at 78

The theater world lost one of its brightest lights on Christmas Eve with the death of playwright Harold Pinter. The 78-year-old British Nobel Prize winner, whose best-known plays included “The Homecoming” and “The Birthday Party,” succumbed to throat cancer on Wednesday.

Posted on Dec 25, 2008 READ MORE


Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Seagull’ Soars

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” seems, at first, to be merely a skillful and familiar rendition of a masterpiece. But like many great works of art, the power of this production is cumulative.

Posted on Sep 18, 2007 READ MORE


War and Censorship at Wilton High

Students at Wilton High School in Connecticut weren’t allowed to discuss the war, unless it was with a military recruiter, so they wrote a play about it. “Voices in Conflict,” which was quickly banned by the school, has made it to New York where it brought the audience to tears.

Posted on Jun 12, 2007 READ MORE


New York Theater Review:  ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’

In her first Truthdig theater review, actor and writer Eunice Wong takes in director David Hare’s stage production of “The Year of Magical Thinking,” Joan Didion’s haunting memoir about the sudden death of her husband (she would also later lose her daughter) and the heartbreaking mind tricks she used to try to conjure him back.

Posted on May 29, 2007 READ MORE


New York Theater Review:  ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’

In her first Truthdig theater review, actor and writer Eunice Wong takes in director David Hare’s stage production of “The Year of Magical Thinking,” Joan Didion’s haunting memoir about the sudden death of her husband (she would also later lose her daughter) and the heartbreaking mind tricks she used to try to conjure him back.

Posted on May 29, 2007 READ MORE


Theater ad
From the N.Y. Times

The Horror, the Horror! Ads Come to Theater

Just before the start of a theater show in the East Village of New York, a woman on stage extols the virtues of London honeymoons. It’s an advertisment that is itself advertised as the first live theatrical commercial.
Are those the four horsemen of the apocalypse I see yonder?

Posted on May 24, 2006 READ MORE


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