Posts Tagged ‘theatre’


My play, “Afterlife” is going to be in the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival this year.  Casey Conan, Hero of Art, has made this poster for it.


You may recall that I had a play in this festival LAST year.  Many of you were not able to come to NEW YORK CITY in order to see it, so I decided NOT to win that one, and will instead win this year.

We’re Friday, July 26th at 8:00.  Tell your friends.  Also, here is the festival website.

My play, Glossolalia, is one of the 40 finalists in the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival (SFOOBSPF, I guess?).  My friend Casey made me a poster to help advertise it.

I like it.  My understanding is that I will actually have to battle in a kind of Thunderdome-style competition with the other playwrights, so I am practicing my swinging-a-chainsaw-while-attached-to-bungee-cords as we speak.



I saw As You Like It at the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre over the weekend, and it was fine. A nice little show, most everybody did a good job, and what do you expect from As You Like It? Frankly, I’m beginning to suspect that Shakespeare just wasn’t really a top-notch comedian.

But anyway, there’s a huge problem that I have with the play, and while I was watching it I think I stumbled on a way to solve it, and I want some opinions here. The problem that I have is this: Orlando is a complete fucking bonehead.

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I have been reading William Goldman’s The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway. You may remember Goldman as the author of such films as The Princess Bride or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the script doctor for many, many more. In 1968, he saw every show during the Broadway season, talked to critics, directors, actors, writers, ushers, ticket sellers. He had a study commissioned to see why people go to the theater. Goldman knows what he’s doing, and for as crabby and sarcastic and bitchy he is about his material, it’s plain that he has enormous affection for Broadway, and for the theater in general.

There’s a lot in this book that isn’t really particularly useful, anymore. The box office and budget numbers, for instance, must be adjusted for inflation since 1968. At the time, Goldman’s study showed that fully a third of Broadway audiences were out-of-towners; I suspect that this number is even higher now. And, of course, the mechanics of the Broadway theater industry are peculiar to Broadway, and don’t really apply in places like Philadelphia.

But there is one thing that remains as true fifty or so years later, and that is dramaturgy.


Hamlet, Gender, AND SO FORTH

Posted: October 14, 2010 in Braak
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Today on Threat Quality:  everyone go to the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s blog.  I want to have a conversation about what it means to cast Hamlet as a woman.

Hamlet is one of the greatest roles in theater history and so it is unsurprising that women as well as men would dream of playing the prince. What may be surprising to some, however, is how longstanding the tradition of women playing Hamlet is and how much the casting of a woman can bring to both the play and the audience.

Vague thoughts about setting up a set of independent theater awards in Philadelphia.

So, I want to start up some awards in Philadelphia for independent theater.  Awards are always a tricky thing; I mean, on the one hand, no one working in the arts should care about awards, because they’re bullshit, right?  Even if you could accurately create a system for quantitatively evaluating performances or direction or design, how would you configure a system to ensure that you were judging it fairly?  And then, what’s even the point of the award?  You’re not going to be able to give them out until the show’s closed, anyway, so it’s not like it’s going to directly impact audience attendance.  Certain people really care about getting awards, but really, I think we can all agree that artists who work primarily for the purpose of being officially honored by some arbitrary organization are probably not at the top of the list of great artists.


Livestreaming the New Play

Posted: August 2, 2010 in Threat Quality
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Super-exciting news over at the SOE blog, where I have announced that, in conjunction with an internet-affiliate, we’ll be live-streaming Empress of the Moon all around the world on opening night!

We’ll be officially announcing when and with whom soon, but I’ve just got all of the clearances to say this:  the SOE will be livestreaming the opening night performance of Empress of the Moon.  As long as you go to our affiliate between the hours of 8:00 PM Eastern/Standard and…whenever the show is over (I think it’ll be around 10:00 PM), you will be able to watch Empress of the Moon, live, ON THE INTERNET.

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