a theatre, film & pop culture review
Olivier Award nominations were announced last week (my bad). Up for MasterCard Best New Play — yep, MasterCard Best New Play (classy, Olivier) — are:
Constellations by Nick Payne
The Audience by Peter Morgan
This House by James Graham
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time adapted by Simon Stephens
And as with any awards, there are multiple problems with the Oliviers.
Producer Ken Davenport wants to wage war on the Broadway discount sites. “How can I help?!” asked no working artist/middle class tourist ever.
New study finds that Shakespeare was a tax-evading food hoarder. File this, along with Did He Or Didn’t He Write All Those Plays, under I Don’t Give a F*ck.
Once again, a theatre in the regions is denied licensing because of (Off)Broadway run: Playwright Aaron Posner, producers and the rights organization, Dramatists Play Service, decline to explain why Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York (Buffalo) was denied rights, last minute, to produce My Name is Asher Lev. JRT pluckily switches plays, coming out the easy winner in this scenario.
Rob Weinert-Kendt, cultivating a criticism series for HowlRound, on what it means to feel the pull of the “critical calling”:
I refer to the grittier, less exalted ways in which theater critics are as much like theater artists as to be indistinguishable as a class: the meager pay, the struggle for recognition, the dwindling audiences and disproportionate power of a few make-or-break gatekeepers, the sense in which one is stuck with a habit as hard to shake as it is difficult to explain to outsiders, who tend to imagine what you do as either glamorous fun or corrupt, frivolous nonsense, but never honest work.
Stephen Sondheim will receive the 54th annual Edward MacDowell Medal for lifetime achievement in the arts. Though I could’ve sworn he had this, and every other, award already, Sondheim will be the first artist from musical theatre to receive the award.
Two gentlemen at Humana Festival debate whether or not you should read a play before seeing it. This isn’t Finnegan’s Wake, guys. The answer should be clear.
“There is a layer of women administrators, producers and directors who are bolder and braver than any of those male chief executives,” says Judith Dimant of Complicite, in response to Vanessa Thorpe’s complaint, in the Guardian, that it’s a man’s world in the arts.
And now for the gossip: Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep, and Benjamin Walker, wearer of one lucky towel in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, have split. Who else thinks this was Scar-Jo’s doing?
The Guardian asks: Do play titles matter?
5 Ways to improve open submissions for all of us: But does only accepting a certain number of submissions each year really improve the quality of theatre?