Taking criticism

The very minute your work of art is read, or hung or built or whatever, and brought to public attention, it is no longer just your work of art. It is quickly taken over by criticism. Opinion. It may take different forms, but each person who views the work of art has an opinion.

Some criticism will be considered, with training and experience behind it. Some, not so much… Continue reading

Playwright as a work in progress

The Princess Place Preserve in Flagler County, Florida, is the oldest standing structure in the county, built in 1889 by Henry Cutting and his wife Angela (who later became the Princess of this country hunting lodge. It is visited by locals and eco-tourists alike. Watching park rangers and long-time residents talk about the history of this place and this area in a DVD that serves as an introduction to your… Continue reading

Playwriting workshop at the community theatre – back to the future

Let me throw a few names around: Eugene O’Neill, George S. Kaufman, Elmer Rice, Maxwell Anderson, Robert E. Sherwood, Susan Glaspell. What do they have in common? They all got their playwriting chops at local, community-run Little Theatres.

While New York’s Theatre Syndicate were touring lots of money-making shows that were fresh hits on Broadway, these playwrights were able to make their mark in theatre history. These people found… Continue reading

What is site-specific theatre?

In a nutshell, and nutshells work just fine for me, a site-specific performance of any kind—be it performance art called Happenings (1950s-60s) or flash mobs (2000s), or Stephan Koplowitz’s beautiful compositions that show dance at its most dynamic, or Punchdrunk’s production of Sleep No More—is a dynamic production that takes place, not in a conventional theatre, but at a location that has in some way inspired that production. It means… Continue reading

2: The Hull House Theatre: Is Little Theatre local or global? Or something else?

Theatre is and it isn’t globalized. And it is and it isn’t all economics and trade. (See “Theatre globalized.”) Mostly through touring and immigration, forced or chosen, cultures from different parts of the world began to have a real impact on other cultures it came in contact with it. There have been migrations, like the massive ones to America at the end of the nineteenth century that brought people… Continue reading

Future for theatre?

I have been thinking about how some of us think that art, and therefore theatre, has changed with digital technology. We have heard that any of us who can access a computer and the internet can become content producers and artists in our own right. This is true, even though most of the videos my friends send me are meant to be cute and entertaining and morale boosting, but I… Continue reading

1: Theatre globalized

One of the things that set my teeth on edge, back when we technical writers copy-edited each other’s work, was when I came upon “utilize.” It was a perfectly good word when it meant making a thing do what it wasn’t originally meant to do: “I utilized the washtub as a temporary raft in the flooding backyard.” But not “I utilized the rowboat to row to the other side of… Continue reading

The community part of community theatre

My community theatre is where I am thriving. After too many years trying to make a living away from theatre, now that I am retired, I’m back with a vengeance to make up for lost time. I found just the place to do it: community theatre. I act, direct, and write. What more could I ask for? And I get plenty of support and encouragement from everyone there.

Community… Continue reading

Theatre in the works

Where have I been these many months, away from taking care of business here?

Would you believe:

  1. Acting in a chamber theater version of The Importance of Being Earnest (Miss Prism)earnest
  2. Staging a Readers Theater version of selected works by an important American author, which involved writing narrative to hold the pieces together, acting as the narrator