Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fun theatrical reading

Bobo browses sites, gets behind, fails to post ...

In an effort to spread the word about recent articles of note, here goes:

In The Guardian, John Caird's 10 tips for directors:
Unfortunately ends with a plug for his book, but — despite a couple of the commenters — some reasonable advice for those who want to break into or improve their stage directing. Note how obvious (and yet frequently ignored) Nos. 1 and 2 are.
Bobo's often reminded — in casual conversation, in looking around at shows — at how seldom local actors and directors attend one another's shows. (Probably I'm missing something. But if I'm not ...)
What are the chief reasons that you, Local Theater Person, don't get out to shows more often? a) money, b) time, c) unconvinced of quality, d) not that passionate about theater, would rather play with my cat, e) too baked to care.

In The London Times, Sir Peter Hall and Sir Alan Ayckbourn reminisce about theatrical good times — worth reading if for nothing other than Hall's reverse-psychology approach to giving notes at rehearsal.

Also in The Guardian, a piece about Juliet and Her Romeo — an adaptation for geezers, as it were, in which Sian Phillips (I, Claudius) and Michael Byrne (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) play the lovers in old age: Juliet's in a nursing home, and her daughter decides to marry her off to wealthy man — that is, until fellow nursing-home occupant Romeo catches sight of Juliet's lustrous gray hair and distinguished wrinkles.

The best profile of Sam Shepard I've ever read, by Carole Cadwalladr in (again) The Guardian: Shepard on feeling like a misfit, on the effects of his fame on his children, on doodling in his notebooks because that other Sam (Beckett) did.

But most important of all:  Theresa Rebeck's speech on sexist discrimination against women in the theater.
In this area, we are fortunate to have Yvonne A.K. Johnson running the region's oldest — and, currently, most stable and successful — theater, and to have Sandy Hosking writing as co-Resident Playwright, also at the Civic (and directing, too!). Rebeck cites the abysmally low numbers of female playwrights and directors in the business. And yet women are earning most of America's academic degrees, now at all levels — and they buy most of the theater tickets.

The link to the misogynistic review (from Oct. 2000) that she refers to is here.

(For now, Bobo is following a strategy of posting theater-community-only-oriented material here on this blog while posting theater-related-but-more-general-interest stuff both here and at For the 13 of you who are listening: Is that a good procedure? ]

[ photo: Theresa Rebeck, from ]

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