1
Jul

Book Report: Speaking the Speech

The book itself (oh, right, this is a Book Report post!) is a fantastic tool for actors and directors. It’s more accessible than Shakespeare’s Metrical Art, but more advanced than Mastering Shakespeare. I loved how, throughout, Block connected rhetorical and rhythmic concepts to playable actions. This is not an abstract text; it’s grounded in the work of the theater.

12
Jun

Sound Trumpets

Some folks on a Shakespeare Facebook group had questions and opinions about Shakespeare’s musical stage directions, and when I said I had done one of my masters’ theses on this topic, they wanted to know more. Apologies in advance. If you read Shakespeare’s plays, particularly the histories, you’ll quickly notice stage directions like, “Sound trumpets […]

19
Apr

Book Report: An Acrobat of the Heart

When I was at the Shakespeare Theater Association conference in January (back when one Went To Things), three different people recommended Steven Wangh’s An Acrobat of the Heart to me. When something like that—something that isn’t new and trendy—pops into my world a number of times, I pay attention. So as soon as I got […]

9
Apr

you & me at Mummenschanz

I luckily saw a fair amount of theater right before everything shut down. As usual, posting my reflections late, but it’s nice to have those memories of live performances to sustain me through the current drought. Like many Gen X/Millennials, my first experience of Mummenschanz was through the delightfully weird Sesame Street of the 1980s, […]

2
Apr

Cry It Out at City Theater

I’ve been hearing about Molly Smith Metzler’s Cry It Out for ages. It’s the story of two dissimilar neighbors who have babies at the same time and navigate the challenges of new motherhood together, becoming unlikely friends in the process. I hadn’t been able to get to a performance, but I was curious about the […]

21
Mar

Teenage Dick at Theater Wit

For once, I didn’t see a show on closing night. You can still check this out! It runs through April 19. As we move into this strange human experiment in containment, all of my performing arts colleagues are struggling. Shows are, of course, being canceled. Lots of people’s day jobs, if they have them, are […]

20
Mar

The Empty (Virtual) Space

Like many theater artists, I’m finding myself at loose ends, with a project more or less dissolving in my hands, getting less likely with each news break. Future projects are getting less certain as well. I’m trying to look on the sunny side; while I’m mourning the projects that might not happen or might be […]

16
Mar

Hairspray at Harrisonburg High School

When my local high school announced it was slating Hairspray as its spring musical, I was terribly skeptical. Although the school, like the city, is extremely diverse, I had only rarely seen a non-white kid in their productions. At that school, as at many schools, theater is for white kids. Ken Gibson, the theater teacher […]