22
Oct

To You, Whoever You Are

I keep thinking about an episode of the Backstory podcast, where they talked about Walt Whitman. One of the historians they interviewed, Robert Shultz, described how Whitman destroyed his health during the war by working long hours in the hospital, caring for wounded soldiers. He read them letters from their families, he dressed their wounds, […]

20
Oct

Everybody at Albright College Theater

It seems like Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Everybody is the play of the year. Theater people will know what I’m talking about–if you are in that world, every year, there’s some play that everyone you know is doing. Last year, it was The Wolves, Men in Boats, and, oddly enough, The Seagull. Nobody seems to know why […]

15
Oct

Book Report: Ms. Directing Shakespeare

Ms. Directing Shakespeare, by Elizabeth Schafer was an interesting read, a scholarly project of interviews with British women who were directing in professional theaters. Because time keeps moving and the world is changing, I’d like to start by noting that this book was published over 20 years ago, in 1998. That said, while a good […]

7
Oct

Antony and Cleopatra at the Rose

In August, we went back to Michigan for ten days to remount Antony and Cleopatra. People often ask me what this means, so here’s the general idea: A remount is when you get the band back together to do a production again. Often, some cast members aren’t available to return, so you sub in other […]

4
Oct

Out of Joint

I’m working on On the Verge (a play, ironically, about time) at York College, and the first thing I told my student stage manager was, “Give me a warning five minutes before we’re due for a break, and no matter what I am doing, call the break.” He glanced pointedly at my watch, but he […]

21
Sep

Fairy Dust

After I took my kids to see a local community theater production of Peter Pan, I decided that I wanted them to see the version that was canonical in my mind. When I was a kid, my brother and I had a couple dozen videos and minimal access to actual television. We solidly memorized every […]

Book Report: Women of Will

I literally don’t know how many times someone has said, “Well, you’ve read Tina Packer’s book, of course”…and I hadn’t. Women of Will has been on my TBR list since it was published, and I’ve only just now gotten to it. It was worth the wait. The book details Packer’s own experiences directing and performing […]

20
Aug

10 Reasons Why

You know sometimes when some virtual stranger is wrong on the internet and you just can’t help yourself? Well, I got in a Twitter argument last winter over whether or not Antony and Cleopatra is a work of staggering genius. I kept writing, “AND ANOTHER THING.” As we’re getting Pigeon Creek Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra […]

15
Aug

Book Report: Brutus and Other Heroines

My friend Jacob spotted Brutus and Other Heroines: Playing Shakespeare’s Roles for Women, by Harriet Walter, at a bookstore and snagged it for me. I hadn’t heard of it, although I have been following Walter’s recent work with much interest, particularly her trilogy of all-female productions of Shakespeare. This book is less a retrospective memoir […]