Blog

Costume Designing an All New Mary Poppins

BY EMILY ZEMLER via www.backstage.com In “Mary Poppins Returns,” Sandy Powell was tasked with reimagining the look of a beloved character originated by Julie Andrews and now played by Emily Blunt. The three-time Oscar-winning costume designer, working alongside director Rob Marshall, put her own spin on the story’s fantastical, 1930s London setting. Here, Powell unpacks her challenges and inspiration for the film, and also discusses her polar opposite work in Yorgos Lanthimos’ period drama “The Favourite.” Did you feel any pressure to take inspiration from the original “Mary Poppins”? It wasn’t exactly pressure, because Rob had made it clear we weren’t actually doing anything like the original. It was a whole new story. So the only thing we had to take into consideration was Mary Poppins h...

Meet the Actor Who Brings Emotion to King Kong’s Growls, Snarls, and Roars

BY BETHANY RICKWALD via www.theatremania.com Broadway’s King Kong stars a two-story, two-ton gorilla puppet. Physically, the behemoth is made animate by 10 athletic puppeteers who maneuver his limbs via cables by crouching, pulling, and even rappelling off his back. But once Kong is moving, there’s still one element necessary to bring him roaring to life. Enter actor Jon Hoche, voice of Kong. Having heard about the new stage adaptation while on tour with War Horsein 2013, Hoche knew right away he wanted the gig: “I saw these YouTube videos of this incredible puppet, and I thought, ‘Man oh man, when I get back to New York, that’s gonna be my next job. It took a little while for them to get over here, but from day one of rehearsals in New York, I’ve been i...

Your Essential Guide to Dancers’ Back Injuries

BY ABIGAIL RAMINSKY via www.dancemagazine.com Why do back injuries seem to be so common these days among dancers? “It used to be that if you were in a company, you did all the work of that choreographer,” says Rocky Bornstein, a New York City–based physical therapist who specializes in professional dancers. “Now companies feel like they have to bring in choreographers to work with the company, so the work is much more eclectic.” More and more dancers are also building freelance careers, which forces them to hop between various styles. This is an unprecedented challenge for the body. Dr. William Hamilton, who was an orthopedic consultant for New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre for four decades, adds that even big companies are getting smaller, which puts...

After 30-Plus Years of Dreaming, Laura Benanti’s Eliza Is Different Than She Imagined

BY HAYLEY LEVITT via www.theatremania.com If you follow Laura Benanti on social media or otherwise, you know three things about her: She loves being mother to her almost-2-year-old daughter Ella Rose; she’s stressed about the state of the world (and sometimes processes her anxiety via late-night Melania Trump impressions); and Eliza Doolittle has been her dream role since she could take in solid food. Her outspoken transparency about that last one, she freely admits, has been a kind of pell-mell version of The Secret, a strategy she describes as: “I’m just going to keep putting this out there and hope someone’s like, ‘Ugh, shut her up and give her the part.'” Consider it a win for persistence because this past October, Benanti began her Broadway run as E...

Rush Ticket Policies for NYC Classic Arts Venues & Organizations

BY GABRIEL AGOSTO, JOHN CURTIS via www.playbillcom Rush tickets are sold on the day of the performance as soon as the box office opens, unless otherwise specified. Seat location varies with different shows. For more popular shows, anticipate a wait. Here are the rush and inexpensive ticket policies of various classical arts venues. All Student Rush ticket purchases require a valid and current student ID. Note: Policies are subject to change without notice. Please email edit@playbill.com regarding any information that is no longer accurate, or if you wish to have your show listed. Classic Arts Venues and Organizations 92nd Street Y Address: 1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10128 Senior Rush Price: Varies by performance How: Senior (62+) rush tickets may be available one hour before curta...

How to Handle Questions About Your Career Over the Holidays

BY BRAD LEMACK via www.backstage.com With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start prepping for how to tolerate the barrage of questions that will undoubtedly be hurled at you by family and friends who are as eager to ask, “Why aren’t you a star yet?!” The whole holiday season is really an exercise in managing expectations, both in how you respond and how you work through the frustration questions like this can stir within you. There’s no one who wants you to be successful in this business more than you do. You live it every day. But the people at home—who, by the way, don’t have a clue how this all works—often have plenty to say about the end result they’re waiting to see without any idea of how the process works and the time it takes for you to get there. Here are a few ti...

2019 StrawHats Registration – NOW OPEN!

How it Works for the Performer One Audition, multiple job opportunities – All in one day. StrawHat Auditions are open to non-Equity performers age 18 and older: singers, dancers, and actors. Opportunities are available in summer theatres, production and entertainment companies, cruise ships, theme parks, and special events. Fees: Registration/annual subscription: $47 (non-refundable)        Audition: $63 (upon email notification of selection) Registration: Complete the online form and submit your non-refundable annual registration fee (also known as your subscription), then mail your hard-copy application and supporting materials (see INSTRUCTIONS). Apply for a Song & Monologue, Monologue Only, or Dancer Who Sings audition (see AUDITION TYPES). Every submission received by the deadline...

Ann Dowd: On Not Finding Success Until Your Fifties

BY ANN DOWD via www.glamour.com At the 2018 Glamour Women of the Year Summit, The Handmaid’s Tale star Ann Dowd opened up about finding success later in life. Her story, below. I want to tell you a brief story, if I may. When I was a young actress, 30 or so, I was on the way to my waitress job in my black pants and my white shirt and my black tie—glamour is not the word that would come to mind at all. Feminine? No. Nothing. I looked across the street, and there were several limousines parked outside the theater. And I looked at the marquee and it said, “About Last Nightstarring Elizabeth Perkins,” who was my classmate. I was going to wait on tables, and she was going to a premiere of her film that would launch her into stardom. I got through the shift, and I went home on ...

Working in Wardrobe

via www.stage-directions.com Here’s a video from the American Theatre Wing that takes a look at the work of the Wardrobe Department, specifically for the current production of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center Theater. The costumes are created to fulfill the epic world that a play or musical inhabits. It takes lots of organization, maintenance, and often creativity to get the performers ready for each and every scene (and maybe even a quick change during a scene). They interview Patrick Bevilacqua, Assistant Costume Designer / Wardrobe Supervisor, Jessica Firorella, Internal Costume Swing, and Dean Amato, Male Principal Dresser for My Fair Lady. The costumes are vast for the company of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center Theater. They require multiple teams with various responsibilities to m...

Actor Self Care

BY KYLE BUCHANAN via www.backstage.com Actor Self-Care: How to Reset Your Mind + Body During a Day Off It’s a tough, wonderful life, starting an acting career. One or two day jobs—maybe three—plus the audition that pops up out of the blue and requires that you drop everything, resulting in another IOU to the generous co-worker who covers your shift. It’s admirable, crazy, and we wouldn’t have it any other way (except for that series regular…), but there does come a point when you inevitably hit a wall and exhaustion kicks in. Frustratingly, that exhaustion can creep into auditions and performances. So when a true day off finally does come, I encourage you to use it as a reset day to focus on self-care and not ever-enticing bar hangouts with friends. Sure, the latter feels good in the momen...

Curt Olds “A stylish performer bringing opera and Broadway together.” -The New York Times

With an active career in both opera and musical theatre, baritone Curt Olds has been seen in productions ranging from Don Pasquale and The Magic Flute to musicals such as Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, The Threepenny Opera, Broadway’s Riverdance and CATS. Hailed by Opera News as “A wonderful singing actor, as adept in pointing dialogue as in phrasing song,” Curt is best known for his portrayal of the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance and his signature role as Ko-Ko in The Mikado, for which he has some 22 productions to his credit. This season, Olds sings Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at Hawaii Opera Theatre, Njegus in The Merry Widow for Utah Opera, Major General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance at Atlanta Opera, and Ko-Ko in The Mikado for Anchorage Opera. Living up to his singing acto...

Assistant Professor of Acting

  The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago invites applications for a full-time tenure track acting faculty appointment beginning Fall 2019. We seek an Acting teacher who is a multi-disciplinary artist, passionate about teaching, collaborating, and contributing as part of a faculty re-shaping our conservatory for the current/future field on stage, screen, and in new media.