Playwright

Q&A with RSC head of voice Kate Godfrey

BY TIM BANO via www.thestage.co.uk With a remit covering vocal techniques, teaching dialects and interpreting text, Kate Godfrey coaches the Royal Shakespeare Company’s actors to make the most challenging lines comprehensible on stage. She tells Tim Bano why striving for clarity rather than sounding posh is the key to making yourself understood A few years into his career as a lawyer, the ancient Roman orator Cicero, the man who practically invented many of the techniques of modern rhetoric, decided he needed a voice coach. There’s an extraordinary continuity that two millennia later, ahead of the West End opening of Imperium, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s adaptation of Robert Harris’ Cicero trilogy, Kate Godfrey is working with the cast on some of the same techniques Apollonius Molon us...

Summer 2018 Industry Conferences – Register Today!

Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas Conference – “Crossing Borders” June 21 – 23, 2018 The Lucie and Thornton Blackburn Conference Centre – Toronto, Ontario (Canada) Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas was founded in 1985 as the volunteer membership organization for the professions of literary management and dramaturgy. LMDA is a not-for-profit tax-exempt organization with members throughout North America and abroad. LMDA holds the belief that theater is a vital art form that has the power to nourish, educate, and transform individuals and their communities and that dramaturgy is central to the process of theater-making. Registration Information All full-conference registration fees are per person and include one banquet ticket. LMD...

#TBT: May 3rd – Birthday of Lyricist Betty Comden

Throwback Thursday: May 3, 1917,  Broadway & Hollywood lyricist and librettist Betty Comden is born. “A risk was taken with ‘On the Town’, and look what happened: Betty and Adolph burst onto the scene. A shout-out to Comden & Green!” (Title of Show). Lyricists and librettist Betty Comden, of t Comden & Green, was born May 3, 1917. She and Adolph Green are known for several works, such as On the Town (1944), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), and Bells are Ringing (1956). Together, this duo’s musical comedy talents became theatrical classics that are still performed and beloved today. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Comden had always considered herself a performer, and she was first seen on the stage at the Brooklyn Ethical Culture School (jwa.org). Comden went on to major in drama at New York U...

Sarah Ruhl – On Happy Endings

BY SARAH RUHL via www.breakingcharactermagazine.com On happy endings Happy endings are not in vogue. I have noticed that ambivalent endings are in vogue — the equivalent of a character hopping on one foot as the lights go down. Playwrights might be wary of happy endings because these are not happy times. Or maybe we are wary of happy endings because we are wary in the contemporary theatre of unmixed genres — a full-out comedy, or a full-on tragedy. In Shakespeare, comedies end happily with a marriage, and tragedies end with a body pile up.  But unmixed genres are now the province of Hollywood, not theatre. Our American stages are more full of dramas than they are of comedies and tragedies. So what of a title like How to Transcend a Happy Marriage? That seems fairly bold given the climate. ...

An Antidote to Digital Dehumanization? Live Theater

An award-winning playwright argues that the in-the-moment interplay between actors and audience can help us cope with an increasingly virtual world. BY AYAD AKHTAR via www.nytimes.com I recently learned that a group of neuroscientists have discovered that watching live theater can synchronize the heartbeats of an audience. One of the researchers put it this way: “Experiencing the live theater performance was extraordinary enough to overcome group differences and produce a common physiological experience.” The living presence of the audience is what strikes me as so singular about the theater, why I love working in the theater so much and why I believe in the particular importance of our beloved form right now. But first, let me say: I am not hopeful about where we are as a nation — as a sp...

3 Musical Theatre Writers win $100,000 Kleban Prize

BY: PETER LIBBEY via www.nytimes.com In his will, Edward Kleban, the Tony Award-winning lyricist of “A Chorus Line,” made provisions to underwrite two cash prizes for musical theater writers whose work shows great potential: one to a lyricist and one to a librettist. This year, however, there are three winners of the Kleban Prize, each of whom will receive $100,000, payable over two years. Alan Schmuckler and Amanda Yesnowitz were given the lyricist prize, while Christian Duhamel is the recipient of this year’s librettist award. Mr. Schmuckler wrote, along with Michael Mahler, the music and lyrics of “Diary of Wimpy Kid: The Musical,” which premiered at the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis in 2016. Ms. Yesnowitz wrote the lyrics for “Somewhere in Time,” a 2013 musical adaptation o...

How “SpongeBob SquarePants” Writer Kyle Jarrow Found the Story for the Stage

BY: BETHANY RICKWALD via www.theatremania.com There’s nothing quite like the world of Bikini Bottom that’s currently bubbling to life onstage at Broadway’s Palace Theatre — including the Bikini Bottom that’s been delighting television audiences since 1999. “There was the process of getting the SpongeBob world and then there was the process of getting our SpongeBob world and it’s not exactly the same,” said book writer Kyle Jarrow. “Figuring out ‘What is our stage version of that tone and that pace and that energy?’, that took a while — that took a couple years.” For Nickelodeon, the trick was in finding the right SpongeBob guy to partner with director Tina Landau in breathing a breath of fresh sea water into the suboceanic w...

You Can Believe This Play’s a Disaster

The authentic farce of The Play That Goes Wrong —By JOSH AUSTIN According to Mark Bell, farce is a high theatrical art. And he should know: As the director of The Play That Goes Wrong – a raucous new Broadway comedy – he spends his days treating the genre with the respect it deserves.                                                                                               “What we’re doing is what I call ‘clown,'” says Bell. “Which, I don’t mean ‘circus clown.’ It’s about character comedy. The first thing we’ve done is we’ve found the characters: Who are the people doing this? And their job, really, is to be a slightly exaggerated reflection of who we are as real people.” The play-within-a-play, which i...