“Lewiston” Asks The Big Questions

by Brian Slattery | Apr 14, 2016 7:15 am

T. Charles Erickson Photo We’re on a patch of sand next to a local highway outside of Lewiston, Idaho. There’s a wonderfully gaudy, yet nearly defunct fireworks stand to the left of us. It’s right before the Fourth of July, but there isn’t a customer in sight.

Nearby, Alice and Connor, two people old enough to be grandparents, are testing some of their supply. It gives off a few sparks, just sputters and fizzles out.

“It makes me want to move to Canada,” Alice says.

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Satellite Festival Launched Into Orbit

by Lucy Gellman | Apr 8, 2016 7:19 am

Elizabeth Green Photos Posed against a backdrop of newspapers too small for the audience to read, Shadi Ghaheri was trying to introduce herself to Stella Baker. A jumble of words flowed from her mouth into the space between them, where they languished in the silence that followed. Baker was trying to do the same, taking on a bouncy, bell-like tone as she presented her name like an offering, and waited for Ghaheri to acknowledge receipt of it.

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Cymbeline Gives Yale Rep License To Bend

by Donald Brown | Apr 4, 2016 7:30 am

Carol Rosegg Photos William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline  —  now playing at the Yale Repertory Theatre through April 16 —  is a hard play to pin down. It’s almost as if the great playwright, late in his career, started throwing stuff at the stage to see what would stick. Initially, the play got classified as a tragedy, which is preposterous. It ends happily for everyone but the villains, with one of the most delightful final scenes in all of Shakespeare. Then again, if it’s a comedy, it amuses with murder plots, warfare, ghostly apparitions, and a headless corpse.

For some, the play is best identified as romance, which means, essentially, that it can have whatever elements Will wills.

In this production — the first time the Rep has ever staged the play — some new wrinkles have been added. In Shakespeare’s day, men tended to play all the parts, a convention improved upon by allowing women to take part ages ago. The key idea in director Evan Yionoulis’s casting is that gender specificity is old hat, and that Shakespeare, with his heroines often disguised as men, is best served by greater license in assigning roles. Whether a character is designated as male or female puts no constraints on the gender of the actor.

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Goodheart Takes Helm Of Elm Shakespeare

by Allan Appel | Apr 1, 2016 7:45 am

Allan Appel Photo As every New Haven Bard-o-phile knows, every August for the past generation, Elm Shakespeare Company (ESC) has given us high-level, exuberant, and pay-anything-you-wish-but-please-contribute-something-really-almost-free Shakespeare in Edgerton Park.

Now ESC founders Jim and Margie Andreassi have passed the company’s leadership baton on to a a single person, Rebecca Goodheart. This is Goodheart’s first season as its producing director, meaning that she wears the hats of both the artistic and business leader of the company. In August, she’ll present A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Tina Packer, the distinguished founder of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass. and her own and Jim Andreassi’s mentor

And this Sunday, Packer herself is presenting at the John Lyman Center at Southern Connecticut State University her performance of Women of Will, a dramatic tour of females in Shakespeare’s canon, as a fundraiser and welcome for the beginning of the Goodheart chapter of ESC’s ongoing story.

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Love Letters Brings Back Romance In The Age Of Cellphones

by Donald Brown | Apr 1, 2016 5:34 am

T. Charles Erickson Photo One might think that having two actors — regardless of how much aura they exude — sitting at a table reading letters back and forth would become pretty boring pretty fast. That it doesn’t, or not too much, has to do with the fact that, in Love Letters, playwright A.R. Gurney knows his characters and how to create engaging repartee, even in the medium of the missive.

Gurney’s plays are well known for their eye upon the Northeastern upper crust, much as Woody Allen is known for work inhabited by anxious New York intellectuals. Love Letters, directed by Gordon Edelstein and playing at the Long Wharf Theatre until April 10, stars Mia Farrow, star of more than a handful of Allen movies, and two-time Tony-winning actor Brian Dennehy, last seen at Long Wharf in Krapp’s Last Tape. In the theater world, the popularity of Love Letters stems from the fact that big-name actors often pair up for this two-hander where the leads read rather than speak, as if extempore.

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Prudencia Meets Her Match

by Lucy Gellman | Mar 31, 2016 2:23 pm

Judy Sirota Rosenthal Photos Winter 2010 — the longest, whitest winter Scotland has seen in years — and it’s karaoke night at a pub in Kelso, a quaint and funny town nestled in the Scottish borders where a conference has just taken place.

Center stage, professor Colin Syme is leading the charge on a night of academics gone wild, bumping and grinding with colleagues atop a table as lights pulse in the background and pop music seethes through the speakers. Snowed-in pubgoers laugh and drink and strip on all sides, reveling in this messy, unexpected winter bacchanal.

At the fringes of it, peering miserably into her pint of bitter red ale, is uptight academic Prudencia Hart, feeling every ounce of out of place.

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What Is Modern Art?

by Brian Slattery | Mar 30, 2016 6:05 pm

Brian Slattery Photo The peas inside the spray cans rattled as Seven, JC, and Dose shook them.

“Jase, you finish. Your handstyle is cleaner,” Seven said.

“No, homie, this is all you tonight. This is what you’ve been dreaming about,” JC replied. “Make it legible, though, so the people can read it.”

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“Pippin” at Co-Op High Is Dark And (B)Right

by Allan Appel | Mar 30, 2016 5:37 pm

Allan Appel PhotoWhen the entire student and teacher body can suggest a play they’d like to see performed; when all the students, no matter what the major or grade, can audition for parts and crew; and when, for the very first time, the director selected to helm the play is not even in the theater department, well, that’s the very definition of an “all-school” play.

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