Jul 29

A Modern Irish Classic: “The Weir”

Produced by Irish Repertory Theatre
By Conor McPherson
Directed by Ciaran O’Reilly
Video Editor – Sarah Nichols
Sound Designer – M. Florian Staab
Assistant Director – Jeff Davolt
Production Assistant – Simon Geaney

A Performance On Screen
7/21-7/25
132 West 22nd Street
New York, NY
Irish Rep on Facebook

Critique by Noe Kamelamela

YOUTUBE — Live theatre seems to be lingering in rebroadcast and livestream purgatory. On the one hand, this does increase accessibility in various directions, but on the other hand, quality varies.  Irish Rep’s production of McPherson’s modern Irish classic The Weir is definitely on the higher end of the scale. Continue reading

Jul 18

More Entitled than a Cis, White Man on the T at Rush Hour: “Incredibly Annoying Women”

Produced by HowlRound Theatre Commons
Presented by Asian American Theatre Artists of Boston (AATAB)
By Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro
Directed by Mallika Chandaria
Stage Managed by Karin Naono

Originally streamed on Wednesday, July 15 at 7 PM EDT
AATAB on Facebook
Featuring: Roxanne Y. Morse, Kendra Jain, Lisa Yuen, Vijaya Sundaram, Emily Kuroda

Critique by Kitty Drexel

ZOOM/HowlRound — The characters in Incredibly Annoying Women by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro are unapologetic. These women take up space with their bodies and emotions like a cis man on the T at rush hour: legs sprawling to the left and right, arms resting on seat backs, backpack taking up a fourth seat. They aren’t inherently annoying but their unfounded entitlement is. Continue reading

Jul 10

What We Mean When We Say Black Lives Matter

Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA 10th Anniversary Ribbon Cutting: (L-R) BCA Chairman Philip W. Lovejoy, Huntington Trustees Gerald and Sherryl Cohen, Calderwood Charitable Foundation Trustee John Cornish, former Huntington chairman J. David Wimberly, (behind) Paul Grogan of The Boston Foundation, BCA Executive Director Veronique Le Melle, Huntington Chairman Carol G. Deane, (behind) former BRA member Harry Collings, former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Bank of America Massachusetts State President Robert Gallery, Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois, (behind) former Huntington president William P. McQuillan, Huntington President Mitchell J. Roberts, Nancy Roberts, Huntington Managing Director Michael Maso, photo: Paul Marotta

Article by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON — The July 9 press release said, “Huntington Theatre Company announces the election of 4 new board members and the promotion of two Huntington Advisors to Trustee level. The election took place during the Huntington’s year-end meeting of the Board of Trustees and Advisors on June 8, 2020.”

The headliner of the press release, Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award winner, director of Huntington productions, and historically relevant badass Billy Porter is a new trustee of the Huntington. Porter and global businessman Professor George Yip are the only two people of color added to the Huntington’s snowflake white board leadership. Three of the six promotions are white women. The other is, of course, a rich, cis, white male.

While we congratulate all of the new board and trustee members, we can’t help but notice the Huntington’s hypocrisy. The theatre penned and posted a Black Lives Matter solidarity statement on its website. The election of four white people flies in the face of that solidarity statement. Continue reading

Jul 07

Socially Isolated with “Macbeth”

Presented by Liars & Believers
Directed by Jason Slavick
Original Music and Sound Design by Jay Mobley
Additional Video by Sam Powell

June 18, 2020 – Present (Weekly)
https://www.liarsandbelievers.com/show/pandemicplay/

Review by Gillian Daniels

ZOOM — Liars & Believers slices off bite sized pieces of the Scottish Play for serialized consumption! In a world that demands us to simultaneously be far apart while empathizing with each other’s difficulties, we revisit a cautionary tale of a man whose name has become synonymous with backstabbing cruelty. In serializing Macbeth, we watch a show that absorbs the changes and horrors of our contemporary headlines and sense of unease each passing week. Continue reading

Jul 05

“Grindr” (An Operatic Ode to Absent Queer Community During Pandemic)


Grindr (And Other Concerns) Act 1: An Annotated Singthru

A Comedic Chamber Opera
Fundraiser for Marsha P. Johnson Institute

Directed by Ingrid Oslund
Music by Marc Hoffeditz
Libretto by MJ Halberstadt
Featuring performers Brad Baron, Jonathan Harris, Wes Hunter, Adrian Jones, Craig Juricka, Sara Kerr, and James Lesu’i

June 26 – 27, 2020

Content warning: adult themes and sexual references

Review by Gillian Daniels

ZOOM — “Queerness is about so much more than who you’re sleeping with. It’s also about a sensibility, a sense of camp,” says director Ingrid Oslund.

This could easily serve as the thesis for the zoom presentation of selected pieces from the comic opera-in-progress, Grindr (And Other Concerns). The show follows queer men Brandon, Riley, and Riley’s long-term, timid partner, Eugene, as they use and debate the merits of the titular hook-up app. Their odyssey includes such contemporary pratfalls as mysterious acronyms such as DDF (drug and disease free), sexually transmitted infections, and excitable adults obsessed with Disney. Continue reading

Jun 29

New Medium, Classic Story: FPTC’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Long Day’s Journey Into Night, a Virtual Staged Reading from dayenne walters on Vimeo.

Presented by Fort Point Theatre Channel
Written by Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Audrey Seraphin
Music Composed by Akili Jamal Haynes

Virtual Staged Reading, June 23-26, 2020
Tickets on http://vimeo.com/ondemand/longdaysjourney
$10 for a 24-hour rental
FPTC on Twitter: @fortpointtc

Critique by Kitty Drexel

ZOOM — Theatre created in corona-times is theatre that can be preserved for future generations. Those generations will look back on our work and express amazement at the simplicity of our tech and the universality of the human condition. Fancypants stage technology can embellish a performance, but it isn’t necessary when the foundational elements of a performance are of superior quality. Fort Point Theatre Channel’s Zoom reading of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night captures both the rigidity of Zoom’s limitations while highlighting the subtle creativity of Fort Point Theatre Channel’s artists. Continue reading

Jun 19

*Frustrated Sigh* Frickin’ White People: “Diana Oh’s My H8 Letter to the Gr8 American Theatre”

Images found on Twitter: @AyeDefy

Produced by Ma-Yi Theatre
Presented in partnership with Aye Defy and HowlRound
Written, directed and original music by Diana Oh: https://www.dianaoh.co/

June 16, 2020 – 17, 2020 at 8PM
Zoom Room opens at 7:45PM
June 18 – Rebroadcast at 3PM & 8PM
How To Watch

Response by Kitty Drexel

ZOOM — White people don’t discuss whiteness. Not in pleasant company, not even in unpleasant company. Instead, we posit race relations as a BIPOC problem. We casually block useful dialogue with a whispered, “we’re all equal under the skin,” as if saying so aloud will invoke the parasitic race-demon living under our own flesh.

*Record Scratch* No. Racism is a white supremacy problem. There is no magical phrase to summon this demon at will. It is inside us, watching our every white move. All of our moves have roots in racism; there is no opt-out option. Like Rafiki said, Racism lives in you.

Creator Diana Oh looking fly AF

Creator Diana Oh looking fly AF

BIPOC are the recipients of the hate wrought by our inability to talk like adults about a rampant, insidious issue invading every aspect of 400 years of western society’s existence. Artist Diana Oh won’t put up with our piddling, cracker-ass excuses anymore. In their recent reading of their show Diana Oh’s My H8 Letter to the Gr8 American Theatre on Zoom, Oh delivered an unrelenting, personal attack on all the aspects of theatre’s cultural white supremacy that prevent BIPOC from participating in it as fully as white folx. Continue reading

Jun 15

Streamed Content to Prevent COVID-19 Brain Drain: BIPOC Lives Continue to Matter

Dear Readers,

The New England Theatre Geek believes that BIPOC Lives will continue to matter when it’s no longer popular to mass media or convenient to white people.

As the weeks go by, we will share resources as we are made aware of them to them. StageSource has a brilliant anti-racism list. Check it out HERE.

Resources for Anti-Racist Action May-June 2020 – “This list was sourced from countless activists and information sharers. We thank you. It was created to support action and organizing for white-identified folks within the artEquity alumni network, so some resources speak specifically to white folks. However, EVERYONE is welcomed to utilize and share anything that is useful to your actions and organizing.” (quoted from the document)

BIPOC Lives Matter
Trans Lives Matter
LGBTQIA+ Lives Matter
Immigrant Lives Matter

You are loved; you are necessary; your art matters to us.

Resist. Resist. Resist.
All my love,
Kitty
Queen of the New England Theatre Geeks

Let us know if we missed something! Email us at blognetheatregeek@gmail.com or find us on our social media pages.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/netheatregeek
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandTheatreGeek/


Front Porch Collective 
Black Composer Minature Challenge presented by Castle of our Skins
Friday June 19 @ 12:00 PM | via Instagram Live
Composer Shannon Shea will be presenting the world premiere of “Hannah Elias II” performed by Castle of our Skins Executive & Artistic Director and violaist Ashleigh Gordon on the COOS Facebook and Instagram at noon. Part of their weekly 30-second Black Composer Miniature Challenge, be sure to tune in on time…or you might miss it!

Juneteenth: A Community Celebration
presented by BAMS Fest & Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Friday June 19 @ 4:00 – 7:00 PM | via Facebook Live & YouTube
Join BAMS Fest for the MFA’s annual (virtual) Juneteenth celebration to honor the contributions of Black creatives, scholars, and artists to the City of Boston. We have curated two amazing artists, Debo Ray and DJ Where’s Nasty to to celebrate all things Black and joyful.

Fresh Ink Theatre — Presents a digital reading of  MAIDEN VOYAGE. Written by Cayenne Douglass. Directed by Liz Fenstermaker
Available online, June 8 – 14, 2020.
REGISTER to view the performance
In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, we will be donating 50% of the proceeds from the reading through June 14th to two organizations: Violence in Boston and Black and Pink. Thank you for joining us in supporting these organizations, and for championing new work by local writers during this time of social distancing!

Liars & Believers — Macbeth Trailer by Liars & Believers Amid isolation, dislocation, and digital absorbtion… desire and ethic, madness and reason tear each other apart.
This is Shakespeare’s classic tragedy – TODAY.
Using social distance and the tools at hand, we’ve reimagined theatre in Pandemia! We’ve broken this 5-act tragedy into short weekly episodes.

Luminarium Dance — This week’s TEN4TEN performance takes viewers back to Luminarium’s 2014 feature production The Sleeprunner, which transformed the Multicultural Arts Center space into a dynamic dream world for a two-week sold-out run. Sensical to quirky, humorous to dark, come engage in a full night’s journey told through dance, with gorgeous costumes designed by Sueann Leung.

To Sleep! from K Allen Holman on Vimeo.

Newton Theatre CompanyAll About Eve, written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Thursday, June 25th at 8 PM.  $10.00
Directed by Melissa Bernstein
Log on at 7:45 PM for piano entertainment by local musician Neil Miller
Register for the Performance

Public Displays of Motion: Stones to Rainbows Duet Dialogues — Monthly Cocktail Hour Chat tomorrow June 16 from 6:30-8pm. With Lady BOS Productions, KAIROS Dance Theater, and Public Displays of Motion. 
www.publicdisplaysofmotion.com
www.kairosdancetheater.org
www.ladybosproductions.com

Puppet Showplace Theater — Puppet Showplace Theater is excited to announce a new grant and virtual summer residency program for Black puppeteers and artists working in the field of puppetry. Inquiries from interested applicants across the U.S. are welcome. The deadline to apply is June 27th. 
APPLY 
5 selected artists will receive $1,000 grants to support the research and development of original puppetry projects during summer 2020. Puppet Showplace Theater will facilitate community-building among members of the grantee cohort and will create opportunities for artists to support and learn from each other while sharing works in progress. The residency will conclude with an invited virtual public sharing of the work or work-in-progress.

SpeakEasy Stage Company and the Front Porch Arts Collective They invite you to join SpeakEasy for a panel called “2020: Black and Male in America – A Conversation Continued,” on Tuesday, June 16 at 5:00pm. The panel will be available to watch live on SpeakEasy’s Facebook page
The panel will include:

  • Kadahj Bennett (Winner of the Elliot Norton Award for Best Actor for his Performance as Moses in Pass Over)
  • Thaddeus Miles (Director of Community Services, MassHousing)
  • Maurice Emmanuel Parent (Executive Director, The Front Porch Arts Collective)
  • Dr. Emmett G. Price III (Professor of Worship, Church & Culture, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

Moderated by Gary Bailey (Assistant Dean of Community Engagement and Social Justice, Simmons College).

Elsewhere, on the Internet:
Sideshow Theatre: Tilikum returns for one night only.
Friday, June 19, 7pm CDT
Streaming everywhere

Jun 11

#BlackLivesMatter #BIPOCLivesMatter – A Starter Pack for White People

The New England Theatre Geek asserts that Black Lives Matter, BIPOC Lives Matter, Immigrant Lives Matter. 

These lives matter now that it’s popular and convenient for white communities to pledge that they matter.  These lives will continue to matter to us when it’s inconvenient and the Black Lives Matter movement is no longer popular in mainstream journalism. The New England Theatre Geek pledges to widen its activism and remain vigilant. 

Racism isn’t something white people with comfortable lifestyles can solve in a few months during quarantine when we’re all at home anyway with a couple of Twitter posts and a simple website banner (that a Black person made anyway).  Racism is systemic; it is aggressive; it is subverted. Deconstructing systemic racism requires equally aggressive, daily practice, and vigilance.  We pledge ourselves to this daily practice. 

It’s a list. It’s a start that should lead to one’s own personal research.  

Racism is an inherent system that affects everyone existing in society. Perpetuating racism isn’t conscious or explicit; it isn’t rational. You can’t choose to live outside of racism. You can be a “good/nice person” and be racist. Racism is a social reality for all.

White people, you will mess up. You will say and do racist things accidentally. Don’t get defensive. Messing up doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a person. Thank the person of color who corrects you (if you’re lucky enough to have a relationship with someone who will) and keep educating yourself.

Don’t ask Black people to explain race/racism to you. That’s not their job. Not even if they’re your friends/colleagues. Attend a training or workshop. Contact your HR. Read a book. Google it. Read the room.

You can have conversations about race/racism with your Black friends if your relationship is conducive to that dialogue. Ask for consent first. If you don’t know why it’s important to ask for consent, you are not ready to have this conversation with your Black friend/s.

Do have conversations with other white people about whiteness/race. Our skin has a color; it affects the world around us. We need the conversational practice.

Don’t try to be the “cool white person.” BIPOC will not see you that way.

White people love to think that racism is something that only exists in history, that it isn’t something we do now. Racism evolves as people do.

Race might not be real but racism is. It will take your entire life to deconstruct your inherent beliefs about white supremacy. Keep going. 

Happy Pride! 

This conversation continues on Facebook and Twitter. More links and resources are posted there. Twitter: https://twitter.com/netheatregeek
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandTheatreGeek/

May 20

You’re Very Cute When You Say ‘Snacks’: A Virtual Presentation of “Eyes Shut. Door Open.”

A virtual presentation over Zoom 
May 18, 2020, 7:30PM
A fundraiser and awareness campaign for The Phoenix Sober Community
Please donate to the campaign HERE

Written by Cassie M. Seinuk
Directed by Christopher Randolph
Sound design by Patrick Greene
Turner played by Michael Underhill
Johanna played by Melissa deJesus
Palmer played by Eliott Purcell
Stage Directions by Alex Leondedis

Critique by Kitty Drexel

ZOOM — I reviewed Eyes Shut. Door Open. four years ago at Warehouse XI in Somerville, MA. This response to the May 18 reading does not supersede the 2016 critique. It exists in addition to it. It is critical to examine theatre’s adaptation to online performance.

One of the new rules of Zooming is to make your bed. If you insist on streaming from your bedroom, make your bed. Anyone watching you is already judging you on your household aesthetics (or lack thereof). Inviting viewers into your bedroom means sharing an intimate part of you. They will imagine you in that naughtily unmade bed. They will see your unwashed sheets and rumpled comforter and judge your hygiene. Better to make your bed than to feed the trolls. Never feed the trolls.

Speaking of rules. Necessity is forcing actors to develop new techniques for online streaming. Monday’s performance of Eyes Shut. Door Open revealed some mighty useful technical skills in its performers and sound technician. There was a lot to learn from this reading. Continue reading