May 26

Streamed Content to Prevent COVID-19 Brain Drain: ReOpening Is Hard To Do-o

Dear Readers:

On May 25 (yesterday), Massachusetts began the first of fourth phases to reopen. Exact information on the plan and all four phases can be found at https://www.mass.gov.

Mass Creative created a super helpful graph that represents the artistic community’s participation in reopening.  The phases for arts organizations are:

Image credit Mass Creative.

  • Phase 1 (May 25th): Zoos, outdoor gardens, public installations, and drive-in theaters
  • Phase 2: Some outdoor performances, maybe some outdoor venues
  • Phase 3: Museums, performance venues (concert halls, theaters)
  • Phase 4: Large venues (arenas, stadiums, night clubs—in process of defining large venues)

All our love from six feet away,
Kitty Drexel
Queen of the New England Theatre Geeks

P.S. This post is a late due to mental health/personal reasons. It is important that we take care of ourselves at all times but especially now. Life is stressful for all manner of reasons. It’s okay not to do the thing, all of the things, or any of the things. It is okay not to be productive. Our health must come first. 

Let us know if we missed something! Email us at blognetheatregeek@gmail.com or find us on our social media pages.
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American Repertory Theatre — American Repertory Theater at Harvard University announces upcoming free virtual conversations and events. Conversations are open to the general public, though advanced RSVPs are required.
1776 IN DIALOGUE
TONIGHT—Tuesday, May 26 at 6PM
With Diane Paulus, director of 1776; Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Professor of History and Literature at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and Core Faculty at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government; and Oneika Phillips from the cast of 1776.
Register for 1776 in Dialogue here

CITIZENSHIP 1776 – 2026: APPROACHING 250 YEARS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Monday, June 1 at 4PM
With Annette Gordon-Reed, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School; Professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University
As we approach the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America, it is worthwhile to consider what it means to be a citizen of the country that was created in 1776. Harvard Professor Annette Gordon-Reed explores the questions of how citizenship is expressed in this modern context, how we kept the republic, and what might the future hold for our republic.
Register for Citizenship 1776 – 2026 here.

THE SHOW MUST GO SEAN
Tuesday, June 4 at 6:30PM
The 2020 Tony Awards were postponed, but the celebration goes on! Join A.R.T. for The Show Must Go Sean, a special Tonys-themed trivia night hosted Broadway aficionado and A.R.T.’s Assistant Director of Membership and Donor Relations, Sean Cummings. Bring a team of your favorite theater enthusiasts for an interactive evening of merriment and multimedia trivia—teams of any size and participants of all ages and knowledge levels are welcome!
Register for The Show Must Go Sean here.

LUNCH WITH LUNSFORD
The A.R.T continues its Lunch with Lunsford series with guests announced for the month of June. Hosted by Artistic Producer Mark Lunsford, the Tuesday noontime webinar features curated conversations with artists in A.R.T.’s orbit, followed by interactive audience Q&A.
Learn more and RSVP for Lunch with Lunsford here.

Apollinaire Theatre Company — Apollinaire Theatre is excited to invite you to join us for Apollinaire at Home, a free online play & film script reading gathering! Apollinaire at Home is hosted by your Apollinaire favorites, and the cast includes You. Readings will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30, and Sunday “matinee” at 3:00.
We’ll post the schedule for each week at the beginning of the week (check on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning).

Huntington Theatre Company — Huntington Theatre Company announces their annual Spotlight Spectacular Gala will take place virtually on the Huntington’s Facebook and YouTube channels Monday, June 15, 2020 beginning at 7:30pm. More info about the gala is HERE. 

Liars & BelieversThe Greening of Bridget Kelley, by Peter Snoad. It features LAB company member Jesse Garlick and our friend, Aislinn Brophy, who was in A Story Beyond.

Elsewhere, on the internet:
The Kilroys List, Volume Two; The Kilroys: “We Make Trouble. And Plays.”: http://www.tcg.org/Store/ProductDetail/8579068

Event Safety Alliance Guide: https://www.eventsafetyalliance.org/esa-reopening-guide

A New Normal: A Zoom play by David Perkinson — Written by David Perkison, A New Normal is a dryly comic look at 3 friends trying to cope during the pandemic. A one act performance recorded entirely in one take using Zoom recording software. Follow the YouTube link to watch!

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Jan 31

Extraordinary Acts of Intersectional Feminism: “Gloria: A Life”

Presented by American Repertory Theatre
By Emily Mann
Directed by Diane Paulus
The cast includes Patricia Kalember as Gloria Steinem with Gabrielle Beckford, Joanna Glushak, Patrena Murray, Erika Stone, Brenda Withers, and Eunice Wong. Rachel Cognata is the swing.

January 24 – March 1, 2020
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA 
ART on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

People say ‘beware!’
But I don’t care
The words are just
Rules and regulations to me, me”
 “Gloria” by Patti Smith

Cambridge, MA — Gloria Steinem is creating the world she wants to see. She is a multi-generational, intersectional feminist activist, an unflinching journalist, and a courageous journalist. Steinem is kind, compassionate, persistent, patient, and she wants a better world for all of us. The human population is damn lucky to have her fighting on our side. She is one of my personal heroes. 

Gloria: A Life by Emily Mann invites us to participate in the events of Steinem’s life as the unfold onstage. A performance feels like watching the text of Steinem’s My Life On the Road leap off the page. (The book is great! I highly recommend it.) Both are about Steinem’s personal life and career. The greatest difference between Mann’s play and the book is that the play invites the audience into Steinem’s head. Steinem is no longer at a distance. We’re allowed to celebrate and grieve with her in realtime.    Continue reading

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Dec 18

Depth of Understanding: “Moby Dick”


Presented by American Repertory Theater
Music, Lyrics, Book, and Orchestrations by Dave Malloy
Based on Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Music Direction and Supervision by Or Matias
Choreography by Chanel DaSilva
Developed with and Directed by Rachel Chavkin

December 3, 2019 – January 12, 2020
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
ART on Facebook

Review by Shiyanbade Animashaun

(Cambridge, MA) Moby-Dick, as director Rachel Chavkin said when talking about multihyphenate writer Dave Malloy, attempts to formally “capture Melville’s eclecticism”. The novel Moby-Dick has a chapter as a play, another as a poem, and wraps the tale of an ill-fated drive for vengeance alongside descriptions of whale types, and the many ways one can prepare and eat a whale. Continue reading

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Nov 18

A Ritual and Remembrance: “What to Send Up When It Goes Down”

The company of What to Send Up When It Goes Down; Photo by Lauren Miller.

Presented by the American Repertory Theatre
Produced by The Movement Theatre Company
Written by Aleshea Harris
Directed by Whitney White
Presented in collaboration with Hibernian Hall
Ensemble Alana Raquel Bowers (Three), Nemuna Ceesay (Four/​Eight), Rachel Christopher (One/​Made), Ugo Chukwu (Six/​Miss), Kambi Gathesha (Two), Denise Manning (Nine/​Song Leader), Javon Q. Minter (Seven), Beau Thom (Five/​Man/​Driver)

NOV 14 – 16 at Hibernian Hall
184 Dudley Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

NOV 20 – 24 at The Ex (Loeb Drama Center)
64 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Review by Shiyanbade Animashaun

(Roxbury/Cambridge, MA) In its initial moments, What to Send Up When It Goes Down declares itself as a ritual for Black people. Acknowledging the non-Black people in the audience it welcomes all others, with a clear request that all partakers be respectful. Even before it began, I knew the performance would tackle important issues that I resonate with, but the play was surprisingly evocative for the larger audience as well. Continue reading

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Aug 27

Riffs, Shimmies, Herstory: “Six”

Anna of Cleves (Brittney Mack, at center) performs “Get Down” in SIX, written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss and directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage.
Photo: Liz Lauren

Presented by the American Repertory Theatre
By Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss
Direction by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage
Music direction by Roberta Duchak
Choreography by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille 

Aug. 21 – Sept. 29, 2019
The Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street
Cambridge MA 02138
A.R.T. on Facebook 

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: sexual abuse of a minor, gas lighting, female objectification

(Cambridge, MA) Six is catchy like Hamilton. They have similar harmonic elements; both borrow heavily from popular music formats. Unlike Hamilton, Six lends its female characters depth beyond the deeds of a man. The women of six will be remembered for more than a shared husband. They’ll be remembered for living and their shared husband.  Continue reading

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Mar 09

For “Endlings,” Death Becomes Her

Presented by American Repertory Theatre
By Celine Song
Directed by Sammi Cannold

February 26 – March 17, 2019
ASL Interpreted performances: Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30PM and Sunday, March 17 at 2PM
Open Captioned performances: Thursday, March 14 at 7:30PM and Saturday, March 16 at 2PM
Audio Described performances: Friday, March 15 at 7:30PM and Saturday, March 16 at 2PM
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Diana Lu

(Cambridge, MA) Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon and everyone in the world knows his name. Young Jean Lee was the first Asian female playwright on Broadway, and that is all she’s known as: “Asian female playwright”. Even in headlines about her work, white newspapers didn’t bother to print her name. Most people don’t know her name, including Asian women outside of theater. Let’s face it. White people like white plays, and the occasional token, minstrel show. Continue reading

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Feb 11

The Largesse of the Sea Maidens: A Conversation with “Endlings” Playwright Celine Song

Han Sol Dive Suit Costume Rendering by Linda Cho

A Conversation with “Endlings” Playwright Celine Song
Presented by American Repertory Theatre
By Celine Song
Directed by Sammi Cannold

February 1 – March 17, 2019
ASL Interpreted performances: Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30PM and Sunday, March 17 at 2PM
Open Captioned performances: Thursday, March 14 at 7:30PM and Saturday, March 16 at 2PM
Audio Described performances: Friday, March 15 at 7:30PM and Saturday, March 16 at 2PM
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
7till8 Wetsuits on Facebook

OpEd and interview by Diana Lu

They are sometimes called “Korean mermaids,” and sometimes “sea women,” or haenyeo. The female free divers of Jeju Island are the last keepers of a centuries-old tradition of ocean floor fishing, one that created a unique matrilineal craft and matriarchal economy. In the 1960s, there were more than 26,000 haenyeo. Today there are less than 4,500. Nearly all are over 50 years old, with few young women interested in replacing them. It is difficult, dangerous work, diving without oxygen, wearing lead weights for up to two minutes at a time. About nine haenyeo a year are lost to the sea. Continue reading

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Mar 05

Driving Mr. Daisy: “The White Card”

Karen Pittman and Daniel Gerroll in The White Card. Photo: Gretjen Helene Photography; Charlotte manages Charles’ microaggressions.

Presented by ArtsEmerson with the American Repertory Theatre
By Claudia Rankin
Directed by Diane Paulus
Dramaturgy by P. Carl

Feb. 24 – April 1, 2018
Emerson Paramount Center
Robert J. Orchard Stage
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Reviews by Kitty Drexel and Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA) The White Card is a conversation starter for those unused to discussing race at length. It’s for those who think we live in a post-racial society, the kind of person who resents the dialogue because there are “bigger problems” to fix. Other attributes include denying racism because they have imaginary Black friends, thinking “all lives matter,” and feeling threatened when any indication of their own culpability within society’s systemic racism. Those who have regular discussions on race, inequalities and the struggles for justice will have their work affirmed. Continue reading

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Aug 28

Shoulder Shrug, Head Tilt: “Burn All Night”

Krystina Alabado (Holly), Lincoln Clauss (Bobby), Perry Sherman (Will), and Ken Clark (Zak) shut out the world in Burn All Night. Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva.

Presented by the American Repertory Theatre
Book and lyrics by Andy Mientus
Music by Van Hughes, Nicholas LaGrasta, Brett Moses
Directed by Jenny Koons
Choreographed by Sam Pinkleton
Music supervision & vocal arrangements by Cian McCarthy

Aug. 18 – Sept. 8, 2017
Club Oberon
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) At first glance, Burn All Night is pretty impressive. It has a fancy pedigree in director Koons and creator Mientus. Teen Commandments wrote the score. For those who enjoy pop, they’re on Spotify and worth a listen. Choreographer Sam Pinkleton also worked on Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. The production was not as impressive as its credits. Continue reading

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Sep 23

Dabs of Drama on a White Stage: “Sunday in the Park with George”

The cast; Photo: Paul Marotta

The cast; Photo: Paul Marotta

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company
Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed by Peter DuBois
Music directed by Eric Stern
Choreographed by Daniel Pelzig
Orchestrations and new chromolume music by Michael Starobin

Sept. 9 – Oct. 16, 2016
BU THEATRE/ AVENUE OF THE ARTS
264 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Sunday in the Park with George (SitPwG) is a Sondheim/Lapine musical not frequently performed. That’s probably because it’s not nearly exciting as his more popular shows. Yet, It behooves the hundreds of area artists to go see it for their own personal education. Theatre advocates and appreciators should attend because it simply gorgeous across the board. The Huntington gives us a fine production. Continue reading

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