Aug 03

10 Minute Stretch Breaks: “Dream Boston”

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company
Dream Boston: A New Series of Audio Plays
The 54th in ’22 by Kirsten Greenidge
McKim by Brenda Withers
Overture by Kate Snodgrass
By the Rude Bridge by Melinda Lopez

Online now for free on the Huntington Theatre website
Huntington on Facebook, Twitter
Please remember to donate! Donate now so theatre can still exist later. 

Critique by Noelani Kamelamela

STREAMING – I appreciate theatre makers using online platforms to present pre-recorded work or livestream theatrical content. In these times, when it is prudent for people not to be in theatres or congregating outdoors for a concert, the creation of work that can be digested at home or even on a lunch break is a political act beyond taking general responsibility for the health and welfare of a community by cancelling in person productions.

Dream Boston is easy to digest in four separate audio plays and can be listened to with an internet connection on someone’s phone for less than ten minute stretches.  The playwrights and the directors for Dream Boston are women. 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

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.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/netheatregeek
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandTheatreGeek/

~~~~~

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!

Apr 20

Streamed Content to Prevent COVID-19 Brain Drain: Electric List-a-loo

Dearest Readers;

There is more to do here, in this list, than there is time in the day. We sincerely hope your business keeps you happy, sane, and stable.

New offerings from MassMouth, New Rep, Sparkhaven Theatre, ArtsEmerson join the ranks of consistent givers Flat Earth Theatre, The Umbrella Arts, HowlRound & Liars & Believers.

You are loved, you are necessary, you contain multitudes. We look forward to seeing you again at the theatre!

All our love from six feet away,
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/

[Image of an embroidary hoop with stitching that reads, “wash your hands and don’t be a racist.”]

Action! by Design – Action! By Design launched Live Stream Local to connect audiences to the voices they love, virtually and to help support local artists. 6 – 7:30 P.M. on Thursdays, a local artist will enter their studio to stream music. Click the links for the lineup.
Now there’s a Sunday Open Mic Night from Rascals!

ArtsEmerson – The Together Apart series presents Sequence 8. Sequence 8 from The 7 Fingers will be available to view from April 13-27, 2020. From the ArtsEmerson website: 
“Contemporary circus arts require the utmost faith in your fellow performers. When it comes down to it, your life is quite literally in their hands. The lessons we, as the audience, learn from circus take on a new importance in light of our current circumstances; while we cannot physically hold each other, we prop each other up through zoom calls with family and friends, encouraging text messages, and sharing a common knowledge that by acting together, we help each other. We care for each other deeply, standing together by standing apart.”

Catalyze Playwriting Group – Catalyze presents Genie in the Machine: Virtual Plays on Artificial Intelligence Come and join your friendly neighborhood science and science fiction play group for some readings that have to do with artificial intelligence!
Where, you ask? *https://mit.zoom.us/j/801660241*
April 18th
THE CANTEEN by Carl Danielson
THE ORPHIDY SMORLACK VARIETY HOUR by Nathan Comstock
April 25th
DEATHS OF DESPAIR by Anna Waldman-Brown
HADALYGIRL by Zach Barryte and Drache Bowens-Ruben

Flat Earth Theatre – Coming to Facebook Live, their new radio play Fine-Tuned Universe by A. Lehrmitt will stream weekly on Saturday nights at 7 P.M. from April 25th – May 30th. Each week brings a new 20-minute chapter. 
Fine-Tuned Universe: a radio play by A. Lehrmitt. Directed by Jake Scaltreto
Saturdays, April 25th – May 30th, 7pm EST, Streaming on Facebook Live
Featuring: Juliet Bowler, Kristen Heider, James Hayward, Chris Chiampa, Melissa de Jesus and Liz Salazar. With sound design by James Rossi

Try This At Home, Episode 4:  Half a Dance Party from Bonnie Duncan on Vimeo.

Homesick Play Project and Sparkhaven Theatre present a performance of Nosferatu, The Vampyr by M Sloth Levine with original music by Alissa Voth.  HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 30 April 2020 at 3:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 5:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4).

HOWL Shakespeare – HOWL Shakespeare presents their first livestreamed event! Over a dozen of the Boston area’s boldest young Shakespeare performers performing a Socially Distanced reading of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.
This reading is to raise money for Massachusetts General Hospital’s efforts to fight COVID-19. Don’t want to wait to donate? Donate to MGH here: https://tinyurl.com/HowlMSND Send us a screenshot of your donation receipt and we’ll give you a shout-out in the livestream

From Our Homes to Yours – Everything Possible – Boston Gay Men’s Chorus

(Our eyes are leaking.)

Huntington at Home  – Huntington @ Home is a series of new programs to connect with our audiences right now and includes:

Liars & Believers — More pandemic plays are on the LAB website!

MassCreative – Every Friday at 9:45AM, MassCreative will host a 15-minute COVID-19 Virtual Policy & Action Update to help you make sense of what Congress and the MA Legislature are doing to strengthen the social and economic safety net during this public health emergency. Their goal “is to keep these webinars short, sweet, and to the point.”  REGISTER

MassMouth  – “Live shows may be postponed, but this is still a good time to continue improving your storytelling skills. Join our online events, including coaching sessions, webinars and virtual classes. Learn more below HERE.” 

  • Pitch Perfect! Tuesday, April 21st. 7:30 ET.  – Each year, Stories from the Stage seeks more than 100 storytellers for our live tapings at WGBH. In this session, learn how to pitch with Cheryl Hamilton, Massmouth director and curator for Stories from the Stage. Register for free online
  • Craft your story. Tuesday, April 28th. 7:30 ET.Each story featured on Stories from the Stage is unique, but the principles behind a good piece are universal. Explore key story elements and hear about the experience of a former teller, Cecilla Viveiros. Free. Massmouth will share the World Channel registration link with the community shortly.
  • Story workshop. Sunday, May 3rd. 4:30pm ET.  – One of the best ways to improve a story is to share it with others and get their feedback. In this workshop, exchange a story with five other participants and one of Massmouth’s coaches. Hear what they love about your piece, as well as their ideas for improvement. Free. Register online.
  • Story workshop. Sunday, May 17th. 4:30pm ET.  – One of the best ways to improve a story is to share it with others and get their feedback. In this workshop, exchange a story with five other participants and one of Massmouth’s coaches. Hear what they love about your piece, as well as their ideas for improvement. Free. Register online.

Museum of Science – ArtsBoston has a super convenient list of sites to access the Museum of Science online. 

New Repertory TheatreNEW! In the Wings Artist Salon Series Presented by Artistic Director, Michael J. Bobbitt. Head over to New Rep’s Facebook page on Sundays at 2:00 for a live panel. Host Michael J. Bobbitt will be joined each week by local artists, to discuss the state of theatre post-COVID-19. This week: Boston area Playwrights  

Puppet Showplace Theater Puppetry is alive and well, and we’re here to give you as many doses of hand-crafted creativity as you need to survive this disaster. Sign up for their first Virtual Hatchery, watch an Online Performance, or Take Action to help them support puppeteers during closure. 

  • The Hatchery: Virtual Project Night/ Tuesday, April 21 | 6:30 – 8:30 pm. FREE Virtual “Drop-in” Event – Donations Welcome – Join Resident Artist Sarah Nolen for Puppet Showplace Theater’s first-ever digital Hatchery! Now, from the comfort of your home or studio, connect with fellow puppeteers and puppet-curious artists in a low-stress Zoom Room setting. Participants can share and discuss project ideas, works-in-progress, and strategies for creative resilience during a pandemic. Join for all or part of the time!
  • Isolating Together: A Virtual Toy Theater Festival/ Produced by Great Small Works
  • April 30 – Next Live Performance! – Celebrate the power of DIY theater in miniature! In early April, the amazing artists of Great Small Works gathered Toy theater practitioners from all over the world the world to share original short shows, many of which were created in response to the present circumstances. All performances are still available to watch, and a new festival is coming April 30th. Don’t have time to watch two full nights? Check out Resident Artist Sarah Nolen’s performance “Don’t Stop the Pot!” on Day 2 at 1:41:35.
  • Faye Dupras’ new children’s series, Cozy Corner (It has a catchy theme song and puppets!)

TCG/Theatre Communication GroupCARES Act NEA Funding — A final reminder: eligible organizations planning to apply for an NEA CARES Act grant should note the upcoming April 22 deadline. Be sure to review the applications guidelines as well as Frequently Asked Questions, and after reviewing all posted information if you have questions please contact Greg Reiner, Ouida Maedel or Ian-Julian Williams

The Umbrella Stage Company is now accepting video audition submissions for its 2020-2021 Season. For more information and instruction, click on the links below.

NH Theatre Project – NH Theatre Project now offers online classes and programs!

More:

Passim Keep Your Distance Fest https://www.passim.org/pearfund/

List Art Museum https://listart.mit.edu/museum-at-home-march-public-art-highlights

MIT’s Full STEAM Ahead https://fullsteam.mit.edu/

Celebrity Series of Boston https://www.celebrityseries.org/athome/ – Check the site for special messages! 

Feb 24

Distracted by T-Rex: “She the People”

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
Resident Direction / Choreography by Carisa Barreca
Original Direction / Head Writing by Carly Heffernan
Original Music & Sound Design by Mary Mahoney
Music Direction & Sound Design by Jacob Shuda
Stage Managing by William Collins

Performance dates: Feb 18 – Mar 8
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont St., Boston:
Facebook link

Review by Chloé Cunha

Boston, MA — I am woman, hear me roar… with laughter? She the People is fun, high-energy, and, in its best moments, a cathartic release of female frustrations. At its least effective, it is as on the nose as the opening sentence of this review, and narrow in its vision. Though not as radical as one might expect or hope for, it nevertheless presents an entertaining piece of political bubblegum pop to chew on. Continue reading

Feb 07

Pride & Shame Are Brothers: “Sweat”

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Kimberleigh Senior
Original music & sound design by Pornchanok Kanchanabanca
Fight direction by Ted Hewlett

Jan. 31 – March 1, 2020
Huntington Avenue Theatre
Boston, MA
Huntington Theatre Co on Facebook

Content warnings: This production includes the smoking of cocoa shell cigarettes (100% nicotine-free). It contains themes of drug use, drug addiction, alcoholism, and homelessness.

Trigger warnings: racial and gender microaggressions, intentional bigotry, sexism, racism, graphic violence, implied drug use, exploitation of a disabled person, and Republican politics

The Huntington Theatre Company website says that those who are interested in more information should please reach out to Ticketing Services at 617 266 0800.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Boston, MA — Lynn Nottage’s Sweat won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. After reading in in 2017 and seeing it live last night, it is not difficult to understand why. Sweat balances gender, race, and class discrimination issues like a well-crafted dagger. This art represents the struggling people of Reading, PA that Nottage interviewed to write her play. It gives insight into the dangers of unchecked greed while commenting on the political events that provoked into a capitalist fury. Sweat has you in the palm of its metaphorical hand… And then it drops you on your ass. Continue reading

Jan 23

Bickering is A Language of Love: “We All Fall Down”

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
by Lila Rose Kaplan
Directed by Melia Bensussen
Jan. 10 – Feb. 15, 2020
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

“Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.” – Traditional song (American version)

Boston, MA — We All Fall Down is a family portrait that examines clashing egos during a period of family dilemma. The Stein family isn’t talking to each other. In their defense, they aren’t listening either. It’s Passover. Everyone has an agenda and none of them correspond. We All Fall Down is about the power we give denial. The stronger the denial, the tauter the family bond. Continue reading

Nov 26

Be Old Until You Are Young: “Quixote Nuevo”

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company in association with Hartford Stage and Alley Theatre
A reimagining of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
By Octavio Solis
Directed by KJ Sanchez
Compositions and sound design by David R. Molina
Other compositions by Eduardo Robledo
Music direction by Jesse Sanchez
Fight direction by Ted Hewlett
Vocal and dialect coaching by Robert Ramirez
Dramaturgy by J. Sebastián Alberdi

Nov. 15 – Dec. 8, 2019
HUNTINGTON AVENUE THEATRE, 264 HUNTINGTON AVENUE
Huntington on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) It’s only three days until Thanksgiving! So let me take this opportunity to remind you, dearest reader, that the very land you stand on was stolen by colonizers from Native American tribes. Quixote Nuevo takes place on the Mexican-American border. The US is currently keeping the children of immigrants in cages at that border. Their parents aren’t much better off. When you see this production, and you should because it is excellent, please consider the role colonizers and their progeny (us) have played in putting the land’s indigenous peoples behind bars. Continue reading

Sep 13

We’re on the Same Side: “The Purists”

J Bernard Calloway and John Scurti; Photo Credit: T Charles Ericksonn© T Charles Erickson.

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company
By Dan McCabe
Directed by Billy Porter
Original music by Michael Sandlofer

Aug. 30 – Oct. 6, 2019
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Editor’s Note: This article now includes an addendum by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston) These are some terms and figures within hip hop culture that viewers should understand to better appreciate The Purists.

These are some terms and figures from musical theatre culture that viewers should understand.

  • Jerome Kern
  • George & Ira Gershwin
  • Bob Fosse 
  • Andrew Lloyd Weber 
  • National treasure, Bob Ross
  • Rapping in musicals
  • Annie + video 
  • Stephen Sondheim
  • Call center/Box office
  • The Golden Age of musical theatre

Oppression isn’t a contest. Virginia is mourning the 400th anniversary of slavery in the US. June 28 marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The ADA wasn’t made law until 1990. The only people who win when marginalized communities fight are the rich, white people who make money from our oppression. No one is free until we are all free. Freedom must be intersectional.   Continue reading

Jul 21

Superfans in Cosplay Having the Best Time: “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical”

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company
Adapted from the book, The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan 
Book by Joe Tracz
Music and lyrics by Rob Rokicki
Directed by Stephen Brackett
Music direction by Wiley DeWeese
Choreography by Patrick McCollum
Fight direction by Rod Kinter
New puppetry design by AchesonWalsh Design Studios

July 17 – 28, 2019
Huntington Avenue Theatre
264 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA
The Huntington on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Saturday afternoon’s performance of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical was an event for superfans and their friends. Children in Camp Half-Blood t-shirts and their adults congregated to the Huntington Theatre to watch this musical about modern day children of Greek gods. It’s not a production for everyone; it’s specifically written for devotees to the Rick Riordan book. Theatre-lovers will appreciate the ingenuity of the design team but they should attend knowing that this musical isn’t for them; It’s for fans in their childhood years. Continue reading