Thursday, March 31, 2005

How to Steal a Scene by Just Raising a Finger:
Sometimes a finger can steal a scene. Now appearing in Samuel Beckett's 'Endgame,' the 79-year-old theater veteran Alvin Epstein compels the audience with little more than some careful movement of his hands, which peek out from the tin can that his character, the ancient Nagg, inhabits for the duration of the play. Exploring the uncertain world outside the safety of the can, those digits pique our curiosity. Like characters in their own right, they scramble meekly, but with a visible, desperate energy, around the can's rim, like hungry mice, distracting the audience from all the other action taking place on stage.
Mime is considered more of a punchline than an art form these days, but to watch Mr. Epstein - who studied the craft alongside Marcel Marceau more than half a century ago - is to appreciate the lingering finesse it can lend an actor's work
(from The New York Times).

Monday, March 21, 2005

Six Surprising Ways to Find the Perfect Venue:
  1. Look for barter opportunities
  2. Try to negotiate
  3. Go to nontraditional spaces
  4. Consult alternative resources
  5. Look for performance spaces that include rehearsal time
  6. Split the fee with another group

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Chicago Tribune suggests all of a sudden, Chicago's theaters are embracing new dramatic works in a big way, but I think Mr. Jones means the big theatres; I think smaller companies might have been embracing new works for years.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Milton Glaser on Professionalism in Creative Pursuits:
Early in my career I couldn’t wait to become a professional. That was my complete aspiration in my early life because professionals seemed to know everything - not to mention they got paid well for it. Later I discovered after working for a while that professionalism itself was a limitation. After all, what professionalism means in most cases is limiting risks. So if you want to get your car fixed you go to a mechanic who knows how to deal with transmission problems in the same way each time. I suppose if you needed brain surgery you wouldn’t want the doctor to fool around and invent a new way of connecting your nerve endings. Please doc, do it in the way that has worked in the past.
Unfortunately in our field, in a so-called creative activity - I’ve begun to hate that word. I especially hate when it is used as a noun. I shudder when I hear someone called a creative. Anyhow, when you are doing something in a recurring way to diminish risk or doing it in the same way as you have done it before, it is clear why professionalism is not enough. After all, what is desirable in our field, is continuous transgression. Professionalism does not allow for that because transgression has to encompass the possibility of failure and if you are professional your instinct is not to fail, it is to repeat success. Professionalism as a lifetime aspiration is a limited goal
(from He is writing about graphic design, but I think it may apply to acting as well.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

In the Tribune this last week (from AP), they said ...women buy more theater tickets than men; about twice as many.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Harold Pinter 'to give up writing plays':
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Front Row, the 74-year-old said: I think I've stopped writing plays now, but I haven't stopped writing poems
(from BBC News).