Most adults can dress themselves, and so when we hear these days that someone has been engaged as a dresser by a theater company we assume that his job is principally to assist cast members who need to change costumes quickly and get back on to the stage. It was not always that way, though.
There is an astonishing turn of events toward the end of I and You, but let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about Walt Whitman instead. Whitman was a revolutionary who overthrew poetry. He trashed the self-conscious, hyperstylized European tropes which had dominated the art and substituted something purely American: a rough, colloquial, muscular free […]
NextStop Theatre Company’s production Richard III is a rare instance where the operation is a failure, but the patient lives. Look, Shakespeare’s comedies and dramas offer a fertile field for the artistic imagination, and are constantly reinvented and reimagined. I loved WSC Avant Bard’s nude Macbeth; Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Hamlet, in which the title character […]
Next year, theatreWashington President Linda Levy promises, the Helen Hayes Awards will be bifurcated, with separate awards going to productions based on the number of Equity cast members. It couldn’t come soon enough, one suspects, for Washington-area small theaters, who saw this year’s nominations dominated by the big theatre companies.
We Americans have no creation myth (although sometimes we mythologize our creation) but Britain, having staggered forth fifteen hundred years before we did, does, and it is the legend of Arthur. In the legends of Arthur, this fifth-century King, having united the Britons in their battles against the Saxons, is thereafter charged with recovering the […]
“The best thing for the inside of a man,” Ronald Reagan once said, “is the outside of a horse.” In this odd, affecting early Sarah Ruhl play, the outside of a horse provides an odd, affecting comfort to the inside of Mary Smith (Sarah Olmstead Thomas), whose marriage to Crick Thorndigger (Chris Dinolfo) – basically […]
Our Suburb is the decidedly nonfictional town of Skokie, Illinois, where playwright Darrah Cloud’s version of the Webbs and the Gibbs are the Majors, a relentlessly right-thinking gentile family on the verge of dissolution, and the Edelmans, Holocaust survivors who have come to America and won safety and prosperity. They live, love and die against […]
“Preach the Gospel,” St. Francis of Assisi is reputed to have said. “If necessary, use words.” There are plenty of words in Wasn’t that a Mighty Day?, now at the Anacostia Playhouse, but they aren’t the point. The business of this production, and of gospel music in general, is to show the otherworldly power of […]
The fine actor Matthew J. Keenan recontextualizes Dickens’ Christmas Carol in this play, and his company, Keegan Theatre, is producing it for the third consecutive year. Keenan, a native of Ireland who has no other playwriting credits, has written an honest piece of work, which takes no shortcuts in its effort to achieve an authentic […]