Arts in Decline and a Meteor is Headed Our Way


A recent, oft-cited study from the National Endowment from the Arts showed that there has been a steep decline in theatre attendance. I’m not certain where that ranks among issues such as global warming, a dysfunctional government, and the possibility of a rogue meteor making this a moot point, but it seems to me there’s […]

It’s pretty, but is theatre any longer necessary?


I make theatre and I like to sail. My theatrical vocation and my nautical hobby permit me to observe that America’s distorted version of theatre exactly parallels its distorted vision of lighthouses. The distortion is more visible as concerns lighthouses because it leaves artifacts; the flea market in Wallingford, Connecticut (from which I’ve just returned) […]

Sound Design. It’s an art that needs your voice now.


It seems, given recent events surrounding the Tony Awards, that there is some heavy doubt and speculation as to what a Sound Designer does, what a good Sound Design accomplishes, what role a Sound Designer plays in the creative process and whether or not sound is a valid artistic design discipline. Podcast: Play in new […]

When a bad Post review happens to a good show, we all lose

Christopher Henley

There are few things in the world as rewarding as being the Artistic Director of a theatre company when you see that the hard work and strenuous effort of your board, your staff, and your artists have paid off. Sacrifices have been made to accomplish a successful production.

Theatre artists: a liveable wage is our right and our responsibility


Recently, the FringeArts blog of Philadelphia interviewed the critically successful performer-producer Charlotte Ford about her decision to take a leave the arts scene to pursue a more formal career in speech pathology.

Thank You for Coming – audiences as seen from the front line


For the first time in 5 years, I’m not working at a theatre box office. Before I started university, I decided I’d rather my day job be in the theatre. I ended up working for 3 different box offices. I feel like I’ve sold thousands of tickets – and I probably have. I’ve learned a lot about theatre audiences over the last five years, and I want to write down a few things so that I never forget them.

Arena Stage’s first Summit, headed by Peter Marks, sparks online debate


About a month ago, Washington Post critic Peter Marks announced “The Summit,” a special series of three panel discussions.  Arena Stage’s artistic director, Molly Smith, had offered Marks the opportunity to create and moderate the series as he saw fit, so on Monday night he began by bringing a quintet of local artistic directors to […]

Too much Shakespeare? Humbug. Have a cookie.


If there’s one thing we can be sure of in DC Theatre, it’s that each season we’re going to see something by William Shakespeare. According to Washington Post critic Peter Marks, that’s becoming a bore and reeks of security over artistry. But no matter how many times you’ve seen a particular play, you’ll never see […]

Theatre too expensive? Ask a sports fan


Many of us crave the excitement and immediacy that comes from a really memorable live experience. Sports fans dream of making the pilgrimage to a World Series game, an NBA final series, a Stanley Cup game, a championship boxing match, or most hallowed of all, football’s Super Bowl. While I actually do love seeing talented […]

The Helen Hayes Awards: why I’ve changed my mind

Christopher Henley

I attended the theatreWashington summit a few weeks ago. I read the recent Nelson Pressley article in The Washington Post on one of the topics addressed at the meeting, whether to split existing Helen Hayes categories so that smaller-budget theatres are not competing against larger-budget theatres. It was apparent at the meeting, and reported by Pressley, […]

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