Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hey brain - what's my motivation?

Fiona Shaw recently dedicated her brain to science. Ah, the actor's sacrifice. All in the name of a good performance. But seriously, she committed to lying flat on her back, as still as possible, and reciting T.S. Eliot's 'Wasteland', so that scientists could scan her brain and research what really goes on in an actor's head when they become 'another person'. Read the full article here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Confidence au Proche-Orient

Doug Howe and Ozen Yula
Maison des Metallos
Paris, France
21 November 2009
"Confidence au Proche-Orient"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Modern Commedia Workshop & Performance

The Internationalists is proud to welcome Teatro Punto (Carlos Garcia Estevez and Katrien van Beurden) to New York to host a Modern Commedia dell’ Arte workshop and performance on August 5th and 6th, 2009.

Contemporary Commedia Workshop

Dates: August 5th, 2009 from 3:30-9:30pm; August 6th, 2009 from 3:30-6:30pm

Fee: $150 (includes the ‘Solo dell’Arte’ performance on August 6th at 8pm)

Experience Level: Appropriate for all levels

Location: LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, 31-10 Thompson Ave, LIC (7,E,V,R,G trains nearby)

Tickets for the workshop may be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/71880 or 1-800-838-3006.

Teatro Punto makes theater where the actor is the author of the story. As the actor on stage is stripped of supports such as extended settings and a fixed script, he can become the author of a tragicomic show. He does this through movement, text, techniques and imagination. Carlos and Katrien’s main source of inspiration is Commedia dell'Arte. Employing their training, imagination, intellect and a great deal of hard work and experimentation they have taken Commedia to new heights. Their storytelling takes the masks into new territory. They have discovered ways to make the life within each mask not only amuse and engage the audience, but take them to the dark side. A theater form full of acting possibilities; it is precise and vulnerable, yet above all else it is alive. Previous U.S. workshops have been given at: Brown University, NYU, Wagner College, Sarah Lawrence, UMass, Trinity College, Tufts, and Williams & Mary.

The Workshop consists of:

• Movement analysis
• Physical transformation/metamorphoses
• From Tragedy to Comedy
• Musicality and timing
• Mask and archetypical characters
• Improvisation and scene composition - Canovaccio
• Study of interaction between actor and audience

‘Solo dell’Arte’ Performance

Date: August 6th, 2009 at 8:00pm

Admission: $15

‘Solo dell’Arte’ is an introduction to the audience of one of the most ancient types of theatre, Commedia dell’Arte, and the presence of this Art into our days. In this show/conference there is only an empty space, masks, an actor without costumes and the audience. Carlos Garcia Estevez will perform a collection of stories under the theme of love (tragic love, infidel love, casual love). He will be aided by his own techniques, movements, gestures, texts, imagination and the spirit of performing for and with an audience. During the performance, the actor will present the historical and contemporary context of this type of theatre and he will explain to the audience some of the mechanisms of how this theatre is made (the metamorphosis of the actor, the use of the mask and the grommellot).

For more information, visit www.theinternationalists.org/commedia or email info@theinternationalists.org

Monday, July 27, 2009

International Physical Theatre Lab in Austria

International Physical Theatre Laboratory

October 25-31, 2009
Retzhof Castle, Leitring bei Leibnitz

Actors of physical, dramatic, dance and musical theatres, dancers, choreographers, circus performers, directors.

The programme includes intensive training, lectures and discussions. The Lab is open to performers from different creative genres and techniques inspired by Physical Theatre as a bold, vibrant and multidimensional approach to contemporary theatre performance. Practical physical training is the core of the Lab programme. Participants will explore physicality as the key to form, style, atmosphere and emotional palette in contemporary performance. Practical sessions develop in the form of various exercises which progress from simple to compound. Gradually the group is proceeding to group improvisations and structures. Every day is setting advanced creative tasks, developing the preceding steps. Through the system of consecutive exercises the group is growing common language and trust, ability to collaborate and create together.

Each day begins with morning warm-up which combines breathing, movement and imagination. It will help participants to wake up and to prepare for the intensive practical process during the day.

Practical training. Part I. Training by method of improvisation.

Practical training. Part II. Structural Improvisation. From exercises to performance.

Practical training. Part III. Principles of Biomechanics. Meyerhold's etudes.

Lectures & Discussions: Performer's Physicality in the methods of Meyerhold, M.Chekhov and Stanislavsky.

The Lab will take place in Leitring bei Leibnitz, the beautiful town located within 30 min from Graz Thalerhof Airport, 2.5h from Vienna by car, 40 min from Graz by car, and 20 minutes from the Slovenian border. The public transportation to the venue is easy. The programme will take place in the historic castle of the 16th century. Accommodation and meals are organized for the group.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Havel to Direct his First Film

Vaclav Havel, Czech playwright and former president, will direct his first movie based on his most recent play, 'Leaving'. His first new script in twenty years, the story is about a politician's adjustment to normal life after leaving politics. Sources predict his wife, Dagmar, for whom he wrote the script, will play the female lead. The play premiered in May 2008 at the Archa Theatre in Prague.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Performing Revolution - Arts Under Communism

"A performing arts festival marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, presented by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in partnership with key New York City cultural organizations and academic institutions, November 2009–March 2010." Read about it here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's Me Down There

The Internationalists and IPAN present

An English Language Reading of

It’s me down there (En bas c’est moi)

Written by Sébastien Joanniez

Translated by Simon Pare

Performed by Doug Howe

Thursday 18 June 2009 at 18:30

Le Cavern Club (Downstairs)

21 rue Dauphine Paris 6éme

Métro : Odéon / Pont Neuf

Monday, June 15, 2009

Submissions for The Madness & Arts Festival

The Madness & Arts Festival (MAF) is an international and interdisciplinary festival on arts and madness, to be held in Haarlem, the Netherlands in 2010. You are kindly invited to submit your projects for consideration of the programme committee. The MAF is specifically looking for music, theatre and dance performances for the festival venues and smaller events/performances/presentations for the festival camp.

What = MAF
The Madness & Arts Festival (MAF) is a reoccurring international and interdisciplinary manifestation about art and madness, which will be held in Haarlem, the Netherlands in 2010, after Toronto, Canada (2003) and Münster, Germany (2006). The festival focuses on the interaction between art and madness, through presentation of high quality art with an international appeal. MAF gives stage to different perspectives from people with and without a psychiatric background, artists, scientists and the public. With an ambitious and inspiring programme of nationally and internationally renowned artists and projects, MAF aims to bridge the gap between art and its traditional audience, and various aspects of psychiatry. MAF will be a compact, high quality festival with international appeal.

MAF will take place from September 24th until October 3rd, 2010

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Immigration Rules Threat to British Arts

Read this article about the new immigration rules in the UK that pose a tremendous threat to international touring arts in the country.  

"The visa controls are part of the new points-based system for immigration. The rules for touring artists, which came into force in November, include a requirement for each artist to show £800 of savings, and financial support and constant monitoring by a “sponsor” to make sure that they do not abscond during their visit. Artists must apply for the visa in person, supplying biometric data and a digital picture. That has proved difficult in Africa in particular, with artists being told to travel to countries where biometric equipment is available to obtain their visas."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Transmediale & Vilém Flusser Theory Award 2010

Deadline: July 31, 2009
Info & submission: www.transmediale.de/en/call2010-main
Transmediale and CTM (club transmediale) are inviting submissions to the "Transmediale Award Competition 2010" and the "Vilém Flusser Theory Award 2010". Invited are art works, projects and positions that respond to the challenges of our rapidly changing digital, technological and networkred cultures. The "transmediale Award" seeks innovative, experimental and visionary works across a wide scope of form, process and practice that embrace, question and enrich our understanding and relationship to our immersed media and technologically driven society. Entries that exemplify new and critical forms of digital expression and interaction are encouraged, as are works from countries and regions in which digital art and culture are emergent.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cabaret Without Borders - London

London, UK 
"Cabaret Without Borders" - Talks and Performances for Free Movement
Date: June 3, 2009 
Location: Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES
Info: www.manifestoclub.com
The Manifesto Club, Artsadmin and A Foundation present: "Cabaret Without Borders" - talks and performances against the Home Office’s new controls on visiting artists and academics to the UK. This is part of the Manifesto Club's summer events series, Freedom Summer. This will be a convivial evening of satirical artistic interventions, passionate political rhetoric and personal testimonies at the East London gallery, Rochelle School, celebrating free movement for all and opposition to the Home Office's new Visa controls for visiting artists and academics. 
Participating artists: Harold Offeh, Susannah Hewlett, Mark McGowan, Cyril Lepetit, chanson diva Barb Jungr, author Maureen Duffy, poet and performance artist Anthony Howell, theatre director Tim Supple, activists/free thinkers Josie Appleton and Christian Michel and many more. Including testimonials and videos from invited artists who have felt the brunt of these regulations or were refused visas: Dmitri Vilensky (Russia), Poshya Kakil (Kurdistan-Iraq), Abbas Kiarostami (Iran)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Untitled (sans titre)

Check out this new network 'Untitled (sans titre)'.  

From their website, "Untitled (sans titre) is an association that aims to promote art and artists.  Twice a year, in Spring and Autumn, Untitled (sans titre) will organise stimulating meetings in some of Brussels most beautiful private residences, between artists and high level personalities in the worlds of politics, education and thought, business and science to discuss contemporary issues. Through their work and approaches, artists will provoke debate and “lateral thinking” on issues such as environment and sustainability, economic and social progress, mobility, education, intercultural dialogue.  Untitled (sans titre) is about mingling and networking at the highest level, bringing artistic creativity to influence thinking processes; it aims to provide the intellectual nourishment that we all need in order to face our daily decision-making with a depth of understanding."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Benigni's Dante on US Tour

Oscar winning actor and Italian comedian Roberto Benigni will be coming to America with his one-man monologue based on Dante's 'Inferno'.   Stopping in San Francisco and New York, 'TuttoDante' is Benigni's contemporary take on the classic text, mixed with off-the-cuff political jokes.  He has been performing the show in Italy for the last three years to over a million people.  Though known primarily as a clown, Benigni showcased his intellectual side.  In each performance he recites a canto in Italian of the 'Inferno' from memory and provides detailed explanations of the history and poetry in English.  Benigni still sees himself as more of a entertainer than scholar, and manages to slip in a bucket load of jokes about his nemesis, Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, sending him to the deepest of Dante's depths.  As Benigni says, “Only comedians can talk about death, life, God and Virgin Mary.  If was a tragic actor, I couldn’t allow myself. But with this accent I can do it. I can talk with death in person because I am a clown. Yes. And I am proud to be a clown — very much.”

Thursday, April 16, 2009


20 hr IPAN Weekend Exchange: 2, 3 May - 10:00-21:00
The IPAN Weekend Workshop is a 20 hour Intensive Theatre Program. Ten Workshop leaders will be gathered from around the globe to exchange specialized techniques in the form of 2 hour workshops. This Event will be open to a limited number of participants interested in taking these workshops & sharing in an Intercultural Theatre Exchange. 

Sat 2 May 

1 hr IPAN Introduction: Sama Ky Balson - 10:00- 11:00 
An introduction to the aims of the International Performing Arts Network (IPAN). We will discuss the creation & continuation of Intercultural theatre and meet all international workshop guests.

1 hr Sohum Yoga Warm Up: Michelle Timmins - 11:00-12:00
The first workshop will be a yoga warm up. We will enter simple yogic postures to connect us with breath and movement, to ground ourselves and arrive in a space of growth and openness. http://www.sohum-yoga.com

2 hr i.Q-Quantum Theatre: Ira Seidenstein - 12:00-14:00 
i.Q - Quantum Theatre applies a specific set of techniques based on a unique blend of Eastern & Western theatre practices, enabling the actor to clarify universal principles of acting regardless of previous training. http://www.iraseidenstein.com/

2 hr Psychophysical Training: Sajeev Purushothama - 14:30-16:30  
Psychophysical Image training is a combination of theatre actor training systems drawn from Kalarippayatt, Kathakali, Kootiyattam, Noh theatre and meditational practices.This workshop introduces physical exercises invoking awareness that produce a qualitative state of readiness.

2 hr Rhythm/ Voice: Johannes Steiner - 16:30-18:30 
We will learn to control our breath and resonance, find correct body posture while singing and speaking and play with rhythm patterns based on body percussion.

2 hr Comedia Del Arte/ Mask: Carlos Garcia - 19:00- 21:00 
Take mask play to new heights by exploring movement, metamorphoses and timing. By bringing life to each mask, we will discover the mask’s archetypal characters through improvisation and the interaction between actor and audience. http://www.solodellarte.blogspot.com http://www.teatropunto.net  

Sun 3 May

2 hr Extended Voice: Harlan Chambers - 10:00-12:00 
Explore the heights and the depths of your voice during this Roy Hart Voice Workshop. Search for the delicate balance between solid technique and imagination by grounding our breath and opening our bodies.

2 hr Improvisation: Caspar Schjelbred - 12:00-14:00 
In improvisation we plunge into the unknown and create drama from seemingly nothing . Explore how to create meaningful change on stage by drawing on character archetypes that we encounter on the Hero's journey of classic mythology. hhtp://www.improacademy.com

2 hr The Present Moment: Doug Howe - 14:30-16:30 
Through a series of physical and psychological exercises, this workshop will explore ways to become more present and ‘sense’itive to the moment. Combining various training methods from Grotowski to Bogart, participants will discover how to release expectation and embrace the present moment. http://www.theinternationalists.org

2 hr Red Nose Clown: John Beale - 16:30-18:30 
This workshop begins with exercises and games to wake up our child-like play pleasure. Then, graduate to Red Nose - the smallest mask in the world. The purpose of the nose is not to hide you but to reveal you.  http://www.rednoseclown.net

2 hr Bouffon: Eric Davis - 19:00-21:00 
In the world of Bouffon, the audience is the joke. Bouffons rejoice in making a parody of the audience’s values and flaws. Explore connecting with the audience, create complex physical characters, play upon contrasts of theme & rhythm, and be present & captivating. http://www.redbastard.com

The Workshop program offers you a list of possibilities. Take individual workshops and select your theatre program “A la Carte” or the “Theatre Menu” options. See above for workshop descriptions.  


20 hr IPAN International Workshop Exchange 2, 3 May- 10:00-21:00 - 200€

03 hr Extended Voice: Harlan Chambers - 5 May- 10:00-13:00 - 50€
03 hr Rhythm/ Voice: Johannes Steiner - 5 May - 14:00-17:00 - 50€
03 hr Red Nose Clown: John Beale - 8 May - 10:00-13:00 - 50€ 

06 hr Commedia/ Mask: Carlos Garcia - 4 May - 10:00- 17:00 - 100€

15 hr Quantum: Ira Seidenstein - 4 May - 17:00-20:00 & 5, 6, 7, 8 May- 18:00- 21:00 - 250€

15 hr Bouffon: Eric Davis - 8 May-14:00-17:00 & 9,10 May -10:00-17:00 - 250€

*Please Note: Lunch breaks and pauses during longer workshops are included in time schedules.

Select from Theatre Menu options. Places are limited for these workshops.

MENU 1 - 65 hr PROGRAM - FULL THEATRE INTENSIVE: 650€ (300 € Savings)
Have it all! Book yourself in for all Theatre Workshops: 2-10 May.

1 A: 1 x 20 hr IPAN Weekend Workshops + 2 x 15 hr Workshops + 1 x 6 hr Workshop + 3 x 3 hr Workshops

MENU 2 - 45 hr PROGRAM - WORKSHOP WEEK: 450€ (300€ Savings) 
All the workshops, (excluding the IPAN weekend) 4-10 May.

2A: 2 x 15 hr Workshops + 1 x 6 hr Workshop + 3 x 3 hr Workshops

MENU 3 - 35 hr PROGRAM - IPAN WEEKEND + WORKSHOP(S): 350€ (100€ Savings)
IPAN Weekend Workshop 2,3 May + your choice of 15 hrs of Workshops May 4-10  

3A: IPAN Weekend Workshop + 1 x 15 hr Workshop
3B: IPAN Weekend Workshop + 1 x 6 hr Workshop + 3 x 3 hr Workshops

MENU 4 - 30 hr PROGRAM - WORKSHOP WEEK MIX: 300€ (200€ Savings)
Your choice of 30 hrs of Theatre Workshops. During week 4-10 May.  

4A: 2 x 15 hr Workshops
4B: 1 x 15 hr Workshop + 1 x 6 hr Workshop + 3 x 3 hr Workshops


VENUE : SUDDEN THEATRE-14 Bis, Rue Sainte Isaure- Paris, 75018, France http://www.suddentheatre.fr/ 

NEAREST METRO: Jules Joffirin ( Line 12) View Map

Host: International Performing Arts Network
Contact Name: Sama Ky Balson 
Phone: +33 (0)6 86 24 75 01 
Email: i.p.a.n@live.com

Please send attached Registration Form completed with your contact details & workshop selection to email: i.p.a.n@live.com

Once we have received your registration form, you will be sent Workshop Payment Details. Your place in the Workshop Program will be confirmed once full payment has been received.

Please remember to record your Bank Transfer or Cheque Receipt number as proof of payment.

PAYMENT METHODS: Payments can be made by French cheque or by Bank Transfer.

*Please Note: International Bank Transfers carry an extra 20€ bank charge to be paid by participant. We look forward to welcoming you to the IPAN International Theatre Workshops 2009.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Billington Takes On Theatre Auteur-ism

Michael Billington of 'The Guardian' warns against theatre auteurs.

From cinema comes the idea of the auteur: the dominant directorial figure whose individual stamp is on every frame of a piece of film. But although the religious cult of the auteur has been widely attacked – not least by Gore Vidal in a brilliant essay called Who Wrote the Movies? – it is now in danger of spreading to theatre. Certain creative figures, whose endeavours I frequently admire, are in danger of acquiring auteur status. What that means, in effect, is that their individual style and idiosyncratic signature becomes more important than the work itself.

In Britain, the key examples would be Katie Mitchell, Emma Rice of Kneehigh and Simon McBurney of Complicite. Internationally, Robert Wilson also fits the title. And let me say at once that I have often been astounded and impressed by their work. Mitchell did the best production of Ibsen's Ghosts I've ever seen. Rice's famous version of Coward's Brief Encounter shifted the interest away from the tight-lipped lovers to the working-class subplot. And McBurney is a brilliant innovator as proved by Complicite's Mnemonic that explored the nature of memory.

What worries me is the awed reverence of their followers and the tendency of a highly personal style to harden into a rigid mannerism. Katie Mitchell, as anyone who saw Waves, Attempts On Her Life or her recent Dostoyevsky adaptation, ...Some Trace of Her, at the National will know, is fascinated by the interaction between film and live performance: an avenue she'll be exploring again this week in After Dido at the Young Vic. It is right that theatre should acknowledge the existence of cinema. What few people seem to be asking is whether Mitchell's curiosity is turning into an obsession and whether it illuminates the work in question. Rice has also forged a distinct identity by taking musical or movie classics – everything from Tristan and Isolde and Don Juan to A Matter of Life and Death – and jovially deconstructing them. Sometimes it works: sometimes it doesn't. But how much longer, I wonder, can Rice go on feeding off the classical canon?

The danger of the auteur theory is twofold. It creates idols who, to their acolytes, can do no wrong. In cinema this reached the point of absurdity when, as Kenneth Tynan once pointed out, a trivial escapade like Man's Favourite Sport? was treated as a masterpiece simply because it was directed by Howard Hawks. I see the same trend developing in theatre. The other danger is that the interpreter becomes bigger than the thing interpreted. Or, to put it more bluntly, that the director takes precedence over the writer. And, if you want an example of where that can lead, you only have to look at the sterility of post-war German theatre which is dominated by star directors and starved of great dramatists.

All I suggest is that we proceed with caution. In cinema the elevation of the director to cult-status, and the consequent downgrading of the writer, has led, most obviously in Hollywood, to a growing sense of artistic bankruptcy. Theatre, in Britain at least, is more level-headed and still places the dramatist at the heart of the creative process. I just hope that continues and that the director is seen as a necessary interpreter rather than as an icon to be devoutly worshipped.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Year of Grotowski: Lab of Creative Research

Year of Grotowski: Meetings with Remarkable Women
Laboratory of Creative Research
July 7-August 5, 2009 - Grotowski Institute, Poland
Application Deadline: May 15, 2009

UNESCO has designated 2009 as 'A Year of Grotowski' and this month-long intensive training opportunity features five advanced work sessions led by women from different cultures and generations who share a direct connection with Jerzy Grotowski.  The work sessions will take place in Wroclaw and in Brzezinka.  The total cost is 1250 Euros, which includes all work sessions and events.  To apply, email your CV and description of your experience here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

DasArts Master of Theatre Program

As part of the Amsterdam School of Arts (AHK), DasArts has transformed itself into an international Master of Theatre program.  They offer a unique training laboratory for professionals in the performing arts.  The curriculum consists of 4 semesters and defines it as a challenging environment that engages deeply with its students.  The deadline for applications is 17 April for the semester starting in September 2009.  All applications must be submitted in English here.  

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Golden Mask 15

Check out John Freedman's article here in 'The Moscow Times' covering the 15th anniversary of Russia's Golden Mask festival.  

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Russia's Theatrical Identity Crisis

Noah Birksted-Breen writes in 'The Guardian' about Russia's infighting over Gogol's national identity, and suggests instead of fighting over the who/what/where with the Ukraine, it should instead start promoting some of its virtually unknown classical theatre abroad, such as works by Platonov, Saltykov-Shchedrin, Andreyev and Mayakovsky.  Read full commentary here.   

Friday, April 3, 2009

Boys Gone Wilde In Singapore

A current production of The Importance of Being Earnest is causing a bit of a stir in conservative Singapore.  The production has an all-male cast dressed as men, which has led the media regulator to demand an age advisory of '16 and above' on all publicity.  The director, Glen Goei, has said he recast the play to 'celebrate' Wilde, a man who 'dared to be true to himself and his nature' and 'remind people what he stood for'.  Read a full article about the controversy here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hamlet: the Musical

Will wonders new cease?  Shakespeare is sure to be rolling in his grave.  Broadway producers are now bringing a version of Hamlet: The Musical to the Great White Way, starring none other than Brad Pitt in the title role.  Other casting includes Robin Williams as Claudius, Goldie Hawn as Gertrude and Sarah Jessica Parker as Ophelia.  Michael Bay, director of Transformers, is set to helm the action packed spectacle, with Jerry Bruckheimer to produce.  

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

'Black Coffee' a Hit in Cairo

Murder, drowning and solitary death bring lots of laughs in the current production of Q'ahwa Sada playing in Cairo.  The play, which translates to Black Coffee, was supposed to close after 30 days in November, but instead has become a huge hit at the Artistic Creativity Center.  The play is a series of 12 vignettes satirizing the ills of contemporary Egyptian life.  Check out a full article about it here.   

Sunday, March 29, 2009

From Paris to Brooklyn

In the current production of Yasmina Reza's Gods of Carnage running on Broadway, starring Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis and James Gandolfini, translator Christopher Hampton not only had the task of rendering the text into English, he also had to relocate the setting. A discussion in the play about local parks has transferred from two Parisian parks, Montsouris and Aspirant Dunand, to two Brooklyn parks, Cobble Hill and Whitman. Read the full Times article here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Culture without Borders

Facinating article in 'The Australian' by David Elliott, artistic director of the 17th Biennale of Sydney, about the false division of culture. He writes, "The myth of cultural supremacy and separation is one of the great hoaxes of history, a discipline that until very recently was little more than propaganda, written by victors. The unsettling truth is that people, images and things have always moved vast distances across the world." Click here for the full article.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Money for Street Arts?

Check out this post by Lyn Gardner in 'The Guardian' about the joys of Street Art.  Click here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Six New Shakespeare Works?

Dr John Casson, an independent researcher and psychotherapist, claims to have discovered Shakespeare's first published poem, the Phaeton sonnet, his first comedy, Mucedorus, and his first tragedies, Locrine and Arden of Faversham. He also explores the plays Thomas of Woodstock and A Yorkshire Tragedy, and claims to prove that a 'lost play' called Cardenio is a genuine work by Shakespeare and fellow playwright John Fletcher. Casson publishes his findings in his new book, Enter Pursued by a Bear. Read more about it here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cairo's 'Radio Muezzin' Hits Berlin

Conceived by Swiss director, Stefan Kaegi, Radio Muezzin is a one-act docu-drama performed in Arabic with subtitles. The concept arose after a decision by Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzouq, Egyptian minister of religious endowments in 2004. Zaqzouq announced that the noise disturbance caused by Cairo’s hundreds of muezzins leading the daily calls to prayer at different times and over fuzzy loudspeakers was becoming too much for citizens to bear. It was determined that the ministry would choose the 30 best muezzins to broadcast the call over a radio channel. Read the full article from the NYTimes here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Das Kapital: The Musical

Just when you thought Broadway couldn't be beat for bad taste, the Chinese show up the Americans once again. The Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre intends to premiere Das Kapital: The Musical next year. The director, He Nian (best known for his martial-arts stage spoofs) promises to combine Broadway musicals and Las Vegas spectacle with his sing-song, dance marathon adaptation. Zhang Jun, an economics professor at Shanghai's Fudan University, has been enlisted to make sure the production is intellectually rigorous. Read more here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gov't Promises Abbey Theatre Will Be Completed

In honor of St. Patty's Day, here's a little news about the new Abbey Theatre project. Martin Cullen, the Irish arts minister, promised that, despite the terrible economy, completion of the new Abbey Theatre is a top government priority. The project, which received the official go-ahead back in 2006, has yet to be launched. Cullen was challenged in parliament last week about its lack of progress, and he promised plans would move ahead. Read more here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lincoln Center Festival International Line-Up

Lincoln Center Festival: Theatre
July 7 to 26, 2009

“Les Éphémères”; Le Théâtre du Soleil (Ariane Mnouchkine) - France
“Boris Godunov”; Chekhov International Theater Festival (Declan Donnellan) - USA
“Villeggiatura”; Piccolo Teatro di Milano and Teatri Uniti - Italy
“Life and Fate”; Maly Drama Theater - Russia
“Kalkwerk”; Narodowy Stary Teatr - Poland
“Ivanov”; Katona Jozsef Theater - Hungary
“Peasant Opera”; Bela Pinter and Company - Hungary

Friday, March 13, 2009

UK's 33rd Olivier Award Winners

Best Actress: Margaret Tyzack for The Chalk Garden (Donmar Warehouse)
Best Actor: Derek Jacobi for Twelfth Night (Donmar at Wyndham's)
Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Patrick Stewart for Hamlet (RSC at the Novello)
Best Company Performance: The Histories, directed by Michael Boyd (RSC at the Roundhouse
Best New Play: Black Watch by Gregory Burke (Barbican Theatre)
Best New Comedy: God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton (Gielgud)
Best Revival: The Histories, directed by Michael Boyd (RSC at the Roundhouse)
Best Entertainment: La Clique (Hippodrome)
Best New Musical: Jersey Boys --The Story Of Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons, book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe (Prince Edward)
Best Musical Revival: La Cage Aux Folles, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the play La Cage Aux Folles by Jean Poiret (Playhouse Theatre)
Best Actress in a Musical: Elena Roger for Piaf (Donmar Warehouse, then Vaudeville)
Best Actor in a Musical: Douglas Hodge for La Cage Aux Folles (Playhouse)
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical: Lesli Margherita for Zorro (Garrick)
Best Director: John Tiffany for Black Watch (Barbican Theatre)
Best Theatre Choreographer: Steven Hoggett for Black Watch (Barbican Theatre)
Best Lighting Design: The Chalk Garden designed by Paule Constable (Donmar Warehouse)
Best Set Design: August: Osage County designed by Todd Rosenthal (National's Lyttelton)
Best Costume Design: The Histories designed by Tom Piper and Emma Williams (RSC at Roundhouse)
Best Sound Design: Black Watch designed by Gareth Fry (Barbican Theatre)
Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre: The Royal Court Theatre's production of The Pride (Jerwood Theatre Upstairs)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Amsterdam Fringe Festival Submissions

From September 3-13 the fourth edition of the Amesterdam Fringe Festival will again raise the rooftops in Amsterdam. An adventurous mix of theatrical anarchy and creative explosions, where events will be held in clubs and theaters, as well as on the streets and in living rooms. The application for the Amsterdam Fringe can be found here. Criteria for applications for the Fringe 2009 can be found on the website.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Canada's Stratford Festival Posts 2.6m Deficit

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival is appealing to government for financial support to help it through the recession. The Stratford, Ont., festival revealed that it had suffered a $2.6-million deficit in 2008 despite a program featuring Christopher Plummer in George Bernard Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra. The loss last year was the company’s first since a three-year streak from 1991 to ’93. Attendance dropped by 4% to 534,000 in 2008. Though sales to Canadians were up by 2%, many Americans skipped Stratford, tipping the company into the red and forcing it to reach into its $5.6-million stability fund, which was set up for weathering recessions. Though some will remember a Stratford season that included Caesar and Cleopatra, a Hughie / Krapp’s Last Tape double bill and The Music Man, others will recall the collapse of a triumvirate of co-artistic directors last March. Marti Maraden and Don Shipley resigned before the season had even started, leaving Des McAnuff standing alone.

Monday, March 9, 2009

20 Most Powerful Women in British Theatre

According to a list compiled by Harper's Bazaar and the jeweller Tiffany & Co. (because apparently they would know), the following is a list of the 20 most powerful women in British theatre.

:: The New Voice – Bola Agbaje – playwright (27)
:: The Honorary Brit – Gillian Anderson – actor (40)
:: The Visionary – Miriam Buether – set and costume designer (39)
:: The Radical – Caryl Churchill – playwright (70)
:: The Illuminator – Paule Constable – lighting designer (42)
:: The Queen Bee – Dame Judi Dench – actor (74)
:: The New Leading Lady – Michelle Dockery – actor (27)
:: The Mover – Maxine Doyle – choreographer and associate director, Punchdrunk (38)
:: The Super-Producer – Sonia Friedman – producer (43)
:: The Powerhouse – Sally Greene – impresario and producer (52)
:: The Transformer – Kathryn Hunter – actor and director (52)
:: The Casting Vote – Lisa Makin – casting agent and producer (43)
:: The Eternal Siren – Dame Helen Mirren – actor (63)
:: The Innovator – Katie Mitchell – director (44)
:: The Beauty-And-Brains – Rosamund Pike – actor (30)
:: The Breath Of Fresh Air – Emma Rice – artistic director, Kneehigh Theatre (41)
:: The Double Threat – Fiona Shaw – actor and director (50)
:: The Wunderkind – Polly Stenham – playwright (22)
:: The Songbird – Summer Strallen – musical theatre actor (24)
:: The Star Turn – Rachel Weisz – actor (38)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Twelve Angry Lebanese

A new interpretation of the American classic of '12 Angry Men' has been staged in the Roumieh Maximum Security Prison in Lebanon.  Directed by Zeina Daccache, the production featured 45 inmates of the prison and their audience were the very representatives of the government that accused them.  These spectators sat and listened while the actors questioned the very system that put them behind bars.   Read our own Eyad Houssami's report on the production here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Babylon & Beyond: Spotlight-Egypt

Read this great article on the LATimes blog about the new play Coffee, No Sugar that is raising eyebrows in Egypt for it criticism of the current culture.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

US Artists Call for Change in Policy towards Cuba

A call has been made to the Obama administration by a network of US artists and presenters to renew cultural ties with Cuba. In a March 3rd letter, signed by over 1100 Americans in the arts including Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Harry Belafonte, Bonnie Raitt and Danny Glover, the US-Cuba Cultural Exchange called for Cuban artists to be permitted entry into the United States and for the elimination of restrictions that prevent Americans from traveling to Cuba. The call comes as the Administration reviews Cuba policy and Congress prepares to consider legislation that could eliminate restrictions on travel to Cuba. Organizers say that the campaign will remain in effect until changes are implemented to allow for the free flow of expression between the United States and Cuba. The letter may be viewed online here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

La MaMa's International Symposium for Directors

Session 1: June 28 - July 12, 2009
Session 2: July 14 - July 28, 2009
La MaMa Umbria International, Spoleto, Italy

The International Symposium for Directors, sponsored by La MaMa Umbria is a training program for professional directors, choreographers and actors. Internationally renowned theatre artists conduct workshops and lecture/demonstrations. During the Symposium, participants will travel to Umbrian towns such as Orvieto, Perugia or Assisi to get a taste of Umbrian art and culture. Performances at local arts festivals and community fairs are also included. In addition, participating directors may conduct their own workshops to share insights and techniques with their colleagues.

Participants will be exposed to a variety of theatrical perspectives during the Symposium, from instructors who will expand their sense of what is possible in the theatre. Directors attending the Symposium see how prominent artists on the international scene create their unique productions. The workshops are participatory, and it is expected that all attendees will engage actively in the processes of the various teaching artists.

Each year La MaMa invites renowned theatre artists to participate as teaching artists during the Symposium. This summer, we host the following artists:

Session 1:
Liz Diamond (USA)“The Word and the Actor”

Kama Ginkas (Russia)“Exploring Chekhov”
Takeshi Kawamura (Japan)“Between the Word and the Body”
Meredith Monk (USA)“Landscapes of Sound and Movement”

Session 2:
Daniel Banks (USA)“We the Griot – Performance in the Age of Hip Hop”

Romeo Castellucci (Italy)“The Eye and the Gaze”
Leigh Fondakowski (USA)“Moment Work”
Dimitris Papaioannou (Greece)“Spectacle and Emotion”

All artists are subject to change. For more information and registration form, visit: www.lamama.orgor call (212) 254-7572.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Protesters Storm London's National

A group of protesters interrupted a talk back by playwright Richard Bean over objections to his new play, England People Very Nice. Two men with placards, claiming the play was racist, picketed the stage for 10 minutes before being removed by security. It is the first on stage protest in the theatre's history. Hussain Ismail, a playwright himself, led the protest on Friday claiming the play was offensive to various ethnic groups. Nicholas Hytner, the theatre's artistic director, claims the comedy "lampoons all forms of stereotyping". Read more about it here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mexico: IV Performing Arts Encounter

Mexico: IV Performing Arts Encounter will take place in Mexico City, March 11th to March 15th 2009. During this encounter, there will be 52 showcases, talks and conferences, and there will be meeting points between artists and presenters. Mexico: IV Performing Arts Encounter will reunite artists and Mexican groups of dancing, theatre, music and interdisciplinary works, as well as promoters, presenters, producers and festival directors from all around the world. Its main goal is to create a guide to the Mexican contemporary scenery, to bring together the professionals and the performing artists, to allow the exchange of ideas and to promote the performing arts on a global level, through strategies based on tours, circuits, residences and common projects."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Chloë Moss Wins Susan Smith Blackburn Prize '09

British playwright Chloë Moss was awarded the 2009 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for This Wide Night, which premiered at London's Soho Theatre. The award is given annually to a new English-language play by a female playwright. Moss received $20,000 and a signed/numbered print by artist Willem de Kooning. Other 2009 finalists were: Free Outgoing, by Anupama Chandrasekhar (India); What Once We Felt, by Ann Marie Healy (U.S.); Inana, by Michele Lowe (U.S.); Oliver!, by Elizabeth Meriwether (U.S.); Ruined, by Lynn Nottage (U.S.); The Almond and the Seahorse, by Kaite O’Reilly (Wales); On the Rocks, by Amy Rosenthal (England); and Ten Tiny Toes, by Esther Wilson (England). Each received $1,000. Created to encourage women playwrights, the Blackburn Prize reflects the values of Houston-born actress and writer Susan Smith Blackburn.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

'Arabesque' Opens at Kennedy Center in DC

"Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World," the $10 million, three-week festival at the Kennedy Center, began on Monday. It features 800 artists from 22 different countries including Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Somalia and Sudan, including a production from Kuwait that portrays Saddam Hussein as Richard III. It the largest presentation of Arab arts ever in the United States. Click here for the full program.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Protests and Death Threats over Fritzl Satire

An update on our January 14th post, the comedy based on Josef Fritzl, the Austrian man who imprisoned, abused and impregnanted his daughter, has raised a tremendous amount of controversy. Police were on guard at it's opening in Vienna the other night after huge protests for the play to be banned. The production's director and star, Hubsi Kramar, has received death threats and the theatre, 3raum-anatomietheater, has been vandalized. Kramer has said the critics have been too quick to judge the show and that, far from being a "comedy about incest", it's a "satire about the media". Click here for a detailed article.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Company B's Parity Pay Policy About To Change

For the past 25 years, everyone at Sydney's Company B (Belvoir St Theatre), from the artistic director to the actors to the stage hands to the box office staff, all have been paid the same (just over $25 an hour). Back in 1984, when the building housing the Nimrod Theatre Company was about to be demolished, big name supports like Mel Gibson and Nicole Kidman pulled out their pocketbooks to save the structure, a former tomato sauce factory. At the time it was necessary that no one, especially big stars, received big salaries. This added to the allure of the company's sense of community and equality. Though everyone seems to be pleased with the parity system, the administration is looking for ways to help those individuals, especially senior staff, who may be held back by its restrictions. Read a full article here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Internationals Once Again Sweep Oscars

Once again the internationals sweep the Oscars. Last year, all the acting awards went to non-Americans, and other than Sean Penn this year, the trend was the same. A Brit (Kate Winslet), an Aussie (Heath Ledger) and a Spanard (Penélope Cruz) took gold. When it came to the other awards, it was even ampted up this year with the success of Slumdog Millionaire which walked away with best picture, director, cinematography, editing, original score, song, sound mixing, and adapted screenplay. And leave it to first award winner to put it all in perspective. Thanks, Penélope.

“I grew up in a place called Alcobendas, where this was not a very realistic dream. And I, always on the night of the Academy Awards, I stay up to watch the show and I always felt that this was, this ceremony was a moment of unity for the world because art, in any form, is and has been and will always be our universal language and we should do everything we can, everything we can, to protect its survival.”

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spill - Britain's Experimental Theatre Festival

Robert Pacitti started the Spill Festival back in 2007. Now in it's second biennial outing, Pacitti answers some questions from The Guardian, such as: What is happening in experimental theatre now?, What risks can Spill 2009 audiences expect?, For Spill 2007, 65 per cent of audiences were under 26. Why is this work so appealing to young people? and How does the work in Spill differ from traditional theatre? Click here for the answers.

Friday, February 20, 2009

US Nonprofits Prepare for a Long Recession

TCG has released their "Taking Your Fiscal Pulse: January 2009" survey. "It highlights fiscal data from members during the period of fall 2008-winter 2009, as well as budget projections and re-projections for participants’ fiscal year end." It surveyed 210 member theaters and found that more than half of them expect year-end deficits and "cash flow problems". 69% of theaters said they are freezing or reducing saleries and almost half will reduce administrative staff. Click here for the full survey results.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Broadway Stats '08

-International ticket sales for Broadway shows were down (1.88 million).
-Advanced sales were up (39% purchased tickets more than one month in advance).
-Same day sales fell from 27% to 20%.
-Average theatergoer was 41.5 years old.
-Highest percentage of children/teens in 30 years (12.4%)
-Audiences paid an average of $27 more than face value for tickets.
-Total attendance was 12.27 million.
-Internet is the most popular way to buy tickets (40% sold online as opposed to 22% at box office and 10% by phone)
-Women made up 65.9% of the audiences.
-75% of audience were white.
-74% had college degrees.
-Median annual income was $148,000.

The data was compiled from surveys handed out at show. 14,000 were distributed and 7600 were returned.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"The House of the Spirits" at Repertorio Español

After the very successful NoPassport conference this weekend, hosted and curated by the wonderful playwright and translator, Caridad Svitch, I recommend you read this article in today's NYTimes about her latest theatrical venture Isabel Allende's The House of Spirits, opening this Wednesday at Repertorio Español in New York. I recommend even more you go see it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

International Actor Training Programs

‘Backstage’ has published an article about American actors training abroad. They ask, “What makes a performer decide to study abroad and what are the benefits?” It has interviewed six actors who studied, respectively, at the Moscow Art Theater School, the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris, the Accademia dell'Arte in Italy, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and the Odin Teatret in Denmark. Read their responses here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

No Passport

Initiated and Curated by Caridad Svich, NoPassport and the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center present a two-day conference with the support of The Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance, The Internationalists, Theatre Without Borders and Frank Hentschker. The Internationalists encourages you to attend as much of the conference as possible, and to be sure to check out our two contributions to the proceedings.

The first is on Friday night, February 13th at 8:15pm when we will be presenting 'Around the World in 24 Minutes', which includes an edited video from our 'Around the World in 24 Hours' play festival and an interactive, online conversation with playwright Sigtryggur Magnason in Iceland. If you can't make this event in person, you can watch it online at uStream. Just click HERE.

On Saturday, February 14th at 1pm, Artistic Director Doug Howe will participate in a Theatre without Borders panel discussion with Susana Cook, Catherine Coray, and Saviana Stanescu entitled 'International Collaboration: Endangered Species, Flavor of the Month and/or Sustainable Future'. Visit here for the full schedule. The CUNY Grad Center is located at 365 Fifth Ave. at 34th St.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Initiation International 2009

Scheduled activities
1. Performances by various artists / groups
2. Forum Discussion: Eyes and Perspectives: The View an Artist Takes in Other Cultures.

We are looking for performances for our annual Performance Festival. If you have existing works or planning to develop works that fit the theme, do send us a write-up.

We are looking for performances based on the following:
1. Related to the theme The Wanderings of an Artist. (Each performance should only have a maximum of 2 performers)
2. Original work- Non-aesthetics based (no elaborated set, props and lights) - Non-English works accepted if there are subtitles
3. A direct response to the Festival Director's message. (please visit

If your proposal is accepted, you will receive:
1. A letter of Invitation for your grant application.
2. Hotel accommodation up to 4 nights, with a small cash allowance.
3. Performance space and technical support.
Please note that you will have to manage your own support to travel to Singapore. Please also note a $100 deposit is required as deposit if your proposal is accepted (while be refunded upon arrival) together with a $50 registration fee.
We look forward to your proposals. Closing date – 15 April 2009
Please kindly bundle your proposal, with a short biography, and email them to

More About Initiation International
'Initiation International' aims to offer an intimate platform for artistic discovery in an open and non-threatening atmosphere of artistic exchanges. Inspired by the concept of a performance panel, this festival seeks to draw together a variety of unique performances that respond to a collective theme. Artists may interpret the given theme from their individual perspectives and create an original performance. We also strongly encourage artists to share experiences on their journey in creating the work to the given theme. while audiences will also be encouraged to provide critical feedback to the artists' works in an atmosphere of openness and genuine support. In the same spirit, Initiation International also showcases some works-in-progress to open audiences.

Intimate theatre is the format of play, all performances will be carried out in the same venue with the performance space kept relatively bare, down to its bare essentials. Every evening, there will be three performances. The festival will take place over the course of 2 days. Each performance shall not exceed 60 minutes in length. This will allow more time for audiences and artists to engage in meaningful post-performance discussions. Do note that artists will also be given technical restrictions, such as a fixed lighting rig and minimal set-up logistics crew to support their performances. The festival aims to showcase performers' delivery of the work, hence the conscious decisions in eliminating the extraneousness of a complicated stage design.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Legit Canada Succumbs to Economic Downturn

The quake may have first hit Broadway, but the aftershocks are being felt all over. Canada's legit theatres have begun to suffer the shockwaves of the current economic crisis. Theatres are cancelling shows, reducing ticket prices and cutting seating capacity. Even surefire hits like The Sound of Music and Jersey Boys are offering discounts. Read a full report of the situation here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Germany Confronts Its Past on the British Stage

This season, the Royal Court in London is presenting a series marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall entitled “Off the Wall” starting with Marius von Mayenburg's The Stone, which tackles the legacy of Nazi guilt. The series continues with Mark Ravenhill’s Over There which is the story of identical twins who grow up on opposite sides of the Wall (which to me sounds stolen from Agota Kristof’s Hungarian trilogy of novels The Notebook, The Proof and The Third Lie). The reading series includes The Final Fire by Dea Loher, Black Beast Sorrow by Anja Hilling, To the South Seas by Gherkin Plane by Christoph Nussbaumeder, The Uncertainty of the Situation by Philipp Loehle and The Pigeons by David Gieselmann. Check out an article about it here or the Royal Court’s website here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The New Russian Theatrical Revolution

As Putin continues to clamp down on all television, radio and newspaper outlets, it seems one of the few places left where anyone can voice a modicum of dissent is the theatre. Playwrights such as Igor Simonov with his play, The Celebs, and Alexander Zuev with his play, Mothers, are just two examples of individuals who are challenging the status quo and digging deeper into the ruthless policies of the Putin regime. The government has yet to censor the freedom of expression in theatres because most of this new writing is being created in small studio with a limited audience. One of the key figures of this growing movement is Nikolai Kolyada, who created his network in Yekaterinburg, including a studio theatre for new plays, an annual playwriting festival, a university playwriting course at the Urals State University, and a publication for new plays, as well as his own plays (which number over 90). Check out the Guardian article here about this revolutionary new movement.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dublin Fringe Festival's Call for Submissions

The 15th Dublin Fringe Festival is now inviting submissions for the September festival. This year, they want to present works which confronts, embraces and defies this period of remarkable change and challenges. From celebrating the fresh re-emergence of DIY culture, reclaiming more of Dublin's empty spaces, experimenting with theatre and performance and delving into experiential arts on a grand and minute scale, to encountering home grown and international arts on the street and in even more unexpected places, the Fringe's 2009 program won't shy away from exploration of where we are and how we got here; as a city, nation and international community of makers, doers, seers and thinkers.

Dublin Fringe Festival has long served as a spring-board for fresh new Irish and international artistic voices, as well as a home for risk-taking and cutting edge performance from more established artists. This year they are looking for artists across all disciplines to imagine Dublin with a new vision for the time we live in; to be brave, bold and uncompromising in their engagement with the cultural, social and physical landscape of the city and to once again invigorate, investigate, challenge, defy, excite and inspire its audience.

The Fringe will once again present a series of pre-application talks open to all interested parties on Tuesday 17 February. Topics that will be covered include: Online application process, supporting material requirements, financial deals offered by the festival and fundraising. Closing Deadline for applications is Friday 3 April at 6pm. More information and the link to our online application system can be found here or on their blog.