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.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Shakespeare Hall of Fame

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's visitor centre at Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire is creating an all-time Shakespeare Hall of Fame. Thirteen names in total will grace the walls, and you may be surprised who is included and who was left out. Certain individuals seem obvious: Ben Jonson, David Garrick, Laurence Olivier, Sam Wanamaker and Patrick Stewart. Other names might surprise, but certainly fit the bill, like Charles Dickens, Akira Kurosawa, Paul Robeson and Kenneth Branagh. Only two women were chosen: Ellen Terry and Judi Dench. Notable omissions include Helen Mirren, Simon Russell Beale and Edmund Kean. But the biggest travesty of all is the inclusion of Leonardo DiCaprio. Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly. The Hollywood star who made a mediocre turn, at best, as Romeo in the over-the-top Baz Lurhmann film is one of the chosen few. No doubt it’s all about publicity, but seriously? There has got to be someone else. If you added them all up, you’ll notice that’s only 12. There is an online vote for the 13th slot. Click here to cast your ballet for people like Peter Brook, Sarah Bernhardt or John Gielgud (and maybe write in how DiCaprio should be removed).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Edinburgh Staff At Fault for Ticketing Failure

An independent report blames the board and senior staff of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the monumental failure of its new ticketing system last year. The investigation started when the £385,000 computerized system crashed on the first day of sales in June. The system was eventually abandoned after several repair attempts. This cost the Fringe £300,000 and forced its funders to throw in £250,000 in emergency funds. Ticket sales dropped 10% from the previous year and led to the resignation of the festival’s director, Jon Morgan. Read a full account here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

IPAN Updates

Casting: Seeking fluent english speaking actors/actresses based in Paris for a low-budget feature film production. Please email your CV and photo to

WorkshopWorkshop Roy Hart (voice) by Kevin CrawfordMasterclass in Voice for Acting
Start Time:23 March 2009 at 10:30End Time:27 March 2009 at 17:00
Contact InfoPhone:0031204862362
Email:for more information /
DescriptionDuring Roy Harts’ workshop you work on discovering your own, unique and personal voice. As an actor you not only learn the technical use of your voice, but especially where the strength of your own voice lies and how to use it.

Searchlight FestivalEvent InfoHost:Tashmadada and fortyfivedownstairs
Start Time:04 February 2009 at 20:00
End Time:07 February 2009 at 23:00
Location:fortyfivedownstairsStreet:45 Flinders Lane
Tickets: $15 full / $12 concsession
Bookings: +613 9662 9966
Description Searchlight Festival :a curated festival of explosively diverse performance from our best independent artists a mix of exhilarating performance works. PLUS readings of extracts of new plays, for further informationContact:Enquiries: Deborah Leiser-Moore 0414 624

Den jag älskarMonologföreställning i samarbete med Teater Olydig. Av och med Joséphine Wistedt - Monologue piece produced by Teater Olydig. By and with Joséphine Wistedt.
Time and PlaceStart Time:25 April 2009 at 18:00End Time:10 May 2009 at 20:30
Location:SpegelteaternStreet:Björngårdsgatan 3Town/City:Stockholm, Sweden
DescriptionI en liten etta, bor en ung kvinna. Hon har lagt sig ner i sängen och kan inte kliva upp ur den igen. Ibland ringer telefonen. Hon svarar inte, för hon vet redan vem det är. En dag upptäcker hon att hon inte är ensam längre…En monolog om att vilja vara NORMAL och att söka livet istället för döden.

Monday, February 2, 2009

France Invades Britain

In an effort to revitalize some high culture on British shores, French authorities are funding an entire season of Gallic theatre in the UK called ‘Paris Calling’. Though classic French works by the likes of Molière and Racine are common place in British venues, the French embassy noticed a lack of contemporary work breaking through to the mainstream. After contributing £200,000 in administration costs alone, the French have created a program of over 20 theatrical shows which will be staged in 21 venues across the country, from the Barbican to the Traverse Theatre. The Arts Council Britain has contributed £45,000 to the venture, and a European grant provides another £45,000. The cost of bringing over entire casts of productions and translating French texts into English is estimated to exceed £1m. Read the full Independent article here.