Month: March 2018

Pathos Of The Oppressed

At the ongoing Theatre Olympics, Kishore Sengupta’s play Nuraldiner Sarajiban highlighted peasants’ exploitation during the British rule. The ruthless exploitation of rural India by the predatory policies of the East India Company caused immense distress to Indian peasants which led to famines. The great famine in 1770 in Bengal is one of such case of man-made human sufferings resulting in the death of millions of impoverished peasants. Based on this tragedy, Syed Shamsul Haq, Bangladeshi poet and playwright, wrote a play titled Nuraldiner Sarajiban which was presented by Kalyani Natyacharcha Kendra, Kalyani at ongoing 8th Theatre Olympics. The play focuses on the...

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Women Flying High In Circus

On International Women’s Day 2018 and in the year of Circus250, Poppy Burton-Morgan blogs for UK Theatre on the rise of British, female-led circus companies in an artform that has been “historically problematically male.” 2018 marks the 250-year anniversary of Philip Astley’s circus ring so it’s a circus filled year across the UK. Circus has always been a relatively safe space for marginalized groups and, for women in particular, it offered a freedom from the restrictions of dress and behavior that must have at the time felt revolutionary. Somewhere along the line–possibly with the rise of the media in the twentieth century and concomitant...

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The Greatest Play Ever Written: Translating “The Cherry Orchard”

Rory Mullarkey introduces his new version of Chekhov’s masterpiece for Bristol Old Vic. “The Cherry Orchard is the greatest play ever written,” I declared, confidently, aged 16, to my mother, having just read The Cherry Orchard for the first time. She responded to my claim with a non-committal snort–remembering, perhaps, the production of The Seagull (the previous month’s “greatest play ever written”) I had dragged her to the Saturday beforehand, and which I had forbidden her from leaving at the interval because she was so bored–and continued with what she was doing, namely driving us to the dentist. But maybe her snort was prematurely...

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Meredith Monk’s “Cellular Songs” At Brooklyn Academy Of Music

Those who like to combine pop culture with classical practice might find something of a younger Alanis Morissette in Meredith Monk.  Drawing her strength from within, she intones.  Silence is as important as the sound, as the tone dips and builds.  Monk sings, “Oh, I’m a thinking woman, I’m a thinking woman.”  She is in the moment, present, and recognized.

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Six Must-Watch Plays At The Theatre Olympics In Mumbai

The Mumbai tour will be its final leg, with the closing ceremony slated for April 8 at Worli’s Nehru Centre. Finally, the juggernaut hits Mumbai. The eighth Theatre Olympics, organized by the National School of Drama, and supported by the Ministry of Culture, opened last month in Delhi with much fanfare and equally, manifold murmurings of discontent. Past editions have been organized in cities like Shizuoka, Seoul, Beijing, and Wrocław, and this year’s slate of productions is certainly humongous, spanning 17 Indian cities with 465 performances (almost a mind-boggling ten-fold increase from the Beijing edition in 2014) from more than 35...

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH ON VIMEO  To access, enter password: Spe0132224  (It is case sensitive) If the video does not open for you, click on this link to go directly to Vimeo to watch the video there. You will still need the password to access this video. Sponsored by our partner Now in its 2nd Season, Stage Russia films productions performed by Russia’s most renowned theater companies, staged by its greatest directors and presented in cinemas and universities around the globe. For more information on the project,...

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What’s On: A Guide To Danish Theatre 2018 

Yet more adaptations, strong Danish voices, golden oldies, the music accompanying most productions, and an abundance of contemporary theatre. I SCENE takes a look at what’s on in the spring of 2018, identifying current trends. 2017 is behind us, and it’s time to see what we can expect in the spring of 2018 on Danish stages. 2017 was a year full of adaptations, where other genres were adapted to dramatic art for the stage, but also of politically fuelled theatre, with current themes and some consistently well-produced takes on classical plays. Adaptations Yet Again In the autumn of 2017, we had a flow...

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Make Way For Egypt’s Independent Contemporary Performing Arts

The art practitioners, art aficionados, cultural journalists and–above all–the regular audience members of Egypt are really spoilt for choice when it comes to the contemporary art scene, in Cairo, Alexandria, and several other cities. Even within the contemporary performing arts, there are countless events, formats, genres and colors, and a great deal of passion and dynamism on the part of practitioners. The ardor is striking and reflects the great variety of art practitioners, cultural managers, and venues. There are both professionals and amateurs, with some artists operating under the governmental institutions while others are embraced by the independent organizations; there...

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“All Those Unnatural Bonds:” Talking Sexuality, Shame, And Female Friendship With Hannah Moscovitch web editor Hayley Malouin interviews playwright Hannah Moscovitch about female representation in Canadian theatre, ‘vagina pieces,’ and her current works in production (Bunny, What A Young Wife Ought To Know, and Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story): “Honestly, I have a branding issue,” Hannah Moscovitch tells me. With show programs and press releases full of juicily quotable lines like “a young woman discovers the power of her allure” and “a young working-class wife who has a lot to learn about love, sex, and birth control,” it’s easy to forget that Moscovitch’s work breaks with traditional characterizations of women far more than it establishes them. “I tend to...

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“The Black Monk”: Dramatism And A Large Dose Of Slapstick

Of all the great Russian writers of the second half of the nineteenth century, none perfected the art of dualism quite like Anton Chekhov. The tragic and the comic, the internal and the external, the serious and the trivial, the lived and the imagined–in his work all coexist and converge; the borders between them shift, erode, lose all meaning. From a forest of easily caricatured sureties–Turgenev’s naïve liberalism, Tolstoy’s confident religiosity, Dostoevsky’s impassioned conservatism–Chekhov emerges as a torchbearer of uncertainty, moral ambiguity, and nuance. Like Schrödinger’s famous cat, at once both alive and dead, Chekhov’s characters and themes defy categorization....

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Musical Futures: Japanese Vocaloid Opera Arrives In Spain

Hatsune Miku, the most famous non-human pop singer in the world, will visit Spain for the first time this month. Keiichiro Shibuya and Hatsune Miku’s Vocaloid Opera The Endwill showed in Madrid’s Naves Matadero between March 22 and 24 and in L’Auditori in Barcelona on March 27th. This is in no way a traditional opera, as there are no singers, no orchestra, and no stage. Instead, all images and music are produced electronically, as is Hatsune Miku herself. Six screens will project animations in 3D, in a technological and artistic event unlike any other. All the music is produced...

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“Kumar50”: The Star of the Singapore Drag Scene

Marking Kumar’s 50th year alive, and the start of Dream Academy’s 2018 season at the Capitol Theatre, Kumar50 is a celebration, a retelling of history, but most of all, a show meant to entertain — Kumar is the undisputed queen, and star, of the Singapore drag scene. Kumar50 is also here to make some money: Dream Academy is, notably, one of the very few arts companies in Singapore that runs on a for-profit model. This is not, by far, the first time the two entities have worked together. Kumar50 is the fifth show (eighth if you include re-runs) headlining...

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“In the Club”: Tackling Sexual Assault, Gender, and a Male Dominated Sports Culture

A new play by award-winning playwright Patricia Cornelius tackles the prevalence of sexual assault, paying particular attention to Australia’s male-dominated sports culture. The result is a thematically and theatrically engaging piece with a gritty yet grand poetry, relevant to our times. Cornelius’ play, In The Club, was commissioned by the State Theatre Company of South Australia specifically to explore this topic. It follows three women Annie (Miranda Daughtry), Olivia (Rachel Burke) and Ruby (Anna Steen) on a night out. They’re in a nightclub filled with pretty young things, men and women in their prime and on the prowl. Each of...

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Cherry Play “Rule Of Thumb” Captures Challenges And Culture Brilliantly

If you’re fortunate, you have at least one friend who’s a creative and adventurous cook—and who occasionally invites you over for a predictably intriguing meal. A mix of the familiar and the strange, the fare is almost perfectly satisfying yet leaves you a bit puzzled, curious for more. Ultimately, it’s unforgettable—very much like the offerings we’re asked to share at Ithaca’s Cherry Artspace: new works with unusual perspectives from diverse cultures. Currently being staged is the world premiere of Rule Of Thumb, by Serbian playwright Iva Brdar, translated to English by her sister, Ana Brdar. The first thumbs in question...

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“The Birthday Party”- A Classic That Never Grows Old

Toby Jones, Zoë Wanamaker, Stephen Mangan, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Peter Wight, and Pearl Mackie make good justice to Pinter’s possibly most intriguing and cryptic piece. The play opens with Meg (Zoë Wanamaker) and Pete (Peter Wright) sitting in the living room of their rundown seaside boarding house; engaged in futile conversation while having breakfast. Down the stairs comes Stanley (Toby Jones) the only boarder they have been having for years now. He is an unkempt, bespectacled, disheveled, ill-humored man in his thirties whose appearance in the scene quickly sets the tone of the play. The performance unfolds a determining twist when, after Pete leaves for work, Meg tells Stanley that two new guests will be arriving shortly in...

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“Butcher of Balkans” in Jester’s Attire: A Musical About Slobodan Milosevic

A musical about Slobodan Milosevic and his wife Mira dresses the “Butcher of Balkans” in jester’s attire–but the tricks at play are neither innocent nor new. Considering Slobodan Milosevic earned a nickname as “the Butcher of the Balkans” and was accused of war crimes at the Hague, one rightly wonders if a play about him would be about the making of a monster, or, perhaps, an attempt to redeem him and justify his actions as mere circumstances of fate. In effect, Lift: The Slobodan Show, a Serbian-language play about the former president of Serbia and Yugoslavia, his wife Mira...

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International Theater Institute – Macedonian Center  

Macedonian message on the occasion of World Theater Day, March 27, 2018, by Sasko Kocev, theater/film actor, and stand-up comedian.  In conditions of an extremely polluted spiritual environment when the triviality in a primitive manner is aggressively promoted as a cultural value and when, through various reality shows and technical aids, the senseless peeking into strange, even more, nonsensical lives became every day, it is necessary, as never before, to ask questions. Is it enough for our previous theatrical approach in terms of deviations in reality? What are the theatrical means of combating socio-political banalities that seemingly seem benign, and in fact metastasize into an evil that destroys...

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The Context of Contemporary Polish Theatre: Spotlight on Poland

Today, we are launching The Spotlight on Poland. Here’s the context….. Following the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its regime in Eastern Europe, Polish theatre found itself without a subject. Always political during the forty years of communist rule, and with a clearly defined objective, Polish theatre was suddenly left in an ideological vacuum as the older econo-political order lay in ruins and the new order was yet to be established. The 1990s were a period of transition for both Poland and its theatre. In the first decade of...

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The Spotlight on Poland: Diverse Voices and Perspectives on Contemporary Polish Theatre

Premiering Spotlight on Poland Polish theatre has always drawn rich inspiration from Poland’s ever-shifting political landscape. The current global and national contexts continue to inspire Polish theatre-makers and performance artists. We premiere the Spotlight on Poland in 2018, a year that also marks important anniversaries. In 1918, Poland regained its independence after 123 years of bondage under the imperial partitions. In the same year, Polish women secured their voting rights; legend has it the breaking point came as they were knocking on the Chief of State’s window with their umbrellas on a cold November night. The Polish parliament has...

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