Category Archives: Theatre

Happy Birthday, Seán O’Casey

Irish playwright Seán O’Casey was born on this day in 1880. He was the first major Irish playwright to deal with slum life and the reality of the Dublin poor. He grew up working-class in a family of thirteen children. … Continue reading

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“Make voyages! — Attempt them! — there’s nothing else …” Happy Birthday, Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams (Thomas Lanier Williams) was born on this day in Columbus, Mississippi in 1911. Will you do a total stranger the kindness of reading his verse? Thank you! Thomas Lanier Williams — Tennessee Williams, letter to editor Harriet Monroe, … Continue reading

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On This Day: March 24, 1955: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened on Broadway.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened on this day, in 1955, in New York. Critic Brooks Atkinson, one of Williams’s staunchest supporters, wrote: “[The play seemed] not to have been written. It is the quintessence of life.” The performances … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Henrik Ibsen

Famous acting teacher Stella Adler in a transcribed lecture to her acting class on playing Ibsen. Adler BEGGED her students to stop thinking about themselves, about their emotions. She wanted them to be curious about the world, about context, about … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov, letter to actress (and wife) Olga Knipper January 2, 1901 “Describe at least one rehearsal of Three Sisters for me. Isn’t there anything which needs adding or subtracting? Are you acting well, my darling? But watch out now! … Continue reading

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On This Day: December 3, 1947: A Streetcar Named Desire opened on Broadway

A Streetcar Named Desire opened in New York at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Scene 5, Streetcar Named Desire BLANCHE: Young man! Young, young, young man! Has anyone ever told you that you look like a young Prince out of the … Continue reading

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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in the Berkshires

I was up in Massachusetts for the 4th of July weekend at my aunt’s, and on the evening of July 4th, I took the Mass Pike west, far west, to the Berkshires to see the Berkshire Theatre Festival’s production of … Continue reading

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“Part 1 is astonishingly ambitious, but I consider Part 2 to be messier and more human and more political and a thrilling, thrilling, thrilling masterpiece.” – George Wolfe: Angels in America: An Oral History

The must-read of the day, the week, the month: Slate’s Oral History of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2: “Millennium Approaches” and “Perestroika”. Kushner’s is the most important and unforgettable voice to emerge in my lifetime. Clifford … Continue reading

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For Laurence Olivier’s Birthday: “You’ve Got a Fucking Cheek, Haven’t You?”

Happy birthday, Laurence Olivier! Here’s a funny anecdote from Antony Sher’s book Year of the King: An Actor’s Diary and Sketchbook, his diary detailing his process rehearsing (and creating) Richard III at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Sher was daunted by … Continue reading

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A Streetcar Named Desire: That’s What Williams Wrote. Deal With It.

A re-post for Tennessee Williams’ birthday about a 2011 production of Streetcar at Williamstown Directed by David Cromer Starring Sam Rockwell as Stanley Kowalski, Jessica Hecht as Blanche DuBois, Ana Reeder as Stella, and Daniel Stewart Sherman as Mitch. Kerry … Continue reading

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