theater

Kudiyattam
10:45 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Indian Actors Dust Off Ancient Sanskrit Drama at Yale

Kudiyattam is the last surviving form of classic Sanskrit theater.
sreenisreedharan Creative Commons

A troupe of actors from Kerala, India will perform an ancient, traditional drama known as Kudiyattam this weekend in New Haven.

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These! Paper! Bullets!
7:46 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Shakespeare Plus The Beatles, Sort of, at Yale Rep

The Quartos: Bryan Fenkart as Claude, Lucas Papaelias as Balth, James Barry as Pedro (on drums), and David Wilson Barnes as Ben in These Paper Bullets!
Photo © Joan Marcus, 2014

Yale Repertory Theatre’s current production plays on Shakespeare to tell the story of The Beatles’ triumphant return to England from the U.S. in 1964. Except the band isn’t quite The Beatles, the language isn’t entirely Shakespeare’s, and the songs aren’t by Lennon and McCartney.

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Long Wharf Theatre
7:22 am
Thu March 27, 2014

At 81, Playwright Athol Fugard Looks Back On Aging And Apartheid

In 1961, South African playwright Athol Fugard put black and white actors on stage together in his breakout play Blood Knot. He's pictured above in the 1970s.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 10:39 am

Under apartheid, trying to make an artistic political statement was difficult — artists were subject to scrutiny and even arrest. On the other hand, making a political statement was easy: All one had to do was put black and white actors on a stage together.

That's exactly what South African playwright Athol Fugard did back in 1961 with his breakout play Blood Knot. His newest play, The Shadow of the Hummingbird, is now onstage at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn.

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Code Switch
5:15 am
Sat March 22, 2014

They Cast Whom?! Actor Choices To Offend Every Racial Sensibility

From a mixed heritage, Adam Jacobs plays Aladdin in the Disney Broadway production of the same name.
Cylla von Tiedemann AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 12:48 pm

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:38 am
Thu March 6, 2014

The Psychology and Sociology of Coming Out of the Closet

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra & Actor Brian Murray.
Chion Wolf WNPR

In the space of a lifetime, the status of gay and lesbian people in the United States and Western Europe has been transformed. So to watch a play like "A Song at Twilight," written by Noel Coward in 1966, is to journey back in time and then wonder how far, really one has traveled.

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Madres De Plaza De Mayo
8:37 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Argentina's "Dirty War" Provides Backdrop for a New Play

A scene from Claire Whitehouse's play "a la ronda" based on stories from the Madres de Plaza de Mayo.
Credit Ariella Axelbank

  A la ronda, a new play opening this weekend at Wesleyan University, calls attention to Argentina's "Dirty War" and the human rights organization Madres de Plaza de Mayo.

During the so called "dirty war" of the late 70's and early 80's, tens of thousands of Argentineans were systematically abducted and killed, suspected of being an enemy of the military dictatorship.

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Reggae's Royal Family
7:30 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

A Reggae Romp For The Family, With Marley's Music At Heart

Shy Jamaican boy Ziggy (Jobari Parker-Namdar) and his friend Nansi (Brittany Williams) are main characters in Three Little Birds, an off-Broadway musical driven by Bob Marley's infectious reggae songs — and created by his daughter Cedella Marley.
Michael Horan New Victory Theater

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:04 pm

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:13 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

An Ode to Opera

Willie Waters is the former director of Connecticut Opera.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Last fall, the New York City Opera -- what Mayor LaGuardia called "the People's Opera" -- declared bankruptcy. This is/was the opera that introduced Americans to Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills.  Make what you will of the fact that the bankruptcy announcement coincided with the presentation of a new opera about Anna Nicole Smith.

This is either a problem very specific to the New York Opera, or part of a virus that has been taking down opera companies all over the U.S. and maybe all over the world. In Italy, where opera receives much more public and government support, one fourth of all major opera companies were in a version of bankruptcy as of 2008.

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Spotlight on the Arts
1:04 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Unexpected Musical Delights On Display in Ridgefield

Fans of Merle Haggard, photographed by James Mollison at the Von Braun Center Concert Hall in Huntsville, Alabama.
Credit James Mollison / The Aldrich

Music can involve us beyond the act of mere listening. At the current exhibition at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, you will need all five senses. Be prepared to get physical. With an eye and ear toward expanding our understanding of music and art, The Aldrich has brought together the work of five gifted contemporary artists in a series called Music, through March 9.

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Loss of an Actor
7:06 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman: An 'Uncanny' Actor Of Stage And Screen

Hoffman (left) and Eddie Marsan, in a scene from the film God's Pocket, released in January.
Lance Acord AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:53 pm

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead on Sunday in his Manhattan apartment. He was 46.

Hoffman was steeped in his profession — in film, on stage, in the spotlight and behind the scenes.

In 2005, he won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote. The movie focuses on Capote's interviews with two murderers on death row for his nonfiction novel In Cold Blood.

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Performance
6:48 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Opera Composed at a WWII Concentration Camp is Performed in New London

A scene from "Der Kaiser von Atlantis."
John Waller

An opera written by a Jewish composer while in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II will be performed this weekend in Connecticut. In an egregious bit of Nazi Propaganda, the concentration camp known as Theresienstadt was falsely presented to the world as a model Jewish settlement.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

The Nose: Bieber's Bust, Casting Peter Pan, and Scapegoating Maureen McDonnell

Theresa Cramer - Editor, Writer.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It was a fertile week for topics, but here at The Nose, we've boiled them down to four.

First, the decision by NBC to capitalize on its live Sound of Music ratings hit with a revival of the live TV Peter Pan. No cast has been announced yet, so that allows us to do some "dreamcasting. "

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:00 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Complications of Comedy

Didi Conn and Burke Moses
Chion Wolf

Dying is easy, comedy is hard. But, why is comedy so hard, especially on the stage, and what makes something funny?

The premise for a famously funny plot could easily sound like a tragedy.  An out of work actor is so desperate for employment that he dresses up like a woman and then falls in love with a beautiful co-star whom he deceives and betrays on several levels. That doesn't sound that hilarious. 

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Spotlight on the Arts
11:35 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Imaginative Worlds by Ming Cho Lee

A scale model for Boris Godunov (Coronation) 1974 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Credit Yale University School of Architecture

Resembling a village of delicate toy theaters, "Stage Designs by Ming Cho Lee" fills the large ground floor gallery at the Yale School of Architecture in New Haven. 

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50 Years Of Theater
5:06 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Hartford Stage Sees Better Economy, Brighter Future

The cast of "The Tempest" from Hartford Stage's 2011-2012 season.
T. Charles Erickson

It’s that time of the year when miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and sweet Tiny Tim electrify the Hartford Stage with their heart-warming story, like they have these past 15 years. But now, in honor of the theater's 50th anniversary season, the production has redesigned costumes, more special effects, and new lighting.

The holiday cheer is much needed. The multiple award-winning Hartford Stage, like its counterparts nationwide, has struggled through the tough economy.

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More Than Song And Dance
5:08 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Fifty Years of Musical Theater: Good Times at the Goodspeed in East Haddam

Michael Price, Goodspeed's executive director, made business changes in 2006 that helped the theater through the economic downturn.
Sujata Srinivasan

As I drove across the East Haddam swing bridge, car tires rumbling over the open grate, it was hard to imagine that the 19th-century Goodspeed Opera House – looking like a wedding cake on the Connecticut River – was anything but a place for musical theater. Yet in addition to being a performance space, it served as a passenger terminal for a steamboat line. It was the town’s general store, post office, dentist’s office, and even a parking garage.

Thanks to a series of very fortunate events, Goodspeed's restoration in 1963, after a period of neglect, was followed by 19 productions that went on to Broadway, receiving more than a dozen Tony awards. In 2006, another fortunate event – a set of strategic business decisions – saved the Goodspeed yet again. 

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Showtime
11:42 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Draining The Daring From A High School Production Of 'Rent'

Anthony Rapp (left) and Adam Pascal perform a scene from the New York Theatre Workshop production of Rent in 1996.
Joan Marcus AP

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Quite a show has been going on in Trumbull, Conn.

Last week, the principal of Trumbull High School canceled a student production of Rent scheduled for next March.

Rent is Jonathan Larson's 1994 rock musical about a group of colorful young people living and loving in a colorful wreck of a brownstone on New York's Lower East Side, when struggling young artists could afford the rent there.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:03 am
Thu December 12, 2013

A Swig of "Christmas on the Rocks"

Harry Bouvy is a stage, film, television, and voice over actor.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Today we're talking about the afterlife of characters from classic Christmas stories. What happened, in later years, to Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" or Susan Walker from "Miracle of 34th Street" or Charlie Brown or Clara from "The Nutcracker?"

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:44 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Tuesday Tumble: Eddie Perez, "Rent" in Trumbull, Snowy Owls and the Ivory Trade

Steven Seligman is an attorney in Hartford
Chion Wolf

The Connecticut town of Trumbull, and especially its thespian society, has become a familiar name in the theater world, but maybe for the wrong reasons. When the high school principal decided to cancel the thespian society's production of "Rent," the story went national. It has bubbled along for weeks and as of today, we may have news about a compromise that would allow it to be staged.

Meanwhile, former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez has been awarded not one, but two new trials. We'll have an expert here to explain how that's likely to play out. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:32 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Colin Quinn Takes On The Constitution

Colin Quinn in his new show, "Unconstitutional".
Credit Mike Lavoie.

There aren't that many jokes in the US Constitution. Either that, or there are too many, and they're all on us. Comedian Colin Quinn says most of you have never even read it. Who's gonna read something four pages long in this day and age?

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Spotlight on the Arts
3:58 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

A Collage Style Performance on the Meaning of Love

Larry Hunt.
Credit Ann Lee

When Charlie Chaplin and other silent film stars faced the challenge of carrying over their talents into "talkies," these proved to be much-anticipated events. On Friday in Bethlehem, international mask artist Larry Hunt, a local, will actually let his voice do the real talking on stage. Hunt has built a career on non-verbal storytelling, and has performed at venues around the world for over 25 years.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:44 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

An Ode to Opera

Willie Waters is the former director of Connecticut Opera.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Last month, the New York City Opera-- what Mayor LaGuardia called "the People's Opera" -- declared bankruptcy. This is/was the opera that introduced Americans to Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills.  Make what you will of the fact that the bankruptcy announcement coincided with the presentation of a new opera about Anna Nicole Smith.

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New London
12:41 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Wagner Opera Makes Its Connecticut Debut

The Connecticut Lyric Opera's production of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman"
Connecticut Lyric Opera

Wagner's opera, "The Flying Dutchman," will get its Connecticut premiere this weekend, 170 years after the opera made its debut in Dresden, Germany. The Connecticut Lyric Opera will present Wagner's early masterpiece Friday night at Trinity-on-Main in New Britain, and Saturday night at the Middletown High School Arts Center.

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Spotlight on the Arts
10:28 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Underneath It All With "The Underpants"

Didi Conn and Jenny Leona in The Underpants
T. Charles Erickson

We’ve become full-time fame seekers. Admit it: no matter what age, walk of life, or social standing, just being friended or liked by no one in particular makes our day. We create online personas, instantly publish, and look to find inspiration from the reality television that surrounds us. There, we can root for real cops, middle-class castaways, and cut-throat cooks. 

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Theater
2:25 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

A New Take on an Ancient Greek Play

Actors in "Big Love" (clockwise from top), Olivia Saccomanno, Briana Maia, and Marisa Desa.
Credit Gerry Goodstein

In performance now through October 13 at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre at the University of Connecticut is "Big Love," a play by Charles Mee. "Big Love" is an adaptation of an ancient Greek play. Joining WNPR News to talk about the production is reporter Ed Wierzbicki, who reviewed the show here and also talked about playwright Mee, the challenge of this production, and the outline of the story. 

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Spotlight on the Arts
2:23 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

"Big Love" Takes Big Leaps With Bold Choices

A scene from "Big Love" at Connecticut Repertory Theatre.
Gerry Goodstein

The past and present intersect in the plays of Charles Mee. Known for taking those hefty Greek tragedies and re-imagining them for today’s audiences, his works like "Big Love" ask us—no, challenge us--to give some serious personal thought to our social responsibility as citizens.

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Arts for Healing Festival
9:45 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Hip Hop Play Explores Sickness and Health

Ana, played by Amber Williams, "How To Break"
Collective Consciousness Theatre

The tenth annual Arts for Healing Festival began on Wednesday. Yale New Haven Children's Hospital created the festival to feature art, music, poetry and performances by patients and health care providers.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:24 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

On-Air Acting Lessons from Top Theater Director

Credit OC Always/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

If you want to know how to act, our show is featuring free on-air acting lessons from Long Wharf Theater's award-winning artistic director Gordon Edelstein. Use Gordon's tips to gain acting chops.

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Bark At The Moon
7:12 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

'True Blood' Star Joe Manganiello Brings Ferocity To 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

Joe Manganiello is playing Stanley Kowalski in the Yale Rep’s Staging of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” which runs Sept. 20 through Oct. 12. He spoke to WNPR's Colin McEnroe on Tuesday.
Credit Chion Wolf

He's widely recognized as Alcide from HBO's 'True Blood,' but did you know Joe Manganiello is a classically-trained actor who graduated from Carnegie Mellon? Or that he inhabited the role of Stanley Kowalski from Tennessee Williams' iconic 1947 play "A Streetcar Named Desire," multiple times before landing his gig as a tall, brown-eyed lupine?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:25 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Joe Manganiello Stars In 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

Joe Manganiello is playing Stanley Kowalski in the Yale Rep’s Staging of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
Chion Wolf

It just goes on and on. We're in New Haven today where the Yale Rep is getting ready to mount a production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," but there's already one playing in Dublin at the Gate. There probably hasn't been one year in the last 50 when there wasn't a significant staging of this play.

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