While many English or Theatre teachers (myself included) embrace William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I actually really enjoy the history plays. Richard III is one of my favorite plays to teach because of the intriguing villain, dynamic poetry, and fascinating characters. However, in order for my students to make sense of it, I realized I had to make sense of the English history Shakespeare was using to write Richard III. In that endeavor, I tumbled down a rabbit hole and into a quagmire of complex English history mired in international and civil wars.
So, you know you want to put on a play. Perhaps there’s a show you’ve been burning to produce. As we set about producing a play in today’s day and age, I think we must ask ourselves, “Why this play? Why now? Why this medium?” Sometimes, the play itself seems to answer these questions immediately. Sometimes, it’s more of a challenge. Producers selecting plays may also use this criteria to drive their lists of dream shows – and yet sometimes logistical factors, a desire to put together a season of plays in dialogue with one another, or the desire to find the perfect play for an ensemble of artists you love set producers on a more directed, play-specific hunt. And of course, budget is always a limiting factor. Read more to learn how to choose an amazing season for your theater group while adhering to budget constraints.
StageAgent sits down to discuss the collaborative artistic process with Patrick Burns and Kathleen Coombs. Take a look at the new interview and see how Patrick and Kathleen approach the challenges of writing a musical, getting to know a character, setting goals and keeping on track, and collaborating in person and long distance.
Over the past few months, we have been asking our contributors here at StageAgent what some of their favorite theatre books were, whether it was for a summer read, something that greatly influences them, or just an amazing reference book to have on hand. So to kick off 2018, here’s a suggested reading list, a quick run down of 12 books recommended by the StageAgent team. We think there’s a little something here for everyone. Enjoy!
Join StageAgent on a whistle stop tour through the history and evolution of the modern day pantomime. Who are the character archetypes that appear in pantos? What are some of the typical staging elements in a panto? How does pantomime relate to commedia dell’arte? And how might elements of panto show up in mainstream theatre? Read Alexandra Appleton’s latest blog and explore all that is the pantomime.