Through Lines: the Celebrity in All of Us

In his seminal work, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, sociologist Erving Goffman uses theatre and performance as analogies to describe all our social interactions.  He argues, in essence, that we are actors, consciously or unconsciously performing our identities for and to others.  For different audiences, we no doubt assume … Continue reading

Through Lines: What is the Community in Theatre?

Whether we are discussing the ranks of the large professional theatres like the Shakespeare Theatre, or the mid-sized Regionals like Woolly Mammoth or Studio Theatre, or community theatres like the Little Theatre of Alexandria or Silver Spring Stage, what is most important about theatre has always been the community it … Continue reading

Film Review: ‘Les Misérables’

Musical theatre fans of Les Misérables beware! The film you are about to see will resemble the famous musical in score only. To be sure, the text will be quite familiar and the song lyrics pretty much the same; but the epic narrative, based on Victor Hugo’s ground breaking novel of the … Continue reading

Behind the Fourth Wall: I’ve got a Barn. Let’s put on ‘A Christmas Carol’ or ‘The Nutcracker’ or…

Now let me play the holiday season’s favorite character—Scrooge! That’s the bah humbug part, not the money grubbing, no time off for family and friends part, the part that asks: “Does Washington really need all of these Christmas shows? I mean—really?”. It’s bad enough that TV has begun airing its … Continue reading

Theatre News: The Aesthetics of a Theatrical Dollar (or $100+ dollars)

Theatre critics never mention the cost of a ticket when we write our reviews, almost as if price doesn’t matter and the aesthetics of theatre operate independent of budget and cost. Maybe that’s because we critics don’t pay for tickets, so we never leave a show saying: “I just paid … Continue reading

News: Who Says Washington Doesn’t Have Political Theatre?

Not that Washington has ever been a hot bed for political theatre—Hair didn’t even come to the National until 1970, two years after its Broadway premiere in 1968—but in Fall 2012 there is a decided lack of almost anything political resembling a play. Sure, Molly Ivins and an utterly sanitized Janis Joplin entertain us at … Continue reading