Scenic Designer Joseph Tilford Communicates Through Design

Kathy Eddy

For the well-reviewed production of Karen Zacarías' Native Gardens, Scenic Designer Joseph Tilford has to communicate a lot of information to the audience through his design as he explains his considerations and approach to this very scenic driven production. Native Gardens is a co-production and had its world premiere in January 2016 at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. It is currently concluding its run at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and will next play at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage from September 15 – October 22.
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Thomas Meehan
Thomas Meehan

In Memoriam: Thomas Meehan, Tony Award Winning Book Writer

Michael Eddy

The three-time Tony Award-winning book writer Thomas Meehan has died at the age of 88. After being ill the past five months, including undergoing surgery recently, he had passed away at his home in Manhattan earlier this week. Meehan has the rare distinction of having written the books for three Broadway shows that all ran for over 2,000 performances on Broadway and for which he won his Tony Awards, Annie; The Producers; and Hairspray.

In the videos below Meehan first speaks about the considerations of writing the scene that leads into a song. The second video looks at the spark of an idea that became Annie
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Southwest Shakespeare will rise from the ashes
Southwest Shakespeare will rise from the ashes

Southwest Shakespeare Needs Help to Rise from the Ashes

Michael Eddy

On Saturday, June 17, a fire destroyed Mesa, AZ-based Southwest Shakespeare Company's (SSC) production warehouse. Fortunately, no one was injured, but 23 years of stored materials and tools were lost in the fire. A GoFundMe page has been created to help raise funds to help rebuild. Alternatively, if any theater companies or theater artisans have extra props, costumes, or equipment that they don't need, consider reaching out to them to help. SSC opens their new season on September 8, with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).
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Stuart Thompson (Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown)
Stuart Thompson (Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown)

Broadway Dims Marquees for Producer Stuart Thompson

Michael Eddy

The Broadway community mourns the loss of Tony Award® winner Stuart Thompson, who died on August 17th at age 62. The marquees of Broadway theaters in New York were dimmed in his memory on Tuesday, August 22nd at exactly 6:45pm for one minute. Thompson, who produced the three longest running Broadway plays of the past 25 years, won the Tony Award for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2015), Skylight (2015), Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (2012), The Book of Mormon (2011), God of Carnage (2009), and Proof (2001). 
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The ENO production of Dream of Gerontius, lit by Lucy Carter. Photo by Richard Davies
The ENO production of Dream of Gerontius, lit by Lucy Carter. Photo by Richard Davies

Lucy Carter Lights the Dream of Gerontius for ENO

Michael Eddy

An ambitious production of Sir Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius—a collaboration between the English National Opera, Royal Festival Hall, and BBC Singers, was described by lighting designer Lucy Carter as “dramatic, soulful, beautiful, calm, and overwhelming.” Her aim was “to map the emotions of the music in order to give the audience a visceral sensation, with all lighting textures complementary to the music.”
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Actors Theatre of Louisville
Actors Theatre of Louisville

Actors Theatre of Louisville Discontinues its National Ten-Minute Play Contest

Michael Eddy

Effective this month, Actors Theatre of Louisville has discontinued its National Ten-Minute Play Contest and they are no longer accepting ten-minute play submissions.Begun in 1989, the National Ten-Minute Play Contest resulted in the production and publication of hundreds of new plays, and Actors Theatre’s pioneering support of the form paved the way for the ten-minute play to become a widespread phenomenon in the American theater.
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Costumier Annette Garceau at work
Costumier Annette Garceau at work

In Memoriam: Annette Garceau, Legendary Costumer

Michael Eddy

Costumer Annette Garceau passed away on August 6 at the age of 103. Garceau was the last surviving member of the team that founded the Guthrie Theater in 1963. Originally a dress maker from London, England, Garceau, along with Tanya Moiseiwitsch and Ray Diffen, were recruited by director Sir Tyrone Guthrie to be part of the design team of the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada, that he founded in 1953.

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Charlie & The Chocolate Factory on Broadway
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory on Broadway

Projection Designer Jeff Sugg Gets Support of WorldStage for his Chocolate Factory Design

Kathy Eddy

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre with a new take on the classic children’s tale for theater audiences of all ages. Projection Designer Jeff Sugg calls the show “a really successful marriage of scenery, automation technology, and video technology. Projection fills a very powerful role in serving the story – it’s not an added layer of window dressing.” WorldStage is providing extensive video support for the new musical with a custom-fabricated Unilumin LED wall, a wide variety of Panasonic projectors, d3 Technologies’ media servers, and a BlackTrax real time movement tracking system.
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Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson, Howard Da Silva as Benjamin Franklin, and William Daniels as John Adams reprise their Broadway roles in the film version of 1776.
Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson, Howard Da Silva as Benjamin Franklin, and William Daniels as John Adams reprise their Broadway roles in the film version of 1776.

1776 and Hamilton Share History and A Theater

Stage Directions

For July 4th we thought it a good time to revisit the legacy of 1776. Long before there was Hamilton there was 1776, with a book by Peter Stone, music & lyrics by Sherman Edwards and directed by Peter Hunt. 1776 opened March 16, 1969 at the 46th Street Theatre, now known as the Richard Rodgers Theatre, which in a wonderful moment of theatrical symmetry, is the current home of Hamilton. Both are examples of theater at its best, both entertaining and thought-provoking. Today perhaps it is important to note that both 1776 and Hamilton are not mere patriotic looks back but rather timely reminders to us that ours is a history of ideals that were hard fought for, debated, and crafted which resulted in a nation that holds debate and the exchange of ideas essential to its core existence. 
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Backstage Past: 1960s Stagehands Load-in at National Theater in D.C.

Michael Eddy

The National Theater in Washington D.C. recently announced it will be replacing its hemp line and sandbag fly system with a new counterweight system this summer. The National has used a hemp system since the theater opened  with a production of A Man of the World on December 7, 1835, though the system has been updated since 1835. It will be quite a change for crews who work the load-ins and outs. It got us in a nostalgic mood and we dug up this cool bit of theater history: A short film from the AFL-CIO "Americans at Work" series looking at the job of stagehands/electricians/props and flys during a load-in at the National Theater for the 1960 production of My Fair Lady, starring Diane Todd and Michael Evans.

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