StageStruck: Homer’s Daughter
Apr15

StageStruck: Homer’s Daughter

Jeannine Haas confesses that she “got through 21 years of formal education without ever reading the Iliad,” and that when she was first preparing to perform the one-person play based on that epic, “I thought, ‘Oy, it is gonna be a pain to read.’ But honestly, it was a page-turner.” An Iliad is a loose, mercurial rendering of the Homeric tale of pride and power, conquest and compassion in the Trojan War. In it, an ageless Poet is...

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Madness, Mayhem, 24 Hours
Mar10

Madness, Mayhem, 24 Hours

“This is how I feel about the 24-Hour Theater Project: I think doing it is nuts.” That’s Elizabeth Foley, one of the organizers of Northampton’s annual festival of instant theater, which blooms and dies again this Saturday. The event, which she describes as “theatrical mayhem” and “controlled madness,” is a no-net high-wire act in which six plays are written, rehearsed and performed in one 24-hour period. Here’s how it works: On...

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The Arts: Saving their own lives
Feb25

The Arts: Saving their own lives

WEB TEXT FOR ARTS PAGE 1

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The Arts: Music, shadows and gongs
Feb04

The Arts: Music, shadows and gongs

WEB TEXT FOR ARTS PAGE 1

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Singapore, part 1: The Fringe

I was in Singapore last month when, by happy coincidence, the Singapore Fringe Festival, an annual showcase of alternative theater and visual arts, was underway. Over half of the festival’s 11 productions were homegrown, and I caught four of them. The performances (in English, the lingua franca in a country with four official languages) were fascinating, and attended by gratifyingly young audiences. They all showed imagination and...

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Between the Lines: The Vagina Dialogues
Jan28

Between the Lines: The Vagina Dialogues

The show must go on, as they say — until it’s gone on long enough. On Jan. 14, the student-run Project Theatre group at Mount Holyoke College canceled its annual production of Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues, opting instead to write and produce a new show of its own. The reason: Ensler’s 1996 play, made up of an annually updated collection of monologues about what it means to have a vagina, offers little voice to transgender...

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