Learning by Stages

When actors are learning a role, the most important question they must answer for themselves is “What does my character want in this scene?” Another way they’ll ask that is “What is motivating my character at this moment?” If a character’s want and motivation are lacking, the actor has the misfortune […] Continue reading »

Behold, a New Play Opens

Tonight is a momentous event in the life of an obscure writer. After penning plays for 17 years and having readings and workshops of them, tonight marks the first time a Duane Kelly play is being fully staged. Wunderbar! The play, Das Ende (“The End” in German), involves the composer […] Continue reading »

Separating Art from the Artist

If the estimation of art depended on the personal behavior of those who create it, the world’s artistic heritage would be vastly reduced. We value art for its ability to stimulate us intellectually, move us emotionally, delight us aesthetically; not because its creator is a paragon of virtue. Indeed, many […] Continue reading »

Wagner as Monster and Redeemer

Richard Wagner reigned supreme over the arts in the 19th Century. That is not only history’s judgement, it was also Wagner’s. The maestro’s many problems did not include a diminutive ego. Wagner’s abilities rose to the level of genius in the way we think of for Shakespeare and Mozart. (One […] Continue reading »

Racism at Mid-Century

Producing a musical is a summer tradition at the Guthrie, a leading nonprofit theatre in Minneapolis. South Pacific, which just happens to be my favorite musical, was this summer’s offering and I had the pleasure of catching four performances last weekend. It wasn’t happenstance that I was in Minneapolis. My […] Continue reading »

Bart Sher Takes the Stage in New York

Once upon a time Bart Sher left Seattle for New York, where he became an A-list theatre and opera director. His Seattle roots went deep, having led Intiman Theatre as its Artistic Director from 2000 to 2010. New York producer Ken Davenport regularly interviews theatre people and releases those conversations […] Continue reading »