I GUESS IT REALLY DID HAPPEN’:TONY AWARD NOMINEES REACT and more...


I GUESS IT REALLY DID HAPPEN’:TONY AWARD NOMINEES REACT

(Erik Piepenburg’s and Michael Paulson’s article appeared in The New York Times, 5/3; via Pam Green.)

Lin-Manuel Miranda

The creator of “Hamilton” was nominated for best book of a musical, best original score and best leading actor in a musical.

Q. “Hamilton” set a record for the most nominations ever this morning. What do you make of that?

A. It’s unbelievable. It’s absolutely humbling and incredible.

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/03/theater/tony-awards-reactions.html?_r=0

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/. If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     


***** FRANK MCGUINNESS: ‘OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME’ (SV PICK, SCT)

 
 

(Mark Brown’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 5/31.)

This, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, is a timely moment for Headlong theatre company to present this exceptional revival of Frank McGuinness’s iconic 1985 play Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme. Just as theEaster Rising in Dublin in 1916 was a historic juncture in the shaping of Irish Republican politics, so the Battle of the Somme was  formative in the evolution of its rival tradition, Ulster Loyalism.

(Read more)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/observe-the-sons-of-ulster-marching-towards-the-somme-review-a-d/

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/. If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     


SIR IAN MCKELLEN, THE BARD’S AMBASSADOR

 

 
 

(Marisha Karwa’s article appeared on DNA 5/29; via Pam Green.)

Netting laurels in a career spanning over 300 films in 55 years hasn't stopped Sir Ian McKellen from learning on the job, discovers Marisha Karwa

Sir Ian McKellen is a bundle of energy. Having sat through 10 media interactions in a span of 120 minutes, the 77-year-old snatches a couple of minutes for a smoke break, as he scampers between rooms at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

He is a man on a mission. During his six-day visit to Mumbai this past week – his first to India – to promote the British Film Institute-curated Shakespeare on Film event, McKellen has a packed calendar: an hour-long Twitter chat, media interactions, a public tête-à-tête with Aamir Khan, a film screening, a film festival inauguration and soirées with the upper crust before he jets off to Shanghai, China where he will likely have an equally action-packed schedule.

(Read more)

http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report-the-bard-s-ambassador-2217565

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/. If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     


‘THE NEW YORKER’ THEATRE LISTINGS, 6/6 & 6/13 PLAYDECK

 
 
 
OPENINGS AND PREVIEWS

AN ACT OF GOD

Booth

Sean Hayes stars in a return engagement of David Javerbaum’s comedy, in which the Almighty comes down to earth to clear up a few misconceptions. Joe Mantello directs. In previews. Opens June 6.

GET TICKETS

ANT FEST 2016

Ars Nova

Offerings at the annual festival of new work include Cat Crowley and Nate Weida’s “Blue Plate Special,” a queer doo-wop musical; Anthony Natoli’s “Justin Timberlake vs. Ryan Gosling,” a comedy about the Mouseketeers turned A-listers; and Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin’s “Ambition: The Female American Serial Killer Musical.” Opens June 6.

GET TICKETS

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT . . .

Lucille Lortel

Halley Feiffer’s play, directed by Trip Cullman for MCC Theatre, follows the unlikely friendship between a young woman and a middle-aged man whose mothers are in the same cancer hospital. In previews. Opens June 7.

GET TICKETS

HERO'S WELCOME

59E59

At the “Brits Off Broadway” festival, Alan Ayckbourn directs his newest play, in which a war veteran returns to his home town; it runs in repertory with “Confusions,” his 1974 collection of linked one-acts. In previews. Opens June 9.

GET TICKETS

HIMSELF AND NORA

Minetta Lane Theatre

A new musical by Jonathan Brielle explores the romance between James Joyce and his wife and muse, Nora Barnacle. Directed by Michael Bush. In previews. Opens June 6.

GET TICKETS

I'LL SAY SHE IS

Connelly

Noah Diamond adapted this “lost” musical comedy, which marked the Broadway début of the Marx Brothers, in 1924, and finds the brothers trying to amuse a wealthy heiress. In previews. Opens June 2.

GET TICKETS

THE ICEMAN LAB

HERE

Continuing Target Margin’s two-season exploration of Eugene O’Neill, four different theatre artists interpret the four acts of “The Iceman Cometh” in repertory. Opens June 2.

GET TICKETS

INDIAN SUMMER

Playwrights Horizons

In Gregory S. Moss’s comedy, directed by Carolyn Cantor, a city kid spends the summer at a Rhode Island beach town, where he meets a feisty local girl. In previews. Opens June 8.

GET TICKETS

OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES

Cherry Lane

Estelle Parsons and Judith Ivey star in Israel Horovitz’s play, in which four woman arrive in Paris for the funeral of a hundred-year-old man who loved them all. Previews begin June 7.

GET TICKETS

THE PURPLE LIGHTS OF JOPPA ILLINOIS

Atlantic Stage 2

Adam Rapp (“Red Light Winter”) wrote and directs this drama, in which a guy who lives alone in Paducah, Kentucky, is visited by two teen-age girls. In previews. Opens June 7.

GET TICKETS

RADIANT VERMIN

59E59

In Philip Ridley’s satire of the housing market, presented by the “Brits Off Broadway” festival, a young couple have a chance at buying their dream house. Previews begin June 2. Opens June 7.

GET TICKETS

SHINING CITY

Irish Repertory

The Irish Rep returns to its renovated home with Conor McPherson’s drama, directed by Ciarán O’Reilly and starring Matthew Broderick as a widower who seeks counselling after he sees his wife’s ghost. In previews. Opens June 9.

GET TICKETS

SHUKSHIN'S STORIES

City Center

Moscow’s Theatre of Nations stages an evening of vignettes based on the stories of the Siberian-born writer and filmmaker Vasily Shukshin, as part of the Cherry Orchard Festival. In Russian, with English supertitles. June 8-11.

GET TICKETS

WAR

Claire Tow

In Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s play, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz for LCT3, two siblings are confronted in their mother’s hospital room with a secret about their grandfather’s past. In previews. Opens June 6.

GET TICKETS

(Read more)

http://www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/theatre

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/. If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     

ENTER ROBIN GOLDFIN—THE PLAYWRIGHT ON ‘SUDDENLY, A KNOCK AT THE DOOR’ NOW AT THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY (6/2-6/19)

  Kenneth Talberth (front), Antonio Minino, Jeffrey Swan Jones and Elanna White (1)

Robin Goldfin raps with SV’s Bob Shuman

Robin Goldfin is a playwright, performer and teacher. His most recent project is Suddenly, a Knock at the Door, a play based on stories by award-winning Israeli author and filmmaker Etgar Keret with original live music by Oren Neiman. Robin’s own 10-minute play The Acoustics, directed by Ken Talberth was part of Artistic New Directions’ Eclectic Evening of Shorts in March 2010. His solo play, The Ethics of Rav Hymie Goldfarb, directed by David Carson premiered in The Midtown International Theatre Festival in summer 2005. (“Splendidly crafted” wrote nytheatre.com.) Robin’s other writing has been published in Tikkun Magazine, Zeek, and The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide; and in the anthologies Queer Stories for Boys: True Stories from the Gay Men’s Storytelling Workshop and One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century. As a performer, Robin danced for five years with Laurie DeVito’s She-Bops and Scats, a concert jazz dance company and taught Simonson Jazz Dance Technique in New York and abroad. Robin has held artist’s residencies at Makor, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and The Mishkan Omanim (Artists Residence) in Herzylia, Israel. A member of PEN American Center and The Dramatists Guild, he holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dramatic Writing from New York University and is Clinical Professor of Writing in NYU’s Liberal Studies Program.

 

Robin Goldfin (3)

What led you to write Suddenly, a Knock at the Door—and why and how did you decide that an American writer would and could be right to adapt Israeli short stories?

I love the Hebrew language.  I began to learn it when I was about 9 and became fluent maybe 40 years later.  I love Etgar’s stories in Hebrew because to me they read like children’s stories for adults—they have a deceptive simplicity and great depth underneath.  That’s the same way I read the stories in Genesis.  I wrote Suddenly, a Knock because I wanted to learn about storytelling.  I am by nature more of a poet, and plays (like stories) need a plot.  So I took one of the best storytellers I know and decided to learn from him.

Describe the process of how you gained approval to dramatize the material—and for those who don’t know him, who is Etgar Keret?

Etgar Keret is one of Israel’s most popular writers; he has published six collections of stories (and most recently a memoir) which have been translated into more than 30 languages.  He is also a filmmaker.  The process of gaining the rights:  first I adapted just the title story “Suddenly, a Knock at the Door” and Etgar liked it and gave us permission to put it in a short play festival.  Then I learned there would be interest in a full evening of his stories, so Oren Neiman (our composer) and I went back to Etgar’s book and chose 8 stories total.  At that point, we didn’t yet know what we were going to do with them, but we figured 8 would be about the right number for a full-length play (his stories are sometimes just a few pages).  The process of gaining the rights was pretty standard.  The Dramatists Guild helped.  Then I hired an attorney and we drew up a contract.

What is Suddenly, a Knock at the Door about?

Suddenly, a Knock is about the power of storytelling, not only for those listening but for those telling.  It’s about how a story helps to reveal something about the storyteller.  I’ve also borrowed from Scheherazade and The Arabian Nights.  Etgar’s first story in the collection, “Suddenly, a Knock on the Door,” is a Scheherazade tale: a writer forced to tell stories under threat of violence or death.  In The Arabian Nights, Scheherazade’s storytelling has the power to disarm violence and abusive power.  I started with that and listened for the possibilities of how to develop it. 

Why do you continue to write?

My writing is a habit, a practice.  I do it.  A carpenter’s job is to make sawdust; mine is to make words.  Sometimes they surprise me and add up to something—but more often I just make a lot of words.  I find writing difficult, and that may be why I am so committed to teaching it.  I know how hard it can be.  So I find ways—for both the students and myself—to make it more doable, even pleasurable.

I’ve known Robin Goldfin since 1983—who is he really, especially for those who don’t know you?

I am a writer with a dancing problem!  I came to New York for graduate school in playwriting, but really I wanted to dance.  So I organized all of my college classes around my dance classes.  I got my MFA in Dramatic Writing—it has helped me get a teaching job and for that I am grateful.  But I think I learned the most in the dance studios, from my dance teachers who had vision and passion and really cared about their students.  And that’s how I try to teach writing.

What’s the best advice you can give a writer?

I don’t know that I have any advice—my own path has been circuitous and strange.  In Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke tells young Mr. Kappus (who is writing to him) that all art comes out of necessity.  Do it if you must; and if not, do something else.  Rilke was stringent in that regard.  I have many students who are not interested in being writers, but they learn to find pleasure and meaning and satisfaction in what they write.  They learn to take responsibility for it, and use it to learn about themselves and the world around them.  I’ve written this play to learn something—and I am still learning it.

What’s the best way to get produced—and how did this production unfold?

This production unfolded because we could not interest any theater in producing us outright.  Theater For the New City offered us a co-production and we said YES, THANK YOU!  I have had to learn to do many things I never did before: negotiate contracts, organize budgets, start a LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) to co-produce.  Besides learning about storytelling, I’ve been learning about the business side of the art.  And that has been useful.

When were or are you happiest in the theatre?

I was happiest when I was dancing and teaching dance.  But the body ages and changes and I needed to do things differently.  I still dance, but in gentler ways (and most often when there is no one else around).  Now, I am thrilled to sit in rehearsals and watch Suddenly, a Knock at the Door come to life.  It gets better with each rehearsal.  I am fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated creative team—director David Carson and Oren Neiman—and this wonderful company of performers.  On June 2nd—for the first time, after almost five years of work—we’ll hear and see the play in front of an audience.  That’s a bit of a big deal.  I’ve never done anything like this before.  But I knew we could do it, so we did.

Thank you, Robin!

Visit Theater for the New City for tickets: http://www.theaterforthenewcity.net/

 © 2016 by Robin Goldfin (answers) and Bob Shuman (questions). All rights reserved. 

Photo (top): Kenneth Talberth (front), Antonio Minino, Jeffey Swan Jones, and Elana White. Photographer:  Peter Welch.

Photo (bottom): Robin Goldfin.

Press: Paul Siebold/Off Off PR.


Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/. If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     

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