The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation. — Stella Adler I was reading an article about the 2014 film “Selma”, a Black rights film. The director was saying that the release of his film could not have been more timely, with the latest round of civil unrest regarding violence against black people in America. The Black Lives Matter movement had by then caught the attention of American and world media. He did not claim to have designed the film to coincide with the tumult,Read More →

  So, this is Christmas…. and what have you done?  Never was there penned a more loaded line in a Christmas song. John Lennon and Yoko Ono knew the gravity of the line, having written it in 1971, at the height of a dreadful and intractable war in Vietnam, and after years of political activism to encourage peace. That opening line is an interrogation of our personal morals that stands true and straight today, enough to bring stinging tears to my eyes the very second I hear them. As Christmas songs go,  Baby It’s Cold Outside, it ain’t.Read More →

There is a drive toward “Excellence in the Arts”, and there probably should be. I do find the phrase slightly bothersome though.  It’s just that ‘excellence’ in creative expression is utterly relative and subjective.   You could go to the best opera with the best opera singers in the best opera house in your best opera frock or suit, expecting ‘Excellence with a capital E from Art with a capital A’, and yet walk away feeling empty and unmoved.  You could go to a community project with all kinds of ‘non-excellent’ theatre practice going on, yet be moved to tears and uplifted to heaven. SoRead More →

It’s Modern Family’s Jay Pritchett.  It’s Star Trek’s Doctor McCoy.  It’s Orange Is The New Black’s Galina “Red” Reznikov.  It’s a Hollywood (and small screen) staple, and some might conclude a complete cliche. Yet the ‘crusty but benign’ character, forever firing off conflicting messages of love and disdain, has something to tell us writers.Read More →