1. Casting has been finalized for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat, and no, I did not put in that ®. Joseph has gone to "boy wonder" Brian Bohr, who is only a senior at Northwestern University.
2. Don Hall asks whether theater can work for change, as he explains the process behind picking the winners for WBEZ's Off-Air Series event "The Art of the Political: Can the Stage Be More Than Entertainment?" The take-away? "Choosing plays is a HIGHLY subjective thing and you may have written a great play but if it doesn't get under the reader's skin, it has less to do with your talent and more to do with the expectation of your audience," writes Hall. "So, as hard as it may seem, it isn't so much a rejection of your work but a choice that that particular work just doesn't...." Hall actually found that there were more submissions from New York than Chicago. Head to Victory Gardens this Sunday night to see the panel discussion and see what won!
3. TimeLine Theatre has gotten a grant from the American Theatre Wing as one of the nation's 10 most promising emerging professional theatres. They'll get their award on October 24 in New York at a snazzy awards ceremony. Wondering why they got the money? "ATW's National Theatre Company Grants Program distributes grants for general operating support to recognize regional theatre companies for their achievements, which include articulating a distinctive mission, cultivating an audience, and nurturing a community of artists in ways that strengthen and demonstrate the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theatre."
4. Have you been to the Upstairs Gallery? The oddly located venue in Andersonville at asks if "You like art? You like performance?" before responding "SO DO WE." They beckon at you with their low-key vibe and young clientele. Seriously, their web presence includes a Tumblr and a Facebook page, natch. Expect to see mostly improv, at very cheap and free prices.
5. Did you know that once a play is on Broadway, it can go on to success in other parts of the county? The New York Times remarks on the bevy of recent Tony winners being performed all over the nation this fall season. Several that they mention are here in Chicago: They include Clybourne Park, Red, and In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), as well as ones we've sort of started here, like August: Osage County. "Where honors and acclaim can help a play is around the country, at American regional and touring theaters, where executives view Tony-winning plays as reliable seat-fillers," writes Patrick Healy. What goes around comes around....
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