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Essays About Culture

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Sam Shepard Essay

Two recent monographs in “important authors” series from Twayne and Continuum are scholastically useful surveys of Sam Shepard’s career – the sort of books you like to have handy on the shelf for brushing up on half-forgotten plots, tracking down errant quotations or noshing on a biographical snack. These books are headed for college libraries,…

Shoestring virtuosos Essay

Dex Edwards’s designs are often hailed for their “magic.” This, it turns out, is not completely coincidental. “I started working professionally as an actor when I was in the third grade,” he confesses, “and that was because what I really wanted to do was be a magician.” Edwards’s career has been a continuum of becoming…

The End of Acting: A Radical View Essay

Despite its firebreathing, apocalyptic title, The End of Acting: A Radical View is eminently orthodox. Author Richard Hornby is no crackpot extremist peddling a newfangled method, but a traditional Stanislavskian calling for a careful re-reading of the Master, to be achieved by disentangling him from his chief American (mis)interpreter, Lee Strasberg. Though Hornby pays only…



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The not so empty stage Essay

In the beginning, we’re told, was the Word. In American regional theatre, the word was that of Sophocles and Schiller, Shaw and Shepard, above all Shakespeare. And, at the beginning, it was scripture. When the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the model and seminal force behind what would become the American regional theatre movement, launched its…

The wild west meets the wild east Essay

Built on scenic, typhoon-lashed hills at the tip of a peninsula jutting into the Sea of Japan, Vladivostok was never a typical Soviet city. Home port of the Red Navy’s Pacific Fleet, it was closed even to Soviets from other regions until its official opening Jan. 1, 1992; yet because of the thousands of wandering…

A Place with the Pigs Essay

Further expanding its extensive collection of Athol Fugard’s works, Theatre Communications Group has just published a new volume composed of Fugard’s latest South African drama, Playland, and an earlier, highly personal work, A Place with the Pigs.Playland charts the unlikely relationship between a white South African army veteran and a black amusement-park night watchman. The…

Bockerer Essay

When the repertoire of the Czechoslovakian National Theatre was controlled by the ruling Communist government, Bockerer was an approved play. The party permitted this obscure 1948 piece by Ulrich Becher and Peter Preses because of its anti-Nazi and pro-worker stance, and because the one communist activist in the World War II comedy-drama was presented with…

Indian culture Essay

There are many goals the author attempts to achieve but the most probable one is to alert the reader, as Amrita Pritam believes, of the backwardness of the rural society in India from a feminist perspective. She does this using a special approach in which she does not adopt the critical method nor does she…

Road to recovery or road to nowhere Essay

Players Theatre Columbus has ceased all operations,” says the woman’s voice on the answering machine, sounding the death knell of the professional Ohio company, first founded as a community theatre in 1923. Fifty full- and part-time staff members and 4,200 subscribers were left out in the cold when the theatre’s board of trustees, citing a…

Unamimous okay for Alexander Essay

Explaining that she wishes to give something back in return for the rich life she has experienced in the arts, actress Jane Alexander made her congressional debut before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee on Sept. 22 and was swiftly and unanimously confirmed as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Although unanimity…

What’s the matter with tax exemption? Essay

Not-for-profit institutions are making out like bandits, the Philadelphia Inquirer told readers in a blistering series of news articles and editorials last spring. Although it did not single out arts organizations, the newspaper questioned the charitable merits of nonprofits ranging from hospitals, universities, foundations and museums to country clubs, trade groups and professional surfers. Added…

Zakes Mda: redressing the past Essay

South African playwright Zakes Mda has the outward calm and practiced smile of one who has answered the same obvious questions many times before. In a cool, dark office on the Yale University campus, he sits rather uncomfortably across the table from me, his speech reserved, his hands extended palms downward on the tabletop in…

‘The Persians’: things we never saw or heard Essay

This deadly silence with its taste of acid fills our mouths…,” declares the Chorus in Robert Auletta’s update of Aeschylus’ The Persians. The stage is set in the Persian court as the Chorus (Ben Halley Jr.) awaits news of his army’s invasion of Athens: The muezzin’s song has been heard, and the Chorus, in the…

The play starts Essay

The play starts in “The Dinning Room of a fairly large suburban house, belonging to a prosperous manufacturer. ” This shows how the Birlings live in luxury. The family is well off and appear to have a nice life since they live in a large suburban house. Mr Birling is very much stereotypical businessman and…

Write a magazine article for a film magazine commenting on how Baz Luhrmann makes Shakespeare appealing to a young, modern audience Essay

Write a magazine article for a film magazine commenting on how Baz Luhrmann makes Shakespeare appealing to a young, modern audience. Make specific reference to the opening sequence. This brilliant remake is simply Shakespeare’s classic with a bit of a face lift. Baz Luhrmann’s flamboyant direction pumps new life into his 20th century adaptation of…

Who Is Inspector Goole? Essay

The first thing I notice about Inspector Goole is his name and the fact it sounds just the same as ‘Ghoul’. This suggests at the beginning of the play that he is going to be a mysterious character. The first extremely mysterious action he takes in the play, is the fact that he claims to…

How would you direct act 3 scenes 1 of Romeo and Juliet for a contemporary audience at the globe theatre? Essay

We have been working on Romeo and Juliet for some time now. We were asked to write an essay on act 3 scene 1 At the start of the play I would have a narrator to tell the audience what happens. He would explain the background of the feud between the Montague’s and the caplets….

In 1968, a man called Franco Zefferelli produced a film of the Shakespeare classic Essay

In 1968, a man called Franco Zefferelli produced a film of the Shakespeare classic; Romeo and Juliet. However in 1997 a newer version of the film was made by a man called Baz Lurham, and by comparing the two, you will immediately be able to notice how much the two versions differ. This is down…

Abe’s global vision Essay

The play’s an absolute roller-coaster ride–like riding squalls coming across the sea. If we get it right, it should make the audience’s hair stand on end.” That’s actor Sam Waterston’s judgment about Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Robert Sherwood’s Pulitzer-winning play of 1938. Waterston plays the eponymous role at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater through Jan….

Barbara Damashek: a moving target Essay

When Quilters hit the regional theatre circuit a decade ago, it sent Barbara Damashek on what she describes as a “creative roller-coaster ride.” “It was one of those life-changing moments when you take a major creative leap,” she says now, sitting in her small sunny cottage in the Berkeley hills, with a tomcat and a…

Charles Busch: some kind of diva Essay

Innocence” isn’t something you’d expect to be thinking about if you were to find yourself sitting amidst the opulent fin-desiecle passementerie that fills the sitting room of New York’s best-loved theatrical drag performer, chatting about his recent experience playing the female lead in The Maids, Jean Genet’s transvestite drama of madness, envy and murder. Yet…

The Treasure In The Forest written Essay

I am going to study the setting and atmosphere of three short stories written in the Victorian era, I will attempt to understand how the Victorian society was based on these texts. Sikes and Nancy written by CHARLES DICKENS in 1869, The Black Cottage written by WILKIE COLLINS in 1859 and The Treasure In The…

Dodson’s dilemma Essay

Owen Dodson never got his big break. An exceptionally talented writer and director, Dodson hobnobbed with the movers and shakers of the black intelligentsia from W.E.B. du Bois to James Baldwin and inspired younger generations of black poets and artists. Yet Dodson, a professor of drama at Howard University for 25 years, never became a…

Let me infotain you Essay

“If you haven’t been back to Broadway for a while, this is the show to see!” Sound like the words of a critic who’s dying to see his or her name in the print ads? Not quite–it’s the sign-off of a TV special put together by WNYW, the Fox affiliate in New York. The line…

Occupational Hazard Essay

If the play’s the thing, what’s the play script good for? Aside from replenishing the arid reservoir of audition monologues and testifying to a play’s critical or box-office success, if we’re lucky, the printed text is as good as literature. It can be ruminated on like a volume of poetry. And when gathered and bound…

Tangible ghosts Essay

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON: “An open drain,” “unutterably offensive,” “repulsive and degrading,” “garbage and offal” these were typical of the critics’ comments on Ibsen’s Ghosts when it opened in London in 1891. William Archer, one of the playwright’s most fervent admirers (and his translator) collated the horrendous reviews and called them a “shriek of execration.” In these more…

The ‘how’ of funny Essay

It’s Wednesday night at Chicago’s most venerable coffeehouse, the No Exit. An improv group called Bang Bang has been playing here late on Wednesdays. They’re supposed to be hot. They’re supposed to be good. They’re supposed to have an interesting approach. The Chicago Tribune ran a friendly piece about them in the Sunday arts section….

The gospel according to Black Elk Essay

“My friend, I am going to tell you the story of my life, as you wish; and if it were only the story of my life I think I would not tell it; for what is one man that he should make much of his winters, even when they bend him like a heavy snow?…

To have or have not Essay

During the recent glorious days of Indian Summer, President and Mrs. Clinton hosted two days of celebration honoring 18 recipients of the National Medal of Arts and the Charles Frankel Prize in the Humanities. The ceremony on the White House lawn, the evening reception which followed, and the lunch the next day at which Jane…

Welcome to El Paso Essay

Simply put, it’s an American Dream story: The Santos brothers, sons of Mexican immigrants, grow up to become attorneys, establish a successful law firm and wield power in their hometown of El Paso, Tex. They also run a drug ring, indulge a penchant for high-stakes gambling and commit murder in the most horrific ways imaginable…

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