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Essays About Culture

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Lights! Candelabras! Liberace! Essay

Nov. 22, 1963, lives in infamy as the day John F. Kennedy was shot. But it was also the day that one of America’s best-loved performers nearly poisoned himself to death with his own costumes. Liberace had been feeling ill all day. He was scheduled to play a concert that night in Hershey, Penn., and…

Street Scene Essay

When one character assassinated another’s musical taste in The Lisbon Traviata with the observation, “He’s into crossover albums. He just bought Teresa Stratas in Funny Girl,” I laughed so hard in the theatre, I had to be shushed. The idea of Ms. Stratas, a diva not known for a merry disposition, portraying Ziegfeld comedienne Fanny…

Take money from thy verse Essay

At the risk of turning my own creeping anecdotage into a shortcut to perceptible truth, I’m prepared to share a tale told me in Houston some months ago, a familiar tale, one might say, about a poet confronted by a mob. Seven young acting interns with Houston’s Alley Theatre were scheduled to perform a mini-version…



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Volgograd, Ohio Essay

On June 13, the New Experimental Theatre of Volgograd, Russia, opens a Russian-language version of A Streetcar Named Desire – at the Cleveland Play House. By then, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater will have just closed a revival of Our Town – at the Omsk State Drama Theatre in Siberia. At the joint behest of the…

A fire in the basement Essay

A jolt of energy, imagination, color and creativity hit the San Francisco and New York theatre communities this past season, and it came from an unexpected quarter: the Soviet Union. Not from the new Russia, jittery and vibrant with the ongoing process of perestroika; not from the twilight of old Russia, where Chekhov and Stanislavsky…

A vessel too fragile Essay

Among the more ambitious and exotic offerings this season at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival is the American premiere of Ophelia, a vivid and compelling variation on the Hamlet story, created by the Kyoto-based NOHO theatre group. NOHO may not exactly be the father of Japanese-American cross-cultural fusion, but it has been so prolific and…

American sentiment, British sensibility Essay

For a country that mounts a lot of American theatre, England doesn’t seem particularly to like it. Reviewing Tina Howe’s Painting Churhes, which expired on the West End after several weeks in February following the worst set of reviews in recent memory, Michael Billington in the Guardia wrote of a “crisis in American drama from…

Art & uprising Essay

The fires are out in Los Angeles, but cultural institutions may have been permanently scorched. It was late in the afternoon of Thursday, April 30, and much of Los Angles was, quite literally, in flames–burning in an uprising sparked by the acquittal of four white police officers in the savage beating of motorist Rodney King….

Bay sayers Essay

Up until the last week of April, the Marsh was located in the back room of an artsy little Mission District espresso joint called Cafe Beano. Patrons would walk in off Valencia Street, maybe get a cup of something or a health-foody hunk of pastry from the cafe counter, and head through a narrow door…

Julianne Boyd & Joan Micklin Silver: A smooth-as-silk partnership Essay

As collaborators, Julianne Boyd and Joan Micklin Silver are a hand-in-glove match. They share the same artistic and political values, they laugh at the same things, they even finish each other’s sentences. So what if they only work together every eight years? They’ll be the first to say they plan their projects in response to…

Lost horizon Essay

I must confess that I am not a proper estimator of theatre in America because I see too few productions. But I have my own experience as reference as well as reports I get from writer, actor and director friends. It seems clear, now in 1992, that we are the end of something. Without indulging…

NEA vetoes unleash protests, walkouts Essay

Escalating controversy leaves the Endowment in disarray Within just two weeks of assuming her position, the new acting chairman of the National Edowment for the Arts sparked a new round of controversy for the agency, creating a volatile atmosphere just as its annual congressional appropriations process was getting underway. Anne-Imelda Radice, who took over the…

Nelson, Newell honored Essay

Actor Ruth Nelson is the recipient of the 1992 Zeisler Award for distinguished service to the nonprofit professional theatre. The award, established in 1986 by Actors Theatre of Louisville producing director Jon Jory and named for TCG’s executive director Peter Zeisler, is given annually by Theatre Communications Group to a director, designer, actor or administrator…

No justice, no peace Essay

The fire is burning/ It lights up the sky/ From high on the rock/ Down into the sea/ It is taking the children/ It is eating the future/ Smother the fire/ Open your hearts. — The Song of Jacob Zulu The fire that rages through Tug Yourgrau’s powerful new play with music, unveiled this spring…

Paul Tazewell: you are what you wear Essay

From Halo Wines’s first entrance as psychoanalyst Melanie Klein in the recent production Mrs. Klein at Washington’s Arena Stage, her costume said worlds about the character’s background and personality. With its somber palette, careful detailing and fine fabric, the beautiful clothing established this woman’s place as a renowned professional living in 1930s London. Paul Tazewell…

Steve Tesich: the only kind of real rebel left, he figures, is a moral person Essay

How do political plays function in an apolitical society? What is the purpose of art in a bankrupt culture? Steve Tesich ruminates on these questions with the weariness of on whose work is inseparable from the social context of its time. Alternately wry and wary as he discusses his most recent play, On the Open…

The Ayckbourn sting Essay

Unofficially, and without ever planning it, the city of Seattle has become the site of an Alan Ayckbourn performance festival. Three theatres have independently slated Ayckbourn productions running into the fall, including Seattle Children’s Theatre’s Invisible Friends, and Intiman Theatre Company’s How the Other Half Loves. The major theatres have gotten into a slapjack game…

The redemption of W.B. Yeats Essay

When the clerk in a Dublin bookstore discovered I was interested in William Butler Yeast’s plays, she confessed that she didn’t think much of the man. “Americans,” she said, “are more fond of him than we are.” But when she learned that James W. Flannery’s festival at the Abbey offered all five Cuchulain plays on…

Vincent Zulo: guys and pin stripes Essay

Conventional wisdom says “clothes make the man,” but can they also make the show? Vincent Zulo is a tailor for the theatre who has left his imprint on hundreds of productions here and abroad, from Broadway extravaganzas to the Barnum and Bailey Circus to modest two-character plays. Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman and Alec Baldwin have…

How does the writer arouse the reader’s sympathy for Billy Essay

The story ‘A Kestrel for a Hawk ‘is based around a boy called Billy Casper. The book shows us all how life was in the olden times. Billy is a strong, independent character who is continuously being treated considered unjustly. Billy is sure of one thing – he will never work down in the mines….

The music is lulling Essay

The Eve of St. Agnes has been criticised as building tension but not really fulfilling its potential. How far do you agree with this view point? The Eve of St. Agnes is an epic, romantic ballad which tells the story of conflict between the families of two lovers; Madeline and Porphyro. The Eve of St….

The Main Messages Of The Play Essay

As the inspector begins his final speech he makes sure that no one is talking that they are all listening. After he makes them all listen he points out to each of them how they have helped to push the girl towards suicide. He admits that Gerald did at least give the girl some affection…

The films ‘Kes’ and ‘Billy Elliott’ are superficially similar Essay

The films ‘Kes’ and ‘Billy Elliott’ are superficially similar. One of the most striking similarities is that they are both set in mining towns when the coal industry was still running. However, what mining represents and means is very different in the two films. In ‘Kes’, it is something that Billy Casper is desperately trying…

The Titanic Essay Paper

The first 10 pages (until the inspector) arrives are important in terms of setting the scene & establishing the characters. An Inspector Calls was written in 1945/46; however the play was set in 1912. When the playwright wrote this play it was the end of the World War 2. He uses the play to give…

The Function and symbolism of the Inspector in “An Inspector Calls” Essay

In “An Inspector Calls” by J. B. Priestley the Inspector is used as a voice of conscience and morality. The Inspector does this while interrogating a very prosperous and upper-middle class family who believe themselves to be above all. The dramatic impact that Priestley uses shows the importance, validity and presence of the inspector. Priestley…

The Love Song of A J Prufrock Essay

These lines present an image of calmness or stillness. “Spread out” is used to give a feeling of openness. The word etherised gives a feeling of stillness, as a patient under anesthesia, which flow’s along with the feeling of calmness that was presented in the previous line. The simile can also be connected to the…

Presented in the play Essay

Mr Hale begins by examining the girls who are still in a trance for signs of the devil. The first girl he examines is Betty Parriss then he asks to see Ruth Putnam. Whilst seeing Ruth Putnam he asks the people in the room if there had been any unusual behaviour and Reverend Parriss tells…

Titanic’s silence Essay

Gerald: “And, what if he does know?” Mr Birling: “Then we’ll have to think quickly, won’t we?” There is silence for a couple of minutes. They are all waiting for a knock at the door. Mrs Birling: “When the Inspector arrives this time, I’m going to ask him for some proof of identity. I don’t want to be…

Princess Theatre Essay

They are a wealthy midlands family. He is a straight talking detective. One minute they are having a family celebration the next, their cosy world is torn apart. Who is the mysterious stranger and where will he strike next? An Inspector Calls has the audience guessing from the outset. Lilly Page plays Sheila Birling, a spoilt excitable young…

Unsinkable titanic Essay

In this essay I am going to explain about how a 1945 audience would have reacted to a play called the “an inspector calls” set in 1912. My initial point of view to why JB Priestly set his play in 1912 was due to everything that had occurred in the time span from 1912 and…

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