In the university where I teach theatre, we had a student who would not follow safety protocols. She ignored safety signs and almost every rule that was mandated in the performance space.
With a lot of nagging, we managed to get her to pay better attention and follow most of the rules by the end of her first year, but then right at the beginning of her second year, she walked right through some caution tape and fell through an open trap in the deck.
We almost banned her from the theatre, but then we realized that she was just going through a stage.
The Players (or the Players Club) is a private social club. It was founded in 1888 in New York City by actor Edwin Booth. Booth was often regarded as the greatest actor of his time. It was created in response to a perception that the theatre suffered due to a lack of interaction with the wider world of culture, literature, and art.
Our methods of producing spectacle evolve across the decades. New technology is not necessarily more miraculous than the older methods. Every era has its own special stage magic. 17th century Europe enjoyed theaters equipped with wing-and-drop scenery combined with the pole-and-chariot system.
Český Krumlov is in the southern Czech Republic. There, The Castle Theatre sits behind the moat near one wing of the castle. A Baroque theatre space with fully functioning machinery survives there today.
When I left college, I was pretty confused. I had started out as a performance major in classical voice and I ended up with a B.A. in English. The musical theatre question “What do you do with a B.A. in English?” really applied to me. After trying out a bunch of different jobs, I found security in what most people my age are doing when they graduate: working multiple arts jobs as an independent contractor and utilizing many skills at once. I found that I was able to make money, continue performing, and feel fulfilled working with organizations that embrace youth enthusiasm and talent in the arts. However, when I found that I was unhappy with a work placement years later, I was a little stuck.
Sarah Siddons was born in Wales in 1755. She became one of the most prominent actresses of the 18th century, famous in particular for playing Lady Macbeth. She remains notable and memorable even today. The Sarah Siddons Society in Chicago presents theatre scholarships in her name annually.
Siddons made her first appearance in Dublin in 1784. An Irish newspaper, apparently, felt that the hype surrounding her over in London was out of control.
What follows is their writeup, as documented a century later in English As She Is Wrote, which was itself published well over a hundred years ago, in 1883.
Dear Madam, you have seen this play;
I never saw it till today.
You know the details of the plot,
But, let me tell you, I do not.
The author seeks to keep from me
The murderer’s identity,
And you are not a friend of his
If you keep shouting who it is.
The actors in their funny way
Have several funny things to say,
But they do not amuse me more
If you have said them just before;
The merit of the drama lies,
I understand, in some surprise;
But the surprise must now be small
Since you have just foretold it all.
The lady you have brought with you
Is, I infer, a half-wit too,
But I can understand the piece
Without assistance from your niece.
In short, foul woman, it would suit
Me just as well if you were mute;
In fact, to make my meaning plain,
I trust you will not speak again.
And – may I add one human touch? –
Don’t breathe upon my neck so much.
The Lyceum is the oldest, continuously operating Broadway theatre in New York City.
Along with the Lyceum Theatre (both built in 1903), the New Amsterdam is the oldest surviving Broadway venue.
The Lyric Theatre, (previously known as the Foxwoods Theatre, the Hilton Theatre, and the Ford Center for the Performing Arts) is the youngest. It opened on January 18, 1998.
The Gershwin Theatre has the largest seating capacity of any Broadway theatre, with 1,933 seats.
The Helen Hayes Theatre, originally known as the Little Theatre, is the smallest theatre on Broadway, with 597 seats.
The Vivian Beaumont Theatre is the only Broadway Venue not in the Theatre District. It is located in the Lincoln Center complex on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a good twelve blocks north of the rest.
The Broadway venue that has housed the most Tony-Award winners for Best Play and Best Musical is the Richard Rogers Theatre, with Ten awards.