And Another Thing: Theater Joke Countdown #5-3

The end is near: Here are three more installment in the seemingly neverending series. Enjoy. 5. Q: How many non-union stagehands does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A: Two. One to hold it and the other to hammer it in. 4. A theatrical agent is walking down Broadway late one night when he […]

Earnest rock & roll Jesus with a cowboy mouth wants more in the rock dept

  Cowboy Mouth, written by Sam Shepard with assistance from Patti Smith at the Chelsea Hotel in NYC in 1971, presents their love affair writ in metaphor in a one-act play that rocks, or in this case, should rock. Slim (Shepard character) is obsessively drawn to Cavale (Smith character), who hijacks his secret fantasy of […]

Let’s Put On A Show: ‘Re-Animator’ and DIY Theater

Last night, I witnessed a beheading, a few murders and a couple of accidental deaths.  Bloody entrails, too, including an unraveled intestine that squirted blood all over me. I never believed these gory acts were real (though I do hope the fake blood will come out of my clothes).  Still, I won’t soon forget seeing […]

We bring you the following disruption

They Came from the Metro. Stumbling like refugees from an apocalyptic zombie play off the Fringe, late-night riders on the Red Line had to grope their way through a tunnel to the next functioning train. An “equipment issue,” which disabled a train between Hollywood/Western and Hollywood/Vine, delayed travelers for upward of 20 minutes after midnight […]

Blood Brothers

LA’s got the big-time comedy thing going–Groundlings, ImprovOlympic, Second City, etc. Places like that can break big-time careers. More modest in scope is Cold Tofu, an improv troupe that features a cast of exclusively Asian Americans. My brother, Steve Brady, is the company’s sole Caucasian, a comedy writer and commercial actor who keeps up his […]

Paul F. Tompkins Takes to the Stage to Take to the Air

Join us as we return to the thrilling days of yesternight! Paul F. Tompkins is on the air! Or, as the articulate indie-age interlocutor puts it himself, “It is once more nighttime on the internet.” Paul F. Tompkins isn’t the sort of measured performer treasured by golden age radio producers. His material is manic: contemplative […]

A Chorus of Anticipation at TCG Registration

Reconnections. Diversity. Resources. These were the buzzwords at the Biltmore Hotel as the TCG convened its 50th anniversary confab Thursday. Attendees signed in from all corners of the country. Engine28’s Martin Brady strolled from lobby to lounges to ask: “What’s REALLY on your mind?”

Working Out Working-Class Drama

The Indiscreet Charm of the Proletariat, or Why I Don’t Buy the Blue Collar Blues Last night I went with my friend Stacy Highsmith, an actress transplanted here two years ago from New York, to the Ruskin Group Theatre at the diminutive Santa Monica Municipal Airport, which looks untouched from the Howard Hughes era. We’d […]

A Theater Marketer’s Rant

Alli Houseworth, marketing director for Washington’s Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, achieved an odd distinction at the TCG conference: She was able to redirect the conversation in two sessions by voicing her objections to panel discussions on Twitter. And even though one might think the mere fact that Twitter influenced the discussions is a sign that […]

Julie Taymor Says: Don’t Tweet On Me

“We are her family,” Theatre Communications Group’s Philip Himberg cautioned the audience of several hundred members. “Please respect that she’s with her family.” Saturday afternoon, director Julie Taymor headlined the national conference’s Closing Keynote in a highly-anticipated conversation with scholar Roger Copeland. There were no photos or video allowed, but Taymor used the event to […]

And Another Thing: Theater Joke Countdown #6

An actor is in bed with a woman when her Hollywood agent husband walks in. “What have you been doing?” screams the agent. “Well,” says the actor, “I just did a CSI and I’m doing a play in Sudio City. If you’re not busy this weekend, I can put aside a pair of tickets.” — […]

5 Things: Mistakes New Theater Companies Make

Thinking about launching your very own theater? Here’s some sound advice from Reginald Nelson, author of How to Start Your Own Theater Company and co-founder of Congo Square Theatre in Chicago.

Michael Jackson, Obama and Identity – podcast

During his visit to Engine28, Ralph Remington, National Endowment for the Arts‘s Director of Theater and Musical Theater, made this audio recording of his essay, “Michael, Obama and Post-Racial Deconstruction,” originally published in the Twin Cities Daily Planet. An Engine 28 exclusive! Engine28.com is partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The thoughts […]

NEA’s Ralph Remington on Race – podcast

Ralph Remington, the Director of Theater and Musical Theater at the National Endowment for the Arts, stopped by the Engine28 offices to check out the newsroom activity. We took a few minutes to exchange views on the state of African-American and Asian-American theater, among other topics. Here’s Remington on African-American History Month, President Obama, Stanley Kowalski, […]

5 Things about Ground to Cloud and 5 Things about Myth and Infrastructure

A hot ticket RADAR Festival Breakout session features  Ground to Cloud presented by Christine Marie & Ensemble and Myth and Infrastructure by Miwa Matreyek 5 Things about Ground to Cloud 1  It’s a light & shadow dance-drama. 2  It’s spiced up with a bit of menace. 3 It’s proof that a lot can be done with old tech. […]

And Another Thing: Theater joke countdown #7

How many theater directors does it take to change a light bulb? None. She gives a note to the stage manager to fix it. — Look for more theater jokes soon. That’s a threat. —Lou Harry=

Director piggybacks promotion with TCG video jacket

In the jam-packed week of Theaterpalooza, Unbound Productions’ co-artistic director Jonathan Josephson knew he would need a way to catch people’s attention for the short run of his company’s update of Mark Twain’s “A Ghost Story.” So he thought of the TCG conference theme – “Why not?” – and commissioned a fully-wired jacket with a […]

McLennan talks; Twitter responds

Arts and social media guru Douglas McLennan addressed the Theatre Communications Group conference in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 16 in a talk titled “The Community Formerly Known as the Audience: Who They Are, What They Are, What to do About It.” McLennan invited responses to the live-streamed conversation from Tweeters in the room and […]

The Projects and Proposals Poker Game

The Projects and Proposals session of the Radar L.A. conference Thursday morning was like watching a friendly game of cards, except some of the friends had jobs and dreams at stake. Eight large ornate round tables were set up in a Biltmore hotel ballroom, tournament style. Folks sat at each table, expectantly shuffling papers they’d […]

And Another Thing…: Theatre Joke Countdown #8

A couple is thrilled to be taking their seats for The Book of Mormon. Next to the man and woman, though, is an empty seat. “This is the hottest show in town,” the guy says just before curtain. “I can’t believe someone is wasting a ticket.” The show begins. It’s hilarious. But all the guy […]

Help me help you: a theater critic’s appeal

As much as Engine28.com is a theater journalism blitz, it’s also an experiment. As reporters, we want to figure out how to make our work more useful to those who read/watch/listen to/consume it. Even the toughest critics among us are in it for the love of the game (it certainly isn’t for the big bucks) […]

On RADAR: Actor Clayton Farris

Los Angeles guy Clayton Farris is an actor who’s appeared at REDCAT, but his talents are being put to other uses during RADAR L.A. He’s been bartending, coordinating meals and shepherding folks around the festival. Not a lot of spare time to see shows, either, but he’s determined to get to the Rude Mechs’ “The […]

Two-Gun Method

I’m a Method Gun glutton. I saw the Rude Mechs troupe when they came to New Haven four months ago. Last week I flew clear across the country and, amid oodles of other theatergoing delights, I sought the show out again. It’s an intoxicating piece, a sort of post-modern American Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead, […]

Manifesto Moments

Shawn Sides, Raelle Myrick Hodges, Guillermo Calderon and Richard Montoya delivered manifestos during Radar LA’s The Future of Theater panel moderated by Mark Valdez, national coordinator for Network of Ensemble Theaters. Here are some of their words envisioning the future of this art form: Shawn Sides, Co-Producing Artistic Director of Rude Mechs “My manifesto for […]

And Another Thing: The two Mark Russells

We’re hearing a lot this week about RADAR L.A. co-director Mark Russell…not to be confused with political humorist and PBS stalwart Mark Russell. Since such confusions are increasing likely in a Googled world, we at Engine28 supply the following as a helpful guide to differentiating the two: RADAR’s Mark Russell can often be found at […]

5 Things: Diane Rodriguez on why L.A. is a theater town

Diane Rodriguez, the co-curator of RADAR L.A. and associate producer and director of new play production at Center Theatre Group, had a minute to spare between bids for her attention shortly following her “Current Programs” address at LATC. During a quick encounter in the lobby — which teemed with RADAR festival-goers and stacks of boxed […]

And Another Thing…Theatre Joke Countdown #9

An architect, a surgeon, and a theater’s props manager are brought together for an experiment focused on the spatial-cognitive processes of intellectuals in various professions. Each specialist is taken into an isolation booths, completely from from external stimuli. Each booth contains a trio of baseball-sized metal balls. The booths are then sealed off. After two […]

5 Things: Great Lines from Teatro en Blanco’s Neva

There’s a lot of great language in Teatro en Blanco’s Neva, which plays this week at Radar LA (see Kerry Lengel’s rave here). Here are five of my favorite passages from Guillermo Calderón’s script, in my own, likely inaccurate translation.

Shut up and do the work

A panel of very smart and talented theater professionals asked — and very quickly answered — the question, “Is LA a theater town?” last night. The very idea of this panel apparently spurred an insistent murmur of discontent among the great unwashed of the LA theater world, sentiments that didn’t raise to the surface at […]

Theater in Unusual Nooks, Crannies and Ballrooms

Forget dessert. How about a gilded ballroom full of body-based performances inspired by machines? That’s not what I had in mind when I went to dinner at The Gorbals in the lobby of the Alexandria Hotel, but the signs reading “Anatomy Riot” enticed some Engine 28 folks and me enough to wander upstairs into a […]

And Another Thing …: Filling in the Beth Henley Blank

During the Culture Monster-hosted “Is L.A. a theater town?” conversation on June 14 (see live-blog here), playwright Beth Henley and producer Marc Platt talked about a recent play of Henley’s directed by a “Hollywood director.” Since they were clearly indicating that the situation was not a positive one, they refrained from naming names. We have […]

And Another Thing…: Theater Joke Countdown #10

Q: How many L.A. actors does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: One hundred and one. One to climb the ladder and screw in the bulb and the other hundred to say “That should be me up there.” Look for #9 soon. –Lou Harry

And Another Thing…: Is L.A. a Theater Town?

Perhaps the organizers of the “Is L.A. a Theater Town” panel discussion were being a bit presumptuous. No, I’m not talking about the big theaters/little theaters controversy reported here. I’m talking about the assumption that Los Angeles is the only town with the initials L.A. What about Los Alamos, New Mexico? Or….okay, what about Los […]

And Another Thing…: How Far Flung is LA Theater?

Yes, Los Angeles County has a far-flung theater community. But how far does it fling? Well, depending on your route, there are 30 miles of road separating Boston Court Theatre in Pasadena and Pacific Resident Theater in Venice. For our New York friends, that’s about the distance from JFK Airport to Newark Airport. (And for […]

Begging the Question

The LA Times’ Culture Monster session Tuesday evening about local theater – Is Los Angeles a Theater Town? – was fascinating to an outsider (Philadelphian) who knows the stage scene here enough to understand that the question seems to come from Mars. Why, though, did the panel first dismiss the question as one that begs […]