Since it’s summer and lately it feels too hot to think, we thought we’d share with you one of our first posts about some of the amazing playwrights we have worked with in the last century!
Philip & Marilyn
We cannot tell you what a spectacular evening we had this past Wednesday seeing the play Adoption Roulette at The Lambs.
You may remember from our Monday post that we would be attending a reading of a new play—and it was just remarkable!
It was written and performed by Elizabeth Fuller and Joel Vig and is the true-life story of Elizabeth and her husband trying to adopt a child from Russia. They soon find themselves trapped in a story which has all the elements of a Hitchcock thriller set in Siberia.
And we must tell you, the entire audience was spell-bound and glued to their seats. So much so that when the performance was over, no one moved, and everyone had questions!
It was such a wonderful happening and we couldn’t be more thrilled that we hope to present it soon in other theatres.
Philip & Marilyn
We received an email yesterday from Samuel French, with whom The Theatre Guild has worked for many years. It was a reminder about Playwrights Welcome—a program with the Dramatist Guild and participating theatres to offer playwrights free tickets to shows.
Here’s how it works:
As we have written about the rising price of theatre tickets—especially on Broadway—we are so excited to learn about this opportunity for members of the Dramatist Guild to see shows for free!
And for those of you who plan to start their Thanksgiving Day travels early—please have a safe and wonderful holiday!
Philip and Marilyn
With the end of summer looming and a new school year and theatre season on the horizon, we thought we’d take a bit of a break and head down the coast to spend a bit of time with our daughter and granddaughters.
We started this Newsletter just over a few years ago and we have been very fortunate in our ever-increasing number of subscribers. But we also realize that many of you haven’t had time to go back and read all of our articles, and so we thought we’d share a few with you while we’re lounging away on the beach, watching our granddaughters play!
In this post, we revisit some of the great and phenomenal playwrights The Theatre Guild has worked with over the years…enjoy!
One of the fascinating aspects of The Theatre Guild is all of the wonderful playwrights we have worked with in our 95 years, such as:
George Bernard Shaw—possibly the greatest playwright of the century—had 14 plays produced by The Theatre Guild.
The Theatre Guild produced 9 of Eugene O’Neill’s plays.
Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine starred in 25 plays on Broadway for The Guild over a 30 year period from 1925 to 1956.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who wrote Oklahoma! at the suggestion of The Theatre Guild and collaborated with The Theatre Guild to create Carousel and Allegro.
Of course, we can never forget Dore Schary—who wrote Sunrise At Campobello, which we produced and then later adapted to our current running play FDR, starring Ed Asner, which will be performing in Laguna Beach, CA in November, and Chicago in April 2015.
These playwrights were so talented…
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We received an email today from the Shakespeare Society:
Summer Shakespeare at The Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, Connecticut
A special event with scenes from Shakespeare’s effervescent comedy
As You Like It
This Sunday, August 14 at 3 PM
As you may have realized from the frequency of posts, we love Shakespeare!
It is absolutely incredible that a playwright whose 400th birthday we are celebrating continues to have such an influence on the world of theatre. If you google “Shakespeare” you will get “about 124,000,000 in 1.02 seconds.” You can narrow this down to only 647,000 results in 71 seconds if you search for “Shakespeare Theatres.”
We have personally known many great playwrights, but no matter how inspiring, how empowering, how influential—no one even comes close to Shakespeare. It is not only the plays that are his, that are shown night after night in city after city, but the format of his plays. Not only can they been seen on the stage and big screen in modern day tales like West Side Story and The Lion King, but they can be seen on the small screen in popular tv shows like House of Cards and Sons of Anarchy.
Proof that his stories transcend time and are still relevant all these years later.
And if you’re now in the mood to see a bit of live Shakespeare, go see As You Like It or whatever Shakespeare is playing near you!
Philip & Marilyn
We wanted to share this great OpEd piece written in the NY Times by James Shapiro in response to the announcement from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival that it will commission 36 playwrights to rewrite all of Shakespeare’s plays into “modern English.”
Shakespeare in Modern English?
By JAMES SHAPIRO OCT. 7, 2015
THE Oregon Shakespeare Festival has decided that Shakespeare’s language is too difficult for today’s audiences to understand. It recently announced that over the next three years, it will commission 36 playwrights to translate all of Shakespeare’s plays into modern English.
Many in the theater community have known that this day was coming, though it doesn’t lessen the shock. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has been one of the stars in the Shakespeare firmament since it was founded in 1935. While the festival’s organizers insist that they also remain committed to staging Shakespeare’s works in his own words, they have set a disturbing precedent. Other venues, including the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the University of Utah and Orlando Shakespeare Theater, have already signed on to produce some of these translations.
However well intended, this experiment is likely to be a waste of money and talent, for it misdiagnoses the reason that Shakespeare’s plays can be hard for playgoers to follow. The problem is not the often knotty language; it’s that even the best directors and actors — British as well as American — too frequently offer up Shakespeare’s plays without themselves having a firm enough grasp of what his words mean.
Claims that Shakespeare’s language is unintelligible go back to his own day. His great rival, Ben Jonson, reportedly complained about “some bombast speeches of ‘Macbeth,’ which are not to be understood.” Jonson failed to see that Macbeth’s dense soliloquies were intentionally difficult; Shakespeare was capturing a feverish mind at work, tracing the turbulent arc of a character’s moral crisis. Even if audiences strain to understand exactly what Macbeth says, they grasp what Macbeth feels — but only if an actor knows what that character’s words mean…
You can read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/07/opinion/shakespeare-in-modern-english.htm
And we’d love to hear your thoughts about this hot topic in Shakespearean theatre!
The Theatre Guild is proud to offer a new play reader service to playwrights! We have been successfully producing plays and working with playwrights for 95 years. Let us offer you our expertise and skill in providing feedback and editing your masterpiece play!
For more information, check out our new [read: basic] website The Play Reader or email us at email@example.com