Each week, our #StageDoorLive News Writer / Researcher Hillary Dziminski chronicles her interaction with the news of the week. Some of it that made it to the show, and other bits that didn’t… but they matter damn it. Watch the news that did make it in #StageDoorLive Episode Ten.
Hello hello hello and happy Thursday one and all! I hope you all enjoyed our tenth episode last night, complete with a little peek behind the digital curtain. Frankly, Kevin Michael Reed’s home setup is straight out of my worst tech nightmares and I wouldn’t trade places with him for all the Arts Council funding in the world; but we couldn’t do any of this without him, so please insert an extra round of applause here for our SDL King.
So there are quite a few headlines this week that I’m going to cover, and I’m delighted to say they are mostly positive and joyful and helpful and sometimes quirky, but this one caught my eye late last night and it’s just too good not to put it at the top of the list.
Barcelona’s Liceu opera house announced that next week it will be reopening with a concert for 2,292 plants. No, that’s not a typo. A string quartet will be playing Puccini’s Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums. Appropriate.) to an auditorium full of leafy greens.
“Can we broaden our empathy and bring it to bear on other species? Let’s start by using art and music and inviting nature into a great concert hall.”
To make this story even better than it already is, each plant will be donated to a health care worker as a thanks for their Trojan work over the last few months. Sometimes I wish I were a plant (like, a hydrangea probably), and now I wish it more than ever before. That said, we human creatures can still enjoy the concert via livestream — click the link above for more info.
Continuing the conversation around systemic racism that pervades social, political, and economic structures worldwide, here are four stories from American theatre practitioners offering their own thoughts, experiences, and solutions to a problem that exists in the theatre and arts world, not just in the U.S., but pretty much everywhere.
I’m from the U.S., so my news feeds are filled with stories, articles, and resources mostly originating in the States (like this one from the L.A. Times) and I’ll include some of them in my weekly Accomplice Appendix at the bottom of this post; but if you are reading from elsewhere and have come across resources and conversations happening in Ireland, the UK, or further afield, do feel free to share them in the comments.
Who doesn’t love an open call. This one comes from Arts & Disability Ireland curators, producers, arts managers and artists with disabilities to submit expressions of interest to curate an edition of Curated Space, ADI’s online platform for Irish and international artists with disabilities. The maximum budget is €2700 and focuses on showcasing existing work but there’s possibility of commissioning new work alongside existing work; do click the link above for full details of how to apply. The deadline is 4:00 PM July 16th.
For those of you who have been enjoying the National Theatre (UK) offerings during your lockdown, they have announced their final set of shows and they are… *chef’s kiss*. Les Blancs, Amadeus, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Gwendoline Christie as Titania to name a few…yes please!
Theater Resources Unlimited Announces June Panel via Zoom: Life on Hold, and What We Do in the Meantime
The event doesn’t specify the time zone, but Theater Resources Unlimited are based in New York — so if you are reading from somewhere in the Easter Standard Time zone or if you’re reading from Ireland and like to stay up late, this Zoom panel session will have some excellent guest speakers and will look at questions like “What are producers doing now?” and “How far out are they planning?”
In the case of this producer, I’m learning to paint, killing my succulents, and planning as far ahead as my mental health and energy will allow.
Another fantastic online opportunity, specifically for young folks interested in Shakespeare. Theatre camp (and really, summer camps of all varieties) are a staple of American summers for many kids and teenagers, myself included. SHXCamp promises “three weeks of multifaceted, dynamic, responsive theatrical exploration” which is the only sentence that could ever make me wish I were seventeen again. This is another Stateside offering, but from what I understand, it is open to participants from anywhere in the world, so pass this on to young Shakespeare lovers near, far, wherever you are.
The Positive Space project wants to fill Dublin city’s currently empty poster spaces with beautiful art and I am here for it. The project aims to reconnect people with the city and offer a chance to engage with art safely and in person rather than on a screen. They’re currently trying to raise €10,000, so check out their GoFundMe campaign if you’d like to see the city walls brought to life by some truly inspiring artists.
And just to wrap this blog post up with another deliciously delightful tidbit — The Flaming Lips have solved all of our problems with what seems like an obvious solution. Bubbles. Put the audience in bubbles. Put the performers in bubbles. It just makes sense. Watch the video, you will not regret it.
And for a little bonus tune, check out this performance of ‘Fast Car’ by Black Pumas. Gorgeous. See you next week, party people.
Medium-long but important read on the history of the Aunt Jemima brand
Aunt Jemima: It was Never About the Pancakes
We See You, White American Theatre
The Black Pounds Project
A project raising funds to invest and support Black businesses.