Anthony Chase surveys the history (click here) of the great divide and, along with just about every other authority (AP style, for one), comes down firmly for the American form, “theater.” You don’t spell it “programme,” do you? Or “shoppe”? (NOTE: The ATCA site’s style is “theater” unless it’s a proper name that spells it, for whatever reason, “theatre” — like our own name. ATCA’s founder, Henry Hewes, used “re” in our name because he thought that was preferred by theater people, and critics are theater people themselves.)
Inductee Sir Trevor Nunn walked around, star struck, looking up at the walls encrusted with names in raised gold letters. Sam Waterston accepted induction by saying, “For me, from the start, the theater [as opposed to TV] has always been ‘it.’ … This honor is, as I take it, for sticking to it.” Kristine Nielsen, veteran of many Christopher Durang plays, inducted the absent playwright (laid low by an accident just suffered performing at Yale) with a catalog of all the bitchy, depressive, psychotic and wildly funny characters he’s given her to play. And in posthumously inducting Martin Pakledinaz, fellow costume designer Susan Hilferty remembered him “at the flea markets, on his bicycle racing through New York.”
For the fullest available account of the evening, click here.
Two years of the Henry Hewes Design Awards, unique in taking into consideration all productions in New York’s five boroughs, whether on Broadway, Off or Off-Off, were presented on Monday, Jan. 28, at a luncheon in the midtown theater district. Honored for 2011 were John Lee Beatty, Jeff Croiter, William Ivey Long, David Rockwell, John Batwin and Robin Doe; for 2012, David Korins, Brian MacDevitt, Gregg Barnes and Daniel Kluger. The event was emceed by HHDA committee chair Jeffrey Eric Jenkins; attending were Hewes’ widow, Jane, and two of their sons, Tucker and Havelock.
The class of 2012, to be inducted tomorrow (Monday) at the Gershwin Theater, is Andre Bishop, Betty Buckley, Christopher Durang, Michael Kahn, Trevor Nunn, Paula Vogel, Sam Waterston and the late Martin Pakledinaz. The Theater Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit organization founded in New York in 1971. ATCA members are just the bulk of the electorate. (More details here.) We’ll post a full report later this week.
HAVE WE GOT A DEAL FOR YOU!!
ATCA will gather in March for the first time in Indianapolis, and for good reason. Look what we have to offer. The $99 weekend features:
* Concert & chat with Michael Feinstein and Barbara Cook
* Tour of Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Archives
* Mainstage Equity productions of Indiana Repertory Theatre’s “The Whipping Man,” The Phoenix Theatre’s “The Lyons,” and Beef & Boards’ “9-to-5.” Plus a sample performance of Dance Kaleidoscope’s “Piaf”
* Midwest Fringe Festivals panel and performances
* Reading of “Happy Birthday Wanda June” at Vonnegut Library
* Panels at Indiana History Center’s Cole Porter room, dinner show by Actors Theatre of Indiana and drinks and songs around Hoagy Carmichael’s piano at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club
* Plus much more
All this for just $99 for members. $135 for guests. Conference fee includes events, lunches, Saturday dinner, receptions, and panels. Special $150 fee for non-members who join, includes one year of dues.
Click below for much more, including signup procedure and detailed schedule. Or go directly to register here on our events page.
With just a month to go in 2012, the odds are you’ve already seen what you might propose for the playwriting awards ATCA adjudicates. (If you need a refresher, click to read about the $40,000 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award or $1,000 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award for an emerging playwright.) Submissions go to new play award chair Bill Hirschman at email@example.com or 954-478-1123. For the criteria, limitations and process involved …
After 20 years, John Lahr is stepping down as chief theater critic for the New Yorker, where he won the George Jean Nathan Award in 1994 (he had previously won it in 1969 for reviews in the Evergreen Review and Village Voice). Living mainly in London, he had been reviewing only about half the time; his colleague, Hilton Als (who himself won the Nathan Award for New Yorker reviews in 2003), will now have the job to himself. More.
Conference organizer Lou Harry bids us welcome to Indianapolis, “the home of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and the place that gave the world Kurt Vonnegut and David Letterman. Conference offerings will include the Midwest premiere of Nicky Silver’s “The Lyons” at the Phoenix Theatre, a performance of Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, a trip to the new $118 million Center for the Performing Arts for a concert by Barbara Cook and Michael Feinstein and a visit to Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Archives, plus lots more… .
Oct. 27 – Friends in the Pittsburgh theater community gathered Saturday to celebrate playwright Tammy Ryan for winning the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize and witness her receipt of the $10,000 check from Foundation ATCA, funded by the Primus Foundation. (Although the prize is announced at the ATCA conference in June or or July, the check isn’t available until fall.) While the prize recognizes “an emerging female theater artist,” the cake everyone shared expressed the community’s feeling that Ryan long ago emerged as a force in Pittsburgh theater. (For more on the 2012 Primus Prize, click here.)
Chicago, Oct. 11 — And that’s the news: ATCA welcomes the executive committee of the IATC, meeting now in the Windy City at the same time (but separate from) ATCA’s own executive committee. IATC elected representatives attending are Mark Brown (UK), Jean-Pierre Han (France), Jeffrey Eric Jenkins (USA), Yun-Cheol Kim (Korea), Ivan Mendenica (Serbia), Don Rubin (English Canada), Margareta Sorenson (Sweden), Akiko Tachiki (Japan), Michel Vais (French Canada) and Xian Zhang (China).
The Philadelphia Inquirer, the leading paper in the country’s fifth largest city, which has helped nurture a vibrant theater scene (some 50 professional companies) and maintained a long heritage of regular Broadway coverage, has decided to do without a full-time theater writer/critic. On Oct. 1, its critic of 10 years, Howie Shapiro, was reassigned to the paper’s South Jersey bureau. Whatever he was going to cover there is now moot, because after 42 years with the paper as an arts and travel editor and theater critic, Shapiro has just decided to take a buyout.
(For comments Shapiro sent to a critic colleague, click below and scroll to the end of this story.)
More than Shapiro are involved in what the Inquirer represents as reallocation of resources but many see as major cost- and coverage-cutting.
Andre Bishop, Betty Buckley, Christopher Durang, Michael Kahn, Trevor Nunn, Paula Vogel, Sam Waterston and the late Martin Pakledinaz form the 2012 class of the Theater Hall of Fame, announced yesterday by Hall producer, Terry Hodge Taylor. That’s a pair each of actors, directors and playwrights plus a producer and costume designer, chosen from a slate of 51 nominees by an electorate made up of the ATCA members and previously elected members of the Hall of Fame.
The 42nd annual induction ceremony will be held Jan. 28, 2013, at 7:30 PM in the North Rotunda of the Gershwin Theatre, where the names of Hall of Fame members are inscribed on the walls in raised gold letters. (For the fullest list of members, go to the Hall’s website, www.theaterhalloffame.org.)
The balloting has gone slowly, and with a small electorate, every vote counts. The deadline for the ballots to arrive in New York has been extended to Monday, Sept. 17, 5 pm. If you mislaid your ballot, email Chris Rawson. This is one of the perks of membership. Vote now!