Sanda Moore Coleman

Theater Commentator

Sanda Moore Coleman received an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University in 1991. Since then, she has been the arts and community editor for The Martha's Vineyard Times, a teaching fellow at Harvard University, and an assistant editor at Image. In 2011, she received the Maureen Egan Writers Exchange prize for fiction from Poets & Writers magazine. She has spent more than 30 years performing, reviewing, and writing for theatre.

The work of American playwright Tennessee Williams is known for its poetry, the thick vein of autobiographical truth that runs through much of it, and its many adaptations to film, including A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Night of the Iguana. Despite the near brutal emotional vulnerability wielded in his most famous works, Williams himself tended to exaggerate and prevaricate when it came to interviews. His autobiography, Memoirs, is riddled with inaccuracies, half-truths, and downright lies.

Satire, slapstick, farce: No matter how it is dressed, comedy is a theatrical mainstay. 

Modern stand-up comedy is rooted in the comedy acts that appeared on vaudeville stages during the turn of the 20th century.

nbc.com

Since antiquity, we have negotiated the power structure with comedy—from Aristophanes up to the present day. Aristophanes, considered the Father of Comedy, mocked Athenian government and society without mercy.  

Often, when the subject of musical theatre comes up, someone will point out the unnatural audacity of people bursting into song in order to express how they feel about someone or something. Of course, as every musician will tell you, music is built expressly for just this task, even if it is created according to strict intellectual form and/or function. In the musical Once, the plot revolves around a songwriter and his work, so the songs we hear seem more organic to the unfolding of the story. 

There is no question that Mozart's place in the world of classical music is secure. The facts of his life as a child prodigy are well-known, but time and understanding have not lessened our fascination and admiration of the man and his work. His last opera, La Clemenza di Tito, was commissioned to celebrate the coronation of emperor Leopold II at Prague on September 6th. The opera is based on Titus, the Roman emperor who shows mercy to his attempted assassins by sparing their lives.

In 2017, Wichita State University celebrates the 44th year of their playwriting competition. Each year, hopeful playwrights around the country send in their original scripts for a chance to be produced onstage by the WSU School of Performing Arts program. The winning playwright is awarded travel and lodging, as well as a chance to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, along with submission of the script in playwriting categories.

Tchaikovsky was commissioned by the Director of the Imperial Theatre to compose the music for the ballet The Sleeping Beauty, with ballet master of the Imperial Ballet, Marius Petipa, as choreographer. This was Tchaikovsky's second ballet, following his first collaboration with Petipa, Swan Lake. It includes a prologue and three acts, and is the longest of Tchaikovsky's works, running nearly three hours without intermissions, and as such, it is frequently edited for time.

Wichita State University

The Importance of Ideas in Theatre originally aired on October 25, 2015.

I believe in the revitalization of straight theatre in Wichita, theatre that is not backed by a musical score. I believe, as well, that it is a mistake to underestimate the intelligence of the present, and potential, theatre-going audience. And I believe that the most exciting productions occur when the director has ideas—or at least a point of view.

The Santaland Diaries, an essay by David Sedaris, made its debut nearly 24 years ago on December 23, 1992. Sedaris read the essay on NPR's Morning Edition where it was so enjoyed by listeners that Sedaris later published the piece in two collections: Barrel Fever in 1994 and Holidays On Ice in 1997.

Pages