On Stage

KMUW commentator Sanda Moore Coleman looks behind the curtain to give listeners (and play goers) a bit of history and perspective.

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The William Inge Center for the Arts recently announced that playwright Carlyle Brown has been selected to receive the William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award at the 37th annual Inge Theatre Festival in May of 2018. 

It took a mere six weeks for the composer Gaetano Donizetti to compose the music for the comic opera L'elisir d'amore, and the work was an instant hit when it debuted in May of 1832 in Milan.

In the 401 years since his death, William Shakespeare has never gone out of style. Known as the Bard of Avon, he invented more than 1700 words and phrases, many of which are still in use today, and scholarship on his life and work continues unto the present. His poems and plays have been quoted more frequently in western culture than nearly any other literature in existence, with the only exception being the Bible.

biography.com

The Glass Menagerie was the breakthrough play for Tennessee Williams. It premiered in Chicago in 1944 and soon made its way to Broadway, where it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1945.

Broadway had its best season in years, thanks to the fantastic success of Lin-Manuel Miranda's hip-hop-history musical Hamilton. The use of contemporary musical structures, rhythms, and lyrics helped bring the 21st century to a medium that had been, for many, stuck firmly in the mid-20th century. The warm reception of the film La La Land also contributed to this resurgence of the musical, although in a more traditional form.

On Stage: Rent

Sep 11, 2017

Louis-Henri Murger's novel, “Scènes de la vie de Bohème,” was a loose collection of vignettes based on his own life as a poverty-stricken writer in Paris in the 1840s.

Gioachino Rossini wrote his first opera, Demetrio e Polibio, as a student. From the age of 18 until he retired at 37 at the height of his fame, Rossini created 37 operas, sometimes conducting them as well as supervising their productions. We know that he was born on Leap Day in 1792 in Pesaro, Italy, and we know that he died in what was at the time a suburb of Paris in 1868, but the details of his life beyond his work are cursory.

The theatre world lost a giant on July 27 with the passing of playwright Sam Shepard from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Mr. Shepard was 73.

Over the course of his career, which spanned more than half a century, Shepard found success as an actor, a playwright, an author, and a director. 

A recent announcement came from Harvard University that it is suspending its graduate-level theatre training program, the ART Institute, for three years in an effort to address ongoing problems. The U.S. Department of Education gave the program a “failing grade” in January because of the debt that its students typically face upon graduation. 

Theatre critics have often found themselves in the crosshairs over negative reviews. A great review can bring in larger audiences, and in the same way, a negative review can adversely affect the size of the house.

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