On Stage

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

Tune in on alternate Mondays or subscribe online at iTunes.  

The Fringe Festival began in Scotland as a reaction to commercial theatre; small outlying theatre groups that were not accepted for a festival decided to perform anyway, at the edges of the festival, thus earning the name “fringe.” While the concept has come to describe increasingly various types of performance art, two characteristics remain: affordability and originality. The Wichita Fringe Festival is a day-long event that features short original scripts written and performed by high school students from schools around the city.

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, is a well-loved Civil War-era novel that has been adapted for stage and screen again and again. 

I Love You Because is a musical in two acts, reportedly inspired by Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice, with music by Joshua Salzman and book and lyrics by Ryan Cunningham. The pair met while attending NYU as graduate students in musical theater writing, and began writing the songs for this show while they were still students.

Before the chasm between fact and delusion became a defining feature of our shared experience of life, illusion—otherwise known as the art of magic—was performed on stage and on the street for the amazement and enjoyment of audiences around the globe.

As we kick our way through the holiday season, you may find yourself looking for something a bit different from the rest—a palate cleanser, perhaps, something that will dilute the ultra sugar while yet remaining sweet. The Theatre League in Wichita just might have what you are looking for—Kinky Boots, the story of Charlie Price, a shoe factory owner, and Lola, the drag queen who helps save his business. Ultimately, these two people from completely different worlds find that they do have something in common, after all.

People who believe the arts are not fundamental to a good education are perhaps defining too narrowly the purpose of art, and the skills that come with practicing creative expression.

The holiday season has arrived, which means we are eating, we are drinking, and we are as merry as we can make ourselves. If you are already making promises to exercise more to fight off the cookies and eggnog, you might be pleased to hear that going to the theatre actually burns calories.

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.

Pages