Sunday, August 30, 2020

Theatre Reform: We Shouldn’t Work So Many Hours

 The International Garden Photographer of the Year has announced the winners of their macro competition, featuring some of the best close-up photography of the botanical world. My nature-loving daughter and I picked out a few of our favorite entries above. Photos by (top to bottom) Anne MacIntyre, Minghui Yuan, Bruno Militelli, and Ecaterina Leonte. 

A Historical Disinclination To Theatre

One of the key facets of Jonas Barish’s argument is that, throughout history and across cultures, theatrical activity has almost always been met by vociferous opposition. From ancient Greece, when Plato wrote that acting and the theatre would be excluded from his ideal state, to the Soviet era in Russia, when strict governmental regulation dictated what type of work theatre artists were permitted to create, theatre has been subject to both philosophical criticism and material censorship. – Howlround

FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN: The most memorable RNC speakers are not the stars.

TAKE THIS AWARD AND SHOVE IT, I AIN’T WRITING HERE NO MORE:  J.K. Rowling returns Kennedy family award over ‘transphobic’ tweet controversy.

Theatre Reform: We Shouldn’t Work So Many Hours

“It’s this process that we have spent decades, centuries developing in theatre of how much time it takes to make the thing. In my experience, the process will expand to fill as much time as you give it. So we’ve put ourselves in a place where we say, it’s going to take this many weeks to rehearse and this many hours to tech, and we take that as gospel now.” – American Theatre

 “Most of the time, most people do not know (precisely) what they are talking about.

Is Resilience Overrated?

Here in New Orleans, for example, where I am a relative newcomer, my friends who are longtime residents and who survived Hurricane Katrina greet the word “resilience” with a fiery disdain. This is a city where people have been called resilient for years, and so many I talk to just seem exhausted by it. – The New York Times

A Brief History Of Boredom

Those who bore easily are more likely to be depressed and anxious, have a tendency to be aggressive, and perceive life as less meaningful. Yet, psychology uncovered also a much brighter side of boredom. Researchers found that boredom encourages a search for meaning in life, propels exploration, and inspires novelty seeking. – The Conversation

British Authors Raised £1 Million To Help Fellow Writers Through The Pandemic. That Money’s Almost Gone.

“Almost £1m has been given out to nearly 700 authors since the end of March, to help those facing financial crisis through the coronavirus pandemic. But the Society of Authors has warned that funds are now running low, and that losses for writers are set to continue into next year.” – The Guardian


How Theatres In Belarus Got Politically Active

Belarusian theatres, almost all of them state-owned since Soviet times, have officially remained outside of politics for 26 years. Everyone in management positions was appointed by the Ministry of Culture, and any political activity by employees was punished severely. But this August, it seems, even the Belarusian state theatres awoke from their slumber. – American Theatre

A screenwriter's manual written in 1919 lists the 37 different types of stories, incl. "possessed of an ambition", "loving an enemy", "adultry with murder", and "an innocent suspected".


Native Gardening Corner – Sturt Desert Pea

Swainsona formosa, Sturt's desert pea, is an Australian plant in the genus Swainsona, named after English botanist Isaac Swainson, famous for its distinctive blood-red leaf-like flowers, each with a bulbous black centre, or "boss". It is one of Australia's best known wildflowers.


To find out more click here

  This is a short but mesmerizing clip of a performance of choreographer Yoann Bourgeois’ “Celui qui tombe” (He who falls) in which six performers move about a spinning platform. The spinning allows them to run without appearing to go anywhere and lean at seemingly impossible angles without Michael Jackson’s patented Smooth Criminal shoes. From a review in the Guardian:

Lowered into a horizontal position, this structure begins to revolve, slowly at first, then faster. Subjected to increasing centrifugal force, the dancers cluster together, their bodies inclining inwards at ever more acute angles. Individuals depart the group and make exploratory sorties, circling the platform as if battling against a great wind.

(Brief science interlude: my high school physics teacher told us never to use “centrifugal force” instead of “centripetal force” because it wasn’t actually a thing. More on that here.)

Anyway, it’s an amazing physical performance to watch. I’ve featured Bourgeois’ choreography on the site before: The Mechanics of History and A Relaxing Acrobatic Performance to Debussy’s Clair de Lune — both use trampolines to create illusions that mess with the viewer’s intuitions about gravity.