Tag: HowlRound

2018: excavation review themes

I squeezed adventures in Norway, Sweden, the wilds of central Wisconsin, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island into 2019, a year of paring, sifting and sorting of involvement on professional boards and continuing projects. I served on the executive committee of the American Theatre Critics Association, as a judge for the Henry Hewes Design Awards and the

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2018: excavation review

Live and filmed performances, as well as readings of works in progress, filled my days in calendar year 2018. I usually attend solo, and yet often host my spouse or theater-obsessed friends and colleagues. By my rough count, during 2018 in New York City and elsewhere, I saw 300 theatrical performances (ticketed, cast, full productions),

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“The Camera is My Beloved”: Michelle Memran Creates Documentary Art with María Irene Fornés

[article originally published in HowlRound, June 12, 2018.] The Rest I Make Up is a poetic rumination by filmmaker Michelle Memran about playwright María Irene Fornés, now in her late 80s and living with late-stage Alzheimer’s. The film is a visual and literary love letter to its subject. I talked with Michelle in late February 2018, about a week

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Positation in Action: Director Erin Ortman’s Multi-Year Journey with the Arabian Nights

[article originally published in HowlRound, May 2, 2018.] Several coincidences align to admit me to design meetings, workshop readings, and rehearsal rooms for One Thousand Nights and One Day[OTNAOD], a musical based on Jason Grote’s play 1001, produced by Prospect Theater Company. Love for the people involved, the creative magic in rehearsal rooms, and the opportunity to spend time with

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2017: excavation review themes

Simplifying, complicating, simplifying again. This has been a year of expanding and paring involvement on professional boards and projects, resuming old roles and assuming new ones. I continue into 2018 on the boards or executive committee of the American Theatre Critics Association and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, and in a new

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An Experimental Argument: Ethan’s Lipton’s Outer Space Odyssey Toward a Sustainable Life

[article originally published in HowlRound, September 8, 2017.] Ethan Lipton has assembled a creative family of musicians and designers who have worked with him on a series of projects in New York and around the country. David Zinn has designed sets and costumes and Leigh Silverman has directed Lipton’s plays for over a decade, from 100 Aspects of the Moon in 2005 to

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A Collective Call Against Critical Bias

I am one voice among two dozen signatories to this piece that addresses selected critical response to several New York shows in the 2016-2017 season, and raises some questions about the range of critical voices addressing contemporary American theater. The essay, authored by 24 academics, researchers, and yes a few critics, does not reflect the

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2016: excavation review themes

After six annual marathons captured in “what Martha has seen” lists of theater and film adventuring (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned that sometimes theater gluttony can build personal knowledge but impede creative critical output. I’ve learned that it’s a great privilege to be among the frequent theater-going

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Stretching the Canvas in Ethan Lipton’s Tumacho

[article originally published in HowlRound, September 6, 2016.] Playwright and lyricist Ethan Lipton creates fun theatrical worlds and lyric-driven music about socially-relevant topics. In Red Handed Otter, for example, produced by The Playwrights Realm in 2012, a community of office colleagues work through quiet disappointments and revelations of character through their passionate relationships with pets and each

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Shared Vocabulary and Puppetry in Ramesh Meyyappan’s Butterfly

[article originally published in HowlRound, June 21, 2016.] Theatremaker Ramesh Meyyappan has opinions about the cultural position of “deaf” or “signed” theatre and its role in his own art including his most recent work Butterfly, which ran through May 14 at 59E59 as part of the Brits Off Broadway series. The wordless one-hour piece was developed

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