For the past two Septembers I’ve written
columns about theater etiquette. In 2013, my headline was “Behave
Yourself,” and last year I updated it to “Behave Yourself 2.0.” Please
don’t think me old-fashioned, but it’s time for another reminder — I’m
not the only one concerned about this.
“The Count,” a recent study of hundreds
of theater productions nationwide between 2012 and 2015 at nonprofit
theaters such as the Playhouse in the Park and others in Cincinnati,
revealed that roughly one-fifth were written by women. That’s an
improvement over a decade ago, but it’s a long way from parity.
If you read playbills carefully, you’ve
probably seen Dee Anne Bryll’s name. She’s worked at most every theater
in town — from the Playhouse to the Covedale Center, from Northern
Kentucky University to University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory
of Music, plus countless engagements with local schools.
Fasten your seat belt — here comes the
2015-2016 theater season. Know Theatre gets bragging rights for being
first out of the local theater gate with Hundred Days, a Rock
& Roll show it played a significant part in developing.
Know Theatre’s Tamara Winters is straightforward when asked why the Over-the-Rhine theater launched Serials! a year ago: “We wanted to give audiences a reason to keep coming back. We keep bringing it back because it’s working!”
Christopher Durang got an early start as a playwright. “When I was 8,” he told The Juilliard Journal (he
teaches playwriting at the Juilliard School), “I announced to my mother
I was going to write a play. It was my own two-page version of an I Love Lucy episode...
I spent last weekend in Kentucky at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville watching a half-dozen brand new works. The festival is an invigorating whirl of creativity, conviviality and engaging performances.
When I was a high school senior and the teacher who staged the school plays — her name was Mary Price — picked Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew,
there was a lot of moaning and groaning. Why do we have to perform in
some dusty old play from centuries earlier?