Recommended Links

14 May 2019

I’d like to use the internet to help spread ideas about theatre, and help it thrive in the 21st century.

I’ve been collecting these links for years: videos, articles, essays, etc. These are my favorites.

This list will be updated whenever I come across something new and exciting.

And if you like these ideas, you’ll love my weekly newsletter, the curtain. Subscribe here.

Sara Holdren on criticism and directing

Sara Holdren has been one of the most influential writers for me over the last two years. In this piece, she discusses why being both a critic and a theatre-maker is not only possible, but preferable. She sets out why more theatre practitioners should write about theatre, which I fully believe as well, and is why I started writing.

Simon Stone and Anne Bogart talk YERMA

A great discussion from when Stone mounted YERMA at the Park Ave Armory. They talk extensively about Stone’s process, being an artist, storytelling, design, and philosophies. I learned a lot from this. From Simon Stone, I also like this discussion of his set design, designing and rehearsing YERMA, an interview on bringing MEDEA to London, and his very simple TED Talk from 2011.

Jeremy O’Harris interview on wanting more critics

Jeremy O’Harris, one of the great new voices in theatre, discusses wanting more critics, and deepening the discourse: “People keep thinking: They hire one black critic who will finally have a black voice on the matters of black theater in America. I promise you, if you have seven black critics sit down to see Fairview, Sugar in Our Wounds, and Pass Over, they’re all going to say a different one was the best one.“

The problem with white critics critiquing work by Artists of Color

If we want more diversity in theatre it needs to come from all areas, not just in the two-dimensional area of who we see on stage. This great piece from Donja R. Love helps explain that.

Katie Mitchell and Robert Icke in Conversation

Two of the best directors in the world talk about Chekhov, actors, the trouble with comedies, and their process.

Why Greeks Matter: Rupert Goold, Ivo Van Hove and Deborah Warner in conversation

A great conversation between three great directors about Greeks, and directing in general.

Robert Icke

One of my favorite directors, Robert Icke is a force in London, and a huge influence on my thinking. I did a Directing Workshop class he taught in 2018 that made a large impact on me. This Helen Lewis article is an excellent introduction to his work. Her piece on his 2018 production of The Wild Duck is also superb, presenting a vision of how to stage works by problematic dead white men. If you liked this, check out this long interview where he talks about his monumental adaptation and production of Oresteia. I also like this interview in Time Out, and this one on ending boredom.

Theatre Laid Bare

This 2015 New Yorker profile is an excellent overview of Ivo Van Hove, before he had his huge streak of a Broadway success. It especially goes into detail about his controversial production of Angels in America. I learned a lot from this article, when I was first getting into Ivo’s work.

High Tide of Heartbreak

A brilliant speech from Quiara Alegría Hudes on the “atheist white male aesthetics” that permeate theatre, and it’s huge exclusivity problems.

Against the New Play

In this brilliant piece in Howlround, the author stakes out a position against the generic “new play”, one that takes up space from more vital, more theatrical work. It’s a great piece that will make you think critically about the type of theatre we want to be producing.

Theater Review: The Good Intentions of American Son by Sara Holdren

My favorite Sara Holdren review, which eviscerates the righeous American “issue play”, and dials into the role of theatre.

New York Times on The Yard

An interesting article on what could be a model for DIY theaters: being a nightclub as well.

The Count

The Dramatists Guild’s “The Count” details what is getting produced in America. The results aren’t exactly inspiring.

Isaac Butler on Sam Gold’s Othello

There’s so many wonderful places to start with the great Isaac Butler, but I actually love this short blog post he wrote on this Othello and why it was so successful, by avoiding literal conceptualization. If you liked this, definitely check out his podcast Lend Me Your Ears.

Holger Syme on Robert Icke’s HAMLET

An excellent essay on a stunning HAMLET filled to the brim with new ideas.

The Body in the Voice

The late, great voice teacher Cicely Berry talks about her approach to Shakespeare. Lots to learn from here.

Kenneth Tynan’s List of Plays

One of the great theatre critics and general essayists of the 20th century, Tynan also served as the Literary Manager for the National Theatre. He made a mammoth list of plays that should in be their repertoire. It’s available for free as a PDF, and is an exhaustive (mainly pre-1950s) theatre history list.