Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Snark of the Day

Roger Ebert has a couple of zingers in his review of Death Race:

Hitchcock said a movie should play the audience like a piano. “Death Race” played me like a drum. It is an assault on all the senses, including common.

(...)

And the warden of the prison is Hennessey, played by Joan Allen. Yes, that ethereal beauty, that sublime actress, that limitless talent, reduced to standing in an observation post and ordering her underlings to “activate weapons.” She has a line of dialogue that employs both the f-word and the s-word, and describes a possible activity that utterly baffles me. It is a threat, shall we say, that has never been uttered before and will never be uttered again. She plays her scenes with an icy venom, which I imagine she is rehearsing to use in a chat with her agent.

Political Theatre - A Critic's Perspective

Lisa Bornstein, critic for the Rocky Mountain News, is blogging about the theatre of the Democratic National Convention:

Let's be honest, friends: There is sadly little chance of anything spontaneous happening at the Democratic National Convention. That's probably one of the reasons Obama held off so long in announcing a VP candidate -- where there is no spontaneity, you gotta plan some.
It is, in fact, one of the great theatrical spectacles of the modern age. Every light cue chosen for the message it sends. A stage designed to remind the public that the Democrats see themselves as a party of inclusion, of the modern in a world where old methods are not working.There's a script, written by dozen of hands and a program that doesn't tell the audience much more than what time to take its seats.

And the performances! You think it's a big deal that Katie Holmes is debuting on Broadway? (OK, to be honest, no one thinks it's a big deal that Katie Holmes is debuting on Broadway.) Check out this cast of dozens, from Caroline Kennedy to Hillary Clinton, all building to the catharsis that is Barack.

So far the posts are not that inspired, but there are still a few more days left, and I think it is a unique way for a critic to flex some muscles in the summertime.

Yesterday she quipped: "If the afternoon session were a Broadway show, it would close out of town."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Thoughts on Actor Training

I think there was an article in American Theatre several years ago that basically said the following:

It is not that our MFA programs are doing a poor job training actors. Instead, it is the pressures of the actual business world of acting and entertainment that have created an almost right angle situation.

The overarching theme of the piece was that MFA programs were still, in many respects, training actors to go out into the repertory-style professional life that no longer exists.

In other words, if the truth is that a successful actor, in both theatre and film, will make his or her money and career doing what they almost naturally have as skills...well...then, Ms. Dolan is right, who needs an MFA for that?

Today is different. You may have gone to the best training in the country, and be one of the top actors from a highly rated conservatory, but casting has changed a bit.

For instance, let's say you are called to audition for a role as an entitled, rich young jerk. Next to you, in the audition waiting room is an actual WASP from Connecticut, one who may not have taken a few acting classes as an undergrad, (or maybe none at all.) I hate to break it to you, and some may argue, but there is a chance he could get the part. And let's say he does get that part, and does an admirable job. Well, depending on the visibility of the production or film, he will most likely start to get the role as the rich arrogant jerk in every production in the region.

Film has been this way for quite a while, theatre is increasingly like this.

Theatre in the Room

Educator Jill Dolan posts about the "Elephant in the Room," with regards to Theatre in Education. (Hat tip to Scott Walters.)

She focuses her comments on the cold transition acting students need to make into the increasingly business-driven university MFA programs, especially when they have come from exciting, passion-filled experiences in dynamic high school programs.

Most discouraging to me was watching graduate students who’d been through three years of rigorous training in acting, voice, and movement arrive at the showcase moment of their MFA program tenure. Thanks to Fran Dorn’s professional connections, the students traveled to New York and Los Angeles to present work for casting agents, directors, and other people in the business. But when they returned, many of the students reported that the feedback they received concerned their looks more than their talent. More than one went on a crash diet; the first three-year class started nearly in unison a version of The Zone diet that reduced all of them to wan and wasted stick figures in a few weeks’ time. Men and women alike were told by showcase spectators that they needed to lose weight, fix their noses, their teeth, their skin, their facial bone structures, all in the service of hewing closely to the “type” in which they’d inevitably be cast.

For this a student needs three years of expensive MFA training?


An interesting option Dolan mentions in the comments section is the following: "The other option, of course, is to do away with (some, not all)theatre majors, and make them very strong minors, instead, that students can combine with other degrees."

Also of note to the local readers here, she mentions the fact that Harvard is exploring whether or not to institute an minor. Thom Garvey at the Hubreview has been exploring that story.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Obama Arts Policy

Isaac at Parabasis just gave a link to a PDF on Obama's Arts Policy. In it, is a statement by Michael Chabon on the importance of the arts, an excerpt here:


"America’s artists are the guardians of the spirit of questioning, of innovation, of reaching across the barriers that fence us off from our neighbors, from our allies and adversaries, from the six billion other people with whom we share this dark and dazzling world. Art increases the sense of common humanity. The imagination of the artist is, therefore, a profoundly moral imagination: the easier it is for you to imagine walking in someone else’s shoes, the more difficult it then becomes to do that person harm. If you want to make a torturer, first kill his imagination. If you want to create a nation that will stand by and allow torture to be practiced in its name, then go ahead and kill its imagination, too. You could start by cutting school funding for art, music, creative writing and the performing arts."

Boston Theatre-The Roaring Twenties

A.A. Milne never quite escaped the shadow his Winnie the Pooh stories cast over his literary reputation. I didn't know of him as primarily a successful playwright until Boston Director Dan Bourque told me he was putting on a Milne play.

Bourque is presenting Milne's comedy of manners, The Truth About Blayds, at the Footlight Club this weekend only. The press release says,

"For the occasion of his ninetieth birthday, the family of the great poet Oliver Blayds has gathered to celebrate his life. On hand are three generations of Blayds to observe the event, and a writer who has come to pay respects from an enthusiastic collection of grateful poets. As the day passes, the compliments fly and the drink flows. But all is not as it seems in the estate of Oliver Blayds and a scandal many years in the making that has the potential to stain the family name forever is about to be revealed."

With a genuine Noel Coward revival going on around Boston, (Hay Fever is still on at the Publick,)it should be interesting to see the Milne play which sounds like the type of popular play that Coward was writing and starring in during the early twenties. Coward's first light three act, I'll Leave it To You, was produced in 1920, the same year as Blayds, and was of the class of play known as an "inheritance comedy."

Walking Out on Angels

About a year ago, the blogosphere was debating the practice of walking out of a performance. Some declared that nobody ever should, some said they do it often, others claimed they have had to do it several times.

I was reading a fairly negative review of Angels in America, Millineum Approaches in the Seattle Stranger, and was a little startled when I read this concluding paragraph:

But director Maridee Slater pulls a few good performances out of her more capable actors. Chris MacDonald (a regular at CHAC and Theater Schmeater) owns the room as the barking closeted Republican lawyer Roy M. Cohn. (Cohn's iconic shout to timid Joe—"You're alive, goddamnit! Plant a foot! Stay awhile!"—is a triumph.) And Carter J. Davis, as the sincere and nervous Louis, helps us forget how slowly the time is crawling by. But it's not enough: After the two-hour first act, I wanted to leave. So I did.

The rest of the review gives the impression of performers and a director that are quite out of their depths, and in over their collective heads. I have never seen anything but excellent versions of Angels in America, but I could imagine that if it were bad enough, and I knew I had another couple of hours to go, the exit signs may seem alluring. However, it just seems as if there were at least a few performances the critic was enjoying.

One thing I noticed in the review is that two hours seems very long for the first act of Angels. Usually the evening is about three and half (maybe a bit more,) hours long, with three acts and two intermissions. Also, doesn't the quartet fight where Louis leaves come later than the end of the first act? I don't have my copy handy.

Apparently, the entire Angels in America project in Seattle is a neat concept. Two fringe theaters are co-producing it, each company is putting on one of the two parts and so the casts are completely different for each show.

The review in the Stranger is for Absurd Reality's production of Millenium Approaches and here is a link for the Seattle Times review of Re-Acts' production of Perestroika. And here is a Post Intelligencer review comparing the two productions.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Times They Are a Changin'...

Michael Feingold on the Central Park revival of Hair, and the need for dramaturgy notes here and there...

Much of the audience experiencing that surge of shared feeling may not know what a Be-In is, or what the boys are supposedly burning in a trash can during the one that closes Hair's first act. Oskar Eustis, the Public Theater's head, has to explain in his pre-show speech that these objects are draft cards, a near-meaningless concept to those who grew up in the time of the all-volunteer army (invented by shrewd conservatives to make sure the youthful rebellion of the '60s would never happen again). Things were different when half the
country's 18-year-olds had to walk around with little ID cards in their pockets telling them they were 1-A, which meant they could be shipped to Vietnam at the government's pleasure. And that card was federal property, not yours, which meant that burning it was a felony. There's ample reason for the climactic moment when Claude (Jonathan Groff), the more conflicted of Hair's two heroes, wavers about adding his to the blaze.

This made me wonder, what are American children being taught in history classes about that tumultuous time in our history? Talking to some friends who are in their twenties, the concept of a draft today seems, well, too amorphous or abstract to even be vaguely ominous.

How dated will military plays begin to seem? It appears to me that art and entertainment about service in the armed forces is beginning to move more and more towards an exotic representation than even trying to reach into any shared communal experience with which most of the public can relate.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bowie Tributes

Over at Blackberry Jam, Thais, (a student of mine at Emerson,) talks about the summer of the Bowie releases:

This summer, two different releases bring us back to David
Bowie’s music, although in completely different ways. “Live in Santa Monica ‘72″, recorded during his first U.S. tour, and “Life Beyond Mars”, a compilation of covers produced and recorded by emerging electronic artists. Both records illustrate Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars’ phase and their release in the year of 2008 couldn’t be a louder statement that ‘Ziggy’ was a highlight in his career.



The post made me think of The Flight of Conchords tribute to Bowie:

Harp Rocks the Central Square Theatre

The new theatre in Central Square is really off to a start this summer. They have a variety of ecletic events, and this weekend is no exception.

That woman rocking out with, yes, a harp is Boston's own Deborah Henson-Conant who moves into the Central Square Theater this weekend with her new one woman show - "What the Hell Are You Doing In the Waiting Room For Heaven?" In this cabaret-style performance, Deborah is in Heaven, but finds out that the auditions for the Celestial Choir are now conducted like American Idol, complet with celebrity judges.

I have attended Deborah's shows in large venues such as the Somerville Theatre, where she used to have her Birthday concerts, and in more intimate settings like the Charles Hotel. She is fun, energetic, and she can play that harp.

Deborah was at the Boston Theatre Conference this weekend and during the Playwright's Breakout, shetalked about her positive experience developing this current show at NOMTI, in their Advanced Writer's Lab. NOMTI is the New Opera and Musical Theatre Intitiative.

Here is You Tube clip of Ms. Henson-Conant with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra:





(Photo Credit: Nelson Blake.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

48 Film Project - Best of Providence Screening!

Our film we made for the 48 Hour Film Project in Providence, Rhode Island won two awards!

Pictured at the right are our trophies for Best Sound Design and Best Special Effects. So congrats to the team!




Director Steve Stuart, Actor Tom Sprague, Amanda and I went down to represent Team Playomatic at the Best of Providence screening.

The best films from this year's 48 Hour Film Project were screened at the Columbus Theater on Broadway in Providence. It is a very old house, but a great place to have the event.
The Columbus was restored relatively recently and it has some beautiful features on the inside. (Though the restrooms aren't one of them.) There is a beautiful mural over the proscenium and portraits set into the walls on either side of the ground floor. The lobby is nicely adorned as well.


The line was long to get in, but luckily we purchased our tickets early. The place was packed out to the balcony, and the air conditioning seemed to be working overtime, but the crowd stayed enthusiastic and the proceedings moved along relatively smoothly.


Another Boston team, Bait & Tackle Productions, won awards as well.

We made a Ghost Movie in 48 hours. "Beneath the Surface" takes place at a beautiful Bed and Breakfast, where the guests think they hear somebody playing in the pool at night and the woman who owns the house keeps insisting she has two daughters, even though only one ever seems to be around. One young girl staying at the B&B keeps seeing that elusive daughter, but only in photos.


Our Director, Steve Stuart of Playomatic Productions,(pictured with me and Amanda above,) and our Director of Photography, Brad Kelly of Brad Kelly films, (pictured below setting up a key special effects shot for Beneath the Surface,) once again turned out a great effort. Congrats again to the whole team.

The Ghost in the Pool

Up To What Do We Owe the Play Procurer

At Parabasis, Isaac Butler revisits a story that percolated through the blogosphere a few years ago.

It seems that some theatre companies were rumored to want up to 40% of future income on productions in exchange for premiering the work.

As Isaac points out, I don't think anybody confirmed these numbers, but putting that aside, he asks a good question:

(1).... Is there any percentage cut that a company debuting a play
should be entitled to? Would 25% be okay? 10%? 5%? In other words is it always wrong? And if not always wrong, when does it make sense?


(2) What if the theater commissioned the work? Does that change
anything?



If you want in on the conversation, you can follow the link above.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More on Boston Theatre Conference

Patrick Gabridge has a little on his experience at the Boston Theatre Conference over on his blog: The Writing Lifex3.

Stagesource Conference - Meeting the New Leaders

I attended the Boston Theatre Conference in Watertown yesterday. This is the big, day-long conference which brings together Boston area actors, writers, administrators, designers, directors, etc.

They had about 250 people there, and Jeff Poulos, the head of Stagesource, (which is the alliance of theatre artists in Boston,) was pleasantly overwhelmed with the successful turnout.

I hope to have more to say in the coming days, but first off I have to congratulate Stagesource, the organizer of the conference, in keeping the day full and keeping everybody engaged.

The centerpiece of the conference was the hour and half panel discussion with the new Artistic Directors of the Huntington Theatre Company, American Repertory Theatre and Trinity Rep.

Peter Dubois, Diane Paulus, and Curt Columbus, sitting on that stage, collectively generated a very distinct message before they even spoke: This is a new generation, one that doesn't look like the subscriber base of most regional theatres

Scott Edmiston and Kate Snodgrass moderated the discussion, which avoided many hard ball questions, but gave us a nice introduction to who these new leaders are.

After amusing anecdotes about their first theatre experiences and then discussions of how they worked into the new jobs and how their aesthetics play out in choosing their seasons, the moderator gradually worked the discussion around to how the leaders saw their theaters in relation to the Boston theatre community, and their relation to the Boston Community in general.

Curt Columbus, Artistic Director of Trinity Rep admitted that the Boston theatre community has been "opaque" to him for his first two years at Trinity Rep, confessing that he just now being able to get his head above water. (He also explained that he has been deeply involved in his new Antigone project, which goes up at Trinity Rep.) He talked about how he does see it as his responsibility, as an Artistic Director of a company with many resources, to see as many shows in the local scene as possible. He told of how he and Martha Lavey would see three or four shows a week in Chicago, and that would really give them a handle on who was doing excellent or interesting work locally. He hoped to do more of that here.

Peter Dubois, the incoming director of the Huntington, said that one of his projected visions regarding the theatre community is to use facilities, such as the Calderwood Pavillion, to host more events in which the theatre community can come toghether. He also spoke of incorporating smaller events into the Huntington mix; stand-up comedy and cabaret were mentioned.

Diane Paulus is very interested in intriguing projects that may be simmering in the minds of local artists.

Curt Columbus stepped in to tell the audience that they should give a little space to Mr. Dubois and Ms. Paulus for their first year or two. He explained that that is about how long it takes to get out from under the learning curve at that level.

With regards to the community at large, Mr. Columbus contributed his recent intitiative to have talk backs after EVERY performance. "This is a very labor-intensive project," he warned, but explained that it pays great dividends. How do they accomplish it? The talk-backs are actually run by members of the audience, voluteers and the community.

Columbus said that he believes that the "ticket/transactional" relationship that regional theatre has had with the audience is becoming very precarious and is probably breathing its last gasps.

Peter Dubois agreed, and added that all three of them on that stage were getting into theatre during a time when the NEA as source of major funding was collapsing. In fact, he pointed out, they were a generation that didn't even have "memories" of large NEA support.

All three seemed to agree that corporate underwriting for tickets could be one solution.

Pleasant, funny and energetic, they handled questions from the audience with poise, and gave a good first impression. I wish them well.

I hope to have more to say about other aspects of the conference in the coming days.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"What Should I See?"

Theatre continues to shrink in its mass cultural influence and popularity. If you are reading this blog, you are probably one of the ever smaller minority who view theatre as important enough to keep up with at all.

Co-workers, students, friends and relatives have asked me, at some time or another, "What should I see?" That is how the question is usually asked. Not, "What's good?" Not, "What would you recommend?" Not, "What would be fun?"

"What should I see?"


Recently Matt Freeman asked for his readers to make their "shameful admissions." He was asking what famous plays people have not read or seen. So, combined with recent comments by Thomas Garvey at The Hub Review, (Thom wants, contrary to Artaud, MORE masterpieces,) this got me to looking at the upcoming seasons of different theaters here in Massachusetts and surrounding states.

By nature, the making of lists is an argument waiting to happen, but I feel confident that this list provides a pretty basic answer to the question of "what SHOULD I see?"

Now, you may have seen all of these plays before, and if that is the case, this is not a list for you, except for you to suggest others or debate my choices. I have tried to include most of what would be considered masterpieces or important works of the theatre that are available for you to see locally, or least a couple of hours away. (I have excluded Shakespeare only because the Bard's works go without saying.) The list is in chronological order of production dates.




There are others I thought about adding. For instance, Jean Anilouh's Antigone or Dario Fo's We Won't Pay, We Won't Pay, could be argued; and a recent Pulitzer Prize Winner, David Lindsey Abaire's Rabbit Hole, is playing at two different community theatres in the area.

Some on the list just made it on: Follies is still hotly debated critically, Hughie might be considered minor O'Neill by some, and Cabaret, especially through its Sam Mendes-revision, may seem ubiquitous. Ditto The Glass Menagerie and A Chorus Line. And despite its racial baggage, I think it cannot be denied that Show Boat is an important piece of American musical theatre.

There is absolutely no risk in my making this list. I am hardly going out on a limb with any of these. What is most interesting though, is just how limiting this seems. I notice that women and minorities don't appear that much on this list. But it is not that they aren't represented in the pantheon of great drama, it is just that they aren't being produced this season. Now, the Heidi Chronicles by playwright Wendy Wasserstein is being produced at the Longwood Players in Jamaica Plain next spring. It is a Pulitzer Prize Winner, and the play that put Wendy Wasserstein on the dramatic map, but is it essential? I have seen it several times and it grows more and more dated with each viewing.

If there are plays on this list you have not seen in performance, well, you probably should make the effort. (I haven't seen Peer Gynt, Picnic or The Pirates of Penzance.)

If there are productions anybody can note that I have missed, please let me know.

*If you have never even read The Seagull, I would advise seeing the Publick Theatre performance first. I just say this because, the American Repertory Theatre can sometimes play games with the classics to the point where they are unrecognizable from the original.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Mass Creative Class

Geoff Edgers interviews Jason Schupbach about his new role as Massachusetts' Creative Economy Director:

Q. There's a perception that your job is compared with the kind of
grass-rootsy jobs that are probably being done by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Ann McQueen at the Boston Foundation, for example.


A. As far as nonprofits go, we have an agency that does that.
That's the MCC and I don't need to replicate all the work they do. What we see ourselves going forward doing is really working in partnerships with those agencies. Obviously when you take the fuller, broader creative community you have to look at nonprofits, you have to look at artists. We have agencies who do all of that. My job is to make sure we're all partnering and working together but that the for-profit side is really included in all those conversations.


Q. Can you just sketch the scope of how many businesses would count as the for-profit creative economy?

A. There are four industries we're really going to focus on
starting off with: film, design - very broadly defined - advertising, and video games. Because that's really our four strongest assets we see in the for-profit creative industries. That's a lot of work to even start with. Each of them has their own distinct, interesting needs. We're going to be partnering closely with the Massachusetts Film Office.



Edgers also asks a pointed question about the value of building a large film studio complex. His basic point: What if you build it and, suddenly, another state starts offering better tax incentives and the movie business goes away?

Richard Florida's Creative Class theories are more complex than most people remember, even after reading the book. But there is one constant that Florida cautions against: Large investments in facilities. Instead, his theories of urban revitilazation concentrate on social, economic and lifestyle enhancements and focus on street level improvements in diversity and artistic expression.

If I read Florida correctly, he would advise that investment in areas like the Fort Point Artists Community, Union Square in Somerville and in facilities more like the Boston Center for the Arts would be far more beneficial to attracting the creative class than a large complex in Plymouth.

Kid Glove-ing the Audience?

Ron Cowan reports on the Salem Repertory Theatre in Oregon, which is making some changes to its operations and its aesthetics:

In another change, Salem Repertory will collaborate with Teatro Milagro (Miracle Theatre Group) of Portland to introduce Latino theater to its repertory. It will start next season with staged reading, culminating in a fully staged show in 2011.

Salem Repertory also is testing the waters for other changes with
its staged reading of the "Pulp Fiction"-style Tracy Letts' play, "Killer Joe."


Drug use and nudity (though not in a staged reading) will prove a
test for the Salem audience.


I don't mean this to sound snarky, but Pulp Fiction premiered over 10 years ago and it is available day or night on basic cable stations. Tracy Lett's play Killer Joe premiered in Chicago around the same time, actually I think a few years before Tarantino's film.

What in the heck will be a passing grade for the "test" to which the Salem audiences will be subected.

A commenter on Cowan's article states the following:

Now, didn't we all know this was coming? We, the backward Salem
audience just don't know how to appreciate the more sophisticated theater that drug use and nudity bring. Why go to the theater if the development of ideas and emotions is going to be replaced by visuals that we can get at the bus station (excuse me, "Transit Mall")?

The Show Must Go On

In the Phillipines, a grenade is lobbed at the facade of a theatre, but the performance goes on as scheduled:

More than 800 people trekked to PETA to watch "Noli at El Fili Dekada 2000," a stage play written by Nicanor Tiongson and directed by Soxie Topacio, despite the reported explosion. PETA’s management said they chose not to cancel the scheduled performances since the QC Bomb Squad inspected the building and
assured them that everything was safe.


I can't help but wonder what would happen in our country. Something tells me that the entire city might be crippled for at least a day. Nevermind the resuming of performances.

Friday, August 01, 2008

What Exactly is the Bargain?

Garrett Eisler breaks down the savings for subscribing to Broadway Non-profits:

To whom is a $40 theatre ticket a bargain? Sure I'll pay that, and
more, for a once in a lifetime event. But to pay that in advance for a slate of shows that I really don't know much about? Not to mention the increasing trend of the "TBA slot" (Trust us! Something good!).


Let's put it this way. I like theatre. I'm interested in seeing lots of
different kinds of theatre--heck, I even make it my business. So when I'm having doubts about shelling out over $200 up front for probably two solo shows, an unfinished wreck by some fashionable Juilliard, and something no one would produce if the writer didn't have a famous name.... what kind of interest do you think you'd get from people who hate theatre?





My Subscription Survey for Boston Area Theatres is here.

Collegial Theatre in Boston?

Thomas Garvey at Hubreview is training his sights on two big anchor theatres in Boston:

What should an academic theatre be? In Boston, unlike almost anywhere else in the U.S., we've got two of them, and yet their roles and responsibilities have been a topic of almost no public discussion whatsoever. They are perceived as simply adjuncts of the power bases their respective universities represent; local critics seem to think it's almost rude, somehow, to question the assumptions and goals under which they operate (and under which they gobble down public dollars). But in my next post in this doubleheader, I'll ponder what, exactly, should be expected of an academy that begins to operate as an arts practitioner.

Pragmatic Reviewing

Roger Ebert in today's Sun-Times:

Moviegoers who knowingly buy a ticket for "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" are going to get exactly what they expect: There is a mummy, a tomb, a dragon and an emperor. And the movie about them is all that it could be. If you think "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" sounds like a waste of time, don't waste yours.

Boston Theatre - Friday Roundup

In the city for the weekend? Here are some things to do:

The original high school musical Bye Bye Birdie flies at the North Shore Music Theatre. Thomas Garvey has a review here.

Assassins, Stephen Sondheim's musical mashup of our country's dark underside plays at the Boston Center for the Arts. Company One is also presenting a late night show: John Kuntz and Rick Park in After School Special.

The Factory Theatre presents Maria Ines Fornes's play Mud. Forne's work is a very strong influence on contemporary drama and it is always interesting. But it is rarely done outside of the conservatory settings.

Commonwealth Shakespeare continues As You Like It on the common.

The Publick Theatre is running Noel Coward's Hay Fever, (the Publick is now in full rep mode with Hay Fever and The Seagull running till September, so check the website to see the dates.)

If you want to check out the new theatre space in Central Square, you can see QED or Coming Up for Air.

The F.U.D.G.E. Theatre Company presents a musical about a co-ed Catholic Boarding school. It's titled Bare and plays at the Arsenal Center for the Arts.

Gloucester Stage's Going to Saint Ives closes this weekend.