What We’re Reading

Welcome to What We’re Reading, in which we’ll share with you some of our favorite articles about theater and performance from all around the internet this week.

Jenny Lyn Bader and J.Stephen Brantley are Writing Out Front as an audience member watches. (Photo: Micheline Auger)

Jenny Lyn Bader and J.Stephen Brantley are Writing Out Front as an audience member watches. (Photo: Micheline Auger)

Noah Berlatsky’s examination of “Shakespeare’s Conservatism” for The Atlantic is a great read for anyone who’s read or performed Shakespeare. As a modern audience member/reader of the tragedies and comedies, I usually focus on the story more than its political ideology (the fate of Malvolio in Twelfth Night is a great example). As canonical as his works are in theater history, they’re founded on a particular outlook that shapes Shakespeare just the way any culture shapes the writers who belong to it.

Catalyst is Coming!: A National Convening of Black Theaters” by Carmen Morgan for HowlRound considers the place of black theaters, as well as other theaters of color, in America today. Though American theaters are far from achieving most kinds of parity (as we read about last week!), as theaters strive for more diverse seasons, why do we need theaters of color? Morgan’s excellent essay answers this question.

Spider-Man Unmasked! Elmo and Minnie, Too” by Kirk Semple for The New York Times goes behind the scenes and into the real lives of Times Square street performers. It was so interesting to read about the street performance community and the possible changes that are in the works for it as well as to hear individual performers’ perspectives. I recommend this article for anyone who’s walked through Times Square at least once in their life.

Finally, I really enjoyed David Cote’s piece about participating in Write Out Front. WOF is a program where writers can sign up for a 2-hour timeslot to write in the front window of the Drama Bookshop in NYC. I think it’s such a cool idea, and it was fun to read about Cote’s experience. If you’re in New York, you can catch NMT Writer Timothy Huang Writing Out Front next Tuesday, August 12, from 1-3pm. (Related: The Public has a similar series in which Suzan-Lori Parks writes in the lobby of the theater, which you can attend or livestream on HowlRound.)

Have an article you think we should check out? Leave it in the comments below!

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