Dear theatre friend,
I have found this past year to be challenging, indeed. My mission has been to bring promising, interesting theatre to your attention. I’ve often had to rely on British shows, generously putting their work online . Although we’d all much prefer to be seated with our “tribe,” I’m excited to once again highlight excellent work you can enjoy at home, as well as a couple worth a trip.
First, only until December 10th, you can stream Open Clasp’s “Don’t Forget the Birds,” the true story of one of the collaborators on “Key Change.” This extraordinary U.K. prison drama won my 2015 Award, and was a New York Times’ Critics Pick. Now, Cheryl Byron tells her own story, which won Performance of the Year from Journal Culture Awards.
On this side of the Atlantic, from the esteemed Mint Theatre Company, you can view “Hindle Wakes,” at home through December. This is another delightfully relevant, century-old play revivified by Jonathan Bank, artistic director and archaeologist! Here’s The New York Times 2018 review.
Looking ahead to Februrary, The Mint will emerge from this hiatis with an in person production of D.H. Lawrence’s “The Daughter-In-Law,” at a new (for them) venue, City Center’s Stage Two. I vividly remember this beautifully staged, obscure piece from 2003, reviewed here.
A one time event: Theater of War will present Sophocles’ “Ajax,” translated and directed by Bryan Doerries, on Tuesday, December 7th, 6-8pm EST. Originally conceived as a way to reach veterans and their families, Theatre of War reminds us of the mental and physical suffering of returning warriors going back to ancient times. My friend, Heather Raffo, performing as Ajax’s wife, is quoted in this article describing the marines’ reactions and the standing ovation which ensued — please read, and then, watch.
And, a recommendation to return to Ensemble Studio Theatre, one of my favorite new work companies. In February, EST along with The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and The Civilians are presenting “What You Are Now” by Sam Chanse. All Sloan- supported shows have a basis in science– this is about the mutability of memory, especially traumatic memory. Welcome back!
Being it’s now officially holiday season, here’s a musical treat. A huge draw at the Edinburgh Festival, Camille O’Sullivan will be performing all month at the new Irish Arts Center. She’s a much beloved performer of songs by Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, David Bowie– do grab a ticket!
I close each month with the breezy “see you in the theatre.” Coming out of a play a few days ago, I was touched by a masked stranger’s assistance. I couldn’t slide the taxi’s heavy door and this gallant gentleman came to my aid. When I thanked him, he thanked me in turn– for this newsetter!
One of you, dear readers– so good so see you again, even outside the play!
Until next year!
Carol Tambor publishes a monthly newsletter, which announces worthy shows coming to New York, along with occasional information about London theatre and, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe.