Who, precisely, is the title character in Brave Spirits Theatre’s production of The Changeling, by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, is left open to interpretation. The text of the play speculates on the question but does not provide a definitive answer. Director Charlene V. Smith takes that tone of ambiguity and plays with it brilliantly in her approach to the script. She takes a late-Renaissance play that features violence, misogyny, and sexual assault as major plot elements,
John Webster is, perhaps, an even better patron saint for Brave Spirits than William Shakespeare: he brings both the verse, and the violence with The Duchess of Malfi. Katie Culligan brings the Duchess’ power from her first silent moments on stage. She is strong and self-possessed, charming and beautiful, grounded and passionate. Her performance is closely nuanced at every moment.
The villain of the piece is Ferdinand, her brother,
For a world turned upside down as 2018, Director Charlene V. Smith has crafted a riveting, provocative, explosive Coriolanus. “Are we even capable of not harming ourselves?” she asks in the director’s notes, echoing Tori Boutin as citizen of Rome: “We willingly consented to his banishment, yet it was against our will.”
Smith’s Rome is not a pinnacle of civilization. It’s violent and dirty, its citizens easily provoked to engage every whim.
The king is coming! We have seen the best of our times! Fitting lines of flattery, from the Bard’s tragedy bent around such a concept, as Washington DC area acting legend Rick Foucheux makes his final journey onto the boards. Announcing his retirement from acting in theatre, Foucheux goes out with a maddening bang in Avant Bard’s King Lear. Directed by Tom Prewitt, this rich and hearty version of the mad king’s drama is modernized yet classic,
Now is a time to speak, I harken! Can my heart consent to let my tongue throw out such words? Such words as Jacobean Comedy? Quizzically oxymoronic in its nature, the notion that something humorous came out of the era of brutal bloody tragedies often circling like flagrant vultures around things like depravity and incest is preposterous. Until you see A King and No King, appearing now as the lighter half of The Incest Rep at Brave Spirits Theatre.
Let’s face it: Parma is a nasty, nasty place. It’s got people cheating on their spouses, and plots of revenge, even before it gets all incesty. Which, of course, it does, this being part of Brave Spirits’ Incest Rep, along with A King and No King, by Beaumont and Fletcher. Those Jacobeans liked their plays dark, and that’s perfect to help Brave Spirits’ pledge of “Verse and Violence”.
The most available bachelorette in Parma is the beautiful Annabella,
We are not animals. We are watching. But what if we are animals and are not to be trusted? Forum Theatre brings to the stage in a fully immersive and unapologetically evocative experience Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman. Directed by Yury Urnov, this deceptively dark drama and majestically macabre tale unfolds in a surreal reality that is simultaneously in the audience’s periphery and just outside of their vision. Remarkably experiential,
“One man in his time plays many parts,” declares Melancholy Jacques, and that definitely describes Richard Pilcher’s magnificent performance(s) in Annapolis Shakespeare Company‘s production of As You Like It. A mere eight actors pull off four pairs of lovers, two courts of lords, and an array of miscellaneous country bumpkins. Pilcher plays four separate roles, each strong, distinct, and imbued with life. His Jacques is pitch perfect: melancholy without being glum,
If you intend to shut a mind, then it is best to know the mind you are attempting to shut. Going deep into the minds of Factory449 company members Sara Barker and David Lamont Wilson, TheatreBloom interviews these two actors about their experience with Closet Land, the company’s current production that delves into the realm of psychological, emotional, and physical torture in the name of government stability.
Thank you both for this interview.
It’s that time of year, folks! The Washington Area Theatre Community Honors have come around again to honor all of the truly exceptional theatre being performed in community venues across the Washington DC and surrounding metropolitan area. The 2014 award nominations were presented live this evening at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA.
There were 111 different productions– 34 musicals and 77 plays– adjudicated over in the 2014 theatrical season. 31 community theatre companies participated in WATCH adjudication in 2014.