Editor’s Desk

A Life with Purpose

Charles Dickens opens, A Tale of Two Cities, with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” the novel then goes on giving us a feel for living with purpose through the French Revolution. I bring this up because the same can be said of today. We live in a world so full of marvel, so full of opportunity that it ...

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Theatre Keeps Us Human

Why is theatre such a different experience than going to a movie? After all, it’s ostensibly the same genre. It certainly has the same elements and many of the artists move easily between the two. Perhaps it has more to do with expectations than it does with the art itself. At it’s very core, going to see a play is a personal experience. It’s a ...

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The End of Each Year Brings a Time of Reflection

The end of each year brings a time of reflection. How was our year, what did we accomplish, where did we fail, and what can we change to better ourselves and our place in the world? We look back not just at the recent past, but also at the totality of our history. In the same way, we can ponder the nature of theatre. All ...

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To Judge or To Be

Theatre, for centuries, answered a vast range of needs; entertainment, diversion, allegory, parable, history, spectacle and moral lessons. Mixed in there were healthy doses of variety acts, burlesque, farce and vulgar demonstration. This was all carried out at centralized locations, on some schedule that was convenient to audience and artist alike. But society has changed. In a fashion, theatre has become marginalized. Today the meaningless ...

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Refresh

For quite some time, we at FootLights have been trying to find a way to help you, the audience, find shows. From the start we wanted to bring to light the vast opportunities that local theatre has to offer. Every weekend, new shows open. Every week new gems appear and struggle to find an audience. Until now, you’ve either gone to ads in our programs, ...

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Theatre and Democracy

Every four years America engages in a great community exercise – the national election. In its inception, we can presume that the purpose of this election was to give the varied and often disparate ideas of American citizens a cohesive voice through a representative process. The results of the election would supposedly reflect the general good of the nation. It didn’t quite work out that ...

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New Theaters

How often do you go to see a show without having any idea of what the play is about? If you’re like most people, you go to shows for one of three reasons: you know the material, and want to see it again; you know someone in the show and want to support them; or, someone you know has recommended a production and you’re feeling ...

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Picking Your Campfire, Helping Good Theatre Grow

How do you pick a show? It’s hard to put a solid number on how many shows open in Los Angeles every year. The best guesstimates are somewhere between a low of seven hundred to a high a few years back when there were more than fifteen hundred productions mounted in a single year. So, if we assume that there is an even distribution of ...

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Theatre, Spectacle and The Common Man

Every now and then the question arises, “What is theatre?” We live in an age where we have come to expect theatricality in virtually everything, from government to business, from sports and religion. Our entire mass media entertainment structure is built on theatrical presentation and selling personalitis is being done in like fashion. So when the world around us is theatrical, what do we have ...

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A Bit of Berkeley in Washington

Each spring something like 500 advocates descend on Washington, DC for Americans for the Arts’ annual Arts Advocacy Day.  The event—actually two days, one day of training and issues briefings, and one day filled with visits to Congress—is the largest of its kind.  Most of the delegates, not surprisingly, are arts professionals, lots of administrators, a few artists, some teachers and the smattering of highly ...

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