Tag Archives: culture

The Season of the Scare

Scare halloween pumpkin glow in dark

Lately my thoughts have drifted to Halloween because we live in a culture where, the moment Labor Day hits, polite women stop wearing white shoes and grocery stores start pushing orange bags of candy. As with most things in America, sophisticated marketing has changed Halloween over the years. However, the essentials of the holiday are still there: the candy, the dress-up, and the scare. I ...

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Labor Day for Artists

hamburger minimum wage

There is much in the news these days about how artists, and the personnel infrastructure supporting the artists, need to be appropriately compensated.  Los Angeles theater, of course, has become ground-zero for some of this debate.  Despite claims to the contrary, you’d be hard-pressed to find a stage actor in L.A. who wouldn’t like to be more appropriately compensated.  The issue is defining the term ...

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‘This Week in Shakespeare’ Hits 100 Episodes

armin shimerman shakespeare

This Week in Shakespeare, the weekly video series created by bicoastal actors Liza de Weerd and Brian Weiss, hit a major milestone this week by posting its 100th episode.  To mark this special occasion, de Weerd and Weiss chose married actors Kitty Swink and Armin Shimerman as the epsisode’s subjects.  Shimerman, best known for originating the role of popular Ferengi character Quark in the Star ...

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Letter to Editor: Plaintiffs’ Response to AEA President (Part 2)

poor funding underfunded footlights

“And the other is that – and I think this is one of the things that guided the Council – the idea that a mid-sized theater could open at this point, or even a smallish theater, could open at this point in Los Angeles when they had to compete with the 99-seat business model (which is much more cost-effective) is kind of preposterous.”  ~ Actors’ ...

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The Anonymous Creator

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If you’ve ever walked through a museum like LACMA or the Norton Simon, it’s likely you’ve run into art objects from antiquity.  These objects are not signed.  There’s no clue as to the artisan’s name.  They are of anonymous origin. And yet the objects are undeniably true works of art, representing aesthetic sensibilities and skills requiring years to develop. I was reminded of this anonymous ...

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NEA Study: Arts Contributed $704.2 Billion To 2013 U.S. Economy, 32.5% Increase Since 1998

Broadway World: In support of the ongoing argument as to whether or not performing arts have economic value, take look at these numbers recently released by the National Endowment for the Arts.  Among the new findings: Theaters contributed $7.1 billion dollars.  There has also been growth in profit and non-profit industries across the board. “Studies are continually providing evidence that the arts contributes greatly to local economies. ...

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Dakin Matthews on Acting

Dakin Matthews footlights

Dakin Matthews is a well-known LA actor, scholar, and the founder of the Antaeus Theatre Company.  Most recently seen in the film Spies Like Us – playing scenes opposite Tom Hanks – he recently spoke at USC about, well, acting and theater. To have to work at the extreme edge of your experience at the age of 75 is wonderful.

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Steven Leigh Morris Lays Out LASA Agenda

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ThisStage:  Steven Leigh Morris, the new Executive Director for the LA Stage Alliance, lays out the initial agenda under his leadership.  It’s a 4-point plan concerning: Property Values Youth Involvement Diversity Mobility / Traffic Underscoring the entire plan is the notion that local theaters are good for local business. Rising property values in Southern California are destabilizing arts organizations at an escalating rate — particularly ...

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A Classic Tradition

classic film bogart casablanca footlights

In the Oxford Dictionary, the first definition of the noun, “classic,” is classic (noun): A work of art of recognized and established value. The inclusion of the words “of art,” however, makes this definition unnecessarily narrow.  Here’s a better one: classic (noun): A work of recognized and established value. It’s necessary to widen the definition because works of science can also be classics.  Examples include ...

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LA County’s Free Holiday Spectacular Returns Dec 24th

la county christmas holiday footlights

“I’ve been producing the Holiday Celebration for ten years, so I’m most excited about the sounds and groups that have never been on the show before,” said producer Adam Davis.  “This year’s Celebration will feature music by SK Kakraba, who will be playing the gyil (a Ghanaian xylophone) that SK made himself. Another highlight is the Citrus Singers who sing and play handbells at the ...

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