Theater, Opera and Dance

An audio adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here: Fascism comes to America

By Carlos Delgado, 27 October 2020

The production, a “radio play” adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, depicts the US’s descent into dictatorship after the election of a demagogue.

Metropolitan Opera announces cancellation of entire 2020–2021 season

By Fred Mazelis, 26 September 2020

Management is demanding major concessions from its musicians, who have been furloughed without pay since March.

British government’s token arts rescue package: A “back-to-work” agenda amid an ongoing catastrophe

By Paul Bond, 9 July 2020

The limited financial assistance provided is based on the Johnson government’s claim that the pandemic is on the wane and that theatre, dance and music venues will soon be able to get back to relying on revenue from the paying public.

What Do We Need to Talk About?: Richard Nelson’s “Zoom theater” in the midst of the pandemic

By Fred Mazelis, 8 May 2020

The Apple family in Rhinebeck, New York, tries to carry on, as the world faces disaster and social upheaval.

George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in triumphant return to New York’s Metropolitan Opera

By Fred Mazelis, 26 October 2019

The current production marks the first time that Gershwin’s masterpiece has appeared at the Met in almost 30 years.

Leeds’ Opera North commemorates end of World War I—Part 2

Silent Night, Songs of Love and Battle, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, Last Days, Not Such Quiet Girls

By Barbara Slaughter, 23 January 2019

Opera North staged a week of performances November 30-December 7 to commemorate the end of World War I. Included were two new commissions by the company and the British premier of Silent Night.

Leeds’ Opera North commemorates end of World War I—Part 1

Silent Night, Songs of Love and Battle, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, Last Days, Not Such Quiet Girls

By Barbara Slaughter, 22 January 2019

Opera North staged a week of performances November 30-December 7 to commemorate the end of World War I. Included were two new commissions by the company and the British premier of Silent Night.

A welcome development:

Actor Geoffrey Rush to return to stage with Melbourne Theatre Company

By Richard Phillips, 14 June 2018

Rush, the target of unsubstantiated allegations by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, will play Malvolio in Twelfth Night.

Interview with conductor William Barkhymer: “I think the world is just thankful we had Gershwin to compose Porgy and Bess

By Barry Grey, 25 April 2018

“For me, Porgy and Bess is about a community, the people, how they interact with each other, how they hold together in good times and bad times.”

At the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Frankenstein: Exciting production marks 200 years since publication of Mary Shelley’s work

By Margot Miller, 12 April 2018

The Enlightenment ideas in Shelley’s novel speak forcefully to a modern audience, who can empathise with something created as an articulate rational being and reduced by society to a “monster.”

At the University of Michigan

Racialist attacks mar landmark performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess

By Barry Grey, 7 March 2018

Given the generally deplorable state of culture and intellectual life in contemporary America, it was perhaps inevitable that this remarkable event would be tarnished by the purveyors of racialist conceptions of art.

Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew in Detroit: A drama about the working class

By David Walsh, 3 November 2017

Skeleton Crew takes place in the breakroom of a Detroit stamping plant threatened with closure “somewhere around year 2008.”

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui: Bertolt Brecht’s parable play about the rise of Hitler

By David Walsh, 17 October 2017

The present world situation and the situation in the US in particular were clearly on the minds of the director and the student-actors.

Attempt at censorship in reaction to New York’s Public Theater production of Julius Caesar

By Fred Mazelis, 14 June 2017

Allusions to Donald Trump in the current production of Shakespeare’s play have been followed by a right-wing campaign of intimidation.

Production at Washington, DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company

Liesl Tommy’s Macbeth: An “updated” version, with pluses and minuses, of Shakespeare's tragedy

By Nick Barrickman, 16 May 2017

The production is visually compelling and makes an attempt to place the Shakespeare classic within the context of modern political and social developments.

A conversation with Stephen Parker, author of Bertolt Brecht: A Literary Life

By David Walsh, 19 April 2016

WSWS writers Sybille Fuchs, Stefan Steinberg and David Walsh recently spoke to the author of a valuable new biography of the famed German playwright and poet.

Stephen Parker’s Bertolt Brecht. A Literary Life—a welcome biography that raises big historical issues

By Sybille Fuchs, 18 April 2016

One of the most talented and influential playwrights of the 20th century, Brecht adapted to Stalinism, with pernicious consequences for his career and work.

John Patrick Shanley’s Prodigal Son: A working class youth at a Catholic high school in the 1960s

By Robert Fowler, 19 February 2016

The playwright raises some important issues and then proceeds to skirt them, leaving the audience with little more than a banal liberalism.

Woman at the Window: Oratorio remembers the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

By Adam Mclean, 16 February 2016

Students at the Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts in Los Angeles tackle the deadliest industrial disaster in US history in an honest and compelling work.

Beethoven’s Fidelio distorted beyond recognition at 2015 Salzburg Festival

By Fred Mazelis, 7 November 2015

The opera was written in the aftermath of the French Revolution, and expressed the composer’s devotion to the ideals of the Enlightenment.

Benedict Cumberbatch at the Barbican in London

“Foul deeds will rise…”: Hamlet, in a world on the brink

By George Marlowe, 5 November 2015

The weight of our time is felt, even if unevenly, in the overall mood of the recent production of Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch.

Voodoo, a Harlem Renaissance opera, revived in New York

By Fred Mazelis, 2 July 2015

H. Lawrence Freeman (1869-1954) was active as a composer, conductor and teacher, but his work was rarely performed during his lifetime.

Alan Seymour (1927–2015)—a critical voice against Australian militarism

By Kaye Tucker, 21 April 2015

Seymour’s most successful play The One Day of the Year is one of the very few that challenges the myths surrounding Anzac Day.

The Death of Klinghoffer dramatizes 1985 hijacking of Achille Lauro

By Fred Mazelis, 14 November 2014

John Adams’s opera is a worthy addition to the contemporary operatic repertory.

Satchmo at the Waldorf in New York: The life and times of jazz great Louis Armstrong

By Fred Mazelis, 12 June 2014

A one-man show in New York reveals something of the man behind the myth about an iconic figure in jazz history

The Long Way Home: Sydney Theatre Company signs up with the Australian military

By Richard Phillips, 26 April 2014

The play effects concern about the plight of psychologically and physically wounded soldiers, while whitewashing the Australian military and covering up the criminal nature of the imperialist occupation of Afghanistan.

Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock in New York City

By David Walsh, 2 December 2013

Irish playwright O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock, first performed at the famed Abbey Theatre in Dublin in May 1924, is set in 1922 during the Irish Civil War.

The artist pays a terrible price in Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder

By Sandy English, 15 August 2013

A recent production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, featuring veteran actor John Turturro, brought life to Henrik Ibsen’s 1893 play.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle: Brecht’s parable on “the temptation to do good”

By Fred Mazelis, 4 July 2013

The Classic Stage Company in New York recently staged a limited run of Bertolt Brecht’s last major play.

David Mamet’s Race in Toronto

By Jack Miller, 30 April 2013

In Race, a wealthy white man is accused of raping a black woman. He turns to a law firm run by two male partners—one white and one black—and asks them to defend him.

Finks dramatizes the 1950s anti-communist blacklist

By Fred Mazelis, 26 April 2013

A play based on the lives of Jack and Madeline Gilford makes the 1950s witch-hunts and the struggle against them come alive.

Old Hats from Bill Irwin and David Shiner: An evening with the clowns

By Robert Fowler, 19 April 2013

Old Hats is a highly entertaining night out at the theater for people of all ages. Veteran performers Bill Irwin and David Shiner splendidly bounce off each other for the one hour and 50 minute show.

Letters to Trotsky: A remarkable play at Bielefeld’s Theaterlabor in Germany

By Sybille Fuchs, 30 March 2013

A new play, staged by an experimental ensemble in Bielefeld, movingly recreates the hopes of and hardships suffered by the Soviet population in the early 1920s.

Revival of Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy (1937): The American dream turns sour

By Robert Fowler, 16 January 2013

At the center of Odets’ Depression-era play is Joe Bonaparte (Seth Numrich), a gifted violinist. Bonaparte, however, is equally adept as a boxer and therein lies the play’s central drama.

Sorry at New York’s Public Theater: American liberals on Election Day

By Fred Mazelis, 23 November 2012

The third in a series of plays set in Rhinebeck, New York, Sorry reflects a certain retreat from critical issues.

Theater review

Adam Rapp’s Through the Yellow Hour: Doom and gloom pervades....

By Robert Fowler, 20 October 2012

In Adam Rapp’s new play, terrorists (or perhaps not) have taken over New York City, and a woman hides out in her Lower East Side apartment.

She Town: a drama of working class life in pre-WW II Dundee

By Jordan Shilton, 13 October 2012

Set in Dundee, Scotland in the late 1930s, Sharman Macdonald’s play recounts the struggles of a group of working class women and their families to make ends meet.

Cyrano de Bergerac in New York: The tale of a gallant individual

By Robert Fowler, 4 October 2012

A revival of Edmond Rostand’s well-known 1897 comedy-drama, Cyrano de Bergerac, opens on Broadway October 11.

First Irish Theatre Festival in New York City

Silent: A homeless man in Dublin, with anger and regrets about the past

By Robert Fowler, 17 September 2012

The central figure in Pat Kinevane’s one-man effort is a Dublin homeless man, whose brother committed suicide years before.

Peter and the Starcatcher: An evening of complacent children’s theater

By Robert Fowler, 6 September 2012

Based on the children’s book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Peter and the Starcatcher was adapted for the stage by Rick Elice and made its Broadway debut in April 2012.

Valley of the Shadow: A drama about art, society and revolution

By Vicky Short and Antoine Lerougetel, 11 July 2012

Valley of the Shadow concerns itself with life in small village in Yorkshire at the time of the First World War.

Interview with Jack Shepherd, British actor and playwright

By Vicky Short and Antoine Lerougetel, 11 July 2012

Award-winning actor and playwright Jack Shepherd was born in Yorkshire in October 1940. As well as acting, writing, producing and directing, he also plays the saxophone and jazz piano.

The Late Henry Moss: Sam Shepard’s final exorcism

By Richard Adams, 7 July 2012

Director David Fofi delivers a powerhouse production of Sam Shepard’s The Late Henry Moss.

The Crucible: Arthur Miller’s classic still scalds

By Richard Adams, 29 June 2012

This solid production of American playwright Arthur Miller’s classic drama of the consequences of religious hysteria still resonates, while reminding us of the anti-communist witch-hunts of the McCarthyite era.

Mary Shelley—A new play about her remarkable life and times

By Barbara Slaughter, 13 June 2012

The new play by Helen Edmundson is based on the relationship between Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) and her father, radical journalist and philosopher William Godwin, between 1813 and 1816.

An interview with Helen Edmundson, author of Mary Shelley

By Barbara Slaughter, 13 June 2012

The WSWS recently spoke to playwright Helen Edmundson, whose play on the life of Mary Shelley is currently running in London.

Pinter’s The Caretaker at the Harvey Theater in Brooklyn: A classic has lost none of its power

By Fred Mazelis, 23 May 2012

The Caretaker tells a story of self-delusion and loneliness, through an incident involving two brothers and a homeless man who appears in their lives.

Strindberg & Cinema in Los Angeles

Palaces of memory: August Strindberg and Ingmar Bergman

By Richard Adams, 21 May 2012

The Strindberg & Cinema Festival in Los Angeles featured two films that Ingmar Bergman made for Swedish television: his version of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play (1963) and his portrait of a theater director, After the Rehearsal (1984).

Theatre review

Belgrade production of They Live exposes corruption of Serbia’s political parties

By Ognjen Markovic, 16 May 2012

Maja Pelevic and Milan Markovic have created a play They Live (Oni Zive) exposing the hollowness of the political system in Serbia.

Theater review

The Bewildered Herd in Los Angeles: “Making the puppets jump”

By Richard Adams, 26 April 2012

Cody Henderson’s new play takes on the would-be manipulators of public opinion and their personal and family relations.

David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People: The American theater rediscovers class

By Richard Adams, 18 April 2012

Good People is a play about social class in America. Class perceptions, stereotyping and divisions permeate every scene and almost every moment.

Shakespeare’s The Merchant Of Venice: A world consumed with trade and commerce

By Richard Adams and Ramón Valle, 14 April 2012

The production of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice now running at Theatre Banshee in Burbank, California is vibrant and refreshing.

Theatre review

Dust: Scargill’s dreams, and reality, Britain 1984-2012

By Malcolm Day, 9 April 2012

Dust: Scargill’s dreams, and reality, Britain 1984-2012 received its English premiere at the Barnsley Civic theatre March 15-17.

Theater review

The Many Mistresses Of Martin Luther King and the politics of race in America

By Richard Adams, 26 March 2012

Andrew Dolan’s play, currently on stage in Los Angeles, attempts to address racial stereotyping, identity politics and the academic world.

Isaak Babel’s Marya: An antirevolutionary play?

By Sybille Fuchs, 19 March 2012

The award-winning German director Andrea Breth has staged an outstanding but rarely performed Soviet play at the Düsseldorf Theatre, Isaak Babel’s Marya (1935).

New version of Porgy and Bess: A pale reflection of a work of genius and compassion

By Fred Mazelis, 2 March 2012

The greatest American opera is presented in a new musical version on Broadway.

John Ford’s The Broken Heart: Impressive production of a rarely performed 17th-century classic

By Robert Fowler, 22 February 2012

The Broken Heart, by English playwright John Ford (1586-c. 1639), is currently playing Off Broadway at the Duke Theater on 42nd street in New York City, as part of Theater for a New Audience’s current season.

In defense of Shakespeare—a conversation with veteran Australian actor and director John Bell

By David Walsh, 13 December 2011

A conversation with distinguished Australian actor and director John Bell, who founded the Bell Shakespeare theatre company in 1990.

Asuncion: Inauspicious debut play from film actor Jesse Eisenberg

By Robert Fowler, 15 November 2011

The first play by actor Jesse Eisenberg is apparently his effort to combat “political correctness,” among other things. The result is muddled.

Theater review

Betrayed: An American liberal looks at the disaster he helped bring about in Iraq

By Richard Adams, 31 October 2011

Journalist George Packer’s play considers the fate of three Iraqi translators and collaborators with the American occupation.

At the Public Theater in New York

“Sweet and Sad”: An honest, probing look at life on the anniversary of 9/11

By Fred Mazelis, 3 October 2011

This is the second play in a projected trilogy by Richard Nelson dealing with ordinary events in the life of a family centered in the town of Rhinebeck, New York.

The Shaw Festival’s 50th Season: George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House

By Joanne Laurier, 23 July 2011

Heartbreak House is the featured work this year at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011.

Financial crisis deepens at New York City Opera

By Fred Mazelis, 21 July 2011

On July 12, City Opera artistic director George Steel held a news conference to announce that the company would stage a total of only four productions in the 2011-12 season, to be held at three different venues around the city.

An Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism: Tony Kushner looks at the decay of the “left”

By Fred Mazelis, 20 July 2011

Playwright Tony Kushner’s most recent work takes up unusual subject matter: the decline of trade unionism and the American Communist Party.

Theater review

Tom Jacobson’s The Chinese Massacre (Annotated)…or Massacred History (Restored)

By Richard Adams, 30 May 2011

The Chinese Massacre (Annotated), written by Tom Jacobson, directed by Jeff Liu and presented by Circle X Theatre Company at the Atwater Village Theatre, Los Angeles. April 22-May 28, 2011.

Previews for “Spider-Man” musical in New York produce a rash of injuries

By Peter Daniels, 29 December 2010

In the latest of a series of accidents and resulting injuries that have plagued the forthcoming musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” now in previews in New York City, a 31-year-old actor was hurt December 20.

Angels in America returns to New York

By J. Cooper, 30 November 2010

The Signature Theater revival of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America brings this well-known play back to the New York stage to mark the 20th year of the theater, as well as the 25th anniversary of the year in which the drama takes place.

Danton’s Death at the National Theatre

By Ann Talbot, 2 September 2010

Danton’s Death, the famed play by German writer Georg Büchner, follows the conflict which took place in March and April 1794 within the “Mountain”—the most revolutionary wing of the French National Convention.

Shostakovich’s The Nose finds its way to the opera stage

By Fred Mazelis, 6 April 2010

Shostakovich’s first opera, The Nose, recently received its premiere production at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, more than 80 years after it first appeared.

Sweeping cuts in German cultural facilities

By Sybille Fuchs, 23 March 2010

The huge cuts being made in the sphere of culture in Germany are an indication of the bourgeois establishment’s low regard for the arts.

The Power of Yes: A serious indictment of capitalism

David Hare at the National Theatre

By Paul Stuart, 22 December 2009

In the wake of the ongoing crisis, the British theatre has sought in a number of pieces to address the meltdown of the financial system.

A dramatic account of the death of Jean Charles de Menezes

Stockwell, by Kieron Barry

By Paul Bond, 29 September 2009

A review of Kieron Barry’s play Stockwell: The Inquest into the Death of Jean Charles de Menezes.

At the Globe Theatre in London

A New World: A Life of Thomas Paine by Trevor Griffiths

By Ann Talbot, 18 September 2009

Trevor Griffiths’ A New World: A Life of Thomas Paine brings to the stage an 18th century figure who made a significant contribution to both the American and French revolutions and whose writings have continued to influence revolutionary movements ever since.

Ruined: Congo is setting for prize-winning play on wartime violence against women

By Fred Mazelis, 19 June 2009

Ruined, by Lynn Nottage, is set in a Congolese brothel during the civil war that has raged for most of the past decade in that impoverished African nation. It has strengths, but also serious problems.

“England People” deeply flawed

England People Very Nice, by Richard Bean, at the National Theatre, London

By Paul Bond, 29 May 2009

Richard Bean’s latest play England People Very Nice fails both artistically and politically.

The Idea Man at the Elephant Theatre Company in Los Angeles

By Richard Adams, 18 May 2009

Kevin King’s The Idea Man, now receiving its world premiere with the Elephant Theatre Company in Hollywood, CA, leaps exuberantly into the gulf between labor and management.

Lions roaring in a well

Vince Melocchi’s Lions at the Pacific Resident Theatre

By Richard Adams, 1 April 2009

Lions is set in a neighborhood tavern in Detroit. The play treats the lives of a group of working class football fans, as their team disappoints them once again, and their economic and personal prospects darken.

Toronto the Good: It needs to push harder in some very uncomfortable places

By Jack Miller, 18 February 2009

Andrew Moodie’s new play Toronto the Good opened at Toronto’s Factory Theatre on January 31, offering audiences an intelligent, entertaining and lively evening of theatre.

London’s Globe Theatre to stage Trevor Griffiths’ A New World: A Life of Thomas Paine

By Ann Talbot, 18 February 2009

Academy Award winning writer Trevor Griffiths speaks about his new play A New World: A Life of Thomas Paine, which will be produced at London’s Globe Theatre this summer. It is an adaptation of his screenplay These Are The Times: A Life of Thomas Paine, and will dramatise the life of an outstanding revolutionary whose works retain an intense relevance for today.

In Spitting Distance: war, exile and other daily realities for Palestinians

By Richard Phillips, 24 November 2008

In Spitting Distance is an emotional and at times darkly ironic exploration of the situation facing a Palestinian actor/playwright in Ramallah, Paris and Tel Aviv in 2002.

“Good theatre makes you ask questions”

An interview with Khalifa Natour and Ofira Henig

By Richard Phillips, 24 November 2008

In Spitting Distance, a one-man show performed by Khalifa Natour and directed by Ofira Henig, was recently staged at the Sydney Opera House. Henig and Natour discussed the production with Richard Phillips.

Ken Campbell (1941-2008): A unique theatrical talent

By Paul Bond, 11 September 2008

The death of the restlessly brilliant Ken Campbell, aged just 66, has robbed the theatre of one of its most inspiring talents. He was instantly recognisable: a short, bald man with increasingly unruly eyebrows, possessed of an extraordinary speaking voice, once compared to an exhaust pipe with a broken silencer. He did take some commercial television work in sitcoms and soap operas, and some small film parts, but his reputation was established on the basis of the singularity of his own theatrical vision.

Opera for everyone

Porgy and Bess in Berlin

By Verena Nees, 29 July 2008

Porgy and Bess, by George Gershwin, Deutsche Oper, Berlin, July 4 to August 1, 2008; conducted by Willie Waters; directed by Angelo Gobbato; the opera will also be performed at Den Norske Opera, Oslo, August 9 to August 29

A turn toward history we need: Paris Commune at the Public Theater in New York

By Sandy English, 4 June 2008

Paris Commune, written by Steven Cosson and J. Michael Friedman, directed by Steven Cosson, and performed by The Civilians at the Public Lab Series Workshop at the Public Theater in New York City, April 4 to 20

Adding Machine: Musical version of a 1920s play reverberates in the 21st century

By Peter Daniels, 12 April 2008

The musical adaptation of an 85-year-old play by American writer Elmer Rice has drawn praise from critics and a strong response from theatergoers in New York City, where it opened in February. “Adding Machine” was produced in Chicago and brought with its cast and creative team to Off-Broadway’s Minetta Lane Theater.

An interview with playwright Trevor Griffiths

By Ann Talbot, 21 February 2008

Trevor Griffiths has just published a screenplay for a film about the life of the eighteenth century revolutionary Thomas Paine. He wrote the screenplay for the film Reds with Warren Beatty and has a long list of television and theatre plays to his credit.

Works by Trevor Griffiths

21 February 2008


Trevor Griffiths’ These are the Times: a Life of Thomas Paine

A great film yet to be made

By Ann Talbot, 21 February 2008

Trying to understand

The Death of Margaret Thatcher—a play by Tom Green

By Paul Bond, 14 February 2008

Tom Green’s The Death of Margaret Thatcher, at the Courtyard Theatre, London N1, through March 2

To explore another level of society

Hotel Obsino writer Adam Broinowski speaks with WSWS

By Richard Phillips, 11 December 2007

Writer and director Adam Broinowski spoke with the World Socialist Web Site about Hotel Obsino, which was recently staged at the La Mama Theatre as part of this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival. (See Hotel Obsino: inner-city poverty and despair)

Hotel Obsino: inner-city poverty and despair

By Richard Phillips, 11 December 2007

Hotel Obsino, written and directed by Adam Broinowksi, was staged at this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival, an alternative annual arts festival held for three weeks in late September.

Letters on Brian Wilson

19 November 2007

The following correspondence was sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to the article, “An evening with Brian Wilson” and two subsequent letters, posted here and here.

An Evening with Brian Wilson

The Palace Theatre in Manchester, England—September 23, 2007

By Robert Stevens, 24 October 2007

I have wanted to see Brian Wilson for a long time and got the chance to do so September 23 when he played Manchester, England on his latest tour.

The Kingdom: Spinning reality any way one wants

By Hiram Lee, 22 October 2007

Directed by Peter Berg, screenplay by Matthew Carnahan

Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia

By Peter Daniels, 21 April 2007

Tom Stoppard’s trilogy The Coast of Utopia, near the end of its six-month run at Lincoln Center’s Beaumont Theater in New York City, is an unusual theatrical event. The aim of these three plays—Voyage, Shipwreck and Salvage—is nothing less than to depict the rise and early struggles of the Russian intelligentsia. This very small stratum, drawn largely from the most privileged layers of the population, was to play a seminal role in Russian and world history.

To speak the truth without being afraid: My Name Is Rachel Corrie on stage in New York

By Sandy English, 20 January 2007

My Name Is Rachel Corrie by Alan Rickman and Katherine Vinter, directed by Alan Rickman, at the Minetta Lane Theatre, New York City, October 15—December 30, 2006.

Lillian Groag’s The Magic Fire at the Shaw Festival: an unusually perceptive piece

By Joanne Laurier, 2 September 2006

The Magic Fire, by Lillian Groag, directed by Jackie Maxwell, at the Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, June 11 to October 8

Fifty years since the death of German playwright Bertolt Brecht

The Threepenny Opera and St. Joan of the Stockyards on stage in Berlin

By Stefan Steinberg, 31 August 2006

Official Germany has long had an ambiguous attitude toward one of the country’s most gifted poets and dramatists, Bertolt Brecht, who died fifty years ago this month. During the period of the Cold War, Brecht was either heavily criticised or ignored by the vast majority of West German anti-communist critics and politicians, who sought to make political capital out of the artist’s choice to settle and work in Stalinist East Germany (GDR).

A passionate exposure of the David Hicks case, with one glaring omission

Honour Bound, co-designed and directed by Nigel Jamieson

By Richard Phillips, 23 August 2006

Honour Bound, a 90-minute multimedia performance co-designed and directed by Nigel Jamieson at the Sydney Opera House until September 3 and Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre from September 15 until October 1, dramatises the plight of David Hicks, a 31-year-old Australian citizen imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay for almost five years in violation of the Geneva Conventions and his basic democratic rights.

Powerful truths, limited aims: No Child by the Epic Theater Center in New York

By Sandy English, 26 June 2006

No Child, written and performed by Nilaja Sun, directed by Hal Brooks, produced by the Epic Theater Center at the Samuel Beckett Theater, New York City