By Tim Smith
Yep, school openings loom over the next few weeks, and living in an urban center, the one thing that I have noticed is that the traffic is beginning to pick up a tad. A mixed blessing for sure, I for one loved school, so I cut these road warriors a wide path, most of the time.
A great deal to share this week as one staged year is offered up in perspective along with news on other fronts.
From the pages of the July/August 2019 issue of American Theatre Magazine, published by Theatre Communications Group, (TCG), I thought you might enjoy some thoughts from Teresa Eyring, TCG's executive director and chief executive officer.
The first of three parts, Ms. Eyring lays out the theatre landscape: "As the Broadway season wrapped this year, the Broadway League announced record attendance of more than 14 million for productions in New York City and Touring Broadway reported 18.5 million attendees across the U.S. and Canada. Meanwhile the most recent Theatre Facts report from Theatre Communications Group estimated gross attendance in not-for-profit resident theatres at 44 million.”
“Combined, these stats suggest there are, give or take, 75 million admissions to professional theatre offerings across the country annually. That's impressive!"
American Theatre Wing, one of the sponsoring organizations of the Tony Awards, is also known for its education programs.
The aptly named “Working in the Theatre" is the Emmy nominated documentary series revealing fascinating human stories, the process of creating for the stage, and culture defining trends in American theatre.
If you have family or friends who are looking to work in the industry, check out the Wing's website for further information. Additional sites to visit are the ones for the aforementioned Broadway League and Theatre Communications Group.
Jerry Seinfeld's latest season of his Netflix series, "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee," has been released. I was impressed with the quality of the discussions with new and familiar faces of comedy, Eddie Murphy was particularly enlightening.
For the first time, Mr. Seinfeld let down his guard thus permitting some of his passion for craft, and those who are charged with upholding its standards, to border on the edgy.
One of his guests brought out an individual, (their named removed during editing for protection), and that gets Mr. Seinfeld clearly upset. This was a surprising turn. I am pleased that he did not leave his reactions on the editing room floor.
In the news: Western Swing superstar Kristyn Harris will be performing on Friday, August 23rd at 5:30 p.m. at the "Giddy Up Gala" at the Jackson County Expo Center in Altus, Oklahoma.
Congratulations to Theatre Squared in Fayetteville, Arkansas that celebrated the grand opening of its new home on August 8th with their production of "Shakespeare In Love," based on the Oscar winning film of the same name, opening on August 14th.
My theatre home base, the truly special Chino Community Theatre in Chino, California, will wrap up its 35th season this Christmas with "A Christmas Carol." Well done, and congratulations to the team at the 7th Street Theatre.
Tim(e) Travels-1969: I did not have the opportunity to revel in the Woodstock experience over that long weekend, 50 years ago next week, and I had recently highlighted that some 400K fans did make that trek to New York.
I still ponder, and it is not a pretty set of images floating in my minds eye, what the living conditions must have been like.
From a confined space, literally, just a few weeks earlier as we marveled at the home of the Apollo 11 crew, to the wide open spaces of a dairy farm, I guess you can fill in the rest as it relates to, well, you get that picture.
Ah, the joys of freedom of exploration and expression, it was quite a summer.
"Every artist was first an amateur." Ralph Waldo Emerson.
As summer winds down, enjoy some last minute travel to our towns. Play, ahead!
Welcoming you into the room and provoking conversation, since '06.
See you in the paper.
t A s