Tag Archives: President

Links for the End of the World

This week has been especially hard for a lot of us in theatre in the US. A lot of the diversity inherent in our community feels threatened, both by potential policies that will pass, and by the implicit approval of hateful behavior in people across the country. We are also anxious about the safety nets and health insurance we rely on for some semblance of financial security in our lives. We are worried about our international collaborators, who already face difficulty crossing our border and working here. And of course, we worry about the theatre itself, which now must work under a President-Elect who has crossed IATSE picket lines in the past and shown no hesitation to jackhammer artwork into a thousand pieces if he can make a buck off of it.

Theatre can survive. We’ve survived the complete banning of our craft by governments and religions in the past. Modern theatre continues to survive its complete censorship (Belarus Free Theatre) and even survives in war zones where its leaders are assassinated (Jenin Freedom Theatre).

But we need to recommit to protecting everyone in our community and making sure the theatre remains a safe space for us to work and tell our stories. And we need to continue telling stories to ensure our country can stem the tide of demagoguery and bigotry that has plagued it throughout its history.

That’s my piece for now. Onto the links:

The USITT Member Spotlight shines its light on Jeff Bazemore, the props master at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. Jeff only finished graduate school a few years ago, and he has already proven himself to be a rockstar in props and an integral resource for others.

Popular stage shows like ‘War Horse’ are leading a puppetry revival. If the world is having a puppetry revival, perhaps there’s some hope after all. Macleans takes a look at some of the puppeteers and companies leading this revival.

Wired showcases the work of Jordan Boltan, who constructs hundreds of tiny props, set pieces, and costume elements, then arranges them to make delightful posters for various films.

US Presidents and the Theatre

President Obama and his daughters attended the July 18, 2015, performance of Hamilton on Broadway. His wife, Michelle, had seen it off-Broadway at the Public Theatre. Former president Bill Clinton and his wife, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, also caught an off-Broadway performance of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s celebrated show about the Founding Fathers. Miranda first performed songs from the show way back in 2009 to Obama, and he sat next to the President during last week’s performance at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

Many of my friends worked on the show (Jay Duckworth even has an article on how the props shop made 160 turned candlesticks). It made me wonder about the theatre habits of other Presidents. Turns out, the American Presidency has long had a rich involvement with the theatre. Thanks to the book American Presidents Attend the Theatre by Thomas Bogar and a few hours of Googling, I’ve dug up a few interesting stories. Continue reading US Presidents and the Theatre