British playwright David Hare had an interesting piece in the Guardian over the weekend about theatre and journalism. Do playwrights need to wait to write about current events with perspective? Is verbatim theatre a form of journalism? Well worth a read.
I liked this thought of his: "Journalism is life with the mystery taken out. Art is life with the mystery restored."
Also of note in Hare's article, a couple of interesting nods at Canadians:1) He reveals that the form of his recent play about the financial crisis, The Power of Yes, was inspired by Glenn Gould's radio series from 1960s and 1970s; and 2) he makes mention of Studio 180's recent production of Stuff Happens in Toronto, quoting from a letter director Joel Greenberg sent him.
More Hare on Canucks? Here's my interview with him from last year where we talked about Michael Ignatieff, as well as The Vertical Hour and his sometimes antagonistic relationship with the press (which is really a love-hate relationship).
The Rideau Awards, Ottawa and Gatineau's theatre awards and apparently the only bilingual theatre awards in the country, were announced last night. On the English side, the Great Canadian Theatre Company cleaned up with their production of The Syringa Tree. The one-woman show set in South Africa during Apartheid won for outstanding production, outstanding female performance (Patricia Fagan), outstanding director (Lise Ann Johnson), and outstanding lighting design (Jock Munro). The Ottawa Citizen rounds up the rest. Congrats/félicitations to all the winners.
The Rideau Awards have been around for three years now, and I must admit I find the fact that the National Arts Centre does not take part in them a tad problematic. Publicist Nancy Kenney explained to me in an email what the deal is:
NAC shows are technically eligible (those that are not touring productions), however the NAC has voluntarily chosen not to participate in the Rideau Awards program. Because they are an organization with a national scope, and with far larger budgets than local organizations, they feel it would give them an unfair advantage.
I don't know, doesn't that stance seem a little... condescending? It seems to me that the impact and importance of the Rideau Awards are diminished by the fact they omit the city's most-watched productions. But what do Ottawans think?
One more quick thing: Canada's Breithaupt Brothers are getting a showcase at Joe's Pub in New York on May 3 featuring some of musical theatre's best performers. Playbill lists them all, but the names that stand out for me are Tony nominees and winners Kelli O'Hara (South Pacific,The Pajama Game), James Naughton (Chicago, City of Angels) and LaChanze (The Color Purple).
Lyricist Jeff Breithaupt and composer Don Breithaupt most recently wrote Seeing Stars, a "boxing musical" set in 1930s New York and their debut recording, Toronto Sings the Breithaupt Brothers Songbook, came out in January.