Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Some news notes from the past week or two...

August Wilson's play Fences, which is being produced at the Oregon Shakespeare festival right now, is also headed back to Broadway. This would be the second Broadway revival of a Wilson play, and is being directed by another playwright, Suzan-Lori Parks. Wilson himself came up with the idea, in a conversation with the producer on his 60th birthday.

Meanwhile, American Theatre reports on the ongoing marathon of all ten Wilson plays at the Kennedy Center in Washington: a core company of 25 actors plus some special guests, and a small cadre of directors (all with "a personal connection with August"), is mounting them in limited form over several weeks. They'll be done with minimal production values and script-in-hand. "The most important thing is to hear the purity and beauty of August's words," says project director Kenny Leon. The purpose of doing all of them in a short time is to hear "each play talking to the other plays." Wish I were there!

But sad news also last week: the death of Anthony Minghella, known as the director of major motion pictures like The English Patient (for which he won the Oscar), Cold Mountain, and his first movie which is one of my personal favorities (and which makes me a member of yet another cult): Truly, Madly, Deeply. But Minghella was also an accomplished playwright (an evening of his short plays was done in Washington last year) and recently directed stage opera. He was a prodiguously talented man, who was only 54.

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