Monday, May 3, 2010

Good News/Bad News

Before my longer post on How Theatre Failed America, I wanted to pass along two pieces of news, one very good and one very sad.

On a good note: the Tony Awards committee has announced that the 2010 Regional Theatre Tony will be going to the Eugene O'Neill Center in Waterford, CT. This is gratifying on a professional level--few theatres have a comparably stellar record for new works, particularly those which go on to production and acclaim elsewhere. But it's also a pleasure personally--I spent two weeks at the O'Neill in 2008 at the National Critic's Institute, which was the genesis of this blog and a major influence on my writing and career. It's a wonderful place to be and work, where you can focus on theatre while surrounded by gorgeous scenery and eating edible cafeteria food. In addition to seeing (and reviewing) at least ten shows in two weeks, I also treasure the friendships I established with the other critics and the way that members of every segment of the festival mixed and had fun. It didn't matter who were the playwrights, the actors, the critics, the interns, the National Theatre Institute students--we all hung out at Blue Gene's, the gloriously cheap bar, played cards and Mafia, and went swimming, before hopping the van to return to our dorm rooms. It was a wonderful experience, and I would love to go back some day. So congratulations to Executive Director Preston Whiteway, the heads of the various divisions, and the entire staff, and thank you to Leonard Jacobs, Dan Sullivan, Helene Goldfarb, and Mark Charney for letting me into the Critics' Institute and making my experience so wonderful.

However, in very sad news, Playbill reports that famed British actress Lynn Redgrave has died at the age of 67. It's not explicitly stated what the cause of death was, but she was treated for breast cancer in 2003, and last fall, when performing her solo show Nightingale, she announced that she was receiving treatments for Stage IV cancer at Sloan-Kettering. (She performed Nightingale seated and with a script in front of her.) She was nominated for the Tony three times and the Oscar twice, and occasionally appeared with her sister, Vanessa, and brother, Corin. Corin died only a few weeks ago, and Vanessa's daughter Natasha Richardson famously died last winter, so this has been a really horrible year for the Redgrave clan. I wish them all comfort, and hope that the family stays intact for a while.

1 comment:

Zev Valancy said...

Playbill has a really lovely photo tribte to Lynn Redgrave, following her through her stage career, here: