It’s Not Over Yet: Asian-American Festival Keeps the Drama Going in LA

Just when you thought Los Angeles’ June theater festivals were wrapping up, it turns out the fat lady has a lot more to see before she sings. As RADAR L.A. and the Theatre Communications Group begin to close their curtains, and Hollywood Fringe … [Read more...]

‘Solitude’: Waxing Philosophical, Waning Into Tedium

A stiff but stylish drama inspired by the philosophical musings of Octavio Paz, the Latino Theater Company’s Solitude attempts to imagine a Mexican-American existentialism but achieves only everyday, generalized angst. The action, such as it is, … [Read more...]

‘Hot Pepper’: Downsized Dance by Chelfitsch

Anyone who’s ever worked in a cubicle will recognize the fluorescent-cool pecking order of corporate culture in Chelfitsch's Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and The Fairwell Speech.  The Japanese company opened its dance theater piece which runs through … [Read more...]

‘State of Incarceration’: Locked Up, and a Little Locked Out

You walk down a hallway at Los Angeles Theatre Center and into a large, brightly lit room. But where do you sit? Painted black wooden boxes line a wall and row on row of metal bunk beds with thin, tightly tucked blankets confront you.  You file in … [Read more...]

‘Titus Redux’ Review and Impressions

  My podcast review and impressions of 'Titus Redux' - an update of William Shakespeare's 'Titus Andronicus' by the Not Man Apart and New American Theatre companies. … [Read more...]

Stehlin on ‘Titus’: Finding Narrative in Abstraction

If you indulge in the HBO series Weeds, you know Jack Stehlin. And if you don't know his role as Drug Enforcement Agency Captain Roy Till, you probably know him from any number of "angry cop" roles he's played throughout the years. So perhaps his … [Read more...]

Pretty Ronnie’s ‘State of Incarceration’

  Ronnie Walker barely moves. He faces a corner of the prison yard, relaxed, swaying gently. When a fight breaks out, the correctional officers bark, “Yard down!” and then begin screaming at him. Why hasn’t he dropped to the ground as … [Read more...]

First Take: The Method Gun

In The Method Gun, Austin-based collective Rude Mechs explores the "cult of acting" as an ensemble, abandoned by their guru, rehearses for performances of a reimagined Streetcar Named Desire.  Minutes after attending the opening night performance … [Read more...]

Rectangular Anger: ‘2 Dimensional Life of Her’

  Puppets — and menace — in the ballroom 2 Dimensional Life of Her, the first production of the RADAR L.A. International Festival of Contemporary Theater, might better qualify as experimental film than any conventional idea of theater. … [Read more...]

‘Can We Cause a Revolution?’ Theater Pros React to ‘Neva’ Opening Night at REDCAT [VIDEO]

Playwrights, artistic directors and other stage pros were not only moved by the opening-night performance of Neva at Radar LA, Guillermo Calderón's latest work being produced by Teatro en el Blanco at the Radar LA theater festival, they walked into … [Read more...]

‘2 Dimensional Life of Her,’ Revisited

  Since its Tuesday premiere as part of the RADAR L.A. festival, Fleur Elise Noble’s enigmatic and captivating hybrid experience 2 Dimensional Life of Her -- part film, part theater, and all art installation -- has generated a lot of "you've … [Read more...]

‘The Method Gun’: Rude Mechs Leap, Moving Us

Five actors stand, facing downstage and smiling at the audience.  One is in a brilliant orange jumpsuit.  She holds an old, faded kitchen timer.  On a whiteboard upstage, an overhead projector beams “Training Technique: CRYING PRACTICE.” She sets … [Read more...]

Postmodern Shakespeare, Four Plays, Four Ways

We just can’t get over the Bard. Even at RADAR L.A. and the Hollywood Fringe, dueling festivals devoted to the theatrical cutting edge, the ultimate warhorses are still running strong – though they are, of course, all dressed up in postmodern … [Read more...]

Fear and Brooding: Twain’s ‘Ghost Story’

Read Mark Twain's A Ghost Story and you'll get a hybrid tale that teases readers with all the clichéd elements of suspense but ends with one of the author's signature lessons on human folly. See the story adapted from page to stage in a 20-minute … [Read more...]

RADAR L.A. Symposium on Theater’s Future: An Idea Plus Terror

Right in the middle of a presentation of manifestos at RADAR L.A. on the Future of Theater, Shawn Sides from Austin's Rude Mechs subverted the whole idea of the panel discussion. In the future, she said, there would be no manifestos. She then went on … [Read more...]

Waiting for Furlough: The Existential Drama of ‘Brewsie and Willie’

The fighting has ended for the title characters in Brewsie and Willie, an adaptation of Gertrude Stein’s rumination on American World War II veterans that opened last night as part of the RADAR L.A. theater festival. But as they wait for their … [Read more...]

Sometimes It Rains Apples: ‘Ground to Cloud,’ ‘Myth and Infrastructure’

Despite its age, the term performance art remains a useful one, if only because no other phrase encompasses so many types of alternative theatrical expression in which you hear so much about "environments." Whatever you choose to call it, a double … [Read more...]

Steinspeak: ‘Brewsie and Willie’

  As Willie, the amiably angst-ridden protagonist and agonist of Brewsie and Willie might say, “How is it, fellows, that you could make yourself a theater show out of a book by that Gertrude Stein. How is it? How is it, I say?” In the … [Read more...]

Cube Farm: ‘as you are now so once were we’

Any parent of small children knows you can have more fun with a cardboard box than the most expensive toys, but The Company takes the concept beyond any three-year-old's wildest imaginings. In As you are now so once were we, the Dublin theater … [Read more...]

Gallery Piece?: ‘2 Dimensional Life of Her’

Presenting your art to an audience doesn't make it theater. Only when Fleur Elise Noble's puppets have stripped down their setting -- the artist's messy studio -- to the blank white walls of a gallery, do they begin to burn the place down. The … [Read more...]

Intro to RADAR L.A. with Laura Spencer

What is RADAR L.A.?. June 14 - June 19, 2011 When Theatre Communications Group announced its 50th anniversary conference would take place in 2011 in Los Angeles, Ca., a festival in the works for nearly five years set a date. RADAR L.A., an … [Read more...]