A good web site is your best show

Before your audience can experience the show, they need to know about it.  And one way they find out about your company is the show before the show, i.e., every digital channel and physical touchpoint you have.  Among these, your web site reigns supreme.

Not everyone is skilled at acting, directing, or set design.  That’s why when you need good acting, directing or set design, you seek out those with experience.  Similarly, if you need plumbing, wiring or construction, you call a pro.  You don’t do it yourself.

Yet when it comes to web design, all too often theatre companies still decide to wing it and DIY.  The belief seems to be that it doesn’t matter all that much how good the web site is.

Continue reading “A good web site is your best show”

The drama is coming | OSF 2016 season opens Feb 26

Are you ready, theatre fans?  In just a few short days and rain-soaked weeks, the 2016 season thunders forth at one of earth’s great theatres.  Behold, way down in Oregon’s sunny south.  You know the place of which I speak.  The hamlet of Hamlet.  Stratford-upon-Rogue.  Broadway on Siskiyou.

I’m talking about Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  If you haven’t been lately to the mightiest theatre town of them all (ASHLAND, ORE-GONE), ye best hitch up the carriage and make haste.  Pronto.

Wondering when to go?  Try opening weekend.  Of course.  This traditional kick off to the season is unique in the arts world.  It’s like a three day blow out party with plenty of special events and star-studded local color.  You’ll see old friends and make new ones.  In addition to four shows and numerous panel discussions, you can go skiing to stay fit and order repeat affogatos at Mix to stay awake.


Tick tock.  Prepare to fill these seats.  OSF’s Bowmer Theatre was SOLD OUT over and over again last year for GUYS AND DOLLS.  [Read the following in the voice of Rodney Gardiner as Nathan]: “Don’t delay – reserve your seats today!”


OSF knows how to roll out the red carpet for opening weekend.  And if you’re really lucky, the Cascade weather gods will roll out the white carpet – as pictured above in 2011.

Here are some photos from past years.

Saddle up, folks.  It’s time for the annual rodeo!

See you there.

#TheatreMatters #OSF2016

BLOOD ON THE BOOKS by Nick Zagone at Shaking the Tree

There are compelling dramatic threads and several strong performances here. But the central scaffolding does not always hold up. Perhaps too much direct address to audience, and not enough interaction between the characters. One thing that’s prescient though: One day Powell’s will go under. You heard it here first. Poof.

NIGHT IS A ROOM by Naomi Wallace at Signature Theatre

NIGHT IS A ROOM by Naomi Wallace at Signature Theatre

Directed by Bill Rauch


Stunning piece of modern art. Like a glittering shard of glass. But as soon as you stop to pick up this jagged jewel you’re going to get cut. One of the best plays I’ve seen in a long time. With a dark, unmentioned Irish back story careful viewers will see.

Thru Dec. 20

ECLIPSED by Danai Gurira at the Public Theater

ECLIPSED by Danai Gurira at the Public Theater

Immaculately crafted and accurately rendered. But what is missing is theatre magic – something to take the story into another level of resonance, impact, meaning. The gaze of the offstage men is chilling. After we get the setup, there’s little significant development or change. Inevitably a comparison to RUINED comes up.

Thru Nov. 29

Then headed to Broadway.

HIR by Taylor Mac at Playwrights Horizons

HIR by Taylor Mac at Playwrights Horizons

Taylor Mac’s disruptive and often gripping play is 3/4 of the way to being something great. But problems of physical pacing, plot and setting hold it back. Laundry lists of acronyms serve as unintentional parody of our own self-obsessed present. Mother’s bright demeanor does not ring true. Still quite an achievement.

Thru Dec. 20

INCOMING: New York Theatre Blitz | 6 days, 9 plays

In most American cities, you can wait and wait for a show to come along that you’re really excited about seeing. Maybe once or twice a year you get lucky. But in America’s theatre capital, you’ve got the opposite problem.

In New York, there are always more good shows on than you have time to see. Being an avid theatregoer on “The Main Stem”, as Erie Smith in Eugene O’Neill’s HUGHIE called Broadway, involves no small amount of white knuckle drama. And that’s before the curtain even rises. The art of play selection is fraught. If you select a dud, not only do you have to absorb the body blow of that experience, you also squander a slot you could have used to see something good. So pick carefully, people.

I’m on a #NYCtheatreBlitz right now. So far every single pick has been dead on. Note that seeing theatre in New York does not have to be expensive. In fact, if you know how to work all the various specials, email lists and that juggernaut of theatre discounts, TDF, you can see theatre here for far LESS than in the hinterlands. Which really makes no sense when you think about it. But so it goes.

Full reviews to come once the dust settles.

Tuesday 11.10.2015 8:00P Soho Rep – FUTURITY $55
Wednesday 11.11.2015 2P Broadway – KING CHARLES III by Mike Bartlett $37
Wednesday 11.11.2015 7:30P Signature Theatre – NIGHT IS A ROOM by Naomi Wallace $31.50
Thursday 11.12.2015 8:00P MCC Theater – LOST GIRLS by John Pollono COMP
Friday 11.13.2015 7:00P LCT3 – KILL FLOOR by Abe Koogler $34
Saturday 11.14.2015 1:30P Roundabout Theatre – UGLY LIES THE BONE by Lindsey Ferrentino COMP
Saturday 11.14.2015 8:00P Lesser America – THE BACHELORS by Caroline V. McGraw $22
Sunday 11.15.2015 2P Public Theater – ECLIPSED by Danai Gurira $97
Sunday 11.15.2015 7:00P Playwrights Horizons – HIR by Taylor Mac $75