Features

phindie1

Best of Philadelphia Theater, 2011-12

Here are my annual picks for the best of Philadelphia theater: Best Play: August: Osage County (Arden) Honorable mention: The Island (Lantern) Best Actor, Male: Frank X, The Island (Lantern) Honorable…

lorca

A theater which has been destroyed…

Just came across this quote by the great Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca: The theater is one of the most expressive and useful instruments for educating a country;…

phindie1

An overview of the Philly theater scene

Philadelphia theater is rich in its diversity and output, with over 100 companies presenting thousands of performances every year. The city boasts a long-standing tradition of theatrical production—Center City’s Walnut…

phindie1

Best of Philadelphia Theater, 2010-2011

The Barrymore Awards ceremony is tonight, and I’m not there, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my own opinions about the best actors and productions of last season. I…

Jay Cooke

Jay Cooke: The Philadelphia banker who funded the Civil War, caused one of the nation’s biggest financial collapses, and founded Penn State Abington

This hugely influential Philadelphian was responsible for everything from Little Bighorn to the Crash of 1873.

vigil

Old People and Theater (VIGIL at Lantern)

I began to attend Philadelphia theater in earnest about a decade ago, in my early mid-twenties. Consistently, my companion and I would be the youngest people in an audience made…

theater-debate

Theater People vs. Theater Critics…The Ultimate Debate

I’ve been a lover of the stage as long as I can remember. Mostly this love has been realized as a patron of local theaters. My father acted in community…

phindie1

Why’s Everyone Such a Critic?

I’ve been a lover of the stage as long as I can remember. Mostly this love has been realized as a patron of local theaters. My father acted in community…

It was such fun to be in France in the 1910s!

World War What? Did PIFA forget a little something in its celebration of Paris 1910-20?

We here at PPAA are all for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA)–it’s great to have a major springtime performing arts festival in the city. But is it…

paying for music for a dance performance

Dance and Music Rights, or When Were You Planning To Pay For That Music, Friend?

In the not distant past, I was watching a dance performance, which I was enjoying, and I couldn’t help thinking—if this dance company was caught by the people who own…

veterans_stadium_philadelphia-baseball

In the Swing: A Brief History of Baseball in Philadelphia

Baseball in Philadelphia is riding on a wave of success by the hometown Phillies, winners of four straight National League East titles and two of the last three National League…

masks-for-greek-theater

Five Technical Things About Ancient Roman Comedic Stages You Were Dying To Know

We know about the plays, at least if we have read them. But how much do we know about ancient stages? We’ve asked PPAA classics expert Mara Miller for a…

John_Updike_with_Bushes_new

Updike’s guide to reviewing

Submit to whatever spell, weak or strong, is being cast. Better to praise and share than blame and ban. The communion between reviewer and his public is based upon the…

philadelphia theater and Newt

Lessons from Newt Gingrich: or how we in the theatre and dance communities can stop acting like losers and learn to make the nation love us

How often have you heard that performing arts are dying, that we’re a niche market, that you can never make a living off of it, that we’re a charity case?…

this somehow represents meta theater in Philadelphia

Meta is Dead. Long Live Meta.

I want to talk about shows in theatre and dance that deal with the audience head on. In other words, works that acknowledge the existence of the audience as part…

hellafresh

California Fresh: New theater company launches in Kensington arts space

The back streets of Kensington may not have much in common with the popular perception of Hollywood, California, but as John Rosenberg will tell you, life in the L.A. acting…

phindie1

It’s “theater”

Philadelphia is in the United States, so I’ve decided that theater should be spelled theater, not the English/French theatre. Right.

philadelphia theater and gq

What I learned from GQ this time around

Having been inspired last time around to write one of  PPAA’s most popular articles “What Learned From GQ Today,” I thought I might mine the current issue for fodder for another fascinating…

When you come to this city you will be...

Did you see that thing about how last year Philly hotels had more guests than ever before?

Yeah, so it seems a shitload of people spent the night in Philadelphia in 2010. According to an Inquirer article/industry press release from Feb 19, “Philadelphia filled nearly four million hotel beds…

conceptual dance philadelphia

Conceptual Dance and Star Power

My dance vocabulary is limited, so please forgive me as I redefine terms for my own benefit. When I say conceptual dance, I am referring to an experimental dance piece…