Features

everyone's a critic

The Purpose of Criticism: Roger Ebert, Lester Bangs, and Psychotic Reactions

Following his much-discussed piece on Gimmickry in Theater, Michael F. Fisher considers the role of the critic, and how theater criticism in Philadelphia compares to the best pop culture reviews….

Benjamin Franklin with a printing press. Statue near City Hall, Philadelphia.

Literary Legacy: A History of Philadelphia Writers

If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth the reading, or do things worth the writing.

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Tax time. Is there any money in theater?

Like the rest of us, theater companies have to file taxes. This tax day, we look at some information from the most recent publicly available tax returns (generally 2012) for some major and independent Philadelphia companies.

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PIFA 2013: HSP’s ArkHIVE and other theatrical highlights

“[H]alf-way up the hill, I see the Past Lying beneath me with its sounds and sights,— A city in the twilight dim and vast, With smoking roofs, soft bells, and…

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Gimmickry in Theater

While perusing the pop culture section of Bill Simmons’ Grantland site a couple weeks ago, I came across a piece by contributor Sean Fennessy detailing an interesting event that took place at the…

Phindie reviewers soberly deliberate a performance.

“Reviewing a Play”

Writing a play review, a brief critical account of an actual performance, involves making an evaluation.

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Philadelphia FringeArts Unveils Plans for its New Headquarters

The historic High Pressure Fire Service Building on the corner of Race Street and Columbus Boulevard will have a new life as the permanent headquarters of the Philadelphia Live Arts…

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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…

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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;…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…