Lantern Theater Company

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2013/14 Critics’ Awards: The best in Philadelphia theater

For the second year, Phindie asked local theater writers to vote on the best theatrical work produced in or near the city in the 2013/14 theater season.

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The fault, dear Brutus, Act III: Makoto Hirano interviews Lantern AD Charles McMahon about “Super Racist” Julius Caesar

Makoto Hirano asks Lantern artistic director Charles McMahon some tough questions about the “Super Racist” Julius Caesar. And a clearly contrite McMahon does his best to explain the process that lead to the company’s misguided choices.

Lantern Theater Company The Train Driver review

THE TRAIN DRIVER (Lantern): A haunting look across the tracks

There’s something haunting Roelf (Peter DeLaurier) in the Lantern Theater Company’s atmospheric production of Athol Fugard’s THE TRAIN DRIVER. Disturbed by the memory of a young woman and baby “pulverized”…

tax-day

Is there money in theater? Where does it come from? Who gets it?

Phindie looks at tax returns for local theaters to see how much they brought in from what sources. We also look at who the best paid employee was for each “non-profit”.

The Lantern joins a rich tradition: James Bond gives a lesson in cultural sensitivity in "You Only Live Twice".

The fault, dear Brutus, Act II: Interview with Makoto Hirano about “Super Racist” Julius Caesar

You may have seen the Lantern Theater Company’s JULIUS CAESAR, which recast Shakespeare’s political tragedy in Feudal Japan. You may also have seen the open letter that local playwright and performer Makoto Hirano hand-delivered to The Lantern on “How to Stage Your Show Without Being Super Racist,” which he signed “Makoto Hirano, Dance-theatre artist, actual Japanese person, and actual Samurai descendent,” reposted on Phindie with Hirano’s consent.

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The fault, dear Brutus, is Super Racism: Makoto Hirano Criticizes Lantern’s Julius Caesar

“Will it be in yellow face,” my friend asked when I told him about Lantern Theater Company’s decision to stage Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in feudal Japan, when what the meant was “in kimonos with some Japanese screens and music” seemed somehow culturally tone deaf.

Jered McLenigan as Marc Antony (Photo courtesy of Mark Garvin)

JULIUS CAESAR (Lantern): Political persuasion in feudal Japan

If William Shakespeare was alive today he’d be a …. well, he’d probably be a poet and playwright, but he’d also make a damn good political speechwriter. The crux of his JULIUS CAESAR, now in an accessible production by Lantern Theater Company, comes in a speech following the title character’s assassination.

Joe Guzmán and Forrest McClendon in THE TRAGEDY OF JULIUS CAESAR at the Lantern, with set design by Meghan Jones (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

On the Universality of Shakespeare: Roman History through a Shoji Screen in the Lantern’s THE TRAGEDY OF JULIUS CAESAR

Director Charles McMahon, founding artistic director of the Lantern Theater Company, asserts that all of Shakespeare’s plays, whenever or wherever they’re set, are in fact observations about contemporary England. By shifting the locales to places outside of his homeland.

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A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (Lantern): 60-second review

Dylan Thomas’s poem A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES runs the risk of becoming sticky-sweet with nostalgia, and it is director Sebastienne Mundheim’s idiosyncratic vision, and the spot-on instincts of her actors, which…

Charlie DelMarcelle, Geneviève Perrier, Amy Smith, and Doug Hara in the Lantern’s A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (Lantern): Idyllic visions of a holiday past

Lantern Theater Company’s world premiere adaptation of A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES by Charles McMahon and Sebastienne Mundheim, the inventive “interdisciplinary performance-maker” who designed the production and also directs, captures all the warmth, nostalgia, and childlike wonder of the original, employing live actors, puppets, miniature houses, plastic-bag clouds, and exhilarating snow flurries to transform Thomas’s descriptive language and idealized memories into an enchanting theatrical vision.

Angela Smith as Harriet Smith, Trevor William Fayle as Mr. Elton, and Lauren Sowa as Emma Woodhouse in Lantern Theater Company's production of Jane Austen's EMMA (2013). Photo by Mark Garvin.

The Perfect Company in the Perfect City: REGENCY AND REVELRY at Lantern Theater Company

It’s now two hundred years ago that the famous line was published: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be…

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EMMA (Lantern): Meddlesome Matchmaking and Regency Amusements

The Lantern opens its twentieth anniversary season with the Philadelphia premiere of Jane Austen’s class-conscious romantic comedy of manners, in which a young idle-rich heroine’s matchmaking and meddling go awry…

Lantern Theater Company's production of Jane Austen's EMMA review

EMMA (Lantern): Philly falls for Austenmania

Over the past few years, there’s been a surprising and unlikely spark of interest in Jane Austen. Austen’s novels—Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion, et al—have been required reading for over…

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Don’t Worry Philly, There Will Be Theater in August

August is not the best of theater months. For most theaters, mainstream and small, the season is still a September or October to May session. With FringeArts taking over September…

photo by Mark Garvin

HEROES (Lantern): Quieter guns of August

It’s 1959. Two veterans of the Great War sit in silence. HENRI: I love the month of August GUSTAVE: I knew it couldn’t last, the world was at peace, and…

tax-day

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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HENRY V (Lantern): Grumpy Professor Review

HENRY V, a wonderful Shakespeare play, is being presented by the Lantern Theater until the end of April . Charles McMahon usually does very exacting directing, but he is also…

Lantern Theater Company's production of HENRY V (2013). Photo by Paola Nogueras

The Lantern’s noble HENRY V

HENRY V completes Shakespeare’s four-part series on Plantagenet kings of England. No longer the indolent partier, Prince Hal has inherited the English throne, but is haunted by the original sin…

Megan Bellwoar (standing) and Mary Martello (seated) as Maureen and Mag Folan in Lantern Theater Company’s production of Martin McDonagh’s THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE. Photo by Mark Garvin.

A Darker Emerald Isle: Lantern’s THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE

The Lantern Theater Company’s production of THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE completes its presentation of Martin McDonagh’s Leenane Trilogy, following 2007’s THE LONESOME WEST and 2011’s A SKULL IN CONNEMARA….

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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…