Posted in #dystopia, Bloom's day, Bloom's Tavern, Bloomsday, Daily Prompt, dysfunction, George Bernard Shaw, Gingold Theatrical Group, Manhattan Theater Company, Origin Theatre Company, Origins Theatre Company, public performance in public spaces, Roundabout Theatre Company, Shakespeare, Shakespeare in the Park, Symphony Space, The Mint Theatre, The Public Theater, theatrical

In Retrospect


By Georges Jansoone (JoJan) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0 (, from Wikimedia Commons
Daily Prompt: Retrospective

“The past is prologue….” It’s a saying that suggests we learn from what has transpired before. At the theater, we certainly try hard to look at history and see where it has gotten us, how we approached our problems, what solutions were on offer. Great thinkers–and dramatists are definitely philosophers in action– have made their suggestions clear.

Shakespeare confronted every manner of political upheaval as well as all the dystopias of the soul. We regularly worship at his altar. This year, The Public Theater puts on a summer in the park season with his Othello and Twelfth Night.

George Bernard Shaw looked at askew the world from a totally original perspective. The Gingold Theatrical Group celebrates his musings in their regular Project Shaw series at Symphony Space and with Shaw Club meetings on Mondays. Manhattan Theater Company and the Roundabout folks have tackled Shaw over the years with productions of Major Barbara and, currently on stage at MTC’s Friedman, Saint Joan.

The roiling and effervescent stories told by James Joyce in Finnegan’s Wake are part of the annual Bloomsday readings, here in New York with one at Bloom’s Tavern and the other at the above mentioned Symphony Space. The Bloom’s Tavern event is coordinated through Origin Theatre Company and includes both celebrities and an Irish breakfast. To be more exacting, it also features a of the Joyce period costume contest.



Posted in drama, The NOH, theatrical, theatrical events


Hanjo_0397_Janouke Goosen
All Photos © Janouke Goosen

There is a long and storied tradition that links stage presentation with hyper-theatricality. The Noh theater of Japan is part of such a history. Masks, themes that involve predestined events, plots both complicated and ritualized are all part of the theatrical environment created in this genre of theater.

In 1955, the controversial author Yukio Mishima wrote Hanjo, based on a 14th Century Noh play by Motohiko Zeami. The SITI Company (co-founded by Anne Bogart) production of Hanjo, is presented in Japanese and English at the Japan Society on December 7th-9th as part of the NOH-NOW series.

Hanjo_0109_Janouke Goosen
All Photos © Janouke Goosen

Mishima’s Hanjo, directed by SITI’s co-artistic director, Leon Ingulsrud, is stripped of the extravagant presentation and modernized. In some ways, this simplified staging actually heightens the stylized other-worldliness of the play.  Hanjo is a tale in which love leads a young woman deeper and deeper into insanity.

For tickets, and additional information, you may go online or visit the Japan Society at 333 East 47th Street.