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News, interviews, and commentary on theater, the arts, music, and dance.



Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:33:44 -0400

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Theater Artist Anne Basting Named MacArthur Fellow

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:33:44 -0400

NPR's Kelly McEvers interviews Anne Basting, a theater artist and educator at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, about being awarded the MacArthur fellowship this year. She describes her work with people with cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer's and dementia, using improv theater and storytelling techniques to improve their lives.



Fresh Air Remembers Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Edward Albee

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:54:00 -0400

Albee made his debut as a Broadway playwright in 1962 with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which went on to win a Tony Award. He died Friday at the age of 88. Originally broadcast in 1984.



Missouri Theater Embraces Ferguson Echoes In 'Antigone' Production

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 08:45:00 -0400

Some TV stars will perform Sophocles' Antigone on stage in Ferguson, Mo., tonight. The ancient Greek drama is expected to resonate with its theme of an individual's struggle against the state.



Playwright Edward Albee, Who Changed And Challenged Audiences, Dies At 88

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 20:19:00 -0400

"All art should be useful," Albee said. "If it's merely decorative, it's a waste of time." The Pulitzer-winning playwright of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? died Friday following a short illness.



Actress And Broadway Star Kristin Chenoweth Plays Not My Job

Sat, 10 Sep 2016 11:00:00 -0400

We've invited Chenoweth, who is 4 feet 11 inches, to answer three questions about 6-foot-1 model and actress Brigitte Nielsen.



'Come From Away' Musical Tells Story Of Resilience After 9/11

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 16:37:00 -0400

As the extent of the 9/11 attacks became known, 38 planes were rerouted to Gander, Newfoundland. More than 6,000 passengers and crew were taken in by families there. Their story is the subject of a new musical called, Come From Away, which runs at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., in September and October before heading to Broadway.



AfroPunk Acts To Free Your Mind And Your ... Ears

Sun, 28 Aug 2016 12:40:29 -0400

This year's AfroPunk Festival in Brooklyn features artists who are expanding the universe of punk and ideas about who belongs there.



Glen Miller Hit, 'Chattanooga Choo Choo,' Marks Its 75th Anniversary

Sat, 20 Aug 2016 08:17:00 -0400

On 8/21/41, the movie "Sun Valley Serenade" had its world premiere and featured the song, "Chattanooga Choo Choo." Playwright Murray Horwitz tells NPR's Scott Simon why the song became a monster hit.



'OSLO' Tells The Surprising Story Behind A Historic Handshake

Sat, 06 Aug 2016 08:38:00 -0400

A new play chronicles the secret negotiations that brokered the 1993 Palestinian-Israeli peace accord. It's a thriller, says playwright J.T. Rogers: "The ticking clock is the dramatist's friend."



At The Portrait Gallery, Students Tell The Stories That Pictures Can't

Fri, 05 Aug 2016 08:01:00 -0400

Washington, D.C., teens get into the spirit of historical figures and tell visitors what the portraits miss. In one instance, a student imagines a private talk between Richard Nixon and his wife.



Remembering Zelda Fichandler, Matriarch Of American Regional Theater

Thu, 04 Aug 2016 16:26:50 -0400

When the co-founder of Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., made her theater a nonprofit, hundreds of small regional stages followed suit. Fichandler died July 29 at the age of 91.



Second Acts: Heather Headley Is Back On Broadway — After A '15-Year Intermission'

Sun, 31 Jul 2016 17:08:00 -0400

The actress, who won a Tony in 1997 for her role in Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, returns to Broadway after 15 years, to play nightclub singer Shug Avery in a revival of The Color Purple.



New 'Merchant Of Venice' Recasts Shylock As A Sympathetic Everyman

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 15:59:00 -0400

Actor Jonathan Pryce is playing the Jewish moneylender in a new touring production of The Merchant of Venice that reimagines Shakespeare's supposedly-comic villain as a tragic and universal figure.



Rachel Chavkin Loves Chaos, And With 3 Shows In The Works, It Shows

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 15:59:00 -0400

The avant garde director has two shows running off-Broadway and a musical opening in October. Though she's working on several different projects, she says there's always "a conversation" between them.



Remembering Hollywood 'Ghost Singer' Marni Nixon

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 13:51:48 -0400

Nixon, who died on Sunday, was a classically trained actress who mostly worked behind the scenes. She dubbed vocals for many films, including My Fair Lady. Originally broadcast in 2001.