So the biggest news this past week – at least in pure dollars and cents terms – was the big chunk of change the exceedingly magnanimous Novembers bestowed upon Theatre IV / Barksdale. Just to get some perspective on the size of this gift: someone who worked for one of the smaller local theater companies told me a few years ago that their entire budget for the year was around $60,000. Times may have changed since then but, based on that one factoid, it stands to reason that the November’s gift could fund a small theater company for something like 25-30 years. Wow.
I think the November gift is great news for local theater. The gift bolsters the area’s biggest live theater outlet and helps bring attention to the vitality of the local scene, while also adding an additional dose of energy into that scene. Sounds like a win-win all around.
The town has certainly been abuzz these days with the “Lincoln” filming. Almost every media outlet has some ongoing feature involving the production. Of more interest to theater fans is the fact that numerous local stage faves have landed small to medium-ish roles in the production. I’m already looking forward to the film coming out so I can play “spot the Richmonder” with other audience members.
In the run up to and aftermath of Halloween, I missed the slew of reviews that came out of CAT's “Home Fires.” Mine showed up in this week’s Style, Ms. Haubenstock’s appeared over the weekend, and Mr. Porter’s broadcast review is available online. As you can read / hear, all of us critics had quibbles about the script.
This week’s Style also had a nice piece on “Planet Shakespeare” and its program for homeschoolers. It’s great to see a different (if familiar) byline on a theater story – the more writers that are writing about theater, the better. And Mr. Foster knows how to work the wordplay opportunities that a name like Planet Shakespeare provides.
Among the things that are hampering my regular blogging activities are the forays of my thespian-oriented son, some of which were recently posted over on TVJerry’s site. As folks who may be working on “Lincoln” or who have had past film experiences, the movie world is a wacky one, full of its own ins-and-outs, nomenclature, little secrets that everyone else seems to know, and specific tools that come into play. Just one example: I was introduced to the “Day Out of Days” report just a couple of weeks ago – sometimes abbreviated DOOT (I guess?) I’m gaining a great second-hand education through this process. It doesn’t relate to theater except in the most tangential way, but it’s pretty fascinating just the same.
I’m happy that I’m going to get a chance to see “Kimberly Akimbo” before another wave of new openings hits this weekend, with AART’s “Fences,” Theatre IV’s “Frog and Toad,” “Brew” at Stage B and “Grease” at Theatre VCU all raising their curtains any minute. And it won’t be long until the holiday stuff starts rolling out. Hang on to your hats!