• Americans from a German perspective

    By Sam Levy on April 25, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Alena Smith's play THE SACRIFICES (known as UBER BORD in Germany) was hilariously funny, even to the non-German speakers in the audience. Perfectly cast and directed, too.

    There was a panel this morning about German and American theatre - trends, interests, etc. The Germans seem really interested in the post-Bush era in the United States, and are trying to understand the "change" that has occurred during the first year of the Obama Administration.

  • First Break

    By Sam Levy on April 23, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    Jason Grote's play "ZIVILISATION (ALL YOU CAN EAT) was a hit this afternoon, as was Branden's show. And Itamar Moses' 15 minute play (whose title is unprintable) had the audience howling with laughter.
    During a quick break between shows, it's really interesting to see how much the audience has grown since the last Festival - probably doubled, at least, with a large number of agents and publishers present.  The coverage of the event has grown, too - almost a dozen newspaper articles have appeared in the national and local press since yesterday.
    The audience seems to be really interested in American politics - the two "Think Tanks" devoted to the subject are booked out.

  • SPF goes to Germany

    By Sam Levy on April 23, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    It's Day Two of the Voices of Change Festival in Bielefeld; after the opening night speeches last night,  a production of Thomas Bradshaw's THE BEREAVED (in German), and a drink or two to toast our ability to cheat volcano ash and actually get here, we're about to start a full day of shows. First up, I'll be catching Branden Jacob Jenkins' THE CHANGE (also in German), a couple of plays by Sheila Callaghan and Anne Washburn, and then a musical performance from The Netherlands.
    Tomorrow, it's Alena Smith's THE SACRIFICES (which is UBERBORD in German). Sadly, Alena was caught in the flight drama, so she isn't here to see it, but I promise to report - it's the second SPF play to be part of the Festival (Sarah Hammond's GREEN GIRL was produced in 2008).

  • In London - My Day!

    By Sylvia Reed on May 20, 2009 at 10:12 PM

    On one of my last days of the residency, I visited with Sam Levy and Thom Clay, lovely familiar faces from the Summer Play Festival. It was great to see them again.

    And then the day arrived for the reading. Oddly enough, I wasn’t all that nervous. I only had a chance to spend an hour at the full rehearsal day, but I could tell I was in good hands with my director, Abbey Wright, and with the cast that had been assembled by Anne McNulty and Vicky Richardson, of the Donmar Warehouse. All of the actors were British, but their American accents were very good.

  • In London - Getting Around

    By Sylvia Reed on May 14, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    The day I arrived, I unpacked at the beautiful apartment Miriam had booked for me near Bryanston Square. It was lovely and posh, and when I told the caretaker it was beautiful, he said he figured I would say it was cute, being American. “No, it’s lovely,” I said. And he said, “Good. I hate the word ‘cute.’” (Note to self: erase “cute” from vocabulary for next twelve days.)

    I hit the ground running. Miriam had booked a play for me to see that evening – Dimetos – at the Donmar Warehouse. She apologized and said if I was tired it would be fine for me to miss the play. I decided it would be best to just push through the jet lag and keep moving. I went to the play, and I’m glad I did. It was amazing. 


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