Theater Blog Roundup: Recovering.

“…you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on,” Samuel Beckett wrote in 1953; Terry Teachout quotes that line in his blog About Last Night, right before his entry on the same day that he entitles “One year after,” which is not about the pandemic, but the death of his wife. “Grief, I have discovered, is self-limiting, and mine has burned itself out…” It offers a different perspective on a year that has changed us. Only Jan Simpson in Broadway and Me wrote explicitly in March about what she called A Theatrical Anniversary None of Us Wanted. But the conversation is different now than it was, with lots of talk of safety and protocols “as theater returns…” and of a phenomenon that has a different name depending on which theater blogger you read: digital, virtual, online, streaming

In Bitter Gertrude, Melissa Hillman writes about “Trans Girls, Sports, and Punishing Differences,” in which she argues for the inclusion of young trans females in high school sports — or more precisely articulates the arguments against their exclusion.

In Broadway Journal, Phillip Boroff has written three articles over the past month about Covid-19 and the theater, including two about the push and pull between actors and their union:

Wear masks, ditch intermissions: Lessons of the Covid Theater Town Hall

Actors want pricey protections before members return

Actors pan their union’s Covid protocols

On Call Me Adam, Adam Rothenberg interviews actor and producer Ry Armstrong who has come up with a morale-boosting and fundraising project: to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest online video album of people singing the same song — the song being Pasek andPaul’s”From Now On” from The Greatest Showman. The hope is that at least 5,000 will submit a video to

In JK’s Theatre Scene, Jeff Kyler continues with his look back at each week in Broadway history. Of particular interest March 9 to 15, which saw the debut of A Raisin in the in 1959, and Come from Away in 2017.

OnStage Blog keeps growing; it’s now divided into nine sections.The two stories I highlight this month come from the Spotlight section, about issues in the community. In “As theatre returns, we need to be more mindful of predators in our communities,” Bekah Harbison defines “safety” more broadly than protocols to protect from viral infection. “While COVID precautions are vital, we must also take precautions to keep our casts safe from dangerous people…For too long we’ve commodified performers’ bodies as things to be costumed, lit, or choreographed upon. We’ve embraced a culture of excusing inappropriate behavior as “just how that person is” and demanded loyalty to directors and teachers and college programs that abuse performers and staff. We’ve written off accusations as “sour grapes’….”

Natalie Rine writes about “Digital Theatre Venues,” arguing that they are not just online versions of on stage, and each makes a unique contribution to the art of theater.” Communal platforms like Tumblr, TikTok, Roblox, Twitch, Discord, Clubhouse, even Animal Crossing, and Sims, will inherently play host to types of theatre over the next few years that shouldn’t be removed from their communal contexts or risk losing fractions of their true identity that informed their narrative choices in the first place.

In The Producer’s Perspective, Ken Davenport asks: Will streaming theater survive the pandemic, and answers: Yes.“The marriage between the theater and streaming theater is here to stay….Streaming theater won’t replace theater.  It will supplement it.”
In a separate post, he delights in that Lincoln Center being able to stream its previous shows. and hopes it’s the start of a trend. “it’s the first time that a theater gets to act like a (new) television network

World Theatre Day: 47 things I love about going to the theatre

39. Needing a moment at the end of a performance to compose yourself.

On the Ides of March, exactly a year after all theaters were shut down in New York, Samuel Leiter In Theatre’s Leiter Side offered his 500th pandemic era post from his unpublished encyclopedia of New York theater in the 1970s, this one about the unremarkable  Status Quo Vadis, which he calls “yet another in the long list of one-performance flops of the early 1970s.” He also provides a link to Ludic Proxy: Fukishima, which he calls “my first review of the 2020-2020 season.” (I think he probably means 2020-2021, but time has been playing tricks on all of us), 

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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