“Directing,” confessed director Mike Nichols, “is one of the few professions you can practice without knowing what it is. Fifty percent of the job is just showing up.” The admission came during a tribute to Nichols’ Chicago-based colleague Gregory Mosher, artistic director of the Goodman Theatre, director of Broadway’s Glengarry Glen Ross and winner of this year’s Rosamond Gilder Award. Nichols didn’t mean to say the job is easy, pointed out Glengarry playwright David Mamet, who was on hand at New York’s Players Club to present the award to his long-time collaborator.
“Directing takes patience, forbearance, candor, self-respect and great strength,” Mamet recited as he handed Mosher the award scroll and a $500 cash award donated by the Exxon Corp. The Gilder prize (named in honor of the 93-year-old former editor of Theatre Arts, who remains president of the International Theatre Institute) has gone in past years to directors JoAnne Akalaitis and Jack Hofsiss, playwrights Tina Howe and Emily Mann, La MaMa producer Ellen Stewart and others. Mosher accepted with a declaration of his debt to the people he’s worked with. “Theatre that matters begins with the playwright and comes to life by means of the actors,” he asserted. “Playwrights and actors have been paying my rent for a long time.”
Kenneth Burke, the venerable literary critic, told an October meeting of writers, artists and scholars at the New School in New York that Sigmund Freud’s use of Greek mythology in the creation of psychoanalysis had turned the role of Oedipus upside down. Unlike the unfortunate Greek king, who sought the murderer of his father only to discover his own guilt, today patients enter analysis suffused with feelings of guilt, and are cured when convinced of their innocence, Burke noted. He was joined at the conference on “Myth in Contemporary Life” by novelists Bernard Malamud and Umberto Eco, poet Stanley Kunitz and others.
San Diego Padre teammates Steve Garvey and Tony Gwynn helped mark the 50th anniversary of the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego by posing in full Shakespearean drag for a publicity poster with the theatre’s recent Othello, Paul Winfield. Then the actor took off for the University of Iowa, where he made his directing debut with Thief in a Basket, an original Iowa Playwrights Workshop script by Charles Smith…Three New Dramatists playwrights were also on the road during the first months of the 1984-85 season—exchanges took Laura Harrington to Montréal, Mary Gallagher to Dublin and Paul D’Andrea to London. To reciprocate, a playwright from each of those cities will come to New York as guests of New Dramatists.
An International Theatre Institute grant carried David Chambers, producing director of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, to Europe to study some of the world’s most noted theatre companies. He spent time with the Royal Shakespeare Company of England as well as The Comédie Francaise in Paris…The New York City Opera has established an internship in lighting in the name of Gilbert V. Helmsley, who was devoted to the training of young people in opera production. City Opera’s resident lighting designer Mark Stanley is administering the program…Dustin Hoffman was the guest of honor at a benefit in October for the Whole Theatre Company of Montclair, N.J. The theatre’s co-founder Louis Zorich is in the cast of Hoffman’s Death of a Salesman on Broadway.
Anne-Denise Ford and Jeff Steitzer have been named the first resident directors of A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle, founder and producing director Gregory A. Falls recently announced…The Arizona Theatre Company has also added a resident director, Walter L. Schoen, Jr., who began his tenure with Athol Fugard‘s Master Harold…and the boys. The drama opened Nov. 24 in Tucson and will reopen Jan. 24 in Phoenix…Two guest directors, Michael Murray and Clayton Corzatte, will join artistic director Robert J. Farley on the ’84-85 schedule at Alaska Repertory Theatre. Murray, who just finished 11 years as producing director of Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, will stage Brian Friel‘s Translations; Corzatte will oversee Neil Simon‘s Brighton Beach Memoirs; and Farley directs the current Noises Off and the season closer, Pantagleize.
Barbara Carlisle has been appointed to the new position of producing director of BoarsHead: Michigan Public Theater, and Nancy-Elizabeth Kammer was appointed artistic associate. The new arrangement came after artistic director Richard Thomsen resigned to focus his attention on the artistic directorship of the Chelsea Playhouse in New York City…Randy Adams assumed the managing directorship of Theatre Works in Palo Alto, Calif., in November, after spending four years at Virginia Stage Company in Norfolk…Andrew Christopher Gaupp of Dallas has become managing director of Arkansas Repertory Theatre in Little Rock…Houston architect and civic leader Hugo V. Heuhaus, Jr. has been elected new president of the board of the Alley Theatre.
Playwright Romulus Linney and Village Voice critic Alisa Solomon have been named to TCG’s Plays in Process selection committee, joining director Amy Saltz, actor Michele Shay and TCG’s Literary Services director James Leverett.
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