Featured Contributors, April 2017

One made a deep dive in Broadway playwriting stats, the other into a Dr. Seuss stage adaptation.

When New York City-based critic and historian Garrett Eisler began his piece about the state of new plays on Broadway, he says he “started out with a hunch that nonprofit U.S. companies and government-subsidized U.K. theatre” have had a growing impact on Main Stem plays in recent years. “A deep dive into the Internet Broadway Database proved I was right.” He adds that he was grateful for playwright Paula Vogel’s candor about her mixed feelings as she prepares to make her Broadway debut at the age of 65. Alongside her concerns about the inequities of the current commercial theatre industry, Vogel admitted to Eisler how excited she is for her big opening night, saying she hasn’t “thought this much about what to wear since my wedding!”

Twin Cities-based writer and editor Theresa J. Beckhusen, who pens this issue’s Production Notebook on Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis’s world premiere of Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches: The Musical, says she was struck not only by the timeliness of the play but by the responsibility the artists felt in creating it. “Going to rehearsals, there was always a sense of joy in the cast and creative team, but underneath that was always the ultimate seriousness of the subject of the musical,” she says. “CTC really captured that duality in Seuss. The cast could play these over-the-top characters who were wearing yellow head-to-toe with neck feathers and antennae while unpacking the issues of oppression and capitalism.”