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Three on the Aisle: Solving a Problem With Maria

The critics talk to Woolly Mammoth’s Maria Manuela Goyanes about theatre in the age of COVID-19, and discuss the relative merits of online theatre.

Twice a month, Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal; Elisabeth Vincentelli, contributor to The New York Times and The New Yorker; and Peter Marks of the Washington Post get together to talk about what’s going on in the American theatre.

This week the critics talk to Maria Manuela Goyanes, artistic director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C., and previous director of producing and artistic planning at the Public Theater. Maria brings her perspective on the COVID-19-affected world, addressing the radical shifts that theatres are undergoing in terms of season planning, revenue structures, and virtual space integration, as well as the possible changes we’ll see in social gathering spaces and in art, post-coronavirus. The critics also look at some of the ways that people are still creating theatre, including virtual writers’ rooms and livestreams of readings. The critics finish with a discussion of Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley’s Stars in the House project, and Swarthmore College’s production of The Women of Trachus, helmed by Michal Zadara, which will take the form of a set of images in a theatre with no one present.

This episode of Three on the Aisle is dedicated to Hilary Teachout.

Download the episode here.

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Have comments or requests for what the critics should talk about? Email them at, or go to @ThreeOnTheAisle on Twitter.

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