10 items from 2016
Alligator Written by Hilary Bettis Directed by Elena Araoz Presented by New Georges and The Sol Project at A.R.T./New York Theatres, NYC November 27-December 18, 2016
In a note in the program for Alligator, the world-premiere play opening New Georges' 25th season, Hilary Bettis describes writing it in "a fever dream of alcohol, death, violence, and poverty." Alligator, the first of a planned series of collaborations by The Sol Project with off-Broadway companies to produce new plays by Latinx playwrights, carries the audience into a similar space, embracing chaos in order to map the "pain and destruction," as Bettis's note puts it, caused by the unplanned, unpredictable intersections of people's lives. Against the backdrop of the Florida Everglades in 1999, Alligator's characters struggle, compellingly if often unsuccessfully, within and against this chaos for self-realization and human connection.
At the heart of Alligator are Ty (Dakota Granados) and his twin sister »
- Leah Richards
Well this is something - an indie film about making an indie film. Shooting Clerks is a fictional feature biopic made by Christopher Downie retelling the story of Kevin Smith making his breakout debut film Clerks in 1994. The film stars Mark Frost as Kevin Smith, Chris Bain as Jason Mewes (who has appeared in other films made by Downie about Mewes), Kit Alexander as Brian O'Halloran, and Tom Sullivan as Jeff Anderson. The cast list also includes a cameo by the real Kevin Smith as Larkin Eve. As expected, this is super low budget and almost like a fan-made retelling of the original story, but it also has enough support to get a release. They'll be showing the film on a small screening tour including a showing in NYC, heading to a few other places like Orlando and New Jersey. Give this a look below if you're curious how it turned out. »
- Alex Billington
The cast of “Empire” has dropped a single just a week shy of its Season 3 premiere. The single, titled “Need Freedom” is performed by the show’s cast, featuring Jussie Smollett. And while the song was intended for character Freda Gatz, a rapper who’s currently in jail, it instead focuses on recent shootings in the U.S. “I recorded this exactly seven days after Philando Castile was shot,” Smollett told Billboard. “Between the shootings of Castile, Alton Sterling, at the Pulse in Orlando and the police officers in Dallas — not to mention the other numerous killings over the last couple of years — it. »
- Rasha Ali
Coming off one of the best films of last year, Tangerine, director Sean Baker is going from iPhone to 35mm for his next feature, The Florida Project. We spoke with him about the drama and now it’s recently gone into production, with Willem Dafoe spotted on set. Currently shooting in Orlando, it follows a six-year-old and her group of friends during summer break as they adventure and soar on youth while their parents handle real-life problems. Although there are no details on his role, one could assume Dafoe will play one of these parents. [Page Six]
In other news, Woody Harrelson may already re-team with director Rob Reiner after their recently-shot Lbj with a “politically charged” Iraq war drama titled Shock and Awe, Deadline reports. James Marsden has also been added to the growing cast list. The drama will be penned by Joey Hartstone, who also wrote their last collaboration. The »
- Mike Mazzanti
A good friend and writing partner is tired of me talking about Star Trek. She was never a Trek watcher but since it is the 50th Anniversary, she has decided to give it a try. Persistence really does pay off! Since she was finally watching Star Trek: The Original Series, I figured I would jump in too. It’s been a while since I watched any of Tos. Plus, I just finished rewatching Next Generation.
The original series was Gene Roddenberry’s true vision of a future where humans have evolved to become more enlightened, working for the betterment of humanity. So when I started to watch, I just jumped in where I had previously left off during another binge. (Thanks, Netflix, for holding my spot!) I jumped on Season 2 episode Patterns of Force.
If you haven’t seen this episode, it is when Kirk and Spock go looking for a missing Federation researcher John Gill and discover a planet full of Nazis. The planets of the system have been in a conflict, with the Zeons being hunted just as the Jews were. Kirk is forced to take action to save lives because the Prime Directive (which prohibits interference with developing cultures) was already broken by Gill restarting Nazi Germany.
It is a profound episode, showcasing the horrors of the holocaust. Even so, in 1968 when this episode aired Jews were still banned from clubs and businesses in America, still denied jobs and opportunities just because of their faith. By using this horrific event, Roddenberry was able, along with prominent Jewish actors, to remind the public that Jews were people just like them. Did it work? On a large scale, probably not. However, if it stuck with only a few people, those people could have grown to help end the cycle of hate.
This is the power of science fiction. It uses entertainment to teach us about the mistakes of the past and shows us the potential of the future. I can only wonder how Roddenberry would have reacted to our recent events. Mass shootings on the rise, with more groups targeted for religious affiliation, the color of their skin, or their sexual/gender orientation. I want to believe that he would have looked to take a stand against this ongoing cycle of hate.
It’s true that Star Trek never had a regular cast member that was considered Lgbtq at the time, but there were storylines throughout different seasons invoking those themes. I hope that the writers of the new show can continue Roddenberry’s practice of social commentary and have a Lgbtq character be a part of the show’s cast. We need to use the horrific act of violence in Orlando to change the image and social understanding of how any human, regardless of their sexual/gender orientation, should be treated.
In the episode I watched, the missing researcher tells Kirk “Even historians fail to learn from history and repeat the same mistakes.” It is a quote to think about. We, as a culture, are failing to learn from history. The attack against Pulse, an Lgbtq nightclub, sadly proves that. Unlike the TV show, we have no heroes beaming down to save the day. We need to learn to save ourselves. As a world community, we need to declare that ending the cycle of hate is our top priority. Our Prime Directive. This attack on the Lgbt community isn’t the first attack but together, maybe we can make it the last.
If you are a member of the Lgbtq community, then you have my support. If you are an ally like me, then make sure you show your support. The world needs to know that this problem affects everyone, not just this small group of people. Together is the only way we can make the world a better place, and bring us one step closer to a utopian world of enlightenment. »
- Molly Jackson
The Groundlings are bringing a bright spot to the dark tragedy of the shootings at Orlando, Florida’s Pulse Nightclub. The Los Angeles Groundling troupe has organized “Love Is Love,” a special night of improv and sketch comedy to celebrate the Lgbt community and to benefit the victims’ families. Tickets are $15 for the June 20 show taking place at 10 p.m., and all proceeds will be donated via Equality Florida. The cast is set to include Michael McDonald of “Mad TV” fame, Tim Bagley, Chris Eckert, Michael Hitchcock, Kevin Kirkpatrick, Jim Rash, Mitch Silpa, and Greg Worswick. The non-profit organization has been providing the L.A. area with improv and sketch comedy since 1974, and also houses the comedy training ground, the Groundling’s School. To learn more about the organization, click here. Visit groundlings.com for more information on how to purchase tickets. If you are unable to attend the show, please consider donating at gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund. Do you want to one day perform at Groundlings for a cause? Learn how torefine your comic persona! »
The 70th annual Tony Awards should be used as a blueprint for all award shows moving forward.
PhotosTony Awards 2016: Donald Trump’s New Musical, a Hamilton Conspiracy and 14 Other Memorable Moments
This year’s ceremony — which held additional significance in the wake of Sunday’s shooting massacre in Orlando — was a powerful celebration of love, creativity and talent, peppered with incredible performances from some of the most gifted individuals ever to grace the Broadway stage.
And thanks to CBS, those performances are now available in their entirety to enjoy ad nauseam — if that’s even possible — beginning with host »
The cast of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” honored the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting by posting a series of photos from the L.A. Pride parade on Sunday. “We’re with you,” Kaitlin Olson captioned a picture of the cast decked out in all-rainbow gear. The cast also sported the word “Orlando” on their arms and flew rainbow flags at a special Paddy’s Pub section of L.A. Pride. Check out more pictures of the cast below. Also Read: Donald Trump Says More Guns at Orlando Nightclub Would Have Prevented Mass Shooting In the early hours of Sunday morning, »
- Joe Otterson
The Tony Awards have created a ribbon to honor those affected by the mass shooting at an Orlando, Florida, gay nightclub that left at least 50 people dead and at least 53 injured. Attendees of the awards show donned a special translucent ribbon created in remembrance of the victims in Orlando on Sunday night. "The Theatre community stands in solidarity," the Tonys' official Twitter account posted Sunday, alongside a photo of the ribbon. Earlier in the day, Tony Awards organizers announced the Sunday night telecast would be dedicated to the victims. The Tonys have created a ribbon in remembrance for Orlando. The Theatre community stands in solidarity. »
- Jodi Guglielmi, @JodiGug3
The Tony Awards have created a ribbon to honor those affected by the mass shooting at an Orlando, Florida, gay nightclub that left at least 50 people dead and at least 53 injured. Attendees of the awards show donned a special translucent ribbon created in remembrance of the victims in Orlando on Sunday night. "The Theatre community stands in solidarity," the Tonys' official Twitter account posted Sunday, alongside a photo of the ribbon. The Tonys have created a ribbon in remembrance for Orlando. The Theatre community stands in solidarity. #TonysRibbon pic.twitter.com/w0jBbTd8zU— The Tony Awards (@TheTonyAwards) June 12, 2016 Earlier in the day, »
- Jodi Guglielmi, @JodiGug3
10 items from 2016
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