Category — TDF News
A TDF gala celebrates 40 years of TKTS in Times Square and an essential man in TKTS history
We all know TKTS is a place to buy discounted theatre tickets, but in the 40 years since it was created, it’s also become an emotional touchstone for New York theatre lovers. Ask anyone who cares about the arts in this city, and they’ll almost certainly have a memory of TKTS.
That became obvious on Monday at TDF’s gala, which celebrated 40 years of TKTS in Times Square and the remarkable career of Philip J. Smith, chairman and co-chief executive officer of the Shubert Organization. Along with his success as a Broadway producer, Smith has been vital to TKTS: He even helped find the trailer that housed the very first booth. As celebrities saluted him at the Edison Ballroom, they made it clear how much they valued his work.
March 8, 2013 2 Comments
How “Bunnicula” became family-friendly fabulousness
Are you surprised that Charles Busch has adapted the beloved children’s book Bunnicula into a family-friendly musical? That’s okay. He’s a little surprised, too.
Now at the DR2 Theatre in a production from TheatreworksUSA, the show follows Chester and Harold, a cat and dog who believe their human owners have adopted a vampire bunny. After all, something is draining the juice out of the vegetables every night, and Bunnicula was found at a movie theatre showing a vampire flick. Based on this evidence, Chester and Harold decide to save their family from an adorable monster.
February 22, 2013 2 Comments
TDF’s Stage Doors program reaches students across the city
Recently, TDF made clowns out of local teachers and teaching artists, but in the best possible way. They were gathered for a workshop with a professional clown, who had everyone pretending mittens were puppies and rain was falling indoors.
There was a method to this playfulness. The teachers and artists were participating in Stage Doors, a part of Theatre Development Fund’s Education Program, and as they played, they enacted some of the crucial elements of live theatre.
In one game everyone stood in a circle and tossed a series of balls back and forth. Each ball came with its own rules, and when they threw it, players had to do or say something specific. Keeping those balls in the air became a metaphor for what it’s like to be on stage. Success required listening, cooperation, and generous improvisation when another person made a mistake.
And as teachers know, those skills are helpful outside the theatre, too. “I want my kids to try the activity with all the different balls flying around,” said Kelly Roberts, a teacher at William McKinley Junior High School in Brooklyn. “I want to see how organized they can keep themselves, because the easiest thing is for them to slip into chaos.”
February 21, 2013 No Comments
Inside the Autism-Friendly performance of How the Grinch Stole Christmas at San Diego’s Old Globe
One of the most emotional experiences I’ve had while working at TDF happened right after our first autism-friendly performance of The Lion King. After the show, all of the TDF staffers were wearing identifying name tags. While standing in the lobby, as the audience was leaving the Minskoff Theatre, I was overwhelmed as parent after parent came up to me and my colleagues, many in tears, thanking us for producing this event. Until that day they couldn’t imagine being able to take their children with autism to see a Broadway show. Several had tried in the past, but felt uncomfortable if their child had an outburst or fidgeted in their chair, feeling all eyes were on them. At this autism-friendly performance, they all felt like they were in ‘the same boat’ and shared in the feeling of universal love and acceptance. It took me some time to begin to process those feelings. A few days later, I spoke to a colleague from the New York Times who covered the show for an Artsbeat blog post, and he shared the same feelings I had—compassion, powerlessness, empathy.
December 29, 2012 5 Comments
If you’re looking to buy gifts for theatre lovers, then you can’t go wrong with a great theatre book. Whether they’re behind-the-scenes photo collections or collections of beloved scripts, theatre books can be permanent mementos of the performing arts.
Here are ten books about theatre and dance that could make an excellent gift this year.
December 14, 2012 1 Comment