Hamilton Dramaturgy's TheatreNow!


TheatreNow! Expands in 2013

2013 was a year in which I worked on building TheatreNow!’s platform.

We have expanded internationally as well as in the U.S., and now have Representatives for many areas:

US Representative: Cate Cammarata
Asia Representative: Walter Byongsok Chon
UK Representative: Natalie Pandya
South America Representative: Thais Flaitt
Young Audience Development Representative: Danica Rodriguez

In April, Natalie, a recent Oxford University graduate (St. Catherine’s College), corresponded with leading UK universities and conservatories about the podcast, laying the groundwork for greater dissemination there. Natalie now works for the BBC.

During the summer, Danica, a rising senior at the prestigious Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School in Manhattan, created a proposal for introducing the podcast to young adults and theatre aficionados.

In December, I invited Thais Flaitt, a recent M.A. graduate of the University of Nebraska Omaha, to serve as our South America representative. A native of Brazil, Thais is a skilled scholar, director, and translator.

Several hundred people have listened to the audio postings on the Soundcloud site. In addition, the TheatreNow! blog (https://theatrenow.wordpress.com) drew visitors from 57 countries, and the top podcasts viewed were with Paule Constable and Jennifer Tipton, lighting designers.

The TheatreNow! website (http://hamiltondramaturgystheatrenow.com) continues to attract many visitors. Helaine’s design and archiving expertise show off the podcasts well.

2014 will bring an expansion of the program, and a posting of new podcasts, including Maria Alexandria Beech, Murielle Borst Tarrant, and Judith Malina, to complete Season Three.

Thank you for all your support and I am looking forward to expanding the program in 2014.

Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.



SUNSET BABY Extended at Labrynth Theater Company

Congratulations to TheatreNow! guest Kamilah Forbes, who directed SUNSET BABY in New York City. It has been extended! Kamilah was a guest in Season Two, and has a hit with Dominique Morisseau’s new play. Brava!

http://labtheater.org/sunset-baby/

#theatrenow!

Sunset-Baby by Dominique Morisseau



TheatreNow! Article in AMERICAN THEATRE

Many thanks to  AMERICAN THEATRE magazine (October 2012 – Theatre Communications Group) for publishing a 2-page article on TheatreNow! Margot Melcon wrote an informative and thorough piece on TheatreNow!’s origins, and place in the contemporary gender parity movement.

Download the article here: AMERICAN THEATRE article on TheatreNow! by Margot Melcon (October 2012)

“There’s been a lot of discussion over the past few years about women’s voices being underrepresented in the theatre—there aren’t enough female playwrights being produced, not enough women in executive positions in regional theatres, not enough female directors or roles for female actors. And not enough women speak out as informed, educated, experienced and qualified representatives in the field. Though there has been a flood of discussion about gender disparity, talking doesn’t always lead to action.

But Anne Hamilton isn’t just talking. In response to the acknowledged under-representation that leads to so much frustration, the New York City–based freelance dramaturg, script consultant and playwright has offered up a solution…”

http://hamiltondramaturgystheatrenow.com



Kamilah Forbes, Assistant Director on Broadway

Congratulations to Kamilah Forbes, who served as the first guest of Season Two on TheatreNow! She is serving as Assistant Director of the Broadway production of THE MOUNTAINTOP by Katori Hall, starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. Brava!



Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow!

Thank you so much for your interest in TheatreNow!

On TheatreNow! I interview important contemporary female theatre artists, and I would like to make this series a seminal program that people from all over the world will listen to in the years to come. The podcasts  are also posted on my blog at http://hamiltondramaturgy.wordpress.com

TheatreNow! creates an online presence and library of female theatre experts’ ideas and opinions. I serve as Producer and Host, and Linsey Bostwick serves as Editor.

I’ve already posted conversations with: Quiara Alegria Hudes (playwright/librettist); Kristin Marting (director/artistic director); Claire Lautier (actor); Valentina Fratti (director/playwright); Ruth Margraff (musician/composer/writer); Yvette Heyliger (playwright) and Yvonne Farrow (actor/choralographer).

Others who have agreed to appear: Lynn Nottage (Pulitzer Prize winning playwright), Danai Guriri (actor/playwright), Laura Maria Censabella (playwright), Kamilah Forbes (writer/producer/curator), Alexandra Maria Beech (playwright)  and Anne Kauffman (director).

Rather than be a series focusing on biographical details, I conduct the interviews in such a way as to focus on each woman’s early artistic influences, her own assessment of her contribution to the professional theatre, and her artistic process. I also plan to post a written bio (also in digital form) from each subject on my blog http://hamiltondramaturgy.wordpress. com near the podcast.

I am very excited to create a lasting and seminal podcast series which ensure that women theatre artists can reveal and discuss their creative processes and influences.

Sincerely, Anne Hamilton – Producer and Host



Season Two of TheatreNow! Launches

Kamilah Forbes, the award-winning artist and the Artistic Director of the Hip Hop Theatre Festival, appears as the first guest in Season Two of TheatreNow!

Please tune in by clicking here: Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! Interview with Kamilah Forbes

You can read a transcript of the interview here.

Upcoming guests include Laura Maria Censabella, Paule Constable, Maria Alexandria Beech and Linsey Bostwick.



TheatreNow! Podcast of Kamilah Forbes Now Playing

Kamilah Forbes is an award-winning theatre artist and the Artistic Director of the Hip Hop Theatre Festival.

Listen to her speak about her early influences, experience, and artistic process.

Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! Interview with Kamilah Forbes

Please also visit her websites at www.kffproductions.com and  www.hhtf.org



Interview with Kamilah Forbes, Artistic Director/Actor/Curator

Kamilah Forbes Interview 2010

Kamilah Forbes
On December 9th the League of Professional Theatre Women will honor Kamilah Forbes with the Josephine Abady Award, given to an emerging director or producer of works of cultural diversity. Miss Forbes is an actor, director, curator and producer who develops creative works by, for and about the hip-hop generation. She is currently the Artistic Director of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival. Anne Hamilton recently interviewed the NYC-based artist.

Please also listen to the Season Two’s first podcast: Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! Interview with Kamilah Forbes.

ANNE HAMILTON: First of all, I would like to say congratulations. How do you feel about winning the Abady Award?

KAMILAH FORBES:  I’m a little speechless because I’m in such awe of the other honorees as well as the organization, so I’m very, very honored. The recognition means a great deal.

AH: I think that it’s important to learn about a woman’s early growth as an artist. Can you tell us what kinds of artistic activities you took part in as you were growing up?

KF: I took piano lessons and I went to a lot of theater growing up in Chicago. Based on my musical influences, I would write hip-hop lyrics at that time. I was very much involved in my drama program in high school, which led to me wanting to study theater in college. I was involved in the acting and directing program at Howard University and did a little bit of producing.

AH: AND YOU ALSO STUDIED AT OXFORD.

KF: Yes, at the British-American Drama Academy (BADA). I’m in love with the classics. I’ve always been in love with language, whether it’s hip-hop or Shakespeare. You know, it made my decade, just to be in the same room with Ben Kingsley and to study with him. I studied with Fiona Shaw as well.

AH: TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE SHAKESPEAREAN ROLES YOU’VE PLAYED.

KF: I’ve played Rosalind in AS YOU LIKE IT. That was with the WSC Company in Washington DC. I was part of the Folger Shakespeare Theater Educational Troupe. I did ROMEO AND JULIET, and MUCH ADO. In The Scottish Play, on the main stage of Folger Shakespeare, I played Hecate, which is a role that’s generally omitted. She’s the queen of the witches.

AH: HOW DID YOU GO FROM HECATE TO HIP-HOP?

KF: Well, I think my interests always co-existed, and it was just a matter of my two worlds bumping into one another. When I studied at Oxford, I would attend classes about scansion and diction during the day and then I would be running to London to see DE LA SOUL at night.

My college professor Sybil Roberts really encouraged us as theater makers to challenge the boundaries of performance and take experimental risks.  I decided to pull together a collective of poets and DJs, and began to workshop a concept for a play I was writing called RHYME DEFERRED. The DJ definitely laid the score of the play. I worked with dancers and choreographers whose background was in hip-hop dancing and popping and locking and break dancing. I was interested in using the dance as storytelling tools.

I asked myself, “How can this kind of movement truly tell a story just as any posse or other Broadway choreography would?” And the poetry and the language wove together. In this 1997 workshop I was experimenting with what Hip-Hop Theater as an aesthetic could potentially look like.

AH: TELL US ABOUT WORKING WITH DEF POETRY JAM.

KF: I served as the producer for the HBO show, which basically meant I just did what I did for the festival. I curated. When the show started to move towards Broadway, I worked with the director Stan Lathan as an associate director for the Broadway tour. I got to work with a lot of these poets in a lot of different ways. Several of them had written long-form work that I had presented in the festival. And then in this iteration, they were performing their three-minute, shorter work as well.

AH: YOU WEAR A NUMBER OF HATS EXTREMELY WELL. WHAT DO YOU THINK CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS?

KF: I’ve always been interested in a lot of different sides of things. I want to know how the show is run as well as how it’s produced, because they’re interrelated. You know, being a good actor makes me even better director. Being a producer makes me a better director. Being a director makes me a better producer, just because of my knowledge of the full 360-degree circle of the theatre world. At times it’s difficult, because sometimes I can feel very schizophrenic. But when I’m truly able to focus on one thing at a time, I think each one of my interests enhances the other.

AH: IS YOUR JOB WITH THE FESTIVAL YEAR-ROUND?

KF: It seems like it. [Laughs.]  But we’ve backed away from being a year-round organization only because it gives me a lot more freedom to work on other individual artistic projects, whether as a director or an actor. Or to work on the series that I produce. It gives me a little bit of freedom for that.

AH: WHAT KIND OF ARTISTIC GROWTH ARE YOU EXPERIENCING AT THE MOMENT?

KF: I’m finding a lot of inspiration from a lot of different forms and in very unlikely places. I will go to a visual art exhibit and be so inspired in by the way in which it was presented. I’m always figuring out ways to build upon inspiration, and to incorporate this piece of inspiration into the work that I do. I’m constantly looking for ways for that to happen in very unlikely places.

AH: IT SEEMS LIKE YOUR ARTISTS ARE WELL-DISCIPLINED, WELL-INFORMED, SUPERBLY INTELLIGENT AND ALSO, THAT THEY WORK THROUGH THE HEART AS WELL AS THE MIND.

KF: Absolutely.

AH: KAMILAH, I WISH YOU GREAT, GREAT SUCCESS IN THE FUTURE IN EVERYTHING THAT YOU’RE DOING. HOW CAN PEOPLE KEEP UP WITH YOUR SHOWS AND ACTIVITIES?

KF: Thank you, Anne. They can go to the websites www.kffproductions.com and www.hhtf.org.