Set In Los Angeles, Greek Tragedy ‘Medea’ …

Angry and despondent after Jason’s rejection, Medea (Anna Caterina Antonacci) responds by murdering their two children. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102121731

Set In Los Angeles, Greek Tragedy ‘Medea’ Gets A Modern Twist
September 19, 2015
http://www.npr.org/2015/09/19/441701784/set-in-los-angeles-greek-tragedy-medea-gets-a-modern-twist

The MacArthur Genius fellow has retold the stories of Electra and Oedipus Rex …

The 2,400-year-old plot from Euripides tells the story of a sorceress who flees her home country with her lover, the hero Jason, and settles in Corinth, only to lose him to the daughter of the king.

Mary Louise Hart is the curator for classical drama at the Getty Villa, where the play is being produced. She says there’s power in how audiences respond to these characters – both the admiration of hard work and hope in the future, but also in the darker side of ambition.

HART: Well, Medea was a terrible person. She was bad. She was evil. She was a killer, and she was willing to cross the line to get what she wanted.

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Every Brilliant Thing

One-Man Show Casts ‘Brilliant’ Light On Realities Of Suicide, Depression
January 30, 2015
http://www.npr.org/2015/01/30/381882593/one-man-show-casts-brilliant-light-on-realities-of-suicide-depression

“I was incredibly moved and it was a little embarrassing,” he says. “That was the only way in which I felt uncomfortable, in that the house lights never go down. So, of course, you’re totally exposed to everyone else in the audience. And there I am trying to keep a poker face and I have tears running down my face, but I’m not ashamed of them.”

The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence

In a New Play, Trusty Sidekick Is a Supercomputer
NPR. December 13, 2013
http://www.npr.org/2013/12/13/250730970/in-a-new-play-trusty-sidekick-is-a-supercomputer

Fed up with human shortcomings, the characters in Madeleine George’s play turn to high-tech companions. Could machines be assistants, friends, and even partners? The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence explores the amazing things technology can do for us…and what it can’t.

So in my story the character of Eliza is a computer scientist and she has kind of, like, lifted some of IBM’s technology from a job that she used to have there and taken it off and embedded it in a sociable robot.

GEORGE: And also how they felt about Watson. And they were quite candid about saying things like “I love Watson“. Or “Watson is just like another child to me“. That – I felt hardened by it because I know how easy it is for people who are not specialists to fall in a kind of love with our machines.

http://www.playwrightshorizons.org/shows/plays/curious-case-watson-intelligence

New Plays Turn Passive Audience Members Into Participants

New Plays Turn Passive Audience Members Into Participants 
May 27, 2013
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=186812251

Several productions in New York’s smaller theaters aren’t content with providing passive experiences — the audience is asked to participate.
Here Lies Love, a new David Byrne musical about Imelda Marcos at the Public Theater, is set in a disco and the audience moves around, from scene to scene, dancing all the while.
Natasha, Pierre and the Comet of 1812, is an electronic pop opera based on a portion of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and is set in a Russian restaurant where audiences are served a meal and vodka as part of the performance.

Here Lies Love
http://www.davidbyrne.com/here_lies_love

Theater Of The Absurd: Have Audiences Lost Their Manners?

Theater Of The Absurd: Have Audiences Lost Their Manners? 
June 11, 2013
http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2013/06/11/190642323/theater-of-the-absurd-have-audiences-lost-their-manners

Jan Simpson, the writer of one blog about Broadway, actually calls herself “old-fashioned” for wanting people to sit quietly while watching a show, which I can tell you caused the writer of one blog about popular culture to clutch her metaphorical pearls in horror at the thought that there’s something modern about being a disruptive buffoon.
Adler acknowledges that in fact, “in Shakespeare’s time, they threw food on the stage.”
Of course, in Shakespeare’s time, they died of various things we’ve cured, so let’s not embrace that too eagerly.