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A Letter On

GENDER UN-PARITY

7 February, '15

Hi Larry,
Wasn't sure who to contact about this but I wanted to bring something to your attention.
Perhaps this is just an oversight of some kind but in today's announcement of the IRNES there is a category for Best Actor Fringe AND Best Actor Midsize but only a Best Actress category. It was also this way last year.
My feeling is that if this category is to be included BOTH genders should be represented, or if the committee simply cannot add another category the Best Actor Fringe category should be eliminated.
I think it is problematic to award the males in a theatre category and not the females. They should both be included or neither should be recognized.
As you know issues of gender equality in theatre are very close to my heart and I wanted to bring this to your attention. Please let me know who I might get in touch with on the committee to discuss this further.
I'm sure no one on the committee  was intentional in excluding Fringe  Actresses but I would like to do all I can to change this.
Thank you so much for your time and unending support of the Fringe.
Erin Eva Butcher
Erin.eva.butcher@gmail.com

My Reply:

After a long conversation with beverly Creasey over the phone tonight, including a history of this situation, my first reaction (that you were right and something was left out) flies in the face of another, and painful, reality.

The category was this:

BEST ACTRESS (Drama)

Roz Beauchemin GOD OF CARNAGE (Next Door Theatre)
Stacy Fischer INSIGNIFICANCE (Nora Theatre)
Karen MacDonald DOUBT (Stoneham Theatre)
Deb Martin GIDION’S KNOT (Bridge Rep)
Alison McCartan BAD JEWS (SpeakEasy Stage Company) 
Jacqui Parker FENCES (Gloucester Stage Company) 
Debra Wise CHOSEN CHILD (Boston Playwrights’ Theater)

Only Six Nominations.

For BEST ACTOR Mid-Size there are six; for BEST ACTOR Fringe there are Eight.
That looks like a serious case of gender prejudice, doesn't it?

But if you glance down to the BESTs in Smaller Company MUSICALS you will see that NONE of the categories are split between Mid-Size and Fringe.
Why not?

For an honest answer I must explain how the dozen IRNE Reviewers bring the Awards Ceremony into being every year.

Every January everyone is given a list of categories and asked to suggest ONE play/production/person in each one. A person/play must be suggested by Three Reviewers to appear on the final ballot.
Usually, since they often see the same shows, many categories/nominees are "over-suggested" while other categories are anemic.
On the basic truism that a Nomination is often as important as an Award, a steering-committee of about six then meets to suggest work that may have been seen by too few reviewers get added to thin categories. The aim is bring each category up to about five nominees --- but critics are a loud and uncompromising bunch, and often votes must be taken to winnow a large number down to five, or to expand a category to even more than that. (The phrase "a blood-spumed bear-pit" is frequently not inappropriate here.)
When the long night is over, a final ballot is attained; and then all 12 members are asked again to cast votes for ONE in each category --- and not to vote unless they Have Seen the show they vote for.

And now, some history is necessary:

The IRNE Awards are the brainchild of Beverly Creasey and Geralyn Horton, who rightly noticed that good work being done by smaller theatres, like The Reagle Players or SpeakEasy Stage or in places like the old Actors' Workshop, the BCA or The Factory was consistently ignored by newspaper reviewers. They envisioned a sort of Boston version of the OBIE Awards, and I agreed with them. We worked for a full year, and got nowhere, until Jules Becker suggested that, if we were going to recognize Good Work, if we left out the local Equity Houses and Broadway in Boston, no one would take us seriously --- and he was right.
Initially, all levels of theatre were competing in every category --- until the Big Barn people complained that being lumped with Reagle (who beat them more than once) was unfair, and awards were split between Larger and Smaller venues.

Then --- just last year --- Fringe Theatres complained that Mid-Size houses, which could afford advertising, were at an unfair advantage.
So IRNE agreed that, if the mix of Mid and Fringe produced enough nominees to mean four or five IN EACH, a split between them would in a sense double the number of categories. This worked best for most NON-musical than for Musical productions.
MOST.
Not all.
For two years running, the category of "BEST ACTRESS Smaller Companies" (i.e., Mid AND Fringe combined) has failed to turn up enough nominees to split the category --- and That is why it is not split this year.

That is a bitter pill, but unfortunately the IRNE Awards are intended to Reflect reality --- much as we hoped and still hope to change it. Both Mid-Size and Fringe companies still choose plays, and playwrights still write plays, that are mainly about MEN with women relegated to Supporting Roles.

From both camps, the dozen reviewers nominated only a total of SIX Best Actresses --- and when the steering committee came to the category, they couldn't remember a single performance they could add.

I suppose the category Could be split, with only THREE nominees from each camp.
That would reflect truth, but it wouldn't change anything.
What Might change things will be a March-long Focus on Woman, and a company like MAIDEN PHOENIX, "a Boston Fringe Theatre Company committed to telling stories about women."
We can hope; we can try.

When the multi-re-named IRNE Awards started, we wanted to change people's minds about the wealth and variety and scope of excellent theatrical work done here in the Boston Area. Since then, even the Norton Committee has changed its mind, somewhat, about their own recognition of theatrical excellence.

I guess all we can say right now is something familiar to Bostonians:

Just wait'll Next year, gang!

Love,
===larry stark

Any Comments???

SCROLL DOWN FOR:

1) REVIEWS of plays up and running
[This now, again, as complete as I can make it]
2) A LIST of all the theater in Massachusetts
[This, however is still Hopelessly out of date!]
CLICK for more complete coverage

THEATER MIRROR Reviews of plays still running

"Intimate Apparel" **** till 14 March Reviewed by Sheila Barth
"All My Sons" **** till 1 March Reviewed by Tony Annicone
"Our Town" **** till 22 February Reviewed by Tony Annicone

"The King of Second Avenue" **** till 1 March A Review by Sheila Barth
"Summer And Smoke" **** till 22 FebruaryReviewed by Tony Annicone
"Father Comes Home from The Wars" Parts 1, 2, And 3 **** till 2 March A Review by Sheila Barth
"Seminar" **** till 22 February Reviewed by Tony Annicone
"Middletown" **** till 22 February Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Reviews In Other Websites:

"Father Comes Home from The Wars"
by Al Chase in White Rhino Report
by Carolyn Clay in The ARTery - WBURfm
by Jack Craib in South Shore Critic
by Rich Fahey in On Boston Stages
by Iris Fanger in Wicked Local
by Nancy Grossman in Broadway World
by Joyce Kulhawik in Joyce's Choices
by Bill Marx in The Arts Fuse
by Kilian Melloy in The Edge
(closes 1 March)

"Fufu & Oreos"
by Nancy Grossman in Broadway World
(closes 28 February)

"Kerplop!" Winter Panto
by Fabiana Cabral in My Theatre
(closes 15 February)

"The King of Second Avenue"
by Nancy Grossman in Broadway World
(closes 1 March)

"The Meeting"
by Will Demers in The Edge
(closes 15 February)

"Middletown"
by Jack Craib in South Shore Critic
by Rich Fahey in On Boston Stages
by Joe Siegel in The Edge
(closes 22 February)

"Motown: The Musical"
by Dana Barbuto in Wicked Local
by Jared Bowen in WGBHtv
by Rich Fahey in On Boston Stages
by Joyce Kulhawik in Joyce's Choices
by Nancy Grossman in Broadway World
by Robert Nesti in The Edge
(closes 15 February)

"Proposals"
by Paul Kolhas in Worcester Telegram
(closes 22 February)

"Rosencrantz And guildenstern Are dead"
by Christopher Verleger in The Edge
(closes 14 February)

"The Second Girl"
by Jared Bowen in WGBHtv
by Carolyn Clay in The ARTery - WBURfm
by Jack Craib in South Shore Critic
by Rich Fahey in On Boston Stages
by Mark Faverman in Berkshire Fine Arts
by Nancy Grossman in Broadway World
by Joyce Kulhawik in Joyce's Choices
by Bill Marx in The Arts Fuse
by UNSIGNED in Wicked Local
(closes 21 February)

"Seminar"
by Will Demers in The Edge
(closes 22 February)

"Sixty Miles to Silver Lake"
by Nancy Grossman in Broadway World
(closes 28 February)

PLAYS
UP AND RUNNING

This is a list, as complete as I can make it,
of everything on the boards in Massachusetts this week.
["Permanent productions" ("Shear Madness" etc.) are at the END of this list. Scroll down.]

Friday - Monday, 17 October - 2 November 2014

2 October - 1 November
"Fabulous Fable Factory"
@ THEATRE AT THE MOUNT
@ 444 Green Street, GARDNER MA
1(978)630-9388

9 - 26 October
"Stop/Kiss"
COTUIT CENTER FOR THE ARTS
4404 Falmouth Road, COTUIT MA
1(508)428-0669

10 - 26 October
"Boeing Boeing"
WALPOLE FOOTLIGHTERS
@ 2 Scout Road, EAST WALPOLE MA
1(508)668-8446

10 - 24 October
"Done to Death"
ATTLEBORO COMMUNITY THEATRE
@ Ezekiel Bates Lodge, 71 North Main Street, ATTLEBORO MA
1(508)226-8100

10 - 25 October
"Little Women, The Musical"
THEATRE III
@ 250 Central Street, ACTON MA
1(978)263-9070

10 - 25 October
"November"
QUANNAPOWITT PLAYERS
@ 15 Hopkins Street, READING MA
1(781)942-2212

16 - 26 October
"Dial "M" for Murder"
CALIOPE PRODUCTIONS INC.
@ 150 Main Street, Route 70, BOYLSTON MA
1(508)869-6887

17 - 25 October
"Bug"
ALGONKUIN THEATRE PROJECTS
@ 50 Douglas Road, WHITINSVILLE MA
1(508)272-0111

17 - 26 October
"Charlotte's Web"
THEATRE COMPANY OF SAUGUS
@ 85 Chestnut Street, SAUGUS MA
1(781)816-7019

17 October - 9 November
"Dear Elizabeth"
THE LYRIC STAGE COMPANY OF BOSTON INC.
@ 140 Clarendon Street, BOSTON MA
1(617)585-5676

17 - 26 October
"Peter Pan"
FRANKLIN PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY
@ 38 Main Street, FRANKLIN MA
1(508)528-8668

17 - 25 October
"Pride And Prejudice"
ENTER STAGE LEFT
@ 98 Hayden Rowe Street, HOPKINTON MA
1(508)435-9222

17 - 26 October
"You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown"
COLONIAL CHORUS PLAYERS
@ The Old House, 1249 Main Street, READING MA
1(781)944-9780

21 - 26 October
"The Magic Flute"
@ ARTS EMERSON
@ Paramount Center Main Stage, 559 Washington Street, BOSTON MA
1(617)824-8400

24 October - 29 November
"Bad Jews"
@ SPEAKeasy STAGE COMPANY
@ Boston Center for The Arts, 527 Tremont Street, BOSTON MA
1(617)482-3279

24 October - 1 November
"Assassins"
@ BRIDGEWATER STATE UNIVERSITY THEATER DEPARTMENT
131 Summer Street, BRIDGEWATER MA
1(508)531-1000

24 October - 2 November
"Why Do Fools Fall in Loved?"
PRISCILLA BEACH THEATRE
800 Rocky Hill Road, PLYMOUTH MA
1(508)224-4888

25 October - 2 November
"Arsenic And Old Lace"
@ THE COMMUNITY HOUSE OF HAMILTON & WENHAM
284 Bay Road, SOUTH HAMILTON MA
1(978)468-4818

25 & 26 October
"Inside The Haunted House"
THE GERWICK PUPPETS
@ THE PUPPET SHOWPLACE, 32 Station Street, BROOKLINE MA
1(617)731-6400x101

25 October ONLY
"Poe! Poe! Poe!" READING
@ GATEWAYS PLAYERS THEATRE INC.
@ Gateway Arts Barn 111 Main Street, SOUTHBRIDGE MA
1(508)764-4531

30 October - 15 November
"Avenue Q"
THE VOKES PLAYERS
@ 97 Boston Post Road, WAYLAND MA
1(508)358-4034

31 October - 9 November
"Othelo"
THE MIT SHAKESPEARE
@ Somewhere on MIT Campus, CAMBRIDGE MA
NO PHONE

1 & 2 November
"Flat Stanley"
THE ACADEMY OF COMPANY THEATRE
@ 30 Accord Park Drive, NORWELL MA
1(781)871-2787 (ARTS)

1 - 16 November
"The House of Yes"
COTUIT CENTER FOR THE ARTS
4404 Falmouth Road, COTUIT MA
1(508)428-0669

And these undying classics:

??? - Forever
"Blue Man Group"
BLUE MAN GROUP
@ The Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton Street, BOSTON MA
1(800)982-2787

??? - Forever
"Improv Asylum"
IMPROV ASYLUM
@ 216 Hanover Street, BOSTON MA
1(617)263-6887

??? - Forever
"Improv Boston"
IMPROV BOSTON
@ 40 Prospect Street, Central Square, CAMBRIDGE MA
1(617)576-1253

??? - Forever
"Shear Madness"
SHEAR MADNESS
@ The Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton Street, BOSTON MA
1(617)426-5225

??? - Forever
"The Donkey Show"
AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATRE
@ Oberon, Massachusetts Avenue & Zero Arrow Street, CAMBRIDGE MA
1(617)495-2668

For an EVEN MORE COMPLETE list of "Coming Attractions" in Massachusetts
Click Here

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The Company Theatre, Norwell, Mass - Phone 781-871-ARTS

For information call 781-871-2787

The Company Theatre
30 Accord Park Dr.
Norwell, MA 02061
(781) 871-2787 (ARTS)


I wrote a book!

Yes I, Larry Stark, wrote a book* --- a little novel called
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
And you CAN buy copies of that book
Artist in Residence cover --- but Only At:
THE HARVARD BOOK STORE
1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Harvard Square, Cambridge
1(617) 661-1515
What you do is go to the bookstore, pay them $20.00, and then........
Watch while their "expresso-books machine"
Prints a copy before your astonished eyes in only four minutes!
(Honest!)
It will be a "perfect-bound" paperback
slightly warm to the touch
and will fit in your pocket.
You can talk to your friends about it
You can talk to MY friends about it!
Be The First On Your Block To.....









REMINDER:
The same information you once found in The Theater Mirror
--- but with some exciting new twists that will make finding what you need easier and faster ---
is shared by
NEW ENGLAND THEATER 411.
Pay special attention to these pages:
Actor Calls
Production Team Calls
Special Announcements
Emergencies
Bargains
Coming Attractions
Attractions Now Playing
And if you have information to submit, here's how:
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Need_title.jpg (25807 bytes)

Guess how many THEATRES there are in BOSTON

N I N E?

N I N E T E E N?

T H I R T Y - N I N E?

That's Just In BOSTON, now. Eliminate Cambridge, Newton, Waltham, etc.
Your best guess is what?

Well, I just published:

A
Theater-Lovers' Guide

to the

N I N E T Y

Theatres In Boston

You don't believe me?
Send me ten bucks (about a dime a theatre)
And I'll mail you a copy.
Or ask me next time we're in the same theatre together.

Larry Stark, 125 Amory Street #501, Roxbury,  MA 02119

Love, ===Anon.


 


Turtle Lane Playhouse
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North Shore Music Theatre The Conservatory


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