Blog | Colin Thomas’s Fresh Sheet: The Launch!

Colin Thomas’s Fresh Sheet: The Launch!

By admin | July 21, 2017
“Are you satisfied, Jew? What do you say?” Warren Kimmel plays Shylock in The Merchant of Venice at Bard on the Beach.

“Are you satisfied, Jew? What do you say?” Warren Kimmel plays Shylock in The Merchant of Venice at Bard on the Beach.

Welcome to Colin Thomas’s Fresh Sheet, my daisy-fresh, mountain-fresh, freshly inked collaboration with Theatre Wire. (For those of you who don’t know me, I was the lead theatre critic at the Georgia Straight for 30 years.)

Every week in Fresh Sheet I’ll offer a curated sampling of the best local, national, and international theatre coverage, and I’ll tip you off about the Vancouver shows you have to see.

Triggered, Warned, and Ready

Feeling triggered? Suck it up.

In “Shakespeare’s Cure for Xenophobia,” Harvard literature prof Stephen Greenblatt places his experiences of anti-Semitism in the context of his love for our shared literary heritage—including The Merchant of Venice.

Greenblatt writes: “In recent years some of my students have seemed acutely anxious when they are asked to confront the crueller strains of our cultural legacy. In my own life, that reflex would have meant closing many of the books I found most fascinating, or succumbing to the general melancholy of my parents.”

Rubén Polendo has helpful, real-world advice for drama students.

Rubén Polendo has helpful, real-world advice for drama students.

Your Drama Teacher—Untucked

What does your drama teacher want to tell you—really, really want to tell you? Rubén Polendo, who is the chair of Under-Graduate Drama at Tisch (New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts), delivers the disch. Dish.

Why Is This an Amazing Thing?

Theatre is about imagining ourselves into the skins of other people. It’s about compassion, right? So why does theatre exclude so many isolated citizens?

Some folks have autism, Tourette’s, or dementia, conditions that could make some of their behaviours distracting to other patrons—but we don’t have to shut them out.

Backstage in Biscuit Land, which had relaxed performance at this year’s PuSh Festival, changed my life.

Backstage in Biscuit Land, which had relaxed performances at this year’s PuSh Festival, changed my life.

The Stratford Festival is one of the companies that have introduced “relaxed performances.” Those designated showings include accommodations for people who are susceptible to sensory overload, so they incorporate strategies like leaving the houselights on and muting gunshots.

And the Royal Shakespeare Company is exploring “chilled performances,” in which the productions stay the same—so the houselights go out and the guns fire at full volume—but there’s no attempt to discourage noise or movement in the audience.

Money is no excuse. For companies that want to learn about how to open their doors—Wider! Wider!—here are some tips on marketing.

It’s Never Too Late for Zombies

This happened ten days ago, but it’s never too late for zombies.

At the G20 summit in Hamburg, the members of the 1000 Gestalten Collective made a jaw-dropping public statement. Caked in grey clay, moving in silence on the subways and though the streets, they converged in the city’s central square—where they transformed.

If you’ve ever felt helpless in the face of cronyism and climate change—or if you’re fond of your cellphone—you can probably relate to the undead. If you’re in need of transformation, watch this video and weep.

My Besties

The costumes in the TUTS production of Mary Poppins appear to be made out of ice cream.

The costumes in the TUTS production of Mary Poppins appear to be made out of ice cream.

So far, my top show of this summer is Mary Poppins at Theatre Under the Stars. I’ve seen this musical produced professionally—a lot—but none of those mountings matched the joy and invention of this semi-professional extravaganza. Here’s my tear-splattered review.

For more reviews, including my reactions to the 2017 Bard on the Beach season, come on down to my website.

Give Love, Get Love

While you’re here—as they say on websites when they’re soliciting your support—while you’re here…

Do you have a theatre company or other business? Do you want to reach educated, arts-engaged readers while supporting independent theatre criticism? Consider advertising on Theatre Wire.

Don’t let this girl get too skinny. Buy an ad.

Don’t let this girl get too skinny. Buy an ad.

My collaboration with Theatre Wire is part of my grand scheme to dominate the media universe—or at least to be able to keep covering theatre while making enough dough to feed myself.

Independent criticism is important, and so is your business. If your enterprise is arts-related, Theatre Wire subscribers want to hear about it.

So, if you advertise on Theatre Wire, it will boost your business and my fridge will be stocked. Win/win.

Trevor Battye at Clevers Media is handling ad sales. He’s a good guy and, man, does he have a deal for you!

3 Responses to “Colin Thomas’s Fresh Sheet: The Launch!”

  1. Cathy Chilco says:

    SO glad Colin’s smart, funny reviews have found a place!
    I wish you great success with this Colin, otherwise how are going to keep dressed in your inimitable style?!

  2. Colin Thomas says:

    Thanks! And second-hand bikinis don’t come cheap. 🙂

  3. Ingrid says:

    Merde!