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Theater Preview: Wexner Center Hosts Australia’s Back to Back Theatre’s First Ohio Appearance

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Theater Preview: Wexner Center Hosts Australia’s Back to Back Theatre’s First Ohio Appearance

The Wexner Center has done an outstanding job of cultivating international relationships with companies, curators, and performers, for longer than I’ve been a regular attendee (about 25 years of its 31-year run). They’ve outdone themselves with their February offering. One of the most vivid, stunning, moving ensembles I’ve ever seen on a stage, Australia’s Back […]

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Theatre Preview: Available Light Summons Unabashed Empathy in Columbus Premiere of ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Theatre Preview: Available Light Summons Unabashed Empathy in Columbus Premiere of ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’

Cheryl Strayed cuts a deep and personal swath through the American moment in her novels and memoirs. Her time as an advice columnist for The Rumpus stood as both an outlier and an apotheosis, turning her hard-won life lessons into the sharp caring her readers needed. Playwright Nia Vardalos – best known for My Big […]

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Theatre Preview: Short North Stage Opens Season with Explosive Columbus Children’s Theatre Collaboration ‘West Side Story’

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Theatre Preview: Short North Stage Opens Season with Explosive Columbus Children’s Theatre Collaboration ‘West Side Story’

Upon its debut in 1957, West Side Story transplanted Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet into the youth gangs of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, electrified America, and solidified movements in musical theatre to tackle more complex, realistic subject matter. This collaboration of Arthur Laurents (book), Leonard Bernstein (music), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics), and Jerome Robbins (choreography and direction), […]

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One-Woman Show ‘The Elephant in the Room’ Returns to Columbus

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford One-Woman Show ‘The Elephant in the Room’ Returns to Columbus

We previewed Priyanka Shetty’s The Elephant in the Room when it was about to premiere at the South Asian Theatre Festival. In that article, she talked about how this originally light-hearted take on the trials of adjusting to American life “went much deeper,” as she developed it. Since then, Shetty has refined The Elephant in […]

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The Columbus Black Theatre Festival Returns July 12-14

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford The Columbus Black Theatre Festival Returns July 12-14

All the finest culture is homegrown. Julie Whitney Scott’s Columbus Black Theatre Festival (CBTF) shines as an example of that truism, more pronounced than ever. For the last six years, CBTF has nurtured voices and shone a light to inspire writers and actors to bring their own truth to life. I interviewed Scott by email […]

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The Wexner Center Presents Norwegian Collective Verdensteatret’s HANNAH

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford The Wexner Center Presents Norwegian Collective Verdensteatret’s HANNAH

The Wexner Center made its name by bringing international art of the highest caliber to Columbus, regardless of genre. Much of the work that’s cut deepest and left the most lasting impression has been hard to categorize and almost impossible to describe. The latest entry in that storied list is an appearance by the exciting […]

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Denison University Presents Immersive Play ‘Information For Foreigners’

Richard Sanford Richard Sanford Denison University Presents Immersive Play ‘Information For Foreigners’

Plays of protest don’t get much more powerful than Argentinian writer Griselda Gambaro’s 1974 Information for Foreigners. Denison University presents an intriguing new staging of this underrated classic. As with many things, necessity was the mother of invention, as director Eleni Papaleonardos told me when we spoke by phone. “Denison is finishing up building a […]

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