The play’s the thing…or not

The play’s the thing…or not
The play’s the thing…or not
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Richmond has an impressive talent pool. This isn’t just my observation. I’ve heard it from several visiting directors and actors in interviews I’ve done for SIFTER. Not only is Richmond blessed with many excellent performers (and new ones showing up all the time), it’s got a plethora of platforms for them to work.

 

 

Several shows in the past months have given rise to an observation about the quality of work vs. the quality of the works. As I mentioned in my reviews of “High,” “Grace” and “Wittenberg,” all three productions were strong, but the plays were flawed. Perhaps our blessing of plenty has hit a wall with the scarcity of good scripts.

 

 

The obvious solution would be to find better plays, but there are only so many new works that meet the mettle (and somebody grabs them up). Meanwhile, there are plenty of great 20th century scripts and established playwrights. It’s understandable that some companies like to produce only new, challenging work, but sometimes the challenges are in the plays they select.

 

 

Perhaps it’s time to take a second look at more recent “classics.” There are many wonderful plays that could be enjoyed again with a talented new cast and inventive direction. Many audience members under 40 may never have seen them, so is an opportunity to widen their horizons.

 

 

At least then I won’t have to qualify a rave review with a proviso about the play.

 

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