International news round-up: November 19
Pinocchio wins award
AUSTRALIA/ADELAIDE Windmill Theatre and State Theatre Company have won a CHASS Australia Prize for Distinctive Work for a Performance, awarded by the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Based in South Australia, the companies won for their production of Pinocchio, which has already played to over 35,000 young people in Australia and internationally since premiering in Adelaide in 2012. The family musical has also won Helpmann Awards for best new Australian work and best presentation for children.
Takei musical opens
USA/NEW YORK Allegiance, the musical about Japanese American internment during the Second World War and inspired by Star Trek star George Takei’s real-life family experiences, opened on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre on November 8. With book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thion, and music and lyrics by Kuo, the production is headed by Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung. The show premiered at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in 2012.
MOSCOW/RUSSIA One hundred and thirty white balloons have been released on the 13th anniversary of the Dubrovka Theatre hostage crisis. Armed Chechen freedom fighters held around 850 people hostage during a performance of the musical Nord-Ost between October 23-27 in 2002. Since then, the Nord-Ost association, formed by relatives of victims and survivors, has struggled to discover the facts of what happened in the botched government rescue mission that left 170 hostages dead and more than 700 wounded.
All change for top jobs
USA/LOS ANGELES Two of Los Angeles’ theatres have announced changes at the top. At LA Stage Alliance, theatre critic Steven Leigh Morris has been appointed executive director, succeeding Terence McFarland, who is moving to the Valley Performing Arts Center at Cal State Northridge as associate executive director. Meanwhile, at the Wallis Annenberg Center, David Bohnett, former chairman of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has taken over from Jerry Magnin as chairman, while Rachel Fine has moved from her position as executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra to succeed Tania Camargo as managing director.
Non-profit funding up
USA/NEW YORK A report by New York-based Theatre Communications Group says that non-profit producing theatres in the USA over the past five years have attracted increased funding but have seen declining audiences. However, Theatre Facts 2014 indicates that audiences were still a healthy 32.8 million for 2014, while turnover was approximately the same at $2.2 billion (£1.45bn), equivalent to Broadway’s, although non-profits relied on donors for 47% of that revenue.
VSO expand streaming
AUSTRIA/VIENNA Vienna State Opera is expanding its pioneering live HD streaming service. The company will now share its streamed performances via other providers such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire and Android TV. VSO is also discussing with other international opera companies the chance to stream them via its own platform. In 2016 it will also be available on satellite and cable channels. Meanwhile the annual fee has been slashed from €320 (£225) to €150 (£105).
20th year for festival
TURKEY/ANKARA The 20th edition of International Ankara Theatre Festival features 59 productions in venues across the Turkish capital. The programme also includes children’s shows, street theatre and student productions. At the opening gala honours will be given to three veterans of Turkish theatre: playwright Ozen Yula, director Erhan Gokgucu and actor Rutkay Aziz. The festival runs from November 20-30, further details at www.ankaratiyatrofestivali.org