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International news round-up: September 6

MTI appoints director of education

USA/NEW YORK New York-based Music Theatre International has appointed John Prignano to the newly created role of director of education and development. Prignano will continue as MTI’s chief operating officer, having overseen MTI’s licensing and internal operations for many years, including the development of licensing and finance systems and facilitating MTI’s integration with its offices in Europe (MTI Europe, London) and Australia/New Zealand (MTI Australasia, Melbourne). Before joining MTI, he was a performer and choreographer. mtishows.com [1]

Top US high school plays revealed

USA/CINCINNATI The USA’s Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) has released the results of its 80th Annual High School Play Survey. Among the data released, the survey includes the top 10 most produced musicals and plays in high schools in the United States in the 2017/18 academic year. Nearly 4,000 high schools across the country participated in the survey. The most performed full-length musical was Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, followed by The Addams Family, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Into the Woods, Cinderella, Shrek, Seussical, Little Shop of Horrors, The Wizard of Oz and Annie. The list of full-length plays is topped by Almost, Maine, followed by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter and the Starcatcher, Alice in Wonderland, Our Town, 12 Angry Jurors, The Crucible, Arsenic and Old Lace, A Christmas Carol and Radium Girls. schooltheatre.org [2]

Pop-Up Globe lands in Sydney

AUSTRALIA/SYDNEY After performing in Auckland and Melbourne, Pop-Up Globe has started a six-week season in Sydney. The full-scale replica of Shakespeare’s second Globe has been raised in the city’s Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park. It opened on September 5. Four plays will be in rep: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, The Comedy of Errors and Macbeth. The New Zealand-based company has performed to a total audience of 450,000 in the pop-up theatre to date. popupglobe.com.au [3]

Edmonton Fringe boasts record sales

CANADA/EDMONTON North America’s biggest fringe has reported record audiences of 817,000 at this year’s festival, says organiser Fringe Theatre Adventures. The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, which ran from August 16 to 26, has seen a steady increase in audience figures annually, with the 2018 edition pulling in 9,000 more visits than 2017. Sales were a record 133,276 tickets for approximately 1,600 shows across the 38 paid-for venues, bringing in box office of C$1.46 million (£875,500) – an increase of 10% on last year. fringetheatre.ca [4]

Aerowaves Artists applications open

FRANCE/VAL DE MARNE Emerging choreographers from across Europe will have the chance to become Aerowaves Artists in 2019. The dance network is offering successful Twenty19 artists the chance to have their work programmed at next year’s Spring Forward Festival in Val de Marne, in the Paris region. About 100 further performance opportunities are guaranteed by partners and supported by Aerowaves each year. The deadline is September 14. See website for details: aerowaves.org/artists [5]

Slovak National Theatre director fired

SLOVAKIA/BRATISLAVA The Slovak National Theatre’s general director Marian Chudovsky has been dismissed. In response to criticism of the move, Slovakia’s cultural minister Lubica Lassakova has responded by giving Chudovsky’s inability to manage the national’s financial situation as the main reason. Not only has the theatre been in the red for several years, it has reported a loss of more than €1 million (£910,000) for the first six months of this year, with technical staff threatening to strike over unpaid bonuses. Chudovsky, however, has rebutted the charge and pointed to a string of award-winning shows and “record-breaking revenues” under his tenure, while demanding an increase in state funding to make the theatre competitive. snd.sk/en

The International section is co-edited by Nick Awde. Contact email: international@thestage.co.uk [6]