Over the course of Mike Bartlett’s three-hour play EARTHQUAKES IN LONDON, now in its U.S. premiere at Steep Theatre Company, he attempts to tackle themes both universal—quite literally atmospheric and cosmological—and personal.
The principal mistake that many productions make when using dialects is that dialect becomes an add-on, a superficial layering on character rather than the mode by which a character expresses themself. Just as our respective geographic origins affect the way that we interact with other people, a theatrical character’s cultural, regional, and class background greatly reflect how an individual articulates the value system comprised of those elements. In other words, our dialect in many ways articulates us whether we love that or reject it. So, in exploring dialect work for WASTWATER—set around Heathrow airport—my goal is to mine the dialect of the region for as many tools as possible to help our team unlock that us within the ensemble of characters of this piece.
Delightfully quirky and darkly comic, BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL makes its Chicago premiere in this Griffin Theatre production with direction by Scott Weinstein. The Den Theatre proves an ideal venue for this strange and wonderful musical with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and book by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming. And Griffin Theatre’s ensemble delivers with vocal expertise and keen acting, milking the show’s material for maximum comedic value and audience delight.
HEATHERS: THE MUSICAL manages to be both satirical and at times legitimately moving, largely echoing the biting tone of the original film.