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Henriette (Marissa Lichwick) begins to doubt the sincerity of La Frochard (Andrea Snow)

"A villain with a black cape who twirls his moustache and leers at a victim tied to the railroad tracks — this is what most of us think of when someone says melodrama. But that’s just a caricature of the form, says Jeffrey Frace, who is directing the School of Drama’s production of the melodrama The Two Orphans, which opens next week.

"'Melodramatic is a derogatory term these days because it’s come to us as a synonym for bad acting,' says Frace, an assistant professor at the school. 'But that’s a misunderstanding that I think has come via bad imitation of an external form...

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From left, Ryan Barrett, Sean Callahan, Michael Farag, Barry Witham and Elise Hunt work on a model of the Fortune, an Elizabethan theater that was a contemporary of Shakespeare’s Globe

Seventy years ago during the Depression, some unemployed craftsmen made a set of teaching tools for a UW professor. Doesn’t sound like much of an event, but the teaching tools in question are beautifully detailed scale models of important theaters in history, and the craftsmen were employed by the Federal Theatre Project — a project for which the late UW drama professor Glenn Hughes served as regional director.

By Nancy Wick. Read the rest of the story in the...

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Odai Johnson

"It all started with an old hole in the ground discovered on the 301-acre site of the Colonial Williamsburg living museum in Virginia. And then another hole, and another.

"Their spacing at eight-foot intervals was the first clue that these could be the remains of a building of some sort. There had been a public theater on the site, long ago lost to time. Was this it?"

By Peter Kelley. Read the rest...

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The Hill-billies were part of a vaudeville group that entertained at the Civilian Conservation Corps camps across the Northwest in the 1930s. The group operated under the auspices of the Federal Theatre Project based in Seattle.

Imagine the scene: All the factories in a city have been closed by sit-down strikes. Union and management are deadlocked. Enter the local university president, who invites representatives of the various factions of the union into his office to talk it over. But when they arrive he’s not there, and while they wait for him, a...

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"Yesterday I learned that you can see evolution actually happening every day on the Gallopagos Islands. I never knew that." The student who imparted that bit of knowledge to theater history Professor Barry Witham is not the first to feel that Witham is as much student as teacher. His friendly demeanor invites students to explore ideas with him and, in the end, they learn almost without realizing it.

"He works as if the Socratic method were a thing of nature," says former student Derek Davidson. "We wander into class a little unsure about this fellow Artaud or Stanislavsky we have...

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