5 July 2015

Disability in Comic and Tragic Frames




Originally posted at Howlaround.com (7/5/2015) This article will be published in the print book Reader in Comedy forthcoming in 2016 from Bloomsbury Publishing and co-edited with Alan Ackerman.                 The connection between humor and disability is perhaps one of the most challenging and underresearched, aspects of comic theory. Modern theorists of humor and […]

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11 April 2015

Women Directors in Poland




Originally posted at Howlaround.com (4/11/2015) Although historically Polish theatre has gained worldwide renown predominantly thanks to its male directors, Poland today has a thriving and influential cadre of young women directors, who have gained renown and respect in Poland and abroad. Following the 1989 Round Table talks that ended the forty years of communist regime […]

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23 July 2014

Building the Future for Opera in a Digital World




Originally posted at In the Wings (7/23/14). During the last week of June, I chaired the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) conference, which took place in Boston and was hosted by Emerson College, my home institution. The annual gathering is a chance for dramaturgs across the U.S. and Canada to come together and […]

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24 March 2014

Opera Blog: The History of the Court Jester and Verdi’s “Rigoletto”




Originally posted at Boston Lyric Opera Blog (33/24/14). The court jester is a universal character. He can be found in ancient Rome and in China, in Renaissance Europe and in czarist Russia, at the courts of the Middle East and in classical Sanskrit plays of ancient India. Although there were a few known female jesters, historical […]

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16 April 2013

The Case for National Theatre




Originally posted at The National Performing Arts Convention (44/15/13). A provocative blog post making one case for a National American Theater. Magda Romanska posts a wide-ranging, historic, international perspective on American theater vs. national theater traditions. Mitt Romney’s offhanded crusade against Big Bird, announced in a presidential debate with President Obama during the last election cycle, put […]

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2 October 2012

Escape From Circus: Review of Mabou Mines’s “Dollhouse”




Originally posted at HotReview (10/11/12). During the ten years of its run, when asked what I thought of Mabou Mines’s Dollhouse, I’ve always responded that based on the reviews, and the video of the production, I felt ambivalent about it. Now that the show is finally closing forever, and after finally being able to see it […]

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23 April 2012

How I Survived Socialism: A Self-help Guide For Worried Americans




Originally posted at The Cosmopolitan Review (4/22/12). “The regime was harsh, the system absurd but rules made up in Moscow were no match for the individualistic Poles. Magda Romanska’s delightful short story shows us how it was done. Elegantly, of course.”  “The Solidarity period in Poland lasted from August 1980 until December 1981. While it was […]

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2 April 2012

Theatre Blog: “Café Variations” – A Constellation of Moments. On Making Meaning in Theatre




Originally posted at ArtsEmerson Blog (4/2/12). Magda Romanska, Emerson professor and dramaturg for Café Variations provides behind the scenes insight into the production… The trouble is I can’t make sense of my life at all. I can’t see a beginning and a middle and an end It seems to me to be just a bunch of […]

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15 March 2012

Theatre Blog: “Café Variations” – The Connection. On Meeting Anne Bogart




Originally posted at ArtsEmerson Blog (3/15/12).   I am a dramaturg for the upcoming production of Café Variations, a collaboration between the SITI Company, ArtsEmerson and Emerson Stage. I am also a faculty member at Emerson, teaching courses in dramaturgy and theatre history. The first brainstorming rehearsals for the production have already begun in New York […]

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15 January 2012

Bogusław Schaeffer: Poland’s Renaissance Man




Originally posted at The Cosmopolitan Review (1/15/12). Polish theatre has gained world renown thanks to its innovative and bold experimental style. In international theatre circles, it is often enough to mention the names of Grotowski, Kantor, Witkacy, and Gombrowicz to elicit profound nods of approval. One aspect of Polish theatre that is well known but rarely […]

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