Get the scoop

Best to get the scoop on all things theater from trusted sources

Folks eager to get the scoop on celebrity comings and goings turn too often to unreliable sources. Before you buy that next gossip rag, or grace some tacky tell-all website with another hit, consider the source.

Folks who love theater will soon find plenty of compelling fare on the Actors’ Equity Association website – which recently launched “The Narrative Project” to gather and share accounts of actors’ professional experiences. The project is part of preparations for next year’s AEA “Centennial Celebration.” The organization was founded in 1903.

Actors’ Equity Association is (“AEA” or “Equity”) is a labor union representing more than 49,000 actors and stage managers in the U.S. The union “seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society.” They negotiate wages and working conditions, and provide benefits like health and pension plans to members.

Tonight’s Tony Awards ceremony will include the presentation of a special award to the Actors’ Equity Association, but also something a local AEA member put on my radar. This year’s event will feature not only live performances from several shows (including two shows not nominated who graciously accepted the invitation to perform), but also a beamed-in performance aboard a cruise ship. Not everyone is doing their happy dance.

Whatever your position, be wary of where you get the scoop. I’ve talked this week with folks I respect on both sides of the issue. Best to consult primary sources for such things. In this case, it’s Actors’ Equity Association and the organizations who’ve jointly administered the Tony Awards since 1967 — The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

If you’re eager to learn more about Broadway behind-the-scenes, check out this morning’s CBS Sunday Morning story on the “Gypsy Robe” — a longtime tradition for opening nights on Broadway.

When it comes to getting the scoop on individual actors, look for opportunities to hear actors themselves doing the talking. They beat all those other talking heads every time. Frequent interviewers of theater professionals include Charlie Rose and James Lipton.

Click here for more information on tonight’s Tony Awards ceremony.

– Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about the gypsy robe tradition (including where these babies live today). If it’s a real ice cream scoop you seek, check out this blog where I spotted the lovely specimen pictured above. For actor accounts of earning their AEA card, click here.

Coming up: The adventures of Arizona Tony Awards travelers, From big stage to small screen

Update: I’m now blogging as “Stage Mom Musings” at www.stagemommusings.com. Please find and follow me there to continue receiving posts about arts and culture in Arizona and beyond. Thanks for your patience as the tech fairies work to move all 1,250+ posts to the new site. For the latest news follow me on Twitter @stagemommusings. 6/13/12

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