Stan's Cafe: One looks, marvels and understands

Cardinals Revisited

February 11th, 2015


It was great to catch up with The Cardinals in Columbus Ohio. The show was at the Wexner Arts Center, which is on the Ohio State University Campus. The theatre is a vast place, so big that for shows like ours, the curtains are closed and a seating bank is built on the stage. It was intriguing to see the shifts the show has made in my absence and through multiple performances. Continue reading “Cardinals Revisited” »

Rowena Wilding

February 8th, 2015

rowena-in-officeAs I mentioned in an earlier post ‘the Charlotte Martin Decade’ has drawn to a close at Stan’s Cafe and there is a cheery new presence at mission control. We no longer have a General Manager; we have a less general Administrator and in April we will be joined by a rather more executive Producer. Continue reading “Rowena Wilding” »

Geoff Sims

January 24th, 2015

It was with great sadness I learned late last week that Geoff Sims has died. Geoff was Director of mac birmingham when Stan’s Cafe first made contact with the venue in 1991. He was always very supportive to us, as he was to very many people. He was a warm and generous person who I was always very pleased to bump into in and around Birmingham’s arts scene – particularly at mac.

Dorothy Wilson’s Obituary for her friend and colleague filled in many details of Geoff’s professional life and confirmed what a great contribution he made to the region’s artistic community. There is an opportunity to celebrate this contribution through contributions to a Photographic Fund started by mac birmingham in his honour (email for details).

Geoff Sims (1944 – 2014) RIP

Live from NYC

January 16th, 2015

Live coverage from the Foyer of The Public Theatre, New York City. Don’t miss any of the action. Web casting 23:30 – 03:30.

When is Boring Not?

January 15th, 2015

Tomorrow The Commentators return. This time they are ‘stateside’ for their first American engagement since the heady days of the original New York Cosmos – Pele, Beckenbauer et al. On Friday they will bringing eager listeners all the comings, goings and lingerings in the Foyer of The Public Theater, Manhattan. Due to the time difference UK listeners will have to tune in between 23:30 and 03:30 GMT to catch the action live as it happens (the link will be on this homepage).

Fans of The Commentators may also be interested in the television broadcasts which are the subject of the TED talk linked to above.

War or Peace?

January 15th, 2015

NYC-getinAh it’s starting to feel like the olden days. The days when we made shows that sharply divided audiences (mostly for us) from critics (mostly against). Continue reading “War or Peace?” »

Celebrity Spot

January 12th, 2015


I’m not a big fan of the ‘selfie’ but sometimes, for the very big feathery celebrity, exceptions have to be made. Logging into New York Public Library’s Wi-Fi on Saturday I spotted on their home page that there is currently a Sesame Street Exhibition on at their library for the Performing Arts, in the Lincon Center, so I was presented with a dilemma work in the library right through until my next appointment, or quit early and indulge in some nostalgia. Continue reading “Celebrity Spot” »

All Is Safely Gathered In

January 9th, 2015


It is here. The set has arrived at The Public Theatre. It is stored Stage Right in The Martinson (one of The Public’s five spaces) waiting for rehearsals on Sunday.

Currently set up in The Martinson is the big, double height set for Mariano Pensotti’s Cineastas, which I was enjoying very much before I fell asleep. This sounds like an indictment of the show but was my fault. In mitigation, it was warm, dark, 1am in UK time, the third show of the day, fairly demanding to follow and required reading Spanish surtitles. Jetlag got me I’m afraid. I was enjoying it. I think it was good. I may try and see it again tonight. Continue reading “All Is Safely Gathered In” »

Public Opening

January 8th, 2015


So the team is gathering in New York City. Last night was the opening of Under The Radar, a big party in the foyer of The Public Theatre. In one corner was a screen for people to be photographed in front of, a rope held back the press photographers, four of them, each stood on a sheet of A4 paper with their agency’s name on it. Weirdly Gerard and I weren’t called to pose, so to correct this error when the professionals had gone we stepped in.

Just when we were reflecting on how being abroad means you don’t really know anyone at these events we started to see people we knew, some from England and some we met in New York last time around.

Risk Analysis

January 7th, 2015


The clock is ticking down on the deadline for the final submission of our business plan to Arts Council England. Once this is approved it will confirm our successful application to remain an National Portfolio Organisation, meaning we are given a sum of money to help us pursue and agreed program of arts activity over the next three years. One of the most recent elements added to our plan has been a detailed risk assessment. Ros Robins, who has been helping us shape our business plan, introduced us to a risk weighting matrix that she has recently deployed helping the Everyman in Liverpool to it’s acclaimed reopening. The matrix sets out risks on the left hand column followed by consequences, mitigation Etc. In the centre is a column for weighting the runs from boring “improbable x insignificant impact” combination to the abandon ship “highly probable and catastrophic”. Continue reading “Risk Analysis” »

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