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John Porter

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WCVE Public Radio Theatre Critic John Porter can be heard during NPR’s All Things Considered. He is also the co-host of Time for the Blues.

Articles by John Porter

Equus Races In For Cadence Theatre

Even before language existed as we know it, stories were told. They may have been acted out, they may have been danced out the way bees tell how to get to the best pollen fields, but they certainly had a place in primitive societies. As civilizations grew and speaking became the preferred method of communication, stories became an integral part of societal interaction. And the best stories take bits and pieces and weave them into a totally new narrative – often combining elements of horror, humor, and the humdrum in order to make a more powerful statement.

Halloween Remix Mashup 2015!

We hope you’ll join us on Time for the Blues this Saturday night (10/31/15) at 11:00 p.m.--yes, Halloween night, and hopefully long after the last trick or treater has rung your doorbell looking for a sugary handout, and you’ve settled back to relax for the first time in weeks. Maybe you’ve taken a couple of minutes to rifle through your kid’s candy looking to scope out your favorites.

Surely the little ghosts and goblins won’t miss just one lousy candy bar, right?

Theatre Review: American Buffalo

Sometimes my job is very easy. I get to go see theatre and tell you all the great productions to go see. Right now it’s my pleasure to tell you that if you want to properly invest your time and resources, you will want to check out David Mamet’s American Buffalo, the latest production for Quill Theatre being held at TheatreLAB’s basement theatre (300 E. Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219).

Theatre Review: Buyer & Cellar

The oldest form of theatre starts out with the phrase, “Let me tell you a story.” For me, that’s where it all begins. The story dictates the characters, the story is the action, the story defines the conflict.

When I hear that we – the audience – are going to witness a one-person show, I admit I am excited by the possibilities. Whether it is a one-character show like The Belle of Amherst written from the point of view of poet Emily Dickinson; or a multi-character more recent work by Danny Hoch or John Leguizamo, I can’t wait to see it.

Peter And The Starcatcher: The Neverland You Never Knew

Back in the day when I was teaching people how to write, I used an exercise I called “Act Four” in which the students would write what happened after the play ended. It helped them connect with characters and look for ways to build a dramatic arc.

In a series of books, Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson flip that premise on its head and write about what happed BEFORE the story of Peter Pan. How does Peter and Captain Hook become mortal enemies? Where does Tinkerbell come from? How do the Lost Boys come to live in Neverland? And why does that alligator chase Captain Hook so diligently?

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