Here’s a quick roundup of stories you might have missed recently.
Lin-Manuel Miranda & More Join The Roots & Michelle Obama’s Virtual Festival
What a roster! The Roots are taking their annual music festival, Roots Picnic, online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event will stream on YouTube on June 27 at 6PM ET and is a collaboration with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s nonprofit When We All Vote. In addition to appearances from Broadway alums Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kerry Washington and Tom Hanks, there will also be musical sets from The Roots, H.E.R., Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby, SZA, Kirk Franklin, Snoh Aalegra, Earthgang, G Herbo, Polo G, D Nice and Musiq Soulchild.
Kristin Linklater, Celebrated Vocal Coach, Director and Educator, Dies at 84
Kristin Linklater, who served as a world-renowned vocal coach and educator for over five decades, died on June 5 at her home in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. Her son, actor Hamish Linklater, said that the cause was a heart attack, according to The New York Times. Linklater’s unique voice training techniques have influenced generations of actors and educators. She has worked with performers like Bernadette Peters, Patrick Stewart, Angela Bassett, Sigourney Weaver and many more. She also worked with aspiring artists at New York University, Emerson College and Columbia University. In addition to teaching and coaching, Linklater was a co-founder with Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. After retiring from Columbia in 2014, she established the Kristin Linklater Voice Center in Sandwick, Orkney. On Broadway, she served as a language consultant on the 1983 production of Slab Boys as well as on the 1983 revival of The Corn Is Green, appering in the latter. She also served as a speech consultant on the 1984 Broadway production of The Real Thing and the original Broadway mounting of Sunday in the Park with George in 1984. She was a vocal coach for the original Broadway production of Into the Woods in 1987 as well. In addition to her son, Linklater is survived by her sister Alison, brother Magnus and three granddaughters.
Donja R. Love & More Win Helen Merrill Awards for Playwriting
Six American playwrights have won a total of $150,000 ($25,000 each) as the 2020 winners of the New York Community Trust’s Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting. The winners include Sugar in Our Wounds scribe Donja R. Love, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Kimber Lee, Mona Mansour, Diana Oh and Sung Rno. The award is one of the largest and most significant prizes for playwrights in the nation.