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Dan Callahan

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Dan Callahan is the author of Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman (2012) and Vanessa: The Life of Vanessa Redgrave (2014). He writes for Sight & Sound, Film Comment, and several other publications.
There is a curious sign outside of the theater where Suzan-Lori Parks’s play Venus is playing that says the production contains “simulated nudity,” and this is explained right away when Zainab Jah makes her entrance and dons a body suit that gives her the curves of the historical personage she is playing, Saartjie Baartman, a South African girl who was exhibited as “The Venus Hottentot” in the early nineteenth century. Venus is a mid-period work...
Peggy Ashcroft said that the role of Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days was a “summit part” for women like Hamlet was for men, and that many actresses would want to test themselves against it. Dianne Wiest played Winnie in an acclaimed production at Yale Rep in 2016, and now she is playing this summit part at Theater for a New Audience in Brooklyn. Her Winnie is buried up to the waist in a...
For almost ten years Annie Baker has written innovative, patient, semi-lyric, mysterious plays, and she is well on her way to becoming a beloved cultural figure. Her four best plays so far, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Aliens, The Flick, and John, were all directed by Sam Gold, and all of them had an unusual feel for time inching forward and sometimes opening up. They were convincing and suggestive theatrical worlds created around silences and...
If you were putting together a staging of Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes with Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon, the obvious casting would be Linney as the villainous Regina Giddens and Nixon as the pathetic Birdie, but the gimmick of this production is that Linney and Nixon alternate these roles at each performance. This kind of thing has been done before, usually in Shakespearean repertory, but only hardcore enthusiasts of this play and these...

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