Justine Lambert

Sep 26

Looking Glass Theatre presents 'The Goddess' -


What are the risks and benefits of total honesty in a marriage?  See our play to find out.

Jan 26

Scraps of Paper: Reblog / share this if you think I should work at Tumblr... -


OK, let me explain.

Tumblr is looking for an evangelist to the Home Decor / Home Improvement Community.

I really, really, really want this job.

Why? Well here’s what they’re looking for…

What you’ll do:

Jan 25

Looking Glass Theatre: Needed: Multi taskers with talent -


As a producer, you can sometimes feel like the ugly stepchild of the Off Off Bway world. No one wants to be that person. Well, not enough people. I remember reading with delight about three directors choosing to produce the work of another fellow director and a playwright. These three women met at…

Jan 23

kenny nowell (odds and ends): Youth and Age in Theatre -


Reading THIS blog by a playwright named Mariah MacCarthy triggered some uncomfortable nostalgia for me. Among other things, she talks about how weird it is that most big theaters say that they want to attract young audiences but continue to produce plays by and for old people. And it is…

Jan 17

Looking Glass Theatre: R.U.R. by Resonance Ensemble -


I saw an adaptation of the famous robot play R.U.R. the other night. This production by Resonance Ensemble was set in the not-too-distant year of 2030. A private firm is manufacturing lifelike robots to perform menial labor all over the planet. We know from the start that it can’t end well for us…

Jan 11

Feminism at the Zoo

I went on a field trip with my first grader’s class this week. It was amazing. We entered a superhero supply shop and were ushered into a secret hideout behind a door that looked like one of the shelves in the store. We were told that the young man who let us in worked here for a meanie of a boss named Mrs Mildew who paid him to write stories. He loved his job, but Mildew didn’t love his work. This is where the 1rst graders came in. They had to help the adorable young man keep his job.

He was fantastic. He led them ever so gently into creating their own story. He never fed them ideas.  It all came from them. He did make sure it made sense, and he prompted them for the necessities of good storytelling (which the kids came up with at the beginning), things like including dialogue, letting us know what the characters were feeling, and making sure something exciting happened or that there was a problem to be overcome. This was all awesome. It’s no surprise that this particular field trip is so popular that classes have to enter a lottery to go on it.

So why the blog?  This is all great. Good teaching of great writing skills plus rampant creativity. I should be grateful (and I am!)  Here’s the problem. To come up with a main character the kids all offered ideas then voted. The star of the story was a talking pencil!  Awesome! Now they were asked to name their character. A child suggested Mr. Freeze for the name. Our leader said “that’s a good idea, but wait a minute: is our pencil a boy or a girl?” Some shouting ensued, so he realized we needed another vote.  The class has 23 children, 11 girls and 12 boys. 18 voted for “boy.”  4 voted for “girl.” This means at least 4 girls voted for the main character to be a boy. The 4 who voted for the main character to be a girl were all girls.  There was some grumbling among the parents (yes, I was loudest) and a couple of moms expressed the idea that the vote may have gone that way because the name MR. Freeze had already been suggested (that name did indeed win). I acquiesced (not really).

Then it came time to name the villain. A robber who also happened to be an eraser! Awesome! The nice young man running things asked them right away, “OK, so is this bad eraser a boy or a girl?” There was a resounding “BOY” from the audience. No vote was taken.  A parent was heard to mumble, “No one suggested Mr. that time.” OK, it was me.

I know this is only one instance and proves nothing scientific. So I’d like to challenge you to an experiment. Ask the children you know what gender their stuffed animals are.  Try to ask a lot of children if possible about as many stuffed friends as possible. It’s great to be able to do this when visiting so you can point from one to another and ask “is this elephant a boy or girl? How about this turtle, is is it a girl or a boy? That giant snake on the shelf; girl or boy?”. I guarantee you will find that ALL children have primarily male stuffed animals. Girls may have a couple of female stuffies.  Often they are pink and have long eyelashes, and I know one boy who (bless his heart) has one female furry friend but the overall theme is clear.

Here’s another thing to try. Next time you see an animal that you don’t know, a wild animal at the zoo or a stray cat on the street, listen to how the people around you refer to it. Do they say “awww, that poor kitty needs a home, she looks hungry” or “wow, that giraffe is so tall, look how high she can reach to eat those leaves”?  NO, people in this society always refer to the unknown as he. It’s a fact. Just listen.

This is a major problem for me. I have trained myself to refer to creatures with unknown genders as “she.”  It has NOT been easy.  Have you ever had a friend change their name?  Now you have to start calling Bobby “Robert.” It’s almost impossible to do. It feels weird. I have friends who won’t even try. They say they just “can’t.”  That’s how hard it can be to make myself say “Oh honey! Look at that cute little marmoset!  Awww, she’s chasing her tail!” So why? Who cares? We should all care because every little girl and boy internalizes the subliminal message that female is the 2nd choice. Not the go to, not the obviously interesting thing to choose for your main character. Male is the default. When in doubt, go male. NO. I say when there is any doubt, let’s go female. Let’s change this trend for our children. We can make a difference in the writers of the future and in the employers of the future, and in the egos of future women by helping everyone realize that female is just as good, that Mrs Freeze is just as exciting as Mr Freeze.

Jan 10

R.U.R. ... the robot play running in NYC -


Very cool that this is happening.  Can’t wait to see it.

Me Too!

Jan 08

Defining success = Helping others succeed -


I love this blog post and have been working hard on how we define success for YEARS now. We’ve been defining our success for a long time, in part at least, by how much we help others. Developing early career artists has been a central part of our programming for ages. We mentor our artists in their creative growth. We encourage networking and know that making connections is absolutely central for theatre artists to grow in NYC. Many creative partnerships have come out of our Forums and Internships. I’m always excited when I see these young artists finding each other. Truly compatible collaborators are rare!

But on the point of helping others succeed (#2 toward the bottom of the post) we are going through a transition. We no longer maintain a full time space. In the past, much of our support for our nearest and dearest and for new artists trying to find their way was in the form of a physical space. We gave space to play, have readings, do productions, develop work and develop as artists. We loved being enablers able to say “Go. Make art.  Don’t worry if it’s commercial and don’t worry if it’s a finished project.  Just make sure you follow your inspiration into the deepest, farthest corners of your mind and don’t compromise on trying EVERYTHING you want to!” We will still do this. We will have readings and develop work and produce plays, but there will be fewer of them. We don’t have a space to fill 365 days a year (whew!), so how do we continue to support all of our brilliant alumni and fellow artists, the playwrights, actors, directors, and designers that we love so much and don’t want to miss out on even for one season? 

Here’s how … and you can do it too!

  1. See their plays! Now that we’re not producing 365 days/year, we can see more theatre. What better way is there to support a theatre artist?  See their work. 
  2. Talk about that play you saw.  There is no more powerful marketing tool than word-of-mouth, so we will talk, write (see recent blogs), tweet and update our friends about the work that inspires us. 
  3. Help them fundraise. Everyone needs money. It’s hard to get. So I will give to as many as I can (small amounts perhaps, but we all know that if everyone who saw your campaign gave just $5 we’d all be rolling in the dough, right?) AND we will spread the word about your project in hopes that our friends will help you too. 
  4. Of course, no one can see everything, but even when we can’t see your play we will tweet it, FB it and basically try and help you get the word out. 
  5. These ideas aren’t as creative as I might wish, but I hope they are a starting point. If you have any to add please do let us know!

I think we just might define success for 2013 as being seen as a company of artists who will support each other and be there for our fellow artists. We will be your champion. As long as you are making something you love, we love that you’re doing it.

Justine Lambert
Artistic Director 

Jan 03

Celebrating our 20th year: click here to donate -


2013 is a HUGE year. It’s our 20th Anniversary!

Looking back at 2012 … WOW! What a fantastic year! We have much to brag about. In our mainstage work The Angel Play was as beautiful, original and exciting as we expected. East of the Sun West of the Moon was truly charming, with its Bear in the audience and Heroine saving the Prince. We also had a fantastic Forum of original work with some promising artists taking chances and taking names!

Then came the decision to leave our long-term home. Talk about a big change. While we are pretty sentimental about leaving, we are loving the freedom we now have to focus on the art (you know; writing, directing, acting) and NOT to worry about running a facility or the limitations of being a non-union house. Our reading on December 11 of “The Goddess” at the Richmond Shepard Theatre was an excellent experience of feeling at home in someone else’s home. It was a fantastic night with such wonderful performances and dream feedback! We heard everything we needed to hear. We can’t thank our audience and artists enough!!!

We need your help to celebrate this anniversary right, so please DONATE.  Even $5 can buy a costume piece, and $5000 could pay our rent in a beautiful theatre for up to two weeks!


THE GODDESS. Our anniversary celebration will be a full production of the play that rocked the house in a staged reading last month! Challenging conventional beliefs about love, marriage, and sex, the Goddess Venus appears to Mike and Emma to shake things up. Venus accuses Emma of having become boring and bourgeois in her conventional marriage and challenges her to let her husband have an affair. The couple explores a new kind of relationship with extreme freedoms on both sides. But can this work in the long run? Between hot trysts and exotic travel will they have time for more? How can they return to the emotional slavery and sexual prison of monogamy? Is Venus keeping them together or ripping them apart? 

Developmental Readings: Brand new work by old friends!

ANOTHER SPRING by Yasmine Rana: This piece about a university student in the Middle East who takes a risk and ends up imprisoned is sharp and relevant. The student made a bad choice, but was it really her choice to be photographed that way? Awaiting judgment and punishment, her only visitors are a reporter and her memories of love and betrayal. Will she survive, and, even if she does, will her spirit survive? She was inspired, now is she defeated?

ART OF NECESSITY by Karin Diann Williams is about Lea, her three sons and their inheritance. It’s about a hoarder who is forced to give up her stuff. It’s about a youngest son made homeless by his older brothers. It’s about Glory and her daughters Emily and Ember — one sings, one models. And maybe it’s about the truth there is to be found in a Magic Eight Ball.

TBA One more new work by a fabulous artist as yet to be determined!

Do you have other ways to help? We’d love to have you involved. Drop us a line anytime!

Have a most wonderful, theatrical New Year,

Justine Lambert
Founding Artistic Director

Oct 25


Wednesday, October 12, 2011
With Justine Lambert
A directing workshop to put some oomph behind your urges

Where:  Looking Glass Theatre, 422 West 57th Street

When:   Saturday, October 22, 3:30-6:30pm

You have the creativity, you have the ideas with inspiration to spare, now you just need to implement those ideas with as much passion and conviction as you feel.

This class is an accelerated sketch of what needs to be done.  In three hours we will touch on implementing concepts, crafting the acting to serve your needs while being true to your actors own impulses and telling the story through the lens of your vision.

The class begins with an email exchange in advance to ensure that you are prepared and can get the most out of the class time. Scenes are assigned for you to read and think about in advance, and our talented Fall 2011 acting interns will be there; ready to work, grow and get to know you and your aesthetic.

Breakdown of activities;  Meet and Greet; Accelerated Viewpoints Workshop; Concept Discussion, initial direction and showing of scenes;  Staging with Viewpoints Workshop; Moderated Scene work; Final Showing;  Wrap Up discussion

Cost:  $20 suggested.  No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

Space is extremely limited, email lookglassjustine@aol.com to reserve your space.