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Florida County Has Banned the Bane of Kids' Existence

The superintendent wants nightly reading instead of homework

(Newser) - The superintendent of Marion County schools in Florida has just issued a "no homework" mandate for the district's 31 elementary schools starting this fall, reports WESH 2 . Superintendent Heidi Maier cites research that nightly homework assignments haven't been shown to directly impact a child's academic advancement,... More »

Snowden Gets an Acting Gig Alongside Daniel Radcliffe

Well, kind of

(Newser) - Edward Snowden: whistleblower, fugitive ... thespian? He can add that last descriptor to his résumé after Saturday, when the documentary-style play Privacy is set to kick off at NYC's Public Theater, the New York Times reports. Snowden will have a one-minute-long cameo appearance (a pre-recorded tape transmitted from Moscow),... More »

What Day Job? Supreme Court's RBG Tries Acting

Ginsburg will have a cameo in 'The Merchant of Venice'

(Newser) - Art often imitates life, and that will ring true for none other than Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this summer as she throws off her court garb and dons stage attire for her role in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Vox reports. The 83-year-old justice's cameo appearance... More »

Shakespeare Begs for Refugees' Mercy in Own Hand

Handwritten script by the Bard about to go online, thanks to British Library

(Newser) - A script reworked by none other than William Shakespeare and believed to be the only surviving handwritten play script penned by the Bard will soon be online via the British Library, and it speaks to a quite contemporary crisis, the Guardian reports. A scene by Shakespeare added to The Book ... More »

JK Rowling Announces Plot for Harry Potter Sequel Play

Play will follow Potter and his son, 19 years later

(Newser) - JK Rowling announced back in June that Harry Potter was coming to the London stage, but until now, there was much speculation the stage play's plot would be a prequel to the books. Rowling debunked that today: "So now you know it really isn't a prequel,"... More »

Why Parents Should Put a Toy Chicken on Their Heads

Kids can learn the difference between joking and pretending by 16 months

(Newser) - Parents who joke and pretend with their toddlers are doing more than just play, they're teaching them important life skills, researchers from the University of Sheffield report in a new study in Cognitive Science . In fact kids as young as 16 months use cues from their parents to pick... More »

Actor Playing Judas Hangs Himself During Play

Brazilian dies after Good Friday accident

(Newser) - A Brazilian actor playing Judas who accidentally hanged himself during a scene in "The Passion of Christ" has died. A hospital in Brazil's Sao Paulo state confirms on its website the death of 27-year-old Tiago Klimeck. An autopsy is being performed today following his death the previous day.... More »

'Lost' Shakespeare Play Published

Double Falsehood is no hoax, experts say

(Newser) - A Shakespeare play dismissed as a hoax for nearly 300 years has now been accepted as the real thing. Double Falsehood, now under the name of writer Lewis Theobal, was—as its author always claimed—based on William Shakespeare's long-lost script for Cardenio, scholars say. Shakespeare publisher Arden has now... More »

Ethan Hawke Ditched A-List, Found Artsy Cred

Star dishes on avoiding the fame 'trap' and doing what he always wanted to

(Newser) - Standing on the verge of Hollywood superstardom in the mid-'90s, Ethan Hawke blinked. Rather then sign on as the superhero flavor of the month, he turned instead to pal Richard Linklater's small indie flick Before Sunrise. The result has been a career trajectory not so much Hollywood glam as Big... More »

Just Being Carrie Fisher Is Super-Weird

'You’re supposed to be unusual' in Hollywood: Wishful Drinking author

(Newser) - Carrie Fisher’s shrink told her, “If you worked in a supermarket they would’ve institutionalized you at 20,” she recalls. Not so in Hollywood, where the erstwhile Princess Leia suffered through drug addiction, manic depression, and failed relationships—her own and her parents’. But electroshock therapy helped... More »

Spielberg Hops Onto Harvey Remake

(Newser) - Steven Spielberg pulled a rabbit out of his hat today and signed on to adapt the Pulitzer Prize–winning play Harvey as his next film, Variety reports. First put on the big screen in 1950 starring Jimmy Stewart, the film about a man's friendship with a giant, invisible bunny is... More »

Jackson Penned Grisly Play Starring His Kids

Written in 2006, play sees kids confront, befriend murderer

(Newser) - Michael Jackson wrote a bizarre play in which his own children confront a child murderer—and discover he’s not such a bad guy. Acquired by News of the World with other memorabilia and papers, the play stars Paris and Michael Prince II Jackson, who enter the “endless black... More »

Hollywood Hunks Bound for Broadway

Daniel Craig, Hugh Jackman set to co-star in play about cops

(Newser) - Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman will share a Broadway stage this fall in A Steady Rain, the dark tale of two Chicago cops whose lifelong friendship is tested. This is Craig’s New York stage debut, though the Bond man has performed in London theaters, the Post reports. Jackman is... More »

Lifetime Portrait of Bard Found

Work is only living painting of the Bard

(Newser) - A family heirloom is thought to be the only surviving portrait of William Shakespeare painted during his life, the Telegraph reports. Art restorer Alex Cobbe noticed that a portrait of the Bard in the Folger Shakespeare library in Washington—known to be a posthumous copy of another work—bore an... More »

Comic Fritzl Play Sparks Death Threats

Director insists he's mocking media, not rape and incest

(Newser) - A comic play about accused rapist Josef Fritzl is set to open in Vienna, drawing the ire—and death threats—of Austrians who are not amused, the BBC reports. Director Hubsi Kramar stressed that the largely improvised piece, co-starring victims of abuse, is a commentary on media coverage of Fritzl’... More »

Virginia Woolf Gets Silly in 'New' Play

Off-Broadway troupe revives author's one satirical work

(Newser) - A satirical play by Virginia Woolf received its professional premiere today in New York, NPR reports. Featuring figures like poet Alfred Lord Tennyson and painter George Frederic Watts, Freshwater lampoons "high-falutin', oldish, long-bearded Victorians," the play's producer said. Woolf wrote the hour-long farce as a fun project for... More »

Radcliffe Sick of Being Naked

'Harry Potter' star ready for new role

(Newser) - The idea of Harry Potter getting naked brought a lot of attention to Broadway’s Equus—but star Daniel Radcliffe is getting tired of stripping down with a fake horse every night, reports the New York Post. What’s next for the actor? Possibly a musical, he told his producer.... More »

Blago Dialogue Worthy of Mamet

(Newser) - An astute reader of the criminal complaint against Rod Blagojevich will notice that, with shockingly little tweaking, the wiretapped conversations between the Illinois governor and his co-conspirators could be dialogue from a David Mamet play. Choire Sicha demonstrates in Salon, turning it into a quick one-acter. From the trash-talking femme... More »

Fonda Heads Back to Broadway

Starring role marks return after 46 years

(Newser) - Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress Jane Fonda will have another chance to add a Tony to her collection when she returns to Broadway after a 46-year absence, Playbill reports. Fonda, who made her Broadway debut in 1960, will star in Moisés Kaufman's 33 Variations as Katherine Brandt, a musicologist working... More »

Betancourt Plans to Write Captivity Play

Politician's Colombia drama will show what people 'need to feel'

(Newser) - Ingrid Betancourt’s ordeal in Colombia will soon hit a stage near you, the BBC reports. The French-Colombian politician, sprung last week from 6 years of captivity, will pen a play based on her experiences. “People need to understand this, but I can't just write it down the way... More »

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