John R. Phythyon Jr.

John R. Phythyon Jr. is a freelancer for the Lawrence Journal-World. He writes the Centerstage blog and about theater in Lawrence.

Recent stories

KU to stage Nobel laureate’s ‘The Other Shore’
April 10, 2014
The theater is an interesting place to experience abstract art. Because a play happens live, the audience expects concrete representations of place through the set, of characterization through costuming and of action through sound and motion.
Making Gatsby great
Theatre Lawrence production the perfect challenge for director
April 10, 2014
Theatre Lawrence’s production of “The Great Gatsby,” which kicks off Friday and runs through April 27, tells the story a Jazz Age millionaire and the young man who is drawn to him.
Puppeteer, Lawrence native returns for Arts Center’s ‘Pinocchio’
March 6, 2014
Spencer Lott has a long history at the Lawrence Arts Center. The Lawrence native and Kansas University graduate is now a teaching artist at New York’s New Victory Theater, but he’s back in town for the Arts Center’s new production of “Pinocchio.”
Theatre Lawrence’s ‘Other Desert Cities’ explores secrets, family dynamics
February 27, 2014
Few things are more powerful than a secret. And, if they get out, few things are more destructive. That’s the hook of Theatre Lawrence’s new production, “Other Desert Cities.”
KU students’ production puts 3 spins on ‘Hamlet’
February 13, 2014
One of the hardest things to do in art is to make something old and familiar fresh. Danny Devlin has some ideas about that. “‘Hamlet’ is the most well-known, well-researched play ever,” he says. “We’re taking three very different approaches to it.”
Divas duel for Theatre Lawrence
January 31, 2014
When it comes to fundraising, a little competition is good for the bottom line. So the thinking goes at Theatre Lawrence, which is preparing to hold its annual “Dueling Divas” event Saturday night at its 4660 Bauer Farm Drive location. Eight local singers compete against each other “American Idol”-style to see who can raise the most money.
Theatre Lawrence takes on Hitchcock in spoof ‘Wrong Window’
January 16, 2014
“Wrong Window,” which opens Friday at Theatre Lawrence, is about as different from heavy drama as one could imagine. The 2008 comic caper spoofs a number of Alfred Hitchcock films, especially “Rear Window.”
Layered performance
Actor, city employee shares trait with title character in Theatre Lawrence’s ‘Shrek’
December 5, 2013
If you’re looking for the perfect actor to play Shrek, the green-skinned ogre who is the subject of the beloved film and now a Broadway musical coming to Theatre Lawrence for the holidays, it would be hard to find someone better suited to the role than Knute Pittenger.
KU alum takes long road to ‘Memphis,’ Broadway
November 14, 2013
Randy Adams wasn’t looking to become a Broadway producer. “Nobody goes looking for that,” he says. “No one says, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a producer on Broadway.’”
New play explores prisons, physical and societal, at Inge Theatre
October 24, 2013
Lynn Deboeck doesn’t like the term, “period piece.” At least not with regard to Naomi Wallace’s “And I and Silence,” which opens Friday in KU’s Inge Theatre under Deboeck’s direction.

Full story list