CMU School of Drama

Friday, July 22, 2016

Chicago Dramatists Adjusts to a New Generation

AMERICAN THEATRE: “Playwrights are far more nomadic now than they’ve ever been before,” says Chicago Dramatists artistic director Meghan Beals. But that’s not stopping Beals and her staff from doing a little spring cleaning. Last week the company, which has been developing and producing new work by emerging playwrights since it was founded in 1979 by the late Russ Tutterow, announced a complete overhaul, starting with adding a subtitle to its name.

Should there be an Independent Broadway Producer's League?

The Producer's Perspective: several years ago a group of Independent Touring Presenters (the people who bring National Tours of Broadway shows to a theater near you) saw a shift in their business, as a large corporate player started eating up a majority of the playing weeks on the road. They found it harder to get product, and therefore harder to survive. So to protect their interests, they banded together to form the Independent Presenter’s Network

How To Train Your Brain to Push Past Perfectionism

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: The fear of failure greatly impedes performance. That’s why most successful people are less likely to be perfectionists. After all, think about all of the quick, important decisions high-level people need to make every day. They can’t be plagued with the fear that every decision is a possible mistake. If surgeons waited until they felt absolutely sure that they were making the correct decision in life-threatening instances, they probably wouldn’t be saving many lives.

How Replicas Could Save Threatened Artworks

Conservation Lab | The Creators Project: The European company Factum Arte really knows how to fake it—with the best of intentions. In 2014, they unveiled a replica of Caravaggio’s Nativity with Saint Francis and Saint Lawrence where the original painting once stood, before it was stolen in 1969 from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo. After digitally reconstructing the painting based on available photographic evidence, the team worked towards a “re-materialization” of the work: On a canvas coated with animal glue, pigment, and calcium carbonate (the type of ground Caravaggio would have used), the painting was digitally printed in several layers, retouched by hand to add texture, then stretched, varnished, and hung in its frame. It may only be an optical illusion, but visitors to the church can now forget, if only for a moment, what the space has lost.

The Tragedy of Mario and Juliet

DC Theatre Scene: Think you’ve seen all the Shakespeare you need to see? Think there is nothing more we can tap from this century’s old well of tales?? Can you possibly be even THINKING that we don’t need another retelling of R&J, but this time set in America at a confusingly vague time period?! You’re probably right.

7 Steps to Choosing Right Audience Seating We don’t mean street-corner scalping or queuing in the rush line. On the day before the VenueConnect trade show opens in Minneapolis, we’re focused on buying the right audience seating for your venue, whether that’s a performing arts center, auditorium or historic theatre. We tapped our expert – Andrew Forsberg of Wenger – for his seven steps to successful seats

Are You Losing Money on Your Online Ticket Sales?

Selling Out: From a confusing layout to abandoned carts, there are plenty of ways you could lose ticket sales on your website. To help fix a few of these potential issues, check out this infographic from MarketingProfs. Not all of it applies to live entertainment (we’re not typically shipping actual products), but plenty of it can be used to create a better buying experience and bridge the convenience gap.

How Sansa's Development Is Mirrored in Her Fashion Throughout Game of Thrones Game of Thrones isn’t just a pricey show because of all those CGI dragons, British actors, and exotic locales. It also has some of the most thoughtful creatives building props, sets, and costumes. Especially costumes.

Redditor fusionesque has already done an comprehensive examinations of the costuming choices for Tyrion, Cersei, Jorah, and Daenerys, and now they’ve turned their focus to one of the show’s other most dynamic characters, Sansa.

A Brief History of Project Management

Giant Spider Roams The Streets

Hackaday: There is a giant spider the size of a house stretching its massive, delicate legs as it parades through the French city of Nantes. Is the Arthropod Apocalypse upon us? Fortunately not, for this arachnid is the latest in a series of performance pieces by a French theatre company, La Machine.

Horrific Casting Notice Proof that Body Shaming Still Exists in Broadway Casting

OnStage: Recently New York City Center Encores! released their audition notices for their 2016-17 season. In addition to the show information, character descriptions and vocal ranges they were looking for, they also included the types of actresses they wanted to see. And when I say "type", I'm talking about their size.

DEWALT's New FLEXVOLT™ Battery Platform

Tool Box Buzz Tool Box Buzz: The insanely paced evolution of cordless batteries took another giant step forward last week when DEWALT introduced the World’s First convertible battery pack with their FLEXVOLT™ system. This unique new battery pack automatically switches between 20V Max and 60V Max (18 volt and 54 volt nominal) depending on the cordless tool that it’s connected to.

Accessibility in Theatre: Live Streaming

OnStage: Recently the off-Broadway play “Daddy Long Legs” live streamed a production. Playbill, via Facebook, streamed the song “Never Can Say Goodbye” from the musical “Disaster”. “She Loves Me” was streamed from Studio 54 in its entirety making history as the first Broadway show to be live streamed thanks to The phenomenon “Hamilton” was recently filmed also, although there is no word on when or where this footage will be used. As it was stated in the pre-show introduction of “She Loves Me” Broadway is live every time eight times a week, and this trend could lead to something incredible. Theatres could use live streaming to increase accessibility, not only for those who cannot afford to travel to New York City, but for those who need assistance once they arrive in the building.

Bill Introduced To Create Copyright Small Claims Court... Which Copyright Trolls Are Going To Love

Techdirt: For a while now, some in the copyright community have been pushing for a copyright "small claims court" as an alternative to filing a federal lawsuit over copyright law. It's true that, especially for small copyright holders, the cost of filing a lawsuit may appear to be rather prohibitive. But it's not clear that a small claims court is the answer. A few years ago, we wrote about some potential concerns with such an approach, but have also admitted that if set up right, it could have some advantages. But that requires it be set up right.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Beatles-Themed ‘Love’ Gets a ‘Refresh’

Variety: “Love” — as the Beatles told us in 1967, it’s pretty much all you need. And over the past 10 years, through more than 4,500 performances of Cirque du Soleil’s Las Vegas show of the same name, inspired by — and featuring — the music of the Fab Four, close to 8 million people have gotten what they need. But as it enters its 11th year, fans are getting a new look.

A Fan's Case For Putting Batman & Superman In The Public Domain

Techdirt: Let me start by saying it's obvious that this isn't going to happen. Nevertheless, let's consider the idea: should DC put its flagship superheroes in the public domain? Alex Schmidt over at Cracked (the comedy site that has caught our attention with its understanding of these kinds of topics before) makes the compelling case that they should

The Conjuring 2: Costume Q&A with Kristin Burke

Clothes on Film: It was late November, 2016 when I visited the set of The Conjuring 2 (directed by James Wan). The reason I never wrote about it for Clothes on Film or anywhere else was because of my official role on the day: I was playing an extra (or background artist if you like) during the film’s Maida Vale pub scene. Specifically this is the moment when real life husband and wife paranormal investigator team, Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) meet with noted experts in their field to discuss the validity of their current case, aka the Enfield poltergeist. I made the finished cut, by the skin of my teeth I imagine. If you are so inclined, look out for a lightly moustachioed fella with curly hair sitting at the bar. Yes, that’s me. Costume point of note: I was wearing my own vintage Levi jeans, seventies leather jacket and two-tone stack heel shoes. So my everyday look, really.

Why the Future of Movie Theaters May Look Wildly Different

Movie News | When Star Trek Beyond hits theaters this weekend, a handful of theaters will screen the movie in a multi-screen panoramic format called Barco Escape, featuring 20 minutes of footage created specifically for the format in conjunction with producer J.J. Abrams and director Justin Lin.

The Stage Where It Happens

Power Transmission Engineering June 2016: Although David Korins had an impressive resume of Broadway, film, television and music credits, the New York-based production designer had something to prove when interviewing for the pop culture phenomenon Hamilton. “I prepped for the interview like crazy, sketching out my ideas, presenting a scene breakdown, basically doing everything I could short of begging for the job,” Korins said. “Lin Manuel Miranda (the show’s creator and star) had developed an incredibly effective blueprint. I just wanted the opportunity to help tell his story.”

Theater Notes: What's next for CMU alums Odom, Goldsberry and 'Hamilton' co-stars

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Hamilton” said farewell this week to its leading players — creator-star Lin-Manuel Miranda, Phillipa Soo and Leslie Odom Jr., the Carnegie Mellon University grad who won best actor in a musical in June. Soon, the blockbuster Broadway show that has a top-ticket price of more than $800 will lose two more stars. It was reported Wednesday that two more Tony winners, Daveed Diggs and CMU alumna Renee Goldsberry, will be leaving at a date TBA. Ms. Goldsberry has been cast in a starring role in the new Netflix sci-fi drama “Altered Carbon,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

'renegade' is the pen that recycles plastic bottles into 3D printed sculptures ‘renegade’ was born with the aim of being the perfect solid tool to eliminate overpriced 3D printing filaments and to save the environment by directly recycling and reusing household plastic waste for 3D printing. the sustainable technology specializes in one thing, and one thing only — it prints models by recycling plastic bottles, files, and bags. it does this providing a great 3D printing experience with no compromises.

The Math Behind the Perfect Climbing Rope Rock and mountain climbers rely on strong, yet elastic ropes to keep them safe should they happen to fall. Now mathematicians at the University of Utah have come up with an equation to design an ideal climbing rope—one that would be safer and more durable. They described this perfect rope, and a promising class of materials that might be used to make it, in a recent paper in the Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology.

The Razor's Edge

Dimmer Beach: "On the razor’s edge": idiom, In a difficult or precarious position. If you work in our industry and never heard that phrase before, you will never forget it now. You know all too well that it is the nature of our business to work either balancing on the edge, or to be the one making decisions that put others on a tightrope.

Emmy’s Diversity: People of Color Represent 25% of Acting Nominations

Variety: For the second year in a row, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences can laugh at movies’ #OscarsSoWhite problem. Actors of color nabbed 18 of the major 73 acting nominations in the categories of lead and supporting performers in drama, comedy, and limited series. That’s just shy of 25%, and even an improvement over last year’s historic Emmys, where 16 actors of color were among the 75 nominees.

wysiwyg R37 Available Now Following six months of feature development and feedback from an intensive beta testing period, CAST Software announces wysiwyg Release 37. This major update delivers many impactful features to complement the very successful R36 that introduced a major change on User Interface with a new design, look and feel.

Diversity Only Possible When We See It As an Advantage

The Mary Sue: For all that people are talking about the importance of diversity across all fields, it seems that there are always those willing to pay the idea lip service while remaining apathetic and short-sighted. What’s sad is that it’s the people that are supposedly the most creative and imaginative that are guilty of being the most myopic.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

‘Love’ Requires Eclectic Performers, Demanding Schedules

Variety: Cirque du Soleil’s “Love,” now celebrating its 10th anniversary at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, is an imaginative depiction of the fantasy behind the music of the Beatles. And the faces of those fantasies are those of the 68 performance artists who appear twice nightly in the show, five days a week, 476 shows a year. “The artists are the key,” says show director Dominic Champagne. “They are the link between the Beatles and the people in the seats.”

Director Pulls ‘Hamlet’ From Theater for a New Audience

The New York Times: It seemed to be a coup for Theater for a New Audience: Its first summer Shakespeare production would be “Hamlet,” with the much-lauded Tony-winning director Sam Gold at the helm, and the rising Hollywood star Oscar Isaac in the title role. The play, announced in April and scheduled to open next June at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, had been in the works since 2014. Tickets were sold to subscribers, and a creative team was assembled. But the production has fallen apart.

Theater Review: Small Mouth Sounds

Vulture: Aside from an occasional unicorn like The Humans, Off and Off–Off Broadway plays almost never dare transfer to Broadway anymore, which means that New Yorkers who miss them in their original limited runs don’t get a second chance. Bess Wohl’s Small Mouth Sounds seemed to be one such play: Despite rave reviews for its premiere in March of last year, it closed as scheduled after six weeks and basically disappeared. How many people saw it in Ars Nova’s 99-seat space? Perhaps 5,000.

Theatre artists: a liveable wage is our right and our responsibility

DC Theatre Scene: In her interview, “The Untenable Career of a Successful Philadelphia Theater Artist”, she candidly laid out the economic pitfalls of being a working artist: relying on grants or sponsors for funding, putting in 60+ hour weeks for scant pay, working tirelessly on increasingly successful projects only to struggle, still, with filling the calendar with work to pay rent. She felt that between the funders rejecting her grant requests for “doing it wrong” and an increasingly expensive environment, there was just no benefit to remaining a full-time artist.

Axanar: The $1 Million Star Trek Fan Film CBS Wants to Stop

Hit & Run : Since its launch in 1966, Star Trek has inspired intense devotion from generations of fans with five live-action television series spanning 50 years and a sixth set to launch in 2017. And this month's release of Star Trek Beyond, helmed by Fast and Furious director Justin Lin, will mark the franchise's 13th feature film.

The Unlikely Tool Filmmakers Are Using that Many VR Experiences Lack

The Creators Project: Virtual reality still has a long way to go, but as film directors and game developers continue to experiment with the technology, many think that the secret to take virtual experiences forward lies in theater. Much like VR, immersive theater—where audiences become active participants in the performance—creates escapist worlds, often replicating experiences where a user can take on a role as another. Hoping to become a player on the VR scene, the National Theatre (NT) in Longon has recently established an Immersive Storytelling Studio, a collaborative space for the creative industry, looking to experiment with dramatic storytelling using 360 and VR technologies, whether you are a filmmaker, writer, or theatrical director for fiction or nonfiction.

Hollywood Bowl Concert Breathes Fresh Magic Into Original Harry Potter

Variety: It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since the first Harry Potter movie, since author J.K. Rowling’s literary creation crystallized into the form audiences followed over the course of the next decade on-screen. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” director Chris Columbus deserves credit for making that experience so iconic, of course, as do actor Daniel Radcliffe and the rest of the cast, though a unique summer-night cine-concert at the Hollywood Bowl reminds just how important John Williams’ contributions were in bringing the character to life.

JFilm partners with Pittsburgh Filmmakers to produce Three Rivers Film Festival

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum and Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts announced today that they are partnering to produce the Three Rivers Film Festival presented by Dollar Bank. The annual festival, in its 35th year and held each fall, is the oldest and largest in the region and had previously been produced by Pittsburgh Filmmakers.

If You Can Only Spare 15 Minutes A Week For LinkedIn, Do This

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: July is here and I bet your dance card’s pretty full. Barbecues, weddings, camping trips—who has time for LinkedIn? You, my friend. At least, you do if you don’t want all your brand-building work to fizzle. In the time it takes a pot of water to boil, you can reinforce your reputation and network. You don’t have to sacrifice progress for picnics. Just follow this minute-by-minute guide.

Here's How Those Big Signs Showing Bus Destinations Are Made The iconic buses in London are red, big-ass double-deckers that use roller blinds to show the destination stop rather than the typical LED display. I think the blinds look a lot better than the digital displays. Here’s how McKenna Brothers makes them, from the cutting of the letters, to the making of the negative, to the actual printing process, to the rolling into the display unit, and everything in between.

This web instrument will compose your next low-budget sci-fi movie score

The Verge: The Musical Chord Progression Arpeggiator is a web experiment by Jake Albaugh that allows you to generate different musical scores based on a variety of different inputs. This tool allows users to create a series of arpeggios in a chord progression, resulting in a cycle of haunting, looping notes that rise and fall endlessly.

2016 Emmy Nominations: Beyonce Among Few Female Directing Contenders

Variety: A funny thing happened this year with the Emmy nominations for directing a comedy series: Most of the nods went to writers. Meanwhile, female directors are few and far between in the top series races. One notable entrant is Beyonce, who earned a mention, shared with Kahlil Joseph, for variety special for the hourlong avant-garde film that premiered on HBO in tandem with the release of her album “Lemonade” in April. Also in the mix this year is Danish helmer Susanne Bier, up for limited series for her work as the sole director of AMC’s six-hour limited series “The Night Manager.”

In A Maryland County, Taxing Student Actors In Pay To Play Plan

Arts Integrity Initiative: In an era of constrained school budgets, it is not all that unusual – albeit quite problematic in terms of diversity and equity – to find schools charging students and their parents “activity fees” to offset certain expenses, particularly in extracurricular pursuits, notably athletics. When the Board of Education of the Harford County Public Schools in Maryland voted on June 13 to impose a $100 per student activity fee on extracurricular drama programs in area high schools, and raised the fee charged to sports participants to the same rate (having previously been $50), it wasn’t, at a glance, necessarily seen as a targeted attack on the arts.

Uzo Aduba's Advice for Her 18-Year-Old Self

The Mary Sue: Eighteen is a bit of a messy time, but it can also be a really exciting time that’s filled with growing and learning. If you could write a letter to your 18-year-old self, what would you say? Y’know, aside from lottery numbers and stuff. Teen Vogue’s “letter to yourself at 18” series with stars like Emilia Clarke and Kerry Washington features stars talking to their adult-ish selves about things they’ve learned.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Helping an Audience Collaborate with One Another

HowlRound: The first immersive play I ever created was a short devised piece exploring the nightmares that mothers have when they are pregnant. In the third act of our four-act structure, we created a moment where the audience had to work together to solve a children’s jigsaw puzzle. We gave each audience member a single jigsaw piece at the top of the show, and when the time came, our main character pulled the puzzle board out from a part of the set and placed it before the crowd.

Behind the Tech of LOVE It is not just changes to choreography that have given “Love” a refreshed look and feel. Key changes to the show’s technical elements have given the show a new look. While video projection has always been part of “Love,” it was mainly seen in two panoramic projection surfaces on either side of the theater, as well as sporadic special surfaces, courtesy of 24 Christie 20k digital projectors. For the 10th anniversary refresh, show director Dominic Champagne and his team decided to add more.

Life of the Party

NFPA Journal: IN THE WEE HOURS of Sunday, May 29, Nancy Bermudez received a horrifying call from a social worker at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Katie, Bermudez’s 21-year-old daughter, was in the hospital and the outlook was dire. When Bermudez arrived, according to the Tampa Bay Times, she found her daughter unconscious and clinging to life with help from tubes and machines. “Katie, you have to fight,” Bermudez whispered to her. The next day Katie was dead.

The 10 Loudest Speakers and Subwoofers in the World

TheRichest: How do you measure sound? Experts say that the standard unit of measurement for sound levels is the dB scale. The scale, however, is much more complicated than you think. A dB level that is merely three notches higher is actually already twice as powerful.

On the Road to On-Demand 3D Printing

Top Stories | New Equipment Digest: We live in an on-demand society. Feel like a movie? Turn on Netflix and browse through thousands of movies your significant other doesn’t feel like watching. Hitting the clubs is more your thing? Order an Uber to have a stranger chauffeur you and your drunken friends around. But what about when you get to work and have to find a prudent (cheap) and expedient way to produce 1,000 complex thingamadoos, but your regular Chinese supplier just jacked up the price because its workers Googled what a fair living wage is.

Branson's former Icon theatre becomes a Dream

Branson Tri-Lakes News News Free: The hotbed of activity at the corner of Gretna Road and 76 Country Boulevard continued this week as producers of a new Branson show, “Dreams: A Classic Rock Fantasy,” began moving into the Dream Theatre, formerly known as the Icon Theatre, which is in the process of being remodeled. According to producers, they’re shooting for “the 19th or 20th” for a soft open.

Workers fall ill on set of new WWE movie The knockouts were all too real on the set of a wrestling movie filming in the Lower Mainland last month. A worker on WWE Studio’s The Marine 5: Battleground fell unconscious from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning during a shoot in an underground parkade, according to a recent WorkSafeBC incident report.

Multiracial women show Straight White Men the way in new State Theatre Company of SA play

Adelaide Now: BEHIND the world of the hit play Straight White Men are a group of very racially, socially and culturally diverse women — none more so than hip-hop DJ and soundtrack composer Busty Beatz.

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS Completes Its Journey

Breaking Character: A project nearly two years in the planning comes to full fruition later this month as Alan Ayckbourn’s comic trilogy, The Norman Conquests, concludes a unique three-theatre collaboration in Vermont. An idea proposed by Dorset Theatre Festival Artistic Director Dina Janis to Weston Playhouse Theatre Company’s Steve Stettler was soon embraced by Northern Stage’s Carol Dunne, and the three companies were off and running.

Pushkin and Chekhov stagings to be shown in U.S. and Canada cinemas

Russia Beyond The Headlines: Productions of Moscow's leading theaters will be shown in cinemas all over the U.S. and Canada beginning in September 2016. The series, which will include eight productions, will run until June 2017. Two iconic plays – Vakhtangov Theater’s Eugene Onegin and the Moscow Art Theater's Cherry Orchard – have been selected as the first performances to be screened as part of the Stage Russia HD project.

Amtrak Announces 2016-17 Residency Writers

AMERICAN THEATRE: Amtrak has announced its 2016-17 Residency Program writers, which includes six playwrights. The program, now in its second year, sponsors a group of writers to work on their writing while on board long-distance trains.

Monday, July 18, 2016

NATEAC Presents Session on Automated Scenery in Older Broadway Theatres

Stage Directions: Reps from IATSE Local One, Theatre Consultants Collaboratives and Hudson Scenic will present a session at the upcoming NATEAC show titled “Teaching the Old House New Tricks or Modern Engineering in Old Broadway Theatres.” The session will focus on how small Broadway theatres actually are, and the challenges with putting modern-day, heavily automated shows into such spaces.

Who's Using The iPad Pro At Work? Tattoo Artists

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: It's 9:30 on a drizzly morning in San Francisco's SOMA district, and the day is just getting going at Seventh Son Tattoo. As I sit on a leather couch at the front of the studio with tattoo artist David Robinson, staffers are coming in, coffee is being brewed, and floors are being swept.

Pennsylvania film tax credit to increase, unused credits to be recycled due to new legislation

Pittsburgh Business Times: The budget deliberations in Harrisburg has achieved a modest increase in the value of the Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit that would nonetheless be the first increase in years, although it won't come until next fiscal year.

Don't turn students into consumers – the US proves it's a recipe for disaster

Higher Education Network | The Guardian: The UK government wants to bring market-based reform to the country’s universities. The idea is that higher education is like any other industry. There are inputs, such as students, subsidies, tuition revenue streams and philanthropic support. There are outputs, such as graduates, increased social mobility and higher standards of living. And there are external forces that regulate the industry’s behaviour, such as government agencies and accreditation groups.

Arts Center, I Choose You!

Butts In the Seats: I was walking in to work on Saturday and met a woman who has offices in the arts center who told me that there was a Pokemon in the fountain in front of the building. Sure enough, as part of the new augmented reality game Pokemon Go, when she pointed her phone at the fountain, the virtual map overlay showed a Pokemon in the fountain. She then lamented that someone else was battling to capture it. I assume it was the kid standing on the sidewalk just south of the fountain.

Complexes Cirque – The Peel Project A few years ago, at the dawn of our 100th issue, we took a fascinating look back at a number of the quotes, blurbs, and past announcements of new products, venues, or avenues Cirque du Soleil announced it would be exploring (that we then published), wondering what had come of them, as many had quietly disappeared or were shelved, never to be heard from again. We uncovered several in our search through our news archives and then spun our discoveries – or re-discoveries as it were – into a three-part series for Fascination, entitled: “Cirque’s Dreams of the Past: A What If?”

Grace and the Messy Tech Here is a reminder for you; It’s all about Grace. Everything that we do in our service is about Grace. Yes, we get distracted by the excitement of working with technology to create experiences. We use technology that most people don’t know anything about and we use it to learn, create, express, and serve. But at the end of the day, everything that we do is about experiencing, sharing, and introducing people to God’s grace. We need it every day and everywhere because we as people are messy, and of our own accord, we are lost.

A Grammy Winner, A Circus Master, And An Apple Veteran On Career Reinvention

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: I grew up in Cupertino, California, before Apple ever existed. Later, I spent 12 years leading the company's music and entertainment business. My office at the time sat right where I'd picked apricots as a kid.

Leaving Apple to set out on a new career path wasn't easy. But as a Silicon Valley native, I found the entrepreneurial spirit I needed to reinvent myself was pretty close at hand.

Theater notes: National award for CMU’s John Clay

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Carnegie Mellon University rising senior John Clay III recently took first place and a $12,000 prize at the National Society of Arts and Letters musical theater competition. In annoucing the winners from the contest in Phoenix, the organization that has supported young performers since 1944 wrote of Mr. Clay:

“What he loves about theater is the storytelling aspect and how it draws people together under one roof. To be in theater and to change the political climate is an incredible endeavor. He is grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and continues to thank his mother for her patience in raising a stubborn lost boy.”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Set Super Detailed

The Mary Sue: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child set designer Christine Jones took Pottermore behind the scenes to give a look at how the set of the play was put together. The Harry Potter Play Twitter states that the Thomas Wolfe quote, “Few buildings are vast enough to hold the sound of time” inspired the set, which suggests a lot of symbolism hidden in the imagery.

From Street Performer to Boho Billionaire: Meet Guy Laliberté The first time Guy Lalibert√©, 56, visited Ibiza, in the late 1970s, he paid his way as a busker, stilts walker, and fire-eater. Back then, the idyllic Spanish island was a hippie enclave frequented by nudists, out-of-favor aristos, and pedigreed thrill seekers on the hunt for mind-altering, round-the-clock bacchanalia. These days, Lalibert√© owns Can Soleil, a 64-acre spread on Ibiza’s northwest coast, purchased from the art collector and Mercedes-Benz heir Friedrich Christian “Mick” Flick, and he arrives via either his own plane or his 178-foot yacht, the Tiara. While the intervening years have seen the street performer–turned–Cirque du Soleil cofounder become a billionaire, they have done little to diminish his flair for seeing possibility in unlikely places.

Albany's Palace Theatre plans $65 million expansion

Times Union: The Palace Theatre is poised to undergo a $65 million transformation that if fully realized would include a new, smaller theater along North Pearl Street, an expansion of the historic original theater's lobby and stagehouse and a state-of-the-art video post-production facility that would be the only of its kind between Manhattan and Montreal.

Watch Industrial Light & Magic's VR team discuss the immersive future of Star Wars

The Verge: Lucasfilm has pushed Star Wars far beyond just movies and novelizations, and today at Star Wars Celebration the team at Industrial Light & Magic's xLab will be discussing how they're using virtual reality and augmented reality to create tools and immersive experience unlike anything seen before.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

angus muir turns wellington cable car tunnel into a luminous LED landscape n the capital of new zealand, designer angus muir has installed a permanent LED lighting installation inside a wellington tram tunnel. forming an arched configuration overhead, a sequence of curved luminaries are programmed to change in duration and hue, creating an ever-evolving landscape of color and light.

Any Way You Slice It – FoamCoat Is The Best Choice For Coating A Foam Sculpture

Rosco Spectrum: Josh Kigner, a freelance theatrical designer, was hired by Fort Point Theatre Channel to design scenery and props for a new play that was debuting at Boston Playwrights Theatre. The script called for a large Greek plaster sculpture of a man that was low on cost, could be easily carried on stage, had a rigged arm that could break on cue. This eliminated the choice of finding a rental, so Josh worked his magic with 1/4″Insulation foam and turned to Rosco for the rest.

Tony-Winning FUN HOME to Perform Benefit Concert at Dr. Phillips Center for Equality Florida

Showbiz Chicago: Fun Home, the Tony® Award-winning Best Musical, will play a one-night-only benefit concert performance at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando on Sunday, July 24, 2016 at 7 p.m, the show’s producers announced today. This performance will be a concert version of the groundbreaking musical to raise money for Equality Florida and the LGBTQ community of Orlando. Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 10 a.m.

An Experimental Puppet Show Teaches the Key to Communication

The Creators Project: Plenty of talk gets flung around the world of The Creatures of Yes, but is anyone really listening? In the premiere of the newest episode of Jacob Graham’s experimental, retro-inspired puppet show, premiering today on The Creators Project, the Creatures have all sorts of conversations with one another. “The idea behind the video,” says Graham, “is about people who are talking to one another but not really communicating. One person says something and then the other person says ‘Oh, that’s nice,’ and then says something completely different.”

Women of NYMF 2016

THE INTERVAL: Throughout July we’ll be featuring women involved in this year’s New York Musical Festival. NYMF’s goal is to support the development of new and diverse works of musical theatre, and over the coming weeks we’ll be spotlighting a mix of the women involved: from actresses to directors, from Tony nominees to those just beginning their careers. The shows they’re a part of represent a range of styles and subject matters, and are all at different stages of development. We visited them at rehearsal studios throughout Manhattan to find out about their shows and their thoughts on the theatre.

Life is a Dream: Feminist Surrealist Theatre Art

OnStage: Lauren Hlubny is an emerging experimental theatre director and choreographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Hlubny has a background in classical ballet, art history, anthropological research, and theatre. These, along with basic training in music and circus arts, give Hlubny a unique and informed hold on conducting creative rehearsals and shaping cohesive productions where people can speak completely different artistic “languages” while pushing the boundaries of contemporary performance and multi-disciplinary art. Some highlights of Hlubny’s work include a 40-minute surrealist dance-theatre work (DALI) a conversation between a cellist, ballerina, and actor (This Is Not A Table For Three), and a science-dance-theatre piece created in conjunction with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Neuroscience Department

What it Took to Win “America’s Greatest Makers” Anubha Sacheti, 39, a pediatric dentist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a member of Team Grush, which beat out 23 other teams to win this year’s “America’s Greatest Makers” $1 million funding prize, awarded at the end of the Intel-sponsored TBS television series’ first season.

A Field Where Working Moms Aren’t Punished

The Atlantic: There’s a question that still, however unfairly, haunts many working women: whether marriage and children are bad career moves. While the size of the gender pay gap is often disputed, there is one gulf that appears to be pretty indisputable: Gender pay disparities are the most dire for married women.

The Monologue Parity Project: How and Why I Decided to Tackle the Issue of Parity in Modern Theatre

HowlRound: I distinctly remember the experience of searching for my first monologue. I was fourteen and a freshman in high school, desperately looking for the first solo piece I would ever perform. It had to be perfect and truly me—an exciting hunt that triggered the familiar palm-tingling sensation I experienced whenever I had the distinct feeling of possibility. I call it my sixth sense for the theatrical world. My palms start to tingle whenever I see the curtain rise on a new play, and I know it’s a good one if they still tingle after it ends.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Arts Participation: It's the Experience, Stupid.

Clyde Fitch Report: “They didn’t come for the quality, they came for the experience.” This was the conclusion that a colleague and I independently reached regarding a series of sold-out evenings of traditional opera populated by enthusiastic audiences of young people at LoftOpera in Gowanus. We had each joined some 500 people, a pretty diverse group, who willingly sat on concrete (or uncomfortable portable seating) throughout a full evening of music, acting and singing, mixed with socializing, cheap or free booze, and a real scene.

Study Says 95 Percent of Disabled Characters Are Played by Able-Bodied Actors A new study revealed what we probably all would have guessed about how disabilities are represented in media: Rarely, and usually not by people actually living with those disabilities.

Learn Resin Casting Techniques: Cold Casting

Hackaday: Sometimes we need the look, feel, and weight of a metal part in a project, but not the metal itself. Maybe you’re going for that retro look. Maybe you’re restoring an old radio and you have one brass piece but not another. It’s possible to get a very metal like part without all of the expense and heat required in casting or the long hours in the metal fabrication shop.

Top 10 Teen Collections

Breaking Character: Theatre and the performing arts are increasingly popular activities among many teens and young adults. More plays written specifically for teen actors are being created every year through festivals, competitions and programs across the country that promote the critical engagement of teenagers and young adults in the arts.

A Giant Illuminated ‘Castle in the Sky’ Ship Built for the Studio Ghibli Exhibition in Tokyo

Colossal: Perched in the sky fifty-two stories above Tokyo, a new exhibition celebrates a 30-year retrospective of Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio famous for anime films like Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Princess Mononoke. The centerpiece of the Studio Ghibli Expo is a room filled with various airships from several Ghibli films, specifically a sizeable illuminated replica of a ship from Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky that rises and falls as if airborne, complete with dozens of whirring propellers.

The Cirque and Competitive Sports On Thursday, June 23rd, we Cirque fans got the shock of our lives (well, to be honest, the next in a long line of shocks…), and all it took was an article in the New York Times announcing a new project Cirque was undertaking. We didn’t even have to look past the first sentence before clutching our chests, our hearts palpitating (it’s the big one, Elizabeth!): “Cirque du Soleil, known for breathtaking acrobatics, and the NFL, known for bone-crushing hits, today announced plans for an NFL attraction in Times Square, a first-of-its-kind attraction in the heart of New York City.” WAIT. SAY WHAT?

#63 Around the World with Lindsay Jones

in 1: the podcast: This week we welcome back the very first guest to ever sit down for an interview, it’s the return of Sound Designer Lindsay Jones! But this is no ordinary episode. Lindsay is the undisputed king of travel tips, tricks, hacks, secrets, and every other solution to making life on the road as stress free as possible and he joins us today to share with us his wealth of knowledge and experience.

Preserving Passion in the Face of Rejection

HowlRound: In the prologue of his book Audition, Michael Shurtleff posits: “for every actor who gets hired for a part, fifty or a hundred or two hundred do not.” He claims that “an actor is forever getting rejected” and concludes that it’s incredible that actors persevere in the face of such overwhelmingly negative odds. Indeed, actors, as well as playwrights, directors, and designers all face rejection throughout their careers. Coping with rejection and remaining resolute in your artistic goals can be challenging; however, by understanding rejection, we can begin to positively impact our craft and preserve our passion.

7 Things You Need To Do The Moment You Lose Your Job If you’ve ever lost your job you can probably relate to the initial shock and disbelief that’s often followed closely by such feelings as confusion and anger. When you lose your job, particularly if it was unexpected, it can be confusing to know exactly what to do next. These tips will set you up to get back into the workforce as soon as possible.

We go inside the escape-room phenomenon

Art Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper: We nearly escaped. My friend and I were trying to decipher the final riddle of an ancient Egyptian tomb before our oxygen supply ran out. We had discovered secrets, solved brain-teasers and connected clues regarding an intrepid explorer’s lasting mystery, surrounded by artifacts and hieroglyphics. But time had expired. Then the co-founder of Escape Room Pittsburgh entered and told us we didn’t make it out of Tomb Explorer.

Kit Harington: Prejudice against 'responsive' audiences threatens to kill theatre

News | The Stage: Doctor Faustus star Kit Harington has leapt to the defence of young theatregoers, claiming that prejudice against “energised and responsive” audiences could kill theatre for good.

The actor hit back against producer Richard Jordan, who complained in The Stage that audience behaviour at a recent performance of Doctor Faustus left him “despairing”.

'The Bikinis' Return to the Long Wharf - An Interview with Ray Roderick

OnStage: After two years, the Long Wharf Theater welcomes back “The Bikinis” on July 13-31, a fun, coming-of-age musical story of four young women growing up on the Jersey shore. Overnight, they become a singing girl group sensation of the 1960s and then a one-hit-wonder looking to fit in a country with growing pains of its own. One of the show’s creators, Ray Roderick, was nice enough to take time out to talk with OnStage about their show, “The Bikinis,” his upcoming shows, jukebox musicals, and his many hats.

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