CMU School of Drama

Friday, October 20, 2017

Your Idea Will Never Be Ready

lifehacker.com: A large source of my creative procrastination comes from this notion that my idea “just isn’t ready yet,” like it’s fruit ripening on a tree. But you know what? That’s bullshit.

Australian Government Wants to Give Satire The Boot

Electronic Frontier Foundation: The National Symbols Officer of Australia recently wrote to Juice Media, producers of Rap News and Honest Government Adverts, suggesting that its “use” of Australia’s coat of arms violated various Australian laws. This threat came despite the fact that Juice Media’s videos are clearly satire and no reasonable viewer could mistake them for official publications. Indeed, the coat of arms that appeared in the Honest Government Adverts series does not even spell “Australian” correctly.

Climate Change Theatre Action is held at NU for first time

dailynorthwestern.com: To Communication senior Isadora Porte, theater can be more than just a performance — it can be a call to action, too.

Porte and other Northwestern students will get together Sunday to present Climate Change Theatre Action at NU, one of more than 200 theatrical performances in a biennial global series aiming to provoke dialogue and action toward climate change.

Corset Up and Remember to Breathe

Pittsburgh in the Round: Corsets on stage: Sometimes we see them, sometimes we don’t. Corsets have certainly made a comeback since designer Coco Chanel knocked them out of daily wear for early 20th century women. However, actors and singers often find themselves wearing corsets as part of period costumes for roles set in anywhere from the 1500s to early 1900s.

This week, there’s a noticeable intersection of laced up undergarments with singers in Pittsburgh.

Harvey Weinstein’s employees are finally beginning to speak out

Salon.com: Amid the ongoing downfall of Harvey Weinstein, employees emboldened by all the support the media and the public has given to the survivors of his alleged sexual predation are coming forward with their own tales of verbal and psychological abuse they suffered at his hand. Still, most — perhaps by necessity — continue to maintain their anonymity, even as they claim no knowledge of Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse.

Stage review: Take a trippy trip into a world of imagination in immersive 'DODO'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: At some point in “DODO,” I felt like I was floating. Or was it a waking dream?

The exploration of the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History throws open behind-the-scenes doors and illuminates bonds among humanity, art and science.

If that sounds mysterious, eerie and even a bit spiritual, that’s because it is all that, and more.

Coda is a next-generation spreadsheet designed to make Excel a thing of the past

The Verge: When Shishir Mehrotra worked at YouTube, he was struck by the relatively pedestrian tools that kept the site running. Mehrotra, who served as the company’s head of product until he left in 2014, managed his team largely using a combination of Google Docs and Sheets. The system worked well enough, but the tools had been built for a previous age. Mehrotra began to fixate on a question: what would documents and spreadsheets look if they were invented today?

Makeup-Hair Designer Specializes in Bruising Looks for ‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘Stronger’

Variety: This is a busy year for makeup and hair designer Donald Mowat, who worked on two major releases: “Blade Runner 2049” and “Stronger.”

Mowat was a big fan of Ridley Scott’s original “Blade Runner,” released in 1982, so he was psyched when helmer Denis Villeneuve asked him to lead the makeup department for the sequel — a revisiting of the L.A.-based futuristic tale set 30 years later. Mowat overcame initial anxiety over the epic scope of the project and was happy to reteam with the director and cinematographer Roger Deakins, with whom he had worked on “Sicario” and “Prisoners” as well.

How Do You Revitalize a Historic Gay Play?

Theatre Development Fund – TDF: Sometimes great theatre minds think alike. That's what happened when director Moisés Kaufman and playwright Harvey Fierstein each reached out independently to Michael Urie about playing Arnold Beckoff, an adorably neurotic Jewish drag queen looking for love, in separate readings of Torch Song Trilogy. "I had been following Michael's work and I loved it so much," recalls Kaufman. "So I called him and said, 'Let's sit around my living room and read the play.'

Female Animators Call for End of Culture of Sexual Harassment in Open Letter

Variety: In the midst of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement, 217 women and gender non-conforming people working in the field of animation signed an open letter to a dozen studios calling for the end of a culture of sexism and sexual harassment in the industry

Equity Announces Major Change to Membership Candidacy Program

Backstage: On Tuesday, the nation’s union for stage actors and stage managers, Actors’ Equity Association, announced a change to their Equity Membership Candidacy program (EMC). The statement, emailed out to suitable candidates, explained that in 2018 the EMC program would be relaunched. The biggest shift? The amount of weeks a candidate would have to accrue before being offered membership to the union.

BLOCKED AND BRAKED

valerie-inertie-cyr-wheel-aerialist: The new season has just begun. Entitled "THE ONE Grand Show", the Palast once again promises "Glamour à la Las Vegas". The show lives from singing, ballet and artistic performances; the protagonists offer a feast for the eyes in Jean-Paul Gaultier costumes. There is no continuous story line in the classic sense – Roland Welke's show is one of visual images.

Katy Perry gets stuck in mid-air during Tennessee concert

BBC News: Katy Perry was left dangling above fans' heads when a floating platform malfunctioned on her world tour.

The star had just performed Thinking Of You, perched several storeys above the audience on a model of Saturn.

But the prop refused to return to the stage, leaving the star stranded.

"This is the first time I've been stuck in space," she joked.

The Future of Concert Safety and Security, Post-Vegas

www.ticketnews.com: Before the dust settled, before the grief started to subside after the tragic killing of 58 concert-goers in Las Vegas earlier this month, conversations around security and safety had already begun. Some called this insensitive; many call it imperative. As centers for entertainment have had their status as “soft targets” for acts of terrorism, what effect will it have on lovers of live music, and what will organizers do to prevent further tragedy in the future?

Escape? Punishment? What Will Happen to Weinstein Now?

The Atlantic: Almost a year to the day after the publication of what would become known, with polite euphemism, as the “Access Hollywood tape,” The New York Times published a related kind of revelation: Harvey Weinstein had been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct—an alleged pattern of psychological manipulation and strategic harassment that spanned decades—and, in many cases, paid them for their silence. The paper’s report was followed up with an investigation in The New Yorker that included allegations from three different women that Weinstein had raped them. The stories—and the many, many more from women who have come forward in recent days—have been met with a mixture of shock and its opposite among Weinstein’s fellow celebrities. “I didn’t know about these things, but they don’t surprise me at all,” Emma Thompson told the BBC on Thursday. She was speaking, it seems, for many in her field.

Royal Court programs day of events in response to Weinstein revelations

WhatsOnStage.com: Vicky Featherstone has announced a day of events programmed in response to the Harvey Weinstein revelations. The artistic director of the Royal Court has responded to people who have spoken out about abuses of power in the theatre industry.

Inside the Battle to Force Harvey Weinstein’s Lawless Hollywood to Change

splinternews.com: In the last week, we have seen a near-constant deluge of sexual assault, abuse, and harassment allegations flooding the news now that Harvey Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most powerful gatekeepers, has been toppled.

Roy Price Resigns From Amazon Studios

Variety: Roy Price is exiting Amazon Studios, where he served until recently as president. The departure from Amazon follows Price’s suspension Oct. 12 from the tech giant’s entertainment division on the heels of renewed sexual harassment allegations. In Price’s absence, Amazon Studios COO Albert Cheng was named interim president, and sources say he is expected to remain in the role has head of the studio.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The USA is taking on Japan in a giant robot duel you can watch next Tuesday

The Verge: We’ve been waiting a long time to see the “world’s first giant robot duel,” and next week we’ll finally get to watch the metal-on-metal action. If you’ve forgotten the background, all the way back in July 2015 a US team of engineers (MegaBots Inc.) challenged their Japanese rivals (Suidobashi Heavy Industry) to a fight, but the difficulty in finding a venue and upgrading the robots has delayed the bout. Well, next Tuesday, October 17th at 7PM PT, the duel will finally be streamed on Twitch for all to see.

Why Was Hollywood Complicit in Hiding Harvey Weinstein’s Behavior?

Variety: I have been a publicist and part of Hollywood for over 20 years. I have always been proud of this community for standing up to injustice, but we really missed the mark on Harvey Weinstein. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t hear stories about Harvey and his behavior as a sexual predator.

Meet Tara Aisha Willis, a well-timed new curator for the MCA Stage

Chicago Tribune: On the night of the presidential election, Tara Aisha Willis was in New York with a few friends as the results barreled in. One friend turned to her. “You have to take the job,” she said. “You should be in charge of something. I want you to be in charge of something.”

Sexual harassment in theatre won’t end until it’s everyone’s problem

Exeunt Magazine: Over the past few days, the #MeToo posts have piled up. They prove what everyone knows but no one really wants to deal with: that women and young men live with the threat of sexual harassment, and that it happens in nice arty jobs too, even (or perhaps especially) in the theatre, where everyone gets drunk together, physical boundaries are blurred, and there’s no HR department to go to when things get nasty.

Milwaukee Manufactures the Market’s First Brushless One-Handed Reciprocating Saw

Builder Magazine | Hand Tools, Saws, Jobsite Technology, Technology, Lithium-Ion Batteries, Tools, Milwaukee Tool: With the recent debut of the M18 FUEL Hackzall, Milwaukee Tool has created the market’s first brushless, 18V one-handed reciprocating saw.

According to Milwaukee Tool, the M18 FUEL Hackzall makes cuts up to 50% faster than its competitors. Its dual gear counter balance system provides up to four times lower vibration than most reciprocating saws, allowing for smoother and easier cuts, especially in metal and PVC applications. It features a 7/8” stroke length, which, combined with its compact design and one-handed handling, allows its users to make cuts in tight spaces or overhead.

Sex, Lies, and the Issue that's Larger than Harvey Weinstein

Cultural Weekly: Every time a character is killed in The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist Western distributed by The Weinstein Company in 2015, blood and butchery splatter across Jennifer Jason Leigh’s expectant face. Tarantino stages these violent outbursts, and the degradation of the female lead, for gleeful male laughter. The residue on Leigh’s face is a porn trope: blood substitutes for semen. To promote the film when it opened, distributor Harvey Weinstein cajoled People Magazine into heavy coverage.

In microcosm, that’s the larger context for the past weeks in Hollywood — because Hollywood is just part of a pervasive cultural fabric that interweaves the complex relationship between business and art, studios and talent, power and media, men and women, entertainment product and sexual assault.

Stage review: Kids go to the head of the class in 'School of Rock'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “School of Rock the Musical” harnesses the crude-cute appeal of the 2003 Jack Black movie and pumps up the volume for a hard-rockin’, good-time stage comedy.

And then there are the amazing kids.

It should come as no surprise to witness tween and younger actors killing it in lead roles. “Annie,” “Oliver!,” “Billy Elliot” and a bunch of other musicals have been down this road before with great success.

An 80-Foot Steel Kraken Will Create an Artificial Coral Reef Near the British Virgin Islands

Colossal: “It’s envisioned that within just a short space of time the ship and artwork will attract a myriad of sea creatures,” said Clive Petrovic who consults on the environmental impact of the BVI Art Reef. “Everything from corals to sea sponges, sharks and turtles will live on, in, and around the wreck. The ship will become valuable for future research by scientists and local students alike.”

Ilana Glazer Fired Sexual Harassers from Broad City

The Mary Sue: Inspired by Viola Davis’s and Trace Lysette’s #MeToo posts, Broad City star and co-showrunner Ilana Glazer posted one of her own. In the post, Glazer shared that she has been sexually harassed “countless times,” whether she was working as a waitress or as a showrunner. She was even sexually harassed by “a creepyass doctor just last year and filed a complaint with NYC.”

Stage Right starts new tradition with 'Night of the Living Dead — The Musical'

TribLIVE: It wouldn't be Halloween season without Stage Right's annual “Rocky Horror Show” – unless the Greensburg theater company produces an all-new, original, zombie-laden musical based on the George Romero 1968 cult classic film, “Night of the Living Dead.”

Tony Marino, artistic director for Stage Right, took a temporary setback and turned it into a new musical which will premiere Oct. 20-21 at The Lamp Theatre in Irwin and Oct. 27-28 at Greensburg Garden & Civic Center.

Hollywood's Female Crewmembers Suffer Harassment Without the Platform of Stardom

Hollywood Reporter: The problem is endemic below the line too, where women are working in crafts long dominated by men only to face abuse: "We don't have the power that Rose McGowan or Angelina Jolie has."

The accounts of Harvey Weinstein's predatory moves on A-list actresses have generated headlines. But for the growing number of women who work on film and TV shows in a so-called "below-the-line" capacity — on camera and sound crews, in editorial and music departments — such harassment is all too familiar and widespread. And little is being done to stop it.

Oakmont Elks Players promise a challenging 'who-dun-it'

TribLIVE: Upper Burrell playwright Marilyn McNally's imagination is on the loose again.

Audiences are about to take a roller coaster ride of slapstick humor as the Elks Players' stage her latest spoof, “‘Murder in the Court,” at their lodge in Oakmont.

The dinner theater murder mystery Oct. 27-28 again benefits Elks charities. It's their ninth production since 2015, all penned and directed by McNally.

Stratford 2018 puts women in male Shakespeare roles

Toronto Star: Cross-gender casting in Shakespeare productions has been a headline-grabbing trend over several years, part of efforts to increase gender equity onstage and provide fresh takes on well-known works. But with four female Stratford veterans taking traditionally male lead roles next summer, this approach is fast becoming a mainstream, commonplace choice.

Greensburg Civic Theatre's 'Ruthless' is 'the stage mother of all musicals'

TribLIVE: Greensburg Civic Theatre opens its 66th season with a show billed as “the stage mother of all musicals.”

“Ruthless,” with book and lyrics by Joel Paley with music by Marvin Laird, is a campy, irreverent show about an 8-year old wannabee star who will do anything to win the lead in the third-grade musical — including murdering the leading lady.

Flow It, Show It: 50 Years of ‘Hair’

AMERICAN THEATRE: All of us who worked at the New York Shakespeare Festival during the summer of 1967 knew about the new rock musical that would open the brand new Public Theater in the fall. We had seen James Rado and Gerry Ragni at the Delacorte, escorted through the backstage area by director Gerald Freedman during an intermission of a Shakespeare in the Park production of Titus Andronicus (with Olympia Dukakis, Charles Durning, Moses Gunn, and Raul Julia) that Gerald had directed. Rado and Ragni were in their youthful ’30s, Jimmy’s hair blond and straight, Gerry’s styled in a big Afro. They seemed to be taken with the magic of the setting, the set and stage lights at night against the background of the moon, Belvedere Castle, and the lights of Fifth Avenue in the distance. Their long hair and “cool” manner had the backstage buzzing.

As the Weinstein Scandal Sinks in, Where Do We Go From Here?

American Civil Liberties Union: In the wake of bombshell reports by the The New York Times and The New Yorker detailing three decades of sexual misconduct by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, the revelations keep coming. So do the questions: How did such flagrant misconduct stay an “open secret” for so long? Just how many women were harmed? And how do we make sure that such an egregious abuse of power never happens again?

L.A. Stories: Weinstein’s demise will not change Hollywood’s culture

Salon.com: When the subject is sexism and sexual harassment, everyone in Hollywood — even those considered to be Hollywood adjacent — has a story to tell. Here’s one that involves a familiar sitcom actor. Years ago, at the height of his popularity, this man felt so cocksure about his place in the industry ecosystem that in front of a group of journalists holding recording devices he made lurid, sexually suggestive comments to a female reporter. When said reporter recounted her harassment to a female writer on his series, the woman refused to believe her.

Harvey Weinstein Firestorm Marks an Inflection Point for Entertainment

Variety: In all the years we’ve been in the entertainment news business, there’s never been a firestorm quite like the one ignited by the sordid saga of Harvey Weinstein and his alleged far-reaching sexual abuse scandal. The Variety staff has been working overtime to cover every angle, including Tuesday’s extensive coverage.

Sexual Violence in Spec Screenplays

The Black List Blog: I’ll never forget the worst script I’ve ever read. It came across my desk while reading for the Black List in the fall of 2013, and was classified as a comedy. It was a coming-of-age story about a young woman with dreams of stand-up stardom. It also had eight rape scenes in it, described a ten-year old girl as “teasing like a stripper,” featured multiple scenes of child abuse, torture, and incest, and blamed the multitude of abuses suffered by its heroine on her inability to wear underwear. I’ll remind you again that this script was classified as a comedy by its own (male) writer.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sexual Harassment in the Theater: How Chicago Fought Back

Variety: Looking for the theater industry’s Harvey Weinstein moment? Look to Chicago.

Last year, a bombshell report in the Chicago Reader brought to light two decades of harassment and abuse by Darrell W. Cox, the artistic director of Profiles Theatre, an acclaimed company on the city’s bustling storefront theater scene. Cox fell into ignominy, and within days his company had shuttered.

Mary Poppins

Pittsburgh in the Round: Mary Poppins, a family favorite for decades, came flying into Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center as the opening production to their eleventh season. This combines P.L. Travers’ book series and Walt Disney’s film into one stage musical. It includes all the most renowned musical scores from Disney’s film such as “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee” along with additional scores.

Euphemisms such as the casting couch must go – they've been used to normalise abuse for too long

theconversation.com: Hollywood is in the business of making myths. As the storyteller, it has the capacity to create legends and approximations of real life that develop into something so plausible that it creates a whole paradigm. Hollywood stories typically depict tales of power, fame, riches and happy endings –- and one of the most enduring about Hollywood itself is that of the casting couch.

Festool Connect 2017 - New Tools From Festool, SawStop & Shaper Tools

homefixated.com: Festool just held Festool Connect 2017, so I traveled to the company’s U.S. headquarters in Lebanon, Indiana just outside Indianapolis to see what it’s all about. The Festool Connect event is mainly set up as a customer appreciation day for both die-hard Festoolies and those curious to learn more about the brand, but there was a decent representation of media folks brought in too.

Marilyn Manson on Stage Injury: 'The Pain Was Excruciating'

Rolling Stone: Marilyn Manson detailed the recent, dangerous stage mishap that resulted in a painful leg injury and nine canceled tour dates. "I only recently watched the video of it," the singer told Yahoo of the viral concert clip. "I can see how it could look terrifying. It was terrifying for me, because the truss was not secured properly."

Time to make the link between abuse and film content

Kate Hardie | Opinion | The Guardian: Many creative men have come out since the Weinstein allegations, making it clear that they do not agree with sexual abuse. I wasn’t aware there was any doubt that sexual abuse was a bad thing, but it’s good to have it clarified. (Forgive the sarcasm. It’s been a long week.) But so far, very few have been brave enough to start a conversation about the subtler, yet no less urgent, subject of the content of their own work, to examine their own record regarding the treatment and the representation of women.

Pittsburgh Festival Opera's Mildred Miller International Voice Competition heats up this weekend

'Burgh Vivant: Pittsburgh Festival Opera announces Semi-Finalists for the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition. Emerging vocal artists between the ages of 18 and 35 who are accomplished but not yet able to sustain themselves in their profession, will compete for cash prizes as well as be given a chance to be cast in solo roles for the company’s SummerFest.

Screenwriter close to Weinstein calls out Hollywood: 'Everybody f**king knew'

mashable.com: If you've tired of hearing Hollywood A-listers feign shock while sending proverbial "thoughts and prayers" to Harvey Wesintein's sexual assault victims, you're not alone.

Scott Rosenberg, a screenwriter (Beautiful Girls, Con Air, High Fidelity) who worked closely with Weinstein and Co. for a little under a decade, has had enough of the bullshit, too. And he's saying something not too many people in the industry are saying right now: "I am sorry."

World premiere 'Two Mile Hollow' takes on the white-family plays

Chicago Tribune: A troubled family gathers one last time at their ancestral home after the death of the patriarch. Over the course of the play, drinks are guzzled, grievances are aired and revelations are revealed.

Sound familiar? It should — by my very unscientific estimate, about 76 percent of all American dramas follow this schematic.

#MeToo named the victims. Now, let's list the perpetrators

Jessica Valenti | Opinion | The Guardian: All weekend, I heard the same two words repeated over and over from friends around the country: me too. I watched as my loved ones, family and colleagues raised their hands online to be counted as victims of sexual assault and harassment – a move, the viral message said, to show the world just how many of us there are.

For women, of course, that meant nearly everyone.

All the Other Harvey Weinsteins: Molly Ringwald on Acting in Hollywood

The New Yorker: The tale of Harvey Weinstein is now a thread that has tangled its way through Hollywood, connecting women, mostly actresses, in a depressingly common way. We all seem to have a Harvey story, each one a little different but with essentially the same nauseating pattern and theme. Women were bullied, cajoled, manipulated, and worse, and then punished.

Finalists Announced for 2018 Richard E. Sherwood Award for Emerging L.A. Theatre Artists

Stage Directions: Three finalists have been selected for Center Theatre Group’s 2018 Richard E. Sherwood Award: Hana Kim, Marsian De Lellis, and Gina Young. Center Theatre Group recognizes and celebrates this year’s finalists for their exceptional contributions to the Los Angeles theatre landscape and their work as innovative and adventurous artists.

Stage preview: PICT's Juliet meets her Romeo in 1930s New York

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “The Godfather” meets Shakespeare in PICT Classic Theatre’s “Romeo & Juliet.”

The era is the 1930s, in the Little Italy section of New York City, where warring families are a distinct possibility and, as in Victorian times, theater’s best-known young lovers are star-crossed and doomed.

"East Texas Hot Links" begins Pittsburgh troupe's experiment with longer runs

Blogh: In years previous, this past weekend would have marked the final performances of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.'s run of Eugene Lee's 1991 drama East Texas Hot Links. Except for its popular stagings of plays by Pulitzer-winning native son August Wilson, all of the small company's runs have been three weeks long — usually about a dozen performances of each.

Goodbye Uncanny Valley

kottke.org: For years, the idea of the uncanny valley has dominated computer graphics. Computers were powerful enough to produce real-ish looking people, places, or things but not quite powerful enough to make audiences believe they were actually real…to the point where they’re actually kind of creepy.

"A Feminine Edition": Women's Voices Prevail At 2017 Cairo Contemporary Theatre Festival

The Theatre Times: Ten out of 20 plays at this year’s Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre addressed women’s experiences.

Such was the focus on women’s issues and rights at the festival’s 24th edition, that Femi Osofisan, the Nigerian playwright, and critic who was honored at this year’s event, commented that: “This year’s edition is ultimately feminine.”

Freelancers Are Sick Of Being Called “Gig Workers”

Fast Company: As the freelance economy grows, its denizens want to revise popular understanding about the work they do. Or as Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel puts it, “There is a feeling that freelancing is about driving Uber cars, and it’s not.”

A new report released today by Upwork and the Freelancer’s Union, titled “Freelancing in America,” estimates that more than one-third of Americans are currently freelancing, and that by 2027, the majority of the U.S. workforce will freelance in some capacity.

These Trans and Queer Artists Are Challenging Popular Notions of Strength

www.artsy.net: After President Donald Trump announced his sweeping ban on transgender people from the armed services in July, he said that he was doing the United States a “great favor.” Contrary to any existing evidence, he announced that transgender topics had been “a very confusing issue for the military,” which purportedly burdened the nation’s defense with “tremendous medical costs and disruption.”

“East Texas Hot Links” at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company

The Pittsburgh Tatler: The setting for Eugene Lee’s play East Texas Hot Links is a down home bar nestled deep in the woods of East Texas, rendered in authentic detail by Mark Clayton Southers’ scenic design, with dart board and rotary pay phone hanging on the wall, a jukebox along one wall, vinyl covered barstools, formica tables, and mismatched chairs. But don’t be fooled by the realism of the set: the story told here expands into a conflict reminiscent of ancient Greek or Shakespearean tragedies, and it’s given a suitably epic treatment by director Montae Russell and his strong ensemble.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Inside UVX: An Exciting New Combination of Cinema and Live Theatre

OnStage Blog: It often feels exciting to talk about what new forms of theatre – and what new forms of art and entertainment, generally speaking – may emerge in future society. Whenever this conversation comes up, it is always worth talking about how theatre could potentially be merged with the still relatively young art form of cinema, and become an audience experience unlike any other, and that is exactly why the UVX (the Ultimate Viewing Experience) was created.

Priyanka Chopra on Feminism, Being ‘Fearless,’ and Why Diversity Shouldn’t Be a ‘Novelty’

Variety: Priyanka Chopra is proud to call herself a feminist, and frustrated with those who reject the label. “I see so many girlfriends of mine who are like, ‘No I’m not that much of a feminist.’ I don’t even understand that,” she says. “The need for feminism was created because there were no rights for women. That’s why there is not a man-ism, because they always had it.”

The Goodman Revives an Anti-Immigrant Tale—and Gives the Audience a Close Look

Chicago magazine | Arts & Culture October 2017: As a playwright, Arthur Miller never shied away from politics. In All My Sons and Death of a Salesman, he poked holes in the American Dream. In The Crucible, he mocked the U.S. government for McCarthyism. And in A View from the Bridge—a short, two-act play first produced in 1955—he tackled our prejudice against immigrants.

The Protection Racket

jezebel.com: On Wednesday morning, BuzzFeed published a thinkpiece publicly revealing the fleeting existence of a list that began circulating among women in the media Wednesday afternoon, and was gone by Wednesday evening (a copy seemed to reappear late Thursday afternoon). Put briefly, the list, called Shitty Media Men, had roughly 70 names of men in the industry who were alleged to have engaged in a range of bad behaviors, from “creepy DMs” to allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and rape.

Pittsburgh theaters face a wave of change at the top

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: By late fall, for the first time in 18 seasons, there will be a new artistic director at Pittsburgh Public Theater. It may take another full season before City Theatre undergoes a similar seismic shift at the top, but change is on the way there, too.

Sky-High Paper Wigs Topped With Modern Luxuries by Asya Kozina

Colossal: Paper artist Asya Kozina was inspired by the decadent wigs found in Baroque and Rococo still lifes, tall masses of hair adorned with objects that represent the ideals of luxury and beauty in the 17th and 18th centuries. Her series Skyscraper on the Head imagines how these outdated accessories might look if produced today, replacing the exotic fruits and birds of early centuries with airplanes, skyscrapers, and ferris wheels.

A LinkedIn Leader’s Top 5 Career Lessons To Learn Earlier

Fast Company: As the senior director of global talent acquisition at LinkedIn, I get to interact with many professionals and students. In my conversations with people–whether they are students or folks just out of school and launching their careers, one of the biggest things I find myself emphasizing is the importance of thinking about the short and long game. With that in mind, I have crafted a list of lessons I’ve learned about forging ahead professionally. These five universal truths are applicable to any profession and have guided me in my own journey.

'Casting Couch': The Origins of a Pernicious Hollywood Cliché

The Atlantic: The chorus of condemnation against Harvey Weinstein, as dozens of women have come forward to accuse the producer of serial sexual assault and harassment, has often turned on a quaint-sounding show-business cliché: the “casting couch.” Glenn Close, for instance, expressed her anger that “the ‘casting couch’ phenomenon, so to speak, is still a reality in our business and in the world.”

CSA Publishes Memo in Response to Weinstein Accusations

Backstage: CSA sent a memo to their membership in acknowledgment of the issues these actors have faced in the industry, and to remind them to follow safe and ethical practices while casting. During a time when the actors they have cast are speaking up, the organization also encourages members to report inappropriate behavior or abuse they see.

USITT Announces 2017 Winners of Innovation Research Grants

Stage Directions: USITT is pleased to announce the winners of the USITT Innovation Grants for 2017: Ian Garrett and Jonathan Allender-Zivic. The Innovation Grants are a commitment from USITT to invest in research that will move our industry forward.

Each cycle offers up to $110,000 of research funding to explore ideas that will adapt current technology for entertainment use or will create new technology for our industry. These new and innovative proposals will address technology challenges faced by the entertainment industry.

Disney Fights Unlicensed 'Star Wars,' 'Frozen' Characters at Children's Birthday Parties

Hollywood Reporter: Yes, Hollywood studios tend to be fiercely protective of their intellectual property. These studios will often sue over unlicensed merchandise in the marketplace. Usually, these cases go away quickly and quietly. The defendants tend not to have the resources to fight back. Settlements and stipulated judgments are the norm. Well, not this time.

This genius optical illusion stops people from running in the hallway

INSIDER: Last month, a unique carpet design from French retailer FNAC went viral on Twitter.

Now, a similar floor design from tile company Casa Ceramica is baffling people online for the same reason: Both designs are optical illusions that make a flat floor appear as a bumpy surface.

Brian Lowdermilk Accompanies Cabaret By Junior Music Theater Ensemble

Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama: On Sunday, Oct. 15, the junior Music Theater Ensemble presented Holding On, a cabaret from the repertoire of Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk at the CLO Cabaret at Theater Square in downtown Pittsburgh. They were joined by Lowdermilk who accompanied the performance.

Lili Reinhart Sexual Harassment: Full Story & Must-See Details

collegecandy.com: While it’s great to know that we can come forward about crimes against women, it doesn’t make the act itself any easier to swallow. If anything, the staggering amount of confessions has only made it clear how prevalant and pervasive rape culture really is.

Following the news of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart recently revealed her own heartbreaking story regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. At the time of the incident, she was only a teenager.

Facebook May Go For LinkedIn’s Jugular With New Resumé Features

Consumerist: While Facebook is, by far, the dominant “social” networking site, it’s rarely used for professional networking. Instead, people go to places like Microsoft’s LinkedIn when it comes time to look for a job or just put their resumés out there. But in Facebook’s quest to be all things to all users, it is testing new features that mimic much of what you’d see on LinkedIn.

Jeff Awards to present Steve Scott with Special Jeff Award for outreach, creativity on Nov. 6

www.chicagolandmusicaltheatre.com: The Jeff Awards announced today that Steve Scott will be presented with a Special Jeff Award at the Equity awards ceremony to be held on November 6th at Drury Lane Oakbrook. Mr. Scott will be honored for his career achievements that have inspired artistic collaboration, educational outreach and demonstrated dramatic creativity for more than 37 years.

Local teen left partially blind after buying costume contacts at Gibraltar Trade Center

WXYZ.com: A St. Clair Shores teen was left partially blind in one eye after wearing a pair of costume contacts. A month later, the Lakeview High School senior faces possible surgery.

“I wish I never did it, to be honest,” said Leah Carpenter.

It was supposed to be part of a fun Halloween costume the for 17-year-old and her powder puff team. All of the girls were dressing up as zombies with creepy contact lenses.

Monday, October 16, 2017

the zero house is an attempt to meet the highest goals in sustainable building

www.designboom.com: zero house is a collaboration between the endeavour centre and ryerson university, in which students and faculty create a model building (one unit of a stackable townhouse design) that meets the highest goals in sustainable building. using a wide range of natural and minimally-processed or recycled materials, zero house provides its occupants with a zero energy bill, as the solar electricity generated on the roof (using unique BiPVco adhesive solar modules) fully offsets the building’s energy usage.

Harvey Weinstein’s biggest enabler: a culture that says sexual harassment is how the world works.

www.slate.com: Over the past six days, more than 28 allegations of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct have been made public. According to the women who’ve come forward, the A-list producer has spent more than three decades pressuring women into sex in exchange for jobs, exposing himself at one-on-one work meetings, groping aspiring models, making women watch him masturbate, and forcing sex acts on young actresses without their consent.

What It's Really Like to Be a Woman in Entertainment

The Mary Sue: These frank testimonials may ring familiar with women in many other industries, too. Yesterday, a Facebook friend of mine who works in film and TV production began a thread that prompted, “being a woman in the entertainment industry is …” and then she and her friends and colleagues began to fill in the blanks in the comments.

The Fall of Toxic Masculinity and the Rise of Feminine Consciousness

Chaz's Journal | Roger Ebert: WE WOULD ALL LIKE TO BELIEVE that the "casting couch" in Hollywood had vanished over time as a relic of a less-enlightened age. People in the entertainment industry, particularly certain men in power, minimized this tradition of abuse, likening it to a rite of passage. But as a former lawyer who has handled sexual harassment cases, I can affirm that this "ritual" of men in power taking advantage of the powerless and vulnerable with unwanted sexual advances or unpermitted touching and verbal and physical abuse is entirely unacceptable and illegal, and in some cases constitutes criminal sexual assault.

How costumers are using cosplay to overcome disabilities

The Verge: One of the most beautiful things about New York Comic Con this past weekend was the diverse array of attendees at the four-day celebration. New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center and its surrounding streets were filled with children, senior citizens, couples, families, seasoned cosplayers, self-proclaimed “blerds” (a portmanteau for “black nerds”), and everyone in between. It was hard to not be moved by the inclusive nature of the event, where thousands of people came to express their fandom for whatever character or property they identify with, whether that meant simply watching the crowd, or arriving in elaborate costumes they crafted themselves.

They Don't Make Theatre Sets Like they Used To

www.messynessychic.com: Just take a look at that stage from the Broadway debut of George Gershwin’s groundbreaking opera “Porgy and Bess” in 1935. On the rare occasion that I take myself to the theatre these days, what I look forward to seeing the most is always the set. I find myself willing the show to keeping moving on to the next act just so I can start inspecting the new set change. And you can imagine my disappointment when the curtains open and the production has decided to go with an abstract, minimalist, “modern interpretation” of the set.

Mayim Bialik: Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein’s World

NYTimes.com: I entered the Hollywood machine in 1986 as a prominent-nosed, awkward, geeky, Jewish 11-year-old — basically a scrawnier version of the person I am today. Back then we didn’t have the internet or social media or reality TV, but I didn’t need any of that to understand that I didn’t look or act like other girls in my industry, and that I was immersing myself in a business that rewarded physical beauty and sex appeal above all else.

Harvey Weinstein Is Gone. But Hollywood Still Has a Problem.

NYTimes.com: When I read the recent allegations that Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed women for decades, I thought — well, of course. Mr. Weinstein was a famously swaggering bully, and while I hadn’t heard about the specific charges of sexual abuse by women working for him, such behavior fits the movie industry’s pervasive, unrepentant exploitation of women. And then on Tuesday, The New Yorker revealed that three women, including the Italian actress-turned-director Asia Argento, said that “Weinstein raped them.”

MoonArk To Be Unveiled at Thrival Festival

www.cmu.edu/news: After nine years and the work of over 300 people, the MoonArk will be unveiled at the Thrival Innovation & Music Festival on Thursday, Sept. 28. It will then be on display in multiple venues before it heads to the moon in 2019.

It Took a Village to Pull Off Harvey Weinstein’s Reign of Terror

www.thedailybeast.com: Harvey Weinstein is scum. An entire thesaurus of results for words like “monster” and “predator” aren’t enough to describe his gross abuse of power and manipulation of women, which Ronan Farrow’s just-published investigation in The New Yorker reveals includes the alleged rape of at least three women.

In other words, the scope and depravity of Harvey Weinstein’s behavior is wider and more horrible than we thought.

NJ Paper Turns In Lukewarm Review for Springsteen On Broadway

www.ticketnews.com: Of all the places in the world to pass off an unkind word about “The Boss”, the last one you’d expect would be the local press in New Jersey – his home state and base of adoration stemming from his start on its northern shore.

But that’s just what we got this week, when Bobby Oliver turned in his opinion on an early staging of Bruce Springsteen’s “Springsteen On Broadway” show at the Walter Kerr Theater – which has already made millions in its limited run.

Midnight Rider Case: CSX Wants New Trial; Sarah Jones Family Fights It

Deadline: CSX is asking for a new trial after losing a civil case this past summer to the parents of Sarah Jones who was killed on a GA train trestle in 2014 while filming the Greg Allman biopic Midnight Rider, and the deceased camera assistant’s family filed a brief earlier this week to try to stop it.

“I Won’t Be In On Monday” at Off the Wall Productions

The Pittsburgh Tatler: Anne Stockton’s new one-woman show I Won’t Be In On Monday, which is receiving its world premiere at Off the Wall, might best be described as a character study, albeit one that requires a little detective work to uncover. When we first meet Stockton’s character, Nikki, she presents herself as a competent and poised professional – well-dressed, articulate, and charming. But as the play progresses, we get clues that she is not fully what she seems, and by play’s end the person before us bears little resemblance to the woman we first met.

Extra Sensory: Crafting Autism-Friendly Performances

AMERICAN THEATRE: When, in 2014, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte staged Jennifer Overton’s Spelling 2-5-5, a play about a boy and his brother, who is on the autism spectrum, the production brought up questions within the organization about how to authentically portray a character on the autism spectrum onstage, how to bring families with children on the spectrum to the show, and how to create the best theatregoing experience for all. That production sparked the North Carolina theatre’s initiative to present one sensory-friendly performance for each of its mainstage productions, starting in 2016 with A Year With Frog and Toad.

Reworked Version of Little Shop of Horrors, From Ellen Greene and Frank Oz, Blocked Due to Rights Issues

Playbill: In a candid interview for Entertainment Weekly, Ellen Greene reveals that she and Frank Oz, who directed Greene in the 1986 film version of Little Shop of Horrors, had been working on a script that would blend the original 1982 stage version and the aforementioned motion picture.

Sarah Polley: The Men You Meet Making Movies

NYTimes.com: One day, when I was 19 years old, I was in the middle of a photo shoot for a Miramax film when I was suddenly told it was time to leave. I was wearing a little black dress, showing a lot of cleavage, lying seductively on my side and looking slyly at the camera. The part I had played in the movie, “Guinevere,” could not have been more removed from this pose. My character was an awkward girl, bumbling, in fact, who wore sweatshirts and jeans, and had little sense of her sexual power. But this was how they were going to sell the movie, and at a certain point, I was tired of being a problem, which is how a female actor is invariably treated whenever she points out that she is being objectified or not respected.

Mabou Mines, Still Unpinnable, but Soon With a Fixed Address

AMERICAN THEATRE: Homecomings rarely happen in the theatre world, especially after an four-year-plus hiatus. But this fall Mabou Mines defies the odds: The venerable theatre company returns to its longtime home base, a space, now renovated and expanded, in the East Village of Manhattan’s cultural hub, 122 Community Center (122CC).

Sunday, October 15, 2017

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

Here are the top five comment generating posts of the past week:

Going to the Theatre Has Been Ruined for Me

OnStage Blog: This may be an extreme statement, but don’t worry-it’s not the actors or the directors, designers, playwrights or producers that have failed me. Imagine this scene: you’ve taken off an evening of work to go see a Broadway show. You’ve been waiting for weeks to have the time and the money to burn on a show you’ve been dying to see. You arrive at the theater a few minutes early, take time to use the restroom, chat with your date for the evening, check out the theater, or read a snippet of the playbill. At 8:00, the omnipresent voice announces to turn off all cell phones and refrain from unwrapping food or other disturbing noises. You oblige, quickly turn off your phone, sit back and eagerly anticipate the excitement that the next two hours will bring.

Beyond the Curtain: Dreaming Up the Magic with Disney Cruise Line

Disney Parks Blog: As we prepare to debut our newest stage spectacular, “Beauty and the Beast,” aboard the Disney Dream this November, I want to give you an all-access pass behind the curtain to see how we create our elaborate Broadway-style shows at sea. Let me just say, it takes a whole lot of pixie dust and some big dreamers to make these productions happen.

The Art of Blinky Business Cards

Hackaday: Business cards are stuck somewhere between antiquity and convenience. On one hand, we have very convenient paperless solutions for contact swapping including Bluetooth, NFC, and just saying, “Hey, put your number into my phone, please.” On the other hand, holding something from another person is a more personal and memorable exchange. I would liken this to the difference between an eBook and a paperback. One is supremely convenient while the other is tactile. There’s a reason business cards have survived longer than the Rolodex.

A New Study Looks at the Logic Behind Colors

Big Think: If you met someone from a few hundred years ago and started rattling off the names of colors you saw around you, odds are he or she would be baffled. Some of these would be colors the other person had never heard of. It’s not that the hues have appeared only recently — it’s just that they hadn’t been named, and thus lacked an identity.

Production Design Artists Debate Hand Versus Computer Drafting

Variety: Much is written about the enormous impact of technology in such film disciplines as cinematography and visual effects, but production design has also been hugely affected. One of the big issues these days within art departments is balancing traditional hand drafting with computer drafting.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Art of Blinky Business Cards

Hackaday: Business cards are stuck somewhere between antiquity and convenience. On one hand, we have very convenient paperless solutions for contact swapping including Bluetooth, NFC, and just saying, “Hey, put your number into my phone, please.” On the other hand, holding something from another person is a more personal and memorable exchange. I would liken this to the difference between an eBook and a paperback. One is supremely convenient while the other is tactile. There’s a reason business cards have survived longer than the Rolodex.

Side Show

Pittsburgh in the Round: Huge ensemble casts were a hallmark of 1930s theatre, which was largely driven by government funding of the Federal Theatre Project as part of the Works Progress Administration. A cast of 30 clearly generated more employment opportunity than a cast of 4, so large ensembles became the norm. While the musical Side Show was first performed in 1997, it is set in the 1930s. It nods to its Depression-era contemporaries with 25 characters, which Split Stage Productions fills with a cast of 19, still a sizable commitment by today’s standards where the one-man show reigns supreme as economic safeguard. Side Show (book and lyrics by Bill Russell, music by Henry Krieger) traces the career trajectory from sideshow to vaudeville of real-life conjoined twins, Daisy and Violet Hilton.

U.K. Industry Slams Harvey Weinstein, Calls for Gender Parity

Variety: The British Film Institute and Women in Film & TV industry group weighed in Wednesday on the Harvey Weinstein scandal, describing it as an appalling consequence of the lack of gender parity in the entertainment world. British government culture secretary Karen Bradley said the accusations against the legendary Hollywood producer were “very disturbing.”

Beyond the Curtain: Dreaming Up the Magic with Disney Cruise Line

Disney Parks Blog: As we prepare to debut our newest stage spectacular, “Beauty and the Beast,” aboard the Disney Dream this November, I want to give you an all-access pass behind the curtain to see how we create our elaborate Broadway-style shows at sea. Let me just say, it takes a whole lot of pixie dust and some big dreamers to make these productions happen.

Will Recent Court Rulings Endanger the Future of Biopics and Documentaries?

Hollywood Reporter: Thanks to two recent judicial decisions, appeals courts will be grappling with issues that could impact the future of biopics, documentaries and maybe even journalism. As a result, Hollywood studios, press organizations and others are coming out in force to warn of consequences.

“Equus” at the Pittsburgh Public Theater

The Pittsburgh Tatler: What is it about our current Zeitgeist that brings a play like Equus back into the repertoire? The play had a run on Broadway a few years back, with Daniel Radcliffe in the role of Alan Strang, the disturbed young man who blinds six horses, and it is now playing at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, featuring Spencer T. Hamp as Strang and Daniel Krell as the psychologist Martin Dysart, who is tasked with figuring out why Strang committed that brutal act.

Two Designers Built a Website to Combat the Lack of Diversity in Creative Fields

www.artsy.net: On September 26th, New York-based designers Amélie Lamont and Timothy Goodman took to Twitter to announce their newest passion project: People of Craft, an online directory of creative professionals of color—from artists to writers, entrepreneurs to creative directors.

Lamont tweeted her personal goals for the project, stringing together a series of 140-character messages that resembled a mission statement: “As a person of color, I find that we often get placed into boxes. These boxes end up defining how people think of us,” she wrote.

Circus Arts, a Robot Petting Zoo, and a Fire-Breathing Dragon Meet at Maker Faire Pittsburgh

makezine.com: The great city of Pittsburgh is gearing up to host the sixth annual Maker Faire Pittsburgh this weekend, on October 14 and 15, at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, an institution who has been leading the charge in promoting hands-on STEAM education for kids. Last year, the Faire, which is free to the public, hosted 206 makers and roughly 8,200 attendees. This year, 250 makers of diverse backgrounds and areas of interest are preparing to share what they make with the community.

Shutterstock uses machine learning to let you search images based on composition

The Verge: Plenty of companies are taking advantage of machine learning to tag and search visual content. Pinterest lets you find visually-similar images in order to track down that recipe or jacket you’re looking for, and Pornhub is using machine learning to automatically identify porn stars in videos. Stock image company Shutterstock, though, has developed one of the more novel implementations of this sort of technology: using machine learning to identify the layout of images.

Moving forward after Weinstein: How to build a better culture

Seed&Spark: I've been asked to speak about the problems. It's time to talk about solutions.

Another titan of our industry fell from grace this week. But we would do the entire entertainment industry a disservice to call these a few bad actors (rimshot). The Hollywood power dynamics that have allowed predators to ‘hide’ in plain site have been laid bare. These incidents are the perfect script in three acts about the Hollywood power dynamic.

Rock Solid Security: ‘There Will Be A Change’

Pollstar: While the security industry has been shaken by the nightmare that transpired at Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, W.B. “Bart” Butler, president/CEO of Rock Solid Security in Nashville, says the industry will definitely change, but it will take some time.

Eight Plays a Week

Theatre Development Fund – TDF: I have a habit of reviewing in bulk. I started out, back in the pre-digital era, as a restaurant critic. I'm happy to report that covering theatre is a lot less caloric. But I've retained a disconcerting tendency to go whole hog. Call it completism, if you will. I suffer from a certain perverse perfectionism: I just don't feel qualified to pass judgment on any particular enterprise until I've done my best to study the entire field -- even at the risk of overtaxing my appetite.

Harvey Weinstein And Predatory Men In The Arts

Essence.com: I started acting in theatre when I was 14 in Chicago. The idea of playing make-believe as a professional career was intoxicating. It was a much needed escape and a place where I could find my voice as an artist. It was also a place where the whisperings about unwanted advances from men who held any type of power ran rampant.

When Two Men Fall in Love on the Ballet Stage, and Why It Matters

The New York Times: Two men run across the stage in sweeping circles until one stops the other by pressing a palm into his chest. They lock eyes. Then the second melts backward into the arms of the first.

Lauren Lovette created this lush pas de deux for Taylor Stanley and Preston Chamblee in her sweeping, romantic ballet “Not Our Fate,” and the effect was startling and wonderful. A pas de deux — a dance for two — is usually about love and usually between a man and a woman. But here were two men, not incidentally men of color, in a tender, athletic display of desire.

Billboard's 2017 Arena Power Players

Billboard: For concert venue executives, the world changed in 2017 when a suicide bomber killed 22 outside of England’s Manchester Arena on May 22, and when a gunman took at least 58 lives at a festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1. Venue managers can sum up new security precautions in one word: more.

Giving New Play Development the College Try

AMERICAN THEATRE: On a sweltering night in early June, a group assembled at the Labyrinth Theater Company in New York City for a reading of Micheline Auger’s #Love95Times. As friends greeted each other and everyone made their way to their seats, they watched as prominent stage actors, including Daphne Rubin-Vega, walked up onstage to sit side by side with young college students, who gasped upon seeing who’d just shown up to occupy the space beside them. Someone remarked the two groups on the stage were like “the Jets and the Sharks”; the crowd laughed.

Library trolls copyright zealots by naming collection after Sonny Bono

Ars Technica: The Internet Archive is an online library known for pushing the boundaries of copyright law to promote public access to obscure works, including classic video games and historic images. Now the organization is taking advantage of a little-noticed provision of the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act to publish complete copies of out-of-print books published between 1923 and 1941. The group hopes that the move will inspire other libraries to follow its lead, making hundreds of thousands of books from the mid-20th Century available for download.