CMU School of Drama

Friday, January 18, 2019

Bandersnatch is just the start – the next big thing in interactive media is AI storytelling The fifth Black Mirror season – made up of a single episode called “Bandersnatch” – represents the latest mainstream offering in interactive storytelling. Released in December 2018 by Netflix in a choose-your-own-adventure format, Bandersnatch allows viewers to make decisions at various junctures – these choices then determine the story path down which the episode proceeds.

The Spectator Between Productive Participation And Narcissism In Punchdrunk’s Immersive Theatre

The Theatre Times: We all probably agree that the theatre is by nature “immersive” and that–since the days of the dithyrambs sung and danced in honor of Dionysus–the involvement of the spectator is one of its main purposes.

However, in the last decade, and particularly in England, the Immersive Theatre has become an effective theatrical genre. The spectator’s interactivity and participation, the use of technological and digital devices, the preference for unconventional spaces as well as the simultaneity of the scenes and therefore the disinterestedness in the philological interpretation of the dramatic text, are some of the main characteristics of this new theatrical art form.

Seamless Printed Digital Artwork at Montclair Art Museum Ben Jones’s mural Envision Empower Embrace is based on selected imagery from his recent paintings which address events related to social justice, climate change, and environmental disasters. The central image of a fish framing renowned jazz singer and political activist Nina Simone harkens back to Ben Jones’s commemorative painting Nina Simone High Priestess of Soul (1972).

Point Source Audio Sounding Board: Video on Customizing the EMBRACE Mic for Better Concealment

Stage Directions: One of the challenges that face both designers and technicians is how to hide a microphone on an actor. In their hair or in their costume; there weren’t a lot of good solutions to this challenge, until Point Source Audio created its EMBRACE™ Earmount microphone solution. As a customizable mic’ing solution that is engineered for concealing, EMBRACE has earned praise from end-users, as well as two patents from the U.S. Patent Office.

Come Expecting a Celebration, Not a Show

Theatre Development Fund – TDF: Diana Oh is throwing a bash and everyone is invited. On Friday and Saturday evenings at Brooklyn's Bushwick Starr, the genre-busting, fourth-wall-smashing performance artist hosts The Infinite Love Party, an immersive shindig with a picnic-style potluck dinner, a deejay and dancing, aphrodisiac tea and finger painting, and a variety of eccentric merrymaking. Just be sure to BYOB -- that's bring your own blanket because yes, sleeping over is an option.

Backstage with Fight Director Randy Kovitz

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper: What do you do? First job is to keep the actors safe. Second job is to make sure the story is told and create the director’s vision in a way that is dynamic and interesting and actable.

American Shakespeare Theater

After the Final Curtain: The American Shakespeare Theatre opened on July 12, 1955 in Stratford, CT. Construction of the building began in 1954, and cost $1 million or $9.3 million when adjusted for inflation. It was commissioned by the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre and Academy (ASFTA), which was formed by Lawrence Langner, a co-founder of The Theatre Guild. Langner formed the ASFTA to create American interpretations of William Shakespeare’s plays in Connecticut.

After five years, theater-centric online magazine Pittsburgh in the Round is growing

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper: A couple years ago, George Hoover began cutting down his work hours and planning for retirement. He'd spent his life working in different corners of the arts and entertainment industry: as a lighting designer for stage productions in Florida after college; as a co-producer for jazz concerts on public television in New Jersey; as the technology officer at the Pittsburgh-based NEP Group, which provides technical and production support for broadcasts like the Olympics and Oscars. But after decades in the industry and three Emmys to his name, Hoover was ready for his second act and he had an idea. He loved theater and wanted to create a centralized location online for listings, reviews, and news focused entirely on stage productions in Pittsburgh.

In Search of Authenticity

HowlRound Theatre Commons: As a wheelchair user, Belluso, who died in 2006, wrote complex and richly nuanced plays that defied the dominant disability narrative of “extraordinary-individual-who-overcomes-personal-tragedy.” Instead, he provided a critical examination of how American society treats individuals with disabilities. Resisting the commercial desire for these stories to be inspirational, Belluso’s work challenges audiences to view disability as an experience shaped by socially constructed notions.

New Streaming Platform Threatens to Disrupt Theatre Business New musicals might soon be aiming to appear on the screen instead of the stage.

After growing frustrated with the business of Broadway, a team of determined theatre professionals set out to establish a new paradigm for the creation and presentation of musicals. Their new company, Streaming Musicals, films and distributes new shows across the globe in 4K resolution for less than what a Broadway show spends on marketing each month.

How ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Recreated The 1950s Catskills, According To The Women Behind The Scenes The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's appeal is manifold. Though aspiring standup comedian Midge can get pretty far on charisma alone, the show's sumptuous attention to the period detail of 1950s New York City and eye-popping, stylized world-building has brought it a layer of prestige sheen not seen since the midcentury modern delights of Mad Men. But in Season 2, creator Amy Sherman-Palladino wanted to go bigger, bringing the signature heightened aesthetic of Mrs. Maisel to two new locations — Paris and the Catskills.

Simulation Training: Action Director Lawrence Ribeiro on Exercises That Help Prepare for Stunts

Filmmaker Magazine: Due to the speed and the nature of stunts and my overall point of view (shooting with the intent of making the images visceral or dynamic), I have come up with some exercises.

Scenarios, locales, speeds and context of the story will dictate how I train. Sometimes you need a supply of guts, sometimes you need to overcome your fears, but the truth of the matter is that my feet rarely touch the ground when shooting. It’s more mental than physical, as a few close calls can throw you off your game.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Health Implications and Safety Tips for Desktop 3D Printing When we think of 3D printing, thoughts of medical advancements and manufactured parts for cars and airplanes come to mind. It’s a groundbreaking technology that’s only becoming more popular – and more accessible in non-industrial environments like offices and schools. In 2018, the industry experienced 21 percent growth and has exceeded $7 billion, according to Forbes.

Removed Billboard Message Becomes New Public-Art Initiative

90.5 WESA: The phrase “There Are Black People In The Future” has a new future.  The words sparked public debate last year when a landlord ordered them removed from a billboard art project in East Liberty, leading to accusations of censorship and racism. But the text lives on in a unique public-art initiative.

The project is an Artwork-in-Residence, a play on the familiar “artist-in-residence.” Grants of $1,200 each will be given to 10 applicants for proposals to use the text in performances, classroom experiences or other creative ways.

'BIM to AR' comes to the masses

Building Design + Construction: Extended reality (XR) is in a unique phase of its life cycle. The technology is readily available for anyone and everyone who thinks they can do something with it. And for better or worse, it is anyone and everyone who thinks they can do something with it.

New applications for AR and VR are more ubiquitous than superhero movies. Unfortunately, they are just as vapid. The trick with XR is to shift it from novelty to necessity, and the AEC industry has proven to be the one that offers the best opportunity to do exactly that.

Ask Jonah: Answering Reader Questions About Direct (DI) Boxes

ProSoundWeb: Passive DIs provide complete signal isolation due to their transformer and can operate without a power source. Active DIs need power (generally either phantom or batteries), can supply gain to the signal, and can have an extremely high input impedance, which is a must for certain sources such as piezos.

The 7 Habits of Successful Project Managers There’s a hugely successful book that you’ve probably heard of and may have read called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

It identifies seven habits that can help people be more effective in personal and professional environments. But what habits apply specifically to successful project managers?

10 Creators On When They Knew They Had to Make a Change in Their Careers

Adobe 99U: Change is inevitable. Without it, we would cease to exist. It is happening every day, in imperceptible ways and major milestones that alter the course of everything, like getting married, switching careers, and having children.

But sometimes you need to seek out change. You are in a slump, feeling uninspired, unhappy, or stuck. It is during these times that the changes we make – subtle or large – often have the biggest impact on our lives. So we asked 10 creatives, from creative directors to photographers, what change they made in their life and what impact it has had on their work.

27 Free Alternatives to Adobe's Expensive App Subscriptions Adobe appears to have upset a number of users with another price increase for its app subscriptions. While the hit only appears to be targeting specific countries at this point—you’re spared, North American users—there’s no reason to think that you won’t have to pay more to subscribe to an Adobe app (or its whole suite of creative apps) at some future point. That’s business, folks.

Las Vegas chapel by Joshua Vides features line-drawn details Graphic designer and visual artist Joshua Vides has created a chapel in a Las Vegas hotel, for couples to tie the knot in an "Instagram-worthy" setting.

Vides' 800-square-foot (74.3-square-metre) installation is erected at the Palms Casino Resort. From 18 January 2019, it will be available to hire for wedding ceremonies, vow renewals and accompanying photos.

Naked & Unafraid: Everything You Need to Know About Dancing Nude

Dance Magazine: Sebastian Abarbanell remembers being asked as an undergrad at Trinity Laban in London to perform wearing only a dance belt. "I said no," he says, "because I felt uncomfortable." Now a performer with Sidra Bell Dance New York, he's performed partially nude several times, without reservation. The difference? "It comes with more experience and maturing as a dancer," he says. "When you see a dancer living in their skin, you don't need to put anything else on them. When I said no in college, I wasn't in my skin yet."

Plastics: Acrylic

Hackaday: If anything ends up on the beds of hobbyist-grade laser cutters more often than birch plywood, it’s probably sheets of acrylic. There’s something strangely satisfying about watching a laser beam trace over a sheet of the crystal-clear stuff, vaporizing a hairs-breadth line while it goes, and (hopefully) leaving a flame-polished cut in its wake.

Lady Gaga's Vegas Residency reveals an eye-popping TAIT Spectacle Art-Pop legend, Lady Gaga, takes fans back to her roots in spectacular fashion for her Las Vegas Residency at MGM’s Park Theater. Lady Gaga’s Vegas Residency is a two-year stint and offers two distinct experiences, “Enigma” and “Jazz & Piano,” that will make Sin City’s little monsters go Gaga! Lady Gaga’s show, Enigma, is a full theatrical production that follows a dramatic, video game-like narrative and transforms Park Theater into an animatronic world of Gaga’s overactive imagination.

Four fixes for Chicago theater's diversity problem Chicago is a third white, a third black and a third Hispanic, more or less. So why doesn't its theater industry—widely recognized as being in the national vanguard—reflect that diversity? An October survey by union Actors Equity revealed that white actors are cast far more often and make far more money than actors of color. Leadership at the city's biggest theaters—Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Second City, Drury Lane, Marriott, Paramount, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Broadway in Chicago and Northlight—is predominantly white and male.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Vertical Dance Projections of Substratum During Substratum, a 25-minute show, five aerialists danced across the side of a building, weaving through realtime projections along the massive canvas. Full Tilt produced and choreographed this vertical dance performance with video content designed and created by Limbic Cinema and a soundtrack produced by Lu Records.

Review: Sling Studio Multi-camera Broadcasting Platform

Church Production Magazine: In the last decade the outlook of the live production landscape has been shaped in monumental ways. There were a half dozen products that were ground breaking, game changing innovations that altered the scene of the video world. Because of these cutting edge products, the price of production has come down--$5,000-$10,000 couldn’t buy you things you can now get for less than $1,000. This is great news for churches, because adding production value now doesn’t have to be a budget busting event.

The Most Dangerous Tools in America

Porch: From hammers to hacksaws, the tools of home improvement can turn dangerous quickly if misused. For novices and experts alike, a lapse in focus or preparation can have painful consequences—leaving the homeowner hurt and the project half-finished. Still, the risks of home improvement haven't dimmed DIY enthusiasm, with millennials particularly eager to attempt their own upgrades. If you have your heart set on getting handy, you'll need to know which tools are most likely to cause injury and which common accidents to avoid.

L.A. Teachers’ Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents

Variety: Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students.

More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane Austin among the speakers in support of the United Teachers of Los Angeles.

How Prisoners Brought 'Death of a Salesman' to Life

The Marshall Project: I went to a play the other night. Selected scenes from “Death of a Salesman,” in a men’s prison, with an all-male cast. It was terrible and hilarious, and beautiful. There were no costumes, save for a towel tucked into one guy’s shorts to simulate a skirt. The props, meanwhile, were an unintentionally eclectic hodgepodge of the few things a prisoner can get his hands on. Mugs became telephones; soap dishes housed imaginary cigarettes; the lid of a box made for a passable grave marker. There were various levels of talent, or lack thereof, though everyone tried their best.

"Crime In Maadi": A Notable Revival Of Commercial Theatre In Egypt

The Theatre Times: Directed by the famous comedy actor Ashraf Abdel-Baky, Crime In Maadi play surpasses any revival attempts in recent memory as it staged on the Rihany Theatre.

The Rihany Theatre has looked gorgeous since it came back to life, resurrecting the history of Emadeddin Street and attracting spectators from all walks of life to the old neighborhood of entertainment and theatre.

2018 In Russian Art And Culture: Best Theatre

The Theatre Times: 2018 was an amazing year for the events related to Russian art and culture all over the world. And RA+C took an active role in bringing all the details, announcements, interviews, reviews and opinions to our readers. Let’s look back and reflect on some of the best theatre performances.

When a Conventional Choreographic Approach Won't Work

Theatre Development Fund – TDF: How do you create choreography for a subtle story about human connection? That's what Patrick McCollum had to figure out when he was brought on to add movement to The Band's Visit, an intimate, character-driven musical about an Egyptian military band that gets stranded overnight in a small Israeli town. McCollum joined the creative team during the musical's Off-Broadway premiere at the Atlantic Theater Company, and he knew from the outset that conventional musical theatre dance wasn't going to work.

Dark Times: British Theatre After Brexit

The Theatre Times: The UK Referendum vote to leave the European Union — Brexit — took place on 23 June 2016, and the result was a triumph of the irrational over reason. Of course, I am conscious that it is unfair for somebody like me — an ardent European — to characterize those who voted to Leave as unreasoning and deluded. After all, I’m a white middle-class man in full employment and living in Lambeth (the London borough which recorded the highest proportion of people in the country voting to Remain in the EU).

In 'Lab' Strike Against B'way, Is Actors' Equity Overreaching? Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the nation’s largest union for theater actors and stage managers, authorized a strike recently against the Broadway League, the trade association for commercial theater in NYC and beyond. The dispute largely concerns the Developmental Lab Agreement that is often used to workshop new musicals, plus other contracts and guidelines (“Workshop Agreement,” “Staged Reading”) used by League producers to try out new material. AEA members are now barred from working for League producers who want to hire them under any of these agreements. AEA’s famous “Do Not Work” list displays the names of these producers.

KLANG adds Extra Dimension to Jeff Wayne’s The War of the World

TPi: Composer Jeff Wayne’s War of The Worlds, a symphonic, progressive rock retelling of the H.G. Wells Classic, was released in 1978 and has since sold millions of copies around the world. The first album to be recorded on 48 tracks, it featured a number of high profile musicians including Justin Hayward, Phil Lynott, Julie Covington and David Essex, as well as the voice of legendary Welsh actor Richard Burton.

Microsoft removes Forza dances amid Fortnite lawsuits

Ars Technica: Forza Horizon 4 no longer features two dance emotes—the Carlton and the Floss—which were previously available for use by in-game avatars. The removal is listed under the "Other Improvements" section in the notes for the game's Series 5 update, which launched yesterday with a new online adventure playlist and new Mitsubishi cars for the game, among other changes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

LIVE: TAIT Talks Operational Efficiency, Collaboration + Leadership This talk features Sam Brown, Sr. Director of North American Operations at TAIT. He came to TAIT from Boeing South Carolina, 787 Final Assembly & Delivery and has worked in operations for 13 years. Sam also spent 10 years in the US Air Force.

Tech Topic: Coherence & Reverberation

ProSoundWeb: Coherence is a common feature found on many analyzers that enables us to distinguish signal from noise. It will indicate whether you’re measuring a loudspeaker or, for example, a moving light.

Coherence is subject to change. One of the aspects involved, among others, that we’ll explore in-depth is the relationship between the direct sound of a loudspeaker in a room and the room’s reverberation.

L.A. Teachers Strike: Teamsters Urged To Honor Picket Lines As Hollywood Jump In

Deadline: Teamsters Local 399 is urging its members to honor the striking Los Angeles teachers’ picket lines, which could disrupt plans for filming on campuses at local schools, which have long been favorite locations for film and TV shoots. “Honor the picket line!” the union says on its website.

“They’re sometimes compared to superheroes”: Why we all owe a debt to project managers

CityMetric: It’s highly likely that you recognise the building in the picture at the top of this page. The Sydney Opera House is, after all, one of the most famous structures in the world. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, it attracts over 8m visitors a year and provides a massive boost to the Australian economy. Opened 45 years ago in October 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II, its iconic design of enormous precast concrete shells has won numerous prizes and UNESCO World Heritage site status.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Jig Saw 2737-21 Review

Pro Tool Reviews: We’ve been making a lot of sawdust as we review the latest generation of jig saws from the big names. These saws differentiate themselves by more than just a battery platform. Today, it’s the new Milwaukee M18 Fuel Jig Saw’s turn to show us its stuff. Let’s see what it has to offer.

Why video games are made of tiny triangles

YouTube: Games today are meticulously detailed. They’re mysterious and heartwarming, and colorful and stylized. And that makes them a technical challenge. Though computing power has skyrocketed, gamemakers keep competing to add more detail to their games, pushing the limits of what even the newest technology can compute. Game technology needs to constantly keep up with gamemakers’ creative ambitions.

"The Hindu" Notes On 2018 Indian Musicals

The Theatre Times: If broadsheets and banners are to be taken into account, this has been another fertile year for Indian musical spectaculars that have, for all appearances, packed them in with ticket rates that might rival those on the West End. On the heels of 2015’s Beauty And The Beast, Disney brought us an all-Indian production of Aladdin, directed by Shruti Sharma, that stays true to the international franchise in letter and spirit, with some departures—a Hindi-speaking Genie, for instance.

Saving the Day and the American Theater: A Review of PAW Patrol Live! at The Chicago Theatre

Newcity Stage: “Is that about dogs?” a woman coming down the stairs behind me from the State/Lake train stop said to her travel companion Sunday evening, suspiciously eying the exclamatory “PAW Patrol Live!” on the historic Chicago Theatre marquee. Is it about dogs ma’am? Dogs?!

FAA considers letting drones fly over crowds

The Verge: The Federal Aviation Administration is considering loosening its restrictions and allowing drones to be flown over crowds. The proposals, which were first unveiled on Monday, introduce three categories for drones, with varying restrictions on how they could be flown over people. In addition, flying drones at night, which is currently only allowed with explicit permission from the FAA, would be allowed if the drone is equipped with anti-collision lighting and if the pilot completes special training.

“This Was Like Designing for Six Different Leads and Six Different Backgrounds”: Costume Designer Mary Zophres on The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Filmmaker Magazine: Joel and Ethan Coen have been making films for over 30 years now and, since the mid-1990s, costume designer Mary Zophres has been a key part of creating their distinct aesthetic worlds. Working consistently with the fraternal directing team, Zophres has provided some iconic looks, among them the puffy jackets of Fargo (1996), The Dude’s sweater and bathrobe in The Big Lebowski (1997), and the prison garb of O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), to name just a few.

How the era of the remote worker complicates management New York-based startup Muck Rack is a team of 50 people who can work from home whenever they want. About one-third of the company’s team is based outside New York and therefore, always remote. CEO Greg Galant says he set Muck Rack up to be a completely remote company, meaning that if the startup’s building burned down tomorrow, business would go on as usual the next day.

How Billy Porter Is Breaking Barriers With His Red Carpet Style It's been a fabulous couple of weeks for Billy Porter. Kicking the year off with a slew of nominations for his role as Pray Tell on the groundbreaking FX series, Pose, the Tony Award-winning actor is bringing his best to the world stage. Though he didn't walk away with a trophy at the 76th annual Golden Globes last week, the revered actor is using his growing visibility to affect change beyond his roles on screen. "I keep saying I’m just grateful that I lived long enough to see this day where our stories are front and center and I get to be a part of it," Porter said after his Globes nomination.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Men still dominate top theater jobs. Here's how that hurts women.

Chicago Tribune: Oscar nominations will be announced in a couple of weeks. If history holds, the gender inequality in Hollywood will be on full display once again. But film is not the only medium where a marked gender gap persists.
I’ll be starting rehearsals soon at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago for a new play I wrote. I’ve been writing plays for 36 years, but this will be the first time I have worked exclusively with women. The cast is comprised entirely of women. The director is a woman. The scenic, lighting and costume designers are women. This is no accident. It is by design.

'Hamilton' opens in Puerto Rico with emotional performance by Lin-Manuel Miranda: 'I just love this island so much'

Chicago Tribune: With his body draped in the Puerto Rican flag, his emotions struggling to get through the song titled “Hurricane” and his presence celebrated all across San Juan, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda returned to the role of Alexander Hamilton on Friday night on the island of his beloved father’s birth, revealing stronger vocal technique and deeper on-stage emotions, while also raising some $15 million toward a Puerto Rican post-hurricane renaissance in just three weeks of sold-out performances.