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Saturday, March 28, 2015

2015 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards Announced

Briefing Room content from Live Design: Tony Award-winning costume designer, Jess Goldstein (currently represented on Broadway with Jersey Boys and On the Town), and scenic designer Douglas W. Schmidt are among the 2015 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards recipients. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, May 1, at 6:30pm, at the Hudson Theatre (145 West 44th Street). Mr. Goldstein was selected to receive the 2015 TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award for costume design and Mr. Schmidt will receive the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design.

What We Like: BuildClean Dust Control System

Remodeling: Editors note: Usually, our What I Like section focuses one remodeler's good experience with a new or tried-and-true product. When we reached out to remodelers for their “What I Like” suggestions for our April issue, no less than a third of the replies we received referred to the same product. That many remodelers can't be wrong. Here's what four of them have to say about the BuildClean dust control system in this special edition of "What We Like."

How important is curtain time to customers?

Shubert Ticketing Blog: We know from past surveys customers are aware of and like early curtains (can they still be called early anymore when they are the norm on many weeknights?). Wednesday nights for many shows do not sell as well as Tuesday or Thursday. Do curtain times affect the choice of which day to attend a show? Do curtain times play a role in the choice of which show to see?

Feeling Frustrated? It Might Be Hammer Time

Remodeling: One of the challenges a business owner faces is the appropriateness of his/her reactions to situations. When something goes wrong or not as well as desired, an overworked and stressed business owner can respond in an unproductive manner.

For some business owners, the “natural” response is not really the response they would want to give if they were taking the long view. So, after the response, they go and apologize to whomever they unintentionally made feel bad.

Rockler Bandy Clamps are a Simple Solution for Edge Banding

toolguyd.com: Rockler’s been busy lately, developing some new products. Stuart recently covered the Auto-Locking T-Track Clamps and the T-Track Work Stops, but the product that has me scratching my head wondering why didn’t I think of it first? is the new Bandy Clamp (54258).

Do Curveball Interview Questions Really Work?

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: Imagine you’re interviewing candidates for a high-pressure, fast-paced job in your company. It’ll require supreme composure in stressful situations, outside-the-box thinking, and above all, that they bring their most polished professionalism to the office every day.

Across from the interviewing table, you look them in the eyes and ask, "Who would win in a fight between Spider-Man and Batman?"

Multitool in a hair-clip

Boing Boing: The $10 Monkey Business Clippa Mini Tools Clip is a hair-clip with a sawblade, trolley coin, wrench, phillips screwdriver, ruler, and eyeglass screwdriver.

Caisse seeks minority stake in Cirque du Soleil

www.cirquefascination.com: The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is vying for a minority stake in the Cirque du Soleil as political opposition mounts over the prospect of a foreign takeover of the famed Montreal circus company.

According to people familiar with negotiations, the Caisse has made overtures to potential suitors that it would like to join the winning bid for the Cirque du Soleil by acquiring a minority stake of about 10 per cent. These sources said the Caisse, Canada’s second-largest pension fund managers by assets, is reluctant to buy a bigger stake because the production company is in need of significant capital to revitalize some of its struggling shows and expand into new foreign markets. A Caisse spokesman declined to comment.

Pipe Wrenches from RIDGID - a Short History

www.toolstop.co.uk: “Since 1923, Ridgid has remained the symbol of certainty to dedicated professionals of the expert trades…This is why every tool that bears the Ridgid brand is engineered to the same high standards of quality, strength, and endurance as was that first heavy duty pipe wrench more than 80 years ago."

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard To Cirque Du Soleil: Please Stay In Montreal

www.cirquefascination.com: Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard appealed to the CEO of Cirque du Soleil on Thursday to keep the company’s headquarters in Montreal, even if the circus ends up being sold.

“I want to issue a particular appeal to Guy Laliberté, who is the main shareholder in this transaction,” Couillard said.

“I want to tell him that for Quebecers, for the government and for all political parties represented here, it is very important not only that the headquarters remains in Montreal but that the creative activities should also remain in Montreal.”

united nude + 3D systems are re-inventing shoes for milan design week

www.designboom.com: on the occasion of the milan design week 2015, united nude and 3D systems present ‘re-inventing shoes’ — an exhibition which debuts new and exclusive 3D printed high heel concepts conceived by five of the world’s leading architects and designers: ben van berkel, fernando romero, michael young, ross lovegrove and zaha hadid.

Go Behind the Scenes of Mad Men's Exquisite Set Design

WIRED: When Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce moved into its new offices in the Time Life Building, the year was 1964. Herman Miller was the go-to furniture company for creative offices at that time, so it made sense that Mad Men set designer Claudette Didul-Mann would outfit the set with desks and chairs from the company’s 1964 catalog.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Nonprofit Tax-Exemption Approvals Double, Thanks to Simplified Form

The Chronicle of Philanthropy: The Internal Revenue Service approved 94,365 applications from organizations seeking 501(c)(3) designations in fiscal year 2014, more than double the number approved in the previous two years.

The one-year jump was due to the introduction of an alternative, three-page electronic version of the 26-page form 1023, the IRS said in its 2014 Data Book, an annual report released Tuesday. The electronic option, 1023-EZ, first became available in July 2014 and provides a streamlined way for organizations with annual gross receipts of less than $50,000 to apply for tax-exempt status.

The Trends of Ten Years of New York Times Broadway Reviews. An infographic.

The Producer's Perspective: What’s cool about creating stuff, is that sometimes you make something for one specific purpose . . . and then you find it has a whole other purpose later on.

It happens in the pharmaceutical industry all the time. Did you know Viagra was originally made to treat hypertension? Imagine the surprise when they conducted those clinical trials!

This phenomenon just happened to me. And I think you’re going to get as excited as those Viagra patients when you see the results.

The Great American Living-Room Play Gets a Remodel

AMERICAN THEATRE: Grab a young director or an upstart playwright and take them out for a drink, and you’re likely to hear some variation on the Rant Against Realism.

The rant goes something like this: Realism, as a genre, has ossified. It is now simply about upper-middle-class white (and/or Jewish) New Yorkers discovering dark family secrets while cracking the occasional joke that undermines the supposed seriousness of the dramatic material. And, for some reason, these realist plays are always set in living rooms! In fact, as soon as I walk into a theatre and see a couch onstage, I start to fall asleep! We must break the chains of realism! If only subscribers didn’t like it so much! Theatre should be theatrical, not a purveyor of expensive, second-rate television!

The Myth of the Starving Artist

ArtistThink" “How nice for you to have an interest like art, but really, how are you going to make money from it?”

So many people I have met have shared a similar story with me. One where well meaning parents, teachers, or other authority figures tell them that their interest in the arts is “cute” or “great for a hobby,” but “what about a real job?”

Ingrid Schaffner to curate 2018-19 Carnegie International

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Ingrid Schaffner, a well-known art historian, author and scholar, will curate the 57th Carnegie International, opening fall 2018 at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

For the past 15 years, Ms. Schaffner has directed the exhibition program as chief curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She divides her time between Philadelphia and Lubbock, Texas.

Cool Tool: Compact Bolt Cutters with Folding Handles

toolguyd.com: I’ve owned ToughBuilt’s compact bolt cutters for quite a few years now (since 2011). They’re uniquely designed with handles that lock into place for use and fold out of the way for storage and transport.

With bolt cutters, longer handles mean greater leverage, but that also means greater bulkiness and size. These bolt cutters have collapsible handles, which make them far more portable than ordinary cutters.

Attendance Trends: A Case for Technology in Museums

AMT Lab @ CMU: Despite the best efforts of organizations nationwide, the NEA’s 2013 report – How a Nation Engages with Art shows that since 2002 art museum attendance has been on a steady decline. In 2012, only 21% of adults said they attended an art museum over the past year, down 5.5% from 2002. The graphs below – excerpted from the NEA report – show that attendance has decreased in almost all of the measured categories.

It's Void Vs. Structure in This Cosmic A/V Installation

The Creators Project: Live audiovisual performances, large scale installations, and experimental film screenings are taking over Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Last week the STRP Biennial kicked off, bringing 10 days of digital art-centered celebrations to the converted Klokgebouw factory space.

A Hanging Garden That Floats Through Space to Meet Your Nose

gizmodo.com: Gardens are beautiful and all but they're almost always inconveniently located on the ground. Instead of stooping to smell the roses, this garden comes to you: A suspended, living arrangement of 2,300 flowers which rises and fall around viewers as they move through the space.

A Checklist for Planning Your Next Big Meeting

HBR: In theory, everyone understands that preparation can make or break an important meeting. The more work you do before you walk into the room, the more productive and efficient you’ll be. But who has the time to properly prepare? Our checklist makes meeting prep quick and easy—be sure to print it out or save it for later. Each step is described in more detail below. Using the checklist and the principles behind it will ensure that you’ve covered all your bases—and that you won’t be wasting anyone’s time (including your own).

G-d's Honest Truth, a painfully funny new play at Theater J

DC Theatre Scene: What if you bought a one-of-a-kind Picasso, and then a friend revealed it wasn’t really one-of-a-kind? Would you accept the truth – or cling to ignorance like a warm blanket? In Theater J’s painfully funny premiere of G-d’s Honest Truth, playwright Renee Calarco explores how and why smart people willingly suspend logic and fall for “too good to be true”. The short answer? It’s complicated.

Glow In The Dark Neolithic Spine For Electric Fantasy Cosplay

fashionablygeek.com: Etsy seller Electric Candy Couture makes wild cosplay accessories from laser-cut acrylic. This impressive “Paleotron Spine” has nearly 50 individual vertebrae held together with stainless steel split rings.

Using chains clasped by a circular gate ring, the spine below your hips allows for free movement to “whip” the tail back and forth. And the acrylic pieces are glow-in-the-dark, but the two battery powered black light LEDs included provide an awesome additional glow effect in any dark space.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

On the Value of Being an Equity Member in Los Angeles

by Travis Michael Holder : LA Bitter Lemons: A candidate in New York for the Actors Equity council asked on our Pro-99 Facebook page yesterday if anyone could explain, “for those members working exclusively in 99-seat theater,” what we see as the benefit of your Equity membership. “In other words,” he seems to sincerely ask, “what’s the most important thing the union provides to you while working in 99-Seat houses?

Ikea faces legal action over alleged copyright infringement

www.dezeen.com:

American furniture brand Emeco is to sue Ikea for damages for allegedly copying a chair designed by Norman Foster.

The American company alleges that Ikea's Melltorp dining chair, by Swedish designer Ola Wihlborg, is similar to its 20-06 Stacking Chair, designed by Foster in 2006.

Multi-Ethnic Coalition Denounces Controversial Deadline Article

Variety: A coalition of several organizations issued a statement on Wednesday condemning a Deadline Hollywood article that sparked controversy for its characterization of the TV industry’s casting practices regarding minority actors.

The coalition, comprised of American Indians in Film and Television, Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, NAACP Hollywood Bureau and National Hispanic Media Coalition, condemned Deadline for publishing “inaccuracies and misconceptions.”

Petite Players' 'Peter Pan Jr.' gets local boost in Elizabeth Forward grad

TribLIVE: For many years, Nathan Hough has been involved with theater locally and in the Greater Pittsburgh area. He'll make his Grand Theatre directorial debut in Elizabeth for the Petite Players' production of Disney's “Peter Pan Jr.”

When the long-standing director for the youth troupe was not able to do the show, the door opened for Hough.

Pygmalion in Pasadena

Cultural Weekly: No, it’s not My Fair Lady.

Don’t look for the gorgeous scenes at the party or the races or those soaring Lerner & Loewe songs. This is George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, with its soaring rhetoric, and it should be honored and respected for that.

'Beauty and the Beast' back in Pittsburgh for 4th run

TribLIVE: “Disney's Beauty and the Beast” will make its fourth Pittsburgh appearance March 31 through April 5 as a non-subscriber presentation of the PNC Broadway Across America — Pittsburgh series.

The story, as Mrs. Potts' song suggests, is a “tale as old as time.” With the help of an adventurous young woman, a selfish young prince who has been transformed into a hideous beast reverses the curse placed upon him and his servants by learning how to trust and love others.

Beam Clamps

The Fly Wire, Newsletter 12: When an I-beam is mounted against a ceiling, it may not be possible to put a roundsling around the beam in order to hang an aerial apparatus. In these cases, a beam clamp that clamps to the bottom flange of the I-beam is often the best rigging solution. In this issue we will look at some of the many types of beam clamps on the market and talk about their pros and cons.

We Need More Crappy Plays

The Clyde Fitch Report: My first dog was a beagle named Bootsie, who used to do a hilarious and fascinating thing. When she was given a bone to chew, she would gnaw on it until she was tired, and then she would take it to some part of the room and “bury” it. By which I mean, she would “cover” it with imaginary dirt moved from all parts of the room with her nose. When it was buried to her satisfaction, she would settle down. But if anyone in the family looked at the bone, she would jump up, grab it and with great annoyance bury it again somewhere else in the room. Everyone was supposed to pretend that we couldn’t see it.

Berkeley Rep Names Ground Floor Residencies

Stage Directions: The fourth Summer Residency Lab headed by The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep's Center for the Creation and Development of New Work will welcome 14 projects and more than 20 artists for its 2015 session, taking place this June.

Review: Riveting lead boosts Pittsburgh Opera's slow-paced'Carmen'

TribLIVE: Slow pacing kept Pittsburgh Opera's current presentation of “Carmen” from taking flight, despite a generally excellent cast on March 24 at the Benedum Center, Downtown.

The prelude to the opera began with plenty of vigor, but conductor Antony Walker gave a hint of what was to come by slowing down for the toreador's big tune. The second part of the prelude with its fate motif was well paced. Here, director Marc Astafan made his presence felt before the curtain normally rises by placing Carmen in a spotlight with a blood-red backdrop.

Too Busy to Network? Make Time With These 15 Tips

Inc.com: People are key to a company's success, and that means taking the time to network and build relationships. But with such limited time, how can entrepreneurs manage to keep existing contacts close and meet new people--and still get work done?

'Zoolander 2' Costume Designer on Mixing Humor and High Fashion

Hollywood Reporter: As if the fact that the second installment of Zoolander is underway wasn’t enough to get you shouting, "It’s a walk off!" with excitement, the film’s stars, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson hit the runway as their male supermodel characters at the Valentino show during Paris Fashion Week, gliding down the runway with Blue Steel seriousness and bringing some welcome humor to the high-end event.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

'Hamilton' Off to Hot Start at Broadway Box Office

NYTimes.com: “Hamilton,” the buzzy musical biography of an American founding father, is off to a strong start at the Broadway box office.

The show, which concludes a sold-out Off Broadway run at the Public Theater on May 4, has sold $6.5 million worth of tickets in its first 11 days of Broadway availability, and has orders from groups for another $4 million worth of seats, according to Jeffrey Seller, its lead producer.

Festool Conturo Edge Bander

Tools of the Trade: The Conturo edge bander melts “pucks” of adhesive and uses it to adhere band material to the edges of straight and curved pieces. In large shops these tasks are performed with industrial-size stationary machines. Small enough to fit in two Systainers, the Conturo and associated tools (The Perfect Edge System) are easy to store and portable enough to take to the jobsite—should the work need to be performed there. It uses the same type of adhesive and band material used by industrial machines.

Are Virtual Reality Headsets Too Immersive For Their Own Good?

Forbes: In the burgeoning world of virtual reality, to use is to believe. With few exceptions, I’ve found it takes but a quick demo on an Oculus Rift (or one of its growing number of competitors) for skeptics to realize how awesome—and awesomely immersive—the tech can be. Five minutes, and all your held-over-from-the-nineties notions of VR (and, as the show Community recently pointed out, its disastrous effect on nineties cinema) are likely to dissolve into wide-jawed yelps of “Awesome”.

Why Not Wye? When Combining Two Signals Into One Is Not A Good Idea

Pro Sound Web: Wye-connectors (or “Y”-connectors, if you prefer) should never have been created. Anything that can be hooked up wrong, will be. You-know-who said that, and she was right.

A wye-connector used to split a signal into two lines is being used properly; a wye-connector used to mix two signals into one is being abused and may even damage the equipment involved.

Student Loan Borrower’s Bill Of Rights Would Reform Disclosure And Servicing Standards

Consumerist: In recent weeks, legislators have introduced a range of bills aimed at addressing student loans and revamping the laws governing those debts. Today, that push continued with the reintroduction of a bill that would ensure student borrowers are treated fairly and understand the range of options at their disposal.

The Student Loan Borrower’s Bill of Rights – which was first introduced last year, but failed to move forward – was introduced today by Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Jack Reed of Rhode Island.

Fire in the Theatre! De-conflating the Conflagration: The Working Actor

LA Bitter Lemons: Actors are insecure. I am one, so I know. I shouldn’t have told you that I’m insecure, ‘cuz now you’re judging me, aren’t you? See. We actors, as a whole, are insecure (secure people become lawyers) and thus we need to feel wanted. We just do. Don’t judge. AEA would rather paint me as a producer than an actor. It’s true that I’m not an AEA member (though I’m SAG and AFTRA) and I plead guilty to running a 99-seat theatre.

California Sweetens Tax Credit Program, But Will Productions Return?

Variety: As most California-based producers already know, the state’s film and TV tax credit program has gotten sweeter. The size of its subsidies has more than tripled (to $330 million annually), and extends to types of projects that were formerly ineligible.

In Defense of the Meeting

99U: I urge you: stop. Pay attention. Sit up straight and engage. Wallow in the pointlessness. Chew on this. Because you are watching the very worst version of yourself, and it’s something you need to see. Working with people can be frustrating—no “7 Tips to More Productive Meetings” article is going to make it simple. You can read 1,359 blog posts that tell you to “listen” or “empathize,” but the route to finding peace in collaborative communication is so much harder, because it’s about personal subjugation.

Tony Preview: Bradley Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal Among Likely Contenders

Variety: With a whopping 14 shows yet to open before the end of Broadway’s 2014-15 season, there’s still plenty of time left for surprises in the upcoming race for the Tony Awards. But a couple of things, at least, seem certain.

This Time Around, Only a Nine-Year Run for 'The Fantasticks'

NYTimes.com: “The Fantasticks,” the long-running Off-Broadway staple, will close (again) next month, succumbing to weak ticket sales in an increasingly competitive theater market.

The current production of the musical has been running since 2006, and had been a favorite for tourists; the original production ran from 1960 until 2002. The revival will close May 3 – the 55th anniversary of the show’s opening – after 3,510 performances at the Snapple Theater Center and 17,162 performances in the original run, at the Sullivan Street Playhouse.

Tony Awards Team with Carnegie Mellon on Educator Award for Teachers

Variety: If you’ve ever thought your high school drama teacher deserved a Tony Award, now is your chance to make it happen. In an unprecedented move, the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards have teamed with Carnegie Mellon U. to present the Excellence in Theater Education Award.

Shonda Rhimes Tweets “HELL NO” in Response to Deadline’s “Ethnic Castings” Article

Flavorwire: Deadline managed to trend on Twitter for several hours yesterday after running an article which insinuated that this season’s “ethnic castings” on network television were “too much of a good thing.” The article incited the ire of Twitter and the world alike by arguing that “the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction,” and that “replacing one set of rigid rules with another by imposing a quota of ethnic talent on each show might not be the answer.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Equity E-mails Its Members, Explains What a Union Is

Parabasis: AEA took the rhetorical gloves off today, explaining why it was offensive to use civil rights era imagery as part of a protest against the union and giving people a refresher course on what a union is for. My guess is this only serves to further antagonize people who don't support the union's position (there is some public calls for the union to apologize for the letter, but I see nothing in here necessitating an apology), but part of me is just happy to see them stand up for themselves in the face of millionaire movie stars tacitly advocating for their most vulnerable employees to turn scab.

Wings of Time: Asia Leads the Way in Live Show Design

Entertainment Designer: Some of the most innovative live show design today is happening in Asia. One show in particular is being recognized this year as an outstanding example of the latest in storytelling, cinematic effects, and overall presentation. The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) recognized Wings of Time with a THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Event Spectacular category. The THEA judges described the show as a “visual and theatrical experience creation on a very high level.”

PigPen Theatre Co. Takes a Stand on ‘We Won’t’

WSJ: When PigPen Theatre Co. isn’t winning awards for plays they have produced Off Broadway and as a touring company, or writing a children’s novel, the seven-man crew is busy crafting catchy indie-folk songs. One of them, “We Won’t,” premieres today on Speakeasy.

Listen To Some Of The Most Commonly Used Sound-Effects In Cinema

io9.com: Have you ever heard a scream or sound effect in a movie that sounded strangely familiar? There's a good chance you weren't imagining things. Here are some of cinema's most iconic sounds – and where they originated.

Good Missions for Arts Organizations

The Clyde Fitch Report: With the passing of Leonard Nimoy, I’m sure many of us have been remembering favorite Spock moments in great Star Trek episodes, including the inspirational music and the invocation of their five-year mission “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Pixar's Renderman released for free

Boing Boing: Pixar has released its Renderman imaging software to the public free to download. This version is identical to the software it uses on it's own films, which was invented in-house, and is used today by major film and video game studios for animation and visual effects.

Behind the Scenes Counts on Roscolux #359

Stage Directions: At the USITT show, Rosco Laboratories presented their seventh annual royalty check from the sales of Roscolux #359 Medium Violet to Behind the Scenes, the charity that assists entertainment technology professionals in need due to serious illness or injury.

Colombia’s Up-and-Coming Film Industry

Below the Line: Countries, like people, each have a reputation. Most of us are aware, though, that the things for which an entire nation-state becomes either famous or infamous are slow to change and quick to date, and that’s why greater international cooperation and communication are such valuable products of technological advancement. As an international travel consultant, Google can tell anyone that the most strife-filled periods of Colombia’s history effectively ended 15, 20 or 25 years ago, but even so, acquaintances reacted with something not too far from amused concern at the idea of coming here.

Young actors excel in annual August Wilson competition

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh’s seventh annual August Wilson Monologue Competition took place at Point Park University last night, with the three winners earning college scholarships and trips to New York City for the national finals, May 2-5, at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre.

Prague Quadrennial 2015 Announces International Jury Members

Stage Directions: International jury membors for the 2015 Prague Quadrennnial have been announced.

As the world´s largest scenography event, the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space has a long tradition of competitive exhibition sections judged by professional international jury.

12 Touring Theater Companies That Make a Difference

Backstage: Touring is a rite of passage for many young performers, and an amazing way to see the country and impact communities far and wide. From full-fledged Shakespeare to “Berenstain Bears,” here are 12 touring theater companies that make a difference across the United States.

MRRF: Flexible 3D Printing

Hackaday: The concession stand at the Midwest Rep Rap Festival did not disappoint when it came to the expected fare: hot dogs, walking tacos, and bananas for scale. But the yummiest things there could not be bought—the Nutella prints coming off the Ultimaker² at the structur3D booth.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Does Hollywood hate Asia?

Salon.com: “Welcome to Asia,” says a grubby, Hawaiian-shirted Pierce Brosnan at the beginning of the recently released trailer for writer/director John Erick Dowdle’s latest film, “No Escape.”

Ominously, he replies: “You’re gonna love it here.”

Pittsburgh Humanities Festival encouraging 'Smart Talk'

TribLIVE: In a world where the 140-character tweet rules, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Humanities Center of Carnegie Mellon University are launching a subversive new program.

From March 26 to 29, the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival will feature two dozen hourlong or longer events that will bring together internationally respected academics, artists and intellectual innovators who will present and discuss art, music, literature and their relationship to science, policy and politics.

Its Twitter-friendly subtitle distills the festival's intent into 38 characters: “Smart Talk About Stuff That Matters.”

‘Selma’ actor speaks in Pittsburgh despite weather

New Pittsburgh Courier: Canceled classes on a cold day were no match for the passionate group assembled to discuss the imbalance of justice and racial divide that still exists in Black communities and specifically among the Black youths in this country. Actor Stan Houston who played the part of a racist antagonist, Sheriff Jim Clark, in the movie “Selma” was recently invited to speak and tour the Neighborhood Academy Of Pittsburgh.

The Lies We Tell About Audience Engagement

TCG Circle: Over the past several years, the theatre community has become more and more anxious about “audience engagement” and less and less certain what that actually means. Some people think it means audience participation theatre, which can run from happening-style performance events to walkthrough shows like Fefu and Her Friends and Sleep No More to hauling unwilling audience members into the spotlight for 90 seconds of uncomfortable awkwardness. Some people think it means enabling the audience to participate in the show’s creation in some way. Some people think it means doing shows that engage your local audience by reflecting them in some way—usually season planning and/or casting—and creating events attached to the show, like talkbacks, community outreach events, or a lobby display audience members can add to or interact with.

How Cirque du Soleil Provided the San Francisco Giants with a High-End Customer Engagement Event

www.bizbash.com: The San Francisco Giants are known for many things, including their World Series championships and their loyal fan base. However, few know about the Giants' client-appreciation strategy. How do the San Francisco Giants give back to their most valuable clients?

As one of the longest established professional baseball teams, each Giants game is a source of excitement and inspiration. How can an organization renowned for its on-field talent create a customer-appreciation event that meets and surpasses the expectations of its most fervent fans? During last year's holiday season, the Giants' Client Relations team accepted this challenge.


Do You Need to Get the Rights to Their Life Story?

Jan D. Breslauer, Esq. | LinkedIn: Ever run across someone whose life seemed ripe to be made into a movie? Typically, when such a story hits the media, there’s a scramble to get the rights. But what exactly does that mean? And more to the point, when do you need to get the life rights and when don’t you need them?

WHOSE LIFE RIGHTS ARE THEY ANYWAY?

Two Theatre Projects venues win 2015 USITT Architecture Awards

Theatre Projects Consultants - News: Two Theatre Projects facilities—The National Theatre of Bahrain and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Milton Court—were recently named winners of USITT’s 2015 Architecture Awards for exceptional performance spaces.

Dance review: Texture Contemporary Ballet unleashes solid program to close fourth season

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Texture Contemporary Ballet has a lot to be proud about following its latest run of performances at the New Hazlett Theater over the weekend. Not only did the engagement mark the completion of its fourth season (a feat for any young arts group!), but it also was arguably one of the company’s strongest, most sophisticated programs to date.

What You Missed: The White House Student Film Festival

The White House: A few months ago, we asked students across the country to create short films about the Impact of Giving Back, and to show us what service meant to them. We received more than 1,500 submissions this year, and this past Friday and Saturday, we screened our 15 Official Selections at the White House.

Pittsburgh Ballet's performance of 'Beauty' in Greensburg draws 800

TribLIVE: Once upon a time (OK, it was March 20), the Palace Theatre stage was transformed into a fairy tale world inhabited by colorful, fantastical creatures.

The occasion was the fifth annual performance of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in its Greensburg outreach series, and the production was “Beauty and the Beast.” Set to a Tchaikovsky score, the tale featured a large cast dancing roles human, animal and mythical.

Pittsburgh Opera Presents an Excellent Revival of Bizet’s "Carmen."

The PGH Stage Online Magazine: Carmen, an opera in four acts, with music by the French composer Georges Bizet, is set to a libretto written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, who used a novella by Prosper Mérimée as their inspiration. It was not particularly well received when it was first performed at the Opéra-Comique, Paris, in March 1875. Bizet made some revisions for the opera’s Vienna Court Opera premiere, scheduled for a few months later, but died suddenly at the age of 36, never knowing of his work’s great success there, or enduring fame as possibly the most popular and frequently performed of French operas.

Opera review: Pittsburgh Opera's 'Carmen' effective without flash

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Opera’s latest production of “Carmen,” which opened Saturday at the Benedum Center, showed that such efforts need not be flashy to be effective. With artful singing from guest vocalists and the company’s resident artists, this traditional staging presented new insights into the work’s timeless themes.

Creative Leaders Come Together for the Annual TEA Summit and Thea Awards

www.themeparkinsider.com: The Themed Entertainment Association honored and celebrated the industry over the weekend at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, with the annual TEA Summit and Thea Awards.

Creative artists from Disney, Universal, and other themed entertainment firms from around the world — large and small — came together for the three-day event, which wrapped up last night with the presentation of the previously-announced Thea Awards, honoring the best of the best in the themed entertainment industry over the past year.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

Here are the top five comment generating articles over the last three weeks:

A Fond Farewell to the Neon Sign

gizmodo.com: I simply can't help it; I am a sucker for neon signs. I just love their clear glowing lines, their curves and bends, their warm though discreet presence in the night. And I hate to see them go. Since the invention of the long luminous gas-discharge tubes containing neon or other noble gases in the beginning of the 20th century, the faces of our cities have become lovelier and livelier than ever. But despite the retro-revival sentiment, neon signs are going extinct, thanks to all the new advertising technology, the super cheap led lights, illuminated 3D boxes, and the huge, billion coloured screens and displays.

Why I Wake Up at 4:22am

Michael Affronti | LinkedIn: I was having lunch with some co-workers last week and the topic of morning routines came up. Everyone was sharing what time they woke up, how much they liked or hated it, and the things they did immediately after their feet hit the floor. The conversation turned to me with the question of “Someone told me you get up super early, is that true?”

The World Ice Art Championships Are a Garden of Frozen Delights

The Creators Project: Despite temperatures that threatened to melt their creations, a team from Japan and the United States used hand and power tools to turn 10 blocks of ice into The Fighter, a battle scene between a knight and a dragon. The creation, which beat out the work of 15 other teams, claimed a top prize yesterday in the Multi Block Classic at the 2015 World Ice Art Championships, notably sponsored by BP. Other winners included Russians Ivan Zuev and Eduard Ponomarenko for their abstract masterpiece [need something more descriptive than just masterpiece), Ancient Protector, and Vitaly Lednev for the giant chameleon, Lizard's Treat.
 

Beyond Plastic: 3D Printers Are Now Printing Metal, Wood, Even Electronics

Motherboard: The challenge with 3D printing isn't the machine, it's the materials. If you've used one of the current generation of desktop 3D printers, you'll have noticed there's a limit to what you can make: If you’ve always wanted a small, personalised model in cheap plastic, you're in luck, but that’s about it.

Fastpass+: The Benefits and Challenges of Disney's Crowd Management System

www.themeparkinsider.com: Few recent changes at the Walt Disney World Resort have divided fans more than Fastpass+. A vocal group believes the changes to the original FastPass program have diminished the guest experience. Others trust Disney and praise the ability to reserve their attractions in advance. I'll admit to being more in the first category. I visited the parks in the ‘80s and ‘90s growing up, so having only standby lines doesn't seem outlandish.

Pics from CMU Drama