CMU School of Drama

Sunday, January 22, 2017

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

The pitfalls of time management

Unclutterer: Is time management an idea that’s been oversold? Oliver Burkeman recently wrote an article in The Guardian entitled “Why time management is ruining our lives,” which raised a number of interesting points.

Creating Complex Female Characters

HowlRound: So you sit down to see a new play. The play has mostly male characters, but there’s a woman with tough features and intense eyes. You notice she has no love interest and seems uninterested in any other character. She then attacks people with swords and is super strong, end of play. You talk with your friends after and they say how happy they are to see a “strong female character.” “She hit that random dude with a sword so well! I can really relate to that as a woman," your friend says.

Will the West End love Hamilton? 10 previous Broadway transfers

WhatsOnStage.com: As the London production of Hamilton goes on sale amid much fanfare, garnering extensive interest far beyond the usual circle of musical theatre enthusiasts, let's take a look at some other recent transatlantic transfers.

Trump Administration Plans to Eliminate National Endowment For The Arts

www.broadwayworld.com: According to The Hill, members of Donald Trump's transition team have been meeting ahead of tomorrow's inauguration to outline plans for the "Heritage blueprint" to reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

Women Only Spoke 27% of Dialogue in 2016's Top Films

The Mary Sue: You would think that with female-led films like Rogue One making bank and Ghostbusters: Answer the Call generating backlash that we must be making huge amounts of progress when it comes to gender parity in film. You’d be wrong.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Going Sundancing

Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama: The lights at this year’s Sundance Film Festival will be especially bright for Carnegie Mellon University. Of the 16 feature films competing in the U.S. Dramatic category — selected from over 2,000 submissions — four of them star young School of Drama alumni and a fifth features a CMU faculty member as an executive producer. CMU’s strong showing at this year’s festival is “a testament to the high caliber of their training,” said Peter Cooke, head of the School of Drama.


Donald Trump’s First 100 Days: What Can Entertainment Industry Expect?

Variety: Repealing Obamacare, renegotiating trade deals, and rolling back regulations and executive orders are said to sit atop the agenda for Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. But if there’s one thing to be gleaned from his transition period, it’s that one can never be sure when it comes to Trump. That’s especially true on issues that directly affect the entertainment industry, from a potential rollback of net neutrality to a lowering of the corporate tax rate.

Cult favorite 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' taking Benedum by storm

TribLIVE: By turns wicked, raunchy, funny and heartbreaking, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” was probably a bit ahead of its time when it first opened in 1997 off-off Broadway. In 1998, the brainchild of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask moved up to Off-Broadway's Jane Street Theatre for a highly successful, award-winning two-year run. The 2001 movie followed, with Mitchell directing and in the starring role and Trask as a band member.

MegaBots

Uncrate: Star Wars walkers, RoboTech, Metal Gear, MechWarrior — giant combat robots have been the stuff of film and video game dreams for decades. Now MegaBots is turning that dream into reality. Tested visits the MegaBots headquarters to see how the latest version of their giant fighting robot is coming along, and how the team plans to provide the platform for an entire league of combat robots.

Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' takes center stage

TribLIVE: French-Canadian singer-songwriter Richard Petit says “The Wall Theatrical Extravaganza” is much more than a rock musical or a tribute concert to the ‘60s and ‘70s English rock band Pink Floyd. “Pink Floyd is the most covered band ever,” says Petit, of Montreal. “If you want to be one step further ahead, you have to step outside the box. That was our mindset in creating this show.”

Made in China: Review and Pics of Bawdy Political Puppetry

New York Theater: Wakka Wakka, the theater company behind Made in China, says the show is “inspired by true events.” I suspect the true part doesn’t include Mary and her neighbor getting sucked down her toilet and winding up in the People’s Republic of China, where a dragon eats them.

Trump Administration Plans to Eliminate National Endowment For The Arts

www.broadwayworld.com: According to The Hill, members of Donald Trump's transition team have been meeting ahead of tomorrow's inauguration to outline plans for the "Heritage blueprint" to reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

Miller Gallery Hosts Exhibition of Feminist Art + Tech, Jan. 28 – Feb. 26

www.cmu.edu/news: The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University will present “Hacking / Modding / Remixing as Feminist Protest,” an exhibition featuring 22 artists, designers and developers working at the intersection of art and technology, Jan. 28 – Feb. 26. The exhibition is free and open to the public. An opening reception with curator Angela Washko, a visiting professor of art at CMU, and other select artists will be held from 6 - 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 27.

Remarkable ‘Fences’ Ensemble Delivers Heart and Soul

Backstage: “Fences,” August Wilson’s 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, has finally found its way to the big screen thanks to actor-director Denzel Washington and Paramount Pictures. The playwright’s screenplay adaptation of the Maxsons, a working-class black family making ends meet in 1950s Pittsburgh, is now resonating with film audiences—and awards season voters—across the country.

The pitfalls of time management

Unclutterer: Is time management an idea that’s been oversold? Oliver Burkeman recently wrote an article in The Guardian entitled “Why time management is ruining our lives,” which raised a number of interesting points.

What is NAMM and Why Does It Matter?

Reverb: If you spend any amount of time following music gear Facebook pages, blogs, or magazines, you'll probably see “NAMM” mentioned a lot in over the next week or two. For us in the business, NAMM is a totally ubiquitous experience and industry focal point. But if you’re just a casual gear fan and musician, you might be wondering what this whole NAMM thing is all about anyway.

A Gothic, Apocalyptic Opera Releases the Demons of Black Collective Consciousness

The Creators Project: There’s opera, there’s blues, and then there’s an opera done by a “negrogothic, devil-worshipping, free black man in the blues tradition.” This is the self-constructed description of performer M. Lamar’s contribution to Prototype Festival, a Brooklyn celebration of operatic performance that just finished its 2017 run this past Sunday. Dubbed Funeral Doom Spiritual, Lamar filled a two-floor performance room at National Sawdust with a black-veiled orchestra, a wooden coffin, and harrowing projected footage of breathless black bodies, while the artist himself played piano and sung a narrative of torment in his chilling soprano voice for 75 minutes.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Forced Entertainment: “Tomorrow’s Parties” and “Real Magic” (Warhol Performance Series at the New Hazlett Theatre)

The Pittsburgh Tatler: Two performance works this week by the British company Forced Entertainment opened the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh’s exceedingly timely series, “Strange Times: Earth in the Age of the Human.” Forced Entertainment is a company known for work that deliberately breaks with many of the conventions of theatre, such as the expectation for entertainment, or for character development, or for narrative pleasure and closure in a theatrical performance.

Initiatives for Women in Theatre in the UK and Ireland

HowlRound: Two years ago, a man at a writing workshop was waxing lyrical about a recent ballet performance, in which the showcasing of the male dancers had re-enthused him for the form. He usually complained, “the men are just there as props for the women.” The rebuke, from a woman was unsurprising: “Well, now you know what it’s like for us, don’t you?”

NYGASP "The Mikado" - Was it diverse enough?

OnStage: I have so many feelings regarding this show, especially because of the yellowfacing that usually takes place with this classic Gilbert and Sullivan piece. White people playing Japanese people. If you don't understand why that is wrong then we are going to have a problem, and you better watch your back. I have ninja stars.

A Golden Age of Theater for Japan’s Seniors

The Theatre Times: Arts promoter, Taneo Kato came up with the idea for 10,000 Gold Theater when he had a “flash of inspiration” four years ago. He was watching a performance of Hamlet in which stage icon Yukio Ninagawa directed members of the Saitama Gold Theater and Saitama Next Theater — troupes made up of older and younger actors that he formed in 2006 and 2009, respectively, after becoming artistic director at Saitama Arts Theater in 2006.

Lisa Kron & Daniel Zaitchik Receive 2017 Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre

Breaking Character: The Kleban Foundation is pleased to announce that the 27th annual Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre lyricist has been awarded to Daniel Zaitchik and the 27th annual Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre librettist has been awarded to Lisa Kron. The 2017 prizes will be presented on Monday, February 6, 2017, in a private ceremony (by invitation only) hosted by ASCAP and BMI at ASCAP.

Renovation Improves Concert Hall Acoustics

Wenger | J.R. Clancy: Terry Concert Hall had served Jacksonville University (JU) in Jacksonville, Florida, well for nearly 25 years, but it was time for an upgrade. The hall had undergone no major modifications since opening in 1992. JU’s music division had grown substantially over the years; it’s currently at 140 majors with a full array of ensembles, large and small. With 400 seats, Terry Concert Hall is the largest performance space on campus, used for student recitals, chamber music, full orchestra, choral and band. Larger concerts are often held in local churches.

Brandon Victor Dixon: ‘Hamilton’ Star on Mike Pence, Donald Trump

Variety: Brandon Victor Dixon has been nominated for two Tony Awards, but it took the election of Donald Trump to put him in the national spotlight. The New York actor, currently playing the role of Aaron Burr in “Hamilton,” landed on everyone’s radar in November when he delivered a scripted curtain speech to Mike Pence when the vice president-elect attended the Broadway musical with his family.

Creating Complex Female Characters

HowlRound: So you sit down to see a new play. The play has mostly male characters, but there’s a woman with tough features and intense eyes. You notice she has no love interest and seems uninterested in any other character. She then attacks people with swords and is super strong, end of play. You talk with your friends after and they say how happy they are to see a “strong female character.” “She hit that random dude with a sword so well! I can really relate to that as a woman," your friend says.

Technology to Automate a Production Manager's Workflow

AMT Lab @ CMU: It is no secret that production managers have a ton on their plates. Whether they are managing theatre, opera or dance, production managers carry the weight of many organizations' programming efforts. And often, they are doing it alone. While many larger organizations have multiple production management staff, there are many who operate as a one woman show. Whether you are a one person department or 5, however, technology can be used to automate workflow and tedious tasks, leaving time for the real management which comes in the form of having face to face conversations with collaborators.

Thomas Tull Exits Legendary Entertainment

Variety: Legendary Entertainment chairman and CEO Thomas Tull has announced his departure from the company he founded in 2005, then sold to Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda last year. Tull will take the title of founding chairman of the company, with Wanda executive Jack Gao assuming the CEO post while the company conducts a search for a permanent chief executive, an announcement said.

Why Unrest is Gold for Creatives

99U: In an era of upheaval and crisis, creative expression takes on new urgency. Writer Mike Sager calls upon his own formative teenage experience in 1969 that led him to begin using his stories to question authority. For those creatives feeling discontent in these fractious times, it’s a reminder that the simmering feeling of anger can be best used to issue a call to action and serve as a tool for change.

An Interview with Stacey Mindich

THE INTERVAL: Dear Evan Hansen is a Broadway oddity. It’s a new musical that isn’t based on any pre-existing source material. Its writers, librettist Steven Levenson and composer/lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, are young, and their resumes don’t boast a long list of Broadway credits. The cast features no stars. Any one of these things is rare; all three are an anomaly. The woman responsible for bringing Dear Evan Hansen to Broadway is lead producer Stacey Mindich, who has shepherded the show from nascent idea to fully formed production.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dramaturgy of the Duels in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s "Hamilton"

The Theatre Times: Two men face off in Weehawken, NJ just before dawn. They hold muzzle-loaded flintlock pistols, primitive firearms by today’s standard. The moment determining life or death will be that instant that triggers are pulled. Once that mechanism is engaged, flint will strike steel, creating a spark that then ignites powder, which in turn propels a lead ball towards their opponent. This lethal action provides some sense of justice over an insult and satisfies the honor of both combatants.

Weekend Watch: “Cripple Concepts” Shows How to Use a Workshop with a Physical Disability

makezine.com: There is no shortage of educational shop content on youtube. You can find people showing how to use any tool, in any number of ways. However, if you have a physical disability of any kind, you may find that those videos are simply not too helpful to you. Josh Winkler with Cripple Concepts fills that role. Josh is a C5/6 quadriplegic,meaning his spinal cord is damaged at the 5/6 vertebra, extremely limiting the use of his limbs. He shows exactly how he operates in the shop, in hopes to educate and inspire others.

Let Them Speak: It’s Time to See More Works from Women Writers of Color on Stages Across America

HowlRound: A shockingly low number of women writers of color are presented on stages across America. Looking at regional theatres across the country in the last three theatrical seasons, only 3.8% of plays were written by a woman of color according to The Count. Here in Seattle in fall 2016, we saw the tides begin to change as three theatrical organizations produced works by black women playwrights: Intiman Theatre with Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (culminating their full summer season celebrating black women playwrights), Seattle Repertory Theatre with A Raisin in the Sun, and our own contribution, Forward Flux Productions with The Wedding Gift.

Kenny Leon and True Colors Theatre present the ‘Exit Strategy’

New Pittsburgh Courier: Artistic Director Kenny Leon and True Colors Theatre Company presents the Southeastern premiere of Exit Strategy written by Ike Holter and directed by John Dillon, running February 21 – March 19, 2017 at Fulton County’s Southwest Arts Center’s Performance Theater.

Cirque du Soleil ‘Toruk-The First Flight’ to descend on Las Vegas in limited run

AXS: Inspired by James Cameron’s “Avatar,” “Toruk–The First Flight” will land in the T-Mobile Arena Jan. 18-22. It is the first Cirque du Soleil touring show to come to Las Vegas. The space will be transformed into the moon of Pandora as the audience is taken on an odyssey into world of discovery and imagination. The story takes place 3,000 years before the time of “Avatar” as narrated by Na’vi, who is also an integral part of the story. It is one of the first Cirque du Soleil shows to have a story line and dialog.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Getaway Tour | Largest Touring Kinetic Lighting Installation

Concerts content from Live Design: Red Hot Chili Peppers surprised the world on September 1, 2016 at the premiere of The Getaway Tour in Budapest, Hungary with the largest touring kinetic lighting installation. Scott Holthaus credits the idea behind the production design to his wife, Ana, who found a video of a kinetic lighting installation by a company in Germany.

Women Only Spoke 27% of Dialogue in 2016's Top Films

The Mary Sue: You would think that with female-led films like Rogue One making bank and Ghostbusters: Answer the Call generating backlash that we must be making huge amounts of progress when it comes to gender parity in film. You’d be wrong.

Get a ringside seat for the Pittsburgh premiere of Marco Ramirez’s The Royale

NEXTpittsburgh: As the country celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day and prepares to usher in the 45th U.S. President, it is a relevant and powerful time to catch the Pittsburgh premiere of Marco Ramirez’s Obie Award-winning new play, The Royale, at City Theatre. Inspired by the remarkable life and legacy of groundbreaking African-American boxer, Jack Johnson (1898—1946), the compelling new drama arrives in Pittsburgh fresh on the heels of acclaimed productions at NYC’s Lincoln Center Theatre.

Fabricators Unite: Nassal Completes Acquisition of Lexington

InPark Magazine: Lexington is a custom design and fabrication company headquartered in Los Angeles California and known worldwide for their work in hospitality, casinos, museums, retail, and theme parks. Their award-winning work can be found at Universal Studios Theme Parks, Disney Theme Parks, Kidspace Children’s Museum, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, and ESPN SportsCenter, to name a few. As a key player in the design and fabrication of themed environments for the past 32 years, Lexington is a natural fit for The Nassal Company family.

Time of Women Review: Belarus Free Theatre Vs. Tyranny

New York Theater: “Time of Women,” a play in the Under the Radar festival based on the true story of three women journalists and activists imprisoned by the Belarusian dictatorship for protesting the fraudulent presidential elections of 2010, differs from most of the previous works by the Belarus Free Theatre that I’ve seen in New York. There is no extensive dance-like movement or elaborate use of theatrical metaphor, as in such works as “Trash Cuisine,” which was presented at La MaMa in 2015. But in its own way, “Time of Women” is just as powerful, or even, given the timing, even more so.

Art on the Run: Sketches Capture CMU, Pittsburgh

www.cmu.edu/news: Lumi Barron likes to make art on the run. The first-year College of Fine Arts student has been regularly painting and sketching the places she visits since she was in high school, and she continued the practice when she came to Carnegie Mellon University this fall. Barron's drawings and watercolors take from five to 90 minutes to complete. When something catches her eye, she'll break out her sketchbook, pen and watercolors to create a new piece.

We’re Not Playing: A Theatrical Protest Initiative

HowlRound: On January 20, Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of these United States. I’ve been spending a lot of time since the election working through all my feelings on the subject. And I’ve managed to boil all my rage, disappointment, and shock into two major thoughts: “We have to do better!” and “F*** that guy!” (Obviously the former is a more actionable frame of mind to be in, but I’d be lying if I said the latter thought didn’t help fuel my desire to follow through on the first.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Christopher Haydon: I don't know where I end and The Gate begins

WhatsOnStage.com: Christopher Haydon took over running the tiny Gate Theatre in west London in 2011. Among the rich, vibrant and diverse plays he's worked on during his time there, he directed the world premiere production of the astounding play Grounded – a soaring, intense play about a drone pilot – and programmed the European premiere production of Eclipsed – Danai Gurira's play about five women in the Liberian Civil War. The piece subsequently ran on Broadway and won a Tony Award for Best New Play. During his time at the Gate he has championed new talent and his one-time associate director Ellen McDougall will step into his shoes to run the theatre after he leaves this January. We caught up with Haydon to talk about his last play while artistic director of the Gate – The Convert – the past and his plans for the future.

Ute Lemper: Brecht, Bukowski, and Broken Hearts

urban excavations: Ute Lemper was framed in her recent 54 Below engagement by comfort and edginess – black leather pants topped with a short sleeveless black sheath dress. These costuming contrasts were mirrored in the juxtaposition of her elegant physicality (dancing arms and calm composure) with the grit of her lyrical substance and the smooth growls of her vocals. She dubbed 54 Below for the duration of her show “54 floors beneath the soul” and regaled us with “stories from the dark side.”

Making Broadway bucks a crapshoot; ‘Jersey Boys’ investors hit right notes

Theater Cues: “You could make a killing, but not a living, in the theater,” said playwright Robert Anderson in a 1966 Christian Science Monitor interview about “Tea and Sympathy,” his successful first Broadway play that was turned into a movie. Anderson couldn’t recreate that same success on stage and turned to teaching and writing Hollywood screenplays.

Will the West End love Hamilton? 10 previous Broadway transfers

WhatsOnStage.com: As the London production of Hamilton goes on sale amid much fanfare, garnering extensive interest far beyond the usual circle of musical theatre enthusiasts, let's take a look at some other recent transatlantic transfers.

2 Talent Agents on Why Louisiana Is ‘Hollywood South’

Backstage: Thanks to its attractive tax incentives and scenic locales, many in the film industry refer to Louisiana as Hollywood South. By some measures, the state actually out-earned California in 2013 film production. For those jockeying to get in front of the camera, this makes cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans logical and desirable career destinations.

On designing the Science Museum

www.creativereview.co.uk: Annabel Judd is just seven months into her role as Masterplan Project Director of the Science Museum Group, but given the nature of the job she is already looking far ahead to the future. Next year will see the fruits of her first major initiative in the opening of the London museum’s new lecture theatre, while also on the horizon is the London Science City gallery and the new suite of Medical Galleries, set to open in 2019. At the same time, Judd’s role involves overseeing projects at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and the National Media Museum in Bradford, where a new interactive gallery will open in March next year. There is, it’s safe to say, a lot going on.

Review: ‘Made in China,’ With Romance, Polemics and Puppets

The New York Times: Puppets are hardly a novelty on New York stages, but I’ll bet you’ve never seen one representing a talking, singing toilet plunger, have you?

Strange to say, that’s not the oddest moment in “Made in China,” an all-puppet musical that blends an unlikely romance between two lonely souls stranded in middle age with pointed commentary on the ties between America’s voracious consumerism and human rights abuses in China.

SCALADA 2017 is “STELAR”

www.cirquefascination.com: Cirque du Soleil is now working to bring you its new show, Scalada: STELAR in Andorra. We are ending the Scalada series with a new story where fantasy will take the lead role again this summer. In this latest edition, Cirque du Soleil invites you to discover a parallel world between the sky and the earth. It will lead you into the unknown, to touch the clouds and see beyond…

Two trans actors from Mosaic's Charm tell their Truth

DC Theatre Scene: Mosaic Theatre’s current production, Charm by Phillip Dawkins, is inspired by the true story of Chicago trans icon Miss Gloria Allen, who teaches etiquette classes to youth at the Center on Halsted, an LGBT community center on Chicago’s northside.

The production already garnered a great deal of press when they announced a change in casting close to the start of rehearsals – swapping out cisgender KenYatta Rogers for the trans actress B’Ellana Duquesne in the role of Mama based on Gloria Allen. The move was made after a great deal of conversation between the artists and feedback from the transgender community, arguing that a trans role should be filled with a transgender actor.

New Arts Facility? Why Sometimes We Just Say No

Clyde Fitch Report: Even though the nonprofit arts clients that hire our firm usually profess to being objective and open to our professional opinion, often they have already invested in the plan to move forward with a project. Such clients — from government to developers, schools and arts groups — are generally bent on building some kind of community facility or performing arts center. And when we come back with a negative answer, these folks are often disappointed, or even insulted.

What Is the Definition of Brainstorming? (For Groups & Individuals)

business.tutsplus.com: If you're more than just curious about what the definition of brainstorming is, but also need to start brainstorming right away, then this guide is a quick, yet thorough starting point to work from. Learn about the purpose of brainstorming and how to follow an effective, creative process for coming up with problem-solving ideas.

Dr. Charlotte Canning on Internationalism and US Theatre

HowlRound: We tend to think of the middle of the twentieth century as a litany of horrors, from the trenches of the First World War and the atrocities of the Second to the fear of nuclear annihilation that came with the early decades of the Cold War. However, as Dr. Charlotte Canning of the University of Texas at Austin chronicles in her new book, On the Performance Front: US Theatre and Internationalism, there were also plenty of theatre artists during this time who believed that they could bring about a better future by sharing their work with the world.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ringling Bros. Circus to Close, Final Performances in May

InPark Magazine: After much evaluation and deliberation, my family and I have made the difficult business decision that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® will hold its final performances in May of this year. Ringling Bros. ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop. This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to End Its 146-Year Run

NYTimes.com: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus announced on Saturday night that after 146 years of performances, it was folding its big tent forever.

In a statement on the company’s website, Kenneth Feld, the chief executive of Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling, said the circus would hold its final performances in May. He cited declining ticket sales, which dropped even more drastically after elephants were phased out from the shows last year.

The circus is dead. Long live its successors

www.themeparkinsider.com: Feld Entertainment announced today that it will close the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus this spring, bringing to a close a 146 year run. Circuses were one of the progenitors of the themed entertainment industry, so it's well worth a moment for fans of theme parks to think about what the passing of the most famous circus in America might mean for the industry.

Farewell to Ringling Bros., long the Greatest Show on Earth

Chicago Tribune: It has come time to pen a requiem for the circus.

"Why?" you wonder. Did not the unexpected announcement Saturday night of the closing in May of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus just mean the end of one circus? Do not many circuses remain, here and especially in circus-loving countries like Russia and Mexico? Did not the Cirque de Soleil of Montreal — the one the circus people call the Cadillac — already reinvent the circus form for the modern age?

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will shut down in May 2017

The Verge: A year after it announced that it would no longer use elephants in its performances, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will hold its final performances in May of this year.

The Cirus’s parent company, Feld Entertainment Inc, revealed that it would hold its final shows in at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, in Rhode Island on May 7, and at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, on May 21, 2017. According to the company, the removal of the elephants from the act contributed to a decline in ticket sales, which, along with high operating costs, “the circus an unsustainable business for the company.”

Nowhere left to run away to: The final days of the circus

Salon.com: Goodbye to death-defying feats — daring young men (and women) on the flying trapeze, whip-wielding lion tamers, human cannonballs. Goodbye to the scent of peanuts and popcorn, the thrill of three rings, the jaunty bum-bum-dadadada of circus music.

Send out the clowns. The Big Top is coming down — for good.

The Big Top Comes Down: Ringling Bros. Circus Is Closing

Pollstar: After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May.

The iconic American spectacle was felled by a variety of factors, company executives say. Declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups all contributed to its demise.

The Latest: Animal rights groups applaud Ringling Bros.

Salon.com: Animal rights groups wasted no time in weighing in on the announcement that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus is closing in May.

In a statement sent Saturday night, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said it “heralds the end of what has been the saddest show on earth for wild animals, and asks all other animal circuses to follow suit, as this is a sign of changing times.”

Ringing Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is closing, no more Chicago shows

Chicago Tribune: The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a mainstay of family entertainment in America for 146 years and a retro throwback to the days of circus trains, parades, pachyderms and old-school clowns, is to close permanently in May.

The announcement was made on the website of Feld Entertainment, the owners and operators of the self-styled Greatest Show on Earth.

Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus To End 'The Greatest Show On Earth'

The Two-Way : NPR: After its nearly century and a half run, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus plans to shut down "The Greatest Show On Earth."

The historic American spectacle will deliver its final show in May, says Kenneth Feld, the chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling.

Feld announced the news on the company website Saturday night, citing declining ticket sales — which dipped even lower as the company retired its touring elephants.

Ringling Bros. Circus to End After 146 Years

Variety: After more than a century, “The Greatest Show on Earth” is coming to an end.

Feld Entertainment, which owns the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, announced Sunday that the show will be getting its curtain call in May. The company broke the news to the circus’ nearly 500 employees after shows in Orlando and Miami over the weekend, according to the Associated Press.

Ringling Bros. circus to close after 146 years

www.wcpo.com: After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on "The Greatest Show on Earth." The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May.

The iconic American spectacle was felled by a variety of factors, company executives say. Declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups all contributed to its demise.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Female Director Numbers Drop, Despite Hollywood Diversity Debate

Variety: Despite all the editorials and the speeches and the handwringing, things aren’t getting better for women in Hollywood. They’re getting worse.

Women comprised just 7 percent of all directors working on the 250 highest-grossing domestic releases in 2016, a decline of two percentage points from the level achieved in 2015 and in 1998, according to a new report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

‘Woody Sez’ at Seattle Rep provides an historical glimmer of hope and excellent entertainment

www.axs.com: In these seemingly dark political times, Seattle Repertory Theatre has chosen to bring the touring musical Woody Sez, The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie to Seattle. Granted, this production was scheduled well before our current political tumult, but the show does serve to remind us that America has gone through some tough times before and that the people that survived those times generally emerged stronger for the experience.

Market Rules: How We’ve All Been Reduced to Salespeople

AMERICAN THEATRE: Good afternoon. It’s good to be with you today. I want to thank the planning committee for the invitation to address you all.

When I was first approached about offering these introductory remarks, I inquired about the committee’s hope for what I might say. Something uplifting, they responded, something about art’s potential to change the world. Right. I wasn’t sure, I told them, that I really could do that. I toyed with offering my apologies, politely declining. I couldn’t see how to be uplifting and, at the same time, force the conversation I thought needed to be had. I said as such.

They responded: By all means, speak your mind.

And I thought: …okay.

Where Are the Disappeared Women of the Theatre?

HowlRound: Tara Derrington scribbled her question on the back of one of her daughter’s paintings. She woke at 3 A.M. with it spinning in her mind. That day in November 2015, Tara joined close to 600 women at a rally in Dublin for Waking the Feminists (WTF) to fight for gender equality on the stage. She attended alone after the event proved inaccessible to many of her colleagues due to scheduling. Standing solo, photographers snapped the image of Tara holding the sign she had made with her question in thick, black ink: “Where are the disappeared women of the Arts?

Can a Playwright Be a Critic? Eliza Bent Says Yes

Clyde Fitch Report: It is fashionable to debate the importance of cultural criticism. The debate questions what criticism is, who is and is not a critic, challenges us to imagine what the audience for criticism should be and to think about proper critical comportment. We believe critics themselves must not be sidelined from the debate.

Pics from CMU Drama