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Thursday, November 27, 2014

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Shubert Theatre

Backstage: In honor of the publication of “The Untold Stories of Broadway, Volume 2,” we asked theater historian (and one of Backstage’s future power players of Broadway) Jennifer Ashley Tepper to share some of the stories she learned from her extensive interviews. Here are six facts about the famed, 101-year-old Shubert Theatre on West 44th Street, currently home to “Matilda.”

Strangest Shakespeare Productions

Flavorwire: After seeing The Public’s most recent production of King Lear this summer, Ira Glass came to the incendiary conclusion that “Shakespeare sucks.” The comment riled many, for reasons that are largely obvious to anyone who understands the Bard’s place in the literary canon, but also because of the threat that such an influential public figure’s disapproval poses to an art form that’s already been noted to be “dying” at the slow pace of a stabbed Shakespearean character. Now, some would counter that theater’s adherence to the past is what’s dooming it in the first place, and that our reverence toward Shakespeare in particular is the core of the problem. But Shakespeare has actually proven to be one of the most vital vessels for change in theater: among directors who aren’t too reverent, who see it as a basis rather than a bible, his old texts have contributed to a great deal of innovation and theatrical radicalism.

USITT Announces Finalists for Prague Quadrennial Exhibit

Stage Directions: USITT has named the six peformances and multiple design work that will represent the U.S. at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial. (The exhibit will have a reprise at the 2016 USITT show in Salt Lake City.) The USITT-USA curatorial team chose two shows from Ripe Time Theatre in New York, a multimedia production from Paul Abacus, a “wandering opera” staged at LA’s Union Station, and performance pieces from faculty at Auburn University in Alabama and Colorado College as the best overall productions for the exhibit. Additionally, 14 designers in specific disciplines will also be included.

Devising The Environment: Mixing Science and Theater In The Classroom

HowlRound: The first day of class, I have no idea what to expect. Though the college is a small one—only about 1,500 students—some of these fourteen undergrads have never met. That’s because the class is split almost right down the middle between theater majors and environmental studies students, with a few crossovers.

Personality Test: Karen Baum

TribLIVE: Actress Karen Baum started off Pict Classic Theatre's season at a dead run as the beleaguered servant in “Blithe Spirit.” She's ending the season in the dual roles of Biddy and Mrs. Joe in the company's production of “Great Expectations,” which will begin performances Dec. 4 at the Charity Randall Theater in Oakland.

Scope Noob: Probing Alternating Current

Hackaday: I finally did it. After years of wanting one (and pushing off projects because I didn’t have one) I finally bought an oscilloscope. Over the years I read and watched a ton of content about how to use a scope, you’d think I would know what I’m doing. Turns out that, like anything, hands-on time with an oscilloscope quickly highlighted the gaping holes in my knowledge. And so we begin this recurring column called Scope Noob. Each installment will focus on a different oscilloscope-related topic. This week it’s measuring a test signal and probing Alternating Current.

Autodesk Project Dreamcatcher Goal Directed Design What if a CAD system could automatically generate tens, hundreds, or even thousands of design options that all meet your specified high-level goals?
It’s no longer what if: it’s Project Dreamcatcher, and it’s the next generation of computational design.

Entertainment Technology - Design and Execution of Theatrical Fog Effects

TSP - Published Documents - About TSP Documents, Published Documents, Public Review Documents, Procedural Documents: ANSI E1.23 - 2010 is being considere for reaffirmation. The standard offers guidance on the creation of theatrical atmospheric effects using artificial fogs or mists in theatres, arenas, and other places of entertainment or public assembly. The fogs and mists covered by this standard are aerosols created using one or more of the following liquids: triethylene glycol, monopropylene glycol, diethylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, 1,2-butylene glycol, 1,3-butylene glycol, glycerin, white mineral oil, water, nitrogen, oxygen, and/or carbon dioxide. The aerosols within the scope of this standard are injected directly into the environment.

How Trashing Others Holds You Back

99U: It’s rare that I’d say any of these things aloud—well, okay, maybe to a friend, but never to the creator themselves. So what’s a little private trash talk? Pretty harmless, right?

Wrong. When other people don’t meet my most critical standards—when something about their personality or their work triggers my negative judgment—it sets off a chain effect

Five ‘Peter Pan’ Secrets: What NBC Will Reveal In ‘Making Of’ Documentary

Variety: In the 1954 theatrical version of “Peter Pan,” the titular hero vows that he’ll never grow up. Come December 4, he will have to, because he’s the central figure in a live version of the play that NBC is hoping will draw big ratings.

Die-hards can get a sneak peek of NBC’s preparations this evening when the Peacock airs a making-of special at 8 p.m. The show, “The Making Of Peter Pan Live!” was put together by NBC News’ Peacock Productions unit, and gives viewers a sense of some of the time pressure and tension that are as much a part of setting up the show as the performances from Allison Williams as Peter Pan and Christopher Walken as Captain Hook.

Cirque Show Scene Returns After Performer’s Death

Pollstar: Cirque du Soleil officials have invited reporters to a Dec. 3 preview of the scene’s return at the MGM Grand hotel-casino on the Strip.

Cirque expects to add the scene intermittently to regular performances for the ticket-buying public starting next week, and it will be part of every performance by Dec. 12, said Alexandria Baum, a spokeswoman for the show.

Changes have been made to the choreography and equipment used in the scene, she said.

Review: 'Newsies' a great addition to musical standards

TribLIVE: Brace yourself for a flood of “Newsies” that will almost assuredly be coming to a high school near you in about two years.

It's a smart, upbeat musical with themes and roles that are age-appropriate for high school audiences and performers but thoroughly appealing to adult ticket buyers. As an added bonus, the show's plot is based on a little-known-but-inspiring piece of American history.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BWW TV Exclusive: Education@Roundabout Partners with IATSE for Hair, Make-Up and Wig Making Career Day! Education@Roundabout has partnered with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the union for behind-the-scenes workers in theatre crafts, to host a series of Hidden Career Path Days featuring theatrical technicians to enhance students' knowledge of required skills for careers in live theatre and possible pathways to pursue those careers. After two successful years of a pilot partnership with IATSE, Roundabout sought to expand the Hidden Career Path program with exploration into Hair/Make-up.

Go Behind The Scenes Of The Sound Production For Interstellar

Fstoppers: Undoubtedly, audio is one of the most important story telling tools in cinema. Improper use or overuse of sound can dramatically affect the impact of the viewing experience. After the recent release of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, there has been a lot of buzz about the 'mix being muddy'. Many theater goers are reporting sound issues; that the booming sound effects are too loud. The majority of the complaints state that the sound drowns out key dialogue, making the film difficult to follow. However; this blockbuster wasn't intended to be a dialogue driven film. In this behind the scenes video short, Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designer Richard King discusses technique behind creating sound for this epic film.

A Multi-Port Charger with a Difference

Tools of the Trade: Multiport chargers have been around for years. Some models charge two batteries, some four, and some charge six. But no matter how many batteries they hold, up until now, they all charged sequentially. If a particular battery takes an hour to charge and there are six in the charger, it will take approximately six hours to charge them all. Makita’s new Dual Port charger (DC18RD) holds only two batteries, but it charges both at once.

LDI 2014 Award Winners Announced

News content from Live Design: The LDI 2014 Awards for Best Booth Design and Best Debuting Products Of The Year were presented in an awards ceremony at 5:00pm on Saturday, November 22 on the LDI show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

All Blogs - What 84 Inches of Snow will Teach You About Technology As Buffaloians, we receive snow warnings all the time, so much so that we have become immune to them. Like the boy who cried wolf, we have stopped taking extra precautions since so many of these storms do not amount to much. So, when we were warned of a Lake Effect storm, not many braced for it. Monday morning at my custom install company’s weekly meeting the subject was never broached. Certainly we did not consider that it would be the last time we saw each other that week.

Laying Out Basic Stair Stringers

Fine Homebuilding Article: The essence of laying out stair stringers is straightforward. You use a framing square to draw the stair’s notches on the stringer, then you cut them out. If you’ve done the math (it’s gradeschool stuff) and the layout right, the tread cuts will be level and the riser cuts plumb.

Interview with PigPen Theatre Company members Ryan Melia, Arya Shahi, and Matt Nurenberger

HowlRound: Corey Ruzicano is a senior at Emerson College in their BFA acting program program. She is participating in the Creative Producer program inside the Office of the Arts at Emerson College. She recently got to talk with PigPen Theatre Co. members Ryan Melia, Arya Shahi, and Matt Nurenberger about how a group of guys who got together in college made a band, a theater company, and remained friends.

L’affaire Lazic: a pianist and reviewer face off

The Washington Post: In 2010, I wrote a review of a recital at the Kennedy Center by the pianist Dejan Lazic. In 2014, he wrote the Washington Post and asked us to take it down.

Neither of us expected that our words would have the effect they did.

My review was mixed. I was underwhelmed by the recital but bent over backwards to find the good in it. Washington Performing Arts’s Hayes Piano Series features “emerging pianists,” often already established in international careers, and the audience is enthusiastic but discriminating; still, it’s rare that a performer isn’t called back for even one encore. Lazic wasn’t, in spite of his striking technical ability, and I tried, in the review, to address some of the reasons why, praising what I liked, and calling out what I didn’t.

What if theatres introduced a bad review fee?

Shenton's View : The Stage: I recently wrote about how punters enjoy bad reviews – and how those that draw attention by objecting publicly to them can end up attracting more publicity than they bargained for.

Just last week a hotel, described by a couple of its customers as a “rotten stinking hovel” in a TripAdvisor review, attracted national newspaper headlines when its owners charged the guests £100 on their credit card, citing the hotel’s policy: “For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review.”

The perils of the five-star review

Stage | The Guardian: A young friend went to The Book of Mormon the other week, a show she had been looking forward to seeing for months. But she said that the first 20 minutes or so were marred by the possibility that the show couldn’t possibility live up to her expectations. She was preparing herself for disappointment even as she watched it. Another friend bought tickets to see Wolf Hall a few months back. Yes, she had enjoyed it. Quite. But not nearly as much as she’d expected. The price of the tickets, the commitment to giving up an entire afternoon and evening, and the glowing reviews had all piled on the anticipation to such an extent that this was going to have to be a really astonishing piece of theatre for it to really deliver.

This ‘Nutcracker’ doesn't pirouette

The Washington Post: Everyone at Round House Theatre is growing accustomed to correcting this thoroughly understandable misunderstanding. “The Nutcracker” is the company’s latest offering, though no tutu or sugar plum fairy is used in the making of this production. It’s not the one you’re thinking of, built around Tchaikovsky’s ballet music. This one is a play with music derived from the short story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” written in the early 1800s by German author E.T.A. Hoffmann, about a little girl whose toys come to life.

Shaping a Show One Pixel at a Time

George Heymont: The use of creative lighting techniques as an integral part of stagecraft has progressed by leaps and bounds since the day when the introduction of a single-lens slide projector was considered a revolutionary step forward in multimedia. I was completely captivated by the San Francisco Opera's use of projection mapping in two recent productions designed by Jun Kaneko (2012's staging of The Magic Flute and 2014's presentation of Madama Butterfly). The following video explores some of the challenges faced by an artist working in a new medium to create enough video for a performance lasting nearly three hours.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuning A System With FFT: Getting It Close Without Listening

Pro Sound Web: You’ve just acquired a 3-D, FFT-based measurement system and are ready to use it to tune a sound system. (Oh, you haven’t? Then click here to learn more.) Now let’s get to it!

Chicagoland’s Marriott Theatre Makes Jump To Digital With DiGiCo SD7T

Pro Sound Web: The Marriott Theatre in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnshire is the most subscribed musical theatre company in the US, and a new DiGiCo SD7T console is ensuring that its sound is every bit as top rate as the shows that are produced there year-round.

The Green Police Check Out Wall Panels

Builder Magazine: Michael Anschel, CEO of Verified Green, and Carl Seville, principal at SK Collaborative, are the Green Police. In this series they scour the exhibit floor at the 2014 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo on the hunt for products you can truly call "green." Watch the duo’s antics while hearing their assessments of noteworthy products.

Train to Gain: Remodelers Reveal Valuable Training Tips

Remodeling: The perfect employee is loyal, flexible, and able to get the job done right first time every time. The perfect employee also is just about impossible to find. But, over time, you can groom employees to be all that you hoped, provided you take the time to train them and provide them with a career path.

Attending My Own Wake: The End of an Ensemble

HowlRound:I was standing in the lobby of a friend's show last spring, talking to an acquaintance from the community. Unfortunately, I already knew what the conversation was going to be: she had smiled too brightly at me and hugged me just a little too long when she saw me, and now, tilting her head with concern and stepping just a little closer, she asked the question.

“So, how are you?”

: Everything Changes…Or Does It?

Pro Sound Web: Technology in professional audio (and technology in general) has changed so much and so quickly that it’s become difficult to get up to speed and stay up to date. The learning curve for some aspects of what we do is quite steep and appears to be accelerating.

Berklee College of Music Unveils Ten Studio Complex Berklee College of Music opened the doors to its 160 Massachusetts Avenue, residence tower in January 2014. The building now features one of the largest, most progressive and versatile professional audio teaching/production/performance complexes in the U.S. Over three years and $100 million have been invested in the development and construction of this cusp point educational compound. Situated over four dedicated floors in a striking, sixteen-story, 155,000 sq. ft. William Rawn Associates building, the ten-studio Walters-Storyk Design Group-designed audio education component represents a pinnacle of contemporary studio planning.

Racks Move out of the Closet, into the Conference Room Although this season’s Paris runways may have overlooked the allure of equipment racks and boxes, those of us in the industry understand the impact and importance of design for these products.

All Blogs - Is Your Company Full of ‘Dream Builders?’ My parents met working at Disneyland in California, so you could definitely say that Disney holds a special place in my heart. And for me, there is no place as full of dreams and magic as Disney, “land” or “World,” depending on your geographic persuasion. At a Disney theme park, practically everything is perfect and designed with the sole purpose of making guests feel as happy and special as possible, turning us all into kids for the day and lifting us out of the “real” world and into something better and more special for the hours we are inside the gates.

Cosmopolitan adds ice with rink’s return

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Ice on the Strip usually means an on-the-rocks cocktail.

But not at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas — which, starting Friday, once again transforms its Boulevard Pool into an overlooking-the-Strip ice rink.

Unlike real winter wonderlands, this one guarantees snow throughout December, with scheduled light snowfalls occurring every half-hour between 6 and 10 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays.

Homeowners inspired by HGTV, get dose of reality For many homeowners, it's a realistic lesson in the "before" and the "after".

Consider the before: When HGTV-fueled home renovations seem achievable and affordable, as slick as a half hour episode. In the after: Homeowners are brought back to reality, realizing renovations take more time and a bigger budget than what it seemed on television.

Dan and Leah Peterson, HGTV fans from Northeast Minneapolis, are adjusting to what's being called the "HGTV Effect", a cable TV-fueled phenomenon noted by more and more remodeling companies.

‘Mary Poppins’ flies onto Paramount stage

Elgin Courier-News: It takes more than a spoonful of sugar to make Mary Poppins fly.

“Every scene is a challenge,” said director and choreographer Rachel Rockwell of the musical. “Mary Poppins flies multiple times in the show. In another scene she goes up a bannister; then the characters get sucked up the chimney; we have kites that fly. Every single scene is tough. It’s probably the most technical show I have ever done. It takes an army of people planning for the better part of a year to make it all work. We all need to be 100 percent on our game.”

“Mary Poppins” will be presented from Nov. 26 to Jan. 4 at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Using Video Grading to Help Students Succeed

Campus Technology: In my seven years at the helm of the fully online Master of Education program in Instructional Design & Technology at West Texas A&M University, I have never found an admissions tool that reliably separates good prospective students from those who will likely fail. Undergraduate GPA, entrance interviews, entrance essays, standardized test scores all have done an abysmal job of predicting success in my program. A student with a 2.3 undergraduate GPA is probably going to struggle and one with a 3.75 is highly likely to soar like an eagle, but for the Great Middle with their 2.65 to 3.25 GPAs, anything is possible — from All-Star status to immediately assuming fetal position in the face of our workload.

USITT Releases Session Schedule for 2015 Show

Stage Directions: The session schedule for the 2015 USITT show in Cincinnati has more than 200 listings, including more sessions on new technology, emerging fields like projection design and advanced learning. Projection pioneer Wendall Harrington, who teaches projection design at Yale School of Drama, will receive USITT’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Education in a special session on her work.

Therapy on Display

Signshop: How does one brighten the experience for seriously ill children staying in the hospital? One colorful, state-of-the-art answer can be found in the recently installed “Discovery Zone” interactive video wall display.

Berkeley Rep Launches Charles Dean Award

Stage Directions: The Charles Dean Award comes with a $10,000 cash prize endowed by the Robinson Family Fund for the Arts and will be administered by the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The award recognizes a Bay Area actor who has dedicated his or her career to Bay Area theatre. The inaugural award was presented to its namesake, Charles Dean at the inaugural Bay Area Theatre Awards.

Artist Rob Prior Talks Creative Process And Future Projects Since graduating from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University and receiving a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Toledo, Rob Prior has won several Airbrush Awards as one of the premiere photo-realistic airbrush artists in the world.

Prior has worked extensively in the games industry, for companies such as Steve Jackson Games, TSR, Wizards of the Coast, Battle Lords of the 23rd century and many others. He has also worked in the comis industry with Marvel, DC, Todd McFarlane, Kevin Eastman, Image Comics, and others, on titles such as Spawn, Terminator, Deep Space 9, Evil Ernie, Lady Death, Heavy Metal and many others.

National Directors Fellowship Launches at Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

Stage Directions: A joint endeavor between The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National New Play Network, and the Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation, the National Directors Fellowship is a five-year initiative “that will fast-track the professional development of 25 early-career stage directors, continuing the advancement of new artists and new plays in America.”

Church Sound: Building Proper Gain Structure

Pro Sound Web: While I’ve written about gain structure before, I continue to run across people who don’t fully understand it. And that means one thing; I need to keep writing about it.

I actually understand why so many have a limited understanding of proper gain structure. It’s not glamorous like plug-ins or digital consoles, and there is really nothing new to discuss. However, if you’ve never gotten a good handle on how to properly set gains on your console, there is no time like the present to learn.

Technology Takes a Tightrope Walk As a man prepared to walk off the edge of a skyscraper and on to a 340-foot-long steel cable, Marc Weinstock had other things on his mind.

While 65,000 people on the ground and more than 6.7 million viewers were watching daredevil Nik Wallenda walk untethered across a tightrope over the city of Chicago, the director of technical operations for NBC’s field and production operations had his mind on technical things.

Technology trends – combining LEDs, textiles and dynamic content

Installation: Philips luminous textile with Kvadrat Soft Cells combines LEDs, textiles and dynamic content to drive sales of the new Lexus NX in 44 showrooms across Russia

Live 'Side Show' Simulcast Wasn't Live After All A bid to make Broadway history by broadcasting a scene from the opening night performance of the musical “Side Show” live in Times Square didn’t come off as planned, though the crowd that gathered to watch in the rain may not have known what they were missing at all.

ZipFast Opaque Panels Offer Privacy and Protection

Remodeling: Expanding its collection of dust containment products, ZipWall is introducing ZipFast Reusable Barrier Panels. Unlike clear plastic sheeting, ZipFast panels are made of opaque nylon that allows users to contain dust in construction areas while also hiding unfinished spaces from view.

A Doctor Checks Up on a New 'Allegro' Aside from Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Frankenstein, there are not a lot of doctors in Broadway musicals.

Yet a show about father-and-son physicians was written by perhaps the greatest songwriting team in Broadway history: the composer Richard Rodgers and the librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. Considered by some to be their greatest flop, “Allegro,” which opened in 1947, is rarely performed today.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

20 Things To Never Say To People In Creative Fields Everyone has a friend who works in a creative field: web designers, artists, writers, musicians, photographers, and any other number of careers.

You likely have no idea that you say and do things that are spectacularly insulting. You might mean well, but you're speaking out of ignorance. These are 20 sure-fire ways to really insult your creative friends.

Company pushes button on radical idea: Cell-free concerts

TribLIVE: Sheena Ekas loves going to concerts, but she has started to find the other fans in attendance irritating.

It seems like lately every time the Saxonburg resident goes to a show, everyone around her spends more time on their phones than watching the performance.

“There are times you can't even see the stage because, so many arms and phones are in the way,” says the 27-year-old Ekas. “When I go to a concert, I want to watch the actual show, not a video through a tiny screen.”

But times they could be a-changin', though.

Batman and the Joker unite to fight NYC's costume registration act

The Verge: New York City Councilmember Andy King wants to require costumed performers in Times Square (and other public places) to register with the city — $175 for a two-year license plus $75 for fingerprinting fees — in order to accept tips or donations.

My role in de-skilling the arts

J. E. Johnson: When I see the perennial behind-the-scenes tour groups gawking wide-eyed at the 10,000 square foot scenic studio outside my office at The University of Texas, I am reminded that I have a very cool job. Every year our staff of professionals and students produces beautiful stage sets and generally “make the magic happen.” Even so, I feel like the magic is fading in our shop. Returning students have confided to me that work in the shop is “not as much fun anymore” and, reluctantly, I have to agree. We feel less like a team. There’s more stress, less camaraderie, and less vitality.

I blame the students. But I’m convinced it’s not their fault.

Make College Awesome by Taking a 'Study Harry Potter Abroad' Course Are you tired of the same old boring college classes that try to teach you useless shit like "History" and "Underwater Basket Weaving?" Don't you wish you could just jump into a good book and live in a fantasy world of magic and improbable plot lines forever? Then, boy, does California State San Marcos have all the answers to your prayers!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Jones Family Reaches Settlement in ‘Midnight Rider’ Case

Variety: The family of Sarah Jones, the camera assistant killed on the set of “Midnight Rider” earlier this year, have agreed to settle their civil lawsuit with the film’s director and producers, a spokeswoman for the family’s law firm said on Wednesday.

The settlement was made with the filmmakers, including director Randall Miller, producer Jody Savin and executive producer Jay Sedrish, as well as a number of other defendants.

Jones was killed on Feb. 20 in a train accident on the set of the movie. Eight others were injured.

Terms of the settlement were confidential.

Company pushes button on radical idea: Cell-free concerts

TribLIVE: Sheena Ekas loves going to concerts, but she has started to find the other fans in attendance irritating.

It seems like lately every time the Saxonburg resident goes to a show, everyone around her spends more time on their phones than watching the performance.

“There are times you can't even see the stage because, so many arms and phones are in the way,” says the 27-year-old Ekas. “When I go to a concert, I want to watch the actual show, not a video through a tiny screen.”

But times they could be a-changin', though.

About Ensembles and Universities: 100 Questions, 3 Ideas, 1 Story and a Ghost

HowlRound: Network of Ensemble Theaters just concluded a National Symposium called Intersections, looking at the relationship between ensembles and universities across the US. It was held at The New School in New York City and was attended by artists from all over the US.

Welcome to 'L'Hotel': Stars of different eras gather in Public Theater play

TribLIVE: Playwright Ed Dixon has assembled an A-list of personalities for his brand-new comedy, “L'Hotel.”

Six former celebrities with still-recognizable names such as playwright Oscar Wilde and rock star Jim Morrison have settled in as guests at a formerly grand but comfortable and elegant hotel in Paris.

Hilary Swank: male actors earn 10 times more than female

Film | The Guardian: Two-time Oscar-winning actor Hilary Swank has lamented Hollywood’s continuing failure to reward female stars with the kind of pay packets their male counterparts routinely receive.

Speaking to an audience of students in Los Angeles ahead of the release of her new film The Homesman, Swank said her earnings would be dramatically higher if she were a man.

6 Young Playwrights Every Actor Should Know

Backstage: One of the most important and fulfilling aspects of the performer’s work is that of collaboration; though actors team up with a variety of artists and elements throughout the creative processes, the script itself is often the greatest collaborator of all. Here are six exciting young playwrights whose bold works have set the scene for 21st century actors, giving voice to our modern experience and shaping the next phase of the American theater.

All or Nothing: The Life of an Improbable Ensemble

HowlRound: A few years ago at the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) Conference, I kept finding myself in the same conversation.

Them: (looking at my nametag) What’s Strange Attractor?

Me: It’s a devising company I run. We create original shows in Providence, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, and Juneau, Alaska.

Them: Wow. That’s a cool model!

The Trojan Women at Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper

: The Trojan Women is a classic palimpsest: re-written, re-adapted and re-translated since 451 BCE, when Euripides copped the story from Homer's even-more-ancient Iliad. The School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University's latest iteration, Charles L. Mee's Trojan Women: A Love Story, draws from several thousand years of literature and the horrors of war, with distinctly modern accents.

Ann Roth's design for living

CBS News: Lithgow said, "Actors just tend to adore her. She's on their side."

Roth spends much of her time far from the bright lights of Hollywood and Broadway, at her home in Eastern Pennsylvania. It's where she and her late husband raised their daughter, and where Roth keeps her vast research library - such as the huge volumes for the military uniforms in the Civil War epic, "Cold Mountain." They contain information about where the jackets were made, where the wool was woven, where the wool was dyed, where it was washed.

20 Things To Never Say To People In Creative Fields Everyone has a friend who works in a creative field: web designers, artists, writers, musicians, photographers, and any other number of careers.

You likely have no idea that you say and do things that are spectacularly insulting. You might mean well, but you're speaking out of ignorance. These are 20 sure-fire ways to really insult your creative friends.

Troupe transfers beloved 'Charlie Brown' TV special to stage | TribLIVE

TribLIVE: With the holidays just about here, what better way to get in the Christmas spirit than to join Charlie Brown and his friends?

Mon River Arts will present “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Grand Theatre in Elizabeth Nov. 20 through 23.

Director Lorraine Mszanski said theatergoers should not be disappointed with the show. “The original script is word for word from the TV special.”

Sound in 3-D

CMU: Anthony Mattana (A'11) had a problem. When the Carnegie Mellon University alumnus was trying to capture the sound designs he'd created for live theater events to use for his portfolio, they always came out sounding flat. The recording equipment he'd need to capture the immersive experience of hearing a live event, called binaural audio, would cost thousands of dollars.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Passionate About Puppet Design

Faculty & Staff News - Carnegie Mellon University: When Louis Henry Mitchell took the stage in Philip Chosky Theater, he was laughing.


The jovial creative director of character design for Sesame Workshop — the non-profit organization behind the 45-year-old hit children's show "Sesame Street " — was here to talk art, passion and puppets with drama students from CMU, Pitt and Point Park University.

Black List Turns 10 as Haven for Screenwriters

Variety: In a business where the highest praise is often reserved for directors and stars, the Black List aims to be a haven for writers — an archive where the creators of concept, characters and content are given their due.

It All Comes Back to the Hook

HowlRound: Collaborators don’t have to agree. They have to trust each other. We have been friends since high school in Saginaw, Michigan, and so our trust is deep, and allows us to occasionally disagree. In 2010, we found ourselves in New York City at the same time and with the same sets of goals and interests. We agreed to begin to lay the groundwork for an open ensemble of artists brought together to create and produce original theatrical work. Initially we each invited three artists to join what would become Hook & Eye Theater—“Hook” being the spark that ignites our collective interest, and the “Eye” being the joint and several lenses through which we make our work. This early group became the "Core" ensemble, which has enjoyed a healthy rotation of membership each year, with members encouraged to explore with and without the confines of the company.

Make College Awesome by Taking a 'Study Harry Potter Abroad' Course Are you tired of the same old boring college classes that try to teach you useless shit like "History" and "Underwater Basket Weaving?" Don't you wish you could just jump into a good book and live in a fantasy world of magic and improbable plot lines forever? Then, boy, does California State San Marcos have all the answers to your prayers!

Batman and the Joker unite to fight NYC's costume registration act

The Verge: New York City Councilmember Andy King wants to require costumed performers in Times Square (and other public places) to register with the city — $175 for a two-year license plus $75 for fingerprinting fees — in order to accept tips or donations.

You Should Know: Dave English

Pittsburgh Magazine - December 2014 - Pittsburgh, PA: Dave English has worked in more fields than many people. He’s been a substitute teacher. He’s tended bar. He’s worked in sales and at Conflict Kitchen. He drove a casket-delivery truck.

Yes, the artist and comedian says, obtaining a degree in puppetry does not necessarily provide a direct career path.

A Shareable Future: Creative Commons at 12 years

Boing Boing: Twelve years ago, Creative Commons made a big bet. We saw that the internet had transformed the ways in which people create, distribute, and consume content. And we believed that what it meant to be a creator was going to shift in a big way.

We built a set of licenses that creators could use to unlock their works, giving everyone permission to reuse, republish, and adapt them. The public responded, sharing millions of creative works under CC licenses -- everything from photography to music to scholarly research and data.

League of Chicago Theatres’ Annual Holiday Guide

SHOWBIZ CHICAGO: The Chicago theater community will present a wide variety of festive plays and musicals, as well as dance and concert offerings this Holiday season. In support, the League of Chicago Theatres will once again create a comprehensive Holiday Theater Guide that will be available beginning in November at hotels, theaters, events, and destinations across the Chicago area.

PICT Focuses on All of the Classics

Pittsburgh Magazine - December 2014 - Pittsburgh, PA: It’s no wonder the Charles Dickens masterpiece “Great Expectations,” adapted by Hugh Leonard, closes out the year at PICT Classic Theatre, running Dec. 4-20. The first season fully selected and helmed by Artistic and Executive Director Alan Stanford leaves audiences with great expectations indeed for the expanding troupe.

Kara Walker’s A Subtlety Was Performance Art

Flavorwire: We’ve known Kara Walker’s video follow-up to her installation piece A Subtlety, which showed at Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar Factory site this summer, was coming for a while. In a conversation with the LA Times last month, Walker revealed she’d filmed audience reactions to her monumental piece — the same audience reactions that provoked outrage in some attendees.

Civil Suit Settlement Reached in Death of Camera Assistant Sarah Jones

Below the Line: “We are all Sarah Jones” and “Never Forget. Never Again” were the rallying cries earlier this year at a tribute held by local IATSE guilds for the crew member killed on a location shoot in Georgia. Yesterday the parents of Sarah Elizabeth Jones, the young camera assistant who died in a train accident during the filming of Midnight Rider in January, agreed to settle their civil lawsuit with the film’s director and producers, according to a statement from the lawyer for the family, Jeff Harris.

The Art of Computational Creativity

The Creativity Post: On the first day of the Fifth International Conference on Computational Creativity, in Ljubljana, Slovenia (June 10-13, 2014), there was a panel discussion on the subject “Computational Creativity and the Arts”. The first section of this article reproduces an edited transcript of that discussion. A second section offers reflections on this discussion, and adds some “meta-level” commentary on the art of computational creativity.

Pics from CMU Drama