CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

'Hamilton' hits Hollywood: Here's what it took to get the landmark musical to L.A.

LA Times: Hollywood Boulevard, 4:45 a.m. The sky is charcoal-colored and hazy, the nearly empty streets bathed in a blur of red, orange and green from a thicket of neon signage — the W Hollywood hotel, Deco-era apartments, Dunkin’ Donuts.

Suddenly a spot of white appears in the distance. Two 18-wheel trucks roll into view, cutting through the glow of the lights. The unmarked trucks could be carrying produce to nearby restaurants or T-shirts to a souvenir shop. But as they rumble and turn onto Argyle Avenue, a finely printed slogan becomes visible on the truck’s side: “Let’s get the show on the road.”

THE BUZZ AT SIGGRAPH: A SIGN OF THE TIMES IN VFX

VFX Voice Magazine: There was something in the air at SIGGRAPH this year, which recently wrapped up at the Los Angeles Convention Center with more than 16,000 attendees checking out the latest in computer graphics and interactive tech.

While that number doesn’t near the dizzying heights of the mid-to-late ’90s (upwards of 40,000 attended), the biggest take-away from SIGGRAPH 2017 was still a noticeable buzz about the visual effects, animation and gaming industries.

Quantum Theatre and En Garde Arts team up for world premiere

www.nextpittsburgh.com: Any project undertaken by Quantum Theatre delves into bold and innovative territory. Its latest production marks several firsts for the company, which is celebrating 27 seasons taking theatre off the stage and into some of Pittsburgh’s most intriguing nontraditional spaces.

For its world premiere of Sean Christopher Lewis’ new play, Red Hills, Quantum is collaborating with the award-winning NYC-based company, En Garde Arts. Following Pittsburgh, the show will head to NYC for a staging in 2018.

Female stunt driver dies on the set of 'Deadpool 2'

www.usatoday.com: A female stunt driver died on the set of the upcoming Deadpool sequel, Vancouver police confirmed Monday.

"A stunt driver has died on the set of Deadpool during a stunt on a motorcycle," read a tweet sent out on the official Vancouver police department's account.

Police remained at the scene to assist with the workplace accident investigation.

Diana Huey: Asian Little Mermaid Star Fires Back at Hate

collegecandy.com: When you think of Ariel, you probably picture a red-headed white girl who rocks a clamshell bra and tail like no other. But really, does it say anywhere that The Little Mermaid lead has to be white?

Nope.
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But that hasn’t stopped people from talking smack about Diana Huey, the Asian American actress currently playing Ariel in the touring musical production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Monday, August 14, 2017

For 'Little Mermaid' star, a rude awakening in Middle America

The Buffalo News: Diana Huey doesn't seek out negative social feedback. But too often, it finds her.

That's what happened one recent day in Memphis, where Japanese-born Huey was set to perform the role of Ariel in a touring production of "The Little Mermaid" at the historic Orpheum Theatre.

Before the show, scrolling through Facebook, she came across outraged comments from Disney fans criticizing the casting of an Asian American in a role they expected to be played by a white woman. That's despite the fact that the character is based on an animated film featuring a mythical creature who cavorts with singing crustaceans.

You Wrote a Children's Play About Chernobyl?

Clyde Fitch Report: There’s this Facebook meme going around where you ask people to comment with something you’ve done that you’re sure is unique. I like to throw my offering on the altar of the algorithm once in awhile and type: “I wrote and produced a children’s play about Chernobyl.”

I could just say “a play about Chernobyl” and end it there, but the “children’s” qualifier is the kicker.

Low Pay, No Way

OnStage Blog: I was scanning through adverts for jobs in the theatre and I came across a post for Front of House staff at a big regional theatre in the UK. Out of curiosity, I clicked on it. It took me through to a listing on the theatre’s website. The job was paid at minimum wage (£7.50 in the UK) and was on a zero hours contract. No guarantee of shifts but the possibility of two per week. I was quite shocked by this and took to Facebook to vent which led to a massive debate about pay in the industry, what level the jobs were within the organisation, the responsibilities etc and it started to get quite heated. So I thought I would write a quick blog post to share some of the views expressed and my thoughts on the whole situation.

Cloud 9

Pittsburgh in the Round: Cloud 9 is a peculiar, challenging play. Its title brings to mind feelings of euphoria and images of paradise. On the other hand, Throughline Theatre Company’s production of Caryl Churchill’s controversial and unorthodox examination of the social and sexual aftershocks of British colonialism—under the unfocused direction of Edwin Lee Gibson—conjures feelings of befuddlement and images of purgatory.

How the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre Partners with Communities

HowlRound: Rural towns of 200 to 1,000 people have a lot in common with Blue Lake, California, whose population is 1,200, and the base of Dell’Arte International since 1974. As rural artists we think of the regional rural community network as part of our own extended community. In our early years, Blue Lake alone couldn’t support more than a couple of performances of a Dell’Arte Company show, but we realized that if we were mobile, the extended community could support a tour. By touring we could both serve the network of small towns, while honing our work through multiple performances.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The 2017 Fab 50: Recognizing the Industry's Top Exhibit Builders

Event Marketer: To say it’s an exciting time to be a fabricator is the understatement of the year in an industry that keeps pushing the bar higher with environments that are as sparkling in their design as they are functional and interactive. From large-scale touch surfaces to lightweight framing to double decks and supersized graphics, the capabilities of these leading partners in North America are transforming trade shows and activations, alike.

Full House Set Built for Warner Bros. Thriller ‘Annabelle: Creation’

Variety: On movie sets, rooms in houses are often built in the traditional three-wall style, their layouts arranged according to space on the soundstage rather than architectural realism. But the creators of supernatural horror thriller “Annabelle: Creation,” to be released Aug. 11 by Warner Bros., did something different.

A sneak peek inside Sandy's new Hale Centre Theatre

Deseret News: Hale Centre Theatre is three weeks away from opening its first show in its new Jewel Box Theatre at the Mountain America Performing Arts Centre in Sandy, and representatives from the theater and the construction staff gave a sneak peek of the facilities Wednesday. The 130,000-square-foot building, 9886 Monroe St., includes two stages, a 1,700-stall parking structure and outdoor plaza with a total price tag of more than $100 million.

How Drake got his giant CN Tower replica from Las Vegas to Toronto

Entertainment - CBC News: Under a gigantic, glowing replica of his beloved CN Tower, rapper Drake told the Toronto crowd gathered at Monday's OVO Fest he had called "19 companies" to build it and they all said no. So when Eric Pearce got the call, he too was a little skeptical it could be done. "They came up with the concept of the design for this show rather late," said Pearce, owner of Las Vegas' Show Group Production Services (SGPS), the outfit that helped design and build the faux tower. "It's pretty large."

‘Westworld’ Showrunners on How Their Show is ‘Inspired by Art’

Variety: There may be nothing in Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan’s Warner Bros. office that better exemplifies the overall design of their space than a pair of custom Pop! Funko figures their assistants commissioned. These vinyl figures, which not only feature the married co-creators of “Westworld” but their family as well, perfectly depict their personal and professional inspirations. “Other people’s artwork has a reciprocal effect on ours,” Joy says. “Our show is inspired by art, and then we see the fan art that’s out there that has been made for the show, and that takes it to the next level. It’s wonderful being a part of this chain of creative influence.”

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Touring the Houston Grand Opera

Prop Agenda: While at the 24th Annual Society of Properties Artisan Managers conference in Houston, we got a chance to tour the stage and warehouse of the Houston Grand Opera. On the first day, we visited the Wortham Theater Center, located in the heart of downtown Houston. Being an opera, the stage and seating are far larger than most of the theaters we work in.

Meaning Behind Costumes Worn by Robin Wright’s ‘House of Cards’ Character

Variety: Since the dawn of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” the wardrobe of Claire Underwood (Robin Wright, Emmy nominated for the fifth time for the role) has spoken volumes about her character. Never more so than in season five (dumped on the internet for binge viewing on May 30), which sees Claire shatter the ultimate glass ceiling, break the fourth wall and get blood on her hands — while wearing an oxblood-hued dress, of course. With the help of costume designer Kemal Harris, we decode Claire’s killer, color-steeped style.

QUICK TIP: Cloud Libraries

DESIGN DIFFERENTLY: In this QUICK TIP, we’ll take a look at the CAM Tool Libraries. By default, they’re stored locally on your machine, but from time-to-time it can be nice to access from another computer or location. This is where Cloud Tool Libraries are awesome!

Bold casting only part of what makes this 'Virginia Woolf' go

Chicago Tribune: In May of this year, Edward Albee’s 1962 classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” became controversial all over again, when the late playwright’s estate withheld the rights for a planned production in Portland, Ore. The reason? The director cast an African-American actor as Nick, the young, up-and-coming biology professor who, along with his wife, Honey, becomes entangled in the drunken late-night “games” of George and Martha.

Bruce Springsteen Using Ticketmaster ‘Verified Fan’ for Broadway Show

Observer: Of course the Boss was the one who finally figured out how to stop bots and scalpers.

Fans who wanted to snag tickets for Bruce Springsteen’s 2016 tour found that shows were sold out within seconds of being posted for sale. At the same time, resale sites like StubHub offered those same seats at sky-high prices.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

‘Great Comet’ Closing on Broadway After Casting Controversy

Variety: The Broadway musical “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” will close Sept. 3, following a turbulent couple of weeks that saw the show engulfed in a controversy over a last-minute recasting of one of the title roles.

Squonk Opera in China: Week One

Blogh: We flew out of Pittsburgh on Tue., Aug. 1, at 8 a.m. and were scheduled to arrive in Qingdao 22 hours later (6 p.m. the following day — Wednesday — China time). Our first of three legs landed us in Newark and then we boarded our long flight (14 hours) from Newark to Beijing.

Photo-Etching and Soldering Your Own Brass Model Parts

makezine.com: If you’re a fan of highly-detailed scale modeling, you may already be aware of the YouTube channel PLASMO (Plastic Models), a consistently mind-blowing video tutorial series hosted by Czech modeling wizard David Damek.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’s’ Reed Morano on Female Directors

Variety: “The Handmaid’s Tale” Emmy sweep is one of the greater success stories of this year’s nominations — and so is Reed Morano, who directed the first three episodes of Hulu’s breakout hit. Morano, a relatively new director with 50 cinematography credits to her name, generated early industry buzz for her work on the dystopian drama, and now has cemented herself as a first-time Emmy nominee with not just one, but two noms for her work behind the camera.

Art, Science, and LAIKA Studios

Uncrate: LAIKA Studios specializes in traditional stop-motion animation — but combines that with modern CGI effects and technology like 3D printing. A packed roster of talented artists seamlessly combines traditional techniques and modern movie making processes to create an experience unlike any other. Watch the people behind LAIKA describe the creative and practical process behind their work in this short.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Trex Company Completes Acquisition of Staging Concepts

Stage Directions: Trex Company, known for its decking and railings, and leader in high-performance, low-maintenance outdoor living products, has acquired Staging Concepts and SC Railing, which will be the first operating company within the Trex Commercial Products subsidiary.

TAIT Designers and Engineers Discuss the Different Disciplines They Apply Daily with LinkedIn

www.taittowers.com: Ever wonder what it takes to design and engineer the ultimate live experiences? On this episode of TAIT Talks, LinkedIn spotlights TAIT designers and engineers as well as the different disciplines they apply to develop staging solutions in the live event industry. #TAITTalks

Finalists Named for the HES 2017 HOG Factor Competition

Stage Directions: High End Systems announces the finalists for the 2017 HOG Factor National Collegiate Lighting Show Programming Competition. The competition finals will be held on High End Systems' booth at the 2017 LDI trade show. The finalist teams will be flown to Las Vegas to perform their pieces live at LDI 2017, based on the High End Systems 2017 LDI Booth Design.

Microsoft Paint’s Influence on Artists Is Bigger Than You Might Think

www.artsy.net: On July 24th, the vintage graphics editing software Microsoft Paint found itself tossed unceremoniously on the chopping block. The program, a staple of the Windows operating system for 32 years, had been quietly added to a list of applications slated for removal. (Taking its place was Microsoft’s latest image-making tool, 3D Paint.)

The internet responded quickly and resoundingly: We want MS Paint back.

Five Projects Selected To UPLift Campus Life

www.cmu.edu/news: The selected projects from Carnegie Mellon University's inaugural UPLift Challenge will offer ways to help the Pittsburgh campus community have fun, relax and recharge.

Last spring, the Task Force on the CMU Experience invited students, faculty and staff to submit creative ideas to make common spaces more engaging, collaborative and fun. The term UPLift refers to University Place-making, or the idea that the right kind of physical spaces can meaningfully influence community and culture. Proposals were encouraged to align with three overarching themes: Health and Wellness; Crossroads of the Mind; and Recognizably CMU.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Monkey Selfie Case May Settle: PETA Knows It'll Lose, And The Photographer Is Broke

Techdirt: It may finally be ending. The dumbest copyright lawsuit we've seen in a long time (and that's saying a lot) about a silly topic. We've been covering the story of the monkey selfie from basically the very beginning (and often get mentioned in stories about it, as we'll discuss below). But, the story that began as a weird quirk of explaining how copyright law works -- and how many people don't believe it works the way it does -- got stupid in a hurry once PETA and the formerly respected law firm of Irell & Manella got involved. And, now, finally, the case may be ending in a settlement.

Immersive Art Installation 29 Rooms Returns to Brooklyn September 2017

Theme Park University: Slowly but surely, a fairly new category in themed entertainment is carving a niche for itself. Immersive and interactive art installations have been popping up around the country over the last few years. For those unfamiliar, a permanent version of this medium is now open in Santa Fe, New Mexico called House of Eternal Return created by Meow Wolf. Seriously, click this link it will blow your mind. Now a new immersive art installation is headed for Brooklyn known as 29 Rooms.

Effort to Free Civil Rights Anthem May Hinge on Difference Between "Will" and "Shall"

Hollywood Reporter: How exactly did an African-American spiritual from the 19th century become "We Shall Overcome," an iconic anthem during the civil rights era? And does this song belong in the public domain or must those who wish to use it in movies and television shows get permission and pay license fees? A federal judge is set to provide some answers in a legal battle that's got something for historians, grammar nerds, activists and, of course, copyright nuts.

Students Compose for Butterflies

www.cmu.edu/news: Carnegie Mellon University students have created an ever-changing soundtrack for Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens' Butterfly Forest.

It is the first time a sound installation has been a part of the exhibition, which annually attracts some 125,000 visitors from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

This 14-Minute Video Detailing Last Night's Game of Thrones Battle Rules So Much

io9.gizmodo.com: After seven seasons, last night’s Game of Thrones delivered on a big promise with one of its most masterful battle scenes ever. HBO just released this awesome 14-minute video detailing what it’s calling “The Loot Train Battle,” filled with behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and so much more.

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