CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Evolving Storytelling to Marry the Ancient Skills with the Digital Age

Hackaday: Storytelling is an art. It stretches back to the dawn of man. It engages people on an emotional level and engages their mind. Paulina Greta Stefanovic, a user experience researcher and interaction designer is on the cutting edge of bringing our technology together with the best human aspects of this long tradition.

The information age is threatening storytelling — not making it extinct, but reducing the number of people who themselves are storytellers. We are no longer reliant on people in our close social circles to be exquisite story tellers for our own enjoyment; we have the luxury (perhaps curse?) of mass market story-telling.

The 2016 Best BFA Programs for Each Area in Theatre in the Country - Scenic Design

OnStage: For East Coast scenic design students, going to college on the West Coast might seem a bit far, but the program at Cal Arts is well worth it. Boasting a combination of some of the finest facilities, faculty and a comprehensive curriculum, this is a must see for any future scenic designer both at the BFA and MFA level.

Record number of TV series filmed in New York City

NY Daily News: Binge watching has helped propel binge filming in New York City.

The city has again broken a record for the number of scripted TV shows being filmed in the five boroughs — and officials are crediting some of the surge to the popularity of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

Behind ‘Hamilton’s Moves, a Man Inspired by ‘The Matrix’

WSJ: In the early days of “Hamilton,” choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler realized he had a problem: The dancers were onstage through nearly all of the first act, so that they barely had time to catch their breath and recover.

Hamilton Quiz

New York Theater: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton has been a phenomenon for more than a year now. How much have you been paying attention? Answer these 20 questions and find out.

I Came Up With A Creative Idea, Someone Else Just Did It, & I'm Still Recovering

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: Since the turn of the century (which sounds even longer ago than it really is), I’ve been harboring a secret. It’s an idea for a creative project that I’ve been keeping to myself all these years, not sharing it with anyone—not even those closest to me—for fear of having someone else steal my concept. Every few weeks, I even Google terms that describe the idea, just to make sure that no one else on the planet has done it. Every time, I breathe a sigh of relief and go back to daydreaming about a way to make my idea a reality.

Meet Our Team: Mike Wade About a month ago we added Mike Wade to our staff at Creative Conners. Mike is our new Director of Technical Services. That means he will focus on technical support, custom project engineering, and user education. When you’ve got a question about how to get your gear up and running or you are stumped trying to sort out a tricky bit of Spikemark programming – Mike is the guy to call. On top of that, Mike will be joining Gareth as the co-host of the Circuit and Gear podcast.

The Lightning Projected Mario Kart On The Ice Between Periods I’m on record as a big fan of those on-court and on-ice projection systems proliferating throughout our nation’s arenas, but Tampa might have achieved apotheosis.

The Promise and Peril of Group Decision-Making

Decision Fish: The Art & Science of Decision-Making: Whom should we hire, promote or fire? Who should we put on this proposal writing team and what should we propose? I’ve made or participated in such group decisions hundreds of times and I’ve never felt confident in the process or the outcome. Did we come up with the right alternatives, in sufficient number? Did we weigh the alternative outcomes according to their expected costs, benefits and probabilities, relative to common values and objectives? Was the process too political, dominated by one extroverted or senior individual, or ended arbitrarily?

Your Sneak Peek into the Future of Vectorworks Software from the Design Summit

Planet Vectorworks: Our newly minted CEO, Dr. Biplab Sarkar, is less than a month into his tenure, and he’s already showing the design community some love by teasing exciting developments planned for Vectorworks software. Sarkar showcased upcoming advancements during his keynote speech at this year’s Vectorworks Design Summit in Chicago. The reveal was met by thunderous applause from 600-plus attendees from around the world, confirming that our future releases will make a resounding impact.

Top Theater Talents Come Together to Create ‘Frozen – Live at the Hyperion’ for Disney California Adventure Park

 Disney Parks Blog: The opening of “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” is just over a week away, and everything is starting to come together to create an incredible theatrical adaptation of the story of sisters Anna and Elsa. This new stage spectacle is the result of an amazing collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, Disneyland Resort, Tony Award-nominated director Liesl Tommy (“Eclipsed”) and a group of talented professionals with an impressive list of credits.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Get a Sneak Peek at Some of the Innovative Technology Coming to ‘Frozen – Live at the Hyperion’ at Disney California Adventure Park

Disney Parks Blog: In adapting Disney’s “Frozen” for the stage in “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion,” the team at Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment sought out new and exciting ways to tell Anna and Elsa’s story. Among other innovations, this dazzling theatrical production incorporates state-of-the-art projections and motion capture technology to create several “Wow!” moments for the audience.

Ballet Legend Baryshnikov Dances a Descent into Madness

The Creators Project: A collaboration that spans time itself has finally been realized. Two of the greatest male dancers of the 20th century come together in Robert Wilson’s Letter to a Man, a one-man production in which Mikhail Baryshnikov portrays Vaslav Nijinsky's diary entries as the dancer and choreographer descended into madness. Last weekend in Madrid, and next month in Monte-Carlo, avid audiences can see the existential brutality of Nijinsky’s deterioration, depicted through intense theatricality and the one-of-a-kind movement of Baryshnikov.

6 Habits Of Creative Managers

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: Managing teams is tough enough. But when you’re managing teams of people who need to be highly creative to fulfill their job functions, a new level of complexity is added, says Michael D. Mumford, PhD. He is a professor and director of the Center for Applied Social Research at the University of Oklahoma and author of Pathways to Outstanding Leadership: A Comparative Analysis of Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic Leaders.

The Lion

Pittsburgh in the Round: Yes, it’s THAT good. As the grand finale of its 2015-2016 season, City Theatre’s latest Main Stage production The Lion invites Pittsburgh audience onto a soulful journey with a heart-warming roar. Originally premiered Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2014 and followed by a critically-acclaimed world tour, the show already welcomed a full house just one week before the official opening night.

Creating a Safer Workplace

Occupational Health & Safety: Each year, falls from heights ranging from just a few inches to 120 stories account for more than 30 percent of all fall-related injuries and work-related deaths. Such injuries not only endanger the integrity of the workplace and the safety of employees, but also cost businesses millions of dollars each year in medical expenses, lost wages, and lower productivity.

Checklist: 6 Questions to Ask Your Tent Provider A tent may be a critical component of an event’s layout, shelter, or weather plan. But setting one up is not a matter to be taken lightly: Improper preparation or communication can result in danger, fines, and other liability issues. Ask these questions to reduce risks and ensure a smooth experience when setting up a tent outdoors.

Oh Ho! The Fringe Festival's a Comin'!

Footlights: Do you hear the faint sound of trumpets blaring an announcement of something about to happen? Do you feel the tremor of excitement as a whirlwind of activity is beginning to transform Hollywood, the way a new circus changes an open field into a land of fun and excitement? Listen for it, it’s happening soon. The June 6th opening of the 7th Annual Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Ethereal Sculptures and Wearable Orbs Formed From Synthetic Fabric by Mariko Kusumoto

Colossal: Japanese artist Mariko Kusumoto uses translucent fabric to produce balloon-like objects, orbs that contain various forms trapped within their soft exterior. The creations inside range from smaller versions of the spherical sculptures to sea creatures and cars, playful forms that fit the bright colors Kusumoto chooses for her works. To set the polyester fabric into the shapes she desires she heats the pieces to the right temperature, allowing the material to memorize the shape she wishes to create. These works are then formed into sculptural or wearable objects, 3D jewelry that can be worn around the neck.

Photos of Electric Daisy Carnival New York

Business Insider: One of the world's biggest electronic dance festivals returned to New York this weekend. A wildly popular experience that started in Los Angeles and then moved to Las Vegas, Electric Daisy Carnival brought in over 79,000 visitors to New York's Citi Field Saturday and Sunday.

Here's How To Use Social Media At Each Stage Of Your Career

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: You already know social media is a handy job-search tool. You dutifully update your LinkedIn account and scrub your Facebook profile of incriminating photos. But what you might not realize is that your approach to social media should change as your career moves forward. What works for landing that first-ever job won’t be the same thing that gets you promoted to VP.

Everything is a Remix on "The Force Awakens"

Boing Boing: Kirby Ferguson's amazing Everything is a Remix series (previously), turns its keen eyes on JJ Abrams's record-breaking reboot of Star Wars, itself a mashup of classic films, and shows what happens when a mashup artist remixed a remix of a mashup.

Dear White People: TWO TRAINS RUNNING is not a play about race

phindie: August Wilson’s TWO TRAINS RUNNING is not a play about race. Set in 1969 Pittsburgh against the backdrop of racial tension amplified by the deaths of Dr. King and Malcolm X, it is a play that comments on these events. Briefly. Literally, characters hold a brief conversation addressing the recent assassinations of these influential figures, but said conversation more emphasises the subject of death than it does race.

$1M grant will fund three fashion exhibitions at The Frick Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A $1 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation will fund three consecutive fashion exhibitions at The Frick Pittsburgh in Point Breeze.

Men Are Sabotaging The Online Reviews Of TV Shows Aimed At Women

FiveThirtyEight: We can quibble about where it stands in the TV canon, but “Sex and the City” has seven Emmys and a suite of Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards. It ran 94 episodes through six seasons on a premium cable network. Any reasonable person should concede that “Sex and the City” was an above-average television program (at minimum). You don’t need to think it was a perfect show, or even an outstanding one, but I think most people would agree it was better than average.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

How LEGO Master Builders Design and Assemble LEGOLAND Sculptures

Tested: Wired visited LEGOLAND's model shop and met two of its Master Builders, who design and assemble the sculptures and minifig environments that populate the theme park.

The 3 Best Books for Everyday Creativity

Box of Crayons: There’s a challenge with creativity and the way we think about it in our organizational life: it’s not part of our job description. It’s really important for all of us to understand that creativity is actually an everyday activity. It’s something that, at its best, should infuse the way you work—when you show up for meetings, when you tackle your projects, when you think about the work you do.

Honoring the Helen Hayes nominees: Craig Wallace, actor and director

DC Theatre Scene: It is late afternoon, and Craig Wallace is standing on the porch of the Brookland bungalow he shares with Kimberly Schraf, “my love of 22 years.” There is a magnificent Husky, a rescue, on the porch with him. Fall is beginning to assert itself, and he is dressed warmly.

Found: Secret Rooms in a Very Old Theater

Atlas Obscura: On the main shopping street in Perth, a Scottish city of about 47,000 people, one of Scotland’s oldest theaters is giving up its secrets. The theater’s being restored, and the construction has revealed hidden rooms long walled up and forgotten.

The Artists' Residency at the End of the World

The Creators Project: Imagine curing writer’s block by stepping out into frozen tundra, or finding inspiration for your next sculpture asleep in icy terrain. That’s where the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program (or, AAW) comes in, giving artists and writers of all mediums access to Antarctica. As stated on the NSF’s proposals page, the AAW is “specifically designed to increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the Antarctic and human endeavors on the southernmost continent.”

Seven Carnegie Mellon Alumni Nominated for Eight Tony Awards Seven Carnegie Mellon University alumni garnered eight Tony Award nominations this morning when they were announced from New York City via a webcast on and "CBS This Morning." This is not the first time the spotlight has shined brightly on Carnegie Mellon. In 2013, CMU alumni took home eight Tony Awards, and hundreds of CMU alumni have been nominated for the honor.

Dig at theater where Shakespeare worked uncovers a surprise ondon's relentless building boom has dug up another chunk of the city's history — one with a surprise for scholars of Shakespearean theater. Archaeologists are excavating the remains of the Curtain, a 16th-century playhouse where some of the Bard's plays were first staged, before a new apartment tower sprouts on the site. Unexpectedly, the dig has revealed that the venue wasn't round, like most Elizabethan playhouses. It was rectangular.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Stage Reviews: 'Musical of Musicals' at Off the Wall; PICT's 'Two Tales of Terror'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Off the Wall, which leans toward issue-oriented drama, delivers a grand ol’ time with a satire that rewards musical theater fans who know their stuff. The show is divided into the styles of five of Broadway legends: Rodgers and Hammerstein, Sondheim and Jerry Herman before intermission, then Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kander & Ebb, plus a bonus finale.

How Madeline Sayet is Transforming the Way We Think About Shakespeare

Mental Floss: As resident director of the arts organization Amerinda, 26-year-old Madeline Sayet is building a better future for Native American performers, helping them land more diverse and complex roles. Her latest endeavor: creating indigenous and feminist retellings of Shakespeare. Here’s how she’s banishing stereotypes while breathing new life into the Bard.

Watch Broadway stars talk about which show made them say "I want to do that!"

DC Theatre Scene: Do you remember which play or musical made you fall in love with theatre? Yesterday, Jonathan Mandell attended the Drama Desk Awards reception and asked this year’s nominees – most of whom have also been nominated for Tony Awards – which show made them realize they wanted to be a performer.

From Front Page to Stage: Noor Theatre Turns Headlines Into Short Plays

AMERICAN THEATRE: On Monday evening, an actor held a script and quietly recited lines on an ascending elevator. He wasn’t doing last-minute preparation for an audition—he was participating in Noor Theatre’s 48 Hour Forum. It was the 48th hour, almost curtain time, and haste was just the name of the game.

Yellowface and the Racist Incredulity of White Culture

Clyde Fitch Report: When it was announced that Anglo-Scottish actress Tilda Swinton had been cast in Marvel’s next film, Dr. Strange, as The Ancient One, a Tibetan sorcerer who teaches the titular character the mystic arts, there was pushback from many Asian and Pacific Islander (API) American fans fearing that Marvel would perpetuate Hollywood’s storied history of yellowface.

Google I/O in stadium made for Grateful Dead

Business Insider: Tech really is the new rock and roll. I first noticed this when people began lining up for new iPhone releases overnight, as we used to do as teenagers for hot concert tickets.

Theatre by the Book in Big D

AMERICAN THEATRE: We book tickets; a musical’s libretto is called a book; we typically receive a program book with credits and frequently a note from someone on the creative team. But how often does the theatregoing experience involve reading actual books? For the past few seasons Dallas Theater Center has been trying out a novel idea: bookending each show in the season with a volume somehow connected to it. Coordinated by DTC director of education and community enrichment Rachel Hull, with support from the company’s artistic and education departments, the group reads each assigned text and meets twice to talk about it, once before attending the play and again after seeing it. And there’s always wine and cheese on hand to help get the conversation going. The annual fee of $300, or $250 for company benefactors or members of Friends@DTC, comes with copies of the four books (though show tickets are purchased separately).

Building Beyoncé's Formation Tour | Production and Stage Design

Beyonce The Formation World Tour content from Live Design: Following the premiere of her sixth solo studio album, Lemonade, Beyoncé is on the road with The Formation World Tour featuring a production design by Es Devlin, engineered and built by StageCo and Tait Towers.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Intelligent Ways To Increase Productivity As an entrepreneur, I’ve definitely had my ups and downs. I’ve struggled with motivation, procrastination, and especially with being productive. Through my work, I’ve found there’s more to being productive than downloading timers, apps, or blocking social media sites. Being productive is actually a very personal and in-depth process that will vary for every person reading this.

The chemicals we off-gas change when we watch something funny or thrilling

Ars Technica: In cartoon worlds, squiggly lines over characters are reserved for the exceptionally smelly. But, in reality, everyone deserves those little squiggles: each of us is constantly emitting a steady stream of gases and microbes, as well as smells. And those gases may be able to reveal more about us than what we last ate (and whether it agreed with us). Our gases may also divulge what we think about movies.

Drunk stagehand wielding knife shot dead by cops in Midtown

New York Post: Cops opened fire on a depressed Broadway stagehand who lunged at them with an 8-inch knife on a busy Midtown street Wednesday morning — killing him and wounding a California tourist, authorities said.

OSHA Issues Final Rule on Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Remodeling | OSHA, Safety, Jobsite Safety, Construction Safety: The Occupational Health and Safety Administration released today its final rule to combat preventable workplace injuries and illnesses by requiring companies to submit all work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA electronically.

christopher stuart derives constructs + glitches collection from software errors creating narratives around physical processes, american designer christopher stuart’s ‘constructs and glitches’ collection explores both the deliberate and unintentional distortion of functional and sculptural forms. presented during new york design week 2016 at the future perfect, the series comprises two disparate parts: constructs, furniture-inspired pieces of manually distorted geometry; and glitches, computer-distorted objects that derive their forms from errors produced by CAD software. described by stuart as ‘sculpture at furniture scale,’ the units emphasize a conceptual and aesthetic tension.

Nothing Can Be Taken For Granted

Pro Mobile DJ: This past week I was mixing sound for a nationally touring act at a fairgrounds grandstand. After supervising the load-in and setting of the arrays I set about tuning the rig and putting settings into the mixing board. I’ve found that little things like the way I soft-patch the inputs into an order and typing names or descriptions (ie: Stage left guitar) into the board so it appears with the channel information is very helpful, especially when mixing an act you are not very familiar with.

Bugs bite: The time we built a giant mosquito

Chicago Scenic Studios: It's not every day you get to build an over-sized mosquito so lifelike it scares everyone who walks into the dirty booth. Extra special thanks to CLS Vector/Mosquito Control team and Celtic Chicago for helping to bring this guy to life!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Stage preview: Award-winning play is frisky business for Kinetic Theatre

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The play about making a tough choice, sexually speaking, was not called “The Cockfight” when it won the Olivier Award — England’s version of the Tony — in 2010. But when it came to the United States, the media here had rules about such words, so “The Cockfight” is what it became in The New York Times and other publications.

Half Mask Respirator

Cool Tools: I’ve used this half mask respirator for a number of months and am very pleased with it. It is valved for easy breathing, and the replaceable filters snap into the sides rather than residing in external canisters that add bulk to the unit. It’s great for leaf blowing, sanding, etc.

OperaDelaware's Barrese resurrects Faccio's 'Hamlet' Nearly every time you look down at the sidewalk, there's a stenciled image of a mustachioed face and the word "Essere." The source of this is OperaDelaware, which has imposed the likeness of little-known composer Franco Faccio onto the local landscape while making his opera Hamlet part of the international landscape after 145 years of obscurity. "Essere" means "to be" - better than "not to be."

OSHA's Coming Distractions

Remodeling | OSHA, Codes and Standards, Jobsite Safety, Inspections: The Obama administration is on track to put four new OSHA rules into effect in early 2016, as well as to change how its inspectors prioritize the types of violations they investigate. These will have varying effects on the remodeling industry.

Children's theatremaker: theatre in schools is 'not inspirational' Most theatre performed in schools is “not good” and is failing to inspire children to see more, according to a leading children’s director.

Gill Robertson, whose company Catherine Wheels makes theatre for children and young people, made the comments at the Theatre 2016 conference during a discussion on whether the art form was a minority interest.

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