CMU School of Drama

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Dear White Critics: Stop Being Transphobic! You may remember my last article in what must now become a series, Dear White Critics: Stop Using the N-Word, when Justin Hayford decided racial slurs were appropriate for a theatre column. Yesterday, Ben Brantley of the New York Times decided it was appropriate to make a joke out of the unveiling of a trans character’s pronouns in the new Broadway musical Head Over Heels’. The character? Oracle and non-binary plural narrator Pythio, portrayed by drag performer Peppermint, who is a trans woman.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

100 Day Project has Folks Around the World Jumpstarting Their Creativity Are you looking for a way to jumpstart your creativity? You could always start an art journal or try some of today’s hottest crafts, but if you’re craving structure and wanting to produce a body small of work, then try the 100 Day Project.

Friday, August 10, 2018

TEA Advantage: Chuck Fawcett, Animax Designs

TEA - Themed Entertainment Association: I would encourage any company in our industry to join and sponsor a TEA [Themed Entertainment Association] event. The benefits far outweigh any perceived cost. -- Chuck Fawcett, President/CEO, Animax Designs

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Column: Hollywood Needs to Open Up More to People With Disabilities

Variety: In five years, nothing has changed.

Despite open calls for greater diversity and inclusion, recent research shows that there was little change in the number of characters with disabilities in popular films in 2017.

Photo Gallery: Magic Wheelchair's Epic Star Wars Fan Experience at Comic-Con 2018!

Tested: One of our favorite activities at Comic-Con is Magic Wheelchair's reveal of costumes to their "kiddos." Last year, the theme was Justice League; this year, it was Star Wars. Well, naturally Adam was all over THAT.

Casey Affleck publicly apologizes for sexual harassment allegations Casey Affleck has been mostly absent from the public eye for the past year, but in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements and with a new film coming out this fall, he is for the first time addressing lingering questions about earlier harassment allegations.

Review Roundup: The Critics Weigh In on BE MORE CHILL Off-Broadway Based on the cult sensation novel by Ned Vizzini, Be More Chill is the story of Jeremy Heere, your average, nothing-special teenager at Middleborough High in nothing-special New Jersey. That is, until the day he finds out about "The Squip." Thus begins a journey that pits Jeremy's desire to be popular against his struggle to remain true to his authentic self. Be More Chill is an honest, edgy, super-hilarious look at coming of age in the digital age, set to some of the most exciting songs in contemporary musical theater.

Flyhouse Motorized Curtain (Shedd Aquarium) A few years back, Flyhouse installed one of the largest motorized curtains in the United States at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Today, we received a video from a friend of Flyhouse showing the curtain in action during one of its recent daily performances. We continue to be excited by this project and love that people share the excitement with us!

Review: Debut musical Dave, a good guy becomes an accidental president

DC Theatre Scene: Dave is a musical for our times. A snapshot of our current political climate swathed in red, white and blue, the world premiere musical with music by Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), a book by the late great Thomas Meehan (Hairspray, The Producers) and Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and lyrics by Benjamin is a call to action, a plea to reduce cynicism and a rally for decency, goodness and patriotism.

How to Choose the Right Lighting Fixture for Any Job It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been designing lighting for shows and events. What matters is how your end product looks. And moreover, how long did it take to achieve your end product and how much did it cost?

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

‘Stupid Fucking Bird’ at 12 Peers Is Obscenely Good

Entertainment Central Pittsburgh: There are many ways in which it is possible for theater to be good. Stupid Fucking Bird is good in an obscenely large number of them. The play, at Pittsburgh’s 12 Peers Theater (through August 12), is a modern adaptation of The Seagull by Anton Chekhov. From the title you would think it’s an irreverent spoof of Chekhov’s classic, but the spoofing is aimed at other targets.

Ruby Rose Cast as Lesbian Superhero Batwoman on the CW In what looks like a magnificent hire for the CW, Deadline reported on Tuesday that the network has cast Ruby Rose to play Batwoman, potentially across a constellation of programs.

The first design portfolio that’s ever made me laugh These days, most design portfolios have an air of sameness to them–like clone-stamp copies of one another. It’s something Argentinian designer and illustrator Mariano Pascual wanted to change.

Lighting for the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Stage Directions: It’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival time again—the month of August where for almost four action-packed weeks, the Scottish city becomes a maelstrom of innovative, provocative, and entertaining new theatre and performance, with works embracing all genres.

Broadway's 2018-2019 season roundup: U.K. imports include 'The Ferryman,' 'Ink,' 'The Nap' Broadway’s 2018-2019 season is offering an eclectic mix of plays and musicals that continue the growing trend of productions adapted from movies, TV shows or previously published works; jukebox musicals that are based on the hit songs of an artist; and revivals starring actors and actresses who are best known for their roles in movies or TV.

CMU Alumni Tag Team Their Way Through Hollywood Early in the second season of Netflix's hit comedy series "GLOW," a small army of female amateur wrestlers rampage through a mall as a young man wielding a camera and a furry mustache chases them. They challenge old ladies to races, stage fights on escalators and generally terrorize unsuspecting shoppers.

Here’s what most people get wrong about “passion” Yes, it’s cliché. But while we all seem to get that marriage requires more than a little love and affection, there’s still this pervasive myth that passion is the secret key to your career. Don’t get me wrong. Passion counts for a lot, especially if you’re tasked with convincing someone to give you a shot.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Watch this epic takedown of movie plots featuring abduction as romance

Boing Boing: It's a theme as old as storytelling itself, and there have been documented cases of Stockholm Syndrome in people held against their will. Still, this form of abuse has often taken hold in the cinematic imagination as comedies or romances, as it becomes clear in this survey.

Jeff Awards presents public intimacy design panel with acclaimed designers and directors, Aug. 14 The Jeff Awards committee presents a panel conversation on the art and challenges of intimacy design on Tuesday, August 17 at 7:30 pm at the Greenhouse Theater. The discussion will be led by Intimacy Directors International co-founder Tonia Sina and Chicago actors and directors Sasha Smith and Gaby Labotka.

TV Reboots Have a Long Way to Go on Inclusivity

Variety: The network television climate of 2018 is marked by a couple of key trends: An often-too-incremental but real movement, pushed along by voices in the media and among fans, towards greater inclusivity onscreen, and a flood of reboots and revivals from the semi-recent past.

2001 and the triumph of the attention span. It always feels like a cop-out when people sidle up to you as you’re discussing any overtly creative work of art and intone, “Well, people don’t have the attention span for that kind of thing nowadays, do they?”

Green Hippo Salutes Tall Ships The Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta 2018 saw a magnificent fleet sail from Liverpool to Dublin and then on to Bordeaux. Marking the fifth time Liverpool has hosted a Tall Ships event, extensive celebrations were very much captain’s orders and Stage Sound Services, complete with Green Hippo tech, was on duty to deliver a brace of stunning projection-mapped light shows.

Braddock wants to offer 37 apartments to artists The borough of Braddock is moving ahead with plans to turn the old Ohringer building into 37 low-income apartments for Pittsburgh artists.

Gregg Kander, an investor and developer who is working pro bono on several Braddock properties, said that as of August 2 he and other organizers in the community have lined up several million dollars in conditional funding from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, a nonprofit specializing in housing resources across the state.

Virtual Reality In Polish Theatre

The Theatre Times: Polish theatre artists have recently been experimenting with Virtual Reality (VR). What is it, and how does its use affect the reception of performances? VR technology is gaining popularity in recent years. It’s used not only in computer games and short films but also in the theatre. Everyone–Skype users, users of GPS navigation or computer games–function in augmented reality, which is where the computer-generated world overlaps with the real one, “extends” it.

Monday, August 06, 2018

The Go-Go’s Gave Us the Beat and So Much More

The New York Times: When the Go-Go’s’ debut album came out in 1981, it provided sweet vindication for girls like me. I was a California-born punk-rock pirate marooned at a Midwestern public high school. No one invited smart-alecks to the prom, especially ones who openly mocked the idea of slow dancing to “Stairway to Heaven.” Incapable of meeting beauty standards, I defied them. Patti Smith didn’t shave her armpits, so neither did I. My outsider status was writ large one sunny morning, when I woke up to the message “Punk sucks” spray painted at the end of my parents’ driveway.

Good Theatre Surpasses Language: An Interview with Mari-Liis Lill, Estonian Actress

The Theatre Times: The Estonians and Russians have an unfortunate habit of sticking to their own paths. Ever since Estonia was occupied by Russian forces during World War II, each family carries its own historic trauma. A thing like that lives on in people for a very long time. Since our independence was restored, we have only had just over a quarter of a century to process these traumas – but social science says it takes three generations for integration as such to reach a positive outcome.

12 Years Later, Evangeline Lilly Gets an Apology for Feeling 'Coerced' into Nude Scenes for Lost Earlier this week, Evangeline Lilly told The Lost Boys podcast that she had felt like she “had no choice” over whether to remove her clothes for scenes in Lost, which left her “mortified” and in tears. She described two instances:

Review: Hit Songs to Sin By in a Smashing ‘Moulin Rouge!'

The New York Times: Its pieces zoom through the air like candy-colored shrapnel, whizzing by before the memory can tag them and making the blandly familiar sound enticingly exotic. I’m talking about the recycled pop hits, mostly of a romantic stripe, that make up the seemingly infinite song list of “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” at the Emerson Colonial Theater here.

Catch Me If You Can

Pittsburgh in the Round: South Park Theatre’s production of Catch Me If You Can has more plot twists and turns than a Parkway West construction detour! However, before we go any further, this show bears no similarity to the 2002 Stephen Spielberg movie or the 2011 Broadway musical by the same name!

Production Notes: Ratchet Pulls

Nevada Film Office: In film production, ratchet pulls are used to pull and launch actors and stunt performers in flying stunts. Using cables and the appropriate harnesses, a carefully rigged stunt employing a ratchet system helps give the illusion of a character flying through the air in an action scene. Stunts that typically require ratchet systems include explosions, fight scenes, or scenes where an actor is hit with gunshots.

Flipping the bird – a review of “Stupid Fucking Bird”

'Burgh Vivant: In an episode of “Seinfeld,” George Costanza sighed and said, “Ah. What’s the point? When I like them, they don’t like me. When they like me – I don’t like them.” That comedic cry for help summarizes nine-tenths of the plot to Aaron Posner’s “Stupid Fucking Bird.”