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Monday, April 27, 2015

Supporting the Intersection of Art and Activism

HowlRound: In a February blog about writing and transgender characters, playwright MJ Kaufman asked, “How do I write the world I want to see? And how can I do this while also revealing the painful truths of the world I live in?” These two questions strike me as the fundamental challenges of any piece of theatre, or any art, that seeks to truly generate social change.

August Wilson 70th birthday celebrations abound

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: It’s just April, but 2015 has already been an august year – an August year, that is, as in August Wilson.

Monday is the 70th birthday of the Pittsburgh-born playwright many now refer to as the American Shakespeare, and this year is also the 10th anniversary of his death, Oct. 2, 2005 still in his creative prime at 60.

“Dance of Death” at Kinetic Theatre Company

The Pittsburgh Tatler: August Strindberg had an (in)famously torturous relationship with women, and he is often thought of as one of theatre history’s great misogynists. Certainly, his portrayal of women in some of his naturalist plays – as in, for example, his rather meanspirited portrait of the haughty and hysterical aristocratic Julie in Miss Julie – accord with records, in his diaries, of his own experience of women as a source of sexual and psychological torment. But his works can also be read (perhaps only in retrospect) as evidence of his insight into the ways in which traditional gender roles impacted relations between the sexes and – in particular – created the conditions for terribly unhappy marriages.

Anna Deavere Smith on Discipline and How We Can Learn to Stop Letting Others Define Us

Brain Pickings: “Discipline,” the late and great Massimo Vignelli wrote, “is the attitude that helps us discern right from wrong… Discipline is what makes us responsible toward ourselves [and] toward the society in which we live.” It’s a dimensional definition that touches, ever so gently, on the second meaning of discipline — not merely the act of showing up or the quality of “grit” that psychologists tell us is the greatest predictor of success, but the unflinching commitment to ourselves, to our own sense of merit and morality, to our own ideals and integrity. It’s a commitment doubly important yet doubly challenging for those in creative fields, where subjectivity is the norm and external validation the ever-haunting ghoul.

PMT’s Peter Pan: A Pleasing Performance for Children of All Ages

The PGH Stage Online Magazine: “I didn’t like it… I LOVED it.” That’s what 6-year-old Maggie Martin said about her first night out at the theater—and, given the show she saw, it’s kids like her whose opinions matter.

Maggie is my daughter, and was my companion for Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s opening-night performance of Broadway’s timeless musical, Peter Pan, at the Byham Theater.

How to Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

Margie Warrell: Last night, I tried to bake some cookies, only to get distracted by email (again) and burning them (again.) Like I did with the pork cutlets the night before. Needless to say, my kids could give you a long list of my shortcomings as a mother and my failings as a domestic goddess. But that's OK. I hope my own faults and failings will help them be kinder to themselves as they get to know their own.

Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Domhnall Gleeson

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Award-winning Irish actor of stage and screen Domhnall (pronounced Donal) Gleeson has followed in his famous father’s footsteps. Born in Dublin, he is the son of Brendan Gleeson but has begun to forge his own identity. He had roles in “About Time” (2013), “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” (2011) and “Unbroken” (2014). The 31-year-old stars alongside Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander in the sci-fi dramatic thriller “Ex Machina,” directed by Alex Garland in theaters now. He has also been cast in “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” coming out later this year.

‘Veep': Anna Chlumsky on Amy’s Career Choices, Dan Flirtation

Variety: On the HBO comedy “Veep,” Anna Chlumsky’s Amy Brookheimer is the embodiment of so many career-minded women. So intent on ladder climbing, Amy has forsaken relationships, family obligations and her own well-being — she once announced that she’s used a pen cap to spoon hummus into her mouth — in order to serve at the behest of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer.

AAM Muse Awards (Atlanta, 4/26) recognize technological, digital and creative achievement

InPark Magazine: InPark Magazine is in Atlanta at the America Alliance of Museums (AAM) 2015 conference and MuseumExpo. Visit us in booth #1115 to say hello and pick up a copy of our Museum issue! Martin Palicki and Judith Rubin are there.

Kevin Spacey Honored at 4th Annual Motion Picture and Television Fund Storytelling Event

Variety: Despite Hollywood’s cutthroat reputation, the industry’s penchant for helping one another was a common refrain at the 4th annual Reel Stories, Real Lives event at MILK studios Hollywood on Saturday, benefitting the Motion Picture & Television Fund.

Stephen Schwartz to Receive 2015 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

News from the Tony Awards - - The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards® - Official Website by IBM: On April 27 the Tony Awards® Administration Committee announced that composer Stephen Schwartz will receive this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award.

The Isabelle Stevenson Award is presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. Schwartz will be presented the Award for his commitment to serving artists and fostering new talent through his work with ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, ASCAP Foundation and helping develop new partnerships as President of the Dramatists Guild.

All the World's a Stage in Bryant Park

NY City Lens: The plays were the thing at Bryant Park on April 23—all the theatrical works and sonnets, that is, written by one of the most celebrated playwrights in Western history. It was William Shakespeare’s birthday, his 451st to be precise, and the occasion was celebrated with music, open mic performances of his greatest monologues, and the hanging of banners, on which passersby could scribble down their favorite quote or phrase written by the Bard.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

Inside the surprisingly dark world of Rube Goldberg machines

The Verge: On the eve of the 2015 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest college nationals, six teams gather in Columbus, Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry children’s museum to set up their machines around the walls of the hangar-like space and eye up the competition. The teams have made the trip here by car, their carefully assembled machines, months in the making, broken down and borne by trucks and U-Haul carriers. Team members lean over each other to place a golf ball here and balance a domino there, assembling their delicate contraptions for the next day’s judging.

the bus rules.

this tour life: So, you’ve found yourself on a bus (coach) tour. Welcome to living in tight quarters with 10 other people and very little privacy. Now you’ll need to know how to properly conduct yourself in your new home. Knowing the unspoken code of the road will help keep you safe and hopefully make your coworkers not downright resent you.

First and foremost, this is your home on the road. It needs to be treated with the same respect you give your own place. Unless you’re a miserable slob, if that’s the case treat it way better than your own home.

Disney 3D Prints with Fabric, Makes Soft Interactive Toys

Make: | Make:: The folks at Disney have been exploring some really interesting techniques for fabrication. Their latest is this interesting method of 3D printing with fabric.

The process is best described as an automated system for assembling laser cut layers of fabric. Their machine resembles a tiny assembly line more than a standard 3D printer.

The Perils of Workers’ Comp for Injured Cirque du Soleil Performers

WSJ: Artists at Cirque du Soleil put their unusually adept bodies at risk to entertain audiences, just as many professional athletes do. But unlike many pro athletes, Cirque performers don’t get special treatment, such as continuing to receive regular pay, if they suffer severe injuries.

Instead, most of them are treated like ordinary workers, thrust into a complex workers’ compensation system that provides limited recompense for lost wages and permanent disabilities.

Smell-O-Vision Is Back (And Possibly the Future of Storytelling)

The Creators Project: Inhaling through my nose, the artificial scent of honey and apricots fills my head. I stand on the second floor of Queens' Museum of the Moving Image reading a multisensory remix of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: The Smelly Version. MoMI is hosting Future of Storytelling's new exhibit, Sensory Stories, an amalgam of immersive artworks from creators like Chris Milk, Vincent Morisset, and Google Creative Lab, spanning virtual reality, experimental film, interface design, gaming, and other delightfully wacky ideas (like a children's book that can shoot delicious scents directly into your face) and I am in the center of it.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Meet the Mosely Modular Infinity Level System It’s hard to get excited about levels, even for me. But the Mosely Infinity level – this one’s different. The Mosely Infinity Level is a modular and connectable level system that’s designed for installation and layout work.

There are two sizes, 12″ and 24″, and two types of add-ons. These levels could be connected end-to-end and at right angles along their sides or faces. So it’s not just a level, but also a square. Connect 3 levels and you can make a t-square.

Stage Review: When it gets rolling, PMT's 'Peter Pan' takes flight

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The musical “Peter Pan” is having a moment — several, actually — mostly on the screen, so you have to crow when a stage production comes along to remind us of the first time Peter makes his big entrance and our imaginations begin to take flight.

The Pittsburgh Musical Theater production now at the Byham Theater takes its time getting to Peter Pan’s arrival, but it’s worth the wait to see Michelle Coben in graceful flight, trailing golden glitter and looking for Tinkerbell’s green glow.

4 Ways to Make Event Management by Committe Work No event plans itself. And very few successful events are due to the efforts of just one person. In fact, great events are practically always the result of the combined time, passion and abilities of many dedicated managers, planners and vendors … not to mention the impact of guests and attendees.

Canada Extends Copyright Terms, Finally Giving Musicians Who Released Works More Than 50 Years Ago A Reason To Create

Techdirt: For reasons no more sound than it possibly felt a bit inadequate when comparing copyright term length with its next-door-neighbor, Canada has increased the copyright term for sound recordings and performances from 50 years to 70 years. Supposedly, this will spur on further creative efforts in the future, seeing as the previous copyright term length brought about a creative drought spanning nearly two decades -- one that commenced shortly after the end of World War II.

Get Instant, Personalized Career Advice with Backstage Reel Feedback!

Backstage: With the rise of self-taped submissions and the prevalence of new media, it’s easier than ever to make an impression on casting directors from wherever you are—competing in a major acting market or anywhere in the world. What can be far more difficult—if not impossible—is getting comprehensive, personalized feedback from the casting community that will help you take your digital submissions to the next level.

One less critic: How Hedy Weiss and New Orleans changed my life.

DC Theatre Scene: When I was in law school I did some acting. I wasn’t very good but I was a big guy with a big voice and there’s always room for that in theater. Sometimes I got paid and sometimes I didn’t, but between what I did get paid and student loans and my parents’ generosity I was able to keep myself in Rice-A-Roni for three years.

I liked acting more than I liked law school. And, generally, I liked actors more than I liked lawyers. I gave some thought to becoming serious about acting; dropping out of law school and learning and practicing the craft. But when I was invited to parties with actors they’d serve crackers and cheap wine. When I was invited to parties with lawyers they’d serve enormous mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat and sometimes break out the single-malts. So when I was admitted to the bar that was the end of any thought of an acting career for me.

Jumping Into the Hot Seat

SoundGirls: There seems to be an unwritten rule in audio – when you’re new to a bigger club, you start by doing monitors.

I’d been asking a friend about opportunities for work in Toronto for quite some time. So when she hooked me up with a job interview to be a monitor tech at The Mod Club, I knew I had to take it.

Video Premiere: PigPen Theatre Co. - "Weathervane" Folk-rockers PigPen Theatre Co. have returned with the backing of strong fan support to record their sophomore LP, Whole Sun, scheduled for a July 7 release. The album successfully raised more than $50,000 via Kickstarter, exceeding its original goal in less than 48 hours.

Suresh outlines vision for CMU

Pittsburgh Business Times: Carnegie Mellon University President Subra Suresh is optimistic about his university's future.

CMU's Inspire Innovation capital campaign, which ran from July 2002 to August 2013, raised $832 million, averaging about $75 million per year in actual cash. Last year, the university raised $144 million and this year, Suresh said the amount raised is expected to match, if not exceed, last year's total.

Israel-based Arab, Jewish Women Filmmakers Get Help Through Greenhouse

Variety: Tibi is exactly the kind of filmmaker that Israel’s New Fund for Cinema and Television hopes to enable with its Greenhouse Women program. The project, launched in early 2014, brings together female Arab and Jewish filmmakers for a yearlong mentored crash course in pitching and peer-to-peer editing. The Greenhouse program plans to soon provide grants averaging about $2,500 to each filmmaker to help them make a completed trailer and a 15-20 minute sample of their projects. Greenhouse also works with the filmmakers to help them apply for coin from local film funds.

TEDxBroadway 2015 Video: Dr. Laurie Santos

Selling Out: Dr. Laurie Santos should have a TV show. I’d set my DVR for ‘Series Record’ for it, and I’m not even sure what it would be about. No matter, because I’m sure it would be about some complex aspect of the human mind and how it can be made to seem both super interesting and really simple.

For TEDxBroadway aficionados, the first thing I should tell you is that I met Laurie through TEDxBroadway 2014 superstar Dr. Ainissa Ramirez. As you might know, science is part of our programming every year, so I asked Ainissa if there was more awesome where she came from.

More Than 12 Hurt As Stage Collapses At Indiana High School

Pollstar: Capt. Charles Hollowell of the Westfield Police Department said all of the students injured in the collapse Thursday evening were “doing really well,” including one who initially was reported in critical condition.

Authorities said a large group of students was on the stage during the grand finale of the “American Pie” concert at Westfield High School when the floor of the stage collapsed into the orchestra pit below.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Perils of Workers’ Comp for Injured Cirque du Soleil Performers

WSJ: Artists at Cirque du Soleil put their unusually adept bodies at risk to entertain audiences, just as many professional athletes do. But unlike many pro athletes, Cirque performers don’t get special treatment, such as continuing to receive regular pay, if they suffer severe injuries.

Instead, most of them are treated like ordinary workers, thrust into a complex workers’ compensation system that provides limited recompense for lost wages and permanent disabilities.

Injuries Put Safety in Spotlight at Cirque du Soleil

WSJ: Sarah Guillot-Guyard lay dying on the floor of a basement inside a darkened Cirque du Soleil theater here, one leg broken and blood pooling under her head.

It was June 2013, and the 31-year-old mother of two had fallen 94 feet in front of hundreds of horrified spectators after the wire attached to her safety harness shredded while she performed in the dramatic aerial climax of the company’s most technically challenging production, “Kà.”

It was the first fatality during a Cirque show, and it capped an increase in injuries at Cirque with the “Kà” production. The show had one of the highest rates of serious injuries of any workplace in the country, according to safety records kept by Cirque that were compared with federal records by The Wall Street Journal.

The New Face of Study Abroad

Daily Infographic: Apart from the personal development and the bettering of your language skills, international experience is a great way to market yourself to future employers. Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity presented to high school and college students with numerous rewarding benefits.

Unfortunately, a small percentage of American students actually take advantage of this.

Cirque Sale: The Official Press Release Cirque du Soleil (“Cirque”), the world’s leading producer of high-quality live artistic entertainment, today announced an agreement under which TPG, a global private investment firm, will acquire a majority stake in Cirque du Soleil to fuel growth and take Cirque’s iconic blue and yellow big top to exciting new markets.

TEDxBroadway Releases 2015 Talks Online

Selling Out: The fourth annual conference featured speakers from a wide variety of industries — all dedicated to addressing the overall theme of the day, “What’s the Best Broadway Can Be?” Speakers included: Pulitzer Prize winner and Disgraced playwright Ayad Akhtar, Vans Warped Tour producer Kevin Lyman, Tony-nominated composers of A Christmas Story and Dogfight Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, I Quant NY blogger and computer scientist Ben Wellington, 3D printing pioneer and Broadway set designer Kacie Hultgren and more.

Jones Lang LaSalle to represent CMU on new 425,000-square-foot project

Pittsburgh Business Times: Jones Lang LaSalle announced Wednesday it was helping Carnegie Mellon University find a developer for a 425,000-square-foot office, hotel and retail project on two acres on Forbes Avenue between the Carnegie Museums and Junction Hollow.

Inside the surprisingly dark world of Rube Goldberg machines

The Verge: On the eve of the 2015 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest college nationals, six teams gather in Columbus, Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry children’s museum to set up their machines around the walls of the hangar-like space and eye up the competition. The teams have made the trip here by car, their carefully assembled machines, months in the making, broken down and borne by trucks and U-Haul carriers. Team members lean over each other to place a golf ball here and balance a domino there, assembling their delicate contraptions for the next day’s judging.

Kids’ Parties Offer Acting Challenges and Good Pay

Backstage: In 1989, Lisa Zelken was an actor looking for a day job that didn’t involve waiting tables. After playing a clown at a birthday party for a friend’s child, the former camp counselor and Gymboree teacher found her calling. For more than two decades, her company, Send in the Clowns, has been providing birthday party entertainment for children across greater Los Angeles. From superheroes to princesses to their trademarked Gentle Clowns, Zelken and her crew bring characters to life for kids and their parents.

The Tyranny of Me and You

2AMt » Blog Archive: In my experience, modern American theatre artists tend towards believing the capitalist drone of “theatre is dying.” They conflate the business of art and the making of art to such a degree that every discussion is essentially a defense of their art and their place in the field. Wade around in the on-line discussions about theatre and you’ll find a variety of slurs about others’ art. Broadsides about musicals (stupid!) or performance art (pointless!), the dangers of polished aesthetics (empty!), Shakespeare (overdone!), canon (irrelevant!) or new work (underbaked!). The loudest will essentially aver that there is no good work save the work the speaker or their friends are doing.

It is deadly.

Katy Perry’s Attempt To Claim A Trademark On “Left Shark” Design Fails Like A Left Shark

Consumerist: The “Left Shark” phenomenon that overtook the world after Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show has long since exited the cultural dialog, and yet the battle rages on over whether or not the pop star can claim a trademark on the uncoordinated, anthropomorphic fish.

The Claque The word “claque” is derived from the 16th century French term “claquer”, which roughly meant “to clap”, and is largely used to refer to a group of individuals hired to give a pre-determined response to a performance, be it positive, negative or anything in between. Individual members of a claque are generally referred to as “claquers” or “claqueurs” and for a brief but significant window in the 19th and early 20th century, they basically controlled how an audience would react to a given play, beginning in Paris and spreading from there.

A Visit to jAdis' Weird Science Prop Shop

Tested: Science Friday visits jAdis, a prop shop in Santa Monica that caters to the weird science props needs of filmmakers: "The movie prop shop Jadis, in Santa Monica, California, is packed with ancient, long-forgotten technology

Thursday, April 23, 2015

PICT Adds Adult Classes to Education Series

Stage Directions: PICT Classic Theatre, now in its nineteenth season, is pleased to unveil a series of Adult Theatre Classes— its newest program under the PICT Educates banner. Aimed at connecting the PICT professional theatrical community with the Pittsburgh community at large, PICT will offer classes in its new studio in the South Side for adults with an interest in acting.

36.5 / a durational performance with the sea

HowlRound: In August 2013, I spent ten days at an intimate artist residency on the coast of Maine. The project I was developing with Lydian Junction (my interdisciplinary live art collective) started with a question of survival on a personal scale: What does it take to survive as an artist in this late-capitalistic society we live in?

Because of New York’s new relationship to water due to Hurricane Sandy, I was also considering the bigger picture. The next time a storm hits, will my beloved city survive? Hurricane Sandy made me understand temporality in a new way.

‘Groundhog Day’ Musical to Premiere as Part of Old Vic Season

Variety: The musical version of “Groundhog Day” as well as starring stage turns for Ralph Fiennes (in Henrik Ibsen’s “Master Builder”) and Timothy Spall (in Harold Pinter’s “The Caretaker”) are among the shows on tap for artistic director Matthew Warchus’s inaugural season at the Old Vic in London.

The programming selection of the Tony-winning director (“God of Carnage”) marks an immediate departure from his predecessor, Kevin Spacey, who relied on star turns and big-name plays to bring the Old Vic back from the brink of closure. Instead, Warchus is promising an altogether more diverse program, harking back to the theater’s origins as a variety hall.

Some Los Angeles Theaters Told by Actors' Union to Pay Minimum Wage The national union representing stage actors has decided to require some small theaters in Los Angeles to pay the minimum wage, despite considerable opposition from supporters of that city’s thriving theater scene.

The union, Actors’ Equity, said that, in response to concerns from performers in Los Angeles, it would provide a variety of exceptions. But a coalition of supporters of the small 99-seat theaters there said it was disappointed nonetheless. The coalition had sought to preserve the current system, under which union actors are allowed to work in small theaters for only a tiny stipend.

Inspiring MPC

Cinefex Blog: What drives people to work in the visual effects industry? The glamour? The technology? All those ravening monsters and exploding spaceships? Or is it just another job? In an ongoing series of articles, we ask a wide range of VFX professionals the simple question: “Who or what inspired you to get into visual effects?”

Actors' Equity Implements $9 Minimum Wage For LA's Small Theaters

NPR: Less than a week after union members in LA overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to make small theaters pay their performers minimum wage, Actors' Equity decided to go ahead and implement it anyway. Many say the move could force many 99-seat theaters in LA to close.

Stage review: ‘Dance of Death' marries tragedy, comedy in tale of warring spouses

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: And in the main ring, the heavyweight championship bout of all time, as many rounds as it takes, fought to the death — husband vs. wife!

There is no more fervid chronicler of this intimate battle than August Strindberg, and his masterwork (aside from “The Father,” which is pretty horrific, as well) is the melodramatically named “The Dance of Death.”

Cirque du Soleil Tragedy Puts Focus on Aerial Acts Cirque du Soleil reassessed its safety practices and revamped its show 'Kà' after a fatal accident in 2013. But questions remain about whether the show pushes the limits of daredevil stunts.

AEA Changes the Game for L.A. Theatre

AMERICAN THEATRE: This might look like the end, but it’s likely only the beginning. From its offices in New York City, Actors’ Equity Association yesterday announced the decision of its national council to effectively dismantle the current Equity 99-Seat Plan—a unique L.A. code, in place since 1988, by which union members can volunteer in small theatres for small stipends—and offer in its place what they called “a broad range of options.”

Here's Why You Probably Don't Want To Work In The Australian Music Industry On the surface, working in the music industry seems like an ideal for many people. If you’re a performer, it’s spending your days writing songs and zig-zagging between studios, for promoters it’s the crazy, haphazard situations involved with bringing a huge act into town, as for roadies, we all know the Motörhead song.

the bus rules.

this tour life: So, you’ve found yourself on a bus (coach) tour. Welcome to living in tight quarters with 10 other people and very little privacy. Now you’ll need to know how to properly conduct yourself in your new home. Knowing the unspoken code of the road will help keep you safe and hopefully make your coworkers not downright resent you.

First and foremost, this is your home on the road. It needs to be treated with the same respect you give your own place. Unless you’re a miserable slob, if that’s the case treat it way better than your own home.

Pittsburgh union serving TV, film production looking for lots of help

TribLIVE: A run of movie projects and two television series making Pittsburgh home have pushed the region's film crew base to an all-time high, with the union looking to add members.

“We are having a shortage of film-industry carpenters,” said Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office. “Right now, we are so busy. And there is more work coming.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Outfitting ShowStoppers at Wynn Las Vegas Throwing your wife a huge party for her birthday is generally a good way to win brownie points for the year to come. Throwing her a huge party in the form of a Broadway-esque musical where Hugh Jackman performs, now that’s a way to amass brownie points for life.

To celebrate the birthday of his wife, Andrea, Steve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, threw an elaborate party. An enthusiast of Broadway show music, Wynn transformed the party into an attraction for the Wynn Las Vegas Encore Theatre. The result was ShowStoppers, a musical production of classic Broadway show tunes that Wynn personally wrote.

Variety’s 2015 Power of Women: Kim Kardashian, Lena Dunham & More

Variety: In its 2015 Power of Women New York issue, Variety honors five women who are using their clout to bring attention to worthy causes. The honorees: Whoopi Goldberg, Rachel Weisz, Kim Kardashian West, Glenn Close and Lena Dunham.

OptiTrack Enables Immersive VR for Museum-Goers at New York’s New Museum

Below the Line: OptiTrack motion capture technology is being used by artist Daniel Steegmann Mangrané in collaboration with ScanLAB Projects to fully immerse viewers into “Phantom,” one of the first virtual reality installations utilizing Oculus Devkit2 to be presented at an art museum in New York City. The New Museum‘s 2015 Triennial exhibition, titled “Surround Audience,” features work from artists around the world, and “explores the impact of an increasingly connected world on personal identity and the role and evolution of art.”

Asking the Right Questions When You’re Developing Wildlife Encounters

Entertainment Designer: The movie Blackfish raised an important issue to the broader public consciousness: what’s right and ethical when you’re designing wildlife encounters focused on education and entertainment? From a design standpoint, there are numerous factors to consider. What are your goals? How can your design prioritize the welfare and experience of animals involved? What kind of physical environment is best for both your human guests and animal residents?

New Attractions at Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival

Blogh | Pittsburgh City Paper: The free festival runs June 5-14. Programmed by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, it includes the familiar Artists’ Market and free concerts in Point State Park. (As previously announced, performers include the likes of Neko Case, Richard Thompson, Benjamin Booker, Rhiannon Giddens and The Felice Brothers.)

But there are also a theme and some new wrinkles.

Adrienne Truscotts “Asking for It:” A Roundtable

Flavorwire: Adrienne Truscott’s one-woman show Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else! is part burlesque performance-art, part stand-up comedy act, part feminist conversation-piece. But if there’s one thing the self-described evening of rape jokes is not, it’s shy.

Details for 6th Annual Lilly Awards Released

Stage Directions: The Lilly Awards will honor the extraordinary contributions made to the American Theater by women, as well as announce the $25,000 Stacey Mindich Prize, which funds a new work by a female playwright, Monday, June 1 at Playwrights Horizons in NYC.

The Seven Arts of Working in Film: A Necessary Guide to On-Set Protocol

Filmmaker Magazine: Welcome to your first day on a film set.

Perhaps you’ve gotten a new job as a production assistant. Perhaps you’re still in school and have been given an opportunity as an intern, or you’ve recently been asked to help out with a friend’s production. You probably have some questions.

I’m writing this because I’d like to try to answer some of those questions in advance, and because I have hope.

‘Mad Men’ Creator Matt Weiner on Turning Early Critics’ Barbs Into Success

Variety: As AMC prepares to air the “Mad Men” finale May 17, the show’s creator, Matt Weiner, harks back to his debut, 1996 microbudget film “What Do You Do All Day?” that he wrote, produced, directed and starred in. A Variety critic slammed the picture, but Weiner talked about how that whole experience fueled his subsequent work.

Is It Really Possible to Learn to Speed Read? 95% of college educated individuals read at a rate between 200-400 words per minute according to extensive research done by University of Massachusetts Amherst professor Dr. Keith Rayner. However, there exists a small, but rather vocal subset of people who insist that they can read several times faster than this using various speed reading techniques. With very little searching, you’ll also find many-a-company claiming that after going through their program or using their app regularly, you can easily read even as many as 1,000 words per minute. Tim Ferriss of Four Hour Work Week fame offers a method for increasing speed in reading for free on his website, claiming with this method, you’ll see an average increase in reading speed of about 386% in just three hours of practice.

So is any of this really possible?

Review and Collaborate on Projects with Wipster

Filmmaker Magazine: If you’ve ever dealt with a video project that needed feedback from a team of people, chances are you’ve worked with Dropbox files, password-protected Vimeo links, and a scattered selection of email chains. Wipster aims to streamline the process with their online platform.

2015 Drama League Award Nominations

The BroadwayBlog: First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are the only major theatergoer awards chosen by audience members — specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Clothes That Reveal Their Hidden Patterns in UV Light

WIRED: In the early ’90s the world was under the spell of Hypercolor, a line of clothes that changed hues by reacting to body heat. In a commercial for the garments, you see a couple rolling around in bed, green handprints streaking down the man’s blue shirt where the woman had just groped him. Another shot shows a woman blasting her purple shirt with a hairdryer—as one does—creating a bright pink line down the front.

Costume Design for Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix

Tyranny of Style: Marvel has burst onto the Netflix scene to rave reviews with its new original program Daredevil. The first of four planned shows, capped off by a “Defenders” miniseries, Daredevil brings to the small screen one of Marvel’s most popular comic book characters, who has yet to receive live action success. With this new platform, Marvel has created a far grittier cinematic world than any of their previous endeavors, packed with more aggressive violence (be prepared for the “squishing” sounds), sex and language. Daredevil is grounded in a very realistic, and troubled New York City.

"Mad Men" Creator Matthew Weiner's Reassuring Life Advice For Struggling Artists

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: I remember studying Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "Kubla Khan" in high school. According to Coleridge, upon waking from a deep, opium-induced reverie, he recalled a vision and immediately wrote the 54 famous lines. But when we started doing the poetic analysis, it became clear that there was no way this poem came out all at once. It has this amazing structure. We learned from letters and notes that had been discovered that it was likely Coleridge had not only worked on "Kubla Khan" for several months, but that he also sent it to friends for feedback.

This week's roundup of the best reader comments on Dezeen If the shoe fits: five well-known architects and designers including Zaha Hadid, Ross Lovegrove and Michael Young have designed sculptural footwear for United Nude. Many readers were shocked by the radical designs.

"Why use this amazing technology just to make impractical and uncomfortable shoes?" asked JennyX1. "People would be more interested if they were relatable products.">

Guide to Note Taking in Class

Daily Infographic: Hopefully in the near future, I will be attending grad school. I need a refresher course in note taking. We have all taken notes in class at some point in our lives. Styles differs among students, but not everyone does it the right way. You positively want your notes to be useful for future reference. These tips can also apply to certain workplace situations. This infographic has some methods on how you can improve your skills.

SAG-AFTRA Leaders Greenlight Industrial Films Contract

Variety: The SAG-AFTRA national board has ratified the union’s recently negotiated industrial films contract covering work in corporate and educational films and non-broadcast recorded material.

The agreement combines the legacy SAG and AFTRA contracts as a result of the merger in March 2012 that created a union of about 160,000 members. The legacy contracts were jointly negotiated in 2011 and are set to expire April 30.

'Bayadere' closes Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre season in great fashion

TribLIVE: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre concluded its 45th season with a spectacular production of “La Bayadere,” a 19th-century Russian ballet with the potential to showcase all the aspects of a major ballet company.

“La Bayadere” was created in 1876-77 by Marius Petipa, chief choreographer at the Russian Imperial Ballet and sometimes called the father of classical ballet.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre closes 45th season with opulent gala

TribLIVE: Just how well the invitation for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 45th Anniversary Season Finale gala had been received became evident the moment 230 guests stepped into the grand lobby of the Benedum Center, Downtown, on April 16. Inside those opulent halls, the walls were buzzing.

Overreaching Revisions of Broadway Revivals

The Clyde Fitch Report: The recent openings of two musicals—one adapted from a movie (that tiresome trend) and one the sort-of-revival of a movie adaptation—has focused a harsh spotlight on a huge problem: the updating of musical comedies that are assumed to be dated.

Making creative staging safer with the new CDM regulations

Event Industry News: A new way of thinking

Take away the 100-foot screens, blasting lasers, holographic projections and elaborate sets and what do you have left? Thousands of people with nothing much to do but look at a solitary figure standing on a platform.

Creative staging can be almost as crucial as the music or show itself – transforming concerts and festivals into an unforgettable, transcendent, multi-sensory experience.

USITT to Launch Jay O. Glerum Rigging Master Classes in 2016

Stage Directions: USITT is launching a new project in memory of master rigger and USITT Fellow Jay O. Glerum, who passed away last year. The Jay Glerum Rigging Master Classes will offer annual training sessions in a different location around the nation starting in summer 2016.

‘Colossal’ football field design shows off Wyly Theatre’s versatility

Dallas Morning News: A broad expanse of artificial grass, sliced by painted white yard lines, stretches across the flat surface of the Wyly Theatre, where the audience usually sits. You have to walk on it, weaving around actors doing sweaty workouts in football uniforms, to get to the bleachers, which are built on the spot where Stagger Lee performers danced on an old-fashioned stage in February.

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