CMU School of Drama

Friday, February 24, 2017

‘Hamilton’ educational program begins in Chicago this week The innovative educational program that launched last year at HAMILTON on Broadway, in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, will debut in Chicago on February 22 when 1,900 students and teachers from 30 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) attend the matinee performance of the musical at Broadway In Chicago’s The PrivateBank Theatre (18 W. Monroe Street).

Pennsylvania-Based Staging Company Revolutionizes The Concert Experience

NBC 10 Philadelphia: TAIT, a staging company based in the tiny Pennsylvania borough of Lititz, creates the most innovative technology for concerts and events -- revolutionizing the experience of live showcases. The tech company displayed one of their latest designs-- the nanowinch-- to concert-goers at the Wells Fargo Center Feb. 12 and 13 during the Red Hot Chili Peppers' performance.

Dead Writers Theater to Close in Wake of Harassment Allegations

PerformInk: When Megan DeLay decided to drop out of Dead Writers Theatre Collective’s 4-performance April fundraiser a week and a half before rehearsals began, she unknowingly set into motion a series of events that have threatened the viability of the organization. DeLay was cast in a more remunerative project, which put her in the difficult situation of dropping a show with the company that she has worked with at least a half-dozen times. It’s a situation that a lot of actors face, the pay is so little in this industry that you have to take what you can get. The fundraiser production of “Angel Street” (also titled “Gaslight”) would not be reviewed by critics or eligible for Jeff Awards.

An Examination Of Bandwidth, Dynamic Range And Normal Operating Levels

ProSoundWeb: Audio signals are, of course, speech and music, and in this article we will examine the nature of those signals in terms of their requirements in bandwidth, dynamic range and normal operating levels.

The nature of peak and average levels of music and speech will be discussed.

In addition, we’ll look at the standard methods of dealing with signal peaks and required shifts in signal operating levels.

[Q + A] The House Theatre of Chicago The House Theatre of Chicago and Chicago Flyhouse have worked together for more than a decade with Flyhouse being the performer flying vendor of choice. For an upcoming performance of The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz, the cast has been learning to fly in the Flyhouse rehearsal space. We had the opportunity to talk with The House's Artistic Director, Nathan Allen, to learn more about the company's past and standing out in the Chicago theater scene.

Tips for Selecting, Using and Maintaining In-Ear Monitors The use of in-ear monitoring is increasing in our churches, and for good reason. They allow us to drastically reduce stage volumes, provide better sound to the off-stage participants and give better mixes to the on-stage participants.

Writers Guild, Producers Set Start Date for Contract Negotiations

Variety: The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have set March 13 as the date for the start of negotiations on a successor deal to the master contract.

The talks will be held at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks. The current three-year contract expires on May 1.

Oscars still lagging in female and minority representation

New Pittsburgh Courier: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The 2017 Oscar nominations were a banner year for Black nominees both in front of and behind the camera, but other nonwhite groups and women were largely left out of the running. As #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign said, her hashtag was never about just Black actors, but all communities marginalized in Hollywood including Asians, Latinos, and women.

The NEA Is Vital, Democratizing: Teresa Eyring Corrects the Record

AMERICAN THEATRE: I’m writing on behalf of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre, in response to your Weekend Edition Saturday interview with David Marcus on February 11, 2017. You’ve opened the door to a meaningful conversation about the value of public funding for the arts, and I hope you’ll be willing to consider some additional information and the opportunity to take the conversation even deeper. We were also concerned about some misleading statements that were made in the course of the interview and wanted to take the opportunity to address those here.

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How new technology is transforming the look of the movies

Dolby - Lab Notes: As Hollywood prepares to honor the world’s elite creative talent at the Academy Awards®, the subject of how technology is influencing the art of filmmaking is once again a topic of conversation.

Powerful laser projection, expanded color gamut, and high dynamic range imaging offer filmmakers the tools to reveal their vision in new ways and share that experience with audiences around the world.

Stickney lights up stage in ‘Twelfth Night’

New Pittsburgh Courier: Timothy D. Stickney is thrilled to be portraying the love-sick Duke Orsino in the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of the Shakespearean comedy, “Twelfth Night.”

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Composer Stephen Flaherty strikes a chord for 'Ragtime' at CMU

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Ragtime” seemed like an impossible dream of a musical for the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama until its Tony Award-winning composer, Stephen Flaherty, pointed out that the award-winning musical comes in all shapes and sizes.

The original 1998 Broadway production had a cast of 52 and a 28-piece orchestra, “but there’s actually many different ways to do it.”

Alumni Helped To Build “Fences” Success

Carnegie Mellon Today: When the Academy Awards are broadcast on Feb. 26, several Carnegie Mellon University alumni will be rooting especially hard for “Fences,” one of this year’s 10 Best Picture nominees. You will not see them on the red carpet, nor will their faces appear on screen, but their fingerprints are all over the big screen adaptation of August Wilson’s Tony and Pulitzer-prize winning play of the same name.

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ Nominated for Costume Award

Variety: For the first time, an animated feature has been nominated for a prize at the Costume Designers Guild Awards, to be presented Feb. 21 at the Beverly Hilton.

Designer Deborah Cook used her talents to bring to life ancient Japanese characters for the stop-motion film “Kubo and the Two Strings,” created by Oregon’s Laika Studios and distributed by Focus Features and UPI.

Dead Writers Collective now dead after allegations of harassment and abuse

Bleader: A social media firestorm of allegations of sexual harassment and emotional abuse ignited Tuesday afternoon and incinerated Dead Writers Collective, a six-year-old theater company, which announced this morning that it was closing for good.

August Wilson Center names new board chair

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The board of the August Wilson Center has named developer Michael Polite as its new chair.

Mr. Polite, who has been on the board since August 2015, will take over as board chair from Maxwell King, president and chief executive officer of the Pittsburgh Foundation. Mr. King will remain on the board, along with the heads of the Heinz Endowments and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

Truthful Intelligence: A Play about Power and Politics

HowlRound: Exactly eight days after Donald Trump was elected president, Oxford Dictionaries selected “post-truth”—defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”—as 2016’s international word of the year, citing a 2000 percent increase in usage compared with 2015.

The 2017 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards are Announced

Stage Directions: The Theatre Development Fund (TDF) is celebrating excellence in theatrical design with its 2017 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards. Six-time Tony Award-winning costume designer Catherine Zuber and legendary scenic designer Tony Straiges are among the 2017 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards recipients. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, April 28, at 6:30pm, at the Edison Ballroom, 240 West 47th Street, NYC.

Anita Hill on the Need For Female Equality in Hollywood (Opinion)

Variety: It is a difficult time to be a woman in this country. We just elected as president a man whose actions range from shocking disregard for women to brazen attacks on them. The number of women in Donald Trump’s cabinet is appallingly anemic. His repeated and nasty attacks on everyone from Alicia Machado to Elizabeth Warren, along with his and Congress’ regressive agenda, offer a preview of the coming threats to gender pay equity, reproductive rights, and protections from domestic violence and sexual assault, to name just a few.

Rock Stars Fight Depositions in Legal Dispute Spanning Decades of Music History

Hollywood Reporter: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, is a nice visit, but for music aficionados looking to explore the business side of rock history, a trip to a New York federal courtroom might be more educational. There, some legends including Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, Talking Heads' David Byrne, The Who's Pete Townshend and R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe have been popping up in recent months in the middle of massive copyright fight against a website boasting an impressive array of live recordings.

Women & Hollywood Put a Spin on Hamilton for Representation

The Mary Sue:

Although we might be seeing some improvements for women behind and in front of the camera, it’s important to remember that our job is no where near done.

Women and Hollywood, who have continuously worked to spotlight women and hold the industry accountable, have released an awesome remix of Trooko, K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC and Residente’s great track on The Hamilton Mixtape “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” titled “Hollywood (Our Work Isn’t Done)”

Stage review: 'Book of Mormon' continues mission to entertain

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: They had me at “Hello!”

It’s the rare musical that can shock and offend, yet leave you with a silly smile on your face. Throw in tales of faith, some rock-solid show tunes plus razzle dazzle choreography, and there’s ample reason to open the door to “The Book of Mormon.”

Center Stage - take a look at them now. New name and new performing spaces

DC Theatre Scene: Since its founding in 1963, Center Stage has grown into an important cultural resource, touching the lives of thousands of people in the Baltimore area each year. The popular theater has recently undergone a major $28 million renovation, being revealed in its grand opening on March 3rd, and a name change: from here on the company and its building will be known as Baltimore Center Stage.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Long Shadow of Lynching in 2017

Theater - The Stranger: Seattle playwright, actor, and dancer Kamaria Hallums-Harris didn't know what she was going to write for her senior thesis project at Cornish College of the Arts. But when George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, her mission clarified.

Zach Morris of Third Rail Projects Returns to CMU

Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama: Alumnus Zach Morris (A 1999) of the immersive theater collaborative Third Rail Projects came to speak to School of Drama students about his company’s process and influences. Third Rail Projects gained wide-acclaim for their 2012 production Then She Fell based on Lewis Carroll’s life and writings. The piece, which has an audience of 15 people for each performance, ran for four years.

UPDATE: Then She Fell is still running and is currently running through September 3rd, 2017

Chicago’s 2nd Floor Rear Festival Celebrates DIY Art Spaces of All Kinds

#50StatesofArt - Creators: A weekend-long DIY festival titled 2nd Floor Rear showcases apartment galleries, migrant projects, and experimental collaborations taking place in various Chicago neighborhoods. From art in cars and handbags to wandering theater, walking performances, and unauthorized public art installations, the festival helps underfunded and under-appreciated alternative spaces get some exposure.

What the Debate Over That "Big River" Review Really Means

Clyde Fitch Report: It’s rare that a piece of theatre criticism kicks open debate in the way that the New York Times’ Feb. 9 review of the Encores! revival of Big River did. Although Laura Collins-Hughes gave a largely positive account of the 1985 Tony-winning musical, which is based on Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Stagehand Dies After Avenged Sevenfold Concert In Stuttgart, Germany "We have some very sad news to report. Last night after our show in Stuttgart, Germany, a 26-year-old stagehand fell from the rafters while breaking down our stage. He fell a very far distance onto a 19-year-old man on the local crew. Tragically, the 19-year-old died from his injuries. The other man is now in critical condition at the hospital.

"This is beyond heartbreaking to everyone in the band and on our crew.

Does Broadway Need Celebrities in Order to Stay Afloat?

OnStage: It was announced in the last few days that Sara Bareilles will be replacing Jesse Mueller in Waitress on Broadway. This was followed up by what has become a very predictable set of reactions from 4 mainstream groups. Group #1 rolls their eyes. Group #2 consists of the celebrity fans who are ecstatic for their idol. Group #3 contains the angry aspiring musical theatre performers who are ticked off that yet another not-necessarily-a-good-performer-star has “stolen” a role from one of them. And Group #4 consists of the Broadway businessmen who could each buy a Central Park West Penthouse with the money this will make them. I’m going to speak mainly to Groups 1 and 3, and give you the reasons we should celebrate celebrities on Broadway.

Studios & Networks Rebuff DGA Diversity Push For “Rooney Rule”

Deadline: While signatory film and TV companies talk a good game about increasing the opportunities for minorities and women, they have “categorically rejected” continuing proposals by the DGA to embrace a program similar to one adopted by the National Football League that’s meant to encourage teams to consider candidates of color more seriously in the coaching ranks.

Winston Churchill’s Famous Arts Quote Is, Alas, Bogus

Arts Integrity Initiative: Even if you’ve never read the quote, you’ve no doubt seen the meme, in all of its arts-affirming, damn the torpedoes glory. Just one small detail: it isn’t true.

I am referring to the story that goes as follows, and here I’ll quote an op-ed piece from, dated February 19, 2017:

At the height of WWII, Winston Churchill was challenged to defend a budget that called for an increase in arts funding.

“How can you propose this at a time of extreme national crisis?” asked one member of Parliament.

Churchill replied, “I do it, sir, to remind us what we are fighting for.”

Diversity in Hollywood Is a ‘Plus Factor For the Bottom Line’

Variety: Hollywood is failing to present more diverse casts in movies and television — even though doing so would maximize the bottom line, according to a new report issued Tuesday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA.

Raw Umber – It’s Ugly and We Love It

Rosco Spectrum: In 2016, Pantone 448 C was declared as the world’s ugliest color. So ugly, in fact, an Australian research and marketing project covered cigarette packs in the color and successfully discouraged people from smoking. While most people may be disgusted with this green/brown color, often called “Opaque Couché,” we in the scenic art biz call it Raw Umber – and we are madly in love with it!

How to Manage Your Excel Formulas: Copy, Paste and Autofill Spreadsheets aren't just for finance pro's or accountants; they're also for freelancers or small business owners just like you. Spreadsheets can help you capture key data about your business, study your top-selling products, and organize your life.

The whole purpose of Excel is to make your life easier. This tutorial will help you build foundational skills for working with them. Formulas are at the heart of Excel.

Extending the Experience: Altria Theater

Wenger | J.R. Clancy: “Our design and programming strategy for renovating the Altria Theater included crafting a variety of experiences for patrons,” explains Bruce Herrmann, AIA, Director with Wilson Butler Architects (WBA). “And this means more than just adding seats.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

It Happened Here: Looking Back on the Revivals of Sinclair Lewis’s Play During the Election of 2016

HowlRound: During the summer of 2016, I taught a course on American literature and culture of the 1930s. During the mid-point of the semester, I had students read Sinclair Lewis and John C. Moffitt’s playscript of the Federal Theatre Project (FTP) productions of It Can’t Happen Here, based on the former’s 1933 novel of the same name. Both texts center on a Vermont newspaper editor named Dormeus Jessup who watches in horror as a fascist demagogue named “Buzz” Windrip is elected president after running a campaign based on promises such as giving each citizen $5,000 a year, and being viewed as a candidate “who tells it like it is” (Lewis loosely based the character on Huey Long). Post-election, America descends into a nightmarish Fascist-state, as Gestapo-like agents of Windrip begin suppressing those who criticize their leader and movement—including Jessup. As we gathered together one morning to discuss the play, I asked the students what their initial reactions were to the text. As if on cue, one student blurted out, “This is Trump. That’s pretty clear.”

Marriott’s ‘Mamma Mia!’ Rosie takes on body shaming in ‘Sun-Times’ review I’ll start this by saying, reviews are reviews. If you read ’em, you’re dancing with the devil. You may like what you see and you may not. I read them because I’m a spaz and I can’t handle not knowing what’s out in the universe regarding my person.

I’ve been called lackluster. I’ve been called a budding star. I’ve been called the best in the show. I’ve been called the worst in the show. I do a little dance with the devil every time, digest the words and eventually (good or bad) they fall away.

The Washington National Cathedral Was Lit Last Night

Washingtonian: Spirituality got a multimedia boost from sight, sound, and space on Monday night, during a special exhibit hosted by Washington National Cathedral titled “Seeing Deeper.”

The free-to-the-public event invited visitors to enjoy a sound (Native American flute music performed by Karen Rugg) and light show (courtesy of Atmosphere Lighting), which took advantage of the unique acoustic and Gothic architectural elements of the landmark building.

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters considers performing "The Wall" on US-Mexico border

Euronews: Roger Waters, the co-founder of musical rock n’ roll group Pink Floyd, said the group’s cult album The Wall is more relevant now given Donald Trump’s US presidency than ever before.

Waters, 73, made the comment during a rare public appearance in London to promote “Pink Floyd, Their Mortal Remains”, an exhibition which will feature memorabilia and archived footage of the band as it celebrates its 50-year career.

La La Land Opening Number Rehearsal Video

The Mary Sue: Whether you’re a fan of the movie or not, you’ve got to admit that La La Land has at least a few catchy tunes and some inspired dance numbers straight out of classic Hollywood musicals. As you might imagine, there’s so much planning and preparation that goes into the creation of those huge dance numbers, and thanks to director Damien Chazelle and his iPhone, we get to take a peek into the full rehearsal for La La Land‘s opening number.

Australia's Battle Over Fair Use Boils Over

Electronic Frontier Foundation: Public submissions on the Australian Productivity Commission's proposal to introduce a fair use right into Australian copyright law have just closed, and Australian rightsholders are frothing at the mouth in their attempts to block this long-overdue reform.

How Do You Tell a Good Story? Take Pixar's Free 6-Part Online Course

Big Think: Humans tell stories. Many of us live interesting lives; developing a way to deliver the narrative is to our advantage. Others lead less than adventurous existences, and so stories become transcendent vehicles for our imagination. Epic mythologies and religions are nothing but collections of stories that inspire and transform us.

Domingo Zapata Turned His Art into Clothing For Fashion Week

Creators: Amidst typical fashion world drama and controversial collections, Spanish artist Domingo Zapata debuted a collaborative collection with Bernard Aidan, the founder of fashion line Catherine Malandrino.

Zapata has long been known for painting just about everything. A 2013 profile notes that he paints his canvases as well as the headboard to his bed, his couch, and even his dog. It's in this everything-is-a-canvas methodology that his latest fashion collection was conceived.

1,250 Worldwide Exhibitors for Prolight + Sound Guangzhou’s 15th Edition Teeming with much enthusiasm, Prolight + Sound Guangzhou will open from 22 – 25 February 2017 at the China Import and Export Fair Complex. Sprawling across 130,000 sqm in 13 thematic halls and the extended area of Y Channel, 1,250 prominent companies from 26 countries and regions will stage their latest pro audio and lighting advancements.

Stage Directors and Choreographers Union Joins DPE

Variety: The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), the theatrical union that represents directors and choreographers, has signed on to become an affiliate of the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO — the coalition of more than 20 unions banded together for research and advocacy.

Feminist Voices Heard at the Miller Gallery Twenty-two female artists, designers and developers are speaking out at Carnegie Mellon University's Miller Gallery through an exhibition that showcases their technology-driven and sometimes humorous work.

"Hacking / Modding / Remixing," curated by Angela Washko, a visiting assistant professor in CMU's School of Art, runs through Feb. 26.

Synetic's wordless Taming of the Shrew, take 2 (review)

DC Theatre Scene: A viscerally entertaining romp about a grieving woman tortured until she falls in love with her captor, Synetic’s wordless-Shakespeare adaptation of Taming of the Shrew is a quality showcase for the company’s famed high-energy theatrics. First produced in 2012, it returns to the stage with most of the original principal cast, a few updates to the creative team, and the same riot of colors and bodies.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Women Directors Might Just Get the Hollywood Ending They Have Been Hoping For

American Civil Liberties Union: This week, Deadline reported that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is in negotiations with the major movie studios to settle agency charges of systemic sex discrimination against women directors.

The EEOC began a wide-ranging investigation of Hollywood’s hiring practices in 2015 after the ACLU and ACLU of Southern California notified the agency of evidence we had gathered showing that sex discrimination against women directors was “standard operating procedure” among movie studios and television networks.

CMU grad goes from the stage to the jungles of Borneo and back again

TribLIVE: In just 10 years since leaving Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University grad Kristolyn Lloyd has graduated from smaller off-Broadway fare to a major presence in Broadway's newest hot ticket, “Dear Evan Hansen.”

The millennial musical now at the Music Box Theatre in New York boasts a score by Oscar-nominated Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of “La La Land” fame, and book by Steven Levenson.

At University of Washington, Anonymous Hate Messages Extend To Campus Theatre

Arts Integrity Initiative: At a time in the life of America when The New York Times has been compelled to create a column called “This Week in Hate,” some localized instances of actions that are overtly oppositional to a culture that embraces all people, regardless of race, religion, sexuality, gender identity or disability, can still run the risk of being seen as too small bore for widespread attention and revulsion. But if they are not called out, if the public is not made aware, then there is the ever-present risk of such actions becoming normalized, simply a part of modern life with which we must live.

Not Just a Chair: Considering Design Choices

HowlRound: It is often useful to use the chair as an example because it perfectly encapsulates many of the concepts and ideas we struggle with in theatre. This article is not alone in this usage as it is often used as an entry into theatrical thinking. For the purpose of this piece, the chair will remain the central figure. It is easy to say that a chair is necessary, and it could be argued that this is as far as one’s thinking needs to go. However, let us take a moment and consider what it means to put a chair into a charged space such as the theatre. In this circumstance, nothing is simply what it is.

Gender on stage or, what do 'Breakdown' and 'Men are from Mars' have in common?

Chicago Tribune: The women's marches held in protest of Donald Trump's inauguration last month threw already-fraught issues of gender discrimination into high profile. Away from the pink hats, three plays on Chicago stages this month also examine gender relationships and privilege — or the lack thereof. The tone and structure of the shows vary greatly — from documentary-style narrative to comedic faux-lecture to seemingly straightforward family drama. But all three question in some way what gender means for our identity and potential.

This Augmented Reality App Tells Indigenous Stories in Canadian Cities

Motherboard: Adrian Duke showed me his phone while we stood outside Vancouver's Skwachàys Lodge. An animated raven popped up to tell me the story behind this boutique hotel, which houses Indigenous artists and their works. The raven was modelled on a commissioned painting by Garnet Tobacco, whose other paintings are on display inside the gallery.

ONOD 5: Q&A w/Krista Monson & Jerry Nadal It is one of the most ambitious Strip productions each year, and it takes almost a year, by a team of 300 volunteers, to pull off a one-night-only spectacular seen this time by only 1,250 lucky VIPs. Exactly two weeks from now on March 3, Cirque du Soleil stages for the fifth consecutive year its incredible charity show “One Night for One Drop.”

Fusion 360 Adds “Slicer” for Laser Cutting and CNC Routing When Autodesk recently announced they were going to be discontinuing the 123D app, many of us were pretty bummed. As it turns out, that app had a fantastic ability to “slice” objects into layers for cutting with a laser, router, or mill. They’ve added a “slicer” app, packed with features to fill that void left behind by the closing of 123D. This new announcement for Fusion 360 is music to our ears.

The History (and Future) of 3D Audio

Hooke: The hot name for all things immersive audio today is "3d audio". Whether it's a headphone, microphone, amusement ride or algorithm, more and more companies are pushing to support this somewhat illusive format of "3D Audio".

So what is 3D Audio? How did it come about? Where did it start?

Latin America Theatre Anthology Is Available Online

The Theatre Times: The Anthology presents 78 short plays, produced between 1950 and 2007 in 14 Latin American countries, accompanied by historical-cultural introductions for each country and biographies of each of the included authors. The content is written by recognized specialists in Latin American theatre, from their own countries. The publication aims to give a sample of Latin American theatre and is directed to interested readers, especially teachers and researchers; it also intends to promote knowledge of this ample cultural production and to promote dialogue between the authors and the teatristas of each Latin American country.

Why You'll Never Do Your Best Work Alone

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: At last week's Grammy Awards, Beyoncé’s Lemonade lost Album of the Year to Adele's 25, much to her fans' dismay. This wasn't the first time that the record, Beyoncé’s sixth studio effort, found itself at the center of an uproar.

When it was released on April 23, 2016, Lemonade credited 72 writers—and earned a swift public backlash as a result. One person on Twitter wrote, "Is this the time of year where we call Beyoncé a musical genius even though she has 50 [to] 100 writers and producers for each album[?]" Another said, "Beyoncé has FIFTEEN writers on one of her songs. But she’s a genius, they say."

“Dubailand” – A Story About Globalization and Social Justice

The Theatre Times: Young British writers are often surprisingly unadventurous when it comes to locating their plays in other countries. There are lots of plays that travel to sink estates and poor parts of town, but few that explore China, Mexico or South America. Plenty are set in the United States, but very few in Japan or South-East Asia. Fewer still in the Middle East, despite its political and economic significance. Which is odd since most playwrights must have traveled to at least some of these places. Maybe they feel that you have to live in a place before you can write about it. Not Carmen Nasr, who is British-Lebanese and whose second play, Dubailand, is a large-scale — almost epic — story about globalization and social justice, produced by the Finborough Theatre.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ Depended on 3D Printer

Variety: When the Oscar nominations were announced on Jan. 24, some may have been surprised to find “Kubo and the Two Strings” among the visual-effects nominees. But it wasn’t a shock to those who had carefully looked at the work Oregon-based Laika had done for its latest release.

Trump's Potential NEA Cuts Would Shut Down Arts Groups to Save Us Each 46¢

Creators: In the span of half a century, the National Endowment for the Arts has supported some of the most fundamental arts and cultural movements and individuals in this country's history, from funding Pulitzer Prize-winner Alice Walker's first novel to providing seed money to a young Robert Redford towards what is now the Sundance Institute. The organization ensures the presence of art in some of the country's most underserved areas.

'The Book of Mormon' remains fresh and funny

TribLIVE: Probably nobody in the world knows more about “The Book of Mormon” than Jake Emmerling — except maybe its creators, Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez.

As part of the ensemble, Emmerling has been touring with the record-breaking musical comedy since it opened in 2012 in Chicago, visiting more than 80 cities across the country.

What Your Congregation Wishes You Knew About Lighting Ego. That nagging quality which can be both a driving force of achievement yet a dominating blinder on reality. A healthy ego does serve a purpose, propelling one with a sense of confidence and command. Too much though and we succumb to a trap of narcissism and stubbornness.

Behind the Scenes: Ancient Techniques & Digital Technology Bring ‘Rivers of Light’ Costumes To Life

Disney Parks Blog: “Rivers of Light,” the new nighttime show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is just days away from it’s grand debut this Friday, February 17. Today we’re excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at the four costumes you’ll see in the show that represent Earth & Fire and Air & Water.

Pics from CMU Drama