CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It Took 297 Agonizing Tries For This Complex Rube Goldberg Machine to Work Flawlessly

sploid.gizmodo.com: After losing a bet, YouTube’s jackofallspades98 spent four months building one of the most complicated Rube Goldberg machines I’ve ever seen. Spread across two tables, it’s so dense and complex that it took 297 attempts before it worked all the way from start to finish.

This Is How To Actually Work Smarter, Not Harder

www.fastcompany.com: Possibly no piece of productivity advice is more well-worn than the adage, “Work smarter, not harder.” Of course, the directive points to the fact that it’s not how many hours you put in at your desk that matters—it’s how you spend your time there. In other words, get results faster and you won’t be spending so many late nights at the office.

But what does it really mean to work smarter?

5 Reasons Why ABS Needs To Go Away

All3DP: Before you pick up your 100-micron layer ABS pitchforks and start hollering, let me start by stating that I don’t think that ABS is bad per se. But as the 3D printing market has evolved, lots of companies have invested heavily in R&D. So we just have more options for high-strength materials that we didn’t have in the early days of the RepRap project. That has gifted us with much easier-to-print stronger and more versatile filaments.

The Homestead Strike of 1892

Pittsburgh in the Round: The voices and stories of Pittsburghers bring the Battle of Homestead to life in Mark Clayton Southers’ The Homestead Strike of 1892. Dramatic historical interpretation by some of the region’s leading actors recreate vivid moments from one of American labor’s most significant management vs. workers incidents.

PLASA 2017 - Audio Report

LightSoundJournal.com: All thing’s considered, it was a relatively quiet (no pun intended) year for Audio at this year’s PLASA Show. In our opinion at least, Lighting fixtures seemed to steal the limelight (no more, I promise), albeit similarly with no real ground-breaking new product releases. You only need look at the nominations for this year’s PLASA Innovation Awards to see this pattern reflected.

Conan O'Brien to Probe Whether Copyright Office Was Duped by Tom Brady Joke

Hollywood Reporter: Nothing is ever quite simple. That's especially so for matters of copyright law.

Last week brought the news that the U.S. Copyright Office had reconsidered a copyright application and was accepting the registration of a joke. The quip in question? "Tom Brady said he wants to give his MVP truck to the man who won the game for the [New England] Patriots. So enjoy that truck, Pete Carroll."

Adam Beach on Hollywood's Erasure of Native Actors

Colorlines: Adam Beach (“Suicide Squad”), one of the country’s most recognizable Native thespians, understands just how often Indigenous narratives are Whitewashed. He denounces this ongoing erasure—which is connected to a centuries-long legacy of genocide and forced assimilation whose remnants still threaten Native communities

RADical Days will offer free admission to local attractions

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The 16th annual RADical Days begins this weekend with free admissions to Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, Sen. John Heinz History Center and Western PA Sports Museum, and the National Aviary, among other local attractions.

The Ticketing Barcode Is Going to Die — Here's Why

Amplify: It might not happen this year, or even within this decade, but the barcode/ticket system will eventually be a relic of the past, replaced by a digital ticket that sits within a fan’s phone or on a wristband and helps promoters and event producers better identify who is in their building.

Courtney Hoffman Is Amblin's Pick to Direct 'Ruthless'

The Mary Sue: Talk of increasing the number of women who direct in Hollywood tends to focus on getting “new” women into the industry, and while that’s a worthwhile goal, studios and producers shouldn’t forget that there are mid-career women already working in the industry who would be capable directors. Which is why the story of how Courtney Hoffman got her feature film directing debut is so awesome.

Location Scout for Netflix’s ‘Narcos’ Shot Dead in Mexico

Variety: Mexican location scout Carlos Muñoz Portal was shot to death in a violent region in central Mexico Monday while scouting for season four of Netflix’s hit show “Narcos.” The seasoned scout, who worked for Stacy Perskie’s Mexico City-based production company Redrum, has a slew of high profile credits to his name, including, “Sicario,” “Spectre,” “Fast & Furious” and “Apocalypto.”

The National Theatre Of Iceland, Politics, And The Elf Palace

The Theatre Times: The Icelandic theatre season is about to come out of hibernation, where theatres close for the summer, and gradually reopen in September. Traditionally, the professional theatre season runs from September to June, with a few exceptions, and is mostly centered in Reykjavík, the capital, but also represented in Akureyri in the north. And like Iceland, with a population of 330,000, the performing arts scene is small, very small. However, the audience attendance numbers are staggering and possibly unique globally. In the 2013 – 2014 theatre season Statistics Iceland calculated that more than 270,000 people attended a professional theatre performance, and that number sky-rockets if amateur productions are included.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Chicago Shakes’s New Venue Will Literally Let People Reshape the Theater Experience

Chicago magazine | September 2017: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the venerable Navy Pier institution with a name that conjures images of staid, wood-paneled rigidity, may seem an unlikely candidate to construct the city’s slickest new performance space. But as Barbara Gaines, CST’s founder and longtime artistic director, says, “Reinvention was Shakespeare’s middle name.”

Amber Tamblyn: I’m Done With Not Being Believed

The New York Times: When I was 21, I went into the office of a producer of the television show I was starring in to discuss a big problem. By this point I had been acting for more than a decade, and the show was very successful and beloved. Still, I was nervous about facing the firing squad of Emmys that sat behind him and saying what I had to say.

SparkBlaster - The Non-pyrotechnic Spark Generator

LightSoundJournal.com: Spark generators are a great way of creating an extra dimension to any live event. However, they traditionally have lot’s of time consuming paper-work and health and safety concerns associated with them due to the heat generated. However, The new SparkBlaster indoor fountain machine creates a cold spark fountain from a special granulate, avoiding these problems. The sparks exit the SparkBlaster unit at a very low temperature, so this does not cause any fire hazard, unlike similar pyrotechnic effects.

CMU Alumni Win Emmys for Production Design

www.cmu.edu/news: Carnegie Mellon University alumni Andrew Leitch and Eugene Lee earned television's top prize in production design at the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Sept. 10.

In all, 14 CMU alumni garnered 17 nominations for eight Emmy Awards. The Television Academy's 69th Emmy Awards will air live at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17 on CBS from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. Stephen Colbert will serve as host.

U2 Cancel St. Louis Concert Over Safety Concerns

Rolling Stone: U2's Saturday night concert at St. Louis' Dome at America's Center has been canceled due to the protests currently taking place in the city following the acquittal of a police officer who shot and killed a black driver.

SO-IL creates air-filtering costumes for Chicago Biennial performance

www.dezeen.com: US architecture firm SO-IL has continued its exploration of material skins that filter the air with a set of costumes for a musical performance during the Chicago Architecture Biennial, which opens to the public today.

SO-IL collaborated with artist Ana Prvački to create the seven-minute piece titled L'air pour l'air, performed by four musicians from the Chicago Sinfionetta in the city's Garfield Park Conservatory.

The Broadway Production of Disney's Frozen Looks Predictably Beautiful

io9.gizmodo.com: Kids everywhere have imagined what Anna, Elsa, and the rest of the Frozen crew would look like if they were real. And soon, thanks to a new Broadway production, they can find out.

Amazon is turning its new TV show Lore into an immersive haunted house

The Verge: Recent projects like Westworld: The Experience have merged film and television with the world of in-person, immersive experiences, and now Amazon is embracing the concept with an interactive haunted house based on its upcoming new show Lore. Lore: A Haunting Experience will run from October through November in Los Angeles, and will take groups of eight visitors on an hour-long journey inspired by tales of folklore and scenes from the series.

‘The Scottsboro Boys’ shows what racial bias really looks like

New Pittsburgh Courier: How can a play based on a historic example of legal hypocrisy in the Jim Crow era be presented as vaudeville? As if the real-life atrocity of White supremacy and the possibility of lynching wasn’t horrific enough, who would have the temerity to present African American men in blackface?

The director of “The Scottsboro Boys,” the season opener at Pittsburgh Playhouse, doesn’t view it as a problem.

Live Nation CEO to Amazon: "Challenge Ticketmaster? Good Luck."

www.ticketnews.com: CEO Michael Rapino doesn’t seem troubled by news that e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ – AMZN) is making inroads to the U.S. ticketing market. Rapino, whose company owns near-monopoly status on ticketing through subsidiary Ticketmaster, made it clear with remarks at a Goldman Sachs conference this week.

In Houston, a Theater Finds Itself Offstage After Harvey

WSJ: Dean Gladden breathed a sigh of relief two years ago when a $46.5 million renovation of the Alley Theatre, the first major improvement in the Tony Award-winning theater’s five-decade history, was finally completed.

Standing in the theater’s flood-damaged, putrid-smelling basement almost two weeks after Hurricane Harvey dumped trillions of gallons of rain on the nation’s fourth largest city, Mr. Gladden was almost breathless.

'From the man who gave you "Hamlet" and "Lear"': Why live theater needs movie-style trailers

LA Times: It has all the hallmarks of a movie trailer — the fast pace, the quick cuts, the relentless beat. “Something primal,” a deep voice intones. “Something raw. Something otherworldly. Something wicked this way comes.” But it’s not. “It’s ‘Macbeth’ as you’ve never seen it,” the voice continues, “tickets at DenverCenter.org.”

Sunday, September 17, 2017

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

OMG...I Had a Productive Production Meeting

OnStage Blog: Can a production meeting actually be productive? Yes, that can happen, things can run smoothly and an agenda can be followed closely. It’s a great feeling to leave the meeting with such a sense of accomplishment.

What Role Does Social Media Play In The Theatre?

Theatre Nerds: There’s no denying that technology and theatre have a complicated relationship. While some shows, such as “Dear Evan Hansen” and “The Encounter,” have embraced social media, others have sworn against it. Let’s be real, no one wants to get Patti LuPoned during a show (yes, it’s a verb now). So, then, what role does technology and social media play in theatre, both in the audience and onstage?

The Lego Movie Sequel Will Be All About Gender Bias

The Mary Sue: After receiving criticism for the serious dearth of female characters in The Lego Movie, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and executive producer Chris McKay all promised there would be more women and girls in the sequel. Back in 2014, Lord said “It’s important to us that the movie plays broadly and that we inspire young women as much as we inspire young men.” McKay told the Daily Mail, “I’m not sure our movie passes the Bechdel test entirely and I think that it’s important.” These kinds of open-minded, self-aware, non-defensive responses to criticisms regarding representation are unfortunately rare, and they’re heartening to hear.

Reaching the Right: Can Arts Touch Conservative Audiences?

Clyde Fitch Report: In my last post, I suggested that the US performing arts sector is not doing a particularly good job of reaching politically conservative Americans. Excellent work is being produced on today’s stages — addressing issues important to many liberals, such as social justice, inequality and environmental sustainability — but this art is not getting to those whose perspectives we might want to influence. So instead of effecting change, we have projects like Michael Moore on Broadway in The Terms of My Surrender, which essentially rants to the NYC progressive choir.

Lawyer: Without The Monkey's Approval, PETA Can't Settle Monkey Selfie Case

Techdirt: Ted Frank is a well-respected lawyer who has heroically dedicated much of his career to stopping bad legal practices, including sketchy settlements in class action lawsuits. Now he's taking action in another case involving a sketchy settlement: the monkey selfie case. As we highlighted earlier this week, while it was no surprise that PETA and photographer David Slater worked out a settlement agreement to end the ridiculous lawsuit PETA had filed, it was deeply concerning that part of the settlement involved PETA demanding that the original district court ruling -- the one saying, clearly, that animals don't get copyrights -- should be thrown out.

Friday, September 15, 2017

At North Shore Music Theatre, An Absence of Race, Ethnicity and Understanding Prevails

Arts Integrity Initiative: It’s a bit hard to follow the thinking of Bill Hanney, the owner and producer at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts. Initially, it was hard because Hanney was silent, not responding to complaints – initiated by Lauren Villegas of Project Am I Right? – over the lack of Latinx casting in the company’s production Evita, which has no Latinx performers in principal roles and seemingly few in the entire cast.

Reaching the Right: Can Arts Touch Conservative Audiences?

Clyde Fitch Report: In my last post, I suggested that the US performing arts sector is not doing a particularly good job of reaching politically conservative Americans. Excellent work is being produced on today’s stages — addressing issues important to many liberals, such as social justice, inequality and environmental sustainability — but this art is not getting to those whose perspectives we might want to influence. So instead of effecting change, we have projects like Michael Moore on Broadway in The Terms of My Surrender, which essentially rants to the NYC progressive choir.

NYFW Behind The Scenes Stories: Must-See Details & Photos

collegecandy.com: When you see a runway show, either in person or on YouTube, it’s always a beautiful vision. The runway is a crisp white, the models flawlessly strut in beautiful garments and the audience is in awe. But while the audience may see a perfectly executed production, a frantic staff is working amidst organized chaos.

OMG...I Had a Productive Production Meeting

OnStage Blog: Can a production meeting actually be productive? Yes, that can happen, things can run smoothly and an agenda can be followed closely. It’s a great feeling to leave the meeting with such a sense of accomplishment.

Lawyer: Without The Monkey's Approval, PETA Can't Settle Monkey Selfie Case

Techdirt: Ted Frank is a well-respected lawyer who has heroically dedicated much of his career to stopping bad legal practices, including sketchy settlements in class action lawsuits. Now he's taking action in another case involving a sketchy settlement: the monkey selfie case. As we highlighted earlier this week, while it was no surprise that PETA and photographer David Slater worked out a settlement agreement to end the ridiculous lawsuit PETA had filed, it was deeply concerning that part of the settlement involved PETA demanding that the original district court ruling -- the one saying, clearly, that animals don't get copyrights -- should be thrown out.

Basic AutoCAD Customization: Custom Programs

Autodesk: The AutoCAD program provides an extensible environment that can be tailored to simplify everyday drafting tasks and automate company specific workflows through the use of custom programs. You don’t have to be a power user or master programmer to use custom programs, you just need to know how to load them.

There have been thousands of custom programs created for the AutoCAD program over the last 30+ years. The majority of these custom programs were created using the AutoLISP programming language and saved as files with an .LSP extension. AutoLISP programs are relatively easy to create and maintain. Custom programs can also be developed using other programming languages such as C++ and VB.NET.

Emily Takes Over TAIT & Shares What it is like to be an Intern at TAIT

www.taittowers.com: Hi I’m Emily Talbott and this is my TAIT Take Over.

Currently, I am an electrical engineer at the Colorado School of the Minds in Golden, CO but for the summer of 2017, I am an R+D intern for TAIT Towers.

Coming to work at TAIT really made sense for me. Growing up, I took art classes, music lessons and musical theater. At the same time, I was heavily involved in math and science and the world of STEM. So it really made sense for me to further my education and become an engineer.

The Lego Movie Sequel Will Be All About Gender Bias

The Mary Sue: After receiving criticism for the serious dearth of female characters in The Lego Movie, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and executive producer Chris McKay all promised there would be more women and girls in the sequel. Back in 2014, Lord said “It’s important to us that the movie plays broadly and that we inspire young women as much as we inspire young men.” McKay told the Daily Mail, “I’m not sure our movie passes the Bechdel test entirely and I think that it’s important.” These kinds of open-minded, self-aware, non-defensive responses to criticisms regarding representation are unfortunately rare, and they’re heartening to hear.

This is the story of the Fyre Festival of Classical Music; enjoy

Salon.com: The Newport Contemporary Music Series was supposed to be a contemporary music festival unlike any other. It promised to feature a stacked lineup which included “Philip Glass, four-time Academy Award winner André Previn, and ‘Lord of the Rings’ composer Howard Shore.” Ambitious. Intriguing.

Philadelphia stagehands union to strike against Walnut Street Theatre

Philadelphia Business Journal: The Philadelphia Stagehands Union Local 8 will go on strike against the Walnut Street Theatre, which stagehand officials allege discriminated against two of its now-terminated members.

The 750-member Local 8 at 5 p.m. on Wednesday will go on strike after the theater company allegedly terminated two stagehand members over the Labor Day weekend, according to a release issued Wednesday by the union.