CMU School of Drama

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Top 10 Costume Design Schools Revealed

Pret-a-Reporter: More than knowing how to thread a needle, costume design involves historical research, collaboration with actors and directors, keen attention to detail, the art of narrative storytelling through clothes … and that's just the beginning. A bachelor's (B.A.) or master's in fine arts (MFA) can give a leg up. (Although some, like Jacqueline Durran, who won an Oscar in 2013 for her work in Anna Karenina, do not major in costume design.)

Database Shows Time to Diversify Theater Leadership is Now

Art Wire | KQED Arts: The U.S. theater world is seeing widespread changes in leadership, and Bay Area theater professionals tracking the development say it’s an opportune time for theater companies to diversify.

Career Opportunities Abound at USITT 2018 Expo

Stage Directions: A number of prominent companies in the industry will be looking for potential new employees to join their teams at USITT 2018. Exhibitors from all facets of live entertainment will soon fill the Stage Expo floor and they are encouraging attendees looking for career opportunities to connect with them on LinkedIn prior to the Conference. By linking your LinkedIn profile to your USITT registration, you can be visible to exhibiting companies and indicate the types of opportunities you would like to be matched with.

Disney Theatrical’s Thomas Schumacher Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Variety: Former employees have accused Thomas Schumacher, the president and producer of Disney Theatrical Productions and the chairman of the Broadway League, of harassment and inappropriate language.

HBO is building the town of Sweetwater for an immersive Westworld experience at SXSW

The Verge: Last year at San Diego Comic-Con, HBO hosted Westworld: The Experience, an immersive activation that let guests visit the offices of Delos, Inc., thanks to some impressive set design and the performances of many committed actors. At this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, the network is upping that ante by recreating the series’s entire town of Sweetwater. SXSW is known its lavish brand activations, but this seems like a significant step up from past experiences.

Whose World Is This? Black Panther Production Designer Hannah Beachler Walks Us Through Wakanda If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already visited Wakanda—maybe two or three times during Black Panther’s record-breaking opening weekend. Otherwise, I know you wouldn’t want to spoil your upcoming trip by reading the incredible conversation The Glow Up had with the film’s production designer, Hannah Beachler. (Consider yourself warned: There might be spoilers ahead. For instance, did you know that from the aerial view, the Royal Talon Fighter is modeled after a mask from the Dogon tribe?)

Minnie Driver Says Matt Damon’s #MeToo Mansplaining Represents Every “Intelligent, Nice, White Male” Who Refuses to Listen

The Mary Sue: Minnie Driver has long been outspoken on issues of sexual harassment and assault, both within Hollywood and without, as well as speaking openly about her own experiences with assault. Earlier this month, she stepped down from her position as an Oxfam ambassador after it was revealed that some of the organization’s staff sexually exploited the vulnerable communities they were supposed to be serving in Haiti and other countries.

Can Walt Disney World Cast Members Strike?

Theme Park University: Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the wage negotiations between Walt Disney World and the unions that represent them. For those keeping track, Walt Disney World cast members rejected the company’s last deal in December of 2017. That wage increase would have been roughly $.50 cents more an hour for most employees. Since then, the question has been raised several times: why don’t Walt Disney World cast members strike?

Cliff Williams III: Why theatres need to hire intimacy choreographers.

DC Theatre Scene: The theatre can be a messy place, and often this is most evident in the rehearsal process. Violence and intimacy scenes stand as two of the more interesting challenges. How do we display violence on stage, while keeping the actors safe? How can an actor sit there and take a punch every night, for 20+ performances, not to mention every rehearsal, without getting injured? How do we make it look believable? If the audience sees even an inch of air, they’re likely to tune out and go: “Whoops, that was fake.” We actor-combatants need the audience to believe that the moment was real. Paradoxically, we need them to know that it’s fake, otherwise they’re concerned for the actor, and are taken out of the story.

CBS Launches Eye Speak Empowerment Initiative for Women

Variety: CBS has unveiled a corporate initiative dubbed Eye Speak designed to advance the careers of female CBS employees and open doors for talent across the industry.

Eye Speak is spearheaded by Jo Ann Ross, president and chief advertising revenue officer for CBS Corp.

Oscar Telecast Seeks to Polish Hollywood’s Tarnished Image

Variety: When the Academy Awards were first handed out 89 years ago, Variety reported at the time that the planning for the dinner and ceremony at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood took about a week of organizing to pull together and the awards ceremony took all of 15 minutes.

Those were the days.

Massive Archive of 78RPM Records Now Digitized & Put Online: Stream 78,000 Early 20th Century Records from Around the World

Open Culture: Last summer we checked in with the Internet Archive’s Great 78 Project, a volunteer effort to digitize thousands of 78rpm records—the oldest mass-produced recording medium. Drawing on the expertise and vast holdings of preservation company George Blood, L.P., the ARChive of Contemporary Music, and over 20 more institutions from around the world, the project aims to save the recorded sounds of the past, and not only those that have come down to us through the efforts of highly selective curators.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

California's IMDb Age Censorship Law Declared Unconstitutional

Hollywood Reporter: A California law that allowed actors to forbid IMDb from posting their ages may have been well intentioned, but on Tuesday, a federal judge declared it not only to be unconstitutional, but also a bad solution to the wrong problem.

Heads Up – A review of "Marie Antoinette"

'Burgh Vivant: Everybody knows something about Marie Antoinette. There are two events, though, that first come to mind when her name is mentioned: her beheading and her comment concerning the masses “Let them eat cake” – a quote that has never been validated, by the way. Playwright David Adjmi takes Marie’s story and gives it a contemporary twist in “Marie Antoinette”.

Peduto poised to move controversial Stephen Foster statue

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The Peduto administration Tuesday signaled that it will follow a recommendation from the Pittsburgh Art Commission that the controversial statue of late composer Stephen Foster be moved from its location in Oakland.

Mix Buss Processing: Do's and Don'ts

The Pro Audio Files: We have all these tracks in a recording — guitars, bass, drums, vocals, synths, samples, whatever — and they all come down to a single stereo channel called “the mix buss“. What do we do with this stereo channel? Do we leave it untouched? Do we “master” our own record? How much headroom should we leave? If you’re new to navigating the mix buss, or a veteran looking for some fresh perspective, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts that should open your eyes to opening those ears!

What Freelancers Can Write Off on Their Taxes If you’re a freelancer, deductions are the name of the tax game: there are many business expenses you can deduct to lower your taxable income on your Schedule C (or Schedule C-EZ) if you haven’t incorporated. If this is your first time filing self-employment taxes, it’s worth the money to make an appointment with a professional.

Sexual assault experienced by 94% of women: Exclusive USA TODAY Survey The first number you see is 94% — and your eyes pop with incredulity.

But it's true: Almost every one of hundreds of women questioned in an exclusive survey by USA TODAY say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault during their careers in Hollywood.

Sexual assault experienced by 94% of women: Exclusive USA TODAY Survey Sexual harassment is rampant in Hollywood — a systemic issue that goes beyond the celebrity power players felled by accusations of sexual misconduct in recent months.

In response, USA TODAY sponsored an industry-wide survey to quantify how pervasive the problem is in entertainment. The results are staggering: 94% of women surveyed say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault over the course of their careers.

Soulpepper loses $375K of planned federal funding in wake of sexual harassment scandal

Toronto - CBC News: A planned increase in federal funding for Soulpepper Theatre has been voted down by the Canada Council for the Arts' board of directors.

On Thursday, the council's board voted to rescind an increase of $375,500 the theatre company was set to receive. That was on top of a $184,500 "core grant" which the company will still collect this year and again next year, Canada Council said in a statement sent to CBC Toronto.

Maria Dizzia in the Director’s Chair

THE INTERVAL: Last spring, Maria Dizzia appeared in the Off-Broadway production of If I Forget, delivering another critically acclaimed performance. She is known for the nuance and complexity of her acting, which has made her a favorite of writers and directors, and earned her a Tony nomination in 2010. Now, almost a year later, she is making her professional directing debut with The Loneliest Number by Lizzie Vieh, which begins performances on February 22nd and revolves around a married couple experimenting with non-monogamy. During our last interview with Maria, a major theme was duality in acting and theatre, so it seems unsurprising that she has now turned her attention to directing and bringing her perspective to that side of the table. We recently spoke with her about her directing process and how it’s forming, how she became interested in directing, and being a woman in theatre in the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp.

Black Panther: Ruth E. Carter on Designing Costumes Ruth E. Carter's resume as a costume designer reads like a roll call of some of the most culturally significant films of the past three decades: Malcom X, Selma, Do the Right Thing, What's Love Got to Do With It?, Mo' Better Blues. But her latest film, the revolutionary and deservedly much-hyped Black Panther, might be her most notable project yet. With over 1,000 costumes that she conceptualized and created for fantastical world of Wakanda — drawing inspiration from Afropunk fashion and traditional African tribal garments — it seems fitting that Carter calls Black Panther the most challenging, but ultimately most fulfilling film she's worked on yet.

Taking a Day Job Doesn’t Have to Crush Your Soul

99U: When it comes to talking about creative careers, no one likes to use the C-word: Compromise. Being the best, courting success, and living a personal fairytale are the narratives most commonly spun about what a flourishing professional life is all about. But what about creative people who have plum gigs that still don’t all their bills? What if you count the New York Times as a client, but put in two days a week at a cafĂ©? What if you’re jetting off to Hong Kong, Osaka, and Tokyo for group shows, but come home to illustrating other people’s books? What if the work you really enjoy fills up your evenings and weekends, but you can count the hoots you give about the daily grind on one finger? We reckon that can constitute a fulfilling working life, too.

These Are The Four Drivers Of Workaholism When I tell people that I study workaholism for a living, I’m usually bombarded by suggestions of subjects I could do a case study on. It seems that everyone can think of at least one person in their lives that they’d label a workaholic–or, perhaps, they identify as a workaholic themselves.

The definition of workaholism has expanded over the years to include motivational, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components–but understanding why you’re overworking can help you unlock ways to deal with it.

Call for Equality as Scale of Gender Gap in European Industry Revealed

Variety: Directors Barbara Albert and Isabel Coixet pledged to keep up the fight for equality Friday in Berlin as new figures revealed the scale of the gender gap in the European film business.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

$201 million Tepper Quad will change the skyline of Carnegie Mellon, Oakland If you’ve looked up in Oakland recently, you may have noticed that — for the first time in years — the skyline is changing.

Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business (ranked #7 by U.S. News & World Report for undergraduate business) is growing fast, and will move into the massive, new yellow brick building rising over Forbes Avenue this summer.

The Next Page: A new award recognizes theaters that have staged all 10 plays of August Wilson’s Cycle

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: It’s one of the great achievements in American literature, perhaps the greatest in American playwriting: the 10-play sequence of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, inspired by the life he observed in his native Hill District, where nine of the 10 take place.

Production Notes: Forced Perspective

Nevada Film Office: In filmmaking, forced perspective is a visual effects technique that makes things appear to be farther away or closer than they actually are. It can also be used to make things look larger or smaller than they really are.

Broadway’s 2018 Word of the Year: Complicit

OnStage Blog: “Complicit” was’s 2017 Word of the Year – and if the 2018-19 musical lineup continues as planned, it may define Broadway’s upcoming season as well. It’s a trifecta of shows featuring so much gaslighting, outdated gender norms, and straight up domestic abuse that it feels like a season straight out of 1960, at best.

2018 Western Pennsylvania Spring High School Musicals

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Spring starts in February and lasts into May when it comes to the season’s high school musicals in Western Pennsylvania.

In 2018, our high schools are offering a wide range of shows, from 1934’s “Anything Goes” to some of the latest musicals to hit Broadway. Baldwin High School, for example, continues its trend toward daring to be different with the region’s first production of Jason Robert Brown’s “Honeymoon in Vegas,” which debuted in New York in 2015.

Ryan Coogler Breaks Down Nakia and Okoye’s Distinct Fighting Styles in Black Panther

The Mary Sue: In this “Notes on a Scene” video from Vanity Fair, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler breaks down the movie’s South Korean casino fight scene. As he walks through the scene, Coogler explains his use of color, the character-driven contrast between Nakia and Okoye’s fighting styles, and how he designed the shots for maximum impact. “This scene was shot very early in our shooting schedule,” he says. “You know, it was something that we kinda bookmarked and said, ‘Look, if we can get this right, it’ll set the tone for the rest of the film.'”


Pittsburgh in the Round: The question of Shakespeare’s continued relevance in the modern world is an inquiry that never fully quiets. After all, so much has changed across four centuries since William Shakespeare penned Macbeth in 1606-07. However, Macbeth reminds us how strikingly little has changed when it comes to confronting those in power. We witness a country’s leader go rogue and continually one-up his docket of crimes while those around him fail to speak out, and even in that description, is the play or the present being referenced? The answer is both.

Add This To Your Resume After Deleting Your “Objective” Statement Since most resumes are written to cast a wide net, they basically just recite everything the writer has done, but this approach dilutes the all-important data density that makes your resume discoverable. In order for recruiters to find your resume in the vast databases they search through, you need to focus on a specific target job, then get the role’s relevant keywords front-and-center where ATS, or “applicant tracking systems,” will detect them.

Watch: Jordan Peele, Darren Aronofsky & More Discuss Screenwriting

Collider: The latest THR long-form roundtable has arrived! We’ve already shared the in-depth discussions with the directors, actors, and actresses roundtables, and now we’ve got the hour-long chat between some of 2017’s most celebrated screenwriters. The latest roundtable Q&A includes Jordan Peele (Get Out), Darren Aronofsky (mother!), Aaron Sorkin (Molly’s Game), Emily V. Gordon (The Big Sick), Fatih Akin (In the Fade), and Andrew McCarten (Darkest Hour), and dives into all kinds of subjects related to writing movies.

Grammys reveal data on female members: Better than the rest of the music industry, but not by much

ThinkProgress: The weeks after this year’s Grammy Awards were flush with damning, humiliating revelations around female representation at not just at the show itself but also in the music industry the awards are designed to celebrate. Now, nearly a month after the 2018 Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy has sent its members a letter revealing the actual number of women in its ranks.

Yes, You Need Informational Interviews. Here’s How To Land Them “Are informational interviews not a thing anymore?” a reader asked me last week. “I’ve reached out to a few friends of friends about these, but I must be going about it in the wrong way, because I either don’t get a response or I find myself in an actual interview.”

Google Sheets to Excel: How to Move Back & Forth Between Spreadsheets Get started with Google's web-based spreadsheet tool, Google Sheets, with no fear of being locked into the Google ecosystem in this tutorial.

Google Sheets has quickly gained a foothold as a lightweight and easy-to-use spreadsheet app that lives right inside of your web browser.

Heavy Metal: How Jeweler Douriean Armored and Adorned Black Panther Jewelry designer and metalsmith Douriean Fletcher—who designs and retails simply as Douriean—is having the kind of breakthrough moment most artists can’t even begin to dream of. Handpicked by friend and legendary costume designer Ruth E. Carter to join the costume team of Black Panther (the two previously worked together on 2016’s Roots), Douriean’s handcrafted jewelry and metalwork adorn the citizens and royalty of Wakanda—perhaps most dazzlingly as the armor and neckpieces of the incredible warrior women of the Dora Milaje.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Phantom Thread’s Oscar-nominated costume designer on how to tell stories with couture

The Verge: There’s a common theme among the films nominated for Best Costume Design at this year’s Academy Awards. You won’t find any superhero costumes or exotic space opera designs. Instead, movies like Beauty and the Beast, The Darkest Hour, and The Shape of Water focus on traditional period designs, using the art of costuming to establish their highly specific worlds and offer insight into their characters.

The History of Hollywood's Difficult Women

Balder and Dash | Roger Ebert: When the revelations of rampant sexual harassment and assault against former Miramax CEO Harvey Weinstein came out last October, industry veterans on social media commented about how much of an open secret it was. In its wake it revealed a string of actresses whose careers, once promising, were derailed after refusing Weinstein’s advances. Since then the movement against sexual harassment in Hollywood—from #MeToo to #TimesUp—has brought forward one word that’s brought down the careers of many females and was utilized by Weinstein against those who rebuffed him: difficult. Difficult is far from a career killer for male actors; Mel Gibson’s aggressive temperament has become a part of his filmic persona. But looking at its connection to actresses throughout film history, and especially its ability to stall or outright stop a female’s career, showcases it as a term of inherent sexism, labeled and controlled by men to demean and undermine female agency.

20 Change-Making US Artists You Should Track During 2018 Last month I wrote about 30 socially engaged, international artists you should track during 2018. Now I will turn stateside and present individual artists who are also social justice warriors working for America. They were chosen because they are making work that is highly relevant to today’s particular turbulence in the American context. Please note that these are lesser known artists — you won’t find Theaster Gates or Liz Lerman here. Also missing are artists living and working in rural communities and small towns, as I would need your recommendations to compile that list.

Tennessee Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Protect Musicians From Sexual Misconduct While music hasn’t undergone a reckoning quite like other entertainment industries when it comes to addressing sexual misconduct, many in country music have been speaking up. Kirt Webster, founder of one of the biggest publicity firms in Nashville, was accused of sexual assault, country radio executives have thrown workshops on how to recognize harassment, and women in country have long talked about sexism in the industry.

David Adjaye's spy museum opens in New York British architect David Adjaye has completed work on New York's museum of spying, which invites its first visitors to become undercover agents this weekend.

Ashes & Snow

Pittsburgh in the Round: The Pittsburgh Opera world premiere of Douglas J. Cuomo’s Ashes & Snow last evening offered a number of novelties aside from being the first ever performance of the work. Operas featuring a sole singer are rather uncommon. Francis Poulenc’s 1958 La voix humaine (“The Human Voice”) is the only other that comes to mind that has attained any enduring popularity, but as recently as 2015, Arnold Schoenberg’s 1924 Erwartung (“Expectation”), was the first opera projected live on a Times Square jumbotron.

Review: New scenic design adds romantic touch to Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 'Swan Lake'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Tales of doomed lovers amid castles and forests and seductive mists — it’s the perfect setting for a classical ballet, particularly around Valentine’s Day. There are a few choices to be had, but this time Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has selected what is considered the world’s most popular full-length, “Swan Lake.”

PhysLight innovation at Weta Digital

fxguide: PhysLight is becoming part of Weta Digital's standard pipeline. The tool is actually a set of tools that span from set to final render. A suite of tools that aim to, as closely as possible, match the lighting that is happening on set when adding visual effects.

TAIT - CES 2018 Keynote Presentation

YouTube: TAIT innovators provide clients with the opportunity to experience storytelling like never before by amplifying traditional design techniques and implementing virtual reality technology. For #CES2018, the initial design process started when Gregg Stokes, Executive Art Director and Bill Welter, Executive Producer and Creative Director for the show, virtually entered the Park Theatre at the Monte Carlo from a 360-degree perspective to engage with TAIT elements in real time.

The Collaborative "Black Panther" Score

The Mary Sue: This featurette from Genius walks through the collaborative composition process for the Black Panther score. In addition to Kendrick Lamar’s album, composer Ludwig Göransson and Senegalese musician Baaba Maal worked together to give the film its unique sound.

European Industry Says ‘Enough’ to Harassment, Launches New Initiative

Variety: After #MeToo in the U.S., the European film business is making its voice heard on harassment, with the launch in Berlin on Saturday of a region-wide initiative called Speak Up. The plan is to offer a reporting service for victims and to clamp down on abuse in the workplace and – fittingly, given the Berlinale launch-pad – at festivals.

'Swan Lake' Soars at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Entertainment Central Pittsburgh: Swan Lake is not just a story of romance and good versus evil; it is also a story of continued product improvement. Tchaikovsky debuted the production in 1877 with the Bolshoi Ballet and choreography by Julius Wenzel Reisinger. The exact sources of his inspiration are unknown, but he (and the unknown author of the original libretto) may have been influenced by Russian and German mythological tales of people turning into swans. In 1871 Tchaikovsky wrote, directed, and choreographed a little ballet called The Lake of the Swans for his nieces and nephews while spending the summer with them and his sister. Some of the music from that summer production remains in Swan Lake to this day.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

Giving It Texture: Costume Designer Ruth Carter on "Black Panther"

Interviews | Roger Ebert: For Marvel's new film "Black Panther," costume designer Ruth Carter had to create wardrobe for five different fictional African tribes, an army of women, and an iconic Marvel superhero. The costumes had to reflect the history and aesthetic of the comic books, be believably African in terms of color palette, and vibrant enough to stand out in a film with gorgeous scenery and dazzling special effects. Carter did all of that and more, with costumes that captivate the eye and reveal the character.

The History of the Color Blue: From Ancient Egypt to New Discoveries The color blue is associated with two of Earth’s greatest natural features: the sky and the ocean. But that wasn’t always the case. Some scientists believe that the earliest humans were actually colorblind and could only recognize black, white, red, and only later yellow and green. As a result, early humans with no concept of the color blue simply had no words to describe it. This is even reflected in ancient literature, such as Homer’s Odyssey, that describes the ocean as a “wine-red sea.”

Velocity Robotics brings advanced technology to the construction site

TribLIVE: The construction industry is ripe for technology — tools to be connected, tasks for robots, measurements to be remembered by machines, not humans.

But contractors and construction companies balked when Brad Kriel first started pitching his company's connected, robotic miter saw accessory, Autoset.

Record 1218 Intel Shooting Star Drones Take Olympic Ceremonies to Skies Over PyeongChang

InPark Magazine: 1,218 Intel® Shooting Star™ drones made history for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony with the Winter Olympics’ first-ever drone light show that also set a Guinness World Records* title for the “most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously.” The world record flight was prerecorded for the event.

Annihilation Is Being Criticized for Erasing the Main Character's Race Director Alex Garland adapted his movie Annihilation from a book of the same name, by Jeff VanderMeer. Some changes have been made to the film’s protagonist in the jump from page to screen: she’s no longer Asian.