CMU School of Drama

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Speaking Out

Backstage: "How are actors 'of color' really faring? Back Stage heard from minority actors around the country, who revealed their experiences, opinions, fears, and hopes about being in the industry. The actors represent the famous and the up-and-comers, stage vets and screen faves. Their quotes, printed here, reveal as much diversity as, well, the world can boast."

'Denmark,' World Premiere About Slavery, Finds Sanctuary at Victory Gardens' New Home

Yahoo! News: "The first preview of Charles Smith's Denmark inaugurates the refurbished historic Biograph Theater - the place where Public Enemy No. 1 John Dillinger was shot 70 years ago. VGT spent $11.3 million to turn the old movie house into a live theatre."

The Last Virgin

New York Times: "While Berlin’s cultural establishment is in an uproar over the recent cancellation of a controversial staging of a Mozart opera for fear of Islamist attacks, a theater here is going ahead with “The Last Virgin,” a bluntly satirical play about Muslims and Jews in the Middle East."

Stage Reviews: New Work's third week offers 3 plays with great promise

Post Gazette: "This is more like it: The third week of the 16th annual Pittsburgh New Works Festival at CAPA hits its stride with three shows, all promising. The first is a great idea begging for further development; the second, a clever idea presented sketchily with some lively schtick; and the third, whatever its limitations, the closest thing to an accomplished play I've seen at this year's festival."

From Onstage to Offstage

New York Times: "THE first thing Seret Scott would like people to know about her play “Second Line” is that it is not autobiographical.
The play, which covers a period from the 1960’s to the 80’s, focuses on two middle-class African-American college students and how they were affected by the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. Ms. Scott, who calls herself “a child of the 60’s,” said the time span of the play was a life-shaping period for her."

Friday, September 29, 2006

E-Mail Takes a Holiday, at Least for One Day

NPR: "PBD Worldwide Fulfillment Services chief Scott A. Dockter says that while there's been some grumbling about the policy, the practice is improving office culture -- and cutting down the amount of emails employees send across the board."

Club owners sentenced for 100 fire deaths "Relatives of the 100 people killed in a nightclub fire vented their grief and fury and berated the judge Friday, but were unable to derail a plea bargain in which one of the club's owners received four years behind bars and the other got no prison time at all."

German politicians rush to secure opera

Yahoo! News: "A leading member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party said he understood the decision by the director of the Deutsche Oper to cancel its previously scheduled fall performances of Mozart's 'Idomeneo' after security officials determined that the 3-year-old production posed an 'incalculable security risk.'"


New York Times: "How do you like your losers? Sunny side up or burned to a crisp? The all-American failure has been reclaiming the entertainment spotlight lately from the usual beat-the-odds winners, especially in movie comedies, whether winsome (“Little Miss Sunshine”) or raunchy (“Clerks II”)."

London Moon for the Misbegotten May Move to Broadway if Stars Are Willing

Playbill News: "Producer Ben Sprecher told Sept. 29 that he and producer Elliot Martin hope to bring the show to New York if such a move can be made to agree with the schedules of Spacey and co-star Eve Best."

Who killed Blue Man Group? "Two things led to the decision to close the Toronto production of Blue Man Group after a disappointing 18-month run, but they were not the aftermath of 9/11 and SARS, according to theatre experts from the U.S. and Canada."

Bush Nominates Dana Gioia To Another Term As Head Of NEA

All Headline News: "President George W. Bush intends to nominate Dana Gioia to another four-year term as chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts."

Future succession to keep PSO busy

Post Gazette: "When Sir Andrew Davis first took the post of artistic adviser with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, he made it clear that there was no guarantee he would continue it beyond the three-year agreement."

German Opera Shelved Due to Religious Content

NPR: "One of the leading opera houses in Germany has cancelled a production because a scene that might offend Muslims could create a security threat."

Replacing a Symphony Stage -- Carefully

NPR: "What happens when it's time to replace the stage floor on a concert hall legendary for its acoustic perfection?"

Made in China and (unfortunately) exported to the U.S.

San Francisco Gate: "'Terracotta' is a huge, action-packed spectacle by Sight, Sound & Action, China's only privately owned theatrical company. Though previously seen in Canada, it's now receiving its U.S. premiere in a short tour that moves to Oakland's Paramount Theatre next week and then to San Francisco's Orpheum."

New Low Notes - 1 "It is a little-known opera of Mozart's. Idomeneo, King of Crete takes place at the end of the Trojan War and features a proposed human sacrifice and a nasty sea monster. But it was thrust into the world's spotlight when Berlin's Deutsche Oper cancelled three performances of the opera because of fears that they would anger Muslims."

Sales boom for Dirty Dancing show

BBC NEWS: "More than 240,000 tickets have been sold for the London stage version of the 1987 film starring Patrick Swayze."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Equity Names Zimmerman New President

Backstage: "Actors' Equity Association took its first steps forward Wednesday after the sudden death of its top official, Patrick Quinn, when its council announced an interim president and appointed a three-member panel that will perform the duties of executive director — the job Quinn would have assumed next week."

Schwarzenegger Speaks

Backstage: "the governor found a quiet moment in his downtown Los Angeles office to share his unique perspective on the state of the entertainment industryand the state of California."

Comedy at Apple Hill Playhouse to lend audience to laughs

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'Lend Me a Tenor,' a community theater production that opens Thursday at Apple Hill Playhouse, in Delmont, is not a musical as its title might suggest."

Inside Imagination

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "
An auditorium stalled in mid-renovation serves as both setting and theme for Quantum Theatre's latest venture.
The company's production of playwright Polly Teale's 'After Mrs. Rochester' opens tonight in the faded, yet still splendid, Music Hall of the Braddock Carnegie Library."

Stage Review: Johnson story lacks musical lift

Post Gazette: "Who is Robert Johnson? Pursuing an answer is both the substance and structure of 'Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil,' a play with sporadic music by Bill Harris, now staged by New Horizon Theater at the Kelly-Strayhorn in East Liberty."

Stage Preview: Yale grad returns to play Jean Rhys for Quantum

Post Gazette: "The graduate program at Yale's famed School of Drama is usually thought of as the crowning achievement in the life of a student actor and a clear highway to the summit of the profession."

Berlin opera may stage "Idomeneo" if sure of safety "'If there was a new security plan, we could consider it,' Alexander Busche, a spokesman for the Deutsche Oper, said when asked about reinstating 'Idomeneo,' which includes a scene with the severed heads of the Prophet Mohammad, Buddha and Jesus."

Spacey transforms "Moon" into London masterpiece "The Old Vic's revival of Eugene O'Neill's 1947 drama 'A Moon for the Misbegotten' is a powerful demonstration of how superlative acting -- in this case by Kevin Spacey, Eve Best and Colm Meaney -- can elevate a flawed play so that the whole thing resembles a masterpiece."

Heilpern: Theater

NYO: "“Please God, let the season be different from all other seasons. Please don’t let it be dominated by any more revivals, British actors and Eve Ensler. Please get them to bring the price of tickets down and make all welcome at the theater. Please God, let one new, thrilling voice of an unknown playwright be heard throughout the land. Thanks a lot. That’s all for now.”"

Spertus studies leadership issues facing area non-profits

Chicago Tribune: "In March, several hundred members of the area's charitable community packed a Loop auditorium to hear some provocative findings of a national survey. The study expressed the frustrations felt by many non-profit chiefs in dealing with their boards and outside funders. It found many leaders were burned out and looking to leave, but few of their organizations were prepared to replace them."

Opposition forms to cigarette-tax proposal

The Plain Dealer: "Organized opposition to Cuyahoga County's Issue 18, a proposed cigarette-tax increase to benefit the arts, has emerged as a political action committee called Citizens Against New Taxes, led by local political consultant Joseph Rice."

Did Wicked Bewitch the Critics? "Broadway blockbuster musical Wicked opened last night at the West End’s Apollo Victoria Theatre (See News, 16 Dec 2005), complete with a green carpet for the celebrities dotted among the audience, and cheers from the supportive crowd as each of the main characters arrived on stage. But did it live up to the hype?"

365 NATIONAL FESTIVAL: A Suzan-Lori play a day ...

The Austin Chronicle Arts: "Well, now get ready for a year dedicated to Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Suzan-Lori Parks in which we'll be treated to one of her plays every day for 12 months. That's right: 365 plays by Parks in 365 days. And it isn't even her 100th birthday!"

Tossing Script for Live Broadcast Could Boost Some TV Ratings

Carnegie Mellon Press Release: September 28, 2006: "While broadcast networks around the globe battle to earn and keep the highest viewer ratings, a new study from researchers at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and INSEAD, one of the world's leading graduate business schools, suggests that some of these networks might benefit significantly by tossing the script and going to a live format for certain types of shows — such as game or talk shows — to increase their attractiveness to both viewers and advertisers."

Back to School: Share lecture notes with NoteMesh

Lifehacker: "NoteMesh is a free wiki-like service that allows students to share class notes."

How to choose achievable goals

Lifehacker: "Most importantly, I learned that the most important attribute of a list of goals is that it constantly shift, move around, evolve, and feel alive. "

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cultural Trust Announcement

FOR RELEASE: September 27, 2006

Contact: Veronica Corpuz, 412-471-6082 /

Pittsburgh among only eight cities to host The Gate Theatre of Dublin in Samuel Beckett’s WAITING FOR GODOT

October 18-22, 2006, at the Byham Theater

PITTSBURGH…The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is proud to host The Gate Theatre’s production of Waiting for Godot as part of its 2006 fall Trust Presents series, October 18-22, 2006, at the Byham Theater. Waiting for Godot features Stephen Brennan (Lucky), Barry McGovern (Vladimir), Johnny Murphy (Estragon) and Alan Stanford (Pozzo). Tickets ($15.50-$50.50) are available at the Box Office at Theater Square, online at, and via phone at (412) 456-6666. To purchase 10 or more tickets, please call (412) 471-6930. Performance times are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Celebrating the centenary of Samuel Beckett's birth, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust welcomes Ireland's world-renowned Gate Theatre in its Pittsburgh debut of the Nobel Prize winner’s great 20th-century masterpiece: Waiting for Godot. Traveling to only eight cities in the U.S., including New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and Los Angeles, this Gate Theater production provides a landmark event for Pittsburgh audiences and a cultural milestone for the region. “The closest we will ever get to the perfect official Godot…a superb piece of work” (The Irish Times).

This production of Waiting for Godot was first produced in 1988 at the request of Samuel Beckett himself. It was he who recommended that Walter Asmus, who had been his assistant director on the famous Schiller Theatre production, direct; and that Louis le Brocquy, the world-renowned Irish artist, design.

The Gate Theatre was founded in 1928 and has since become internationally renowned as one of the most adventurous playhouses in Europe. Under the current artistic directorship of Michael Colgan, the Gate continues to produce and present high quality new and classic drama from Ireland and Europe, both at home and abroad. In 1991, the Gate became the first theatre in the world to present a full retrospective of all 19 of Samuel Beckett’s stage plays. The Beckett Festival was a unique tribute to Beckett and his remarkable work. The Festival met with international and critical acclaim when it toured to the Lincoln Center, New York in 1996 and the Barbican Centre, London in 1999. The Gate has toured Waiting for Godot to many other cities including San Francisco, Chicago, Melbourne, Toronto, Seville, Beijing and Shanghai.

Irish playwright, critic and fiction writer Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) was one of the great literary pioneers of the 20th century. His bleak imaginary landscapes examined the incomprehensible reality of humanity through new dramatic and literary forms. Beckett tirelessly explored the human condition in his work and was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1969. Waiting for Godot, probably his best-known work, was written in French in 1949.


:::::::::::::::::: Select Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Events ::::::::::::::::::

The Pittsburgh Dance Council's Season Opening Performance!

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Benedum Center, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006, 8pm

"One of the most exciting, innovative, and delightful dance companies in the entire world." -The New York Times

Direct from Ireland! A Pittsburgh debut!

The Gate Theatre of Ireland's Waiting for Godot

A Trust Presents Event
Byham Theater, Oct. 18 - 22, 2006

"The closest we will ever get to the perfect official Godot.a superb piece of work." -The Irish Times

::::::::::::: For a complete schedule, visit :::::::::::::

CFA Announcements

Tonight __________________________________________________________

The Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University will kick off its 2006-07 Perspectives on the Arts in Society series with a presentation by musicologist and composer Jeannie Pool, who will screen her feature-length documentary "Peggy Gilbert & Her All-Girl Band," Sept. 27-28.
The event is co-sponsored by Pittsburgh Filmmakers.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, Pool will present her film and give a talk at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 477 Melwood Ave., in Oakland. The event will start with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the screening at 7:30. There will be a second screening and discussion at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 28 in Room A14 of Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall on the Carnegie Mellon campus.
All events in the Perspectives on the Arts in Society series are free and open to the public.
Call 412-268-3239 for more info.

Looking Ahead____________________________________________________

Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic
Wednesday, October 11
Carnegie Music Hall
8 pm
Walter Morales, conductor
Call 412-268-2383 for more info.

Broadway-Bound Musical 'High Fidelity'"Spins World Premiere in Boston

Yahoo! News: "Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole, Kimberly Akimbo, Fuddy Meers) penned the book with music by composer Tom Kitt (Laugh Whore, Debbie Does Dallas) and lyrics by Amanda Green (For the Love of Tiffany, Up The Creek Without A Paddle )."

The 7 deadly sins of resumé design "We’ve covered articles about how to improve your resume’s content. How about the design aspect of it? It is equally important to give a professional feeling. Another problem is that the design gets too fancy. LifeClever describes 7 deadly sins of resume design"

Advanced Gantt Charts in Spreadsheet "Gantt Chart is useful. It tracks tasks start and finish dates, dependencies and resources. Unfortunately drawing gantt chart usually requires a project management software. Alternative? Peltier Technical Services shows a way of doing it in Spreadsheet (i.e. Excel)"

Advice for students: Twenty uses for a Post-it Note "[T]he Post-it Note was more than just a practical tool — it was also a psychological one. Compared to the clunky machines of the 1980s that generated all those documents, it was a vision of high-tech minimalism."

Builder Agrees on Space for Theaters in Tower

New York Times: "The developer of a proposed 42-story condominium tower in the theater district has agreed to set aside part of one floor as office space for nonprofit theater companies to comply with an eight-year-old zoning rule."

Fear of offending Islam spurs hot debate in Europe "By canning its production of 'Idomeneo,' fearful of security threats because of a scene that might offend Muslims, Berlin's Deutsche Oper provoked front-page headlines across the continent and found itself fending off charges of cowardice."


New York Post : "'The Producers,' which once looked as if it would run forever, suddenly has lost its footing.
In the last few weeks, the bottom has fallen out of the box office, and the cast has been playing to half-empty houses."

Michael Jackson, Madonna … 'Manon'?

LA Times: "In a rehearsal studio at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, tenor Rolando Villazón and soprano Anna Netrebko are working through the tragic finale of Jules Massenet's opera 'Manon,' the scene that Villazón's character (Des Grieux) believes to be a joyous reunion but Netrebko's (the title role) knows is only a bittersweet interlude before her death."

Speaking Shakespeare's language

The Boston Globe: "Ron Rosenbaum's new book, ``The Shakespeare Wars ,' bears the dedication, ``To Peter Brook and the cast of his `Dream. ' For changing my life forever.'"

A Hollywood bow to faith-and-family groups

Philadelphia Inquirer: "The Dove Foundation is a Grand Rapids, Mich., nonprofit with Christian roots, and its ties to Hollywood are growing so deep these days that its opinion can send a movie back to the editing room before its release."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mixed Expressions

LAB Overload

As many of you are aware, after careful consideration, the staff and faculty have instituted a new way of selecting crew assignments for students beginning this year. We consider “crew” to be a LAB, one that is directly attached to classes in which you are enrolled. This idea allows us to assign students to production with motivation that is purely pedagogical and not driven by a need to staff a certain number of shows. Your show advisor considers your interactions on production a practical extension of your classroom work, and different from work in the class only in the fact that you have an audience for production.

At the end of last year, working in concert with Lab requests created by classroom instructors and directors, we thoughtfully assigned design students to opportunities that we thought would be the best learning experiences at this juncture of the individual’s learning curve. We made a very concerted effort to not over-task you. This system would appear to leave a number of “holes” in the production teams for many shows. Many of you, out of the goodness of your hearts and the depth of your talent and skill, have volunteered to fill some of these perceived “holes”. It’s critical that you know that the staffing on all of the shows is in direct response to Lab request forms that were collected last year. So, for example, if there appears to be a team member missing, it’s actually a response to a Lab request form and is a scope of show decision. The situation does not represent a “hole” There have been instances where we’ve had to fill in some gaps that truly turned out to be holes and we worked to staff those areas in the best interest of all involved with the production. In most cases, however, it’s a question (as it ALWAYS is, even with nearly infinite Resources) of how to do tell our story with what we have.

We’ve assigned you to what we have and the amount we have so that you can lead a balanced academic life and make the most out of your time here. If you feel like you’d really benefit from a production assignment that is in the volunteer category, vs. the Lab category, you must discuss the opportunity thoroughly with your advisor, so that your class/lab work is not put at risk. All new design and crew assignments must also go through David Holcomb and me or David Boevers, if you are PTM.

For more clarity on this issue, you may also have a look at our handbooks: and

Thanks for your attention in this matter.

L.A.-to-Broadway Tuners Lead Ovation Noms

Backstage: "Popular musicals The Drowsy Chaperone and Curtains led the nominations for the 17th annual Ovation Awards, L.A.'s peer-judged honors produced by L.A. Stage Alliance, which were announced this morning at Burbank's Colony Theatre. "


Craigslist: "I am looking for Production Assistants of any legal age to help the production run smoothly by positioning lighting schemes, doing camera work, anything the Director and Assistant Director need to complete each days shooting schedule."

Politicians slam Berlin opera for canceling Idomeneo "German politicians condemned on Tuesday a decision by a Berlin opera house to cancel performances of Mozart's 'Idomeneo' over concerns they could enrage Muslims and pose a security risk."

Opera canceled, security cited

LA Times: "Berlin's Deutsche Oper canceled four planned November performances of Mozart's 'Idomeneo' out of concern that the production's reference to world religions, including Islam, raises an 'incalculable security risk.'"

The Scanning of the Fittest

Wired News: "A crop of the 3-D, body-measuring devices are replacing outdated sizing paradigms, and they're making shopping for clothes that are inconsistently sized and unrealistically fitted a little less painful."

Hand baggage ban lifted on in-flight musical instruments

The Stage: "Professional musicians travelling to domestic or overseas engagements from UK airports will now be allowed to carry their instruments into aircraft cabins as hand luggage, the Department for Transport has announced."

Monday, September 25, 2006

Production Planning - Props Assignment


I had a question for you concerning the project due on Wednesday. I have been to Pier 1, Arhaus, and Pottery Barn and none of them will rent out a table. I was wondering if you had any suggestions of places that you know would rent something out.


It isn't a requirement of the assignment to find a place that will rent a piece, just sort of gravy. The real guts of the assignment is the decision of whether to buy or to build.

But for the sake of discussion... I would think that national chains, unless you have a relationship with the management are likely going to be a no-go. I might have thought you possibly could have had luck with Arhaus, but I am not surprised they won't. Weisshouse might be a possibility, especially if the item is in their clearance stock, but again, I wouldn't be surprised if they said no too.

Hitting Google shows you Cort. They are a national rental chain. Also a place with the name "Pittsburgh Rental Furniture" of all things. So there are rental options available in town - although I am not sure how many would rent to you if you told them you were doing a show.

Just remember for the assignment comparing the buy price with the build price is what you are going for.

Waiting for Godot

Just a reminder...

I still have some seats available for the Gate Theatre's production of "Waiting for Godot" at the Byham Theater. The tickets are for Sunday, October 22 at 1:00 pm. The group rate is $15.50 per person.

You can purchase tickets for this performance through Maria in the Drama Box Office, located in the lobby of the Purnell Center. Office hours are noon to 5 pm Monday-Friday.

Please stop by NO LATER than 5 pm Friday, September 29 if you wish to reserve a ticket.


Saints return to the Superdome

Marketplace: "The New Orleans Saints today return to the Superdome for the first time since Katrina — and they'll be bringing much-needed leisure spending along with them. Rachel Dornhelm reports."

New York Musical Theater Festival

New York Times: "A mania for festivals rages in the theater these days. In the summer they’re almost as ubiquitous as those infernal street fairs, the bane of anyone so reckless as to get in a taxi on a weekend afternoon."

Soap actress to star in Public's 'Jackie and Marilyn'

Post Gazette: "Soap star Heather Tom ('One Life to Live') will play Marilyn Monroe in the world premiere of 'The Secret Letters of Jackie and Marilyn' at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Nov. 9-Dec. 10."

Stage Review: Shaw Festival still satisfies on 3rd visit; fresh fare memorable

Post Gazette: "For a food lover, third helpings aren't excessive. And for this theater lover, a third trip to this year's Shaw Festival was similarly rewarding, enabling me to see two shows for the first time."

Arts groups turn to quirky fund-raising

AccessAtlanta: "From all-nighters at the High Museum to martini mixers at the Fernbank Museum and video game-inspired music at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, many arts groups are aggressively courting a younger demographic with hopes they will become not only patrons, but donors."

Inside Miami's new cultural palace

Palm Beach Post: "It's more than a mere theater complex, they say. With two large main theaters — the 2,400-seat Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House and the 2,200-seat Knight Concert Hall — officials will be able to highlight a diverse lineup that complements a city such as Miami."

Munitz lost quite a salary

LA Times: "Before Barry Munitz was toppled from leadership of the J. Paul Getty Trust in February, a new study has found, his compensation placed him fifth among the highest-paid nonprofit leaders in the country."

ACTING UP: MOB SCENE "'The Soprano's Last Supper' is an interactive dinner show in which a dozen actors flirt with, insult and threaten people who pay $89-$500 for the privilege (and the 4-course Italian spread)."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Speaking Shakespeare's language

The Boston Globe: "Rosenbaum hopes to deepen that interest -- not through describing great performances of the past or Shakespeare biography (``just raking over shopworn anecdotes for the tenth time,' he says), but through what is most glorious in Shakespeare , what is most Shakespearean , his language."

Disney wants infinite copyright

Boing Boing: "There's a small technical niggle about the 'When will Mickey Mouse enter the public domain?' campaigns, and it's this: Mickey Mouse, the character, is a trademark. Trademarks stay proprietary for as long as they're in use in commerce (but trademarks only protect against misleading commercial uses, not noncommercial use or commercial uses that don't mislead). The copyright question with Disney is more properly, 'When will old Mickey Mouse cartoons enter the public domain?'"

Don't You Love Farce? MI's BoarsHead Will Stage 'Unnecessary' Premiere, Complete With Doors

Yahoo! News: "The resident Equity company's artistic director Kristine Thatcher will direct the world premiere of Paul Slade Smith's Unnecessary Farce, about two rookie cops and one crooked mayor 'in two motel rooms with eight working doors.'"

The New Hazlett may be just right

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For far too long, local performing companies and their audiences have endured the Goldilocks Syndrome.
Like the lass in the fairy tale, artists and attendees have had to cope with performance spaces that were too big or too small -- and often too hot or too cold.
With last week's reopening of what's now called the New Hazlett Theater, they might have found a space that is just right."

From the South Side to the stage, how 'Raisin' came to be

Chicago Tribune: "The success of Lorraine Hansberry's landmark play, 'A Raisin in the Sun,' presents the other side of the question: What happens to a dream attained? The answer might be this play--later adapted into a film and stage musical--that still grabs you by the collar nearly 50 years after its debut."

Does Chicago need more downtown theaters?

Chicago Tribune: "Imagine it's December 2007. 'Wicked' is still playing to packed houses at the Oriental Theatre -- with no closing date in sight. Buoyed by the support of Chicago's large African-American community and the constant sightings of producer Oprah Winfrey, the dedicated Chicago production of 'The Color Purple' is selling tickets at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through 2009. And at the spiffy La Salle Bank Theatre -- the most desirable venue in the Chicago theater district -- the Chicago production of 'Jersey Boys' is a standing-room-only hit with new 'premium' seats going for $300 a pop. Now booking through 2010. But there's a problem. The Broadway in Chicago subscription series now has no place to go. Disney wants to bring back 'The Lion King,' but someone locked the mouse out of its favorite house. Chicago's leading role as a center of pre-Broadway tryouts is under siege -- for a lack of real estate. Just as it re-establishes itself as the Broadway of the Midwest and a major destination for showbiz tourism, Chicago is suddenly running out of theaters."

The Prop Fetcher of 1950, With Quite a Future Ahead

New York Times: "IN the summer of 1950, immediately after graduating from Williams College, Stephen Sondheim joined a class of about a dozen apprentices at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut. He was 20 but not totally untested: he had written two shows in college, one of which was staged. He had won a composition prize that would help finance his further studies. And Oscar Hammerstein II, a neighbor from previous summers in Bucks County, Pa., had been giving him assignments in musical theater writing, critiquing the results without condescension."

A Chorus Line

New York Times: "MANY of the performers in the new revival of “A Chorus Line” were not born when the original opened in 1975. And some were just learning to talk when it closed in 1990."

Shubert Alley Hosts 20th Annual Flea Market Sept. 24

Playbill News: "The nine-hour event feature both a Silent Auction and a Grand Auction filled with an overflow of items to delight Broadway fans. The Flea Market also boasts a Celebrity Table, where theatre fans can purchase autographs by, or photos with, their favorite stars from Broadway, Off-Broadway and television serials (there is a $20 charge each time one walks through the Celebrity Table line). "

Patrick Quinn, New Executive Director of Actors' Equity, Dies at 55

Playbill News: "Maria Somma, a spokesperson at Equity, confirmed the news. Mr. Quinn died while at his country home. The Council of Actors' Equity Association announced on Aug. 22 that he would be the union's new executive director, effective Oct. 5. He was to have succeeded Alan Eisenberg, who is leaving after 25 years in the position."

Tuners try to save sizzle "When a show opens to rave reviews and boffo B.O., producers nowadays can't just sit back and rake in the dough.
They have to prep, both from a business angle and from an artistic perspective, for the possibility of a very, very long life."

The show must go on "Ten years into its 15-year original Broadway run, I went to the Shubert Theater to see 'A Chorus Line' a second time and was deflated to discover that the invigorating opening lyric 'Again ... Step, kick, kick, leap, kick, touch' had faded to 'Schlep, shuffle, shuffle, shrug, shuffle, shlump.' At least that's how it felt."

A Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Pittsburgh City Paper - Performance: "OK everybody, settle down. We’ve got a lot to cover because it was a big week with big theater."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Roy M. Brewer, 97, powerful union leader "The Nebraska-born Mr. Brewer had a decadelong background in union organizing and labor relations when he came to Hollywood in 1945 as the international representative of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IATSE."

New Tunes By Playwrights Horizons Songwriters Will Punctuate 'Songs on 5 Stories' Benefit

Yahoo! News: "The benefit Nov. 13 is billed as Songs on 5 Stories. Instead of following tradition and presenting scenes in the nooks, crannies and public space in the five-story Playwrights Horizons home on West 42nd Street, songs by well-known and emerging composers and lyricists will be sung. The performers are not yet announced."

Stage previews: Short plays keep it brief in New Works' second week

Post Gazette: "The second week of the 16th annual New Works Festival is notable mainly for brevity -- three one-act plays totalling less than an hour, although with intro and intermissions (schmoozing is part of the fun at the theater), the evening comes in at about 90 minutes, leaving plenty of time to go on to something else."

Friday, September 22, 2006

Conservatory Hour

Monday, Sept. 25 5:00pm in Rangos 1

Two items on the agenda:

- New info about “Playground Week”

- Time-Management seminar

This session should run about an hour.

Junior Performance Project

Junior performance projects will be presented next week in the Philip Chosky Theater. Tickets will be available at the door one hour before curtain.

Dates and Times:

"Scenes from an Execution"
Monday September 25 at 8 pm
Tuesday September 26 at 8 pm

Wednesday September 27 at 8 pm
Thursday September 28 at 8 pm

"See What I Want to See"
Friday September 29 at 8 pm
Saturday September 30 at 2 pm

Off Off Broadway

New York Times: "To affix an exact date to the beginning of any 'movement' is to risk offending those who came before and may have paved the way (or fancied doing so). Fastening a date to the genesis of the Off Off Broadway scene is no exception. But we can come pretty close. Stephen Bottoms, the author of 'Playing Underground' (2004, University of Michigan Press), is among those who consider Nov. 24, 1960, a landmark date: the first time The Village Voice included events listings titled 'Off Off Broadway.'"

Stage Review: Artist gives 'Macbeth' a unique foundation

Post Gazette: "You could call it 'Macbeth: The House Tour.'
Or maybe 'Neighborhood Theater: Macbeth Does Drywall.'
Or, if you've been following the wonderfully eccentric career of Steve Pellegrino, performance artist, abstract poet, accordionist, composer, entrepreneur and professional drywall installer, as I have for two decades, 'Pellegrino Goes Legit.'"

2006 Tony Honors for Excellence to Be Awarded Oct. 24

Playbill News: "The Tony Honors, according to a press statement, 'recognize contributions to the field of theatre for individuals and organizations that are not eligible in any of the established Tony categories.' This year's honorees include the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, Forbidden Broadway and its creator Gerard Alessandrini, Samuel (Biff) Liff and Ellen Stewart."

Networks say indecency policy imperils live TV

Yahoo! News: "In papers filed late Thursday at the FCC, Fox, CBS, NBC and Telemundo argued that the government policy already has forced TV writers and producers to alter scripts and has caused network affiliates to avoid airing controversial programs or broadcast them on late at night. ABC was expected to make a separate filing."

RSC on mission to improve teaching of Bard in schools

The Stage: "Teaching Shakespeare - Time for Change calls for a more theatre-based approach to teaching the Bard, including giving every young person access to at least one live performance of a Shakespeare play during their school career."

Do Movie Audiences Have a Tin Ear?

NPR: "What has become of the movie musical? The most recent attempt -- Idlewild from the rap group OutKast -- flopped at the box office. "


New York Post Online Edition: "GET the folks at the York Theatre Company some anti-depressants. Hard on the heels of musicals about the murderous duo of Leopold and Loeb and death itself comes 'Asylum: The Strange Case of Mary Lincoln,' about the forced institutionalization of the title character 10 years after her husband's assassination."

What ‘Women’ want: Biting satire "Long before the girlfriends of ‘‘Sex and the City,” there were ‘‘The Women” of Clare Boothe Luce’s play. The 1930s-era comedy features characters who are much nastier than Carrie and her friends, even when they aren’t as adventurous. "

Did Critics Go Soft on Terry Johnson's Piano/Forte at the Royal Court? "Terry Johnson’s new play Piano/Forte has Alicia Witt and Kelly Reilly paired as daughters of a former Tory MP, played by Oliver Cotton, who is about to get married for the third time. The piece opened at the Royal Court Theatre on 20 September. Did critics enjoy the play and playing?"

Were Critics Warm to New Musical Daddy Cool? "Daddy Cool, a new musical fashioned from the back catalogue of German pop producer Frank Farian that was mostly created from the sounds of Boney M as well as Milli Vanilli, No Mercy and La Bouche, opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 21 September. The cast was led by Michelle Collins, Harvey and Javine in an updating of the Romeo and Juliet story, relocated to contemporary London where romance blossoms between members of rival factions of music gangs. Did critics warm to Daddy Cool? "

Better read than dead

Time Out New York: "Once a year, Ben & Jerry’s celebrates its Free Cone Day—for the Chunky Monkey junkie, that’s Christmas, New Year’s and Thanksgiving all rolled into one. Theater has its own such holiday, only it’s a weekly occurrence. The budget-conscious playgoer can find free readings throughout the city, presented by companies large and small."

Smoking Bloomberg: sometimes killing people is OK

Talk Entertainment: "Oh where to begin. At the risk of alienating all those who worked hard and long to bring this piece to production, I have to say that I was uncomfortable throughout most of the evening. I wanted to be able to go along with the story. To like the characters. To sit back and enjoy the music. I found that almost impossible to do. Let me try to explain."

IATSE Organizes "Set For Life"

-||- IATSE National -||: "Los Angeles -- The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes has been successful in organizing the pilot and projected series of ABC-TV’s prime time game show “Set For Life,” scheduled to air later this season, with Jimmy Kimmel as host. Produced by Endemol USA, “Set For Life,” using Lock And Key Productions as the producing entity began shooting in late August in Los Angeles.

Advising as Teaching

Carnegie Mellon News 8 1/2 x 11 News: September 21, 2006: "—The campus community is invited to attend 'Advising as Teaching,' a live Internet seminar broadcast by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 26. The location will be determined by interest. NACADA Past President Nancy King will present academic advising as a teaching and learning process that includes a curriculum, pedagogy and learning outcomes. This Webcast marks the first of a series of professional development opportunities that will focus on advising undergraduate students. RSVP by Friday, Sept. 22 to Stephen Pajewski at"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rhode Island club owners, no contest to involuntary manslaughter

eitb24: "The owners of a nightclub where a 2003 fire killed 100 people will plead no contest to involuntary manslaughter charges, and only one will have to serve prison time, their lawyer said. Victims' relatives were outraged."

Phoenix Theatre Honors Praised and Bashed

Backstage: "Broadway has the Tony Awards, Los Angeles has the Ovation Awards, and Chicago has the Joseph Jefferson (or Jeff) Awards, all peer-bestowed honors celebrating the best of a region's theatre offerings. Since 1991, the Phoenix metropolitan area has celebrated contract (Equity), noncontract (community), and children's theatre through the Arizoni Theatre Awards of Excellence. "

117 Creative Ways for Students to Pay for College "Getting scholarship may not be the full answer for paying your college fees. Financially balance and management is the key to make through the time in college. Spend what you can, spend what is needed. Scholarships Around The US gives 117 whooping ways for student to pay for College."

Theaters set the stage for classic, contemporary productions

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The Gate Theater of Ireland's much-revered production of Samuel Beckett's classic drama comes to town Oct. 18-22 for six performances at the Byham Theater as a presentation of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Trust Presents series."

Stage Review: Brockett's top banana returns with a touch of vaudeville

Post Gazette: "It's good to have him back. Cabaret performer Gorman Lowe provided lots of fun in his years as top banana in Don Brockett's annual 'Forbidden Pittsburgh' revue (usually with Phyllis Stern as top banana-ette), but kidney disease has recently had him on the sidelines."

Stage Review: Playwrights gives Wilson's 'Lesson' ambitious but uneven staging

Post Gazette: "High aspiration, significant talent (some of it new to Pittsburgh), a great play and mixed results -- that's a glib assessment of August Wilson's 'The Piano Lesson' at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater."

State of the Art or Art of the State for Classical Music

Taipei Times: "American symphonic life is Euro-centric in almost every respect except for its funding. Whereas Americans depend upon tax-deductible private donations and box office receipts to finance live classical music, Europeans prefer direct government support for the arts."

Halting the Race to the Bottom

Inside Higher Ed: "It is alarming that, in our age of information, the number of utterly uninformed voters is astonishingly high. We are witnessing a palpable decline in the public’s appetite for nuance, complexity and critical thinking, which in turn has spawned a virulent secular dogmatism and an alarming devolution in both the substance and style of public discourse."

Barbican Celebrates 25th Birthday after £14m Refit "The Barbican Arts Centre - the largest integrated arts centre in Europe, featuring all the art forms under one roof (and under one management) – has undergone a £14 million facelift and announced its 25th anniversary season, which will reflect its artistic exploration and development over the last quarter-century."

SUper Saturday Stage Lighting Seminar

PLSN: "'Super' all day seminar on stage lighting to be held January 13, 2007 at Pace University 'Stage Lighting Super Saturday,' a full-day of seminars, workshops, and 'inspiration' for stage lighting designers and technicians will take place in New York City on January 13, 2007 at Pace University's downtown New York campus, now the home of the Bravo Network's acclaimed 'Inside the Actor's Studio'"

In at the deep end

Guardian Unlimited Arts: "As a writer of savage social drama, Mark Ravenhill didn't like physical theatre. Then he had a go. The result is a weird tale of drug-addled bohemians and their multisexual friends, set in a swimming pool "

$5.7M project to double Children's Theatre space "The improvements will add 16,220 square feet of space to the NCT facility's 13,000 square feet and will result in a larger lobby and box office, a soundproofed cry room for infants and small children, additional restrooms, an outdoor courtyard and — most welcome of all for grown-ups — improved seating in the admittedly cramped theater."

"SPAMALOT* takes the local stage

The Tartan Online: "The legends of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table tell a story of the noblest of England’s leaders. Monty Python’s SPAMALOT sets the same tale to music… kind of. Perhaps the tagline says it best: “A new musical ‘lovingly’ ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” "

Welcome to the New Hazlett Theater

The Tartan Online: "Opening night: the twittering excitement of musicians and actors, the frantic rushing of the stage crew, and the vital sound checks repeated ceaselessly. One flaw can destroy the players’ spirits, but deafening applause can signal the weight lifted from their backs. It was opening night at the Hazlett Theater this weekend, but while all the people in it were checking, rushing, and preparing, it was the old building that was the focus. "

How to "pace and lead" an irate person

Lifehacker: "Calmness often only enrages someone even more; it's so true that when you're upset, you want someone to respond in kind. Now if only I could work this technique via email."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

University Lecture Series

Monday September 25th

4:30pm Adamson Wing, 136A Baker Hall

Portrait of the Angry Decision Maker

Professor Jennifer Lerner

Social & Decision Sciences, Psychology, and the Tepper School of Business

“Anyone can become angry -- that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way -- that is not easy.” (Nichomachean Ethics, 350 BCE/2004)

Effective management requires unbiased judgment and decision processes. In recent decades, management researchers have produced a large and important literature illuminating how actual human judgment and decision making differs from the prescriptions of rational models (e.g., subjective expected utility). This literature, rich in successful applications, suffers from a critical weakness. It focuses almost exclusively on cognitive determinants of error and bias to the neglect of emotional determinants. Building on recent breakthroughs in emotion research, Professor Jennifer Lerner’s work seeks to rectify this omission. She examines how, why, and under what circumstances emotions influence judgment and decision making in social and organizational settings. Specifically, in the present talk, she will focus on the role of anger in judgment and decision making.

In portraying the angry decision maker, Dr. Lerner will present studies from a variety of empirical projects in her lab; all papers can be downloaded from her website:

Tuesday September 26th

4:30pm Adamson Wing, 136A Baker Hall

How We Became Addicted to Oil and How to Break the Addiction Right Now

Edwin Black

Award-Winning Investigative Author

Book Signing immediately following the lecture in Adamson Wing

The author of Internal Combustion, published in 2006, “Edwin Black connects the dots of greed and deception that have governed energy from ancient times to the present, and that threaten to destroy our future. Based on prodigious research deep into the historical record and previously unavailable archives, Black pulls no punches. He demonstrates exactly how power-hungry despots, avaricious monopolists, and bottom-line obsessed corporate oligarchs have long controlled where we get our energy and how we use it. Known for revealing “a century of lies,” the book lays bare the story behind the energy crisis—past, present, and future.”

Edwin Black is the award-winning, New York Times and international bestselling investigative author of 50 bestselling editions in 13 languages in 60 countries, as well as scores of newspaper and magazine articles in the leading publications of the United Sates, Europe and Israel. His work focuses on genocide and hate, corporate criminality and corruption, governmental misconduct, academic fraud, philanthropy abuse, and historical investigation. He will be on hand to sign copies of his Internal Combustion book, as well as a smattering of some of other recent publications, immediately following his lecture in the Adamson Wing.

Wednesday September 27th

7:00pm Gregg Hall, Porter Hall 100

The Wars in Lebanon and Iraq: Local, Regional, and International Implications

Adeed Dawisha, Political Science, Miami University, Oxford, OH

Kenneth Stein, Contemporary Middle Eastern History and Israeli Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Co-sponsored by the International Relations Program, the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Department of Social & Decision Sciences, and the Department of History

There are explanations for the seemingly endless conflict in the Middle East. Professors Ken Stein and Adeed Dawisha will combine their expertise on the modern Arab world, Israel, the Arab-Israel conflict and Iraq, to pinpoint and explain the common features behind this summer's war between Hizballah and Israel, and the on-going conflict in Iraq. Incorporating powerpoint, maps, timelines, presentations by the speakers and a generous question-and-answer period, this is an excellent opportunity to consider the local, regional and international implications of these two major examples of Middle Eastern unrest. Are they isolated events or connected?

Kenneth W. Stein is a Professor of Contemporary Middle Eastern History, Political Science, and Israeli Studies at Emory University. His current research and writing focus on the future of the Arab state, Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the teaching of the conflict in secondary and collegiate settings in North America.

Adeed Dawisha is Professor of Political Science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. His current research interests are in the application of theories of democratic transitions and consolidation to the Middle East, particularly post-2003 Iraq.

Thursday September 28th

4:30pm Adamson Wing, 136A Baker Hall

Institutional Transformation for Campus Sustainability

Leith Sharp

Director, Harvard Green Campus Initiative, Harvard University

The lecture will be based on work of the Harvard Green Campus Initiative, an organization that now employs 17 full-time professional staff purely dedicated to the pursuit of campus sustainability at Harvard. The Harvard Green Campus Initiative is based on an entrepreneurial approach that has successfully made a business out of campus sustainability, ensuring that the University sees both significant financial and environmental savings through the implementation of a wide range of strategies, services and incentives. To date the Harvard Green Campus Initiative has reduced Harvard Greenhouse gas emissions by around 10% while saving the University over $6 million a year. The HGCI has worked on 13 green building projects including projects that achieving silver, gold and platinum certification with a dedicated focus on developing strategies for achieving cost neutral LEED gold and platinum building certifications.

This lecture will explore what it takes to get an organization as complex as a university to achieve significant and continuous transformation towards campus sustainability. Through the Harvard case study the lecture will explore various arenas of organizational activity including finance, building design, occupant behavior, adult learning, and the interface of politics, technology, human cognition, organizational culture and practice. This exploration will be purely dedicated to revealing and further exploring what it is going to take to achieve campus sustainability in our universities in the USA and the world.

CFA Announcements

Campus Events____________________________________________________

Please join the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery for an


With Joyce Kozloff and Ann Messner
Friday, September 22, 5:30 p.m.

Kozloff and Messner will talk about "Disarming Images," political unrest, the role of the artist as activist, and related issues in the gallery.
Messner is the creative director of the video, as well as an adjunct at Pratt Institute, and has recently held positions at the Council of Humanities at Princeton University, Amherst College and Harvard University.

All events and exhibitions at the gallery are free and open to the public.

The Carnegie Mellon School of Design will present a lecture and two-day workshop on book arts. The workshop will introduce students to letterpress printing, printmaking and innovative binding techniques. Two highly respected book artists, Harry and Sandra Reese, will lead participants in the creation of a books arts project based on a poem by Jim Daniels head of Carnegie Mellon's Creative Writing Department.

As publishers of poetry, prints and artist books, Harry and Sandra Reese set type by hand, print with hand presses, and produce art projects that feature their own papermaking. Their work integrates traditional as well as digital printmaking, edition binding, innovative book structures and collaborations with poets, artists, writers and thinkers.

Harry Reese is Professor of Art at UC Santa Barbara where he has taught book art, print, papermaking and media ecology classes since 1978. The experimental print and book art courses he taught in the College of Creative Studies at UCSB became the basis for a program he founded in 1985, which offers the only undergraduate major in "Book Arts" within the University of California system.

Sandra Reese does most of the printing and edition binding for their book publications (Turkey Press and Edition Reese) in their Isla Vista studio.
The most recent book of poems she designed and produced -- Kinnikinnick Brand Kickapoo Joy-Juice -- features selected "metafours" by Jonathan Williams along with her hand-inked stencils and experimental prints that accompany drawings by John Furnival.

The lecture will be held on September 22 at 7 p.m. in Margaret Morrison Breed Hall and is free to the public.

Call for Artists____________________________________________________


Lunar Gala is a fashion show and Carnegie Mellon's largest student-run event. You can get involved a number of ways! Upcoming events for those interested in designing or modeling for the show are as follows:

Date: Wednesday 20th, Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd September
Time: 2.30pm-5.30pm
Place: West Wing TV Lounge
Contact(s): Katy Lin (, Xiang Gao
Notes: Ladies, please bring high heels


Date: Thursday 28th Septmeber
Time: 5-7pm
Place: MMC Breed Hall
Contact: Sophia Berman (

See you there!
Lunar Gala Board 2007

CFA in the News___________________________________________________

Watch CBS Evening News with Katie Couric this Friday, September 22 at 7 p.m.
Assignment America host Steve Hartman interviews Nick Hudson, bagpipe major in the School of Music. The camera crew filmed the CFA building, Alumni Concert Hall, a Dalcroze class and other campus activities.

Thanks to all who voted for the story, the segment received 53% of the votes!

Four Plays Shuffled Together Create 'Generous,' a World Premiere, in Toronto

Yahoo! News: "Individually titled PMO, One-Party Rule, Lily and The Death of the Alberta Report, all four first acts succeed each other, with connecting plots and intertwined characters. According to Tarragon, the connections are revealed after intermission, with the final acts of each play."

Reach Out and Network "This experience (not just Brian, but the whole networking experience) gave me lots of thoughts I want to share with you for your next opportunity to network. None of them are amazingly new, but you might just want a neat refresher, and a toolkit for your next experience."

Women Playwrights Fest on Tap at Synchronicity

Backstage:"Synchronicity Performance Group, a 10-year-old company run by three women in their 30s, will ten's playwriting festival. All three directors, dramaturges, and actors — at least 20 — will be Atlanta-based. Called SheWrites, the festival runs from Sept. 25 through Oct. 1, with public events slated for the final two days."

17 Things Every Freelancer Should Know "Megan Jeffery shares what she has learned over past 17 years as a freelance illustrator. This is truely a valuable piece as they will save you a lot of time on trial and error and find out what are the best way to deal with projects and customers. "

Four actors with local ties having a ball in 'Spamalot'

Post Gazette: "So many theater pros come from Pittsburgh's hills and valleys and nationally known training programs that we expect every touring Broadway musical to include at least one. Occasionally a tour doesn't. And then comes 'Monty Python's Spamalot,' with four."

Show-off showplace

Philadelphia Inquirer: "All the world may be a stage, but theaters in general, and those on the Avenue of the Arts in particular, have a bad habit of hiding one of their most exciting dramas behind the solid walls of their buildings: the preshow arrival of their well-dressed patrons."

Arts groups moving in the right direction "Merging back-shop and box office operations of the San Jose Repertory Theatre and American Musical Theatre, as they agreed to do this week, will be a milestone. It's the first tangible evidence that the financially troubled groups are ready for fundamental change, not just trying to dig their way out of budget problems by cutting costs."

George Lucas Donates USC's Largest Single Gift

Los Angeles Times: "'Star Wars' creator George Lucas, through a foundation, plans to make a blockbuster donation to USC of $175 million — the university's biggest single gift ever — to build a new home for its prestigious film school."

Pretension takes its toll in apocalyptic tale

Arizona Republic: "Taking risks is part of the job description at Stray Cat Theatre, so it shouldn't be a surprise if the art sometimes slips over 'the edge.' In its season opener, Falling Petals, the up-and-coming company trips up on a pretentious script and a callow cast that lacks the acting chops to pull it off."

'Action musical' with a lot of China, a little Broadway

LA Times: "Thousands of life-size clay soldiers standing guard over the tomb of China's first emperor were one of the 20th century's great archeological finds — and the inspiration for 'Terracotta Warriors,' a multimillion-dollar, visually arresting Chinese 'action musical' that makes its West Coast premiere at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts this Friday through Sunday."

Wilson's vision leads to the opening of 'African Company'

Sun Times: "Carlyle Brown's 'The African Company Presents Richard III' has been on Congo Square Theatre's wish list since year one. But the drama, based on a pivotal event in the history of American theater, didn't get the green light until recently"

Robert Falls' 20 years: Hits and misses

Sun Times: "Scan the list of productions that Robert Falls has directed over the last 20 years -- primarily at the Goodman Theatre, but also at the Lyric Opera, in New York at the Metropolitan Opera, on Broadway, Off Broadway and beyond -- and you see a major body of work."

Second Act

Pittsburgh City Paper - Performance: "Three years ago, the North Side’s venerable Theodore L. Hazlett Jr. Theater closed its doors, the victim of a tight city budget. Almost immediately, a team of arts groups, civic organizations and local foundations began planning to renovate and re-open the city-owned facility under new management."

The Real Thing

Pittsburgh City Paper - Performance: "Sometimes no matter what you do, no matter how carefully you put together a production, it just doesn’t work. Sure, you can wax lyrical on the impressive credentials behind the show and lay out the rock-solid case as to why it should work … but still it just lays there, and the only laughter you hear is God sniggering behind some cloud."

Clambake | News #038; Media: "We are pleased to announce that the 2006 Designer/Stage Manager Clambake, which will provide a forum for emerging and established designers and stage managers to present their work and interact with directors, will be held at the Second City Training Center, 1616 North Wells, Chicago on Tuesday, October 3, from 7-10 pm.This year's Clambake is the opening event for the Second Annual DirectorsLabChicago which will welcome directors from across the country."

Evolved features enhance simplicity in wireless microphone systems | Manufacturers offer new options in wireless microphone systems

SVC: "The world of wireless microphones used to be simple. Back in the day, wireless systems were easy to set up and guaranteed not to work very well. But today, it's a whole new ballgame."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

New job: Need Electricians/Lighting Tech\'s + Carpenter/Scenic

Da Vinci Fusion has a gig going on all next week in San Jose.

If you are an experienced lighting technician or carpenter with at least a little bit scenic background, we need you!

Please contact Kaia at

if you have an interest in getting on our overhire list and starting off your fabulous first day in San Jose at the end of next week get in touch!

New job: Set Builder/Designer

Spear Ensemble Theatre is looking for a set builder/designer for an abridged version of Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus”. Opening will be October 13th, so someone is needed ASAP. The performances will be held at the Young Performers Theatre at Fort Mason. We need creative thinkers willing to bring their own ideas to the table. All proceeds of this production will be donated to 3 different non-profit organizations, one of which will be “Each One Reach One”. This is a great opportunity to help out the community while working with a great group of people. There is a small stipend available.

You can contact me for more info at or call me at 415.378.0420.

Spear Ensemble\'s mission is to create emotionally bold, physical theater using storytelling as a bridge to community partnership. In partnering with non profits, whose mission align with the themes of the show being mounted, we are able to utilize story-telling as a tool for community building. A post show discussion, while the audience and key note speakers are still fresh from the visceral experience creates a powerful setting that gives the audience voice as a member of the expanded community. It is our intention that every individual walk away being awake to their own sense of power, engaged with community and valued for who they are and what they uniquely contribute.

Junior Performance Project

As you may know, seating for the Junior Performance Project presentations is limited.

If you would like to make a reservation for any of these presentations, please email me or stop by the box office asap to ensure a seat on the day of your choice.

Dates and Times:

"Scenes from an Execution"
Monday September 25 at 8 pm
Tuesday September 26 at 8 pm

Wednesday September 27 at 8 pm
Thursday September 28 at 8 pm

"See What I Want to See"
Friday September 29 at 8 pm
Saturday September 30 at 2 pm

Clothes that race at 100 miles per show "The four actors in 'I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change' probably work harder backstage than onstage as they plow through about 50 costumes a night."

Let's dance!

Post Gazette: "Tim Federle, center, originally from Upper St. Clair, and now living in New York City, is reflected in a mirror as he leads a master dance class at Pittsburgh CLO Academy, Downtown, last evening."

Invigorating Culture in Harlem

The New York Sun: "The executive director of Harlem Stage, Patricia Cruz, can get very worked up about granite — particularly if it's the granite in the walls of the Gatehouse, the hundred-year-old former municipal water pumping station at Convent Avenue and 135th Street that will open as Harlem Stage's new theater next month."

the Bruntwood Playwriting Competition

Guardian Unlimited Arts: "Tomorrow's playwrights are preoccupied with working-class angst and urban deprivation, according to the judges of a major new writing award. The Bruntwood Playwriting Competition, established by Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre and boasting a total prize fund of £45,000, has identified a new generation of writers tackling issues of sexual disorientation and racial intolerance - but showing little interest in domestic or international politics."

City encourages diversity behind the camera

News: Show Business Weekly: "Responding to criticism from various City Council members, who say minorities and women continue to be underrepresented in the city's thriving production industry, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said his administration will expand the scope of a diversity task force created to open doors for such groups."

Open the Door Campaign to further disabled access to theatres

The Stage: "The Open the Door Campaign, led by charity Shape, will offer heavily subsidised disability awareness training to all theatres and arts venues across London. Courses will be tailored to everyone - from front of house and marketing staff to education and management teams - and can be provided in-house."

'Still more to do' for status of women in industry, says Mirren

The Stagen: "“There was a time when there was an absolute inability to recognise that I had a brain and, while things are getting better, there is still more to do to better the image of women,” "

Lloyd Webber defends Maria plans

BBC NEWS: "Theatre impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber has hit back at claims that How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? is a con."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Grad 1 Acts

Performances of one act plays directed by First Year graduate directors will held this week.

Shows include "The Eye of the Beholder" by Kent Broadhurst, directed by Allegra Libonati and "The Island" by Athol Fugard, directed by Dana Friedman.

Show times are:
Wednesday September 20 at 8 pm
Thursday, September 21 at 8 pm
Friday, September 22 at 4 pm and 8 pm.

Performances will be held in the John Wells Studio theater.

Tickets are free and will be available at the door one hour prior to curtain.

Seating is extremely limited!

'State of the Union,' the Pulitzer Winner About the Woman Behind the Candidate, Plays D.C.

Yahoo! News: "'Originally produced in 1945 and awarded the Pulitzer a year later, State of the Union is the ultimate Washington power play about political ambition and moral principles, backroom deals and party bosses, special interest groups and romantic intrigue,' according to Ford's Theatre, which focuses on works about the variety of American life."

'State of the Union,' the Pulitzer Winner About the Woman Behind the Candidate, Plays D.C.

Yahoo! News: "'Originally produced in 1945 and awarded the Pulitzer a year later, State of the Union is the ultimate Washington power play about political ambition and moral principles, backroom deals and party bosses, special interest groups and romantic intrigue,' according to Ford's Theatre, which focuses on works about the variety of American life."

My 5 Best Organizing Tricks "These were how I navigated the last several days, successfully conducted a 2 day unconference (not counting the help of a team of other dedicated people), attended and made good use of a major technology conference, and worked on dozens of projects over the last few days to meet deadlines."

The Persians

New York Times: "The ruler of a rich and powerful empire leads his countrymen into a disastrous war on foreign soil in “The Persians,” a play Aeschylus wrote in the fifth century B.C. It seems the guy was acting on advice from bad counselors. And trying to finish some business started by papa, who ruled before him. Ring any bells?"

Macbeth makeover: Play to showcase Oakland Square

Post Gazette: "Live theater makes its debut on Oakland Square Wednesday night, in a gutted house in which we find Macbeth as a drywall contractor."

FROM THEATER TO TV - Playing to a bigger crowd

LA Times: "playwrights are now producing, creating and running shows. Last season, Mamet created the 'The Unit.' This season, it's Baitz's 'Brothers & Sisters' and Sorkin's latest, 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.' And Warren Leight, who, like Sorkin, has helped bring many fellow playwrights into the fold, has become the showrunner for 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent.'"

Broadway Rewards

New York Times: "As the latest example of Broadway’s fervent, if sometimes awkward, embrace of modern marketing techniques, the Nederlander Organization has announced the creation of Audience Rewards, an awards program for theatergoers."

Hip-hop musical `Clay' can help mold a raw talent

Chicago Tribune: "Matt Sax, the prodigiously talented baby face responsible for the hip-hop musical 'Clay,' has handed the Lookingglass Theatre Company a show it could run for months in its cool new studio theater. Better yet, Sax has given the packs of bored-looking teenagers traipsing up and down Michigan Avenue something to do on the Magnificent Mile other than shop."

'The Great Gatsby' gets the full treatment

Star Tribune: "It isn't without precedent, this idea of reading straight out of 'The Great Gatsby.' During the author's centennial in 1996, dozens of performers read the entire book in a marathon at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, audiences popping in at their leisure. And comedian Andy Kaufman challenged crowds to stay put while he picked up the book and read from it during his act. Most of the time, they walked out."

Trinity professor to receive prestigious award for set designs Stage: "The quality and breadth of his work are among the reasons that he was singled out for this year's Jasmina Wellinghoff Award. The award is one of the biggies at the Globe Awards, presented by the Alamo Theatre Arts Council to recognize achievement on the San Antonio theater scene."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Technical Direction - Stock Scenery Project

Hello. I have a question about our homework. I was about to make a list of large prop needs....however, I'm not sure what that means exactly. All I have down is a piano. Am I in the right ball park? I think I'm confusing myself. I guess I'm asking: is a large prop need a prop that is bigger than a hand prop?
Mostly I think things that would feel like furniture or architecture, but not absolutely limited to that. Tables, chairs, stools, benches, bars, doors, windows, desks, beds, couches - these are all kinds of things that would be in the realm. You would need to be more specific though, and there are certainly things I can't think of off the top of my head. That's why you should talk to some of the people that use the facility.