CMU School of Drama

Monday, December 31, 2007

FILM/SHOOTING: Music videos/commmercials/comedy skits

Craigslist: "If you want to build up your reel, while snacking on raw/vegan/organic chocolate, and get paid $100 per project"

The Software That Will Take Digital F/X to the Next Level of Awesome

Wired: "Jos Stam is standing on a pearl-white beach under a cloudless sky. He is visiting his parents, who are vacationing in Faro, a medieval town on Portugal's Algarve coast. Stam, a 41-year-old computer scientist specializing in 3-D graphics, doesn't look at the world the way the rest of us do. Reality is a binary riddle to be cracked, a series of fleeting images best appreciated after they've been rendered into 1s and 0s. Even here, watching the waves hit a beach in Portugal, his thoughts drift, as they always do, toward numbers. He begins scribbling in a small black notebook filled with mathematical interpretations of everything he sees."

Sunday, December 30, 2007

PG theater tour heads to London

Post Gazette: "The Post-Gazette's early spring Critic's Choice theater trip to London, a tradition of two decades, will fly March 9-16 -- just in time for the early daffodils in the London parks.
Critic's Choice tours differ from the Post-Gazette's traditional ShowPlanes in their smaller group size, informality and fewer frills. Led by theater critic Chris Rawson, the group will stay at the Kenilworth Hotel, a Radisson Edwardian property only a block from the British Museum and a short walk from Covent Garden and the West End theater district."

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

New York Times: "COMPUTERS are often used to depict futuristic landscapes on film. But it’s the past that software helps recreate in a particularly timeless type of performance: a stage production.
In “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” which will have its United States premiere at Performance Space 122 on Jan. 9, computer-assisted film and animation provide the scenic backdrop and supporting cast, of sorts, for live performers. In tales of luckless cats and mutinous gingerbread men, the performers interact with images on the screen, the filmed and live movements synchronized. When a woman mimes smoking a cigarette, her onstage lips blow on-screen smoke rings."

August: Osage County - The Seafarer - The Homecoming - Is He Dead?

New York Times: "GOOD acting is not contagious, as far as I know. But a visitor sampling the best of Broadway over the holiday season might almost imagine it is, and that it has swept through the city like a virulent flu, infecting people in packs. Everywhere you look, a particular kind of theatrical magic is taking place, as ensemble performances of a rare order are glowing brightly on stages across the theater district."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Best play: 'The Oresteia Project'

Post Gazette: "The choice came down to three revisionist interrogations of potent myths: the roots of justice in ancient Greece, homicidal celebrity in the American West and presidential power on the banks of the Potomac. Which powerful and bitterly funny triumph would win the Post-Gazette's nod as the best stage show of the year?"

Is Writers Strike the Christmas Grinch?

The Associated Press: "Nearly two months without paychecks. Scores of shuttered shows. Thousands out of work. The Hollywood writers strike suggests a bleak Christmas for many in Tinsel Town. But just like a movie script, this story has a twist: many striking writers remain upbeat despite the financial and emotional strains the walkout has brought to the season."

Ron Galloway: The AMPTP Is Probably Winning. Now They Should Shut Up.

Entertainment on The Huffington Post: "Writers are cutting their own deals to develop and own content. Letterman, Leno, Stewart and Colbert are going back on the air. IATSE rails against the timing and strategy of the WGA. The DGA charts its own path. The WGA's rock star leadership is unfocussed and inept.

Things are looking good for the producers. So what should the AMPTP do now?

I gave a speech to 500 businesspeople recently. I asked for a show of hands of how many knew of the writers' strike. About 100 raised their hands. I then asked how many people had heard of the AMPTP. Not one hand was raised. Nobody outside of LA. and NYC knows who they are, and nobody cares."

Robot's dancing speaks louder than words

Post Gazette: "Keepon is just a simple robot, with a yellow snowman shape, round eyes and button nose -- but no mouth.

The little guy is mute, but oddly, this speechless 'bot' is one great communicator.

That's the point Marek Michalowski, a 27-year-old doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, is proving with two YouTube videos featuring Keepon's uncanny ability to dance."

R. Scott Phillips to Direct Utah Shakespearean Festival

Stage-directions: "Southern Utah University has announced the Utah Shakespearean Festival’s own R. Scott Phillips as the Festival’s new executive
Phillips has served as interim director at the Festival since December
of 2005, and will now step up as the official replacement to the
Festival’s founder Fred C. Adams, who retired in 2005 after leading
the Utah Shakespearean Festival for 44 years."

Steady Hands - The Local Buzz "Onstage, the red curtain is closed. Behind it, you can hear the unmistakable voices of a work crew. Suddenly a loud thud hits the theater and the curtain trembles.
'Easy, guys, EASY!'
Mike Afflitto, business manager of the local stagehands union, appears out of stage right. He waves to me, disappears backstage, then emerges again at the side of the theater."

Opera Theater takes lighthearted approach to New Year's

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "A change of holiday repertoire from Christmas to New Year's accompanies Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's move this season to the Cultural District, which began in September with 'The Marriage of Figaro.'"

Seeking an Assistant to Director

Craigslist: "If you are looking for some experience in the film production field, this might be perfect for you. We are seeking an individual to assist the director in directing various scenes for a local indie film"

Strikes Make 2007 One Long Battle

Backstage: "It's never easy being an actor, but 2007 has proved to be one of the most difficult years in recent memory. With the stagehands strike shuttering Broadway for almost three weeks, and the writers strike continuing to cripple film and television production, performers have had to scrounge for work more intently than usual."

Mikhail Baryshnikov - Samuel Beckett

New York Times: "In the last of the four one-act plays by Samuel Beckett currently at New York Theater Workshop, Mikhail Baryshnikov sits on an iron bed in a tatty red plaid bathrobe for 17 minutes, not moving or speaking, as a voice recites the thoughts that relentlessly taunt him. A close-up of his face is projected on a giant scrim, shrinking the already intimate space between the audience and the man."

Beckett Shorts - New York Theater Workshop

New York Times: "Anyone who sees Mikhail Baryshnikov in “Beckett Shorts,” the set of four brief plays by Samuel Beckett at the New York Theater Workshop, must reflect on how far this former ballet luminary has come from his training in Leningrad and his roles in the 19th-century classics. He is best known now as a star of the TV series “Sex and the City,” and the distance between that and “Beckett Shorts” is virtually as far. Part of his virtuosity has always dwelt in his need to elude definition or pigeonholing. His whole career has kept people asking, “Who is he really?” — which must be what he wants."

Megachurches, megashows: Some organzations spend $1 million on performances to spread message "During the Christmas season, thousands of people take a pilgrimage to a 52-acre site on the grounds of the Savannah Christian Church to experience the birth of Jesus in a make-believe Holy Land.

They take a boat ride across a massive lake into Bethlehem, where they mingle with the townspeople who greet them with fresh water, fruit and assorted cheeses. Roman soldiers on white horses lead them along a lighted path, where they encounter the Three Wise Men with a live camel resting at their side. They look on as the archangel Gabriel appears at the Virgin Mary's home and tells her that she is carrying a child. They watch an evil King Herod, who plots to kill the newborn. Finally, they arrive at the manger, standing close enough to touch the crying baby Jesus.

The dazzling journey provides spectacular entertainment for visitors for just $5. But there is a bigger payoff for the church that puts on the production. At the end of the hour-and-a-half trek, pastor Cam Huxford stands on a stack of hay in front of the group and extends an invitation for them to attend services at his church."

How to Tell Whether Writing Instruction Works

Inside Higher Ed: "As writing program directors gathered Thursday at the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association, many voiced confidence that their efforts are making a difference. But at one of the kickoff sessions for the meeting, many of these officials said they worried that views of their success were based more on hunches and intuition than solid evidence. That may be changing, however, as composition scholars described a range of projects designed to test the effectiveness of their efforts. Some said they see a shift in composition away from theory and toward more practical research on student learning and instructor strategies."

NEA Partners With Arena Stage for New Play Development Project

Yahoo! News: "'Selecting and providing support for exceptional new plays and new play development models will be a key component of the program,' according to the joint announcement from the NEA and DC-based Arena Stage."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mikhail Baryshnikov - Samuel Beckett

New York Times: "In the last of the four one-act plays by Samuel Beckett currently at New York Theater Workshop, Mikhail Baryshnikov sits on an iron bed in a tatty red plaid bathrobe for 17 minutes, not moving or speaking, as a voice recites the thoughts that relentlessly taunt him. A close-up of his face is projected on a giant scrim, shrinking the already intimate space between the audience and the man."

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Wicked' star cut her teeth at Disneyland

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Some Broadway stars cut their teeth in regional theater or in off-off Broadway shows. But Eden Espinosa, who stars as Elphaba, Wicked Witch of the West -- aka the 'Green Girl' -- in 'Wicked' at the Pantages Theatre, got her start doing shows at Disneyland.
This is off-Broadway -- way off Broadway."

Baryshnikov-Beckett paring looks to be extremely potent

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Combine the physicality of Mikhail Baryshnikov with the silences of Samuel Beckett and you'll get some potent theatrical images, courtesy of off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop." Picks the Top Theatre Stories of 2007

Playbill News: "It was the strike that many thought wouldn't happen. And, when it did, who could have predicted it would last two-thirds of a month? The stagehands strike was the most-written-about theatre story of the year. Ten others made's annual list of top stories."

The Divine Comedy, the Opera

New York Times: "Dante’s “Divine Comedy” is not, at first glance, obvious libretto material for contemporary musical theater. It is about the Christian afterlife, features tormented sinners condemned to burn in eternal flames and ends with a hymn to the Virgin Mary and God’s absolute love — hardly a Broadway showstopper."

Eve Best

New York Times: "As soon as Eve Best walks into a cafe or bar, she is received like the patron saint of the service industry, with waiters flocking to her like sparrows to St. Francis. She is either a very good tipper, a fierce hangout loyalist or simply that darn charismatic."

Doing a dramatic double take

Los Angeles Times: "Judging a play by a performance can lead to some embarrassing verdicts, yet theatergoers do this all the time when sizing up new works. Separating the player from the play, to paraphrase Yeats, is never easy. And critics themselves aren't always adept at distinguishing where fault and virtue lie. An ambitious drama given an uneven premiere is flicked away like a piece of lint while a mesmerizing performance in a silly trifle can translate, as it did for Douglas Carter Beane's giggly 2006 comedy 'The Little Dog Laughed,' into not just raves but a Tony nomination for best play."

Peter DuBois has always been moved by theater

The Boston Globe: "Outside the Public Theater, hail scatters across Manhattan's streets, cabbies slow to a crawl, and pedestrians scurry and slip down sidewalks that have turned into mini ice skating rinks. But inside the majestic landmark, Peter DuBois, the Public's resident director, is preparing to race from a meeting to a reading without missing a beat, cursing Mother Nature, or uncurling the infectious smile that has become his trademark among those in New York theater circles."

All of Chicago a world-class stage "Here's my annual Top 10 list of the best shows of the year, along with 10 more that also deserved to be there. Within each category, the list is in alphabetical order. I've restricted myself to shows that originated in Chicago (otherwise 'Doubt,' James Thierree's 'Au Revoir Parapluie,' 'Jersey Boys' and, especially, the exquisite national tour of 'Light in the Piazza' would be on the list)."

Dancer worked into her late 80s

Los Angeles Times: "Beverly Allen, a longtime professional dancer who joined the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies late in life and at 87 was the oldest showgirl regularly performing in a chorus, according to the 2005 Guinness World Records, has died. She was 90."

Creative vigilantes

The Boston Globe: "Over the past 15 years, the rise of digital technology and the global economy has made it ever easier to copy, distribute, and profit from the fruits of other people's creativity - from the new Fergie album spreading across peer-to-peer networks to pirated 'Spider-Man' DVDs showing up on the streets of Shanghai. In response, American lawmakers have instituted increasingly sweeping laws, seeking to stymie intellectual-property theft with lengthier copyright terms and more stringent consequences for violators. Without these measures, they reason, innovators will lose money, and innovation will suffer."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

‘Saturday Night Live’ Takes Its Makeup Magic to the Met, With Scary Results

New York Times: "Louis Zakarian is a makeup artist and Philip Langridge is an opera singer who have pretty much the same equipment where they have been doing their work: monster-size ovens and professional-grade KitchenAid mixers."

Not All the News Was on the Rialto

New York Times: "THE shallow pools of limelight trained on theater by the news media these days often exclude everything that happens outside the precincts of Broadway. Accordingly, producers seem to believe that if a show has not opened somewhere in the vicinity of 42nd Street, it hasn’t really opened at all."

A Dramatic Comeback for the Play

New York Times: "THIS was the year that the play stood up for itself, reminding us that it can go places inaccessible to other art forms. Perhaps it took the surprisingly successful marathon that was Tom Stoppard’s three-part “Coast of Utopia,” which began in 2006, to reorient New York theatergoers to the pleasures of bona fide drama."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Top 10 Stories of 2007: Ready for Our Closeup

Santa Fe Reporter: "“Five years ago I knew everyone in the movie business in New Mexico, but now when I walk on the set I have to introduce myself,” Jon Hendry of IATSE Local 480, the New Mexico film and television technicians union, says."

MBAs Acting Out

Business Week: "At Carnegie Mellon, where acting classes were first given about 50 years ago, the classes are extremely popular. Tepper is offering nine sections of its Business Acting elective this year and—in response to student demand—recently added a more advanced-level acting class."

S.F. Opera to broadcast productions into movie theaters

San Jose Mercury News: "In his boldest and most far-reaching move since taking the helm of San Francisco Opera two years ago, general director David Gockley has announced a new agreement to begin worldwide, cinema-quality broadcasts of six of the company's productions per year into movie theaters, beginning in March 2008."

WPBF TV25-Production Stagehand Entertainment

Careers.Net™: "WPBF TV25, local ABC affiliate, is seeking a Production Stagehand. 1 to 3 years experience in television production desired. The right candidate is searching for a challenging career with a growing television station, will work well under pressure and be able to excel in a team environment. Knowledge of TelePrompTer, Lighting, and Camera Operation is preferred. Must be able to work any schedule. Interested?"

Middle East Lighting Design Awards Extends Scope for 2008

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "The follow-up to last year's inaugural event will again provide a showcase during the 2008 PALME Middle East show, which takes place at Dubai's International Exhibition Centre, April 27-29, and outstanding achievements in the GCC territories will be celebrated at an Awards Gala dinner on April 27 at The Dusit Hotel, Dubai, UAE."

Listen Technologies Announces 2007 Rep Awards

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Listen Technologies announced the winners of its 2007 Rep Awards during at its annual winter sales meeting. Winterfest 007 was held in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 6-7. Top honors for Representative of the Year went to PCM Marketing headquartered in Walnut Creek, California. The award recognizes the rep firm that demonstrates the most outstanding passion and commitment in representing Listen and its products."

Newsmaker: David Dombrosky

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Took over Dec. 1 as executive director of the Center for Arts Management and Technology, an applied research center in Carnegie Mellon University's Institute for the Management of Creative Enterprises, a joint program between the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management and the College of Fine Arts."

Japanese film-making course for Qatari pupils planned

Gulf Times: "THE Japanese embassy is planning to invite specialists from Carnegie Mellon University to teach Qatari pupils Japanese animation film-making, the country’s Ambassador Yukio Kitazume said yesterday."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Trivia Winners

Congrats to Fall 2007 Semester Theatre Trivia Winners:

Jeanie McAlpine
David Holcomb

O'Brien to Direct and Crowley to Design Lloyd Webber's Phantom Sequel

Playbill News: "London's Daily Mail reports that O'Brien will direct the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. According to previous reports, the sequel is titled Phantom in Manhattan and is based on Frederick Forsyth's novel 'The Phantom of Manhattan.'"

NEA Launches New Play Development with Arena Stage

Playbill News: "The NEA's New Play Development Program will aid non-profit theatres in taking new plays to the next level of production. 'A full production is really the only way a playwright and his or her audience can fully experience a play in the way it was intended to be experienced,' stated Bill O'Brien, NEA director of Theater and Musical Theater."

Research puts myth of a cultural elite to rest

NZ Herald: "The 'cultural elite' brought up on opera and the higher arts, which supposedly turns up its nose at anything as vulgar as a pop song or mainstream television, does not exist, according to research published by Oxford University academics."

More professionals, students using brain performance enhancing drugs

Dallas Morning News: "Despite the potential side effects, some academics, classical musicians, corporate executives, students and even professional poker players have embraced the drugs to clarify their minds, improve their concentration or control their emotions."

Lincoln Center's Levy Mines Wall Street for Donations, Advice Muse: "Some of Wall Street's wealthiest names, such as Bruce Kovner and Carl Icahn, sit on the board of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and advise Reynold Levy on how to run it."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fall Theatre Trivia Quiz - Answers

Did you take the quiz? (If you did, you probably didn't send it in to me - how sad.) Here are the answers for this semester. To refresh your recollection of the questions, click here.

Winners will be posted tomorrow.

The Answers:

1. Denver
2. ETCP Council
4. MC Escher
5. Moises Kaufman
6. They wouldn’t give his wife the lead
7. They are performing on a barge
8. Three from: Douglas, Gray, Hahn, Harris, Hines, Kline, Pino, or Warman
9. Seattle
10. Nevada

11. Look Solutions
12. Mark Rylance
13. La Cage aux Folles
14. Film subsidies
15. Point Park
16. Milan Stitt
17. MTV
18. Equity Showcase
19. By partnering with a university
20. Weekly Grosses

21. The actors can’t commit to schedule due to a possible Hollywood writers strike.
22. That Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare’s plays.
23. It opened, of campus, in spite of the request of the Bishop of Central Florida.
24. Head of the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University.
25. A fellow of the Carnegie Mellon Studio for Creative Inquiry and the creator of echo::system.
26. It is bi-lingual in English and German.
27. Varying the crew during the install.
28. IA 480 – New Mexico.
29. Left a bunch of nooses hanging about.
30. They are “sound plays” – downloadable through iTunes.

31. August Wilson’s boyhood home.
32. A Japanese principal puppeteer.
33. PNC Broadway Across America, at the Benedum.
34. A platform for viewing and collaborating on digital drawings without having the program.
35. Fifty.
36. Jed Harris.
37. Renewal of their AZA Accreditation.
38. The weak American Dollar.
39. Xanadu.
40. Minneapolis/St. Paul

41. Los Angeles
42. Korean martial arts spectacle
43. New York Innovative Theatre Awards, which honors the best of Off-Off Broadway
44. "Batman: The Dark Knight"
45. Projection Designers, principals in MODE Studios
46. They are Irish Wolfhounds
48. Opera Theatre
49. Noted Australian Festival artistic director – here doing workshops
50. Fired by the Lyric Opera Chicago for missing rehearsals.

51. Designs fountains.
52. Attack Theatre
53. In a swimming pool.
54. It is TCG’s “Free Night of Theatre.”
55. Challenger and Christa McAuliffe.
56. “Mother Teresa is Dead”
57. Philadelphia
58. The CLO and The ASCAP Foundation
59. How install calls are structured.
60. The Cultural Trust’s “Australia Festival.”

61. PPT
62. Point Park – The Pittsburgh Playhouse
63. Madison Square Garden Entertainment
64. Pittsburgh Opera
65. Live Nation
66. Pittsburgh Opera
67. They are planning to disrupt feature animation writing, which is IA jurisdiction.
68. Design Awards for Broadway, Off Broadway, and Off Off Broadway.
69. October 21st.
70. They want to protect “white space” spectrum typically used by wireless mics.

71. Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum.
72. Altria Group.
73. Pay disparity.
74. Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Bricolage Theatre
75. A Pittsburgh International Black Arts Festival.
76. Proprietor of Hudson Scenic Studios.
77. Underwritten a $20 ticket program.
78. Suzan-Lori Parks
79. December 1st.
80. The Broadway yellow card determines the yellow card for national tours.

81. “Things need to go where they need to go.”
82. “The Typographer’s Dream” or “The Dark Lady of Sonnets”
83. Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks
84. Six
85. The stage collapsed during set up.
86. One
87. They are using recorded music.
88. Minneapolis
89. Founder of Quantum Theatre.
90. Disruption of the area community due to fires.

91. On average people are heavier than when it was designed and the boats are bottoming out.
92. A filing system with 12 folders for months and 31 for days.
93. New rules with regard to event scheduling, damage deposit, and heavy equipment will make the festival impossible.
94. November 7th
95. Black playwrights with White directors and vice-versa.
96. Writers Guild of America with Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
97. Head of IATSE
98. CMU Professor of Robotics – head of Tartan Racing.
99. Aaron Sorkin
100. Five

101. A writer who is also a producer.
102. Los Angeles.
103. Pittsburgh CLO
104. Producing Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh Public Theatre.
105. Stoppard
106. IATSE (841) and Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople (ACFC West)
107. a spokeswoman for the League of American Theatres and Producers
108. President of IATSE Local #1
109. Atlanta
110. It was the first $100 ticket.

111. It’s a New York transfer and is not able to play in its theatre because of the Local#1 strike.
112. “Dinosaurs in their time” at the Carnegie.
113. The employees of La Scala (in Milan).
114. The Pittsburgh Opera (“Elixir of Love”)
115. 10 years.
116. City Theatre
117. AutoCAD
118. Pittsburgh Public Theatre
119. The producers have a separate contract with Local #1 due to a 12 performance a week schedule.
120. A weaker US dollar may keep audiences from traveling.

121. Disney labor lawyer who was added to the Local #1 negotiations this week.
122. "Nina Hartley's Guide To Better Cunnilingus," "Nina Hartley's Guide To Couples' Sexploration," and "Nina Hartley's Guide To Better Fellatio."
123. Patricia MacKay, the founder of LDI.
124. "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas!"
125. Broadway Theatrical Wardrobe Union
126. CLO Cabaret
127. CMU Alum, new Associate Artistic Director at City Theatre
128. Steven Cosson
129. So prosecutors could decide what to charge them with.
130. Alan Ayckbourne

131. The New Frontier Hotel
132. The city’s 250th birthday!
133. that Local One struck the Nederlander theaters as a means to pressure the League of American Theatres and Producers to settle with the union, which, in turn, makes the strike an “unlawful secondary boycott.” (Nederlander theatres have a separate contract)
134. Two stuntmen were burned during the filing of “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.”
135. 'Sister's Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi's Gold'
'A Musical Christmas Carol'
'This Wonderful Life'
'Plaid Tidings'
'A Tuna Christmas'
'A Lyrical Christmas Carol'
'A Christmas Carol' in Washington
'A Christmas Carol' in Johnstown
'Nativity: A Christmas Gift'
'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever'
'Christmas Is Comin' Uptown'
'A Funny NUN-ny Christmas ... Nuns Gone Wild'
'Scrooge Has Left the Building'
'The Treasure'
'Beauty and the Beast Christmas'
'Madeline's Christmas'
136. 19 days
137. Ten Little Indians
138. Pittsburgh Opera
139. December 9th
140. City Theatre

Stage Review: Pittsburgh CLO charms with musical 'Carol'

Post Gazette: "Pittsburgh CLO's 'A Musical Christmas Carol' isn't at all what a stressed, holiday-jaded bargain shopper might assume. Sure, little kids in their holiday splendor run amok and there's lots of shushing as the lights go down, but the show is not hokey, worn out or merely for children. It's an entertaining and timeless reminder of holiday spirit."

Stage Review: 'Sister' still stings funny bone despite bigger stage

Post Gazette: "Sister is back, and despite a growing class size, she's as feisty and lovable as ever. Even feistier, sometimes, because now that we know the drill, some smart-alecky wannabes ('publics,' no doubt) are deliberately provoking her with gum, phones and misbehavior. It's enough to try the patience of a saint."

Stage Review: 'Uptown' Christmas Carol a lot of fun

Post Gazette: "Back again after a run of several years and a year off, 'Christmas Is Comin' Uptown' can't yet claim to be a tradition along the lines of CLO's 'Christmas Carol' or Pitt's 'Nativity,' but it's already that much fun."

Stage Review: 'Nativity' a fresh take on a favorite

Post Gazette: "The Shona Sharif African Dance and Drum Ensemble returns with what used to be 'Black Nativity' by Langston Hughes. Program notes by director Oronde Sharif explain that, in 14 years, performances have grown and enough changes have been introduced to keep the production fresh to warrant re-naming it 'Nativity: A Christmas Gift.'"

Pain of Broadway labor strife will reverberate

Post Gazette: "More drama happened off stage than on in 2007 as stagehands shut down most Broadway theaters for 19 days this fall. No 'Jersey Boys.' No 'Wicked.' No 'Lion King.' No 'Phantom of the Opera.'

The strike got Broadway more publicity than all its hit musicals combined. Suddenly, theater was front-page news and all over the Internet. But the cost to producers, the city and theater-related businesses was enormous. Estimates of losses ranged upward of $40 million during what is usually one of the most lucrative times of the year -- the Thanksgiving holiday.

So who won?"

Personality test: Kimberly Richards

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Over the past three years, Kimberly Richards has spent enough time in Pittsburgh to qualify as an honorary resident. But few know the woman beneath the wimple. She's best known as Sister, the strict yet slyly subversive and very funny nun who has made Maripat Donovan's 'Late Nite Catechism,' 'Late Nite Catechism 2' and 'Sister's Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi's Gold' an enduring and very popular part of each of City Theatre's past three seasons."

Quantum Theatre seeks labor

Craigslist: "When: Work begins the first week in January and will run thru Janauary 22nd, by day 9:00a-5:00p."

NJ Rep Has Seven New Plays On Its 2008 Schedule

Playbill News: "The New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, NJ, will offer a handful of world premieres in a 2008 season that also includes two New Jersey premieres and an East Coast premiere."

Writers Negotiating With Indie Producers

Backstage: "The union for striking Hollywood writers said Wednesday it is pursuing agreements with several small independent producers that would allow at least some of its members to begin returning to work."

NEA May Get $20M Raise

Backstage: "'This week Congress is taking steps to approve a $20 million increase…in its FY 2008 Omnibus appropriations bill,' Robert Lynch, chief executive officer for the agency, said in a statement. 'I applaud House Subcommittee Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA) in leading the fight for this significant increase.'"

Toll from walkout spreads, group says

Hollywood Reporter: "The WGA strike will cost the regional economy $220 million in damage each month it continues, a regional economic group projected Wednesday."

Disney Wonders if a Mermaid Can Follow a Trail Blazed by a Lion

New York Times: "What could have been a debacle became one of the savviest moves in recent Broadway history: Take a hugely successful animated movie and pair it with a director who has a serious non-Broadway pedigree. The result, “The Lion King,” under Julie Taymor’s direction, was a critical and commercial smash, changing the dynamics of Broadway and remaking Disney Theatrical Productions, the little corporate experiment that put the show together."

In Met's Cannibalistic `Hansel,' Hungry Witch Finishes in Oven Muse: "English director Richard Jones is convinced that Engelbert Humperdinck's 1893 opera ``Hansel and Gretel'' is about cannibalism. His toothsome production opens in New York at the Metropolitan Opera on Christmas Eve."

TV Audition Process to Find "Maria" for Toronto 'Sound of Music' Begins

Yahoo! News: "On the show, the Canadian public 'will choose who will play the most famous role in musical theatre' in a brand-new production of the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music, produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Ian and David Mirvish. The musical will open in October 2008 at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre."

A Producer of Movies to Try Hand at Games

New York Times: "The Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, whose movies and television shows are so replete with car chases and fast action that critics say they look like video games, is finally lending his expertise to that medium."

JumpStart 2008

JumpStart, formerly known as Winter Orientation, is a series of workshops during the first week of spring semester to help students develop and refine skills and strategies for success. The programs and workshops are designed to build on the critical elements of Orientation, focusing on its themes of academic success, wellness, and community engagement. First-year students, upperclassmen and graduate students alike can benefit from the JumpStart workshops, all geared toward getting the most out of the Carnegie Mellon experience.

For more information on any of the JumpStart programs, please contact Thomas Witholt via email ( or in the Student Development Office at (412) 268-9510.

January 14, 4:30PM
Faculty Panel: Getting the Most Out of Lecture Peter Room, UC This panel of faculty members from different colleges will help give pointers on how to get the most out of lectures, from note-taking tips, to getting to know how to work better with faculty and TAs.

January 14, 9:00PM
Reception: First Day Down Reception
Peter Room, UC
This reception is a time for students to come together over coffee and hot cocoa, to discuss their first day back from Winter break and their hopes for the semester to come. Interested faculty and advisors welcome!

January 15, 4:30PM
Workshop: Stress Management
Peter Room, UC
Join a representative from CAPS for this holistic approach to handling what has become an overwhelmingly common complaint of many students, stress.

January 15, 9:00PM
Info Session: It’s Not too Late to Get Involved McKenna Room, UC Do you know why Student Activities hosts an Activities Fair in the second week of classes in the spring semester as well? Because it’s never too late to get involved and this session will help you decide how to become more involved in student organizations and what to consider when becoming involved.

January 16, 4:30PM
Workshop: Living a Healthier Life
Peter Room, UC
Student Health Services presents a workshop perfect for those how had a rough semester as well as those with a healthy new year’s resolution. Our Nutritionist and Health Educator will help you think about health, particularly exercise, nutrition, sleep, and hygiene, in a new way so that you can lead a healthier lifestyle.

January 16, 9:00PM
Workshop: Time Management
Dowd Room, UC
Academic Development presents a workshop on time management. For all the times you have thought, There just isn’t enough time, you might have been wrong.

January 17, 4:30PM
Info Session: How to Find an Internship
Peter Room, UC
The experts from the Career Center will present a riveting session on how to tackle the wide world of starting a career, by starting with internships.

January 17, 9:00PM
Workshop: Setting Goals for Spring
McKenna Room, UC
After a week of opportunity to think about this new semester, we want to help you put it into perspective. Join us for a workshop on goal-setting that will help to motivate you as you dive into the semester ahead.

January 18, 4:30PM
Info Session: Undergraduate Research & Grants Peter Room, UC The experts at SURG have created an engaging and informative overview of the growing world of undergraduate research opportunities on campus and grants available to students locally, as well as internationally.

January 18, 9:00PM
Late Night: Winter Gala Remix
Throughout the UC
It’s more fun than you can shake a guitar at! Winter Gala, the biggest Late Night of the year, returns for its sixth year as a “Remix”, with fun activities and events throughout the University Center, all themed around music from around the globe and across the ages! The night of fun will end with a large raffle, with prizes for those who have won tickets through participating in the night’s activities.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Alumni Wishes

NLRB process likely to drag on

Hollywood Reporter: "The National Labor Relations Board is expected to address soon 10 charges of unfair labor practices filed by the guild against studio companies on Nov. 1. But the federal agency likely will reveal that it is tagging the case, involving studio efforts to thwart mandatory script registrations, for further review by NLRB general counsel Ron Meisburg."

Labor board lawyer weighing WGA complaints

Hollywood Reporter: "The NLRB will seek an opinion from its general counsel before deciding whether to issue any complaints in connection with 10 unfair labor practice charges filed by the WGA against the studios."

High anxiety for kudocasts

Hollywood Reporter: "Hollywood woke up Tuesday to one weird awards season.
The day after the WGA indicated it would not grant a writers waiver to the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, the effects began to ripple across town.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and Dick Clark Prods., which co-own the Globes, on Tuesday sought to prevent picketing at the show by trying to cut a signatory agreement similar to the one being discussed between the WGA and Worldwide Pants to bring back 'Late Show With David Letterman' and 'The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.'"

Producers' Trade Association Changes Its Name to The Broadway League Buzz: "According to a news release, the new name 'more aptly reflects the composition of the League's membership,' which is not limited to theater owners and producers, but includes Broadway presenters, general managers and other Broadway industry professionals."

U.S. House Approves Spending Measure to End Dispute With Bush Politics: "The legislation provides a 4 percent boost, or about $550 million, for Pell Grants, which help low-income families send their children to college. Bush proposed cutting the program by $200 million. The National Institutes of Health would see its budget increase by $329 million or about 1 percent to $29.2 billion. The Social Security Administration would get $450 million more to contend with a backlog of disability claims. The National Endowment for the Arts would get $145 million, a 16 percent boost from last year."

Hip tip: How to bring back lost Model and Layout tabs?

Daily Autocad: "We have explained how to recover our lost command line and toolbar before. Now, let us see how to recover lost ‘Model‘ and ‘Layout‘ tabs founded just below the drawing area."

Someone Didn't Get the Memo

Inside Higher Ed: "The federal panel that advises the U.S. education secretary on accreditation began its biennial meeting in Washington Tuesday, fighting perceptions that it has overstepped its bounds and hoping to ward off Congressional legislation that would reshape its membership and limit its authority."

Photo Coverage: Broadway Sings for Toys

( "The 3rd Annual Broadway Sings for Toys Benefit concert was held on December the 17 at the Lucille Lortel Theater at 8PM."

Guild ponders street protests at Golden Globes

Los Angeles Times: "Is Hollywood ready for black-tie picketing? How about A-list writers such as J.J. Abrams and Judd Apatow in Armani tuxedos standing near the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, where the limos enter the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the Golden Globe Awards?"

Actors' Equity awards three

Variety: "Legit union Actors' Equity has named Lauren Ambrose, Byron Jennings and Jay O. Sanders the recipients of its annual acting awards for thesping in classical stage productions."

Trumpery - Play - Darwin - Evolution

New York Times: "“If I finish the book, I’m a killer,” he said. “I murder God.”
At least that’s what Peter Parnell has Darwin say in his new play, “Trumpery,” which opened this month at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York."

Comic Book Club

New York Times: "At a recent performance of “Comic Book Club,” a weekly stage talk show at the People’s Improv Theater in Chelsea, an audience member declined to give his name. “I have family and friends,” he explained. “I’m a closeted geek.”"

Beckett Shorts

New York Times: "Mikhail Baryshnikov, who defied gravity as a ballet dancer, is gravity’s slave in “Beckett Shorts,” which opened on Tuesday night at the New York Theater Workshop. Mr. Baryshnikov enters falling in the opening segment of this 70-minute compilation of four brief plays by Samuel Beckett. And for the rest of the show you can feel good old physics tugging at feet that once took flight like no one else’s."

Urinetown 's Carrafa Has Full Plate With Boys and Slugbearers

Playbill News: "John Carrafa, who received 2002 Tony nominations for his choreography of Urinetown and the Into the Woods revival, has lined up two new projects for 2008."

One day PA needed in Pittsburgh 12/17

Craigslist: "Happy Holidays folks! If you are in town Thursday the 27th, we'd love to have you on set!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The strike battle's bubbling

Hollywood Reporter: "In Monday's episode of As the Strike Turns, soap opera stars joined WGA members on the picket lines.
Meanwhile, the producers main trade group railed against the economic impact of the writers strike action, which entered its seventh week."

Hollywood Writers Reject Award Shows

Backstage: "Two of Hollywood's most glamorous events are now caught up in the entertainment industry's ugliest labor dispute in two decades.
The Writers Guild of America, West, will not allow its members to write for the Golden Globes on Jan. 13 nor the Academy Awards on Feb. 24."

Will Chase, Ashley Brown Will Test Wings of 'Ace' Musical in NYC

Yahoo! News: "Ace premiered as part of the 2005 National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals in New York City. Since then, it has played in various incarnations at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (September 2006), the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (October 2006) and most recently at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre (January 2007), under different directors. Changes have been made to the script and score for this new reading."

Why student theatre matters

Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog: "I first ventured up to Scarborough as a sceptical sixth-former back in 1997. This is because for one week at Easter every year the northern seaside resort becomes one of the most important places on Britain's theatrical map, home to the National Student Drama Festival. Founded in 1956, the festival has provided a springboard for some of the most important and high-profile figures in the theatre. Yet a recent Arts Council funding decision has thrown its future in to doubt."

'Gypsy' with LuPone Opens at the St. James March 2008

( "Laurents writes: 'I will be directing a production of West Side Story for Broadway next year that will be radically different from any production ever done and contemporary to boot. How? Come see the show… Meantime, see Gypsy at the St. James beginning in March.'"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Registration Deadline Approaching for Technical Training Week

The registration deadline of Monday, January 7 is just three weeks away for The ESTA Foundation's second annual "Mid-Atlantic Technical Training Week" to be held January 21-26, 2008 at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Maryland, 12 miles from Washington, D.C.

This six-day professional training week includes courses for lighting programmers, technicians, and electricians, as well as for arena and stage riggers. Some of the courses carry re-certification credits for ETCP certified electricians and riggers.

Courses offered in the Rigging Track are Arena Rigging Math Fundamentals taught by G. Anthony Philips and the two day Stage Rigging Fundamentals with Jay O. Glerum. The Lighting/Electrical Track offers the three day Entertainment Electrician Training with Richard Cadena and two days of grandMA console training presented by A.C.T Lighting.

For more information or to register go to or contact The ESTA Foundation at or 212-244-1421.


Ballet theater dances lavish 'Nutcracker'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The enchantment of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's version of 'The Nutcracker' was nearly complete Saturday afternoon when the lavish 2002 production was performed for a large audience of adults and children at the Benedum Center, Downtown."

Striking writers in talks to launch Web start-ups

Los Angeles Times: "Dozens of striking film and TV writers are negotiating with venture capitalists to set up companies that would bypass the Hollywood studio system and reach consumers with video entertainment on the Web."

A year of trials peeks at industry's underside

Hollywood Reporter: "Entertainment lawsuits are usually a big tease. They start with a sexy complaint dressed up with titillating allegations. Then the lawyers throw on the equivalent of a full trench coat, quietly settling or taking the case to private arbitration away from the public's excited eyes.
But 2007 will be remembered as the year several high-profile entertainment disputes went all the way -- to trial. In the process, they provided rare open-air peeks at some of the industry's most private parts."

Fissures in labor front?

Hollywood Repporter: "The WGA has played the lead role in Hollywood's labor drama of the past six months, but now the camera is pulling back to show other key players and even a couple of distinct labor camps.
The DGA said Thursday that it would begin meeting with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers about the directors' next contract soon after Jan. 1 unless the WGA re-engages with the studio group before then. On Friday, AFTRA followed the earlier lead of IATSE and publicly applauded the DGA announcement."

AFTRA Races Rerun in SAG Tiff

Backstage: "In yet another fracas arising from its disputes with SAG, AFTRA announced Sunday that its has been ordered by the U.S. Labor Department to rerun races for 13 of its national board seats."

Strike Ends Most Scripted TV Work

Backstage: "Production on all but two of the last few scripted prime-time television shows shooting in Los Angeles ground to a halt on Friday as a crippling strike by Hollywood writers neared the end of its sixth week, an industry group said."

New artistic leader hopes to take KC Rep in daring new directions "Eric Rosen sat in the cramped, artfully cluttered office of the theater company he co-founded 13 years ago and considered his next career chapter: becoming Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s fourth artistic director in 43 years.
“It was with much trepidation that I took this job,” Rosen said through a half-smile. “I think I tried to talk them out of it four or five times.”"

Non-profit, commercial divisions melt "In theatrical lore, the commercial producer and the non-profit theater company are worlds apart. The former is synonymous with mercurial, cigar-chewing entrepreneurship; the latter is fulfilling a sacred social mission to serve and protect the arts.
But recent events suggest that, at least where plays rather than musicals are concerned, the line between these two halves of the American theater business have collapsed to the point where the distinction is no longer as meaningful. Prodded by fiscal necessity, non-profit theaters have become ever more entrepreneurial and star-conscious; producers are taking more risks to support serious, weighty and frequently new drama."

Now that Missouri has tripled tax breaks for filmmakers, the plans are pouring in "It didn’t take long for word to get out that Missouri has nearly tripled its budget for film production tax credits.
State Film Commission staffers have nearly two dozen applications from producers eager to film in Missouri and grab some of the $4.5 million available for 2008."

Working for reality TV? Sorry

Los Angeles Times: "PREDICTIONS often come back to haunt the predictor, but this column will go out on a limb anyway: Chances are slim to none that the Writers Guild of America will make good on its vow to organize large numbers of reality-show workers as a result of its current strike."

Stage Directors up Karen Azenberg

Variety: "The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, the legit helmers' union, has juggled its leadership, with Karen Azenberg stepping up from exec VP to prexy of the org."

Give a gift that shares your interests

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Rather than succumb to the gift card or Chia Pet route of gift giving, why not give the gift of theater to friends and family?
It's a gift that can be tailored to a variety of prices, ages and interests."

Hoffman, Saget and Testa Host Gypsy of the Year Competition

Playbill News: "The 19th Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition, celebrating the Broadway gypsy, will be presented Dec. 17 (at 4:30 PM) and 18 (at 2 PM) at the New Amsterdam Theatre. This year's production pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of the original Broadway mounting of West Side Story."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Writers propose independent negotiations

Yahoo! News: "Faced with the indefinite suspension of negotiations, the union representing striking Hollywood writers told its members Saturday it would try to deal directly with Hollywood studios and production companies, bypassing the umbrella organization that has been representing them."

Onstage and Off, a Group Inspired by Rivalries, Loves and Triumphs

New York Times: "“I get asked the same question over and over, which is to talk about the Steppenwolf aesthetic,” said Anna D. Shapiro, director of the Steppenwolf Theater Company’s production of “August: Osage County,” now playing at the Imperial Theater on Broadway."

Crew needed

Craigslist: "Need a crew to help film a short to be entered into upcoming film festivals."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

'Mistress' breaks the cycle of no new musicals

Daily Herald: "Step into any conversation with a producer or theater owner about American music theater and eventually the topic gets around to the ongoing and catastrophic shortage of new work. They just aren't producing enough new musicals, on Broadway and off, they will tell you. And there aren't enough new musicals in the pipeline."

Fairground Rides Thrill With Hydraulics

Entertainment Engineering - Volume 4 Issue 12:

"“El Volador” is currently thrilling visitors at the Bellewaerde Theme Park in Belgium and other places around the globe. This latest ride consists of a narrow tower with a horizontally spinning gondola, which holds up to 40 passengers and twists around the tower right up to the top at around 20m high."

3D Color Printing Video

Entertainment Engineering - Volume 4 Issue 12: "With time to market an important aspect of every new product design, 3D printing has become a necessary part of many engineering departments. Now there is a video to show you how easy it is to create a 3D printout of your solid model."

Stagecraft Employees Leader Criticizes Writers Guild of America

Multichannel News: "Now, the talks between the writers and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have broken down, in part because of a WGA proposal that the AMPTP assign jurisdiction over reality TV and animation writers to WGA. Some of those writers have chosen to join a union already: IATSE. Members of IATSE Local 839, for instance, have been members of that trade union for 50 years, according to Short.

“Even if the AMPTP wanted to give the WGA jurisdiction (over) animation writers they couldn’t. It’s not theirs to give,” he said."

The Writers Guild Is Losing Ground

BusinessWeek: "The WGA may have erred in demanding that reality show writers join its ranks, overshadowing the real issue of money for digital media"

Writers' Strike: The Directors' Cut?

TIME: "There's a new auteur theory making the rounds in Hollywood. This one sees directors as having the best shot at ending the 38-day long writers' strike that has paralyzed the entertainment industry, interrupting production on TV shows like 24 and Grey's Anatomy and movies like Da Vinci Code prequel Angels & Demons and the Johnny Depp drama Shantaram."

StubHub Reveals Hottest Broadway Tickets for Holidays

Financial News - Yahoo! Finance: "In search of the perfect holiday gift, many fans have decided on theater tickets this season visiting for the greatest selection on Broadway. Though ticket sales took a natural dip during the recent stagehand strike, recent holiday transactions have rebounded, and daily sales have nearly doubled since the strike ceased late November."

Two wireless LANs better than one, Carnegie Mellon says

PC World: "Carnegie Mellon University has launched a massive upgrade of its campus-wide wireless LAN and chosen two WLAN vendors to supply the 802.11n infrastructure for it.
The decision runs counter to almost every large-scale wireless deployment, where a company in effect standardizes on one vendor. CMU IT staff are well aware that the choice of Aruba Networks for the academic buildings and common areas, and Xirrus for the outlying ring of dormitories, poses a unique set of challenges."

The Hemsley Lighting Programs Call for 2008 Internship Applications

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Applications for the 25th annual Internship Program with the New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, and the Lincoln Center Festival will be accepted from January 1, 2008 through February 15, 2008."

Digidesign Announces Over 10,000 Downloads for Pro Tools 7.4

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Digidesign Pro Tools is used worldwide for digital sound recording, editing, mixing, and MIDI sequencing, and is deployed extensively throughout the music, film, multimedia, television, and radio broadcast industries."

Winners Announced at ESTA Foundation LDI Activities

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Behind the Scenes, the charitable initiative of The ESTA Foundation, has sent its congratulations to the winners of the 2007 LDI Raffle and the 2007 LDI Texas Hold 'Em Tournament."

Osram Research Team Wins German Future Prize for LED Lighting Technology

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "For outstanding research work on innovative lighting technologies, Dr. Klaus Streubel and Dr. Stefan Illek from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, together with Dr. Andreas Bräuer from the Fraunhofer Institute for Optics and Precision Engineering, were awarded this year's prize for technology and innovation from the President of Germany. The German Future Prize for 2007 was awarded specifically for thin-film chip technology and its application in the OSTAR family of LEDs."

Dallasite stages an accord

Dallas Morning News: "Sixteen months into Charlotte St. Martin's new gig as executive director of the League of American Theatres and Producers Inc., the Dallas native found herself center stage in the stagehands strike that darkened most of Broadway over Thanksgiving."

Buying property for college-bound child can make sense

Post Gazette: "A checklist for parents of new college students: Don't forget to: a) pay the tuition; b) have the safe-sex talk; c) have the drinking-and-driving talk; and d) buy your student a house or condo.
Pardon the whiplash on that last one, but the fact is, many parents are investing in real estate close to campus for their college-bound offspring. Oftentimes, it's preferable to shelling out dormitory fees or apartment rent."

Jonathan Handel: WGA Strike: What Are the Deal Points?

Entertainment on The Huffington Post: "Negotiations have broken off for the time being at least, but it's still important to understand what's at issue. There are now several recent proposals that have been publicly disclosed, as I had hoped would be the case (see WGA Strike - Confusion Reigns). What deal points are on the table and how far apart are the parties? I've written a very detailed memo, which includes references to supporting documents. A caveat - the studios have not described their proposal in detail, whereas the Guild has described both parties' proposals in detail; so, the description of the studios' proposal is based on the Guild's description."

Next plot point tough to figure

Hollywood Reporter: "Where from here?
That was the rueful question posed around Hollywood on Monday, three days after the dramatic breakdown in contract talks between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers."

IATSE backs Hillary Clinton

Variety: "“Hillary Clinton’s ability to create real change for America’s working families is exactly what this country needs,” said IATSE president Thomas C. Short. “She has the strength and experience to provide quality, affordable health care for every American and rebuild our middle class.”"

Long Reach Long Riders Ride Again In 2008

Live Design: "The Long Reach Long Riders announce the route and dates of their fifth annual charity motorcycle ride. The 2008 ride will begin on May 11 in Las Vegas and continue through Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Moab, Mesa Verde, Kayenta, and the north rim of the Grand Canyon before returning to Las Vegas on May 18."

Behind The Scenes Holiday Appeal To Meet The ETC $50,000 Challenge

Live Design: "This past October, The ESTA Foundation announced that Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) issued a $50,000 Challenge Grant to benefit Behind the Scenes. During the three days at LDI in November, many of our colleagues answered the challenge by buying raffle tickets and holiday cards or playing poker, which helped raise close to $40,000, just $10,000 shy of ETC’s generous challenge.

If, as an industry, we can come together in three days and answer with $40,000 dollars, then surely by New Year’s Eve we can raise the remaining $10,000. During this season of hope, we know that our industry will not leave our colleagues in the dark."

Stagehand Strike Ends; Broadway Back in Business

NPR: "Once the stagehands union strike was settled Wednesday night, the frazzled but happy casts and crews of the 27 shuttered Broadway shows went into high gear to reopen Thursday."

Production workers urge end to strike

Los Angeles Times:

"Hair and makeup artists, set decorators, grips, prop specialists and hundreds of others who work in television and film production marched through the heart of Hollywood on Sunday morning urging an end to the 5-week-old writers strike."

Union: No picket of Obama - Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007

Union Leader: "After a week of negotiations, MacKenzie said last night, an agreement was reached that will avert a picket line at the event by members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 195."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Writers guild files labor complaint against studios "Union officials representing striking Hollywood writers said Thursday they filed an unfair labor practices complaint claiming studios violated federal law by breaking off negotiations."

DGA: Let's Talk After Jan. 1

Backstage: "The Hollywood spotlight soon could shift from striking writers to film and TV directors, with the DGA taking a major step Thursday toward announcing a start date for early contract talks with studio reps."

Strike by Writers Throws a Shadow on Hollywood's Exciting Season

VOA News: "More than ten thousand film and television writers in the United States have been on strike since November fifth. Work has stopped on many TV shows and movies. The international market for American entertainment means that Americans are not the only ones watching and waiting for a settlement."

Children should be seen and not heard at the theatre

Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog: "Fry believes that Spacey's rowdy renaissance has implications for the future of theatre itself. Observing that panto forms the first theatregoing experience for many children, Fry has suggested that its cheers-and-hisses communal participation has particular potential to engender a lifelong passion for the stage in today's kids. In an isolated online world, Fry says that he has 'yet to find any gizmo from the digital age that can match pantomime for genuine interactivity'."

Uganda: Why Our Theatre is Struggling "Most people in theatre these days attach little importance to what they do, what they mind about most is popularity. Because of this people have lost trust in theatre
If you have been to the theatre in the recent past, you must have realised the mess in Uganda's oldest form of entertainment. As soon as you enter some of our theatres today you are met by the empty staring seats, old curtains and flood lights (instead of stage lights)."

Natascia Diaz Will Weave Spider Woman 's Musical Web in DC

Playbill News: "Diaz is the daughter of opera bass Justino Diaz and ballerina Anna Aragno. She trained at the School of American Ballet and went on to receive her BFA, graduating with honors, from Carnegie Mellon University."

British transfers to Manhattan

Variety: "At the first whiff of good reviews for a new show, the word 'transfer' suddenly appears on everyone's lips. But a production's chances of moving are sometimes stymied by unlikely circumstances. Consider the case of 'The Homecoming.'"

Broadway raises the curtain online

Variety: "In the next few weeks, several theater websites will emerge to capitalize on trends in online marketing and community building. No one can predict which projects will succeed, of course, but their rapid multiplication indicates a more aggressive move to target young audiences -- something to which the film and music sectors have long been hip."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Year-end Theater Quiz

Year-end Theater Quiz: "I just discovered that David Boevers, who teaches production technology and management at CMU, has had a 10-question theater quiz each week all fall on his Web site, covering theater (and other performance arts) at CMU and in Pittsburgh and beyond. He's now re-running all 140 questions: go to and scroll way down to Dec. 5."

Click HERE to get to the quiz!!!

Angry Stagehands Stymie Paris `Tannhauser': Jorg von Uthmann Muse: "The latest premiere was undermined by a strike led by some radical members of a stagehands union, which, in the words of the opera's general manager Gerard Mortier, ``seems more interested in destabilization than in negotiation.''"

DGA taking wait-and-see approach

Hollywood Reporter: "In a letter to members and an accompanying press release, DGA president Michael Apted and negotiations chair Gil Cates said they will wait until Jan. 1 to see if the WGA re-engages in its own negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. But barring such a scenario -- which almost no one believes will happen, unless the WGA reverses itself on some key demands -- the DGA will launch talks with the AMPTP on a new pact to replace one set to expire June 30."

Stage Review: 'Nativity' a fresh take on a favorite

Post Gazette: "The Shona Sharif African Dance and Drum Ensemble returns with what used to be 'Black Nativity' by Langston Hughes. Program notes by director Oronde Sharif explain that, in 14 years, performances have grown and enough changes have been introduced to keep the production fresh to warrant re-naming it 'Nativity: A Christmas Gift.'"

Stage Review: 'Uptown' Christmas Carol a lot of fun

Post Gazette: "Back again after a run of several years and a year off, 'Christmas Is Comin' Uptown' can't yet claim to be a tradition along the lines of CLO's 'Christmas Carol' or Pitt's 'Nativity,' but it's already that much fun."

Stage Review: Pittsburgh CLO charms with musical 'Carol'

Post Gazette: "Turns out 'A Christmas Carol,' after 164 years and innumerable adaptations, can still be funny and touching, especially set to music."

Directors Plan Talks as Writers’ Strike Drags On

New York Times: "In a move that could realign Hollywood’s troubled labor front, movie and television directors said Thursday that they were prepared to begin bargaining toward a new master contract with production companies after the New Year’s Day holiday."

Latrobe troupe delivers traditional 'Christmas Carol'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Everyone has their favorite version of 'Scrooge,' the retelling of the Charles Dickens tale about the values of repentance and generosity."

'Nuncrackers' finds the funny side of Christmas

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For those who could use some comic relief as the countdown to Christmas continues, Flatwoods Productions offers a musical comedy, 'Nuncrackers,' for three performances this weekend."

Phantom Tour Hits 15th Anniversary Dec. 13 in Chicago

Playbill News: "The national tour of the Cameron Mackintosh/Really Useful Theatre Company, Inc. production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince, celebrates its 15th anniversary on Dec. 13 during its fifth engagement in Chicago."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Kushner Shines as Playwright, Provocateur, Gadfly in TV Profile Muse: "Tony Kushner today bears little physical resemblance to the lumbering, soft-spoken hulk whose ``Angels in America'' in 1993 wove such diverse themes as Mormonism, AIDS, redemption, gay love, national politics and Roy Cohn's relationship with Ethel Rosenberg into a uniquely American dramatic tapestry."

Studios Count Cost of Writers Strike

Backstage: "Hollywood studios have suggested all along that striking writers will be sadly surprised when they discover the high cost of their six-week-old strike. Now they're actually helping them calculate that cost."

Stage Review: Austen's 'Pride' endures

Post Gazette: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a popular story in one mode had better be adapted into others as well. Thus, novels are regularly adapted into movies or plays, and movies or plays into each other, the journey usually proceeding from page to performance, rarely backward."

Blakstage objects to director's proposal

The Australian: "A PLAN to set up a national indigenous theatre company has met opposition from a group of existing companies who say such an initiative would be exploitative and likely to 'desecrate indigenous protocol and respect'."

The Arts Column: the dark secrets of a ballet for all time

Telegraph: "Never mind how the economy is faring: it looks like yet another record-breaking Christmas for The Nutcracker. Big productions are on offer at Covent Garden, the Coliseum and Sadler's Wells in London, in Leeds and in Birmingham, and round the country courtesy of touring Russians."

PICT produces witty Austen adaptation

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "When they're not re-reading and dissecting Austen's original novel, they're likely to be watching one of its nine filmed versions or devouring spinoff novels and movies based on her life and work, such as 'Becoming Jane,' 'Me and Mr. Darcy' and 'The Jane Austen Book Club.'"

Guadalupe Spreads Her Theatrical Wings

New York Times: "Andrea García Soto, who sings in the choir, was recently found to have breast cancer, so she prayed for her own health. Guillermo García, a dancer, has a terminally ill sister, so he danced to stop her suffering. His wife, Nellie García, another singer in the choir, was simply thankful for past blessings, so she sang to show devotion."

Leap of Faith Slated for Spring Workshop; Ashford, Kosarin Join Creative Team

Playbill News: "The workshop, which will be directed by Taylor Hackford ('Ray'), is scheduled for April 7-May 9, 2008, according to a casting notice. Rob Ashford (Curtains, Thoroughly Modern Millie) has signed on as choreographer. Music direction will be by arranger Michael Kosarin (The Little Mermaid)."

The Met's biggest show "'War and Peace' boasts the largest cast in the history of the Metropolitan Opera. Hopefully, this time, no one will fall of stage, as one of Napoleon's soldiers did when the opera debuted five years ago."

Broadway stagehands vote to approve new contract

Reuters: "Broadway stagehands, whose strike shut down most of Broadway for more than two weeks over the critical Thanksgiving holiday, approved a new contract with theater owners and producers on Sunday, formally ending the dispute that cost millions of dollars in lost revenue."

Terrence Howard hits Broadway in all-black Cat

Reuters: "Terrence Howard will make his stage debut in Debbie Allen's Broadway revival of 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,' the first production led by an all-black cast to be authorized by playwright Tennessee Williams' estate."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Semester Review Schedule

André Rieu to Launch his World Tour in Toronto With the Largest Set Ever

PR Newswire: "On December 14 and 15, André Rieu will launch his World Stadium Concert Tour, 'A Romantic Vienna Night', in Toronto. For this tour, André Rieu has had a full-scale copy of Schönbrunn - the Viennese castle - built. The set will be the largest one ever built for a tour show: 125 meters wide, 30 meters deep and 35 meters high."

On Thrill Rides, Safety Is Optional "The CPSC has no employee whose full-time job is to ensure the safety of such rides. The agency's 90 field investigators -- who oversee 15,000 products, work from their homes and live mostly on the East Coast -- are so overstretched that they frequently arrive at carnival accident scenes after rides have been dismantled."


New York Times: "Yet several recent studies stand as a warning against taking the platitudes of achievement too seriously. The new research focuses on a familiar type, perfectionists, who panic or blow a fuse when things don’t turn out just so. The findings not only confirm that such purists are often at risk for mental distress — as Freud, Alfred Adler and countless exasperated parents have long predicted — but also suggest that perfectionism is a valuable lens through which to understand a variety of seemingly unrelated mental difficulties, from depression to compulsive behavior to addiction."

CMU showcases virtual worlds

Post Gazette: "It's hard to know which was the greatest crowd-pleaser at last night's annual virtual reality showcase at Carnegie Mellon University."

The hills are alive with the sounds of Skywalker

CNET "This is the kind of work that goes on every day at Skywalker Sound, the main tenant of Skywalker Ranch, a sprawling estate hidden in the rolling hills of Marin County north of San Francisco. And while the recent completion of most of the films with December theatrical releases means it's slow season here, Skywalker Sound is also gearing up for Oscar campaign season, when the company makes its push to get Academy Award nominations for best sound and best sound effects editing for some of the films it worked on during the year."

Meditation Techniques for the Busy or Impatient

Dumb Little Man: "If you are reading this then you probably recognize some value in meditation, in slowing down, and reducing stress. At the same time you probably struggle with fitting meditation into your daily routine. The good news is that establishing a daily meditation practice is easier than you may have thought."

Focus on Actions to Get More Done in Less Time

FreelanceSwitch - The Freelance Blog: "Have you ever spent an hour in your email program and still had a full inbox? Have you ever sat in a meeting and left without knowing exactly what was accomplished? I think most of us can answer in the affirmative. Much of our time is often spent in ways that can be charitably categorized as “unproductive”. However, one simple change can turn unproductive time into very productive time: put all your focus on actions."

Podcast: CAD gets fashionable

CNET "When you think of computer-aided design (CAD), fashion probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. CNET reporter Candace Lombardi tells's Kara Tsuboi why you should think again."

Project Management: Free Project Manager Project2Manage

LifeHacker: "Just-launched webapp Project2Manage tracks multiple projects, to-do's, milestones, clients and companies for free online."

Spray-on stone. Seriously.

The Hardware Aisle: "I thought plastered wallpaper was a really unique, easy way to apply a faux finish to walls, but then Home Improvement Ideas turned me on to an even niftier alternative: Spray Stone."

Video: Skywalker Sound secrets

CNET "What makes a good movie? The story? The acting? What about the sound? It may be a cinematic element that goes in one ear and out the other, but when you really stop to listen, you may be surprised what an impact sound design has on a movie. CNET reporter Kara Tsuboi spent a day at Skywalker Sound, putting her ear to the ground to learn some sound secrets."

Time Management: Time Management for Creative People

Lifehacker: "Stop procrastinating and improve your time management skills with free ebook Time Management for Creative People. Blogger and author Mark McGuinness rolled a series of time management articles into a short (32 page) ebook. Even if you don't consider yourself a creative person, the ebook is chocked full of useful tips."

The Week in Tools: Toolmonger Top 5

Toolmonger: "Last week was a busy week here at Toolmonger — which is why we’re putting out the top five on Monday instead of Friday, doh! If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select"

11 Tips for Nuking Laziness Without Becoming a Workaholic "Rest is important for productivity. Trying to work straight without recovering your energies leads to a wandering attention, procrastination and, in extreme cases, death. But when does “recovering your energies” just become an excuse to waste time? How do you draw the line between constructive rest and laziness?"

Coolest IPhone App Ever: ProRemote Pro Tools Controller May Be Coolest iPhone App Ever (UPDATED)

Gizmodo: "Here's a killer application that fully realizes the possibilities of touch surfaces as specialized control interfaces: ProRemote converts the iPhone or the iPod touch in a wireless control for Pro Tools LE with realtime feedback. While this may seem limited to the audio world, it shows that having this kind of power in such a tiny package could solve the problems of many users."

Boost your Brainstorm Effectiveness with the Why Habit

Litemind: "If you’re stuck trying to find ways to achieve a goal or solve a problem, there’s a quick analysis tool that can put you back in perspective and save you hours of frustrated brainstorming. It’s as effective as it’s simple: all it takes is asking ‘why’…"

The Importance Of The Social Experience At Movies

Techdirt: "For years, as the MPAA complained about the so-called 'threat' of the internet, we've tried to point out that the movie business shouldn't have much to worry about, if they stopped thinking that movies were all about the content. The truth is that movies have always been about the social experience of 'going out' to the movies and having a good time."

Disney World's giant gingerbread house construction time-lapse vid

Boing Boing:

"John sez, 'Every year at the holidays, Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort builds a 16-foot real gingerbread house in the lobby."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Broadway Stagehands Ratify Five-Year Labor Agreement (Update1) Muse: "Broadway stagehands in New York City ratified a new contract today, following a 19-day strike that cost shuttered shows tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue."

WGA, AMPTP stalemate may blow out pilots

Hollywood Reporter: "The TV pilot season has been thrown into real jeopardy by a major breakdown in contract talks between the WGA and studio reps. The WGA strike enters its sixth week Monday, and if it lasts another four to six weeks, it could spell the end for 2008 pilot production and imperil the next TV upfronts. Strike disruptions already have TV networks planning major changes to their programming grids for the balance of the current broadcast season."

Idled Workers Urge More WGA Talks

Backstage: "The Hollywood strike is rewriting the holidays for idled workers. With her income pinched, script supervisor Petra Jorgensen canceled an annual trip to Europe to see relatives. Set decorator Laura Richarz is bypassing pricey malls and fashioning gifts at home -- framing photos, sewing a shirt for her niece."

Broadway stagehands approve new contract

Post Gazette: "Broadway stagehands yesterday approved a new contract with producers, nearly two weeks after the end of a strike that shut down more than two dozen Broadway shows."

Christ Spectacle: $1.3M Christmas Show

ABC News: "A Florida megachurch has garnered national attention with its annual Christmas pageant. The First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale's production is filled with extensive pyrotechnics, live stock and a bevy of actors."

New director aims to put American Theater Co. on the Chicago map "In a town already saturated with theater dreams and Broadway wishes, this is no easy task, but ATC appears to be ambitious and committed enough to make it happen. It is a theater company on the verge of something very big, if Paparelli can pull it off."


SF Gate: "Now, I know what you're going to say - those last few sentences seem a little dated. As indeed they should, since they were written by Molly Ivins in August 2006. The entire passage right up to the beginning of this paragraph was written by the late, great Molly. My using it without quotation marks might make some readers think that I had written it myself. That might even be plagiarism. Oh, but no! I am merely following the example of 'artist' Richard Prince, who, since the late '70s, has been trucking in what he calls 'appropriation art,' which roughly translated means 'I didn't do it, but I saw it, and that must count for something.'"

After Talks Fail, Writers' Strike Could Drag On "The collapse of talks between striking screenwriters and the nation's film and television producers sets the stage for a long, cold winter in Hollywood that could effectively shut down much of the entertainment industry and usher in sweeping changes in the TV business."

A subscription plan for Broadway

Variety: "Broadway producers have worked out a subscription offer for three of this season's plays, hawking one ticket to each of three shows -- 'August: Osage County,' 'The Homecoming' and 'November' -- for a total of $199."

Stagehands Vote to Ratify New Contract

New York Times: "Members of the stagehands’ union voted yesterday to ratify the agreement reached on Nov. 28 between union officials and the League of American Theaters and Producers. That agreement brought an end to a strike by the stagehands that left most of Broadway dark for 19 days. With the ratification vote, the terms of the new agreement will go into effect today."

Hwang's Yellow Face Officially Opens at the Public Theater Dec. 10

Playbill News: "A co-production with Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group, where this backstage comedy premiered in May, the Public Theater mounting began performances Nov. 19 and will continue its engagement through Dec. 23."

Harmony: Stagehands Approve New Contract With Broadway Producers

Playbill News: "Local One, the Broadway stagehands union, overwhelmingly ratified its new contract with Broadway producers on Dec. 9, according to the news channel NY1."

Broadway stagehands vote to approve new contract

Reuters: "Broadway stagehands, whose strike shut down most of Broadway for more than two weeks over the critical Thanksgiving holiday, approved a new contract with theater owners and producers on Sunday, formally ending the dispute that cost millions of dollars in lost revenue."

Broadway slow to embrace product placement

Reuters: "Now that the stagehands strike is over, the neon lights are back on Broadway, and so are the advertisers who sponsor many of its shows and the handful of brands featured in the productions."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Hollywood Talks Break Down "After eight days at the bargaining table, negotiations between Hollywood's striking writers and the studios and networks that employ them have broken down again."

Aaron Sorkin's new play about the glories of television.

Slate Magazine: "The Farnsworth Invention, Aaron Sorkin's new Broadway play about the genesis of television, is propulsive, pedantic, occasionally gimmicky (and always unashamed when it is), very clever (though a crucial 5 percent less clever than it thinks it is), hokily grandiose, and blaringly self-aware. The drama, with its bits of verbal brilliance and its throbbing narcissistic flaws, is of a piece with Sports Night and The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the series that have made Sorkin a household name in certain demographically desirable households."

Is He Dead?

New York Times: "SHELLEY FISHER FISHKIN opened a file drawer at the University of California’s Bancroft Library in Berkeley, where the largest collection of Mark Twain’s papers is archived. She was researching a project on racial themes in his work, and was not thrilled to find the drawer crammed with Twain plays she had not yet read and didn’t care to."

Local One Votes on New Contract Dec. 9

Playbill News: "A spokesperson for the union confirmed to that the union's members will decide whether to approve its new contract with the League of American Theatres and Producers Dec. 9."

Legendary in Britain, obscure in U.S.

Variety: "The disparity is unique: No other British playwright is so feted at home and so unrecognized in the U.S. Alan Ayckbourn at one point had five comedies running concurrently in the West End, has written a further 66 plays (plus more than 20 revues and children's plays) and is enough of a theatrical household name in the U.K. to have been knighted by the queen in 1997. So how come the 68-year-old playwright's American profile is so low?"

Cabaret thrives during Christmas

Variety: "Nothing says Christmas like suicide, drag queens and nudity. Well, at least in New York, where adults-only holiday entertainment has become a thriving subgenre."

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Elizabeth "Bes" Kimberly's annual Holiday Cocktail Party

Dear School of Drama Students, Faculty, and Staff!

The Board of the New York Drama Alumni Clan invites you to join them in celebrating the holiday season and the 50th anniversary of Elizabeth "Bes" Kimberly's annual Holiday Cocktail Party. For 50 years, East Coast based alumni have been gathering at the famed Sardi's restaurant in the heart of Times Square to reminisce with old friends, make new friends, and welcome recent alumni. We're looking forward to this year's monumental celebration and kicking off another 50 years of successful holiday parties.

Wednesday December 12, 2007

6:00pm - 8:00pm

Sardi's Restaurant - Eugenia Room

234 West 44th Street

Special Student Price - $10

Light hors d'oeuvres and cash bar

We look forward to seeing you there!

CMU Dorms, Buildings Affected By Water Main Break

WTAE Pittsburgh: "A water main break at Carnegie Mellon University in Oakland caused some problems Friday afternoon. Water began pouring from the ground out onto Forbes Avenue, causing one student to try his hand at boat-making."

Marc Ambinder (December 07, 2007) - For Obama Campaign, a Hobson's Choice

TheAtlantic: "Barack Obama's New Hampshire campaign finds itself in a Democratic dilly of a pickle. Overwhelming demand by Democrats wanting to see Oprah Winfrey campaign for Obama on Sunday convinced them to seek a larger venue in Manchester. The Verizon Arena on Elm Street was available. 1,000 can fit in the floor alone. Unfortunately, the arena is in the middle of a labor dispute with the nation stagehands' union, IATSE."

ESTA Announces Winners of 2007 Dealers' Choice Product Awards

Lighting&Sound America Online: "ESTA announces the winners of the 2007 Dealers' Choice Product Awards, which recognize outstanding entertainment technology products in three categories: expendable, widget and equipment. The winners for 2007 are:"

Chicago Scenic Contributes to Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Lighting&Sound America Online: "New York theatregoers who make the Radio City Christmas Spectacular show part of their annual holiday celebration probably do not realize that a Chicago company has a key role in delivering that authentic New York experience. Many of the scenic elements on stage this year were created by Chicago Scenic Studios, a local design and fabrication company with its home base on Goose Island."

IATSE Stage Employees Local 720 in Las Vegas Endorses Hillary Clinton

All American Patriots: "Hillary Clinton today received the endorsement of the IATSE Stage Employees Local 720 in Las Vegas. Chartered in 1939, IATSE Local 720 includes approximately 4,500 members and affiliated workers involved with the convention and trade show industry, theatrical productions and live entertainment events in southern Nevada."

Toledo lawyer likes his multiple ballet roles "For as he directs props across the Christmas-themed stage amid the soldiers and royal mice, Mr. Koenig does so as the president of the Toledo Ballet Association, the board that is responsible for the year-round promotion of dance in this area."

Work Starts To Reaffirm Glycol & Glycerin Fog Standard

LiveDesign: "Group voted to start the process of reaffirming ANSI E1.5 - 2003, Entertainment Technology—Theatrical Fog Made with Aqueous Solutions of Di-and Trihydric Alcohols. The standard describes the composition of theatrical fogs or artificial mists that are not likely to be harmful to healthy performers, technicians, or audience members of normal working age, which is 18 to 64 years of age, inclusive. It is limited to those fogs and mists made from a solution of water and one or more dihydric or trihydric alcohols (i.e., glycol or glycerin) and is intended to be applied in theatres, arenas, and other places of entertainment or public assembly."