CMU School of Drama

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Winter New Plays Festival


by Rob Smith

Directed by Max Montel

January 31, February 1, 7, 9 at 8 pm

February 2 at 2 pm, February 8 at 4 pm

Past Perfect, Future Tense

By John-Paul Nickel

Directed by Allegra Libonati

January 30, February 2, 6, 8 at 8 pm

February 1 at 4 pm, February 9 at 2 pm

The shows are performed in the Wells Studio.

Tickets will be available at the door one hour before curtain

Historic status for Wilson's boyhood home hits political snag

Post Gazette: "Pittsburgh City Council will consider historic designation for the boyhood home of the late playwright August Wilson despite a timing problem that could complicate the effort, members said yesterday."

Hall of Fame: theater veterans get a night in limelight

Post Gazette: "'I'm sure we're all astonished to be here' said director Jack O'Brien, speaking Monday night for what he called 'my graduating class,' the inductees into the Theater Hall of Fame. Contemplating their eight names in gold letters, added to more than 400 on the rotunda walls at the Gershwin Theatre, he said what has mattered most is 'the society, the friendships. The accomplishments speak for themselves.'"

Heritage Players take on 'Jabberwock' and 'Copacabana'

Post Gazette: "While many suburban theaters are dark this time of the year, the Heritage Players, who perform at Bethel Park Community Center, are keeping the lights on with two spring shows: 'Jabberwock,' which starts Feb. 15, and the Barry Manilow musical 'Copacabana' in May."

Stage Review: Actors add eerie musical touch to 'Sweeney Todd'

Post Gazette: "Bloody revenge, grotesque comedy and the verbal pyrotechnics and soaring melodies of Our Father Who Art Stephen Sondheim -- 'Sweeney Todd' is a cornucopia of musical theater delights, just as long as you don't mind the macabre."

Stage Preview: Point Park takes chance on short-lived Broadway musical

Post Gazette: "'Thou shalt not' -- in this case, the primary sin is murder. But there are other commandments infringed in this musical adaptation of Zola's grim novel, 'Therese Raquin,' especially the ones about adultery and coveting thy neighbor's wife."

Dancers attack challenge of commissioned music

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Peter Kope says taking risks is the exciting part of Attack Theatre's work, and he has enjoyed plenty of it recently."

Valley Players present wedding farce

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "A bride's wedding day can be stressful enough, but add to it a bewildered father, and the day becomes pure chaos.
'There Goes the Bride,' being staged by the Valley Players of Ligonier beginning Friday, is a British farce written in 1974 by Ray Cooney and John Chapman."

'Stomp' bangs in to the Palace

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "You'll never look at your kitchen sink the same way again.
Not after seeing 'Stomp,' a high-energy percussive show that is performed with the use of household items, such as garbage-can lids, brooms, toilet plungers, plastic bags, and yes, even the kitchen sink."

This isn't your father's 'Sweeney Todd'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Stephen Sondheim's 'Sweeney Todd' is back in town this week in a national touring production that replaces spectacle with satisfying theatricality."

Amadeus lives

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Like many costume designers, Susan Tsu loves doing research for a show.
'I do a good bit in hopes of coming to a deeper understanding of the text and characters,' says Tsu, who is creating the costumes for the Pittsburgh Public Theater's production of 'Amadeus' that is in previews for an opening Friday at the O'Reilly Theater, Downtown."

Student writer/producer/director needs help

Craigslist: "Looking for people to help out with a student short to be filmed in March."

Company for Troubled Youth Earns White House Honor

Backstage: "The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that provides theatre workshops for incarcerated and foster youth, accepted the 2007 Coming Up Taller Award from First Lady Laura Bush at the White House Jan. 28."

Talks, Progress Raise Hopes for Deal

Backstage: "While negotiators edge toward agreement on the thorniest issues in the 3-month-old writers strike, many in Hollywood are nurturing new hope that an end is near for the walkout that has brought their industry to a standstill."

Hollywood Writers Accept Overture

Backstage: "Startup studio Overture Films has signed an interim agreement with the Writers Guild of America to allow striking writers to work for the company."

'R-word' spells trouble for biz

Hollywood Reporter: "A looming recession, the writers strike and how they will affect sector players this year are questions that investors are keying in on as U.S. media and entertainment conglomerates report their latest quarterly earnings in the coming weeks."

What Women Want

Amreican Theatre: But aside from the particular circumstances that led to the company’s near-critical situation, vital questions remain: Is there a need for a theatre dedicated to work by women? And if there is a need—as many theatre artists believe—what must such a theatre do in order to prosper?

Alice through the modem "In a theatre in Orlando, Lewis Carroll's Alice steps into the legendary rabbit hole. Moments later, she steps out - in Waterloo, Ont. Minutes later, she somehow emerges again, this time in Peoria, Ill.
Welcome to one of the most ambitious, experimental theatre projects ever conceived - Alice (Experiments in Wonderland) - a multipoint telematic performance for children and adults."

Lloyd Webber rewriting musical "Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton are collaborating on a rewritten version of their 2000 London success, The Beautiful Game."

Frustration rises as WGA talks go on

Variety: "With the writers' strike in its 86th day, the town's running out of patience -- despite hints of progress at informal meetings to lay the groundwork for official WGA negotiations to resume."

Jerry Springer: The Opera

New York Times: "Oh hear America singing, citizens of New York, as you never have heard it before. Hearken to your everyday sisters and brothers — the lost, the lonely, the fetishists, the freaks — as their voices swell and meld into one common chord of longing: to be seen, to be heard, to be (oh yes) famous."

`Phantom' Stays Alive as `Rent' Gives Up Ghost Muse Arts: "When it opened in 1981, Andrew Lloyd Webber's ``Cats'' proclaimed itself Broadway's ``Now and Forever'' musical. That mantle more truthfully belongs to his ``Phantom of the Opera,'' which this week swings its chandelier into the 21st year of its Broadway run at the Majestic Theatre."

Fat Pole Dancer, Diapered Man in `Jerry Springer' Muse Arts: "In London, ``Jerry Springer -- The Opera'' has been a huge two-year hit. In New York, it opened rather timidly in a concert version for two evenings at Carnegie Hall, presumably a testing of the waters. It certainly went over big to packed houses. Yet what does this prove about a potential Broadway open-ended run?"

"Phantom" to pass 20-year mark on Broadway

Yahoo! News: "'The Phantom of the Opera,' already the longest-running musical in Broadway history, will mark its 20th anniversary in New York on Saturday with two performances."

Bolshoi to reopen late in 2009 after rescue work

Yahoo! News: "Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre will reopen after restoration in November 2009, a year behind schedule, after emergency work to save it from collapse, officials said on Thursday."

Calling Out Colleges on Student Learning

Inside Higher Ed: "Two major higher education associations released a statement Wednesday designed to make clear (to Margaret Spellings and whoever else might be listening) that college leaders are fully committed to meeting the call for collecting and making public more and better information about how and what students learn. And while the document departs in some key ways from the themes advanced by Spellings and other policy makers pressuring higher education of late, it drew praise from one prominent critic: the former chairman of the secretary’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education."

Using TABLE command in Autocad 2007

Daily Autocad: "In order to prepare the legends for drawings with letterheads, a new command named as TABLE was included in AutoCAD 2005® and later versions."

AEA's Centennial Countdown "In 2013, Actors' Equity will celebrate its 100th Anniversary! The countdown to this historic occasion officially kicked off on November 20, 2007 when Council approved a budget line for a nationwide Centennial Celebration."

Actors' Equity Eyes Health Care Reform "Actors' Equity is increasing its coverage and communications of health care reform. In addition to tracking initiatives in specific States, such as California and New York, we are participating in weekly national AFL-CIO conference calls which bring together unions from across the country to share news, opinions on developing consistent strategies, and the AFL's campaign to mobilize grass roots health care advocates."

Equity Prepares for 2008 Production Contract Talks "Preparations for the upcoming Production Contract negotiations are now underway. The current contract with the League of American Theatres and Producers (now called The Broadway League), which covers Broadway and Tours, is set to expire on Sunday, June 29, 2008."

Argonautika: Performing Arts, Theater and Dance Events in Washington, DC on's City Guide

Washington Post: "On the eve of its tumultuous voyage, the crew of the Argo gathers on the stage of the Lansburgh Theatre for something like a pep rally in antiquity. As drums pound and shoulders bounce, each mate steps up and exuberantly chants in modern cadences his or her name and bio -- 'Hercules!' 'Castor!' 'Atalanta!' 'Pollux!' -- as if the audience were a USC booster club and they were the bowl-bound players."

Calling all playwrights

Courier Journal: "If you have written a play for young audiences, Stage One wants to hear from you. And if you are working on a play that concerns African-American history and experiences, the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre of Louisville wants to read it."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

FOCUS the Nation

Meet the President

Work In TV

PDFTextOnline : Hassle-free PDF to Text Converter "Getting text out of your PDF documents is often a major hassle. Enter PDFTextOnline, web-based text extractor that allows users to upload and extract text from PDF documents in less then a minute. Once extracted users are able to easily change the font and layout of the text, and download it back as a text file. No registration required, simply click “Start Now” button and select the PDF document that you want to convert."

Jennicakes' Interview with Rachel of Medium Reality!

The Sampler:

"Rachel Hospodar is the talented, trash-loving artist behind Medium Reality, and the hostess with the mostess of Pandora's Trunk Show an eclectic bi-monthly fashion/arts party here in San Francisco. (And if you ARE here in San Francisco, don't miss the Pandora's Trunk arts and nonprofit discussion salon at CELLspace on September 13!) A Sampler Contributor, Rachel got a load of our stacks and stacks of white mailers recently, and she was like, 'Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?' So she paid a visit to Sampler Town, paints in tow, to bring a little color to our little boxes! Here's what she created"

How to Stay Awake at Work or School

Dumb Little Man: "Have you ever been so tired you almost fell asleep at work? Did you ever wish you could just crawl under your desk and take a nap like George Costanza?"

Well-cast drama translates Mysteries

Reuters: "Michael Chabon's novel 'The Mysteries of Pittsburgh' has baffled filmmakers and confounded producers since its publication in 1988. It's particularly difficult to adapt a novel where the main character is foremost an observer, an attendant knight who by nature generally avoids action."

Mastering the Informational Interview

New York Times Blog: "Informational interviews can be a useful tool throughout your career, not just when you’re thinking about a new job or a new line of work. You can do informational interviews when you want to learn more about a certain career move or even what it would feel like to get involved in a new project like writing a book, starting a blog, or running your own company."

The Science of Procrastination: Researchers Tackle Willpower and our Ability to Control it

Study Hacks: "We all know the feeling. Some days, you have a project you know you need to work on, but find it impossible to summon the energy needed to close your e-mail and get to work. It seems so simple. Click the “X” in the corner. Open the word processor document. Start typing. But you might as well be considering knocking off a quick triathalon. Your leaden, sluggish, no-motivation mood overwhelms."

Oscar nominee reflects on making movie magic

CNET "The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nominations for the 2007 Oscars on Tuesday, and not surprisingly, Lucasfilm was a major recipient of the academy's affection."

Key to Innovation: Becoming an Observer "We all need to innovate to stand out from the crowd. But what is the key to innovation? The answer, or at least an important answer, is becoming an observer. By observing how we and other people do things, we will spot opportunities for improvements. The more we observe, the more opportunities we will find. We can then work to provide solutions for some of the problems. By becoming a good observer, we will recognize the problems before many people do and have first-mover advantage."

Composite decking: Ersatz plastic or the deck of your dreams?

The Hardware Aisle: "I'm all for durability, easy maintenance and quick installation when it comes to projects, so I can understand the benefits of using composite decking, like Fiberon's new sanctuary decking."

Froth-Pak 12 Foam Thrower


"Two part foam spray-in insulation is becoming the standard in new home construction. It installs quickly, it boasts a high R-value per inch, and it prevents energy-stealing air leaks. Until fairly recently only pros could do this job, but lately companies like Dow Chemical have released products like the Froth-Pak 12"

Marketing Magic: Move Over Godzilla, The Loch Ness Monster Terrorizes Tokyo

Gizmodo: "The upcoming movie 'The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep' has prompted one hell of a publicity stunt in Tokyo Bay. The extremely cool effect illustrated above is achieved using a large water screen and some very well timed water fountains."

So, you still working at….

The Humble Nailbanger: "Just before Christmas, I got to get out to a party thrown by friends of the Mrs. I was really quiet and very, if not totally, over-aware of how little I felt like I had to talk about. Then a friend of hers (who I rather like, so I forgive him) asked me: “So, you still working at….?”
How the hell do I answer that?"

The Week in Tools: Toolmonger Top 5

Toolmonger: "This week was a busy one here at Toolmonger. If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you didn’t have a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select"

The Road to be filmed in Pittsburgh

Rusty Bridge: "It has been confirmed today that the highly acclaimed novel The Road (IMDB) will be filmed in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. According to 2929 Productions’ president, Marc Butan, Pittsburgh offers “the most diverse set of looks.”"

Museum audio tours take new turns

Marketplace: "Metropolitan Museum of Art Director Phillipe de Montebello, who announced he'll retire at year's end, was instrumental in the popularity of audio guides. And companies profited from their production. But now museums are taking their tours into their own hands."

Vehicles: Gigantic Mech Animals are a Seriously Stylish Way to Travel


"Les Machines de l'ile de Nantes are gigantic mechanical animal vehicles currently on display in the French city of Nantes. While they just look like giant models, these things are fully functioning vehicles that people can ride in. Don't believe me? Check out the video of the elephant, full of people, lurching through town after the jump, you doubter."

12 Ways to Upgrade Your Weekly Review "Fans of GTD will already be familiar with the weekly review. Weekly reviews are designed to give you uninterrupted thinking time each week. Instead of tackling the big questions of your life between coffee breaks and morning commutes, you can set aside time to do a review."

Craftsman Digital Multimeter with AC Voltage Detector

"Measures AC/DC volts, current and resistance. Also measures diode and continuity. Has a 20 range, 7 function, which provides greater accuracy, 0.5 per. on DC voltage."

Feature: The Laptop Lover's Guide to Productivity On-the-Go

Lifehacker: "You're an on-the-go worker, and the one thing you always carry with you? Your trusty laptop, of course. Sure, you've reached a point where you're pretty good at getting things done away from your desk, but you still haven't reached laptop zen—that point at which your laptop does gymnastics for you and is a seamless extension of your productivity. Today we're taking a look at some of the best laptop hacks for notebook enthusiasts, from getting internet access anywhere and keeping your files in sync to adding an anti-theft layer of security to your laptop."


Fred & Friends:

"Here’s a tongue-in-cheek tribute to anyone who’s ever scribbled a reminder on their hand or wrist. Err, that would be about everybody, right? Our To-Do Tattoo kit includes 12 graphic “To Do” forms that you can apply to your body wherever it’s most convenient (or creative) and a skin-safe, washable-ink gel pen."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Seeking Interns for Casting NASHVILLE STAR

Craigslist: "Doron Ofir Casting is now seeking Interns to help with the casting of NBC's “Nashville Star.”"

Hairspray and Macbeth Win London Critics' Circle Awards

Playbill News: "The London production of Hairspray and Rupert Goold's production of Macbeth, starring Patrick Stewart, were among the winners in this year's Critics' Circle Awards."

DGA Board Unanimously OKs Labor Deal

Backstage: "The board of directors of the Directors Guild of America has voted unanimously to recommend ratification of a deal with Hollywood studios."

'Ha'Penny Bridge', Broadway-Aimed Irish Musical, Will Play San Francisco After Toronto

Yahoo! News: "Set against the backdrop of political unrest in Dublin, the show - written and composed by Alastair McGuckian and produced by Garrett McGuckian - was seen in an earlier developmental production in Ireland. Performances will play San Francisco's Golden Gate July 6-Aug. 10."

"Betrayal" of Iraqi interpreters comes to NY stage

Yahoo! News: "Iraqi doctor turned film-maker Omer Salih Mahdi had the strange experience of seeing his life portrayed on stage this weekend at a preview performance of 'Betrayed,' a play about Iraqis who worked for Americans."

Hip tip: Multiple EXTEND and TRIM by using FENCE option.

Daily Autocad: "We may sometimes work on with multiple lines when using TRIM and EXTEND commands in Autocad. A fast method exists for this situation which is using the FENCE option for both commands."

Reworked Albee Classic Ruffles Some in Theater World

NPR: "Edward Albee recently expanded his first play, The Zoo Story, from one act into two, almost a half-century after its premiere. That's raised controversy within the theater community."

Two Fair Ladies, Taking on a Grand New Role

NPR: "After Sunday's matinee at the Kennedy Center here in Washington, D.C., the company of My Fair Lady packs its trunks and moves to Chicago. The tour began last fall in Florida and is scheduled to end this summer in Arizona."

US Television Network and Affiliates Fined for 'Indecent' Broadcast

VOA News: "The network argued unsuccessfully that buttocks are not a sexual organ."

Blacks have special insight into essence of ‘The Lion King’

New Pittsburgh Courier: "If you happened to be a Black man or woman sitting in the audience during the presentation of “Disney’s “The Lion King,” it is likely you took home a lot more than a great rendition of the Circle of Life."

‘Freeman’ continues New Horizon season

New Pittsburgh Courier: "New Horizon Theater will usher in Black History Month with “Freeman,” a play that will hit home with audiences on several levels.
“Hopefully, people will watch the play and see that it is a real family,” said Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater director Mark Clayton Southers. “What I like about it is that the actors come in and knock it out and move on to the next part. People will be in for a good evening of theater.”"

A night at the opera

The Tartan Online: "The Consul, performed last week by the School of Music at the Purnell Center’s Philip Chosky Theater, provided an excellent opportunity to enjoy a night at the opera without even leaving campus. The Consul is a Pulitzer Prize-winning opera written by Gian-Carlo Menotti, adapted for Carnegie Mellon by stage director Gregory Lehane, and conducted by Robert Page, professors in the schools of drama and music, respectively."

'Bloody' goofy musical

Los Angeles Times: "Indie rock stars come in a variety of styles, but not many wear tight, blood-soaked T-shirts as they plunder Native American lands. But in 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,' the sardonically frolicsome, unabashedly sophomoric emo musical that premiered Sunday at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, America's seventh president is transformed into a moody hipster icon with a strange penchant for mutilation, both of himself and others."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Chicago's American Theater Co. to Stage Yeast Nation Musical, by Writers of Urinetown

Playbill News: "Yeast Nation: The Triumph of Life, the new musical by the creators of Urinetown, will make its Chicago premiere as part of American Theater Company's 2008-09 season, new artistic director PJ Paparelli announced."


Craigslist: "I would love to find a seamstress who can execute some basic clothing items I want to add to my wardrobe (items I can never find when I shop, i.e. high-waisted black mini skirt)"

Court rules on Talent Agencies Act

Hollywood Reporter "n a closely watched case, a unanimous California State Supreme Court has ruled the state's Talent Agencies Act applies to personal managers as well as agents.
But in the same stroke of the pen, the state's high court also ruled that while the Labor Commissioner has the authority to void manager-talent contracts in their entirety for unlawful procurement of work, the commissioner also has the discretion to sever those wrongful acts and partially enforce a contract."

What Music Has Lost "Modern recordings, for all their glory, are part of the problem, Mr. Hamilton explains. They have conditioned audiences to expect an inhuman degree of performance accuracy, comparable to what a recording studio's editing team can produce by patching together the best moments from multiple takes. Critics, meanwhile, judge performances by the degree of textual fidelity to the 'urtext' -- a score that tries to reproduce the composer's original intent."

Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps

New York Times: "In London the award-winning theatrical comedy is billed as “John Buchan’s The 39 Steps.” But on Broadway, where the British import opened this month, it is called “Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps.” Is it possible that Buchan, who published his novel “The 39 Steps” in 1915, is better known in Britain than Hitchcock, the cinematic master of suspense who in 1935 made his film adaptation of that novel into one of the triumphs of his early London period?"

FCC Renews Fight Over TV Indecency "After a brief lull, the Federal Communications Commission recommenced its battle against provocative television shows late Friday, proposing a $1.43 million fine against Walt Disney Co.'s ABC and its affiliates for a February 2003 episode of 'NYPD Blue.'"

President Notes Successes, Challenges in Diversity Address

8 1/2 x 11 Newsletter: "In his annual State of Diversity address this past Monday, Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon said the university has made advances in its quest for diversity across campus, but challenges remain, specifically in undergraduate minority enrollment and in the recruitment for senior staff positions."

Shaw Festival back in the red "For the third time in the five seasons that Jackie Maxwell has been the artistic director of the Shaw Festival, the organization has posted a major deficit."

Humanity held hostage

The Denver Post: "They also talked about fellow hostage Brian Keenan, whose story was turned into the drama 'Someone Who'll Watch Over Me,' opening Saturday at Bas Bleu Theatre in Sutherland's hometown of Fort Collins. It's about the friendship that Keenan, an Irishman, developed with Englishman John McCarthy while in captivity. An American character is said to be somewhat based on Anderson."

Basic PTM - Estimating Assignment

Some people have been asking for this:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Katowice Journal: Andrew Paul in Poland

Post Gazette: "'Stuff Happens' translates (in our text) as 'pewne rzeczy sie zdarzaja,' though I have the actor who opens the show say the first line, the title, in English. Polish is quite a difficult language to learn. It also requires more syllables than English to say precisely the same thing -- the Polish text is 4 full pages longer than my original, this is not insignificant! It makes directing for rhythm and tempo quite tricky. We are continually reevaluating the text in rehearsal to find the optimal way to bring out the nuances."

Edgy staging inspires 'Sweeney Todd' cast

Post Gazette: "Still, the unusual tour that arrives Tuesday for a week at Heinz Hall has made 'Sweeney Todd' eccentric all over again. British director John Doyle has intrigued and mesmerized Broadway for a year through his radical expedient of shrinking the cast to 10 and banishing the orchestra, leaving the actors to play their own accompaniment even as they act and sing."

'Sweeney' directors bring new ideas to stage, screen

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "It has long been an article of faith among theater people that each production is unique.
You may have seen a production of 'Oklahoma' or 'Grease,' we argue. But you haven't seen this production.
That's especially true of the national touring production of 'Sweeney Todd' that opens Tuesday at Heinz Hall as a presentation of PNC Broadway Across America -- Pittsburgh."

Touring 'Sweeney' brings another view to tale

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Don't tell Katrina Yaukey that it's a novel idea to have actors doubling as the onstage orchestra in a musical.
'I've literally spent the last eight years of my life in shows like that on Broadway,' Yaukey says."

Broadway colors outside the lines

Variety: "Are they Broadway stages or Benetton ads?
In the coming weeks, three shows will open with casts that are entirely or nearly all nonwhite. Two furthur productions feature African-American stars in roles that are traditionally played by white thesps."

Pondering a different Freedom Theatre

Philadelphia Inquirer: "Freedom's board wanted an artistic director with robust vision to succeed the organization's charismatic founder, John E. Allen Jr., who died in 1992. They believed that Dallas - widely praised, particularly for his interpretations of playwright August Wilson - could establish Freedom as a national force; it already had been recognized as one of America's finest black theaters."

Resignations cloud future of Montalbán Theatre

Los Angeles Times: "Two large banners advertising 'Virgin Love' still hang on the façade of the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre in Hollywood, giving the impression of a successful run for the bawdy musical commedia that opened in October. But the play closed six weeks ago, and the banners mask the trouble brewing at the long-struggling community theater."

Shows Survive by Sharing a Stage

New York Times: "IF you are thinking of taking in a show at New World Stages, the Off Broadway theater complex on West 50th Street, you had better take a close look at your ticket before you go inside. Going to see “Altar Boyz”? O.K. That has a typical evening curtain time of 8 p.m. But if you’re attending “My First Time,” the hour is 7 p.m. The family-oriented musical “Pinkalicious” runs sometimes at noon, sometimes at 2 p.m. As for “Naked Boys Singing” — well, that could be either 6 p.m. or 10:30 p.m."

Patrick Stewart - Macbeth

New York Times: "THE first reinvention of the British actor Patrick Stewart was so counterintuitive as to seem perverse. For nearly 20 years he had been a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company; suddenly, in 1987, he was the captain of a spaceship on an American television series, acting alongside a gold-tinted android and a large hairy Klingon."

Thirst for Oil Quenched in Satire, 'Black Gold', Premiering in Philly

Yahoo! News: "Opening night for Philly's InterAct Theatre Company will be Jan. 30. This will be 'the first of three productions as part of the National New Play Network's Continued Life of New Plays Fund, through which the play will be produced in three subsequent 'rolling' world premiere productions' - at Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis, PROP Thtr Group in Chicago and ArtsWest in Seattle."

Explorer Matthew Henson Gets Spotlight in World Premiere, 'A Big Blue Nail'

Yahoo! News: "The play by the Tony Award-honored company is part of the troupe's 'ongoing exploration of crucial moments in African-American history.'"

Day in the Work Life: Makeup Artist

Marketplace: "On this week's 'A Day in the Work Life,' our regular look at how folks trade time for money, we get a makeover with makeup artist Michael Wormwood."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Conservatory Hour

Monday, Jan 28 Conservatory Hour

“Piano Lesson” - Intents and Insights

5:00pm in the Checco Studio A

Two ESTA Rigging Working Group Standards Available For Review

Live Design: "Two Rigging Working Group documents dealing with manual rigging systems and fire safety curtain systems are available for public review for free on the ESTA website. The public reviews run through March 17. When March 18 starts, the reviews are over."

Pedaling To Benefit Behind The Scenes

Live Design: "In March of this year, Rich and Becky Wolpert will be leaving their home in the Ozarks of Southwest Missouri and bicycling over 650 miles to the USITT Stage Expo in Houston, TX. The goal of the bike tour is to raise money for The ESTA Foundation's Behind the Scenes (and maybe lose a couple of pounds along the way). They will be riding the same tandem recumbent that they used during the AIDS Rides of the 1990s. Only this time they’re doing it on their own, without the logistical support of hundreds of volunteers."

Registration now open for Live Design Broadway Master Classes

Live Design: "Tony Award-winning LD Jules Fisher and legendary sound designer Abe Jacob will once again serve as the creative consultants for the 2008 Broadway Master Classes, produced by Live Design in New York City, May 16-22, 2008. Online registration at is now open with a special early bird special representing $1000 off all prices through the end of March 2008."

Tait Towers to Renovate and Transform The Colosseum Stage at Caesar's Palace

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Tait Towers is responsible for the stage renovation and transformation in the 4100-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The 2008 music season kicks off February 20th with Bette Midler's The Showgirl Must Go On and will be followed by Cher and Caesars Palace alum, Elton John."

Strike panel sparks talk at Sundance "In Park City this morning, attorney Jonathan Handel, Writers Guild of America member Howard Rodman, and Screen Actors Gulid member Jason Stuart were on hand for a panel at Queer Lounge to discuss the ongoing WGA strike and what the Directors Guild of America's deal means for the current 'informal talks' between the writers and producers."

Williams was just always so 'there'

The Rocky Mountain News: "They all showed up to remember an unforgettable guy and, of course, the memorial started an hour late - which is really an hour early when you're on rock 'n' roll time, which Nicky Williams always was."

Making the Case for Robotics

Modern Woodworking: Nearly 50 years after it was inveted, the six-axis robot has had a profound effect on manufacturing processes worldwide. Today's generation of robots offers manufacturers a powerful and precise solution for an infinite number of manufacturing applications from automobiles to plastics and pharmaceuticals to food processing

M.A.C. Cosmetics hosts 80th Academy Makeup and Hair award bakeoff after-party

Monsters & Critics: "The Oscar Makeup and hair “bakeoffs” were Saturday, January 19, as the members of the Academy’s Makeup Branch viewed 10-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films."

Conservatory Hour

Monday, Jan 28 Conservatory Hour

“Piano Lesson” - Intents and Insights

5:00pm in the Checco Studio A

CFA Announcements

Click link for next week's calendar so you can plan ahead:

LabA6 Podcast: Lehane on the Opera "The Consul" ____________________________

Listen to an interview with Gregory Lehane, the stage director for the School of Music production of the opera "The Consul" on the podcast LabA6 at link.

"The Consul" runs from Jan. 24 - 27 in the Philip Chosky Theater in the Purnell Center for the Arts. Tickets are still available by calling 412-268-2407.

Events _____________________________________________________________________

The Carnegie Mellon School of Drama presents:
2008 Winter New Play Festival
Jan. 27 - Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 - Feb. 23

New Works Schedule:

By John-Paul Nickel
Directed by Allegra Libonati
Jan. 30, 8 PM Feb. 6, 8 PM
Feb. 1 4 PM Feb. 8, 8 PM
Feb. 2 8 PM Feb. 9, 2 PM

By Rob Smith
Directed by Max Montel
Jan. 31, 8 PM Feb. 7, 8 PM
Feb. 1, 8 PM Feb. 8, 4 PM
Feb. 2, 2 PM Feb. 9, 8 PM

By Carol J. Godart
Directed by Kate Pines
Feb. 13, 8 PM Feb. 20, 8 PM
Feb. 15, 4 PM Feb. 22, 8 PM
Feb. 16, 8 PM Feb. 23, 2 PM

By France-Luce Benson
Directed by Dana Friedman
Feb. 14, 8 PM Feb. 21, 8 PM
Feb. 15 8 PM Feb. 22, 4 PM
Feb. 16 2 PM Feb. 23, 8 PM

Admission is FREE. Seating is limited. Tickets are available at the door 1 hour before performance. John Wells Studio Theatre. Purnell Center for the Arts.
For more information contact Rob Smith at


The Risë Wilson lecture, tomorrow at 4:30 pm in the Kresge Recital Hall, will be available through a webcast, live, and then archived afterward at this link:

The School of Architecture presents a lecture by Paul Lewis, of the award winning New York City firm Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis Mon. Jan. 28, at 6:30 pm, at the Giant Eagle Auditorium in Baker Hall room A5. Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis is a young architecture firm that has won many awards and represented the US at the Biennale in Venice. They recently published the acclaimed book
³Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis: Opportunistic Architecture² (Princeton Architectural Press, 2007) about their work. Their work deals very much with issues of light, materials, and assembly. For more information visit This lecture is sponsored by Velux.

Based on the success of the Carnegie Museum¹s 2001 ³Light!² exhibit, and the rich tradition and continued importance of ³light² in modern and contemporary art, the museum has decided to expand its Oakland building complex with a ³Light Museum,² an annex across Forbes Ave. that will be purpose-built to explore light in art and architecture. Students in the School of Architecture were tasked to submit designs for this annex sponsored by Velux. The winning designs will be announced at the lecture Jan. 28.

Grant Opportunity _________________________________________________________

School of Art Interdisciplinary Project Grant $5000 to be awarded annually to multidisciplinary student teams.

Proposals due: April 1
Award to be announced at the annual School of Art Awards Picnic $5000 will be awarded each year for the purpose of facilitating interdisciplinary research or creative projects. A single grant may be awarded, or several smaller grants constituting a total of $5000.
The grant or grants will be given to teams consisting of at least one Junior, Senior or Graduate Student in the School of Art and at least one collaborator from another department within CFA or CMU.
(Note: application will be made one semester in advance: i.e. Spring semester of the Sophomore year, Junior year, first year of graduate study or second year of graduate study. No awards will be given to departing

The awards will be given based on the following criteria:
* Creativity: The artistic, scholarly, or practical merits of the project.
* Interdisciplinary Scope: Projects must engage methods, content and processes from multiple fields of study. Proposals which aim to do so in innovative and ambitious ways will be prioritized.
* Potential Impact: Projects which hold strong promise of making an artistic, intellectual or practical impact within or beyond the university will be prioritized.
* Feasibility: Proposals must be sufficiently challenging to merit support, and sufficiently well-organized to prove that they are clearly feasible.

Proposals will be screened by a committee to consist of the Head of the School of Art, the Dean of CFA, and a third juror from outside the College of Fine Arts.
The committee will reserve the right to give partial funding rather than granting the entire amount requested. In the event that none of the submitted proposals are deemed to be of sufficient quality, the award would not be granted in that year.

School of Art Interdisciplinary Project Grant Application Guidelines

Proposals must contain the following information:

Abstract: A one-paragraph summary of the project, its rationale and methodology.

Team Members: Names, qualifications, departments, and respective roles in the project.

Project Description: A detailed discussion of your proposed project, including purpose, research objectives, methods, materials, etc. This section must explain your project clearly and in detail.

Please consider the following:
· What are you trying to achieve?
· What makes it original?
· Why is it important?
· How does this project relate to prior research or artworks?
· How does it relate to the larger world or culture?
· What concern, problem, or need will the work address?
· What materials will you be using and why?
· What special equipment or space is needed and how will it be accessed?
· What is your vision for the final project?
· How will the results be published or exhibited or otherwise
· What are the sources of inspiration for this project?

Timeline: Provide a detailed timeline, including:
1. Pre-production and research
2. Project schedule itemizing tasks and allocating time 3. Event information such as exhibition, performance, publication, etc.
3. Post-production, if applicable

Budget: List all estimated proposed expenses. The budget must be as detailed and accurate as possible. Indicate other sources of funding if applicable.

· If you propose to purchase durable equipment, books or software, you
must make it clear that these items are not accessible to you via other means (such as clusters, equipment lending, inter-library loan, etc.)

· Any travel costs must be integral to the project.

Supporting Materials
Provide supporting visual materials to clarify the proposal as necessary.
These should be concise, and carefully selected to support your proposal.

Supporting materials may include:
· Examples of prior creative work (prints or CD/DVD documentation)
· Weblinks
· Sketches of proposed work
· Preliminary research
· Data
· Etc.

General Requirements
Your proposal may be up to three pages in length; the budget may be a fourth page.

Put your project title at the top of the first page followed by the names of all students submitting the proposal.

Please submit three complete copies of your proposal.

Proposals must be submitted in hard copy form to the School of Art office:
CFA room 300

Social Enterprise Business Plan Competition __________________________

This semester the Institute for Social Innovation is sponsoring a social enterprise business plan competition that will award a total of $20,000 in prizes. This seed funding will support emerging leaders who are building organizations that stand to make a significant and sustainable impact on our local or global community's health, well-being and vitality, broadly understood.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes of $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 will be awarded in two categories: 1) Pittsburgh-based enterprises; 2) enterprises focusing on one or more developing communities around the world.

Please see the competition announcement for application instructions, deadlines, and other useful information at link:

Venture Capital Speakers Series - Brown Bag Lunch

Venture Capital Speakers Series - Brown Bag Lunch

Tuesday, February 5, 2008; Rangos 3, University Center
12:30 to 2:30pm

How do I start a company?

You are ready to take the leap! So what do you do first? Which are the big questions and which is the minutia that can wait until later? If you want investors there are some key steps you can take to make your company attractive. Sean Sebastian of Birchmere Ventures will help give you the big picture and see the important details in making the first critical decisions in starting your company. Topics will include determining the corporate entity that is right for your business, the basics of your business plan, how to attract a VC’s attention, and the key points of investment rounds. Don’t miss this opportunity to openly discuss critical topics with a successful venture capitalist.

Rangos 3, University Center
12:30 to 2:30pm
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Session topics:

Getting your company started
Secure licensing rights
Write a business plan
Executive summary
Product description
Market description
Marketing plan
Management team
Capital need
Get a lawyer
Get an accountant
Form of corporate entity
Strengths & weaknesses
Setting early valuation
Convertible notes
Attract first money
Finding & dealing with angels
How to get a VC’s attention
Know your audience
Get a referral
Modeling a financing plan from finish to start
Write-ups & cram downs

If you have questions or comments please contact me.

Rob Conway;
Senior Manager, Business Development and Licensing;
Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation;
Carnegie Mellon University;


Friday, 1 February 2008
McConomy Auditorium, University Center (special day and location!)
-- 3:30 pm: Distinguished Donuts - Connan Room
-- 4:00 pm: Lecture

with our very special guest

President, Google Greater China
Vice President of Engineering, Google, Inc.
(and CS PhD Alum)

Google China – Can a Multinational Internet Company Succeed in China?

Google entered China in 2006, just as virtually every multinational Internet company
was failing or pulling out. Google also faced significant challenges in 2006, from
public perception to government relations, from user experience to market share.
However, in the past two years, Google China has turned the situation around – from
having the best Chinese search engine to increasing market share. This talk will describe:

* How did Google work hard to understand the Chinese user? How are Chinese
users different from users elsewhere?
* How did Google translate that understanding into winning products and product features?
* What research and development areas are being worked on at Google China?
* What are the key success factors for multinationals in China?

Kai-Fu Lee is a President of Google Greater China and
Vice President of Engineering
at Google, Inc. and
. He joined Google in 2005 to start Google’s operations in China.
Prior to joining Google, Lee was a Corporate Vice President responsible for advanced
natural language and user interface technologies at Microsoft (1998-2005) and was the
founder of Microsoft Research Asia, which has since become one of the best research
centers in the world. MIT Technology Review called it “the hottest computer science
research lab in the world.”

>From 1996 to 1998, Lee was the President of Cosmo Software, a subsidiary of
Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI). At SGI, Lee was responsible for several product lines
and the company’s Web strategy. Before joining SGI, Lee spent six years at Apple,
most recently as vice president of the company's interactive media group, which
developed QuickTime, QuickDraw 3D, QuickTime VR and PlainTalk speech technologies.

>From 1988 to 1990, he was an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, where he developed the world's first speaker-independent continuous speech-recognition system. This system was selected as the “Most Important Innovation of 1988” by Business Week. While at Carnegie Mellon, Lee also developed the world-champion computer program that plays the game "Othello" and that defeated the human world champion in 1988.

Lee holds a doctorate in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and a
bachelor's in computer science with highest honors from Columbia University.
Lee is a Fellow of the IEEE.


Kazuyo Sejima is an architect with a large range of international work who, with Ryue Nishizawa, founded the Tokyo based firm SANAA. She was named the "Young Architect of the Year" in Japan in 1992.
Event Title: Wats:ON Lecture: Kazuyo Sejima
Where: McConomy Hall
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Time: 7:00 PM

wats:ON? / SANAA: Kazuyo Sejima / project list

recent interview:

design boom / SANAA

Friday, January 25, 2008

Stage Review: Musical Theater in fine fashion with 'Dreamcoat'

Post Gazette: "As I've admitted before, 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' is one of my favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber shows, and not just because it's both unpretentious and short."

Canadian Search for Next Maria von Trapp

Backstage: "Thousands of actresses throughout Canada will be vying for a chance at stardom when auditions begin on Friday to select who will play Maria von Trapp in a new production of 'The Sound of Music,' which will debut in Toronto in September."

Lionsgate, Marvel Reach Deals with Writers

Backstage: "Film and television studio Lionsgate on Thursday said it reached an interim agreement with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) enabling striking Hollywood writers to work on its projects."

L.A. production steady despite strike

Hollywood Reporter: "At first glance, the statistics that FilmL.A. are releasing Friday would appear counterintuitive. But against a long-running drop in L.A. film shoots attributed to runaway production, the strike threat appeared to trigger a surge of film and TV production in the second quarter of last year, which offset some of the long-term declines."

West End £250m repairs 'viable'

BBC NEWS: "London's West End theatres need a 'creative approach' to get £250m needed to restore them to their former glory, a London Assembly report has found.
The area's 40 venues were all built before 1937 and many are in 'desperate need' of repair works."

Theater by the Blind Changes Name

Backstage: "After 29 years, Theater by the Blind is changing its name to Theater Breaking Through Barriers. The company will continue its commitment to blind and vision-impaired artists, but it has expanded its mission to include performers with a range of disabilities."

Blue Man Group denies patron's story of abuse "His voice cracking with emotion, James Srodon recounted Thursday how a camera had been shoved down his throat during a Blue Man Group performance in Chicago, injuring his esophagus and resulting in nightmares."

Key Brand - Live Nation

New York Times: "After almost a year of fielding bids, Live Nation has sold most of its North American theater business, including the Broadway Across America touring network, to Key Brand Entertainment, a company owned by a British producer and run by an American entertainment executive."

Hamlet, Faust and Martin Luther Share Campus in World Premiere, 'Wittenberg'

Yahoo! News: "According to Arden notes, 'Wittenberg tells the fictional story - based on actual historical events - of the advent of the Protestant Reformation. Set during late October of 1517 in what is now Germany, this smart, sprightly and audacious battle of wits features Wittenberg University professors Dr. John Faustus (a man of appetites), Dr. Martin Luther (a man of faith) and their student Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (a youth struggling not only with his beliefs but also with his tennis game). Playwright David Davalos brings us the story behind the stories in a witty, charming and accessible exploration of reason versus faith�'"

Live Nation sells most of US theatrical business

The Boston Globe: "Key Brand Entertainment has closed a deal to acquire the bulk of Live Nation's North American theatrical business, meaning it will take over Boston's Colonial Theatre and Charles Playhouse and also its Broadway Across America business, which brings touring Broadway shows to town."


IATSE: TORONTO – In a great example of holiday spirit, members of Locals 58, 822 and B-173 of the I.A.T.S.E. came together at the eleventh hour to close a deal allowing the Actors’ Fund of Canada to raise over $53,000 in donations from audience members at the Toronto production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, which ended its run at the Sony Centre on January 5.

The Lion King

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "And so The Lion King has roared back into Pittsburgh, becoming quite the mane event. And with good reason. Julie Taymor's world-touring musical take on the animated Disney cartoon bursts with more pride than can be found in any lion's den. The show's stars are the production values (this is good, and in no way denigrates the human cast): elaborate costumes, stunning lighting and, of course, larger-than-life puppets that take The Lion King to a level several paws above all other musicals. Let those shows go live on Avenue Q."

OnStage: Men of character

Star Tribune: "Poet Robert Bly and actor-director Mark Rylance met a decade ago at a drum-banging, shamanistic men's retreat outside of London. Although each man knew of the other's work, this was their first in-person encounter. It crystallized for them a shared passion for language."

Public Arts : Shakespeare Still Awesome After 430 Years (2008-01-23)

PRI: "Words don't mean what they used to.
Take the word 'awesome.' Once reserved for gods and the truly, infinitely wondrous, today's sportscasters describe every other dunk as awesome. Teens watch awesome music videos. Five-speed transmissions are awesome."

BBC and unions make deal to stop strike over job losses

The Stage: "Strike action at the BBC has been averted after the Corporation reached an agreement with broadcasting unions in the dispute over plans to make 1,800 redundant."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stage Preview: PMT has four good reasons for 'Joseph'

Popst Gazette: "'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' was the first musical put on in 1990 by the new Gargaro Productions (now Pittsburgh Musical Theatre). It did it again in 2000, and counting a 1980s Playhouse production, the PMT revival opening today will be the fourth time Ken Gargaro has directed it."

Prolific designer sets the scene on O'Reilly stage

Post Gazette: "There are a lot of surprises in talking with James Noone, set designer for the Public Theater's 'Amadeus,' now in previews.
To start, he doesn't much like scenery, in spite of having created some of the Public's most splendid designs. 'I'm not very fond of scenery,' he says. 'I like dramatic space.'"

Stage Preview: Playwright Mat Smart premieres new romantic comedy at City Theatre

Post Gazette: "Smart takes that aim now at City Theatre, where his romantic comedy, 'The 13th of Paris,' starts previews tonight. Some will remember the reading of it at June's MOMENTUM 07, but that two-act version has been cut down by 20 minutes to 95 minutes."

Stage Preview: Young actor steps into the shoes of a genius in PPT'S 'Amadeus'

Post Gazette: "Acting was not Harris Doran's first career choice. He wanted to be a magician, then an astronaut, but the Challenger space shuttle exploded, which nixed that idea. At age 7 he wanted to be Baryshnikov. His parents didn't quite know how to handle that one. So, at the weighty age of 13 or thereabouts, Doran decided to be an actor."

'Flight' of refugee gets a musical take

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The reaction of singers and others preparing for the local premiere of Jonathan Dove's 'Flight' falls into two categories -- the exhilaration of new love or delight in returning to something they adore."

Live Nation sells off theater division

Variety: "Live Nation has at last sold off its theatrical biz, with Key Brand Entertainment, a company owned by Brit producer John Gore, acquiring the legit division for a gross sale price of $90.4 million."

A career in theater is a fast track to poverty "In November I had coffee in New York with Kate Whoriskey, one of the most well-regarded under-40 stage directors in the country. She was working with Elizabeth Franz on the New York debut of Julia Cho’s “The Piano Teacher” at the Vineyard Theatre. Despite her success, Whoriskey said she was worried about the future. “It’s not easy living from job to job,” she told me. “Often I have no idea where the next (directing assignment) will come from, or when it will come."

Metropolitan Opera - TV

New York Times: "The Metropolitan Opera has canceled plans to offer performances through on-demand television, a rare miscalculation in its march to show operas on screens of all sizes."

When Writers Can't Write, They Pretend "Usually, the Rayburn Building is the kind of place reserved for all sorts of serious goings-on conducted by sober-looking folks in suits. The people who think they're running the country. Which is to say, it's not too often that you see the likes of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) donning a ZZ Top-esque beard and proclaiming 'solidarity' with the people who really matter -- entertainment types."


NY Post: "Catch a peek at 'Double Feature' - for free - when NYCB opens its doors for two dress rehearsals, complete with orchestra, sets, costumes (by William Ivey Long) and Stro herself, who'll run the show."

From ordinary to spectacular

The Japan Times Online: "Go Aoki is one of Japan's most in-demand playwrights and directors. The small venues where his Gring theater company typically stages his works attract drama-world insiders — as a result, besides taking Gring on the road in early 2008, Aoki has already been enlisted for three high-profile collaborations."

Eaton Centre as stage dwarfs performance "The play, which is entitled small metal objects and has toured Europe and New York, is performed by four actors who blend seamlessly into the crowd at a mall or a train station while spectators eavesdrop on their conversation through headphones. Seated on a small stack of bleachers outside the Sears store for the opening night of the anticipated international theatre series curated by Harbourfront Centre, the Toronto audience occasionally had to struggle to discern who was performer and who was a bystander. And passersby wondered what all these earnest folk with their headphones were watching."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Looking for seamstress who can make a spandex glove for a giant hand

Craigslist: "I'm looking for someone who can create a realistic glove for a 4:1 scale (4 inches for every 1 inch of normal hand size) giant mechanical hand to be used in a future film production."

Designers Needed for Save Darfur Event

Craigslist: "Designers needed to create Sudanese inspired pieces for Save Darfur event August 8, 2008."

Stage Manager

Craigslist: "The Opera Theater of Pittsburgh is currently seeking a Stage Manager for their upcoming show, Lost in the Stars, to be performed on February 21, 23 and 24."

Striking writers pen short plays

Variety: "A group of 16 striking TV writers have come together to craft a lineup of short plays featuring TV-series actors that will run for five performances in Los Angeles."

Primary Stages Announces '08-09 Season

Backstage: "Primary Stages will produce three newer works by A.R. Gurney, Lee Blessing, and Donald Margulies for its 2008-09 season, as well as a world premiere by Tina Howe."

Guild, Studios Agree to Informal Talks

Backstage: "With idled entertainment industry workers and Oscar-nominated actors among the interested observers, striking writers and studios are talking again after weeks of bargaining silence."

The lost art of listening

Guardian Unlimited: "Is audibility the big problem in modern theatre? Sir Peter Hall certainly thinks so. He says that 'most actors under 40 are struggling to be heard'. He's also backed up by seasoned thesps like Edward Fox and Tom Courtenay. While I wouldn't disagree, I'd point out most of the letters of complaint I get come from elderly patrons whose hearing may be imperfect. And, if actors have ceased to project, audiences have also lost the art of listening."


NY Post: "The poor reviews and poisonous industry word-of- mouth for 'Young Frankenstein' clearly have rattled the old shtickmeister. How else to explain his comments to Cindy Adams yesterday, blaming his producer - billionaire entertainment mogul Robert F.X. Sillerman - for the now infamous $450 ticket?"

Writers and producers resume informal talks

MarketWatch: "Producers and striking Hollywood writers were holding informal talks Wednesday, trying to resolve a standoff that has lasted more than two months and could endanger the Feb. 24 Academy Awards telecast."

Population Density and the Theatre

Theatre Ideas: "Tony, over at Jay Raskolnikov -- Half Hillbilly, Demi-Culture, commented on my Google Map work showing the placement of regional theatres in the US: 'Food for thought. Have you compared these maps to the general population density of the US? If memory serves me it looks pretty similar to the maps you've shown. So there may be more to it than it seems."

Excel Dividing by Zero | Excel Formula Help | #DIV/0!

Productivity Portfolio:

"I think I now understand the difference between an Excel tip and an Excel annoyance. It’s an annoyance if the recipient of your spreadsheet doesn’t know the tip and you spend more time defining the issue than it takes to fix it. Next time, I’ll take the five minutes to fix my Excel formula so it doesn’t display the #DIV/0! divide by zero error message."

Art: NYC Installing Gigantic 120-Foot Waterfalls Under the Brooklyn Bridge, in the East River


"While this image of a gigantic waterfall cascading down from beneath the Brooklyn Bridge looks like some wacky photoshop, it's actually something that's being installed this summer. A new art project will have four waterfall sculptures installed in New York City from mid-July to mid-October, spewing water from heights of 90 to 120 feet, or about as high as the Statue of Liberty."

World's Largest Drill Bit Is Pretty Big, I Guess


"The world's largest drill bit was put to use last month boring a subway tunnel in Leipzig, Germany. This is it. As you can see it's relatively large. Not huge, but pretty big. For a drill bit."

How to Find Work That You Love

On Moneymaking: "Most of us spend 60-80% of our waking hours doing something work-related. If you don’t enjoy that work, then it means you’re unhappy 60-80% of the time. Logical, right?
It would also make sense that the quickest way to improve your happiness would be to improve your enjoyment of the thing you spend the most time doing. Since that’s work, you wonder if you couldn’t find something better."

Pittsburgh, PA, Here We Come!

Free-Range Drama Farm: "As we considered the ramifications of moving the project to the Red Barn, though, it became clearer and clearer that Pittsburgh would be a much more ideal place to get the Farm up and running - with or without the Red Barn as a venue. After much discussion, we’ve decided to transplant the whole operation to Pittsburgh and set up shop there. It’ll be about a year before we’re fully moved and prepared to get things rolling again, so the pilot program will remain on hold until the spring of 2009."

The Week in Tools: Toolmonger Top 5

Toolmonger: "Last week was a busy one here at Toolmonger. If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you didn’t have a chance to keep up with Toolmonger last week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select"

How to File Taxes if Your Status Is Self-Employed "When you work as an independent contractor, receive professional fees or run a small business, you need to file a Schedule C form with your tax return to report income and expenses from self-employment."

A Knotty Learning Tool

Toolmonger: "The only thing I love more than a bad pun is a good learning aid. If you want to practice knot-tying — specifically, if you’re learning how to tie hitches — you need to have on hand the hardware the knot is meant for. The Fourteener from Complete Knotting Systems replicates 14 different kinds of hardware in a portable package that’s perfect for learning knot-tying wherever you are."

How to Prepare for a Layoff "Nobody relishes the idea of becoming suddenly unemployed, but a layoff doesn’t have to be the end of the world. The key to minimizing the stress and negative fallout is to prepare now for the possibility of a pink slip."

Fresh Look: Mattress Factory hardly a snoozer for newcomer

Post Gazette: "The names rush through my mind as if they were long-forgotten vaudevillian teams: Stearns & Foster, Sealy & Serta, Simmons & Spring Air. I think of Lindsay Wagner, the former bionic woman who now hawks Sleep Number mattresses on infomercials.
The somnambulistic suggestions keep me awake and alert late on a Thursday afternoon as I make my way through the Mexican War Streets to the Mattress Factory."

How to Get Cheap or Free Hardwood Lumber

Instructables - DIY, How To, craft: "Here's how to buy new lumber in bundles for less than firewood. This seems to work best for hardwoods, cabinetmaker type stuff. Construction grade lumber, seems there's no bottom end to that market, and no way to insult the customer with a product too inferior. Fine hardwoods seem to be another matter. There's some with problems the vendors can't stand to sell or discard."

Mail Order Wood

Toolmonger: "If the local selection of hardwood lumber has got you down, you can always try a virtual one. offers over 30 types of hardwood for you to drool over. Though it’s not cheap, the selection will definitely get your attention."

As goes asshole, so goes the crew.

The Humble Nailbanger: "I was talking to a friend of mine recently. He was telling me about the first (I think) person he had to fire, who was the second (I think) guy he ever hired. Basically it sounds like the guy had been around a while, and just started to become a prima donna…he would refuse jobs he didn’t want to do, and then go off and make phone calls. He’d show up late, drunk, the whole bit. Really nice guy. He’s a contractor, so he just told him to take a hike. And rightly so."

Liquidreflector Night Safety Paint

Toolmonger: "You see glass bead reflective paint on everything from fire hydrants to street curbs — it’s a staple of town and city DPW departments. If you want to make your mailbox or house numbers highly visible at night, you can paint them with Liquidreflector, a water-based acrylic paint that’s impregnated with mica and uses the same glass bead reflectors as the industrial paint."

Sanding sealer: Varnish's undercover agent

The Hardware Aisle: "Chances are, you've probably used polyurethane varnish or some other clear topcoat to protect wood surfaces, such as tabletops, cabinets and shelving.
But are you familiar with something called Sanding Sealer? If not, you should be."

Navigate Walt Disney World with a Nintendo DS

Boing Boing Gadgets: "A member of the WDW Magic forums discovered a pilot program being tested at Walt Disney World which will allow visitors to use their Nintendo DS as an interactive guide the park."

The Ultimate Student Resource List "It’s back to school time, yet again. In the spirit of the season, I decided to gather together the best tools, websites, and advice I know of to help make you a more effective and relaxed student this semester. Since I know you’re broke, it’s all free!"

Filthy Lucre

(Theatreforte): "If you've ever wondered how much it costs to produce a show in NYC, this will be of interest to you.
Isaac Butler wrote a great post on Parabasis yesterday in response to what's going on with the Equity Showcase Code and the proposed 99 Code. Jump to his page to get commentary and a bunch of links to explain what I'm referring to."

Wiha Anti-Cam-Out Screwdrivers


"Wiha makes excellent precision screwdrivers, but their full-sized drivers deserve the same praise. The ribbed tips on Wiha’s Anti-Cam-Out screwdrivers prevent the tool from slipping off of fasteners, which prevents damaged fasteners and personal injury. Their comfortable and contoured no-roll handles, durable tips, and low cost make Wiha’s A.C.O. and 3K screwdrivers great tools."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rob Marshall's next movie, 'Nine,' back on track with writers

Post Gazette: "Talking Saturday about being named co-winner of the 10th Richard Rodgers Award, Rob Marshall revealed that he and his partner and collaborator, John DeLuca, would be able to 'go back to work Monday' on the script of their upcoming movie, 'Nine.'"

Richard Rodgers Award to honor hometown siblings Rob and Kathleen Marshall

Post Gazette: "Pittsburgh CLO's Richard Rodgers Award, previously adorned by such musical theater stars as Mary Martin, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Julie Andrews and Stephen Sondheim, will go in 2008 to Pittsburgh natives Rob and Kathleen Marshall."

Schoolgirls take history project to the international stage "The girls called their play 'Life in a Jar.' The count is now up to about 230 performances across the US, Canada, and Poland. The young women, most of whom did not have passports and did not know any Jewish people when they started the project, visited Sendler three times in Warsaw, met diplomats and survivors, and saw Auschwitz and Treblinka."

Do the right thing, WGA

Los Angeles Times - "But methods aside, I think he made some shrewd points that you should be making too. The studios may be trying to use the DGA deal as a wedge against you, but the fact remains that you paved the way for a big part of the DGA's success by hanging tough."

Striking writers, studios head for renewed talks

Reuters: "Striking Hollywood writers will meet face to face with studio executives this week for the first time since their contract talks collapsed on Dec. 7, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dance Light

Judy Conte, Cindy Limauro, Susan Tsu and Tina Shackleford cordially invite you to attend this year’s Dance Light concert with performances on Friday, January 25th at 3:30pm and 5:30pm. There will be a special Leagues Benefit performance on Saturday, January 26th at 3:30pm. Admission is $5.00. Please see Maria in the Box Office for tickets.

Of special note, this is the 20th anniversary of Dance Light for Judy and Cindy. The project has come a long way since its inception. It has grown to include costume designers and new this year, stage managers. It is the largest cross-disciplinary project in the School of Drama and provides a unique opportunity for the students.

2 former Pittsburghers to receive award

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Broadway veterans, former Pittsburghers and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera alumni Rob and Kathleen Marshall will receive the 10th Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theater in May."

Agents, Actors Brace for Dry Pilot Season

Backstage: "Agent Brett Carducci of Sovereign Talent Group said Hollywood has always been 'a town of hustling.' The crippling Writers Guild of America strike -- in its 10th week -- has forced almost everyone working in the entertainment industry to hustle for dwindling jobs like never before."

Writers going back to the table, sources say

Los Angeles Times: "Spurred by the day-old employment contract negotiated by the Directors Guild, Hollywood's writers and the major studios agreed Friday to resume their negotiations in hopes of reaching an agreement that would end the 11-week-old strike, according to several people close to the matter."

Directors deal "template" for others: MPAA chief

Yahoo! News: "The head of the Motion Picture Association of America said on Saturday a recent labor contract between major studios and film and TV directors offers a template for deals with striking writers and other guilds."

Class-action suit aimed at ticket scalpers

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: "A New Jersey man is pursuing a class-action lawsuit against a western Pennsylvania firm that helps ticket brokers get around limits Ticketmaster sets for individuals who buy sports and entertainment tickets online."

CBS pulls plug on 20 projects

Reuters: "In the latest fallout from the writers strike, CBS has dropped about 20 projects that were in development, most of them dramas."

Gay Jesus play angers Australian church leaders

Yahoo! News: "A controversial play that depicts Jesus being seduced by Judas and conducting a gay marriage for two apostles has been condemned by church leaders ahead of its opening in Sydney.
The Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, expressed his outrage at the plot of 'Corpus Christi' on Sunday, calling the play 'historical nonsense.'"

Striking writers, studios eye informal talks

Reuters: "Hollywood's striking writers and the major studios enter this week sharing a single resolve: once more, with feeling."

ETC Signs Memorandum of Understanding With Korean Institute

8 1/2 x 11 Newsletter: "'Korea is definitely one of the world leaders in interactive digital media. So to be connected to an institution as forward thinking and dynamic as KAIST and its Culture Technology degree program, under the enlightened leadership of Dean Kwangyun Wohn, is only proper for the ETC. We can learn from them and they can learn from us,' said ETC Executive Producer Don Marinelli."

Founder is leaving Apple Tree Theatre "The board of directors of the Apple Tree Theatre in Highland Park has announced the resignation of its founding artistic director, Eileen Boevers.
A key figure for years in Chicago theater, Boevers has led the company since its founding in 1983 in the Highland Park church basement that also launched the Steppenwolf Theatre Company."

'Hephaestus' a dazzling story "If the aims of the Lookingglass Theatre were purely fiscal or populist, there would no reason to ever close 'Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale.'"

Busy doesn't begin to describe artistic director Suozzi

JS Online: "Paula Suozzi has yet to be seen striding the streets of Milwaukee in a Wonder Woman costume, but don't bet against it.
As artistic director of Milwaukee Shakespeare, she chooses the company's plays and matches them with directors, designers and actors. Suozzi is personally directing the production of 'Twelfth Night' that opens Saturday at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield. And she does the public schmoozing that accompanies all top administrative positions in not-for-profit arts organizations. This is a full-time job."

Keeping his vision alive

JS Online: "Hope was revived in Milwaukee on Sunday as hundreds gathered in the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts to pay homage to a man who will forever be remembered as the nation's symbol for equality, peace and hope."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Paris trip inspires romantic comedy

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For playwright Mat Smart, his 2005 visit to Paris was intended as nothing more than a two-day stopover on his way to Africa.
It became the gateway for his latest play, 'The 13th of Paris' a romantic comedy that will have its world premiere beginning Thursday at City Theatre on the South Side."

Theater Review: Squonk Opera a wacky good time

Post Gazette: "I've never understood Squonk Opera. An opera is a musical drama with vocal pieces set to orchestral accompaniment (usually in the classic sense), but the Squonkers don't follow the traditional path. They tend to offer a whimsical collection of pieces turning around a central theme."

Emo Rock Musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson Opens Jan. 20 in L.A.

Playbill News: "The world-premiere of the new musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson officially opens Jan. 20 at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre."

'Jerry' opera escapes legit limbo

Variety: "An opera seems like a natural candidate for a stint at Carnegie Hall. But an opera about Jerry Springer? Not so much.
Especially when most legiters expected it to show up on Broadway."

MTV to find new 'Blonde' star

Variety: "Call it the Grecian formula: Like 'You're the One that I Want,' the reality show that cast the recent Rialto revival of 'Grease,' Broadway tuner 'Legally Blonde' is going to MTV to find its next Elle Woods."

Rocco Landesman Answers Your Broadway Questions

New York Times Blog: "We recently solicited your questions for Broadway producer Rocco Landesman, and threw in a few of our own as well. Reading his answers below, you can see why he is considered not only one of Broadway’s best producers, but also one of the most astute. Thanks to Rocco, and to all of you for the questions."

Howls and Wonder: Shakespeare on Love

New York Times: "EVEN more than is usually the case, the West End is knee-deep in American musicals this winter. An enterprising visitor could experience a half-century of Broadway history in a week’s theatergoing. Vintage favorites include “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Sound of Music,” “Cabaret” and “Chicago,” but the current scene is hardly slighted. “Wicked” is every bit as triumphant in London as it is in New York. “Avenue Q” is hanging in there. “Hairspray” just opened to smashing reviews, and even “Rent,” hardly the blistering hit in London it was on Broadway in its original staging, has returned in a “remixed” version. Hungry for more, it seems, the British have produced their very own American musical in “Dirty Dancing,” a popular stage version of the hit movie from the 1980s."

Denver Center: Playwrights' nirvana

The Denver Post: "The Denver Center Theatre Company is no longer hoping to become a leader in American new-play development. By launching three new world-premiere plays in three consecutive weeks, it is one."

Writers going back to the table, sources say

Los Angeles Times: "Spurred by the day-old employment contract negotiated by the Directors Guild, Hollywood's writers and the major studios agreed Friday to resume their negotiations in hopes of reaching an agreement that would end the 11-week-old strike, according to several people close to the matter."

Overseas box office has record year

Variety: "It’s now official — the foreign box office posted a 10% increase for 2007, finishing with $9.52 billion for the Big Six studios.
With Warner Bros. still counting its coin, the final combined figure was nearly $1 billion better than 2006."

David Letterman's side agreement with the Writers Guild

Slate Magazine: "The Directors Guild of America reached a new deal this week with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents nearly all the film studios and television networks. The directors struck their agreement just as their contract was about to expire. That stands in sharp contrast to the lengthy walkout by the Writers Guild of America, which went on strike in early November. The entertainment conglomerates have balked over paying writers residuals on 'new media' (i.e., video streaming on the Internet and cell phones) and on extending Guild membership to writers on reality shows."

Laurie Metcalf - November

New York Times: "STEPPENWOLF THEATER COMPANY, the Chicago troupe now in its 32nd season, has staked two claims in the Manhattan theater district in the past two months: “August” in December and “November” in January."

Directors deal template for others: MPAA chief

Reuters: "The head of the Motion Picture Association of America said on Saturday a recent labor contract between major studios and film and TV directors offers a template for deals with striking writers and other guilds."

The Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations

This year, HPAIR will be holding its first-ever global conference at
Harvard University in April 2008. Applications for this program are now
online at More information regarding our conferences and
application procedure is also on the website. To apply, simply log onto
the website.

The Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) is
collaboration between the students and faculty of Harvard University
that strives to promote discourse on critical issues affecting Asia and
its relations with the world. As such, we organize annual conferences
that bring together top global university students and renowned
academic, government, and business leaders to promote such international

Past speakers at HPAIR conferences include: Kim Dae-jung (Former
President, Republic of South Korea and Nobel Laureate), S. R. Nathan
(President, Singapore), Kim Young-sam ( President, Republic of South
Korea), Norodom Ranariddh (Prime Minister, Cambodia), Fred Hu (Managing
Director, Goldman Sachs Asia), Jeffrey Sachs, (Professor of Economics,
Columbia University). More information on past speakers can be found at

We feel that you will find HPAIR conferences to be meaningful, global,
and exciting. Not only is it a great opportunity to interact with world
renowned speakers and leaders, but it is also a terrific opportunity to
make new friends from all over the world.

We hope to see an application from you. Once again, more information and
the online application is available online at Please let
us know if you have any questions!

Focus the Nation

Focus The Nation is an unprecedented educational initiative on global warming solutions for America occurring at more than 1,000 universities and colleges and in all 50 states culminating in nationwide teach-ins on Jan. 31, 2008. To learn more about Carnegie Mellon's events, go to

Climate Change 101 Keynote Address and "2% Solution" Screening
January 30, 2008, 7:30 PM, Doherty Hall 2210

Carnegie Mellon climate research director and professor Granger Morgan introduces the "2% Solution" web cast co-produced by the National Wildlife Federation and aired by the Earth Day Network, kicking off a discussion about global warming solutions for America. Panelists will include celebrity and clean energy advocate Edward Norton; Stanford climate scientist Steve Schneider; Hunter Lovins, CEO of Natural Capitalism; and environmental justice leader Van Jones, executive director of the Ella Baker Center in Oakland, California.

Why the "2% Solution"? To hold global warming to the low end of 3-4 degrees F will require cuts in global warming pollution in the developed countries by more than 80% below current levels by 2050. Put another way, we need to cut roughly 2% a year for the next forty years. The web cast will revolve around the question: Can we as a nation get on to this path? If so, what would it take? Discussion to follow.

Granger Morgan's keynote address begins at 7:30 PM. The 2% Solution screening begins at 8:00 PM. Discussion will commence at 9:00 PM. Refreshments provided.

Teach-in at Carnegie Mellon
January 31, 2008, 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
University Center, see for a link to the developing agenda.

Carnegie Mellon will host a day of events focusing the community on solutions to global warming for America, including panel presentations by dozens of faculty and local sustainability leaders. Session topics include, "All Your Climate Science Questions Answered," practical tips for a "Low Carbon" lifestyle, the latest developments in solar technology, what a changing climate will mean for Pennsylvania, and much more. The closing session at 4:30 PM will include statements from Carnegie Mellon students who are at the forefront of the youth climate movement.

Parallel sessions are 80 minutes long with a 10-minute break. Sessions begin at 9:00 AM. The final session begins at 4:30 PM. See for a complete agenda.

Green Democracy Political Forum at the University of Pittsburgh
February 1, 2008, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
David Lawrence Hall, Room 120

The University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, La Roche College, Duquesne University, and Chatham University have invited city, county, state, and national civic leaders to engage in a Green Democracy political forum. Student representatives will open the forum with statements about what each campus is doing to address climate change. Civic leaders will then speak about their commitments to combat climate change. Representative Mike Doyle and Councilman Bill Peduto are among the attendees. Questions and comments will be entertained from the audience.


As the largest teach-in in U.S. history, Focus The Nation is preparing millions of students to become leaders in the largest civilizational challenge any generation has faced. For more information about the national initiative, please visit