CMU School of Drama

Friday, February 29, 2008

'Late Nite Catechism' will return to City Theatre

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Beginning March 27, the perennially popular 'Late Nite Catechism' will return, yet again, to City Theatre for at least another three weeks."

Seeking High End Crafts people

Craigslist: "I am looking for People in and around Pittsburgh that produce high quality consumable craft- Like Glass ceramics, Meatalsmithing, jewelry and Furniture."

Strip star Bill Nolte shares his talent with locals "What was exciting about seeing Bill Nolte give an hourlong Clark County Library concert was the hint it gave that Strip performers might be starting to share more of their talents with the community.
Nolte, as local theater lovers know, had been the highlight of the Paris Las Vegas production of Mel Brooks' 'The Producers,' which closed Feb. 9. His role as crazed, pigeon-raising, Nazi-loving playwright Franz Liebkind nearly justified the huge admission price."

Blithe Spirit

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "There's really nothing blithe about Blithe Spirit. Noel Coward's deceptively lightweight 1941 classic commands some serious stagecraft while tossing comedic barbs about marital relationships, British class restrictions and pop culture, not to mention the biggies: love and death. Nevertheless, it's a tempting bit of trouble for many a community theater, who approach it with varying degrees of success. Not surprisingly, the Theatre Factory's production is uneven, but still funny and charming."

The Vertical Hour

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "It starts out well enough ... in fact, David Hare's drama The Vertical Hour starts out very well indeed. Nadia Blye, a seasoned war correspondent turned frightfully intelligent Yale professor, is in the process of grilling her student Dennis about a paper he's submitted saying that as the most 'successful' country in the history of civilization, America is incapable of doing wrong, so the rest of the world, instead of complaining, should just shut up and bow low."

The American Clock

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "Arthur Miller lived 89 years, and wrote 27 plays after 1968's much-praised The Price. Few of those later works have been regularly produced, because, clearly, they don't equal his better earlier ones. So it is with 1980's The American Clock, produced by University of Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre. While any chance to see Miller's work is welcome, despite many talented performances and a well-realized production, it becomes evident that American Clock has significant limitations"

Of Mice and Men

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "Despite early attempts at censorship for 'vulgar' language and disturbing content, John Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men has entered the mainstream, becoming required reading in high schools all over the English-speaking world. Consequently, Steinbeck's stage version fits the goals of Prime Stage Theatre, to 'bring literature to life' and 'enrich audiences from middle school through senior citizens.'"

The Piano Lesson

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "As I was sitting at Carnegie Mellon University watching the drama department's staging of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, it occurred to me that this was the first local college production of a play by a man who is arguably the most famous theater artist ever to come out of Pittsburgh. If I'm wrong, I'm sure the phone calls will come trickling in. But to the best of my 20-year recollection, no local college (meaning a company with an all-student cast) has done a Wilson play."

Theater review: Guthrie's 'Third' is first-rate

Star Tribune: "With death's shadow as her companion, playwright Wendy Wasserstein reached into her soul and drew out the reflective gem, 'Third.' Exhilarating in its melancholy -- much as that first snowfall of winter -- 'Third' is Wasserstein's quest into the wilderness of self-doubt and a call to reexamine that which once seemed fresh and righteous in our minds. Only when we grasp our fallibility, Wasserstein argues, can we begin to learn again and stride gracefully into life's final season."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

CURSOR: Redefinition of Clusters

Who is OSWALD? And Where?

Read this doc on Scribd: FOCUS 2008 02

Iraqi National Theater "CNN's Kyra Phillips reports from Iraq's National Theater, where citizens celebrate the freedom to live and speak as they wish."

Stage Review: CMU honors Wilson's notable play

Post Gazette: "Pittsburgh's premier undergraduate theater training program has finally honored Pittsburgh's greatest dramatist with a mainstage production, and although it's unfortunate it took Carnegie Mellon University so long, it has done the late August Wilson proud. And in CMU's defense, it was the first university in Pittsburgh to give Wilson an honorary degree, which moved him very much, given the many unhappy experiences of his school years."

PG East preview: McKeesport has Agatha Christie's novel-turned-play

Post Gazette: "According to some sources, mystery novelist Agatha Christie is the most-published author worldwide.
Her 1952 drama 'The Mousetrap' is on the books as having the longest initial run of any play. London's West End production has been going on for almost 55 years."

Stage Review: Pitt turns back time with Miller's 'Clock'

Post Gazette: "In this week's impromptu theatrical seminar on the 1930s, the most unexpected entry is Arthur Miller's 'The American Clock' at Pitt. While John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' (Prime Stage) and August Wilson's 'The Piano Lesson' (CMU) focus on the individual dream of owning land, 'American Clock' takes on the whole decade."

Stage Review: 'Chaperone' acts out the rich imagination of a solitary man

Post Gazette: "On a Tuesday night when an ice storm was predicted and a presidential slugfest was certain, where better to be than at the Benedum, wafted into clouds of musical comedy silliness with 'The Drowsy Chaperone'?"

'George and Martha' deal with relationship issues

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Pittsburgh International Children's Theater is wrapping up its 38th season with the stage version of a well-loved children's book series that gives kids valuable lessons on how to keep friends, producers say."

Seton-Hill thespians find a challenge in presenting 'Wives of Windsor'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "At this point in the academic year, most theater students at Seton Hill University have valuable stage experience under their belts that should make learning new lines a piece of cake."

Flatwoods' 'Arsenic' serves recipe for laughter

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The audience has to feel sorry for Elaine, the minister's daughter whose boyfriend Mortimer has two aunts he can't stop from committing murders in the classic Joseph Kesselring comedy 'Arsenic and Old Lace.'"

'Chaperone' is charming as old-fashioned musical fun

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For every fan of the old-fashioned musical who has ever lamented that they just don't make them like that anymore, Bob Martin, Don McKellar, Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison have done the impossible."

Crew Members Wanted

Craigslist: "Crew Members needed for television show and film and video projects"

Court Rules on Talent Agencies Act

Backstage: "In a closely watched case, a unanimous California Supreme Court ruled Monday that the state's Talent Agencies Act applies to personal managers as well as agents."

Notre Dame Coach Gets Spotlight in 'Knute Rockne' Musical in Indiana

Yahoo! News: "Based on the play and mini-series by Buddy Farmer, the show about the legendary Indiana football coach known for his sportsmanship and charisma has music and lyrics by Michael Mahler, book by Farmer, and direction and choreography by David H. Bell (The Hot Mikado)."

Hip tip: Joining corners by using FILLET

Daily Autocad: "Sometimes, there can be un-joined corners or some corners that are overflowing through the lines that are connecting at that corner. There is a very easy way to correct them by using TRIM command. FILLET R=0."

AutoCAD Drawing Templates acadiso.dwt

Daily Autocad: "In AutoCAD, it is possible to save the initial settings as a template and then initialize a new drawing from this template. "

AEA Inaugurates "Extraordinary Excellence In Diversity On Broadway" Awards "AEA's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Committee, as part of Black History Month, will present the First Annual Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Awards to last season's 110 IN THE SHADE and LES MISERABLES on Monday, February 25, 2008 at a private reception."


New York Post: "AT least 13 Broadway producers - a cynical lot who'd rather have Tony Awards where their hearts should be - are chasing the rights to a stage version of what the BBC recently called the most romantic movie of all time."

Arena, the Detouring Theater Company "So Arena, hoping for insight into what its audiences might do during this radical transition, sought precedent for voluntarily moving out on this scale. 'We scoured the country to find examples,' Arena Executive Director Stephen Richard, says, 'and we couldn't.'"

Teller, Casting a Dark Spell "For a guy who gets paid plenty not to talk, Teller -- the silent half of the magic team Penn & Teller -- puts a lot of stock in the importance of words. Or at least that's the impression he gives when immersed in the job of directing Shakespeare."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

National Endowment for the Arts budget cuts should be met with outrage, not complacency

Courier-Journal: "Tucked away in the thousands of pages covering $3 trillion worth of proposed expenditures was a $16.3 million cut in support for the National Endowment for the Arts. That would reduce its operating budget from $144.7 million during fiscal 2008 to $128.4 million in 2009."

Be kind to the voice on the phone

Backstage at "Regardless of who answers the phone, you should treat them with the same respect that you would like paid to you. If you are constantly rude to a vendor, why should the vendor give you the better deals? Difficult customers mean that they have to spend more time dealing with the attitude, which costs them more money. The customer that is always pleasant to deal with, even when they don’t know exactly what they want, is going to be treated better than a rude one when it comes time to get the quote."

50 Tricks to Get Things Done Faster, Better, and More Easily "We all want to get stuff done, whether it’s the work we have to do so we can get on with what we want to do, or indeed, the projects we feel are our purpose in life. To that end, here’s a collection of 50 hacks, tips, tricks, and mnemonic devices I’ve collected that can help you work better."

Is A Photograph A Derivative Work Of The Object In The Photo?

Techdirt: "There's an interesting discussion going on over at William Patry's blog, questioning whether or not a photograph should be considered a 'derivative work' of the object or objects in the photo."

Toolmonger » Blog Archive » Dress Up Your Projects With Isoloc Joints


"Dovetail joinery can be one mark of excellent craftsmanship, but woodworkers have been joining with ‘em for hundreds of years. You can always spice dovetails up a bit by varying the distance between the pins and tails — but if you really want your project to be noticed, you should check out Leigh’s Isoloc joint templates. Isoloc templates allow you to create curved and rounded fingers that are only possible with a router."

The Week in Tools: Toolmonger Top 5

Toolmonger: "It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger. 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"

How Professional Licensing Groups Distort The Market

Techdirt: "Nearly a year ago we wrote about how 'professional' groups and organizations where professionals are required to obtain a license and abide by certain rules are really a new type of anti-competitive union, hidden beneath the veneer of public interest."

Video: New technology from ILM builds creepier, more lifelike characters

CNET "Muscle by muscle, bone by bone, the Industrial Light & Magic visual effects designers are using new software to create the scariest and most expressive animated monsters yet. CNET's Kara Tsuboi goes behind the scenes of Paramount Pictures' new kids' film, The Spiderwick Chronicles, to learn more."

100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better

The Best Article Every day: "If you think that iPods are used just for listening to music, you obviously haven’t been keeping up with the latest technology"

Unbox: Porter-Cable 24" Omnijig "The Porter-Cable Omnijig dovetail jigs are finally available! Woodcraft in West Springfield, VA had the Porter-Cable rep in Saturday for demonstrations all day long. He said he got the jigs on Monday and only started playing with them then. So there’s a really fast learning curve."

Pivot Table Tutorial for Excel 2007

Productivity Portfolio: "Pivot tables are an Excel feature that you should learn how to use. Instead of analyzing rows upon rows of records, a pivot table can aggregate your data and show a new perspective with few clicks. You can also move columns to rows or vice versa. The problem is people believe creating a pivot table is too difficult to learn. Grab a seat and we’ll walk you through a short tutorial using Excel 2007."

How Not to Impose Productivity Systems On Others "I did start thinking, though, about other situations where a person can be forced to adopt a productivity system that just flat out doesn’t work for her, and how to maybe work around it. It’s happened to me before, and I certainly didn’t like it."

American Girl to close theaters in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles

Chicago Tribune | Blog: "For the past decade, American Girl Place has run a popular theater in the basement of its flagship Chicago retail emporium at 111 E. Chicago Ave. Hordes of tourists and residents have lined up to see one of the signature, original shows created by such Broadway professionals as Gretchen Cryer. For many young visitors to Chicago, 'The American Girls Revue' has been a top draw for years.

Not for much longer."

Lifehacker Top 10: Top 10 Smart and Lazy Ways to Save Your Workday

Lifehacker: "If you leave the office most nights feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and behind on everything you've got to get done at work—even though you just spent 10 hours there—you're letting your workday get away from you. It's too easy to let the hours you spend at the office get stolen by meetings, email, interruptions, and impromptu co-worker chats that leave you saddled with busywork and too distracted to get the important stuff done."

From IBS: DeWalt recip blade takes the plunge

The Hardware Aisle: "They recently noticed that any recip saw blades that had seen any serious action had a bent tip, likely due to a plunge cut that didn't quite punch through the plywood."

Heroic Checklist

Fast Company: "Quick, a word-association test. What word comes to mind when we say 'checklist'?
Here are some candidates: 'basic,' 'routine,' 'dull.' But what if we asserted (with a great dramatic flourish) that your first associations should be 'lifesaving' and 'game changing'?
Yes, we really are that nerdy. But we mean it."

Time Management - The Key to a Better Life

Ian's Messy Desk: "Time management is about focus. The Pareto Principle—also known as the ‘80:20 Rule’—states that 80% of effort generates 20% of outcomes. The other side of the principle is, 80% of the desired outcome can be generated by 20% of effort. While the 80/20 ratio is somewhat arbitrary, it is emphasizes what can be lost or gained through effort."

Do you REALLY need to get yet more things done? "Increasing your personal productivity is the subject matter of a slew of books, magazine articles, and more than a few successful blogs. It’s fashionable, popular, and, most of all, highly profitable for the authors and writers of software. But does that make it right?"

On The Constitutional Reasons Behind Copyright And Patents

Techdirt: "Last week, when I wrote about Microsoft being the latest in a long line of companies or industry lobbying groups to try to put together a one-sided educational campaign, to try to convince young people that intellectual property was sacred, I suggested that it was about time that someone put together a contrasting 'educational' campaign that wasn't biased by the companies providing it."

Annual cost of attending CMU soars past $50,000

Post Gazette: "For the first time, the total cost of attending Carnegie Mellon University will top $50,000 a year for entering undergraduate students living on campus.
Carnegie Mellon trustees yesterday approved a tiered undergraduate pricing system that raises yearly tuition by 6 percent for entering students and 4 percent for those already enrolled."

8+ Ways To Train Yourself To Be Creative

John's Blog: "The same can be said when learning to be creative. You first learn what techniques help develop a creative thought process and then you have to practice them while keeping your mind open to endless possibilities no matter how ridiculous they may seem."

Feature: Manage Your Online Reputation

Lifehacker: "Are you happy with the results people get back when they Google your name? If not, there are easy ways to monitor and guide what information is published about you online. Two years ago we covered how to have a say in what Google says about you, and more recently, and how to track down anyone online. But a rash of social media sites have arisen that give you more tools to help you manage your online reputation and become more findable."

Smoking ban workaround catches on at bars across state

Star Tribune: "What started as a quirky idea to get around the statewide smoking ban appears to be spreading like wildfire."

Pittsburgh Sign Project

Rusty Bridge: "The Pittsburgh Sign Project is a project created through a grant to capture the signs that make up Pittsburgh through photographs. To collect photographs of the signs, the organizers are asking for submissions from local photographers. The photo collection will later be published in a book that will also reflect Pittsburgh’s 250 years."

Keep A Leash On Your Tools

Toolmonger: "If you’ve ever lost a tool to the drink while working on your stalled outboard, you’ll appreciate the Tool Leash. You don’t even have to be in the middle of the lake — you could be on a ladder, on scaffolding, or on a roof. Dropping a tool means time lost retrieving it, or even worse, damaging the tool and whatever the falling tool hits. You can prevent damage or loss by hooking up your tool to the Tool Leash."

The Week in Tools: Toolmonger Top 5

Toolmonger: "It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger. 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"

Live from IBS: Lockjaw pliers skip the screw, save time

The Hardware Aisle:

"The locking pliers work like a Vise Grip—except that these automatically detect the thickness of the material you're lookin' to clamp, applying equal pressure whether it's fat, skinny, or anywhere in between."

Federal probe of 'Bodies' urged

Post Gazette: "A congressman and critic of human rights abuses in China is urging a federal probe into the origin of Chinese corpses put on display at 'Bodies' shows, including one at the Carnegie Science Center."

Carnegie Museum getting new director

Post Gazette: "Dr. Samuel McElroy Taylor, a marine biologist, science educator and adviser to numerous museums, has been appointed director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, effective April 1."

A Pocket Guide to Time Management

Ian's Messy Desk: "I’ve formated this outline as a 3×5 inch card and attached PDF and MS Word versions. Print the card and carry it in your wallet, the back pocket of a Moleskine notebook or taped to the inside cover of your planning binder."

How to Lead People for Results "In my role at the Free Articulator, I manage and lead writers and editors every day. It has been said in the past that trying to manage artists (and all of our writers are) is a very difficult task. I can’t honestly disagree with that. The following is a recount of the experience I’ve gained thus far in building teams that do the work."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tech is Everywhere

Read this doc on Scribd: CMU Stage Directions

Approval expected for WGA contract

Hollywood Reporter: "The WGA's two-week vote on whether to ratify its new three-year contract culminated Monday with membership meetings on both coasts. The pact is expected to pass muster comfortably with the 10,500 affected members of the WGA West and WGA East, but industryites won't rest completely easy until the results are announced."

Broadway plays the market

Variety: "With a bumper crop of nontuners crowding out the handful of new musicals so far this season, straight-play devotees could savor the resurgence of a form that had long been eclipsed on the commercial landscape by big-budget song-and-dance. But the optimism came coupled with concerns that all those plays -- 15 since September, vs. four tuners -- would prove too much for the market to bear."

Fox TV stations fined for indecency - Entertainment: "Regulators on Friday fined 13 Fox TV stations $7,000 each for a 2003 episode of 'Married by America' that included graphic scenes from bachelor and bachelorette parties."

Fantasy Casting Calls, Imagined by Insiders

New York Times: "KERRY BUTLER in “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.” Angela Lansbury in “A Little Night Music.” Jane Fonda in “Applause.” These are just three recent examples of dream-team revival casting suggested by readers whose desires for the perfect show frequently turn that popular theater fan site into the Broadway equivalent of fantasy football."

Phantoms of Broadway: The Season That Wasn’t

New York Times: "IN a parallel universe you could be deciding tonight whether to try to score a hard-to-get ticket to Annette Bening’s play or Spike Lee’s Broadway directorial debut, or to grovel for a spare ticket to Jake Gyllenhaal’s Off Broadway play. Or, in a season heavy with musical revivals, whether to take in “Pal Joey” or “Guys and Dolls.”"

Once Pure White, American Classics Cross a Color Line

New York Times: "THEATER people have been talking for decades about James Earl Jones playing Big Daddy. The established white Southern setting of Tennessee Williams’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” notwithstanding, Mr. Jones, the barrel-chested actor with the inimitable basso profundo, strikes many as a natural fit for the foul-tempered, vulgar landowner. There was serious discussion about building a production of the play around him back in 1987, and when the producer Stephen Byrd approached him about the part in the mid-’90s, Mr. Jones told him, “I always wanted to play that cracker.”"

Faces From the Screen, Now Life Size

New York Times: "ONE man has a dead horse, another a crumbling career; then there is a woman who is among literature’s most manipulative. We can only guess at how strong the productions that will bring us these characters might be, but it’s a sure thing that the actors who portray them are fascinating to watch."

Passing Strange - In the Heights - Cry-Baby - A Catered Affair - Musicals - Broadway

New York Times: "THE spring season’s small crop of new musicals is intriguingly diverse, signifying how the definition of the Broadway musical continues to expand. Artists grope their way forward, trying to invigorate the old forms, even as they search out new ones. Each represents one or another of the assorted impulses behind the making of the 21st-century American musical."

Spring Theater Preview

New York Times: "THIS spring at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center a young, radiant and unmistakably American woman will proclaim proudly in song that she is “as normal as blueberry pie.” And when audiences listen to Kelli O’Hara deliver this assertion as Nellie Forbush in the musical “South Pacific,” they will most likely believe, at least for that moment, that all-American normalcy is a wonderful state of being."

Cate Blanchett leads Australia arts brainstorming meet

Reuters: "Australian actress Cate Blanchett may have missed out on a second Oscar, but she has been picked to head a think-tank on the future of arts in her home country as a consolation prize, the government said on Tuesday."

Stage Review: Prime Stage dips into Dust Bowl

Post Gazette: "On Broadway, there's a spurt of plays and musicals dealing with the '50s, but in Pittsburgh this week, it's the '30s. At Pitt, Arthur Miller's 'The American Clock' surveys the decade; at CMU, August Wilson's 'The Piano Lesson' is set in 1936; and at the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side, Prime Stage is doing John Steinbeck's 1937 'Of Mice and Men.'"

Play Delves Inside Mind of 'Goon Show' Writer

NPR: "When The Goon Show went on the air in 1951, BBC executives were reluctant to fund it, and they hated the name. So they called it Crazy People."

Phylicia Rashad Takes Message of 'Raisin' to TV

NPR: "Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun debuted as the first Broadway play written by an African-American woman. On Feb. 25, the film makes its world television premiere on ABC."

Hate doing your taxes? Leave it to VITA

News: Show Business Weekly: "When it comes to the agonizing chore of filing a tax return, actors often shoulder a particularly harsh burden. Actors typically have various streams of revenue, countless deductions and minds more suited to creative pursuits than crunching numbers. It’s little wonder why so many performers wait until the April 15 deadline and beyond before they file."

Broadway may revive Sondheim flop with great score

The Dallas Morning News: "Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, a 1981 flop still revered by musical-theater fans for its score, may get its first Broadway revival.
The Roundabout Theatre Company is in talks to produce Merrily during the 2009-10 season. James Lapine, who directed a well-received revision of the show at California's La Jolla Playhouse in 1985, would do the staging."

The Clock strikes 25

The Tartan Online: "In its biggest show of the 2007–2008 season, the Pittsburgh Repertory Theatre is performing Arthur Miller’s The American Clock, a vaudeville-style play set during the Great Depression. The show opened last Thursday and runs through March 2, and is also a celebration of the the company’s 25th anniversary."

New LATC cancels subscription series

Los Angeles Times - "The New LATC, formerly the Los Angeles Theatre Center, has canceled its first subscription series. In its place, a 'Spring on Spring' performance series will be offered on a non-subscription basis."

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Vagina Monologues

The Tartan Online: "Last week, an ensemble cast and crew made up of Carnegie Mellon students and faculty put on The Vagina Monologues, an award–winning play that showcases the vagina — and all the pleasure and pain that come with having one — through a series of short dialogues. Each of the 16 monologues was performed by either the ensemble cast or a single actor, usually seated in a couch or chair. A total of 18 Carnegie Mellon women were involved with the production of the show, ranging from first-years all the way to the associate dean at the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management."

Bollywood comes to Carnegie Mellon

The Tartan Online: "Bright lights, great music, energetic dancers, and an entertaining cast of actors lit up the Wiegand Gym on Feb. 23 with a Mellon Masala, a fun and diverse performance in the style of a Bollywood film. Produced by Mayur South Asian Student Alliance (Mayur-SASA), the show drew together all the elements of a typical Bollywood movie — song, dance, romance, and melodrama — and wove them together to create a great production. Bollywood is the Indian version of Hollywood, centered at Mumbai, the hub of entertainment in India which churns out more than 1000 movies a year."

Last-minute agreement nixes pickets

The Whig Standard - Ontario, CA: "Concertgoers won't have to cross picket lines to get into tonight's inaugural concert at the K-Rock Centre.
The union representing backstage workers who rig and run concerts and stage shows called off a planned picket after a last-minute deal with the company that manages the city-owned sports and entertainment centre."

CMU ups tuition for new students by 6 percent

Post Gazette: "Carnegie Mellon University trustees today approved a tiered undergraduate pricing system that raises yearly tuition by 6 percent for entering students and 4 percent for those already enrolled."

IATSE shut out of Hip concert; union to picket Friday, Saturday

Kingston This Week - Ontario, CA: "It’s not a scenario anybody wants, to stand outside in the cold, pickets in hand. But after a fruitless meeting between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 471 and Arcturus SMG Canada in Kingston on Tuesday, this is the only scenario given to the local union whose members are desperately seeking work in their town."

Front row center: Stagehand's job keeps her on the run

the HUB: "Strips of tiny wire bra hooks induce nightmares for brides-to-be, but at least they don't have to strip out of one dress, pull on their wedding gown and fasten two feet of the hooks in 45 seconds."


Marianne Weems

Marianne Weems, artistic director of the Builder’s Association, a theatre company on the forefront of New York and American theatre will be visiting us March 3-5 as a candidate for the Senior Directing Faculty search.

She will give an hour long presentation followed by a thirty minute question and answer session on Tuesday, March 4th from 11:00-12:30 pm in the Rauh Studio Theatre.

The entire School of Drama is invited and encouraged to be a part of this event. (Students, if you have a conflict during this time, you must of course speak to your instructor first and attain permission to be excused from class.)

Below is the web address for Marianne’s company should you be interested to take a look!

CMU In THe Community

Ongoing Poster presentations, demonstrations and displays from outreach activities conducted by Carnegie Mellon departments

2:00 World Drumming Presentation

Natalie Ozeas, Professor, Music and

Shawn VanMastrigt, High School Music Teacher and musicians from Wilkinsburg High School

2:30 Councilman Bill Peduto

3:00 Faculty and Staff Panel answers the question, “Why are you involved in community service/outreach activities?”

4:00 Student panel answers the question: “Why are you involved in community service/outreach activities?”

5:45 Raffle

The goals for the event include:

ü To encourage Carnegie Mellon students to become involved in service learning courses, organizations and/or jobs that allow them to develop their own knowledge and skills while providing valuable support or education in the community.

ü To help Carnegie Mellon faculty and staff who are involved in community work learn about others who are also conducting programs in the community

ü To thank the local foundations and organizations in the community who support the efforts of Carnegie Mellon faculty, staff and student who work to improve the region

ü To help government officials and members of the media learn about the numerous ways that Carnegie Mellon outreach and service learning activities impact individuals and organizations in the community

Carnegie Mellon School of Drama Focuses On the Dichotomy of Men and Women in 2008-2009 Season of Plays

PITTSBURGH-Elizabeth Bradley, head of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama, has announced the 2008-2009 drama season, which features plays that each speak to the different ways men and women process experience throughout history and across the world. The performances will take place in the Philip Chosky Theater, the Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theater, the John Wells Video Studio and various locations around the Carnegie Mellon campus and Pittsburgh.

"This season is truly a banquet of styles, eras, ideas and passions, which includes the first-ever staging of a Chinese play in our regular season, the creation of an original revue, three powerful political playwrights, and three serious feminists," Bradley said. "We will range from traditional realism and classical comedy to cutting-edge imagistic and physical staging."

The 2008-2009 season includes "The Other Shore" by Gao Xinjiang; "Into the Woods," a musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine; "The London Cuckolds," by Edward Ravenscroft, adapted by Terry Johnson; and "A Bite of Brecht," a collection of musical cabaret and spoken highlights from Brecht's repertoire.

Starting this season, students in the Production Dramaturgy Program will hold regular post-show talkbacks with the audience. The dramaturges are also available to discuss the plays with class, student groups and public organizations of any kind. Contact Dramaturgy Option Coordinator Michael Chemers at or 412-268-2399 to schedule a session with a dramaturg.

Also, for behind-the-scenes discussions and analysis with directors and theater experts from the Pittsburgh community, check out Lab A6 at in the weeks around each play's performance dates.

All performances take place Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. More information about each production is listed below.

The School of Drama is one of the nation's most distinguished degree-granting theatre programs and is one of five schools within Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts, a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals organized into Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music, and their associated centers and programs. Alumni of the School of Drama have appeared on television, Broadway, and in film, garnering many awards and accolades.

For additional information about the upcoming season or ticket purchases, contact the School of Drama box office at 412-268-2407, noon to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more information on the School of Drama or the College of Fine Arts, visit or contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or

About the Performances

"The Other Shore," director to be announced Preview: Oct. 2; Opening: Oct. 3; Closing: Oct. 11. Chosky Theater Gao Xinjiang's plays have incited political debates around the world. After the government criticized his 1983 "Bus Stop" for being anti-socialist, Gao went into exile but returned in 1984. In 1986, "The Other Shore" was cancelled after a month of rehearsals at the prominent Beijing People's Art Theatre, forcing Gao to flee China again. Gao found success in the West as a playwright and dramaturg, winning the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature for the novel "Soul Mountain." Gao's theatre is powerfully actor-centered, almost dance-like with a heavy emphasis on physical strength and dexterity, acrobatics and tumbling, chanting, stylized movement and gesture, and instant transformations of character. The setting of his plays is scenically minimalist with integrated soundscapes which create a saturated and heightened visual world.

"Into the Woods," director to be announced Preview: Nov. 13; Opening: Nov. 14; Closing: Nov. 22. Chosky Theater The delicacy and agility of master lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim is brilliantly illustrated in this collaboration with James Lapine. Their spellbinding show has been enchanting audiences since 1986. Based on Bruno Bettleheim's book "The Uses of Enchantment," which put the Brothers Grimm on the psychoanalyst's couch, "Into the Woods" has an intricate structure and layered complexity often missing in Broadway musicals. The play twists the stories of Cinderella, Jack the Giant-Slayer, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel (along with a Witch, a Giant, his Wife, a magic cow, and a seductive Big Bad Wolf) into one extravagant master plot that enfranchises women in a way not typical of fairy tales.

"The London Cuckolds," directed by Don Wadsworth Preview: Feb. 19; Opening: Feb. 20; Closing: Feb. 28. Chosky Theater Originally penned by Restoration playwright Edward Ravenscroft in 1681, this fast-paced bedroom romp has been retooled for a modern sensibility by contemporary farceur-extraordinaire Terry Johnson. Johnson's genius has produced several plays that combine the refreshing directness of the 20th century with the authenticity of the 17th. The result here is a play that critics of its first production at the Royal National Theatre in 1998 called "frank, fresh, and fruity." In this raunchy, witty and ribald play, three husbands each claim that they have hit upon the most effective method of keeping a wife virtuous: the first relies on innocence, the second on wit and the third on piety. But three lusty rogues are out to prove them wrong, but the winsome wives turn the tables on their hapless husbands and brainless beaux.

"A Bite of Brecht" Preview: April 15; Opening: April 16; Closing: April 25. Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theater Bertolt Brecht was arguably the most important director, playwright and dramaturg of the 20th century. His work proved to most critics that radical political drama, agitprop and nonrealistic, could nevertheless be intensely theatrical, literary, compelling and beautiful. He wrote plays, diaries, poetry, theoretical treatises and short stories. His collaboration with Kurt Weill had nearly as significant an impact on American popular music. The suggestion of Barbara MacKenzie Wood, herself a Brechtian actress and director, this project will be created collaboratively with Australian Brecht cabaret interpreter Robyn Archer and will combine highlights from Brecht's repertoire into an evening of powerful theatre.

The School of Drama will also offer the following plays directed by students. Tickets are free. "Heart of a Dog" by Mikhail Bulgakov: Nov. 5-7, John Wells Video Studio.

"Eurydice" by Sarah Ruhl; Nov. 12-14, Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theater. "Mill on the Floss" by Helen Edmundson: Dec. 3-Dec. 6, Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theater. "It's Only Life," a compilation revue of songs by John Bucchino: Feb. 11-13, Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theater.

"The Illusion," by Tony Kushner, an adaptation of Pierre Corneille: April 22-24, venue to be announced.

"Someone Who'll Watch Over Me" by Frank McGuiness: Performance dates and venue to be announced.

"The Father" by August Strindberg: Performance dates and venue to be announced.

"One Flea Spare" by Naomi Wallace: Performance dates and venue to be announced.


CFA Announcements

Room Change ________________________________________________________________

Please note: The Steve Kurtz lecture tonight has been moved to McConomy Auditorium in the University Center.

Tues., Feb. 19 5 p.m.

Steve Kurtz is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Critical Art Ensemble (CAE), a collective of tactical media practitioners of various specializations who explore the intersections between art, critical theory, technology, and political activism. During preparations of Free Range Grain, Kurtz became embroiled in controversy and now faces federal charges of criminal mail and wire fraud with a potential sentence of up to 20 years.

LabA6 Podcast_______________________________________________________________

Listen to dramaturg and senior Breanna Zwart, whose research carried her to Pittsburgh's Hill District as well as to many of the places August Wilson described in The Piano Lesson at link:

Tickets are still available by calling 412-268-2407.

Listen to David Wettergreen discusses his art installation at the Mattress Factory, which uses video from his robots exploration of the Atacama Desert in Chile. Heather Pesanti and Wettergreen delve into the psyches of artists and scientists and look for common and different traits. See link:

Events _____________________________________________________________________

Sun., Feb. 24 5 p.m. Kresge Recital Hall Robert Page conducts the Carnegie Mellon choirs. The program features music for separate Robert Page conducts the Carnegie Mellon choirs. The program features music for separate male and female choirs and texts in several languages. __________________

The Institute for the Management of Creative Enterprises presents

MOVIES ON THE NET AND BEYOND MOTION PICTURE AND VIDEO COPYRIGHTS: WHO PAYS FOR WHAT, WHEN AND WHY? by Scott Sander President/CEO of SightSound Technologies Owner, Pense Productions

"a discussion of the current state of friction that exists between entertainment creators, distributors and consumers in light of the collapsing boundaries between communication technologies and entertainment distribution technologies."

Friday 29 February 2008 12.00n to 1.30p 1502 Hamburg Hall Carnegie Mellon University

Seating is limited in 1502 Hamburg! RSVP TODAY: ________________

The Carnegie Mellon School of Drama 2008 Winter New Play Festival continues Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 - Feb. 23

New Works Schedule:

PAST PERFECT/FUTURE TENSE 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

TIGHTROPE 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

GRAE MATTERS 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

FATIS LAST DANCE 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

Workers go overtime for centre’s opening

Kingston This Week: "IATSE Local 471 (Ottawa-Kingston) has been the stagehands representative for the Grand Theatre and the City of Kingston. It claims itself to be the “victim of Union Busting activities for the upcoming Tragically Hip event,” and accuses the arena’s private operator Arcturus SMG Canada of not giving them a chance to submit proposal through fair process."

Blogging at sea II

Live Design: "This adventure started on January 17 when I stepped off the plane in Miami to inspect the gear for the largest all-gay cruise in history, the Atlantis Liberty Cruise in the Caribbean aboard the largest cruise ship in the world. I picked up a rental car and drove out to Paradigm lighting in Ft. Lauderdale with my partner, Robert Montenegro. He is now in charge of all visuals projection and video content, and assists me with the lighting of events as well. We finally met up with John Finen, our production manager, after we all missed the same turns twice, and went into the shop."

Rose Brand Goes Green With NeoFlex

Live Design: "New diffused RGB and color jacket mini NeoFlex have been added to the NeoFlex product line at Rose Brand. With the addition of diffused RGB and color jacket mini NeoFlex, Rose Brand has a “green” alternate neon lighting solution.

Long Reach Long Riders Announce Annual Behind The Scenes Raffle At USITT

Live Design: "The Long Reach Long Riders and The ESTA Foundation are proud to announce their annual raffle to benefit Behind the Scenes at the USITT Conference. The event will be held on March 22, 2008 at the Behind the Scenes booth (#910) on the trade show floor of the USITT Conference in Houston, TX."

ETC Offers LDI 2008 Student Sponsorships

Live Design: "For the ninth year, Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc. (ETC) is taking a deserving group of college students to LDI. Continuing the company’s dedication to education, ETC will award six students all-expense-paid trips to the 2008 LDI tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 17-19, 2008. Undergraduate seniors and graduate students in lighting design, theatre technology, or closely related fields are encouraged to apply."

Serapid to Exhibit at USITT 2008

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Serapid will showcase their award-winning stage engineering products at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference and Stage Expo March 20-22 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. The company will exhibit at Booth #281."

Summit Breaks Records with Cirque du Soleil

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "With 138 points, Summit Steel has once again broken its own record for the number of load points rigged in London's Royal Albert Hall for Cirque du Soleil's new show Varekai, which is making its UK debut at the venue."

Arcola Theatre is Now Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "London's Arcola Theatre, one of the UK's leading independent venues, has installed a hydrogen fuel cell to power its café/bar and selected main house shows. The fuel cell operates almost silently, producing nothing but electricity and clean water."

The Empty Spaces

The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper: "Seven years ago, I left Seattle for New York—I abandoned the garage theaters and local arts scene and friends and colleagues—because I was a coward. I'd already tried to sell out once, by working at a shitty Wal-Mart of a tech company, but I knew I would not survive in the theater if I stayed. I fled to New York to bite and claw a living out of the American theater as an independent artist because I was young and stupid enough to think that would actually work. Today, my wife and I are one of a handful of working companies who create original work in theaters across the country. We're a very small ensemble: I am the monologuist; she is the director. We survive because we're nimble, we break rules, and when simple dumb luck happens upon us, we're ready for it."

Let's Go On With the (TV) Show "Next month, a new reality show called 'I'd Do Anything' will begin airing in the United Kingdom on BBC. It's not a 'Fear Factor'-style competition for thrill-seekers. It's a talent contest staged by mega-producers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh for a chance to play the leads in their coming West End revival of 'Oliver!'"

ETCP Deadline Extended

Milan Stitt

Professor Milan Stitt, Raymond W. Smith Professor of Dramatic Writing
and Head of the Graduate Dramatic Writing Program has decided to retire
from the faculty of the School of Drama following the conclusion of the
2008/2009 academic year.

After a distinguished career in the professional theatre as writer and
administrator, and serving as Chair of the Playwriting program at Yale,
Professor Stitt came to Carnegie Mellon University in 1997 as a visiting
faculty member. In 1998 he accepted a permanent appointment to the
faculty to anchor the program in Dramatic Writing. Functioning as the
sole faculty member in this area, the stature of the Dramatic Writing
program has grown markedly under his stewardship. Impressive
partnerships with the Sloan and Shubert Foundations, a rotation of
impressive industry guests, and outstanding support for new work
development have produced significant positive results. He has impacted
a generation of playwrights and screenwriters, and built a program
acknowledged as one of the best in the country.

Though a transition plan is in place for next year, and I know we'll all
maximize the value of the coming months with Milan as we wish him well
for the next golden -- perhaps Spanish -- chapter!


Fox Sports NASCAR Daytona 500 Coverage Features CMU’s Synthetic Interview Technology

The Daytona 500 is the inaugural race of the annual NASCAR season and arguably one of the most famous sporting events in America. This year’s Daytona 500 coverage, exclusive to Fox Sports, has a special twist this year: utilization of the Synthetic Interview technology created by Carnegie Mellon researchers Michael Christel and ETC faculty member Scott Stevens, and adapted for NASCAR use by an ETC Student Project Team.

Fox Sports had expressed interest in using the Synthetic Interview technology for Daytona 500 coverage, but sought additional capabilities from the technology that did not exist. This initiative fell perfectly within the purview of an Entertainment Technology Center project and discussions commenced with Fox Sports about becoming a sponsor of the ETC. The interest of Fox Sports in the Synthetic Interview technology helped justify creating an ETC student project team devoted to the Synthetic Interview technology. Unique to this endeavor would be the ability to access one of three renowned NASCAR personalities – Studio Analyst, Jeff Hammond; Race Analyst, Larry McReynolds; or Race Analyst, Darrell Waltrip - appearing on the same web page, as well as utilization of NASCAR B-Roll as a way of illustrating and illuminating many of the answers.

The Synthetic Interview Project team, comprised of ETC students Howard Kim, Kelsey Livingston, Laura Lantz, Tsung-han Lee, and Krishna Pandravada, and ETC faculty supervisors Shirley Saldamarco and Scott Stevens, commenced a whirlwind effort to create the test site for Fox Sports in time for the February 17 Daytona 500 race. Fox Sports took care of interviewing, filming, and editing the raw footage, but the ETC team was responsible for integrating these video assets into the Synthetic Interview technology. Fox Sports then delighted the ETC team by announcing that Home Depot would serve as the site sponsor and would go under the name of “Ask the Pros.” The website URL is and the expectation is that the site will not only remain live but be updated continually. Scroll down on the Home Depot “Ask the Pros” website and you will see the Carnegie Mellon and ETC logo.

“This might be the quickest that any ETC project team has seen its hard work translate into national exposure,” said ETC Executive Producer Don Marinelli. “We are barely passed quarter presentations and here on national television we have Fox Sports asking its millions of viewers in 150 countries to access a website created by ETC students. That is rather amazing.”

According to Jim Peltz of the Los Angeles Times, “After moving far beyond its Southern roots years ago, NASCAR continues to soar in nationwide popularity and is on the verge of spreading to an even broader, international audience.” Peltz goes on to say, “NASCAR, once derided as a passion mostly for "rednecks," is now a sophisticated, multibillion-dollar enterprise that claims about 75 million fans including many of pop culture's glitterati and ranks among the nation's most popular sports in attendance and television viewership.”

One thing for sure is that NASCAR has won over five ETC students and two faculty members whose hard work and dedication have made the 2008 Daytona 500 an international event enhanced by technology developed and refined right here at Carnegie Mellon.

Vertical Hour

VERTICAL HOUR by David Hare, 2nd North American Production plays at the REP from February 14- March 2/08 directed by John Amplas

Tickets available at 412-621-4445

Cast includes Robert Haley (presently teaching Voice 1 A, B for spring 08), Sheila McKenna and Jarrod Di Giorgi.

Sound: Joe Pino, Voice/Dialect/ AT coach; Janet Madelle Feindel

TV Review: New spotlight on 'A Raisin in the Sun'

Post Gazette: "When Lorraine Hansberry's 'A Raisin in the Sun' first appeared on Broadway in 1959 (and I was there, a theater-addicted high school student dazzled by the bright lights), it was a revelation for its frank dramatization of racial prejudice and conflicting African American attitudes toward race, assimilation and gender roles."

Stage Preview: Comedy tangles family bonds

Post Gazette: "When the Old Schoolhouse Players of Hickory raise the curtain Friday on their 2008 season, the theme of its first play, 'Squabbles,' will fit in nicely with one of this area's most striking demographics -- an aging population."

Western Pennsylvania high schools get 2008 musicals in gear

Post Gazette: "The annual onrush of high school spring musicals has just started, establishing a beachhead in late February in promise of sunnier days to come. Here they are, 112 Southwestern Pennsylvania high musicals arranged chronologically by week, and within each week, in order of first performance and then length of run (shorter runs first). Note that some shows also run a second weekend."

Stage Preview: 'Drowsy' composer shaped by Pittsburgh roots, Canadian upbringing

Post Gazette: "The Pittsburgh diaspora has scattered embryonic artists far and wide -- Gertrude Stein to Paris, F. Murray Abraham to Texas ... and Lisa Lambert to Toronto."

Opera Theater's 'Stars' retains story's power

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Kurt Weill's 'Lost in the Stars' remains a powerful tragedy in Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's new staging that opened Thursday evening, nearly 60 years after its premiere in New York City."

At CAHS, it's showtime

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'Bye Bye Birdie' will be performed 7:30 p.m. March 6-8 and 2 p.m. March 9 at Connellsville Area High School. Tickets price is $10 for Thursday night's show, $12 for all other performances. Tickets can be purchased at the high school office from noon to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are still available for all performances."

Les Ballet de Monte Carlo enthrals with 'Cinderella'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The audience Saturday night at the Benedum Center was in the hands of true artists when Jean-Christophe Maillot's brilliant version of 'Cinderella' was performed by Les Ballet de Monte Carlo."

Independent TV production looking to fill multiple roles

Craigslist: "One More Time Productions, an independent production group (co-op with Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Point Park University), is currently seeking a variety of individuals to aid in the production of a single camera style comedy pilot."

Can you airbrush- Paint my sign

Craigslist: "Pretty easy if you know how to spray. Not a complicated design."

Looking for seamstress/sewer

Craigslist: "I'm looking to work w/an individual that has sufficent amount of experience sewing purses, clothes and accessories."

The importance of being accessible

Guardian Unlimited: "Does it matter if the Royal Court's Scarborough doesn't offer everyone a comfy seat? Some innovative productions risk alienating audiences"

Theater - Black Actors- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Come Back, Littler Sheba - The Country Girl

New York Times: "THEATER people have been talking for decades about James Earl Jones playing Big Daddy. The established white Southern setting of Tennessee Williams’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” notwithstanding, Mr. Jones, the barrel-chested actor with the inimitable basso profundo, strikes many as a natural fit for the foul-tempered, vulgar landowner. There was serious discussion about building a production of the play around him back in 1987, and when the producer Stephen Byrd approached him about the part in the mid-’90s, Mr. Jones told him, “I always wanted to play that cracker.”"

For Bay Area theater, change at the top

San Francisco Gate: "Bay Area theaters are undergoing the greatest amount of flux since the mid-1980s, when the founding artistic leaders of American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and San Jose Repertory Theatre were replaced. And there's more."

The art of suffering

Guardian Unlimited: "Among the 15 or so personal questions I throw at artists for the weekly G2 interview Portrait of the Artist, there is one that tends to make people think more than any other - do you suffer for your art?"

ETC Technology Helps To Answer Fans Questions About NASCAR

Carnegie Mellon University: "Thanks to 'synthetic interview' technology developed by Scott Stevens and Michael Christel and a team of graduate students at the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), NASCAR racing fans can get their questions answered by experts on FOX on MSN"

Colorado New Play Summit already among best

The Denver Post: "The Denver Center Theatre Company's Colorado New Play Summit made such strides in its third year it already is being recognized as one of the most important new-play events in America."

Stratford-on-the-lake? This is suddenly a Shakespeare town "Why the sudden profusion? It's mostly due to the phenomenal growth of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater into one of this city's major institutions -- with as tony and influential an opening-night crowd as you'll find anywhere."

3 students win trips to D.C. thanks to Wilson's monologues | AccessAtlanta

AccessAtlanta: "Three Atlanta high school students are headed to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., where they will reprise their prize-winning speeches from True Colors Theatre's August Wilson Monologue Competition."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Actors Ask SAG to Limit Voting Pool

Backstage: "Vaughn states in the letter, 'The challenging reality is that two-thirds of SAG's 120,000 members consistently earn less than $1,000 per year as SAG actors, and only one in five SAG members earns even $7,500 annually. But anyone holding a SAG card can vote on our major contracts... . If those who approve or reject contracts don't have a concrete stake in the outcome, they are vulnerable to manipulation…. What's more, the possibility of a job action is taken much more seriously if it comes from those who are actually doing the work.'"

Worried About Guns? Ban a Campus Musical

Inside Higher Ed: "A student production of Assassins, the award-winning musical, was to have premiered Thursday night at Arkansas Tech University, but the administration banned it — and permitted a final dress rehearsal Wednesday night (so the cast could experience the play on which students have worked long hours) only on the condition that wooden stage guns were cut in half prior to the event and not used."

Cast Announced for Musical 'Mask'; Duffy and Read Are Mother and Son

Yahoo! News: "The musical by the picture's screenwriter Anna Hamilton Phelan (book), Barry Mann (music) and Cynthia Weil (lyrics) begins March 12 with the official opening set for March 21 at Pasadena Playhouse, 39 South El Molino Avenue, in Pasadena, CA."

Williamstown Theater picks Martin

Variety: "After all, this is where Martin himself developed as a director, helming some of Williamstown's hits that have moved on to other venues, including the Rialto: 'Hedda Gabler,' 'Dead End' and 'Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme.' Last summer's WTF success, 'The Corn Is Green,' starring Kate Burton and her son Morgan Ritchie, will transfer to Boston's Huntington next winter -- and there is 'Green' Gotham interest as well."

Broadway plays the market

Variety: "'I don't think the market can support so many plays,' says Bob Boyett, the prolific play producer whose output this season includes 'Rock 'n' Roll,' 'The Seafarer,' 'The 39 Steps' and 'Is He Dead?' -- not to mention upcoming revivals 'Boeing-Boeing' and 'The Country Girl.'"

Opera Theater's 'Stars' retains story's power

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Kurt Weill's 'Lost in the Stars' remains a powerful tragedy in Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's new staging that opened Thursday evening, nearly 60 years after its premiere in New York City."

Sunday in the Park With George

New York Times: "This directive is issued by the painter Seurat, played by Daniel Evans in the glorious revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s “Sunday in the Park With George,” which opened Thursday night at Studio 54. And even if George’s mother, to whom he is ostensibly speaking, pays him no mind, we certainly do."

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

New York Times: "While the current production of Tennessee Williams’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” has garnered attention for its all-black cast, it is the saltiness of Big Daddy, played with unrestrained ribaldry by James Earl Jones, and particularly his liberal use of a certain four-letter word, that has raised the eyebrows of some theatergoers."

All too quiet on the post-strike front

Hollywood Reporter: "But a significant number of writers, it turns out, were not working on specs during the strike. And agents and studio execs who were expecting a feverish return to work have found that, while meetings are back in gear, deals and scripts have been thin on the ground."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stage Preview: Wilson play is a first for CMU and New York director

Post Gazette: "Elizabeth Van Dyke loves what's she's doing.
She's a guest worker in Pittsburgh, where August Wilson's plays began. She's an experienced director, directing a Wilson play for the first time -- and not just any play but the Pulitzer Prize-winning 'The Piano Lesson,' in which she once acted at the country's leading black theater. And she's doing this at Carnegie Mellon, which lavishes more resources and support on her students than she can quite believe."

Stage Review: Hare's political 'Vertical Hour' sure to spark great debates

Post Gazette: "But people do talk like that. As I said -- it's a play about people, not about their ideas. No one is perfect. Hare wants you to be irritated, to get you involved in the debate. I know you liked 'Stuff Happens' better than I did. Do you feel bad about not liking 'Vertical Hour' better?"

Students sparkle in annual Shakespeare contest

Post Gazette: "It was fireworks night in Downtown Pittsburgh yesterday, but the fireworks went off inside the Pittsburgh Public Theater. They came courtesy of the characters and words of Shakespeare, detonated by 39 students from 19 schools, in grades four to 12, who competed in the finals of the theater's 14th annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest."

Prime time for Prime Stage

Post Gazette: "Prime Stage Theatre's main mission is to encourage students to read literary classics. The company is dedicated to 'bringing literature to life' by producing plays based on well-known literary works. This season includes 'Inherit the Wind,' 'Of Mice and Men' and 'The Outsiders.'"

Katowice Journal: Andrew Paul in Poland

Post Gazette: "Andrew Paul, artistic director of Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, is in Poland, directing the non-English language premiere of 'Stuff Happens,' David Hare's fine play about the Bush administration, Blair et all and the run-up to Iraq. Paul directed it successfully for PICT in 2007, and another PICT director, Tadeusz Bradecki, arranged for him to come do it with his company at the Slaski (which is to say, Silesian) Theatre in Katowice, about 60 kilometers from Krakow."

‘November’ - Mamet

New York Times: "David Mamet’s blog promoting his Broadway comedy “November” (at is an intriguing if half-hearted experiment. Written in the voice of the main character, a bumbling president who tries to blackmail and buy his way to re-election, the blog occasionally echoes Mr. Mamet’s 2005 Off Broadway play, “Romance,” a too-late attack on political correctness. But more often it exploits the sitcom rhythms of “November” itself. The president mistily recalls phrases his father used at the dinner table, and writes on the blog: “ ‘Stuffing the ballot box,’ I, of course, associated with Thanksgiving, and ‘voting the dead,’ with Halloween.”"

August Wilson Cycle at the Kennedy Center

New York Times: "The staging of all the plays at once — it runs March 4 through April 6 — is a first, organizers said. Michael Kaiser, the president of the Kennedy Center, said that even before Wilson died of liver cancer in 2005, there had been a discussion about presenting the plays as a whole. “These are 10 spectacular works,” he said."

Moving Soon to an Apartment Near You

New York Times: "BROOKE BERMAN is living in Seventh Heaven this week. That’s the name of the three dorm rooms that New Dramatists, a nonprofit center for playwrights housed in an old church on West 44th Street, offers its 49 artists-in-residence for short stays."

Bessie Nelson

New York Times: "A Broadway designer has to come up with the look, the gold glow of the dancers in “A Chorus Line,” say, or the gluttonous kitsch of the showgirls in “The Producers.” But even then, you can’t wear an idea. Somebody actually has to make it."

'Beast on the Moon' Writer's 'A Crooked Man' Premieres in Toronto

Yahoo! News: "Alianak Theatre Productions (ATP) presents the world premiere of Kalinoski's A Crooked Man, directed by and starring Hrant Alianak, Feb. 20-March 2 at The Theatre Centre in Toronto. Opening is Feb. 22."

Dissident Belarus troupe fills London theatre

Yahoo! News: "Independent-minded actors and writers say they have to walk a fine line between pleasing censors in officially approved theatre and organising performances covertly, using elaborate ploys to avoid detection."


New York Post: "THERE'S something of a generational and cultural disconnect backstage at 'Passing Strange,' the hip new musical in previews at the Belasco Theatre."

Counting the cost of free theatre

Guardian Unlimited: "Barely a month ago, the McMaster report suggested, among other things, free arts events - an idea swiftly torched by Mark Ravenhill. Now, the Globe has announced a new programme of free events via its education department. The lineup offers free performances of Much Ado About Nothing (already 'sold' out), a piece created around Hamlet by pupils with special educational needs, and a minimally charged-for festival of Shakespeare's greatest hits, performed by students from 20 drama schools around the UK."

Directors Guild ratifies breakthrough contract

Reuters: "Hollywood directors gave their final stamp of approval on Wednesday to a contract deal that helped pave the way for a settlement of the damaging 101-day strike by screenwriters against film and TV studios."

Report: Strike Cost $2.5 Billion

E! News: "A report released Wednesday by Jack Kyser, the chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., has revealed that the three-month walkout by film and TV writers took a heavier toll on Tinseltown's bottom line than predicted—$2.5 billion in lost show business."

Mountain Playhouse season hits farce, musicals

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Five comedies, a pair of musicals and two world premieres are planned for the 2008 eight-play season at Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown."

Opera Theater stages Pittsburgh premiere of Kurt Weill work

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Veteran conductor Julius Rudel is glad to be back in Pittsburgh, collaborating again with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh on the music of Kurt Weill."

'Chaperone' takes modern look at old-time musical

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "If 'The Drowsy Chaperone' sounds like a musical your great-grandmother might have enjoyed in her youth, you would be both right and wrong.
It's a completely new musical with a score of original tunes that pays loving homage to song-and-dance shows from the 1920s and '30s such as 'No, No, Nanette,' 'Oh, Kay,' 'Flying High' and 'Girl Crazy.'"

Freshly Framed, Sunday in the Park With George Revival Opens on Broadway

Playbill News: "The acclaimed, Olivier Award-winning London revival of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George, the Pulitzer Prize-winning rumination on 'children and art,' opens at Broadway's Studio 54 on Feb. 21."

Monday, February 18, 2008

World Premiere of Leonard's Unconditional Opens Off-Broadway Feb. 18

Playbill News: "Brett C. Leonard's Unconditional, starring Anna Chlumsky and John Doman, officially opens Off-Broadway Feb. 18. LAByrinth Theater Company presents the world premiere."

Tom Stoppard - Edward Albee

New York Times: "Do you know what it’s like to be deeply, unbearably in love, all the while aware that you can never completely trust the object of your affection? I would wager that Edward Albee and Tom Stoppard do, almost to the point of delirium."

Broadcaster Sues to Force Buyout Deal

New York Times: "Clear Channel Communications, the largest radio broadcaster in the United States, said Sunday that it had sued a unit of the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners to force a completion of a $1.2 billion purchase of 56 television stations."

Theaters take ban back to court

The Denver Post: "The Colorado Department of Public Health is keeping up its uncompromising fight against theaters seeking a performance exception to the state's indoor smoking ban."

How a new musical fell apart "On Monday, the Goodman Theatre killed off 'The Boys Are Coming Home,' a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing.' This was the first time in Robert Falls' long tenure as artistic director that the theater had announced, and then nixed, a major subscription show. For the gifted-but-underexposed Canadian composer Leslie Arden, the decision represented a personal and professional disappointment, although she was partly to blame."

More schools shy away from controversial play "The controversy continues around Joseph Jomo Pierre’s play Born Ready, now playing at Theatre Passe Muraille. The show deals realistically with ghetto life in Toronto and the gun culture that young people are drawn into."

Nick of time "When a single production can save two famous theatre companies from extinction, 25 years apart, it must be something truly extraordinary."

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Yahoo! News: "It came from England's Chichester Festival and the West End, where star Patrick Stewart and director Rupert Goold - �Britain's latest hot young director - �collected laurels all along the way. This week it landed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for a six-week-stay, with mountains of press, a cacophony of good word of mouth, and whispers that a Broadway transfer might be in the offing. A Macbeth on Broadway that critics liked? Why, the last time that happened was - wait, has that ever happened?"

Theatre Breaks Barriers for Disabled Actors

Backstage: "Director Ike Schambelan had a problem. The founder of Theater by the Blind in Manhattan wanted to cast company regular Ann Marie Morelli as Tatiana and Hermia in his production of A Midsummer Night's Dream last year. However, Morelli's multiple sclerosis kept her in a wheelchair."

More Than a Feeling

The New York Times: "Tom Scholz, the chief songwriter and founder of the band Boston, has written to Mike Huckabee, complaining of his use of the group’s 1976 song “More Than a Feeling” in his presidential campaign without permission"

Taylor music make for a not-quite perfect 'Love'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Valentine's Day took edgy turns during Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 'Forever Love,' a program that built to the world premiere of 'glint' with live music by B.E. Taylor and his band."

Recordings can enrich enjoyment of live performances

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Midwinter is the time of year for season announcements by performing arts organizations. If they've done their job well, the cold outside is dispelled a bit by warm hopes for future delights."

Going deeper than Disney

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Fairy tales can be much more than little stories to help children get to sleep at night and encourage them to be good."

Strange Magic

New York Times: "Your powerhouse of a musical, “Passing Strange,” is about to open on Broadway, which might seem like an unexpected turn of events for a 46-year-old songwriter who has spent most of his career rocking with underground bands in small clubs. Have you always loved musical theater? No. I’ve seen very few musicals, and my producers get scared when I give my opinion of them. Apparently, it’s not the thing to do when you’re on Broadway, to dis other shows. Let’s just say I loved “Chicago.”"

Taste Schmaste! This Is for a Diva

New York Times: "IT has been four years since Bette Midler last had her way with a stage in the United States. On Wednesday, when she opens at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas with “The Showgirl Must Go On,” the stage will reflect this pop diva’s reputation for extravagance. Over a year in the making, the set has components that were constructed in Los Angeles, New Jersey and New York before being shipped to Las Vegas, including three 45-foot-tall trees and curtains created out of hundreds of thousands of individually painted gold coins."

A Raisin in the Sun

New York Times: "IN the shabby living room of a Chicago apartment a frustrated young chauffeur dreams of owning a business and buying pearls for his wife. His fiery sister, a college student, dreams of becoming a doctor. His weary mother dreams of a nice home for them all, and his pregnant wife dreams of just holding on until their poverty eases."

Day in the Work Life: Soap Opera Actor

Marketplace: "With Hollywood's writers back on the job, we turn an eye to entertainment and learn about an actor's day on the set with Tobias Truvillion of 'One Life to Live.'"

Slavery as Seen From the Other Side

New York Times: "Mr. Bandele, a playwright and novelist born in Nigeria, now a resident of England, for a long while wrote mainly about the lives he knew in both. But when the Royal Shakespeare Company had the idea of involving him in a production of “Oroonoko,” the play by the Restoration dramatist Thomas Southerne based on Aphra Behn’s famous novel of the period, Mr. Bandele plunged deep into matters of history, responsibility, power, choices of the heart and the fickleness of freedom. He emerged in 1999 with a new work about Africa and slavery; about slave takers, who are African, and slave traders, who are white."

Sam Buntrock - Sunday in the Park With George

New York Times: "WHEN people think of Broadway special effects, the first things that probably come to mind are big, lumbering spectacles like the chandelier in “Phantom of the Opera.” Such elements are designed to drop jaws, stop shows and above all draw attention. But they don’t always draw good reviews."

Broadway Bears XI Presented Feb. 17; Batt Hosts

Playbill News: "Bryan Batt, the Broadway actor who can be seen in the acclaimed TV series 'Mad Men,' returns to host Broadway Bears XI Feb. 17 at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on West 42nd Street."

Stage Review: Classical Theater of Harlem trades the classical for the Harlem in 'Romeo & Juliet'

Post Gazette: "It starts with a bang, moves fast with plenty of energy and completes its task in a brisk 85 minutes: that's the stripped down, pumped up, youthful, contemporary, high octane 'Romeo and Juliet' staged at Downtown's CAPA Theater Friday and Saturday nights by the visiting Classical Theatre of Harlem."

Shakespeare contest finalists listed

Post Gazette: "All week, students in grades 4-12 swarmed the O'Reilly Theater to be judged in the Pittsburgh Public Theater's 14th annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest. Tuesday's snow and much rescheduling have left Public education director Rob Zellers and staff unsure of the final number, but it was more than 1,000."

'Anne Frank' musical in motion

Variety: "'The Diary of Anne Frank' is an unlikely vehicle to be made into a musical, once strictly the realm of love stories and lighter fare. But a Spanish tuner based on Frank's written account of her experiences -- starring a 13-year-old novice selected by the public -- is being readied for its premiere this month in Madrid, despite the misgivings of the book's copyright owners."

Theater fest targets teen audiences

Variety: "Child murder, pregnant 13-year-olds and soldiers returning from Iraq don't sound like standard fodder for theater aimed at teen audiences -- one of the legit sector's most underserved demographics."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Clancy Sigal: Strike Notes from a Screenwriter

Counterpunch: "Our strike is a victory against negatives. We successfully resisted the studios on rollbacks. And the union remained united, solid and militant in the face of the media conglomerates' obvious intent to break or enfeeble the Writers Guild of America, west and east. The strike the conglomerates' film studios provoked had the unintended consequence of strengthening our union and uniting the membership as never before."

Save $100 On All Live Design Master Classes Through April 15, 2008

Live Design: "Spend a few days in May with some of the top designers in lighting, projection, and sound—and save money if you register by April 15, 2008."


Showcase Benefit for the Class of 2008

by Lucy Thurber

"...a rancid slice of white-trash.."

Ryah Nixon
John McKetta
Erika Strasburg
Adam Berry
Katie Wieland
Peter Moses
Caitlin Kimball

Rauh Studio Theatre
Sunday Feb. 17th @ 8pm

Suggested donation 5.00