CMU School of Drama

Saturday, May 31, 2008

States Race to Woo TV and Film "In the past month and a half, at least four states -- Georgia, New York, Mississippi and Michigan -- have increased the scope of tax credits, cash rebates and other incentives to encourage spending money in the state and hiring local workers. They are competing with nearly 40 other states and U.S. territories that have incentive programs on the books, some with established film- and TV-production infrastructure, including New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania."

Artists seek royalties for 70 years from grave

Times Online: "Britain's artistic community is battling against leading auction houses and dealers to bring in a law forcing the payment of a royalty on artists' works for 70 years after their deaths — in line with writers and musicians."

Master the Google - Search Like a God & Save Time "The internet, a network spanning the globe. Today around 20% of the world’s population is connected. That’s over 1.4 billion people, a number with ten digits and it’s growing. Imagine each of these individuals would contribute only one sentence per day and one file per week."

REP musical drama connects with many lives

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'Eastburn Avenue,' a new musical having its world premiere production by The REP, Point Park University's professional theatre company, is as intense as it is insightful."

Broadway, Before It Was Their Job "Erik Piepenburg asked several Tony Award winners to recall the first Broadway show they ever saw and to describe the impact it had on them. Excerpts from their responses are below."

More Imported Plays Appear on Smaller Stages Here "IN the last year I have seen shows in Off Broadway theaters from, among other places, Argentina, Canada, England, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Poland, Russia and Scotland. New York is as much a global theater capital as ever, so why doesn’t it always seem that way?"

Precocious Broadway Debuts in ‘Cry-Baby,’ ‘In the Heights,’ ‘Passing Strange’ and ‘Xanadu’ "BROADWAY debuts ain’t what they used to be. Oh, they’re nice and all, but consider this: On each of the four shows nominated for a Tony Award for best musical, at least one major creative player is doing this whole professional theater thing for the first time. Not just Broadway debuts; theater debuts. We’re talking people who have no experience in their field, no years on the regional circuit, no résumé of Off Broadway shows, no Playbill credits that cause an expectant theatergoer to point and whisper: “Ech. I saw that. I can only assume he’s improved.” Like, none (O.K., with a little fudging in places)."

The Big Cast, Bigger Canvas, of Broadway "THERE are not a lot of firm bets in this year’s Tony races, but it’s pretty certain that Tracy Letts will need to make a little more room on his expanding awards shelf. Mr. Letts’s blistering family drama “August: Osage County” has already received several significant awards, notably the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle award. The top Tony, should it arrive on cue, will crown a remarkable season for Mr. Letts and his colleagues from the Steppenwolf Theater Company, the Chicago troupe that created this electrifying production."

‘South Pacific,’ ‘Gypsy,’ ‘Sunday in the Park’ - Again, for the First Time "WHEN your high school English teachers talked about the rewards of revisiting the classics, they probably didn’t mean musicals. Most likely they were referring to fat, dense novels (“Middlemarch,” “Anna Karenina”) and long, lofty plays (“Hamlet,” “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”): works of weight, they liked to tell us, dragging out a favorite dog-eared phrase, with “universal human truth.”"

'Gone With the Wind' closes

Variety: "Tomorrow is not another day for the musical version of 'Gone With the Wind,' which will close June 14 after a short West End run marked by blistering reviews from London critics."

Broadway rewrites role of scalpers

Variety: "Call it the secondary ticket market, or just call it scalping. Either way, it's a vital element of the Broadway biz.
Legiters estimate that when you factor in the coin made by resellers, as much as $200 million could be added to the annual Broadway gross of nearly $1 billion."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chita Rivera Astounds in Kander, Ebb's Tuneful `Visit' Muse Arts: "The Signature Theater of Arlington, Virginia, is presenting a Kander and Ebb Celebration, and I caught two of the three offerings: ``The Visit,'' eminently worth visiting, and ``The Happy Time,'' which is less so. In the former, that ageless wonder, Chita Rivera, is giving the performance of her outstanding career. Again."

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"

ASCAP's Bill Of Wrongs

Techdirt: "Which U.S. Constitution is ASCAP reading? The U.S. Constitution provision says, 'the Congress shall have Power... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.' There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution to suggest that copyright law has anything to do with protecting artists' natural rights, copyright hardly exists for a limited amount of time anymore, and Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were quite skeptical of the concept."

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! to Tour in 2008

Playbill News: "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, a holiday hit at the St. James Theatre (in 2007) and the Hilton Theatre (in 2006), will hit the road later this year."

Stage Review: 'Bust' actress gives grand performance

Post Gazette: "Sometimes theater is all about the performer.
Granted, the content of 'Bust,' Lauren Weedman's one-woman play at City Theatre, is interesting (and sensational) enough: feckless volunteer visits inmates at Los Angeles County Jail, population 18,000, and jail culture proves as shocking to her as it is to us, while a small parallel story about her stage auditions and writing for Glamour magazine throws everything into satirical relief.
Add to that, the show is very funny. Really. Trust me."

Stage Preview: Public Theater's Ted Pappas sings the praises of 'The Odd Couple'

Post Gazette: "Why 'The Odd Couple'? Hasn't everyone already seen Neil Simon's 1965 hit comedy on stage?
Apparently not."

Stage Review: 'Shear Madness' curls into permanent tease of silliness

Post Gazette: "One of the champions of interactive theater/cabaret is 'Shear Madness,' a comic whodunit that's been ensconced in other cities for two or three decades and has finally made its professional Pittsburgh debut at the CLO Cabaret at Theater Square."

Weedman shows impressive range in 'Bust'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Alternately frustrating, annoying and hilarious, Lauren Weedman's 'Bust' never fails to hold your attention.
Both the writer and the performer for this solo performance, Weedman mines the humor and drama of her experiences as a Hollywood actress and her work as a volunteer advocate for women incarcerated in the Los Angeles County Jail."

Public breaks new ground with Simon classic

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Ask Ted Pappas why he chose Neil Simon's 'The Odd Couple' to close the Pittsburgh Public Theater's 33rd season, and he quickly reels off three reasons: He loves great American comedies, he likes that the season opened with a classic Shakespeare comedy ('The Comedy of Errors') and closes with a Neil Simon comedy, which he also considers a classic."

'Don't Say Goodbye' pokes fun at mortality

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Facing mortality isn't usually a laughing matter.
But the cast who will bring the sensitive subject to light on the Saint Vincent College stage will keep audiences laughing."

Tillis' country roots surface in Wynette tribute show

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "When Carrie Tillis steps on stage playing the lead role in a tribute show to country music legend Tammy Wynette, she'll have a little bit of experience from which to draw."

Point Park alum pens The REP's season closer

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The REP, Point Park University's professional theater company, has focused its 2007-08 season on plays about families.
So it seems appropriate that the season's final play, the world premiere of the musical 'Eastburn Avenue,' is not only about a family but written by one of its own family members, Marcus Stevens, a 2003 graduate of Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts."

Musical robots put on a show at Children's Museum

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "They look like neither robots nor musical instruments, but the features in an upcoming exhibit at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh actually are both."

Pittsburgh Public's 'Odd Couple', with Scherer and Polk, Begins

Yahoo! News: "The tale of two men who bunk together after their marriages fail is directed by The Public's producing artistic director Ted Pappas. Performances play PPT's O'Reilly Theater."

Seaside `Carousel' Hits Grace Notes on New Haven Wharf Muse Arts: "If you're unfamiliar with the phrase ``site-specific theater,'' a stroll outside New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre at intermission during ``Carousel'' will tell you all you need to know."

Las Vegas Sands bets on new Cirque show in Macau

Reuters: "Las Vegas Sands Corp offered a peek on Thursday at a $150-million Cirque du Soleil show that will open at the Venetian Macau, the casino operator's latest high-stakes bet that it can get visitors to the Asian city to do more than gamble."

‘Bodies’ Exhibitors Admit Corpse Origins Are Murky "After more than two years of assurances that the cadavers on display in a popular South Street Seaport exhibit were legally obtained in China, the company that runs the exhibit admitted on Thursday that it could not prove that the bodies were not those of prisoners who might have been tortured or executed. The company promised refunds to people who have seen the exhibit."

Rose Brand’s Panorama: Digital Scenery. This thing is cool.

Backstage at "The Panorama is specifically intended for those mid-size theatres that need video playback and mixing capabilities, but don’t need a Catalyst. Best of all, the system was designed from a theatre person’s perspective, using a DMX based controller for practically everything."

Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" Becoming An Opera

The Huffington Post: "La Scala officials say the Italian composer Giorgio Battistelli has been commissioned to produce an opera on the international multiformat hit for the 2011 season at the Milan opera house. The composer is currently artistic director of the Arena in Verona."

25 Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Own Job Search

The Best Article Every day: "When you’re job hunting, you can go mad if you think about the amount of factors beyond your control that affect your chances of getting hired.
The economy, your location, industry trends — even the hiring manager’s mood — can influence whether or not you get a job.
Still, as nice as it would be to blame your lack of offers on external factors, you can’t forget that common denominator in your job hunt — from the résumé to the interview — is you.
Here are 25 ways you might be unknowingly sabotaging your own job search:"

Evil Dead: Broadway Killed The Zombies

I09: "A new crop of campy zombie ads are cropping up on Broadway, promoting Evil Dead: The Musical. While the posters are all very clever, their presence only reveals what I've long feared: the Disneyification of our beloved brain-eating zombies."

Lighting/Sound Designer and Board Operator

Craigslist: "Pittsburgh PlayWorks, a play development lab, will be presenting a week of public readings at the Three Rivers Arts Festival. We are looking for a lighting and/or sound designer who can also operate the board and equipment during two of the readings."

Muppet's 'Christmas' tunes up

Variety: "The Jim Henson Co. has teamed with iTheatrics to develop a stage tuner version of its 1977 TV special 'Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas.'"

'Vanities' will make fall bow

Variety: "Broadway-bound tuner 'Vanities' has set a sked for the Rialto, with a Gotham berth planned for this fall following a tryout at Pasadena Playhouse in late summer."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

AFTRA, majors agree on deal

Variety: "Following nine consecutive days of negotiations, AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers reached a tentative three-year agreement at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday at AMPTP headquarters in Encino. If ratified, the deal will go into effect July 1."

How to get DWF printouts

Daily Autocad: "I am going to discuss paper and electronic plot in today’s article. Actually you might have already been sent your drawings in digital format (by zipping AutoCAD files). Yet this is not a effective method if you do not accept your drawings being copied or edited by someone else. Moreover, the person you sent the drawing does not supposed to have AutoCAD. You may use ‘Dwf’ (Drawing Web Format) files instead. They have designed for web publishing purposes at first and can be viewed by adding an ActiveX plug-in into MS Explorer, but later, user requests have AutoDESK published a distinct viewer to open ‘DWF’ files. You can download DWF Viewer for free by clicking here."

Hanging Alarm Clock: Blissful Sleep is Always Just Out of Reach

Gizmodo: "Back in 2005 a designer named Hayat Benchenaa developed a concept alarm clock that was suspended from the ceiling. When the alarm sounded in the morning, all you needed to do was give it a smack to continue snoozing. However, doing so would cause the alarm clock to retreat further towards the ceiling, making it more difficult to reach the next time around."

10 Things you Must Know before Renting an Apartment

Freshome: "If you can’t afford buying an apartment, your solution is probably to lease. Though moving to a new apartment can be very exciting, finding a good one to rent could be a daunting task. There are things you should consider before the big step, so here are our ten picks to make sure you’re prepared before you sign your name."

Mountain Playhouse's space to grow

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Recent funding from three foundations has enabled the Mountain Playhouse, a Somerset County theater group, to purchase a nearby house and eight wooded acres, providing administrative office space and an artist's living quarters."

'Shear Madness' is sheer fun

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Right from the start, the Shear Madness Hair Styling Salon buzzes with activity. Loud rock music serves as a background as salon owner Tony Whitcomb and his employee Barbara DeMarco bustle about serving patrons and tending to shop business."

Broadway Grossed Nearly $1 Billion During 2007-2008 Season

Playbill News: "The Broadway League announced May 28 that the season just ended — May 28, 2007-May 25, 2008 — took in $937.5 million (includes an estimate for Young Frankenstein, which does not report its grosses), down slightly from the previous season, which grossed $938.5 million."

Jason Robert Brown's 13 Sets Broadway Preview Date

Playbill News: "Bob Boyett and Tim Levy will produce the production, which features a score by Brown and a book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn. Jeremy Sams directs.
The creative team will also include choreographer Christopher Gattelli and music director Tom Kitt. Rehearsals are scheduled to begin July 28."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Seven high school productions honored with Gene Kelly awards

Post Gazette: "'Let me make this short, because there's a Penguins game going on,' said the Taylor Allderdice student accepting the Kelly Award for best student orchestra Saturday night at the Benedum Center. He also claimed that most of their practice time 'was devoted to food.'"

Stage Reviews: 'In the Heights' is standout Tony-nominated musical

Post Gazette: "Musicals are the big-ticket lifeblood of Broadway, right? But in the 2007-08 theatrical season just ended, among shows nominated for at least one Tony Award, plays outnumber musicals 15 to 11."

Stage Review: PICT gets Wilde with family musical

Post Gazette: "As if it weren't enough to stage a subscription season of heavyweights Shakespeare, Wilde and Synge, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre is now double-dipping, overlapping Wilde's elegant adult comedy 'An Ideal Husband' (through Saturday), with a brief world premiere run of a small family musical, 'Wilde Tales.'"

Musical tours on Great Green Way

Variety: "For touring Broadway shows, the inconvenient truth is 22½.
That's 22½ pounds of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere for every gallon of diesel fuel burned by the trucks that crisscross the nation moving shows from one road venue to another."

Douglas Theater digs 'Bengal Tiger'

Variety: "'Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,' a play set against the backdrop of the war in Iraq by Rajiv Joseph, will have its world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theater in the 2008-09 season.
In unveiling the five plays being presented, Center Theater Group artistic director Michael Ritchie termed the fifth season of the Douglas as 'distinctly American in character.'"

Stage Preview: 'The Color Purple' evolves from the page to the stage

Post Gazette: "Some may think the long and winding road to the musical stage production of 'The Color Purple' began with the Oscar-nominated film. Still others may believe it all started with the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year."

Van Kaplan's decisions go beyond CLO's summer

Post Gazette: "The heart of the business is the six-show summer season at the Benedum Center, but CLO Inc. extends to a year-round cabaret theater, a performing arts school, a construction center that builds sets for other companies, and the management of shared investments in new works in development, in pre-Broadway production, on Broadway and on tour, with interests overseas as well."

Audio Post for the 48 Hour Film

Craigslist: "Looking for someone to help out with the Post Production audio of a 7 minute video for the 48 Hour Film Project which will take place on the weekend of June 6th."

Scenic Designer Anna Louizos Captured the Heights by Wandering Its Streets

Playbill News: "Set designer Anna Louizos' love for New York City — and her eye for detail — helped bring a touch of authenticity to the new Broadway musical, In the Heights, for which she has been Tony Award-nominated in the category of Best Scenic Design of a Musical."

Childhood Is the Mother of Annie Baker’s ‘Body Awareness’ at Atlantic Stage 2 "AH, sweet, blessed memories of childhood. Steaming herbal tea. Hippie language police. Friends who had same-sex parents. Feminism, politics and books debated around the kitchen table every night. Also, Annie Baker said she used to wonder, precisely why were the typewritten fliers, push-pinned up in the local health food shop, “always Xeroxed on purple paper with those little tear-off tabs at the bottom?”"

How a Line From ‘A Chorus Line’ Turned John Breglio Into a Producer

New York Times: "JOHN BREGLIO’S shift from veteran theatrical lawyer to fledgling Broadway producer either took place gradually, over three decades, or in a split second, depending on how you look at it. And like the seasoned negotiator he is, Mr. Breglio maintains that both scenarios are arguable."

Gene Kelly Awards recognize top young thespians

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Pittsburgh Schenley High School's 'All Shook Up,' Central Catholic High School's 'Beauty and the Beast' and Pine-Richland High School's 'Seussical' each took home best musical awards in their budget category at Saturday's Gene Kelly Awards show."

PICT's 'Tales' manages to entertain

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The world premiere of Bruce Dow's stage adaptation of two short tales Oscar Wilde wrote for children opened Thursday at the Charity Randall Theatre in Oakland."

World's largest LED billboard going up in Times Square

DVICE: "Good news for fans of eyesores and obnoxious advertisements: the world's biggest LED billboard is currently being constructed in Times Square in New York, and it's going to sell you stuff or punch you in the face with lights trying."

Three stage technicians injured as RSC theatre set collapses

The Stage: "RSC stalwart Roger Haymes, who is the company’s stage supervisor, had to be airlifted to hospital when a large sheet of perspex fell on top of him, while he and his team were changing sets between A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merchant of Venice last week. Two other crew members received minor injuries."

Preview: FastCap Layout Tape

Toolmonger: "At some point, drilling shelf-pin holes became rocket science. You’d think most woodworkers would have enough skill to lay out a line of equally spaced holes, but it seems everybody has a trick or a new product to save us from our shortcomings. To give us yet another way of laying out equally spaced holes, FastCap created their layout tape."


Carnegie Mellon University: "Students at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) have created the first interactive video game for children that uses both a Dance Dance Revolution floor-pad and a Wii Remote — helping kids burn calories while they play."

How to Break All the Rules

Stepcase Lifehack: "Rules, they say, are meant to be broken. Not all the time, of course — we are, after all, trying to have a society here. But while rules help, most of the time, to create an orderly and well-regulated society, sometimes their lack of flexibility hinders our creativity, and thus our ability to solve the problems that confront us."

How to paint a face and sell a show.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "Wicked is not a show that advertises much. It doesn't have to. That's why, whenever they do anything, I pay attention.
Here's what I've noticed: heavy on the outdoor, a bit of radio during tight times, occasional full page NY Times ads that look like editorial announcements . . . and street fairs."

High schoolers take 'The Laramie Project' to Burbank stage

Los Angeles Times: "TRYING to stage 'The Laramie Project,' a documentary play about the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, turned into a saga of its own for the drama students of Burbank's John Burroughs High School when their principal banned the production and they went ahead with it anyway in an off-campus venue."

Community vibrant despite some cuts "Unquestionably, this is a time with challenges. And because people in the culture industry don't like to admit when sales are down, you have to read between some lines. Last week's announcement of the closing of 'Wicked' Jan. 25, for example, came as the show is still pulling in more than $1 million a week. But it could also be read as some savvy producers' sense that while demand is not now slowing to any meaningful degree, it can't be expected to hold up for another year."

Scenic Designer Anna Louizos Captured the 'Heights' by Wandering Its Streets

Yahoo! News: "In her neighborhood-streetscape design of the Washington Heights-set musical, note the battered storefront signage, the stickers on doors, the knobby fireplug, the joyless streetlamp, the general grayness of the canvas. Her set serves as a neutral canvas for the real vibrancy of the world - the people."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Premiere league Havel returns to theatre in triumph Arts: "The premiere of Václav Havel's new play, Odchazeni (Leaving), may have been touted as Europe's most eagerly awaited theatre event of the year, but he seemed eager to escape from the spotlight as quickly as possible."

A Primer on Pittsburghese

NPR: "Some cities have accents; Pittsburgh has its own language. The dialect is being studied by a group of linguists at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Locals at the city's famous Original Hot Dog Shop offer lessons on how to speak."

'Nailed' shuts down for third time

The State: "Is it a knock-out for “Nailed” or just another knock-off? The political comedy filming in Columbia has shut down production for a third time, according to and"

Self-aware characters fuel interactive play | fuel, interactive, play "In some respects, Neil and Feck - the title characters in Theatre 'd Art's season finale - are relatively typical college students.
'They're younger guys,' said playwright Brian Mann. 'They're kind of philosophical, kind of lazy, and they drink a lot.'
Sounds normal enough. But the pair differ from their fellow characters in Mann's political satire in an important way: 'They know who and what they are,' he said. 'They know they're characters in a play.'"

Simple Steps to Prevent Back Pain "The current economic slump means that many employees are working harder and longer hours to hold on to their jobs, a trend that poses ergonomic risks and can result in back problems. Chiropractor Dr. Steven Shoshany explained that workers can take some simple steps to ensure their work doesn’t result in painful back problems."

Reading Comprehension | How do you design a reading

Live Design: "How do you design a reading? That was the question when Kenny Leon, who was to lead the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' month-long celebration of the works of August Wilson, met with set designer David Gallo, costume designer Reggie Ray, lighting designer Allen Lee Hughes, and composer Dwight Andrews. They comprised his design team for an unprecedented mounting of all ten of Wilson's plays exploring the African-American experience of the 20th century, decade by decade."

ESTA Announces The Rock Our World Awards

Live Design: "ESTA introduces the Rock Our World Awards, which recognize groundbreaking achievement by ESTA members in new products, product applications, or projects. These awards were created to acknowledge the genius of both the creator of technology and the designer or integrator who applies the technology in a real world environment."

2007/2008 Drama Desk Awards Winners Honored

Live Design: "South Pacific, the Lincoln Center revival of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic 1949 musical, won five awards, including Outstanding Musical Revival, to head the list of 2007/2008 Drama Desk Award winners at the 53rd Annual Drama Desk Awards, held Sunday night at the F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center."

Paper and Pencil ETCP Exams Offered at LDI 2008

Stage-directions: "Are you a rigger or electrician in a lead or supervisory position? ETCP Certification is industry-accepted proof of what you know – it validates both the technician and the employer when you represent your company with ETCP Certification. Demonstrate your abilities by taking the ETCP exam."

18th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards Announces Nominees

Stage-directions: "The Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP held a press conference announcing new and exciting details about the 18th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards, Black Theatre’s premiere award show, and the 1st Annual Theatre Awards Festival weekend."

Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre Receive $2.85 Million Donation

Stage-directions: "Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre have announced a $2.85 million gift from the Robina Foundation to establish the Yale Center for New Theatre. Through the Yale Center for New Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre will substantially increase its annual commissions of new plays and musicals, and support these commissions through all stages of artist-driven development, including residencies, readings, workshops, and full productions."

Curtains Will Tour in Fall 2009

Playbill News: "Nick Manos, president of Atlanta's Theater of the Stars (TOTS), confirmed to May 21 that his company will produce — with partners — a full Equity touring production of the Broadway musical comedy whodunit Curtains in fall 2009."

Measuring failure

PHILANTHROPY 2173: "Two topics of frequent discussion in philanthropy - metrics and innovation - just came together in an interview I heard while listening to the radio. Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace spoke with A.G. Lafley, CEO of Proctor & Gamble and author of a book on innovation, The Game-Changer. You can read the transcript of the interview here or listen to it here."

Best & Brightest

Daily Herald: "Anthony Mattana, was named to the college of Fine Arts dean's list at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Anthony is a 2007 graduate from Libertyville High School."

Lighting the World's Tallest Theatre

PLSN: "The stage for the 2,000-seat Ratchada Grand Theatre, at 50 meters by 80 meters, provides elbow room (and martial-arts kicking room) for spectacles such as Siam Niramit, with 150 actors, 500 costumes and 100 set pieces. And at just under 12 meters in height, the Ratchada Grand Theatre was recently listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the tallest proscenium arch in the world."

Radiohead Abandons Conventionals for LEDs

PLSN: "Lured by energy savings and a wide array of color choices, Andi Watson, lighting & visuals designer for Radiohead’s 2008 world tour, opted against conventional fixtures and in favor of a rig dominated by LED fixtures developed shortly before the tour got underway in early May. Watson is working with i-Pix’s new BB 7 — a seven-cell high power homogenized 10° RGB lightsource. In all, there are 48 of the BB 7s in various positions around the stage, including 25 in five custom five-way frames produced by Specialz."

Epcot Ride Doesn't Shrink from Bold Use of Color

PLSN: "The post-show section of the “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” attraction at Epcot in Disney World isn’t shrinking from the bold use of color for a “stepping tone” area, where kids can stomp on pressure-sensitive floor pads to trigger images and sounds of other kids playing various musical instruments."

Mayor's Office, Teamsters, and City Tech Partner to Offer Scholarships

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Entertainment, in all of its many forms, is crucial to the economy of New York City, bringing - by conservative estimate - five billion dollars annually to the city. A new joint venture between New York City College of Technology/CUNY (City Tech), Local 817 of the Teamsters Union and the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting is designed produce the high-tech workforce essential to the expansion of this important economic sector."

Lighting&Sound America and InfoComm Announce Winners of 2008 Staged Events Awards

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Lighting&Sound America magazine and InfoComm International are pleased to announce the winners of the InfoComm/LSA Staged Events Awards 2008."

Live Design Lighting Products of Year

Live Deisgn: "This year's Live Design Lighting Products of Year represent a lineup of gear that's sure to cause a stir. Nominated and finally selected by our independent panel of designers and programmers from Los Angeles to London, the distinguished products include a luminaire, wireless networking device, control product, and a distribution device. Our judges are equally celebrated, with backgrounds ranging from theatre and concert design and programming, to club and retail environment design, to software development."

BSMC Day Two

Live Design: "In spite of a rainy New York Sunday, spirits were high at the second day of the BSMC. The morning sessions kicked off with Bob McCarthy, winner of one of this year’s Sound Products awards for his book, Sound Systems: Design and Optimization, who discussed the ins and outs of system design. In fact, a dozen lucky people won copies of his book, a “must-have” sound designer tool, in a drawing during the manufacturers showcase."

Lighting Programming Training

Dear USITT Member, Take advantage of a great summer opportunity. A new joint venture from USITT and the ESTA Foundation will offer four days of training for either basic or advanced lighting programming techniques. Sessions will be held July 7 to 10 at the North Carolina School of the Arts and will be taught by ETCP Certified Recognized Trainers Richard Cadena and Martin Eric Rimes.

The training is designed for lighting programmers, technicians, and sign up today.

Attendees who complete the courses will qualify for Continuing Education Credits through NCSA as well as ETCP Training Credits.

Choose from the Basic Programming Track (Expression) or the Intermediate/Advanced Programming Track (Whole Hog II). Each day builds on the information and techniques discussed the day before. Complete information is available here.

Registration deadline is June 16, so those interested are urged to act quickly. Registration forms may be downloaded here, or visit and follow the registration link.

Make sure to register using the 10 percent discount for all USITT members for this special training opportunity.

USITT Office If you would prefer not to receive email communications such as these from USITT please click here and type REMOVE in the Subject line. USITT, Inc., 315 South Crouse Ave., Suite 200, Syracuse, NY 13210 USA.

J-o-b - production assistant

Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon
Purnell Center for the Arts
5000 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Seeking motivated, dedicated and skilled students from all academic departments to work as Gallery Installation/Production Assistants at the Miller Gallery.

Supervisor: Reports to Exhibitions Coordinator.

Job duties include:
Designing/fabricating exhibition props, furniture; installing and de-installing exhibitions; safe-guarding artwork and facilities; performing gallery maintenance: painting walls, pedestals and cases for new installations; keeping tool room organized and safe; operating and trouble-shooting audio-visual equipment: DLP projectors, computers, bucket-lift and other equipment; opening and closing the gallery, understanding and using gallery alarm system; interacting with staff, public, artists, curators, using good judgment in difficult social situations; working openings and special events (helping with set-up and clean-up; washing dishes; sweeping floors; taking out trash); running errands; performing office tasks; and other duties as assigned.

Desired skills:
Technical (CAD/DXF, CNC router operation, A/V, video- editing, proficient with Adobe CS2/3 Mac and PC extensive knowledge of computer operation), construction (basic carpentry: building walls and pedestals, proficient with power tools: table saw, chop saw, framing saw, etc., comfortable using ladders and bucket lift, working at 20 ft. height, basic familiarity with electrical circuits), organizational (experience in gallery setting, art handling, making labels and mounts), and administrative (experience interacting with the public, familiarity with FileMaker Pro, working as part of a team).

Necessary skills:
Heavy lifting, as much as 50 lbs. at a time, good communication and positive attitude in learning and performing duties listed above.

Art gallery experience preferred. Work-study eligibility preferred.

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Sunday 11:30-5:00, night and weekend hours required on specific projects and events.

Download the PDF from our website, click on the “Get Involved” heading and then click on “Opportunities.”

Other necessary qualifications:

* punctual

* hard-working

* responsible

* able to take direction and learn new skills

* disciplined and self-motivated

* flexible to last-minute changes

* dedicated to working at an art gallery

Learning Objectives:
Develop the ability to achieve goals independently or as; part of a team by communicating effectively with co-workers; providing leadership when necessary; and demonstrating personal initiative, learn to research and manage information so that it is clearly organized and easily retrievable, understand the principles and practice of ethical and professional conduct involving personal responsibility; honesty; and confidentiality.

Fill out form and drop-off resume in room G-302, Miller Gallery, Purnell Center for the Arts, or e-mail application to with “GALLERY INSTALLATION/PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Search” in the subject line.

Only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.

The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon has sought to support the creation, understanding, and growth of contemporary art through exhibitions, projects, events and publications since January 2000.

The 9,000 square foot space functions as a showcase for experimentation, examination, discovery, and discussion. The gallery aspires to engage diverse audiences, to create and strengthen communities through art, and to stimulate, provoke, and encourage contemplation of the visual arts of our times.

Over the last eight years, the Miller Gallery has exhibited work by Laylah Ali, Janine Antoni, The Art Guys, Michael Bevilacqua, Enrique Chagoya, Catherine Chalmers, Michael Ray Charles, Minerva Cuevas, Nicole Eisenman, Inka Essenhigh, Neil Farber, Karen Finley, Rachel Harrison, Arturo Herrera, Tran T. Kim-Trang, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Larry Miller, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Shirin Neshat, Christy Rupp, Al Souza, Sarah Sze, TermiteTV, Kara Walker, Olav Westphalen, Gail Wight, and Sue Williams. Notable Carnegie Mellon School of Art alumi including Mel Bochner, Jacob Ciocci (Paper Rad), John Currin, Cassandra C. Jones, Shana Moulton, and Fereshteh Toosi have also exhibited here.

The Miller Gallery is a non-collecting, public art gallery located in the Purnell Center for the Arts on Forbes Avenue, on the campus of Carnegie Mellon in Oakland, Pittsburgh. It is a unit of the College of Fine Arts, and is named for Regina Gouger Miller, avid art collector, alumna of the School of Art, and principal donor.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Should Congress Protect Fashion Designers Against Imitations?

OpenCongress - Congress Gossip Blog: "The New York Times today ran a profile of fashion design house Foley & Corinna that neatly illustrates the paradox plaguing a bill in Congress to extend copyright protection to fashion designs. If passed, the Design Piracy Prohibition Act would end an approximately sixty-year period in which the fashion industry has existed without IP protection. But as today’s article illustrates, there may be a valid and defensible reason why the industry has existed so long without protection."

“Some PDF to Word Converter”: convert PDFs to DOC competently and in batch "Some PDF to Word Converter is a free converts PDF into Word documents. It offers batch processing, a degree of customizablity for the output document, and very good overall performance. Most importantly, it is fully useable and does not require any registration or codes and does not expire within a certain time period."

Time Striping: A Different Approach to Time Management

Stepcase Lifehack: "What works for me is a variation on time blocking that I’m calling “time striping”. In time blocking, you schedule uninterrupted “blocks” of time for different projects across your schedule. Since a) many of my projects are ongoing, and b) some projects emerge rather suddenly, I need a little more flexibility than that."

Failure To Launch: Living At Home In Your 20s Is Not Really Ideal For Anyone Involved

Jezebel: "These sorts of articles bother me because they often make it seem like children are freeloaders and the doting parents are enabling their slackerdom, but I think in most situations, children live with their parents out of necessity, not out of desire, because really, the joy of being an adult is getting to eat ice cream for dinner at 10pm and not having to call your mom to tell her you won't be sitting down for chicken with the fam before you do it."

Refurbished Point State Park to open May 30

Post Gazette: "Get those Frisbees, picnic baskets and blankets ready. The long-awaited reopening of Point State Park is right around the corner.
The park, which has been closed for more than a year and a half, will reopen on May 30, slightly ahead of schedule, after a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Gov. Ed Rendell and other dignitaries."

Al Gore

Carnegie Mellon University: "Former U.S. Vice President and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore gave the keynote address at Carnegie Mellon's 111th commencement ceremony May 18, 2008. Gore underscored the need to act toward a solution to climate change and expressed confidence in the graduates' ability to make a difference in the world."

Will that be cash or cash?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "You won't hear that line when you're standing in line at the TKTS booth anymore, if the current test taking place at the South St. Seaport location is successful.
Yep, that's right, the 'trailer' (as it's commonly referred to), will take credit cards when the new location opens in Duffy Square (a year and a half behind schedule).
My response to this adoption of credit card technology? Welcome to 1983, TKTS booth!"

Arts, Inc.

UoC Press: "In this impassioned and persuasive book, Bill Ivey, the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, assesses the current state of the arts in America and finds cause for alarm. Even as he celebrates our ever-emerging culture and the way it enriches our lives here at home while spreading the dream of democracy around the world, he points to a looming crisis. The expanding footprint of copyright, an unconstrained arts industry marketplace, and a government unwilling to engage culture as a serious arena for public policy have come together to undermine art, artistry, and cultural heritage—the expressive life of America."

Performing arts center still a question mark at ground zero "When he created ground zero's master plan, architect Daniel Libeskind envisioned a performing arts center that would bring life to a site devastated by terrorism. The rebuilt World Trade Center, he believed, should be more than a place to work and grieve."

Carnegie Science Center director leaving

Post Gazette: "After five years at the helm of the Carnegie Science Center, Joanna Haas is heading home to Kentucky.
Ms. Haas announced yesterday that she has accepted a position as executive director of the Louisville Science Center -- in large part to be closer to her family."

Seven Useful Lessons You Can Learn from a Bad Boss

Stepcase Lifehack: "Macho, insensitive bosses share certain characteristics. Their behavior is arrogant, quick-tempered and controlling. Their motives are typically selfish and manipulative. They show little concern for others and few signs of understanding why others don’t trust them. Most of all, they are quite unaware of their failings and the impact they have on their subordinates. No only do they see no need to change, they often make their high-handed behavior a source of pride."

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"

CMU ends Cuarteto funding

Post Gazette: "Cuarteto LatinoAmericano will not return as an ensemble-in-residence at Carnegie Mellon University as the School of Music tries to erase a $150,000-$200,000 budget deficit.
'The school has run a large deficit for a number of years and it is up to me to rein that in,' said Noel Zahler, the head of the School of Music."

Review: the earmuffs every woodworker should have :: woodworking community: "The earmuff are class 5 with radio and active surround noise filtering. in simple words, you can work with the earmuffs and still hear what you are doing, but completely protect your hearing. I have worked with them for a week now and they are terrific. they are so good that I actually use them also in the house to hear radio. the earmuffs are of very high quality and you hardly notice them (although they are not very light). no heat, sweating and itching were observed, even after working for extended periods (having said that, its winter here)."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Stage Reviews: Black music inspires two local troupes

Post Gazette: "The two shows reviewed today are linked by a focus on pop music. New Horizon Theater's 'Get Ready' (only through Sunday) is a comedy drama about the reunion of a fictional pop group, The Doves, but includes plenty of music. Kuntu Rep's 'Ain't Misbehavin'' (through May 31) is the well-known revue of wonderful Fats Waller songs."

Center Stage names director "'Debbie has a vigorous intellectual mind, a warm personality, and she's a straight-shooter,' says Irene Lewis, Center Stage's artistic director, who noted that she and Chinn share an inclination to mount shows that push the envelope."


New York Post: "AS the Tonys approach, Broadway al ways gets a little nutty.
Everybody's tallying up their votes, bad-mouthing the competition, howling when the press dismisses their chances of winning.
Here are a couple of snapshots from the land of the lovable lunatics"

Away - Putting Out a ‘Willkommen’ Mat "JOEL GREY’S tiny bungalow in Venice, Calif., a melting pot town of artists, surfers and screenwriters, is 650 square feet of white walls, windows, ceiling and rafters. Sunlight pours through four windows onto honey-colored wood floors while cotton curtains rustle in the ocean breeze. A white slip-covered love seat nestles next to a low-slung coffee table, a television and a curved natural pine chair. Planks of sanded plywood serve as paneling on walls of the single bedroom. Within it, a double bed is dressed simply with a vintage patchwork quilt."

Because They Have No Words, Play About Post-Katrina Animal Rescue, Gets Chicago Premiere

Playbill News: "According to Piven notes, 'This production focuses on the true story of Tim Maddock who, in response to Hurricane Katrina, traveled to New Orleans and threw himself into the chaos of animal rescue efforts in the wake of the storm."

Producers Want to Download Nerds Musical Into a Broadway Theatre

Playbill News: "The well-reviewed, award-winning Nerds, the musical, about the rise of rival computer pioneers Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, is aiming for Broadway this season."

Laurents-Directed West Side Story Sets Broadway Preview Date

Playbill News: "The revival of the classic American musical West Side Story — directed by its librettist, current Gypsy Tony nominee Arthur Laurents — will begin previews at a Broadway theatre to be announced Feb. 13, 2009."

Crew for the 48 Hour Film Project

Craigslist: "We are currently comprising a cast and crew for the upcoming 48 Hour Film Project."

Debbie Allen's black 'Cat' dazzles

Variety: "Debbie Allen's all-black 'Cat' played to a 90% African-American audience the evening I saw it earlier this month. Critics and first-nighters probably saw this staging with a decidedly more mixed group of theatergoers, and it's possible they, in turn, experienced a very different night in the theater. (Certainly the Tony nominating committee didn't care for what they saw, bestowing not a single nom on the production.) But for me, Maggie's power-struggle for money and sex has never been so naked, and, more important, never has it been more fully appreciated and encouraged."

'Saved' takes wing with prayer

Variety: "The general trend for screen-to-stage adaptations is to make everything larger than life -- broadening the comedy, heightening the romance and rendering the characters sufficiently loud and cartoonish to play to the back row. But the creative team behind the tuner adaptation of the 2004 indie pic, which satirizes life in an evangelical Christian high school, has gone the opposite route. 'Saved' the musical has reined in the spoofing and is softening the edges of the characters, playing them more empathetically. It even excises the exclamation mark from the film's title."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pittsburgh Playhouse, 1934-74

Post Gazette: "To end his short, informal personal history of the Pittsburgh Playhouse, never published but circulated to friends, Richard Rauh appended the following list of 'actors, actresses, directors, lighting designers, costumers and set designers . . . It is hardly complete, and if I have left anyone out,' he noted, 'I apologize. Everyone from 1934 to 1973 contributed to the phenomenon of this Pittsburgh theater.'"

Wilson's 'Two Trains' remains an enjoyable trip

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "In his director's notes for the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre production of August Wilson's 'Two Trains Running,' Mark Clayton Southers begins by saying that it will resonate differently with each person."

Stage Right students wrap up season with three shows

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The Stage Right Student Company Productions' season will wind up with a series of shows Friday and Saturday at the Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg."

Pine-Richland students embark on theatrical odyssey

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "A group of Pine-Richland students is staging a play that runs just eight minutes, in order to follow the rules of the Odyssey of the Mind competition. Just getting it under 15 has been tough."

'Tales' blurs line between two theater worlds

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Some might wonder if Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre's production of 'Wilde Tales' is a play for children or adults."

'Bust' stages frustrations, humor of prison system

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'Bust,' Lauren Weedman's solo-performer show, began with well-meant and ambitious intentions.
She wanted to do volunteer work that was worlds away from her career as a Los Angeles-based actress."

Aviary's free-flight show takes wing

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The National Aviary will kick off its summer free-flight show on Saturday, and the birds are competing as they try out for roles, showing trainers how entertaining they can be."

Critic's Corner: Let's lay the Playhouse name to rest

Post Gazette: "The Playhouse will die; long live the Playhouse.
That's the promise made by Point Park University, which recently unveiled a dramatic plan to expand its Downtown campus into an Academic Village, what president Paul Hennigan calls 'a vibrant living, learning and community hub.'"

'Wilde Tales' a labor of love

Post Gazette: "The Oscar Wilde Fest continues at Oakland's Stephen Foster Memorial, where Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre adds the world premiere of the family-oriented 'Wilde Tales' to 'An Ideal Husband' (both through May 31). Ahead, PICT will present Alan Stanford's one-man 'An Evening With Oscar Wilde' (actually an afternoon, June 1) and Wilde's lush 'Salome' (June 12-28)."

Stage Review: August Wilson's diner of dreams comes to life in 'Two Trains'

Post Gazette: "The characteristic magic of August Wilson is never better felt than in the engrossing, moving 'Two Trains Running,' the 1960s play in his 10-play, century-long Pittsburgh Cycle. Given an intimate and electric staging by a dream cast at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, 'Two Trains' tunnels right to the heart of Wilson's dramatic achievement, not to mention the Hill District of his prophetic imagination."

Need crew for Music Video this weekend.

Craigslist: "Production Company in town this weekend shooting a music video."

Final Performance of Broadway's Rent to Be Seen Nationwide

Playbill News: "The final performance of the Pulitzer and Tony-winning musical Rent, scheduled for Sept. 7 at the Nederlander Theatre, will be filmed for future screenings in movie theatres around the country."

National Theater to work Sundays

Variety: "In a move likely to usher in widespread change across the West End legit map, Britain's National Theater will commence Sunday performances in September, following protracted negotiations with Equity, the Musicians Union and Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theater Union."

M-Net's 'Musical' becomes a reality

Variety: "South African paybox M-Net is developing a reality show with the Disney Channel based on the Mouse's 'High School Musical' franchise.
'High School Musical: Spotlight South Africa!,' produced by EdenRage Media, will be the first talent search for a local Troy and Gabriella, played by Zac Effron and Vanessa Hudgens in the original TV version."

Skyrocketing Prices Force Some Actors to Cut Costs or Quit

Backstage: "The recent economic downturn has left New York actor Alex Hayes without the means to pursue his dream. The cost of paying off his student loans, rent, and bills, and the rising costs of groceries have left him too broke to take acting classes and buy new headshots. 'The ever-rising cost of living has really put a damper on the amount of energy and work I can put into my career,' said Hayes, who doesn't even suffer the added expense of filling his gas tank like most working actors in Los Angeles."

A golden year for the Scottish stage "There's a play to be written about the behind-closed-doors drama of a critics' judging meeting. I was on the panel that met last week in Edinburgh's Howard hotel to thrash out the nominations for this year's critics' awards for theatre in Scotland, an occasion that's somewhere between 12 Angry Men and a Punch and Judy show."

West End theatres need face-lifts "There are two prominent buildings devoted to entertainment and leisure in the heart of the West End that are now unrecognisably buried in scaffolding and plastic sheeting: the Savoy hotel on the Strand and Wyndham's theatre on Charing Cross Road. Their owners have at last faced up to the fact that after decades of diligent service, these venerable dowagers need serious refurbishment work."

Drabinsky 'abusive' at Livent meetings, trial hears "Livent co-founder Garth Drabinsky fired a top executive after she complained about the theatre impresario's 'abusive and destructive behaviour' that including swearing at her in front of other senior staff, court documents show."

Rethinking 'Les Miz'

Philadelphia Inquirer: "So in 2006, he chose a handful of American theaters, including Philadelphia's Walnut Street, to produce their own versions of his Les Misérables on the condition that they completely restage the wildly popular but increasingly weary musical."

Wake-Up Call for American Higher Ed

Wake-Up Call for American Higher Ed: "The “Bologna Process,” under which Europe’s higher education systems are trying to “harmonize” their colleges and universities, has for years now been attracting the attention of some American higher education leaders. Those involved in, for example, the admission of graduate students from outside the United States have considered how to consider applications from European nations under the new system."

Six Playwrights Announced for PlayPenn Conference in Philly

Yahoo! News: "The chosen playwrights will bring their works-in-progress to Philadelphia for two weeks of work with a professional director of their choice, dramaturgical assistance and professional actors from the Philadelphia theatre community. Playwrights will rehearse for 29 hours with a team of artists devoted to the progress of their work, culminating in public staged readings between July 24-27 at both the Adrienne Theater and the Playground (2030 Sansom Street) in Philadelphia."

Define your own toolbar in AutoCAD

Daily Autocad: "First let us see, how defining shortcuts make our job easier. You can easily run commands by pressing a single button once you assign to them. For instance, before closing a drawing, most of us save it and then exit. Instead, a single button assigned for save and exit does the same job. Let us make an example button."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Spring Theatre Trivia Challenge Answers

Here are the answers to this semester's Theatre Industry Trivia questions.

The overall winning submission came from:

Todd Brown

Todd managed 75 out of 100 correct answers, beating the next entrant by a significant margin. Congratulations Todd!

Here's the whole enchilada...

1 Where will the new musical based on Shreck preview?
1 Seattle
2 What union struck a deal with the AMPTP this week?
3 Who is Tom Cruise's partner at United Artists?
3 Paula Wagner (A'69)
4 Who was the beneficiary of CM's Chain Hoist Raffle at LDI?
4 Behind the Scenes
5 What was the LA Convention Center the first major West Coast venue to do recently?
5 Require ETCP Rigging certification for supervisors.
6 What shop is building Bette Midler's Vegas Show?
6 Tait Towers
7 Who is Rocco Landesman?
7 President Jujamcyn Theatres - Producer
8 How will the next person to play Elle Woods in Legally Blond be cast?
8 MTV reality show
9 What's got people riled up about the Sydney production of /Corpus Cristy/?
9 Jesus is depicted as gay
10 What does the play /Life in a Jar/ have to do with the Nobel Peace Prize?
10 The inspiration for the lead character lost to Al Gore this year.
11 What device did Disney recently set up for use as a Disney World park guide?
11 Nintendo DS
12 Who sold off the last of their theatre businesses to Key Brands?
12 Live Nation
13 Mark Rylance and Robert Bly collaborated on what play running in Minneapolis?
13 Peer Gynt
14 What's wrong with James Srodon's complaint against Blue Man Group?
14 The camera doesn't actually go in the person's mouth
15 Theatre By The Blind is now calling themselves what?
15 Theatre Breaking Through Barriers
16 What Canadian show is being cast through a reality TV show?
16 The Sound of Music
17 What were the subjects of the two rigging standards ESTA released for public review this week?
17 Standard Counterweight Systems and Fire Curtains
18 Where in town is Sweeney Todd running?
18 PNC Broadway at Heinz Hall
19 The FCC says ABC stations should be fined for an episode of NYPD Blue that showed what "sexual organ?"
19 A rear end
20 What's got people abuzz about Albee's The Zoo Story?
20 Nearly 50 years after premiering, he's written a second act
21 What is the difficulty with Chicago's About Face Theater Company's production of Little Dog Laughed?
21 The playwright is upset they cut the nudity
22 What local company is about to mount the premiere of "Breakfast With Mugabe" on the second floor of the former downtown Lazarus store?
22 Quantum Theatre
23 Who recently got a piece of the profits from the revival of A Chorus Line?
23 The dancers from the original workshop
24 What recently completed Philadelphia arts center may be having a renovation?
24 Kimmel Center
25 What do the Thea Awards recognize?
25 “The annual Thea Awards * *recognize and honor excellence in the creation of outstanding visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places,”
26 What was interesting about the UCF Conservatory Theatre's production of Alice Experiments in Wonderland?
26 It involved three theatre companies in three cities collaborating on the same show in real time.
27 What is the plot inspiration for the new ballet Meltdown?
27 Recent events in the life of Britney Spears
28 What was peculiar about the positive review of Peer Gynt that ran in the Sunday Minneapolis Star-Tribune?
28 It was an ad purchased by the company, showing an ad from another paper
29 What is the mission of the LA based Unusual Suspects Theatre Company?
29 Does workshops for incarcerated and foster youth
30 What recent Carnegie Hall show featured a fat pole dancer and a man in a diaper?
30 Jerry Springer -- The Opera
31 What is VITA
31 Volunteer Information Tax Assistance (Sponsored by Equity, among others)
32 Why is London's Arcola Theatre notable at the moment?
32 They've converted power systems to a hydrogen fuel cell.
33 Whose retirement at the end of the 08/09 academic year was recently announced?
33 Milan Stitt
34 What play did Arkansas Tech cancel recently, and why?
34 Assassins, because of the guns and the shootings at NIU
35 What is notable about the current NYC production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof?
35 All Black cast
36 Who, locally, is doing The Vertical Hour?
36 Playhouse REP
37 What does Bessie Nelson do for a living?
37 She's Broadway's go-to beader
38 What play did the Classical Theatre of Harlem recently perform in town?
38 Romeo & Juliet
39 What award did the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences recently give to Look Solutions?
39 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences technical achievement award.
40 What is Shakespeare's Global Globe?
40 A website hosted by CMU English that lets people share the experience of reading Shakespeare.
41 Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., is asking the House Foreign Affairs Committee to investigate something, what is it?
41 The sources of the bodies in "Bodies" shows.
42 Dozens of bars in Minnesota have started having "Theatre Nights", why?
42 To circumvent a state public smoking ban
43 Plus or minus $300,000, how much was cut from the NEA budget for next year?
43 16.3 million dollars
44 Who is the director of the upcoming production of MacBeth at the Folger Theatre in Washington?
44 Teller, of "Penn & Teller"
45 What two shows received the first Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway awards?
45 Les Miserables and 110 in the Shade
46 Locally, where would you recently have gone to see The Drowsy Chaperone?
46 The Benedum -PNC Broadway Across America
47 What is Rosco using to size an annual donation to Behind the Scenes?
47 Sales of Roscolux #359 Medium Violet
48 What school has the most USITT award winners this year?
48 Tie: UCONN and NCSA
49 What is the theme of next years SOD season?
49 The dichotomy of men and women
50 What is the new play Betrayed about?
50 Iraqis who worked for the US in Iraq
51 Who is Mary Blair
51 She designed "Its a Small World" for Disney
52 What do Frankenstein, Ghostbusters, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force have in common?
52 They all use the same "Castle Thunder" sound effect
53 Where is Toy Story:The Musical premiering?
53 At sea on the cruise ship Disney Wonder
54 Name two films currently or recently filming in Pittsburgh.
54 Two from: Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Shelter, Feast of the Seven Fishes, The Road, She's out of My League
55 What of note happened just recently at the Stratford Festival?
55 Two of their three Artistic Directors quit
56 What does IALD stand for?
56 International Association of Lighting Designers
57 What has stagehands at Las Vegas' Orleans casino upset?
57 Nine months after certifying with IA 720 they still don't have a contract
58 Why will tour bookers have to start looking more carefully at the dates they are booking in various cities?
58 Truckers are driving slower to save gas
59 Where will Gone With the Wind: The Musical premiere?
59 London's West End
60 What was the CMU connection to the Live Design article "Project Yourself?"
60 It featured Narelle Sissons
61 What did website recently say it would no longer publish?
61 reviews/reports of dress rehearsals/gypsy run-throughs
62 What is “FuseCal?”
62 FuseCal, a new web application, allows you to combine multiple calendars and create one master calendar.
63 How did the US House of Representatives help domestic arts organizations this week?
63 the House of Representatives voted this week to speed up the visa approval process for some foreign artists and entertainers
64 Who is Anthony Walker?
64 The Pittsburgh Opera’s music director (last week he sang the tenor part from the podium)
65 What’s the theatrical significance of April 23rd?
65 Shakespeare’s birthday (444)
66 Who currently has IATSE Local 6 and Local 143 locked out?
66 St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission/America’s Center
67 What opens in Pittsburgh May 3rd?
67 55th Carnegie International
68 Who is the author of “August: Osage County”
68 Tracy Letts
69 Who is the AMPTP currently negotiating a new contract with?
70 Who, locally, opened their season with “King Lear?”
71 What is the "Tartan Square" concept?
71 CMU development of Craig Street
72 Where did ETC just open another branch campus?
72 Osaka, Japan
73 What is the nature of the Star Wars legal fight in Britain?
73 The original fabricator of Stormtrooper armor is selling replicas, Lucasfilm says he can't
74 Why won't the producers of the BBC (and SciFi Channel) TV show Doctor Who be televising in High Definition?
74 It will show off craftsmanship issues with their sets
75 Who is Phil Lin
75 Designer for QVC, was here for a visit this week
76 Who, locally, just ran Romeo & Juliet?
76 Point Park
77 What is the nature/genre of work done by Project Bandaloop?
77 They "dance" on buildings of cliff faces, suspended by ropes
78 Who is Ken Brannigan?
78 House carpenter at the Benedum Center
79 Who, locally, is producing an "Evening with Alfre Woodard" 4/25-26?
79 August Wilson Center for African American Culture
80 Why, according to the company, did the New York Theatre Workshop lay off its production staff this week?
80 With royalties from Rent about to end, they have to trim $1 million dollars from their operating budget
81 Who is the featured speaker for CMU commencement?
81 Al Gore
82 Who, locally, just produced Cymbeline?
82 Pitt
83 What is the name of the Louisville, KY festival of new work?
83 Humana Festival
84 How many writers resigned from the WGA during the strike?
84 28
85 What is the name of the current Broadway play starring Mark Rylance & Bradley Whitford?
85 Boeing-Boeing
86 Who is Mary O'Brien?
86 Local scenic artist who received a Behind the Scenes grant
87 What is the name of Mike Daisy's current one man show?
87 How Theatre Failed America
88 Who is Aliza Shvarts?
88 Yale Art student with a somewhat controversial piece
89 Why is Steve Wynn significant to theatre?
89 He keeps booking legit theatre into Las Vegas
90 Who, locally, recently produced A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum?
90 Scotch & Soda
91 What was the play Russian "authorities" just banned from performance about?
91 The seige of the Moscow theatre
92 The AMPTP just filed an "unfair labor practices" complaint against the WGA, why?
92 For publishing the names of people who resigned from the union to cross
93 How big is a "Flogo?"
93 2 feet long and a foot wide
94 What does Equity want people to know about "Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy?"
94 The production has not contracted with AGVA
95 What John Waters play just opened on Broadway?
95 Cry Baby
96 Where did "August: Osage County" move?
96 Next door (to the Music Box)
97 Who was just recently announced as an inductee to the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame?
97 Dr. Fritz Sennheiser
98 Who was Jerome Robbins?
98 Prolific Broadway choreographer and director
99 Syntic Theatre won a Helen Hayes award for their production of MacBeth, what city did it run in?
99 Washington DC
100 What organization just announced they will join the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust?
100 Pittsburgh International Children's Theatre

Sleep deprivation is not a badge of honor

(37signals): "Forgoing sleep is like borrowing from a loan shark. Sure you get that extra hours right now to cover for your overly-optimistic estimation, but at what price? The shark will be back and if you can’t pay, he’ll break your creativity, morale, and good-mannered nature as virtue twigs."

How to Make Accurate Time Estimates "Many people are really bad at estimating how much time a task will take. Perhaps you estimate you’ll need about an hour, and it really takes you 3-4 hours to finish. Or maybe you allocate 30 minutes for a task, and you’re done in 5 minutes. What can you do to get better at making accurate estimates?"

Exhibit Tech: Tekno Bubbles


"As a follow-up to my posting about learning about bubbles that 'glow in the dark' under UV light during the recent museum conferences in Denver, I should point out that the Tekno Bubbles company sells the special formulation that makes the bubbles that glow under a blacklight."

Time management. In 5 steps

Change to Creative: "Set an ‘_action’ folder in your inbox; put them all the email you receive during today’s work, and don’t reply to any of them. Deal only with one day (yesterday) bunch of e-mails, and it becomes manageable, because it’s limited, and you know in advance it’s limited."

5pm Might be a Good Time for Project Management «

Web Worker Daily: "There are many online project management offerings on the web including Projjex (previously covered), Basecamp, and Zoho Project.
A relatively new entrant to the market is 5pm, a product is built by a very small team. Even without venture funding, the 5pm team has built a visually attractive project management utility, but how does it stack up to the competition?"

Maker Faire: TechShop

Core77: "TechShop is one of those things that makes so much sense you wonder why it hasn't been around forever. Based in Menlo Park, CA, it's a massive, public, subscription-based machine shop and fabrication studio that actively encourages the mechanically curious to get their hands dirty and start making things."

Cleavage At Work: Yay Or Nay?

Jezebel: "Can we talk about cleavage? Specifically in a work-related context? A piece by Christina Brinkley in today's Wall Street Journal has a quote from Gail Graham, executive vice president of marketing for Fidelity Investments, who recounts how respected co-worker showed up at a business dinner in a 'practically' backless dress that showed cleavage."

SureFire UA2 Optimus Flashlight


"The police have a new weapon in law enforcement. No, this isn’t a new type of tazer, stun gun or photon popper– this is the ultimate in high-powered flashlights."

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"

Irwin’s Line-Marking Tape Measure


"Irwin’s 25′ Strait-Line tape measure features a pencil-less, quick-marking tip. Simply measure out your distance, press the bottom of the tape against your material, and mark your line. I wouldn’t recommend using this for precision work, but for rough marks I’d use it all day long."

Actors Now Fighting For Royalties That Will Make It Harder For Big Studios To Compete

Techdirt: "After the TV writers' strike from earlier this year, we noted that the final settlement actually was not in the best interest of the writers, even though they got much of what they wanted in demanding royalties from online usage of their content. The actors unions are now gearing up for that same battle, as well, as they, too, are demanding rights over online usage, including royalties and the right to demand permission before any of the works they appear in can be used online."

Vicious Cycle

PHD Comics

39 Phrases Everyone Should Know and Use

Ians Messy Desk: "A dozen or so years ago, I attend a workshop on interpersonal communication skills. One of the “tools” handed out was this sheet of phrases that could be used to communicate in different types of situations."

$2M grant to support first-of-its-kind facility, $28.5M expansion at Pittsburgh's Aviary

Pop City: "To date, the Aviary has raised $15.7 million to support the $28.5 million project, which also includes upgrades and renovations to the organization’s existing facility, an education center and expanded programming."

The Theatres Trust Conference 08

ecoTheater: "Next month, London’s The Theatres Trust (TTT) will hold their annual conference — and guess what they’re calling it? BUILDING SUSTAINABLE THEATRES. Nice."

Theater things that don't make sense: Vol. 2. Interested?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "Well, when a show like our non-nominated friend, Young Frankenstein, announces that they have an advance of $15 million dollars, have you ever stopped to think where that money is? And how much interest it's earning? And who is getting that interest?"

Foundation gives aviary $2 million for bird theater

Post Gazette: "The Richard King Mellon Foundation has contributed another $2 million to the National Aviary on the North Side for construction of the nation's first indoor, year-round, free-flight bird theater, the aviary has announced."

Knitwit BBC Goes After Dr Who Fans

Electronic Frontier Foundation: "Here's a fascinating UK legal analysis of an incident we see occurring all over the world: an over-eager rightsholder undermining Internet goodwill by pursuing their own fans for supposed IP infringements."

Nooses used as a threat a felony under new state law "'It is sad that in these modern times there remains a need to address the problem of individuals who use nooses as a means of threat and intimidation,' Paterson said in a statement. 'But it is a reality, and if we ignore it we would be derelict in our duty.'"

How to Be On Time Every Time

Stepcase Lifehack: "First of all, though, it’s important to see being on time as part of your whole attitude towards time. You’re never going to be on time, every time — whether for appointments, meeting big deadlines, or even to catch a movie — if you haven’t put into practice a set of good time management techniques."

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"

N.Y. gives filmmakers bigger tax break for production in state

Poughkeepsie Journal: "The expanded tax credit comes during tough fiscal times with the hope it will bolster a business Paterson says generates billions of dollars of economic activity in New York each year. The change will give film companies a 30 percent tax credit — up from 10 percent — for qualified production costs and extend the program from 2011 to 2013."

Congress sees eye to eye on helping one immigrant group -- entertainers

Los Angeles Times: "Twice in the last two years, Congress tried to overhaul the nation's immigration laws and failed, leaving the explosive issue for dead. But during an election year in which no action was expected, the House and Senate now are quietly helping certain groups of immigrants favored by both ends of the political spectrum."

Reach out and touch someone "But what Sushi is doing is in some ways bolder than Radiohead's gambit. This season and next, tickets for every show on the adventurous company's schedule are pay-what-you-can."

Virtual Reality: Virtual Fitting Room Turns You Into An Online Paper Doll

Gizmodo: "The one thing I never buy on the Internet anymore is clothing, after realizing for the umpteenth time that the dress that looked great on the 6 foot, 100lb model doesn't quite hang the same on me. But Japan-based Aveilan Company's virtual fitting room technology might make me give Internet clothes shopping another chance."

Commencement '08

Carnegie Mellon University: "Former U.S. Vice President and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore gave the keynote address at Carnegie Mellon's 111th commencement ceremony May 18, 2008. Gore underscored the need to act toward a solution to climate change and expressed confidence in the graduates' ability to make a difference in the world."

Gore receives warm welcome

Post Gazette: "Former Vice President Al Gore, a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work informing the world about the dangers posed by climate change, challenged the 2,200 graduates at Carnegie Mellon University's commencement yesterday to become new 'heroes' for the environment."

Making amends: CMU lauds famed black artist 76 years after it denied her admittance

Post Gazette: "The school had awarded the budding artist a scholarship and she had traveled from her hometown of Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh to pursue her passion. However, when university officials saw that she was African American -- 'colored' in those days -- they denied her admittance."

The Lifehack Productivity Bookshelf

Stepcase Lifehack: "Here, then, is a guide to the work of Lifehack’s contributors. Where an author has written several relevant books, I’ll pick one I think is representative and try to give you links to the rest of their work. With summer upon us, maybe you’ll want to tuck a couple of these into your carry-on bag or into your suitcase as you set out on vacation!"

Monday Master Class: How to Build a Knowledge Vault and Avoid Wasting an Entire Semester's Worth of Work

Study Hacks: "You just dedicated five hard months of mind-melting concentration to conquer a full course load of difficult subjects. If you’re like me, you are probably already feeling that hard-fought knowledge starting to slip away. By June you’ll have a hard time even remembering their names. All the work will go to waste. And this just seems like a shame."

Pop Video: Downtown Pittsburgh--Play!

Pop City

NEA Launches National Opera Awards "Think of American art forms, and opera doesn't typically spring to mind. But now the federal government is setting out to change that."

Pillow Project debuts The Space Upstairs, new arts venue in Pittsburgh's East End

Pop City: "With the opening of The Pillow Project’s new digs, Construction Junction—the region’s only recycled building supply retailer—has found a creative use for its second-floor and Point Breeze has gained a new arts venue."

10 Time-Management Tips

Ian's Messy Desk: "1) Always Look Ahead
It is human nature to want to live in the past: to savour accomplishments or to wallow in defeats. However, you will not effectively move forward if you are constantly looking backwards.
There is a law of diminishing returns at work here. Take encouragement or learn a lesson from your past experience and use it to move on to new challenges and opportunities."

Rock Solid Joinery With Tenon-Lok


"How do you create a round mortise that’s larger at the bottom than at the top, and how do you fit a similarly shaped tenon in the mortise? Most importantly, why the heck would you do such an infernally confounded thing? To answer the last question, such a joint would be so strong, the wood would have to fail before the joint. To answer the how-to part of it, Rockler created the Tenon-Lok cutter."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wilson's 'Two Trains' remains an enjoyable trip

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "In his director's notes for the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre production of August Wilson's 'Two Trains Running,' Mark Clayton Southers begins by saying that it will resonate differently with each person."

Keith Nelson named top clown

Variety: "In the annual springtime proliferation of legit awards, even clowns get their kudos: Keith Nelson was named clown of the year at the 2nd Annual Downtown Clown Golden Nose Awards."

Dancap unveils sophomore slate

Variety: "Dancap prez Aubrey Dan announced the lineup at a news conference Tuesday at Toronto Center for the Arts, where he has a long-term agreement to mount his productions. No mention was made of Dancap's legal dispute with U.S.-based Key Brand Entertainment and chief Canadian legit rival Mirvish Enterprises over ownership and management of two major downtown Toronto theaters."

Hwang to pen Bruce Lee musical

Variety: "David Henry Hwang will write the book for the upcoming Broadway tuner about Bruce Lee to be directed by Bartlett Sher ('South Pacific')."

'Passing Strange' wins big at Obies

Variety: "'Passing Strange' picked up kudos for new theater piece and for ensemble acting at the 53rd annual Village Voice Obie Awards, which honor Off Broadway fare."

Mandela musical heads to Broadway

Variety: "The Routh/Frankel/Baruch/Viertel Group and PSE Broadway have teamed to produce a new Rialto tuner about the fight to end apartheid in South Africa, based partially on an upcoming memoir by the daughter of Nelson Mandela.
Musical will aim to land on Broadway in May 2010."

The Obies Cite ‘Passing Strange’

New York Times: "The musical “Passing Strange” was honored as best new theater piece, and its cast (featuring Daniel Breaker, above) was honored as an ensemble when the 53rd annual Village Voice Obie Awards were presented on Monday in a ceremony at Webster Hall in the East Village."

Losing sight of site-specific theatre "There's something about site-specific performance that makes you hope it will be special or at least a little sexier than normal theatre. Is it the idea that we're somewhere new that makes us feel that we're going to witness the breaking down of whole new boundaries in the form? What is it that makes site-specific theatre specific to its site? And what's the point of performing in bad spaces when they're not relevant?"

Theatres of Color Fight Marginalization

Backstage: "Black and Latino theatres face marginalization from the media, grantors, and audiences and companies must band together if they are to survive, according to many of the nearly 400 participants at a town hall meeting at the Little Shubert Theatre in Manhattan May 18."

Americans' fear of feeling sad may be threat to great art Entertainment Section: "You laugh, but North Carolina writer Eric Wilson thinks America's current addiction to happiness threatens the arts. He'll lead a discussion about 'Melancholy and Creativity' on Tuesday at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha's Old Market."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Stage Review: 'Womenscene' offers unusually diverse local skits

Post Gazette: "For something locally grown, organic and beneficial to local organizations -- as well as being entertaining food for thought -- you could head out to the Union Project tonight for 'Womenscene,' 'an evening of eclectic theatre written for women, about women and to benefit women.'"

Producers seeking 'right size' theater in Uniontown

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Like Goldilocks looking for the right fit, Bill Dreucci and Michael Rohlf say live theater sites in and around Uniontown are a little too big or a little too small."

Festival of Firsts may change ways to look at art

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "It's actually eight gifts packaged together as the second Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, a citywide, 16-day performing and visual arts festival of eight arts events that will be presented between Oct. 10 and 25."

August and Passing Strange Win Top Honors at Drama Desk Awards

Playbill News: "Tracy Letts' August: Osage County and Stew and Heidi Rodewald's Passing Strange were named, respectively, Outstanding Play and Outstanding Musical at the 53rd Annual Drama Desk Awards, which were presented May 18 in the F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center."

Intimate outdoes spectacle at Tonys

Variety: "The 2008 Tony race for musical may best be remembered as the year that the mega-budgeted 'Young Frankenstein' from Mel Brooks and 'The Little Mermaid' from Disney Theatricals were not nommed."