CMU School of Drama

Thursday, July 31, 2008

CLO director Van Kaplan reigns over gang feud at the Benedum

Post-Gazette: "In a company the size of Pittsburgh CLO, what does the producer do?

You might rather ask what he doesn't. Executive producer Van Kaplan praises his staff, but he's inevitably involved in just about everything. The only thing he usually doesn't do is hands-on direct the show itself."

PICT brings Irish countryside to life with Synge Cycle

Post-Gazette: "The stony fields of the west of Ireland are layered with history, human and mythic. So a pile of rocks in a field is as likely to be the remains of a medieval monk's cell or Viking fort as a fairy ring or collapsed cow shed -- or possibly all five in succession.

That's how it is with the plays of John Millington Synge (1871-1909), who made the drama of the Irish countryside a seminal force in the heightened naturalism of the 20th century. There he found the colorful settings and characters for his six shorter plays that join with 'The Playboy of the Western World' to create what Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre calls its Synge Cycle."

Quantum mechanics: 'Cymbeline,' Shakespeare's tale of comedy, tragedy, love and ... robots?

Post-Gazette: "Boos promises the site will feel new, in part because Quantum has built a Shakespearean thrust stage that she describes as being akin to 'a giant spaceship.' And then there are the costumes, which in Quantum are often minimal but not so in this case. Designed by Susan Tsu of Carnegie Mellon University, they have 'a little goofy, futuristic look.'"

Opera company finds plenty of talent for 'Boheme'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'La Boheme,' which premiered in 1892, was the international hit that made Puccini the leading composer of Italian opera of his time. It is the story of impoverished lovers Mimi and Rodolfo, whose tender and harmonious relationship is contrasted with the stormier affair between Musetta and Marcello. Puccini's music is emotionally direct, but also sophisticated in harmony, rhythm and impressionist color."

Katie Mitchell - director or destroyer?

\ "Every new production brings with it a version of the same debate: is she a true theatrical visionary or is her style one that is hostile to both audience and text? While her supporters champion her 'extensive research and a methodical rehearsal process', her critics accuse her of a 'willful disregard of playwrights' intentions' or, as Charles Spencer termed it in his review of Women Of Troy, 'smashing up the classics.' The language used by those who question her directorial style often tends to such extremes; texts are 'brutally cut' and 'roughed up', leaving one with an image of a malevolent figure standing over a copy of Euripides gleefully wielding a pair of scissors."

From Showcase to Court Case

Backstage: "After three years in New York, actor Lisa Jones had appeared in two plays and was working a couple of jobs to pay the rent. It wasn't a bad start, but she realized she needed to invest more time in auditioning if she wanted to become a full-time working actor. So, in order to devote herself to that goal, she did what millions of Americans do every year: file for unemployment."

Molotov Theatre Group Wins "Best Overall" Award at 2008 Capital Fringe; Audience Showers Gooey Outpouring of Support on Show Wrong-Headedly Called "Gr

PRWeb: "Proving definitively that there's no accounting for taste, Molotov Theatre Group's thrill-kill sexual bloodplay comedy 'The Sticking Place' jumped right over all the sub-categories to win the audience Pick of the Fringe award for Best Overall at the Capital Fringe Festival ( The announcement was made on July 26, at the conclusion of Fringe festivities."

Gorilla Tape "Gorilla Tape has 2-3 times the adhesive of regular duct tape, allowing it to fill gaps and stick better. It also has an extra strong backing, so it won't rip (but you can still tear it with your hands)."


Technical Direction Tidbits: "Today I stumbled upon a Grapple:

They are for use with truss, primarily joining truss pieces together at perpendicular angles, though they have a variety of other uses."

Hive Five: Five Best Note-Taking Tools

Lifehack: "Despite the wealth of information a Google search box puts at our fingertips, good old-fashioned note-taking is still one of the best ways to build a personal knowledge database. The only sensible solution used to be pen and paper, but computers have introduced a handful of excellent alternatives for capturing notes in computer-friendly digital form. On Tuesday you shared your favorite note-taking tools, and today we're back with the five most popular answers. Keep reading for a look at the five best note-taking tools, then cast a ballot for the note-taking tool you prefer"

Senators Announce New Intellectual Property Enforcement Bill

Electronic Frontier Foundation: "One of the bill's most disturbing changes would give the Attorney General new powers to sue individuals on behalf of rightsholders like the MPAA and the RIAA. Bill proponents claim that these new powers, which would allow the AG to bring 'milder' civil as well as criminal actions, are necessary because some offenses don’t rise to the level of criminal conduct. This justification just doesn’t make sense. If it’s a low-level offense, why should our top cops pursue it? Traditionally, those types of offenses can and will be pursued by the parties who believe they have actually been harmed, namely the copyright owners. The real 'problem' may be that some so-called 'offenses' can’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard for any crime. This new provision would allow the AG to sidestep that high burden of proof -- a burden that gives the average citizen an important measure of protection from the overwhelming power of the government."

Very Unusual Jewelry Designs Done In CAD By Temple University Students. This One Is A Necklace Aptly Named "Vertebrae" A...

NOTCOT.ORG: "Very unusual jewelry designs done in CAD by Temple University students. This one is a necklace aptly named 'Vertebrae' and is constructed out of glass-filled nylon."


Technical Direction Tidbits: "Dave Vick, assistant carpenter / rigger for the tour of 'A Chorus Line' has posted a photo album online chronicling his adventures. Its a definite must see!"

Tune's 'Turn' at Chicago's Goodman

Variety: "With the excellent actors Jeff Daniels and Rachel York heading their cast, these guys start final rehearsals for 'Turn of the Century' on Aug. 4 at the Goodman. It opens Sept. 19 and there is much excitement, enhanced by what is called 'New York money!' for this show."

IA president Thomas C. Short retires

Variety: "Thomas C. Short, president of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees since 1994, has retired and been replaced by IATSE exec Matthew D. Loeb."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Is It Bad for Actors to Speak Their Mind?

Backstage: "According to her detractors, the 'Grey's Anatomy' star's outre behavior includes: demanding a higher salary in contract negotiations with ABC; slamming the megahit comedy 'Knocked Up,' in which she starred with Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, as 'a little sexist' in painting women as 'humorless and uptight' and men as 'lovable, goofy'; and, recently, refusing to seek an Emmy nomination because 'Grey's' writers failed to deliver the goods for an awards-worthy performance."

Yale Students' Lawsuit Unmasks Anonymous Trolls, Opens Pandora's Box

Wired: "The unmasking of the posters marks a milestone in a rare legal challenge to the norms of online commenting, where arguments live on for years in search-engine results and where reputations can be sullied nearly irreparably by anyone with a grudge, a laptop and a WiFi connection. Yet a year after the lawsuit was filed, little else has been resolved -- and legal controversies have multiplied. The women themselves have gone silent, and their lawyers -- two of whom are now themselves being sued -- are not talking to the press. Legal experts are beginning to wonder aloud if there's any point in pressing the messy lawsuit."

RIP Harriet Burns, first woman Imagineer

Boing Boing: "Harriet Burns, the first woman Imagineer, died this week at 79. She was part of the teams that built Sleeping Beauty's Castle, the Matterhorn, Submarine Voyage, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean. and Great Moments with Mr Lincoln."

19 Free GTD Apps for Windows, Mac & Linux

Lifehack: "There are plenty of great, free Getting Things Done apps out there. If you’re a fan of David Allen’s productivity system but can’t do paper and don’t have the cash for a commercial program, this is the collection of applications for you."

10 Skills You Need to Succeed at Almost Anything

Lifehack: "Success, however it’s defined, takes action, and taking good and appropriate action takes skills. Some of these skills (not enough, though) are taught in school (not well enough, either), others are taught on the job, and still others we learn from general life experience."

‘Bodies’ raises questions

Arts and Entertainment: "“Premier cannot independenty verify that the human remains you are viewing are not those of persons who were incarcerated in Chinese prisons…”

So say the presenters of “Bodies…the Exhibition,” the controversial show–featuring cadavers, body parts, and organs–being presented here at Claypool Court. And they are saying it only after New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo came after them."

I.A.T.S.E. President Short Likely to Step Down

Playbill: "I.A.T.S.E.'s New York headquarters did not have confirmation at the time of publication. However, Short, who has served as the international president of the union since 1994, is approaching the final year of his current four-year term."

SAG to AFTRA: Let's talk commercials

The Hollywood Reporter: "SAG national executive director Doug Allen made the request in a letter to Mathis Dunn, AFTRA's chief commercials contract negotiator, on July 9, a day after the guild failed to defeat ratification of AFTRA's new primetime television pact. Two weeks later, AFTRA staffers asked their counterparts at SAG to take the proposal to the guild's national board; AFTRA is still waiting for a response."

Rosemary Ingham, Costume Designer and Author, Dies at 71

Yahoo! News: "Over her long and varied career, Ms. Ingham educated herself at four different universities and taught at a few more. She was the first costume manager at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT, and managed the costume shop at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater from 1973 to 1978. In 2003, she helped create the Great River Shakespeare Festival, which presents Shakespearean plays along the Mississippi River each June and July."

News from America's hottest theater city

Chicago Tribune: "In the latest Byzantine twist in the saga of the colossal, landmark theater—followed by a passionate group of historians, neighborhood activists and arts supporters—the Uptown Theatre will be the object of a forced judicial sale Tuesday. Regardless of the buyer, it should remove a stumbling block in the theater's restoration.

It will clarify who owns the joint."

Will and Me: Roger Rees Takes One-Man Shakespeare Show on Road Muse Arts: "He tells a personal anecdote here, performs a famous soliloquy there, and quotes from famous and not-so-famous writers to provide a bit of historical perspective. While there's the hint of an autobiographical story arc, ``As You Will'' is mostly about the playwright, not the actor."

Senate Strands Study Abroad Bill

Inside Higher Ed: "Some in the higher education lobby were hoping that a package of Congressional legislation would be their ticket to establishing a federal program designed to pour funds into and otherwise encourage undergraduate study abroad programs. That “omnibus” measure, however, got a flat tire late Monday afternoon in one of the Senate’s final sessions before its summer recess, stranding all 35 of its related bills on the debate floor"


Cool Tool: "I picked up my first Strap-A-Handle while helping my brother move into his dorm room. Before we got started, I saw these for sale outside his building. It's an adjustable strap rated for 50-lb loads with a comfortable, built-in handle on top. It helped eliminate numerous trips to and from our car, and allowed me to walk up the four flights of stairs and navigate his winding hallways with ease. You just wrap it around the box(es), clip it and go."

What Happened to the "Science" in Science Museums?

ExhibiTricks: "Let's just say it wasn't pretty. She bemoaned the museum's lack of science in it's glitzy offerings and equated the museum's exhibit areas with a casino."

7 Portfolio Tricks That Will Land You A Job

Lifehack: "There is a way to stand out without irritating the hiring manager, though: a portfolio. I mentioned fairly recently that a portfolio can go a long way in convincing a prospective employer, and that portfolios aren’t just for art students. You can have a portfolio in any career — if you paint houses, you can take photos of the work you’ve done. If you’re a software developer, you can take screenshots of your applications. No matter your field, though, there are a few ways to make your portfolio shine."

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Blog – Chicago Theater, World-Class Ensemble

Play Tech-tonics: "Truth be told, tech rehearsals get a pretty bad rap. They are known for their epic length, their mind numbing stop-and-start rhythm and their all-around tedium. But in reality, it’s usually just actors who trade these disparaging remarks about the infamous tech rehearsal. The play’s design team on the other hand, probably finds the experience to be somewhat of a coming out party. The carefully crafted lighting, sound, costumes and set are all unveiled in one fell swoop, and all these elements must then wrestle with each other (and the actors) until the rocky tech smoothes out into a fluid piece of theatre."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Introducing Pittsburgh Wiki: A Bold New Approach to Affect Change

Pop City: "How can we harness the intellectual capital that digital communities can offer to create real transformation? How can Pittsburgh tap the power of the web to tackle major issues crucial to its success so the region can move forward and become the great 21st century city we all want it to be? Pop City, in partnership with cityLIVE!, has teamed up with author and thought leader Chip Walter to bring you Pittsburgh Wiki, a bold, innovative plan to get everyone involved in making our region a better place to live."

Backstage at

Backstage at "PLSN reports that Vladimir Shilkrot, a member of IATSE Local 78, was killed when his forklift fell on top of him during a load out July 24th. The accident occurred at Verizon Wireless Music Center (previously known as Oak Mountain Amphitheatre), in Pelham, AL, near Birmingham."

Exploring the Bozo Mystique, and Defining Funny on Their Own Feminine Terms "Ms. Cornell founded Clowns Ex Machina in 2005, when it was known as Kendall Cornell’s Soon-to-Be-World-Famous Women’s Clown Troupe. In her own 22-year performance career, Ms. Cornell said, she continued to hit the glass ceiling of clowning: She was always pushed to be the female sidekick, had few female role models and could not find a space to explore her particular brand of humor."

Guys and Dolls Revival, Directed by McAnuff, to Open on Broadway in 2009

Playbill: "In a statement Jo Sullivan Loesser, widow of the late Frank Loesser, said, 'I couldn't be more delighted that, after the longest period ever between Broadway productions of Guys and Dolls, Des McAnuff has agreed to direct this brand new production. This is the first reunion of Des with Frank's work since his brilliant production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which I absolutely adored.'"

Center Theater reveals Taper Forum

Variety: "The $30 million makeover included the lowering of the stage level by nearly three feet, improved loading dock entrances, stage-level dressing rooms, a hair-and-makeup studio and costume workroom, a new electrical system and an elevator. Those elements will not be visible to patrons, who will see larger seats, a lower-level lounge with expanded bathrooms and an entryway that is double the size of the former foyer."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stage review: Unfamiliar 'Earnest' a rarity

Post-Gazette: "I'd previously seen it only at the Stratford Festival, so I leapt at the chance to see it at the Summer Company, directed by John E. Lane Jr. with a mixed company of amateurs and pros, featuring Susan McGregor-Laine's bossy Lady Bracknell. It includes a satiric scene with a solicitor seeking to imprison Algy for debt, a funny dictation episode for Algy and Cecily and a delicious squabble between him and Jack amid tea cake and muffins. Although the familiar 1895 version is better, any admirer of Wilde's wit will enjoy these extras."

New Scottdale theater camp offers kids more than acting

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Kat Post is a former English and writing teacher who loves the theater.

She recently combined her love for teaching and theater by organizing Camp Curtain Call at the Geyer Performing Arts Center in Scottdale.

The camp offers more than just theater skills. It also teaches skills that can be used in everyday life."

Animated musical about drink tax to be awash in satire

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'I wanted to make a satire ... so I asked myself, 'What's a really good social issue to talk about right now?' ' said Slayton, 22, of Squirrel Hill.

Forget Iraq, global warming or the race for the White House. The answer to Slayton was clear: Fashion a farce around the 10 percent drink tax, which is generating millions of dollars for Port Authority."

Increasingly on the Stage, It’s No More Mr. Tough Guy "Kevin McCollum, the Broadway producer, has noticed him. “Right now, I’d say we’re seeing a lot of males that don’t fit into the male stereotype,” he said from his Midtown office. “Their pursuit is not romance. Their pursuit is a definition of their selves.”"

MembershipFirst Unveils Candidates

Backstage: "Among the actors looking to fill Hollywood's 11 national board seats and 22 local seats are 11 new MembershipFirst candidates, including Scott Bakula, Keith Carradine, Charles Shaughnessy and Joely Fisher. Also on the slate are 22 incumbents to the board, including JoBeth Williams, Joe Bologna, and Lainie Kazan."

SAG Standing Firm on New Media

Backstage: "'It is a core principle of Screen Actors Guild: That no non-union work shall be authorized to be done under any Screen Actors Guild agreement and; That all work under a Screen Actors Guild contract, regardless of budget level, shall receive fair compensation when reused,' the resolution stated."

Backstage Comedy Teases Stars Slumming on Broadway Muse Arts: "So says Harry (Reg Rogers), an underemployed stage actor in Theresa Rebeck's scathing but buoyant backstage comedy ``The Understudy,'' at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. An understudy himself, Harry laments the parade of celebrities on Broadway stages drawing crowds and mucking up the proceedings."

Behind the Madness | Costume Designer Janie Bryant "Forget all the hoopla surrounding “Mad Men” and its 17 Emmy nominations. The real show-stopper of everyone’s favorite series about ’60s ad men in old-timey New York is the wardrobe. Although the show’s candy-colored, classic attire is already influencing the runways (see Michael Kors’s fall line), the key to the series’s picture-perfect style is its authenticity. The show’s costume designer, Janie Bryant, doesn’t shy away from unkempt ties or well-worn fur stoles, or from reusing the same vibrant, red dress. (Did anyone else spot Joan sporting her signature Season 1 frock during last night’s premiere?) Here Bryant muses about working with a perfectionist boss, the glamour of a time before Wal-Mart and her love for playing dress-up."

Conquer Cramming with the Same Day Rule

Study Hacks: "Your instinct is to immediately lose the sheet and then forget about the big scary original research paper until a few weeks before it’s due. At this point you’ll start diligently adding it to the very top of your to-do list, perhaps accented by several stars for emphasis, and then promptly do nothing. Finally, with a week to go, panic kicks in and you’ll dash together the type of sloppy of paper that makes professors sigh loudly then reach for that bottle hidden in their bottom desk drawer.

I want you to resist this urge. I want you to instead do do something so stunning, so unexpected, that it may take a moment for you to regain your senses: I want you to get started on the assignment the same day it’s assigned"

Green Touring

ecoTheater: "With TGI, Clark Transfer has set up a way for its customers to offset the greenhouse gases emitted during touring. In partnership with NativeEnergy, Clarkoffers tours the ability to offset emissions resulting from transportation for $0.015 per mile. Clark states on their web site that the charge for offsetting appears seperately on the final bill and is remitted in full to NativeEnergy, which invests the funds “in a blend of projects to reduce both current and future emissions” that include new wind turbine construction, methane digesters, and gas-capture projects."

"Well, we're moving on . . . down!"

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "The logic behind the skip-a-grade mentality? If you have a commercially viable product, and if you're raising one million bucks, why not raise two or three, and get the built-in marketing machine that comes with a Broadway address (Tony Award eligibility, press attention, tourist attention, more advertising dollars, etc.)"

Call Cutta interactive theater

Boing Boing: "She ticks off what she knows about me: my age, my profession, my relationship status, my satisfaction with life, my health, and tells me that I am a Category 3G. I ask what that means and she says that in a callcentre they are encouraged to typecast their callers as personalities, because that helps them understand what the caller wants, and how they can best help the caller, or how they can best sell to the caller what they are trying to sell - insurance or a vacation or a credit card."

10 Productivity Myths That Hold You Back

Lifehack: "The sad fact is that the beliefs that we hold about productivity and organization often prevent us from doing and being everything we want to do and be in our lives. While we cannot control the circumstances around us, the things that we think about work, life, effectiveness, success, and innovation affect the way we respond to those circumstances, and often for the worst."

A Forbes.Com Reporter is Looking for Students to Interview

Study Hacks: "A reporter I know at is writing an article on college students, stress, and the importance of having a life outside of classes and activities.

She’s looking for the following two types of students to interview:

1. Students who are so busy that they don’t have much time left for relaxation or a social life.
2. Students who used to be too busy but have since reformed their behavior."

Brooks Jones, Father of Summerfare, Is Dead at 73 "Brooks Jones, a producer and director who rejected Broadway to devote himself to regional theater, including starting and directing Pepsico Summerfare at the State University of New York at Purchase, died on July 15 at his home in Westport, Conn. He was 73."

Bruce Adler, Actor With Yiddish Roots, Is Dead at 63 "Bruce Adler, an actor and song-and-dance man with roots in the Yiddish theater who hoofed successfully onto Broadway and was nominated for two Tony Awards, died early Friday in Davie, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale. He was 63 and lived in Davie as well as in Manhattan."

Arts, Briefly - ‘Sound of Music’ Villa Opens for Business "Seventy years after the family fled Austria for the United States, the estate opened its doors in Aigen, a suburb in the southeastern part of the city. For 15 years the villa was the home of Baron Georg von Trapp, his seven children and Maria, their governess, who became their stepmother. The story of their escape after the Nazi occupation of the country inspired “The Sound of Music,” the Broadway musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein and an Oscar-winning film."

'Peter Pan' prequel flies to La Jolla

Variety: "Characterized as a moderately scaled play with music -- rather than a big-budget tuner along the lines of Disney's stage versions of 'The Lion King' and 'The Little Mermaid' -- 'Peter' is based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Plot of the book, published by Disney division Hyperion, reveals the backstory of the cast of characters of J.M. Barrie's 'Peter Pan.'"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Around Country, Union Members Keep Up the Pressure on McCain

AFL-CIO NOW BLOG: "As John McCain tours the country, wherever he goes, he’s met by his biggest fear: a contingent of educated, mobilized union members who know his record. Over the past week, he’s been greeted again and again by union members demanding real answers to the issues facing the country."

Medialon Releases Two New Show Control Machines

LiveDesignl: "Medialon launches a new release of the Show Control Machine rugged PC, which is the ideal choice for Medialon Manager Show & Media Control Software. This newest release now includes 4 serial ports and a more powerful processor for the same price as the previous version."

AV Concepts and Trillium Creations produce "AllThings Digital" event

Live Design: "Wall Street Journal conference creators and executive producers, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, have always depended on The Trillium Creations when it comes to producing the “All Things Digital” event, and for the sixth consecutive year AV Concepts was selected for audio, video, and lighting for the event."

Mastercam X2 Now Certified for Autodesk Inventor 2009

Desktop Engineering: "CNC Software (Tolland, CT) announced that its Mastercam X2 CAD/CAM Software has been certified for Autodesk Inventor 2009 software by the Autodesk Inventor Certified Applications Program."

On Peanut Shells and Email Archiving

43 Folders: "There are several new slides in today’s deck that I’ll be premiering with this version of the talk — the one above reflects something I’ve been returning to a lot lately in helping people to spend less time fiddling with their messages: stop obsessing about “organizing” your email."

Newseum Deploys Wohler Monitoring Systems to Support State-of-the-Art Media Exhibits

Briefing Room on SVConline: "PANORAMAdtv, the video products division of Wohler Technologies Inc., today announced that Wohler monitoring products are in use at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to support state-of-the-art displays and hands-on exhibitions examining the history of newsmaking. With 47 video monitoring systems, 17 confidence monitors, and 18 audio monitoring systems from Wohler, Newseum is ensured delivery of high-quality audio and video to exhibits, theaters, and interactive displays throughout the facility."

Southern Theater Dismisses Artistic Director

Stage-directions: "The Southern Theater of Minneapolis has dismissed Artistic Director, Jeff Bartlett, who has been an active part of the theatre for 33 years. According to reports, Bartlett said theatre management gave no rationale for its decision."

Chicago 500 Clown Theater Company Receives $28,000 Grant

Stage-directions: "Chicago's 500 Clown Theater Company has received $28,000 from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Ensemble Theatre Collaborations Grant program. The award will support the partnership between 500 Clown and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at Maryland, which commissioned 500 Clown's newest production, 500 Clown and the Elephant Deal, to premiere Dec. 11-14, 2008."

City Theatre Cuts Three Staff Positions

Stage-directions: "The City Theatre of Pittsburgh has cut three staff positions in an attempt to remedy a $75,000 deficit in expected revenue. Margie Romero, director of communications, Fred Betzner, patron services manager and Props Assistant Rachel Ferrari have been permanently let go from the theatre."

Winners Announced for Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival

Stage-directions: "From a selection of 40 short plays, six plays have been chosen as the winning scripts from the 33rd Annual Samuel French Inc. Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, which concluded July 20 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. The winning scripts are: The Dying Breed by Thomas Higgins, The Thread Men by Thomas C. Dunn, Ayravana Flies or A Pretty Dish by Sheila Callaghan, F**king Art by Bekah Brunstetter, The Grave by Gabe McKinley and Juniper; Jubilee by Janine Nabers. The scripts will be published as a collection and licensed by Samuel French Inc. The collection will be available for sale later this fall/winter."

About Face Theatre Appoints Managing Director

Stage-directions: "About Face Theatre has announced that producer and director Rick Dildine has been named the new managing director of About Face Theatre. Dildine comes to About Face from Brown University, where he worked with About Face Artistic Director Bonnie Metzgar and served as producer of the annual Brown University/Trinity Repertory New Plays Festival since 2006."

Carnegie Mellon Receives High Marks in Reaccreditation

Media-Newswire.comy: "Carnegie Mellon University recently received reaccreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education ( MSCHE ), earning high marks from the commission in the process. The university achieved the best possible outcome from the commission, which noted the high quality of the university's self-study process and report."

Never ask the Audience to Throw you a Folding Chair! - Watch more free videos

Dvorak Uncensored: General interest observations and true web-log.

PLC info

Technical Direction Tidbits: "Automation Direct has made available on their website a PDF describing what a PLC is and how to choose a PLC."

Boys & Girls Clubs of America Hosts Fundraiser with Electro-Voice

FOH online: "The Electro-Voice XLC127 DVX mid-sized line array continues to prove itself a versatile loudspeaker system, equally at home on the highest-profile rock tours or at corporate events requiring precise coverage and sonic detail. GravelRoad Entertainment LLC (Cleveland, Tenn.) deployed an input-to-output Electro-Voice PA for one such event, the 6th Annual Steak & Stake Dinner at the Northwest Georgia Trade & Convention Center, held recently to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Gordon, Murray and Whitfield Counties."

Three CMU students featured in PICT's Synge Cycle

Rebecca Berkman-Rivera, Amanda Jane Cooper, and Laura Lee Mixon each perform in at least three of the seven shows produced during the Cycle.
Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre honors the centenary of the Irish Shakespeare, John Millington Synge, with Synge Cycle, a festival which gives audiences a rare and unique opportunity to examine the complete body of his theatrical work over the course of a single month of theatre-going. A group of sixteen actors and five directors bring all seven of Synge's stage plays to life, starting with The Playboy of the Western World on July 17th, and continuing with his other six stage plays running in repertory through August 17th.

In The Playboy of the Western World, the three play a trio of feisty village girls: Sara Tansey (Mixon), Susan Brady (Berkman-Rivera), and Honor Blake (Cooper.) Berkman-Rivera, class of 2010, plays the title role in Deirdre of the Sorrows, Girl in The Well of the Saints, and ensemble in Riders to the Sea. She received the Drama Desk scholarship Award for acting and production in 2006, and her favorite roles include Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Cooper, class of 2010, plays a role named Bride in both When the Moon Has Set and The Well of the Saints, ensemble in Riders to the Sea. She recently produced and starred as Mercedes in the musical version of The Count of Monte Cristo for Playground, and was also in the films Smart People and Homecoming. Mixon, class of 2009, plays Nora in Riders to the Sea and Molly Byrne in The Well of the Saints. Mixon received the Thomas Auclair Memorial Award for excellent contributions to the School of Drama, and has played roles on campus such as Princess Eboli in Don Carlos and Sganarelle's wife in Moliere's Sganarelle or The Imaginary Cuckhold.

Tickets for The Playboy of the Western World are $17 to $47. Tickets for the Synge Cycle One-Acts programs are $20 ($17 for persons under 25). A $50 pass for Synge Cycle entitles patron to attend all three of the Synge Cycle One-Act programs. Reservations are recommended, and can be made by calling ProArts Tickets at 412-394-3353 or visiting More information is available on the PICT website,


July 31 - August 24, 2008
Outdoors in Mellon Park
Written by William Shakespeare | Directed by Karla Boos
Tickets $25-$35 ($15 students)

Is it a comedy, a tragedy, a romance? Like Quantum Theatre, Shakespeare's Cymbeline breaks the rules and doesn't care. At its heart, Cymbeline is a story about who we are, where we come from, and how we find our way home.

Quantum tells this tale intimately. We're family. Let's talk among ourselves.
And welcome our cousin collaborators, the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University.
Cymbeline is a Robot 250 Project.

To order pre-show picnic dinners from Enrico Biscotti Cafe, call 412.697.2929.

Lights, camera, Lansing: Ready for its closeup

the HUB: "Earlier this year, Ahptic Film and Digital and local developer Pat Gillespie, announced a proposal for City Center Studios to open in 2009. The $9 million, 71,000-square-foot studio would include two soundstages, offices and post-production facilities for editing or audio work."

Free Rigging Data Slide Rule Returns

PLSN: "For the 20th year, J. R. Clancy is giving away free slide rules to rigging technology dealers and installers. The newly revised sixth edition of the Clancy Slide Rule is made to be easy-to-use, fit in a shirt pocket, and give riggers a way to quickly calculate ratios and measurements commonly used in rigging."

Melissa Etheridge Tour Lightens the Load

PLSN: "On her current Revival tour, the set and lighting design for Melissa Etheridge is practicing what the singer preaches. LD David Hamilton, who is in his fifth year working with Etheridge, says there’s a lot less lighting gear than in years past. The lighting, supplied by Bandit Lites, is primarily LED-based, and draws “less than 50 amps per leg with everything full on,” according to Hamilton."

Brooklyn Bridge Beams for 125th Birthday

PLSN: "With a population of 2.5 million, the borough of Brooklyn has more residents than any U.S. city except Chicago, Los Angeles and the rest of New York itself, and the Brooklyn Bridge, built 125 years ago, is one of the reasons why. To celebrate the iconic structure, Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) partnered with Production Glue on a Syncrolite lighting treatment as part of a five-day celebration."

Active Production and Design Marks 15 Years

PLSN: "For 15 years, Active Production and Design, Inc. has been helping others in the Atlanta area with their event AV and lighting needs. To mark that milestone, the company is planning an event of its own. The celebration will take place July 30 at Atlanta Event Center at Opera from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. More than 200 guests are expected to attend."

Scaffolding Collapse Injures Four

PLSN: "The music director and three others preparing for a July 18 youth performance of Once Upon a Mattress were injured when scaffolding erected above an outdoor stage collapsed about 40 minutes before the opening of the show."

Sapsis Rigging Goes to the Opera

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Sapsis Rigging, Inc. was part of the critically acclaimed Lincoln Center Festival production of Die Soldaten at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. The company provided rigging consultation, design, and equipment for this landmark opera production from 20th-century German composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann."

UVLD and Production Glue Team on Celebration of 125th Birthday of Brooklyn Bridge

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) partnered with Production Glue to mark the 125th birthday of The Brooklyn Bridge with a dramatic Syncrolite lighting treatment during a five-day celebration of the iconic structure."

j-o-b - TD



POSITION: Production Technical Director

DEPARTMENT: Theatre Arts

DESCRIPTION: The School of Theater Arts at The University of the Arts is seeking applications for a Production Technical Director. The Production Technical Director position is an 11-month staff position with full benefits year-round. The Technical Director reports to the Head of the Design and Technology Program and to the Director of the School of Theater Arts. The University of the Arts is located in downtown Philadelphia and serves approximately 2400 students in all areas of the arts. The School of Theater Arts has approximately 230 students divided between four programs (Acting, Design and Technology, Musical Theater, and Theater Management and Production); it operates five performance spaces and produces a season of fifteen productions in those venues.

Position Summary: Under the supervision of the Director of the School of Theater, andworking in conjunction with the Production Stage Manager, the Production Technical Director is responsible for the areas of Scenery, Props, Lighting, and Sound for School of Theater Arts Productions. The primary duties include the supervision and scheduling of student work, budgeting, and expense monitoring in the above areas. Other duties include: monitoring designers' progress, teaching students and scheduling and supervising all technical arrangements necessary to realize each design within the established time frame and budget.

Required: BA in technical theater required; Significant professional experience as Technical Director or Assistant Technical Director required; Mastery of current standards and practices in Technical Direction (carpentry, rigging, welding, electrical work, budgeting, planning, purchasing, and oversight of student and professional workers) also required.

Preferred: MFA or equivalent professional experience in Technical Direction; Experience in teaching technical courses at the college level; Experience with VectorWorks (CAD software) and LightWright. Professional credits in Set, Lighting, or Sound Design also highly desirable.


SALARY: Commensurate with experience and credentials

TO APPLY: Interested, qualified applicants should submit cover letters of application, a resume and a list of references to The University of the Arts, Office of Personnel Services, 320 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102.



The Autodesk University Courses are Online!

Lynn Allen's Blog: "Hot off the Press...the Autodesk University Courses are posted for your viewing pleasure. It's not quite time to register yet - but surely you can whet your appetite over this year's slate of classes! Visit the Autodesk University BLAUG to peruse the class list..."

Auerbach Finishes Work On The Sandler Center For The Performing Arts

Live Design: "Auerbach Pollock Friedlander was a key member of the design/build team for the new Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The design team was led by Clancy & Theys Construction Company and included architects Philip Johnson / Alan Ritchie and CMSS as well as acoustical consultants Kirkegaard Associates."

Hudson Sound & Light and Christie Lites Partner To Form Hudson/Christie

LiveDesign: "Hudson Sound & Light and Christie Lites have joined together to form Hudson/Christie Lighting. The new partnership combines the companies’ vast inventory of lighting equipment, expands the depth and reach of their international distribution, and offers decades of shared industry expertise and experience to all their clients. Hudson/Christie Lighting will launch its partnership by providing the lighting equipment for the tour of the Tony Award® winning musical, Spring Awakening."

The Art of Lifting

Safety Concepts: "The Stagehand’s Axiom has a brilliant philosophy when it comes to lifting, and that is:
“Never lift what you can drag, never drag what you can roll, never roll what you can leave.”
People who hurt their backs often think the injury was a result of that one incident that caused immediate pain. But many back disorders often develop slowly over time as a result of repeated stress. Therefore it is imperative that good lifting practices be made part of the normal day to day procedures."

J-o-b - TD/PM

Technical Director/Production Manager

Technical Director – Visiting Assistant Professor in Technical Theatre and Production Management. 9-month position to teach courses in technical production and serve as technical director and production manager for 3 show, main-stage season. Supervise student crews and oversee 600 seat proscenium theatre and shop spaces. MFA in Technical Theatre and/or Design is required. Evidence of College teaching, experience in wood and steel scenery construction, and secondary design area in sound, lighting, or scenery is desirable. Interested candidates should submit letter of application, vitae, three letters of recommendation, and samples of production work to TD Search Committee, Department of Theatre, Oklahoma State University, 121 Seretean Center, Stillwater, OK 74078-4076; OSU is a E-Verify/EOE/AA employer

Friday, July 25, 2008

You can make your SketchUp model dance "This is a navigation device that is used for 3D graphics programs. I have seen people at work use similar devices but they actually do CAD for a living. I only do SketchUp for fun but this device is amazing. When you move the knob it is exactly like you are moving the object on screen. You can pan left/right, pan up/down, tilt, twist, turn, zoom, and roll. It sounds really complicated and it does take a bit of getting used to but it is really as simple as manipulating an object in real life."

Cameraheads in Seattle protest CCTVs in public places

Boing Boing: "The Camerahead Project is a Seattle protest group upset about the growing prevalence of CCTV cameras there -- they're staging a bit of theater tomorrow in Cal Anderson Park, walking around with giant cameras on their heads to get people thinking about what it means to have their public spaces under constant surveillance."

Lego unveils WeDo

LEGO Blog: "The Lego Company has announced the upcoming release of a new robotics system, scheduled to be released in January of 2009. Geared towards grade school children, ages 7-11, WeDo is designed to introduce robotics to an age group that has been previously overlooked. By building robots that remain tethered to their computer, kids can write, download and tweak their programs, giving them the opportunity to see what changes occurred immediately. While it appears that, due to its tethered nature, it may have a limited use outside of the classroom, anything that introduces young children to robotics is a good thing in my book."

Where's the Tony Award ticket police when you need them?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "As many have reported, one of the biggest challenges facing Tony hopefuls is the same challenge that faces our presidential hopefuls: voter turnout."

Catching up with Google SketchUp

The Hardware Aisle: "What makes SketchUp more than just 'whatcha put on your hamburger and fries,' as one community member put it, are easy-to-use features like the Push-Pull tool which allows users to form 3D models from 2D shapes in a matter of seconds. Sun angle simulator, color and texture library (cover a structure in brick or a certain type of wood), and interoperability with Google Earth (virtually place your structure on any empty lot on Earth) makes for realistic models of architectural projects. Extensive plant libraries in SketchUp's 3D Warehouse makes this a great tool for landscape planning, too."

Archive 5 Ways to Deal with Difficult Clients «

WebWorkerDaily: "Most independent web workers have had the experience of trying to work with a difficult client. Perhaps they insist on nitpicking graphics and wording on web pages that they’ve been clearly told are not final. Perhaps they try to dictate which tools you use, or (worse), that you partner with their kid brother “who really needs the experience.” Perhaps they pay their bills late, or call with their latest brainstorm at 3AM. Perhaps they keep adding new requirements to your carefully-scheduled work."

Chris Wilkinson on Actor-Managers

Theatre Ideas:"OK, I'm way behind on the Guardian blog, but if you haven't already read Chris Wilkinson's thoughts about the dearth of actor-managers in contemporary theatre, I enthusiastically recommend you do so. Here is a few paragraphs to whet your appetite:"

Connick Vehicle Nice Work If You Can Get It Postponed

Playbill: "The Broadway-aimed show starring Connick was to play Boston's Colonial Theatre late this year, but the production's elements couldn't be put together in time for the fall rehearsals following the spring exit of director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall. Connick and Marshall shared success in the 2006 Broadway run of The Pajama Game."

Bruce Adler, Tony-Nominated Actor, Dies at 63

Playbill: "Bruce Adler, the scion of Yiddish theatre family who went on to have much success on the Broadway stage, winning two Tony Award nominations, died in the early hours of July 25, said his close friend, actor Mike Burstyn. Mr. Adler had been battling liver cancer for several years. He was 63."

'Fireworks' expected at next SAG meeting

Hollywood Reporter: "The AMPTP has said negotiations ended with its final offer made June 30, when the contract expired. So far, the Hollywood studios have stood firm on that contention as well as refusing to accept the counterproposal SAG made in response to the final offer"

Negro ensemble heads Off Broadway

Variety: "In the 1970s, the NEC was the place for a black actor to get noticed. But after a long period of decline, the company has produced only a few shows in the last several years, and most of them in small theaters with low budgets.

Charles Weldon, a 38-year vet of the org and its current a.d., hopes all that is about to change."

Barbara Ann Teer dies at 71

Variety: "Teer was a dancer and actress who appeared in Broadway and off-Broadway productions. After growing tired of being offered stereotypical roles by white producers, she became an advocate for black artists and black culture."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

'Annie Get Your Gun' hits show business bull's-eye

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "After producing a couple of shows that fell wide of the mark this season, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera's 'Annie Get Your Gun' is right on target."

Hollywood Actor's Union Faces Revolt in Board Races Muse Arts: "``Life'' star Adam Arkin and Kate Walsh of ``Private Practice'' are among 31 dissidents seeking control of the Hollywood branch and a bigger role nationally, the group called Unite for Strength said late yesterday in an e-mailed statement."

Theatre of the Expendable Presents Chekhov's 'Three Sisters' "Theatre of the Expendable will present their production of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters this fall at The Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex. TotE's production, directed by Jesse Edward Rosbrow will use only six actors, instead of the typical fourteen or more, and will be presented true to the original script, with very few cuts and staged in a nontraditional method while still telling the story traditionally."

Technical Direction Tidbits

Technical Direction Tidbits: "Automation Direct has made available on their website a PDF describing what a PLC is and how to choose a PLC. You can download it at:"

Shapeways 3D printing by Internet: 500 free beta signups

Boing Boing: "Philips has spun out a new company called Shapeways that does cheap remote 3D printing -- send them a design in 3D and they'll fabricate it out of a variety of materials and send it back to you. It's still in beta, but they've sent me 500 free signups for BB readers -- first come, first served:"

Parametric Design With AutoLISP

Daily Autocad : "AutoLISP programming language is one of the ways to increase the effectiveness of AutoCAD applications. This article is intended for those who have not yet had an introduction to AutoLISP. We will introduce the AutoLISP language and explain some simple applications of it. It is obvious that for experienced AutoLISP users, this articles will not be of any contribution."


Carnegie Mellon University: "Taught by Professor Pamela Lewis, the class is called Strategic Presentation Skills. And it's where Perry polished the speaking skills that she feels led to her winning the competition. Lewis said she noticed Perry's ability to combine personal creativity with strategic argumentation as early as Perry's first class."

Ads infiltrate fringe fest

Arts and Entertainment: "As demonstrated by the last few Indy Fringe festivals, that allows for a wide range of offerings, from the solidly professonal to the embarrassingly amateur and, semi-conversely, from the over-polished to the thrillingly fresh.

You can see for yourself when Indy Fringe runs here from Aug. 22-31 (For a full schedule, click here)."

What Was Sold

Theatre Ideas: "I happened to stumble across a book entitled Theater in America: Appraisal and Challenge, a report put together for the National Theatre Conference in 1968. The preface indicates 'In November 1961, at the annual meeting of the Nationa Theatre Cobference (NTC) in New York, the Board of Trustees established a major project for a National Appraisal of the American Theater. The purpose of the project was to prepare an accurate, up-to-date, critical report of the 'total, multi-faceted image of theater in the United States in the third quarter of the twentieth century' -- a picture, as it were, of the whole state of the theatre, where it is and where it is going.'"

Leatherman Argentum Collection

Uncrate: "Designed by silversmithing legend Adrian Pallarols, the Leatherman Argentum Collection ($240 and up) takes the pocketable tool to new heights of fashion and elegance."

Off-Broadway's Gazillion Bubble Show Victim of Theft

Playbill: "Press representatives for the Off-Broadway production at New World Stages confirmed to that 3.4 tons of the liquid, which takes two months to make, were stolen. The Associated Press reported that someone broke into the North Bergen, N.J., warehouse June 10 and made off with the solution and 6,000 toys."

Academy Award Winner Thompson to Pen Screenplay for "My Fair Lady" Remake

Playbill: "Thompson has also written the screenplays for 'Nanny McPhee' and the television version of Wit. Her numerous acting credits also include 'Impromptu,' 'Dead Again,' 'Much Ado About Nothing,' 'The Remains of the Day,' 'In the Name of the Father,' 'Primary Colors,' 'Judas Kiss,' 'Love Actually,' 'Wit,' 'Angels in America,' 'Nanny McPhee,' 'Stranger Than Fiction,' 'Harry Potter' and the current 'Brideshead Revisited.'"

Senators introduce IPR bill

Hollywood Reporter: "MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman highlighted the importance of the anti-piracy measure to the overall U.S. economy, which has been sluggish."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Producer-Manager Marilyn Shapiro Dies at 77

Backstage: "Marilyn R. Shapiro, a theatre and television producer and longtime manager and business partner of actor Bonnie Franklin, died Sunday after a long struggle with kidney disease. She was 77."

Hollywood's Walk of Fame Gets Makeover

Backstage: "Hundreds of stars on Hollywood's 'Walk of Fame' are to undergo a much-needed $4.2 million makeover to repair cracks and holes ahead of the 50th anniversary of the beloved tourist attraction.

They will also be joined by a newcomer -- Absolut Vodka -- which will get its own star plaque as the first corporate sponsor of the 'Walk of Fame,' a Hollywood business group said on Tuesday."

'Spring Awakening' Welcomes Group of New Cast Members Making their Broadway debuts as their replacements July 21 were Andrew Durand (Georg), Amanda CastaƱos (Martha), Gabriel Violett (Otto), Emily Kinney (Anna), Caitlin Kinnunen (Thea) and Morgan Karr (Ensemble)."

Disney names new hosts to replace Ebert and Roeper

Reuters: "Ben Lyons, a film critic from cable channel E! Entertainment Television, and Ben Mankiewicz, a moderator on cable network Turner Classic Movies, will take over as hosts of Ebert's old show when it is relaunched on September 6, said Disney's Buena Vista Productions studio."

A World of Robotics

Pop City: "You step into the hall and find yourself challenged by a robot to arm wrestle. Unbeknownst to you, the robot is communicating information about you across the building to a second robot, which is taking on another visitor. The result: Through robotics, you’re engaged in virtual arm wrestling with another human you can’t even see."

[best show on Broadway]

News Bloggers: "The show is about four 'nobodies' putting together a musical. The musical is in fact about the creation of itself. It sounds oh-so-clever. And it is. But it is not snarky or sneering. It manages to be hilarious and hopeful, wickedly funny and - hokey as this sounds - inspiring. But it's not hokey at all."

Irwin's Tape Measure: No Pencil Necessary

Core77: "Tool manufacturer Irwin has come up with a nifty tape measure: The Strait-Line."

Aliens with Extraordinary Skills, Freshwater and Global Chill Set for Women's Project Season

Playbill: "Founded in 1978 by Julia Miles, the Women's Project is the oldest and largest theatre company in America devoted to theatrical works created by women."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

'Wonder Bread' serves up slices of childhood memory

Post Gazette: "For this, specific dates are best avoided, to create more hooks to catch us. Conversely, specific details are essential, whether about Silly Putty, Hula Hoops or other trivia of our youth. The simple mention of these sets off little audience wildfires of giggles, in one part of the audience for Slinkies, in another for Tony the Tiger. And of course there are plenty of era-nonspecific childhood debris such as Crayola and Silly Putty."

crew needed

Craigslist: "Hi,

I need a boom op, grip and gaffer for an upcoming low-budget 2 day shoot this weekend. Please send me an email with relevant experience. Students are encouraged to apply.


In Art News

The Stranger "I have an ongoing debate with my partner about whether the American future will be Beirut-style terrible or just sort of Detroit-style terrible. I'm the pessimist. I was reminded of this by Trisha Ready's essay in the July 3 Stranger about how her identity started dissolving as her buying power dropped off, and how frightening that was, considering what's coming. The essay was called 'United States of Anxiety.' I could relate. But I am reassured by one thing: Even if I lost my house and my job and had virtually nothing left, I could still see a lot of art."

Stoooopid .... why the Google generation isn’t as smart as it thinks

Times Online: "I was – the irony! – trying to read a book called Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson. Crushed in my train, I had become the embodiment of T S Eliot’s great summary of the modern predicament: “Distracted from distraction by distraction”. This is, you might think, a pretty standard, vaguely comic vignette of modern life – man harassed by self-inflicted technology. And so it is. We’re all distracted, we’re all interrupted. How foolish we are! But, listen carefully, it’s killing me and it’s killing you"

'Godspell' Returns to Broadway This Fall

Backstage: "The pop musical, which has a score by Stephen Schwartz, opens Oct. 23 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, producer Adam Epstein announced Tuesday. It will feature Gavin Creel as Jesus and Joshua Henry as Judas. Also in the cast will be Diana DeGarmo of 'American Idol' fame. Preview performances begin Sept. 29."

Avenue Q to Celebrate Fifth Birthday July 31

Playbill: "The puppet-friendly musical recently celebrated another milestone when it played its 2,000th performance on Broadway June 3. The Jeff Marx-Bobby Lopez musical is now the 25th longest-running production in Broadway history, having surpassed the original runs of South Pacific (1,925) and Pippin (1,944)."

Producer Gladys Nederlander Dies at 83 Buzz: "Born in New York City in 1925, Nederlander grew up in Chicago and Southern California. Her first job in show business was on the staff for the radio show Queen for a Day, which eventually moved to television. In 1945, Nederlander married songwriter Fred Stryker, with whom she had two children before divorcing after 10 years. In 1963, Nederlander married Milton Rackmil, founder of Decca Records and president of Universal Pictures. They would divorce in 1973."

With No Warning, Jump Ends Off-Broadway Run Buzz: "The Korean martial-arts comedy Jump closed this past Sunday, July 20, at the Union Square Theatre, it was announced today. The 90-minute show played 15 preview and 329 regular performances at the time of closing."

Roger Dannenberg

Carnegie Mellon University: "Working in the 'computer music' field, Carnegie Mellon Professor Roger Dannenberg knows what it means to be interdisciplinary. Along with former student Dominic Mazzoni (CS '03), Dannenberg created Audacity, a free tool that users are finding helpful at the intersection of computing and music."

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University: "'The pre-college program provides high school students the opportunity to test drive the true college experience while exploring their concentrated discipline,' said program director Beth Yazemboski. 'It allows the students to determine if the field is an area that they wish to continue to pursue within their undergraduate studies.'"

Broadway, Off-Broadway, Theater : Theater things that don't make sense: Vol. 5. Regional theaters as authors.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "The deal usually includes an up-front 'enhancement' payment for line items that are above and beyond the regional theaters customary budget (most wouldn't normally do musicals of such size and scope, so they may need costume help, additional sets, per diem for creatives, etc.). This fee can easily be several hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more. But, it makes sense that the Broadway producers would pay for it."

Noose Laws Hang Free Speech

Reason Magazine: "There's little debate about the 'real' meaning of a noose: It represents xenophobia, mob rule, and retribution by torch light. But the noose's negative cultural significance is not sufficient justification to ban it on public property. Why is a group of hicks waving images of a noose—or actual nooses—in the middle of a public park any less deserving of 1st Amendment protection than thousands of Ku Klux Klan members staging a rally on main street? Afterall, in order to allow groups like the Klan to march, cities must be able to differentiate between a protest rally and a mob hell-bent on peforming a lynching. That same rubric should be applied to displays of nooses on public property."

‘Iron Man’ Director Lobbies Guvernator To Try Yet Again For Hollywood Tax Breaks; If So Marvel May Build $600

Nikki Finke: "Will it happen? Who knows, considering that Schwarzenegger up to now has been more talk than action. He most recently railed against runaway production at a news conference on May 9th -- but that was scheduled only after he received heat during another press conference for fire prevention from reporters annoying him with questions about Ugly Betty leaving Los Angeles for New York to take advantage of an Albany-passed package of fat rebates. (See my previous, Unemployed 'Ugly Betty' Crew Blame Schwarzenegger For Show's NY Move.) Since then, the TV shows Life On Mars, Fringe and Kings have left Los Angeles or Toronto (where the Canadian dollar is suddenly expensive) to move to NYC as well."

Estelle Getty, Star of "Golden Girls," Dies at 84

Playbill: "Ms. Getty played the sarcastic, fast-talking mother of Bea Arthur's character on 'The Golden Girls,' the sitcom about four female retirees who share a house. Though the three other actresses — Arthur, Betty White and Rue McClanahan — were far more established, Ms. Getty's nonstop barrage of peppy, often- off-color zingers quickly grabbed viewers' attention. Much was made in the press of the fact that, though she played an octogenarian, she was actually more than a year younger"

Keeling and Spencer Are Danny and Sandy in Broadway's Grease Beginning July 22

Playbill Finalists Ashley Spencer and Derek Keeling of the reality TV audition series 'Grease: You're the One That I Want' are the new Sandy and Danny of Broadway's Grease beginning July 22.

Keeling and Spencer succeed, respectively, Max Crumm and Laura Osnes, who played their final performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre July 20. Osnes and Crumm were winners in the 2007 televised competition that sought to cast the new Broadway revival of Grease. Spencer placed second. Keeling was a finalist."

First FCC nay on satellite deal

Hollywood Reporter: "Now, XM and Sirius are considering just how far to go with concessions in order to sway the two remaining commissioners."

'Blonde' winner set for Broadway

Variety: "Hanks came out on top in the finale of MTV casting skein 'Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.' Episode aired Monday night, although Hanks prepped for her Rialto debut in the weeks between the taping of the finale and its air date."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Stage Preview: CLO hooks a spunky Annie Oakley

Post Gazette: "'I'd only ever heard the music,' she confesses in a lunchtime interview on the first day of CLO's one-week rehearsal sprint. 'I hadn't seen it or even read it.' But when she did, she found it 'funny and touching.'"

City Theatre cuts three posts

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'We looked a the forecast of how we expected the (next) year to go and national benchmarks on the balance between artistic and administrative spending, and decided we need to reduce the size of the administrative staff to protect and continue to sustain our artistic investment,' said Greg Quinlan, City Theatre's managing director."

Film is entertainment; theater is an event

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "But, the fundamental differences between the ways the two media are created and enjoyed affect not only the experience you receive, but the effort you expend."

Controversial 'Stitching' Extends Off-Broadway; Ventimiglia Joins Cast

Yahoo! News: "Stu and Abby love each other so madly, they're driving each other crazy,' according to production notes. 'Stitching follows the increasingly disturbing and inventive games the couple plays in order to connect. As they circle and test each other, they role-play with reality and fantasy to the point where even they don't seem sure what is real anymore. When Abby discovers she's pregnant, the choices they make will haunt them forever. The visceral poetry and physicality between the lovers creates a surprisingly tender, often humorous, brutal romance. Stitching challenges the notions of modern romance in an increasingly complex world.'"

SAG, Studios Face Disconnect

Backstage: "Three weeks after the expiration of their contract, SAG and the AMPTP appear to be living on different planets. SAG says it's still negotiating; the studios say their final offer is languishing on the table. A weekend get-together of the actors union gave little indication that those worlds are getting any closer."

Iraq Tragedy, Guitar Shrieks, Mad Miracles: Avignon Festival Muse Arts: "Doctoral candidates in literary history should explore a new, fertile ground for their theses -- the impact of the Iraq war on U.S. and European theater."

MoMA's Pods, Solar-Panel Scaffolds Show Prefab Housing's Future Muse Arts: "The museum commissioned five prototype houses for ``Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling,'' a wildly ambitious display of the pleasures and peculiarities of prefabricated houses. The prototypes, augmented inside the museum by a rich history of the genre, capture both the earnestness of architecture's obsession with industrial technique and its faith in technology as an agent of progress."

Chicago Theater Recommendations

Chicago Theater Blog: "A summary of theatre recommendations from the Tribune (Trib), Sun-Times (ST), Chicago Theatre Blog (CTB), and TimeOut Chicago (TO)."

Merging CAPA, middle school stirs debate

Post Gazette: "The merger 'coordinating committee' voted Thursday not to support the merger now, citing concerns about space and other issues, said Tracy Del Vecchio, a Squirrel Hill parent of two CAPA students. The group consists of parents, students and district employees, and Derrick Lopez, district chief of high school reform, said some members did not attend the meeting."

Dremel Multi-Max Oscillating Tool System | Tool Snob - "If you've never played around with an oscillating tool, you've got something coming. Not only are they precise, but they can be used an a staggering number of situations; everything from sanding to flush cutting to grinding to polishing."

Monday Master Class: How to Start Down the Long Road from Chaos to Efficiency

Study Hacks : "More often than not, my experience has been: the more productivity habits you start at the same time the higher the probability that you’ll abandon them all. It just becomes too overwhelming."

Core77 / design magazine + resource / post

Core77 : "The Gallery Hotel Art in Florence takes the concept of subtle signage to whole new level with bent wires that spell the hotels name in a shadow when lit by a spotlight, not sure how you find this place in the daytime unless the wall is strategically positioned for high-noon."

Court tosses FCC 'wardrobe malfunction' fine

Wired News - AP News: "The court found that the FCC deviated from its nearly 30-year practice of fining indecent broadcast programming only when it was so 'pervasive as to amount to 'shock treatment' for the audience.'"

Morphing Neil Young’s ‘Greendale’ Into Works for the Stage and Page "By now Mr. Young has moved on to new tours and releases and to activism against the war in Iraq. But “Greendale” continues to inspire spinoffs outside the music world, including a graphic novel and a multi-performer theater piece, which opens in New York on Wednesday."

Mamma Mia! Tour, with McMonagle, Coomer and Dawson, to Play Chicago's Auditorium Theatre

Playbill: "Mamma Mia! employs the hit songs of famed pop group ABBA to tell the story of Sophie Sheridan, a young girl who hopes to discover the identity of her father. On the eve of her wedding, she brings three men from her mother Donna's past back to the Greek island they visited over two decades ago."

Ebert, Roeper walk out of 'At the Movies'

Hollywood Reporter: "In an e-mail to the Associated Press on Monday, Ebert said Disney-ABC Domestic Television had decided to take the show 'in a new direction' and he won't be associated with it."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dark Knight Director Shuns Digital Effects For the Real Thing

Wired: "The Bat-plan was simple: Base-jump off one Hong Kong skyscraper, smash through the window of another, grab the Chinese crime boss, then hitch a drag chute to a passing C-130 cargo plane for a daring aerial escape. And on to Gotham! An instant, no-fuss extradition in the best tradition of American vigilantism. Just another working day for Batman and, presumably, just another feat of digital wizardry for the visual effects team. Except for one thing: Christopher Nolan, director of The Dark Knight, wanted to do it for real."

The Dark Knight in IMAX: New, Behind-the-Scenes VIDEO!

Popular Mechanics: "When The Dark Knight explodes into movie theaters today, certain scenes will look a little crisper, a little more real and a lot more intense—sort of like you’re in the action. That’s because director Christopher Nolan used IMAX cameras to film several key sequences of the film, including the opening bank heist and a climactic chase scene featuring the Bat-pod and a tractor-trailer. The Dark Knight marks the first time a director used IMAX cameras to film parts of a traditional theatrical release—and PopMech TV has a behind-the-scenes first look at how the action came together"

A Compromise In The Shut Up Standoff

New York Times Blog: "The writing staff walked off the job in mid-June after being told that the show would be covered under a International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) contract, not the Writers’ Guild of America (W.G.A.) contract that the writers went on strike for last winter. The writers on every other prime time animated show — “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” et al. — are covered by the writers’ guild."

Second Stage Theatre To Acquire Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre

Stage-directions: "Second Stage Theatre has acquired the right to purchase the historic Helen Hayes Theatre, located at 240 W. 44th St., and will use it to present contemporary American theatrical productions only, continuing their commitment to developing and staging new work and nurturing up-and-coming playwrights, directors, designers and actors. With this purchase, their third venue in New York, Second Stage will become one of four non-profit theatre companies that own and operate theatres on Broadway."

Autodesk Announces Winners of Build Something Student Design Challenge

Yahoo! Finance: "Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK - News) announced the winners of the Build Something Student Design Challenge, a design contest created to encourage the next generation of design professionals from around the world to showcase their skills using Autodesk digital technologies in industrial design, architecture, civil and mechanical engineering and 3D animation."

Back to the arts for PBS "This falls, if PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger has her way, PBS will by synonymous with ARTS."

Student Design Challenge

AutoDesk: "Congratulations to the winners of our international Student Design Challenge! We received amazing designs from all over the world (Poland, Australia, USA, Germany, China, Italy, Russia, and more) representing different concepts, cultures, environments and design techniques – with sustainability being the common thread throughout."

Wisconsin communities benefit from Depp movie

StarTribune: "Seeing movie star Johnny Depp was enough of a reward for many. But the movie 'Public Enemies' also provided millions of dollars for the state's economy at a time communities greatly needed it."

Bill Oakley exits 'Sit Down, Shut Up'

Variety: "Fox's animated series 'Sit Down, Shut Up' is moving forward -- but without one of its two showrunners."

"Sit Down, Shut Up" labor "peace" - Oakley's out! "There is nothing to celebrate"

TV Barn: "Bill Oakley and Ken Keeler are the two writers who did not agree to the deal, say sources not named Nikki. This is an interesting development as up until now I've thought of Oakley and Josh Weinstein, who created 'Mission Hill' together for the WB, as pardners. But Weinstein played ball with Sony and Oakley walked away. The Writers Guild is not pleased."

Nonprofits See Decline in Donors, Gifts During First Quarter, Study Finds

PND: "Giving to nonprofits slowed during the first quarter of 2008, due largely to a decline in donors, a new study from Target Analytics finds."

Foundation Collaborative Provides Support to Minnesota Arts Organizations

PND: "ArtsLab, a collaborative of the McKnight and four other Minnesota foundations, has announced the selection of seventeen nonprofits for participation in a three-year training and development program."

Big theater: It's time for S.L. to bring Broadway lights downtown

Salt Lake Tribune: "If you want the pop and sizzle of bright lights in the big city, you need a big theater. Or to put it another way, if Salt Lake City hopes to attract first-run touring companies of blockbuster Broadway shows, with the roar of the crowds and the jingle of cash they would bring downtown, it needs to build a 2,400-seat playhouse."

NYC sets formal rules for filming on city streets "Filmmakers and photographers who shoot on New York City's streets and sidewalks now have a clear set of rules dictating when they must obtain permits, after years of relying on loose guidelines that civil liberties advocates said were too vague."

Planning for Severe Weather

WEAU: "When 30,000 fans pack the country jam field, they're supposed to hear music, not weather warning sirens.
But with the weekend's forecast, festival organizer's say the job is a little more intense.
'We have actually a very large severe weather plan that we start to put into place when that starts coming our direction,” says Country Jam Marketing Director Kathy Wright."

Shakeup at the Southern Theater

MPR: "A shakeup in leadership at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis has artists who use the space concerned about the future. After serving the organization for thirty years, artistic director Jeff Bartlett has been let go by the theater's board."

FCC Begins Field Testing of White Spaces

FOH online: "In response to an announcement made late last week by the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology that it will begin field testing of prototype White Spaces devices today, Mark Brunner, Shure senior director of Public and Industry Relations, sounded a sanguine note saying, 'We look forward to continuing to offer our full assistance and expertise to the Commission as it formulates the test parameters and protocol.'"

Bill Berloni, Calming The Not-So-Savage Beasts

NPR: "Though trainer Bill Berloni hasn't worked with lions, tigers or bears, he has worked with a whole farm's worth of animals. For over 30 years, Berloni has trained creatures like dogs, pigs, rats, cats and lambs for Broadway productions and Hollywood films."

Here she comes, the new Miss Pa. "Kendria Perry, 23, received the Miss Pennsylvania 2008 crown, $7,000 and other scholarships last night in the Nazareth Area High School auditorium."

Unusual Opera Stage, Seating Fill NY Armory

PLSN: "The men playing the role of soldiers in New York’s Park Avenue Armory during its five-performance run of Die Soldaten are taking part in an elaborate experiment: to see if the Lincon Center Festival can perform a 12-tone opera long deemed “unperformable” in a space considered un-playable."

From the Interim Head...

I am happy to announce that Marianne Weems has accepted the position of Head of Graduate Directing. Because of prior commitments to her award-winning company, The Builders’ Association, she will not be fully in residence until January. She will, however, be with us several times during the Fall semester to begin to get up to speed with the workings of the School of Drama.

Also, please keep in mind that this is a new model for us as Marianne will be in residence in Pittsburgh for half of each academic term. While in New York the other half of the term, she will still be working with our students, gathering contacts, pioneering new programs and representing us in the greater professional world.

Please join me in welcoming her and celebrating this exciting new chapter in graduate directing.


Broadband and the Digital Future

FCC Announces Agenda and Witnesses for
Public En Banc Hearing at Carnegie Mellon University

on Broadband and the Digital Future

Featuring Carnegie Mellon Faculty and Spin Out Companies

as well as Other National Leaders

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission today announced additional details for the public en banc hearing scheduled at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Monday, July 21, 2008, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Date: Monday, July 21, 2008

Time: 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)

Location: McConomy Auditorium, University Center
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


The Commission will hear from expert panelists regarding broadband and the digital future.

The hearing at Carnegie Mellon University is open to the public, and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Agenda and list of witnesses follows:
(All Eastern Daylight Time)

4:00 p.m. Welcome/Opening Remarks

4:30 p.m. Panel Discussion 1 – The Future of Digital Media


Mark Cuban, Chairman & Co Founder HDNet, Owner – Dallas Mavericks

Jon Peha, Professor, Department of Engineering and Public Policy, and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Mark Cavicchia, CEO, Founder & Director, WhereverTV

Matthew Polka, President & CEO, American Cable Association

Jake Witherell, Sim Ops Studios

John Heffner, Conviva

Representative, You Tube

5:30 p.m. Panel Discussion 2 – The Broadband of Tomorrow


David Farber, Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Rahul Tongia, Senior Systems Scientist, Program on Computation, Organizations, and Society, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Robert W. Quinn, Jr., Senior Vice President – Federal Regulatory, AT&T, Inc.

Rey Ramsey, Chairman & CEO, One Economy Corporation

Rendall Harper, Board Member, Wireless Neighborhoods

Scott Wallsten, Vice President for Research and Senior Fellow, Technology Policy Institute

Marge Krueger, Administrative Director, Communications Workers of America District 13

6:30 p.m. Public Comment Period

8:30 p.m. Adjournment
A live web cast of the hearing will be available to the public on the FCC’s website at: -- you may also go to “FCC Meetings” from the homepage and then click on FCC Audio/Video events to access the web cast.

Sign language interpreters and open captioning will be provided for this event. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Include a description of the accommodation needed, and include a way we can contact you if we need more information. Please make your request as early as possible. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. You may send an e-mail to or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (Voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

For additional information about the hearing, please visit the FCC’s website at Press inquiries should be directed to Robert Kenny at 202-418-2668 or Clyde Ensslin at 202-418-0506.


News and other information about the Federal Communications Commission
is available at