CMU School of Drama

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rooms’ Natascia Diaz and Doug Kreeger

DC Theatre Scene: "Minutes after accepting their standing ovations, their Scottish accents still on the tips of their tongues, the stars of the new bound-for-NYC musical Rooms: A Rock Musical sat down with Joel to talk about the show, the characters they play, and take us behind the scene of this new Paul Scott Goodman musical, directed by Scott Schwartz and musical direction by Jenny Cartney."

Gallery: Once Mighty Bell Labs Leaves Behind Transistor, Laser, 6 Nobels

"Bell Labs' decision to abandon basic physics research marks the end of a brilliant chapter for the iconic institution. Many of the Labs' most famous discoveries, such as the transistor and the laser, originated in fundamental physics and have gone on to transform computing and technology."

Bell Labs Kills Fundamental Physics Research

"After six Nobel Prizes, the invention of the transistor, laser and countless contributions to computer science and technology, it is the end of the road for Bell Labs' fundamental physics research lab."

Carnegie Mellon School of Drama Hires Theatre Director Marianne Weems

Stage-directions: "Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama has appointed Marianne Weems, co-founder and artistic director of the New York performance company The Builders Association, as head of its graduate directing program. In this leadership role, Weems will bring her expertise in theater directing, dramaturgy and interdisciplinary media to the school and offer her students an innovative education experience in New York."

"Your Town, Inc." Exhibition at The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon "80 photographs from Julia Christensen’s forthcoming book “Big Box Reuse” will be shown in an exhibition that examines how communities are changing in the shadow of corporate real estate."

Auralex Continues Green Initiatives with Eco-Tech

Stage-directions: "Auralex Acoustics, Inc. continues its leadership in creating environmentally friendly products with the introduction of Eco-Tech, the company's first green acoustical panel, at this year's CEDIA show (Booth 630). Earlier this year, the company announced the first green acoustical foam product on the market, Eco-Friendly StudioFoam."

White Space Fight Escalates

Stage-directions: "A longtime issue facing the live production industry, the white spaces debate has hit full force in a string of events that appear strangely coincidental amid recent FCC field-testing at live events — all of which have failed conclusively. The consortium of tech companies (Yahoo!, HP, Motorola, Google), fervent about opening up the spectrum for wireless Internet use, continue to escalate its fight. At the forefront of efforts, Google has fired back with a new campaign and Web site, Free the Airwaves, to garner public support for open use of the tiny spectrum."

Hippotizer Specified for Broadway's All My Sons

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "The new Broadway production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons begins previews September 18 using three Hippotizer HD V3 media servers from Green Hippo. New City Video of New York is supplying the Hippotizers and other video equipment for the production."

Michigan touts aggressive incentives

Variety: "Offering what it calls the most generous film incentives in the country, Michigan -- land of 'The Evil Dead,' 'Blue Collar' and other last-generation films -- looks to become the next-generation state of choice when Hollywood goes on location."

Michigan film crews ready for rush

Variety: "When Michigan, the state responsible for making the majority of cars on U.S. roads, can't find jobs for its autoworkers, you know film industry folk are having a tough time finding employment there as well."

These Girls Just Want to Be Funny, With Movies Like ‘The House Bunny’

"THE first screenplay by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, written on cocktail napkins and fueled by margaritas, was a female action-thriller about girls who kill members of the Navy Seals.
“They’re really mad,” Ms. Smith said demurely.
The script “never saw the light of day,” Ms. McCullah Lutz added, but it cemented a partnership that has made the pair that rarest of Hollywood commodities: a successful female writing team, one whose output (“Legally Blonde,” “Ella Enchanted,” “She’s the Man”) has been frothily funny yet informed by female empowerment."

Moving Lights and Pyro for Bastille Day

PLSN: "LD Alexander Junca used nearly 100 Robe moving lights supplied by Impact Evénement to light up the smoky skies above Paris on July 14, the anniversary of the 1789 storming of the Bastille fortress and prison. Some of the lights were rigged on three trussing circles — one with a 20-meter diameter, the other two with six-meter diameters — which were also rigged with their own pyro."

New Rig Cuts Energy Needs by 90 Percent

PLSN: "Using Robe and Anolis LED products, lighting designer Lawrence T. Doyle was able to reduce the power consumption needed to run lights for Boxford Masques’ biannual community production by 90 percent. This year’s performance, Knight & Day, was staged over a week in a natural amphitheatre on the top of Hoar Hill in Berkshire, U.K."

Cultural Trust Open House

Please join
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
for our
Open House and Season Preview
of performances and events geared towards
college students and faculty
September 15, 2008
5:30-7:00 pm
Cabaret Theater Square
655 Penn Avenue, Cultural District
Hear about upcoming shows, educational programs for students and college faculty/administrators. Learn about the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, Trust Presents, Pittsburgh Dance Council, Broadway, Jazzlive, Gallery Crawl, CD Live, and the ARTSPassport program
Refreshments will be served.
R.S.V.P. by calling Allison Wagner, 412-471-6078 or
Via email, wagner
803 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA. 15222



Monday, September 8th
4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
Chris Borysenko, Mellon College of Science
How to Teach an Interdisciplinary Course to First-Year Students

Thursday, September 11th
4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
Giler Humanities Lecture
Sarah Igo, University of Pennsylvania
The Averaged American: Citizens and Statistics in the 20th Century
Sponsored by the Humanities Scholars, Science & Humanities Scholars, Global and International Relations Program and the Department of Statistics

Monday, September 15th
4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
Mark Palatucci, Robotics
100 Robots for 100 Kids: A grassroots project to inspire Pittsburgh’s children

Wednesday, September 17th
4:30pm – Posner Center
Constitution Day

Thursday, September 18th
4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, University of Pennsylvania
What the Rhetoric of the 2008 Campaign Reveals and Conceals
Sponsored by Carnegie Mellon’s Department of English, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Heinz School of Public Policy, and The Humanities Center, and also the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Communication

Saturday, September 20th
8:00am – 5:00pm, Duquesne University campus
RACHEL CARSON Legacy Conference

Wednesday, September 24th
4:30pm – Gregg Hall, Porter Hall 100
Steven Greenhouse, New York Times
The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker

Thursday, September 25th
4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
Harriet Fulbright, J. William & Harriet Fulbright Center
Toward a More Peaceful World

Thursday, October 2nd
4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
Robert Sternberg, Tufts University
Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized: A New Approach to University Admissions

Thursday, October 2nd
4:30pm – Location TBA
James LaPaglia Lecture
Larry Temkin, Rutgers University
Illuminating Egalitariansim

Monday, October 6th
4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
David Blight, Yale University
A Slave No More: Two Men who Escaped to Freedom

Friday & Saturday, October 10-11th
12:30pm – Rangos Ballroom, UC
Gary Knell, President & CEO, Sesame Workshop
Muppet Diplomacy: How Sesame Street is Changing our World
Free tickets for lecture & lunch (required) available at UC Info Desk

Monday, October 13th
4:30pm – Adamson Wing, 136A Baker Hall
Robert Behrman, EPP
Understanding Conditions in Iraq after the Surge

Thursday, October 16th
4:30pm – McConomy Auditorium, UC
Steve Robbins, Author
Unintentional Intolerance

Tuesday, October 21st
5:00pm – Giant Eagle Auditorium, BHA51
Frank Wu, Visiting Professor, University of Maryland
Yellow: Asian Americans and the Changing Face of Our Nation
Booksigning and Reception to follow
Sponsored by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Monday, October 27th S
4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
Bill Reinert, Toyota Motor Sales, USA
Mobility in the 21st Century: Challenges and Promises

Thursday, October 30th
JOURNEYS Lecture 4:30pm – McConomy Auditorium
Mary Catherine Bateson, Author of “Composing a Life”
The Changing Shapes of Lives
Booksigning to follow lecture

Friday, October 31st -- Nov 2
99-331 INDIA TODAY: Industry, Innovation and Education
See course detail page under Schedule of Classes for description

Thursday, November 3rd
4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
Jonathan Gruber, MIT
National Health Care Reform the Massachusetts Way
Sponsored by the Heinz School

Wednesday, November 5th
4:30pm – McConomy Auditorium, UC
S. Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Infosys
Co-sponsored by TSB, SCS and Heinz

Thursday, November 6th
4:30pm – Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall 119
Susanne Ortner, Clarinetist
Tom Roberts, Pianist
A Marriage between Klezmer and Harlem Stride

Monday, November 10th
JOURNEYS Lecture 4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
Marilyn Taft Thomas, School of Music
Living Life with a Purple Crayon

Thursday, November 13th
4:30pm – Your Town, Inc. Exhibition
Miller Gallery’s 2nd floor, PCA
Julia Christenson, Oberlin College and Conservatory
Big Box Reuse
Booksigning to follow lecture

Monday, November 17th
JOURNEYS Lecture 4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
Bill Elliott, Former VP for Enrollment
A Reflection of 38 Years at Carnegie Mellon

Monday, November 24th
JOURNEYS Lecture 4:30pm – Adamson Wing Auditorium, 136A Baker Hall
Gloriana St. Clair, University Libraries
My Reading and Writing Life

Disney conducts research with CMU

The Tartan Online: "Carnegie Mellon University has welcomed Disney, the entertainment giant, to campus to fund a research laboratory under a five-year contract. The lab is situated close to the School of Computer Science complex, where robotics and animation technologies will be developed for Disney’s entertainment empire."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dolly Parton is the life of '9 to 5' party

Variety: "'9 to 5,' featuring 19 new Parton songs plus the title tune, begins previews at Center Theater Group's Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles on Sept. 6 with an official opening Sept. 20, followed by a five-week run. Broadway performances begin March 24 at the Marquis."

The Playwright Joseph Stein Is Enjoying a Revival of ‘Enter Laughing’ "Joseph Stein is standing in the center aisle of the small basement theater, a hand on each hip, watching a rehearsal of his show “Enter Laughing: The Musical.” As the cast runs through a mock-funeral scene, he bends over to whisper. “Funny number,” he says."

Friday, August 29, 2008

'Rent' star brings stage version to City Theatre

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Rapp originated the role of Mark Cohen when what was to become a surprise blockbuster musical made its debut off-Broadway in February 1996. It's a role he stayed with when it swiftly moved to Broadway in April 1996 and later to film in 2005."

International Performers Will Find Home in Pittsburgh Festival of Firsts

Yahoo! News: "Festival events will be presented in association with other Pittsburgh cultural organizations and will offer intimate experiences for audiences at various traditional and non-traditional performance venues within the downtown Cultural District and throughout the city."

By Rote

Theater For The Future: "There has been much discussion about the right of playwrights to demand adherence to every word and stage direction in their script. Some have gone so far as to claim that no-one has right of copyright on any aspect of production of their work except for the playwright. This growing movement of animosity against directors and designers should give one pause.There has been much discussion about the right of playwrights to demand adherence to every word and stage direction in their script. Some have gone so far as to claim that no-one has right of copyright on any aspect of production of their work except for the playwright. This growing movement of animosity against directors and designers should give one pause."

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"

Pros and Cons of Broadway Previews

"I SAW “A Tale of Two Cities” on Tuesday night. You know, the big new production at the Al Hirschfeld Theater. The one that doesn’t open until Sept. 18. The one with James Barbour as Sydney Carton, Dickens’s dissolute, loveless, sexy young lawyer who does a far, far better thing than he has done before, right in the middle of the French Revolution."

Spirit of the Fringe? You must be joking...

New Statesman: "As Edinburgh drew to a close I blogged about my dissatisfaction with the if.comedy panel. Basically I said it was a bit of a cop out for them to award their special prize for 'The Spirit of the Fringe' to all the comedians at the Festival, rather than one specific person or show. They seemed to be saying that no-one had done anything to deserve such a prize, so we’ll give it to everyone. Perhaps they thought they would make them popular, but the general feeling in the room was that we had all been patronised and insulted."


Cool Tool:

"I am an architect and have been working with programs like Photoshop for years, but Spoonflower really opened up a new world for me: fabric design. It's a service that let's you upload an image to a web site and the company prints the design as a pattern on 100% cotton fabric. Their customer service is great, and I think the fabric is reasonably-priced: it costs $18/yard, not counting shipping, and an individual 8x8-inch swatch is $5. The site is still in beta, so I had to request an invite to use Spoonflower, but a week after contacting them I was experimenting with patterns and ordering fabric."

Et tu, Sydney? "Eight years after Sydney hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics, officials with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra acknowledged their stirring performance at the opening ceremony was entirely prerecorded. And perhaps even more cringe-inducing for Sydney residents: some of the music was recorded by the symphony of rival city Melbourne."

Series of '39 Steps' Events Will Punctuate September

Yahoo! News: "Winner of two Tony Awards, two Drama Desk Awards and the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, The 39 Steps is the small-cast adventure-comedy with three of four actors performing an entire population of characters in madcap style."

24-hour strike by staff at Glasgow's Tramway and Mitchell theatres

The Stage: "Today’s strike will be followed by a range of industrial action, which will impact the two venues and 70 other community facilities, and aims to make it impossible for Culture and Sport Glasgow to offer normal services over the coming weeks."

Rent star Anthony Rapp's new one-man show about loss and hope world-premieres at City Theatre.

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "It's September 1994. A handsome New York City Starbucks-slinger and struggling actor with light hair and a powerful voice has just realized he's going to be late for an audition. But he gets the part, and the play goes on to make history."

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "Edward Albee's scorcher Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has always occupied a special place in my heart. Not only is it one of the most important plays of the 20th century, it is also one of the most entertaining. It's three acts and three hours of almost nonstop theatrical fireworks: drama with a capital 'D' about two married couples passing a late night with sex, booze and endless emotional turmoil -- a veritable rollercoaster of screams, laughs and chills. What's not to love?"

Sponsor drops Bard on Common

The Boston Globe:

"The Citi Performing Arts Center will no longer sponsor a free annual Shakespeare production on the Boston Common, Citi Center officials confirmed yesterday. But that does not mean the end of the popular performances, said Steven Maler, founding artistic director of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, which has staged the production in partnership with the Citi Center."

Actress takes a spirited approach to directing

The Boston Globe: "Over the course of an afternoon rehearsal, Steven Barkhimer slips in and out of a variety of characters with distinctive English accents, as he and Shelley Bolman work through several scenes in 'The Woman in Black,' the ghostly tale opening this weekend at Gloucester Stage Company."

IATSE Local 6 Donates to Wounded Marines in Honor of Thomas C. Short

-- IATSE National -: "IATSE Local 6 Stagehands based in St. Louis, has made a $1,000 contribution to the Wounded Marines Careers Foundation (WMCF) in honor of retiring IATSE President Emeritus Thomas C. Short. John T. Beckman, Jr., Ninth Vice President of the IA and Business Agent of Local 6, was so impressed by the presentation made by the WMCF at the IA’s Mid-Summer General Executive Board Meeting in San Diego on July 28, that he put the proposal of a donation in front of the Local’s membership, where it got immediate and unanimous support."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stage Preview: 'Rent' star premieres autobiographical show at City Theatre


"Artistic director Tracy Brigden has made City Theatre a player in the American theater by offering national talents a creative home-away-from-home, and there's no better example than the Rapps, Adam and Anthony."

'Funk It' wins Edinburgh festival

Variety: "'Funk It Up About Nothin',' the hip-hop adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing' that premiered at Chicago Shakespeare in June, received the Dress Circle Award for musical production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival."

Ashley Van Buren: [title of show]: From YouTube to Broadway


"As I tend to do with most everything I enjoy, I went home and researched '[title of show].' I learned very quickly that '[tos]' is not just for theater geeks, it's also the show for anyone who grew up with a computer. The cast/creators blog on, they Twitter, they have personal Facebook pages--and you can be friends with any one of them --group pages and a fan page. There has yet to be another show on Broadway that has harnessed the powers of the Internet quite like '[title of show].'"

Personality test: Anthony Rapp

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "City Theatre audiences already know film and stage actor Anthony Rapp for his performances in 2003's 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' and in his playwright brother Adam Rapp's drama 'Gompers' in 2004. Rapp returns to City Theatre on the South Side through Sept. 21 with a one-man show that he wrote and performs -- 'Without You.'"

Movie 'production park' coming to Strip

PostGazette: "John Yost has struck a deal with David Kowalski, owner of the 31st Street Business Park, to redevelop the former home of Pittsburgh Flat Roll, next to the 31st Street Bridge, as a 300,000-square-foot 'production park' for creating feature films, television shows and commercials."

TCG: Theatre in the Environment

ecoTheater: "Recently, Theatre Communications Group (TCG) uploaded the video and transcript from their 2008 conference of the session titled “Theatre in the Environment.”"

Smells like teen spirit at the National "For many young people with an interest in the theatre, cost remains a major barrier. The expense - or the perception of expense - can be hugely off-putting. Taking that on board, this week the National Theatre is launching Entry Pass, a new free membership scheme which offers 15-19-year-olds the opportunity to purchase tickets for all National productions for £5."

Are artists slaves to the festival's needs? "Recent years have seen a massive growth in the use of the phrase 'the culture industry'. Let's imagine for a minute that it isn't just a vacuous bit of labelling on the part of politicians who need a suitably macho, hard-hitting and financially sound-sounding umbrella term for what would otherwise still be 'the arts', but that it really intends to mean the manufacture of culture on an industrial scale. With the demise of virtually all actual industry in this country, the economy obviously needs something new. We need something we can trade in at home and that can be exported abroad."

Why amateur no longer means amateurish "In the past month I've seen two productions of Romeo and Juliet, one of which was intelligent and exciting while the other seemed flawed and poorly executed. Nothing strange there, you might think. Except that the better of the two was the work of unpaid amateurs while the other was a professional production."

Festival Fringe director resigns


"Jon Morgan, who has been in the role just over a year, leaves the job only days after it was revealed ticket sales for the festival dropped 10% this year."

Aug. 26: Disney/Pixar's Ed Catmull To Accept First Randy Pausch Prize

Carnegie Mellon University: "Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, will accept the first Randy Pausch Prize from Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and present the keynote address at the 7th International Conference on Entertainment Computing (ICEC) on Sept. 26."

Aug. 28: College of Fine Arts Appoints New Faculty Members for 2008-2009 Academic Year

Carnegie Mellon University: "Carnegie Mellon University has announced the hiring of 14 new faculty members in its College of Fine Arts for the 2008-2009 academic year. Comprised of renowned teachers, internationally recognized artists and practicing professionals, the new faculty hires represent the college's long-standing dedication to the recruitment of leading talent from industry."

Theater Is His Medium; Playwriting His Seance "Wraiths might not send faxes or drink soda pop, but don't tell that to up-and-coming playwright Jason Grote. Rigid distinctions between realism and fantasy don't hold much sway with the 37-year-old Brooklynite, whose dysfunctional-family ghost story, 'Maria/Stuart,' featuring a faxing, soda-quaffing shape-shifter, debuts tomorrow at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company."

Page-to-Stage New Play Festival "The seventh annualPage-to-Stage New Play Festivalis part of the Kennedy Center's Prelude 2008: Arts Across America fest, which launches the new season. 'People will drop into a play, hear part of it, stay if they get hooked, leave if they don't,' says Chris Henley of Washington Shakespeare Company."

'Ace's' Reworked Flight Path

"The musical 'Ace' has taken a journey from the land of dreams to the land of truth and been much transformed in the process. Earlier productions of the show, in St. Louis, Cincinnati and San Diego, used dream sequences that some critics didn't like, and that composer Richard Oberacker ultimately rejected himself."


New York Post:

"BROADWAY hyenas lying in wait for DreamWorks to stumble are going to have to find some thing other than 'Shrek' to gnaw on this fall."


New York Post:

"IT'S a pretty bold move for a modern author to feature William Shakespeare as a central character. Tom Stoppard pulled it off successfully with 'Shakespeare in Love,' but the late Canadian playwright Timothy Findley was unable to work similar magic in his 'Elizabeth Rex,' which also revolves around no less a major figure than Elizabeth I. This historical fantasy, being presented by the Center Stage, is both schematic and overly cluttered."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Attack Theatre's new season calls on imagination

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Attack Theatre as usual is full of imagination and will call on the audience to contribute, too, in the 2008-09 season."

How to Make Your Portfolio Site More Effective by Adding a Blog

FreelanceSwitch - The Freelance Blog: "Having a killer online portfolio is obviously invaluable to freelancers. The portfolio will show the quality of your work and get potential clients excited about what you can do for them. A great portfolio will sell you and your abilities–you just have to get people to see it.Having a killer online portfolio is obviously invaluable to freelancers. The portfolio will show the quality of your work and get potential clients excited about what you can do for them. A great portfolio will sell you and your abilities–you just have to get people to see it."

Aviary's annex gives visitors bird's-eye view of medical care

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The North Side bird park on Tuesday introduced its bird hospital annex, which features a window through which visitors can watch Wanda the peregrine falcon have her cracked beak repaired, Beaker the American flamingo have his wing splint changed or Pearl the spotted owl get a shot."

The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles Is Renovated, Relieving Headache-Inducing Quirks

"Two months ago, Michael Ritchie, who was almost finished shepherding the renovation of the Mark Taper Forum here, woke in the middle of the night in a panic."

Why Templates Are Important

Beth's CAD Blog: "In AutoCAD (or any AutoCAD-based product), you don't want to take the time with each drawing you begin by adding layers, setting your dimension style, or changing options. For this reason, you create a template. You set a drawing up exactly the way you want it once, then you save it as a template."

Spell it like it is

spiked: "Now, an academic has come up with an interesting compromise. Ken Smith, a criminologist at Bucks New University, England, argues that we should chill out and accept the most common spelling mistakes as ‘variant spellings’."

When aesthetes competed at the Olympics

Los Angeles Times:

"Lee Blair won a gold medal for the U.S. in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles without ever training in a gym, on a track or in a pool.
Blair's event: watercolor painting."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

'Wicked' lottery coming to town

PostGazette: "The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has adopted a Broadway practice for the run of 'Wicked.' A day-of-performance lottery for a limited number of seats will be held Sept. 3-Oct. 5, while the show is at the Benedum Center"

Paige Donner: Greening Hollywood: Tinseltown's Green Summer Scorecard


"It can't possibly be true, but, indeed, summer is coming to a close, and with it Hollywood's Summer Blockbuster Season. So, in addition to scoring at the box office, how did summer '08 measure up on the Green scorecard?"

A Top 25 "Greenie"

Carnegie Mellon University: "Carnegie Mellon is one of America’s 25 environmentally responsible schools, says the 'Kaplan College Guide 2009.” To develop the guide, Kaplan reviewed a range of green criteria, including environmentally responsible campus projects; initiatives and courses offered; organizations and student groups on campus; and achievements noted in the Sustainable Endowments Institute's 'College Sustainability Report Card 2008,' which named Carnegie Mellon a Campus Sustainability Leader."

Desert Bloom: Las Vegas Phantom Plays 1,000 Performances

Playbill News: "The Nevada production, which is 90 minutes long and more 'environmental' — the venue is decorated to be the Paris Opera House — than any other production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit, has run more than two years."

International theater launching here "BU theater head John Green and prof/actress/director Diane Timmerman will be launching a new theater company next summer. Dedicated to bringing the best of world theatre artists here, International Theatre Indianapolis will present work and foster the development of collaborative projects."

Back To School: Expand Your Brain with Evernote

"A new school year is just around the corner, but this semester you're looking for a safer way to enhance your brainpower than getting all hopped up on caffeine pills Jessie Spano-style. This year, the robust note-taking software Evernote is your answer. Let's take a look at how you can use your computer, cellphone, and digital camera in conjunction with the free, cross-platform application Evernote to remember everything for the rest of your life--or at least until the end of the semester."

On-Demand Star Trek Replicator: Shapeways Allows You to Materialize Any 3D Object, Star Trek Style

Gizmodo: "While visiting the Philips research lab here in Amsterdam I came across a company that is getting the Star Trek replicator closer to everyday life.

Imagine being able to create any 3D object you want—a World of Warcraft avatar, a chess set, a lamp, a Lego piece you are missing, a house for a train model, or a fully articulated astromech droid—print it remotely, and have it delivered to your house in just 10 days, even without knowing any 3D software. This is exactly what Shapeways does. Not next century, but right now, today."

In the context of big-city theater, he isn't much more than Little Mouth on the Prairie "We talked for about 20 minutes this week. She has been reading my recent reviews, and my comments on the Guthrie's world-premiere production of 'Little House on the Prairie' ('the problems with this show are deep, structural and systemic') finally pushed her over the edge and motivated her to call."

Major studio film shoots in Los Angeles grind almost to a halt

Los Angeles Times:
"Filming of big-budget movies has ground to a virtual halt across the city and much of the county, a slowdown partly driven by scheduling decisions studios made a year ago to prepare for a possible actors strike."

Texas Ballet Theater cancels live music

The Dallas Morning News Performing Arts: "The dance company's decision, which is part of its emergency efforts to conserve funds and raise at least $2 million by mid-September, came as a surprise to the Dallas Opera Orchestra and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Both orchestras were scheduled to perform live music for dance performances."

Urban drama exposes community pain

"When Pittsburgher Deborah Starling-Pollard witnessed the violence that was taking young Black men from their families to an early grave, she made a decision to fight back. She wrote a play that will spark discussion and raise awareness in the Black community on Black grief and how to save the lives of Black youths."

Intiman Theatre hires former Pasadena Playhouse manager

Seattle Times Newspaper: "Brian Colburn, managing director of the Pasadena Playhouse in California, has been hired as the new manager of Seattle's Tony Award-winning Intiman Theatre."

Monday, August 25, 2008

At Edinburgh Festivals, Theater Exudes the Energy of Youth "Are the kids all right? The question seemed to hang in the moist air above this city, as significant shows at both the Edinburgh International Festival and the Festival Fringe running alongside it considered the frustrations, anxieties and preoccupations of contemporary youth. Whether they were fresh-faced Belgian children at play, hard-bitten Bosnian teenagers idling after class or British adolescents negotiating the dehumanizing mechanics of the welfare system, dozens of young characters in new productions here — some portrayed by actors of the same age — embodied the complex feelings of an older generation contemplating the uncertain future of the next."

Richard Griffiths horses around on Broadway

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "So begins a well lubricated and often surreal interview with one of Britain's most charming character actors, a 61-year-old who is enjoying the most a productive period in his life. It's a discussion that Griffiths litters with references to Sigmund Freud, the concept of counter-transference, Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, 'Henry V' and a poem by Stevie Smith."

Debunking The Myth of Multitasking

Lifehacker: "In a fast-paced business culture of 'get everything done yesterday,' it's easy to admire and reward those busybusy people who always seem to be juggling 14 things at once. But business coach Dave Crenshaw argues that the most common kind of multitasking doesn't boost productivity--it slows you down."

William Ivey Long (DSC #216)

AmericanTheatreWing: "Five time Tony-winner William Ivey Long talks about his extensive career as one of Broadway’s top costume designers, from his earliest days on stage — living in a dressing room at the Raleigh Little Theatre in North Carolina — to his upcoming projects 9 To 5 and Dreamgirls."

Monday Master Class: Five Pieces of Unexpected Back to School Advice

Study Hacks: "The good thing about this season is that back to school advice is available everywhere you turn. The problem, however, is that once you’ve read one article about smart course selection or staying organized, you’ve read them all."

Can PSO maintain status if salaries don't hit high note?

PostGazette: "Think long term, act short term. This more or less defines the essence of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's ongoing negotiations for a new contract with its musicians' union -- talks that were extended past the end of the three-year contract's terms on Aug. 31."

Say, Just Whose Choreography Is This? "It’s just that, save for some passages made using an Excel program, he didn’t choreograph the actual movements. He borrowed them, along with sound clips and narration, from a range of sources, including the Wooster Group, the choreographer Levi Gonzalez and a Playboy Playmate, Cara Zavaleta, whose spoken contribution came via her YouTube videos. The choreography is a wildly eclectic range of discarded bits that never made it into other artists’ shows, and might well have disappeared had Mr. Dinwiddie not solicited them."

Actors twist through double dose of comedy at Soulpepper "Two plays, two casts, one company.
Soulpepper Theatre is delivering a comic double bill designed to put its players through their paces.
First up is Tom Stoppard's classic The Real Inspector Hound, followed (after a 20-minute intermission) by Peter Shaffer's Black Comedy."

PHAMALy is basking in Democratic convention spotlight

The Denver Post: "Denver's esteemed handicapped theater company is getting plenty of high-profile exposure throughout Democratic National Convention week, as well as from company member Lucy Roucis' recent groundbreaking brain surgery for Parkinson's disease."

Jeff Award nominations keep large and midsize theaters separate

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Hedy Weiss: "This was the year in which Chicago theater was the hit of the party in New York (that 'other' theater capital), with Tony Awards, Obie Awards, Drama Desk Awards and even a Pulitzer Prize bestowed on a great array of theaters and artists who call Chicago home. Yet that is not why the list of nominations for the 40th annual Jeff Awards -- which are honoring excellence in shows produced in the Chicago area's Equity theaters -- looks more massive than usual."

Surreal scenes at Latino Theatre Fest

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Hedy Weiss: "The lobby of the Goodman Theater morphed into an informal dance club Friday night as this summer's Latino Festival entered its final weekend of performances, and a trio of superb musicians with Cuban and Puerto Rican roots set at least some brave souls into motion."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Will Art Save Us?

New York Acting & Theater Blog: "That is what Joseph M. Paprzyck thinks. He is the artistic director & playwright of the South Camden Theater Company. The theater company has been performing in the basement of the Sacred Heart Church in Camden, New Jersey."

Francis Laporte To Present Case Study On Criss Angel Believe At LDI2008

Live Design: "French-Canadian projection designer Francis Laporte will lead a case study discussion about the projections in Criss Angel Believe, Cirque du Soleil's newest resident show in Las Vegas opening this fall at the Luxor. The discussion will be featured in the Live Design Projection Master Classes at LDI2008, which take place in Las Vegas on October 21-23."

StCarnegie Mellon School of Drama Hires Theatre Director Marianne Weems

Stage-directions: "Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama has appointed Marianne Weems, co-founder and artistic director of the New York performance company The Builders Association, as head of its graduate directing program. In this leadership role, Weems will bring her expertise in theater directing, dramaturgy and interdisciplinary media to the school and offer her students an innovative education experience in New York."

IATSE Supports Obama

AFL-CIO NOW BLOG: "Matthew Loeb, president of IATSE, says Obama has shown “clear and unwavering support” for unions and workers and would fight for pro-worker policies on health care, Social Security, housing and other key issues."

Serapid at Olympics Opening Ceremony

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Serapid, the supplier of lift and linear motion systems was a part of the Opening Ceremonies at the Olympics in Beijing."

Google Ups the Ante in White Space

FOH online: "Google has upped the ante in the white space debate with the launch of a new public campaign and Web site, “Free the Airwaves,” advocating for the deregulation of white space between broadcast TV channels."

Industrial Light and Magic

Live Design: "Every production has specific needs. Some shows have projection, some have water, and some even have animals among a long list of requirements. While a recent corporate meeting that I lit did not have any exotic animals, it did have its own set of challenges."

Cher'd Space

Live Design: "The towers that I designed have inner staircases and an elevator and had to be anchored to the concrete below stage level. Tait Towers did another brilliant job making it all work. The towers can be assembled and disassembled in a few hours, and the crew doesn't need tools to build them. Even the black, reflective Lexan, CMC router-cut, fascia were attached by a series of magnets that immediately located the scenic elements to their exact positions. All that was required was safety chaining each piece."

Five Questions for Howell Binkley

Live Design: "As fast as technology is changing and new products are developing, I have found that seeing every show I possibly can is of great value to me in learning about new equipment and how it can work for me or against me."

Five Lessons In Dealing With Rental Shops

Live Design: "I have spent a great deal of time in sound shops in every position possible. I have been a designer and an assistant. I have been a mixer and in production sound. I have also been “label monkey number three” and “box pusher.” Working in rental shops is an integral part of doing sound, and it takes some getting used to. The different positions require different tools and sensibilities. Dealing with shops is a skill that is learned through mistakes, and every mistake takes time to be forgotten. Without the shop, you have no gear. Without the shop's support, you have no help. Without the shop on your side, it is a steep hill to climb, but once you get comfortable working with the shop, things get much easier. So after many personal mistakes, here are the five lessons I have learned about sound rental shops."

Pilbrow Takes Control

LiveBlog: "Lighting legend Richard Pilbrow was kind enough to invite me to the first dress tech for A Tale of Two Cities, the new musical opening next month on Broadway. His hook was he wanted me to see “the future of lighting control.” How could I say no to that?"

Design Team Speaks on Olympic Goals, Challenges

PLSN: "With more than 2,300 DMX controlled fixtures and more than 22,000 people taking part in a multimedia gala orchestrated by director Zhang Yimou, the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games set all kinds of records. But a record-setting budget for lighting was not one of them. It was “less than that of the Doha Asian Games,” said LD Sha Xiao Lan"

Orientation Is Getting Longer

Business Week: "On a recent warm day in Pittsburgh, as one attendee recounts it, a middle-aged man with tufts of white hair and a broad grin, elicited a pledge of loyalty from about 200 incoming MBA students at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business. 'He talked about commitment, and he asked, 'are you ready?'' says Wendy Hermann, the school's director of student services. 'And they all said, 'we are ready!''"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Accusations flying ahead of SAG elections

HollywoodReporter: "If this past week is any indication of what's to come with the SAG national board elections, get ready for a lot of back-and-forth rhetoric and AFTRA-bashing/defending by the two factions fighting for control."

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"

The Rocker

E! Online: "Years after a Mötley Crüe-type band called Vesuvius kicked him to the curb in order to get a record deal and moments after losing both his day job and his girlfriend, Wilson's Robert 'Fish' Fishman moves into his sister's attic. A few pratfalls later, nephew Matt (Josh Gad), whose band is scheduled to play the high school prom, begs his uncle to fill in as a last-minute drummer. Disaster ensues, but in promising to make it up to the kid, Fish accidentally makes the band famous when a video of him rehearsing naked becomes a YouTube phenomenon."

`Obama Singalong' Will Resound at Democrats' Convention Muse Arts: "David Amram, the ``composer in residence'' at next week's Democratic National Convention in Denver, is famous for creating his own gigs."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Steel City Ghostbusters

Craigslist: "We need people who will roll up their sleeves, write scrips, be extras, do video fx, etc."

IL Marriott Will Welcome Spelling Bee, Piazza, My Fair Lady and More in 2009

Playbill News: "The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, IL, known for revivals, new works and its own versions of recent Broadway titles, announced its 2009 season Aug. 22."

Theatre Factory gala in Trafford 'A Night to Remember'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The Theatre Factory in Trafford celebrated the past season and previewed upcoming shows at its annual gala on Saturday."

LDI 2008

ecoTheater: "This October the LDI Conference in Las Vegas is slated to have a handful of green-oriented sessions, mostly dealing with lighting and LED’s."

Edinburgh festival: Is the Fringe bad for the environment? "It has been said that the Fringe is a perfect barometer for measuring whichever issues are currently worrying our society. And as in previous years, many companies here are nailing their political colours to the mast with a plethora of shows about Iraq, terrorism, and the Labour government. Yet there is a new colour seeping in to the politics of this year's Fringe - and it's distinctly green."

Banks and Art Giving "As repo men and vulture investors circle, a question has been rippling: Will banks jettison their investments in the art world—their sponsorship of major events, institutions large and small? At stake are tens of millions of dollars in funding."

Frank Gehry Is Out as Architect of Theater Project in Brooklyn "The architect Frank Gehry will no longer be a part of the project to build a permanent home for the Theater for a New Audience in the BAM Cultural District in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the theater’s founder said Thursday. But the announcement came as a surprise to Mr. Gehry, who said he wasn’t told of the change."

Disney's rights to young Mickey Mouse may be wrong

Los Angeles Times: "He is the world's most famous personality, better known in this country than anyone living or dead, real or fictional. Market researchers say his 97% recognition rate in the U.S. edges out even Santa Claus.
He is the one -- and, for now, only -- Mickey Mouse."

First look at Orlando's new performing-arts center "A great steel roof, resembling the outstretched wings of a bird in flight, will draw visitors into the new Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center, scheduled to open in 2012 across Orange Avenue from Orlando City Hall."

Cher the inspiration behind many of Bob Mackie's costume designs "The press release went out on the day of Cher's Aug. 6 return to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The pop diva would debut 'a new ensemble ... an eyeful of glitter and sequins' for her 'Believe' encore.
That's right. A press release. For a costume."

Banned filmmaker directs Olympic spectacle

PRI.ORG: "His films ('Hero,' 'The Road Home,' 'Shanghai Triad,' 'To Live,' 'Ju Dou'), which often showcased China’s ugly side to the outside world, were banned by the Chinese government and seldom seen by his fellow countrymen. The ceremonies symbolize the conversion of Mr. Zhang, from a censored filmmaker to one of China’s most celebrated artists.His films ('Hero,' 'The Road Home,' 'Shanghai Triad,' 'To Live,' 'Ju Dou'), which often showcased China’s ugly side to the outside world, were banned by the Chinese government and seldom seen by his fellow countrymen. The ceremonies symbolize the conversion of Mr. Zhang, from a censored filmmaker to one of China’s most celebrated artists."

"Little House" the Musical premiers

PRI.ORG: "In the 1930s Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote books about her childhood on the American frontier in the late 1800s. In the 1970s Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert starred in a hugely successful TV show based on the stories. A zillion reruns later 'Little House' has returned, this time as a musical."

Lend Me a Tenor

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "If you're like me, you love to watch people fall down. There's something delightfully silly about grown men stumbling into walls, or jumping on mattresses, or slamming doors at just the wrong moment. Nothing could tickle you more than a woman hiding in a closet, and when the door is opened by a jealous wife, she exclaims, 'How do you do?'"

The Star-Spangled Girl

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "It says something about my OCD-like nature that I would consider it absurd to have reviewed theater for 20 years but not have seen every play Neil Simon ever wrote -- which is why I found myself at the lovely Apple Hill Playhouse watching, for the first time, an 'also-ran' from the Simon canon called The Star-Spangled Girl."


Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "Pack a rain poncho so you don't risk missing any of Quantum Theatre's outdoor production of Cymbeline. One of Shakespeare's later plays, this variously labeled tragicomedy/romance has been libeled as a mishmash by such critics as George Bernard Shaw, and treasured (and emulated) by such fans as T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf and Stephen Sondheim."

West Side Story

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "In a quasi-legendary interview he gave to Frank Rich in 2000 on the occasion of his 70th birthday, Stephen Sondheim lamented the evolution of the American Musical from the silly, fluffy shows of the '40s and earlier into Important Musical Theater -- a process which he himself helped facilitate."

Anna's Brooklyn Promise

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "Supposedly set in a diner in New York, the show is about a recent widow (Anna) who meets a homeless woman (Bea) who might be crazy as well. Since Anna's not wrapped too tightly herself, if you ask me, she invites the homeless woman to move in with her ... something you find happening all the time in New York City. But as it turns out, Bea isn't crazy or homeless: She's just trying to escape her evil, greedy stepson and his wife."

Fringe Festival bounces back after a down year

Star Tribune: "Nearly 41,000 tickets were sold by the Minnesota Fringe Festival during the 11-day performing arts extravaganza that ended Sunday in Minneapolis."

Edina's Maeve Moynihan: Prairie spitfire

Star Tribune: "It is the rare child who finds herself on the cover of the New York Times arts section. But Maeve Moynihan is something of a rare bird. While her ninth-grade classmates this fall chatter about summer trips and vacations, Maeve can mention the world-premiere musical she performed in -- on the Guthrie stage, with actress Melissa Gilbert."

Lombardo is leaving New Rep for San Jose

The Boston Globe: "Rick Lombardo, producing artistic director of New Repertory Theatre, plans to leave to become the artistic director of the San Jose Repertory Theatre, New Rep announced yesterday. Lombardo will begin the transition to his new position this fall, while remaining the acting artistic director for New Rep's 2008-09 season and maintaining his directorial assignments throughout the season, including 'Eurydice,' 'Cabaret,' and 'Three Sisters.'"

IATSE Endorses Obama for President

-- IATSE National -: "The IATSE has officially endorsed Illinois Senator Barack Obama for President. The endorsement comes after Obama addressed the Chicago meeting of the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO via teleconference, and stated his clear and unwavering support for the American labor movement. The Federation acknowledged his many efforts on behalf of unions and workers in general."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stage Review: Off the Wall Theater's 'Woolf' lacks bite

Post Gazette: "Once a theater company has been around for a long time, it's hard to remember that it started out as someone's innovative, hope-filled -- some might say crazy -- dream. It's a daunting endeavor, and the challenges, from securing funding to building an audience, are extreme."

Apple Hill actors dress up for 'Leading Ladies'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The 'Leading Ladies' in Ken Ludwig's madcap comedy aren't really ladies at all. They're actually two down-on-their-luck men, Leo and Jack, who pose as women to swindle a dying old woman out of her fortune."

'Just So Stories' shows power of imagination

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Five of British author Rudyard Kipling's 'Just So Stories for Little Children' -- a collection of tales about how many things came to be what they are -- will come to life this week on an Ohio Township stage."

How Many Hours Do You Have to Work to Feel Productive?

Study Hacks: "The Academic Productivity blog recently asked the following question: What are your one or two biggest wastes of time? The question was aimed at graduate students and professors — a group who loves to obssess over these issues."

Draft of 2008 Democratic National Convention Platform Includes Arts "In the “Renewing the American Community” section of the platform, legislators, party leaders, and policymakers included a specific policy section on the arts, citing the need to increase support for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, arts in education, and cultural exchange."

Iran bans actress from leaving over Hollywood role

Yahoo! News: "The ban was imposed after Golshifteh Farahani, 25, took part in Ridley Scott's 'Body of Lies' with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Farahani is the first Iranian-based female actor to star in a Hollywood movie."

Can a mega-studio lure Hollywood back north? "Toronto's film industry champions rose from directors' chairs perched in front of the city's new mega-studio yesterday and opened their arms to Batman, the Terminator and Harry Potter."

Staffing decisions at the NNTT cause a stir in theater world

The Japan Times Online: "The Japanese theater world is currently in crisis over the question of to whom public theaters belong, since the decision by the New National Theatre Tokyo (NNTT) to appoint new artistic directors for each of its three divisions. The disquiet has been caused by revelations following a June 30 announcement by NNTT that was signed off by its president, former culture ministry official Atsuko Toyama, that appoints as replacement artistic directors from 2010 Tadaaki Otaka (opera), David Bintley (dance) and Keiko Miyata (theater)."

A linguistic boxing match from a true classic

The Japan Times Online: "When he first came to Japan, the director says he didn't know anything about the country. That chance encounter was to be the first of many as, in 1993, Leveaux co-founded the Theatre Project Tokyo (tpt) with Japanese producer Hitoshi Kadoi, and remained its artistic director for the next 13 years."

Santa Fe Opera

STLtoday: "Five operas in five nights in the high desert: For some of us, it's a highlight of summer.
The setting is the Santa Fe Opera. It's a striking structure, with a dramatic roofline and open sides set on a foothill of northern New Mexico's Sangre de Christo mountains."

Theater Is His Medium; Playwriting His Seance "Wraiths might not send faxes or drink soda pop, but don't tell that to up-and-coming playwright Jason Grote. Rigid distinctions between realism and fantasy don't hold much sway with the 37-year-old Brooklynite, whose dysfunctional-family ghost story, 'Maria/Stuart,' featuring a faxing, soda-quaffing shape-shifter, debuts tomorrow at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company."

Synetic Theater Stages a Reaction To Georgia War "As rehearsals were gearing up last week for their first show of the season -- an original stage adaptation of the vintage horror film 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' -- the leaders of Synetic Theater faced an uncharacteristic problem: They lacked the energy to care."


New York Post: "BROADWAY hyenas lying in wait for DreamWorks to stumble are going to have to find some thing other than 'Shrek' to gnaw on this fall."


New York Post: "ROMANCE novels and Greek tragedies get Fringe Festival spins in 'The Boy in the Basement' and 'Too Much Trouble,' respectively. But while these takeoffs may intrigue aficionados, neither stands on its own as a fully satisfying work."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mr. Smalls seeks Fall Interns in all departments!

Craigslist: "We are looking to fill intern positions in the following capacities:
- Marketing and Promotions
- Graphic Design
- Non-Profit Development
- Web Design and Development
- Video and Multimedia Development"

Ontario Court Says Key Brand Can Sell Toronto Theatres to Mirvish Productions

Playbill News: "An Ontario court has said that Key Brand Entertainment is free to sell Toronto's Canon and Panasonic theatres to Mirvish Productions, the city's major commercial theatre producer and presenter."

The Human Condition, Often in Need of Repair "Here are some things I have learned about the 12th annual New York International Fringe Festival recently. You do not want to arrive late for a performance. (They won’t let you in.) Six actors is considered a huge cast. The most popular (and possibly least expensive) set is a bed placed center stage. Suffolk Street is not within easy walking distance of Commerce Street."

Wired Blog!

Medium Reality: "I don't really think of myself as a 'burning man fashion designer' although there is a way in which that does describe me. This wired blog mention and photo of medium reality (at the very end of the article) is pretty sweet regardless."

7 Email Myths That Plague the Workplace

Stepcase Lifehack: "Myths about how to best do email abound. Some are explicitly stated and drummed into your head, and some are the unspoken expectations of the modern corporate world. To succeed at tackling the big email time sink and making email woes a thing of your past, you need to acknowledge these myths for what they are, and implement a system that works."

CG Animation: Meet The First Synthespians

IO9: "An animation company has finally managed to create a computer-generated human that most watchers can't distinguish from a real person. Forget the clunky CG characters in most animated movies today — in a few years, you could be watching animated films that are almost indistinguishable from 'live-action' ones."

Intiman Theatre hires former Pasadena Playhouse manager

Seattle Times Newspaper: "Brian Colburn, managing director of the Pasadena Playhouse in California, has been hired as the new manager of Seattle's Tony Award-winning Intiman Theatre."

Hollywood agency, TV writers settle age bias suit

Yahoo! News: "The Hollywood talent agency International Creative Management agreed on Tuesday to pay $4.5 million to settle an age-discrimination suit brought by TV writers, the first of 23 such class-action cases to be resolved."

NYC's Transport Group Will Stage 'Bury the Dead' and New Musical 'Being Audrey'

Yahoo! News: "Transport Group is a not-for-profit theatre company in New York City 'dedicated to exploring the American consciousness, both past and present.' The company received a Special Drama Desk Award for its 'breadth of vision and presentation of challenging productions'; and an Obie Award Grant, among other honors."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Broadway Revival of Godspell Postponed

Playbill News: "The Broadway revival of Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak's Godspell, which was scheduled to co-star 'American Idol' finalist Diana DeGarmo and Tony nominee Gavin Creel, has been postponed."

David Stone (DSC #215)

American Theatre Wing: "As Wicked approaches its fifth anniversary on Broadway, producer David Stone talks about the ever-expanding life of the international hit musical, including how the show first came into being, how the production quality is maintained across multiple companies, and whether the show has to be adjusted for local audiences when it plays in other countries."

CMU dean quits over 'error'

Post Gazette: "Carnegie Mellon University hastily installed new leadership at its H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management yesterday following the sudden resignation of Dean Mark Wessel." First Come First Served Giveaway: 15 x 50 Business Cards Up For Grabs!

FreelanceSwitch - The Freelance Blog: "Want to get a free pack of 50 unique, professionally printed business cards? Want to pay absolutely nothing to have them delivered to your doorstep, regardless of where you live?
15 lucky and fleet-footed FSw readers will be able to do just that. All you’ve got to do is get in quick!Want to get a free pack of 50 unique, professionally printed business cards? Want to pay absolutely nothing to have them delivered to your doorstep, regardless of where you live?
15 lucky and fleet-footed FSw readers will be able to do just that. All you’ve got to do is get in quick!"

Two Featherboards Are Better Than One

Toolmonger: "A single featherboard is practically a necessity when routing a profile like a bull-nose, where you can’t correct the damage with another pass if the board lifts from the table. Two featherboards help keep the board tight against the fence and table, when making cuts like long dovetails. So, if you’re already buying two featherboards, why not buy a pair that also stack to make a wider featherboard for operations on tall boards?"

With One Jesus, No Angels, Producer Cancels `Godspell' Revival Muse Arts: "A Broadway revival of ``Godspell,'' the 1971 Stephen Schwartz pop musical, has been canceled because the producers came up short on the show's $4.5 million capitalization."

Art classes improve diagnostic skills of medical students

CBCNews : "Doctors-in-training who took art classes while in medical school appear to have better skills of observation than their colleagues who have never studied art, according to a research from Harvard Medical School."

Monty Python's Eric Idle Resurrects 'Life Of Brian'

NPR: "Eric Idle of the comedy troupe Monty Python thinks it's time for something (almost) completely different. Several years ago, he reworked one of the group's classic sketches into a hit Broadway musical. And he's done it again — this time an oratorio based on their 1979 movie, Life of Brian."

Waterboarding At Coney Island: The Thrill That Chills

NPR: "It might not be surprising that waterboarding, the controversial interrogation technique that simulates drowning and that many have called torture, would become the subject of satire."

Three’s company for music technology

The Tartan Online: "In the city of bridges, Carnegie Mellon is a welcome member, fostering connections between numerous colleges and disciplines. The music technology program, a fusion of courses from the College of Fine Arts, the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and the School of Computer Science, is a new and much-anticipated addition to the university’s repertoire."

'Lucy Live! at the Parliament House'

Orlando Sentinel: "The idea is that it’s New Year’s Eve 1977, and Lucy — preempted from Disney’s Top of the World by a double booking that involves the Captain and Tennille — has wound up instead at the Parliament House. Despite one or two insider jokes, though, the Parliament House doesn’t figure into it. Instead, Lucy tells her life story while a vision of her young self (Sam Singhaus) wafts through from time to time and a charmless boy dancer (Steven Johnson) steals focus upstage."

'Ugly Betty' wins top honors at 2008 ALMA Awards

The Dallas Morning News Performing Arts: "Ugly Betty and its star, America Ferrera, took top honors Sunday at the 2008 ALMA Awards, which recognize achievements by Hispanic artists."

Two musicals on Taper's 2009 slate

Los Angeles Times: "Hoping to give audiences something to buzz about in the expanded lobby yielded by its $30-million renovation, the Mark Taper Forum will offer a 2009 season that includes revivals of the Broadway musicals 'Pippin' and 'Parade' and Chekhov's 'Uncle Vanya' as well as three new or recent plays concerning Irish terrorism, the Iraq war hitting home on a New Mexico Indian reservation, and a Mexican American family in 1970s Texas trying to cope with a daughter's serious injury."

Opera closes ranks against angry diva "THE management of Opera Australia is set to dismiss assertions by the opera singer Fiona Janes that the company's musical standards have fallen under its music director, Richard Hickox."

Pittsburgh gets sneak peek at national exhibition

Pittsburgh Courier: "Mobile history rolls into Pittsburgh next week when a free traveling exhibition preview pulls up to PNC Park. The North Shore stop is one of 40 nationally leading up to the “America I AM: The African American Imprint” museum exhibition set to open in November."

B’way producers escape from NY

B’way producers escape from NY: "Fed up with Gotham’s curmudgeonly critics, more and more producers are skipping the city and taking their shows directly on tour, according to Crain’s New York Business."

Monday, August 18, 2008

'Fences' Has a Broadway Target of Spring 2009

Yahoo! News: "This is the first Broadway revival of Wilson's Tony and Pulitzer-winning masterpiece about the tough-love relationship between a father and his athlete son. James Earl Jones won a Tony Award for his thundering performance as Troy Maxson in the 1987-88 original Broadway run."

A new leader's new priorities at Celebration Theatre

Los Angeles Times: "THE SCRIPT reigns supreme in the theater world. Actors learn their lines and recite them. So do artistic directors, who are known to cling to their publicity-vetted talking points like politicians in an election year."

Broadway pressure for 'Billy Elliot'

Variety: "'Billy Elliot' is big.
The tuner is big with auds, with a hit 2005 West End production spawning a popular Australian incarnation and now a Broadway transfer gearing up for a Nov. 13 opening."

London's fringe venues vie with West End musicals

Reuters: "Musical theater is traditionally associated with London's West End, but increasingly the city's tiny fringe venues are putting on their own cheeky, slimmed-down versions of the big shows."

How to Declutter Your Workspace

Stepcase Lifehack: "I’ve just had an opportunity to declutter my workspace, having spent half of the day swapping my home office and my son’s room around. The swap wasn’t an excuse to declutter (rather, to make better use of the utter lack of telephone outlets in our house) but I take every chance I get; we all know how clutter can creep up and before you know it you can’t turn around in your chair without knocking something over."

Off the Stage, the Orchestrations Behind the Music "The melodies that roll seamlessly by — “There Is Nothing Like a Dame,” “A Wonderful Guy,” “Some Enchanted Evening” — are all classic Richard Rodgers. But the instruments playing them, the elaborate counter lines, shifting harmonies and alternating rhythmic contexts, are the work of Robert Russell Bennett, his orchestrator. Mr. Bennett wrote the overture, too (as he did for virtually all of his clients, including Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Frederick Loewe), weaving together excerpts of the score’s famous melodies to create a seamless potpourri of its greatest hits. Similarly, Sid Ramin’s original orchestrations bring to life Jule Styne’s score for “Gypsy,” now playing with the full complement of 25 pieces at the St. James Theater."

Harvard’s Not-So-Square New Director "At least so it might appear from the paper — recognized in the academic vernacular as Diane Paulus’s curriculum vitae — that so impressed the university’s search committee in its 16-month quest for a new artistic director for the resident American Repertory Theater that in May it offered her the position, starting this fall."

National Theater unveils lineup

Variety: "David Hare's new play 'Gethsemane' is among the notable additions to the National Theater's fall lineup, which includes the previously announced London run of Broadway hit 'August: Osage County.'"