CMU School of Drama

Sunday, December 28, 2008

'Die Fledermaus' shows genius of Strauss

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Never mind agrarian practicalities. New Year's Eve parties would have been a good enough reason to invent calendars. At least, when all goes right."

Stevens exemplifies role of 'Annie'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Leapin' lizards! The adorable Tianna Stevens perfectly portrays Little Orphan Annie in the Broadway classic 'Annie,' which plays at Heinz Hall through Sunday."

Bailiwick Theatre Holds ‘MAKE US AN OFFER” Clearance Sale

Chicago Stage Review: "Because producing 15 years of great theater in the same space leaves a lot of great memories and a lot of great stuff, Bailiwick will hold a final ‘MAKE US AN OFFER” rummage and clearance sale on Friday, January 2 from noon to 5 p.m. in the Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 West Belmont."

Nobel-Winning Playwright Harold Pinter Dies at 78

Backstage: "Harold Pinter, praised as the most influential British playwright of his generation and a longtime voice of political protest, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 78."

Nobelist Harold Pinter Leaves Legacy of Menace, Surreal Silence Arts and Culture: "Harold Pinter, who has died aged 78, was one of the 20th century’s best known and most widely studied playwrights."

Stepcase Lifehack

Stepcase Lifehack: "It’s fair to say that David Allen’s Getting Things Done has been the most influential work on productivity of our generation. People who are struggling to get a grip on their day-to-day duties – let alone make progress with big, life-changing projects – find in the book a relatively straight-forward approach to managing their time and work that they can dive right into, and often find their lives measurably improved when they start to put Allen’s ideas into practice."

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"

I went to see a show that has been running 18 years. Any idea what it was?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "For this year's Davenport Theatrical holiday party, we went someplace I've always been curious about . . . because it's one of the longest running shows in the tri-state area."

Harold Pinter, Playwright of the Anxious Pause, Dies at 78 "Harold Pinter, the British playwright whose gifts for finding the ominous in the everyday and the noise within silence made him the most influential and imitated dramatist of his generation, died on Wednesday. He was 78 and lived in London."

Madoff Case Echoes Rich Lode of Swindler Literature "“You must realize that money making is one thing, religion another, and family life a third,” Mr. Voysey matter-of-factly tells his son Edward, who is appalled to learn that his father has been operating a pyramid scheme for decades with his clients’ money."

Book Review - 'Shakespeare and Modern Culture,' "Although women did not begin performing in his plays until several decades after the playwright’s death, it is hardly surprising to encounter a quotation from an actress in a scholarly volume on Shakespeare. Ellen Terry conducted a lively debate with Shaw over her interpretations of various characters. Sarah Bernhardt was among the many women who have taken on the role of Hamlet, making up, after a fashion, for female forebears denied the chance to play even Rosalind or Viola or Lady M."

David Herskovits of Target Margin on Tennessee Williams’s ‘Camino Real’ "TEN blocks is no longer half a city mile as far as the Target Margin Theater is concerned. Led by its artistic director, David Herskovits, the company will spend Jan. 14 through 31 at the Ohio Theater at 66 Wooster Street in SoHo exploring Tennessee Williams’s “Ten Blocks on the Camino Real,” a one-act. This series of 10 uncharacteristically hallucinatory scenes, originally staged in a workshop by Elia Kazan at the Actors Studio in 1949, eventually turned into the 1953 Broadway play “Camino Real.”"

Bridge Project Unites International Cast Mates "DEEP in their scone-envying souls, many Americans suspect that British actors are better than their own countrymen at performing classic plays. But are they?"

Harold Pinter dies at 78

Hollywood Reporter: "British Nobel laureate Harold Pinter -- who produced some of his generation's most influential dramas and later became a staunch critic of the U.S.-led war in Iraq -- has died, his widow said Thursday. He was 78."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lead dancers connect in 'Burgh-set 'Nutcracker'

Post Gazette: "Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 'The Nutcracker' manages to pack a passel of holiday memories, both big and small, into its extravagant package, now playing at the Benedum Center."

First Night rings in 2009

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "March in a parade, make your own noisemakers, learn how to hustle, try your hand at some magic tricks and enjoy the sounds of all varieties of music during Pittsburgh's annual First Night celebration on New Year's Eve."

I'm not wrong . . . yet. (Gulp)

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "Lo and behold, the League finally got through the mountains of paper in the proposal and guess what was there, hidden among the iPod tax and the massage tax: a 4% tax on theater tickets."

Performing arts charging more for premium seats

Yahoo! News: "Just like airlines, many performing arts venues are beginning to charge more for ticket-holders to stretch out their legs.
The idea of charging a premium for desirable seats, as Northwest and U.S. Airways do for aisle and exit-row seats, is catching on with symphonies, ballets, operas and theater companies trying to get greater bang for the buck from ticket sales."

New technology is like new toys

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "Last week I had lunch with an exec. at PRG (the go-to shop for all lighting rentals for Broadway, car shows and the rest of the free world). PRG was the original supplier of the lights in Phantom, the longest running show in Broadway history, which means it first installed the rental package 21 years ago."

Around the World: Bosch Table Saw / Miter Saw Hybrid - CopTool - Power Tool News Blog

Around the World: Bosch Table Saw / Miter Saw Hybrid - CopTool - Power Tool News Blog: "How unfair… the Germans get all the cool toys before we do. I have no information on this as a US product yet and I’ve already seen everything from Bosch coming out for the first quarter. Hopefully we’ll see this gem at some point in 2009. I translated the stats below with BabelFish, which hopefully is pretty accurate. The blade is 12” (305mm) and at first glance it looks a little odd but the design is ingenious."

Task2Gather Wants to Manage Your Life

WebWorkerDaily: "As I continue to struggle to find the ideal project or task management tool for my growing Web business, I find one app that really tracks project progress well but doesn’t handle individual task management then another app handles task assignments but doesn’t give me a view of the big picture."

Theater project has dramatic effect on Lebanon jail

Reuters: "Cigarette smoke wafts through a hall in Lebanon's biggest jail where an all-male jury is arguing over whether an accused murderer should be hanged.
The 12 men, all prisoners themselves, strive for a unanimous verdict. Tempers rise, insults flow, blows are threatened.
Then someone forgets his lines. Laughter erupts. They start again. Occasionally the frustration leads to a real quarrel until the firm voice of director Zeina Daccache restores order."

Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Reveals Dark Side Arts and Culture: "Gerald Schoenfeld, the Broadway mogul who died suddenly Nov. 25 at 84, left behind a 200-page, single- spaced memoir detailing a lifetime of battles. Not only with actors, agents, producers and the U.S. Department of Justice, but with depression and panic attacks, as well."

Beijing to build a Chinese Broadway "Beijing will build a complex of 32 theatres dedicated to putting on musicals, state media said on Tuesday, calling it the country's answer to Broadway."

Cue the Ewoks: Star Wars Hits the Stage

E! Online: "Not content with seven feature films or myriad TV spinoffs ranging from the current Clone Wars cartoon series to the dreaded Star Wars Holiday Special, the Jedi masterminds are readying a stage show."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Andy Field: Finding the right theatrical home for an idea "It starts with an idea. It sneaks up on you like a cold; at first just a tingle, then suddenly it's there, blocking your nose and coughing up out of you any time you talk to someone. But still it's only an idea; perhaps an image, or a line of dialogue. It might be a form without any content – a strange, beguiling new way to tell a story. It might be something you read in a newspaper or a book: it might be anything. The important question is where you go next."

Online Storage: LiveDrive Offers Unlimited Online Storage

Lifehacker: "LiveDrive users can upload an unlimited number of files, and while the size limit per file isn't explicitly stated anywhere on the site I had no trouble uploading multi-GB files. The upload speed maxed out the available upload bandwidth I had, someone with a much faster pipe will have to weigh in on what the upload ceiling is."

Hive Five: Five Best Online Job Search Sites

Lifehacker: "Looking for a new job in a struggling economy is hard work. Make it easier on yourself by getting to know the best tools for the task at hand.
Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite online job search sites, and today we're back with the most popular answers. Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of the best sites around for finding work when you need it."

A Higher Calling "WHEN HE WAS 12 YEARS OLD, PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN saw a local production of “All My Sons” near his home in Rochester, and it was, for him, one of those rare, life-altering events where, at an impressionable age, you catch a glimpse of another reality, a world that you never imagined possible."

Those Good Old Days of Theater (This Year) "THE New York theater, like virtually every other enterprise in America, appears to be heading for some lean times. In recent years new shows often had to fight for access to a Broadway theater at the height of the spring and fall seasons. With a half-dozen Broadway shows, including the big-ticket musicals “Hairspray” and “Young Frankenstein,” closing on the first Sunday of the new year alone — Black Sunday on the Rialto? — there are clear indications that the boom times may be over."

London Imports and Good, Old-Fashioned Revivals "ACCORDING to all current maps the theater district known as Broadway is still in Manhattan, while its British counterpart, the West End, is firmly based in London. Yet a majority of the items in the list below might have been culled from either place. This was the year of trans-Atlantic theater in New York, when Anglo-American cooperation (a subject wittily excoriated this season in Caryl Churchill’s “Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?” at the Public Theater) produced a hearty crop of expertly mounted — and in some cases transcendent — productions. The year’s best new musical (“Billy Elliot”) originated in the West End, and the most important New York premiere (“Blasted”) was a production of a show first seen in London more than a decade ago."

Internships with Three Rivers Creative Arts or Spring 2009!

Craigslist: "A LITTLE ABOUT US:
Three Rivers Creative Arts is...
* A small Pittsburgh-based company
* A provider of photography, writing, editing and graphic arts services"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Now Playing All Along Broadway: Exodus "'Every day a little death,' goes Stephen Sondheim's famous lyric. Over the past several weeks, the news out of Broadway has felt like a page from that song."

Irish, but not as New York knows it

The Irish Times: "SOME OF THIS was down to the sheer number of productions which made it over here this year, with Culture Ireland's international funding making it possible for several companies to tour. The Abbey came in January and July, with Mark O'Rowe's Terminus and Kicking a Dead Horse (both co-productions with the Public); Semper Fi came in March with Ladies and Gents in the Central Park public toilets; Druid arrived in April with Enda Walsh's The Walworth Farce at St Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn (Druid returns this month with Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Atlantic Theater); Pan Pan brought Oedipus Loves You to PS 122 in May; and the Gate came with three Beckett works ( Eh Joe, I'll Go On and First Love ) to the Lincoln Center in July; and Donal O'Kelly's Catalpa toured to the Irish Arts Centre."

French court allows "Les Miserables" sequel

Yahoo! News: "Modern-day sequels to Victor Hugo's classic 'Les Miserables' have been allowed after a French court threw out a suit from the 19th century master's descendants, a lawyer for publishers Plon said on Friday."

Silja Dons Rubber Breasts, Creepy Makeup as Child-Eating Witch Arts and Culture: "Anja Silja glides into view caked in makeup and dangling rubber breasts. She licks her lips at the sight of some tasty children, covers up her decolletage, and approaches her prey with the aid of a walker."

Channing, Plimpton Bewitch in Jazzy ‘Joey’ Revival Arts and Culture: "“Pal Joey,” snazzily revived by the Roundabout Theatre Company, pumps much-needed fresh blood into a Broadway grown anemic."

Pal Joey: Critics Were Bewitched, Bothered Or Bewildered

Steve On Broadway (SOB): "Pal Joey: Critics Were Bewitched, Bothered Or Bewildered
Last evening, the latest revival of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's Pal Joey opened at Roundabout Theatre Company's Studio 54. The tuner is directed by Joe Mantello and features a new book by playwright Richard Greenberg. Pal Joey stars Stockard Channing, Martha Plimpton and Matthew Risch, who replaced Christian Hoff in rehearsals."

Magician David Copperfield's assistant sucked into the blades of a giant wind machine as horrified audience looks on

Mail Online: "A technician named Brandon was accidentally pulled into the vortex of an oversized fan on stage of Copperfield's An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas."

Magician assistant injured onstage "An assistant for magician David Copperfield was injured onstage in view of the audience during a Wednesday show and now is recovering from surgery for multiple arm fractures and facial injuries."

Magic show worker improves "Kenner said the illusion where Copperfield appears to pass through the fan would not be removed from the show because of safety concerns. It might still be put on hiatus if audience reaction becomes too noticeable after news coverage of the accident."

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 Dreams in the Witch House

Chicago Stage Review: "WildClaw Theatre delivers a hauntingly atmospheric world premiere of The Dreams in the Witch House. Adapted from H. P. Lovecraft’s 1933 short story, it tells the eerie tale of a student who leaves home for college only to find himself in a strange town with dark and deadly secrets."

UPDATED: Performer falls to her death during church Christmas play

Backstage at "Again, just because you have the money to do something, doesn’t mean you have the know-how to do it. That type of harness should never have been used for flying, as anyone reading the instructions, or with PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE could have told them."

A 'heart-wrenching' fall

Cincinnati.Com: "Several witnesses have said Shryock and two other actors ascended from the ground, harnessed to ropes or cables, and moved slowly up toward a star using an apparatus looking like rock-climbing gear. Three others stood on the ground below them holding the ropes."

Christmas Show Performer Dies After Fall

LOCAL 12 WKRC-TV in Cincinnati: "Cincinnati Police say the fall that killed a woman peforming at a Christmas pageant at an Oakley church was caused by harness failure and was an accident."

Crew needed for senior Thesis Project

Craigslist: "For this project I will need a camera operator, DP, and sound operator."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

'Pirate Queen's' gift is a story for the whole family

Post Gazette: "Irish women are special. That's a fact, beyond debate, as I can testify because I'm married to one."

Second City puts comedy first

Post Gazette: "By this time in the holiday season, you may be yearning for a bracing dose of something less cloying than candy canes and less predictable than a pageant."

Beguiled Again: Fresh Adaptation of Pal Joey Opens on Broadway

Playbill News: "Pal Joey, the 1940 musical about a Chicago hoofer who keeps reaching for the big time — and discarding women along the way — opens Dec. 18 in a new version put together by Roundabout Theatre Company at Studio 54."

Second City performer works in the moment

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For the past year-and-a-half, Kunkle has been a member of the touring company of the legendary Chicago improv comedy theater, Second City, that begins performances tonight of 'The Pratfall of Civilization' at the O'Reilly Theater, Downtown"

Ballet Theatre spruces up 'Nutcracker'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'The Nutcracker' ballet is such an evergreen, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's production this season is spruced up with new ideas as seen at Sunday afternoon's performance at the Benedum Center, Downtown. With an endearing lead dancer and sparkling ensemble work, it was a joyous performance."

Microsoft Outlook: Detect Forgotten Attachments Before You Send That Email

Lifehacker: "New VB scripter Troy modified a script for Outlook that lets him know when he's forgotten an attachment on an email"

How to Live Artfully

Stepcase Lifehack: "I met someone recently who knows how to live.
You know the type: self-possessed, confident, the kind of person who energizes a room. The kind of person who is alive to everything around them, who makes everyone they focus their attention on feel they could do more, they could be more. A natural-born leader who brings out the best in everyone without any apparent effort. Apparently fearless, they inspire by example, making our deepest concerns seem petty in the face of sheer living."

McCullough on Women Playwrights

Chicago Theater Blog: "Mia McCullough, a playwright for Chicago Dramatists, has written a provocative piece on the website for Chicago Artists Resource, entitled “On Women in Playwriting” about sexism in theatre, and how this shapes the works and output of women playwrights. It’s really worth a read."

McCullough on Women Playwrights

Chicago Theater Blog: "Mia McCullough, a playwright for Chicago Dramatists, has written a provocative piece on the website for Chicago Artists Resource, entitled “On Women in Playwriting” about sexism in theatre, and how this shapes the works and output of women playwrights. It’s really worth a read."

Bubbling with Joy

Carnegie Mellon University: "A group of senior drama students waited with anticipation as Stephen Schwartz, the musical theater legend and Carnegie Mellon alum, prepared to offer feedback."

I don't have interns.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "And every three months we hire a new group to assist us in all of our pursuits, from our Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, to our websites like and, and to things we haven't even thought of yet."

Live Nation to lose $19 million in U2 stock deal: paper

Reuters: "Live Nation Inc will lose about $19 million as Irish rock band U2 moved to sell its shares in the company, the Wall Street Journal said, citing regulatory filings and people familiar with the matter."

Shrek, The Musical's Official Web Site Lets You Make Your Own Widget

Broadway World: "Shrek, the Musical's official web site continues to lead the way in online innovations, now offering the ability to make your own widget."

Report Find TV Networks Lagging in Diversity

Backstage: "Nearly a decade after the NAACP condemned a 'virtual whiteout' in broadcast TV, the civil rights group said major networks have stalled in their efforts to further ethnic diversity on-screen and off."

Heart of the Beast skips a beat

Star Tribune: "In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT) is the second midsized arts organization this week to announce cutbacks for economic reasons."

Broadway Memo - ‘Pal Joey’ - Bewitched, Bothered and Opening "Several people involved with the Roundabout Theater Company’s production at Studio 54, members of the creative and financial teams as well as actors, said in interviews that this “Pal Joey” seemed destined to enter theater lore as one of the more artistically troubled experiences of Broadway in recent years."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

'Shrek the Musical': Tough times for ogres "After the costly cannons have exploded with confetti, the smelly green ogres have discovered that true beauty lies within and the desperate-to-please-its-multiple-constituencies 'Shrek the Musical' has drawn to its exhausting close, the Broadway Theatre suddenly feels like Times Square with a hangover, on the morning of a worrisome New Year's Day. Even five minutes after the show, that excessive party with all those colorful favors feels like it was actually over sometime last year."

Shakespeare Santa Cruz: To be or not to be?

San Jose Mercury News: "Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the acclaimed theater company that has served as the most prominent cultural bridge between UC Santa Cruz and the larger Santa Cruz community, is now itself facing a dilemma worthy of Shakespeare.
After 27 years it has come to this: Either the SSC board raises $300,000 by Monday, Dec. 22, or the 2009 summer season will be shelved. And if that happens, the company will likely face 'the most unkindest cut of all,' to quote Marc Antony in 'Julius Caesar': extinction."

NEA Reports Nonprofit Theaters Holding On, but Economic Downturn May Affect Revenue "Nonprofit theaters experienced robust growth and 'general financial stability' from 1990 to 2005, even as audiences for nonmusical productions were declining, according to a report from the National Endowment for the Arts. However, the study, which is being released today, does not reflect the current economic downturn, which has resulted in staff cuts and closed doors for some theater companies."

Bail-out for the Fringe 'may top £500,000' News: "THE financial bail-out for the Edinburgh Fringe in the wake of last year's box-office disaster is likely to be more than £500,000, The Scotsman has learned.
Sources say the £250,000 rescue package revealed last week will almost certainly have to be doubled to stave off meltdown over the next few months."

Bernstein’s Zippy ‘On the Town’ Charms in Paris Staging Arts and Culture: "After “Candide” and “West Side Story” in the past two seasons, Paris’s Theatre du Chatelet is staging Leonard Bernstein’s first musical, “On the Town.”"

Shrek a family musical with gay-pride element

Reuters: "The trend of adapting animated movies to the stage continues with this first attempt by DreamWorks to cut in on the bounty that Disney has enjoyed on Broadway."

Shrek pits Dreamworks against Disney on Broadway

Reuters: "Hollywood studio DreamWorks received warm reviews on Monday for its Broadway debut 'Shrek the Musical,' which pits it against rival Walt Disney Co. on the Great White Way as theaters ride out the financial crisis."

Audience for Straight Plays Is Declining, an N.E.A. Study Finds "The scattered empty seats these days at some of Broadway’s best-reviewed plays — including “August: Osage County,” “Boeing-Boeing” and “Equus” — are part of an overall nationwide decline in audiences for nonmusical theater, a new study says."

Citing Economy, ‘Gypsy’ to Close Earlier "Add “Gypsy” to the growing list of Broadway shows that will shutter in January as a result of the faltering economy. The production, which led to Tony awards for its stars Patti LuPone, Boyd Gaines and Laura Benanti, will play its final performance at the St. James Theater on Jan. 11"

Broadway’s Scarce Commodities "These are difficult days for Elizabeth I. McCann, the longtime theater producer, who has been able to raise only $3 million so far for the $6.5 million transfer of “Hair,” the ’60s musical that is scheduled to start rehearsals on Broadway next month. Even her most dependable investors, Ms. McCann said, are sitting on their money."

Critique of Giles' theater critic gets personal

Post Gazette: "Of all the fringe occupations in our urban civilization of the past century, that of theater critic is among the most mythologized. It's widely assumed to be a great gig, to be paid to go to the theater and issue ex cathedra opinions. But it can also be execrated as a license for personal grudge-settling, the refuge of idiots at best and charlatans at worst."

Nonprofit theater audience down

Variety: "That's the good news/bad news from a report from the National Endowment for the Arts on the growth and finances of U.S. nonprofit theaters since 1990. Titled 'All America's a Stage,' the study chronicles a recent increase in professional nonprofit legit orgs, especially in geographic areas where theaters traditionally haven't thrived."

Mirage Volcano Updated

- John Huntington's Entertainment Technology Blog - : "Known the world over for its iconic Strip-front feature, The Mirage has joined forces with legendary Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, Indian tabla sensation Zakir Hussain and Fountains of Bellagio design firm WET, to create an all-new audio/visual spectacle. The top-to-bottom overhaul is the final step in the property's ongoing transformation and is scheduled for completion late 2008."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Robots to perform ‘Phantom of the Opera’

The China Post: "A Taiwan university announced yesterday the creation of what could be the world’s first robot theater, which will make its debut on Dec. 27 by performing the musical “The Phantom of the Opera.”"

Swedish artist uses “unethical” cash to fund cultural scholarships

The Art Newspaper: "The Swedish performance artist and filmmaker Pål Hollender, who in 2003 invested SKr100,000 (around €11,000) in “unethical” companies, has distributed SKr32,500 (€3,235) in “scholarships” derived from the returns. The grants were awarded to visitors last month to “The Pål Hollender Foundation for Ethically or Aesthetically Offended Consumers of Culture” at Malmö Art Museum in southern Sweden."

Cirque du Soleil Wintuk

- John Huntington's Entertainment Technology Blog -: "Wintuk, Cirque du Soleil's holiday show here in NYC, opened last year, although word was it was just 'a kid's show'. So, I didn't see it, although I did set up a backstage tour for my students. But this year, in typical Cirque fashion, they re-worked the show, and I went to see it yesterday and it was a lot of fun!"

An "Animated" James and the Giant Peach Opens Dec. 13 in Philly

Playbill News: "Five projectors are used to project images to screens onstage. 'The animations are being used to enhance the storytelling onstage and bring to life the many locations and creatures James and the bugs encounter — the ocean, the sky, London, New York, a rhino, an octopus, seagulls' and more, according to production notes."

AMPTP, N.Y. actors branch put heat on SAG

Hollywood Reporter: "As AMPTP president Nick Counter sent a letter Friday to elected officials in several states making the case for its June 30 final offer, SAG's New York board was pushing back hard against the leadership's recent announcement of the authorization vote set for next month"

Make-Up artist Needed!!!!

Craigslist: "Looking for a Make-up artist for shoot in Wheeling, WV"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fringe receives financial support

BBC NEWS: "Edinburgh's festival fringe is to be given a £250,000 funding package to tackle cash-flow problems.
It follows problems at the box office this summer which affected tickets for hundreds of shows."

Lucas’s New ‘Prayer’ Blurs Lines Between Love, War Arts and Culture: "Craig Lucas, an interesting but uneven playwright, is back with “Prayer for My Enemy,” with a mostly decent cast headed by Victoria Clark and Jonathan Groff at Playwrights Horizons in midtown Manhattan. The staging is by the much-lauded Bartlett Sher (“South Pacific”)."

Sutton Foster, Shrek’s Green Princess Bride, Dances With Rats Arts and Culture: "Some Broadway stars decorate their dressing rooms with talismans for luck and telegrams of congratulation. Sutton Foster, who plays the tap-dancing, semi- ogre love interest Fiona in the new musical version of “Shrek,” has a quieter aesthetic."

Actors' strike threat casts shadow over Oscars

Reuters: "Even as Oscar organizers on Friday unveiled Hugh Jackman as the host of their gala film awards, the prospect of a U.S. actors strike was casting a long shadow over whether Hollywood's big show would go on as usual."

An "artistic Intervention In Google Street View"

NOTCOT.ORG: "An 'artistic intervention in Google Street View' brought to you by Pittsburgh. Staged street view scenes range from a marching band to a medieval sword fight."

A Real Crowd-Pleaser

Carnegie Mellon University: "It's an event so popular at Carnegie Mellon that this year students created an interactive game for the people waiting in line hours before the doors opened."

Get D.U.M.B.! The Value of Unattainable Goals

Stepcase Lifehack: "There’s nothing wrong and almost everything right with S.M.A.R.T. goals. You should set a bunch of reasonable goals for yourself and throw yourself into them with all your might. Absolutely.
I think there’s a place in our life for D.U.M.B. goals, too. Dangerously Unattainable, Monstrously Big goals."

Harry Potter Museum: Why Is Harry Potter In The Science Museum?

I09: "Is magic becoming science? Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry is opening a Harry Potter Exhibit, where children can come and press their faces up against the tri-wizard cup and ogle Hagrid's unmentionables."

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"

On a tough road, less is more

Variety: "With recession-ravaged roadshows madly cutting midseason costs, the smaller shows that make up the backbone of the legit touring biz are desperately trying to figure out how to turn a crippling downturn into an opportunity."

Ticket brokers try to catch a break

Variety: "With legiters closely watching the box office for fallout of the economic downturn, what's to be gleaned from the performance of the secondary ticket market?"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

In the Wings: no, Into the wings

Post Gazette: "That's my way of saying that this is my final week as full-time Post-Gazette theater editor and critic. The paper has offered its veterans a generous buyout, and I've decided to take it, although with deeply conflicted feelings."

Lower than Scrooge: Meyers is powerful as ne'er-do-well in 'Dublin Carol'

Post Gazette: "If the relentless cheer and glitter of Christmas are already getting to you, or if you want to lay in an advance supply of bleak reality for when they do, the skillfully staged 'Dublin Carol' might be just the antidote you need. You might discover a glimmer of redemptive hope, as well."

'Pirate Queen' a tale of emotional healing

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Playwright Tammy Ryan acknowledges there's something a little strange about having a pirate at the center of a story for children.
'It does bring up a dilemma about pirates and writing a play for kids,' says Ryan, who lives in Shadyside. 'Pirates kill people. They're not nice. And yet we romanticize them.'"

'Nutcracker' comes alive

Post Gazette: "It was the week before Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's presentation of 'The Nutcracker,' and the fifth-graders at Francis McClure Intermediate School were seeing visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads."

Non-tenured instructors rise as college rolls increase

Post Gazette: "'More students are going to college than ever before, but their experience may be very different from that of students just one generation ago,' said Rosemary Feal, language association executive director.
This doesn't mean students have bad teachers; nor does it mean the organization wants to get rid of all non-tenured faculty.
But the group said the change in balance does have significant effects on students and teachers."

Shake-out at the opera as economy stalls

Yahoo! News: "Before each performance of Puccini's 'La Boheme' at the San Francisco Opera house this fall, company director David Gockley stepped through the curtain and delivered a grim message to the audience.
Gockley told them he wanted to 'address all of your concerns about how the San Francisco Opera is affected by the tumultuous state of the economy.' Opera fans could expect 'fewer and less elaborate productions,' he announced."

Actor slits his own throat as knife switch turns fiction into reality

The Guardian: "Daniel Hoevels, 30, slumped over with blood pouring from his neck while the audience broke into applause at the 'special effect'. Police are investigating whether the knife was a mistake or a murder plot. They are questioning the rest of the cast, and backstage hands with access to props; they will also carry out DNA tests."

Strike Authorization and You

Backstage: "The Screen Actors Guild will soon send ballots to eligible members, requesting strike authorization. To help actors make this crucial decision, Back Stage presents SAG's major arguments for strike authorization, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers' arguments against, and commentary by three legal experts: Alan Brunswick, Jonathan Moonves, and Abel Lezcano."

Actor Hurt After Fake Knife Turned Out to Be Real

Backstage: "An actor's suicide scene became a little too real for comfort when he accidentally stabbed himself in the neck during a performance at an Austrian theater."

Kinky Witch Stirs Mischief, Novice Hamlet Frets: London Stage Arts and Culture: "Anja Silja once electrified audiences as a slinky Salome and blazing Brunnhilde. Now she sports a walker and a shapeless cardigan. The amazing thing is that she’s as electrifying as ever."

Mid Between 2 Points OSNAP

The CAD Geek Blog: "In addition to presenting my own class (Power to the Parcel), I also had the opportunity to assist 2 sessions of a titleblock lab, and another on dynamic blocks. During the titleblock lab I helped out with one user asked how the presenter centered his text inside his titleblock field so quickly and easily. The solution rested solely with the Mid Between 2 Points OSNAP."

The Show Won't Go On: Rent Canceled at Texas High School

Playbill News: "According to the Dallas Morning News, following weeks of community debate, including a packed school board meeting where community members aired their worries, the Rowlett High School theatre director canceled the run.
'I need to think of my students first and foremost,' director Brandon Tijerina wrote in a statement. 'They are dealing with pressures that they don't need at their age. The best thing for my students is for me to cancel the show, not because of all of the controversy, but because I honestly truly care for my students.'"

99 and Under (WIT #370)

ATW: "Our guests — Jonathan Bank, Artistic Director of The Mint Theater, Sarah Benson, Artistic Director of Soho Rep., Susan Bernfield, Artistic Director of New Georges and David Van Asselt, Artistic Director of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater — all share the distinction of running theatres that are quite different from Broadway…venues with 99 seats or under. They discuss their mission statements and how each of their companies got started; making sure they are able to balance new voices in playwriting with more established writers when choosing and presenting plays; how, instead of competing with one another, their companies serve as resources for each other; the wealth of material, and talent, available to them; who their base audiences are and marketing strategies for broadening that base; funding challenges, particularly in difficult financial times; the pros and cons of subscriptions for their companies; how pricing structure for their smaller theatres affects the bottom line; and their goals for expansion beyond their current theatre size."

Books of The Times - Marjorie Garber’s ‘Shakespeare and Modern Culture’ - Playwright Defines the World and Vice Versa "These and many other such nuggets have been strung together by Marjorie Garber, an esteemed and apparently unstoppable scholar, in “Shakespeare and Modern Culture,” the latest of her many Shakespeare-centric academic treatises. She has already written “Shakespeare After All,” not to mention “Profiling Shakespeare,” “Dream in Shakespeare,” “Coming of Age in Shakespeare,” “Shakespeare’s Ghost Writers: Literature as Uncanny Causality” and at least one essay about Shakespeare and dogs that manages to mention two St. Bernards featured in “Beethoven’s 2nd,” the movie about cute canines."

Holiday Gifts to Enchant the Starstruck "Entering into conversation with those who speak Theater — a language shared by a small, passionate subspecies of humanity known as Regina Dramatica — requires more than peppering your conversation with “darlings” and hyperbole. Speaking Theater starts with a shared mind-set, a collective, aggrandizing and affectionately barbed myth of an institutional art form with its own rituals and gods."

How ‘Shrek’ Was Turned Into a Broadway Musical "In previews the show has been clocking in at two and a half hours, a full hour more than the movie. The original children’s book by William Steig, published in 1990, is a lot shorter. A reader in a hurry can canter through it aloud in about 5 minutes 34 seconds. That would do scant justice to Steig’s pictures, which have layers of their own, though Steig never mentioned onions."

Joan Channick leaves Long Wharf

Variety: "Channick said there was no strife with the Long Wharf board but saw the new position as her 'ideal job.' James Bundy is the dean of the School of Drama and a.d. of the Yale Repertory Theater."

Andrew Lloyd Webber goes online

Variety: "Pairing of RUG and the online vid site reps the latest attempt by a legit company to expand its reach into the digital realm. RUG -- the theatrical, TV and film production org and owner of several West End venues -- is entirely owned by founder Lloyd Webber."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Message From Hilary Robinson

It is with great pleasure that I can announce the appointment of Dr Peter Cooke to be the next head of School of Drama, effective January. A full press release to the wider community will be published tomorrow, but I wanted to write to all of you in the School of Drama directly and immediately.

Peter gained his Bachelor of Dramatic Art [Design] from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia, and his PhD from the University of New South Wales, also in Sydney. He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1990, and this year was given the Order of Australia Medal (OAM). Amongst his professional work he was the Design Consultant for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and for Atlanta's 1996 Olympic Games.

Peter is joining us from Sydney, where he was the Deputy Director and the Head of Design at NIDA. I know that you will all join me in giving him a warm welcome when you see him on campus for the rest of this week and when he formally starts working with us in January. I look forward very much to working with him in the years to come, as he leads the School forward maintaining and strengthening its programs and its reputation.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the search committee for their tireless work through last academic year, through the summer, and into this year. The process has been long and exacting, but your dedication and focus has been inspiring to me: thank you for helping the School and the College at this crucial time.

Last, but far from least, a huge debt of thanks is due to Dick for his role as interim head. I don't know how we would have coped without him and the way in which he stepped up to serve the School. It has been wonderful, and Dick will continue to play a crucial role in the School as Peter arrives and get to know us all, and in the years to come also. Thank you Dick: the acknowledgment on the Fence yesterday was well earned and well deserved!

So welcome, Peter! We are all excited to have you join us, and hopeful of a bright future with you as part of the Carnegie Mellon family!


Elizabeth Bradley Is Stratford Festival's New Senior Artistic Associate

Playbill News: "Bradley, a well-known Canadian arts administrator, 'will focus on international creative development from her base in New York, where she has recently assumed the chair of drama of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University,' the company announced Dec. 8. 'She will assist the Festival in establishing relationships that will enable it to export productions, provide details of opportunities for collaborations, and suggest new markets of interest. She will also recommend international and emerging creative talent to artistic director Des McAnuff.'"

Stratford festival names New York ambassador "Bradley, who was born in Toronto, has served in the past as the director of communications at Stratford, as CEO of the then-Hummingbird Centre and as head of the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently in her first year as the head of drama at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University."

Karen Fricker: Should we be buying British at the theatre? "Michael Billington's post about the present 'deluge' of American plays on subsidised London stages created quite a stir last week. Billington gave the Royal Court a bit of a slapping for currently being dominated by American drama. The theatre's artistic director, Dominic Cooke, has defended his programming in a letter to the Guardian today."

Matt Wolf: Why the Holocaust musical was right to close "So Imagine This has announced that it will close at the New London Theatre on December 20, the latest musical casualty in a West End year rife with them. In this case, the wonder truly is that the production, set in the Warsaw ghetto among a Jewish community apparently willing to put on bad Vegas-style floor shows on their way to extermination, lasted as long as it did."


New York Post: "CRITICS didn't have much use for the re vival of David Mamet's 'American Buf falo,' which closed Nov. 23 after just a week of performances.
But they weren't alone in their indiffer ence. To hear backstage sources tell it, Mamet himself could barely be bothered with the play, which is generally considered one of his best."

Silicon Valley Theater Collapses, Blames ‘Tarzan’ Co-Producer Arts and Culture: "Silicon Valley’s largest performing- arts organization is preparing to file for bankruptcy this week and blames a theater in Atlanta, 2,442 miles east, for its collapse."

Baltimore Opera Rallies for Funds After Bankruptcy Arts and Culture: "The Baltimore Opera Co. filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday, as Chairman Allan Jensen seeks to raise “several hundred thousand” dollars to revive the 58- year-old company."

Hollywood actors union seeks authority to strike

Reuters: "Escalating Hollywood labor jitters, the Screen Actors Guild said on Wednesday it would hold a long-threatened strike authorization vote next month in a final bid to squeeze a better contract from major studios."

Following Pitt's lead, Carnegie Mellon freezes salaries

Post Gazette: "The week after the University of Pittsburgh froze the salaries of its top executives for this school year, Carnegie Mellon University has announced it will freeze the pay of all employees next school year, 2009-10."

Scrooge gets another day in Flatwoods' 'Trial'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "In the traditions of the holiday season, one of the most popular is the retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and how he discovers the real spirit of Christmas."

In a Bad Economy, Broadway Markets Theater as Comfort "Although Broadway, like pretty much every other industry, is taking its lumps this season, some theater veterans are hoping that as portfolios go down, the appetite for entertainment will go up."

Make-up artist Needed

Craigslist: "We are a production company out of San Diego, We are doing a Commercial Shoot for Wheeling Island Casino and we are looking for a make up artist"

Production Asst. Needed

Craigslist: "We are a production company out of San Diego and we are looking for a prod. asst. to help us with a shoot we are doing in Wheeling,WV"

'Christmas Carol' eases into yearly ritual

Post Gazette: "The essence of ritual is repetition and faith, and no theatrical ritual is more dependable hereabouts than Pittsburgh CLO's 'A Musical Christmas Carol,' now in its 17th year. It must have its faithful heart in the right place, too, because I felt warm tears of pleasure at miser Scrooge's Christmas morning redemption."

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Holmes, Scott Thomas Help ‘All My Sons,’ ‘Seagull’ Recoup Costs Arts and Culture: "Confirming the selling power of well- known actors in classic drama, the producers of Broadway’s “All My Sons” and “The Seagull” announced today that they made their investors whole."

Troupe holding its own wake

JSOnline: "The end came so suddenly for Milwaukee Shakespeare, we didn't get closure. So the company is throwing a wake for itself next Sunday in its empty rehearsal hall in Suite 800, Building 28 at 3073 S. Chase Ave."

Did Slava Have Critics Thinking There's No Business Like Snow Business?

Steve On Broadway (SOB): "Did Slava Have Critics Thinking There's No Business Like Snow Business?"

Tech Trees: 8 High-Tech Christmas Trees

Gizmodo: "Regular Christmas trees have a string of lights. High-tech trees have 30,000 LEDs, 43 LCD televisions and lasers. Get the picture? Good—because the following trees definitely fall into the latter category."

How to Ace Essay Questions Using the Three Minute Rule

Study Hacks: "As we tumble toward final exams, I’d be remiss if I didn’t address one of the most dreaded denizens of the season: the blue book essay exam. Nothing strikes more fear into the heart of a liberal arts student than seeing that big blue book, full of empty, lined pages, just waiting to be filled with paragraphs pregnant with novel insight."

Live from New York

Carnegie Mellon University: "Talk about living your dream. Alex Andrews (HS '09) has spent the fall semester interning for the organization at the center of so much presidential buzz — Saturday Night Live."

Sugar-plum sentiments are absent in 'Dublin Carol'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "If your family circumstances and relationships fail to measure up to those depicted in most holiday tales -- and whose doesn't -- 'Dublin Carol' might offer comfort."

'Dirty Little Secrets' features two works

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Dance Alloy Theater dishes in its new show, 'Dirty Little Secrets,' but its revelations go beyond the gossipy realm the title implies. It is a touching and troubling show, performed with compelling artistry."

Billy Elliot Tops Time Magazine's Best "10 Plays and Musicals" List

Playbill News: "Time Magazine has unveiled its 'The Top 10 Everything of 2008,' rating news, entertainment, pop culture and more. Included is the magazine's top picks for 'Top 10 Plays and Musicals.'"

Local Film Seeks Crew Help

Craigslist: "We have an immediate need for crew members for a local film project, scripted and directed by fellow Pittsburgh-er, Joshua D. Maley."

Dance Alloy leaps from tragic Dumas to angular 'Schakt'

Post Gazette: "One of the greatest pleasures in life can be found in the aura surrounding promise, whether of a new life, a career, or a new piece of art. Promise permeated the Dance Alloy's latest venture at the New Hazlett Theater, 'Dirty Little Secrets,' but in markedly different ways."

Private Sector: New business jazzes up cultural scene

Post Gazette: "Two relatively smallbusiness developments -- the closing of an old establishment and the opening of a new one -- loom large in the big revitalization picture of Downtown Pittsburgh."

'The Goat' tugs at head and heart

Post Gazette: "'Getting someone's goat' takes on new meanings, figurative and literal, in Edward Albee's comi-tragic 'The Goat' (2002), now in its final week at Playhouse Rep. It describes what happens, twice, in this improbable story of a successful middle-aged architect who experiences an unusual passion for a goat. Albee takes it to a dark, primal level in his tragedy of sexual transgression and vengeance."

Star-driven shows recoup their costs

Variety: "Despite persistent fears of recession fallout, a couple of legit offerings have proved it's possible to recoup on Broadway this season -- at least for star-driven play revivals."

'Priscilla' set for Toronto debut

Variety: "The tuner version of 'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' is riding into Toronto next fall, making its North American preem in a run that seems a likely precursor to a go at Broadway."

Monday, December 08, 2008

Seen the lights go out on Broadway Musicals

NY Daily News: "Broadway offerings will get a lot less broad in early 2009.
The list of shows facing their final curtains in January has hit the double digits."

Met Opera Board Rolls Out Recession-Busting $25 Discount Seats Arts and Culture: "New York’s Metropolitan Opera, with ticket sales lagging and the economy in recession, said it will offer some of its priciest seats for weekend evening performances at $25 each for the rest of the season."


BroadwayWorld: "Hell's Kitchen is the musical story of an era in New York City history that will never come again. It takes place in the early 1960's in a neighborhood both feared and respected by those who stepped within it's borders. It follows the life of Danny Vincente and his friends and family through the warmth and the heartbreak of their lives."

East Liberty Waffle Shop merges food, reality video

Post Gazette: "In the wee small hours on the weekend, sometimes nothing hits the spot like hot waffles. That alone would make the recently opened waffle shop in East Liberty a welcome addition to the East End landscape, especially for young people in search of urban nightlife."

IATSE/AMPTP: Controversial Health Plan Eligibility Rollback Causing Complaints

Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily: "Interestingly, Poster admits that 'this 100-hour increase will be difficult for some of our members'. But what he doesn't mention is the very heated Western Regional Council meeting held the day before to finally discuss details of the IATSE-AMPTP tentative agreement announced back on November 19th."

Clarizen Manages Projects Inside AutoCAD

CAD Insider: "Though MS Project is the leading project management software, I've found it to take considerable time and effort to learn, not worth it for the little I needed to do. Clarizen promises to be less of an effort without comprising on core functionality."

Tutus: The stuff of dreams

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Tutus can be the stuff of dreams.
And it's usually at performances of the fantasy ballet 'The Nutcracker' that tutus first cast their spell upon young people.
Ava Chatterson was 4 when she first saw a tutu, the elegant ballet dress that defines 'ballerina.'"

Chekhov Is a Hit: Broadway's The Seagull Recoups Investment

Playbill News: "The Royal Court Theatre's critically acclaimed production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull has fully recouped its capitalization costs for the current Broadway production, the producers announced Dec. 8."

The Disciples of Windley

The Disciples of Windley
TUESDAY DECEMBER 9TH: 1-4pm on the Chosky.

Come see the Juniors explore their voices in a working session of the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Working this semester on understanding and working towards vocal virtuosity, the Junior Actor and MT's want to invite you to stop in for however long you wish, and hear them explore a world where breath, flesh, spirit, and mind collide in a dynamic supernova of language. The session will be very fluid and informal with students working with each other on their texts rather than presenting a finished product to an audience. We hope to see you there, stop in whenever! It might just tickle you in a way you have never been tickled before!

Met to offer discount tickets

Variety: "Beginning today, the Metropolitan Opera is making about 16,000 ducats available for $25 each. Seats, located in the orchestra or the grand tier and usually priced between $140 and $295, will be available for Friday or Saturday night perfs beginning Friday and extending through the end of the Met season in May."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tweak tax breaks for movie biz

WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL: "The study of Depp's 'Public Enemies' shows that the movie crew spent about $5 million on food, lodging, wardrobe and salaries for state residents while shooting in Madison, Columbus, Beaver Dam and a half dozen other Wisconsin locations from March through June.
In addition, the state expects to collect an estimated $270,000 in sales and income taxes related to the film being shot here.
But to lure the movie crew to Wisconsin in the first place, the state offered a 25 percent tax rebate for film expenses. That means the state will have to give the film company about $4.6 million -- far more than state coffers will receive in revenue from the movie's production."

A gender pay gap for L.A. artists (NYC too)

Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times: "As a follow-up to its report 'Artists in the Workforce, 1990-2005,' released in June, the National Endowment for the Arts is releasing today the results of a closer examination of the gender pay gap between men and women artists discovered by the original study.
Surprise -- women artists earn less."

Vista Spyder Crawls Walgreens' Wall, Times Square

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "To process and distribute the massive amount of data necessary to feed the supersign, the digital display engineering and manufacturing company D3 LED -- the company that engineered and manufactured the spectacular -- has chosen Vista Systems' Spyder."

Behind the scenes: Christmas tree technical production

Champion - Article - Liberty University: "Great productions are made, led and performed by great people. All too often, only the performers are recognized for a job well done when there are many more key people who truly make a show successful.
Thomas Road Baptist Church’s (TRBC) Living Christmas Tree production meets many standards of greatness only as a result of an enormous collaboration of behind-the-scenes people who produce a remarkable show year after year."

Theatre Staff End Plans to Strike with Live Nation's Revised Pay Deal

Stage-directions: "A dispute between Bectu and Live Nation began back in April, after the organization offered a 3% pay raise instead of the full national pay award of 3.5% to employees who make above Theatrical Management Association minimum wages."

Two New Courses

An Inter-University Course between Carlow University and Carnegie Mellon:
CRISES IN CREATION: Compositional Thought in Conflict with Authority

Spring 2009
CMU 99-481
9 units
Tuesday evenings 6:30-9:20pm

Location alternates between CMU and Carlow on a monthly basis: January-Carlow, February-CMU, March-Carlow, April-CMU, May-Carlow

This is an inter-University, interdisciplinary course that engages the student in "classical" music by examining case studies of composers working or being in conflict with some outside force. Studying this issue can involve historical, sociological, religious, philosophical, and political issues and ideas as well as musical ones. As a joint course with Carlow, team-taught with one professor from each university, the course location will rotate back and forth between the two campuses.

This is a discussion course, and limited to 20 students. Outside work will include readings and two term papers; class time will be spent discussing issues raised by the readings, lecture, and listening to selected music on the case studies. The ability to read music is not a prerequisite for this course, but music and non-music students will be encouraged to "pair up" for one of the projects.

Grace Ann Geibel, RSM, President Emeritus of Carlow University.
Pianist, choral director, and professor of music.

R. James Whipple, Artist Lecturer in Music at Carnegie Mellon University.
Composer, bassoonist, and arts administrator.

99-460: Urban Agriculture in a Global Context
Instructors: Larry Patrick, Ph.D and Renee Roy

Spring 2009
9 units
Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:30-7:50 PM
Room: Baker Hall A54

Course Description

Farming has been practiced in urban and peri-urban areas for centuries. However, during the past two decades, urban agriculture has gained status as a multi-pronged strategy for social, economic and environmental revitalization in cities. This interdisciplinary course explores todays phenomena of urban agriculture as a platform for inquiry into the tension between global/industrial and local/sustainable food systems. Students taking this course will investigate the interconnected socio-cultural, political-economic and spatial dimensions of urban agriculture as it exists in Pittsburgh and in cities worldwide. Ecological approaches are used to challenge students to understand what it is we eat and how each of us can engage more fully with emergent forms and sites of food production and consumption.

Course readings will span geography, policy and urbanism with detailed analysis given to: 1) the social and political act of urban food growing during times of crisis/food scarcity throughout history, 2) the evolving regulatory context of globalized and localized food systems in the U.S., and 3) the spatial implications of urban agriculture as demonstrated through the newest innovations in building and public space design involving food production.

Pittsburgh's Revitalization and Millennials

Future Majority: "I've written a few times now about larger cities in the Rust Belt (largely the Detroit to Buffalo corridor, with Pittsburgh included), what they're lacking, and how they can bounce back. I'll continue to write about this because of my relative familiarity with the region and because I am genuinely interested in revitalizing these cities with youth in mind."

Safety Roundup: 6 to Watch

Industrial Equipment News: "Here, in no particular order, are 6 innovative ideas we've come across recently -- ranging from the simple and easy to adopt to a complex and promising nano-research project."

Why Did Carnegie Mellon Students and Faculty…

University Diaries: "… dislike Walking to the Sky so much that they got the sculpture moved from a prominent to a less prominent location, and insisted that future decisions about campus art and its placement be more democratic?"

USITT Sets Stage for 2009 Conference

PLSN: "USITT’s annual Conference & Stage Expo is set for March 18 to 21, 2009, and the association is finalizing plans for activities before, during and after the show. Despite the uncertain economic outlook, USITT reports that more than 85 percent of the exhibit space available for the Stage Expo is already sold."

Mayor Bloomberg Stars In “Broadway Goes Green”

Live Design: "Mayor Bloomberg pointed out how appropriate it was to hold Broadway’s “green awakening” on the stage of Spring Awakening as part of the city’s overall commitment to a “greener, greater New York, and to turning the Great White Way green.” The 39 Broadway theatres have engaged to help cut the city’s carbon footprint by 30% by the year 2030 as part of PlaNYC (in NYC only 20% of the problem comes from transportation, the other 80% from buildings which need to be made more energy efficient and less polluting). Theatres have begun the process by changing over 10,000 marquee and lobby lights to low-energy lamps and compact fluorescents, and recycling as much as possible, even the discarded Palybills. “Broadway’s stages fuel dreams and help fuel the city’s ecomony,” said the mayor."

Lighting The President (Elect)

Live Design: "How does one go about lighting the nation’s first African-American President-Elect for his first official speech, both outdoors and on television, without distracting from the historical significance of the moment?"

Pensacola's Katy Mixon catches fire "Lest you think her rube turn is a bit close to home, Mixon is an alumna of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Of course, being distinctly Southern made her stand out there, her teachers say. Now that she has Hollywood's attention, Mixon is mixing it up."

Waffle shop produces art that's off the grid

Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh: "When it comes to art appreciation, 'People being drunk goes a long way,' allows Jon Rubin, an assistant professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University.
Or so it seemed late one Saturday night (or early Sunday morning, but who's counting?) at a former tuxedo shop at the corner of Baum and Highland avenues, in East Liberty. Here, in an emerging cultural nexus formed by the Shadow Lounge and a spate of trendy new restaurants, students from Rubin's Contextual Practice course hosted a combination art happening, waffle house and reality-TV show."

In the Strike Zone

LA Weekly: "The huge news, the only news, is that there is a possibility that Hollywood could suffer another strike. After months of stalled negotiations and bitter acrimony between the two sides, both the Screen Actors Guild and the negotiators representing the Big Media Cartel sat down for federally mediated talks, which broke down after only two days."

The Alchemy of Theatre, by Charles Marowitz

Swans Commentary: "As far as the theatre is concerned, Intelligent Design definitely trumps Evolution. The former has been responsible for some of the most outstanding work in the past two hundred years and its exponents have included directors such as Konstantin Stanislavsky, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Evgevny Vakhtangov, Max Reinhardt, Bertolt Brecht, Jacques Copeau, Jean Vilar, Tyrone Guthrie, John Dexter, Peter Brook, Richard Foreman, and Robert Wilson. All these men have exercised their creative imagination on works both modern and classical. The 'Evolutionary' directors have relied on the fruits of collaboration, the input of talented performers, the egalitarian impulse to let every artist in the creative process make their own (often self-styled) contribution. There have been some outstanding successes with that free-wheeling approach, but the zeniths have been achieved by men who were single-minded, dictatorial, autocratic, and often tyrannical."

Unity? It's a guilded cage

Variety: "Since the last round of guild contract talks two years ago, Hollywood had braced for the prospect of a synchronized work stoppage by SAG, the WGA and the DGA in July, since the thesps and the helmers had the same June 30 expiration date on their previous contracts."

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Joe Satriani Sues Coldplay For Copyright Infringement

Techdirt: "Guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani has sued Coldplay for copyright infringement over claims that their hit single, Viva La Vida, used 'substantial original portions' of his song If I Could Fly from 2004, seeking damages for 'any and all profits.' The lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles federal court."

NEA Awards National Alliance for Musical Theatre Grant

Playbill News: "'We are honored to be recognized by the NEA as playing a crucial role in nurturing the development and production of new musicals. And we are excited to play a part in helping such talented artists find future homes for their work in theatres across the country,' said NAMT executive director Kathy Evans in a statement."

"Today Show" to Welcome Shrek Cast Dec. 8 and 9

Playbill News: "On Dec. 8 'Today Show' host Meredith Vieira will explore the world of Shrek with actors Brian d'Arcy James (Shrek) and John Tartaglia (Pinocchio) and director Jason Moore. The segment is scheduled to air during the 8:30-9 AM half-hour."

NAMT bestowed $60,000 grant

Variety: "Sum is the highest awarded for 2009 to a legit org by the NEA, which doles out coin to NAMT in support of the org's annual fall conference and its fest of developing tuners."

Kraftwerk copyright case overturned in Germany

International Herald Tribune: "Germany's highest civil court has dealt electronic band Kraftwerk a blow in ruling that sampling music does not in principle violate copyright."

In Memoriam: Robert Ornbo, Theatre Lighting Designer, 1931-2008

Live Design: "Ornbo was a brilliant and prolific lighting designer, whose work on over 300 productions ranged across drama, musicals, opera, and ballet to events such as the Edinburgh Tattoo, the Royal Tournament, the naming ceremonies of ocean- liners and events at Buckingham Place for the Royal Family. His influence has had a profound impact on theatrical lighting over the last fifty years."

Yale School of Drama and School of Music Join Forces for Institute for Music Theatre

Stage-directions: "The Yale School of Drama (Dean, James Bundy) and Yale School of Music (Dean, Robert Blocker) have joined forces to create the Yale Institute for Music Theatre, which exists to identify distinctive and original music theatre works by emerging writers and composers, and to serve those writers by matching them with collaborators who can help them further develop their work in an un-pressured workshop setting."

Seattle Opera Receives $750,000 Wallace Excellence Award

Stage-directions: "Seattle Opera has announced that the company will receive a $750,000 grant from the Wallace Foundation over the next four years to increase accessibility to opera through new and innovative practices."

Tina Turner Video Wall Splits and Shines

PLSN: "With at least 80 shows scheduled for her first tour in eight years, Tina Turner is proving that she still has legs. But at age 67, the only thing doing a split is the video screen backdrop. LD Baz Halpin hides 80 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 300 fixtures behind the motion-controlled video wall, which separates into a total of eight sections, allowing the Alpha Beams to shine through."

Cameron MacKintosh on Oliver! and his success with musicals

Times Online: "Just as the West End producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh is saying that he has no regrets about not having children, a huge high noise flies out from behind a closed door. It is keening but melodic and bears the unmistakable stamp of Fagin's boys. Almost half a century after the first production of Oliver!, it seems to freeze for eternity the condition of canny childhood. “Consider yourself one of the family,” they sing."

Friday, December 05, 2008

'Ligonier Christmas' aims to spark yuletide spirit

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "A holiday tradition returns to the stage in Ligonier, during a show that features everything from Santa to the biblical Christmas story.
The Valley Players of Ligonier will present the 11th annual 'A Ligonier Christmas' this weekend."

White director for Wilson play on Broadway upsets some artists "The good news for fans of August Wilson is that 'Joe Turner's Come and Gone' will return to Broadway next spring. But the idea that a white director will helm the work of America's foremost black playwright has raised some eyebrows in the place Wilson once called home."

‘Carousel’ Whirls With Vibrant Colors: London Stage Arts and Culture: "With its evergreen numbers “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “June is Bustin’ Out All Over,” it’s not surprising that “Carousel” was declared the best musical of the 20th century by Time magazine in 1999."

La Scala Plans EU350,000 Gala Dinner Amid Lawmakers’ Protests Arts and Culture: "Milan’s La Scala opera house is going ahead with a 350,000 euro ($444,000) gala dinner after the Dec. 7 opening night of Verdi’s “Don Carlo,” even as politicians criticize such ostentation amid the global economic slump."

3-D Movie Plans Stall as Theaters Curtail Spending Arts and Culture: "The credit crisis is stalling plans to convert thousands of theaters to digital projection, threatening profits on more than a dozen 3-D films Hollywood will release next year, including DreamWorks Animation SKG’s “Monsters vs Aliens.”
Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp., a supplier of software to run digital theaters, had planned to convert as many as 1,500 screens by March 2009. Now, with funds on hold, the company expects 100 to 200, Chief Executive Officer Bud Mayo said."

SImon McBurney on Naturalism

(Theatreforte): "The brilliant Simon McBurney (of Complicite) talks in the December 2008 issue of American Theatre about, well, a lot of brilliant things.
This quotation about naturalism really jumped out at me (and my wife, Acacia) and will no doubt become part of my permanent repertoire."

Autodesk University 2008: The Lenovo W700

Core77: "It's not often that we get excited about a laptop that weighs 8.5 pounds, but the Lenovo W700 caught our eye on the AU exhibition floor yesterday for a couple of reasons. Mainly, it was the built-in Wacom digitizer and massive (1900 x 1200) display, making it a viable and (more or less) portable replacement for the Intuos + cinema display set up so many designers have tethered to their desktops."

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 “Bcc:” Field is Your Friend

Whatever: "Since I’ve just received the third such e-mail in as many days, a happy, friendly, not-at-all passive-aggressive suggestion:
When you are sending out an e-mail to a large number of recipients, many of whom do not know each other, won’t you please please please PLEASE GODDAMNIT PLEASE put all those addresses into the “Bcc:” field rather than the “Cc:” field of your e-mail software?"

Pandora's Trunk announces Success in all endeavors!!

Medium Reality: "Last night Pandora's Trunk presented Visual Vaudeville & Built Burlesque at Brava Theater Center to resounding cheers, thunderous applause, and the clickety flash of cameras. Hooray!"

Broadway Sings for Toys to Feature Creel, Murney, Jenkins, McElroy and More

Playbill News: "The fourth annual Broadway Sings for Toys concert, presented by The Broadway Boys, will be offered Dec. 14 at the Zipper Factory in Manhattan."

Lesbian Take on Hedda Gabler to Play Philadelphia in 2009

Playbill News: "Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler has been re-imagined as a lesbian drama in a new production by Caroline Kava for Philadelphia's Mauckingbird Theatre Company."

Production Assistant Needed

Craigslist: "We are planning a small shoot at a farm in Stonesboro, PA on 12/7 and looking for a production assistant who will help the crew"

Des McAnuff on Daltrey and Townshend

Variety: "In the 1980s, cousins of a close friend of mine climbed the water tower of a Long Island town under the shroud of darkness to emblazon the name of their favorite rock band in 20-foot fluorescent letters -- 'The Who.' When they dropped back to the ground, they realized they had somehow, in the ultimate slacker achievement, managed to actually misspell a three-letter word. For the next decade in Huntington Bay loomed the ominous name 'The Woh' above puzzled onlookers."

'Vanities' postpones Broadway run

Variety: "'The production is being rescheduled for later this season out of responsibility to the investors at this complicated economic time, which makes it very hard to support a new musical on Broadway,' lead producer Sue Frost said in a statement."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Final Friday

The divine Junior MT's, along with a fabulous band and brilliant sound and
lighting designers will present a final Final Friday Cabaret tomorrow
evening at 11:00 (or shortly thereafter) in the Rauh Studio Theater.

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC is just the thing we all could use on the last day of
Classes. Tickets can be picked up at the box office beginning at 12:00
noon. The $5.00 donation goes entirely to the Senior Showcase.

CLO's Scrooge has company from a pair of curmudgeons at PICT

Post Gazette: "The Christmas Day redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge is the core of Charles Dickens' 1843 'A Christmas Carol,' perhaps the most adapted and dramatized of all Christmas stories on stage and screen, save the Nativity itself."

Atkins discovers it's no picnic playing Scrooge

Post Gazette: "Along with making a career in film and TV, Tom Atkins has long been a fixture on Pittsburgh stages, particularly that of Pittsburgh Public Theater, where to his more classic roles he's added his franchise portrayal of Art Rooney in 'The Chief.' Taking on Scrooge for the first time, he may have found himself another franchise."

PICT'S 'Dublin Carol' is American debut for director Maxwell

Post Gazette: "'St. Nicholas,' a monologue in which Martin Giles is directed by PICT artistic director Andrew Paul, is only indirectly a Christmas story, the connection probably being that the original St. Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop reputed to perform miracles."

Flamenco ensemble promises a confluence of energy

Post Gazette: "Flamenco sprang from a turbulent confluence of Spanish cultures that included Muslim Moors, Jews and Gypsies. It was the latter group that sustained it, passing on the music and dance through an oral tradition that placed a heavy emphasis on improvisation."

Theater options range from traditional to challenging

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Whether you like something traditional for your holiday theatergoing or prefer some variety or challenge this holiday season, area producers are willing to oblige."

Compelling 'Frost/Nixon' bends history to find the drama

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Whether it's Friedrich Schiller writing 'Mary Stuart' in 1800 or Peter Morgan writing 'Frost/Nixon' in 2005, the facts often are bent or eliminated to maximize drama, confrontation and a satisfying conclusion."

Dance Alloy production draws on 19th-century love story

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Marina Harris is a practical artist. A choreographer and costumer, she turned to a potent love story for her new work, knowing full well it would fit Dance Alloy Theater's double-bill called 'Dirty Little Secrets.'"

Autodesk University 2008: Getting schooled.

Core77: "The celebrity speakers and inspirational keynotes are a big part of AU, but what really brings in the masses are the classes: every hour of the day from 8am to 6pm several dozen concurrent sessions are being led by CAD experts from all over the planet. Here are a few from Wednesday afternoon."

Theatrical Fratricide, Prop 8 vs. the Arts, and Milk

ARTicles: "The Bay Area theatre world is still recovering from news of the sudden closure of American Musical Theatre of San Jose (AMTSJ) - a shocking story that has repercussions for three theatres across the U.S."

Collaborative Teaching

Carnegie Mellon University: "First-year College of Fine Arts students recently had an opportunity to explore the architecture of ancient Athens through a rare book collection offering the first measured drawings of the Acropolis and other key sites. The course, called 'Critical Art Histories,' examines James Stuart and Nicholas Revett's Antiquities of Athens, housed in the University Libraries."

Autodesk University 2008: Cabbages, pumpkins and crumpled paper bags -- where Scott Robertson gets his inspiration

Core77: "It'd be difficult to overstate how excited we were to hear Scott Robertson talk about his work live and in person...though a little apprehensive given the presentation bore a thoroughly non-specific name like 'Creativity and Narrative Imagery,' and much of the audience wasn't all that familiar with his work."

American Theater Honors Grant Recipients At Sardi's 12/5

Broadway World: "The American Theatre Wing's Grants Program will honor its 2008 grant recipients, 50 New York City not-for-profit theatres that reflect the range of diversity of New York's theatres, at a luncheon at Sardi's on Friday, December 5th at noon."

Labors of Love Now Lost

Backstage: "In mid-October, a month into the economy's steep decline, the artistic director of Milwaukee Shakespeare attended a statewide theatre conference. While the other directors talked about how their ticket sales had screeched to a halt, Paula Suozzi counted her blessings: Her company's ticket sales had increased by 20 percent from the previous year and Love's Labour's Lost had recently sold out. 'We sold more tickets to Love's Labour's Lost than we have to any other show in that space,' Suozzi said. 'Nothing was happening to our ticket sales except that they were going up.'"


New York Post: "The actor withdrew two weeks ago from the revival of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's 1940 musical, now in previews at the Roundabout's Studio 54 theater.
Officially, Hoff injured his foot - which is true.
But there's more to the story than the press release.
Hoff's injury was minor, and he wanted to return to the show. But several people involved in the production didn't want him back."

Noises off: The rehearsal's the thing "Now it appears that theatre-makers in America are going one step further. The New York-based Ontological-Hysteric Theatre is in the process of rehearsing its new show, Astronome – A Night at the Opera, and will be streaming its rehearsals online every Wednesday evening until the show opens. This idea has excited bloggers stateside. George Hunka says, 'It's a unique offering from two unique theatre and music artists ... watch Foreman, his cast and his crew create a new work before your very eyes. You want the theatrical process available through the internet, you've got it.'"

Frankel, Green team on venture

Variety: "The pair ('Gypsy,' 'Hairspray,' 'Young Frankenstein') has worked together for 14 years as part of the general management arm of Richard Frankel Prods., often on shows produced by RFP or by the Viertel/Baruch/Routh/Frankel Group, of which Frankel is a producing partner."

Shubert vets take centerstage at org

Variety: "In the wake of the sudden death of Shubert Organization chairman Gerald Schoenfeld, the appointment Tuesday night of Philip J. Smith and Robert E. Wankel as co-CEO's reflected a company that looks to remain consistent."

3 new dramas show Broadway's grasp of human condition

Post Gazette: "We think of today's Broadway as primarily home to musicals, but it can also stage plays at the very highest level. Witness three recent openings: a starry revival of an American master's first successful play, Arthur Miller's 'All My Sons'; a new play by a living American master, Horton Foote's 'Dividing the Estate'; and a star-led revival by a Russian master, Chekhov's 'The Seagull.'"

'Frost/Nixon' has unique feel on stage

Post Gazette: "But in this moment between Broadway and the big screen, 'Frost/Nixon' arrives tonight for a week on stage at the Benedum as part of the PNC Broadway series. The juicy role of Nixon is played by Stacy Keach, well known here from tours and the CLO, with Alan Cox as his antagonist."

Stage Right's Scrooge 'invested' in role, director says

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "There's nothing like the retelling of 'A Christmas Carol' to put even the meanest of Scrooges in a holiday mood this time of year -- unless it's the updated version of the yuletide classic by lyricist Lynn Ahrens ('Seussical,' 'Once on this Island,' 'Ragtime') and composer Alan Menken ('Little Shop of Horrors,' 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'Aladdin,' 'The Little Mermaid')."

'Black Patent Leather Shoes' needles parochial education

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "You don't have to be an alumnus of a Catholic elementary or high school in the 1950s to appreciate the humor of 'Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?,' but it helps."

A nervous Broadway looks forward to spring

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "It's been a weird, schizophrenic couple of months on Broadway as the theater prepares for the holidays in the middle of an economic downturn and what, in the past, have been some of the most profitable weeks of the season."

'Frost/Nixon' reveals a tragedy

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "In 'Frost/Nixon,' playwright Peter Morgan offers his take on how British talk-show host David Frost, played here by British actor Alan Cox, used a series of interviews with the former president to draw out of him an apology for his actions."

Artist activists bring ideas to Carnegie Mellon

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Obviously not a real issue of The New York Times, it was a hoax masterminded by longtime liberal pranksters The Yes Men, who are showcasing the prank along with several more they have perpetrated over the past decade in their first ever solo-exhibition, 'Keep It Slick,' at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University."

August Wilson Center offers Fellows Program

WDUQNews: "The August Wilson Center, for the first time, is offering a Fellows Program for passionate artists of African descent."

CMU Showcases Virtual Technology

WDUQNews: "The hottest ticket at Carnegie Mellon University today is for the Building Virtual Worlds show. Every year, a select group of Master's students at CMU's Entertainment Technology Center presents cutting-edge projects."

Graduate students at CMU center blend technological and artistic talents

Post Gazette: "Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) doesn't look like an academic building, but rather a geeky playground for very bright, creative young adults -- which in many ways it is."

Human skull abandoned by Hamlet

BBC NEWS: "A human skull will no longer appear in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Hamlet as it may distract the audience, the company has said."

Front Page Meets Center Stage

Backstage: "Part theatre artists and part investigative journalists, the New York City-based production company The Civilians hit the streets last month to report on the Atlantic Yards project, a commercial development plan already in the works in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Though the real drama is in the Yards, The Civilians will enact all sides of the convoluted issue on stage in Brooklyn at Eye Level, a limited engagement from Dec. 4-7 at the Brooklyn Lyceum."

Shubert Organization Names Two Insiders to Succeed Schoenfeld Arts and Culture: "The Shubert Organization, Broadway’s largest theater owner, last night named Philip J. Smith as chairman, succeeding Gerald Schoenfeld, who died last week of a heart attack at age 84."

‘Fidelio’ Gets New Text, Hi-Tech Gadgets, Odd Overture in Paris Arts and Culture: "“Fidelio,” Beethoven’s only opera, is often staged to celebrate an extraordinary event -- such as the resurrection of the bombed-out Vienna State Opera after the war."

Leaping Chinese Monks, Hip-Hop Mix in Cherkaoui’s Dance Arts and Culture: "The kung-fu-trained warrior monks of China’s Shaolin Buddhist temple perform spectacular cat-like leaps in “Sutra” at the Berliner Festspiele through Dec. 6."

Carl Bass Takes On A Roomful of Journalists

CAD Insider: "Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, addressed the press in a Q&A session at Autodesk University. Though Autodesk now seems to be favoring separate 'press events' for journalists, several seemed to make it to AU anyway and Carl was not afraid to face a room full of them by himself, rather than being flanked by senior management as is the norm in the industry."

Tune Up Your Time Management System for the New Year

Ian's Messy Desk: "January 1 is often the time people set or reset direction for their lives. They set resolutions, they review the past and set goals for the future. Regardless of how well or poorly you’ve been managing personal productivity, the New Year can be a good milestone to review your processes and see if there are places you can make improvements. Time management is a way of life and needs to be reviewed regularly."

Six Valuable Things Web Design Clients Won’t Tell You

FreelanceSwitch - The Freelance Blog: "When talking to potential clients, always keep in mind this mantra: It’s all about the client (and what you can do for the client.) That means being a good listener, gathering project requirements and doing whatever you can, (within reason), to please your client. However, there are a number of things that even the best-intentioned clients will not tell you about themselves and their project. Here are five valuable things your clients won’t tell you, and how to deal with them."

Public Theater Strikes a New Kind of Broadway Deal With ‘Hair’ "The Public Theater and Broadway have always had a love-hate relationship. Broadway has made millions for the nonprofit Public and helped build it into a cultural powerhouse; it has also lost the Public millions, bringing the theater that Joseph Papp founded to the brink of bankruptcy."

In Waterlogged Venice,Operatic Puppets and Shadows on a Curtain "By chance a watery hero arrived in town. Over the weekend, just before the city became nearly impassable, Monteverdi’s “Return of Ulysses” had a short, magical run at the ancient Malibran Theater, near the Rialto Bridge, slightly off the beaten path."

The New Leaders of Shubert Organization Have Roots In Its Past "The ascension of Philip J. Smith and Robert E. Wankel to the top of the Shubert Organization Tuesday night ended a 20-plus-year guessing game about the future of the largest theater-owning enterprise in the nation."

Gypsy, In the Heights, Mermaid, Pacific and Frankenstein Are Grammy-Nominated

Playbill News: "Nominations for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards were announced Dec. 3. Nominees in the Best Musical Show Album category include Gypsy, In the Heights, The Little Mermaid, South Pacific and Young Frankenstein: The Musical."

Dancer learning to go with flow of modern company

Post Gazette: "Christopher Bandy is shedding his ballet skin and growing more facial hair as he continues to make the transition from the more traditional Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre corps de ballet to the intimate and edgier modern Dance Alloy."

Goodbye is the word for 'Grease'

Variety: "'Grease' will end its run at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on Jan. 4, joining 'Young Frankenstein,' 'Boeing-Boeing,' and 'Hairspray' in what is shaping up to be the Rialto's Black Sunday. After the traditionally lucrative Christmas and New Year's frames, 'Grease' will quit while it's ahead before the dreaded post-holiday slump."

Shubert vets take centerstage at org

Variety: "In the wake of the sudden death of Shubert Organization chairman Gerald Schoenfeld, the appointment Tuesday night of Philip J. Smith and Robert E. Wankel as co-CEO's reflected a company that looks to remain consistent."

Home Project

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Transparency needed in Siminovitch prize, former finalist says "The close association of several winners of the $100,000 Siminovitch Prize, the richest award in Canadian theatre, to the Toronto theatre company Necessary Angel has led one former finalist to speak out about what she calls the 'appearance of a conflict of interest.'"

RSC warns of fake Hamlet tickets

BBC NEWS: "The Royal Shakespeare Company is to reissue some tickets to its production of Hamlet, starring David Tennant, amid fears counterfeits are circulating."

Satellite Award Nominations Announced Early

Backstage: "Getting a jump on rival awards groups, the International Press Academy announced its nominees Sunday for its 13th annual Satellite Awards."

Broadway’s Shubert Organization Gets Ready to Appoint Successor Arts and Culture: "The Shubert Organization’s board of directors is scheduled to meet tomorrow to select a new leader, who will oversee its 17 Broadway houses and $300 million foundation."

Effort to save historic opera building

Post Gazette: "When Jonnet Solomon-Nowlin bought Homewood's Harris House with a friend eight years ago, all she knew about the property came from an outside historical marker noting its past use as the home of the nation's first black opera company."

London finally discovers the Chicago theater

Chicago Tribune: "When the Steppenwolf Theatre Company arrived here on November 18, Nicholas Hytner described the famous acting ensemble at a meet-and-greet event as “the second-best thing to come out of Chicago.”
Before this month, one might reasonably have surmised that the artistic head of Britain’s prestigious National Theatre was referencing deep-dish pizza as numero uno.
Not any more."

The public domain

Core77: "In The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind James Boyle introduces readers to the idea of the public domain and describes how it is being tragically eroded by our current copyright, patent, and trademark laws."

MTEXT “Background Mask” feature

Daily Autocad: "AutoCAD 2005 has brought a new feature to MTEXT objects. I will be talking about “Background Mask“, i.e. adjusting the backgroung for MTEXT objects."