CMU School of Drama

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pitt, CMU plays excel in exposing sexual mores

Post Gazette: "It features slick acting, led by three faculty members who have the chutzpah to get up on stage with their talented students and play the foolish old husbands. Call them short (Matthew Gray), fat (Michael Chemers) and doddering (Anthony McKay) -- they know how to milk a scene with spot-on timing."

Review: 'Movin' Out' sings and dances into town

Post Gazette: "They're doing their own version of 'Dancing With the Stars' over at the Benedum Center this weekend, where 'Movin' Out' has moved in through Sunday and is giving nightly lessons in what it takes to be the hardest working dancers in show biz."

New Works Festival accepting scripts for season

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The Pittsburgh New Works Festival is accepting scripts of previously unperformed one-act plays for its September festival.
Twelve one-act plays will be selected to be performed as mainstage productions for the festival's 19th season, which begins Sept. 10. An additional six will be selected for seated readings, to be performed the last two Sundays of August."

CMU still weighing losses in fund scheme

Post Gazette: "Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon says it may be a long time before the school is able to determine the extent of its loss from an investment with Westridge Capital Management, but he said the loss will not have any immediate impact on the university's finances."

Foolproof ‘Our Town’ Crumbles Under Urban Renewal

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "If ever there was a foolproof American play, it is Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” I have seen professional and amateur productions, college and high-school performances, movie and opera versions, and all, even the poorest, had some kernel of good in them. But not even “Our Town” is David Cromer-proof."

Sondheim Stalls, Spidey Cools Heels in Broadway’s Cash Crisis

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "Not even a tin cup in the outstretched hand of Stephen Sondheim was enough to save the $4.5 million Broadway tryout of his new musical, “iSondheim.” The show is the latest to face setbacks resulting from Broadway’s worsening cash crunch -- even as costs continue to spiral out of control."

Plays v. Playwrights

99seats: "Isaac, as per usual, has a good thing going: list the 9 most influential plays of the 20th Century. As usual, I've chimed in, but it brought up an interesting question for me. Rather than hijack his thread, I'd figure I'd bring it over here. It is my blog, after all."

And Also, Art v. Commerce

99seats: "I've been meaning to weigh on this, for a bit, but this damn day job keeps expecting me to do actual work so as to stay employed. But I do want to say some things on this front. (You can also see this, this and this for more background) This is, of course, at the risk of bringing the wrath of Messrs. Hall and Walters on myself. I know what I'm getting into."

Email: Simple Guidelines for Workday Quality Over Quantity


LifeHacker: "This succinct set of workday guidelines is a nice blueprint for getting productive on the important stuff and ruthless about cutting the crap. Written on a unknown 'major corp' whiteboard pictured here, they read:"

‘Rent - School Edition’ Approved at California School

NYTimes.com: "A California high school production of “Rent: School Edition” that was canceled two weeks ago because of concerns about content and the right of the principal to review the musical’s script, has now been approved for an April 2009 production, school officials announced late on Wednesday."

Word for Word - Guys, Dolls and Busted Dreams - A Damon Runyon Sampler

NYTimes.com: "In Damon Runyon’s New York , times are tough on the street, banks are busted, there is very little scratch anywhere and the song of the day is “Are You Making Any Money?” Runyon’s short stories of New York in the Roaring Twenties and Great Depression were written in a conversational slang he attached to a particular stretch of Broadway filled with guys and dolls with names like Benny South Street, Izzy Cheesecake, Milk Ear Willie and Silk, a Ziegfield dancer."

Sheila Callaghan’s Play as Provocation (Jell-O Included)

NYTimes.com: "AT 10:30 on a recent Sunday morning at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in the West Village, two actresses dressed in skimpy outfits, knee-high stockings and towering disco heels were slapping each other in the face. “Am I bleeding?” one asked. She was slapped again."

Tracey Scott Wilson’s Struggles in Writing ‘The Good Negro’

NYTimes.com: "She tried to start “The Good Negro” several times, but the subject was always a stumbling block. The play, which begins previews on Tuesday at the Public Theater, imagines a troubled moment in the American civil rights movement, when an act of intolerance leads to riots and hate crimes in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963. Three black leaders try to rally their community, but their efforts are hampered not only by the K.K.K. and the F.B.I., but also by their own classism, infighting and vice."

Producer counts her 'Conquests'

Variety: "In addition to prepping the New York move of Matthew Warchus' glowingly received revival of Alan Ayckbourn's 'The Norman Conquests,' Friedman is readying Anna Mackmin's staging of Brian Friel's 'Dancing at Lughnasa' at the Old Vic; Roger Michell's new take on 'Rope' at the Almeida; and a Broadway production, with Roundabout and Bill Haber, of Patrick Marber's 'After Miss Julie,' with Mark Brokaw directing a cast headed by Sienna Miller."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Confirmed: New contract to keep Star Trek The Experience alive in Vegas

SCI FI Wire: "SCI FI Wire confirmed today that a contract has been signed with CBS/Paramount to reopen the Star Trek The Experience exhibit in Las Vegas on May 8 —starting with at least a new restaurant and retail shop—to coincide with the opening of J.J. Abram's Star Trek movie."

Basic PTM - Critical Path Assignment

I have a critical path question for you. On my estimating sheet, I combined the "cutacetate" and "install acetate" into one action because both took so little time. Should I count both these actions as one on my critical path?
Either way.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

For a Broadway musical, 'Parade' is a rare tragedy

Post Gazette: "The musical 'Parade' is not another version of 'No, No Nanette.'
The big production numbers don't showcase pretty dancers in frilly smocks, but a Georgia lynch mob out for blood. The hero doesn't waltz across the stage in white tie and tails, but wears glasses, suspenders and keeps his head in business ledgers. Finally, unlike many Broadway shows, 'Parade' has a plot, drawn from a dark moment in the country's past."

'Gruffalo' teaches audiences to respect imagination

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "That fanciful creature with rotten teeth, orange eyes, black tongue, purple prickles and terrible tusks -- otherwise known as the Gruffalo -- will be visiting several Pittsburgh-area stages this week."

Basic PTM - Critical Path Assignment

I have a question regarding the critical path analysis and the scheduling. On the critical path analysis, do we need to differentiate which department is doing the work (since there are a few hand-offs) or should all of the tasks be put into a single pool and the predecessors be determined blind of what department is doing it? Or is this irrelevant because the entire crew is ourselves and a buddy?
What do you need to do critical path? Label, Time to complete, Immediate Predecessor.
For the critical path assignment, should we assume we only have two people or is that only for the calendar?
What do you need to do critical path? Label, Time to complete, Immediate Predecessor.

Chicago's About Face Postpones Show, Launches Emergency Fundraising Campaign

Yahoo: "What Once We Felt by Ann-Marie Healy will be bumped to October-November 2009. But due to the economic downturn, the theatre - like other regional not-for-profit troupes - is in trouble.
Artistic director Bonnie Metzgar and managing director Rick Dildine announced on Feb. 25 that the About Face Theatre board of directors has launched a national 'Face the Future' campaign to save the organization by raising $300,000."

Ticket fiasco in past, says Edinburgh Festival Fringe chief

The Stage: "Kath Mainland, newly appointed chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, has said the body must put the ticketing woes of last year behind it and vowed to keep the festival as an open-access event for performers."

High school un-cancels production of 'Rent'

Los Angeles Times: "After a flap that raised the ire of the gay community and ruffled feathers across the Newport Beach campus, drama students will be allowed to stage a production of 'Rent,' a musical about struggling artists in New York City."

Ten-Percenters Offer Their Own Two Cents

Backstage: "As the drama surrounding the Screen Actors Guild has played continuously for more than a year, nearly every quarter of the entertainment industry has been heard from: SAG officers and national board members; stars and journeyman cardholders; producers, grips, and truck drivers. Agents and managers, however, have not been as vocal, and their discretion speaks to their dual role in the business."

Ticketmaster CEO amenable to sale of TicketsNow

Reuters: "Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc would be amenable to selling troublesome subsidiary TicketsNow, Ticketmaster Chief Executive Irving Azoff told a congressional panel, which seemed skeptical of a proposed merger with concert promoter Live Nation Inc."

Five Blocks of Broadway Will Become Pedestrian Mall in Times Square

Playbill News: "Pedestrians and theatregoers will be able to move more freely in the Times Square area under New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's pilot plan to close five blocks of Broadway to automobile traffic."

Casting Announced for Gilligan's Island: The Musical

Playbill News: "'Beginning with the #1 TV theme song of all time,' press notes for the new musical state, 'Gilligan, The Skipper, Mary Ann, Ginger, The Professor, and The Millionaire and his wife are shipwrecked and trying to get off the island. Natural disasters befall them, hurricanes, quicksand, etc., as they learn to get along and survive. Their biggest challenge comes from the U.F.O. and its Alien, who monitors their behavior. By the end of the play, the castaways manage to defeat the extraterrestrial and save the entire planet, while staying marooned themselves.'"

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

Here are the five (ok six, there was a tie) top comment generating posts from the last week...

The London Cuckolds

Carnegie Mellon University: "Hollywood considers him a go-to guy when it comes to voice coaching. His students describe him as caring, precise and extremely clever. And while his accomplished career spans the stage, television and movies — for Carnegie Mellon Professor Don Wadsworth, it's just all in a day's work."

CMU students ready to take musical theater to Port Authority bus stops

Post Gazette: "So on Friday night, commuters and travellers were a little startled when a troupe of inconspicuously dressed Carnegie Mellon University students spontaneously broke into song at public transit stations with the accompaniment of a three-piece band, performing as people commonly seen on the bus -- the bizarre cat lady, the self-involved hot girl."

Artist guilty over inflatable sculpture deaths

Reuters: "A London artist who created a huge inflatable sculpture that killed two women after it broke its moorings and flew across a park was found guilty on Tuesday of breaking health and safety rules."

Text: Tasks More Likely to Get Done with Clear Fonts

LifeHacker: "Next time you're drafting office memos or customizing your desktop, keep this in mind: Researchers have found that instructions written in plain, straight-forward fonts are more likely to be completed—and better, too."

Tuition, room and board increase at CMU

Post Gazette: "The university announced the increase today, noting it is the smallest in 34 years. The tuition varies by the year the student entered, although the increase is 2.94 percent for all undergraduates. Those who entered in 2004 or 2005 will pay $36,832; those who entered in 2006 will pay $38,088; and those who entered in 2007, $39,560."

Props on Paper

Props: "There are a number of other sites which have collections of downloadable paper props. You don’t necessarily need to search for theatre props; there are large communities of replica prop makers and role-playing game prop makers with all manner of documents available online."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

SketchCAD

Carnegie Mellon University: "Instead of grappling with the traditional computer design interfaces, a team at Honda is using a sketching tool developed at Carnegie Mellon to design new cars.
Carnegie Mellon University engineers, led by Levent Burak Kara and Kenji Shimada, have developed software that will let engineers design new products by simply sketching their ideas on a tablet computer."

Quantum’s Theatre Tech Circle invites tech startups to the show

Pop City: "The initial benefits of being a struggling startup may be few, but Pittsburgh’s Quantum Theatre has stepped up for the arts.
Quantum Theatre Tech Circle is an innovative partnership that gives early stage and small, emerging growth technology companies an opportunity to participate and support the arts in Pittsburgh."

Production a 'Dream' for Seton Hill actors

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Nearly four hundred years after it was written, 'Life Is a Dream' by Spanish playwright Pedro Calderon de la Barca still poses questions that are relevant today.
How much do we control our own destiny? Is your social status something you are born with or something that is learned? What is the mystery of life?"

'Movin' Out' puts Point Park alum in good place

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Don't let anyone tell you dreams don't come true. Patrick Lavallee knows better.
Six years ago, he was studying dance at Point Park University and inspired by his visits to Benedum Center to see Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and a touring production of 'A Chorus Line.'"

Student needed for Product Sketches

Craigslist: "I need to find a good Art student who can draw a few simple product design sketches in B&W of our electrical cable products for an Instruction Sheet."

Pasadena's Boston Court theater eliminates unintended freebies

Los Angeles Times: "Sorry cheapskates, but there will be no more free lunch, er, seat at the Theatre @ Boston Court. It'll now cost $5 for a ticket to the bargain matinee at the Pasadena theater."

Taper postpones 'Lieutenant of Inishmore'

Los Angeles Times: "The economy has claimed another play: Center Theatre Group is postponing until next year Martin McDonagh’s “The Lieutenant of Inishmore,” part of its 2009 season at the Mark Taper Forum. Rather than name a show to take its place, the Taper will go dark after David Mamet’s “Oleanna” closes in July, CTG artistic director Michael Ritchie told Culture Monster."

LucasFilm Says "Star Wars: A Musical Journey" Bound For U.S.

Rolling Stone: "After launching at London's O2 arena in April, a live stage treatment of the Star Wars series, Star Wars: A Musical Journey, will make its way to the U.S. But organizers say they're steering clear of a straight forward musical theater treatment or 'R2-D2 rolling across the stage,' and are instead preparing a recontextualization of the iconic film franchise featuring an enormous LED screen, classic films scenes and, of course, John Williams' landmark score."

Prosthetics: Double-Amputee Wants to Be Part of Ariel's World with Her Prosthetic Mermaid Tail

Gizmodo: "Nadya Vessey was a child when her legs were amputated due to an illness. When asked about them, she said that she was a once mermaid; now with her prosthetic tail, she finally is one."

A tour of the Mythbusters Shop

Props: "I’m not the only props person who is enthralled with Mythbusters. Working there would be a dream come true. There is a video on YouTube of Jamie giving a tour of their shop. It’s an amazing space, the kind every props artisan wishes they had."

An AutoCAD Hip Tip on Tracking

Lynn Allen's Blog: "Cadalyst just released another of my Quick Tip Videos. on Tracking. I find that so few people even know about this extremely powerful feature which has been in AutoCAD for so many releases. I strongly suggest watching the video to really get the gist of it but I'll cover it here as well. A few weeks ago I wrote about using Tracking to update your dimensions - but you can use it at any time on any type of object."

Production: M. Butterfly (WIT #133)

ATW: "The production team of M. Butterfly - advertising representative Jeffrey Ash, stage manager Bob Borod, general manager Steve Goldstein, producer Stuart Ostrow, and press agent John Springer - talk about the many components involved in bringing the groundbreaking play to Broadway, including the play’s themes, casting, ad design, publicity campaign, costume design, budget and ticket prices."

Answers About Broadway, Part 2

NYTimes.com: "Ken Bloom and Frank Vlastnik, authors of the newly revised “Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time,” answered readers’ questions about Broadway seasons past, present and future. Here they take a look at Broadway’s history: the best, the overrated and the overlooked."

Arena's 2009-10 Season Will Boast Piazza, Quality of Life, Stick Fly, Hines and More

Playbill News: "The Washington, DC, company will present new works and modern classics in Arlington, VA (Arena Stage in Crystal City) and the nation's capital (at the historic Lincoln Theatre)."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The London Cuckolds

Carnegie Mellon University: "Hollywood considers him a go-to guy when it comes to voice coaching. His students describe him as caring, precise and extremely clever. And while his accomplished career spans the stage, television and movies — for Carnegie Mellon Professor Don Wadsworth, it's just all in a day's work."

Tribute to Sinatra gets under your skin

Post gazette: "'My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra' packs more than 50 songs, a bit of banter and a whole lot of nostalgia for a time when one man's voice ruled the airwaves and provided the soundtrack for a generation."

High School Musicals 2009

Post Gazette: "Keep up with the student song-and-dance productions with our online list of musicals. A print version will appear in the On the Go/On the Arts section on Sunday, March 1, and this online version will be updated as new listings become available."

Why Broadway Is Full of Brainy Plays This Season

New York Magazine: "The names on Broadway marquees this season read like homework for a seminar in high-flown dramaturgy. At Studio 54, a revival of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is replacing Pal Joey. At the Broadhurst, Equus is being replaced by Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart. Henrik Ibsen, Noël Coward, and Eugène Ionesco are also on the new syllabus. Shrek, meanwhile, isn’t selling tickets. Do producers think theatergoers have been given brain transplants?"

Bono’s $31 Million ‘Spider-Man’ Show Sets 2010 Broadway Opening

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "The show’s book and score have been complete for more than a year and the project was expected to get underway earlier. Delays in designing and casting have held up the production, according to people involved in the musical."

Artist guilty over inflatable sculpture deaths

Reuters: "A London artist who created a huge inflatable sculpture that killed two women after it broke its moorings and flew across a park was found guilty on Tuesday of breaking health and safety rules."

Text: Tasks More Likely to Get Done with Clear Fonts

LifeHacker: "Next time you're drafting office memos or customizing your desktop, keep this in mind: Researchers have found that instructions written in plain, straight-forward fonts are more likely to be completed—and better, too."

A Questions from a reader: "What happens if I flop?"

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "I was speaking to a class at Columbia today, and right after we solved all of the problems of producing on Broadway, I got this question: 'What happens if my first show right out of the box is a flop?'"

Answers About Broadway, Part 1

NYTimes.com: "Ken Bloom and Frank Vlastnik, authors of the newly revised “Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time,” answered readers’ questions about Broadway seasons past, present and future. Here they discuss the Broadway of today: the economics, the talent and the audience."

Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark to Open at the Hilton in 2010

Playbill News: "Directed by The Lion King's Julie Taymor, the musical will officially open Feb. 18, 2010. Casting will be revealed shortly. (Evan Rachel Wood, who can be seen in the film 'The Wrestler,' previously announced that she'll star in the musical, but no official casting has been announced.)"

'Spider-Man' swings to Broadway

Variety: "The first official announcement of the 'Spider-Man' musical has confirmed a February 2010 opening at Broadway's Hilton Theater -- although at this point, one of the only bits of news revealed about the much-discussed tuner is the fact that the show has a subtitle."

The Big Test Before College? The Financial Aid Form

NYTimes.com: "Created in 1992 to simplify applying for financial aid, it has become so intimidating — with more than 100 questions — that critics say it scares off the very families most in need, preventing some teenagers from going to college."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cuckolding remains the stuff of laughs

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Scheming swains, willing wives and deluded husbands long have been the stuff of comedy.
Director Don Wadsworth and his cast of Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama student and faculty performers build on that premise in the Restoration comedy 'The London Cuckolds' that plays through Saturday."

CMU students ready to take musical theater to Port Authority bus stops

Post Gazette: "So on Friday night, commuters and travellers were a little startled when a troupe of inconspicuously dressed Carnegie Mellon University students spontaneously broke into song at public transit stations with the accompaniment of a three-piece band, performing as people commonly seen on the bus -- the bizarre cat lady, the self-involved hot girl."

Tuition, room and board increase at CMU

Post Gazette: "The university announced the increase today, noting it is the smallest in 34 years. The tuition varies by the year the student entered, although the increase is 2.94 percent for all undergraduates. Those who entered in 2004 or 2005 will pay $36,832; those who entered in 2006 will pay $38,088; and those who entered in 2007, $39,560."

Bodiography impressively choregraphed

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Unlike dance theater groups, Bodiography Contemporary Ballet draws much of its appeal from the expressive classic steps and use of arms of ballet. The all-female group's Innovation 2009 show, seen Saturday night at the Byham Theater, Downtown, featured enjoyable examples of its style from three choreographers."

Bodiography ranges from folkoric to rock

Post Gazette: "There is no doubt that movement matters in dance, whether it's the memorable shapes, a dense rhythmic thrust or a skilled use of technique. Choreographers can make all the difference."

Sitcom Pilot for FOX - Crew Members Needed - Camera/Boom/Producer/Exc

Craigslist: "What we still presently still need crew-wise is:
DP/Camera operators
Producer/Assistant Directors
Camera Assistants
Makeup artist
Grips/PA's
Sound/Boom Operators
We will also accept two interns to work under the producer and offer general help on the project."

Founder of Los Angeles Shakespeare Company files $11.9-million claim against L.A. County

Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times: "Los Angeles Shakespeare Company founder Geoffrey Forward went public Friday with an announcement that he has filed an $11.9-million negligence and inverse condemnation claim against Los Angeles County, claiming that 80 'outrageous acts' on the part of various county departments over the course of several years caused construction delays that led to the foreclosure sale of the company theater, the Globe, in Topanga."

Equity launches bid for 14% pay hike in regions

The Stage: "Equity has entered negotiations with theatre managers and producers in a bid to secure an improved minimum weekly wage of £400 for all performers and stage managers working outside the West End."

Death of criticism? Careful what you wish for

The Denver Post: "The featured discussion at the Colorado New Play Summit took a strange turn Feb. 14 when a panel of national industry leaders was asked about what role critics should play in the development of new plays. That turned into a grave-stomping.
'Newspapers are fading away, and the critics don't know where they are headed next,' said Polly Carl of the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. In fact, she added, 'There really can't even be a conversation about criticism right now, period, until there are no more newspapers.'"

The theatre company where nobody gets top billing

SMH.com: "When Max Gillies and Kerry Walker take the stage next month in Company B's production of The Man From Mukinupin, you can bet they are not doing it for the money. Both have more than 30 years in the business but at the Belvoir St Theatre they will be paid the same hourly rate as the most junior stagehand."

Props on Paper

Props: "There are a number of other sites which have collections of downloadable paper props. You don’t necessarily need to search for theatre props; there are large communities of replica prop makers and role-playing game prop makers with all manner of documents available online."

Plastic-Covered Plywood

Toolmonger: "The selection of engineered building materials available to contractors and the general public gets bigger and better every year — there’s melamine, plywood, Baltic birch plywood, chipboard, MDO, MDF, particle board, phenolic, and more. One of the relative newcomers, phenolic-faced plywood looks to be a good combination of stability, strength, and water resistance."

Chicago Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Will Be Flooded, Starting March 29

Playbill News: "Chicago Shakespeare Theatre's Courtyard Theater on Navy Pier will be flooded with 7,000 gallons of water to create the coast of the imaginary world of Illyria, where Twelfth Night's characters are washed ashore at the top of the Shakespeare comedy."

Basic PTM - Estimating

So we are confused about the support for the flat. two people think you said we need to account for building bracing (a-frame/jack), while two think you said to not account for any support. help?
there will be something for it to lean against, you do NOT have to bid it in

Sunday, February 22, 2009

PG ShowPlane: Broadway on sale

Post Gazette: "For its 89th ShowPlane, heading to Broadway May 6-10, the Post-Gazette offers an all-musical, all-Big Apple menu with a twist of limey, at the lowest price in five years."

Screen Actors Reject Contract Offer From Hollywood Studios

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "The Screen Actors Guild rejected a contract offer from Hollywood studios, saying the three-year term’s end date put the union at a disadvantage in future negotiations."

A Little IATSE History

One NYC StageHand: "A friend recently lent me his copy of the IATSE convention minutes from the beginning in 1893 to 1926 and I've found them to be great reading. It started when he was telling me about the Clearers Local #390 and Calcium and Electro-Calcium Light Local #35 in NYC. I had never heard of them so I decided to do a little research. The things you find out!"

Broadway Goes Existentialist With ‘Waiting for Godot’ and ‘Exit the King'

NYTimes.com: "“Waiting for Godot”
HERE he comes again. Or rather, here he doesn’t come again. And it is just possible that in the silence of his nonarrival this year, theatergoers who never knew his name, or haven’t thought about him in ages, may hear the sound of their own troubled thoughts quite clearly. Is Broadway finally ready to worship Godot?"

SAG rejects AMPTP's 'final offer'

Hollywood Reporter: "SAG's national board rejected the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers' 'last, best and final offer' on Saturday after an all-day meeting. The unequivocal move throws an already tumultuous contract debate -- and the industry at large -- into indefinite limbo."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What Are Freshmen Thinking?

Inside Higher Ed: "The proportion of students who describe themselves as “middle-of-the-road” politically continues to decline, hitting an all-time low of 43.3 percent, while the proportion who describe themselves as liberal and far left grew to 31 and 3.2 percent, respectively. “This is the largest percentage of students categorizing themselves as liberal since 1973,” states the survey. The survey finds that 20.7 percent of freshmen characterize themselves as conservative, down slightly from 23.1 percent the year before."

Actors and studios end contract talks, hit new snag

Reuters: "The largest U.S. actors union and Hollywood's major studios on Thursday ended three days of contract talks without a deal when a new problem developed in their long and troubled labor negotiations."

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"

What does a Hollywood producer do, exactly?

Slate Magazine: "You probably won't recognize the men or women who pick up the award for best picture at this Sunday's 81st annual Academy Awards. The trophy doesn't go to the winning film's director or to its on-screen stars. Rather, it's handed to the 'producers.' What does a producer do, exactly?"

A Show = A Project

Technical Direction Tidbits: "Since USITT is quickly approaching and I will be doing a session that relates Project Management to Technical Direction, I have been doing alot of thinking about that. And of course the best thinking usually happens someplace where its impossible to type or write. But I thought that as I pull ideas together that I would talk some of them out here so that any of you can add comments or point out anything I might be missing from your perspective."

Pitt, Carnegie Mellon suing investment manager

Post Gazette: "The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University yesterday filed suit against Westridge Capital Management and its operators, seeking the immediate return of more than $114 million they invested. They also asked a federal judge to appoint a receiver to oversee the investment manager."

Entertainment stocks ahead of curve

Hollywood Reporter: "The silver lining for those whose retirements might be tied up in media stocks? Beats banks and cars.
On Friday, the Dow Jones touched an 11-year low before recovering to a mere six-year low. The index, which fell 34% last year, is off another 16% this year. The S&P 500 is off 15% this year."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Review: 2 of 3 premieres succeed for Attack Theatre

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The high energy Attack Theatre brings to its performances was applied to the three premieres being presented as 'Passion Reflected' at performances over two weeks at the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side."

Newport Beach drama teacher vows fight to stage 'Rent'

Los Angeles Times: "Ron Martin, the drama teacher at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, says he will fight for 'Rent: School Edition,' the show he contends was arbitrarily pulled by a principal concerned about depictions of prostitution and homosexuality."

Jesus Christ goes kabuki in Japan Superstar play

Reuters: "A rickshaw, women in elaborate brocade kimonos, the echo of bamboo flutes. And Jesus of Nazareth, his face painted white with the flaring red lines typical of makeup in Japan's kabuki theater."

Professor launches site to find world's funniest fart

CNET News: "I know that there is a vast probability that some of you will want to be part of a flatulence sound experiment today. How can I possibly deny you that satisfaction?
Professor Trevor Cox, of Salford University in the United Kingdom, is a man who is obsessed with acoustics. He now wants to know which specific flatulent sound makes people laugh the most."

An A for Effort? Talk About a Lousy Idea

The New Republic: "But the tastiest bits are the too-entitled-to-be-believed quotes from real, live college students. As Sarah Kinn, a junior English major at the Unvierty of Vermont, told the Times:
'I feel that if I do all of the readings and attend class regularly that I should be able to achieve a grade of at least a B.'
Wow. Now there's a gal looking to set the world on fire. Remind me to set Ms. Kinn up with a TNR internship asap. Because, honestly, the only thing we look for in an intern around this joint is a warm body who can get to work more or less on time and remain conscious long enough to slog through some of the more tedious manuscripts that land on the editors' desks."

AMPTP Gives SAG “Last Best Final” Offer And Blows Off New Negotiators: Deja Vu

Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily: "For months and months, SAG's previous leadership told members that the AMPTP had not yet offered the actors guild a 'Last Best And Final' offer on the TV/Theatrical Contract -- even though opponents of that leadership kept erroneously claiming Big Media had. Now the AMPTP acknowledges tonight that it indeed only offered a 'Final Offer' to SAG's previous administration back on June 30th"

Even With Jane Fonda, ‘33 Variations’ Struggles to Find Backing

NYTimes.com: "Even having a major Hollywood name in a Broadway play does not guarantee that investors will rush to put money into it in these recessionary days, theater producers are learning."

‘Rent,’ the High School Musical? Not in Some Communities

NYTimes.com: "Theater directors and students at more than 40 high schools across the country have selected a new show for their big springtime musical this year: “Rent: School Edition,” a modified version of the hit Broadway musical that, while toned down a bit, remains provocative by traditional drama club standards."

Wagner's blockbuster opera hits L.A.

Variety: "L.A. Opera will debut the first part of Wagner's Ring Cycle, 'Das Rheingold,' on Saturday, a moment long in coming to Los Angeles that was first expected here nearly a decade ago. It is an enormous production that Achim Freyer has designed and staged, a traditional rendering of the 1869 masterpiece based on Nordic mythology. Yes it runs 2½ hours and it's in German, but if there is one opera the Hollywood creative community should see, this is it."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Charisma times 3: African-American portraits are loaded with personality

Post Gazette: "Three intriguing figures are currently treading our theatrical boards -- an idealistic teacher, expatriate musician and pioneering journalist. Matching them for charisma are the three actors who bring them to life, which, in the case of the two shows that are premieres, extends even to the writing."

Review: Richly satisfying 'Fiddler' still entertains

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "When 'Fiddler on the Roof' debuted on Broadway in 1964, John Chapman, the theater critic for the New York Daily News called it: 'One of the great works of the American musical theater, It is darling, touching, beautiful, warm, funny and inspiring.'
It still is."

Nicholas Hytner attacks drama schools producing theorists

Times Online: "Alas poor Yorick, my leading man cannot modulate his voice enough but he knows all about the opsis of theatre.
One of Britain's leading directors has bemoaned the deficiencies of the next generation of actors, who he says are being taught theatre theory above drama skills."

Canadian Stage hands reins to Jocelyn

globeandmail.com: "Matthew Jocelyn looked decidedly overwhelmed as he stepped onto the podium for his coming-out party in the lobby of the Bluma Appel Theatre yesterday morning. 'My heart is pounding,' confessed the soft-spoken 51-year-old, dressed in the uniform of a continental artist - dark-coloured turtleneck, blazer and jeans."

Is a Play About Gaza Anti-Semitic? Read the Script

NYTimes.com: "In Wednesday’s New York Times, Patrick Healy writes about the possibility that the New York Theater Workshop may present a production of a new play inspired by the recent war in Gaza. Some critics have charged that the 10-minute play, “Seven Jewish Children,” by British playwright Caryl Churchill, is anti-Semitic."

CTC's season takes a walk on 'Sesame Street'

Star Tribune: "The company's success with 'A Year With Frog and Toad,' which originated in Minneapolis in 2002, moved to Broadway the next year and was nominated for three Tony Awards, drew the attention of the makers of 'Sesame Street.'"

Hollywood Wrestles with the Web

Backstage: "After more than a decade of hype about the Internet being the next great stage for mass entertainment, it remains dominated by amateurs with most Hollywood stars watching from the wings."

Connecting Trains

Backstage: "An audacious casting decision lies at the heart of the world premiere of Leah's Train, Karen Hartman's play about three generations of Russian-American Jewish women: The entire company is Asian-American."

Sondheim Show Evokes Crash

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "Even diehard followers of Stephen Sondheim would be hard pressed to name his first musical, not least because, after 55 years, the piece has yet to reach Broadway.
“Saturday Night” was written by Sondheim at the age of 24, based on a play by twin brothers called Epstein who split an Oscar for the screenplay of “Casablanca.”"

Bono’s $31 Million ‘Spider-Man’ Delays Rehearsals, Opening Date

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "Rehearsals for the most expensive show ever produced on the Great White Way have been put off from this spring, according to senior members of the production team, who declined to be named because an opening date has not been announced."

Asia theater faces slowing funding, free tickets

Reuters: "Deteriorating economies and the threat of job losses are putting many Asians off the arts, forcing actors to work longer hours and theater companies to get more creative for the show to go on."

Want a Job? Don't Major in Business.

Study Hacks: "Business administration and management is the country’s most popular college major. The reasons are not surprising. Many students incorrectly believe that their major needs to be a tight fit with their post-grad job. They note that they want a job working for a business, so they conclude they should major in business.
Sigh."

Weta Workshop: A Visit to Weta Workshop

I09: "Every visitor gets a chance to take a peek into the Weta Cave, which is packed with memorabilia from the many films whose props and creatures came to life in the Workshop. We have tons of pictures from there, as well as a haunting series of images of the full-size boat set from King Kong, which has been rusting away majestically at a nearby dock."

Vegas Lion King Will Now Begin Performances May 5

Playbill News: "Originally scheduled to begin previews at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Theatre April 20 with an official opening May 2, the Disney Theatrical Productions musical will now begin May 5 with an opening scheduled for May 15."

Student Expectations Seen as Causing Grade Disputes

NYTimes.com: "“Many students come in with the conviction that they’ve worked hard and deserve a higher mark,” Professor Grossman said. “Some assert that they have never gotten a grade as low as this before.”
He attributes those complaints to his students’ sense of entitlement."

Basic PTM - Estimating Assignment

Do you want our element sheets etc. made in excel or will a simple table work?
Also, are we assuming that everything is being bought?
There is no requirement to use Excel.
You do not have a stock of material to draw from.

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

Here are the top five comment generating posts from the last week...

Carnegie Mellon on “The Simpsons”

Carnegie Mellon University: "Carnegie Mellon’s reputation as an academically demanding university became a punchline on Sunday’s episode of “The Simpsons,” the first high-definition episode of the famous cartoon family."


CMU drama students to stage 'London Cuckolds'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Take a bedroom farce written in 1681 and have it updated by a contemporary farce master.
The result is 'London Cuckolds,' a raunchy, witty and ribald comedy about three husbands who each think they know how to keep their wives from straying. Three lusty rogues are out to prove them wrong, and not without help from the wives."


Jerry Springer Set to Star in London Production of ‘Chicago’

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "Jerry Springer, the London-born talk-show host, is to return to his native city to star in the musical “Chicago,” playing Billy Flynn for six weeks."


A Recycling Initiative Focuses on Broadway Sets and Props

NYTimes.com: "EVER wonder where the levitating tire from “Cats” went? The helicopter from “Miss Saigon”? How about the millions of dollars’ worth of scenery, props and costumes associated with the more than a dozen Broadway shows that have closed since late December?"


Can You Re-Copyright Photos In The Public Domain?

Techdirt: "Davis Freeberg wrote in to tell us about how a small publishing company, Summertown Sun, had issued takedown notices for public domain photographs that were put on Flickr. What appears to have happened is that a user, by the name of 'Dazzlecat,' posted some photos to Flickr that she believed were public domain photographs (vintage photographs from over a century ago). However, Summertown Sun sent a takedown claiming copyright ownership of those photos. That seems odd, since public domain is... public domain. Either way, Yahoo/Flickr obeyed the takedown notice and then also took down a followup altered image and blog post that trashed Summertown for the takedown, saying that it violated Flickr's terms of service. Yahoo is, of course, free to do what it wants -- and has the right to takedown whatever it feels violates its terms of service, but what's more interesting is the question of whether or not the images are in the public domain, and whether or not Summertown's takedown was actually legal."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Innuendo shores up 'Underpants'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "An embarrassing mishap that causes a scandal might seem like much ado about nothing — unless you consider the time period of 'The Underpants,' opening this weekend at Theatre Factory in Trafford."

London Cuckolds

Carnegie Mellon University: "Rose Sengenberger, dramaturg for the School of Drama production of “The London Cuckolds,” interviews Don Wadsworth, director; Leah Pettis, set designer; and Ryan Park, costume designer. Listen to the discussion of the upcoming production"

Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino hiring more than 800 this spring

Pop City: "The North Shore casino announced a major recruiting drive this month, which will take place through a series of one-day career fairs, dates to be set in the near future. The average salary will be $30,000, says Andre Barnabei, vice president of Human Resources."

High school play canceled over possible objections to gay content

Los Angeles Times: "Now, amid growing backlash and consternation from some students and members of the gay community, the actors at Corona del Mar High are grudgingly preparing for a very different show: 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.' The drama teacher said it's a safer choice and one sure to pass muster with his boss."

Broadway releases '08 ticket survey

Variety: "Survey found that average theatergoer age was 41.5 years, about on par with previous years. But last season repped the highest percentage (12.4%) of children or teens on the Rialto in 30 years, which the League trumpets as a promising sign for building an audience base that learns to go to theater at young age."

Churchill's Gaza play accused of antisemitism

The Guardian: "A fine old row is developing over whether Seven Jewish Children, Caryl Churchill's eight-minute play provoked by the recent conflict in Gaza, is antisemitic."

10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know

AllFacebook: "Perhaps he was tired of receiving my status updates or perhaps he didn’t want me to view photos from his personal life. Whatever the reason for ending our Facebook friendship, I figured that many people would benefit from a thorough overview on how to protect your privacy on Facebook. Below is a step by step process for protecting your privacy."

Jay Duckworth

Props: "Jay runs a podcast on props. You can listen to “Prop Dept” on iTunes. I’ve never really dealt with podcasts before, so I don’t know how you would get it if you don’t have iTunes installed. I have it, so I was able to download the latest five episodes."

It worked once. It’ll work again, right?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "Lightning in a bottle is hard to capture once.
So, when people try to use the same bottle to catch another bolt, I always get nervous (this is one of the reasons I won’t be coming out with another interactive show anytime soon)."

Cirque 25: “The Dream Continues”

Fascination! Newsletter: "Cirque du Soleil is celebrating its 25th anniversary in2009 with the theme “the dream continues.” Since June 16, 1984, this youngQuebec company has never stopped dreaming. For Cirque, 2009 marks 25 yearsof dreaming, daring, and pushing the limits."

New York Theater Workshop May Present Pro-Palestinian Play by Sarah Churchill

NYTimes.com: "Three years after New York Theater Workshop drew protests for canceling “My Name Is Rachel Corrie,” a play sympathetic to Palestinians, it is considering mounting a production of a new piece by Caryl Churchill, “Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza,” that at times contains images of heartless Israelis."

Report: Biz employment outlook worrisome

Hollywood Reporter: "Local entertainment employment will be flat in 2009 and post a modest uptick next year, but the long-term outlook remains worrisome.
In a report to be circulated today, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. said the local motion picture and sound-recording industries will add about 1,000 jobs this year, while broadcasters and cable companies will cut 1,000 positions."

Long earns Goodspeed Award

Variety: "A designer will get his due when Tony-winning costumer William Ivey Long receives the Goodspeed Award for outstanding contribution to the musical theater at the Connecticut theater's annual fundraising gala May 2."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

CMU drama students to stage 'London Cuckolds'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Take a bedroom farce written in 1681 and have it updated by a contemporary farce master.
The result is 'London Cuckolds,' a raunchy, witty and ribald comedy about three husbands who each think they know how to keep their wives from straying. Three lusty rogues are out to prove them wrong, and not without help from the wives."

Carnegie Mellon on “The Simpsons”

Carnegie Mellon University: "Carnegie Mellon’s reputation as an academically demanding university became a punchline on Sunday’s episode of “The Simpsons,” the first high-definition episode of the famous cartoon family."

Topol carries on 'Fiddler' tradition

Post Gazette: "Tevye, that great upholder of Jewish tradition in 'Fiddler on the Roof,' has been played by some decidedly nontraditional actors in recent years -- Alfred Molina and Harvey Fierstein among them -- but there are probably only two actors who audiences really, truly identify with the role: Zero Mostel, who created it in 1965 on Broadway, and Chaim Topol, who starred in the 1971 Norman Jewison film."

Public Theater plays it safe in 2009-10 season

Post Gazette: "In these hard times for the city's arts groups, the Pittsburgh Public Theater is seeking safety in the conventional and familiar.
Its 2009-10 season, the Public's 35th, depends on such tried-and-true playwrights as William Shakespeare, Lillian Hellman, Allan Ayckbourn and Jeffrey Hatcher, offering plays that have stood the test of time -- and critics."

Public Theater plans season to 'Dream Big'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'Dream Big' is the theme for the Pittsburgh Public Theater's 2009-10 season.
The five plays producing artistic director Ted Pappas has already chosen for the company's 35th season include a big-cast Shakespeare comedy, a musical about a great American jazz singer, two comedies -- one by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn and another by a Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright -- plus the appearance of Helena Ruoti in a classic American drama. A sixth play has yet to be chosen for the final slot."

Opera Theater presents imaginative 'Porgy and Bess'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Opera Theater enjoyed one its greatest successes Saturday night when it presented an imaginative and persuasive staging of George Gershwin's opera 'Porgy and Bess' to a sold-out house at the Byham Theater, Downtown.
The cast, conductor and orchestra were excellent. The only major mistake was performing the three-hour, three-act opera with only one intermission to avoid overtime costs. The audience was stuck in its seats for Act 1, plus the first half of Act 2, nearly an hour and 45 minutes before the break."

Children’s festival features international companies

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Artists from Italy, Congo, Canada and 'Mister Rodger's Neighborhood' are among those set to perform in May at the 23rd annual Pittsburgh International Children's Festival.
Seven international performing-arts companies are the centerpiece of this festival that also offers hands-on cultural and educational activities, roving artists, booths and exhibitors, as well as a lively mix of our region's professional artists and performance groups."

Instructor: Newport Beach school play canceled because of gay characters

OCRegister.com: "A drama instructor made that charge Friday, and a lengthy account of the episode, penned by an unidentified Corona del Mar High School student, has been circulating in e-mails and was posted Friday at queerty.com, a gay-oriented blog and news forum."

I'm doing my bit to get America out of the recession - by going to every Broadway show I can

The Guardian: "Jane Fonda has not been seen on Broadway since 1963. Thus, when it was announced that she would be appearing in a new play called 33 Variations, as a dying musicologist obsessed with the fact that Beethoven spent three years writing The Diabelli Variations, you would have thought theatregoers would turn out in big numbers."

One is the loneliest number for an audience

guardian.co.uk: "'You're the only one in tonight,' said the man at the box office as I picked up my ticket. It took a second for this to sink in. What, no one else? Just me? Yes, it seemed so; I was to be the sole audience member for Charlie Shand's When Do We Start Fighting? on a chilly midweek evening. The play is currently at the Courtyard theatre in Hoxton and is an atmospheric (if rather muddled) account of the Weathermen, the militant students in the 1960s determined to 'bring the war home'."

Jerry Springer Set to Star in London Production of ‘Chicago’

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "Jerry Springer, the London-born talk-show host, is to return to his native city to star in the musical “Chicago,” playing Billy Flynn for six weeks."

Unhinged Count, Troubadour, Dead Baby Animate New Met Staging

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "After too many productions by clueless theater directors who blanch at the sight of a huge chorus, the Metropolitan Opera turned to David McVicar for a new staging of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” with a star cast and a bouncy conductor."

What's killing the video-game business?

Slate Magazine: "Like pretty much every industry these days, video-game publishing is in some financial trouble. Electronic Arts, the world's largest game publisher, best known for Madden and the Sims, lost $641 million in 2008's fourth quarter. Activision-Blizzard, owners of the cash cows World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, reported losses of $72 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. (They lost $194 million the quarter before that.) THQ, the third-largest publisher in the United States, and known for lucrative licenses ranging from the Ultimate Fighting Championship to Pixar, had $192 million in losses over the holidays and is laying off 24 percent of its work force."

The Danger of Deep Procrastination

Study Hacks: "Deep procrastination is not the standard urge to goof off that afflicts every college student. It’s much more powerful. A student suffering from deep procrastination will delay important work to an excessive degree. He won’t start studying until late the night before or will delay paper writing until the sun is about the rise. After a while, he might begin to chronically miss deadlines, and find himself constantly negotiating with professors about extensions. Sometimes it gets so bad that he misses the extended deadlines — failing courses instead of completing the required assignment. No matter how dire the stakes, starting work becomes an insurmountable prospect."

Artician: Showcase Your Creative Work

WebWorkerDaily: "It’s easy to get lost in the mix when you’re a creative professional working online. Competition is fierce, and the space will only become more crowded as people are laid off and forced to seek out new sources of work. That’s probably part of the reason many new creative portfolio and networking sites like Artician have launched lately, including the similar MyFolio, which I took for a test drive a little while ago."

Repertorio Español Stages Latin American Magical Realism, Complete With Songs

NYTimes.com: "At first glance Isabel Allende’s novel “The House of the Spirits” would not seem a natural candidate for adaptation to the stage, despite its resemblance to the sprawling multigenerational family sagas often found in O’Neill and Chekhov."

'Dirty Dancing' closes in Toronto

Variety: "Producer David Mirvish announced Sunday a March 29 closing date for the Toronto run of 'Dirty Dancing, the Classic Story on Stage.' When it shutters, the tuner will have played 582 performances at the Royal Alexandra Theater."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cultural Trust announces lineup for Children's Festival

Post Gazette: "The Pittsburgh International Children's Festival, presented by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, will host the U.S. premieres of four productions and will offer one more show than last year when the 23rd annual event takes place May 13-17 at sites throughout Oakland."

Dispute with investor threatens to close Morse Theatre in East Rogers Park

chicagotribune.com: "The Morse Theatre, which opened in October to critical acclaim after a $6 million-plus renovation as a music hall and restaurant, may be closing in a matter of weeks.
A dispute between a silent investor who underwrote much of the restoration and the three-man management team that operates the Morse is headed for litigation."

Laguna Playhouse shelves expansion plans

OCRegister.com: "The Laguna Playhouse is selling a property adjacent to its main stage. The trio of connected two-story structures at 580 Broadway was acquired in 1998 for $3.1 million as the first step in an ambitious expansion plan. The current asking price for the 18,000-square-foot facility is $7.25 million."

World Theatre Day: Coming to Chicago?

Theater For The Future: "This is the mechanism of international cultural exchange. Making this one connection made me hungry for more, and deeper connections.
Sometimes it just falls into your lap."

Actors Theatre of Louisville Props Shop

Props: "Mark Walston, the props master at Actors Theatre of Louisville, has a comprehensive and continually updated Flickr stream of photos from the props and scene shop at the Actors Theatre of Louisville."

Who is in line at the TKTS booth? We found out!

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "Did you ever wonder who is standing in line for hours waiting for that half-price (or 40%, 30% or 20%-off ticket)? Did you ever wonder where they were from (and how that compared with the overall Broadway audience)? And what shows those peeps wanted to see?

We did!"

Adding Machine, The Rant, Adler, Mastrosimone Among Carbonell Nominees in FL

Playbill News: "Nominees for the 33rd annual Carbonell Awards, celebrating excellence in South Florida theatre, were announced Feb. 16 in Fort Lauderdale, where the presentation ceremony will be held April 6."

'Button,' 'Knight' among ADG winners

Hollywood Reporter: "Production designers on 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,' 'The Dark Knight' and 'Slumdog Millionaire' drew honors in various feature-film categories of the Art Directors Guild Awards on Saturday."

'Slumdog,' 'WALL-E' win Eddies

Hollywood Reporter: "'Slumdog Millionaire's' triumphant march across the Hollywood awards landscape continued Sunday night at the 59th annual ACE Eddie Awards, where the film's Chris Dickens took home the trophy for the best edited feature film drama."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Topol not done with 'Fiddler' portrayal

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "It has been more than four decades since actor Chaim Topol first played Tevye in 'Fiddler on the Roof.'
He is now in the midst of a national tour that producers are billing as his farewell performance in the role.
Not so fast, says Topol."

Pittsburgh Opera to open season with Russian classic

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The season opens with 'Eugene Onegin,' Sept. 26 to Oct. 4. The most famous of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's operas, it's based on Alexander Pushkin's passionate 'novel in verse' about a Russian nobleman's big mistake in love. Metropolitan Opera baritone Dwayne Croft stars in the title role, with his true and lost love Tatiana being played by Anna Samuil, who was a hit in this role at the 2007 Salzburg Festival in Austria."

Exciting shows brighten more than the stage

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "It doesn't take an economic genius or a dramaturgical Nostradamus to predict tough times ahead for theater providers and ticket buyers.
With the world, national and local economy in a downward spiral, belts are being notched tighter on a daily basis.
At first glance, this may seem like a minor inconvenience when people are losing jobs, homes and businesses.
But, the downward spiral has a trickle-down impact on the future of national touring productions."

Review: 'Romeo et Juliette' brilliantly breaks hearts

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot's interpretation reframes William Shakespeare's story. The opening music is used, as in films, for showing credits, in this case on a scrim. The action starts with Friar Laurence agonizing over the deaths of the young lovers. The rest of the ballet is recollection, but feels present tense."

Cabaret announces new line-up

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Cabaret announces shows for 2009-10 season
Two enduring audience favorites and an homage to the '70s are in the works for the 2009-2010 CLO Cabaret season,"

Crisis may curb stupid art prices: sculptor Caro

Reuters: "'Stupid' prices for art could be brought down to earth as the global economic slump forces even the wealthy to tighten their purse-strings, British sculptor Anthony Caro said."

Magic: America's Best Dance Crew Contestants Cheated... With Magic!

Gizmodo: "This week on America's Best Dance Crew, neither Mario Lopez's blindingly white teeth nor JC Chasez's continued existence was the most magical thing in the room, because Beat Freaks used ACTUAL MAGIC.
MTV's comment boards are full of questionably-literate folks demanding to know how that silver ball flew around the stage, but nobody seems to have an answer yet."

Astronome: A Night At The Opera

'kül: "There's a second subtitle to Richard Foreman's latest work of theater, Astronome: A Night at the Opera, a collaboration with the avant-garde composer John Zorn. That title is the parenthetical 'A Disturbing Initiation'"

What should I cut?

Arts Marketing: "I have read a couple of reports in the past few weeks that reported that most arts organizations are planning to reduce their expenses in the next year in response to the economic crisis. If you find yourself in this situation, you might be wondering what to cut. Just my two cents..."

A Recycling Initiative Focuses on Broadway Sets and Props

NYTimes.com: "EVER wonder where the levitating tire from “Cats” went? The helicopter from “Miss Saigon”? How about the millions of dollars’ worth of scenery, props and costumes associated with the more than a dozen Broadway shows that have closed since late December?"

Drama at the Magic Theater, Live and on the Financial Edge

NYTimes.com: "THE day after Christmas, Loretta Greco went into her office at the Magic Theater here, sat down at the computer and started e-mailing everyone she knew, asking them to e-mail everyone they knew."

Broadway Bears XII Presented Feb. 15; Batt Hosts

Playbill News: "Bryan Batt, the Broadway actor who can be seen in the acclaimed, Emmy-winning TV series 'Mad Men,' returns to host Broadway Bears XII Feb. 15 at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on West 42nd Street."

'Minsky's' a work in progress

'Minsky's' a work in progress - Entertainment News, Legit News, Media - Variety: "A period musical-comedy about saucy entertainment conceived as an antidote to stock-market blues? The timing could hardly be better. And coming from the creator of 'The Drowsy Chaperone' makes the show's credentials even more tantalizing."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Kelly, Ragusa, Sutton and More Will Ring Them Bells in Pittsburgh's World Goes 'Round

Playbill News: "Pittsburgh Public Theater's new production of The World Goes 'Round, the revue of songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb, will feature Tari Kelly, Patrick Boyd, Rosena M. Hill, Michele Ragusa and Rob Sutton."

Pittsburgh CLO Announces 2009-2010 Cabaret Season

Playbill News: "8-TRACK, Forever Plaid and Nunsense will be presented as part of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera's Cabaret season in 2009-2010."

Mountain Playhouse plans 8-play season

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "As it embarks on its 70th anniversary season, Mountain Playhouse has plans for eight plays and a campaign to raise $100,000.
'Even in hard times, people need to be entertained,' says Teresa Stoughton Marafino, producer of the Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown."

In Ford’s Theater, Obama invokes forbidden word

CNN Political Ticker: "It’s a word so fraught with superstition, its very mention can send grown men ducking for cover — and President Obama used it Wednesday night.
Macbeth."

Why the life of Anna Nicole Smith will make for a great night at the Royal Opera

guardian.co.uk: "No doubt there will be a great deal of huffing and puffing at the idea of the venerable, plush halls of the Royal Opera House playing host to a story as sleazy as that of the life of Anna Nicole Smith, to be brought to Covent Garden's stage in two years' time by Mark-Anthony Turnage and librettist Richard Thomas. Critics will in all probability decide that this is as cynical a piece of headline grabbing as it comes. In fact the work has the makings of a work that is firmly in line with operatic tradition."

Fashion Week Designers Fight Gloom With Cost Cuts, Shared Tents

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "As 64 couturiers head into New York Fashion Week, sobered designers plan to slash prices and offer practical clothes in more subdued colors and with fewer flourishes."

Arts Ban in Stimulus Is Stupid Economics

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "A few saplings are sprouting above the rusting hulk of the High Line, an abandoned, elevated railway that once rolled meat to the butchers on the West Side of Manhattan.
A brand-new park will flourish here soon. It’s the final greening of a derelict area whose transformation began with an art gallery in the late 1980s.
If you want bang for taxpayer’s buck, build parks and fund the arts."

Can You Re-Copyright Photos In The Public Domain?

Techdirt: "Davis Freeberg wrote in to tell us about how a small publishing company, Summertown Sun, had issued takedown notices for public domain photographs that were put on Flickr. What appears to have happened is that a user, by the name of 'Dazzlecat,' posted some photos to Flickr that she believed were public domain photographs (vintage photographs from over a century ago). However, Summertown Sun sent a takedown claiming copyright ownership of those photos. That seems odd, since public domain is... public domain. Either way, Yahoo/Flickr obeyed the takedown notice and then also took down a followup altered image and blog post that trashed Summertown for the takedown, saying that it violated Flickr's terms of service. Yahoo is, of course, free to do what it wants -- and has the right to takedown whatever it feels violates its terms of service, but what's more interesting is the question of whether or not the images are in the public domain, and whether or not Summertown's takedown was actually legal."

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"

Royal Court premiering 'Play for Gaza'

Variety: "The Royal Court Theater is living up to its reputation as a leading site for torn-from-the-headlines topicality -- and potential political controversy -- with its world premiere staging of leading Brit playwright Caryl Churchill's 'Seven Jewish Children -- A Play for Gaza.'"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ghost of great novelist haunts 'Moon'

Post Gazette: "A world-famous novelist, sensitive, even beautiful physical production and acting at the highest level -- what else is needed to make the Playhouse's premiere of 'A Moon to Dance By' as satisfying an artistic experience as it is a theatrical event?"

PBT stages an 'honest' version of 'Romeo et Juliette'

Post Gazette: "With just a glance through Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's history, there comes the realization that it was only a matter of time before Terrence Orr did a moonlit dance with William Shakespeare's star-cross'd lovers, Romeo and Juliet."

Two premieres, Tchaikovsky highlight PBT season

Post Gazette: "The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 40th anniversary season will feature two Pittsburgh premieres with World War II themes, along with three popular and well-known classics."

crafters and artists wanted!

Craigslist: "The Pittsburgh Craft Collective - http://pghcraftcollective.com - is always in search of artists and craftspeople of all types to offer classes through us!"

'Alice in Wonderland' has a character for everyone

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "In the beloved, quirky and even bizarre story of 'Alice in Wonderland,' the cast of colorful characters might serve as caricatures of real, everyday people, says the producer of a local stage version playing this weekend."

Opera Theater director sees 'Porgy and Bess' in new light

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "In the case of George Gershwin's opera 'Porgy and Bess,' however, it's no hyperbole for director Jonathan Eaton to say, 'It delves deeper into what it means to be human than any other American opera I know, and more successfully.'"

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre to dive into classical era

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will hit 'the classical era of dance to its epitome' during its 2009-10 season, says artistic director Terrence S. Orr.
All three popular ballets by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky will be performed. 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'Swan Lake' will frame the season, both performed with orchestra, while the Christmas standard 'The Nutcracker' will be back with recorded music."

Two amphitheaters planned for city's opposite shores

Post Gazette: "PNC Entertainment Group has filed an application with the city planning commission to reopen the outdoor venue in the parking lot just west of the Sheraton Station Square, the same spot occupied by the former Chevrolet Amphitheatre before it closed in 2006."

Foreign Exchange

Backstage: "Every so often you come upon an actor's bio that lists training at a school outside the United States. What makes a performer decide to study abroad and what are the benefits? Six actors who've done it let us know. Two attended the Moscow Art Theater School; the others trained at the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris, the Accademia dell'Arte in Italy, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, and the Odin Teatret in Denmark."

Impulse buys hope to boost sales

Variety: "Discount theater website BroadwayBox.com recently launched LunchTix, which every weekday morning emails members with a low-price ticket offer that expires at 3 p.m. that day."

At Historic Ford's Theatre, an Evening of Tributes to Lincoln's Legacy

washingtonpost.com: "As President Obama and the first lady sat front-row center, a gaggle of stars paid stirring tribute last night to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and to two Americans -- 'Star Wars' director George Lucas and barrier-breaking actor Sidney Poitier -- who were awarded Lincoln Medals for holding to the ideals of the 16th president."

Force Majeure

Backstage: "The force majeure provision, which has been part of the Screen Actors Guild's basic film and television agreements since 1937, protects actors in the event a production is postponed. According to SAG: 'If a film or television series is postponed or suspended by reason…of fire, accident, strike, riot, act of God, or of the public enemy…judicial order, or illness of any member of the cast or of the director, one-half salary shall be paid the performer for the first five weeks of…the suspension.'"

Obama Says Lincoln’s Legacy Lives on as Ford’s Theatre Reopens

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "President Barack Obama paid tribute to his hero, Abraham Lincoln, at a celebration for the reopening of the theater where he was slain."

Use Your Voice To Get Things Done With Dial2Do

MakeUseOf.com: "Dial2Do is providing a great way for users to use their voice to do all kinds of things, and interact with all kinds of services - it’s like what Jott used to do, but without the sudden added cost."

Learning

Technical Direction Tidbits: "I guess its a point that really hits home currently. When you don't pay for labor out of the scenery budget, extra labor hours don't seem to matter. But they do. The materials for a show are very rarely the major expense - its the labor cost. And with today's economy you have to think a little more about how you spend your dollars."

Acclaimed Mabou Mines DollHouse Returns to St. Ann's Warehouse Feb. 12

Playbill News: "Obie Award-winning director Lee Breuer stages the work on a dollhouse set, infusing Ibsen's tragedy with a comic edge by casting male actors whose heights range from 3'4' to 4'5', while the female characters are played by actresses nearly 6' tall. DollHouse plays a limited run through March 8 at the Brooklyn venue."

Tony Rulings: Estate and American Plan Are New Plays; Slava, Liza and Shaolin Are Theatrical Events

Playbill News: "The Tony Awards Administration Committee assembled for the third time this season Feb. 12 to discuss the eligibility of nine Broadway productions for the 2009 Tony Awards, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing."

Connecticut Opera closes down

Variety: "The Hartford-based company has cancelled two spring productions, “La Fille du Regiment” in March and “La Boheme” in May. Final offering for the org, which had an annual budget of about $2 million, was a November staging of “Don Giovanni.”"

Drabinsky must pay investors

Variety: "Former head of Livent Garth Drabinsky, on trial here for criminal charges of fraud and forgery, won't know the final verdict until March 24, but the Supreme Court of Canada dealt him a blow Thursday."

Opera to spotlight Anna Nicole Smith

Variety: "Britain's Royal Opera said it is planning a show based on the life of Anna Nicole Smith, the model and stripper who married an octogenarian oil tycoon, starred in her own TV show and died of a drug overdose in 2007."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cabaret show's creator celebrates Sinatra his way

Post Gazette: "In this 250th production of 'My Way,' the cast consists of Kristiann Menotiades, Karen Jeffreys, Joseph Domencic and John Fredo. The latter is making his CLO debut and has been involved with the show since its inception nine years ago."

Dance Review: Attack Theatre's 3 new works reflect on relationships

Post Gazette: "With Valentine's Day just heartbeats away, Attack Theatre explores the sensual side of love in 'Passion Reflected,' three new dance works inspired by relationships 'tried, tested and proven.'"

CLO Cabaret brings Sinatra to life

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For co-creators David Grapes II and Todd Olson, what began as an economic expediency, has turned into an enduring adventure.
In 1999, Grapes was working as the producing artistic director of Tennessee Repertory Theatre in Nashville. He was looking for a simple, small-cast show that could be done in the summer to subsidize the costs of the company's big-cast classics such as 'Cyrano de Bergerac' and 'The Importance of Being Earnest.'"

'Beehive' salutes female singers of '60s, '70s

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Stage Right takes audiences back to the days of flower power, the love generation and really big hairdos for a music-packed Valentine's Day dinner-theater show."

Review: Polished cast lifts 'Moon' heavenward

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Set in July 1939, 'A Moon to Dance By' takes place over several days on a ranch near Taos, N.M., where Frieda Lawrence (Alexander), the widow of writer D.H. Lawrence, maintains a shrine to her author husband while living with her much-younger Italian lover, Angelo Ravagli (Cuccioli)."

Major Label Music Video Needs Crew

Craigslist: "Less Avenged is a creative studio from Seattle, WA. We will be in Pittsburgh to shoot an upcoming video and are looking for help on this great production."

Canadian theater takes a hit

Variety: "It may have taken a bit longer than it did in the U.S., but the legit industry in Canada has begun to show signs of vulnerability to the current economic downturn."

NY Met manager says economy casts pall over opera

Reuters: "The economy has cast a pall over U.S. opera companies, but the head of New York's Metropolitan Opera said on Tuesday the show will go on in a new season with stars such as Placido Domingo and Renee Fleming."

Technology brings Charles Darwin back to life at the Carnegie Science Center

Pop City: "Our local universities have really done it this time, bringing Charles Darwin back to life for his 200th birthday. Drop by and say hello at the Carnegie Science Museum."

Send a text, catch a bus with Port Authority pilot program

Pop City: "RouteShout allows riders to access bus arrival times from their mobile phones. The pilot program, launched by Pittsburgh’s deeplocal, is being beta-tested at 22 stops near areas that primarily serve college students."

Mergers: Ticketmaster And Live Nation Agree To Merge

Consumerist: "That booming evil laughter you heard echoing across the sky earlier today came from the board room where Live Nation and Ticketmaster agreed to an all-stock merger between their two blighted companies."

According To Author's Guild, You Cannot Read Books Out Loud

Techdirt: "As you may know, when player pianos were first introduced, there was a massive fear among musicians that it would be the death of the live music industry. With a player piano, why would anyone ever need to go see a live performance again? In fact, the roots of our rather draconian modern copyright law come, in part, from this dispute."

Construction as Canvas: community art project planned for arena site

Pop City: "The Pittsburgh Sports and Exhibition Authority is currently requesting proposals from community organizations serving young people in the Hill District and Uptown, for a temporary art project on the construction wall surrounding the new arena called Construction as Canvas."

Lincoln bicentennial a missed opportunity for Disney's theme parks

Theme Park Insider: "Thursday marks the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, considered by many America's greatest president. Walt Disney was among those fans of Lincoln; the first audio-animatronic figure Disney had built was of his fellow Illinoisan."

A Common Misconception

Theatre Ideas: "Over at The Nonprofiteer, erstwhile kellynfp has 'Second (and third) thoughts about public funding of the arts.' Apparently, she spent an evening in my old home town of Bloomington IL watching a touring production by the dance company Ailey II when she had an epiphany"

Blogging the College of Fine Arts Days in NYC Jan. 28-31

New York Drama Alumni Clan: "If you cannot make it to the College of Fine Arts (CFA) Days in New York City this week why not follow along through a blog? You can follow along as special guest writers will be blogging about the activity and excitement of CFA Days in NYC on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette¹s web-site, visit http://community.post-gazette.com/blogs/cmunyc/default.aspx."

2008 Holiday Party a Resounding Success

New York Drama Alumni Clan: "The 2008 Holiday Party was the biggest in recent NYDAC history, as more than 120 people came to the Alvin Ailey Studios to celebrate. It was a fitting end to a fantastic NYDAC year, and the board would like to thank everyone that attended."

Learn How to Build Anything

Props: "What are open course classes? Basically, they are all the materials of a college class made freely available to anyone online: the syllabus, handouts, lecture notes, assignments, etc. If you were so inclined, you can use this to take the class on your own."

Live Nation and Ticketmaster Merge: What does it mean for Broadway?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "Live Nation has been on a tear over the past few years, shaking things up first with music deals (like Madonna's), second with announcing that they were going to sever ties with Ticketmaster and create their own ticketing service, and third, this week they reversed that previous announcement and said they were merging with that ticketing warhorse, creating arguably the most powerful company in live entertainment marketing and production."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cast's excellent comedic timing shines in 'Don Pasquale'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "A fresh approach to staging 'Don Pasquale' provided the unalloyed delights of Pittsburgh Opera Center's new production of Gaetano Donizetti's opera, seen Saturday night at the Creative and Performing Arts High School, Downtown."

Dance company offers diversity in 'Three'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The Gaga dance training system devised by choreographer Ohad Naharin for the Israeli Batsheva Dance Company was a defining element of Thursday evening's performance of 'Three' at the Benedum Center."

Pittsburgh Officials Discuss Replacement of 40,000 Street Lights

WDUQNews: "Pittsburgh city officials today sought input from a panel of lighting experts on the benefits of switching the city’s 40,000 streetlights to energy-saving light-emitting diodes, or LED lights."

Lincoln’s Box Dazzles as Theater Opens After $50 Million Rehab

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "Ringed with pillars, draped in U.S. flags, the presidential box dominates Ford’s Theatre which reopens this week in Washington, D.C. after an 18-month, $50 million renovation timed to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial."

SAG Ready to Resume Talks with AMPTP

Backstage: "Representatives of SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers are expected Tuesday to announce the resumption of their film and TV contract talks, most likely on Feb. 17."

Goodbye Zeffirelli: Met Plans New ‘Tosca,’ ‘Carmen’

Bloomberg.com: Arts and Culture: "Attila the Hun as conceived by Verdi is heading toward the Metropolitan Opera in a show designed by footwear deity Miuccia Prada and Herzog & de Meuron, the architectural firm responsible for converting the Tate’s Turbine Hall in London."

Go see CORALINE!!!

Shannon Tindle: "Well, I can't believe it's finally coming out. I moved to Portland on Jan.9, 2006 to work on Coraline. I loved Portland, I loved the crew and I am so proud that I got to work on this film."

REVERSE – Now a “real” AutoCAD Command

The CAD Geek Blog: "While I appreciate those who customize AutoCAD beyond belief, I am of the camp where the less customization you can do the better. My core reason is support. If I make it I have to support it. As a Subscription customer, if Autodesk makes it, they have to support it for me. Nonetheless, the new REVERSE command in AutoCAD 2010 is a very welcome addition IMO."

Robert Anderson, Playwright of ‘Tea and Sympathy,’ Dies at 91

NYTimes.com: "Mr. Anderson was a contemporary of Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams, and though his reputation never ascended to the artistic heights that theirs did — his plays often walked a tightrope between realism and sentimentality — he was among the theater’s most visible, serious playwrights of the 1950s and ’60s."