CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shhhh Salvage Makes Dumpster Diving Fashionable

NYTimes.com: "To fight the waste, Ms. Clancy set up a business last year called Shhhh Salvage (www.shhhh-projects.com). It is a nimble, one-woman hub: through a network of contacts with people who work on shows, Ms. Clancy finds out when sets will be struck, then puts the word out to artists who can use stuff that would otherwise end up in a landfill. She gets the discards, then sells them for a fraction of their value."

Conductor steals scenes in 'La Boheme'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The excellent production of 'La Boheme' that Pittsburgh Opera unveiled in 2003 returned to the Benedum Center Saturday night in a performance of mixed vocal accomplishment, memorable conducting and orchestral playing, and often appealing staging by a new director."

Mysterious Subway Brings Strangers to Eternal Bliss

Bloomberg.com: "Strangers in a New York subway car bound for -- who knows where? -- may not seem to be the most surefire bet for a musical."

Queens Roll Through Outback; ‘Spring’ Awakens in London: Review

Bloomberg.com: "When three spangled divas descend on a glitter version of Sydney Harbour Bridge singing “Downtown,” you know “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” is not a show about restraint."

Green Day's hits turn into Berkeley Rep musical

SF Gate: "Green Day, the chart-topping pop-punk band born in Berkeley, is morphing into a collective playwright, and it will unveil its first effort at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in September, the group announced Monday. The musical titled 'American Idiot,' based on Green Day's 2004 Grammy-winning, multi-platinum album of the same name, is being developed in collaboration with Michael Mayer, the Tony-winning director of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik's 'Spring Awakening.'"

Murder, Employee Breastfeeds Are Played for Fun on Cairo Stage

Bloomberg.com: "Murder in a bread line. Migrants drowning at sea. Solitary death in an uncaring city. Such kinds of events draw laughs on a Cairo stage."

Laurie Anderson, Artist, New York In Conversation with Ken Goldberg

BAM/PFA: "Ken Goldberg hosts a conversation and audience question-and-answer session with acclaimed multimedia artist Laurie Anderson on topics ranging from privacy and politics to art and technology. This event was held in conjunction with Anderson’s newest performance, “Homeland,” which includes songs and stories that create a poetic and political portrait of contemporary American culture."

Yale MFA Acting Teacher Takes a Hard Look at Competing Techniuques

PRWeb: "Andrew Utter, an alum of the Yale School of Drama's directing program, finds that many of the approaches to teaching acting that generate enthusiasm at the moment have significant deficiencies, although it is also true that they each possess strengths as well,. Utter wanted students who are in the market for an approach to acting to be aware of the assets and liabilities of each, so he started writing a series at his blog, http://sfacting.blogspot.com. The first entry was about the approach created by Sanford Meisner."

Entertainment Lighting News & Review

iSquint: "A month a ago, we announced the upcoming release of Richard Cadena’s latest book, Electricity for the Entertainment Electrician & Technician form Focal Press. iSquint is honored to have received an advanced copy of the book to do a review."

Parallel Conversations*

99seats: "After many, many recommendations from various sources, I've been reading Remix by Lawrence Lessig. A fascinating read and definitely provoking many thoughts in me. But one, curious thing I've found about it is how little, I find, it applies to theatre."

Google Docs Adds Drawing

Ian's Messy Desk: "Google has added the ability to insert drawings into Google Docs. You can create and insert drawings into documents, presentations and spreadsheets to illustrate your ideas or just for fun."

Fox rebuffs costs of 3-D glasses

THR: "Like most other majors, the studio already has signed on to co-finance the rollout of digital projection systems in theaters around the world. But Fox has quietly begun alerting exhibitors not to expect any payments for costs associated with the use of special glasses when its 3-D pics play in digital auditoriums."

Monday, March 30, 2009

j-o-b Festival

The Three Rivers Arts Festival is hiring for the 2009 festival. For more info on the festival, check out www.artsfestival.net. We are looking for a crew to start Mid-May and work with us through mid to late June, exact dates are to be determined. The work isn’t bad and the pay is good. So if you are staying in town for a part of this summer and are looking to make some money at a fun job, this is a great way to do it. If you are interested, please email Jen Owen at j.owen42@gmail.com for more information.

From Kennywood to Adventureland

The Tartan Online: "Last Tuesday evening, Carnegie Mellon students piled into McConomy Auditorium for a prescreening of the new film Adventureland. A dramedy in the style of Superbad and other Judd Apatow movies, the film centers around 22-year-old James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) and his less-than-ideal summer job working in the Adventureland theme park."

'La Boheme' surpasses lead singers' voices

Post Gazette: "It's a mark of a masterpiece that you can still enjoy a work even if the performance struggles at times. That's the spectacular level Puccini achieved with 'La Boheme,' which opened at the Benedum Center Saturday night with less-than-spectacular lead singing in an otherwise agreeable Pittsburgh Opera production."

PG ShowPlane puts "Broadway on sale," May 6-10

Post Gazette: "Time is running short to sign up for the PG's 89th ShowPlane, heading to Broadway May 6-10. This all-musical, all-Big Apple menu with a twist of limey is available at the lowest price in five years."

Choreographer moved by Stravinsky's music

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For the first 14 years of her career as a solo dancer, Marie Chouinard never performed to a musical score.
She loves the freedom of the avant-garde. But growth is sometimes best when it's surprising to the person who is changing. Her dance troupe comes to Pittsburgh this week to perform ballets that use two of the most famous pieces of classical music."

Budget losses may be theatergoers gain

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "That one person's misery is another's good fortune is far from an original thought.
But it is heartening to know that the economic implosion generates some good news for local artists and audiences."

SFX makeup needed

Craigslist: "I will be competing in a preliminary to represent Pennsylvania in Miss Gay America in New Hope PA. If all goes well I will also be competing in the national pageant in St Louis MI. I am looking for someone skilled in wound and horror sfx."

Mutiny in the ranks at Chicago's American Theater Company

chicagotribune.com: "In a move that rips apart one of Chicago's most venerable off-Loop theaters, almost all of the acting ensemble members of the American Theater Company say they are severing connections with the institution many of them helped found 25 years ago."

In an effort to be hip, theater has lost its shock value

The Boston Globe: "I came to a shocking realization the other day: Apparently, I can't be shocked anymore."

Who cares about World Theatre Day?

guardian.co.uk: "World Theatre Day used to be almost as obscure as World Physical Therapy Day, but in recent years bloggers and Twitterers have been doing their utmost to spread the word. Now it seems that theatre companies everywhere are trying to find a way to 'celebrate the power of theatre' today – as if that isn't what they do every time they put on a play."

NY State Eyes $350 Million for Productions

Backstage: "New York would free up an additional $350 million for an existing film and TV production tax credit program under a budget agreement reached in Albany over the weekend."

The queen of props

Surrey Leader: "When theatre directors need muskets for a squad of soldiers, a classic sailing ship wheel or a mural backdrop of Ottawa's Parliament buildings, they come to Maxine Lloyd – and get what they ask for."

4 Weeks to a 4.0: Adopt an Autopilot Schedule and a Sunday Ritual

Study Hacks: "This is the first post in a new four-part series I’m calling 4 Weeks to a 4.0. Each Monday, for the next month, I’ll be posting a new weekly assignment. I can’t guarantee that you’ll immediately earn a 4.0 if you finish all four assignments, but your grades will definitely improve and your stress will definitely plummet."

I Believe in This Stuff

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Blog: "I have never encountered a book so slight in size which consistently provides a seemingly bottomless well of conversation, implications, virtue, ethics, poetry, tragedy, humour, frustration, and reward than John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. This “simple little thing”[1] is anything but. I wish I had months with this cast to talk and Viewpoint our way through this territory whose story takes place in Soledad but whose themes (loneliness, identity, objective versus subjective morality, age & utility, longing, love, lust, disability, sexuality, capitalism) take us to deep inside the human heart, mind, and imagination."

Neil LaBute Has a Thing About Beauty

NYTimes.com: "Theatergoers will have barely settled into their seats at “Reasons to Be Pretty,” which makes its Broadway debut this week at the Lyceum, before they will be jolted by the profanity-laced rant of a young woman directed at her passive boyfriend all because he told a friend she had a “regular” face. The entire play hinges on this seemingly innocuous comment, which is why the billboard outside the Lyceum describes it as “a love story about the impossibility of love” written by “Neil LaBute, playwright and provocateur.”"

Jason Craig, Bespectacled Monster Slayer of ‘Beowulf’

NYTimes.com: "ASK most playwrights about the origins of a show, and you usually hear a well-practiced story with polished anecdotes and convenient bursts of inspiration. But Jason Craig, the bearish author and star of “Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage,” which opens Wednesday at the Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side, sounded vaguely unsure of himself when explaining why he chose to adapt the 1,000-year-old heroic poem for the stage."

Farewell to Jewish Mothers - Tovah Feldshuh in ‘Irena’s Vow’

NYTimes.com: "Ms. Feldshuh currently stars in “Irena’s Vow,” a play by Dan Gordon about Ms. Opdyke, who was Catholic, and the Jews she saved while working as a young housekeeper for a high-ranking SS officer in Nazi-occupied Poland and Ukraine. It opens Sunday at the Walter Kerr Theater."

Clothes Make the (Wo)man, but Not the Musical

NYTimes.com: "You’ll emerge humming the clothes from “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” the crude, overlong, fantastically colorful musical that opened Monday night at the Palace Theatre. You want your costume pageants served up with wit and genuine emotion? For that, check out “Hairspray” or “La Cage Aux Folles,” two competing West End musicals that couple drag with a direct appeal to the heart."

‘American Idiot’ by Green Day to Go Onstage at Berkeley Rep

NYTimes.com: "The punks are invading the theater. A new musical production adapted from “American Idiot,” the best-selling album by the punk band Green Day, is scheduled to make its debut in September at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in California."

Green Day's 'Idiot' heads to the stage

Variety: "Michael Mayer, who picked up a 2007 Tony for his direction of 'Spring Awakening,' will helm 'American Idiot.' Mayer co-writes the book with Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, who conceived the punk-opera album and wrote most of the lyrics. The band -- comprising Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool -- is credited with music for the show."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

CMU Drama Pre-College

So it is time once again for my grass-roots precollege recruiting program and I need your help. Could you please email theatre instructors, college counselors, and anyone you might still know at your high school that might, possibly, in the least bit be interested in coming to Pittsburgh for Drama Design/Tech Precollege this summer? That would be awesome!

Really I guess it can be for any of the Drama programs, I'm just particularly motivated to make sure we get a good class in DP.

You could send them links to these videos Don made:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6AioyjvmiU


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ExngA15jmc

and you could definitely send them the link to the precollege admissions site:

http://www.cmu.edu/enrollment/pre-college/drama.html


Applications are accepted through June 1, but the more people that sign up earlier, the more of a program I can build. We typically committed to a program that includes:
  • Drafting
  • Basic Design
  • Lighting
  • Technical Production
  • Stagecraft
In the past we've also done things like:
  • Costumes
  • Scenic Art
  • Production Management
  • Stage Management
  • Lighting Technology
  • Sound Design
  • Storyology
and we've had workshops including:
  • Horror film Sound Design
  • Tye Dying
  • Moving Light Programming
  • Dinosaur Sculpture
  • Resume Writing & Interviewing
among many others. Really its all about the count, the more people we get, the more I can do.

It's also worth mentioning to people that to the best of my knowledge this is the only summer program that features a purpose built Design & Technical program with fully conceived courses and run by many of our regular year staff and faculty. It's just something that cannot be found at other schools. And as a footnote you could toss in that pretty nearly every year we admit students into our regular year Design & PTM program at the conclusion of their time with us in the summer - so they get to go back for their senior year already having been admitted to college.

You can also tell them that if they have questions they can contact me at dboevers@cmu.edu

actually I guess you don't have to write anything, you can just forward this email, thanks!

Carnegie Mellon to offer one-month furloughs

Evening Sun: "Carnegie Mellon University will allow workers to take voluntary one-month furloughs in an attempt to save money as the Pittsburgh school deals with the economy and $49 million it lost in a financial scandal."

Don Marinelli

Variety: "Videogames are, in many ways, the ultimate marriage of technology and art. So it's perhaps fitting that the co-founder and head of Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center comes not from the world of computers, but theater."

Jewish theater director in D.C. defends reading of anti-Israel play

JTA - Jewish & Israel News: "Ari Roth is not surprised that his decision to stage a reading of 'Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza' has infuriated some in the Washington Jewish community."

On stage, backstage, Seattle Repertory Theatre cuts back

Seattle Times Newspaper: "Buffeted by the sinking economy, a decline in subscription-ticket sales and an endowment it can't draw from, Seattle Repertory Theatre — the state's largest nonprofit regional playhouse — is taking some drastic steps, cutting its upcoming budget by one-third and going to a four-day workweek."

IATSE vs. the George Fern Company

Nashville Theatre Examiner: "While walking in downtown Nashville earlier this week, I came across a cluster of interesting individuals with Strike signs between Hume Fogg and the Renaissance Hotel. Approaching them, I received a flier informing me that the George E. Fern Co. is unfair."

New Mexico’s brave new world of film and TV — courtesy of you!

New Mexico Independent: "Unless you’ve been living under a rock without cable or satellite TV — or without any news in any form — you probably know that the Land of Enchantment is now Hollywood on the Rio Grande.
I would say we’re “Tamalewood,” but there are those who object to making light of the state’s new, glamorous industry and, of course, the ethnic connotations that particular description conveys."

Film industry putting Michigan residents to work

The Holland Sentinel: "Jason Buzzalini was in his third year of unemployment and living in public housing when he entered a basic film crew training class at TicTock Studios in Holland last April."

Chicago Theatre Design Expo To Set The Stage For The 16th Annual Michael Merritt Design Awards

Live Design: "The 16th Annual Michael Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration program, honoring scenic designer Todd Rosenthal (August: Osage County), will take place on Monday, April 27, at the Steppenwolf Merle Reskin Garage Theatre. The doors open at 5:30pm with a viewing of the third annual Theatre Design Expo showcasing the works of over 20 Chicago-area emerging theatrical designers as well as a student portfolio review."

amBX Teams with ETC at Carnegie Mellon

GDN: "amBX delivers full ‘sensory surround’ entertainment experiences by enabling content creators to add real world effects using light, color, rumble and even air flow, through licensed amBX devices, to the virtual worlds of computers, games, music, movies, TV and multimedia entertainment."

TOMCAT Holds 2009 Workshops

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "In February 2009, a team of instructors and about 70 participants from the United States and Canada traveled to Midland, Texas to attend TOMCAT's hoist and truss workshop and rigging and truss workshop. The hoist and yruss workshop featured the disassembly and reassembly of a one-ton Lodestar, as well as a Prostar, with Dave Carmack of Columbus McKinnon."

USITT Attendees Support Behind the Scenes

Stage Directions: "The Long Reach Long Riders and the ESTA Foundation raised a total of $5,236 from raffle ticket sales during the three-day USITT conference, more than doubling the $2500 Challenge Grant issued by Sapsis Rigging. In addition, Jonathan Deull made a $1500 donation to Behind the Scenes in support of the Long Reach Long Riders 2009 charity ride this summer, bringing the total raised at USITT to $9,236."

IATSE ratifies new contract, adds tougher provisions for health coverage

Los Angeles Times: "As expected, the union representing more than 35,000 film and TV workers approved a new three-year contract, fending off a vigorous opposition campaign by dissidents who accused their leaders of selling them short at the bargaining table."

Cultural Post at White House

NYTimes.com: "President Barack Obama has established a staff position in the White House to oversee arts and culture in the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs under Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser, a White House official confirmed."

Our Opinion: Economy benefits from culture, too

Tallahassee Democrat: "Champions of building a new performing arts center here someday — and who are pressing forward regardless of a hand-wringing economy — should feel a renewed burst of energy for their mission thanks to some new findings about the impact on culture on the economics of tourism."

Arts Groups Lose Out in Fight for Funds

WSJ.com: "Museums, theaters and operas, already reeling from the recession, are having a tough time attracting support amid perceptions that vital services like soup kitchens and homeless shelters should receive funds first."

Martin EvenLED Backdrop for West End Oliver

Stage Directions: "A new production of Oliver!, the 1960 musical, opened in London’s West End in January. Cameron Mackintosh’s new staging of Lionel Bart’s stage epic plays at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane before a backdrop of color-changing EvenLED panels by Martin Professional. Lighting Designer for the show is Paule Constable assisted by associate Beky Stoddart."

Shakespeare & Company Announces Restructuring

Stage Directions: "Shakespeare & Company has started a restructuring plan in order to cut costs and increase income. The restructuring plan trims the annual budget from $5.6 million in 2008-2009 to $4.7 million in 2009-2010. Seven employees will be laid off, while others will shift to part-time or consulting roles, while still others will see their duties expand and evolve. A 10% across-the-board pay cut will take place for year-round employees. The three Founders of Shakespeare & Company—Artistic Director Tina Packer, Director of Education Kevin G. Coleman and Director of Training Dennis Krausnick—will forgo pay entirely for two months."

Tait Towers Opens European Stage Set Rental facility

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "'Realizing the dreams of set designers has been a high-octane experience for us at Tait Towers,' said CEO James Fairorth recently. 'We've had more than our fair share of thrills on that ride, and continue to be challenged by the imaginative and outrageous ideas designers throw at us.'"

Sapsis Rigging Introduces New Fall Protection Line

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Sapsis Rigging, Inc. announces the SRI ProPlus Fall Protection System, designed for technicians working at height in the entertainment industry."

Designers Line Up to Support By Design Day

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Designers on both sides of the Atlantic have been signing up to support Behind the Scenes and Light Relief By Design Day, the day the industry comes together to celebrate its successes and to give back in thanks."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cultural arts ticket sales outperform weak economy

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Despite the plummeting stock and housing markets and daily reports of businesses cutting staffs or declaring bankruptcy, many organizations' ticket sales are meeting and exceeding expectations. Marketing directors say that could be partly the result of carefully selected titles, such as shows many people are familiar with or local presentations that allow people to avoid spending a weekend in Manhattan for Broadway productions."

MGM makes payment for Vegas CityCenter project

Reuters: "CityCenter, an $8 billion Las Vegas project owned by MGM Mirage and Dubai World, won a reprieve on Friday when MGM committed $200 million to allow construction to continue while project leaders seek additional funding."

SF cranks up 'Music' in quiet times

Variety: "In today's economy, many regional theaters are looking for cost-effective productions to keep their subscribers happy without stretching their already strained budgets. So it might seem risky to stage a 13-actor epic based on Homer's 'The Iliad.'"

Kutiman's ThruYou Mashup Turns YouTube Into Funk Machine

The Underwire from Wired.com: "Five years ago he'd never heard of the 'godfather of soul,' James Brown. Now an Israeli mashup artist is basking in the spotlight after making the funkiest tracks on the internet, using YouTube clips of musicians who've never met each other."

Remixing Is Creating And Original -- It's Not Just Derivative Copying

Techdirt: "At the beginning of the month we were one of the first to write about the amazing Thru-You 'album' created by a DJ named Kutiman, who took individual sounds off of YouTube and mixed them into a full album. I've always been a believer in the concept that remixing something is a creative endeavor in its own right, but I'd never seen the point driven home quite as clearly as in this album. Not suprisingly, Kutiman has received plenty of well-deserved attention for the project, and Wired is running a great interview with him that's well worth reading. The idea that what he's done is almost certainly illegal and copyright infringement (he seems incredulous at the idea) should be a clear indication that something is wrong with the current copyright regime."

Design (WIT #128)

ATW: "The 23rd annual American Theatre Wing Design Awards honor the best theatrical design in New York for the 1986-1987 season. The award winning designs are demonstrated by Starlight Express assistant costume designer Ann Emonts, Worstward Ho assistant lighting designer Mary Louise Geiger, The Hunger Artist actor Anthony Holland, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s The Civil Wars - Act 5: The Trees production manager Paul King, and Fences scenic designer James D. Sandefur."

Boston House of Blues & the Live Nation 'Family'

Behind the Beam: "THE LIVE NATION “FAMILY” PAYS THEIR UNION STAGEHANDS AREA STANDARD WAGE AND BENEFITS AND THEIR NON-UNION STAGEHANDS LESS"

10+ Sites To Add Amazing Effects To Your Photos

MakeUseOf.com: "Trying to make your photos more interesting? Thinking about learning Photoshop to add some creative effects to images? How about achieving similar results by nothing more than point and click?
Check out the following sites to add funny, interesting and artistic effects to your photos"

Opera lures viewers to multiplexes

Variety: "As legiters seek footholds for old-fashioned live entertainment in the world of new media, the Metropolitan Opera has struck a profitable balance between stage and screen -- and theater orgs have begun to take note."

Friday, March 27, 2009

World Theatre Day Address

Boal's 2009 Address:

All human societies are “spectacular*” in their daily life and produce “spectacles” at special moments. They are “spectacular” as a form of social organization and produce “spectacles” like the one you have come to see.

Even if one is unaware of it, human relationships are structured in a theatrical way. The use of space, body language, choice of words and voice modulation, the confrontation of ideas and passions, everything that we demonstrate on the stage, we live in our lives. We are theatre!

Weddings and funerals are “spectacles”, but so, also, are daily rituals so familiar that we are not conscious of this. Occasions of pomp and circumstance, but also the morning coffee, the exchanged good-mornings, timid love and storms of passion, a senate session or a diplomatic meeting - all is theatre.

One of the main functions of our art is to make people sensitive to the “spectacles” of daily life in which the actors are their own spectators, performances in which the stage and the stalls coincide. We are all artists. By doing theatre, we learn to see what is obvious but what we usually can’t see because we are only used to looking at it. What is familiar to us becomes unseen: doing theatre throws light on the stage of daily life.

Last September, we were surprised by a theatrical revelation: we, who thought that we were living in a safe world, despite wars, genocide, slaughter and torture which certainly exist, but far from us in remote and wild places. We, who were living in security with our money invested in some respectable bank or in some honest trader’s hands in the stock exchange were told that this money did not exist, that it was virtual, a fictitious invention by some economists who were not fictitious at all and neither reliable nor respectable. Everything was just bad theatre, a dark plot in which a few people won a lot and many people lost all. Some politicians from rich countries held secret meetings in which they found some magic solutions. And we, the victims of their decisions, have remained spectators in the last row of the balcony.

Twenty years ago, I staged Racine’s Phèdre in Rio de Janeiro. The stage setting was poor: cow skins on the ground, bamboos around. Before each presentation, I used to say to my actors: “The fiction we created day by day is over. When you cross those bamboos, none of you will have the right to lie. Theatre is the Hidden Truth”.

When we look beyond appearances, we see oppressors and oppressed people, in all societies, ethnic groups, genders, social classes and casts; we see an unfair and cruel world. We have to create another world because we know it is possible. But it is up to us to build this other world with our hands and by acting on the stage and in our own life.

Participate in the “spectacle” which is about to begin and once you are back home, with your friends act your own plays and look at what you were never able to see: that which is obvious. Theatre is not just an event; it is a way of life!

We are all actors: being a citizen is not living in society, it is changing it.

- Augusto Boal

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"

Artistic and scientific anatomical models from Anatomy Tools

Boing Boing: "It turns out that they're on something of a holy mission to introduce high quality, affordable artistically rendered anatomical models to the fields of science, art and medicine, replacing the standard, multi-thousand-dollar, low-quality anatomical models with sub-$500 versions that are much better rendered and easier to grasp."

Jailbait

'kül: "'We're fifteen,' says Emmy (Wrenn Schmidt), expertly putting Chanel on her friend, Claire (Natalia Payne). 'Everything fun is illegal.' Well, if that's the case, then Deirdre O'Connor's clever (but not too clever) Jailbait ought to be locked up. Of course, before one throws away the key, let's acknowledge the good behavior of this exceptional four-person cast, and allow director Suzanne Agins to get off with community service--that is, the continued performance of this wonderful new play."

Sarandon, Rush Clown Around in Ionesco Royal Farce

Bloomberg.com: "If you enjoy clown shows, the new Australian production of “Exit the King” has everything but the sawdust."

Bitter 8-Minute Gaza Play Inspires Mushy Polemics: Commentary

Bloomberg.com: "I expected to be greeted with placards and protests Wednesday night at the first New York reading of “Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza.”"

Is 'West Side Story' Overrated?

TIME: "As someone who likes to think I have a fairly complete education in the Broadway musical, however, one show holds a special place: West Side Story. Of all the widely accepted masterpieces of the genre, it's the one I have never seen onstage. Nor even — until a few weeks ago, when I finally broke down and rented the DVD — the multiple-Oscar-winning 1961 movie."

Manhattan Theater Club Tightens Plan for 2009-10 Season

NYTimes.com: "The Manhattan Theater Club had good news and bad news to share with the public this evening: It announced three productions for the 2009-10 season, including “The Royal Family” starring Rosemary Harris, while also disclosing that it was cutting the total number of shows next season from seven to six because of economic concerns."

Frank Marino, Broadway Stage Manager, Dies at 70

Yahoo - Playbill: "Mr. Marino's final Broadway credit as a production manager was the 1996 revival of Tartuffe, the last of a long line of shows that began with 1971's Lenny, on which he began as the understudy of various small roles, then became first assistant stage manager as well as an assistant to the costume designer."

Monsters vs. Aliens: DreamWorks' Katzenberg shows DVICE 3D filmmaking has arrived

DVICE: "When DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg invited us to see the tech behind his studio's Monsters vs. Aliens debuting in theaters today, we didn't think we'd be impressed by the 3D movie. We've been highly skeptical of the 3D push on the part of DreamWorks and several other Hollywood studios lately, and we called it 'a gimmick' and 'an attempt of movie studios to extract even more money out of the hands of moviegoers.'"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wilson influence guides Southers' 'I Nipoti'

Post Gazette: "Playwright Mark Clayton Southers' play, 'I Nipoti' ('The Nephews') is another installment in what he calls his 'culture clash' project dramatizing the intersection between African-Americans and other cultural groups."

West Review: 'Pajama Game' pleasant blend of love, populism

Post Gazette: "On the surface, 'The Pajama Game' is a cute comic love story about guys and gals in a colorful, storybook pajama factory in the mid-century Midwest, back when your girlfriend's father showed you his stamp collection and 7 1/2 cents seemed like real money."

'Wonderfully familiar' 'Sound of Music' endures

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Noble takes on the role immortalized by Christopher Plummer in the Academy Award-winning 1965 movie in Stage Right's production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. He previously played Capt. von Trapp in 1991 with Apple Hill Playhouse in Delmont, and again in a 1998 production with Westmoreland Academy of Performing Arts."

Cool Summer Gig

Craigslist: "I'm planning to film a very exciting movie for one week in August and one week in October. Both weeks will take mostly take place in Central Pennsylvania"

A/V Techs needed and stage hands

Craigslist: "We are looking for techs ballroom sets and corporate events."

Theatre moguls found guilty after lengthy drama

globeandmail.com: "A judge ruled Wednesday that Livent Inc. co-founders Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb systemically manipulated the financial statements of Livent in the 1990s as they reported soaring profits from their high-profile live theatre company."

Guthrie Theater to trim budget by nearly $4 million

Star Tribune: "The Guthrie Theater will cut its next fiscal-year budget by 14 percent, from $28 million to $24.1 million. In an interview Wednesday, Director Joe Dowling said the reductions will be made through wage freezes, salary reductions among senior management, furloughs and by reducing expenses in production. The package mirrors cuts at other nonprofit arts organizations that have been affected by reduced endowments, donations and patronage."

AFTRA Doubles Pension Requirement

Backstage: "Due to a sharp decline in earnings over the past year, the trustees of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists' pension plan have doubled the earnings requirement for participation and changed the way benefits will be apportioned."

Theater Owners Race to Upgrade to 3-D for ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’

Bloomberg.com: "Theater owners, slowed by funding delays that have hampered the adoption of 3-D technology, raced to complete upgrades for tomorrow’s opening of “Monsters vs. Aliens.”"

World Theatre Day Updates

Theater For The Future: "The World Theatre Media Feed is open for business. Yes, you can now share your theater videos, photos, audio, and text snippets of your work and World Theatre Day celebrations with the rest of the world. Just send your material to http://tinyurl.com/wtdmedia - and check out our detailed instructions."

Announcing the 5th Annual First Look Rep

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Blog: "Each summer for the last four years we have undergone an experiment, or really series of experiments, in an attempt to answer some questions facing our field. Is it possible to provide a nurturing environment for new work? Is it possible to have a writer-driven process within a large institutional theater? Is it possible to create a system that offers the intensity and goal- orientation of rehearsals with the process-orientation of play development? Is it possible to allow non-practitioners access to what we actually do; to make an environment in which they are supportive, educated, enthusiastic participants and not disruptive intruders into a previously private sanctuary. Is it possible to communicate effectively the ways in which what we are doing is an experiment and needs to be treated with a clear eye and special care?"

Garth H. Drabinsky and Myron I. Gottlieb of Livent Convicted of Forgery and Fraud

NYTimes.com: "The Canadian impresario Garth H. Drabinsky, who served as the chief executive of the defunct Broadway production firm Livent, and his business partner Myron I. Gottlieb on Wednesday were convicted of forgery and defrauding shareholders of about 500 million Canadian dollars, or more than $400 million."

National Fund unveil recipients

Variety: "A production of a new tuner by Melissa James Gibson and Michael Friedman and development workshops for new work by alums of the National Alliance for Musical Theater fest are among the seven inaugural recipients of grants from NAMT's new National Fund for New Musicals."

5 Cool Career Blog Posts

CollegeSurfing Insider: "It’s amazing what kind of job-related reads you can find online when you know where to look. Here’s where I’m looking today – a roundup of the coolest career posts in the blogosphere."

USITT Sessions

As many of you know, the 2009 USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio last week was a spectacular event with record attendance that folks are still buzzing about. For the first time ever, USITT has made select events available for viewing from our website. Members who were there can recapture some of the excitement and inspiration while those who weren't can benefit from some of the great speakers and presentations.

Broadcasts of the following events are available:

  • Keynote, Kickoff Event & Annual General Meeting
  • Fellows Address and Awards for Young Designers & Technicians
  • Designs of Jules Fisher Session

To view, just click here, select an event, and enjoy the broadcast!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

PICT lineup includes 'Rock 'n' Roll,' 'The History Boys'

Post Gazette: "It starts with 'Rock 'n' Roll,' Tom Stoppard's tribute to playwright and politician Vaclav Havel. PICT producing artistic director Andrew S. Paul will direct the production, which stars British actor Sam Redford in his first performance with PICT, Sam Tsoutsouvas, Helena Ruoti and Martin Giles. The production runs May 7-30."

August Wilson Center announces first performance at theater

Post Gazette: "Poet and spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph's 'the break/s' -- a challenging, funny and touching multimedia look at the hip-hop generation -- will be the first performance in the theater at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture May 28 at 8 p.m."

Point Park University stages a nontraditional 'classic'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Theater terms such as classic, period and style most often evoke images of Shakespearean drama, Greek tragedy or Restoration comedy.
So it's somewhat surprising to hear director Scott Wise using those words in an interview about 'The Rocky Horror Show,' which will be performed starting Thursday at the Pittsburgh Playhouse."

Area students shine in Shakespeare contest

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Shylock, Portia, a pair of lovers and a group of thespian guildworkers were among the winning performances in the Pittsburgh Public Theater's 15th Annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest."

Jeremy Piven Speed-the-Plow Arbitration Set for June

Playbill News: "In the never-ending saga of Jeremy Piven and his mercury poisoning, producers of Speed-the-Plow announced March 25 that arbitration for the case will be held in June."

Fake Wrestlers Pinned Down By State's Department of Licensing

WSJ.com: "Among the enduring questions of modern times is whether professional wrestling is real or pretend. Washington-state bureaucrats have opened a new chapter in the debate by ruling that wrestling is a real form of sport even when it consists of a man in a banana suit performing fake kung-fu moves in a tavern."

There's neither rhyme nor reason in resurrecting Shakespeare's first playhouse

guardian.co.uk: "I'm thinking about the project, widely reported a few weeks back, to raise a new stage on the bones of Shakespeare's first theatre in Shoreditch, almost certainly the first purpose-built theatre in Britain, imaginatively christened the Theatre"

Irons, Allen Give ‘Impressionism’ Flashes of Color

Bloomberg.com: "Two distinguished actors, Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen, are mired in Michael Jacobs’s “Impressionism,” at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The play suffers from three major ailments: pretentiousness, trickery and triviality."

Finding a job in Props

Props: "I wanted to share some of the websites I use or have used to find jobs as a props artisan in theatre."

Follow Ups: Sears Clarifies Craftsman Tools Warranty

Consumerist: "Earlier this month, we noted how a reader was having trouble getting Sears to properly honor the lifetime warranty on his Craftsman tools. Now David Figler, a vice president of the company, has responded and said, 'We stand behind the warranty—complete satisfaction—period.' Below is his email, and a portion of the memo he sent to Sears stores on the matter."

Manymoon: Project Management with Google Apps Integration

Web Worker Daily: "There’s no shortage of options for those looking to manage projects using web-based applications these days. Manymoon is another recent entry in this expanding category, and they are a serious contender that doesn’t lack for professionalism and features. Question is, is there something you can get at Manymoon that you aren’t already getting with your current project management solution?"

Organizing Secrets: Eliminate Clutter and Disorganization

Ian's Messy Desk: "There have been times in my life when I felt out of control. No matter what decisions I made, nothing seemed right. Daily activities overwhelmed me. I had difficulty focusing on projects and I knew deep down in my heart I was not in the right place. When these moments creep into my daily activities, I stop and look around. More often than not, clutter has taken control."

USITT Resources

Technical Direction Tidbits: "I wanted to plug a few resources available through USITT. If you don't visit the commission pages through USITT you are missing alot of good archived information. I do wish that they were a little more 'equal' - Like the Technical Production sight has links to past conference session notes, which many of the others don't - and it is a great resource."

Geoffrey Rush’s Title Role in ‘Enter the King’ Resonates From Childhood

NYTimes.com: "When the actor Geoffrey Rush was 11 and growing up in Brisbane, Australia, some children on a playground told him one morning that the world was going to end by lunchtime. It was 1962, and they were referring to the Cuban missile crisis’s possibly setting off a nuclear war. The geopolitical particulars did not interest Mr. Rush, though."

Drabinsky, Gottlieb found guilty

Variety: "Former Broadway producers Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb, founders of the once-great theater company Livent, were both found guilty of two counts of fraud and one count of forgery in a Toronto courtroom on Wednesday."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shakespeare contest crowns a happy few

Post Gazette: "All the world's a stage, says Shakespeare's Jaques. But at the Pittsburgh Public Theater last night, the stage became all the world, as 40 talented students from 22 Western Pennsylvania schools performed excerpts of Shakespearean comedy, tragedy, history and farce in the finals of the 15th annual Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest."

Point Park dancers to follow in Graham's footsteps

Post Gazette: "There was a serious dance rebellion afoot by the time Martha Graham's company first took the stage in 1926. Despite worthy pioneers like Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis, Graham still succeeded in turning the dance world upside down by creating a truly American form of dance."

Kelly Critic Review: 'The Wedding Singer' at Chartiers Valley High School, March 11-14

Post Gazette: "The connection and eventual love shared between Robby Hart (Kian McCollum) and Julia Sullivan (Jaime Bruno) could be felt throughout the packed theater. It was Friday, March 13th, but the spectacular students involved in the Chartiers Valley production of 'The Wedding Singer' showed no signs of bad luck. An audience of mixed ages sat in the beautiful theater, watching one of the most exciting high school musicals of the season."

Funding losses squeeze mid-size arts groups

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Of the mid-size arts organizations that answered the last month's survey, 64 percent of those with budgets between $250,000 and $499,999, and 100 percent of those with budgets between $500,000 and $999,999 said they expect their year-end results will be worse than original expectations."

CMU president positive about school's future despite financial woes

Post Gazette: "Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon says he's 'bullish' on the school's outlook, despite budget cuts, a slowdown in major new gifts and other effects of the recession."

Theatreland's premium seats swizz

guardian.co.uk: "The West End has found a new way of flogging tickets – charging even more for the best views in the house. Are these elite seats worth it?"

FocusTrack 2.0 Software Announced at USITT & Review

iSquint: "FocusTrack, the Production Lighting Documentation software is set to announce the release of version 2.0 of FocusTrack at USITT today. FocusTrack is a database system designed for keeping track of how lights are used within a show."

ETC iRFR iPhone App - Update & Review

iSquint: "We wrote yesterday about ETC demonstrating one of their latest products on the show floor of the USITT Stge Expo, the iPhone iRFR app."

AutoCAD 2010 and new Exchange Site Launched

The CAD Geek Blog: "Among Shaan’s posts was one talking about an all new AutoCAD community site named the AutoCAD Exchange. The site already has a lot of content, and will naturally grow with time. In fact one of the things we (bloggers) did in San Francisco was record a number of videos for the new AutoCAD Exchange. If you’re so inclined, go visit and play a game of “Where’s The CAD Geek” to find the videos of yours truly on the new AutoCAD Exchange :-)"

Ringling Brothers Circus Flies O’er Troubles With Greatest of Ease

NYTimes.com: "Five minutes into each performance of “Zing Zang Zoom,” the new magical menagerie from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, an 8,500-pound elephant named Asia seems to vanish abruptly in a grand illusion. Is it possible this disappearing act presages the future of the circus itself?"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Review: 'I Nipoti'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Mark Southers' latest play, 'I Nipoti,' has a lot going for it.
This third installment of his Culture Clash series at the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Downtown, has an interesting and original premise, dead-on realistic dialogue and opportunities for some August Wilson-style riffs."

How Things Work: 3-D movies

The Tartan Online: "Watching a movie where a sword comes right out of the screen at you can be a thrilling experience. Filmmakers make this possible by using 3-D technology that makes the audience feel as if it is part of the action. As stated in an article on www.guardian.co.uk, the first 3-D film, The Power of Love, was released in 1922. Since then, the technology has been used by filmmakers far and wide."

Ax Murderer Overacts in New Staging of ‘Crime and Punishment’

Bloomberg.com: "Maybe you need a sharp implement to get inside the head of Raskolnikov, the ax murderer at the center of a new theatrical version of Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre."

Wilmette Theatre: A Treasure on the North Shore

Chicago Stage Review: "As is sadly the case for so many Chicagoland landmarks, the Wilmette Theatre was slated for a redevelopment project. It had hosted live entertainment as well as films for almost 100 years. Carole Dibo and Sam Samuelson spearheaded an effort to save the theater and as the current owners they are not only preserving but also enhancing this North Shore treasure, creating an alternative entertainment destination in the process."

Online Laser Cutting

Props: "Some props shops may be lucky to have them, or have access to them through another department. Others may have worked with local businesses for laser-cutting services. Luckily, with the internet, you can still take advantage of laser cutting if neither of these are available."

"How many movies recoup their investment?"

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "You hear me and others quote the Broadway recoupment stats all the time: 4 out of 5 shows never make their money back (it sounds like a Trident commercial, doesn't it? '4 out of 5 dentists surveyed . . . ')"

At Soho Rep, Obsessed by ‘First Blood’ - No War Can Stop Him

NYTimes.com: "One man’s pulp is another man’s perfection. If you follow Zachary Oberzan down the rabbit hole of his character’s lapel-grabbing enthusiasm in “Rambo Solo,” you may emerge starry-eyed and wondering at the achievement of the relatively obscure novelist David Morrell. The highly impressionable might even be ready to rank his book “First Blood,” on which the series-spawning Sylvester Stallone action movie was based, among the supreme works of narrative fiction."

Mabou Mines DollHouse Released on DVD

Playbill News: "The production featured a score by Eve Beglarian and choreography by Eamonn Farrell and Erik Liberman. Completing the design team were Narelle Sissons (set design), Mary Louise Geiger (lighting design), Meganne George (costume design), Jane Catherine Shaw (puppetry) and Edward Costa (sound design)."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shakespeare finalists chosen

Post Gazette: "At the Pittsburgh Public Theater, spring comes in with storms, not of March showers or basketballs, but of passion and pratfall, ridicule and rant. This theatrical tumult arises from the young thespians who storm the O'Reilly Theater stage in the preliminary round of the annual Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest."

Dance Review: Ballet puts pop into a bold show

Post Gazette: "There was a time when lyrics were off-limits for serious dance accompaniment. They were considered to be too 'Broadway' or, much worse, 'rock 'n' roll.' Then the modern dance upstart Twyla Tharp hit the Joffrey Ballet stage with 'Deuce Coupe' in 1973."

Pittsburgh Opera looks at life, love in 'La Boheme'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The freshness of 'La Boheme' makes conductor Antony Walker love coming back to Giacomo Puccini's most popular opera.
'There is such levity throughout the beginning of the first act, but from the moment Mimi walks in you realize something extraordinary will happen,' he says. 'You've been laughing all the way. Then your breath is taken away.'
Love will do that."

Highcroft amphitheater could make comeback

Post Gazette: "Highcroft Learning and Performance Center for the Arts representatives spoke Monday at the supervisors' meeting about the possibility of hosting seven or eight concerts at the Caroline Steinman Nunan Amphitheater, on a sloping, wooded hillside that forms a natural amphitheater along Mount Pleasant Road."

Mike Daisey calls America's theater establishment on the carpet

The Denver Post: "Mike Daisey is an acclaimed and brazenly outspoken storyteller who mightily stirred the National Performing Arts Convention's pot last summer when he delivered his blunt monologue 'How Theater Failed America' here in Denver.
He's returning to perform 'Monopoly!' for Colorado Springs' TheatreWorks from Wednesday through March 29. Here's our Q&A"

‘West Side Story’ Is Tight, Tough, Not to Be Missed

Bloomberg.com: "“West Side Story” is back! The Laurents-Bernstein-Sondheim-Robbins landmark musical returns in an important production to Broadway’s Palace Theatre, tweaked and directed by its indomitable 91-year-old librettist, Arthur Laurents. Whether you’ve seen several mountings of it or none, you will want to catch this one."

Revamped West Side Story a disappointment

Reuters: "The idea that a musical as brilliant as 'West Side Story' would require reinventing seems a bit dubious, and the doubts are confirmed by the new Broadway revival. Reconceived and staged by its original book writer, Arthur Laurents, to achieve a new level of grittiness, this production features a lot of tweaks -- most notably the use of Spanish for two of the songs and some of the dialogue -- that don't add appreciably to its impact."

It's that time again: we're looking for a few good assistants.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "As you know, I don't have interns, I have assistants, and we're looking for our next class!"

MPTF Or USC School Of Cinema: Guess Which Fast-Tracked H’wood Fundraising?

Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily: "Interesting how the same Hollywood moguls who say the necessary millions can't be raised for the expansion and modernization of the Motion Picture & Television Fund's acute care hospital and longterm care nursing home are instead meeting lofty fundraising goals for the expansion and modernization of the USC School Of Cinematic Arts. But then we know the reason for that: one institution is producing tomorrow's talent whom the studios and networks can then exploit for years to come. And the other simply houses yesteryear's old and sick and used-up workers."

How to Stay Motivated and On-Track When You’re Struggling

Stepcase Lifehack: "Maybe you’ve been trying to kick-start your business and it just hasn’t worked yet. Maybe you’ve just started but you’re already frustrated. Or maybe you’ve wanted to hit that next level for years and haven’t been able to get there. Regardless of your situation, getting motivated and on-track isn’t difficult. It’s staying that way that’s the trick. And when you’re struggling to “make it,” sometimes it’s even harder. You find yourself wandering, letting yourself get distracted, and wondering if you’ll ever really make your mark. Want to end the cycle of struggle? Master these tips and you’ll be virtually unstoppable."

USITT Cover the Walls

Technical Direction Tidbits: "This is my Cover the Walls exhibit this year. While the exhibit is marketed towards designers,but I figure technical design counts. Actually, despite the terms on the exhibit form, they welcome the TD's into the fold, and I would like to encourage more of you to show your work in upcoming years."

Making a Firework Star Pattern Shell

Confessions of a Fireworks Man: "A firework shell which bursts with a ring pattern, a smiley-face, or a star pattern can be a unique and creative addition to a fireworks display. Suddenly, after a procession of fairly typical full, spherical shell bursts, a simple ring of stars, or a display of four or five of them fired simultaneously, changes the focus of attention of the audience. 'Hey, here's something different,' they'll think to themselves."

Dealing With Distractions

Web Worker Daily: "As I sit here working on blog posts, I can hear my next door neighbor, aka @crazyneighbor, carry on loudly through the wall of my home office. He seems to be alternating between mowing the lawn, making very loud whooping noises, and fixing his car. Needless to say, it can be pretty distracting."

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 Notebook Method: How Pen and Paper Can Transform You Into a Star Student

Study Hacks: "Unlike many hacks you read here, the strategy I want to describe today is not designed to reduce your study time (though I don’t think it will add much to your schedule either). Instead, its purpose is to help you transform from a good student into an exceptional student."

Souda

Carnegie Mellon University: "The moment you step off the elevator, you're in another world. Dim lights, touch-screen consoles in front of you, robots to your right — welcome to Carnegie Mellon's groundbreaking Entertainment Technology Center (ETC)."

Performer injured in Islands of Adventure's Sindbad show

Themepark Insider: "A stunt performer fell from a rope and was injured during an afternoon performance of The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad show at Universal's Islands of Adventure on Friday."

Natasha Richardson and the Redgrave Dynasty

NYTimes.com: "The sudden death of a famous artist in his or her prime is always sad and unsettling, a reminder that life is an easily breakable possession even for those who abide in the waiting room of immortality, which is to say celebrity. But the death of Natasha Richardson last week, after a skiing accident in Canada, struck many with particular force because Ms. Richardson was not merely a well-known actress but also a member of a great British theatrical dynasty."

At Paper Mill, Trying to Pull Out the Diva in Maria Callas

NYTimes.com: "Divas are fascinating creatures, if only because their aura of entitlement usually masks an insecure and tortured soul. It’s this soul that Terence McNally is seeking to expose in his 1995 play, “Master Class,” revolving around the opera singer Maria Callas, which is currently receiving a highly respectable production at Paper Mill Playhouse."

Lynn Nottage’s ‘Ruined’ and Wajdi Mouawad’s ‘Scorched’ Bear Witness to War

NYTimes.com: "HOW do you fit a civil war onstage? With its carnage and moral confusions war is a subject whose scope is difficult to encompass even by journalists on the ground writing daily dispatches. A country torn apart by strife offers so many stories of suffering that the idea of distilling such a cataclysm into a couple of hours’ traffic at the theater can seem a futile enterprise. Perhaps it’s no wonder few contemporary playwrights take up the cause, even if they are faulted for ignoring the large-scale horrors of the world to offer instead intimate dramas of marital woe or fanciful trips through history books."

Jeff Daniels and James Gandolfini, the Alpha Males of ‘God of Carnage’

NYTimes.com: "IT is not surprising that what James Gandolfini craves now, as he takes to the Broadway stage after eight years of playing a sensitive but brutish mob boss in a television series that grew increasingly dark, is a little lightness of being."

UC Berkeley tops ATAS' college TV awards

Hollywood Reporter: "UC Berkeley led the field of winners at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation's 30th College Television Awards with four. Also nabbing multiple wins at the event Saturday night were UCLA (three) and Brigham Young University, Northwestern University and AFI (two each) The ceremony, hosted by 'Dancing With the Stars' host Tom Bergeron, was held at the Culver Studios."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

'Mary's Wedding' lifts veil on love story

Post Gazette: "'The lunatic, the lover and the poet,' says Shakespeare's Theseus, 'are of imagination all compact.' Two of the three (I can't speak for the lunatic), plus imagination, are at work in 'Mary's Wedding,' the emotionally simple, complexly theatrical play now at City Theatre."

Review: Emotionally rich 'Mary's Wedding' often hard to follow

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Beginning on the night before Mary's wedding in 1920, the play moves forward and backward in real-time and dream-time and travels between Western Canada and the World War I battlefields of Europe as it recounts the relationship of young, romantic Charlie and Mary."

Children's Theatre Company to cut budget, salaries

Star Tribune: "Children's Theatre Company expects to reduce its fiscal 2010 budget by about 14 percent, largely in reaction to difficult economic conditions. The cuts would include salary reductions of up to 10 percent for artistic director Peter Brosius and managing director Gabriella Calicchio, a continued wage freeze for nonunion staff, leaving some vacancies unfilled, using fewer guest artists and reducing several full-time jobs to part time."

‘West Side Story’ Is Tight, Tough, Not to Be Missed (Update1)

Bloomberg.com: "“West Side Story” is back! The Laurents-Bernstein-Sondheim-Robbins landmark musical returns in an important production to Broadway’s Palace Theatre, tweaked and directed by its indomitable 91-year-old librettist, Arthur Laurents. Whether you’ve seen several mountings of it or none, you will want to catch this one."

Broadway thriving despite recession

Reuters: "There was much gnashing of teeth in January when a record number of productions closed and left the rialto looking barren indeed. But since then, some strange things have happened even as the economy continues to struggle to find a foothold."

Broadway dims lights for Natasha Richardson

Hollywood Reporter: "Liam Neeson and Vanessa Redgrave were among family members who went to Broadway as theaters dimmed their lights in tribute to Natasha Richardson, the Tony-winning actress who died from bleeding in the skull caused by the fall she took on a ski slope."

Friday, March 20, 2009

For Bricolage, bus rides inspire play-in-a-day

Post Gazette: "The production company Bricolage likes to say that its artists 'risk their creative necks.' Considering the breakneck speed of this weekend's project, the tagline seems apt."

Contemporary group revisits watershed year and Beatles classic in '1969'

Post Gazette: "It's not just that the experimental track from the 'White Album' isn't in high demand by audiences -- certainly when compared to 'Let It Be' or 'Hey Jude.' It's the daunting question of how one would even 'perform' a work cromprising tape loops, sound effects and samples. It is more of a sound collage than a song."

High school musical/South: Barnum at Keystone Oaks

Post Gazette: "A high school musical is already something of a circus, with its carnival atmosphere, heroes and clowns, infectious music and audience of all ages."

Review: Emotionally rich 'Mary's Wedding' often hard to follow

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Beginning on the night before Mary's wedding in 1920, the play moves forward and backward in real-time and dream-time and travels between Western Canada and the World War I battlefields of Europe as it recounts the relationship of young, romantic Charlie and Mary."

Judi Dench Shocked by Manacles at Party: London Stage Reviews

Bloomberg.com: "In Yukio Mishima’s 1965 play “Madame de Sade,” Judi Dench has a long monologue describing a Yuletide party. It involves whips, a manacled daughter, and a servant who licks up blood. A gripping speech it is too, though I couldn’t help wondering what they did with the leftover turkey and paper hats."

Academic 'discovers' six works by William Shakespeare

Telegraph: "Dr Casson spent three years studying writings thought to be connected to Shakespeare and poring over the life and letters of aristocrat Sir Henry Neville, considered by some academics to be the latest candidate for the authorship of Shakespeare's plays."

ACLU sues Corona del Mar High School for cultivating 'homophobic' environment

Los Angeles Times: "More than a month after controversy erupted over Corona del Mar High School's reported cancellation -- then rescheduling -- of a production of 'Rent,' the American Civil Liberties Union sued school officials Wednesday for fostering a 'sexist' and 'homophobic' atmosphere."

ACLU sues Corona del Mar High School for cultivating 'homophobic' environment

Los Angeles Times: "More than a month after controversy erupted over Corona del Mar High School's reported cancellation -- then rescheduling -- of a production of 'Rent,' the American Civil Liberties Union sued school officials Wednesday for fostering a 'sexist' and 'homophobic' atmosphere."

Shakespeare & Co. trims staff, salaries

Berkshire Eagle Online: "Shakespeare & Company is laying off seven employees, reducing two others to part-time, and instituting a 10 percent pay cut for the remaining 41 year-round staff as part of a restructuring plan to save $900,000."

Broadway Thriving Despite Recession

Backstage: "If this is how a recession affects Broadway, well then, bring it on!
There was much gnashing of teeth in January when a record number of productions closed and left the Rialto looking barren indeed. But since then, some strange things have happened even as the economy continues to struggle to find a foothold."

With Radio Golf, Israel Hicks Directs Entire Wilson Cycle Under Denver Center Roof

Playbill News: "The Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theatre Company completes an unprecedented theatrical event starting March 20: With the launch of August Wilson's Radio Golf, one director — Israel Hicks — will have directed all ten plays of Wilson's cycle for one theatre company."

Schwartz to oversee playwright union

Variety: "Schwartz heads an entirely new slate of officers made up of fellow union members Peter Parnell ('The Cider House Rules') as VP, Doug Wright ('I Am My Own Wife') as secretary and Theresa Rebeck ('Mauritius') as treasurer."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Choreographer Rhoden combines dance with doo-wop for PBT's 'American Rhythms'

Post Gazette: "Choreographer Dwight Rhoden likes to create world premieres for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for two reasons: He admires the company's artistry and commitment, and artistic director Terrence Orr keeps inviting him back."

In Commercial Talks, Unions Mention 'Strike'

Backstage: "For actors, there's bad news, good news, and bad news. The bad news is that their unions are planning to ask them for a strike authorization to give the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists leverage in ongoing talks with the advertising industry. The good news is that the potential conflict is unlikely to resemble the freeway pileup SAG's attempts to wrangle a new TV-and-film contract from producers have become. The bad news is that when the performers' unions are involved, you can't figure on anything."

Boozing in the stalls is bad news for actors

guardian.co.uk: "The news that the Broadway musical Rock of Ages will be offering in-seat alcohol during performances will send actors diving for the drinks cabinet. Can you imagine the potential for mayhem such an innovation will cause?"

China to bring Das Kapital to life on Beijing stage

guardian.co.uk: "You've read the book, attended the seminars and pondered the accumulation of surplus value – now see the musical.
Chinese producers are attempting to transform Das Kapital from a hefty treatise on political economy into a popular stage show, complete with catchy tunes and nifty footwork."

Strike looms as actors negotiate commercials pact

Reuters: "As if actors needed more bad news about labor talks, there's this: Leaders of the two main Hollywood performers' unions are considering sending out strike-authorization ballots unless negotiations with advertisers on a new commercials contract improve quickly."

Coraline Musical: Magnetic Fields Compose The Tunes For Coraline Musical

I09: "Neil Gaiman's Coraline is getting a musical adaptation composed by the sharp witted, velvety voiced Stephin Merritt, whom some of you may know from Magnetic Fields. I couldn't have imagined a better indie dream team."

Do College Students Need Laptops in the Age of Netbooks?

Study Hacks: "In the current issue of Wired magazine, Clive Thompson gushes over the rapid rise of the netbook: inexpensive, low-powered, small laptops optimized for simple tasks like web surfing. Clive compares the existing PC industry to “a car company selling SUVs,” noting that they have been pushing “absurdly powerful machines” even though most consumers just need something that gets them to the grocery store."

12 Points to Include in Your Design Contract

FreelanceSwitch - The Freelance Blog: "If you’re in the process of drafting a client contract, or if you are considering revising one that already exists, I would recommend including the following list of items"

Abroad - A Call Silenced in Cairo Is Warmly Received in a Berlin Theater

NYTimes.com: "On several recent evenings four muezzins from Cairo took to a carpeted stage at Hau Zwei, a Berlin theater, and talked about their lives and jobs. In their stocking feet, as if in a mosque, they showed family snapshots and pictures of their neighborhoods, and explained to the audience how to wash and pray according to Muslim ritual. “Radio Muezzin,” conceived by Stefan Kaegi, a Swiss director, is a one-act play, a documentary, really (performed in Arabic with subtitles), the concept for which arose after a decision in 2004 by the Egyptian minister of religious endowments, Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzouq."

Basic PTM - Assorted

David,

Do we still need to make comments this week for the News Week Quiz? I realize we do not have class this week, but are the comments still needed?
No quiz this week. Comments from last week and this week will roll over into next week.
David-

Are we expected to create a 3D "arts and crafts" type object for the second chart, or can we use different line styles to distinguish between hire/fire and "can't do my job without"?
You should do whatever you think you need to do to properly represent the process. If you can do it on paper that's fine, if you need more dimensions that's fine too.
Hi,

I just wanted to clarify due dates for our next two assignments. Are both the organizational charts and the new assignment we got today on forms due on April 2? They both have the same date, so I was just checking that they are in fact both due that day.
People, this is the kind of crap that happens when you don't do a schedule. Lets extend the paperwork deadline to April 9.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

City Theatre lists titles for 3 of 6 plays

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "City Theatre has set three of the six plays for 2009-10 subscription season, as well as two special presentations."

‘Good Negro’ Turns Adultery, Racism Into Powerful Drama

Bloomberg.com: "Political drama is a rather rare phenomenon in U.S. theater. All the more praise to Tracey Scott Wilson’s “The Good Negro,” at New York’s Public Theater, for bringing to vibrant life the black movement in 1962 Birmingham, Alabama, as it takes a giant step toward desegregation."

L.A. Drama Critics Circle names its (many, many) winners

Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times: "It's here. The moment so many have been waiting for: The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle has announced its award winners for 2008. The big ceremony took place tonight at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood."

Tackling 'Seven Jewish Children,' a Short Play That's Long on Debate

washingtonpost.com: "The four-day run of a 10-minute play later this month in Washington has raised a very large philosophical question: Where does the art stop and the politics begin?"

BBC rejects play on Israel's history for impartiality reasons

guardian.co.uk: "The BBC has declined to broadcast a radio version of Caryl Churchill's controversial new stage play about Israeli history, claiming it needed to remain impartial ‑ the same reason given for declining to air the Gaza emergency appeal."

'Louis & Keely' Leads L.A. Drama Critics Circle's Awards

Backstage: "Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara, which returns in a retooled version this week at the Geffen Playhouse's Audrey Skirball Kenis Theatre, continued its stellar showing in the L.A. theatre awards arena. The hit bio-musical by writer-performers Jake Broder and Vanessa Claire Smith earned four wins at the 40th anniversary Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, held March 16 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood."

'Louis & Keely' Leads L.A. Drama Critics Circle's Awards

Backstage: "Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara, which returns in a retooled version this week at the Geffen Playhouse's Audrey Skirball Kenis Theatre, continued its stellar showing in the L.A. theatre awards arena. The hit bio-musical by writer-performers Jake Broder and Vanessa Claire Smith earned four wins at the 40th anniversary Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, held March 16 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood."

Director Mendes brings Shakespeare Tale to Asia

Reuters: "Acclaimed director Sam Mendes is bringing an all-star cast to Asia for the first time to stage Shakespeare's 'The Winter's Tale' in Singapore, as the global economic crisis makes untraditional venues attractive."

'Louis' tops L.A. Drama Crix awards

Variety: "The Sacred Fools Theater Company staging of the bio tuner 'Louis and Keely Live at the Sahara' led the kudos at the 40th annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) Awards, garnering four nods, including outstanding production."

Monday, March 16, 2009

'Clockmaker' to kick off City Theatre season

Post Gazette: "City Theatre will have two premieres in 2009-10, the South Side company said last week in announcing the first three plays of its regular season."

'Shrek' won't disappoint children

Post Gazette: "'Cartoonish' is usually a mark of condescension. But sometimes a cartoon is just what you want, and I was in cartoon bliss with much of 'Shrek the Musical,' the Broadway version of William Steig's inspired little book and the DreamWorks movies, which is cleverly written in unexpected ways."

Review: Ballet Boyz

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The audience met the Ballet Boyz first on film at Saturday night's Dance Council presentation at the Byham Theater, Downtown. Part biography and part travelogue, the film introduced the captivating personalities of company co-founders Michael Nunn and William Trevitt."

Review: '12 Angry Men'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The '12 Angry Men' story played out entirely in a jury room setting, with a panel of 12 male jurors known only as 'Juror No. 1,' and so on. At the beginning of the play, the jurors walk into the room after hearing testimony about a teenage boy on trial for the murder of his father. All but one of the jurors are convinced that the youth is guilty, but the bold Juror No. 8 insists that the jury at least talk about and debate the evidence: the accused, after all, is facing an electric chair."

Ballet goes pop for inspiration

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Ballet often moves to classical music, but this weekend, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre turns once again to American pop music for its inspiration.
Choreographer Dwight Rhoden, whose new ballet 'Step Touch' is based on a dozen doo-wop songs, says, 'You forget until you get involved with them that these songs have been part of your whole life. And the influence of doo-wop is where hip-hop is going.'"

Jane Fonda makes return to Broadway

Post Gazette: "To meet Jane Fonda these days means first getting past her 8-pound fluffy gatekeeper.
Tulea, a white Bichon-like dog, is never very far from her 71-year-old mistress -- part confidante, part wiggly joy, part security blanket."

Cirque on the Palm by 2012

business24-7.ae: "Nakheel's plans for a permanent Cirque du Soleil show on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah will go ahead despite the current global economic crisis, the group confirmed yesterday. Although initially set for the first quarter of 2010, the Montreal-based entertainment organisation is now scheduled to reside in Dubai in 2012."

Ashland's season of darkness and light

Sacramento Bee: "With an annual budget of more than $24 million, the venerable Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., seemed recession-proof.
'I used to think the festival was immune to a recession. I no longer think that,' executive director Paul Nicholson said."

Playwrights are more important than politicians. So why do powerful people mesmerise me?

The Guardian: "There's something mesmerising about meeting powerful people. I mean really powerful people, the kind who decide whether we invade Iraq or bail out the banks. They even mesmerise each other. I've twice been a guest on Radio 4's Start the Week. Each time, while waiting for the programme to start, I was struck by the collegiate atmosphere in the green room."

SAG Plays Politics with Peace

Backstage: "With SAG's TV/theatrical contract negotiations stuck in neutral, there is growing concern that the guild's leadership is preparing to coast until its next election cycle, which would keep the industry in a state of permanent uncertainty throughout the summer. Or, worse, fears are surfacing that a resolution could be years away."

Steve Martin Helps Oregon HS Troupe with Show

Backstage: "Steve Martin has offered to pay for an off-campus production of his play 'Picasso at the Lapin Agile,' which was banned from a high school because parents objected to what they called adult content."

Kurt Weill Comedy Presents Homeless City Opera Players

Bloomberg.com: "A forgotten Broadway flop by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin offered fun and food for thought at Manhattan’s beautifully renovated Alice Tully Hall."

Ticketmaster Collaborates With Artists And Promoters To Shove Scalpers Aside

Techdirt: "Ticketmaster is the sort of company that lots of people love to hate. It's long been dogged by complaints that it is anti-competitive -- complaints which have gathered pace with its recent move to merge with Live Nation. The company has done plenty of things to try to drive scalpers out of business before, in hopes of sucking up their profit margins, and its latest move will further endear itself to fans."

Pyrotechnics Explained

Geeksaresexy.net: "I’ve found a blog that can easily suck up a pyrotechnic geek’s (or anyone’s) day. Sure, it’s attached to a commercial company, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. Confessions of a Fireworks Man has stories from the business, fireworks history, and loads of instructions for projects that you should not try at home."

‘Thirst’ at Here Arts Center - Coleridge on a Budget

NYTimes.com: "THE scenes that call for a dog would easily be the most complicated element of “Thirst: A Spell for Christabel.” If it weren’t for the moment that a giant ship slides through on a river of sap. Or the one in which the trees leak water."

A Changed ‘West Side Story’ Returns to a Changed New York

NYTimes.com: "WHEN Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins and Arthur Laurents created “West Side Story” in the mid-’50s, they lived within walking distance of the concrete alleys and playgrounds that were the backdrop for their updated version of “Romeo and Juliet,” the crowded tenements where new Puerto Rican immigrants rubbed up against the Irish, Poles and Italians who had preceded them."

Readings and Talks for Caryl Churchill’s ‘Seven Jewish Children’

NYTimes.com: "The New York Theater Workshop and two theaters in Washington will hold staged readings this month of Caryl Churchill’s provocative new play, “Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza,” along with talk-back sessions with audiences about the piece’s controversial portrayal of some Israelis, leaders of the theaters said Sunday."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Review: 'The World Goes 'Round'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "It takes a pretty good songwriting team to create a love song to commercial pastries.
So, I'm predisposed to like any show that features the music of composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb."

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’s the difference between a project manager and technical director?

Technical Direction Tidbits: "It depends. A few years ago, before choosing to go back to school to get my MFA I saw, or felt that there were two types of TDs, or at least one type on one end, another on the other end, and a lot that combine everything in the middle, but I felt the differences between the two types was diverging not getting closer."

For Dick Gregory, the Political Has Always Been Comical

NYTimes.com: "Forty-one years later Mr. Gregory, comedian, civil rights activist, health-food advocate and an early black candidate for president, spent Inauguration Day with the crowds in Washington, where he keeps an apartment."

For a Revival of ‘Dreamgirls,’ Pacific Overtures

NYTimes.com: "Several months ago, when John F. Breglio told fellow New York producers that he was not only remaking “Dreamgirls,” the 1981 Broadway hit musical based loosely on the career of the Supremes, but that he was also going to South Korea to do it, they were puzzled, to say the least."

'Hair' transplant on Broadway

Variety: "The question hanging over the Broadway transfer of 'Hair' isn't whether the 1967 flower-power tuner can still speak to contempo auds. The uncertainty hinges in part on whether the $5.8 million transfer about anti-war hippies retains the same urgency in the age of Obama as it had in the waning days of the Bush administration."

Friday, March 13, 2009

J-O-B - Festival

The Three Rivers Arts Festival is hiring for the 2009 festival. For more info on the festival, check out www.artsfestival.net. We are looking for a crew to start Mid-May and work with us through mid to late June, exact dates are to be determined. The work isn’t bad and the pay is good. So if you are staying in town for a part of this summer and are looking to make some money at a fun job, this is a great way to do it. If you are interested, please email Jen Owen at j.owen42@gmail.com for more information.

Talented cast makes 'World Go 'Round' at Public

Post Gazette: "There were two teams at work at Pittsburgh Public Theater Thursday night: Five Broadway-class vocalists matching one another for stage presence and comic timing and their silent but everpresent partners, the songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb."

PG ShowPlane puts "Broadway on sale," May 6-10

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."

Theatre needs a showcase

scena.org: "Repeat very slowly after me: The – Theatre – Museum – lives.
Ever since the facility was shut down two years ago as a result of declining attendances in Covent Garden there have been twitches of hope that a home might yet be found for the nation’s glorious performing arts collection."

The Wal-Marting of the American Theatre

Theatre Ideas: "'All I know is that if I want to work in Chicago, I have to be in New York; if I want to work in Seattle, which is a great theatre town, I have to be in New York; if I want to work in my home town of Raleigh, I have to be in New York.'"

Metropolitan Museum Cuts Staff, Closes Shops as Visitors Drop

Bloomberg.com: "New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art said it’s cutting 10 percent of its staff, about 250 jobs, as its endowment and gift-shop revenue shrink."

Museums cutting back due to recession

Reuters: "Museums in Philadelphia and New York including the Metropolitan Museum of Art are cutting stores, jobs and salaries as their endowments have been pounded by dwindling donations, government aid and financial markets."

Little House Tour to Feature Gilbert, Blanchard and Lindsay

Playbill News: "Following a five-week engagement at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ, the new musical Little House on the Prairie will launch an extensive national tour at the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul in October."

More swagger for THR's Key Art Awards

Hollywood Reporter: "The Key Art Awards is the only competition in which professionals honor their peers for designing and creating trailers, posters and other motion picture marketing materials. Under new leadership at THR and guidance from the creative community, the event will aim to reflect the style and imagination of the companies and individuals who serve as the inspiration behind movie marketing."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Milan Stitt, Author of The Runner Stumbles, Dies at 68


Playbill News: "Milan Stitt, a playwright who wrote the critical hit The Runner Stumbles and ran the play development program at Off-Broadway Circle Repertory Company, died March 12, his friend and colleague Andrea Lepcio said. He was 68."

City Theatre probes the mind of a conflicted bride in 'Mary's Wedding'

Post Gazette: "'Mary's Wedding,' a two-actor, three-character play told in a dreamscape of Mary's mind and memories, presents challenges galore for director Stuart Carden and sound designer/composer Andre Pluess. Not the least of those challenges is telling Stephen Massicotte's heartbreaking story of love and wartime loss without a safety net of 'post-modern cynicism,' as Pluess puts it."

Savoyards back in Carnegie for funny, absurd 'Iolanthe'

Post Gazette: "Among those who've added to the gaiety of nations and increased the public stock of harmless pleasure (thanks, Dr. Johnson), few rank higher than the team of W.S. Gilbert (words) and Arthur Sullivan (music), who together created 14 comic operettas, 1871-96, most of which have pretty continuously held the stage since."

Balletboyz return with works from top choreographers

Post Gazette: "The Boyz are back in town, proving that they weren't just a flash in the pan when they appeared with the Pittsburgh Dance Council five years ago. British dancers Michael George Nunn and William Piper Trevitt put together an intimate company and proceeded to 'stalk' some of the biggest choreographic names in dance to create original programming."

U.S. Theater Critics Name Finalists for Largest National New Play Award

Post Gazette: "The American Theatre Critics Association has announced six finalists for the 2009 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, which recognizes the best new scripts produced professionally outside New York City during 2008."

Stage review: Prime Stage does justice to '12 Angry Men'

Post Gazette: "Prime Stage Theater describes its worthy goal as 'to bring literature to life,' so the choice of 'Twelve Angry Men' as its current production is a puzzlement. The play was never literature, but started its life as a TV drama on 'Studio One' in 1954, hosted by the queen of the refrigerator, Betty Furness."

Public Theater pays tribute to Kander and Ebb

Post Gazette: "Break out the jazz hands: The songs of Kander and Ebb shimmy onto the stage tonight with the opening of Pittsburgh Public Theater's 'The World Goes 'Round.'
'A lot of people know their big numbers -- they're so exciting, they're so famous,' said Ted Pappas, the Public's producing artistic director."

Ballet Boyz hold true to entertainment philosophy

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Sometimes, circumstance provides just the needed push for a breakthrough. Case in point: Ballet Boyz.
Michael Nunn and William Trevitt had been lead dancers with the Royal Ballet for a dozen years when the company's home -- the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London -- was closed for renovations."

Playwright allows good heart of 'Wedding' to beat for itself

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'Mary's Wedding' is the story of love between two young people -- Mary and Charlie -- in wartime. It's 1914, and the conflict is World War I. City Theatre will present the play starting tonight at the South Side theater."

Musical revue embraces 'The World'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "There's a challenge in staging any musical revue, says Marcia Milgrom Dodge, but it's even more of a challenge when it's one that was created by Susan Stroman."

Review: Lavish production sends ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ flying

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Each generation has its own iconic shows.
For those born in the mid-to-late 1960s, it's the movie 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,' which hit the silver screen in 1968.
Now in their 40s and with kids of their own, they're likely to get a kick out of seeing the national touring production of the live stage musical that's playing at the Benedum Center through Sunday.
The story hasn't changed."

Review: 'Prima' takes engaging look at opera creation

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Laughter, the most genuine applause at a comedy, rang out repeatedly Friday night at Opera Theater's presentation of Antonio Salieri, 'Prima la musica e poi le parole' (First the Music and Then the Words)."

'Chitty Chitty' actor enjoys being bad

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera audiences last saw the Irwin native and Broadway performer in 2007 as Bob Wallace in 'Irving Berlin's White Christmas'. He has also appeared in CLO productions as likeable lovers such as Adam Pontipee in 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,' Georg Nowack in 'She Loves Me' and Tommy Albright in 'Brigadoon.'"

Personality test: Mark Clayton Southers

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "When an e-mail arrives from Mark Clayton Southers, you never can be quite sure where it's coming from.
Could be the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Downtown, where he's the founder and producing artistic director."

Opera Theater chooses personal setting for Salieri opera

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Opera Theater presents Salieri's short competition opera, 'Prima la musica e poi le parole' ('First the Music and Then the Words') on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Henry P. Hoffstot house in Shadyside."

Prime Stage presents classic courtroom drama

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The director of the '12 Angry Men' play opening Saturday at the New Hazlett Theater says he hopes it will inspire teens to look forward to the day they are summoned for jury duty."

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Feeling Economic Crunch

WDUQNews: "The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) has been forced to restructure nine positions within its administrative staff as a result of the floundering economy."

State cuts grant for amphitheater

Post Gazette: "Even the Steelers aren't immune to the effects of the recession.
Facing a massive budget deficit this year, the state has cut a proposed $4 million grant for the team's planned entertainment complex on the North Shore next to Heinz Field to $2.5 million."

Musical 'Heathers' Headed to Stage

Backstage: "Get ready for 'Heathers: The Musical.'
The influential 1988 teen dark comedy, which launched the careers of Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and scribe Dan Waters, is stagebound in a production being developed by Andy Fickman, director of 'Race to Witch Mountain,' who is making a return to his musical roots."

Recession Forcing Layoffs at Sesame Workshop

Backstage: "The crisis on Wall Street is plaguing Sesame Street.
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit producer of Sesame Street and other kids' programs, is cutting about one-fifth of its work force because of the economic downturn."

Fonda, Gums Blazing, Wins Broadway Critics, Boosting Box Office

Bloomberg.com: "Jane Fonda, her star power strong as ever, dazzled ticket-buyers and critics alike in her return to Broadway after 46 years."