CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

NYC's Diamond District Sparkles in New Musical

Backstage: "'Diamonds at 22 West,' a musical comedy set in New York City's famed Diamond District, will take center stage next month at a New Jersey playhouse."

Avant-Garde Choreographer Pina Bausch Dies

Backstage: "German choreographer Pina Bausch, whose work is credited with revolutionizing the language of modern dance, died on Tuesday after being diagnosed with cancer only days earlier. She was 68 years old."

Ontario Sweetens Tax Breaks for Hollywood

Backstage: "Los Angeles producers shooting in Ontario can now write off 25% of total production expenses beyond labour costs, including equipment and studio rentals."

ACTRA OKs Labor Deal with Canadian Producers

Backstage: "The new Independent Production Agreement, to run from Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2012, covers all movie, TV and new media production in Canada, except in British Columbia where the Union of B.C. Performers has a separate labor agreement."

Comedy Producers Eye 'No Clothes'

Backstage: "Veteran comedy producers and masterminds of the defunct U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen are returning to the mountain resort as part of this week's Aspen Ideas Festival to try out a format mixing politics and comedy called 'The News Has No Clothes.'"

A Stella Adler turf war in L.A.

os Angeles Times: "While they both bear her name, the institutions have operated separately with different boards of directors since Adler's death in 1992. Their relationship over the years has been distant and sometimes cool, according to people affiliated with the schools. Now, the organizations are going head to head for the first time as competitors."

S.F. Mime Troupe turns 50

SFGate: "Few American performance companies can boast such longevity, let alone small troupes with no endowment. Who would've thought that an avant-garde arts experiment would become one of the nation's best-known companies within its first decade? That it would launch careers as diverse as those of Peter Coyote, Shabaka and Bill Graham? That a gritty anti-establishment troupe would win a Tony award? Or that mimes could be this vocal?"

Ask DailyAutoCAD: Which Notebook to Buy?

Daily Autocad: "Here in DailyAutoCAD, a most frequent question that comes from readers asks about our notebook reccomendations and advices. The world is becoming increasingly mobile and manufacturers are speeding up this process by continuosly bringing the prices down."

Art+Technology=Future

Carnegie Mellon University: "The increasing interplay of arts and technology is having a dramatic impact on virtually every aspect of our lives, from business to pop culture, and education to entrepreneurship.
A panel of experts gathered June 20 in the Silicon Valley to discuss the narrowing gap between arts and technology — and what we may be able to expect in the future."

Seven Great Questions to Ask at a Job Interview

Stepcase Lifehack: "If you are going for an interview as a prospective employee then you should do some research. Read the job description and requirements carefully. Browse the web site to see how the organization presents itself. Search for news items and comments about the company on news sites and blogs.
For the interview itself you should dress smartly and appropriately. It is important to have some questions prepared and here are a few that could really help"

ESTA Announces eSET Portal

iSquint: "The ESTA Foundation has launched a new site geared towards providing entry level entertainment technicians a educational portal to learn and better understand terms and fundamentals within the entertainment industry."

Julia Jordan Introduction to Opening The Curtain of Playwright Gender

Women & Hollywood: "We had statistics that showed that the ratio of male to female writers being produced in New York was more than four to one. That all male seasons were commonplace, while all female seasons were unheard of. Primary Stages is the first theater to have programmed an all female season that I know of… that is at a theater which doesn’t have the mission to exclusively produce women. Though the conversation at the townhall was lively and positive, not much was actually concluded. The theaters asserted that there was a low number of female written scripts worthy of production and the writers charged discrimination pure and simple."

Gender Bias in Theatre — Digging a Little Deeper

Women & Hollywood: "Usually an undergraduate thesis does not warrant a couple of hundred people showing up to hear the results. But this was no average thesis and Glassberg Sands is no average undergrad. This young woman is seriously impressive and was advised by Cecilia Rouse who is now working for the Obama administration and is the co-author with Claudia Goldin of Harvard of the famous study Orchestrating Impar-tiality: The Impact of ‘Blind’ Auditions on Female Musicians about how blind auditions increases women making it out of auditions by 50%."

Import X,Y Coordinates from Excel into AutoCAD

Between the Lines: "I am currently on vacation but wanted to share a great AutoCAD Tip from my friend the AutoCAD Trainer Guy Michael Beal. Michael always has great tips and clear instructions in his monthly “Michael’s Corner” available on the web as well as a monthly newsletter."

New York Theater Under the Knife

NYTimes.com: "If theatrical satire, as the playwright and wit George S. Kaufman so famously remarked, is “what closes on Saturday night,” it might seem risky for a London playhouse to produce a show that said its New York goodbyes earlier this year."

Theater for a New Audience Announces Season

NYTimes.com: "The Theater for a New Audience announced plans for a busy 2009-10 season Off Broadway on Tuesday, and its leaders said they were hoping to make that schedule even busier in the spring by remounting their recent acclaimed productions of “Othello” and “Hamlet.”"

Western Pennsylvania students enjoyed time at national theater awards program

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "They're not bringing home trophies, but Kian McCollum and Elizabeth Bailey remained upbeat about their participation in the competition for National High School Musical Theater Awards."

Chartiers Valley student a finalist in the first Jimmys

Post Gazette: "The awards, named for legendary Broadway producer James M. Nederlander and produced by Pittsburgh CLO and the Nederlander organization, concluded last night with a New York City awards gala hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford."

Jerry Lewis to helm 'Nutty' musical

Variety: "Marvin Hamlisch ('A Chorus Line') composes the music while Rupert Holmes ('Curtains') pens the book and lyrics for the show, based on the 1963 Paramount pic that Lewis co-wrote, directed and toplined."

'Little Mermaid' to close on Aug. 30

Variety: "Broadway tuner 'The Little Mermaid' will shutter Aug. 30, after a run of less than two years.
Disney Theatrical Prods., the legit arm of Disney that produces 'Mermaid,' opted to shutter the show in order to avoid the box office slowdown that occurs on the Rialto every September, and also to concentrate on future life for the musical, which is in the planning stages for a fall 2010 tour."

Monday, June 29, 2009

CMU merges art with reality TV and fresh waffles

Post Gazette: "It was supposed to be a two-semester community artistic social experiment for a Carnegie Mellon University art class, videotaping hip late-night crowds discussing what was on their minds while they ate waffles.
But the combination of homemade treats and homegrown reality show has proven to be an unusual recipe for success since Waffle Shop opened its doors last fall in East Liberty. School is out, but the doors are staying open, weekend brunch hours have been added and the menu has expanded."

EVENT INTERNS NEEDED!!!!!

Craigslist: "doing many events for a new media company to raise money!
Thats where you come into play!!! we need all types of people from promo, streat team and event people"

Broadway Producer Morton Gottlieb Dies at 88

Backstage: "Broadway producer Morton Gottlieb whose career spans three decades, and whose plays ran into the thousands of performances, died of natural causes on June 25, in Englewood, N.J., according to the New York Times. Gottlieb was 88 years old."

ETCP Launches Web-Based Practice Exams

Backstage at BackstageJobs.com: "The Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP) will launch practice exams for the rigger - arena, rigger - theatre, and entertainment electrician certification exams on July 15. The web-based practice exams will consist of 50 questions and are available from that date forward for $35 at www.goamp.com. Candidates should go to “candidates” and then follow the menu to ETCP, where can they choose one of the three exams."

Curtain, then finger-pointing at North Shore

The Boston Globe: "When Barry Ivan took charge of North Shore Music Theatre, he thought he knew what to expect. For 12 years, he had been a steady guest director at the 54-year-old Beverly institution, marshaling dozens of dancers and scores of singers in eye-popping musicals like “West Side Story’’ and “Les Miserables.’’ Just before taking the top spot in 2008, he had directed the biggest-grossing show in the 1,750-seat venue’s history, “High School Musical.’’"

Don a White Glove or a Wimple - ‘Thriller Live’ and ‘Sister Act’ in London

NYTimes.com: "A wake it was not. True, the management had provided two condolence books, lying open beside a tasteful white funerary arrangement in the lobby, in which theatergoers could express their sympathy to the Jackson family (to whom, a sign promised, the books would be sent “in due course”). And a little shrine had been improvised on the steps of the Lyric Theater here, with assorted cellophane-wrapped flowers and notes to the famously departed."

Helen Mirren Channels Passion and Rage, in Tight Focus

NYTimes.com: "In the classical French play “Phèdre” Racine dramatized in theatrical verse the notion that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. But the fury of a New Yorker who believes that she has been made to stand in line unnecessarily and unjustly is not to be idly dismissed either."

Hamlisch, Holmes and Lewis Creating Nutty Professor Musical for Broadway

Playbill News: "Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes will write the songs, and legendary actor, director, writer and producer Jerry Lewis will make his theatrical directorial debut with the new Broadway musical, The Nutty Professor, based on the 1963 film that Lewis starred in and co-wrote."

Western Pennsylvania students compete for national theater awards

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Two local high school students are among those competing today in New York City for National High School Musical Theater Awards."

Royal Ballet ambitiously expands choreography

Post Gazette: "Tour performances bring a snapshot of a dance company, but it is rare that the photo is as vivid as the recent performances by England's Royal Ballet at Kennedy Center."

'Avenue Q' reaches end of road

Variety: "Broadway tuner 'Avenue Q' will shutter in the fall after a run of six years.
Comedy, in which a cast of humans and puppets play twentysomethings struggling to find their way in New York City, was one of the first of a new generation of small-scale offerings that carved out a stable foothold on a Rialto landscape more often associated with splashier fare."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Theaters Take a Nimble Approach to Economic Blues

Backstage: "From major theaters such as Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival to small companies such as the Barnstormers Theatre in bucolic Tamworth, N.H., uncertain economic times have forced theaters across North America not only to re-examine what they are putting on stage this summer — and beyond — but how to sell these plays and musicals as well."

In Minnesota, 'Love's Labours' Launches 2009 Great River Shakespeare Festival

Yahoo! News: "Paul Barnes, GRSF founding company member and producing director, directs the comedy Love's Labours Lost (which played a preview June 25); Alec Wild, GRSF founding company member and associate director, directs the romance The Tempest (which will play a preview June 27). Frederic Barbour, also a founding company member, directs Hamlet."

How to create a Broadway hit in 6 Easy Steps

TheStar.com: "The Drowsy Chaperone is the most successful Canadian musical in Broadway history. It opened at the Marquis Theatre in New York on May 1st, 2006 and went on to become a critical and commercial hit. In its Broadway incarnation, it was a flashy, slick 12 million dollar theatrical juggernaut, but it began as a stag party performance slapped together with a budget of less than $200. Can such a journey be repeated? Sure it can, if you follow these six easy steps."

Hungary's hot Ring lures Wagnerites

Reuters: "Life is full of choices, few starker than this: On a sunny June day would you rather stroll along the Danube River or sit for five hours in a darkened hall listening to a very large soprano belt out Wagner?"

How to Make Efficiency Infectious When Working With a Team

WebWorkerDaily: "From time to time, a lone teleworker finds herself working with a team. This could be at the request of the client, or simply because a certain project demands it. In these cases, a strong team dynamic is needed to make the project a success. The ideal team would be highly skilled, efficient, and have complementary working styles. But what are the odds of that? Team members might even have contradictory work processes. At the worst, you might be the only one who is meeting deadlines and sticking to your assigned tasks. What do you do to encourage the same or better efficiency in the other members of your team?"

It’s a Wrap for 20th Century Props

NYTimes.com: "Mr. Schwartz, the owner of 20th Century Props, plans to go out of business next month and auction the inventory. Battered by the surge in out-of-state movie production and the demise of scripted programming on network television, the once-thriving business — one of a handful of its type remaining — is failing."

Therapist keeps Cirque performers in top condition

timestranscript.com: "Gurie, 29, is health-services supervisor with 'Saltimbanco,' the touring Cirque du Soleil arena show. She was watching a number called Chinese Poles as the company went through its training routine. A few hours later, the acrobats would don outlandish, colorful costumes for the opening performance of a five-day run in Lakeland, Fla."

Michael Jackson patented a gadget to perform dance magic

DVICE: "As we mourn the loss of spectacular dancer, frenetic and staccato singer, and professional weirdo Michael Jackson, the gadget world reminisces about a patent Jackson filed in 1993. Remember that supernatural, gravity-defying 45-degree lean Jackson performed with his troupe of dancers on 'Smooth Criminal'? Jackson used wires and harnesses in the 1988 music video, but that wasn't possible when he performed the trick live in 1992."

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"

New help for students with loan debt

Marketplace From American Public Media: "Marketplace Money host Tess Vigeland talks with Kai Ryssdal about a new program aimed to help college graduates having a tough time paying off loans, changes to student loan interest rates, and the streamlining of FAFSA."

4 Reasons It Pays to Track Your Time

WebWorkerDaily: "I’ll admit, I haven’t always tracked my time when it comes to my clients and their projects. Although I always knew roughly how long things took me to complete, until recently, I never kept a more detailed record.
The longer I continue this practice, the more I’m coming to appreciate it. Here’s why it pays to track."

Adventures on Broadway: Part 2

(td)squared: "Welcome back to part two of my ongoing series, Adventures on Broadway. Today, we will look at the Broadway smash revival of South Pacific, the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical currently playing at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center. I suppose then, that is as good a place to start as any – discussing the theatre itself."

Judith Ivey, Phyllida Lloyd and Diane Paulus Are Among the Female Directors Leveling the Playing Field

NYTimes.com: "Ms. Ivey, a two-time Tony-winning actress, is a familiar presence onstage, but for this production, which starts previews on Thursday at Second Stage Theater, she has chosen to remain out of the spotlight in order to run the show."

Bricolage's Midnight Radio tunes in to nostalgic medium

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Think of it as old-fashioned radio for new-age audiences, or 'Prairie Home Companion' on Red Bull.
Bricolage Production Company's 'Midnight Radio Summer Smackdown Series' will offer a monthly episodic radio series written and performed live by area writers and actors, complete with honey-voiced announcers, audience-participation opportunities, commercial breaks and vintage vinyl sound effects."

'Tavern' tackles coming-of-age tale from a Catholic slant

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The Mountain Playhouse's family comedy 'Over the Tavern' is the first non-school related production for 14-year-old Noah Adam Harchelroad, and he's taking on a lead role.
'He's doing a wonderful job, and he's got a huge part,' says seasoned actress Barbara Russell, a regular at the playhouse. Russell's well-known in the Pittsburgh area for her work with the late Don Brockett in the comedy duo Brockett and Barbara and from performances at various city theaters."

Jimmy Awards: Local acting students await national competition results

Post Gazette: "Pittsburgh CLO's support of high school music theater is center stage Monday in New York City, where The Jimmy Awards -- a national version of the CLO's Gene Kelly Awards -- crowns stage stars of the future."

Add texting to list of theater disruptions

Post Gazette: "In a dark movie theater, the audience sits engrossed in 'Up.' An elderly man and a child are sailing miles above the ground in a house carried by a grand bouquet of balloons -- which is wonderful until a glance out the window reveals ominously dark clouds crackling with lightning."

Broadway slate falling into place

Variety: "With the announcement that the Broadway production of Tracy Letts' 'Superior Donuts' will play the Music Box Theater this autumn, details of the imminent Rialto season continue to fall into place."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

VIP Guests

Carnegie Mellon University: "Students in the School of Drama recently enjoyed a workshop with some of Carnegie Mellon University's celebrity alumni.
The VIP guest list included actors Patrick Wilson (A'95), Dagmara Dominczyk (A'98), Billy Porter (A'91), Tamara Tunie (A'81) and Manu Narayan (A'96).
Acclaimed writer, director and producer Dan Green (A'94) also attended, as well as Mike Reiss — a founding writer of The Simpsons."

'Le Corsaire' steals the breath away

Post Gazette: "Bolshoi means 'big,' and never was there a ballet better suited to the broad strokes of this Russian company than the swashbuckling tale of pirates and slave girls, 'Le Corsaire.' This ballet has it all -- a convoluted plot, beautiful classical dancing, spirited character dancing, five composers and a shipwreck."

Zany 'Twentieth Century' transports audiences to brighter time

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Whether it's film, theater or books, entertainment audiences are flocking to any stories that allow them the opportunity to escape everyday life. The cast and crew of Saint Vincent Theatre's play 'Twentieth Century,' opening Thursday, proffer that exact experience for their patrons."

Young dancers 'Swing' through high-voltage numbers

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The original swing era spanned the period from the 1930s to 1946.
But as the program notes for 'Swing' suggest, the popular song-and-dance style can't be limited to any one time or place.
The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera production that plays through Friday at the Benedum Center offers abundant evidence that 'Swing' lives on as a state of mind as well as a popular song-and-dance revue."

Recession and the Revolution

Backstage: "For Susanna Dalton, a New York–based actor who also works as a voiceover teacher and on-camera coach, the recession has been both boon and bust. With the local unemployment rate at 9 percent, its highest level in more than 15 years, people who can afford to re-evaluate their careers are giving acting a try. But for many who have been acting awhile, classes have become a luxury."

Rose’s Turn: Patti LuPone Responds to ArtsBeat

NYTimes.com: "Do we allow our rights to be violated (photography, filming and audio taping of performances is illegal) or tolerate rudeness by members of the audience who feel they have the right to sit in a dark theater, texting or checking their e-mail while the light from their screens distract both performers and the audience alike? Or, should I stand up for my rights as a performer as well as the audiences I perform for?"

Theater Has a Gender Bias? Do Tell

NYTimes.com: "When more than 160 playwrights and producers, most of them female, filed into a Midtown Manhattan theater Monday night, they expected to hear some concrete evidence that women who are authors have a tougher time getting their work staged than men."

Off B'way makes impact, report finds

Variety: "Off Broadway business generated a citywide economic impact of $461.3 million during the 2007-08 season, according to a report from the Off Broadway Alliance.
Tickets sales hit $173.02 million, according to the report, from 5.47 million ducats sold."

Princeton Numbers Cruncher Confirms Bias in Theater (Update1)

Bloomberg.com: "Female playwrights, long aware that they’re produced less frequently than their male counterparts, may now have someone to blame: female artistic directors."

Broadway Tourists Find Dark Houses, Closed Shows

Bloomberg.com: "Walking through New York’s Theater District earlier this week, I was startled by the sight of more than a dozen dark theaters or posters advertising final performances."

Resignations, ENO Model, Might Save City Opera

Bloomberg.com: "This is the tale of two city operas, both of which present high art at popular prices."

US Copyright Law, King Lear, and Jammie Thomas-Rasset

Groklaw: "I was goofing off, looking up some information on Wikipedia on King Lear, and here's what struck me. If the current US Copyright Law had been in effect over Shakespeare, I think he could have been sued by many authors for copyright infringement for writing that masterpiece."

Stop Just Putting Out Fires, Start Really Working

WebWorkerDaily: "It always starts with checking email first thing in the morning. Open, read, react, and an hour later, reply. Open, read, react, and an hour later, reply. On and on it goes, until it’s two o’clock and not one smidgen of paid work has been done, or if it has, it’s been done in a haphazard way, usually at the client’s demand instead of using my own tried-and-true schedule and system. By the end of the day, I’m zapped and feel like a heel for allowing my work to control me, instead of the other way around. There has to be a better way!"

Should I leave L.A. after one year?

Salon Life: "I live in Los Angeles. I've been here almost a year, trying to get into the film industry. It was once my great dream, and now it seems that I've merely moved to a land where everyone is shallow, miserable and hates their career. That or, like me, they are poor, talented and unable to find something with even the hope of moving up in the world."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

World's Largest CNC Machine Fabricates Large-Scale Building Prototypes

Gizmodo: "Using the world's largest 3D printer, Shiro Studio architects and D-Shape have joined forces to create this 3x3x3 meter tall prototype of the Radiolaria pavilion."

Come out and "PLAE"

One Producer in the City: "I've been kicking around an idea for a while to develop a course that focuses on the techniques I've learned as a teacher and artist over the years. A course that encourages a group of self-motivated people to become the arts leaders of tomorrow. Today I begin the process by opening up the applications. I'm going to teach everything I know and bring in others who will teach everything they know. I'm looking for amazing people who have passion and ingenuity. I'm looking for people who will spread the word, twitter, and facebook about this. I'm looking for people who really want to stand out, If you fit the bill, read below."

The NEA has news for all of us. Spoiler Alert: it ain't good.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "Five times over the past 25 years, the NEA and the US Census Bureau have surveyed adults in this country about their arts consumption and released the stats in what they call 'the nation's largest and most representative periodic stuf of adult participation in arts events and activities.'
The latest survey came out a week ago."

Form for student loans will become shorter

CNN.com: "Millions of parents and students will have much shorter federal applications for financial aid to pay for college. The form, known as FAFSA, is infamous for its detail and is considered by critics to be more painful and complex than a tax return."

Just Released; The ETC iRFR iPhone App

iSquint | Entertainment Lighting News & Review: "It has been a long time since we last mentioned the ETC iPhone app, the iRFR. Today the iRFR iPhone app has shown up in iTunes! The iRFR is a remote focus unit similar in both function and layout of the Radio Remote Focus Unit but runs on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch and works of the WiFi connection. The iRFR is able to function as a remote for the Eos, Ion, Element, Congo and Congo Jr. Lighting consoles."

Stars Play It Big in London Productions of ‘A Doll’s House,’ ‘Hamlet,’ ‘Phèdre’ and ‘Waiting for Godot’

NYTimes.com: "There are queens, and then there are queens. Helen Mirren, having won an Academy Award as the emotionally clamped-down Elizabeth II in “The Queen,” has donned the purple of royalty again to portray the emotionally unedited title character in Racine’s “Phèdre” at the National Theater. And unless Buckingham Palace keeps its secrets better than anyone suspects, these women have nothing in common except their titles."

MTV layoffs a 'creative' decision

Hollywood Reporter: "On the surface, it looked like another cost-cutting measure by a media company in the face of a prolonged recession -- MTV Networks' Music Group and Logo division on Tuesday trimmed 50-something jobs."

Orchard to exit American Repertory

Variety: "Robert J. Orchard, executive director of the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., since it was founded in 1970, will step down at the end of the company's 2008-09 season."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Toronto faces filming space crunch

Variety: "TORONTO Location managers are beating the bushes in Toronto. No empty warehouse is unexplored, the local soundstage shortage just one reality -- not to mention the strong Canuck buck and Quebec's recently announced boost in tax credit for foreign productions -- keeping the city's 25,000-plus production workforce on edge as the busiest season ramps up."

Bret Michaels 'Got Bell Rung', But Won't Sue Tony Awards

Broadway.com: "People Magazine reports that POISON singer, and reality tv star, Bret Michaels will not sue the Tony Awards in relation to his opening number mishap on the CBS telecast of the ceremony."

Hometown Hero Nominations Trickling In

FOH online: "Test…Test…Check…Check. Is this thing on?
Yes, we ARE seeing a response to last week’s FOH News and Newsletter posting calling for Hometown Hero award nominations, so we know our message is getting out there. But mostly from the Northeast and Midwest regions of the U.S. So what’s the deal with the Northwest, Southwest, Southeast and Canada?"

Total Structures Summer Hoist School

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Total Structures announces it summer hoist school. This two-day ETCP- recognized training course is for anyone working with Columbus McKinnon entertainment electric chain hoists. The course will be held on Monday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 18 in Oxnard, California. Class size is limited to 20 students; however, should demand necessitate, an additional course will be added for Wednesday August 19 and Thursday August 20."

Nominations Close July 1st for ESTA's Rock Our World Awards

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "The deadline for nominations for the second annual ESTA Rock Our World Awards is July 1. The awards recognize groundbreaking achievement by ESTA members in new products, product applications, or projects. They were created to acknowledge the genius of both the creator of technology and the designer or integrator who applies the technology in a real-world environment."

J. R. Clancy Sponsors LHAT Conference

Stage Directions: "J. R. Clancy is a four-star sponsor of the 33rd annual League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT) conference in Cleveland, Ohio, July 15-18. Hosted this year by PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland’s downtown theatre district, the LHAT conference places historic theatres and their renovations in the spotlight—including the Hanna Theatre, the permanent home of the Great Lakes Theatre Festival (GLTF)."

4KIDS ENTERTAINMENT AND MIRAGE STUDIOS ANNOUNCE "TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 4-D DARK RIDE" FOR SCIFANTA'S NEW SOUTH KOREA THEME PARK

Animation Magazine Press Box: "4Kids Entertainment (NYSE: KDE), the diversified children's entertainment and media organization, and Mirage Studios, licensor of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, have approved the development and construction of the first-ever theme park ride for the popular property, which is 'Shell-ebrating' its 25th anniversary this year."

Community theater performers soak up the atmosphere of the season

Appleton Post-Crescent: "The Fox Valley is home to a dozen or more community theater troupes, some of which also cast for shows outside of the three-month summer theater season. But there's something magical about theater in summer, community-based actors agree."

Microhydraulics Technology

Entertainment Engineering - Volume 6 Issue 5: "FastFlow® is a patented hydraulic technology that uses “microhydraulic” principles. Microhydraulics refers to hydraulic systems regulated by fluidics rather than conventional valves. Consequently, the technology enables small, lightweight hydraulic systems that fit within the palm of a hand that are able to easily generate 10,000 psi pressures with flow rates of one half liter per minute."

Bandit Lites CEO thinks Knoxville can play a starring role

Knoxville News Sentinel: "Michael Strickland's Bandit Lites is a world leader in the entertainment industry, and he wants Knoxville and the world know it.
It's not that it's all about him."

British Columbia film unions ratify labor deal

Hollywood Reporter: "British Columbia film unions have ratified a three-year deal with U.S. producers that includes a 2% rate hike.
The new master agreement between the Canadian affiliates of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the B.C. Council of Film Unions, which represents 10,000 behind-the-camera workers, will run to March 2012."

J-o-b - TD

Technical Director
Part Time, Salaried
$20,000-$30,000/annually DOE

Job Description:
As Keshet Dance Company is now booking a new presented series for the Historic KiMo Theatre (650 seats) in downtown Albuquerque, Keshet’s new Technical Director position will be responsible for overseeing this presented series – approximately 100 performances and related technical rehearsals annually, working as a liaison with the existing KiMo Theatre Technical Director and Technical Staff. This position will remain part time until phase I of Keshet’s Capital Project is complete, which includes the creation of a black box theatre (approximately 120 seats) at which time this position will become full time as the Technical Director will be responsible for the oversight and management of the new black box theatre.

Projected start date between October-December 2009.
Interested Applicants should email cover letter and resume to shira@keshetdance.org

Friday, June 19, 2009

CLO's 'Swing' lindy hops back to big band era

Post Gazette: "Don't be surprised if you get a case of happy feet during Pittsburgh CLO's 'Swing!,' a song-and-dance musical that celebrates the big-band era and the kind of precision partner dancing that's made a comeback through TV reality competitions."

'Honus & Me' ties baseball to life lessons

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The first play in Mountain Playhouse's summer season combines a Pittsburgh setting and sports hero with a powerful message to do what's right.
'Doing the easy thing and doing the right thing are not always the same,' says Paul Domencic, who's taking on the role of Johannes Peter Wagner in the play 'Honus & Me.'"

WCCC players stage British mystery 'Ladies in Retirement'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The Westmoreland County Community College Pavilion Players will stage the British mystery, 'Ladies in Retirement,' beginning Thursday in the Science Hall theater on the Youngwood campus."

Stadium Authority questions delays, design of North Shore amphitheater

Post Gazette: "The chairwoman of the city's Stadium Authority board raised concerns yesterday about potential delays in the construction of a $12 million North Shore entertainment complex and the design of the proposed facility."

Intern Needed to Research Documentary

Craigslist: "We're looking for a volunteer to spend a few days researching a documentary film in Braddock."

Seeking Stage Managers / Light & Sound Operators

Craigslist: "Apple Hill Playhouse is seeking to fill several production positions for the upcoming months"

Co-Executive Producer needed

Craigslist: "James Vallo Movies (co-founder of www.WestBridgeEntertainment.com ) is seeking a Co-Executive Producer for a small indie comedy film entitled 'Sister Mary,' (a Comedic gay genre film) currently IN PRODUCTION."

There's Still Hope for NY Tax Credits

Backstage: "The New York film and TV industry is holding out hope for a vote on a new long-term production tax credit bill before the impending summer break, even though the state senate remains in disarray after a Republican coup last week left the chamber split 31-31 along major-party lines."

Talent Managers Hold on While Industry Shifts

Backstage: "When Industry Entertainment partner Keith Addis recently went looking to add a talent manager to his company's roster, he didn't exactly need to hang a Help Wanted sign."

Ashanti’s Dorothy, Nigel’s Toto Ease Into New ‘Wiz’

Bloomberg.com: "Once again we hit the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy and Company. New York’s City Center Encores! series presents Ashanti, Orlando Jones and a 15-pound orphan cairn terrier named Nigel in “The Wiz,” the blissful black musical version of the ever-popular “Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”"

The Importance of Cultivating Interdisciplinary Relationships

WebWorkerDaily: "In college, and grad school, I mostly hung with a crowd in which everybody shared the same interests, hobbies and field of study. I know that a lot of college faculties are beginning to move towards a more interdisciplinary approach, because it more accurately reflects what students can expect their post-school life to be like. College professors tend to be somewhat protective of their disciplines, however, so progress is moving faster in some areas and at some schools than others. The result is that a lot of people in the workforce have a pretty narrow view of what the word “colleague” means. It’s important to broaden that definition and cultivate relationships with people in other fields."

Cirque Celebrates 25th Anniversary!

Fascination! Newsletter: "Cirque du Soleil cast, crew and staff went to great heights to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most people to simultaneously walk on stilts on June 16, the date of its 25th anniversary. To mark this historic milestone, audiences at the Cirque du Soleil shows on June 16 experienced special performances including commemorative gifts for everyone."

Review: Light Plot Deconstructed Book

iSquint | Entertainment Lighting News & Review: "First we must start with the title of the book, Light Plot Deconstructed. Why such a name you might ask. Well, Mr. Hillmar starts by breaking down the light plot and what it all means. Thus deconstructing the light plot to understand each element and how it works and why it is there. The book is a cross between a manual and a reference guide on how to setup and lay out a professional lighting plot within Vectorworks 2009. Mr. Hillmar makes it clear right from the start that while these are his methods and how he works within Vectorworks to construct his light plots, they may not work for you."

Taking photographs of your work

Props: "If you really want your portfolio to shine, you need good photographs of your props. Taking photographs during a rehearsal or show is another topic entirely; in this article, I’ll be talking about taking photographs either in the shop or backstage."

Are You Tweeting Away Prospects?

FreelanceSwitch - The Freelance Blog: "Unfortunately, many freelancers, particularly, have seized upon the concept of “social media networking for business” without taking the time to find the appropriate boundaries between “social” and “business.” This is in part because people who do, say, copywriting or website design tend to be “early adopters” of new tools and technology."

Are You Trapped In The Wrong Freelancing Profession?

FreelanceFolder: "People often feel trapped in their nine-to-five corporate jobs, but I’ve known that “trapped” feeling to happen to freelancers too.
Feeling trapped can happen to a freelancer when he or she takes on a freelancing career for the wrong reasons."

Skylight Opera Theatre stumbles backwards

Backstage at BackstageJobs.com: "Usually a small opera company generates national headlines by premiering a bold new work from a known artist. Skylight Opera Theatre of Milwaukee has manged to garner national attention by canning it’s artistic director, giving the relatively new managing director the additional duties of artistic director, and hiring his wife to direct “Herman the Horse,” a children’s show that she wrote."

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"

Intiman Theater in Seattle Names Kate Whoriskey Artistic Director

NYTimes.com: "It is no easy feat to follow in the footsteps of Bartlett Sher, but the Intiman Theater in Seattle has found a successor for him there: Kate Whoriskey will become the theater’s artistic director in 2011 after a 2010 season in which she and Mr. Sher will work together on programming, the theater announced Thursday."

In New York, Free Shakespeare Abounds, All Around the City’s Parks

NYTimes.com: "For some theater buffs summer in New York City usually includes a trip to the Delacorte to see the annual Shakespeare in the Park productions from the Public Theater. But real aficionados know that plenty of other free outdoor shows pop up year after sweltering year, seeming to ask, “What about us?” and offering Elizabethan comedy and drama to the sweaty masses. These shows may not offer the starry casts that the Public does, but they are happily lacking something else too."

Broadway Musicals Are Singing a Different Tune

NYTimes.com: "A comparison of the original cast albums from this season’s two most Tony-decorated new Broadway shows, “Billy Elliot: The Musical” and “Next to Normal,” with those of the most acclaimed revivals, “West Side Story” and “Hair,” reveals a glaring distinction between now and then."

Nonprofit defends high 'Birdie' price

Variety: "The top pricetag for single tickets to the Roundabout Theater Company's production of 'Bye Bye Birdie' is right up there with 'Billy Elliot,' ringing in at a hefty $136.50.
And the org is prepped to defend a price point -- the highest non-premium on Broadway -- that may raise eyebrows among industry watchers wondering why a nonprofit company should charge a seemingly for-profit sum for its ducats."

Whoriskey to take helm at Intiman

Variety: "Kate Whoriskey will become artistic director of Seattle’s Intiman Theater in 2011, taking over for Bartlett Sher, who has been a.d. there since 2000.
Whoriskey, helmer of the recent Pulitzer-winner “Ruined,” will share leadership of the West Coast theater with Sher for the 2009-10 season before taking the reins on her own during the following season."

Tonys ditch special event kudo

Variety: "The administrators of the Tony Awards have jettisoned the special theatrical event category, choosing instead to funnel eligibility into other categories including best play and musical."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Walking to the Sky To Receive New Steel Pole Design

Campus News & Notes - Carnegie Mellon University: "10:21 a.m., Thursday, June 18

skyArtist Jonathan Borofsky (A’64) and his fabrication team will be replacing the existing pole of the Walking to the Sky sculpture in front of Warner Hall with a revised design that improves the long-term structural stability and aesthetic endurance of the sculpture. The fiberglass figures that can be seen walking up the pole are being removed and shipped to Los Angeles so that they can be repainted, restored and retrofitted to accommodate the new stainless steel pole design. This revised design has undergone wind-tunnel testing by engineering specialists and will be more rigid and aerodynamic. Borofsky says these structural modifications will dramatically lessen any movement of the pole, and will extend the life of the sculpture.

The wind-tunnel testing and new pole design is a result of the pole swaying more than usual in November. Since then the pole has been stabilized with heavy-duty cables. Work should be completed by mid-August."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The 2009 Tony Awards

Carnegie Mellon University: "Andrew Kober (A'06) spent most of his life yearning to be a part of the Broadway community. So landing a role in the Broadway rock-musical Hair and then performing at the Tony Awards was a dream come true. Winning a Tony for Best Revival of a Musical was just icing on the cake."

Game Education Summit

WDUQNews: "Carnegie Mellon University has been a leader in innovation for a long time. Don Marinelli, who is the Executive Producer of the school's Entertainment Technology Center, says video games deserve no stigma, given the complexity of the work and math involved with making them."

Well-acted 'Butler' serves up a clever farce

Post Gazette: "A farce requires five basics:
• Lots of slamming doors.
• Energetic actors willing to make fools of themselves and take off their clothes.
• A steady flow of adolescent sex talk and situations.
• Sight gags galore.
• An easy and obvious target to lampoon.
'What the Butler Saw,' the latest offering of the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, follows the check list faithfully. There's an added dimension -- it's British, not French -- so it clings to a kind of traditional prudishness, like an old tea cozy too dear to part with."

Odd 'Macbeth' filled with toil and trouble

Post Gazette: "You can see why the ancient Greeks added a third actor to the dialogues with which tragic drama began. Since one actor can play many roles, every dialogue can be energized by the entry of someone new, one of the original two then exiting so as to reappear as someone else, thrusting the story forward."

Theater milestones set stage for warm memories

Post Gazette: "The Mountain Playhouse in Jenners­town is observing its 70th year and Little Lake Theatre in Canonsburg is in its 61st season. Milestones such as these are rare, and we are fortunate to have them in Western Pennsylvania, adding immeasurably to our summer entertainment."

'Schoolhouse Rock' transfers from TV to the stage

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Most people in their 30s and 40s will remember 'Conjunction Junction,' 'I'm Just a Bill' and the other educational 'Schoolhouse Rock' cartoons that once were a regular part of Saturday morning television programming. The songs were catchy and the storylines were entertaining, but their real purpose was to teach grammar, math, science, history and social studies in a fun, memorable way."

Review: Clever cast propels 'What the Butler Saw,' a comedy filled with sharp observations

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Farce and satire collide -- often hilariously -- in Joe Orton's 'What the Butler Saw.'
Thanks to the nimble cast of the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre production that runs through June 27 in the Charity Randall Theatre in Oakland, the result is both abundant laughs and food for thought."

Mountain Playhouse stages 'Honus & Me'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Young Joey Stoshack meets legendary Pirates baseball player Honus Wagner in Steven Dietz's play 'Honus & Me,' based on the Dan Gutman's novel of the same title. The family-friendly play opens Tuesday at Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown."

Production Assistants - 6/21 - 6/28

Craigslist: "Looking for PAs for a week long shoot."

Teri Schwartz Named Dean of UCLA School

Backstage: "The University of California Board of Regents has approved the appointment of Teri Schwartz as dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, effective July 1.
Schwartz, the founding dean of the School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, succeeds Robert Rosen, who has served as dean for the past 11 years."

"Uncomfortable" theatres blamed for deterring West End audiences

The Stage: "Adam Kenwright, managing director of leading marketing and promotions agency AKA, has warned that London’s “inconvenient and deeply uncomfortable” older theatres are deterring customers from buying tickets for West End shows.
Kenwright, who has devised campaigns for hit shows including Billy Elliot the Musical, Dirty Dancing and Jersey Boys, criticised venue owners for using the historic status of buildings as an excuse for not improving the theatregoing experience for audiences. He said that as well as putting people off coming to the theatre in the first place, the poor state of the buildings was deterring them from spending more money on drinks and programmes if they did choose to attend a West End show."

Splitsville for Neil LaBute and New York's MCC Theater?*

Los Angeles Times: "Neil LaBute has called New York's MCC Theater his creative home for close to seven years. But it now appears that their relationship -- one of the tightest in the off-Broadway community -- is headed for divorce court. Today, MCC said it has canceled its much-awaited production of LaBute's latest play, 'The Break of Noon.' On top of that, a representative for LaBute told The Times today that she is uncertain if he will remain the company's playwright-in-residence."

Female playwrights set to take the West End by storm

The Guardian: "Last year, Rebecca ­Lenkiewicz's Her Naked Skin became the first play by a ­living female playwright ever to be staged in the National's ­largest auditorium, the Olivier – a fact that, understandably, caused a stir. This year, the number of twenty­something ­British female writers coming up through the ranks suggests the venerable theatre could soon be hosting a slew of exciting new plays by women."

Final curtain falls on North Shore Music Theatre

The Boston Globe: "North Shore Music Theatre, which during its heyday was the largest nonprofit theater in the region, announced yesterday that it failed to raise enough money to reopen this summer and will close for good."

Guggenheim Museum Cuts 25 N.Y. Positions as Endowment Shrinks

Bloomberg.com: "New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum said that it’s cutting 8 percent of its positions, or 25 jobs, after its endowment shrunk by nearly one-fifth."

Will what has happened to Off-Broadway happen to Broadway?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "As I sat in my seat at The Laura Pels, one of the 143 Roundabout theaters, watching the new Off-Broadway musical Tin Pan Alley (directed by my ABz director, Stafford Arima), I started to think once again about the current state of Off-Broadway and more specifically, commercial Off-Broadway."

12 Simple Ways To Impress Your Boss And Everyone Else

The Best Article Every day: "Just about everyone wants to do great work, look good in the eyes of their boss, and earn the respect of their peers. In my 15-year career I’ve worked at a large number of different companies and held a wide variety of positions. I’ve seen how this works from every angle, so I thought I’d share some thoughts on what’s worked for me and what I’ve learned along the way."

The Birth of Green Day's "American Idiot" Musical

Rolling Stone: "Punk rock takes a giant step closer to the Great White Way on September 4th when the Berkeley Repertory Theater in Berkeley, California — located a short drive from the 924 Gilman Street Project, the legendary all-ages hardcore club where Green Day made its bones — premieres American Idiot, a musical-theater adaptation of the band's 2004 album. The production is directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony Award for the Broadway rock-musical hit Spring Awakening, and runs through October 9th."

Leading ladies kept out of the limelight

The Guardian: "Female actors, especially those over 40, are still under-represented on TV, film and in theatre and when they do get a break it is often in a stereotypical role, a conference on the subject heard today.
Hundreds of women, from actors to directors to writers, gathered at the National Theatre to hear depressing ­statistics reeled off: 17% of playwrights are women; 38% of stage roles are for women; 35% of TV roles are for women; of the top 250 films last year only 9% were directed by women."

An Open Letter from a Female Director

Women & Hollywood: "After years of learning, practicing, and teaching, after hundreds of hour devoted to each script, after years of query letters, phone calls, meetings, film markets, panels, classes, LA trips, networking, more networking, even more networking, my scripts – those ones that this reader liked better than the 150 scripts she read that summer – those scripts sit on a shelf. After years of trying and falling and getting up and trying, something finally dawned on me: maybe I’m not the most unlucky bastard that ever lived. Maybe I’m female."

Prepare For Your Next Task Before You Take a Break

LifeDev: "As I’ve been trying to stick with my convictions on only allowing the absolute-smallest amounts of time to finish tasks, I’ve learned that the more you make of the time before each task, the more efficient you’ll be.
Instead of finishing a task, taking your well deserved break, and coming back to a completely new task, try this: Set up your materials needed for the next task before you go on your break."

First Step into a Performance Space

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Blog: "This is the first week of my Literary internship at Steppenwolf, and besides spending a lot of time bonding with the photocopier (“Me, Alpha! You, Beta!”), one of my new responsibilities is to manage the theatre’s script library. Walking by the stacks of produced plays, it’s hard not to feel a bit intimidated."

Yet Another Study Shows That Weaker Copyright Benefits Everyone

Techdirt: "Economists Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf have written some previous papers on this subject, but they've just come out with a new working paper on how weaker copyright protection benefits society (pdf file). Michael Geist has an excellent overview and summary of the paper. To understand the key points made by the paper, you need to understand the purpose of copyright -- something that many people are confused about. It's always been about creating incentives to create new works."

New Central Park Shakespeare boss Barry Edelstein on the best way to "speak the speech."

Slate Magazine: "Will she do it as a dirty joke? I'm talking about a certain line in Twelfth Night that can be read either way, innocuous or salacious. And I'm talking about Anne Hathaway, the beautiful Hollywood ingénue most known for squeaky-clean roles (though there was Havoc and the ex-junkie she played in Rachel Getting Married). Anne Hathaway, who, as I'm sure you know and will nevertheless be told incessantly, has the same name as Shakespeare's bride, is doing Shakespeare in the Park this summer."

Gay Trailblazers of ‘The Temperamentals’

NYTimes.com: "With Iowa, Maine and New Hampshire legalizing gay marriage this spring, and with the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots coming later this month, the notion that two grown gay men would be uncomfortable, tentative, even scared to hold hands, seems antiquated."

David Adjmi’s ‘Stunning’ Explores Syrian Jews in Brooklyn, at Duke on 42nd Street

NYTimes.com: "David Adjmi, whose play “Stunning” at the Duke on 42nd Street will be his professional New York theater debut on Thursday, bit into a slice at the Di Fara Pizza parlor. Great food and bad history met in that recent moment of triumphant homecoming."

Long Wharf Receives Edgerton Award; No Child... Set for 2009-2010 Season

Playbill News: "The Long Wharf Theatre's upcoming world-premiere production of Darci Picoult's Lil's 90th — to be seen during the 2009-2010 season — is the recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award."

'Jersey Boys' team with StubHub

Variety: "Ticket resale website StubHub has paired with hit musical 'Jersey Boys' to establish StubHub as the show-approved secondary sales outlet for North American productions of the tuner."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Odd 'Macbeth' filled with toil and trouble

Post Gazette: "You can see why the ancient Greeks added a third actor to the dialogues with which tragic drama began. Since one actor can play many roles, every dialogue can be energized by the entry of someone new, one of the original two then exiting so as to reappear as someone else, thrusting the story forward."

Theater milestones set stage for warm memories

Post Gazette: "The Mountain Playhouse in Jenners­town is observing its 70th year and Little Lake Theatre in Canonsburg is in its 61st season. Milestones such as these are rare, and we are fortunate to have them in Western Pennsylvania, adding immeasurably to our summer entertainment."

Review: Clever cast propels 'What the Butler Saw,' a comedy filled with sharp observations

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Farce and satire collide -- often hilariously -- in Joe Orton's 'What the Butler Saw.'
Thanks to the nimble cast of the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre production that runs through June 27 in the Charity Randall Theatre in Oakland, the result is both abundant laughs and food for thought."

Mountain Playhouse stages 'Honus & Me'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Young Joey Stoshack meets legendary Pirates baseball player Honus Wagner in Steven Dietz's play 'Honus & Me,' based on the Dan Gutman's novel of the same title. The family-friendly play opens Tuesday at Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown."

Pitsburgh Civic Light Opera's new show's got 'Swing!'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "With the experience from seven productions to draw on, Dana Solimando knows it don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing.
That's why, as director and choreographer for the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera production of 'Swing!,' she looks for performers who have experience with 'Swing!' -- either the dance form or the show itself."

The REP stocks season with winners

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "world premiere from a local playwright is among the four plays planned for the 2009-10 season of The REP, Point Park University's professional theater company."

Time After Time Musical and Confluence of Dreaming Will Premiere in Pittsburgh

Playbill News: "The 2009-10 season of the two major performing arts programs of Point Park University's Pittsburgh Playhouse have been announced. Two world premieres are planned."

Stages of Decay

abandonedtheaters.com: "Grand old movie palaces, ballrooms, school auditoriums, theaters in hotels, mental hospitals, and jails. No matter how glamorous or shabby, they have one thing in common. Before being darkened forever, they were the sites of entertainment, pleasure and contemplation..."

Theatre goes to the Net to bring in younger audiences

livemint.com: "When a marketing glitch left Rahul da Cunha with a stage play ready to go but no audience to fill the theatre with, he posted fliers on social networking sites on the Internet. The message spread like wildfire, and when Chaos Theory opened five days later, it was to a full house."

The Great MP3 Bitrate Test - Results - Great mp3 bitrate test

Gizmodo: "Readers who took the test listened to three songs at varying bitrates on their own sound systems, and identified the threshold at which encoding quality stopped mattering to their ears. After statistically evaluating the results, we not only found that there's a bitrate that most of us can live by, we found that there is joy to be gleaned from uncompressed audio, especially if you spent money on your sound system."

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 Cosmos of Tony Kushner, Spinning Forward in a Festival at the Guthrie Theater

NYTimes.com: "A FEW minutes before the fifth preview of Tony Kushner’s new play, a three-and-a-half-hour family drama of operatic heft with a matching title — “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures” — Mr. Kushner, looking like a slightly unnerved graduate student, addressed the audience from the stage. Some actors, he said, would be holding pages of new dialogue. “Yesterday was my day off,” he told the audience, “and I did a lot of rewriting.”"

Fringe fest offers mind-boggling program

Variety: "The world's largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, unveiled this year's lineup June 10, offering another mind-boggling program spanning the mainstream to the esoteric, the innovative to the downright weird."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

'Burn This' blazes with rage and passion

Post Gazette: "Lanford Wilson was once called 'the American Chekov,' although I think the mention referred to the 'Star Trek' character rather than the 'Three Sisters' creator."

Perky 'Legally Blonde' fashionably fun

Post Gazette: "Elle, yeah, it helps to know your audience.
'Legally Blonde the Musical' gets inside a tweenage girl's romantic dreamworld for a well-told confection that's occasionally clever and songs that are not so much memorable as infectious."

Sam Mendes brings Bard/Chekhov combo to Old Vic

Yahoo! News: "Simon Russell Beale leads a splendid British and American cast in William Shakespeare's 'The Winter's Tale' and Anton Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard' as the Bridge Project -- which began at the Brooklyn Academy of Music -- arrives at the Old Vic."

Rep hires Chicago theater leader Helsing as managing director

JSOnline: "The Milwaukee Repertory Theater has chosen Dawn J. Helsing, most recently the executive director of Chicago's Court Theatre, to be its managing director."

Kushner’s ‘Intelligent Homosexual’ Premieres at Guthrie: Review

Bloomberg.com: "In the land of Lake Wobegon, these last few weeks have belonged to Tony Kushner as the Guthrie Theater turned its entire, astonishingly beautiful Minneapolis complex over to three of his plays, including the world premiere of “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures.”"

Building a Sandwich

Technical Direction Tidbits: "Over on the blog at Taylor Studios there is a post comparing building a sandwich to the design process in a commercial environment. Its a concise and fun way to look at the process."

Bosch Introduces P2+ R2 Combination Bit

Toologics.com: "Here's some pretty cool news: Bosch has created a special bit that works with both Phillips and Robertson (Square-drive) screws, allowing users to handle both screws without having to swap bits constantly. Check out the press release below!"

Martin Updates LightJockey to Version 2.9.1

iSquint | Entertainment Lighting News & Review: "Martin Professional has recently announced the release and update of their PC based lighting control software, LightJockey to version 2.9.1."

The Glow of Broadway’s Tony Awards Goes Only So Far

NYTimes.com: "With last Sunday’s Tony Awards unlikely to provide a serious boost at Broadway box offices because the big winners are already hits, producers are counting on word of mouth and discounts to prevent closings and dark theaters this summer."

On the London Stage - A Bracing ‘Arcadia’ and a Fierce ‘Hamlet’

NYTimes.com: "Shall we dance? That’s a reference not to the forthcoming Royal Albert Hall arena staging of “The King and I,” opening Saturday, but an immediate reaction to David Leveaux’s luscious West End revival of the Tom Stoppard play “Arcadia,” which plunges headlong into a dizzying realm of mathematical theorems, academic debate and Wildean paradox only to land in the distinctly nonverbal arena of a waltz. Playgoers should be kept spinning for some months to come."

What is the fate of 'Sister Act'?

Variety: "Is the musical adaptation of 1992 Buena Vista hit “Sister Act” one step closer to Broadway heaven or still lingering in commercial purgatory?
Retooled since its premiere engagements at the Pasadena Playhouse and Atlanta’s Alliance Theater in the 2006-07 season, the screen-to-stage tuner opened at the London Palladium on June 2, with the star of the film, Whoopi Goldberg, taking the reins as co-producer."

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

'Harry's Friendly Service' a few gallons short of a full tank

Post Gazette: "The year is 1977. America had just put its long national nightmare, Watergate, behind it, but another was around the corner -- the slow-motion suicide of the steel industry.
In Youngstown, Ohio, 60 miles up the turnpikes from the Steel City, the cracks were starting to open in that city's industrial economy as well.
That's where we find the scruffy and scrappy characters of Rob Zellers' new two-act drama, 'Harry's Friendly Service,' having its premiere at Pittsburgh Public Theater."

Playhouse Rep has its 'Mojo' working

Post Gazette: "Call me weird. No, just call me a fan of fast-paced, character-rich comic writing. Jez Butterworth's 'Mojo,' running one more weekend at Playhouse Rep, is like a spicy concoction of Mamet, McDonagh and Tarantino, all of them sharing obvious kinship with the founding father of comic thug noir, Harold Pinter"

'Legally Blonde' tour actresses tread familiar territory

Post Gazette: "The Pittsburgh CLO's 'Legally Blonde the Musical' features a Broadway understudy and two faces familiar to some reality TV fans."

'Billy Elliot' sweeps Tonys; Lansbury gets 5th award

Post Gazette: "'Billy Elliot' has won the Tony as Broadway's best musical. The show about a British coal miner's son who dreams to dance was the biggest musical hit of the season.
The show won 10 awards, all told, including for the three young actors who star in the title role."

Ballet faces big changes as four key dancers leave

Post Gazette: "When a ballet company replaces a key dancer or two, it's the normal shakeout caused by injuries, stress, personal decisions and casting choices. But when a company loses four key dancers at the same time, it's sea change."

Several candidates in line for top roles

Post Gazette: "Each of the four dancers departing from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre filled a unique niche in this mid-sized company. So it will take time to recover from their absence, unlike at larger companies where a number of dancers can possess a particular body type or style."

Unseam'd Shakespeare in its element with 'Macbeth 3'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "With 16 years of experience to draw on, The Unseam'd Shakespeare Company knows how to deconstruct a classic and rebuild it to the company's singular vision.
For its single production of the 2009 season, the company chose 'Macbeth 3,' an already alternative view of Shakespeare's well-known tragedy."

`Billy Elliot' wins 10 Tonys; `Carnage' best play

PittsburghTrib.com: "There was an outpouring of generosity from winners to losers at Broadway's Tonys, dominated by 'Billy Eliot,' which won 10 awards.
'I'd like to congratulate the writers of 'Next to Normal,'' said a gracious Elton John, standing in the middle of cast members and producers after his show, 'Billy Eliot,' won the best musical prize. 'Thank you for accepting us on Broadway. ... We came here at a hard time economically. You opened your hearts and you opened your wallets.'"

'Legally Blonde' lead embraces power of pink

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "When she got the lead in 'Legally Blonde The Musical,' Becky Gulsvig was already a natural blonde and a dog lover, just like her character, Elle Woods.
But it took a little time for her to get in touch with other aspects of Elle."

Review: Promising 'Harry's' could stand a little polish

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Write about what you know has always been good counsel for writers.
In creating his second play, 'Harry's Friendly Service,' playwright Rob Zellers succeeds best when following that advice."

Feature Film Intern

Craigslist: "Feature film 'BIG HIGHWAY' is looking for 2 interns to work in the office during pre-production June-July to prepare for an August shoot."

N.Y. Tax Incentive Meeting Sidetracked

Backstage: "Chaos in the New York State Senate in Albany on Monday overshadowed a meeting of film and TV production sector representatives with the office of Katherine Oliver, head of the NYC Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, to discuss the future shape of the city's successful production tax incentives."

Jerry Herman, 2009 Special Tony Recipient, Takes a Moment to Reflect on a Lifetime

Yahoo! News: "The 77-year-old composer-lyricist who won Tony Awards for his scores to Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles, and was nominated for Mame, The Grand Tour and Milk and Honey, is more thrilled than Dolly, Mame and Albin combined. If a staircase happened to be handy, he might be strutting down it - beaming."

Kurt Cobain: The play

The Independent: "Can theatre and rock music ever mix? It's a question that rears its poodle-haired head every few years or so. Whether the answer is to be found in anything other than a greatest-hits medley hung on a paint-by-numbers plot is another matter. The new play this time is Nevermind, a fringe piece at the Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington, North London about a manic depressive music journalist visited by the ghost of Kurt Cobain."

Theaters opt for lighter fare in dark times

The Boston Globe: "Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater has made a name for itself as a presenter of dark, edgy, groundbreaking theater. Last summer's lineup, for example, featured Martin McDonagh's brutal 'Pillowman,' a David Mamet comedy, and a slew of world premieres."

Jude Law Portrays Hamlet as Lean, Wise Prince

Bloomberg.com: "Hamlet warns his company of actors not to “tear a passion to tatters” or to “out-Herod Herod.” Hollywood star Jude Law, in an incandescent London performance of Shakespeare’s tragedy, heeds that advice."

Lincoln Center Names Katherine Farley as Chairwoman

Bloomberg.com: "New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts named Katherine G. Farley chairwoman, effective June 2010, as it aims to complete fundraising for a $1.2 billion renovation."

Billy Elliot dances away with 10 Tony Awards

Reuters: "'Billy Elliot The Musical' swept the top U.S. theater honors on Sunday, winning 10 Tony Awards for a Broadway season that defied a recession with record ticket sales."

Bret Michaels's Tonys Mishap: Shrek and Donkey Helped Me Up

People.com: "Bret Michaels may have broken his nose and busted his lip during a scenery-related malfunction at the Tonys on Sunday – but the Poison frontman and Rock of Love star left with his sense of humor intact."

Hit a Plateau? 4 Ways to Improve Your Skills

FreelanceFolder: "As freelancers, we’re often only limited by our imagination, so it can be difficult to see whether we are progressing in our given field. Sure, we can produce some great logo designs or write an article, but we were able to do that a few months ago as well. In order to stand out in a sea of talent, it’s often the case that you need to take your skills to the “next level,” something far easier said than done."

Congratulations to all Tony Award winners, especially the ones that hardly anyone saw on TV or in print.

Backstage at BackstageJobs.com: "BackstageJobs.com would like to congratulate all of last night’s Tony Award winners. As a service to everyone out there that has not seen a list of the non-performer winners on any media outlet, we are happy to provide it here"

Fashion Designers Realizing New Fashion Copyright Would Cause Serious Harm To Business

Techdirt: "For many, many years, we've pointed out how the fashion industry is an example of a highly creative industry that has thrived without the use of copyright. The industry itself is massively successful, incredibly innovative, and involves plenty of competition. This should be seen as a good thing. Yet, some big name designers, who were annoyed that they had to keep competing by releasing new designs all the time have been lobbying Congress to pass a new law that would institute a special copyright for fashion design."

10 Answers You Should Know Before Your Job Interview

Dumb Little Man: "With the competition keener than ever and the economy in a slump, you need to prepare for your job interview thoroughly. It’s no longer enough to offer a firm handshake to your interviewer, make eye contact, and nod pleasantly now and then. You need to prepare a dynamic application letter and resume. You need to research the company. And you need to present a confident image and develop the ability to answer tough questions on the spot."

Free Floor Pass to LDI

iSquint | Entertainment Lighting News & Review: "The LDI Show is sneaking up on us! There are only 160 days until the show opens up at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Florida on November 16, 2009. Be sure to sign up now for your FREE floor pass,"

Is WWU drama professor provocative, or an abusive bully?

Seattle Times Newspaper: "Mills, 67, who has taught for more than 20 years in Western's drama department, says he has no recollection of making some of the statements, or never made them. At one point, in an interview with The Seattle Times, he said the university relied on 'vacuous lickspittles' to make him look bad."

The Flop Theory

99seats: "I've been thinking about what I was talking about here, and I have a question for you all, dear readers: do you know of a theatre, particularly a mid-sized or larger theatre, that was brought down by a flop? Seriously, one theatre in your area that had to close because of a costly failure. Because I really can't."

Alice Ripley Welcomes Emotional, Ever-Evolving Role in ‘Next to Normal’

NYTimes.com: "THE actress Alice Ripley lives on Long Island, and not long ago she was on her way to work at the Booth Theater on Broadway when she broke her index finger, catching it in a train station door."

The Musical ‘Coraline’ and Stephin Merritt Make the Most of Their Pianos

NYTimes.com: "THE score of the Off Broadway musical “Coraline” is full of unusual sounds. Musical notes are joined by scrapes and scratches and thuds, and on first listen it sounds as if the composer and lyricist, Stephin Merritt, leader of the indie band the Magnetic Fields, has written his music for an array of unusual instruments. In reality, though, his score is bare bones. Not only is it performed by a single musician (with assistance from the cast), but it’s also composed almost entirely for pianos."

Arts, Briefly - Tonys Up in Ratings

NYTimes.com: "CBS’s broadcast of the 63rd Annual Tony Awards showed signs of life on Sunday, two years after attracting a dismally small audience of 5.7 million viewers, its all-time low."

Arts, Briefly - Bret Michaels Rocks On

NYTimes.com: "Though the first round of the Bret Michaels-Tony Awards scenery battle may have gone to the scenery, the singer emerged from the awards show with only minor injuries, his publicist said."

‘Billy Elliot’ Wins 10 Tony Awards

NYTimes.com: "Broadway productions with roots in the London theater dominated the 63rd annual Tony Awards on Sunday, with “Billy Elliot” winning best musical and nine other awards and “God of Carnage” picking up honors for best play, best director and best actress."

Backstage at the Tony Awards

Variety: "On Sunday afternoon there was a typical Manhattan street fair all along Sixth Avenue -- right in front of Radio City Music Hall, already bustling with arrivals for the 63rd Annual Tony Awards."

'Billy Elliot' scores big at Tony Awards

Variety: "In the biggest and most widely anticipated sweep of Broadway's top kudos since 'The Producers' devoured the competition eight years ago, 'Billy Elliot' pirouetted away with 10 Tony Awards on Sunday night."

'Pretty' finds no reasons to continue

Variety: "'Reasons to Be Pretty' became the first post-Tony Awards casualty on Broadway, with the struggling play -- which came away empty-handed from the kudocast -- announcing its final perf would be Sunday."

'Dolls' to go dark on Sunday

Variety: "The Broadway revival of 'Guys and Dolls' will shutter Sunday, becoming the second production on the boards to announce a closing date in the wake of the Tony Awards."

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Robots take center stage at Pittsburgh museum

Lebanon Daily News: "Will robots take over the world? 'Yes, and the revolution is set for a week from Saturday,' Andy says, half his face turning bright red, his eyes a beady orange.
'OK, I'm kidding, it's this Thursday,' he laughs, his arms gesticulating wildly, long, spindly fingers bending in and out, purple Converse sneakers covering his leaden feet.
But he's kidding yet again. After all, Andy is just a friendly, neighborhood robot, one of many at a new permanent robotics exhibit at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center."

School 'murder by hanging' accident victim Trent Garner to sue

News.com.au: "The Garner family is planning to sue the Queensland Government over the accident, in which a noose tightened around Trent's neck as he helped re-enact a 'murder by hanging' as part of his Laidley State High School Year 9 English assessment."

Why cockiness counts for more than expertise

New Scientist: "The research, by Don Moore of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shows that we prefer advice from a confident source, even to the point that we are willing to forgive a poor track record. Moore argues that in competitive situations, this can drive those offering advice to increasingly exaggerate how sure they are. And it spells bad news for scientists who try to be honest about gaps in their knowledge."

State, local governments move forward on film industry incentives

KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana |: "The film industry has all but disappeared from North Louisiana, drawn out of state by better incentives. A move by a Senate committee Tuesday brings Louisiana one step closer to bringing the action back home. The Senate Fiscal and Financial Affairs Committee Tuesday approved the proposal to boost the state's production credit from 25% to 30%. The bill still needs approval from the Senate."

Bill to boost state arts funding is put on hold until next year

Los Angeles Times: "It's 'wait till next year' -- again -- for a bill in the state Legislature that would have provided a boost of about $30 million a year for the California Arts Council and raised the state's per-capita arts funding from last in the nation to the middle of the pack."

More cuts in state funding in store for Michigan arts and cultural organizations

mlive.com"Arts and cultural organizations funded by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs are facing a mid-year funding cut of 3.74 percent.
MCACA voted unanimously on Thursday to impose an across-the-board cut in funding for nearly all state-supported arts and cultural groups in the wake of a $286,000 reduction imposed earlier this month in the council's current-year budget."

Tax credit proponents look to bring films to the Ozarks

sbj.net: "An independent film shot in Taney and Christian counties earlier this year pumped an estimated $800,000 into the Springfield-Branson area, and the New Yorkers behind the low-budget flick say Missouri's film production tax credits were vital to the project."

Panel hears concerns about schools losing arts specialists

telegraphjournal.com: "'If we can't have specialists in every school, we'll have to provide teachers with professional development so they know what it is they are supposed to be teaching,' the province's arts learning specialist, Rolene Betts, said Tuesday night."

Could Other Shows Follow 'Warehouse 13' Back To Toronto?

Airlock Alpha: "he Canadian city, once the mecca of Hollywood North, is looking to revitalize
There was a time when filming in Canada meant filming in Toronto.
Over the years, the city became a backdrop for many places, both on Earth and other planets in shows like 'Earth: Final Conflict' and 'Wonderfalls' among others. But in recent years, a lot of television production has moved across the country to Vancouver, British Columbia, and Toronto has been trying to catch up ever since.
But now the city has a chance, according to The Hollywood Reporter."

Technical Internships

Backstage Employment Network: "Flat Rock Playhouse, State Theatre of North Carolina, is looking for interns, August 24 - December 20."

Texas Senator to Withdraw Language Outlawing Lighting Design

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "Texas State Senator Kip Averitt's office has informed the IALD that the 'lighting designer' language in Texas House Bill 2649 (THB2649) will be withdrawn and replaced with language requesting a study by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation of the feasibility of licensing in the industry."

Film technicians lobby to reopen Toronto Film Studios

cbc.ca: "A film industry union has launched a campaign to reopen the shuttered Toronto Film Studios.
Members of film technician's union IATSE picketed outside the TFS site on Monday in an effort to call attention to the need for studio space.
Toronto is losing film work because the studio, with 16 small and mid-sized studios, has been closed for more than a year, the picketers told CBC News."

IALD sent an update today to announce that the Texas Legislature has withdrawn THB2649 on lighting design

LiveDesign: "Texas State Senator Kip Averitt's office has called to inform IALD that the 'lighting designer' language in Texas House Bill 2649 (THB2649) will be withdrawn and replaced with language requesting a study by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation of the feasibility of licensing in the industry."

Head of Rigging

Backstage Employment Network: "Reporting to the Operations Production Manager, this position will be responsible for leading the rigging team in establishing and maintaining the safe and consistent operations of all show rigging systems and acrobatic equipment for all performances of LOVE"

Texas House Refuses to Concur in Senate Amendments of H.B. 2649

PLSN: "The Texas House of Representatives refused to concur with the Senate amendments to HB 2649 on May 29, thus temporarily ending the bid to prohibit anyone from practicing lighting design except for licensed architects, landscape architects, interior designers, and Chapter 1305 electricians."

Separate Accidents Claim Lives of Two Young Electricians

PLSN: "Two young electricians were killed in separate accidents in late May. An employee of Rhino Staging and Event Solutions was killed in a fall at the MGM Grand on May 20. A film student in Georgia setting up lights for a shoot outdoors was electrocuted May 28."

Working in Groups

Annoying Design: "Mentorship is power. Randy Pausch was a mentor in the truest sense, and lately I’ve been thinking about him often. You might know him from The Last Lecture, a book he wrote while battling cancer. To me, he was a brutally honest teacher, and an overwhelmingly smart guy.
Every time he began teaching a course at Carnegie Mellon, he handed out Tips for Working Successfully in a Group. Lately, I’ve been reaching back to this list"

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Road to Happiness in Your Work Lies in the Hooray! Zone

Lifehacker: "It's been said that there's no formula for happiness when it comes to our professional and personal lives. Maybe so. But according to weblog What Consumes Me, there is a Venn diagram."

New Hazlett Theater gets Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council award

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council has given the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side its Best Practices in Arts Management award for 2009.

The award honors the theater for 'innovative and creative arts management practice that can serve as a model for the advancement of arts and culture in the region.'"

'Billy Elliot' will be big winner at Tonys

Post Gazette: "'Plays, glorious plays! ... tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight!' -- so might sing some improbable combination of Oliver ('Oliver!') and Pseudolus ('A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum'). Even these heroes of award-winning musicals would acknowledge that the genius of this past Broadway season has been in plays, not musicals, where Broadway normally invests greater energy and fortune."

Gwen's Tony Award picks

Post Gazette: "(NOTE: Freelance theater writer Gwen Orel will be backstage at the Tony Awards Sunday night, when she will blog at http://community.post-gazette.com/blogs/pgtheaternow.)
If Gwen ran the world, this is who would win the Tony awards. But I include my predictions, too. If they coincide, I only list one."

'Burn This' poses challenge to Conrad

Post Gazette: "Lanford Wilson's 1987 Broadway hit, 'Burn This,' is still an incendiary work, even getting the recent attention of the Pittsburgh police's arson squad.
Investigators were on alert in Lawrenceville last week when posters blaring the play's title were pasted on a few buildings, said David Conrad, who's staging the play at the New Hazlett Theater starting tomorrow."

Pittsburgh's South Siders recall life of a different era in future play

Post Gazette: "Pat Gathers was born and raised on the site of the Steelers' current practice field. Stanley Zaidel swam in the Mon and made boats of corrugated tin. Greg Swiderski remembers seeing, every week, frames that stretched just-washed curtains drying on the sidewalks."

Quantum's schedule unusual, as usual

Post Gazette: "When it comes to choosing productions for offbeat Quantum Theatre, artistic director Karla Boos' selections are always quirky.
'Our shows are chosen incredibly idiosyncratically, and we're a company that consistently does the unexpected,' company founder Boos said. 'I decide in a way that's very emotional.'
The lineup for the 2009-10 season of Quantum Theatre -- a company known for its unlikely performance venues such as abandoned factories or empty bank buildings -- includes a mixture of modern and canonical productions."

Review: Promising 'Harry's' could stand a little polish

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Write about what you know has always been good counsel for writers.
In creating his second play, 'Harry's Friendly Service,' playwright Rob Zellers succeeds best when following that advice.
His first play, 'The Chief,' which he wrote with Gene Collier, dealt with facts and history -- the life and career of Steelers owner Art Rooney.
This time, the characters are fictional, though loosely based on people and stories Zellers came to know while growing up in Youngstown, Ohio."

Unseam'd Shakespeare Company's 'Macbeth 3' resurrects a classic for a refurbishing

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Director Michael Hood finds some Shakespeare productions downright scary.
'My fear is to see Shakespeare plays with actors in tights and jokes you don't understand,' Hood says. 'I prefer a play with a different eye that encourages further forays into classical work.'
So he's more than happy to be directing the Unseam'd Shakespeare Company's production of 'Macbeth 3' that begins performances Thursday at Open Stage Theatre in the Strip District."

Mountain Playhouse actors chew up scenery in 'Hungry Again'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Among the notable cultural events of 1939 was the debut of two perennial entertainments -- Mountain Playhouse and the film 'Gone With the Wind.'
Seventy years later, both continue to draw audiences and accumulate fond memories.
So it makes perfect sense that Mountain Playhouse would launch its 70th season with 'I'll Never Be Hungry Again,' a silly musical spoof based on Margaret Mitchell's epic novel of one woman's life struggles in the deep South during the Civil War and Reconstruction period that followed."

'Chief' co-author savored creative freedom in crafting play 'Harry's Friendly Service'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Theatergoers know Zellers best as the co-author of 'The Chief,' which he wrote with Gene Collier. A one-man play about Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr., 'The Chief' debuted at Pittsburgh Public Theater in 2003 and has returned for short runs in each of the succeeding seasons."

Quantum Theatre's 2009-10 season casts its eye over time, space

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "As Quantum Theatre embarks on its 2009-10 season, artistic director Karla Boos is looking backward and forward as well as all around town at new locations.
'The work of the year to come requires a look in both directions,' she says of the group's 19th season.
The three plays are all linked to contemporary issues and concerns while tied to times and places as diverse as 19th-century Japan, 18th-century Europe and a Caribbean island in the throes of revolution."

David Conrad uses break from 'Ghost Whisperer' series to stage 'Burn This'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "You can plan all you want.
Sometimes fate has an alternate adventure in the works.
Just ask David Conrad.
Conrad, a Pittsburgh native and star of the CBS series 'Ghost Whisperer,' had planned to use his summer break to do a show with Patrick Jordan, the artistic director for barebones productions."

Revamped Flatwoods returns full of 'Nunsense'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "After a five-month hiatus, Flatwoods Productions is back — with a new direction and a new name.
Since its last production of 'The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge' in December, the company has reorganized and is known as Premiere Entertainment. Artistic director Ernie Watson says the company still will be based in Flatwoods at Curfew Grange, but the name change will be beneficial if the theater troupe has opportunities to take shows on the road."

Three Rivers Arts Festival, from June 5th to 14th

WDUQNews: "The Three Rivers Arts Festival gets its start tomorrow for its 50th annual run. With new ownership by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the reopening of Point State Park, it will be a very exciting year, says Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Spokesperson Veronica Corpuz."

Study Brings Up Film Tax Credit Debate

WDUQNews: "The state’s current system of giving tax credits to filmmakers was backed up by a study given to the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee. The study results showed that the taxes generated by these films (almost $63 million this year) do not reach the total spent in tax credits each year ($75 million). However, the other benefits of the filming, including jobs created and money spent on goods and services far outweigh the state’s output. As much as $524 million in wages and spending were made by the state this year, the study says."

Local actor finds area a fine place to work

Post Gazette: "Jeff Howell has spent most of the past 29 years of his career on Pittsburgh stages.
But this actor, who stars in Saint Vincent Theatre's current production 'A Bench in the Sun,' said he owes it all to the Yellow Pages.
Mr. Howell, a native of Alabama, said he and his wife, Jane, were visiting her parents in McKeesport in 1980 when he flipped open the Pittsburgh Yellow Pages on a whim."

Legion Media making waves as high-def production company

Pop City: "Pittsburgh high-def production company Legion Media is celebrating its two-year anniversary with the completion of its 1,700 square-foot sound stage and a successful number of projects that have helped the firm grow from a small production rental house to a complete boutique advertising and media company."

New Orleans Wilts With Williams’s Ravenous Losers

Bloomberg.com: "A late memory play by Tennessee Williams, “Vieux Carre” recalls his 1938/9 stay as a struggling young writer in a ramshackle New Orleans boarding house. Revived by the Pearl Theatre in Manhattan’s East Village under Austin Pendleton’s direction, it proves as unwieldy as in its 1977 Broadway premiere, which lasted five performances."

What makes a theme park attraction? A conversation with the creative team at Thinkwell Design

Themepark Insider: "A couple weeks ago, I drove over to Burbank to visit with the brain trust at Thinkwell, an attraction design firm run by several former Universal Creative designers. Thinkwell's the current home of Dave Cobb, who joined us on Theme Park Insider a few weeks back to talk about his work on Universal Orlando's Men in Black Alien Attack. Dave was there for my short trip to Thinkwell, and we were joined by CEO Cliff Warner and Chief Creative Office Craig Hanna."

Improve Your Life with Time Management

Ian's Messy Desk: "Time management is fundamentally about focus. The Pareto Principle states, 80% of effort not managed or focused generates 20% of the desired output. On the other hand, 80% of desired output can be generated by 20% of effective effort. You see how much is lost or gained with well-managed time."

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