CMU School of Drama

Monday, November 30, 2009

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

Here are the top five comment generating posts from the past week:

CMU wants to level buildings for park space

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Carnegie Mellon University wants to demolish three buildings, from 4618 to 4628 Forbes Ave., and turn the site into a park where students can display their artwork and visitors can relax on benches."

Loading in Phantom of the Opera—and the chandelier—at DPAC

indyweek: "Although the show doesn't open for another week, the huge work of loading it in began this morning. The famous decorative elements of The Phantom of the Opera—the chandelier, the underground tunnels and everything else—will fit easily onto DPAC's massive stage and will no doubt thrill audiences. But behind the opulence is a lot of grunt work that goes into laying the foundation for the complex, notoriously mobile set."

So you want to work in the movies?

Excalibur Web edition: "Breaking into the film industry isn’t as easy and glamorous as it seems.
After high school, I took a rather different route in life.
I had no plans, no real ambition and I sure as hell wasn’t planning on heading back to school again. “Lost” is a good word to describe this feeling."

How do I make a…?

Props: "It’s the question faced by the props artisan on a daily basis. Whether you work in theatre, television, or film, you will be asked to build an infinite variety of objects for an infinite variety of uses. Props are found in many other places as well, such as advertising, photography shoots, commercial displays and exhibitions. You may also wish to build props for your own personal uses, such as holiday decoration or hobbies. Whatever your reason, you are reading this because you want to know how to build anything and everything."

'Addams' tuner creeps toward B'way

Variety: "The creatives behind the $16.5 million tuner adaptation of 'The Addams Family,' playing an out-of-town tryout in Chicago ahead of a Broadway run that opens April 8, have set aside the property's familiar TV and movie incarnations to base the show on the series of single-panel Charles Addams cartoons in which the macabre clan originated."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Video Interview: Bob Bonniol, Day Two at the Live Design Projection Master Classes

Live Design: "Bob Bonniol, day two of the Live Design Projection Master Classes at LDI."

LDI2009 Awards Presented On November 21 in Orlando

Live Design: "Congratulations to all the winners at the LDI2009 awards ceremony which was held at 6pm on Saturday, November 21, with cocktails at the Live Design booth and the presentation at Apex Stages, with special banners provided by Britten Banners."

Father-daughter team make lights 'dance' in Hershey

Lebanon Daily News: "Think it's a pain getting the lights on your Christmas tree to all function properly?
Try hooking up 125,000 lights, then synchronize them all to make them 'dance' to music.
The father-daughter team of Larry Perini and Nikki Perini-Hollinger, both of Lebanon, recently played a leading role in setting up the dancing lights of Hersheypark's N.O.E.L. display.
And, they only had a week to get it right."

Chicagoans in the Industry

Chicago Reader: "I am writing in response to Deanna Isaacs's article 'Is a Soundstage a Sound Investment?', published November 19—a skeptical (at best) examination of the state of Illinois' plans to offset the expenses of converting the empty Ryerson Steel plant into a series of stages for use in motion picture production. In her article, Ms. Isaacs misconstrues the work of another writer, and then, with seemingly no familiarity with her subject—delivers a lackluster assessment of Chicago's film community. I have already responded to Ms. Isaacs directly, on your Web edition."

Sudbury entering ‘Phase One’ of thriving movie industry

Sudbury Local News: "Phase One, a Hollywood production being filmed at various locations around Sudbury, could be the first of many other movies that could provide jobs, support local business and give the city a creative edge.
This was proclaimed at a recent press conference by Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci, Mayor John Rodriguez and movie industry officials."

Learning to fly

Foxboro Reporter: "When 17-year-old Nicole Cayer of North Providence learned that she had landed the title role in 'Peter Pan' at the Orpheum Theatre, she was beside herself with excitement."

Benedict Woos Artists, Urging ‘Quest for Beauty’

NYTimes.com: "And so in an effort to improve the Catholic Church’s engagement with contemporary artists — and perhaps put a gentler face on a contentious papacy — the Vatican invited more than 250 artists, architects, musicians, directors, writers and composers for an audience on Saturday with Pope Benedict XVI."

WGAe Tries to Bridge New Media Divide

Tubefilter: "New Media, Transmedia, Web Video, Web Series, Web Television, whatever you want to call “it,” “it” is the future. Anyone reading Tubefilter, which has a mission “to grow the audience of web television,” knows this. Considering this, the traditional media complex is not going anywhere anytime soon. Too often the traditional media industry belittles internet video, which is why it is refreshing to see a media mainstay, like the Writer’s Guild East pursuing an active role in promoting new media."

ESTA Announces 2009 Rock Our World Award Winners

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: "The second annual Rock Our World Awards were presented at ESTA's annual dinner last night, the evening before the LDI show. These awards, which recognize groundbreaking achievement by ESTA members in new products, product applications, or projects, 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."

CMU wants to level buildings for park space

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Carnegie Mellon University wants to demolish three buildings, from 4618 to 4628 Forbes Ave., and turn the site into a park where students can display their artwork and visitors can relax on benches."

New Products Take Center Stage at LDI 2009

PLSN: "This year’s LDI show, which has moved to the south concourse of the Orange County Convention Center, appeared to be well-attended, with plenty of activity and product innovation — much of it by advances in LED technology — on display, not just at the New Technology Breakfasts and demo areas but on the show floor as well."

And the 2009 Parnelli Award Winners Are...

PLSN: "It was overstuffed, in attendance (a complete sellout), humor and agenda, and there was plenty of good-natured roasting going on, but the 2009 Parnelli Awards program was no turkey. Dennis DeYoung hosted the annual gala that honored lifetime achiever Jake Berry, pictured here, right, with 2008 winner Dennis Sheehan. Richard Belliveau received the Parnelli Visionary award, and the first-ever Indispensable Technology “IT” Parnelli honors were awarded as well."

C-3PO is one of many roles Anthony Daniels has played in Pittsburgh

Post Gazette: "The British actor who played the worry-prone golden droid in all six movies has served as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center on Second Avenue since 2004. In this role, he's been an adviser and personal consultant to students in the two-year graduate program that focuses on the gaming and entertainment industries."

Loading in Phantom of the Opera—and the chandelier—at DPAC

indyweek: "Although the show doesn't open for another week, the huge work of loading it in began this morning. The famous decorative elements of The Phantom of the Opera—the chandelier, the underground tunnels and everything else—will fit easily onto DPAC's massive stage and will no doubt thrill audiences. But behind the opulence is a lot of grunt work that goes into laying the foundation for the complex, notoriously mobile set."

Ten Seconds to Change: Taking in the show backstage at “Irma Vep”

Newcity Stage: "There are few plays that can boast a backstage drama to rival the one being seen out front. “The Mystery of Irma Vep, A Penny Dreadful” is one of those plays."

So you want to work in the movies?

Excalibur Web edition: "Breaking into the film industry isn’t as easy and glamorous as it seems.
After high school, I took a rather different route in life.
I had no plans, no real ambition and I sure as hell wasn’t planning on heading back to school again. “Lost” is a good word to describe this feeling."

The Lowest Entry-Level Job in Hollywood, Part Two

seattlepi: "I Should Have Stayed Home is one of the great, if largely unknown, Hollywood novels. Written by Horace McCoy (1897-1955), author of They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1933), it is the tale of young Ralph Carson, a wanna-be from Georgia who comes to Hollywood to be discovered. The title of the book sums up the results of his effort. It's a message that should be plastered on all Hollywood city limit signs, in L.A. bus depots, train stations and airports."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

'Addams' tuner creeps toward B'way

Variety: "The creatives behind the $16.5 million tuner adaptation of 'The Addams Family,' playing an out-of-town tryout in Chicago ahead of a Broadway run that opens April 8, have set aside the property's familiar TV and movie incarnations to base the show on the series of single-panel Charles Addams cartoons in which the macabre clan originated."

L.A. stages play for the creatives

Variety: "New York City and Chicago may have better reps as theater towns, but in the universe of Equity-waiver theaters, L.A. is the epicenter. Unlike Chi, there's a bottomless reservoir of film and TV actors here or, at least, people who call themselves actors. In some ways, the L.A. scene recalls the network of tiny Manhattan theaters that used to exist in SoHo and the Village in the 1970s -- venues that housed the works of Richard Foreman, Tom Eyen, Harvey Fierstein, Rev. Al Carmines and Charles Ludlam. Where the West Coast differs is not with physical theaters but the level of creative talent."

For Stagedoor Manor Theater Camp Troupers, a Macy’s Parade

NYTimes.com: "It was 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and 15 young children — mostly of Macy’s employees — were decked out in red-and-green elf costumes on Central Park West, where the floats were queued for the annual Macy’s parade. Also on hand were 20 teenage actors with Stagedoor Manor, a Catskills theater camp, who had spent four days in rehearsal to ride the float and perform in the parade for the first time."

Stephen Sondheim at Sanders Theater - Part 2

Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals: "Last week, I posted some of my notes from A Life in the Theater - An Evening With Stephen Sondheim, a conversation between Stephen Sondheim and Frank Rich at Sanders Theater in Cambridge, Mass. There was so much good stuff, I decided to break my notes up into two different posts. In my first set of notes, I included Sondheim's observations about some of his earlier shows, including Follies, Company, and A Little Night Music. Here, musical theater's greatest living practitioner discusses some of his later shows, as well as one of his first."

Stock and Amateur is the way to a "living" . . . but for whom?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "Apparently, the success of the post-Broadway life of these shows has afforded the very talented writers of these musicals to keep on keeping on as theatrical writers. Let's all be thankful this Thanksgiving week for that! Good writers writing is better for all of us.
But there is one thing about the article that bugged me a bit.
In the third paragraph, the author writes . . .
Community theaters and high school productions don't produce the instant big bucks of Broadway and tours, but the royalties paid to creatives, producers and investors are pure profit . . .
Uhhh, hold up."

Production: Anna Christie - January, 1993

American Theatre Wing: "The Anna Christie production team - scenic designer John Lee Beatty, O'Neill biographer Barbara Gelb, Artistic Director of Roundabout Theatre Todd Haimes, actors Anne Meara, Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson, and Rip Torn, and lighting designer Marc B. Weiss -- discuss in-depth the 1993 Tony Award-winning revival, including the scenic and lighting design, how the characters relate to contemporary lives, the actors' differing acting styles, and Eugene O'Neill's early career."

Could You Raise Your Rates?

Stepcase Lifehack: "Let’s get real: when you work on an hourly basis, there are two ways to increase income: raise your rates or increase the number of working hours. I’m assuming you don’t really want to spend more time working, so let’s talk about something that a lot of people don’t like talking about: raising your rates. Raising your rates is a way to increase your business income that is often difficult for people to face, and there are many reasons why."

How do I make a…?

Props: "It’s the question faced by the props artisan on a daily basis. Whether you work in theatre, television, or film, you will be asked to build an infinite variety of objects for an infinite variety of uses. Props are found in many other places as well, such as advertising, photography shoots, commercial displays and exhibitions. You may also wish to build props for your own personal uses, such as holiday decoration or hobbies. Whatever your reason, you are reading this because you want to know how to build anything and everything."

Obituary: John A. Hart / CMU professor known for love of Shakespeare

Post Gazette: "John A. Hart, educator, Shakespeare scholar, Pirates fan and bridge whiz, died peacefully Monday at his home in North Oakland. He was 91 and in recent years had suffered from dementia, said his son, Peter."

New ‘Spider-Man’ Producer Reaches Out

NYTimes.com: "Michael Cohl, the new lead producer of the Broadway musical project “Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark,” has approached Kevin McCollum and Jeffrey Seller, the Tony Award-winning producers of Broadway musicals and revivals including “West Side Story,” “In the Heights,” “Avenue Q,” “La Boheme” and “Rent,” about investing in the show, according to three Broadway producers with knowledge of the conversations."

Tax-exempt fees proposed for Pa.

Post Gazette: "Large tax-exempt landowners would have to pay their host cities fees based on the size of their buildings, under legislation that state Sen. Wayne Fontana plans to introduce next week."

LDI 2009--Show Control Day

- John's Blog Main Page - : "As I wrote this on the plane back from Orlando and LDI, I realized that I've been to every LDI conference since 1990, which is kind of scary. And while I'm pretty sick of both Orlando and Vegas (between which LDI alternates), it's still worth it for me to go to these shows to see what's new, hang out with industry friends, and catch up with old and new connections. With the strangeness of the economy, the show felt a little weird, but there seemed to be plenty of people on the floor and most of the manufacturers I talked to seemed to be doing OK."

Technology vs. Longevity

Re-Imagineering: "Throughout history Disney has consistently been at the technological forefront of theme park design. From introducing steel roller coasters (Matterhorn) to being the first to implement linear induction motors for urban transportation (the People Mover), Disney has always been a leader in world class technology. However, the more recent technology Disney has been using in their attractions seems to lack a certain wow-factor so prevalent in the parks earlier history."

NEA Cultural Workforce Forum wrap

Createquity.: "On Friday, I had the privilege to attend the NEA’s Cultural Workforce Forum, a convening of researchers who have recently led efforts to measure and understand the work habits and economic condition of individual artists in the United States. The event, though not open to the public, was simulcast on the Internet so that anyone could view it (the broadcast will be archived on arts.gov this week). Both the convening itself and the public broadcast of it are, I believe, firsts for the NEA."

Unclutter Your Workdays to Free Up Your Weekends

Lifehacker: "Weekends are a combination of playing catch up from things not accomplished in the previous 5 days, interjected with bits of free time and family obligations. Unclutter one thing a day to leave your weekends wide open for anything you please."

10 Ways to Get Paid What You Deserve

WebWorkerDaily: "Once just the purview of cheesy late-night infomercials (“buy now and get this beautiful set of six steak knives at no extra charge”), free has taken on a life of its own in the new economy. Even the prestigious and pricey New York Times offers its stories online — yes, for free."

Advice from an Expert: Vol. XIII. What is The Broadway League?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "I mentioned The Broadway League in a post recently, and a new reader dropped me a note asking just what the heck 'The League' was."

The Next Generation of Innovators

The White House: "President Obama today helped launch a new campaign, “Educate to Innovate,” designed to energize and excite America’s students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It builds on the President’s pledge that he would use his position to help encourage students to study and consider careers in science, engineering, technology, and innovation—fields upon which America’s future depends—and elevate those students from the middle to the top of the pack worldwide."

Seeking an Internship? Thought about Twitter?

CollegeSurfing Insider: "The year isn’t over yet, but it’s already time to start thinking about your summer plans. Just the other day, a junior in college was telling me she is looking at internships but hadn’t found many advertised."

Stage Lighting Skills And The Myth of Pro Lighting

On Stage Lighting: "Taking common lighting complaints of our readers, On Stage Lighting looks at the really vital skills you will need to succeed as a stage lighting professional and finds a surprising place to learn them. We also bust a myth about life on the professional side of the fence. No wobbly buckets, PC console emulators or LED based duvet covers were used in the making of this article."

And I'm Telling You I'm Going...

Steve On Broadway (SOB): "Nearly 28 long years after Henry Krieger and Tom Eyen's Dreamgirls first took Broadway by storm, a new revival is opening tonight a few miles to the north at Harlem's estimable entertainment shrine, the Apollo Theatre. Seems especially appropriate and exciting given that Dreamgirls begins with an off-stage announcer intoning, 'Ladies and gentlemen, the Apollo Theatre continues its legendary talent contest...'"

Friday, November 27, 2009

Night-time theater returns to Iraq as courage grows

Reuters: "As the clock strikes 8 p.m. Baghdad time, the curtains sweep apart at the Iraqi National Theater in what actors hope is a return to regular night-time performances 6-1/2 years after the U.S. invasion."

Five Questions for a Rockette

NYTimes.com: "Being a Rockette is more than high kicks, ivory smiles and precision spot-turns. There are six-show days, slippery tap shoes and Santas who miss their cues.
“It’s crazy how challenging this job is,” says Amy Love Osgood, who has been performing as a Rockette since 2005."

Broadway Stars Celebrate Thanksgiving in TV Parade Coverage Nov. 26

Playbill.com: "Ragtime, Dreamgirls, Alan Cumming, Jane Krakowski, Billy Elliot, Hair, Birdie, Shrek will all get screen time on Nov. 26 when NBC and CBS celebrate Thanksgiving."

Director Hynes and Choreographer Clarke Are SDC's Callaway Award Winners

Playbill.com: "The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation announced that the winners of the 2009 Joe A. Callaway Awards for excellence in directing and choreography are director Garry Hynes for The Cripple of Inishmaan and choreographer Martha Clarke for Garden of Earthly Delights."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas plays have become a tradition

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Even before launching his first production of 'A Lyrical Christmas Carol' in 1991, Ken Gargaro thought it was a great idea.
'I knew there was a need for that,' says Gargaro, the founding director of Pittsburgh Musical Theater.
Back then, productions of 'A Christmas Carol' and other Christmas-centered plays had not become a traditional part of the area theater scene, Gargaro says."

London takes on Edinburgh in fringe festival fixture clash

This is London: "London is laying down the artistic gauntlet to Edinburgh and launching its own city-wide fringe festival next August."

From talking on mobile phones to sex in the stalls

Times Online: "Are theatre audiences more badly behaved than they once were?
Certainly, many actors will tell you so, citing occasions when spectators have chattered, answered their phones, loudly canoodled in the stalls or even had sex in one of the stage boxes. But maybe actors are getting edgier and more combative, too."

Wranglers Supervise Underage Actors on Broadway

WSJ.com: "The first day of rehearsal for 'Finian's Rainbow,' Alissa Zulvergold brought packets of the multicolored candy Skittles to the three children in the cast. Since then, Ms. Zulvergold, the hit Broadway revival's kid wrangler—she keeps the little performers in line, on their toes and out of everyone else's hair—has diligently worked the rainbow connection. She festooned the children's scripts with rainbow stickers, put bright-hued soaps and markers in their dressing room, and bought them rainbow-colored slinkies and tote bags as opening-night gifts. 'I want them to know that they may be the smallest ones there,' said Ms. Zulvergold, 26, 'but they're just as important as anyone else in the production. They're part of the rainbow.'"

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: New mega balloons get set to soar

New York Daily News: "Four new giant balloons — Spiderman, The Pillsbury Doughboy, Ronald McDonald and Sailor Mickey — debut at the 83rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Although crowds will see them for the first time on Thanksgiving morning (or at the balloon inflation event the night before), it takes months to design and launch a giant balloon."

Women's group sets screenings, awards

Hollywood Reporter: "The Women's International Film & Television Showcase and TheWIFTS International Visionary Awards -- now in their second year -- will celebrate next week the talent and accomplishments of women in the film and TV industry worldwide with special screenings and award ceremonies."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

'Christmas Carol' at the Civic Opera House cancels

The Theater Loop: "That infamous star-crusted production of 'A Christmas Carol' that was to have played the Civic Opera House Dec. 22-27 has been canceled. The whole tour is not happening."

Video: Inside an actor's brain

guardian.co.uk: "As part of a new exhibition on human identity, actor Fiona Shaw agreed to have her brain scanned while performing parts of TS Eliot's poem The Waste Land"

Lenny Henry wins best newcomer accolade in London Evening Standard theatre awards

guardian.co.uk: "He might be 51 and recognised by just about everybody in Britain but, in theatrical terms, Lenny Henry is something of a novice which is why he today picked up the rather incongruous prize of best newcomer."

Review: Wilson tributes ends with inspiring 'Women of the Hill'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Six feisty women telling stories about themselves and their community closed out 'The Aunt Ester Cycle' at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture Downtown last weekend."

Sumptuous production of 'The Little Foxes' comes on strong

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Like a master chef at the top of his game, Pittsburgh Public Theater producing director Ted Pappas has assembled all the ingredients for an opulent dramatic banquet.
His main ingredients are prime: Lillian Hellman's 'The Little Foxes,' a well-respected but now seldom-seem classic that made its debut on Broadway in 1939, and a first-rate assembly of area actors accented by a sprinkling of visiting performers, most of whom will be familiar to frequent Pittsburgh Public Theater patrons."

Fun 'Christmas Pageant' teaches but never preaches

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Directing a heavenly production can be a challenge when some of the children in the cast are not little angels.
That's the dilemma of Grace Bradley (Katya Ramsey of Jeannette) in Greensburg Civic Theatre's production of 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.' When Mrs. Armstrong (Margaret Ryan of Murrysville) is unable to direct the annual Christmas play, Mrs. Bradley is recruited to take over."

Broadway, from 'Hamlet' to 'Donuts'

Post Gazette: "The stars are out on Broadway. That's what they always say, but consider a list of Jude Law, Julia Stiles, Hugh Jackman, Angela Lansbury, Daniel Craig, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sienna (scourge of Pittsburgh) Miller, Richard Thomas, Carrie Fisher, Lynn Redgrave and more, all now up-and-running or in previews."

Royal Court rules Evening Standards

Variety: "The Royal Court Theater was the big winner at Monday's 55th Evening Standard Awards, converting 11 nominations into wins in four of the nine categories, including top play honors for Jez Butterworth's 'Jerusalem.'"

'Geeks' gets workshop

Variety: "'Band Geeks!' -- a new musical about high school marching bands and the group of misfits and wannabes that surround them -- will get a workshop production at Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theater in Chester, Conn., May 13-June 6."

Monday, November 23, 2009

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

Here are the top five comment generating posts of the past week:

Robots Perform Shakespeare

Wired.com: "A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been updated for the 21st century with seven small robots playing fairies alongside carbon-based co-stars.
Beyond being a cool thing to do, researchers saw bringing bots to the Bard as a chance to introduce robots to the public and see how people interact with them. Their findings could influence how robots are designed and how they’re used in search-and-rescue operations."
<-- Comments Here

Losing Winfrey would be big blow for Second City

The Associated Press: "Step outside Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios and into the near west side neighborhood that's been home to her television talk show for two decades, and it's easy to get a sense of what she's meant to Chicago."
<-- Comments Here

How I fluffed my exit lines

The Guardian: "In the middle decades of the 20th century, when theatre was testing the limits of taste, an off-stage sound-effect was regularly heard in the auditorium: the rat-a-tat of seat-backs clacking as scandalised theatregoers walked out. Because of a liberalisation of opinion – or, possibly, softer chair coverings – this noise has become a much less common occurrence."

State rep promises bill to block Pittsburgh's tuition tax

Post Gazette: "An effort to block Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's proposed 1 percent tuition tax has begun in Harrisburg.
State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny, issued a news release this afternoon saying he will seek to 'prohibit tuition taxes such as the one proposed by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl on students attending Pittsburgh universities and colleges."
<-- Comments Here

Legislator, students pan plan for tuition tax

Post Gazette: "Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's proposed 1 percent tuition tax came under attack in Harrisburg yesterday, even as students panned it at a City Council meeting."
<-- Comments Here

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How I fluffed my exit lines

The Guardian: "In the middle decades of the 20th century, when theatre was testing the limits of taste, an off-stage sound-effect was regularly heard in the auditorium: the rat-a-tat of seat-backs clacking as scandalised theatregoers walked out. Because of a liberalisation of opinion – or, possibly, softer chair coverings – this noise has become a much less common occurrence."

New Play About Muhammad Ali

NYTimes.com: "As Broadway waits to see if a new play about Vince Lombardi takes flight next season, the McCarter Theater Center is announcing a world premiere production of a play about another sports legend, Muhammad Ali, starring Ben Vereen and Evan Parke."

Tony Administration Committee to Assemble in December

Yahoo! News: "The Tony Awards Administration Committee includes 24 members: ten designated by the Wing, ten by the League, and one each by the Dramatists Guild, Actors' Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. This committee 'determines eligibility for nominations in all awards categories, reviews the rules governing the awards, and appoints the Nominating Committee. It may, at its discretion, bestow [four] non-competitive Tony Awards: Special Tony Awards and the Regional Theatre Tony Award; as well as Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre and the Isabelle Stevenson Award.'"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

'Little Foxes,' 'Glengarry' leave viewers wanting more

Post Gazette: "Financiers in handcuffs, millions in bonuses to executives of bankrupt companies, mortgages foreclosed, hunger and unemployment on the rise. It's the economy, stupid."

Legislator, students pan plan for tuition tax

Post Gazette: "Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's proposed 1 percent tuition tax came under attack in Harrisburg yesterday, even as students panned it at a City Council meeting."

State rep promises bill to block Pittsburgh's tuition tax

Post Gazette: "An effort to block Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's proposed 1 percent tuition tax has begun in Harrisburg.
State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny, issued a news release this afternoon saying he will seek to 'prohibit tuition taxes such as the one proposed by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl on students attending Pittsburgh universities and colleges."

Losing Winfrey would be big blow for Second City

The Associated Press: "Step outside Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios and into the near west side neighborhood that's been home to her television talk show for two decades, and it's easy to get a sense of what she's meant to Chicago."

A Klingon Christmas Carol

Boing Boing: "Scrooge has no honor, nor any courage."

‘The Sound of Music’ Turns 50

NYTimes.com: "Fifty years ago this week, a nun-in-training, seven frisky kids and their grumpy but lovable father do-re-mi’d their way across a Broadway stage."

New Dreamgirls Will Be Mounted Internationally

Playbill.com: "The sleek revival of Dreamgirls, which is currently premiering at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem prior to a U.S. national tour, will be staged in London, South Africa and Australia."

:nv:s:ble Play, a Workplace Comedy, Premieres in Philly

Playbill.com: "Philadelphia Theatre Workshop, devoted to new works by local writers, begins its sixth season Nov. 21 with the world premiere of Alex Dremann's dark comedy The :nv:s:ble Play."

Life after death on Broadway

Variety: "Don't shed any tears for DreamWorks and its first Broadway venture, 'Shrek the Musical,' which looks to lose an ogre-size portion of its $26 million capitalization when it closes in January.
The show can expect to recoup some of that money from its national and international tours. And when that money peters out, there's another significant source of income: stock and amateur."

NEA punts Women’s Project

Time Out New York: "“My moral-outrage meter just went sky high.”
That was Julie Crosby, producing artistic director of the Women’s Project today, after hearing that the National Endowment for the Arts—now with new leadership and swelling funds!—wouldn’t be funding the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab this year."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Robots Perform Shakespeare

Wired.com: "A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been updated for the 21st century with seven small robots playing fairies alongside carbon-based co-stars.
Beyond being a cool thing to do, researchers saw bringing bots to the Bard as a chance to introduce robots to the public and see how people interact with them. Their findings could influence how robots are designed and how they’re used in search-and-rescue operations."

Disney Legends recall Walt Disney and the 'Yes, if....' way of management

Theme Park Insider: "Walt Disney didn't create or build the theme park industry, contrary to what some folks have claimed over the years. What he did, veteran attraction designer Bob Rogers said, was to create and manage the team that built the theme park industry."

Time management: How an MIT postdoc writes 3 books, a PhD defense, and 6+ peer-reviewed papers — and finishes by 5:30pm

I Will Teach You To Be Rich: "I’m always on the lookout for “hidden gems,” or people who are doing remarkable work that the whole world hasn’t caught on to, yet.
Today, I asked my friend Cal Newport to illustrate how he completely dominates as a post-doc at MIT, author of multiple books, and popular blogger. How does he do it all?
Cal writes one of the best blogs on the Internet: Study Hacks. His guest post shows how you can take I Will Teach You To Be Rich principles — plus many others — and integrate them into a way to use your time effectively."

In The Wings - Dance Captain - November, 2009

American Theatre Wing: "Greg Graham, Dance Captain of Billy Elliot, talks about the ongoing task of maintaining the choreography of the show; how one becomes a dance captain; and the mix of civilian movement and tradition dance styles in this production. He is seen here teaching a tricky tap routine to new cast member David Hibbard."

Crew for short film "The Apartment

Craigslist: "Crew call for short festival movie."

The Best Alternative Alarm Clocks (Windows/Mac/Mobile)

Make Use Of: "Waking up can be very hard. And not only because it got that late yesterday night. No, beds are just too comfy these days.
Without an extremely good (read: loud) alarm clock ruining the party, it’s all too tempting to stay in bed just a little bit longer.
So if you don’t have a decent alarm clock, you know you’re in big trouble. A lot of people use their cellphone’s alarm, but that’s often just a mediocre solution.
We’ve scoured the internet looking for free alternative alarm clocks; great applications for your PC, Mac, Windows Mobile, iPhone and even Android that’ll make waking up a delight. Or at least a little bit easier."

The backlash against over-parenting

TIME: "The insanity crept up on us slowly; we just wanted what was best for our kids. We bought macrobiotic cupcakes and hypoallergenic socks, hired tutors to correct a 5-year-old's 'pencil-holding deficiency,' hooked up broadband connections in the treehouse but took down the swing set after the second skinned knee."

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 Shubert stimulus package.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "Earlier this week, the theatrical royal family known as The Shuberts announced an unprecedented three year development deal with two commercial producers, Frederick Zollo and Robert Cole. Zollo and Cole (has a nice ring, doesn't it?) have been responsible for a bunch of shows between them including Angels in America, Chitty2 Bang2, and, this season, they teamed up like the Wonder Twins to produce a little event known as A Steady Rain."

Ruhl’s Flighty ‘Vibrator Play’ Lives Up to the Buzz

Bloomberg.com: "Wonders will never cease. Sarah Ruhl, whose previous work I execrated, has written a smart, charming, iridescently funny-serious jewel, “In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play.”"

A Theater Scene Sparkles in Seattle

NYTimes.com: "LIKE a reminder of theater’s past, the face of the playwright August Wilson stares out from a gleaming glass door set in a 12-foot steel portal at the top of August Wilson Way here, a sloping side street behind the Seattle Repertory Theater."

OFT investigates ATG Live Nation purchase

The Stage: "Ambassador Theatre Group’s £90 million purchase of Live Nation’s UK theatres is being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading, in a move that will prevent the two businesses being fully integrated until early 2010."

Lincoln Center Unveils New Public Space

Backstage: "Lincoln Center and Target opened the new David Rubenstein Atrium to the public for a preview of Manhattan's new 'vibrant theatrical garden,' Nov. 19. In its 50th anniversary season, the New York City performing arts center is furthering its goal of being open to the public as a civic and cultural gathering place, Lincoln Center President Reynold Levy explained at a press conference."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Pittsburgh City Paper: "When it comes to sheer snarkiness, you can't beat the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a script by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert)."

Ravenstahl: We’ll Pass The Tax

WDUQNews: "Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says he is going ahead with his 1% tax on tuition paid to Pittsburgh colleges and universities and he will let the lawyers sort it out in court. Ravenstahl says he will be separating the 2010 budget and the tuition tax and moving forward with both at the same time."

Costumes, music enhance fall plays at North Hills, Pine-Richland

Post Gazette: "Plays have been a mainstay each spring at local high schools, but fall productions are becoming more commonplace -- and complex.
This fall, North Hills and Pine-Richland are undertaking productions with unusual aspects that are taking center stage: The costumes in North Hills' production of 'M*A*S*H' are authentic uniforms from the Korean War, and the music for Pine-Richland's presentation was written by a senior at the school."

For the love of 'Plaid'

Post Gazette: "Plaid is back in fashion, but 'Forever Plaid' has never gone out of style.
For those who missed 'Forever Plaid' during its initial run at CLO Cabaret in 2004-'05, a quick recap: The musical tells the story of The Plaids, a boy band killed when the car carrying the four boys collides with a busload of fans headed to the Beatles' first appearance on 'The Ed Sullivan Show.' The Plaids are miraculously able to return and perform the gig that they were denied because of the fatal crash."

'The Queens' finds cattiness in bid for the crown

Post Gazette: "The women of prime-time drama would have a field day with some of the dialogue in 'The Queens,' a play that defies conventions despite its hints of Shakespeare and history, although strictly of the revisionist kind."

Live on the Web: Forum on how to measure artists' economic impact

Los Angeles Times: "In the arts, composers, writers, painters, sculptors and performers grab all the glory, but they also serve who sit and wonk.
And we, the people, are invited to watch 'em in action Friday as the National Endowment for the Arts presents a live webcast of its daylong Cultural Workforce Forum. From 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, an assortment of academics, federal bureaucrats, and staffers from private think tanks and research organizations will assemble in Washington, and in cyberspace at www.nea.gov."

Shubert Strikes 3-Year Deal to Produce Shows In-House

NYTimes.com: "The powerful Shubert Organization, which owns the most theaters on Broadway, has struck a new business deal with two respected theater producers that may lead to greater competition among other producers for the best Broadway houses and spur more entrepreneurial stage ventures."

Stephen Sondheim at Sanders Theater

Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals: "Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending A Life in the Theater - An Evening With Stephen Sondheim, which took place at the lovely Sanders Theater in Cambridge, Mass. The event comprised a conversation, of sorts, between Stephen Sondheim, looking rather spry for his 79 years, and Frank Rich, the man formerly known as the 'butcher of Broadway' during his stint as chief drama critic for the New York Times."

BMI Requirement Causes Uproar

thelincolnianonline: "Lincoln University students will now have to endure a physical exam determining each student's BMI (body mass index) before they are permitted to graduate. An individual's BMI measures the amount of body fat.
Amid fierce criticisms, Lincoln University has recently installed a new requirement for its undergraduate students. If your BMI is over 30, you are required to take a physical education class."

Still Sucks to Be a Female Writer in Hollywood

Women & Hollywood: "The Writers Guild of America West has released its most recent report on the status of women and people of color in Hollywood and just like the report of two years ago (and the ones before) women seem to be making no traction. In fact, in movies, it’s getting worse."

Carnegie Hall Selling Bonds to Remodel, Refinance

Bloomberg.com: "Carnegie Hall, the 118-year-old landmark concert venue in midtown Manhattan, is offering $110 million of bonds to remodel rental studios into an education wing and replace debt frozen in the auction-rate market last year."

Shuberts, producers strike deal

Variety: "The Shubert Organization has struck an unusual three-year deal with producers Robert Cole and Frederick Zollo under which the org will invest in Cole-Zollo projects that would be guaranteed one of the Shuberts' 17 Broadway theaters."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Audiences join The Pillow Project movement

Postr Gazette: "In the middle of summer, when most of us like to take, at the very least, a mental vacation, Pearlann Porter and The Pillow Project stir up their creative juices to begin a seasonal run of Second Saturdays. An offshoot of Penn Avenue's First Fridays, this collaborative group event embraces movement, music, multimedia art forms and a hefty dose of camaraderie."

Attack Theatre's creativity hits new high

Post Gazette: "Attack Theatre is spending a 'Year on Wheels' this season, alluding to the company's move to the Pittsburgh Opera in the Strip District. But, for its official debut Monday at the opera's urban chic facility, Attack stayed close to home ... in a sense"

Compelling drama lifts City Theatre's 'Blackbird'

Post Gazette: "Plays have long been the way artists express their concerns with the difficulties of being human. City Theatre's 'Blackbird' is one such example. While as imperfect as its troubled characters, this play involves the audience in surprisingly intimate ways by putting a human, often sympathetic face on one of life's most uncomfortable realities -- pedophilia."

Review: Attack Theatre's 'Incident(s) in the Strip' creative, energetic

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The creativity and energy of Attack Theatre flourished Saturday in its new home in Pittsburgh Opera's headquarters in the Strip District. The group's first show created there, 'Incident(s) in the Strip,' will be repeated today, Friday and Saturday."

Pitt, PICT kick off a new-play series collaboration

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "A collaboration of the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Theatre Arts and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre will create a series of three new-play readings beginning this weekend."

Review: 'Blackbird' preys on the minds of its audience

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The tension is obvious as soon as the lights come up.
During the next 90 minutes, that tension lags only long enough for the two actors — maybe the audience — to catch their breath.
'Blackbird,' David Harrower's drama that opened Friday at City Theater is not unlike a high-stakes boxing match with two evenly matched, highly trained pros."

Stage Right gets into the meaning of Christmas

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Greensburg attorney John Noble returns in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge that he played when the professional theater company and theater school staged 'A Christmas Carol, the Musical' by Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens last holiday season. As the familiar story goes, Scrooge is a crotchety old man who needs an attitude adjustment to remind him of the real meaning of Christmas."

Period costumes help define Public Theater's 'The Little Foxes'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Costume designer David R. Zyla believes people would enjoy 'The Little Foxes' if it were done as a seated reading without scenery, costumes, lighting or movement.
But that hasn't stopped him from creating nearly 30 multi-piece period costumes to wow the audience."

Imagination Movers bring high energy to Byham Theater

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The problem-solving children's rock band from New Orleans known for its high-energy concerts will be coming to the Byham Theater on Thursday.
Imagination Movers -- the four-man band in the blue jumpsuits known as 'the Beastie Boys meets Mr. Rogers' -- aim to bring the energy of a Van Halen show to the stage, with age-appropriate lyrics and themes, says member Scott 'Smitty' Smith."

The Rep's 'Queens' goes from uplifting to 'dark and destructive'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "As the annual arrival of multiple 'Nutcracker' and 'A Christmas Carol' shows take over area stages, director Sheila McKenna is staging a play that she describes as 'something new and strange and beautiful.'"

Take a Vacation from Your Email!

Stepcase Lifehack: "Considering how useful – revolutionary, even – email is as a communication tool, it can also be an incredible drain on productivity. If you’re anything like me, you have discussion listservs, newsletters, Google alerts, Facebook updates, blog comments, advertisements, automated backups, reminders, and all manner of other stuff pouring into your inbox all the time – all in addition to emails from actual people actually trying to communicate with you."

Chicago Storefront Theatre Summit II

Theater For The Future: "After going through notes for the first storefront theatre summit, we’ve just launched a couple tools to try this whole “let’s all coordinate and meet” thing on for size. If you missed the first summit, December 6th at 7:00 pm at the Dank Haus in Lincoln Square is the next one (feel free to invite other theatre companies – one or two representatives from each theatre company would be ideal), and we hope you’ll share your thoughts."

To take pictures or not to take pictures, that is the question.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "I had to wonder . . . are the actors really opposed to curtain call photos, or is this just one of those union positions that we’re holding on to that no one is that concerned about anymore? Wouldn’t those actors benefit from having their mugs on facebook pages and tweeted like the ones at Fuerza Bruta on 12/3? Could we get a curtain call provision that would allow photos to be taken only then? It's not 'uncontrolled' because the actors know what they look like, what they are wearing, etc. It's much better than a shot on the street, which we can't prevent."

American Buffalo: Ready, Set, Research!

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Blog: "One of the best parts of my job as Steppenwolf Literary Apprentice is creating Actor Research Packets. What is an actor research packet? Good question! An Actor Research Packet is research compiled to support and contextualize the world of the play for the actors."

Refine Your Image Search With Google Image Swirl

Lifehacker: "Google released Image Swirl today, a new experimental Labs feature designed to make it easier to find related images on the internet and tease out elusive images from the millions already on the web."

10 Best Productivity Books of 2009

Stepcase Lifehack: "These are 10 books I read this year that made a powerful impression. I read a ton of non-fiction – not only do I read for my own pleasure but I’m a non-fiction reviewer for Publishers Weekly and I’m also regularly approached with titles to review for Lifehack. Of course, not everything I read has anything to do with personal productivity – I also quite enjoyed Timothy Egan’s The Big Burn and Michael Chabon’s Manhood for Amateurs this year – but given my role here you can expect that my reading tends to lean rather in a Lifehack-y direction."

Regional Theatre - October, 2009

American Theatre Wing: "The role of Regional Theatre in supporting and presenting new works to their communities was among the topics discussed by our panel: Christopher Ashley, Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse, Gordon Edelstein, Artistic Director of Long Wharf Theatre, Sara Garonzik, Producing Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Theatre Company, and Eric Rosen, Artistic Director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre. They also explored how they share works and resources; the kind of show they feel best serves their audiences; their interaction with the local community; how they deal with competition within the theatrical community in their cities; what they learn from visiting Directors to their theatres; and the effect it has on their theatres when one of their shows moves to Broadway."

How to Manage a Group Project in Google Wave

Lifehacker: "The mere promise of Google Wave inspired a rainbow of potential use cases, but Wave's best real-world use boils down to this: it helps a group get things done together. Here's how to manage a group project in Wave.
Wave's invitations have been rolling out steadily over the last few weeks, so you and your co-workers might have already gotten some Wave love. If so, let's take a look at how you can manage a project in the real world, even given Wave's current unfinished state."

King Charles Threesome Sparks Play About Aphra Behn

Bloomberg.com: "Liz Duffy Adams’s “Or,” from New York’s Women’s Project, is a quasi-historical farce about the bisexual 17th-century English playwright, novelist and adventuress Aphra Behn."

Playwright Marisa Wegrzyn wins 2009 Wasserstein Prize

Los Angeles Times: "Chicago-based dramatist Marisa Wegrzyn has won the 2009 Wasserstein Prize for her new play, 'Hickorydickory.' As part of the award, the twentysomething playwright will receive a significant chunk of change -- $25,000, to be exact. In addition, 'Hickorydickory' will receive a reading at Second Stage Theater in New York."

Can recession resuscitate our theatre?

guardian.co.uk: "After a dozen fat years, it seems there will follow as many lean ones for the arts world. However politicians fudge it, the cuts that are coming after the election will be deep. They will also bring an end to the affluent salad days of culture feeding off government grants and corporate indulgence."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CMU production succeeds in 'Business'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "When the criteria are talent, training and eagerness to entertain, there's no faulting the cast of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama's production of 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.'"

Turning Our Backs on Anton Chekhov

The Moscow Times: "If you do what I do — write about Russian theater — there is no getting away from him. He is everywhere, he haunts your every move, your every thought, your every dream and nightmare.
He is Anton Chekhov."

City proposes "fair share tax" on tuitions

The Tartan Online: "Last Monday, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl proposed a 1 percent “fair share tax” that would add about $400 to Carnegie Mellon’s annual tuition. The mayor proposed the tax in order to fill a $15 million void in the city budget for pensions and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh system. If enacted, the tax would be the first to tax college tuition in any city in the nation. Carnegie Mellon’s official position is with the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE), a coalition of all Pittsburgh colleges and universities, which opposed the tax at a press conference last Tuesday."

Dressers help actors in 'Irma Vep' make lightning-fast costume changes

baltimoresun.com: "The production of 'The Mystery of Irma Vep' running at Everyman Theatre has a portrait that drips blood, an Egyptian sarcophagus, hidden passages out of which characters unexpectedly pop, a mad woman in the dungeon and such deliberately tongue-in-cheek dialogue as, 'He killed the wrong wolf!'"

Tax Money For Unions

John Stossel: "They had no reason to hurry because no one ever got fired. There was no reason to work harder because union rules demanded everyone be paid the same. May union workers were masters not just at killing time but at killing innovation. “Can’t be done.” “Against the rules.” “Equipment won’t do that.” It stunned me that so many of them could be so indifferent to what I thought was important work. They cared about overtime. And lunch. They had endless discussions over where to eat."

Official wants colleges to pay city based on land value

Post Gazette: "In the wake of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's Monday proposal of a 1 percent tuition tax, Mr. Burgess said that next week he'll introduce related legislation. He would have the city appraise higher education properties, estimate the costs of serving their students and press them for consistent, voluntary donations."

Greenfield-Central cast gets a case of stage flight

The Indianapolis Star: "Jordan Best spent a lot of his time lately helping another person learn to fly.
Best, 16, a junior at Greenfield-Central High School, is a stagehand and operates pulleys, ropes and wires needed to lift the title character into the air in the school's production of 'Peter Pan.' A Louisville, Ky.-based company, ZFX Flying Effects, assists the students."

ABC Family fills comedy, 'Liars' roles

Hollywood Reporter: "Harding, who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in the spring, will play a recent college grad who becomes Aria's high school teacher and gets in a relationship with her. He is repped by Gersh and Authentic."

Film studio planned for West Side

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: "The owner of a Toronto film studio said Tuesday he has purchased 48 acres on Chicago's West Side as the home of a complex for movie and TV show production.
Nick Mirkopoulos, chairman of Cinespace Studios, said he signed a contract for the Ryerson Inc. headquarters and old metals plant at 2558 W. 16th St. The property contains nine buildings, and Mirkopoulos said he'll start converting some of the space as soon as January."

NEA chairman Rocco Landesman visits Peoria

pjstar.com: "Rocco Landesman, the guy who was willing to bet that theater in Peoria wasn't as good as theater at the Goodman or Steppenwolf in Chicago, had his chance Friday to see 'Rent' at Eastlight Theatre and judge for himself."

Arena building site is canvas for creativity

Post Gazette: "Shepard Fairey isn't the only one jazzing up Pittsburgh's landscape these days with murals and messages.
Colorful murals and whimsical construction debris art by 100 local youths are adding color to the construction site of the new Penguins arena in Uptown."

Obama adds star power to arts panel

Post Gazette: "Ronald Reagan picked Frank Sinatra and Bill Blass. Bill Clinton appointed Quincy Jones, Rita Moreno and violinist Isaac Stern. The Bushes, father and son, chose a whole bunch of people you probably never heard of (except for Pittsburgh's own Bill Strickland)."

ESTA announces 2010 Board of Directors

LSI Online News: "The Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) has announces the election results for its 2010 Board of Directors. Elected to their first terms were Manufacturer Director, Charlie Davidson and Professional Services Director, Jules Lauve. Davidson is the Chief Operating Officer for ARRI Inc. and Lauve is an associate at Theatre Projects Consultants."

Monday, November 16, 2009

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

Here are the top five comment generating posts from the past week:

Amateur rigging can result in injury, or death.

Backstage at BackstageJobs.com: "Recently, @thtrbob posted some Youtube videos on his blog “Confessions of a Chicago Theatre Addict.” They were intended to be a followup to his previous post about his love of “Peter Pan” and not being able to get access to the Flying By Foy rig in third grade. The videos show 3 different amateur productions of “Peter Pan,” each with disastrous accidents involving the unlucky actors in the fly harnesses."
<-- Comments Here

Can you spot who did what in a play?

guardian.co.uk: "It might seem like a stupid question, but when you watch a piece of theatre, do you ever wonder who has done what? There's no real reason why you should. You liked so-and-so's performance, the set looked nice, theatre is a collaborative effort and you enjoyed the show. End of story."
<-- Comments Here

Could Michael Jackson return as a hologram?

DVICE: "Broken yesterday, the story that Michael Jackson had his body scanned back in the '90s presents a number of interesting possibilities, particularly since there's a big push for 3D video tech right now."
<-- Comments Here

AutoCAD 2010 on my MacBook Pro

Between the Lines: "The new version of Parallels Desktop 5 for the Mac OSX has a new crystal view mode. This crystal view mode blurs the lines between Windows and Mac on your desktop as it shows none of the Windows OS UI. Parallels 5 also feels much faster than previous versions in my unscientific testing. Apple Bootcamp is still faster performance overall because it is running Windows natively, but you also must boot to Windows on your Mac with Bootcamp."
<-- Comments Here

Props in the last century

Props: "I just wanted to share some great old prop photographs I’ve come across on the Life photo archive hosted on Google. Remember, it’s also a great place to find primary photographic research since the invention of photography."
<-- Comments Here

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rockettes manager strives to keep troupe fit and healthy

Post Gazette: "How do the 200 Radio City Rockettes dancing across the country in the 77th annual 'Radio City Christmas Spectacular' keep up the stamina and stay free of injuries to perform hundreds of jump splits and thousands of eye-high kicks over seven weeks?"

Amateur rigging can result in injury, or death.

Backstage at BackstageJobs.com: "Recently, @thtrbob posted some Youtube videos on his blog “Confessions of a Chicago Theatre Addict.” They were intended to be a followup to his previous post about his love of “Peter Pan” and not being able to get access to the Flying By Foy rig in third grade. The videos show 3 different amateur productions of “Peter Pan,” each with disastrous accidents involving the unlucky actors in the fly harnesses."

Could Michael Jackson return as a hologram?

DVICE: "Broken yesterday, the story that Michael Jackson had his body scanned back in the '90s presents a number of interesting possibilities, particularly since there's a big push for 3D video tech right now."

e-tipi: The Collaborative Idea Machine

Web Worker Daily: "e-tipi sounds like a weird name for a web-based service, and when you find out it stands for “Espresso Thinking Platform,” things don’t become much clearer. But once you find out what the app’s developers think “Espresso Thinking” is, then you start to get the idea"

Dan Hoyle’s ‘Tings Dey Happen,’ About Nigerian Oil Politics

NYTimes.com: "Many things have happened since Dan Hoyle performed in the premiere of “Tings Dey Happen,” his incendiary and brilliant solo show about Nigerian oil politics, nearly three years ago at the compact theater the Marsh in San Francisco."

Ayesha Antoine, 28, Plays 8 in ‘My Wonderful Day’

NYTimes.com: "WHAT Alan Ayckbourn remembers from Ayesha Antoine’s audition for his play “My Wonderful Day” is that she didn’t look at him directly. That might not sound like a good thing, but since Ms. Antoine, who is 28, was reading with Mr. Ayckbourn for the role of an 8-year-old — and a thoughtful, reserved 8-year-old, at that — it definitely was."

Tarell Alvin McCraney Digs Up Gods From the Bayou

NYTimes.com: "TARELL ALVIN McCRANEY enters. Miami, 1980s. He is a boy growing up in the Liberty City housing projects, among the nation’s worst. He stays with his father and grandparents on some nights. They feed him peanut butter and jelly, and he is content. They are devout Baptists and fill up the boy with God’s stories, and he is content."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Attack Theatre spreads creative wings in Strip District location

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "A new home can be an exhilarating experience, especially when the stress of moving is past.
Attack Theatre's first creation in its new home in Pittsburgh Opera's building in the Strip District draws inspiration from its new environment.
'We can't help ourselves being incredibly affected,' says the company's co-director Michele de la Reza. 'Our new neighborhood is very different from when we were on Penn Avenue' in Lawrenceville."

Review: 'Glengarry Glen Ross' remains spellbindingly topical

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For a 25-year-old play, 'Glengarry Glen Ross' remains distressingly contemporary.
The barebones productions' version of David Mamet's 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama now playing at the New Hazlett Theater feels as immediate as it does unsettling.
There's at least three reasons"

Review: Wise choices make 'Light: The Holocaust' compelling dance

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Choreographer Stephen Mills attempts the impossible, to deal with the incomprehensible, in his 'Light: The Holocaust & Humanity Project' that Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre presented Thursday night. Performances continue through Sunday."

Bricolage's 'Neighborhood' horror tale snares audience in its web

Post Gazette: "The kids are definitely not all right. They are huddled together or locked in their rooms day and night, absorbed in an online game. Parents lead separate lives under the same roof and within a community of mirror-image suburban houses.
A son seems troubled? Buy him a Hummer. A daughter needs attention? Work longer hours."

Holocaust ballet extracts beauty from tragedy

Post Gazette: "We've been watching the collective 'Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project' unfold in the Pittsburgh community over the past month as 19 local organizations participated in assorted panels, exhibits and performances that exposed a great human tragedy from all angles."

A new language for a new American theater

The Denver Post: "As many theater companies retrench into the economic safety of familiar seasonal fare, Curious Theatre ventures forth into the thrill of the unknown.
While more than 30 area companies are readying safe, holiday-themed plays, Curious on Saturday opens 'Ameriville,' a form-bending, socially conscious new fusion of spoken-word poetry, hip-hop, jazz, comedy and politics.
'When theater loses the pulse of what its community really needs, that's when I think it has failed,' said Chay Yew, who is directing this piece written and performed by the nationally regarded Bronx-based ensemble Universes."

Can you spot who did what in a play?

guardian.co.uk: "It might seem like a stupid question, but when you watch a piece of theatre, do you ever wonder who has done what? There's no real reason why you should. You liked so-and-so's performance, the set looked nice, theatre is a collaborative effort and you enjoyed the show. End of story."

‘Spider-Man’ Creep Dafoe Golfs With Duck in ‘Savant’

Bloomberg.com: "Willem Dafoe, the brooding, fiery- eyed bad guy of the “Spider-Man” films, trades psycho- nastiness for befuddlement as the hero of Richard Foreman’s “Idiot Savant” at New York’s Public Theater."

AutoCAD 2010 on my MacBook Pro

Between the Lines: "The new version of Parallels Desktop 5 for the Mac OSX has a new crystal view mode. This crystal view mode blurs the lines between Windows and Mac on your desktop as it shows none of the Windows OS UI. Parallels 5 also feels much faster than previous versions in my unscientific testing. Apple Bootcamp is still faster performance overall because it is running Windows natively, but you also must boot to Windows on your Mac with Bootcamp."

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"

When Artists Ripped Holes in the Iron Curtain

NYTimes.com: "IN 1985 a dissident troupe of Polish actors called Theater of the Eighth Day defied the ruling Communist Party and its censors by creating a play about the bleakness of daily life under martial law, imposed from 1981 to 1983. With ragged costumes and only a few props — most notably a sailboat that symbolized the dream of escape — the actors prepared to mount “Wormwood,” an unusually blunt and unvarnished work of protest theater."

The Supper Club of Lost Causes' - At Theater for the New City, Jim Farmer’s Poconos Tale

NYTimes.com: "Jim Farmer must have had some bizarre experiences in restaurants or in the Poconos — or both — over the years. At least that is the impression left by his daffy play “The Supper Club of Lost Causes,” a fractured look at faded glory that is being given a strange, smart production at Theater for the New City."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

barebones does 'Glengarry Glen Ross' at Hazlett

Post Gazette: "When last we saw barebones productions, in the summer of 2008, it was playing baseball with Richard Greenberg's 'Take Me Out.'
barebones now returns to bat around the staccato dialogue in David Mamet's intense real-estate drama 'Glengarry Glen Ross.'"

Public presents "The Little Foxes"

Post Gazette: "Of all the reactions to 'The Little Foxes' showing up on the Pittsburgh Public Theater schedule this season, Ted Pappas hadn't expected this:
'I don't think I've ever announced a show where more people have said to me, 'I loved the movie. I can't wait to see the play.' So I got a reaction I did not anticipate. I think these days titles sell and stars sell.'"

The Rockettes return to Pittsburgh

Post Gazette: "The journey for theatrical tours of 'The Radio City Christmas Spectacular' begin with rehearsals in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and this year takes one company through Pittsburgh."

Rockettes bring 'Christmas Spectacular' to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Success in the performing arts brings calls for encores. But it's taken four years to get the Rockettes back to Pittsburgh after they were a big hit here, not surprisingly, in 2005.
'It's definitely the same amazing show we brought before, but every year there are little changes. Everyone should come down to see if they can spot them. But there won't be a quiz,' dancer Kristina Larson jokes."

City Theatre set to ruffle feathers with 'Blackbird'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Director Stuart Carden knows that some will find David Harrower's 'Blackbird' disturbing.
The play, now in previews for a Saturday opening at City Theatre, revolves around a man and the woman with whom he had a sexual relationship when she was 12. Ray, now in his mid-50s, has spent time in jail for his actions and moved on with his life. But the 27-year-old Una still harbors unresolved issues."

Barebones productions tries its hand at established theater

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Artistic director Patrick Jordan stages a play only when he has something to say and a play he loves.
In the six years since he and Barbara Hersey founded barebones productions, the theater company has produced only eight plays. Almost all of them have been regional premieres for the play, the playwright or both. All have been done in nontraditional spaces."

Attack Theatre spreads creative wings in Strip District location

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "A new home can be an exhilarating experience, especially when the stress of moving is past.
Attack Theatre's first creation in its new home in Pittsburgh Opera's building in the Strip District draws inspiration from its new environment."

Aunt Ester takes center stage in a celebration of August Wilson works

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "As Talvin Wilks envisions it, the 'Aunt Ester Cycle' performance series could be the start of something big.
Wilks is the curator of the performance series that began Tuesday and continues through Nov. 22 at the August Wilson Center, Downtown."

need help with autocad project

Craigslist: "i have a project im doing and want to show the benefits of auto cad"

Theater of War Uses Sophocles to Help Anguished Soldiers

NYTimes.com: "The ancient Greeks had a shorthand for the mental anguish of war, for post-traumatic stress disorder and even for outbursts of fratricidal bloodshed like last week’s shootings at Fort Hood. They would invoke the names of mythological military heroes who battled inner demons: Achilles, consumed by the deaths of his men; Philoctetes, hollowed out from betrayals by fellow officers; Ajax, warped with so much rage that he wanted to kill his comrades."

Ravenhill - 'theatre is failing playwrights because it is obsessed with new writers'

The Stage: "The playwright said theatres should instead be investing more time building relationships with talent to produce a number of their plays, but claimed this required a change in the way theatres and companies currently think."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pittsburgh's mayor says he'll pursue 1 percent higher-ed tax

Post Gazette: "Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl plans to propose a 1 percent college-education privilege tax to council today, in a move that's likely to set off a fight with the city's schools of higher learning."

Pittsburgh colleges throw book at mayor's tuition tax

Post Gazette: "The tuition tax that Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl sees as the city's ticket out of financial distress drew mixed reviews from council members, yelps from students and parents and harsh words from some of the biggest targeted schools yesterday."

Mayor Includes Tuition Tax in Budget

WDUQNews: "Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is turning to college students to keep his 2010 budget in balance. As Mayor Ravenstahl presented his budget to the city council this morning he spoke of how he feels he has gotten the city’s financial house in order over the last three years and how he plans to raise enough money to bring the city’s pension system closer to stability."

Universities and Colleges React to Budget

WDUQNews: "Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today introduced a 2010 budget proposal that includes a 1% tax on all tuition paid to Pittsburgh based schools. The “Post-Secondary Education Privilege Tax” would be used to help meet the city’s ongoing pension fund obligations."

CFA becomes soap opera setting

The Tartan Online: "With the recent sightings of Russell Crowe and Jake Gyllenhaal filming different movies in Pittsburgh, it is clear that the city has been, and still is, a hot spot for filming locations. So it should come as only a mild surprise to hear that CBS’s soap opera As the World Turns recently completed filming a story arc in the ’Burgh. While the names may not be as big among our generation, stars Michael Park and Maura West, who have been in a staggering 1350+ combined episodes of the show, could be seen on campus and around Pittsburgh this past week."

Quantum Theater reinvents classic operetta

The Tartan Online: "It took 250 years of history and five different writers to bring Candide to Pittsburgh’s former Don Allen Auto City. Last Thursday night, Quantum Theater presented the first of many performances of Leonard Bernstein’s operetta, as adapted from Hugh Wheeler’s adaptation of Voltaire’s original work."

Stage Crew needed ASAP!

Craigslist: "Barebones Productions needs a few stage hands for there performance of Glengarry Glen Ross"

Review: Quantum scores with a clever 'Candide'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The cavernous concrete confines of a now-defunct car dealership's repair shop may not be the best of all possible worlds for a musical.
But it's certainly an intriguing site.
You can't help but feel the subtext for Quantum Theatre's choice of the former Don Allen Auto City as an apt setting for 'Candide.'"