CMU School of Drama

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Deliberate ambiguity leaves theatergoers thinking

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "If lately you find yourself spending as much -- or more -- time thinking about a play than you spent watching it, that's not surprising.
Over the past year, a number of area productions have either left audiences arguing about what really happened or wondering about the future of the play's characters."

Full immersion experience is way to go with shows

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "How much a critic should know, and when she should know it have always been hot topics.
Some like to keep themselves -- or like to claim they keep themselves -- distant from pre-performance chatter, gossip, background research and the reviews of fellow critics.
The reasoning is sound enough.
They prefer to judge the show they see on its merits alone."

Hilarity prevails in 'Opal' sequel at Scottdale's Geyer center

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Just two weeks after the musical 'Two by Two' took to the Geyer Performing Arts Center stage in Scottdale, a play full of comedic overtones will have its turn March 4-7.
Directed by Ron Bronson as part of the Actors and Artists of Fayette County, 'Opal's Million Dollar Duck' was written by John Patrick and is a sequel to 'Everybody Loves Opal.' It tells the story of two old friends, both very eccentric."

Cultural groups cut expenses, staff to keep quality programs

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Rethinking old ideas about what's needed has become a common practice for Western Pennsylvania arts organizations as the effects of the economic slowdown persist and administrators pinch pennies and scrutinize expenses.
No job or program is safe from tweaks, freezes and cutbacks, especially those that will least affect audiences and visitors."

Facts Behind ‘Lenin’s Embalmers’ at Ensemble Studio Theater "Vern Thiessen’s new play, “Lenin’s Embalmers,” which starts on Wednesday at the Ensemble Studio Theater in Clinton, opens with the ghost of Lenin telling this joke as a parable of the mordant doom pervading the Communist state he created."

Mind-Blowing : The Future of Architectural Visualization

FreshHome: "Traditional 3D visualization tools are limited to 2D display technology (computer monitors for instance). Zebra’s holographic images are unlike anything you have ever seen. The image literally “floats” in the air. You will be tempted to reach into the image with the expectation that you will touch the object being presented."

Solo Shows Spawn a New Theatrical Industry "THE self-written solo performance has reached such ubiquity in New York that it’s easy to forget how recently the genre became, well, a genre. Five years ago “solo show” wasn’t even marketed as a separate category at the summer New York International Fringe, the city’s biggest theater festival. In 2006 submissions of solo works jumped to 125, a 20 percent increase over the previous year."

Artists group protests NAC’s use of ‘offensive’ language

The Globe and Mail: "In response to objections from a group of disabled artists, the National Arts Centre has posted an explanation for a reference to “legless cripples” that appears in the NAC’s online promotional material for a just-opened play. But the Radical Disabled Artists Network is still waiting for an apology for language the artists consider offensive."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

NTC student: "Save our secret buried treasure"

The Denver Post: "Sean Lyons is a third-year MFA acting student at the National Theatre Conservatory, meaning he will graduate in May. He did his undergraduate work at Pepperdine University, and moved here in 2007 after was accepted into the NTC.
In an attempt to help the people of Denver to understand what it risks losing if the NTC should close as scheduled in 2012, he wrote this introduction explaining what the NTC is, and why its survival should matter to everyone who lives here."

Stephen Sondheim reflects on his life in theater

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: "It is an ordinary weekday in New York, and Stephen Sondheim, the man who reshaped the Broadway theater in the second half of the 20th century with such shows as 'Company,' 'Follies,' 'Sweeney Todd,' 'Sunday in the Park with George' and 'Into the Woods,' was not taking a stroll in the park."

Olivier Awards to be shown live online

The Stage: "Viewers will be able to watch this year’s Laurence Olivier Awards live on the internet, marking the first time the ceremony has been shown as and when it happens."

Video projection has an expanding role in mainstream theater

The Boston Globe: "In Clifford Odets’s “Paradise Lost,’’ Ben Gordon is an unsuccessful former Olympic track star who remains, in his own mind, the “champ miler of the world.’’
The idea of getting into his mind intrigued Daniel Fish, who is directing the American Repertory Theater’s production of this drama about a family’s shattered dreams, now playing at the Loeb Drama Center. Fish wanted to find a way to convey what Ben himself envisioned when he reflected on his glory days. But how to depict, in theater, someone’s private ruminations?
His answer: video."

Startling talent on display in Playwrights Project festival "One of this year’s Playwrights Project festival works — a totally charming play by a teen-ager who seems to know more about adulthood than lots of adults do — is titled “Funny Little Thing.”"

RSC to Bring Lost Shakespeare to Michigan

Backstage: "The University of Michigan will collaborate with the Royal Shakespeare Company to develop three new plays—including a so-called “lost” play believed to be authored by William Shakespeare and a collaborator, John Fletcher."

Hollywood North Readies for Bollywood West Role

Backstage: "Hollywood North is auditioning for the role of Bollywood West.
The first known government-backed Bollywood acting school in North America has opened in Canada's largest city and its creator is hoping to capitalize on the region's booming South Asian population.
'Here, I'm opening the doors of Bollywood and Hollywood together,' said Lucky Sanda, program director of the Bollywood acting diploma program at the Canadian Institute of Management and Technology."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ballet Theatre gets dorm for students

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has completed acquisition of a building to be a dormitory for out-of-state students attending Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School. Renovation of the rectory of the former St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, at 3501 Penn Avenue, Lawrenceville, is scheduled to be completed by June 1"

'Phantom' lives to 'Love' again

Variety: "The longest runner in Broadway history and London's second-longest after world record holder 'Les Miserables,' 'The Phantom of the Opera' has amassed global grosses of more than $2.63 billion. With box office revenues higher than for any film or stage play in history, including 'Titanic,' 'E.T.' and 'Star Wars,' it has been seen in 144 cities in 27 countries by more than 100 million people."

My Journey with The Brother/Sister Plays

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Blog: "I remember meeting Tarell in NY three years ago, before I had ever heard of The Brother/Sister Plays. We met through one of my closest friends and hung out in NY until five in the morning. We had the best time, exchanged numbers, and committed to keeping in touch. When I got the script for In the Red and Brown Water two weeks later, I had no idea that the man I had met was the playwright."

Architecture Goes to the Opera

Fast Company: "Herzog and de Meuron might be rock stars abroad--their just-opened VitraHaus museum for the furniture company's Weil am Rhein, Germany campus is astonishing (thanks, in part, to Iwan Baan's insanely good photographs). But here in the States, they've had a rough few years. After their success with 40 Bond, their follow-up, 56 Leonard, stalled and their plan for the Parrish Art Museum had to be scaled back. Hear the fat lady singing? Their show's not over yet; in fact, it just got started."

Atemporality for the Creative Artist

Beyond The Beyond: "So, what is ‘atemporality’? I think it’s best defined as ‘a problem in the philosophy of history’. And I hate to resort to philosophy, because I am a novelist. But I don’t think we have any way out here. It is about the nature of historical knowledge. What we can know about the past, and about the present, and about the future. How do we represent and explain history to ourselves? What are its structures and its circumstances? What are the dynamics of history and futurity? What has happened before? What is happening now? What is really likely to happen next?"

Gear Template Generator

ExhibiTricks: "Did you ever have the need/desire to cut some gear shapes out of basic materials like wood or phenolic using basic tools like a band saw?
If so, you owe it to yourself to check out the Web-based Gear Template Generator created by Matthias Wandel."

9 Tips for Efficient Meetings

Productivity501: "Meetings can be one of the biggest time drains for you as an individual and for a business. A meeting with 7 people all making $20 per hour costs a business $140 per hour. If it is a once-per-week meeting and there are 15 minutes wasted at each meeting, the total yearly waste comes to over $1,800. I don’t know about you, but a one hour meeting with only 15 minutes wasted is actually a pretty good meeting, in my experience. Half of a meeting being wasted is more par for the course, and entire meetings that are unproductive is fairly common."

Broadway Vocab 101. Words used to describe numbers.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "I threw out a word a few weeks ago that prompted a reader to pop me an email and ask, 'What the fiorello does XXXXX mean?'
So, in an attempt to prevent future emails like that from readers (and future bad musical-cussing puns from me), I thought I'd introduce a new feature on The Producer's Perspective, called Broadway Vocabulary."

Nude Window Display at Chair and the Maiden Turns Heads "One after the next, they trudged through the horizontal-blowing snow on Thursday, most focusing more on the icy sidewalk than on the body of a naked woman, who stood in a gallery window in Greenwich Village."
There was the occasional elongated stare, or, in at least one case, a mother breaking her prepubescent son out of his trance with a firm tug.
Then, not long after the nude woman, Megan Hanford, assumed her pose, a patrol car rolled toward the gallery, Chair and the Maiden. The police vehicle rolled slowly, paused for a moment, and then kept going.

Telerobotic searchlight art installation

Boing Boing: "Vectorial Elevation is a telerobotic art installation in Vancouver, Canada that enables you to aim 20 searchlights around the English Bay via the Web. Four cameras around the city then photograph your design and the system creates a Web page for it."

"Peace, Ho!" Julius Caesar Goes To A Girls' School

Jezebel: "Why yes, I did see an all-female production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar last night. And yes, it was awesome.
The Bushwick Shakespeare Repertory, which will be performing Julius Caesar at 8pm every night this weekend, bills itself as 'a female-driven collaborative [...] committed to casting women in roles not traditionally available to them in Classical Theatre.'"

Roundabout Theater Says ‘Strong’ Ticket Sales Improve Outlook "New York’s Roundabout Theatre Co., stung last season by a decline in contributions and investment income, says it’s “starting to see signs of an improved outlook.”
The city’s largest nonprofit theater said in a bond disclosure yesterday that “single ticket sales for the fall season have been very strong,” offsetting a decrease in annual subscription sales."

Mendes Roughs Up ‘Tempest’ With Transvestite Ariel "It takes a director as powerful as Sam Mendes to turn Shakespeare’s supremely poetic “Tempest” into something as deplorable as what the Bridge Company is offering at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. All lyricism is wantonly excised."

Tamasha Takes Lorca to Pakistan at Hampstead "After transforming Wuthering Heights into a Bollywood-style musical last year (See News, 19 Feb 2009), British Asian theatre company Tamasha will stage a Pakistan-set interpretation of Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba at Hampstead Theatre later this year, as part of their 21st anniversary season."

Playwrights Migrate to TV "To catch the latest work of a hot American playwright, there's no need to go the theater—just turn on the TV.
Keith Huff, who wrote last fall's Broadway hit 'A Steady Rain,' just started a new job as a writer for the AMC show 'Mad Men.' Seven of the nine people writing the next season of HBO's 'Big Love' are playwrights. Of the 200 applicants for writing jobs for an upcoming FX drama, 'Lights Out,' about an aging former heavyweight boxing champion, one in three were playwrights."

Did Northcott Theatre's board act too quickly? "So here we go again. Another regional theatre – this time the Northcott in Exeter – faces an uncertain future after the board voted late on Wednesday night to put the theatre into administration. Clearly trustees take the risk, and therefore must be the people to decide whether it is viable to continue (companies are not allowed to trade while insolvent), but – as with Bristol Old Vic and Derby before it – this could be another instance of a board acting in haste and leaving everyone else repenting at leisure."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Inspector General 

Pittsburgh City Paper: "You may know the etymology of 'politics.' The word combines the Greek 'poli,' meaning 'many,' with 'tics,' which are blood-sucking insects.
I love that joke."

'Xanadu' skates with wink and smile

Post Gazette: "Best to leave your thinking cap home and bring your funny bone and a guide to the 1980s to enjoy 'Xanadu,' the outrageous parody of the critically panned movie.
Wacky and whimsy rule this stage musical, but what would you expect from a show that targets an era that gave us leg warmers and roller discos? The '80s also dawned to the ditzy film starring Olivia Newton-John, which became a punchline for bad movie musicals."

Playhouse's 'Time After Time' tells time machine tale in song

Post Gazette: "When H.G. Wells hurtles toward his future -- our present -- pursuing Jack the Ripper, dreaming of Utopia and destined for love, the time machine rearranging his molecules for the journey is powered by writer Stephen Cole, composer Jeff Saver and director Gabriel Barre, the creative team behind the new musical 'Time After Time.'"

PG North review: Vincentian community gets in the act to help stage lively musical, 'Beauty and the Beast'

Post Gazette: "As everyone knows, 'Beauty and the Beast' ends when Beauty's love transforms the dying Beast into a handsome prince. The most famous response to this was by Greta Garbo, who, at the end of the 1946 movie by Jean Cocteau, wailed, 'Give me back my Beast!'"

Director Stephen Cole kept coming back to 'Time After Time'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For humans, the journey from conception to birth takes a little under nine months. For Asian elephants, it's 21 months.
A new musical can take much longer.
For Stephen Cole, the writer and lyricist of 'Time After Time,' it's five years and counting."

Shakespeare Theatre Internships

Internships - ControlBooth: "Each year, we invite two dozen early career theatre professionals/artists to join the internship/fellowship company at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Members of the intern/fellow company work alongside some of the most renowned artists and professionals in the world to produce and support the mainstage season at the nation’s premier classical theatre."

Work Smart: Stop Multitasking and Start Doing One Thing Really Well

Fast Company: "A human's ability to do several things at once is a wonder of biology: it means we can eat a burrito while we walk down the street and listen to music and daydream about the weekend all at the same time. But some kinds of multitasking costs you more time than you save."

World Theatre Day in Chicago – 2010

Theater For The Future: "World Theatre Day is an international celebration of theater and the impact that theater has on communities and individuals across the globe – and it’s just now catching on in the U.S. Last year, Chicago launched the first community-wide celebration of World Theatre Day in the United States, and this year, we’re doing it up even more."

In 'Mind Movies,' the Word Picture Continues to Appeal to Eager Ears "The script called for snow, and it was snowing.
'I wanted light and fluffy,' said the director, Fred Greenhalgh. He was talking about the cozily muffled acoustics, not the pretty view. 'This is perfect,' he said. 'Roll 'em!'
Windshield wipers slapping, a car wooshed to a stop at an old schoolhouse in this coastal city, now home to a theater company. Letting the car door slam as he got out, Bill Dufris, playing a cop in Brattleboro, Vt., said, 'I'll do my best,' and crunched up the wooden steps to a make-believe crime scene."

Anybody for a Threesome?

Backstage: "The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists will hold its monthly national board meeting Feb. 27. There, a subcommittee created last month is expected to recommend whether AFTRA should re-enter joint bargaining with the Screen Actors Guild on its prime-time television contract. AFTRA broke away from joint bargaining in 2008, when Alan Rosenberg, a vocal critic of AFTRA, was president of SAG. But since then, changes in SAG's leadership have reopened the door to closer cooperation between the two unions. Ken Howard, who was elected SAG president last year on a platform that promoted the eventual merger of SAG and AFTRA, told Back Stage in January that a return to joint bargaining 'will be a huge step toward mending a lot of fences.'"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CMU's 'Inspector General' gaudy and unsubtle

Post Gazette: "Like President Bush, Nikolai Gogol didn't do nuance. His best-known play, 1836's 'The Inspector General' is an unsubtle satire about corrupt, stupid, lazy public officials and their silly families who are easily duped by a worthless young gambler from St. Petersburg."

No need to inspect this general

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Nikolai Gogol's comedy 'The Inspector General' has provided dependable satire of government malfeasance and greed since its debut in 1836."

Fresh and Funny New Take on Inspector General Opens February 19th

CMU Drama School Blog - "Carnegie Mellon faculty members Michael Chemers and Jed Harris have teamed up to present a new adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s comedy The Inspector General, which runs in the Chosky Theatre February 18-27."

Save the Date: 2010 Design Showcase

New York Drama Alumni Clan: "The graduating designers, technicians, managers, directors, writers, & dramaturges will be presenting their annual portfolio showcase on Wednesday, May 19.

Join them at the Midtown Loft (267 5th Ave. Suite 100)"

School of Drama New Works Series Begins This February!

CMU Drama School Blog - "This February, Carnegie Mellon’s New Works Series will launch the premieres of four new plays written by second-year Dramatic Writing M.F.A. playwriting students. Dramatic Writing Option Coordinator Rob Handel enthused, “The New Works Series is central to the experience of the playwrights in the graduate program. It's their opportunity to collaborate with the artists and technicians in the other disciplines at the School of Drama. Production is the only way plays get made, and practicing collaboration is the only way professionals get made.”"

The Ungar Collection

CMU Drama School Blog - "Gary and Robin Ungar, parents of alumnus Jeremy Ungar, have made a generous gift to the School of Drama with their donation of The Criterion Collection, an extensive library of cinematic masterworks, to the directing program. This is the first time that an institution has received the entire Criterion Collection."

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet to show versatility

Post Gazette: "Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will spotlight works by some of dance's top living choreographers when the contemporary dance company makes its Pittsburgh debut Friday in the Byham Theater, Downtown."

PPT's student Shakespeare contest winners crowned

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Kings, queens, lovers and warriors were among the winners of the Pittsburgh Public Theater's Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest held Friday afternoon at the O'Reilly Theater, Downtown."

North Side benefit play warns of dark side of teen dating

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Hannah Weisberg, a junior at Gateway High School, says she felt helpless when someone close to her was hurting in an abusive dating relationship.
'Then Demi Cuccia was murdered, and that really, really hit home with me,' says Weisberg, 16, of Monroeville. She recalls the Aug. 15, 2007, stabbing death of the Gateway cheerleader by Cuccia's boyfriend, John Mullarkey, who is serving a life sentence."

Seton Hill production wraps humor in a noir setting

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "With its five interlocking plots -- a spy story, a murder mystery and three love stories -- it seems that theatergoers should get their money's worth by attending Seton Hill University's production of 'Red Herring.'
'This is a show that I think will surprise audiences,' says Terry Brino-Dean, associate professor of theater and theater program director at Seton Hill. 'It is not a well-known play, but the story is funny, engaging and touching.'"

'Xanadu' offers fun break from winter doldrums

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "If gray skies and even grayer snow drifts have you in the doldrums, there's a cure.
Relief arrived Tuesday night when the musical 'Xanadu' rolled into the Benedum Center, Downtown.
Performed without intermission, this 90-minute gloriously goofy, spoofy, wacky and thoroughly enjoyable musical should bring smiles to even the most shovel-weary patron."


Craigslist: "I am seeking crew for my student film. Experience in audio recording, camera work, and production duties"

Judi Dench Brings Titania to Life Again "It’s not uncommon for classical actors to repeat roles. Kevin Kline has given us two Off Broadway Hamlets, and any number of British performers have returned to various defining plays, and parts, at different times. But have 48 years ever before separated the same actress stepping up to the theatrical plate with a single role? I don’t know, though I can attest this much: there are few actresses as singular as Judi Dench."

New Gay Theater Is More About Love Stories Than Politics "A new breed of plays and musicals this season is presenting gay characters in love stories, replacing the direct political messages of 1980s and ‘90s shows like “The Normal Heart” and “Angels in America” with more personal appeals for social progress."

How to Motivate Unmotivated People

Ian's Messy Desk: "If you walk around a Walt Disney World resort or theme park, you are likely to witness something that in most other settings would seem bizarre. Not the presence of a large animated character, although you may witness that also. Rather, at any given moment, a person in dress clothes will be walking from one destination to another and will stop, pick up a piece of paper, a cup, or other piece of trash someone dropped, and throw it in a trash can. Executives do it, front line managers do it, hourly employees do it, everybody does it."

New Poll Shows Most Productive Time of Day

WebWorkerDaily: "What time of day is your most productive? That’s the question I posed in a poll on my LinkedIn account a while back. The question is one I’ve noodled around with for several years."

Sometimes Getting Organized is a Big Fat Waste of Time

SmallNotebook: "For many of us, getting organized is the fun part. We love buying materials for new craft projects. We love school supplies. We’ll make our lists and schedules, and even organize our recipes.
We’ll spend all of our time planning and getting ready, but then starting to work on those projects stumps us. So what do we do? We organize some more."

The Long Road of the Chicago Theater Database

Theater For The Future: "Dan Granata and I were interviewed a ways back by Chicago Art Machine about the current status of the Chicago Theater Database, and what makes a fancy community-wide project like that hover in stasis while other projects roll forward."

Long Reach Long Riders (LRLR) to Hold Raffle at USITT "The Long Reach Long Riders, the charitable motorcycle ride to help provide funds for the ESTA Foundation Behind the Scenes program has just announced their 2010 raffle at USITT. On April 2nd, 2010, The Long Reach Long Riders will be holding their annual raffle in the Behind the Scenes booth at the USITT Stage Expo in Kansas City."

Motion picture academy honors nerds of filmmaking

Yahoo! News: "Forty-five men you've probably never heard of were honored with an Academy Awards ceremony of their own that recognized scientific and technical achievements in moviemaking."

The Technical Academy Awards- For Guys Only?

Women & Hollywood: "If you didn’t know any better after reading this AP article on the Academy’s technical awards you’d think that only men worked in Hollywood. This piece is one of the strangest takes on the industry that I have seen in a while."

Women in Film Launches New Programs for Directors and Writers

Women & Hollywood: "Here are some newly launched programs from Women in Film in LA. In order to apply you need to be a member of Women in Film."

2009 Was No Year of the Woman in Hollywood

Women & Hollywood: "Just forget all the bullshit you and I are constantly fed (and I sometimes write) about how great things are for women in Hollywood. We did have a better year at the box office with a couple of female led films making it to the top 10, and we did get a woman nominated for best director, BUT and this is a big BUT, when you look even a little bit below the surface you will realize really quickly that things are just terrible for women EVERYWHERE in Hollywood."

PRG & the Super Bowl Halftime Show "More and more Press Releases are rolling in from this years Super Bowl Halftime Show. Again, this is something I normally do not write about he. But this years Super Bowl Halftime Show featuring The Who was spectacular! If you watched the Halftime Show, I am sure you were like me and wondered how they put this all together. PRG (Production Resource Group), just issued a Press Release that goes over some of the details that Lighting Designer, Al Gurdon did to create such a wonderful Halftime Show."

Ralph Remington Named NEA Theater Division Head

Backstage: "A former Minneapolis city council member who has extensive regional theater experience has been named director of theater and musical theater at the National Endowment for the Arts."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Detroit residents can apply for free film technician training "Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, and Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano announced a federal grant that will allow Detroit residents to apply for training to work in Michigan's growing film industry."

Wireless Comment Deadline Extended to March 1, Winter Weather Cited

FOH online: "The FCC has responded to a request by Shure to extend the deadline for public comments relating to proposed changes in wireless microphone licensing rules by seven days, from Feb. 22 to March 1. The comment period, which would have expired on February 22, now closes on March 1, 2010."

Video Applications Pushes Media Arts Envelope For Trey McIntyre Project at Orange County Performing Arts Center

Briefing Room on SVConline: "Video Applications took a turn on a rather unconventional stage when it provided projection and video support for the premiere of The Trey McIntyre Project’s “The More I See You” at the Orange County Performing Arts Center (OCPAC) in Costa Mesa, California."

Singing 'rewires' damaged brain

BBC News: "By singing, patients use a different area of the brain from the area involved in speech.
If a person's 'speech centre' is damaged by a stroke, they can learn to use their 'singing centre' instead."

Talks Break Down Between Union and Canada's Shaw Festival "The Shaw Festival announced on Feb. 23 that talks between management and IATSE Local 461 regarding the collective agreements for the Facilities, Production and Audience Sales and Services departments have broken down."

Playing musical instruments may improve reading

Telegraph: "Neuroscientists have found that musicians benefit from heightened brain activity that allows them to process information from their eyes and ears more efficiently than non-musicians."

Audiences hate modern classical music because their brains cannot cope

Telegraph: "For decades critics of modern classical music have been derided as philistines for failing to grasp the subtleties of the chaotic sounding compositions, but there may now be an explanation for why many audiences find them so difficult to listen to."

Bust the Unions

The Big Sky Weekly: "My distaste for organized labor is sprinkled here and there throughout my blog. It wasn’t something that has been on my mind recently until I read this headline today: La Scala Opera Union Threatens Strike.
Pretty benign headline. There was some color added on the radio news as I was driving in that bugged me even more."

Strike the Set by James Panero, City Journal Winter 2010

city-journal: "You’ve got to hand it to New York’s stagehands’ union. Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has been collective-bargaining the life out of New York theater for over a century. Just how much does this union of carpenters, electricians, and prop masters bleed from city arts organizations? Carnegie Hall’s tax returns for its 2007–08 season suggest an answer."

W+K Old Spice Making Of…

(NOTCOT): "Now even more fascinating, i love the interview embedded after the jump where “Leo Laporte interviews Craig Allen and Eric Kallman of Wieden + Kennedy to find out how Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” was made.” ~ And it just gets MORE amazing. They did it in practically one shot on a 3 day shoot… building half a boat on the beach at the waters edge ~ having a shower set that gets crane lifted away ~ and as he sits down on a mechanism that rolls him onto a real horse! The only CG stuff ~ they painted out the device… and they superimposed the overflowing diamonds that were coming out of a fake hand…"

Fill Your Opening Ceremony with Arts, then Cut Them

The Tyee: "As k.d. lang mesmerized the world with her magical rendition of 'Hallelujah,' I couldn't shake the image of Gordon Campbell as the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, hearing the joyous carols from Whoville, his heart growing ten sizes as Leonard Cohen's lyrics soared to the roof of BC's giant marshmallow tied to a kitchen chair."

Eight Theatres Form Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance

Stage Directions: "Michigan’s Equity theatre producers have banded together to form the Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance (META). The theatres involved are: Detroit Repertory Theatre (Detroit), The Jewish Ensemble Theatre (West Bloomfield), Performance Network Theatre (Ann Arbor), Plowshares Theatre Company (Detroit), The Purple Rose Theatre Company (Chelsea), Meadow Brook Theatre (Rochester) Tipping Point Theatre (Northville) and Williamston Theatre (Williamston). META is meant to be a permanent alliance that will foster collaboration at all levels of operations, from marketing and audience development to collective bargaining to sharing inventory."

Disney World stunt worker's death not caused by safety violations, OSHA says

Palm Beach Post: "Walt Disney World has been cleared of any workplace-safety violations stemming from an accident last summer in which a resort employee died after breaking his neck while rehearsing his part in a popular stunt show."

The Globe's 400-year wait is over

The Guardian: "If playwright Nell Leyshon is ­overawed by the prospect of ­making history, she's hiding it well. It was announced this week that Leyshon had been ­commissioned by Shakespeare's Globe to write a drama for the ­theatre – the first woman to be asked since its opening in 1599. But ­Leyshon has something else on her mind first: body image. She's working on play about the subject for the ­National Theatre, which has joined her with a group of ­teenagers in ­Plymouth. As we speak, she's ­scurrying through an ­industrial park, ­attempting to find the rehearsal space."

Monday, February 22, 2010

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

Theater Preshow Announcements Take Aim at Cellphones "THE producer David Richenthal was at a performance of “The King and I” in the late 1990s when a cellphone rang. Its owner, sitting near him in the audience, answered. He remembers her saying, in a heavy New Yawk accent, “I can’t talk right now, the king is dying.”"
<-- Comments Here

Hollywood movies follow a mathematical formula "Psychologist Professor James Cutting and his team from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, analyzed 150 high-grossing Hollywood films released from 1935 to 2005 and discovered the shot lengths in the more recent movies followed the same mathematical pattern that describes the human attention span. The pattern was derived by scientists at the University of Texas in Austin in the 1990s who studied the attention spans of subjects performing hundreds of trials. The team then converted the measurements of their attention spans into wave forms using a mathematical technique known as the Fourier transform."
<-- Comments Here


Yahoo! Finance: "Searching for a job is not always easy, no matter what state the economy is in. And when you're on the hunt, your best weapon is your resume. This document must emphasize the best of your experience, education and skills and sell you to your future employer. It's a lot to ask, but it is possible to get your CV into fighting shape. Don't let your effort go to waste by having these glaring red flags on your resume."
<-- Comments Here

Cancelled classes result in loss of instruction, finances

The Tartan Online: "Last Monday through Wednesday, Carnegie Mellon canceled classes for the first time since 2003 — and for the first three-day period in the university’s history.
In a move that might have seemed a bit out of character for Carnegie Mellon, the university’s administration identified the safety risk inherent in a blizzard of the magnitude that swept through Pittsburgh last week, and put classes on hold."
<-- Comments Here

Signs of spring: A list of high school musicals

Post Gazette: "It's high school musical season again. Although some shows at high schools across the region already have begun, most are scheduled in March and April.
Below is a list of shows in chronological order, as well as three awards shows where most of these musicals will be considered."
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shakespeare contest brings out the best in young thespians

Post Gazette: "'Share Shakespeare!' directed actor John Ahlin to the nice full house that gathered yesterday afternoon at the O'Reilly Theater for the finals of the 16th annual edition of the Pittsburgh Public Theater's Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest."

Signs of spring: A list of high school musicals

Post Gazette: "It's high school musical season again. Although some shows at high schools across the region already have begun, most are scheduled in March and April.
Below is a list of shows in chronological order, as well as three awards shows where most of these musicals will be considered."

Viral videos of 'Xanadu' musical are still a hit on YouTube

Post Gazette: "The legacy of 'Xanadu's' Broadway run is the touring show coming to the Benedum Center Tuesday and the Tony campaign videos that became a viral sensation."

Stage musical 'Xanadu' reimagines and pokes fun at the original film that inspired it

Post Gazette: "If you turned on a radio in the 1980s -- or an oldies station since then -- you know the Olivia Newton-John/Electric Light Orchestra collaboration that sent songs like 'Magic' and 'Xanadu' soaring up the charts."

Dancers' vision guides Aspen/Santa Fe Ballet

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "In little more than a decade, the Aspen/Santa Fe Ballet has become a leader in contemporary dance. Yet, its founding executive and artistic directors had never run a company."

Lion King Becomes Eighth Longest-Running Show in Broadway History "The Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning musical The Lion King becomes the eighth longest-running show in Broadway history when it plays its 5,125th performance at the Minskoff Theatre Feb. 21."

Lucy Prebble Demystifies the Enron Scandal "WHEN Enron slumped into bankruptcy in December 2001, Lucy Prebble was a 20-year-old English literature student at the University of Sheffield in northern England.
She discussed the scandal at a pub with friends, and a few questions lingered in her mind. How many of us do business with corporations even if we disapprove of their values? What does it mean for a company to “collapse,” anyway?"

Theater Preshow Announcements Take Aim at Cellphones "THE producer David Richenthal was at a performance of “The King and I” in the late 1990s when a cellphone rang. Its owner, sitting near him in the audience, answered. He remembers her saying, in a heavy New Yawk accent, “I can’t talk right now, the king is dying.”"

Broadway Revivals Keep Modern Classics and Characters Alive "TODD HAIMES, the Roundabout Theater Company’s artistic director, was in London in 2008 when a producer invited him to a revival of “La Cage aux Folles.” Having seen the 2004 Broadway revival, Mr. Haimes went only out of a sense of duty. “There was just no reason to see it again,” he recalls thinking. “But by the end of the show I was crying, and I said: ‘I understand why they’re redoing it. This deserves to be seen.’ ”"

Your crew are not non-profit corporations.

Backstage at "Those of you that follow my Twitter feed know I have been a bit testy lately due to a company being very late with their paychecks. Crew members finally received paychecks from them just over seven weeks after the job. This is not the first time this or other companies have been late in paying crew members. So I offer this reminder to theatres and companies out there"

Corporate Women: The Wage Gap Starts At Graduation

Jezebel: "Thinking about getting an M.B.A.? While advanced degrees are often touted as the way to improve salary and access to top jobs, researchers have discovered that simply being male translates to more money and opportunity."

Hollywood movies follow a mathematical formula "Psychologist Professor James Cutting and his team from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, analyzed 150 high-grossing Hollywood films released from 1935 to 2005 and discovered the shot lengths in the more recent movies followed the same mathematical pattern that describes the human attention span. The pattern was derived by scientists at the University of Texas in Austin in the 1990s who studied the attention spans of subjects performing hundreds of trials. The team then converted the measurements of their attention spans into wave forms using a mathematical technique known as the Fourier transform."

Viva Elvis -- Theater Review

Hollywood Reporter: "It's no stretch to say that Elvis Presley doesn't have quite the cultural hold on recent generations that the Beatles do. Then again, the moptops never owned Vegas like he did. And could again."

Friday, February 19, 2010

New CEO named for August Wilson Center

Post Gazette: "Andre Kimo Stone Guess will be the new president and chief executive officer of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. His appointment was announced Thursday, he is expected to begin the job on April 16."

Shakespeare contest crowns student finalists

Post Gazette: "Neither snow nor snow nor even more snow kept hundreds of entrants from strutting their stuff for teams of judges these past two weeks in the Pittsburgh Public Theater's 16th annual Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest."

August Wilson Center names Andre Kimo Stone Guess as president

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The August Wilson Center has chosen Andre Kimo Stone Guess as its new president and chief executive officer.
Guess will succeed Marva H. Harris, who has served as interim CEO since July 2009 following the departure of Neil A. Barclay, the center's president and CEO since 2003."

House of Blues goes for laughs

Variety: "In its latest brand-extension efforts, Comedy Central has teamed with Live Nation to launch a monthly standup showcase at the House of Blues. Cabler also announced Thursday it has ordered a third season of Web-generated series 'Atom TV.'"

Technology secrets of Coney Island's people-tossing machinery, 1931

Boing Boing: "In 'Thrill Makers of Coney Island' from this July, 1931 issue of Modern Mechanix, we learn many amazing facts about the high-tech people-hurling technologies being developed for the burgeoning Coney Island amusement park"

How They Made That Awesome HBO '80s Opening Sequence

I Watch Stuff: "Remember that '80s HBO intro where the camera went from a city apartment, through Alec Baldwin's Beetlejuice model, and into space, where the HBO logo was full of lasers? It was pretty great, even when viewed through my home's fuzzy, accidental HBO reception with the knowledge that it would just be followed by another showing of Oh God! You Devil."

Parsons launches new MFA program in Transdisciplinary Design

Core77: "Parsons The New School for Design announced a new MFA in Transdisciplinary Design set to launch in Fall 2010. The program is based in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons, which encompasses innovative programs that apply design thinking to study the intersection of cities, services and ecosystems."

XL Video and the Super Bowl XLIV Halftime Show "XL Video just put out a Press Release with more detailed information about how the Super Bowl XLIV Halftime Show came together. While I normally do not post about installations and events, this one is hard to pass up. If you watched the Halftime show this year and are into lighting and are like me, you were in aw of the performance. The press release gives some good insight into what was used and how it all came together."

Cirque Du Soleil Expands With Elvis Vaudeville Shows "It’s about 10 degrees Fahrenheit and windy in Montreal, and that’s not the only frigid breeze sweeping through this capital of Cirque du Soleil.
For the first time, Cirque has a bona fide dud of a show in Las Vegas, attendance is underwhelming for its production in Macau, and critics are already sharpening their knives over two new shows due to open this month, one in New York and another in Vegas. A development deal with Dubai World isn’t playing out as expected largely because Dubai World’s development activities have been, uh, complicated by its financial implosion.
Yet somehow—per the company’s name—it’s always sunny inside the office at Cirque’s international headquarters of cheerful Cirque CEO Daniel Lamarre."


Yahoo! Finance: "Searching for a job is not always easy, no matter what state the economy is in. And when you're on the hunt, your best weapon is your resume. This document must emphasize the best of your experience, education and skills and sell you to your future employer. It's a lot to ask, but it is possible to get your CV into fighting shape. Don't let your effort go to waste by having these glaring red flags on your resume."

Stage Automation Engineer - February, 2010

American Theatre Wing: "Stage Automation Engineer Chuck Adomanis designs the modern automated system for moving theatrical scenery. He demonstrates the control system on the new set built for the Billy Elliot tour. His designs created on computer are executed by many craftsmen on the shop floor. Notable designs using Hudson Scenic Automation are The Lion King's Pride Rock, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's flying car, and the large video screens used by the current Dreamgirls tour. Adomanis shares the origins of his interest in stagecraft, his career path, and what continues to motivate his work."

Special Events Assistant - Roundabout Theatre Company

The Producer's Perspective Classifieds: "Energetic fundraising professional to assist in creation, organization and implementation of various special events."

What's the West End doing right that we aren't?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "2009 was a thermometer-bursting year for West End theater.
Despite the world economic crisis, the West End set a record with a yearly gross of £504,765,690 or approximately $786,134,270, which is a 7.6% increase (!) from the previous year.
But that's not what's got me curious/burning with envy."

Lincoln Center to Stage Almodóvar’s Musical ‘Women’ "The new musical “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” based on the 1988 Pedro Almodóvar film, and the acclaimed British production of the play “War Horse” will be two of the major shows of the 2010-11 season at Lincoln Center Theater, executives there said on Thursday."

Film stars take tragic, musical turns on Paris stage

AFP: "Audrey Tautou, known as the kooky Parisian girl in the movie 'Amelie', made her live stage debut this week as a tragic heroine -- the latest screen actor to bring star power to struggling Paris theatres.
Meanwhile a grande dame of French stage and screen, Isabelle Huppert, goes raving mad in her underwear in another monumental female theatrical role, in a radical version of Tennessee Williams's 'A Streetcar Named Desire'."

'Headshots for Haiti' Raises Money for Earthquake Relief

Backstage: "When photographer Jordana Zeldin saw the reports of destruction and death in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there last month, she knew she wanted to help the people of Haiti – but didn't know how."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

'Xanadu' stars must master many talents

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "While growing up in a suburb outside Cleveland in the late '70s and early '80s, Dan Knechtges used to roller skate in his driveway, in his basement and at the local roller rink.
'I self-taught myself to do a lot of things -- roller skating, baton twirling,' Knechtges says. 'I don't do any of them correctly.'
It was only years later that he realized he had been doing serious research that would help him win a Tony nomination for the Broadway musical 'Xanadu.'"

'Storytime Adventures' aimed at Nickelodeon fans

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Characters from four of Nickelodeon's most popular preschool television shows are banding together on stage for one giant combo show that aims to give young kids their own version of Broadway.
Nickelodeon's 'Storytime Adventures Live!' features a portion each from 'Dora the Explorer,' 'The Backyardigans,' 'Wonder Pets!' and 'Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.' Then, after each of the approximately 15-minute scenes -- based on an episode from the television series -- have shown, all of the characters from the shows will appear on stage together for a fabulous finale, says Sam Scalamoni, director of 'Storytime Adventures Live!'"


Craigslist: "Stitcher or Costumer with experience working with Spandex, for a feature film shooting in Pittsburgh in May."

Fugard directs at his own South African theatre

Berkeley Rep Blog: "Athol Fugard is in the midst of a creative burst. The legendary 77-year-old playwright, director, and actor has written several new plays, including Coming Home (continuing through February 28 on the Thrust Stage) and Have You Seen Us?, which had its world premiere at the Long Wharf Theatre."

Ribbon Hero – Boost Your Microsoft Office Skills With This Fun Add-on

Make Use Of: "We normally don’t associate the word “fun” or “play” with Microsoft. Pinball and Minesweeper are fine…but hey, a game for Microsoft Office? This is where the guys from Redmond have got off the well trodden path and done something that’s downright unique."

What should a Producer study? A Producer's curriculum in detail.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "I got an email from a college student this week who knows she wants to be a Producer. There's no question about it. She'd declare it as a major . . . if she could.
Her school has a theater major and a business major but it doesn't have a 'producer's track' . . . and not many do. Even my alma mater only has a minor (and until we can turn Producing theater into a more stable and viable career choice, I'm not sure many will).
Since her school hasn't spec'd out a plan for producers-to-be, she asked me what I thought she should study on her way through school."

Michael Billington on what you need to be a theatre critic

The Guardian: "What qualities do you need to be a ­theatre critic? It's a question I'm ­often asked. It's also one that's ­acquired a burning topicality with the tendency of newspapers to draft star columnists into the role. ­Although I don't have all the answers, I'd humbly suggest a few things one should look for."

Can Theater Create a Dialogue About Immediate Subjects? "THE theater critics for The New York Times, Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood, looked at the spring season’s offerings and found a number of productions that addressed pressing issues. Are political shows making a comeback? They discussed this and other aspects in an e-mail conversation excerpted below."

'Wrinkle in Time' takes leap to South Coast Rep stage "Just like the classic children's novel, the stage adaptation of 'A Wrinkle in Time' begins with a crack of lightning and a boom of thunder -- the 'dark and stormy night' that has enraptured young readers for generations.
But on the Julianne Argyros Stage at South Coast Repertory, audiences can see the clouds roll toward them through the darkness, and practically feel the anxiety of Meg as she sits alone in her attic bedroom."

Arts Funding "Most nonprofit arts groups get their money from season ticket subscriptions, donations or grants. But that money has been harder to come by in the past couple of years. There's more competition for entertainment dollars, and charitable giving took a nosedive after the recession. One Seattle theater company has come up with a strategy it hopes will attract new audiences, and keep them coming back for more."

Art for Anything but Art's Sake

Backstage: "The National Endowment for the Arts' wealthiest days came courtesy of a Republican president and a Democratic Congress. For the 1992 fiscal year, Congress and President George H.W. Bush allotted $176 million to the agency—pocket change by federal budget standards, but still the largest haul the NEA has ever enjoyed. A few years later, Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich would declare war on the organization, succeeding in having its budget slashed from $162.3 million in 1995 to $99.5 million in 1996, and very nearly killing the agency altogether."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Q & A with Hilary Robinson

POP City: "Dr. Hilary Robinson is the Stanley and Marcia Gumberg Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon. A creative force in the community in the short time she has been here (2005), she serves on the boards of The Andy Warhol Museum, The Mattress Factory, Quantum Theatre, Silver Eye and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, she was head of the School of Art and Design at the University of Ulster in Belfast."

Robotics Artist Eric Singer Presents “Robots, Slime, Propane and Other Ways to Make Strange Musical Instruments”

Pittsburgh Art + Technology: "Eric Singer is a musician, artist, engineer and programmer and the Founder and Director of LEMUR. He holds a BS in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon; a Diploma in Music Synthesis (Magna Cum Laude) from Berklee College of Music; and an MS in Computer Science from New York University. He has over 20 years of experience in the areas of new electronic musical instruments, interactive music and video systems, networked multimedia, robotics and pyrotechnics. He performs and lectures around the world with electronic musical instruments and teaches a wide range of art and technology subjects. He is known internationally for his software and hardware products for interactive art and music creation and is considered a leading expert in the use of sensors and robotics in music and art."

Cancelled classes result in loss of instruction, finances

The Tartan Online: "Last Monday through Wednesday, Carnegie Mellon canceled classes for the first time since 2003 — and for the first three-day period in the university’s history.
In a move that might have seemed a bit out of character for Carnegie Mellon, the university’s administration identified the safety risk inherent in a blizzard of the magnitude that swept through Pittsburgh last week, and put classes on hold."

TEDTalks come to Carnegie Mellon

The Tartan Online: "Each year, Carnegie Mellon hosts a variety of panels and lectures with the goal of inspiring the campus and the surrounding community. In the spring, Carnegie Mellon will continue this tradition by hosting a series of lectures in a student-organized conference in April."

Broadway comes to the ’Burgh

The Tartan Online: "While the Big Apple may be hours away by train, car, or plane, New York City’s rich theater programs and talented performances are a lot closer than that. Broadway shows have marked out Pittsburgh as a stop for many of their performances, and many of the city’s drama students, notably Carnegie Mellon alumni, are also making a splash on stages across the country. Pittsburgh is fast becoming a cultural hub, not only a city to visit for many touring shows as they make their rounds, but also as a fountainhead of aspiring talent."

New PBT season to feature vampires, musketeers

Post Gazette: "Bruce Springsteen music, a Gothic love story and a holiday classic set in Pittsburgh are just part of what's in store for audiences during Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 2010-11 season.
Each year, the company aims to showcase two story ballets, a new work and a repertory program, said artistic director Terrence Orr. The 41st season will kick off Oct. 22 at the Benedum Center, Downtown, with a three-day run of Andre Prokovsky's 'The Three Musketeers,' featuring live orchestral music."

Choreographer's collaboration with surgeons, heart patients on stage for ballet

Post Gazette: "The heart is, by definition, a hollow, muscular organ that pumps blood through the body through contraction and dilation.
But that is only the beginning of this story, for the heart is also the emotional center of the body. We remember things 'by heart.' We express our feelings 'from the bottom of our heart.' Certainly, the heart plays an important part in the Olympics, where athletes can rise to new heights far beyond their usual physical prowess."

Review: Opera Theater's 'Love Spell' a winning production

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The obscurity of the opera 'L'Incantesimo' (The Love Spell) was shown to be a classic case of artistic injustice by enchanting weekend performances of it by Opera Theater. The story, in which the magical power of love triumphs, was apt for Valentine's Day weekend."

Review: Ballet Theatre presents diverse, stimulating works

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre presented an exhilarating variety of repertoire at weekend performances. Four diverse works were separated by two intermissions at the Benedum Center, Downtown.
'Company B' by Paul Taylor was the extended curtain raiser. It uses nine songs by the Andrews Sisters to evoke the spirit of America during World War II. The entire cast was infectiously exuberant during the opening 'Bei Mir Bist du Schon.' Solos, duos and solos with women or men had winning romantic flair."

Alumni come home for Stage Right's 'Putnam County Spelling Bee'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Only one student can come out on top in 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,' but, in the Stage Right version of the Tony Award-winning musical, the director says all six participants are winners.
The one-act musical comedy by Rachel Sheinkin with music and lyrics by William Finn focuses on a fictional spelling bee set in Putnam Valley Middle School, where a half-dozen students are competing. Five of the six contestants are former Stage Right students who are returning for this special alumni production."

Arena Stage's New DC Complex Will Open With Oklahoma!, Among Eight Full Productions "Arena Stage artistic director Molly Smith announced on Feb. 17 that following construction of its new Mead Center for American Theater, the company's 2010-11 season at the complex will include eight full productions, including works by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Edward Albee, Lynn Nottage, Marcus Gardley and more."

Square Feet - Arts Groups Are Moving Into Garment District "South of 42nd Street in Manhattan, the bright lights of Broadway start to fade and give way to the trimmings shops, fabric stores and designers’ ateliers of the garment district. But in recent years, much of the clothing trade has moved overseas, leaving vacant factory spaces that have lured growing numbers of theater and arts groups to the area."

At Huntington Theater in Boston, a New, Local Emphasis "Before Peter DuBois even began his duties here in 2008 as artistic director of the Huntington Theater Company, the city’s largest, he had dinner with one of the area’s most prominent young playwrights, Lydia R. Diamond, to discuss ways of fostering relationships between the Huntington and local writers."

Relief from Crushing Student Loan Payments

The White House: "On January 25th, the Middle Class Task Force unveiled several initiatives designed to relieve the strain on family budgets, including a cap on student loan payments. A few days later, the President talked about this student loan proposal during his State of the Union address. The President’s words generated a lot of interest and excitement, so we wanted to tell you a little more about our plan."

Beyonce's Bikini Infringing On Copyrights?

Techdirt: "Michael Scott points us to a story over at IPKat about how singer Beyonce (or, rather, her label, Sony) is in trouble in Germany for infringing on the copyright of a designer due to a bikini she wore in a video. Seriously. In the US, we (for the time being, at least) still don't allow copyrights on clothing design, but apparently in Germany they feel differently about that sort of thing."

How 3D Works: A Simple Picture Guide

Gizmodo: "3D technology can be confusing, but if you just need to know the basics of how it works and prefer to get your information in picture form, then it's your lucky day."

Why Diversity Doesn't Play So Well in Peoria

An Angry White Guy in Chicago: "With all of the words being throw around about diversity and racism and the cultural divides on our stages, it occurred to me that I don't see this lack of diversity - onstage or off. The House Theater's Wilson Wants It All had a racially diverse cast and it didn't strike me as particularly activist of them - it seemed normal. On a normal (read: cold as shit) day in Chicago, I see diversity at every corner - openly gay, black, Latino, Asian, businessmen, the homeless, women, men, young, old - and all cross sections in between."

Response to Isaac re: CRADLE

Theatre Ideas: In response to my post yesterday, Isaac stepped forward (with some trepidation, I got the feeling) and asked a couple good questions. Rather then bury my response, I thought it deserved a full post. Here is what Isaac wrote:
"One thing that happens in urban environments (beyond their sucking up all the arts subsidy money) is that minorities and underprivileged people of various kinds tend to cluster in them, whether they be gay, people of color or poor. I honestly believe this is one of the reasons (not the only, i agree that urbanist prejudice probably plays a part, along with our willing denial of class dynamics) why funders wanting to encourage diversity in the arts target cities... you can get a lot of bang for your buck in them."

'Mad Men' smoking draws fines in Turkey "Two Turkish television stations were each fined $33,000 for airing shows such as the U.S.-produced 'Mad Men' that feature smoking."

» Top 7 Portable Table Saws: a Benchtop Table Saw Comparison Blog: "Wait… Are you SURE you’re shopping for portable table saws because it’s a space issue? Have you tried looking over our 17 garage shop organization plans? Ok… you’re back and you know you want a portable table saw.
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Ok so you’re comfortable with a LOUD universal motor and that fact that your next purchase after the saw will be a high-accuracy table saw fence… And you DEFINITELY want a portable saw. Then you will need our 8 Free Benchtop and Contractor Table Saw Workstation and Outfeed Table Plans and Getting the Most Out of Your Benchtop or Contractor Table Saw"

John Lee Beatty - February, 2010

American Theatre Wing: "Veteran scenic designer John Lee Beatty, currently represented in New York by Time Stands Still, A View from the Bridge and Venus in Fur, talks about why he thinks all American drama is about real estate, making set design particularly integral to every work. He also discusses how he was instantly drawn to set design (as well as flying) when he first saw Peter Pan as a child; his self-education in set design through his college years -- and what he discovered when he entered the graduate design program at the Yale School of Drama; his extensive work with not-for-profit companies including the Manhattan Theatre Club, Mark Taper Forum, Goodspeed Musicals, Circle Repertory Company and Lincoln Center Theater -- plus 50 shows for City Center's Encores! series; his affinity for the Victorian era; why he hasn't done many designs for musicals -- and the musical he'd most like to tackle; how he feels about being 'typecast' for his interiors and exteriors of homes through the years -- and costume designer Jane Greenwood's sage advice on Beatty's particular specialty; how he chooses his projects -- and the kinds of shows he doesn't like to do; what it was like to imagine different parts of the Talley family property in different eras in Lanford Wilson's famed trilogy; and how the design of Proof was actually based on an old sweater."

Carrie Fisher says Wishful Drinking producer stiffed her "Carrie Fisher has battled booze, pills and Darth Vader.
And now, she's at war with the producer of her hit Broadway show, 'Wishful Drinking,' The Post has learned.
The feud, which could end up in court, is over control of the rights to Fisher's autobiographical one-woman show, which recently ended a critically acclaimed run at Studio 54. Because it was a hit in New York, 'Wishful Drinking' is in demand around the world, potentially bringing in a few million dollars."

Equity Agrees to Off-Broadway Pact

Backstage: "Actors' Equity Association announced Feb. 16 that it had reached agreement with the Off-Broadway League on a new three-year contract, through Nov. 4, 2012."

Paris Likes 'A Little Night Music' at Last

Backstage: "French audiences used to turn up their noses at Broadway-style musicals. Has a new staging of 'A Little Night Music' won them over at last?
Parisian theatergoers and critics are heaping praise on the first-ever French production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's tale of romantic intrigues and escapades based on the Ingmar Bergman film 'Smiles of a Summer Night.'"

Hollywood Expected to Boost Los Angeles Economy

Backstage: "In releasing its annual forecast Wednesday, the LAEDC said 'measured economic recovery is under way in the nation, the state and Southern California.' The regional economic group projected stronger growth for 2011, led by improvements in entertainment, international trade and tourism."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Know Your Internship "Internships can be a good way to gain experience in a field while job hunting or transitioning careers. Before signing up, however, you should know exactly what you'll get out of it and what your legal rights are.
The biggest legal issues are usually about pay. By law, internships can be unpaid only under certain circumstances. And paid interns should be aware of other workplace issues, such as overtime pay."

Stafford Loan Rates Are Falling "Undergraduates looking for ways to fund their college education now have another reason to look into subsidized Stafford loans: Interest rates are dropping.
The current rate on Stafford subsidized loans for the 2009-10 academic year is a fixed 5.6%. But it's expected to drop to 4.5% for the 2010-11 academic year, and to 3.4% for the 2011-12 academic year."

Does the FCC Know Churches Exist?

Church Production Magazine: "The short answer is yes, the FCC knows the church market exists, but the extent to which churches rely on wireless communications (microphones, monitors, inter-coms etc) is something FCC administrators in Washington may not completely grasp."

Carnegie Mellon grad Matt Bomer is making the most of 'White Collar'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "His blue eyes draw your attention.
His thick brown hair makes you want to run your hands through it.
His trim body looks even more polished in a vintage Dior suit topped off with a black fedora.
That's the outfit you'll often see on Matt Bomer, a 2000 Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama graduate, in his role as con man Neal Caffrey on USA Network's 'White Collar,' which airs at 10 p.m. Tuesdays."

Carnegie Mellon University sets new application record

Pittsburgh Business Times:: "Competition for undergraduate admission to Carnegie Mellon University will be stiff with a record number of applications submitted for the 2010-2011 school year."

Inspector General

The Inspector General opens this week!


Thursday, February 18 at 8 pm

Friday, February 19 at 8 pm

Saturday, February 20 at 2 pm and 8 pm

Tuesday, February 23 at 8 pm

Wednesday, February 24 at 8 pm

Thursday, February 25 at 8 pm

Friday, February 26 at 8 pm

Saturday, February 27 at 2 pm and 8 pm

Stop by the box office to reserve your tickets.

Remember, students cannot use comps on Saturday night until the day of the show (unless they have worked on the show).

Plan ahead! Next week we have three more shows opening-In the Blood, A Boy Named Alice and Beneath!