CMU School of Drama

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kelly Awards: Creative high schoolers give it their all

Post Gazette: There can be few more inspiring moments on a Pittsburgh stage -- or in Pittsburgh, period -- than when 60 student performers, two each from the 30 high schools participating in the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater, come together for the finale of the annual awards gala before a tumultuous Benedum Center audience.

Arena timeline -- Highlights of 50 years of entertainment

Post Gazette: The Civic Arena, later renamed Mellon Arena when the era of corporate sponsorhip arrived, has been the scene for all types of events through the years. Here are some highlights through the decades.

'Forever Plaid' returns to St. Vincent Summer Theatre

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: After more than a decade's hiatus, the men in plaid are returning to the St. Vincent Summer Theatre.
The college opens its season with "Forever Plaid," a musical show featuring a four-part harmony group whose members are soaking up their dream of performing one grand show.

Artistic Jeanius is looking for a talented media & outreach intern

Craigslist: Artistic Jeanius is looking for a talented media & outreach intern—next internship starts in July 2010. Deadline for applications is June 15th.

Gary Coleman Keeps His Address on ‘Avenue Q’ Despite some very serious consideration that “Avenue Q” would require significant revision or have to drop the role altogether, Mr. Whitty said that Gary Coleman, the character, would live on in the musical.
“After watching it tonight, I would miss him too much,” Mr. Whitty said. “Personally, I would miss him terribly.”

Mother Trouble in Polly Stenham’s ‘That Face’ TWICE a month, when she was home in London from boarding school, Polly Stenham would meet her father, Anthony, for a night at the theater. It was their special appointed time together: Mr. Stenham, a prominent businessman, had to balance long workdays with raising the teenage Polly and her younger sister by himself. And he was thrilled, Ms. Stenham said, that she came to share his passion for playwrights like Harold Pinter and Edward Albee, Sarah Kane and Neil LaBute.

Nathan Lane, Hamming It Up As Few Can I WOULDN’T dare to venture an opinion as to who is the greatest actor to appear on Broadway in the past decade or so. Most accomplished diva? Definitely won’t touch that. But the greatest entertainer? That one is easy: Nathan Lane.

Broadway bombshell Without playing even a single performance, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” is already the stuff of Broadway infamy. It’s poised — should it ever open — to be the most expensive flop in theater history. Yet if anyone could have managed the turmoil, egos and massive budget overruns that have plagued the show, it was Tony Adams.

Moore: Artistic integrity disappears in a fake puff of smoke

The Denver Post: So let me get this straight: In Colorado, where we're now dispensing legal medical marijuana on just about every street corner, it remains a criminal offense to light up a fake cigarette on a stage.
As Cheech and/or Chong might say: Man, that's dope(y).
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court said it won't hear Curious Theatre's argument for a legal exemption to the state's indoor smoking ban for theatrical presentations, all but ending its frustrating, four-year judicial odyssey.

More 'Sophisticated Ladies' in DC; Arena Extends Musical

Yahoo! News: Arena Stage's critically acclaimed production of Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies will now continue its run at the historic Lincoln Theatre through June 27.
The production, characterized as the highest-grossing show in Arena Stage's 60-year history, was directed by Charles Randolph-Wright and choreographed by its star, the Broadway veteran Maurice Hines.

Broadway: Dollars up, auds down

Variety: It's all about the product.
That's the gist of how several legiters interpret Broadway's cumulative totals for the 2009-10 season, which topped $1 billion in sales but saw attendance slip. However, depending on whom you talk to, that little aphorism means different things.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Plain white painting sparks complicated emotions in Pittsburgh Public Theater's "Art"

Post Gazette: It would be easy to paint a black-and-white version of "Art" as three men and a painting, but that would be ignoring all the shades of gray.
In the prize-winning comedy opening at the Pittsburgh Public tonight, Serge pays a pretty sum for an all-white painting and shows it expectantly to his friend, Mark, who then ridicules Serge. The painting comes to represents a rift in their 15-year friendship. Mark is downright nasty, while a third friend, Yvan, just wants everyone to get along. With the painting looming in the background, all three unleash a torrent of emotional baggage.

No shortage of fury in PICT's "Othello"

Post Gazette: The compelling physical presence of Javon Johnson in the title role powers -- at times overpowers -- this rowdy, clamorous production of "Othello" at Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre.

'Confluence' took decade to go from dream to stage

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: In the decade since she began working on "A Confluence of Dreaming," playwright Tammy Ryan has seen her play become more and more timely.
When former City Theatre artistic director Marc Masterson first commissioned the play in 2000, the World Trade Center buildings were still standing. Internet chat rooms, instant messaging and e-mails were starting to take off as new forms of communication. Cyber sex sounded like something adult robots might engage in.

Pittsburgh Public Theater's 'Art' doesn't paint pretty picture about friendships

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Art can be intimidating.
Just ask Rob Breckenridge, Harry Bouvy and Darren Eliker.
The three actors are cast in Yasmina Reza's "Art," a comedy about a friendship that nearly dissolves over reactions to a contemporary painting.
Nevertheless, there's not an art buyer among them.
"To actually invest in something would be a bold move. To buy art, I would want somebody to advise me," says Breckenridge.

CLO productions 'like a family reunion' for veteran performers

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: For many veteran Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera performers, "Consider yourself one of the family" is more than a line of lyrics from the season-opening musical, "Oliver!"

After Devastating Warehouse Fire, Musical Theatre Southwest Finds Home Musical Theatre Southwest, which lost its entire stock of costumes, props and scenic elements in a warehouse fire May 25, already has a new storage space — but nothing to fill it with.

For TKTS and Shakespeare Tickets, Strategize WITH the unofficial start of summer this weekend, there are several hot tickets to be had. But to get to the front of the line, you need to know your way around.

12 Useful Ways To Get Out Of Ruts

Stepcase Lifehack: Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?
You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Universal reveals its redone New York Street back lot

Los Angeles Times: The price tag would impress Donald Trump.
Universal Studios revealed on Thursday that it had invested $200 million to rebuild its New York Street back lot, along with the King Kong attraction, both of which burned down two years ago.
Universal executives wouldn't say how much of the cost was covered by insurance, but described the rebuild as the largest set-construction project in Hollywood history.

Kids Fear Risking Job Opportunities Because Of Drunk, Idiotic Photos

Jezebel: Why is everyone still surprised that kids are the ones who want more online privacy? I mean, Grandma has nothing to hide! And plenty to share!

In The Wings - Casting Director - May, 2010

American Theatre Wing: Casting Director Tara Rubin talks about the casting process, working with the director and creative team; her career beginnings at Johnson & Liff casting the original company of Les Misérables, and seen here holding auditions for its 25th anniversary tour; the excitement of casting a variety of shows; and how the biggest challenge is replacing celebrities.

Happy Memorial Day! BLMC Swag Bag Weekend Give Away To help kick start the summer season and celebrate memorial day weekend, I am giving away my swag bag from the Broadway Lighting Master Classes from earlier in the week. I want to pass along the swag bag to a lucky someone that was not able to attend the classes.

A Japanese Director's World Debut Haruki Murakami’s books top bestseller lists worldwide, and the filmmaker Takeshi Kitano is a regular hit at Cannes. But contemporary Japanese theater remains by and large terra incognita.

Public Theater and Dramatists Guild Reach New Royalty Agreement The Public Theater and the Dramatists Guild have reached a new agreement on subsidiary rights, which will allow playwrights to keep a larger portion of the royalties generated by their work.

Lawless and Disorderly

Backstage: On May 14, Mike Hodge was in a mournful mood. "I am totally, totally, totally shocked," the president of the Screen Actors Guild's New York division said just hours after he—and pretty much everyone else who owns a television—learned NBC would not pick up the series "Law & Order" for a record-breaking 21st season. "For those of us who work on that show and count on that show for jobs and residuals, it's almost like a death in the family."

Theater femmes grow Lilly awards

Variety: Most legit awards orgs are so old they began with a phone call or even a telegram. The Lilly Awards, which held its first celebration Sunday night in Gotham, is so new that it all began with an email.
On May 4, the day the Tony noms were announced, playwright Theresa Rebeck sent an email to some fellow scribes to complain, "Where are the women? In this year, the fact that there were so many important plays by women, and next to none received even a nomination, do we really think this should just go by without comment? Anybody got any ideas about how to make some noise about this?"

Play pulled over questionable content

WHDH-TV: The play is about a storyteller who tells a bedtime story to children about two high school sweethearts who fall in love and get married. But the bride and the groom interject with their own realities. The storyteller then reformulates the story to say the groom takes up with a drag queen, the bride dies of a “somewhat accidental [drug] overdose,” and then the groom is “dragged to his homophobic rednecks,” according to the play.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

'Othello' is a vibrant rendering of a classic Shakespearean tale

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: When Shakespeare's plays are done well, everything old can be new again.
Witness the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre production of "Othello" that's playing through June 12 at the Henry Heymann Theatre in Oakland.
The tragedy is one of Shakespeare's longest plays and filled with richly drawn characters, any one of whom could be the central character in his or her own play.
Most of you already know the plot's high points.

Ben Avon family turns home over to film crew; Proves to be insane yet exhilarating

Post Gazette: As someone who writes about homes, I'm usually the one knocking on front doors, trying to sweet-talk homeowners into letting me tell the world about the architectural delights beyond the threshold. Sometimes they say yes, and sometimes they say no. Having once had my house (and decorating) subjected to hundreds of inquiring eyes on a holiday house tour, I can't say I blame homeowners who shun the limelight.

Mellon Arena roof may open for final show

Post Gazette: Mellon Arena may go out with its top down.
Officials are exploring the possibility of opening the arena's distinctive retractable roof one last time to close down the 48-year-old building this summer.

Visa problems won't derail the African Rainbow Project

Post Gazette: The African Rainbow Project show will go on this week, but not exactly as planned.
Two highly regarded performers from the Republic of Guinea were to make their Pittsburgh debut tomorrow and Saturday at the August Wilson Center, but were denied visas at the last minute.
However, the West African Dance Ensemble Balafon is still on board. So are selected Pittsburgh school children who have taken special workshops with Balafon director Kadiatou Conte for the past several weeks. The children will join the ensemble onstage for part of the performance.

An Ensemble Effort: Should There Be a Tony Award for "Best Ensemble"? The History Boys. August: Osage County. God of Carnage. Next Fall. What do these plays all have in common?
Yes, they were all nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. (The first three won the prize; the fate of the last one, still on Broadway, will be decided on June 13, when this season's awards are given out.) But another thing they share is that observers agree, if there were such a thing as a Best Ensemble Tony Award, the casts of those four shows would have been top candidates.

A Japanese Director's World Debut Haruki Murakami’s books top bestseller lists worldwide, and the filmmaker Takeshi Kitano is a regular hit at Cannes. But contemporary Japanese theater remains by and large terra incognita.

Making a Mess Off Broadway Patrick Healy recently wrote about how the chic, immense and expensive-looking sets of several new productions, mostly on Broadway, have generated real estate envy among some theatergoers. (In this video, the designer Santo Loquasto talks about his “intellectual bohemian” look for the play “Collected Stories.”)

Final Days of the Apprenticeship

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Blog: It’s my last week at Steppenwolf. I have that funny feeling in my stomach you get when you realize that date you’ve looked at many times- May 28th, final day of Apprenticeship- has appeared in your weekly planner.

Downstage Center - Kenny Leon - May, 2010

American Theatre Wing: Fences director Kenny Leon discusses his long association with August Wilson, both personally and professionally, dating back to Leon's 1987 NEA Directing Fellowship which first introduced him to Wilson and continuing through his direction of nine of the ten plays in Wilson's "Century Cycle" -- including five separate productions of Fences -- as well as the Broadway debuts of Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf. He also discusses his rise from an impoverished childhood in Florida to his high school rebellion against a drama club which only cast African-Americans in subservient roles to his pursuit of a political science degree in college; how he rose to the position of artistic director of Atlanta's Alliance Theatre and his efforts there to integrate the audiences and the artistic work

A Look At How The Fashion Industry Thrives Without Copyright

Techdirt: We've discussed how the fashion industry is an excellent example of how a creative industry can thrive and be highly competitive and innovative without copyright many times before. In fact, way back in 2003, we noted that there was much that the entertainment industry could learn from the fashion industry. Since then, we've seen academic research highlighting how much of the success in the industry was due to the lack of copyright, because it helped spur continuous innovation, rather than letting someone rest on their laurels. On top of that, it also helped segment the market, speed diffusion, build out trends and actually increase the reputation of top designers.

Mine Disaster Inspires Unlikely Blue Grass Musical “The Burnt Part Boys” (an awkward title) is a naive, sincere little musical you don’t feel like knocking. Its mixture of childlikeness and pretension cannot be wholly endorsed, yet it is given an absorbing production -- a veritable lesson in how to make something out of next to nothing.

London's fringe theatre – is it dead already? Brave is the man who pronounces the London fringe dead. The latest to do so is Steve Bell of Berkley Walk who, in a letter to The Stage late last month, describes fringe theatre as "a tired old joke, a pile of compromises and mediocrity playing to two people a night in a nasty room above or behind a pub." Unsurprisingly, Bell's letter has provoked some response, with several letters of ferocious support making the same pages and, more recently, critics Mark Shenton and Michael Coveney wading into the debate on their personal blogs.

In Singapore, Musical Theater That Prefers Its Own Local Flavor Over the last decade, Singaporean audiences have been treated to regular revivals of Broadway or West End musicals, like “Phantom of the Opera” and “Mamma Mia,” and as their appetite for the Western art form grew, it encouraged a few local theater troupes to produce their own versions.

Fewer People but More Money for Broadway Broadway productions grossed a total of $1.02 billion during the 2009-10 season, which officially ended on Sunday, with premium-price tickets for star-driven shows like “A Steady Rain,” “Hamlet” and “A Little Night Music” increasing box office sales in spite of a 3 percent decline in attendance compared to the 2008-09 season, according to new data from the Broadway League.

Vaclav Havel, Returning To Drama With 'Leaving'

NPR: Before he became president of what was then Czechoslovakia in 1989, Vaclav Havel was one of the most respected playwrights in the world. Now, more than half a decade after he left office, he's published a new play — his first in nearly 20 years.

Critics: 'Airbender' and 'Prince' Were 'Whitewashed'

Backstage: Yet fans of the original TV series say whatever hopes they had for the live-action movie have been dashed by what is known as "whitewashing" — the selection of white actors to fill the main hero roles instead of the people of color they say the source material requires.
"To take this incredibly loved children's series, and really distort not only the ethnicity of the individual characters but the message of acceptance and cultural diversity that the original series advocated, is a huge blow," said Michael Le of, a fan site calling for a boycott of the martial-arts fantasy.

SAG's RBD Board Backs Single Actors' Union

Backstage: In an expected move, the Regional Branch Division board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild voted to endorse the creation of a single union to cover all performers.

Tina Fey to Get Top Mark Twain Humor Prize in DC

Backstage: The woman known for her impression of Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live" will win the nation's top humor prize this year from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Theater femmes grow Lilly awards

Variety: Most legit awards orgs are so old they began with a phone call or even a telegram. The Lilly Awards, which held its first celebration Sunday night in Gotham, is so new that it all began with an email.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Doing your best is its own award in high school productions

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: 'Tis the season for celebrating high-school musical theater, and no one is happier than I am.
It's the one time in the calendar year that -- at least for an evening or two -- the spotlight is tightly focused on the students and adults who love, create, support and attend high-school musical theater productions.

Play By Play: Highlights Of the Drama Desk Awards The 55th Annual Drama Desk Awards started shortly after 9 PM at LaGuardia Concert Hall in Lincoln Center, with opening remarks by producer Lauren Class Schneider. Schneider preceded the evening's master of ceremonies, three-time Drama Desk Award winner Patti LuPone, who made her entrance after being introduced as "Doctor." (LuPone had received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, the Juilliard School of Drama, May 21).

Broderick, Porter, Rapp, Cantone, Reynolds Set for Celebrity Autobiography Stops Across U.S. Celebrity Autobiography turns the actual words of the "famous and infamous" into comic gold as they are read aloud by other notable performers. The series has enjoyed successful runs in Los Angeles and currently plays New York's Triad Theater.

Broadway Grossed Over $1 Billion in 2009-2010 Broadway shows grossed approximately $1.02 billion during the 2009-2010 theatre season, according to statistics released by The Broadway League May 24.

Mining Deaths Sharpen ‘The Burnt Part Boys’ THERE are moments in the new musical “The Burnt Part Boys,” opening Tuesday at Playwrights Horizons, that mirror recent events with haunting verisimilitude.

In Singapore, Musical Theater That Prefers Its Own Local Flavor Over the last decade, Singaporean audiences have been treated to regular revivals of Broadway or West End musicals, like “Phantom of the Opera” and “Mamma Mia,” and as their appetite for the Western art form grew, it encouraged a few local theater troupes to produce their own versions.

Julie Crosby Is All Business at Women’s Project IN the fall of 2005 the venerable Women’s Project theater company faced a severe financial crisis. The board reached outside the nonprofit world, choosing instead a leader with years of experience in commercial theater management: Julie Crosby.

Wright Bros., Lindy and Earhart Grounded in Show “Take Flight,” a new musical having its U.S. premiere at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, begins with Wilbur and Orville Wright on the chilly wide expanse of beach at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It’s 1903, some weeks before their December flight of 120 feet.

Keepin' The Musical Real, Off-Broadway

NPR: If you take a look at this past season on Broadway, it may look as though the musical is waning. Only two shows opened with original scores; the rest were so-called "jukebox" musicals, with music taken from other sources.
But you need only look to smaller theaters, off-Broadway, for proof that the original musical is still going strong.

Moore: Denver Center Theatre Company attendance freefalls, but for a reason

The Denver Post: Attendance for the Denver Center Theatre Company's just-completed 31st season fell a staggering 20.3 percent, to its lowest level in 20 years. But the numbers aren't quite as dire as they first appear.
The total attendance of 142,606 was down more than 25,000 from 2008-09. But the theater company produced two fewer shows than the year before. Artistic director Kent Thompson is just glad it wasn't worse.

Equity Elects Wyman President

Backstage: Actors' Equity Association has elected Nick Wyman as its new president, the union announced today. A longtime member of Equity's national council, Wyman succeeds Paige Price, who, as 1st vice president of the union, has fulfilled the president's duties since December, when Mark Zimmerman stepped down as president.

Broadway Marquees to Dim in Memory of AP Critic

Backstage: Broadway theater marquees will be dimmed on Tuesday night in memory of Associated Press drama critic Michael Kuchwara.
Kuchwara died Saturday night of complications from a lung disease. He was 63.

Walking Through Boston's Theatrical History

Backstage: Is it impossible to fit almost 250 years of theatre into an hour? Not for the New Exhibition Room's (NXR) "Theatre in Everything but Name" tours.
On June 26th, two 45-minute tours, led by Artistic Director A. Nora Long and other special guests, will explore Boston's theatre scene from its secretive beginning to its successful present. It begins at the Theatre History marker behind the Boylston T-stop and continues throughout Boston's Theatre District, ending at the original NXR.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Actress Pawk gripping in solo mystery

Post Gazette: Oh what a tangled web we weave! As Robert Hewett's cleverly woven drama demonstrates, a tangle of deceit need not even be intentional, because the most deceived may be the weavers themselves.
In "The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead," that's certainly true of Graham and Lynette, a couple of trashy pieces of work who breathe self-deceit with every self-righteous denial. So, of course, they're largely oblivious -- or can pretend to be -- to the disastrous effects their weaving causes.

Playhouse Jr. 'Seussical' a treat for adults, too

Post Gazette: Most people know that grownup theater can be appropriate for kids, but the reverse is even more often true. For one thing, kids can only dream of being grownups, but we still have kids within us. For another, good theater is good theater, no matter your age.

Children's playwright transforms experiences into onstage adventures

Post Gazette: On the local theater front, there's a children's playwright whose whimsical, witty work has been garnering so much attention that she need be known by only one name -- Yoli.

6 Keys To Greener Exhibit Design

ExhibiTricks: OMSI (The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) in Portland, Oregon has long been concerned about "green design" and the choices and approaches that museums can take to create truly sustainable exhibit environments.

It’s The Relationship, Stupid

2am: Again and again and again at the Theater Bay Area conference a few weeks ago I heard playwrights being given the cold, hard truth about why their work is not getting produced (and why it is).
Here’s the facts: The open submissions process is a lie. Work does not rise up from a pile of anonymous scripts and slap artistic directors upside the head saying “DIRECT ME!”
Playwrights get shows produced at theaters because of the relationships they have with those theaters (or with taste makers that those theaters respect and trust).

3D Projections On Buildings

dvorak: NuFormer Digital Media develops state of the art 3D projections. These 3D projections will be custom-made to fit any specific building regardless of size. Every customer its bespoke performance!

The Chicago Theatre Recipe

Theater For The Future: A few nights ago Dan Granata and the Chicago Artists Resource threw a little Chicago Theatre history lesson over at the DCA storefront space (“Do it myself: Five Decades of Theatre that Works“) featuring three veterans of the storefront movement: Steve Scott of the Goodman, Jackie Taylor of Black Ensemble Theatre, and Sharon Phillips, Managing Director of the legendary Body Politic.

Dramatistsues Doyle in Playboy wrangle A DRAMATIST who claims he co-wrote a modern version of Playboy Of The Western World with novelist Roddy Doyle has alleged breach of copyright over the staging of the play in the Abbey Theatre.
Bisi Adigun, of Moorefield Cottages, Roebuck Road, Dublin, alleges he initiated, with Mr Doyle, a version in which the Playboy Christy Mahon was a Nigerian asylum seeker.
Mr Adigun, a dramatist and theatre director/producer, is suing the Abbey, theatre director Jimmy Fay, and Mr Doyle over the Playboy as staged in the Abbey between December 2008 and January 2009.

Critic's Notebook: 'American Idiot' and the fate of the contemporary musical

Los Angeles Times: Does “American Idiot,” the artfully laid out Green Day jukebox musical now at the St. James Theatre on Broadway, represent the dawning of a new age or the end of a line? To put it another way, should we be celebrating the breakthrough spawned by “Rent” and “Spring Awakening” or looking into reform school options for this decadent grandchild of “Hair”?

Billy Porter Says He'll Be in NYC's New 'Angels in America'

Yahoo! News: Actor-singer Billy Porter told a recent crowd at Joe's Pub that he has been cast in the first New York City revival of Tony Kushner's epic Angels in America, Black Voices newswire reported.

'Peter Pan' set to fly from San Francisco

Variety: Is it theater? Or is it the movies?
The Brit import of J.M. Barrie's play "Peter Pan" (not to be confused with Leigh and Charlap's venerable musical version) just opened in San Francisco, and they're doing it outdoors on the Embarcadero in a big white tent. Not any old circus-like tent but one whose upper walls are alive (if that's quite the word) with a 360-degree-projected CGI movie. Down below is the stadium seating and, in the middle of it all, the stage with a couple dozen live actors.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Backstage at Cirque Ka on Nat Geo Tonight

- John's Blog Main Page - : I've written (and raved) a lot about Cirque's amazing show Ka (I have an extensive article detailing the technology on the show here), and Steve Sywak of McLaren Engineering tipped me off to the fact that National Geographic will be featuring Ka on World's Toughest Fixes tonight

'A Little Night Music'

Carnegie Mellon University: The ink was barely dry on Hunter Ryan Herdlicka's diploma from Carnegie Mellon University when he auditioned for Stephen Sondheim. Less than two weeks after graduation, the School of Drama alum landed the role of Henrik Egerman in Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's "A Little Night Music."

Henry Mancini Theater Awards: winners and nominees

Post Gazette: Beaver County Christian School was the top winner in the Henry Mancini Musical Theatre Awards for outstanding accomplishments in high school musicals.
In a program May 12 in Metheny Fieldhouse at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Beaver County Christian, also in Beaver Falls, won nine awards. Freedom Area and Quigley Catholic high schools each won seven.
Ginny Mancini, widow of the Aliquippa-born composer, was on hand for the program.

Student performers entertain at 16th annual Henry Mancini Musical Theatre Awards

Post Gazette: "How proud Henry would have been," said Ginny Mancini, widow of the Aliquippa-born composer. "What a kick he would have had."
She was presenting the final award - for best overall production - at the 16th annual Henry Mancini Musical Theatre Awards held May 12 at Geneva College.
Like most of the award categories that evening, three winners were named - Freedom Area High School's "Beauty and the Beast," Quigley Catholic High School's "Children of Eden" and Beaver County Christian High School's "Oliver!"

Wilson's protege ready to take on PICT's Othello

Post Gazette: Playing August Wilson and Shakespeare, back to back, seems like perfect symmetry to Javon Johnson.
Through most of April, Mr. Johnson played the role of Sterling in Mr. Wilson's "Two Trains Running" at GeVa Theater in Rochester, N.Y. Starting tonight, he can be seen in the lead role in Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre's "Othello."

Art can be hazardous to your health

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: I wasn't around for the first great transformation in the arts -- the invention of oil painting.
But I certainly was around, centuries later, to enjoy the second -- the exodus of cigarettes from the gallery world. (Thank you, thank you, Mr. Surgeon General.) I don't know whether anyone has commented on its impact before.
Of course, even in a smoke-free environment, art can be hazardous to your health -- if you happen to be an artist. For years I watched my peers, especially the printmakers, go to their too-soon deaths after extended exposure to the toxic stuff their art demanded.

Upcoming Public show 'Circle Mirror Transformation' wins 3 OBIEs

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: On Tuesday evening, "Circle Mirror Transformation," a play already scheduled for the 2010-11 Pittsburgh Public Theater season, won three OBIE awards at a ceremony in Manhattan.
The recognition came as no surprise to Ted Pappas, producing artistic director at Pittsburgh Public Theater.

City Theatre's 'Vengeful Redhead' is a tour de force

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Had she done nothing but show up and deliver the lines, actress Michele Pawk would be the front runner for the performance daredevil of the year award.
As the star and sole performer of City Theatre's production of "The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead" she appears alone onstage for more than two hours with only a single 15-minute intermission to catch her breath.

Black Arts Festival full of multiple voices

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: When the August Wilson Center throws a festival, it thinks big. Instead of focusing on a single medium of expression, it will showcase a variety of artistic disciplines, including music, dance, spoken word, film and visual arts.
"First Voice: A Pittsburgh International Black Arts Festival" runs Thursday through May 29 at the August Wilson Center, Downtown.

Actors bring life experiences to 'Bench in the Sun'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: You don't have to be a senior citizen to enjoy "A Bench in the Sun," according to Dennis Kerr of Greensburg, one of three veteran actors in the cast of the comedy at Apple Hill Playhouse.
"Anyone who is growing older, has aging parents or family members or knows older adults will connect with this play," says Kerr, who portrays Burt, one of the residents of Valley View Gardens retirement home in the comedy by Ron Clark.

Actor gives new insight into 'Othello'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: For the past two years, Javon Johnson has been itching to play Othello.
"It felt like it was time for me to take a stab at it," Johnson says. "I wanted to get started."
Johnson, an actor, playwright and graduate of the master of fine arts acting program at the University of Pittsburgh who now lives in Los Angeles, nearly played the role here in 2006 when the Unseam'd Shakespeare Company produced "Othello Noir," an adaptation that viewed Shakespeare's tragedy through the lens of film noir.

Pull Up a "Chairry": The Pee-wee Herman Show Is Heading to Broadway The Pee-wee Herman Show, which played a limited engagement at Club Nokia @ L.A. LIVE this past winter, is heading to The Great White Way. Creator-writer-actor Paul Reubens will again play the bow-tied man-child — the role that made him famous.

Rosemarie DeWitt Explores Family Friction As the title character in the film “Rachel Getting Married,” Rosemarie DeWitt played a bride who was constantly being upstaged by her emotionally damaged sister, a recovering addict. And on the Showtime series “United States of Tara,” Ms. DeWitt, again playing a sister, is even more marginalized by mental illness — by a factor of five, the number of attention-hogging alternate personalities of her younger sibling, Tara.

A Statistic that Every Arts Advocate Should Know

Createquity.: When asked what career they would choose if finances were not a concern, a plurality of Harvard seniors chose the arts, with 16 percent indicating it as their “dream” field. Similarly large numbers of students chose public service (12.5) and education (12), while finance and consulting trailed with five percent each.

Sketch to Screen

Scenography: The Oklahoma City Museum of Art presents the exclusive exhibition Sketch to Screen: The Art of Hollywood Costume Design on view now through August 15, 2010. This original exhibition, organized by the Museum, explores the vital artistic contribution of costume design throughout the history of the American motion picture industry.

Waitress Disses Customers On Facebook, Gets Fired

The Consumerist: Brixx Pizza in North Carolina takes social media pretty seriously, because it fired a waitress after she complained on her Facebook page about a stingy couple who occupied a table for three hours and only left a $5 tip.

Top 10 Tools Grads Need to Get a Job

CollegeSurfing Insider: A recent National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) report found that 5.3 percent more new graduates will be hired this year than in 2009. But what NACE doesn’t mention is that new grads aren’t just competing with each other for work; they’re competing with record numbers of unemployed, experienced workers!
So how can you, the new college grad, land the job that everyone else wants? Career Coach Ford Myers, author of “Get the Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring” (John Wiley & Sons, 2009), lists the top 10 tools that all grads should have in their “Job Seekers’ Tool Kit.”

Audiovisual technology: A short history of the videowall

Blooloop: The videowall emerged in the early 1980s. Whether it originated in Europe, the USA or Japan is a matter of debate, but two factors affected what was achieved. First was the fact that early videowalls were all based on standard CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors, typically 28 inch diagonal, with the resulting large gap between image sections. Second was the difficulty of achieving the “image split”, that is the means by which a single input video signal could be split into, say, 16 separate image signals to produce one large image on a 4 × 4 array of monitors.

Theatre Women Create Awards in Honor of Lillian Hellman

Women & Hollywood: This year a bunch of very high profile theatre writers and others decided that they were tired of women’s work being constantly unacknowledged, so they created The Lilly Awards which will honor 17 women theater artists, as well as Mary Rodgers who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Awards, whose work has been produced in the past year in New York City.

At the Broadway League Conference: Day 1/Kids 'R Theatergoers Too

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: One of the hippest long-term audience development initiatives the Broadway League came up with over the last few years was the establishment of a Kids Advisory Board. The Board is made up of thirty kids, ages 11 - 16, from all over the country. What do they have in common? They love the Broadway!

Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser, Founder of...Sennheiser, Dies

Gizmodo: One of the fathers of modern acoustics and founder of speaker/microphone manufacturer Sennheiser, Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser died on Monday. He was 98 years old.

SDCF Masters of the Stage - Robert Wilson - December, 1987

American Theatre Wing: In December of 1987, famous avant-garde director Robert Wilson sat down for a One-on-One conversation with Tony Award-winning lighting designer Jennifer Tipton. They discuss Wilson's three major influences: the dance work of George Balanchine and Merce Cunningham, the first piece of theatre he created with a deaf, mute child, and the poet Christopher Knowles, who once repeated the words "tape recorder" for ten minutes at the end of a performance piece. He talks about creating a different kinds of space, repetition, and rigidity of form and process. Other topics include working with trained vs. untrained actors, working with a dramaturg, and the role of interpretation. This ninety-minute interview provides a unique insight into the mind of this experimental, groundbreaking director that you won't find anywhere else.

The 10 Most Creative People on Twitter

Fast Company: When we launched our 100 Most Creative People in Business list last year, we surprised that only about 20 of those individuals were on Twitter: from actor/director Tyler Perry to DJ Gregg Gillis. In the year since, another 10 have joined for a 50% increase, including TV mogul Tyra Banks, Google Maps manager Stephen Chau, fashion designer Stella McCartney, and others. You can find the entire group of Most Creative People on our twitter list.

At the Broadway League Conference: Day 2/What's the "deal" with the road?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: Day 2 of the Broadway League Spring Road Conference was filled with some great events, from a panel on how to engage the African American audience, to a discussion on the evolution of the current Broadway production of Fences, led by Mr. Denzel Washington himself (they served extra water at that panel, to prevent half the crowd from fainting at the sight).

Mortier Flew First Class, Made $400,000 at City Opera The New York City Opera, which just reported a $19.9 million deficit in 2008-09, paid Gerard Mortier $400,000 for his stint as part-time general-manager in-waiting.

Fabled Colon Gets $100 Million Revamp for Argentina Jubilee Luciano Pavarotti once described the acoustics of the Colon Theater in Buenos Aires as so perfect that they challenge singers because “if one does something wrong, it is noted immediately.”

‘The Good Wife’ Emerges as TV Refuge for Stage Actors When NBC announced last week that it planned to cancel the original “Law & Order,” many people lamented the effect on New York theater actors, for whom a spot on the show has long been a résumé staple. But another New York-based production, “The Good Wife,” is already filling the void for moonlighting stage performers seeking TV credits.

Welcome to NYC's Hidden Golden Age of Theater

Village Voice: Some colleagues were chatting lately, yet again, about a Golden Age of American theater. This time, they meant the years just after World War II. People seem to enjoy believing in a magical time, usually just before they came along, when everything was splendid. Such talk makes me uneasy, because I have the terrible habit of accumulating theatrical facts. I know the aureous wonders of the late 1940s, but I also know its turkeys. No Golden Age arrives unalloyed.

Casting on the Go

Backstage: In today's fast-paced, global production environment, casting directors and executives are mobile and need instant access to information. This was at the core of the Casting Society of America's Casting Technology Expo, held May 15 at Siren Studios in Los Angeles. There, an estimated 150 casting directors, assistants, and associates examined entertainment technology trends, as well as myriad online casting and audition tools, databases, and communication and management software that were exhibited throughout the event.

MPTF Still Seeking Closure

Backstage: It appears that not even George Clooney could save the Motion Picture & Television Fund's long-term care unit. The facility has housed and cared for elderly members and parents of members of the film and television industry for more than 60 years—and its current residents are about to be relocated. The fund announced last week that it plans to move the remaining 25 residents from its Woodland Hills, Calif., campus to a "newer and more contemporary skilled-nursing facility," where they will join 29 other residents already in place, by July 2010.

CSA Talks Tech at Expo

Backstage: In today's fast-paced, global production environment, casting directors and executives are mobile and need instant access to information. This was at the core of the Casting Society of America's Casting Technology Expo, held May 15 at Siren Studios in Los Angeles. There, an estimated 150 casting directors, assistants, and associates examined entertainment technology trends, as well as myriad online casting and audition tools, databases, and communication and management software that were exhibited throughout the event.

'Come Fly Away' Leads Astaire Noms

Backstage: "Come Fly Away" leads the nominees for this year's Fred and Adele Astaire Awards. The combination of Twyla Tharp's inventiveness and Frank Sinatra's croon prompted seven nominations, more than any other production.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pawk play seven roles in 'The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: For actress Michele Pawk, performing in "The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead" at City Theatre is an experience unlike any other.
Pawk grew up in Butler, attended Allegheny College in Meadville and the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati and earned her Equity card in 1986 as a member of the ensemble at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.

Beaver County Christian wins 9 Mancini Awards for 'Oliver'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: The Beaver County Christian School production of "Oliver" received nine awards at the 16th annual Mancini Theatre Awards ceremony earlier this week .
Freedom Area High School's production of "Beauty and the Beast" and Quigley Catholic High School's production of "Children of Eden" each took home seven awards.

Summer theater: From 'Annie Get Your Gun' to 'Zylo's Moon'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Summer theater runs the gamut from A -- "Annie Get Your Gun" at Armstrong Community Theatre -- to Z -- "The Dark Side of Zylo's Moon" at Playhouse Jr. in Oakland.

The case of hit that turned flop

Variety: It's not too difficult to find reasons why "Enron" sputtered on Broadway, costing a big chunk of its $3.6 million capitalization.
But how do you account for its success in London?

Rehearsing Scenes and Lifting Weights for ‘Chad Deity’ After five minutes of groin stretches and jumping rope, the actor Desmin Borges was ready to start morning rehearsal with a bit of choreography known as the sit-fall. A standard theater dance this was not: The sit-fall is a professional-wrestling technique whereby Mr. Borges would pretend to go down — hard — after a fake hit from an opponent. Mastering the move is crucial to avoid injury, especially for a wiry actor like Mr. Borges who lacks the beefy muscles that help wrestlers absorb body blows.

How and Where to Get a Really, Really Large Backdrop...Quickly!

Rosebrand: Here at Oliphant we paint very large backdrops in a very short time. That is our claim to fame and we take pride in always doing a good job. The actual painting area in our New York City studio is about 20’x 45’ which is pretty small compared to the size and number of drops we produce, but we always figure out how to get the job done.

How should SCR choose a new leader?

The Orange County Register: It's been almost 50 years since a couple of young guys with a station wagon and a dream set out to build a theater company in the wilds of Orange County.
Since its founding in 1964, South Coast Repertory has become one of Southern California's most recognizable cultural brand names. More important, the not-for-profit Costa Mesa theater company has emerged as a steady source of significant new work, devising ways of nurturing playwrights and their scripts that are the envy of theaters everywhere.

Disappointing Season for Broadway Women IF anyone should be thrilled with this year’s Tony Award nominations, it’s Sheryl Kaller, who was singled out for her direction of “Next Fall.” But for all the pleasure she took in the recognition, Ms. Kaller said, she was taken aback by a certain artistic dissonance in the overall list of nominees.

Chemistry doesn't come from sexuality: Newsweek article on Sean Hayes sparks a controversy

The Theater Loop: On April 26, Newsweek published an online article (it also appeared in print last week) suggesting that was an impossible assignment. Because Hayes, in real life, is gay. “Heterosexual actors play gay all the time,” went the provocative subhead, seemingly penned by an editor who had never heard of Rock Hudson. “Why doesn't it ever work in reverse?”

Drama Desk Withdraws Nominations of 'Ragtime''s Orchestration and Costume Design

Yahoo! News: The leadership of the Drama Desk Awards has informed its membership that two 2010 nominations for the Broadway revival of Ragtime have been withdrawn.
The following statement was sent to Drama Desk voters on May 14: "The Drama Desk makes its own decisions. But when the Tony Awards withdrew its nomination for the Ragtime revival's costumes because they were not sufficiently different from the original production and when the lead producer and nominated costume designer Santo Loquasto did not disagree with the decision, we revisited the issue. The Drama Desk concurs that the excellent costuming was not sufficiently new to make it eligible. Therefore, the nomination will be removed from the ballot in the Outstanding Costume Design category.

Loquasto's 2010 Tony Nomination Withdrawn; 'Ragtime' Work Duplicates Earlier Design

Yahoo! News: There will be a little less competition in the Tony Award category of Best Costume Design of a Musical this year. Tony Awards leadership has withdrawn the nomination of Ragtime costume designer Santo Loquasto, who was previously nominated for the same show in the same category in 1998.

Espresso - Backstage: These Are Their Stories: 'Law & Order' and NYC Actors

Backstage: NBC today canceled “Law & Order,” the show about the police who investigate the crime, the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders, and—as comedian John Mulaney puts it—the guys who while being questioned by homicide detectives will not stop unloading crates. The series aired for 20 seasons, the same number as “Gunsmoke,” making it the longest running prime-time TV drama to not feature a character named Festus.

Headshot Panel Gets Heated

Backstage: As part of its new monthly series Back Stage at the SAG Foundation, Back Stage presented the panel "Picture This: Your Headshot From Every Angle" May 12 to a packed crowd at the SAG Foundation in Los Angeles. Speakers included casting directors Marci Liroff, Geralyn Flood, and Stuart Stone and photographers Kevyn Major Howard, Alan Weissman, Sara Corwin, and Jeff E Photo. The event was moderated by Back Stage research and casting editor Jessica Gardner.

Friday, May 14, 2010

S'wonderful summer in local theater

Post gazette: There's a lot to look forward to this summer in the theater community, so get out your datebooks and start planning ...

Playwrights Theatre takes August Wilson's 'Jitney' for gritty trip

Post Gazette: In the rich panorama of August Wilson's 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle, "Jitney" may be the most Pittsburgh play of all.
It was the first he wrote when, age 33, he left Pittsburgh for St. Paul, where he said he could hear Hill District voices with greater clarity. It was the first to be staged, premiering in Pittsburgh in 1982. But Wilson's first play to hit Broadway, "Ma Rainey" in 1984, was set in Chicago, because, he later explained, "I was from Pittsburgh and I didn't think it was important enough."

The newest moves: Summer dance

Post Gazette: Pittsburgh's summer dance is already in full swing with the Kelly-Strayhorn's newMoves Festival and most of the local professionals will be making appearances along the way. Of particular interest are the hip-hop masters of Rennie Harris Puremovement, who will be hitting the August Wilson Center next week. Mr. Harris has become the global spokesman for this dynamic American style of dance and is a primary influence in moving hip-hop into the realm of a structured concert dance form. But there's still plenty of street-wise excitement to their ultra-cool moves.

Outrace by Kram/Weisshaar for Trafalgar Square

Dezeen: The installation titled OUTRACE consists of an immense mechanical octopus assembled from six industrial robotic arms on loan from Audi’s production line. Custom software developed by the designers will allow members of the public to temporarily take over the installation and render text input as light traces drawn by the synchronized mechanical tentacles.


The Producer's Perspective Classifieds: Motivated, self starters for full-time, entry level positions as Runners

In The Wings - Scenic Designer - May, 2010

American Theatre Wing: Scenic designer Riccardo Hernandez creates sets built from the text of a production, creating an honest space for actors and ideas to work within. Hernandez knew he wanted a career designing opera sets by age 10, went on to study at Yale with Ming Cho Lee, and later broadened his work to theatre. At Yale Repertory Theatre, he displays the simple yet aggressive set of Battle of Black and Dogs that reflects a cold inhuman world. Also shown is the seemingly collapsing set for the Atlantic Theater Company's Gabriel during the most important part of the production process - the technical rehearsal.

Administrative Intern- Manhattan Theatre Club

The Producer's Perspective Classifieds: Interns for the fall to work either for a full-time stipend or part-time volunteer between the hours of 10 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday

Assistant Project Manager - Barbizon Electric Co.

The Producer's Perspective Classifieds: Assistant Project Manager who can work within the construction community and coordinate the installation of theatrical lighting and rigging equipment for permanent installations.

L.A. Opera's "Ring": Two singers criticize director In a rare public airing of artistic differences, the two leading singers in the Los Angeles Opera's costly and ambitious staging of Wagner's "Ring" cycle have harshly criticized the director, saying the production is artistically flawed and physically dangerous for performers. Via

Ladies as gentlemen: the cross-dressing women of Edwardian musical theatre

The Guardian: The runaway hit of the 1913 season at the Royal Opera House was the British premiere of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. It begins with a girl dressed as a boy, Octavian, scrambling out of bed after what has clearly been a night of passion with an older woman. Almost 100 years ago did respectable audiences blink at the sight of this cross-dressing hanky panky? Not at all: husbands and wives and (chaperoned) courting couples alike enjoyed the charged erotic spectacle.

SAG Slams Anti-Gay Newsweek Piece

Backstage: The Screen Actors Guild has spoken out about a controversial Newsweek article that has drawn fire from advocacy groups and the entertainment industry. In an April piece entitled "Straight Jacket," writer Ramin Setoodeh criticized the performance of actor Sean Hayes in the current Broadway revival of "Promises, Promises," asserting that the openly gay Hayes can not play a convincing heterosexual because of his sexuality.

Soho Rep Aims to FEED its Audience

Backstage: After the show on May 27th, a Princeton Professor of the History of Science, a former New Yorker staff writer, and the President of Williamsburg's City Reliquary Museum will gather on an off-Broadway stage to discuss 17th-century German 'Cabinets of Curiosities,' or wunderkammer.
Not your normal post-show discussion.

A history of gay bashing

Variety: Newsweek's critic Ramin Setoodeh thinks that Sean Hayes, because he's gay, can't cut it playing a straight man in "Promises, Promises" on Broadway. GLAAD issued a statement demanding an apology. Gays are threatening a boycott of the newsweekly unless that apology is forthcoming. Aaron Sorkin defended the scribe on the Huffington Post. And now there's a storm of controversy in Shubert Alley that some believe could influence the outcome of the Tonys.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gene Kelly Award nominees announced

Post Gazette: The Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater have their 2010 nominees, picked from among 30 Allegheny County school productions. The nominations, announced today by Pittsburgh CLO and the University of Pittsburgh, will be part of the annual awards show May 29 at the Benedum Center.

'Beauty Shop' full of humor, color and music

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Shelly Garrett's promotional materials call him "the godfather of black theater."
Since 1986 and long before Tyler Perry and his Madea plays emerged into national awareness, Garrett's company has toured the United States with a succession of stage plays and musicals that he defines as urban shows.
"Before I started in 1986, the only thing that was out on the circuit was Broadway (shows) -- 'Bubbling Brown Sugar' or 'Sophisticated Ladies,' " Garrett says. "There were other shows but they weren't touring."

Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater nominations

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Three high school musicals received 10 or more nominations for the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater.
Pine-Richland's production of "Children of Eden" topped the list with 13 nominations.
Baldwin-Whitehall's production of "Cats" and the Pittsburgh Schenley production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" each received 10 nominations.

Butler native Michele Pawk keeps the wigs handy for new City Theatre production "The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead."

Post Gazette: From sexy rich bitch ("Crazy for You") to glamorous owner of a Greek taverna ("Mamma Mia"), from witchy jail matron ("Chicago") to glamorous Mayze LaBird ("Seussical"), from tyrannical beauty contest boss ("Hairspray") to Carol Burnett's unglamorous mother ("Hollywood Arms") ...

Kelly nominees announced

Post Gazette: Nominees for the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater have been announced by Pittsburgh CLO and the University of Pittsburgh, with the annual show scheduled for 7:30 p.m. May 29 at the Benedum Center.

Off the Wall takes on 'The Club'

Post Gazette: Eve Merriam's musical comedy "The Club" is in progress as a closer to Off The Wall's third season on Main Street in Washington, Pa.

Summer Internship - Multimedia

Craigslist: Small multimedia company with regional client list is seeking student interns looking for experience in graphic design, web design and video editing/production.

Broadway Contributed Nearly $10 Billion to NYC Economy During 2008-09 Season The report, which measures the "full economic impact of spending by Broadway production companies, theatre operators and those visitors drawn to NYC by Broadway," states that during the 2008-09 season, Broadway as an industry contributed $9.8 billion to the economy of New York City.

Chalk, Hill, Johansson, Ngaujah, Redmayne, Urie and More Win Theatre World Awards The winners of the 66th Annual Theatre World Awards — honoring performers making their New York stage debuts on or Off-Broadway — were announced May 13.

Theater Talkback: Premium Seats, at a Price For theater critics, acquiring tickets to the hot new show, or the cold new turkey, is as easy as falling off that proverbial log. You make a phone call (or send an e-mail message) in response to an invitation, you show up at the theater and find the publicist standing helpfully outside the doors with your tickets in hand, and you head on in. If you are not attending a designated press performance, you may have to endure the indignity of standing in line at the box office for a minute or two.

Addams Family

Technical Direction Tidbits: With the opening of Addams Family on Broadway, my article discussing how we built the ground row including doing the lighting for all of the city lights. PRG also has an article in the issue that you should check out.

HVLP Spray Tip

Popular Woodworking: I don't know where I'd be if I hadn't decided to finish using a high volume, low pressure (HVLP) system. (From a business perspective, I believe a quality HVLP setup is as important as a quality table saw.) However, today I found out that I've been killing my spray gun and I didn't even know it.

Ruhl’s ‘Passion’ Brings Jesus to Reagan-Era U.S. Late in “Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play,” Jesus peers down from the cross and asks his director, “So how do you want me to play this scene?”
With walk-ons by Adolf Hitler and Ronald Reagan, and free wine and bagels at each of the two intermissions, the 3 1/2-hour show offers an unorthodox yet weirdly nourishing take on the rite of communion.

Bristol Old Vic launches £19m plan to transform home

The Stage: Bristol Old Vic artistic director Tom Morris has unveiled detailed plans for a £19.3 million redevelopment of the company’s historic home, which will see the Theatre Royal and surrounding buildings transformed into a flexible complex with up to ten performance spaces.

From 'Shadow' to Broadway invitations, director David Cromer is at his tipping point

The Theater Loop: If the New Yorker’s Malcolm Gladwell was looking for a human example of his tipping-point theory, he could do worse than ponder David Cromer.
The Chicago director did honest, steady, truthful work around Chicago for many years. I wrote fondly about many of his shows, including, 10 years ago, his direction of the play “Orson’s Shadow.” I extolled what I’ve long felt was Cromer’s truly remarkably ability to take some hackneyed play, some gummed-up theater, some blocked-up actor and extract the most wrenching kind of human truth from all of the above.

Most high schoolers cheat -- but don't always see it as cheating, study finds

Science Daily: Most high-school students participating in a new study on academic honesty say they have cheated on tests and homework -- and, in some alarming cases, say they don't consider certain types of cheating out of line.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pittsburgh Showcase 2010

A Business Marvel

Carnegie Mellon University: With the release of “Iron Man 2”, audiences have a second chance to cheer their favorite executive/superhero, Tony Stark. Ken West (TPR’80) is the real-life executive who played a big role in bringing the hero back to the silver screen.

Martin Named Interim Dean of CFA

Carnegie Mellon University: In an email to the College of Fine Arts (CFA) community, Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Kamlet announced that Dan J. Martin (right), associate dean of CFA and an associate professor in the School of Drama, will become interim dean of CFA, beginning July 1. In February, Dean Hilary Robinson announced she would be stepping down at the end of this school year to pursue several other scholarly endeavors and to spend more time with her family in England.

The Pittsburgh Technology Council’s 2010 Design, Art and Technology (DATA) Award Winners Announced!

Pittsburgh Art + Technology: The Pittsburgh Technology Council’s 2010 Design, Art and Technology Awards, hosted last Thursday by internationally acclaimed artist Burton Morris, drew a fabulous 250 guests – and featured 40 Regional artists, and over 60 works of art and technology. Converging designers, artists, technologists, roboticists and much more, the event brought together creatives and innovators on the leading edge of the new media sector.

newMoves offers leap to the next level

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Life rarely rewards timidity. Last season, the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater took a bold chance by starting a contemporary dance festival called newMoves, which proved to be a hit. Now, it faces the challenge of mounting a worthy sequel.

Pawk play seven roles in 'The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: For actress Michele Pawk, performing in "The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead" at City Theatre is an experience unlike any other.
Pawk grew up in Butler, attended Allegheny College in Meadville and the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati and earned her Equity card in 1986 as a member of the ensemble at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.

Stage Right student productions tackle adult issues

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: For student performers at Stage Right School for the Performing Arts who dream of a career in musical theater, the road to Broadway runs through Greensburg.
Two groups of Stage Right students will get a chance to shine on the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center stage this weekend in student versions of two hit Broadway musicals, "Rent" and "Fiddler on the Roof."

Dance Alloy Theater delivers three exceptional numbers

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Dance Alloy Theater was in top form for its final main-stage production of the season, seen Saturday afternoon at the New Hazlett Theater, North Side.

Former North Side resident wins award

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Tom Rocco, a former North Side resident turned New York City performer, won the 2010 MAC Award for Best New York Debut by a Male.
Rocco received the award May 4 when the board of directors of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs presented the awards at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in Times Square.

Gene Kelly Award nominees announced

Post Gazette: The Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater have their 2010 nominees, picked from among 30 Allegheny County school productions. The nominations, announced today by Pittsburgh CLO and the University of Pittsburgh, will be part of the annual awards show May 29 at the Benedum Center.

Dance Recitals 2010

Post Gazette: It seems that there are plenty of stars on the horizon in this year's galaxy of dance recitals, including "Stars of Tomorrow" at Sandra Lynn's School of Dance" and "A Salute to the Stars" at Academy of Dance By Lori. Carnegie Performing Arts Center will also "Catch A Rising Star" with Carnegie Mellon University student and choreographer Dara Krute, who will create a solo to "Swan Myth" by Japanese composer Himekami.

Dance festival lures diverse mix of contemporary styles

Post Gazette: Pittsburgh may not be one of the first cities that springs to people's minds when they think about dance. But the newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival aims to help change that when it draws an eclectic mix of work by 15 local and national choreographers to the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty tomorrow through Sunday.

'God of Carnage' to end Public's 2010-11 season

Post Gazette: "God of Carnage," the Tony-winning play of 2009, will close Pittsburgh Public Theater's 2010-11 season, with Ted Pappas directing.
It is the second PPT production in a year of a Yamina Reza work; her "Art" opens May 27; "God of Carnage" will run May 26-June 26 next year.

New musicals cover variety of subjects

Post Gazette: What do a macabre family living in Central Park, 1960s philandering males, a dancing protest against military dictatorship and power pop politics have in common? They're all subjects of current Broadway musicals, of course -- because what subject matter cannot end up in a musical?

International Children's Fest to present several premieres

Post Gazette: Attention theater lovers of all ages. The 24th annual Pittsburgh International Children's Festival and the 2010-11 Family Series will feature acrobats, puppets, stage performances and hands-on activities to delight everyone from the littlest theater critic to adults who are young at heart.

Doris Eaton Travis, Last of the Ziegfeld Girls, Dies at 106 For a quarter century, Florenz Ziegfeld auditioned hundreds of thousands of young women vying to become chorus girls, the Ziegfeld Girls, those lace and chiffon visions of glamour who were as much a part of the Jazz Age as Stutz Bearcats, the Charleston and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

What does a Broadway Producer do? Over 100 Producers respond.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: So, rather than come up with a long-winded answer of my own, I decided to come up with a Wiki answer to my reader's question. I went to my Broadway League brothers and sisters and asked all the Broadway Producers I know to answer my reader's question in one, short sentence.
And now, right here, I'm going to list all of them. Put them all together, and that's what we do!

UT ACTLab shutdown amid record courses and enrollment.

Joey’s Geeky Life: As reported in the Daily Texan, classes for the ACTLab program in New Media at the University of Texas at Austin, for which I helped both build as a student and as a teacher, have been canceled effective Fall 2010. This unfortunate event has come due to the retirement of its founder, Professor Allucquére Sandy Stone. Professor Stone is retiring from active teaching, however she will become a Professor Emerita, thus retaining the ability to teach courses at the University of Texas at Austin.

How to Manage Time

Ian's Messy Desk: If you’re anything like me, your day is full of things to do. We expend energy rushing through the day trying to keep up with ourselves. While technology has given us tools to improve and simplify our lives, we have added so much more to our schedules that we are as pressed for time as any generation. Often the day seems so full that it is impossible accomplish everything we would like.

Downstage Center - B.H. Barry - May, 2010

American Theatre Wing: Progenitor of fight direction in America and 2010 Tony Honor recipient B.H. Barry talks about his decades of developing and staging fights across the country, starting with Hamlet in 1978 at Arena Stage and continuing with countless productions for the New York Shakespeare Festival, such Broadway shows as the fabled 1981 Frankenstein, City of Angels, My Favorite Year, An Inspector Calls and most recently Dividing the Estate. He discusses his upbringing and education in England, his early days as an actor and how he was drawn into fight directing, his role in establishing the Society of British Fight Directors -- and his lack of participation in its American counterpart, how he develops fights by probing the director's vision of the characters participating in the fight, why his fights are rooted more in acting then athleticism, and what it was like to be part of a tabloid saga when actors famously strayed from his direction in Broadway's I Hate Hamlet.

Custom AutoCAD Linetypes the Super Simple Way

The CAD Geek Blog: Linetypes play an integral role in visually separating certain elements of our designs. Most of the time one of the 40+ linetypes that come with AutoCAD will suffice, but there’s always that perpetual need for one more linetype. While its true linetypes must be developed, the good news is that it’s not as difficult as it sounds.

Steppenwolf’s Other Ambitious Production

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Blog: Early in November, our Gala team (Director of Major Gifts Brooke Walters, Events Management Director Lori Davidson, Special Events Manager Kendra Stock, Special Events Associate Molly Kobelt, and myself) went to view the unrented retail space at the Blackhawk on Halsted building. For the first time in 12 years, Steppenwolf was considering forgoing the tent that had consistently housed our annual Gala parties. Walking into that space, it was both challenging and exciting to think about what it would look like on the night of the party.

Filmmakers flock to forum on state tax credits

Company Town | Los Angeles Times: Symposium Question: How do you pack a theater with jaded movie industry professionals?
Answer: Show them the latest hot information on film tax credits.
Nearly 200 people crammed into an auditorium at the Landmark Theatre in West Los Angeles recently to learn the latest skinny on the kind of topic that would set an accountant's heart aflutter.

Cirque du Soleil seeks to inspire local innovation and creativity

7thSpace Interactive: Cirque du Soleil, a Canadian organisation providing artistic entertainment and producing its own costumes and props, today (May 12) announced the opening of its first production workshop in Hong Kong. From a group of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil has grown to employ 5,000 staff, including more than 1,200 artists, from about 50 countries. The company produces costumes and props for its multiple shows staged around the world.

Work Smart: Unconventional Cures for Meeting-itis

Fast Company: At Google, large meetings stay on track with the help of a four-foot-tall timer. There, meeting agendas are highly structured and allocate a certain amount of time to each topic. The timer is a simple program running on a computer and projected onto the wall so it's visible to all. It counts down the amount of time left for a particular agenda item or the entire meeting.

Foamcoat - Milwaukee Public Museum

Rosco: The exhibits staff of the Milwaukee Public Museum created the artificial stones for the cave and walkway in the exhibit area. The staff first made CAD drawings, then accomplished the work in their own workshops. Emilio Bras, the coordinator for this exhibit, listed the steps he and his team followed

Floods Wreak Havoc On Nashville Music Scene

NPR: The flooding in Nashville last week took 31 lives and is approaching $2 billion in property damage. It also took a toll on the city's musical heritage and infrastructure. The Grand Ole Opry House was inundated. The Nashville Symphony lost two Steinways when its basement flooded. But the most concentrated instrument loss took place at a facility beside the Cumberland River called Soundcheck, where hundreds of the city's musicians stored their treasured instruments.

Jerry Manning is Seattle Rep's new artistic director

Seattle Times Newspaper: Seattle Repertory Theatre has appointed a new artistic director, one from within its ranks. The new honcho will be Jerry Manning, a respected staffer at the Tony Award-winning Seattle company since 2001.

Backstage: What 'Helen Hayes Recommended' means; 'Paige in Full' at Flashpoint

Washington Post: If you've noticed the phrase "Helen Hayes Recommended" in ads for Washington area theaters and wondered how it relates to nominations and awards that won't come out until next year, you're probably not alone. Linda Levy Grossman, president and CEO of the Helen Hayes Awards, says it began in January as a year-long experiment to get more "paying butts in seats."

For Its 25th Anniversary, Alabama Shakespeare Fest to Mount World Premieres With Local Flavor

Yahoo! News: Alabama Shakespeare Festival will stage three world-premiere productions of plays set on its home turf - Montgomery, AL - in the 2010-11 season.
The ten-show 25th anniversary season also features three "encore" productions, including the return of the hot-selling Bear Country, the story of Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

Lights Go Out at Broadway's 'Enron'

Yahoo! News: The Broadway production of British playwright Lucy Prebble's acclaimed London play, Enron, a highly theatrical look at the infamous case of American corporate greed, closes May 9 after the 7:30 PM performance.

Casting Workshop Crackdown

Backstage: California has changed the way many casting directors do business in the state, leaving some scrambling to comply with a new law they don't yet fully understand.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Iron Man 2

Carnegie Mellon University: When the hotly anticipated "Iron Man 2" starring Robert Downey Jr. hits theaters this week, Andrew Birdzell (CFA'06) won't be just any moviegoer. He'll be watching his own work on the big screen.

Sala Udin reprises role he originated in August Wilson's 'Jitney'

Post Gazette: "Car service."
Those words are synonymous with jitneys, the private taxis still operating in Pittsburgh's black neighborhoods -- neighborhoods that white-owned cab companies ignored for years.

'Speech & Debate' a dark comedy with a lot to say

Post Gazette: Who knew high school speech and debate competitions were so structured, competitive . . . and emotionally intense?
But they're really just a means to an end in "Speech & Debate," Stephen Karam's affecting dark comedy about three teenagers for whom speech and debate (and extemporary commentary, dramatic interp, declamation, group interp, all those categories) are also just means to an end -- mechanisms for personal discovery, or speaking out, or getting even, or perhaps just hiding out in plain view.

City Theatre season features 2 premieres

Post Gazette: Two premieres, including a commissioned work about Pittsburgher George S. Kaufman, pace City Theatre's 2010-11 season.
Playwrights Eric Simonson and Jeffrey Hatcher, who teamed up on the Frank Lloyd Wright play, "Worksong," that played at City in 2004-05, return with "Louder, Faster" in May 2011.

Pappas to direct 'Carnage' at the Public

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Pittsburgh Public Theater has chosen "God of Carnage" for its final show of the 2010/11 season.
Yasmina Reza's contemporary comedy that won the 2009 Tony Award for best play will be performed May 26 to June 26, 2011, at the O'Reilly Theater, Downtown. Producing artistic director Ted Pappas will direct.

International children's festival brings acts from around the world

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Think globally, act locally might well be the slogan for the 24th Pittsburgh International Children's Festival.
The five-day festival that gets underway May 12 in Oakland brings performers and performances from far-off countries such as Russia, Italy and Scotland.
The core of the festival is the six live stage shows by international artists that employ puppetry, circus arts, acrobatics, dance, music and drama. They're chosen to entertain and expand the horizons of children as young as one year old, and the adults who bring them.

City Theatre fills final open slots in 2010-11 season

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: City Theatre has filled the three open slots on its 2010-11 season of six subscription offerings and two non-subscriber shows.
In addition, performance dates have been chosen for all eight productions.

'How They Run' a fun but chaste British farce, director says

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Innocent isn't usually a word associated with a British farce.
But director Jim Mikula says "See How They Run," being staged by the Valley Players of Ligonier this weekend, is much calmer than some.
"This was one of the first British farces ever written. It was written in 1949," he says. "It wasn't until the 1970s or '80s that the farces started to get more risque. It does have the chase scenes and people in and out of doors, but it doesn't have the sexual suggestions that the later farces have."

Pittsburgh Playwrights sticks to original cycle with August Wilson's 'Jitney'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: When Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company debuted in 2003, its first production was August Wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."
It also was the start of a mission for the company's founder and producing artistic director Mark Clayton Southers.
"When we started the company, we wanted to do a unique cycle," Southers says.

Kids plays range from classics to new sci-fi

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: An environment-themed, sci-fi children's play from a local playwright will make its debut this weekend at the Pittsburgh Playhouse's Rauh Theatre, where the creator hopes that kids will be inspired to recycle. Meanwhile, two beloved classic shows -- "Annie" and "Seussical" -- will entertain kids at other theaters.

'Young Frankenstein' offers bawdy humor, lots of laughs

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Despite all attempts to have vaudeville declared dead, it's alive at the Benedum Center, Downtown as a the final presentation of the 2009-2010 PNC Broadway Across America — Pittsburgh series.
"Young Frankenstein," aka "The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein," has its two big monster feet firmly planted in the traditions of borscht belt, vaudeville and burlesque humor with just a touch of Monty Python added to the mix.

CLO's co-productions score 4 Tony nominations

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera had at least four reasons to be happy when the Tony nominations were announced on Tuesday.
"The Addams Family" and "Come Fly Away," the two Broadway musicals that Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera helped produced, each received two nominations.

In Tony Nominations, Art and Commerce Duke It Out Broadway producers banked more than ever this theater season that stars onstage would fill seats, and in many cases were proved right. On Tuesday, though, the 2010 Tony Award nominations drew a sharp distinction between commercial interests and artistic success, with recognition going to several shows with few, if any, stars and small audiences.

Long Gestation - Turning ‘The Kid’ Into a Musical WHEN the musical librettist Michael Zam first read “The Kid,” a 1999 memoir about a gay couple adopting a baby, he was certain that he wanted to turn it into a musical. He loved the acerbic tone of the book’s author, the syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, and the frank portrayal of a gay man’s dream for a family. But rather than plunge into adaptation, Mr. Zam made it a long-term project, because he felt it would take time — years, it turned out — to wrest a successful show out of this particular book.

Feeling Guilty About Taking Time Off

FreelanceFolder: One of the coolest perks about being a freelancer is that there’s absolutely no nine-to-five and no one around to scream at you if you’re late to work. I’m definitely not a morning person, so this was a big factor when I decided to go into business for myself.
The problem with this though is that we’re so ingrained to “work, work, work” that this perk begins to become a liability. You start feeling guilty because you’re at the nail salon on Thursday, playing with your kids at Chucky Cheese’s on Tuesday and hanging with friends on Friday. I mean, everyone else is working, shouldn’t you be too?

Williamstown Theatre Festival Appoints First Female Artistic Director

Women & Hollywood: It only took 55 years, but Williamstown Theatre Festival the most prestigious summer stock theatre, has finally appointed a woman to run the Festival. Jenny Gersten who was the associate producer from 1994-2006 will return to take charge after this summer from Nicholas Martin.

Actors unions' appear ready to walk down the aisle

Los Angeles Times: Hollywood's once-bickering actors' unions appear to be warming up to the idea of a marriage.
That's the takeaway from an upbeat message published in the Screen Actors Guild magazine from a guild task force exploring the idea of merging SAG with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The guilds earlier this year opted to restore a long-term bargaining partnership that had broken off two years ago because of a host of disagreements.

Coraline and Rapid Prototyping

Props: This is where this may become useful. One day, these machines may be inexpensive enough to sit on every desktop; but for now, they’re expensive. Not to mention the time it takes to draft an object in three dimensions on a computer can easily be as long as the time it takes for a props artisan to sculpt it.

Flame Retardant Fabrics: What’s the Difference between FR, IFR, DFR and NFR Fabrics?

Rosebrand: Fire safety is serious business and Rose Brand offers years of experience, dedicated support, and practical solutions to keep you and your audiences safe. While local fire codes may vary and local enforcement is open to interpretation and discretion, almost everyone has the same question in mind: Does the fabric self-extinguish if exposed to a small flame?

Hardware Terminology

Technical Direction Tidbits: Sometimes the hardest part about finding the ideal piece of hardware is knowing what to call it.

Draper/Cutter - Williamstown Theatre Festival

The Producer's Perspective Classifieds: Draper/Cutter for its 2010 Summer Season comprised of four classic/contemporary plays on our 550 seat Main Stage and 4 world premieres on our 170 seat Nikos Stage.

Iron Man 2's Secret Sauce: 3-D Printing

Fast Company: On screen, with all those suits whirling into place, you'd probably assume that the "costumes" are merely virtual. Actually, they're not: Maybe the most cutting-edge facet of Iron Man 2's production was the real-life fabrication of the suits. Using 3-D printers, the film's production company, Legacy Effects, was able to have artists draw an art concept--and then physically make that concept in just four hours.

New 'Planet of the Apes' Will Do Away with Those Stupid Realistic, Intricately-Detailed Costumes

I Watch Stuff: Rumor of another attempt at rebooting Planet of the Apes have lingered for a while, but throughout them all, I'd foolishly been assuming that, whatever form the next film took, it would retain the charming, convincing costume-work that was a mainstay of the original series and the saving grace of Tim Burton's 2001 film. Not the case! It turns out we can now make apes "photo-realistic" with computer machines, so we're just going to do that.

Can Appropriation Artist Claim Copyright Over Artwork Appropriated From The Same Original?

Techdirt: Here's a fun one found via Boing Boing. It involves a band, named Elsinore, that is about to put out an album and has run into a rather bizarre copyright issue that highlights some of the insanity in today's copyright law. For the cover of the album, they used a painting done in an art class by a friend of the band named Brittany Pyle.

critics still crucial to theatre

The Stage: So the votes are in and the verdict delivered. Given how grudging I've been in the past about polls in the Stage newspaper, it would be churlish to deny that I'm delighted by its current survey of theatre critics. Its results give myself and Lyn Gardner key places among the most read and valued. That's nice. But, more to the point, it shows that the Guardian itself is the preferred option of many people engaged in theatre's unholy trade.

Theatre critics still pack a punch So the votes are in and the verdict delivered. Given how grudging I've been in the past about polls in the Stage newspaper, it would be churlish to deny that I'm delighted by its current survey of theatre critics. Its results give myself and Lyn Gardner key places among the most read and valued. That's nice. But, more to the point, it shows that the Guardian itself is the preferred option of many people engaged in theatre's unholy trade.

A quick curtain call. Then bed: Child actors in adult theatre

The Guardian: It's a blissfully sunny spring Saturday, a perfect afternoon for kids to kick a football in the park or play on the swings. Yet eight-year-old Lennie Harvey is locked indoors, in the warren of dressing rooms backstage at the Apollo theatre in London's West End. Lennie does have games to play, though: Ludo and table tennis. Of the latter, Lennie says: "I play it with some of the actors. There's someone called Tom. I've beat him twice, and I've beat my pretend Mum, and I've beat one of the men who beats up my Dad. And because I beat them all, someone gave me a chocolate bunny."

SAG Beats Drum for Merger

Backstage: Last month, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists devoted two pages in its official magazine to a call for merger with the Screen Actors Guild. This week, SAG doubled that effort.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Plug pulled on school play; parents, students protest

Daily Herald:A last-minute cancellation of the play "Promedy" - a spoof on prom and school life - prompted a student protest Wednesday at West Chicago Middle School. Via

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Just the Nominees, Please: 2010 Tony Award Nominations Announced The complete list of 2010 Tony Award nominees

Point Park alum thriving on the Great White Way

Post Gazette: Tony-winning director/choreographer Rob Ashford's big week included the opening of "Promises, Promises" on Broadway and giving the commencement speech at his alma mater, Point Park University, on Saturday.

PBT offers variety in benefit production

Post Gazette: It's been said it is never too early to plan for retirement. Artists with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will be doing just that when they showcase their talents at the 2010 PBT Dancers' Trust Fund performance. The annual benefit production to raise money for the dancers' retirement fund is Saturday at the George R. White Dance Complex at Point Park University, Downtown.

Short film seeking crew

Craigslist: I am crewing up for the short film, Anywhere but Here, co-winner of this years Steeltown Film Factory competition.

Painter sought to create portraits for staged Picture of Dorian Gray!

Craigslist: The Rage of the Stage Players, Pittsburgh’s alternative performance company specializing in original horror, adult-oriented comedy, and mature fantasy productions, just to name a few of our strange genres, is searching for a skilled oil/etc. portrait painter to paint about five ever-decaying portraits of the title character for their spring 2011 production of THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. We are prepping nearly a year in advance to both locate the perfect actor for the lead, and to provide ample time for the paintings to be created (size can be discussed).

'Fela!,' La Cage' top Tony noms

Hollywood Reporter: "Fela!" and the revival of "La Cage Aux Folles" are tied for the most Tony nominations with 11 each. The announcement of the nominees for the 64th annual Tony awards was made May 4 by actors Jeff Daniels and Lea Michele at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.