CMU School of Drama

Friday, October 29, 2010

Toolmonger » Blog Archive » Magnetic Drawing Tool "Lee Valley just posted a straightedge that uses magnets to hold a steel rule at many commonly-used angles, including ones for isometric drawing. Hmm — the last time I made an isometric drawing by hand, I was in middle school shop class. With CAD becoming ubiquitous and free CAD-like programs available to the general public, I can’t imaging there’s much use for hand-drawn isometric drawings anymore unless you’re a die-hard drafter.

A Bit of Genius Design Perfects the Common Tape Measure "Anyone who's had to measure anything with a tape measure knows the annoyance of losing your grip because of that infuriatingly small hook. So why not make the hook bigger? Why did it take so long to think of this?

'Curious George Live!' is a new musical adventure with 16 original songs - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'Curious George Live!' brings to life the classic storybooks from H.A. and Margret Rey, and the corresponding hit series from PBS Kids. The musical features a brand-new Curious George adventure not covered in previous books or shows, along with a soundtrack of 16 original songs with live singing and dancing. The 17 professional performers bring the comical story to the audience on a colorful set, Igneczi says.

'Nunsense' returns to CLO Cabaret - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Tickets will go on sale Nov. 5 for the return engagement of 'Nunsense' at the CLO Cabaret Theater, Downtown.

‘Angels in America’ at Peter Norton Space - Review - "The angel has landed again, and she’s looking a little less fierce. When one of the title characters in Tony Kushner’s epic “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes” hit town 17 years ago — crashing through the ceiling of a Manhattan apartment — she wore an intimidating scowl, the kind that makes mortals quake.

Putting a Price on Professors - "A 265-page spreadsheet, released last month by the chancellor of the Texas A&M University system, amounted to a profit-and-loss statement for each faculty member, weighing annual salary against students taught, tuition generated, and research grants obtained.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Actors Tell LGBT Youth: 'It Gets Better' "In response to the recent epidemic of suicides among LGBT youth, actors from Broadway, Hollywood, and across the country have joined the 'It Gets Better Project' viral video campaign to tell young people who are the victims of bullying and discrimination that, eventually, 'it gets better.'

Webber Sells Four London Theatres to Cut Debt "British composer and impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber is selling four of his company's seven London musical theatres in order to reduce debt, he said on Thursday.

Pilobolus rolls in for the first time in eight years

Post "At first glance, Pilobolus Dance Theatre may seem to have little in common with its namesake -- a fungus that dwells in cow waste and eats dead organic matter.

But both depend upon movement to ensure their survival: The fungus launches its spores like missiles to fresh pastures where cows will more likely eat them, whereas the dance troupe maintains a movement vocabulary that is always evolving.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Michael Billington on the best seats in the house

The Guardian: "One of the things people most dislike about critics is that we traditionally occupy the best seats. Only recently, I got a letter suggesting that my intense enjoyment of the RSC Romeo and Juliet was dictated by where I sat. Had I been in the back row of the balcony of Stratford's Courtyard theatre, I was told, I'd have had difficulty hearing the actors. Indeed I was challenged, in future, to try out the worst seats in the house. It's not a challenge I intend to take up.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

'Miami Medical' actor sues for 2009 mishap

Glendale News Press: An actor accidentally zapped by a defibrillator on a Burbank soundstage has sued the maker of the device designed to help heart attack victims, saying the incident has made him hesitant to ply his trade.

Review: Nothing small about City Theatre's 'Steps' - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "City Theatre Company's 'The 39 Steps' showcases story and technique in one highly theatrical and enjoyable production.

'Rocky Horror' stage show returns to Greensburg - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Stage Right is back for the seventh straight year with its Halloween-weekend production of 'The Rocky Horror Show.'

Producer Considers Stage Version of 'King's Speech' - "If the highly anticipated Colin Firth film “The King’s Speech” performs well this awards season, chances are a stage version will come about relatively quickly on Broadway, in London’s West End, or both.

Live from 2010 Jeff Equity Awards: 'Ragtime' and 'Chad Deity' are biggest winners - The Theater Loop "'Ragtime,' which played at the Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace March through May this year, was the big musical winner of the 42nd annual Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards, held Monday night in Oakbrook Terrace. “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” won for best large play.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Step by step, Pittsburgh's City Theatre stages a laugh-filled romp

Post Gazette: "There's at least one gag for every step in City Theatre's rollicking, ridiculous version of 'The 39 Steps,' a nonstop farce that reduces Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 film to a running joke -- actually.

Asked & Answered: Legendary characters – public domain or protected?

The Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark: "As a general rule of thumb, works created prior to 1923 are likely to be in the public domain. But, when works fall into the public domain, anybody is free to copy and build upon them. And that new “built upon” work, (or at least the original components contained therein) IS entitled to copyright protection.

As work force changes, many misclassified workers miss out on benefits "As a cable installer, Joe Marte of Carol Stream was simultaneously classified as an independent contractor and an employee for Baker Installations, for doing the same work.
As a result, Marte did not get overtime pay, though he often worked more than 40 hours a week, he said. He also didn't get other benefits granted to full-time employees.
'They had said we're supposed to be employees, but they still wanted to pay us as independent contractors,' Marte said. Independent contractors, who are considered sole proprietors, get 1099 tax forms instead of W-2s.

#LDI2010: Releases Ultimate Focus Tool "Rob Junk from is at it again. First it was the Ultimate Focus Tool, then the Ratcheting Ultimate Focus Tool and now, the Flat Ultimate Focus Tool! How many different designs of a tool can Rob come up with?!? I though he had it right at the original Ultimate Focus Tool! Again and again he is proving me wrong!"

FocusTrack’s New ‘Paperwork to Go’ Functionality "Paperwork is increasingly not ‘paperwork’ but virtual paperwork carried on laptops – until actually working in the theatre when real paper printouts have often been the most convenient way to access show information while walking around the stage focusing the rig.

Steel Headboard for In the Wake "The next play to open here at the Public Theater is
"In the Wake", by Lisa Kron. One of the props they needed was a headboard. The design was based off of an existing style of headboard, but as the bed was a custom size to allow it to fit between the scenery, the headboard would also need to be a custom size."

It’s the Jeff Awards "aka: “None-of-us-looked-at-an-October-calendar-but-we’re-sure-nothing-else-is-going-on-that-night Night!”First up: The Joseph Jefferson Awards for Actors Equity Association contracted productions, or, The Equity Jeff’s."

Music students perform Mozart "Upon walking into Chosky Theater on Friday night for the second showing of Mozart Scenes: The Trials of Love, it was apparent that this show had been highly anticipated. It was a full house, filled with fellow students, some families, and School of Music faculty and staff."

Starting College "With school in full swing again it seemed like a good time to do a post geared toward helping people who are experiencing college for the first time. If you aren’t in college, but know someone who is, please consider passing these tips on to them."

The Globe "As hand-wringing over the cuts continues, it is perhaps worth pointing out that first-rate art can sometimes thrive without subsidy.

Kids' Night " Kids Night on Broadway's (KNOB) special Halloween edition will include plenty of extra-creepy delights for young Broadway fans. The fun will begin Oct. 31 from 11 AM-2 PM."

Review: Bricolage's 'War of the Worlds' a captivating treat ""The biggest question confronting audiences at Bricolage Production's latest work is whether to enjoy it with your eyes open or closed. The season finale of its popular Midnight Radio series features a live stage re-enactment of "The War of the Worlds."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stooped and a Bit Slow, but Still Standing Tall "James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave are, by anyone’s reckoning, two of the last of these titans — stars of uncommon stature (in all senses) who, in combined years of experience, have known and commanded the stage for more than a century. Their fiery, shadow-casting presences have illuminated some of the most challenging roles in world theater. And I would see them in absolutely anything. Even “Driving Miss Daisy,” which opened on Monday night at the Golden Theater.

#LDI2010: Thanks for the Memories and Day 3 Photos "The show floor closed over 5 hours ago and WOW, what a ride this year. There were a tone of things to see this year. A couple of things stuck out what the over all theme was once again LEDs.

#LDI2010: Day Two Photos "I have so much to still see on the floor here of day 3 at LDI here in Las Vegas. The show closes in 2 hours so to tide over till then..

#LDI2010: Day One Photos On Day Two… OPPS! "I am not going to sit here and ramble on and on and on. Here are just a couple of the photos that I took while walking through the show floor today yesterday. What kind of day would it be with out sharks with lasers on their heads? To everyone that couldn’t make it to LDI, we all miss you and wish you were here. Hopefully these photos will tide you over for a bit and giving you a bit of what it is like here in Vegas.

Top dialect coach, Don Wadsworth, reflects and inflects "In City Theatre's current production of "The 39 Steps," four actors play 150 (!) roles.That calls for cast members to assume a multitude of accents and voices in quick succession. And that, in turn, calls for Don Wadsworth, one of a select group of acting teachers in the country with special expertise in dialect coaching.

Quantum Theatre's mixes grand with intimate "This huge, empty building is the blank canvas on which Quantum Theatre will create its production of Andrew Bovell's "When the Rain Stops Falling," which begins performances Thursday.

‘Angels in America’ Earns Place in Pantheon "Angels in America,” Tony Kushner’s fever dream about Ronald Reagan and AIDS, love and abandonment, has emerged as the most influential American play of the last two decades.

Stagehand work isn’t like other work "By now most of you have heard of the IATSE member who was taken off a call, apparently due to his clothing choice that day. The story has been picked up by many conservative and anti-union outlets, as well as by some mainstream media, primarily because the call was to construct a stage for President Obama to speak from, and the clothing in question had the word “Bush” prominently on it.

Sneak Peak at Lightwright Touch for iPad "Mr. McKernon was kind enough to take a couple of minutes yesterday to speak about the iPad app on video. Check out the 45 second video Lightwright Touch running on the iPad. The app is still in development and is expected for release either later this year or right at the beginning of 2011. A price has still not been set or hinted at so stay tuned for more info.

Theatre Festival in Black & White "What are the odds that a festival of new plays wouldn't feature actual plays? Oh sure, there are four "works" in Program A of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.'s seventh annual Theatre Festival in Black & White. But with only one exception, this program comes up short in the play department.

Arthur Laurents on 'West Side' revival "Arthur Laurents, author and director of the new production of "West Side Story," is a vigorous 92. He and the show's original lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, a mere 80, are the last men standing from a collaborative dream team that also included composer Leonard Bernstein and choreographer Jerome Robbins.

IThree Sisters' at Kennedy Center "Moscow, Moscow, Moscoooow!" murmurs sick-at-heart Irina in the closing minutes of Act 1 of director Declan Donnellan's gorgeously observed "Three Sisters." It's the play's rallying cry, its articulation of eternal restlessness, here uttered by actress Nelli Uvarova with a churning anguish -- and a final "Moscow!" expressed as a sigh that gets caught wrenchingly in her throat.

Students come together to celebrate diversity "With 20 percent of Carnegie Mellon’s student body coming from countries outside the United States and with a sister campus in Qatar, Carnegie Mellon is truly a global community. Last week, the campus celebrated this diversity with the International Festival, held Thursday through Saturday.

The Hammersteins' Path From Brooms To Broadway "When Oscar Hammerstein II died 50 years ago, the lights of Broadway and London's West End were dimmed in his honor. From Showboat to Oklahoma!, The King and I to The Sound of Music, Hammerstein II wrote the lyrics and librettos to some of the most famous and enduring songs and shows in American musical theater history.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chris Rock Takes On Broadway in ‘Hat’ "The comedian Chris Rock will make his Broadway debut this spring in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ new play “The ________ With the Hat” (obscenity deleted) as an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor working with a recovering addict (to be played by Bobby Cannavale) whose long-time love (Elizabeth Rodriguez) remains in the grip of drugs and alcohol.

CLO's 2011 season includes new Webber show, returning favorites "The world premiere of a new musical featuring songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber plus two touring productions of popular musicals and a trio of home-grown audience favorites are on the schedule for Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera's 2011 summer season.

Shattered Globe Resurrected "Shattered Globe Theatre, which hit major trouble earlier this fall, says it plans to reorganize its board of directors and produce a new season in 2011.

Robin Williams to play Tiger

NYTimes: "Confirmation arrived on Thursday that Robin Williams will indeed star next spring in a Broadway production of Rajiv Joseph’s play “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” and from the horse’s – or is that tiger’s – mouth?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Haunted Houses Profit by Going to Extremes "In the past two decades, haunted houses have become a booming national industry that generates hundreds of millions of dollars and includes family-friendly theme parks, huge high-tech productions and evangelical Christian hell houses.

‘Death of a Salesman’ Coming to Broadway With Philip Seymour Hoffman "The director Mike Nichols confirmed on Wednesday that he would mount a Broadway revival of “Death of a Salesman” next fall starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman and Linda Emond as Linda Loman.

"Evening Primrose" DVD

LaTimes: "Evening Fans of Stephen Sondheim seldom get a chance to chomp at new material. The octogenarian composer of such classics as "Sweeney Todd" and "Company" is in semi-retirement, though he continues to appear in public at lectures and other speaking events.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hobbit Union Boycott Lifted "New Zealand's Hobbit crisis deepened Wednesday night, with protests erupting in the streets amid a claim that Warner Bros. has already decided to move the troubled production from that country.

SAG Eligibility: The DIY Way "In the past few years, the performers' unions and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have adopted many new rules governing work made directly for new media.

The Problems of Traditional Pricing

Arts Marketing: "Over the span of the last several months, there have been numerous emotional debates over pricing in the blogosphere, particularly among a small handful of very respected colleagues in the theater industry. I have remained, for the most part, on the sidelines as much as possible, because parts of the debate centered around practices that I have publicly endorsed at major conferences.

Latest 'Phantom' lets students sing 'Music of the Night' "The title character in "The Phantom of the Opera" might be the creepy, obsessive type of guy who would get slapped with a restraining order in real life, but there's still something about him that endears him to the audience and earns sympathy, say the directors of an all-student production that opens Thursday.

Scholarship Gift "Carnegie Mellon University has announced that Goldman Sachs Gives has made a $2 million gift to assist students whose families have been disproportionately affected by America’s economic recession. Goldman Sachs Gives is the donor-advised fund of Goldman Sachs partners.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What is the success rate of movies-to-musicals anyway? "I'm going to admit it. Not only do I read Michael Riedel's twice-a-week Broadway gossip column in the NY Post, but I actually enjoy his stuff . . . even when he's cracking on one of my shows, and he certainly has."

'Wicked' returns to Pittsburgh in 2011""Wicked" will return to the Benedum Center in 2011 as a non-subscriber presentation of the PNC Broadway Across America — Pittsburgh series.

Can you say "structural failure kills hundreds"? "Sure you can. Probably even under oath in court. Video below of the balcony bouncing at The Fabulous Fox Theatre, St. Louis during the 6.16.09 Phish show."

Giant Dado Blades "Most consumers can get away with using a 6″ or 8″ dado blade because they hardly ever need to make dadoes or grooves deeper than 1″. Still, last month Freud introduced their 10″ and 12″ dado sets. Imagine a giant 12″ dado stack — you’d be able to cut a 5″ deep dado!"

How to Get Noticed – and Get Hired! "If you want to get hired, you have to position yourself. When you clearly communicate what makes you different, you make it easier to get noticed by your prospects."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Not-Do List: 9 Things You Need To Stop Doing "We’ve all familiar with creating a to-do list to increase our productivity. Another list which can jumpstart our productivity is the not-do list – things we shouldn’t do. By being conscious of what to avoid, it’ll automatically channel our energy into things that we want to do. Doing both hand in hand will maximize our performance."

Blank-Firing Guns "On October 2, 2010, David Birrell was appearing in Stephen Sondheim’s Passion at the Donmar Warehouse in London. During a performance, one of the blank-firing guns used apparently had a problem, and Birell sustained an injury to his right eye. He may lose his sight in it."

Model Builder "Model Builder Steven Kemp explains how a model is the main communication tool in visualizing and building a show’s set. Kemp works with scenic designer David Gallo in turning his design sketches into perfectly scaled models. Kemp highlights the advantages of a physical three-dimensional model as well as a digital model easily viewed by computer."

Full Cast Announced For 'Every Tongue Confess' "The full cast has been unveiled for the world premiere of Marcus Gardley's "every tongue confess," in an announcement from Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater."

Nominees Announced for 2010 Ovation Awards "The 2010 L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Award nominees were announced last night at The Autry National Center for the American West in Griffith Park. Several winners of last year's Ovation Awards, including Jake Broder and Vanessa Claire Smith, presented the 2010 nominations."

Les Misérables in Concert – The 25th Anniversary Event to Be Screened In U.S. Cinemas "The 25th anniversary concert of Les Miserables, which was presented at London's O2 Arena Oct. 3, will be screened on movie theatres around the United States Nov. 17. Presented by NCM Fathom, Omniverse Vision and Cameron Mackintosh, in association with The Broadway League and Nederlander/First, Les Misérables in Concert – The 25th Anniversary Event will be broadcast to nearly 500 select U.S. theatres.

Homeless Tonys in Search of Space for Awards Show "NEW YORK – We know where next year's Grammy Awards will be held — at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Academy Awards? They'll be at their permanent home in the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. And the Golden Globes are telecast every year at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. What about the Tonys? To be determined — they're currently homeless.

Labyrinth and Elephant team up "New York-based Labyrinth Theater Company, the troupe co-founded by Philip Seymour Hoffman, has struck up a cross-country partnership with L.A.'s Elephant Theater Company, kicking off with two productions that will play in repertory in L.A. later this fall.

Dance Review: Ulbricht, NYC Ballet thrilling at Byham "A bit of Lincoln Center came to Byham Theater when a handful of New York City Ballet dancers staged a sampling of balletic works in "Daniel Ulbricht & Friends: A Dance Spectacular."

Little Lake brings back 'Secret Garden' "Frances Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden" blooms again at Little Lake Theatre. The musical of this much-loved children's classic is playing through Oct. 31 as part of the theater company's fall family matinee series.

Pinocchio The Italian Musical Makes Manhattan Debut Oct. 19 "Compagnia della Rancia in collaboration with Productions LLC and Laura Rossi present the American premiere of Pinocchio The Italian Musical beginning Oct. 19 at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College.

To Hear Shakespeare, Perchance to Dream of Him "No dagger in sight, the spare, streamlined “Radio Macbeth” begins with a golden spotlight on a bald man in suspenders who sounds like the famous murderer but isn’t him, exactly. Stephen Duff Webber plays an actor performing Macbeth in a radio drama from the 1930s.

Blackface and Bigotry, Finely Tuned "Has there ever been a new Broadway musical facing a more daunting checklist of challenges than “The Scottsboro Boys,” which dares to set an infamous 1930s Alabama rape trial to music?

'Billy Elliot' is closing early in Chicago "The premature exit is a blow to Broadway in Chicago's long-running campaign to establish Chicago as a city that can support extended runs.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Good vs. Best Project Managers: What Differentiates the Two

PM Hut: "Good project managers are good because they stay within the boundary, encircling the borders of the project to ensure everything is done properly and on time, and they never break the contract – instead, they follow it exactly as promised. But the best project managers don’t care about the constraints of the boundary.

Stage Review: The Rep's 'La Ronde' proves a bit too tame

Post Gazette: "Some plays can be more interesting for their shocking past than their diminished present.
Such is 'La Ronde,' a darkly comic dramatization of erotic serial encounters in 1900 Vienna by Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931). It's a daisy chain of seduction in which a Prostitute sleeps with a Soldier, who then sleeps with a Housemaid, who sleeps with a Young Gentleman, and so on, until in the 10th scene a dissolute Count completes the circle with the Prostitute.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre stages 'Three Musketeers'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Artists may sometimes start with a blank sheet of paper, but often past experiences become seeds that latter blossom on stage.
When Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's artistic director Terrence S. Orr saw Andre Prokovsky's ballet 'The Three Musketeers,' he enjoyed it without ever thinking that someday he would be doing it.

VIDEO: Behind-the-Scenes With 'Secretariat's' Costume Designer

The Hollywood Reporter: "Costume designer Julie Weiss sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss how she made Diane Lane look equine-chic in Disney's 'Secretariat.'

MAC Announces Winners of Wallowitch and Burman Songwriting Awards "Composer-lyricist Joe Iconis, lyricist Kenneth Jones and composer Gerald Stockstill were honored with 2010 songwriting awards from MAC, the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs.

Lisa Kron’s Inspiration for ‘In the Wake’ "UNLIKE most playwrights, who get to hide in the back of the theater on opening night — if not in a bar around the corner — Lisa Kron has spent most of her career performing in her own plays, which have frequently been autobiographical, including “2.5 Minute Ride,” about her father, and “Well,” about her perpetually unwell but nonetheless redoubtable mother, which had a Broadway run in 2006.

Kander and Ebb’s ‘Scottsboro Boys’ on Broadway "NO star actors. (Check.) A complex cast of characters. (Check.) A plot based on a low moment in American history. (Check.) Songs that satirize racism, anti-Semitism, and execution by electric chair. (Check.) And all told by resurrecting one of theater’s most controversial storytelling devices, the minstrel show. (Check.)

Keep your focus focused.

Backstage at "Proper planning and running of a focus can mean the difference between a long day or a short day; a happy designer or an annoyed designer; coming in under or over budget; and a happy or pissed off crew. Focus can set the tone (of the lighting crew and designer) for the entire tech process.

AutoCAD for Mac UI Reference

Between the Lines: "With AutoCAD for Mac just launched for the Mac one thing people ask is what are the parts of the UI (User Interface) named. I created a quick graphic so everyone can refer to the proper terms.

'The Hobbit' movies ready to go, pending labor resolution

Los Angeles Times: "Following a multitude of delays, Warner Bros. and co-financing partner Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. have agreed to start production in February on the two films that serve as a prequel to the blockbuster 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, people familiar with the situation said.

New Web Series Teaches the Business of Acting

Backstage: "To succeed as an actor, you need to run your career as a business, and a new website,, aims to teach actors how—through an 11-week Web series.

Equity Names New Executive Director

Backstage: "Mary McColl has been named the new executive director of Actors' Equity Association. McColl comes to the stage actors' union from the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in Minneapolis, where she was executive director.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It Doesn't Get Much Gnarlier Than a Bullet-Time Surfing Video Shot With 52 Cameras

Gizmodo: "After ten years of bullet-time, you'd think the effect would be completely played out. But you haven't seen crazy surfing shot in bullet-time with 52 Canon Rebel T2is.

Shubert Foundation Awards 18M+ in Grants in 2010

Broadway World: "At a time when good news for performing arts organizations in search of funding has become all too rare, The Shubert Foundation announces a record $18,215,000 in grants to support operations of a record 450 nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. in 2010. In conjunction with the announcement, The Foundation has just published the annual report that details its gifts for the year.

Granholm: Goal of film tax credit is jobs, not more revenue

Detroit Free Press: "Michigan’s generous tax credit for filmmakers was not intended to increase state revenue, but rather to build a film “ecosystem” to create jobs, keep young people and promote the state’s image, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said today.

Ethical Questions Raised Over Book Given To Council Members

Madison News Story - WISC Madison: "As a rule, council members can't receive anything of value. But the local stagehands union that purchased the books for the entire council and members of the Overture ad hoc committee said the books aren't a gift, but a loan. They said the books are to be returned to the union. They will then be donated to the Madison libraries or other libraries if there is no need for so many copies.

Earth Tones: Ethereal Meets Pop For Rihanna’s Last Girl On Earth Tour

Live Design: "While 2009 was perhaps a year not-to-be fondly remembered for pop star Rihanna—having pressed charges against then boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, for (allegedly) abusing her—2010 saw her set out on her Last Girl On Earth tour in support of Rated R and under the watchful creative eye of show director and choreographer Jamie King.

Performer Responsibility, H&S, Liability & Insurance

Ministry Of Burlesque: "In the past few weeks, it has greatly concerned me to hear of injuries sustained by performers/stage hands during events produced under the 'burlesque' banner. I feel it's pretty important (whilst probably patronising) to point out that burlesque shows, regardless of fee, venue, level of experience and sincerity should ALL be safe places to work in. That they do have a responsibility under H&S legislation as places of work and are entering very murky legal ground if they don't uphold this.

What a Play!

Carnegie Mellon University: "Steeler Nation has a new way to keep in touch with every nailbiting drive, every stat, in real-time. Pittsburgh Steelers fans around the world can get drive-by-drive stats, box scores, standings, player statistics, Steelers news, Steelers video-on-demand content, Steelers-related tweets — straight to their iPhones, Android devices and Blackberry devices. In addition, fans in the club seats and suites can download the Steelers Gameday PLUS app to their WiFi-enabled smartphones and use it to watch the plays from unique camera angles across the stadium.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pittsburgh Tri-Union Talent Fair Scheduled For January 22, 2011

Actors "The combined performers unions in the Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia region are happy to announce that they will be sponsoring an All Day Talent Fair in Pittsburgh for members of AEA, AFTRA and SAG.

The date is Saturday, January 22, 2011, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM at the Steelworkers Building, Stanwix Street and Boulevard of the Allies, just off Route 376.

There will be workshops on:

  • Auditioning

  • On camera acting

  • Marketing yourself on the internet

  • Informational session for EMCs and new Equity members

  • Know Your Contracts" session for the AEA, SAG and AFTRA contracts used most often locally
Our special guest will be AEA Secretary-Treasurer Sandra Karas, who will do a workshop on taxes and record keeping for members of performing unions - you've read her tax column in Equity News !

Humor revitalizes 'Barber of Seville' "The hilarious new production of "The Barber of Seville" that Pittsburgh Opera unfurled Saturday night brings fresh life to one of opera's longest-standing hits..."


‘Show Boat’ Delights Parisians With Lovers, Gamblers, Tunes "After more than 80 years, “Show Boat,” the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein masterpiece, has finally docked in Paris. It was worth the wait. Actually, the musical was produced in 1929, two years after the Broadway premiere, at the very same Theatre du Chatelet in French under the title “Mississipi” -- with one P only. This is the first Paris production in English. That it comes from South Africa makes it doubly interesting. Racial discrimination, an issue tackled head-on by the musical, was very much on the minds of the first-nighters at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. And so it was at the Cape Town Opera, where it was first performed in 2005."

La Ronde

Pittsburgh City Paper: "Heidi Klum excepted, Germans aren't known for their sex appeal. Austrians, even less. And Austrians in 1900? Perish the thought. What proper Viennese would risk scandal and social ostracism for a little heavy petting?

Seymour Heller Award Winners Announced "The Talent Managers Association held its ninth annual Seymour Heller Awards on Oct. 5 at the Sheraton Hotel in Universal City, Calif. The awards recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence in talent management.
The Seymour Heller Award was created in 2002 and is named for one of the founders of the National Conference of Personal Managers, the first coast-to-coast personal management firm, which represented performers such as Liberace and Glenn Miller."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 "PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and the Miller Gallery at CMU have received a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to support a curatorial fellowship for Andrea Grover, who will research contemporary artists working at the intersection of art, science and technology.

Grover, founder and former director of Aurora Picture Show in Houston, Texas, has long been interested in artists who work across disciplines. She curated "29 Chains to the Moon: Artists' Schemes for a Fantastic Future," an exhibition at CMU's Miller Gallery that highlighted the visions of artists, scientists and designers imagining life in our present and future world."
'Great Gatsby' Onstage, With A White-Collar Twist "Since its publication in 1925, F. Scott's Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby has captured the American imagination. The flamboyant story has been adapted for film, stage, television and even opera. But one ambitious New York theater company has decided to put every word of the novel onstage in a 6 1/2-hour adaptation that's been getting rave reviews.

The Public Theater's Gatz opens with a man in a blue shirt walking out onto a set that doesn't even vaguely evoke F. Scott Fitzgerald’s jazz age. It's the drabbest office imaginable: gray walls, beat-up furniture, a manual typewriter, an ancient computer.

The man tries several times to boot up that computer, all unsuccessful. Then, with a shrug, he pulls out a paperback copy of The Great Gatsby, and starts reading — aloud.

And for the next 6 1/2 hours — plus two intermissions and a dinner break — the audience is transported into the world of The Great Gatsby as the workers of this mysterious onstage office bring the novel to vivid life and, somehow, that guy in the blue shirt becomes Nick Carraway, Fitzgerald’s narrator, and the friend and confidant to self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby."

Artistic risk in a down economy ... Why bother? "Safety sells. It's true in a down economy, and ... it's true in an up economy, too.

New plays, on the other hand, are the toughest to traffic of all. They're expensive. It costs the Denver Center Theatre Company about one-third more to produce a new play than an existing one. And audiences often just don't take to them. Last year, when The Denver Post asked readers to rank the company's 10-play season, the three original works on the list ranked last. And yet, staging new works steadfastly remains the company's core mission."

Dear Mr. New Mayor, whoever you are ... An open letter about theater and the arts in Chicago

Chicago "First, Mr. New Mayor, do no harm. Mayor Richard M. Daley took the heat for the creation of the downtown theater district, which now hums with life. Along with Millennium Park, it is one of Daley’s signature achievements and a crucial part of the Loop’s renewal. Aside from reinvigorating downtown, Daley also ensured that theater is a part of the Michigan Avenue mix. And with only a few exceptions, he was an indefatigable support of theater in the neighborhoods. But all of that will require maintenance from his successor. Of two distinct kinds."
Too bad: Kydd’s back onstage

The "he average vanity production consists of a performer footing the bill so that we can get a chance to share his or her talents, however imaginary they might prove to be. In SoulSeek, which opened Thursday night at the Walmer Theatre Centre, Zorana Kydd goes even further: she puts on an incredibly elaborate production to share not only her dubious talent but her tawdry life."
150 Years Of Afghan History In One Theater Marathon "A tiny London theater company has taken on an enormous project – to tell the story of Western involvement in Afghanistan over the last 150 years in an all-day marathon of 12 one-act plays. The Great Game: Afghanistan was a hit in Britain and has just opened a U.S. tour at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

He Who Gets Slapped

Pittsburgh City Paper: "There's really nothing cheerful about Leonid Andreyev's He Who Gets Slapped, but the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama production is so much fun to watch and listen to. Director Tony McKay (associate professor of acting) blends the sordid with spectacle in this 1915 Russian tragedy set in a "threadbare circus," a perfect arena for the unusual skills fostered in CMU dramats.

Getting and Keeping Health Insurance

Actors "The Health Insurance Resource Center at The Actors Fund of America hosts a weekly workshop on "Getting and Keeping Health Insurance." The program is held every Thursday from 12:30 - 1:30 pm at The Actors Fund, 729 Seventh Avenue, New York. Led by Jim Brown, Director of Health Services, and Renata Marinaro, Manager of Health Education and Outreach, the workshop features information on obtaining and keeping health insurance as well as finding free and income-based health care for those who are uninsured. The workshops are open to all members of the performing arts and entertainment community."
6th Annual Onyx Awards

The Pittsburgh "The African American Council of the Arts 6th Annual Onyx Awards is a multi-faceted, educational arts organization dedicated to promoting the arts as a tool of enlightenment, personal development and tolerance for minorities and the disadvantaged through education, training, literature research, dissemination of information, job opportunities, the Onyx Awards and incentives. "
Romantic ‘Puss in Boots’ Lets Puppet Bunnies Live: John Simon "That desperate fairytale feline who uses trickery and persuasion to get rich and marry off his poor master to a princess, is the hero of “El gato con botas,” now at New York’s New Victory Theater. Composed by Xavier Montsalvatge, an undeservedly little- known Catalan, it’s been given an exquisite production involving the combined efforts of Gotham Chamber Opera,Tectonic Theater Project and Britain’s Blind Summit Theatre."
National Theatre productions can be seen on Western Washington screens "For Seattle drama buffs longing to see high-definition, internationally aired broadcasts from London's esteemed National Theatre this season, there is jolly good news. No Seattle venue screened last season's series. But this time, bravo to the Seattle International Film Festival for stepping up, and showing us the work of some of the finest stage actors and directors in the English-speaking world."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Remaking the 'Merry Wives' for the Broad "For many people who go to see productions of William Shakespeare's plays at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, the play on view is often of less consequence than the experience of being at the venue itself.

The structure was conceived as a replica of the Globe Theatre on London's South Bank where the Bard's own troupe of players performed in the early 1600s. Located only a few hundred feet from the site of the original Globe, the nest-like circular auditorium with its thatched roof open to the sky, pillar-supported musicians' gallery and standing area for groundlings surrounded by enclosed seating balconies for the more deep-pocketed patrons provides a unique way of experiencing the works of Shakespeare."

Second Stages Take Center Stage "
Pick one of Gotham's major nonprofit theaters and you'll likely find a second-stage program devoted to presenting smaller-scale productions by emerging artists. None of these make any money...

The Problem With Shakespeare's Globe Productions on Tour "Remounting productions conceived for the Globe on other stages - especially the outsize auditoriums that it has often played in the United States - presents significant challenges for both artists and presenters." Making the actors audible is one problem; another is that "the particularities of the Globe's stage design don't easily translate to other venue."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Video podcast: Oskar Eustis speaks in Colorado Springs "John Moore takes you to TheatreWorks in Colorado Springs, where Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public Theatre in New York, spoke on the state of the American theater today. Among the topics: The making of "Angels in America," the state of criticism, Eustis' goal of making all theater free, and the crisis of black leadership in the American theater."

City Theatre's challenging '39 Steps' production takes teamwork and precision
Pittsburgh Tribune Review: "Actors Sam Redford and Rebecca Harris were already virtually attached in a real life relationship when City Theatre artistic director Tracy Brigden cast them in "The 39 Steps." They now find themselves physically linked -- handcuffed together -- in their onstage roles as Richard Hannay and Pamela in this comedic, fast-paced thriller that opens City Theatre's 2010-11 season."
Today in Theatre History: OCTOBER 10 "1730 Birthday of Oliver Goldsmith, British author of She Stoops to Conquer. 1900 One of the most famous of all stage performers, Helen Hayes, is born (as Helen Hayes Brown) today. She will make her stage debut at age five and star in such Broadway hits as To The Ladies, Victoria Regina and Mary of Scotland. Click here to read more history."
A Horse Overhead
The New York "The Broadway musical “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” blends a rock score with a mini-history lesson about America’s seventh president. During a tour of the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater, where the show opens this week, three members of the show’s creative team — Donyale Werle, set designer; Kenneth Grady Barker, lead sculptor; and Justin Townsend, lighting designer — narrated a look at some details of the set."

Can Salle Wilfrid Pelletier make a post-MSO comeback? "This is not a bad day to discuss the concert facility on everybody's mind: Salle Wilfrid Pelletier. Oops. Make that the last concert facility on anybody's mind. The new MSO hall, which in less than a year renders SWP virtually extinct as a vessel for classical music, is obviously the room with the zoom. This week, Kent Nagano and the MSO unveiled their first season in the new hall, about six months before the usual timing of such announcements. It is easy to forget that all those MSO dates create parallel periods of darkness in the place the MSO has called home since 1963."
WGAE Responds to FCC Request "The Writers Guild of America East responded today to the Federal Communications Commission's request for comment on the "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Matter of Preserving the Open Internet."On Sep. 2, the FCC placed an open call for statements on how it should apply the Internet openness guidelines towards specialized services and mobile broadband."

Thursday, October 07, 2010

GK Films nabs film rights to 'Jersey Boys' "Graham King and Tim Headingtons' GK Films is mounting a bigscreen adaptation of hit Broadway musical "Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Vallie & The Four Seasons." Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, who wrote the book for the musical, will pen the screenplay."
Disney Theatrical shutters West Coast office "Disney Theatrical Group has shuttered its Glendale office, with 11 jobs eliminated of the 14 that were based in the West Coast outpost, according to Disney."

Penguins drop puck on new era of hockey in new arena
Pittsburgh "Talk about a christening. When the lights came on for the official grand opening of hockey at the new home of the Penguins, Mario Lemieux appeared at center ice with a ceremonial bottle filled with melted ice from the Mellon Arena."
Barber of Seville' kicks off Pittsburgh Opera season
Pittsburgh "Opera director Scott Parry says he doesn't actually do anything. It's hyperbole, of course, even though he won't be seen or heard by the audiences at Pittsburgh Opera's upcoming production of "The Barber of Seville" until after the show is over, at final curtain bows."
Theatre Talkback: From Seat to Stage "To be sure,” begins a frantically comforting passage in a press release for“Hotel Savoy,” the new show from P.S. 122 at the Goethe-Institut, “this is not a performance predicated on traditional audience participation. There is no pressure for visitors to perform, there is no stage to be thrust upon.”

Stage Technologies Provides Control and Engineering System for Dragone's The House of Dancing Water "Sharks puppeteered by scuba divers, heart-stopping high dives, motorcycle stunts symbolizing time travel, pagodas and boats that emerge from submarine theatre "wings" and 77 performance artists from 18 countries around the world;

MCC Theater Plots Revenge for ‘Carrie’ "Hide the pigs, cancel the prom and dust off your anecdotes about one of Broadway’s most notorious flops. The musical “Carrie” is looking for sweet revenge on the New York stage.

WTC Arts Center Gets Funding Boost "The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is poised to allocate at least $100 million in Federal funds to a future performing arts center at the World Trade Center site. On Wednesday, a committee of the LMDC recommended that the new arts venue receive a portion of
Will Paramount Be Liable for a 'Transformers 3' Stunt Gone Bad? "The "Transformers 3" extra who suffered brain damage in a botched stunt on location in Indiana has now sued Paramount Pictures for negligence. Is the studio responsible for what was clearly a terrible accident?
AFTRA Member Accused of Running SAGWatch "SAGWatch is in the crosshairs.The anonymously run website, which has long been an aggregator of news about SAG, AFTRA and other Hollywood unions, has also long come under fire by some members of SAG's MembershipFirst faction, who criticize the site for its pro-merger and anti-MembershipFirst stance.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Denise Summerford, Tommar Wilson and More Are In Transit, Opening Oct. 5 Off-Broadway "The Primary Stages production of the new a cappella musical In Transit, in which seven actors play a multitude of roles, officially opens Oct. 5 following previews that began Sept. 21 at 59E59 Theaters.

Presidential seal falls off lectern during Obama speech

Washington Post: "The presidential seal falls off President Obama's lectern and clatters to the stage as Obama delivers a speech to a women's conference. 'All of you know who I am,' the president quipped.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Manager Greg Quinlan to leave City Theatre

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "After five years as managing director at City Theatre, Greg Quinlan will be leave the position later this month.
Mark Power, a marketing consultant who served as managing director at Pittsburgh Public Theater from March 2006 until July 2007, will succeed Quinlan on an interim basis while City Theatre undertakes a formal search to fill the position.

Connection with audiences surprised 'Always' actors

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Mountain Playhouse will close its season with the songs and stories of Patsy Cline in 'Always ... Patsy Cline,' the theater's most popular show in the last 20 years.
The show centers around the true story of Houston housewife Louise Seger, who was a huge fan of Cline's. When Seger met the famous performer on one of Cline's tours in 1961, the two became pen pals and ultimately, very close friends.

Sister Act The Musical Will Open at the Broadway Theatre in April 2011 "Based on the 1992 film of the same title, Sister Act The Musical will begin previews March 24, 2011. The musical is currently in its second year at London's Palladium Theatre, where it will conclude Oct. 30. Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment produce the musical.

Apollo 13: Mission Control, an interactive theatrical event

Boing Boing: "The Imaginary Foundation blog points us to Apollo 13: Mission Control, an interactive performance where an entire theater is transformed into NASA's mission control room during the historic, nail-biting 1970 flight that the space agency deemed 'a successful failure.' If you're in Nelson, New Zealand, you can catch the performance later this month during the Nelson Arts Festival.

Debit cards replacing credit cards on college campuses

Washington Post: "This is not a credit card offer. Instead, it is a new type of plastic that allows students to easily access money from their college loans everywhere from the bookstore to the bar with the swipe of a card. These cards, however, are not subject to the sweeping reforms that took effect this year and sought to curtail similar relationships between colleges and credit card issuers. Meanwhile, students complain that the loan cards are riddled with high fees, and they have organized protests at several campuses.

Aristotle didn't know anything about theatre "I have a problem with Aristotle. Not the Aristotle who pondered being, politics, or ethics, but the Aristotle who, in the wake of Greek tragedy, tried to nail what made those great plays so great. His Poetics is a fragment of preserved lecture notes, part of a wider riposte to Plato's attack on the poets (perhaps it should be pinged over to Jeremy Hunt pretty damn quick). But it's less the real-life Greek I'm bothered about; it's what we continue to make of him.

Enter theatre women: stages left, right and centre

The Australian: "A year after theatre-makers complained about the dearth of opportunities for female directors in the nation's major theatre companies, the trend has been thoroughly reversed.
Actors turned directors Robyn Nevin, Pamela Rabe, Jennifer Flowers and Rachael Maza Long will direct on Sydney and Melbourne stages next year. And more than half a dozen others will make their mainstage debuts.

Barrymore Award Winners Announced

Backstage: "The 16th annual Barrymore Awards, which recognize excellence in Philadelphia-area theater, were presented Monday at the city's Walnut Street Theatre by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Drama students take us to the circus

The Tartan Online: "This past weekend, the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama staged its opening production of Leonid Andreyev’s He Who Gets Slapped, a Russian screenplay that was published in English in 1922 and made into a film directed by Victor Sjöström in 1924.

Stage preview: Public's 'Family' pokes fun at celebrity

Post Gazette: "Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman were old Broadway hands when their collaboration, 'The Royal Family,' opened in New York Dec. 28, 1927.
The previous night Ferber watched the musical version of her novel, 'Show Boat,' open to great acclaim while Kaufman managed to be both the drama editor of The New York Times and the co-author of a handful of plays written previously with fellow Western Pennsylvanian, Marc Connelly.