CMU School of Drama

Friday, December 31, 2010

First Night highlights

post-gazette.com: "Sports and arts will share the spotlight at this year's First Night Pittsburgh celebration. In honor of the NHL Winter Classic on Saturday at Heinz Field, some of the approximately 150 events taking place at more than 40 locations throughout the Downtown Cultural District will be iced with a hockey theme. (Today)

An insider's look at 2011 Rose Parade float decorating

themeparkinsider.com: "So, I guess my hometown of Pasadena, California is known for something else, besides being the home of Theme Park Insider.

The Need For Sustainable Lighting Design for the Performing Arts

iSquint.net: "If you’ve ever been to a Broadway show, sustainability might not be the first thing that springs to mind as you watch the literally hundreds of lights burning anywhere from 300 to 2000w a piece to create spectacular effects all visible from the back of the balcony.

Exposing The False Sanctity Of 'Intellectual Property'

Techdirt.com: "The phrase 'intellectual property' is a devastatingly effective meme; it really sticks in the head. It's power mainly comes from the sacred word 'property,' qualified by the less-sacred but nonetheless powerful word 'intellectual.' As William Patry wrote in Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cirque du Soleil 3D Movie

CirqueduSoleil.com: "Cirque du Soleil, James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar), and Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Chronicles of Narnia), in association with Reel FX Entertainment, announce today a partnership designed to develop and produce immersive theatrical 3D projects inspired by the unique creative universe of Cirque du Soleil.

Best of Technology in the Arts 2010

Technology in the Arts: "As we move into 2011, it’s time to take a look back at my favorite articles and podcast episodes from Technology in the Arts in 2010.

We're making the lists...

Berkeley Rep Blog: "…the year-end lists, that is! We’re stoked that several of our shows appeared on theatre journalists’ best of 2010 lists.

The Most Memorable Theatre Moments of 2010

Playbill.com: "Every year, Playbill asks our friends in the community — actors, producers, directors, playwrights, journalists and readers — to tell us their favorite theatre moment of the year. 2010 was an especially interesting year.

Opera's NYE celebration runs the musical gamut

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Memories not forgotten will fill Pittsburgh Opera's New Year's Eve celebration on Friday, which is a sequel to last year's 'Auld Lang Syne' concert. It is a gala that also includes a dinner and post-concert party. Less expensive tickets are available for the concert alone, or for the concert and party.

Year-End Resume Reflections

CollegeSurfing Insider: "After the presents are opened, the wrapping paper is recycled, and the Christmas tree is on the curb, grab a glass of eggnog and take advantage of the downtime to reflect on 2010. What’s happened in your life this year? Has it been a year for the history books, or one better forgotten?

PHOTO CALL: First Look at Dracula, with Michel Altieri, Emily Bridges and George Hearn

Playbill.com: "Dracula, Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston's 1927 stage adaptation of Bram Stoker's gothic horror novel, starring Michel Altieri, Emily Bridges and Tony Award-winning actor George Hearn, plays the Little Shubert Theatre

What Was Your Favorite Theatre Moment of 2010? We Asked, You Told Us

Playbill.com: "Every year, Playbill asks its friends in the community — actors, producers, directors, playwrights, journalists and readers — to share a favorite theatre moment of the year.

Natalie Mendoza Departs Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark

Playbill.com: "It's official. Natalie Mendoza, who was injured during the first preview of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, has left the $65 million production permanently.

Resurrected Pop Icon Teresa Teng Gives Voice to Criticism of China

WSJ.com: "A new Chinese-produced musical set to open Friday in Hong Kong is poised to become an all-singing, all- dancing test of China's sensitivity to criticism. Wrapped within Broadway-style production values, the show holds a mirror to the country's social problems and is centered around an Asian pop icon formerly banned in China. While speech freedoms are protected in the former British enclave, the real test will come when the show tours the mainland this spring.

Is "Spider-Man" hurting the theater?

The Denver Post: "Actors are expected to suffer for their art. But three fractured vertebrae, a hairline skull fracture, a broken scapula, four broken ribs and a bruised lung? Just to bring 'Spider-Man' to the stage?

Kennedy Center and others should take note of Lincoln Center redesign

washingtonpost.com: "The vast majority of the redesign and rebuilding of New York's Lincoln Center is now finished. And even on a blustery winter day, the 16-acre arts center, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009, is looking livelier, smarter, hipper and more inviting - it is a change that should be studied closely not just by the Kennedy Center and Washington's public art institutions, but by anyone who cares about the peculiar freedoms of urban life.

Rupert Everett: I Never Got a Job in Hollywood After Coming Out

backstage.com: "Rupert Everett spoke to the UK's BBC's Radio 4 about his views on Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general, discussing what happened to his career following his announcement that he is gay. He also took a shot at Jennifer Aniston and straight actors playing homosexual characters.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shedding a little light on 'Spider-Man'

Newsday: "Clearly, the pressure is on to compete with arena rock, the Spidey movies and video games, without alienating the comic-book cognoscenti and mainstream Broadway audience. The show also must be safe, without losing the thrill of dangerous abandon. Can this be done? The whole world - no kidding - is watching.

Spidey Flails in Taymor’s Tale of Spider Woman

Bloomberg: "I was attending “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” the $65- million show that has been previewing for a month and is expecting critics to wait until Feb. 7 before weighing in. This, while asking full price for tickets (my orchestra seat cost $292.50 and it wasn’t from a scalper) and having begun performances before a complete second act had even been written.

10 Ways to Increase Your Luck: A Musician's Tips for Freelancers

freelancewitch.com: "However, Cutler adds, “[T]here seems to be a science to getting lucky.” He offers 10 suggestions for increasing your luck. I think that they apply very well to freelancers:

They're already in the seats, I bet some would stay.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "I was just thinking about my days of doing dinner theater in Baltimore (pre-The Wire). Every once in a while we used to do these things called 'Post-Shows'. The cast would put together a variety show of some sort, with ensemble members getting a chance to sing solos, character men and women doing sketch comedy, etc. They were a blast. And they audience loved them.

When nothing is happening

props.eric-hart.com: "It happens. It’s rare, but it happens. You get to work or your studio, and nothing is happening. You have no upcoming projects, the phone isn’t ringing, your emails are all answered, and you have no meetings. It is especially prevalent this time of the year, when half the country seems to be out of town or hunkered down in their homes for the holidays. You can spend all day watching Netflix, or you can take advantage of the downtime with some things you never have time for but which will improve your shop and skills in the long run. Here are some of my favorites.

Gantt, PERT, or Task Calendar: Which Scheduling Model is Best for Your Project?

gigaom.com: "With a new year comes new projects, and with new projects comes plans to execute them. These plans may work — or not. The key is to find the right model, or combination of models, that can help you schedule your projects more effectively. Here are three of the more common models.

Disney World Deploys Massive Underground Lair To Combat Lines

The Consumerist: "Disney has developed a new subterranean nerve center to combat lines as they happen. Pirates of the Caribbean too slow? Launch more boats and deploy a Jack Sparrow actor to distract customers. Fantasyland overflowing but Tomorrowland bare? Send out a mini-parade to lure guests over. Sounds like the basis for a fun new real-time strategy game.

The Development of Scenic Spectacle

Technical Direction Tidbits: "Occasionally, I come across something, a site, technique or product that I know to be really great, and realize that I haven't passed it on yet, here on my blog. As I try to use this both to help others from reinventing wheels that have previously been invented and improved upon, and as a depository of ideas, I need to pass on Dr. Frank Mohler's site The Development of Scenic Spectacle. I have been referring to the site on and off for years after discovering it in grad school doing research. On the site there are animated models of how historic rigging / automation worked from the 16th, 17th, and 18th century. The site also has a great bibliography. Check it out - you won't be disappointed.

There is positive job-market news for college grads

post-gazette.com: "If there's only one job for a prospective college graduate in this sluggish economy, Justin Stadelmyer intends to land it.

Ballroom dance show stepping into town

Post-Gazette.com: "Dance Preview: Hot off his seventh gig with ABC's 'Dancing With The Stars' -- and his third-place finish with partner Bristol Palin -- ballroom dancer Mark Ballas isn't taking a break. Instead, he's hitting the road for a three-city engagement with the ballroom stage show 'Burn the Floor,' which tangos into Pittsburgh today for a six-day run at Heinz Hall, Downtown. 'It's amazing to watch. (Yesterday)

Spider-Man Spokesperson Reacts to Early Observations/Reviews

Playbill.com: "Over the holiday weekend, both Linda Winer of Newsday and Jeremy Gerard of Bloomberg News offered informal reviews of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, rather than waiting until after the show officially opens, a customary rule among Broadway theatre critics.

Julie Taymor Withdraws from New York Times Forum

Playbill.com: "Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor, who is currently in previews with the new Broadway musical Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, has withdrawn from a Jan. 8 public forum that was scheduled to be part of The New York Times Arts & Leisure weekend.

Arcadia Revival, With Billy Crudup, Raúl Esparza, Margaret Colin, to Arrive on Broadway in February

Playbill.com: "Tony Award winner Billy Crudup, Raúl Esparza and Margaret Colin will star in the Broadway revival of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, which will begin performances Feb. 25, 2011, at the Barrymore Theatre, according to the official website for the production.

'Burn the Floor' is slickly presented, high-spirited entertainment

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Whether you're a regular follower of 'Dancing with the Stars,' a fan of contemporary dance or someone looking to inject a little personal style into her foxtrot, 'Burn the Floor' should put a spring in your step. A presentation of PNC Broadway Across America Pittsburgh that plays through Sunday at Heinz Hall, Downtown, 'Burn the Floor' is a slickly presented, high-spirited entertainment that showcases the moves and styles of ballroom dancers.

Despite Snow, the Show Must Go On for Playbill Magazine, Too

NYTimes.com: "Theatergoers at Tuesday night’s performance of “Billy Elliot: The Musical” need not fear they will be unable to identify which young actor is performing the title character, and audience members at “Mamma Mia!” will know exactly when in Act I they can expect to hear “Dancing Queen”: the Playbills for these Broadway productions and others will be delivered today, said Blake Ross, the editor of Playbill magazine, despite a snowstorm-related impasse at the production plant where the magazines are printed.

'Hangover Part II' Stuntman Severely Injured in Set Car Crash

backstage.com: "An Australian stunt driver has been hospitalized in Thailand after a film-related crash left him severely injured while shooting 'The Hangover Part II'.

Injured Lead Actress Leaves Broadway's 'Spider-Man'

backstage.com: "'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' has hit another snag: Natalie Mendoza, one of the lead actresses who suffered a concussion last month during the production's first preview performance, is leaving.

Angry Reaction as Theater Critics Cross the Line on 'Spider-Man'

backstage.com: "This past weekend theater insiders were surprised when two critics, Jeremy Gerard of Bloomberg News and Linda Winer of Newsday, crossed an unspoken line and published their takes on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, more than five weeks before opening night on February 7th.

Pirates! Superheroes! Krekorians!

backstage.com: "Here's a look back at Back Stage's top 10 memories:

Monday, December 27, 2010

Despite Snow, Broadway Shows Will Go On

NYTimes.com: "Broadway producers rarely cancel performances because of snow, and Sunday’s storm seems no exception. So far all Broadway matinees will go on, according to the Broadway League, a trade group of theater producers and owners. Several productions added Sunday evening shows for this weekend to try to capture some holiday tourist dollars, and so far those performances are also a go, even though snowfall is expected to be quite heavy by Sunday night.

Pull Wire With Your Drill

Toolmonger.com: "Think of your aching muscles after pulling wire all day long. Rather than put up with that pain again, you could buy a tool made for the job: Hook the Power Pull-it up to your drill and let it do the pulling for you.

A Quest to Explain What Grades Really Mean

Post-Gazette.com: "It could be a Zen koan: if everybody in the class gets an A, what does an A mean?

Spider-Man Actor Walking Again After Back Surgery

backstage.com: "The stunt actor who fell 30 feet while playing Spider-Man on Broadway is walking again, and his father said Saturday that he can't wait to return to the role despite injuries that have him confined to the intensive care unit.

Shakespeare's Globe may be rebuilt

The Independent: "A replica Jacobean theatre at Shakespeare's Globe may have to be rebuilt after its design was discovered to date from 50 years after Shakespeare died.

Give our (dis)regards to Broadway - How the six biggest stage flops in town met their terrible demise

NYPOST.com: "Could this be the beginning of the end for the superhero musical? If it does, it wouldn’t be the first Broadway bomb, but it would be the most expensive in history, as the production has cost $65 million to date. Take a look at other magnificent duds on the Great White Way, and the moments when all was lost.

Quality was the hallmark of Pittsburgh theater in 2010

Post-Gazette.com: "Even so, a survey of the 2010 theater year suggests that the quality of our dozen professional companies, plus semi-pro and university groups, stayed high. There are plenty of contenders for the Post-Gazette's annual Top 10 theater list, a tradition started by then-theater editor George Anderson in the 1970s.

Jane Vranish picks the year's best in dance

Post-Gazette.com: "Despite a painful economy, a surprising burst of creativity erupted from Pittsburgh's small dance organizations this year. The best performances drew you into another world and seemed to suspend time amid mesmerizing concepts, from the temples of India to the world of video games to the time-torn story of an American writer. It was almost too close to call, but here goes:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Movie Studios' Big 3D Scam

Gizmodo.com: "Are we ready for 3D? As CG supervisor and avid moviegoer, I'm sad to say that I'm not convinced we are. Yet. And the worse is yet to come, as studios try to milk us all for these half-baked goods.

Winning things: plays on stages and in boxes

The Means of Production: "Campus is quiet and covered with snow, but the playwrights of Carnegie Mellon are busy winning things.

Writers Guild inks bargaining goals for upcoming contract talks

Los Angeles Times: "The union representing Hollywood's writers is beginning to script its upcoming contract negotiations with the major studios.

Technical Direction Tidbits: Nuts and Bolt Resources

tdtidbits.com: "A few resources I came across looking for 'the perfect fastener' for a recent product. None of these places are bolt suppliers - but one search lead to another on google, and here we are with some useful terminology and information.

A Hot Wire With A Different Bent

Toolmonger.com: "Generally you use a hot wire cutter to make flat profile cuts through foam. With Proxxon’s new ThermoCut 12/E, you’re not just stuck with a boring straight profile — you can bend the wire to cut almost any profile you can imagine.

Scenes From 2010 - Talking Points From a Year Onstage

NYTimes.com: "THE full-time critics’ Top 10 lists are settled, and Tony nominations are months away. But the slowest time of the theater year gives other reviewers, writers and editors for The New York Times the chance to recall some of the more offbeat highlights of 2010 — and to look well beyond the confines of Broadway, where plenty of the limelight shines already. Here are moments we won’t soon forget:

Ben Brantley’s Top 10 of 2010

NYTimes.com: "'At times 2010 seemed intent on recapping everything that has been least appealing about New York theater in the first decade of the 21st century,' Ben Brantley writes in his look at the year in theater. 'In the meantime let's be grateful that this year of creative drought still provided enough bounty to allow this critic to count to 10.'

'Spider-Man' Returns, Safely, to Broadway Stage

backstage.com: "'Spider-Man' returned safely to the Broadway stage with a mishap-free performance on Thursday night, restoring confidence in the show's ability to protect the health of its cast but not, perhaps, its financial future.

'Law & Order: SVU' Actor's Manager Accused of Fraud

backstage.com: "A star of the TV series 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' is getting her own taste of law and order — in real life.

Film Producer Sues Over 'Black Swan'

backstage.com: "A New York film production company has sued its former president, claiming 'gross lapses in judgment' cost the company millions of dollars in lost revenue and a producer credit on the movie 'Black Swan.'

WGA Sends Out 'Pattern of Demands' Seeking Contract Improvements

backstage.com: "The WGA signaled Wednesday that its 2011 studio contract negotiations, still unscheduled, might not be easy, releasing a proposed 'Pattern of Demands' of ambitious scope. The document was sent to members today, with a return date of Jan. 24.

'Burn the Floor' dancers make traditional unconventional

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'Burn the Floor' arrives Tuesday to inject a little sizzle, steam and spectacle into the post-Christmas doldrums.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spider-Man’s public speaking problem, and the theatre community’s perception.

BackstageJobs.com: ..."Human error was likely regardless of the root cause. If the cable broke: it wasn’t inspected correctly. If the clip released: it wasn’t attached correctly, or it wasn’t tensioned properly: allowing it to release during slack moments. If the cable slipped from it’s connection to the clip: it wasn’t built correctly or inspected correctly....

'Spider-Man' Will Resume Performances Wednesday

backstage.com: "'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' will resume preview performances Wednesday evening, producers announced today. Wednesday's matinee has been cancelled and rescheduled in the wake of an accident that halted Monday night's performance and sent one actor to the hospital.

From parking lot to full-sized rink in just a few days

post-gazette.com: "Tailgaters were still nursing the pain of the Steelers' loss in the Stage AE parking lot late Sunday night when the crew from Rink Specialists arrived. 'At 10:30, there were still tailgaters out here,' said Benn Breton, owner of the company that builds temporary skating rinks from scratch. 'We kicked everyone out and got started around 11.' Around 12 hours later, the parking lot was barely visible. Surrounded by trucks and other equipment was the giant sandbox used to make a level foundation for the Winter Classic Community Rink.

peter kis atelier: the great rock - budapest zoo

designboom.comc: "hungary-based architecture firm atelier peter kis is renovating 'the great rock'at the budapest zoo, an artificial land mass designed to mimic the natural habitats of the animals on display. originally built in 1909, the 40 m high hills feature an internal space of 38,850 m3. the design includes the reworking of this cave-like area in to an exhibition space for cultural programs, events and conferences.

Don’t depend on your patrons or ushers to know what to do during a fire alarm.

backstagejobs.com: "The Dodge Theatre (now the Comerica Theatre) in Phoenix, AZ had its fire alarm activated in July of 2008. What should have resulted was a full evacuation of patrons from the building. Instead, few patrons exited, none were told to evacuate, and those that exited were asked to return, with the alarms still going off.

Tom's Planner Dinner Chart Plans Out Your Day for Holiday Cooking

lifehacker.com: "Holiday cooking can be pretty stressful, especially when your dishes require you to start early in the day. Make it easier on yourself by planning out your day of cooking with these holiday Gantt Charts from Tom's Planner.

Law Professor Explains How Even When A Site Copies An Entire Article, It May Still Be Fair Use

Techdirt: "Berkeley law professor Jason Schultz has filed an excellent amicus brief in one of the many Righthaven lawsuits, pointing out that using an entire article does not preclude fair use (pdf), and then going on to explain why the use of an entire article in this particular case (which Righthaven brought against the Center for Intercultural Organizing) was almost certainly fair use. Basically, Righthaven has taken the approach that if an entire article is being used, then there can be no fair use.

Theatre Safety: Rigging Schools set-up for Q1 2011

theatresafetyblog.blogspot.com: "Columbus-McKinnon Entertainment Technology division (CMET) has scheduled two schools for rigging training at the Cirque de Soleil Training Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Top 10 Most Performed Plays & Musicals in High Schools

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE Ken Davenport, Broadway Producer, Off-Broadway, Theater : The Top 10 Most Performed Plays & Musicals in High Schools: "Every year, the folks at the Educational Theatre Association publish a list of the most performed plays and musicals in high schools around the country. Here's what drama clubs were up to this year:

Cherry Lane Theater Artistic Director to Leave and Sell Building

NYTimes.com: "Angelina Fiordellisi, the artistic director of the nonprofit Cherry Lane Theater, a Greenwich Village institution since 1924, will step down next year, she said on Tuesday. She said that she plans to sell the building, at 38 Commerce Street, and that constant financial struggles in recent years and the changing nature of the business had led to her decision.

Al Pacino's 'Merchant' Extends on Broadway

Backstage.com: "'The Merchant of Venice' will extend its Broadway run, the Public Theater announced Monday.

‘Three Pianos’ at New York Theater Workshop

NYTimes.com: "Perhaps your house, like many, has an upright piano in it that doesn’t get a lot of use anymore — the children are grown and gone, or the ol’ hands have a touch of arthritis, or no one ever really learned to play the danged thing in the first place. And perhaps you’re moderately annoyed every time you look across the room and see the inactive beast — essentially, a 700-pound, $3,000 picture-frame holder. But that’s because you haven’t been to “Three Pianos” at New York Theater Workshop. One revelation of this wacky assault on Franz Schubert’s “Winterreise,” created and performed by Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy and Dave Malloy, is that the upright piano is a much more versatile piece of furniture than most of us realize.

Actor Injured in Fall During 'Spider-Man' Performance

NYTimes.com: "After an actor performing in the Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” was injured during a performance Monday night, the show will postpone its scheduled matinee on Wednesday and resume performances on Wednesday night, according to a statement from a spokesman for the production. The actor, Christopher Tierney, was said to be in serious condition at Bellevue Hospital Center on Tuesday. Patrick Healy has more here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Spider-Man Musical Needs to Call It Quits

Gawker: "If every flying element worked pretty much perfectly, as it did when I saw it, the show is still one of the worst things, if not the worst, I've ever seen on Broadway.

Equity Update: SPIDER-MAN Performances to Be Halted 2010/12/21

Broadway World: "Actors Equity has released an updated statement which reads 'Actors' Equity Association is working with management and the Department of Labor to ensure that performances will not resume until back-up safety measures are in place.'

Job

College Laboratory Technician/Technical Director/Shop Foreman

The Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance, Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY) seeks a College Laboratory Technician for a Technical Director/Shop Foreman, for a full-time position starting in the Fall 2011 semester. Responsibilities include the building and supervision of wood and metal construction of scenery and rigging for Queens College productions including the set-up and movement of sets, props and all scenic elements, maintenance of scene shop, stages and equipment; supervision of student crews; co-ordination of construction planning with the production manager and a knowledge of drafting and mechanics.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: High School Diploma with a minimum of four years' related experience. Additional education may be used to meet the experience requirement: an Associate degree may be substituted for two years experience, and a Bachelor's degree may be substituted for four years experience.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Hand and CAD drafting skills. Knowledge of Word, Excel and Vectorworks.

Salary Range:: $36,795 - $54,848

CUNY offers a comprehensive benefits package.

How to Apply: To apply, please log on to www.cuny.edu. Navigate to Employment, click on application for employment, and then log into the applicant tracking program Job Postings on CUNY First. Current users of the site should access their established accounts; new users should click on the appropriate link to register. Applications should be submitted through CUNYFirst. Applicants must attach a cover letter, and resume, and list three professional references. Resume, cover letter, and three references must be uploaded as a single document. Please follow instructions under "How to Apply Online."

Applications must be received by closing date January 22, 2011

The City University of New York is an Equal Opportunity Employer which complies with all applicable laws and regulations, and encourages inclusive excellence in its employment practices.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Spidey spins epic technical challenge

Variety: "Amid all the schadenfreude over the huge budget and technical woes that have delayed 'Spider-Man' in its long evolution, one critical fact seems to have been lost: The show, for better or worse, represents a new Broadway model, one that aims to marry legit musicals with the scale of arena rock shows, the spectacle of digital visual effects and the pacing of action films.

A Heroic Feat: With New Date for Opening, ‘Spider-Man’ Could Set Previews Record

NYTimes.com: "The Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” will delay its opening night by four weeks, until Monday, Feb. 7, to provide more time for its creators — the director Julie Taymor and U2’s Bono and the Edge — to make changes in the $65 million show before theater critics review it, the lead producer announced on Friday. As a result, the musical will now have a total of 10 weeks of preview performances, one of the longest stretches in Broadway history.

After quitting his day job in a "leap of faith," theatrical director and producer Mark Clayton Southers is hired by the August Wilson Center. 

Pittsburgh City Paper: "Dec. 1 was Mark Southers' first day on the job -- the first one of those he's had in 19 years. The new gig, as head of theater initiatives for the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, was a surprise twist in the script of his busy life.

Christmas favorite returns to CLO

The Pitt News: "Pittsburgh CLO presents its 19th installment of “A Musical Christmas Carol” this month, with most of its cast returning to take on new characters or reprise old ones. Actor Tom Atkins, for example, will reassume his role as Scrooge.

She Loves Me - On Stage

Pittsburgh City Paper: "That's what the voices in my head were saying as I watched Point Park University's production of She Loves Me, the 1963 musical with a book by Joe Masteroff, and a score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick.

Second City summons 50 years of political satire

The Pitt News: "The Second City — the Chicago improv troupe that gave rise to comedy bigwigs like Tina Fey, Steve Carell and Bill Murray — has put together a collection of new and old sketches that cast member Tim Stoltenberg believes are timeless in their ability to poke fun at America’s leaders.

Earn Your "MBA"

Actors' Equity Association President: "I was talking to a fellow yesterday in the Big House - no, not Sing-Sing (the Feds haven't caught me yet), but rather the University of Michigan football stadium. He was explaining how Michigan was using folks from the theatre department to teach business students how to present themselves more effectively ('The Bard in the Boardroom,' etc.) Great, I said, but let's also see the converse: I want the business students and faculty to train and coach theatre majors how to market themselves and become more business-savvy.

Union Plus Scholarship Apps Available

Actors' Equity Association: "Applications for the 2011 Union Plus Scholarship Program, which grants scholarship awards to union members, their spouses and dependents, are now available. The application deadline is January 30, 2011.

Best of 2010: Theater

Latimes.com: "The word 'decline' has cast a dark shadow over more than just America's prosperity. The theater has been in a downward slope since the recession, and only those with their head in the sand could overlook the plummeting number of theatrical offerings, the fall off in institutional ambition, the degeneration of book musicals and the eroded ability of the art form to mirror its own contemporary moment.

Brad Ellis: 'Glee's' Piano Man, Perfectly Happy With The Silent Treatment

NPR: "Call some professional pianists 'accompanists,' and they may bristle as if you've just asked them to play 'Chopsticks.' Not Brad Ellis. 'Accompanist' is his official title as the house pianist on Fox TV's musical comedy Glee — and he's proud of the gig.

Stephen Sondheim Talks To Frank Rich About 'Glee' And What's Next

NPR: "Last night, as part of The New York Times’ Times Talk series, Frank Rich sat down for a public, ninety minute chat with Stephen Sondheim.

Broadway's Shuttered 'Scottsboro,' Others May Get Another Op'nin' In Hollywood

NPR: "When the producers of The Scottsboro Boys announced that the Broadway musical would be closing abruptly on Dec. 12, fans reacted with something close to grief. More than 800 joined a Facebook page dedicated to keeping the show alive.

A play is only part of the production

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For many theatergoers, the words play and production are interchangeable.

Musicals from movies, TV, history try to find footing on slippery Broadway

Seattle Times Newspaper: "These days there are two starkly different Broadways. . .The other Broadway? The one with the new musicals and modern plays? It is in a Grinch-worthy slump.

Online Anonymity (and Personal Reinvention) in Decline

NYTimes.com: "But the experience raised a question I haven’t been able to shake. As digital identities become increasingly persistent across the Web, is it still possible to reinvent oneself online?

Friday, December 17, 2010

World's Least Surprising News: Spider-Man Musical Delayed Again

Topless Robot: "'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' its delaying its opening a third time, moving the official debut of Broadway's most expensive musical from Jan. 11 to sometime in February so the creative team can work on the ending and other issues, a production source said Thursday.

St. Vincent offers a different take on 'Wonderful Life'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "At most live productions, after the lights go down, the audience has nothing to do but sit back and watch the show. Such is not the case for those who go to see 'It's A Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play.' The St. Vincent Summer Theatre is performing the show at the Performing Arts Center on the campus near Latrobe.

Donor of the Day: Jeramy Zimmerman

WSJ.com: A Brooklyn choreographer is launching a new contemporary dance festival for which she's asking participants and fans to raise funds. "It's part of a movement to get artists comfortable asking people to donate money and fund-raising for projects instead of just waiting for a big patron or government grant."

News: New Measures of Scholarly Impact

Inside Higher Ed: "Higher education might be a high-end marketplace of ideas, but its mechanisms for taking inventory for that marketplace have been, until recently, relatively basic. The method for measuring the influence of journals and authors by counting the number of times their articles are cited by other articles — called the “impact factor” — has hardly changed since 1955

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Entertainment Law Update

Firemark.com: "TOP ENTERTAINMENT LAW STORIES OF 2010

ESTA Host 2nd Annual Control Protocol PlugFest January 2011

iSquint.net: "It’s times like these that I wish I lived in the lone star state! ESTA’s Technical Standards Program is holding their second annual Control Protocol PlugFest in Westlake Texas on January 21st and 22nd.

Writers on E! and other Comcast cable networks vote for guild representation

Los Angeles Times: "The labor dispute between the Writers Guild of America, West and Comcast Corp. escalated Wednesday when the guild announced that a majority of writers who work on the cable networks E!, Style and G4 voted to be represented by the union.

Where Star Wars Got Its Pew-Pew

Gizmodo: "For anyone who's ever taken the a stormtrooper's laser blasts or the roar of the Millennium Falcon's engine for granted, you should watch this immediately.

Avoid These Overused Phrases to Make Your Resume Stand Out

LifeHacker: "We've shown you a few phrases to avoid to keep your resume relevant, and this week business networking site LinkedIn totaled up the 10 most overused buzzwords on their users' profiles.

Quick Takes: Students Found to Lie on Course Evaluations

Inside Higher Ed: "A new study of students at the University of Northern Iowa and Southeastern Oklahoma University has found that about one-third of students said that they had been untruthful on faculty evaluations they submit at the end of courses.

LinkedIn Resume Builder Takes the Hassle Out of Updating Your Resume

LifeHacker: "It's difficult enough keeping your resume up-to-date, let alone keeping it in sync with your LinkedIn profile. To help, LinkedIn Labs offers a new way to automate the resume-building process.

ESTA Technical Standards Program CPWG:Wiki

iSquint.net: "Keeping track of industry standards and the development stages of a protocol can be pretty challenging. Especially when our industry has SO MANY unique and individualize standards.

Photoshop Tutorial Rap: Still Surprisingly Instructive!

Gizmodo: "When you watch a video called 'Photoshop Tutorial Rap,' you generally come for the laughs. But there are actually some pretty good tips here!

Don’t surprise your crew

BackstageJobs.com: "Theatre is full of surprises. Skipped lines, broken props, and torn costumes. Also blown stage lamps, sudden microphone feedback, and late actor entrances.

How to Quote Projects for Work You’ve Never Done

FreelanceFolder: "Even when we list out our services on our portfolios, you’ll always get quote requests for something you’ve never done before.

'Spider-Man' Opening Delayed Yet Again

NYTimes.com: "The lead producers of the new Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” have decided again to delay its opening night, now scheduled for Jan. 11, until sometime in February, two people involved with the musical said on Thursday. With preview performances now under way the delay is intended to provide more time for the creators to stage a new final number, make further rewrites to the dialogue and consider adding and cutting scenes and perhaps inserting new music from the composers, U2’s Bono and the Edge, who will resume working full-time on the show in late December.

Review: 'She Loves Me' an old-fashioned romance musical

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Although it's set in Hungary, the Pittsburgh Playhouse Conservatory Theatre Company's production of the musical 'She Loves Me' is a veritable Viennese pastry of an old-fashioned romantic musical.

Theatrical battle takes centre stage in Moscow

The Independent: "The Helikon is a Moscow opera theatre, an elegant, pastel-green mansion dating back to the 18th century in the very heart of the city. As might be expected of an opera house, it exudes dignity and grandeur – or at least it did until it was covered up in green tarpaulin, and major renovation work started. It is these renovations that have made the theatre the centre of a bitter battle that has divided the Russian capital's artistic community and led the two sides to accuse each other of being vandals and extremists.

'Spider-Man' Economics: Recouping the Broadway Show's Investment

NYTimes.com: "So how long will it take “Spider-Man” to recoup its original investment?

Hugh Jackman Injured on Australian 'Oprah' Set

Backstage.com: "Australian actor Hugh Jackman was injured during the filming of a segment for Oprah Winfrey's Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure on Tuesday, one of two shows scheduled for production in and around the Sydney Opera House.

Thora Birch Fired from Off-Broadway's 'Dracula'

Backstage.com: "The producers of an Off-Broadway production of 'Dracula' fired their star actress, Thora Birch, just four days before opening night, according to The New York Times.

Photo Copying

Backstage.com: "Actors should be aware that there is a rampant but incorrect belief that content posted on the Internet is in the public domain and therefore free for the taking

DGA Sues Film Co. Demanding Health, Pension Contributions

Backstage.com: "The DGA says that Gold Circle Films is delinquent in paying contributions to its health and pension fund and has stonewalled an attempt to audit GCF's books.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Line Up: Rigging Knots and Glimpses of a Master Class

Cool Hunting: "Philippe Petit, the daring performance artist who captured the world's attention when he rigged a tight rope between the World Trade Center's twin towers, is the focus of Clic Gallery's current exhibition 'Line Up: Rigging Knots and Glimpses of a Master Class.' Not only is Petit a incredibly skilled balancing act, but the multi-hyphenate artist is a bullfighter, street juggler, lock-picker and talented sketcher.

Orr makes 'Nutcracker' magical, as usual

Post Gazette: "Some people like to tinker, usually with things that have intricate moving parts, like an automobile or a wind-up clock. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre artistic director Terrence Orr likes to tinker in his own way, but with full-length story ballets. They have moving parts, too. We call them dancers.

'She Loves Me' exudes holiday cheer

Post Gazette: "The operative word for 'She Loves Me' is love. This charmer, staged by the Point Park theater students at the Pittsburgh Playhouse (only through Sunday), is that kind of musical comedy -- sweet and warmhearted, with enough wit to keep the sugar from curdling.

'The Bench' fulfills its promise

Post Gazette: "It looks like Kiesha Lalama-White's 'The Bench,' back for its second and final season at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, will have legs when Point Park University's Conservatory Dance Company production closes its doors this weekend. Ms. Lalama-White, creator and choreographer, will be working with Titus Theatricals LLC, a commercial theater producing entity, to develop the concept beyond Pittsburgh.

PICT'S 'Hobson' is a fine, comic choice

Post Gazette: "The holiday season stage usually presents a Hobson's choice: pleasant, familiar entertainments such as the 'Nutcracker,' 'Christmas Carol' and 'Grinch,' with no alternative. That's what the expression means -- a choice between one thing and nothing.

Review: Cast livens PICT's classic 'Hobson's Choice'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For a play that's nearing its centennial, 'Hobson's Choice' offers a surprisingly lively evening of theater.
Much of the credit goes to the cast of this Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre production, most notably its leads Michael Ball, Derdriu Ring and Simon Bradbury who inject vigor, conviction and good humor into their portrayals.
British playwright Harold Brighouse wrote the play while serving in World War I. It had its first production in 1915.

Review: 'She Loves Me' an old-fashioned romance musical

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Although it's set in Hungary, the Pittsburgh Playhouse Conservatory Theatre Company's production of the musical 'She Loves Me' is a veritable Viennese pastry of an old-fashioned romantic musical.

Review: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre spruces up a holiday classic

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Even established favorite shows can benefit from freshening with new elements. This season, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's production of 'The Nutcracker' -- by its artistic director Terrence S. Orr -- has been spruced up.

Manhattan Theatre Club Names Mandy Greenfield Artistic Producer

Playbill.com: "Mandy Greenfield, Manhattan Theatre Club's associate artistic director, will assume the newly created title of artistic producer in January 2011, artistic director Lynne Meadow and executive producer Barry Grove announced on Dec. 15.

Names on the board!

Berkeley Rep Blog: "In any given season, Berkeley Rep hosts about 75 artists-in-residence for a period ranging from two weeks (the designers, here for tech) to three months (the actors you see on stage, between first rehearsal and final performance). Their schedules are as varied as their jobs, and The Board is how we track them all. Basically, if their name isn’t on The Board, to company management, they don’t exist.

Fire Safety: It’s always a series of problems, not just one.

Backstage at BackstageJobs.com | Life behind the scenes…: "Every major theatre fire, and most minor ones, had multiple failures or circumvention of existing safety devices and laws. From theatre fires 100 years ago to fires in the last 10 years, each one had more than one safety plan/item being ignored or blocked before fire even started. What’s more, too often it assumed that the local laws and existing emergency plans are not flawed. We are assuming everything else will work, when quite frequently it doesn’t.

Downstage Center - Robert Brustein - December, 2010

American Theatre Wing: "Founding artistic director of both the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven and the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Robert Brustein discusses how each of those organizations came into being, including the circumstances surrounding his departure from Yale which led him to take the company to Harvard. He also discusses his early years as an actor, in academia and as a critic; how he managed the dual rules of being the head of an artistic institution as well as a working critic commenting on the work of others - including why he took a hiatus during most of the Yale years but returned to the critical role while at A.R.T.; whether he has any regrets about his debate with August Wilson over the role of African-American plays and theatres; his many books on theatre thus far as well as several coming up; and his recent turn to play writing, with a focus on stories about William Shakespeare.

Theatrical battle takes centre stage in Moscow

The Independent: "The Helikon is a Moscow opera theatre, an elegant, pastel-green mansion dating back to the 18th century in the very heart of the city. As might be expected of an opera house, it exudes dignity and grandeur – or at least it did until it was covered up in green tarpaulin, and major renovation work started. It is these renovations that have made the theatre the centre of a bitter battle that has divided the Russian capital's artistic community and led the two sides to accuse each other of being vandals and extremists.

'Spider-Man' Economics: Recouping the Broadway Show's Investment

NYTimes.com: "So how long will it take “Spider-Man” to recoup its original investment?
When a colleague asked me this question after seeing the show this weekend, I could not resist a chance to meld my two great loves: economics and theater.

Hugh Jackman Injured on Australian 'Oprah' Set

Backstage: "Australian actor Hugh Jackman was injured during the filming of a segment for Oprah Winfrey's Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure on Tuesday, one of two shows scheduled for production in and around the Sydney Opera House.

Photo Copying

Backstage: "'Actors should be aware that there is a rampant but incorrect belief that content posted on the Internet is in the public domain and therefore free for the taking,' said Danielle Van Lier, senior counsel for intellectual property and contracts for the Screen Actors Guild. 'This makes it difficult for individuals to police their content, particularly photographs. There are different types of misappropriation that can occur, ranging from the relatively innocuous to the annoyingly commercial to the blatantly exploitive.'

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

“Going Green in Theatrical Design: Set & Props” Workshop

props.eric-hart.com: "Last Wednesday, I attended a “Going Green in Theatrical Design: Set & Props” Workshop, organized by the Broadway Green Alliance. As you may infer, the BGA is an initiative to spread information on more environmentally-friendly and less wasteful theatre practices. The workshop featured presentations by several people at Showman Fabricators, Donyale Werle, as well as representatives from companies making greener products for building sets and props, including theatre-specific ones like Rosco and Rose Brand. I absorbed a lot of material, much of which deserves their own articles, but I thought I would present a basic summary of most of my notes first.

Monday, December 13, 2010

BVW 2010

Carnegie Mellon University: "t's virtually indescribable. This year's freewheeling showcase of student-built virtual worlds produced by Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) was another crowd-pleaser.

Opera buffs beaming over La Scala premiere

Variety: "When La Scala guest conductor Daniel Barenboim recently raised his baton to start the opening-night perf of Wagner's 'The Valkyrie,' he commanded an aud extending well beyond the famed Milan venue to some 350 movie screens around the world.

Broadway looks ahead

Variety: "It's a bloodbath on Broadway these days. Or is it? Every year around this time, a wave of media outlets checks in with the Main Stem to discover that several shows won't make it past year's end. This year the number of closings approaches 20.

Ballet Theatre spruces up a holiday classic

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Even established favorite shows can benefit from freshening with new elements. This season, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's production of 'The Nutcracker' -- by its artistic director Terrence S. Orr -- has been spruced up.

'She Loves Me'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Although it's set in Hungary, the Pittsburgh Playhouse Conservatory Theatre Company's production of the musical 'She Loves Me' is a veritable Viennese pastry of an old-fashioned romantic musical.

Oscar Presenters to Include Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Marisa Tomei, Oprah Winfrey

Playbill.com: "An initial list of presenters has been announced for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, which will be presented Feb. 27, 2011.

Roof of Chicago’s Skyline Stage destroyed in storm

Backstage at BackstageJobs.com: "The same storm system that caused the roof of the Minneapolis Metrodome to collapse has destroyed the iconic tent canopy roof of Skyline Stage at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

CMU virtual world show lures headhunters to town

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Ian Bowie would seem to have no reason to be nervous this weekend. The 100-hour weeks the 27-year-old level designer from Colorado put in this semester at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center had paid off. Three of the virtual worlds he helped design were included in two presentations Saturday of Building Virtual Worlds.

Snow

Prop Agenda: "Every winter, many performing arts institutions put on some kind of winter or holiday show. From a traditional Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker Suite, to the more modern A Christmas Story and The Santaland Diaries, many of these shows involve snow to some extant.

Theory and practice of queue design

Boing Boing: "Passport to Dreams's FoxxFur continues to write the most fascinating, erudite, insightful material about dark ride and theme-park design I've ever read; her latest post is about the new queue area for the Pooh ride at Walt Disney World, used as a jumping-off point for a fascinating essay on the theory and practice of queue design.

60 AutoCAD Tips in 60 Minutes!

Lynn Allen's Blog: "The AU 2010 Classes are now posted! Those of you who are on Autodesk Subscription, the Autodesk Assistance Program, AU Virtual Premier Pass holders or who attended AU in Las Vegas can view all of the recorded classes.

The Bigelow Effect: The Lack of Clout of Women Directors

Women and Hollywood: "This week the Hollywood Reporter released its list of the 100 most powerful women in Hollywood.

'Peter' sets Off-Broadway cast, creative

Variety: "New York Theater Workshop's Disney-developed production of 'Peter and the Starcatchers' has announced its cast and creative team.

Susan Blackwell, Hunter Bell, Kathleen Chalfant, Judy Kuhn to Offer Vineyard Master Classes

Playbill.com: "The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre will launch a brand-new series, Vineyard Masters — master classes with leading Vineyard Theatre artists — in January.

Pantoland's streets are paved with gold

The Independent: "Its biggest stars pocket tens of thousands of pounds a week, ticket touts lurk outside high-profile fixtures and it is set to appear in the country's largest arenas: welcome, not to football, but to pantomime.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's West End theatre sale collapses

The Stage: "Andrew Lloyd Webber has pulled out of a move to sell four of his West End theatres to a consortium led by former BBC and ITV chairman Michael Grade.

History Is Not Doing Well in New York Theaters

NYTimes.com: "HISTORY is being quickly shuttled off Broadway stages and back into the library stacks this fall, as three new high-aiming, talent-rich shows that delve into the American past for subject matter are playing to sparse audiences.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Broadway's bloody winter brings closings and even dark theaters

post-gazette.com: "Some 20 Broadway shows are likely to close by early February. In January alone, 16 theaters plan to go dark, the most since at least the late 1980s, according to the Broadway League, a trade group.

L.A. Much Ado About Nothing, With Helen Hunt and Lyle Lovett, Opens Dec. 12

Playbill.com: "The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles production of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, starring Academy Award winner Helen Hunt, officially opens at the Kirk Douglas Theatre Dec. 12 following previews that began Dec. 1.

PHOTO CALL: A Christmas Story Musical Opens in Seattle

Playbill.com: "Peter Billingsley, who originated the role of 'Ralphie' in the 1983 film and serves as a producer on the stage adaptation, was on hand for the opening night of A Christmas Story: The Musical! at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre.

A new golden age for theatre?

The Independent: "Even in the tough times, people still want to hear a story, says the Ambassador Theatre Group boss

Opening-night rituals a way to steady nerves, honor legacy

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "On opening night, Pittsburgh Public Theater producing artistic director Ted Pappas always shaves twice. Playwright Amy Hartman heads to church and lights a candle. When he's the director, Alan Stanford visits the lobby bar and orders a large gin and tonic. And, as the house lights dim, music director Douglas Levine quietly whispers 'It's magic time.'

History Is Not Doing Well in New York Theaters

NYTimes.com: "HISTORY is being quickly shuttled off Broadway stages and back into the library stacks this fall, as three new high-aiming, talent-rich shows that delve into the American past for subject matter are playing to sparse audiences. The musicals “The Scottsboro Boys” and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” are closing with unhappy dispatch, despite reviews that range from respectful to ecstatic. And the new John Guare play about the Louisiana Purchase, “A Free Man of Color,” looks likely to eke out its limited run playing to strictly limited houses after sharply dividing the critics. Staged history lessons, it would appear, are about as appealing to Broadway audiences these days as Shakespeare without celebrities.

Actor Roy Billing Honored for Anti-Piracy Work

backstage.com: "Australian actor Roy Billing received the Motion Picture Association Asia-Pacific Copyright Educator Award Thursday evening at CineAsia, in recognition of his contribution in working alongside the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft and raising awareness of the damage caused by copyright theft to the Australian movie and TV industry.

James Cameron, Cirque du Soleil Team Up for Movie

backstage.com: "It seems a natural fit: the movie director behind blockbuster 'Avatar' that changed cinema forever, teaming with Cirque du Soleil, the Canadian performance troupe that gave the circus a whole new meaning, to make a movie.

Two SAG Employees Discharged in Embezzlement Probe

backstage.com: "Possible financial impropriety in SAG’s Residuals Estates and Trust Department has led to the discharge of two employees and an outside investigation that may result in a criminal referral.

SAG Awards Show: By the Numbers

backstage.com: "The Screen Actors Guild on Friday morning announced all the stats from their 17th annual show, to air live from the Shrine Exposition Center on Sun. Jan. 30 on TNT and TBS.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Theater Talkback: The Exploding Art of Set Design

NYTimes.com: "Conversation turned to taxidermy as a couple of friends and I awaited the start of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” the other night. This is not a favorite topic, needless to say, but it sprang naturally to mind because our seats at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater were directly underneath a stuffed horse suspended upside-down from the ceiling of the theater.

When It Comes to Collaboration, Technology Is Overrated

gigaom.com: "Organizations tend to believe in collaboration as a means to make employees more productive and improve the way the institutions work. However, most businesses and vendors selling collaboration tools go about it the wrong way, according to David Coleman, managing director of Collaborative Strategies, speaking at the Net:Work conference held today in San Francisco.

Speaking of Dialect - Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University: "'Don Wadsworth always brings 100 percent commitment to everything he does,' said Matt Bomer (A'00), star of the USA Network's hit series White Collar.

Is Spiderman working without a net (profit) on Broadway

firemark.com: "The Hollywood Reporter reports that the $65 Million production of Spiderman on Broadway will take two or three years running at 100% capacity to recoup its investment.

The President Just Saved You $2,500 in Tuition Costs!

The White House: "The media narrative over the last 2 days has refused to focus on a key component of the President’s tax deal that affects young people – the $2500 American Opportunity Tax Credit for people pursuing a college education. Make no mistake – without the President’s tough negotiations on tax breaks for the wealthy, Republicans would have successfully gotten rid of one of President Obama’s key fulfilled promises to young people: a $2,500 credit for each year of college.

Cirque in 3D?

Cirquefascination.com: "Mike Fleming over at Deadline.com has an exclusive this morning – James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic) and Narnia director Andrew Adamson are shooting a 3D film starring and financed by Cirque du Soleil. Here’s what he has to say.

Quick Takes: Not a Good Way to Pay Your Tuition Bill

Inside Higher Ed: "Five Columbia University students were arrested Tuesday on charges of selling drugs to fellow students, and a prosecutor said that one of the students said he was using some of the profits to pay for his tuition, Bloomberg reported.

TOMCAT Announces 2011 Hoist & Rigging Workshop

iSquint.net: "TOMCAT is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2011 Hoist & Rigging workshops on February 16-19 in Midland, Texas. A team of world-class instructors has been assembled to deliver the Hoist & Truss workshop and the Rigging & Truss workshop. This ETCP recognized training program will provide a unique, hands-on-learning experience for participants interested in receiving both basic and advanced training in their area of specialization: hoist or rigging.

Directors and studios reach deal on a new labor pact

Los Angeles Times: "That didn't take long, but then it rarely does with the directors. The Directors Guild of America and the major studios said Tuesday that they had concluded a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract.

daniel arsham: avalanche

designboom.com: "artist daniel arsham has just completed avalanche, his second collaboration with the merce cunningham dance company.

Universal Studios puts real money into virtual stage

Los Angeles Times: "Virtual reality is settling in at Universal Studios. No, Universal is not opening a new theme park attraction. Instead, the 98-year-old studio is taking a big leap into the future with a giant “virtual stage,” its latest effort to lure more production and postproduction business to its back lot in Universal City and help keep filming in Los Angeles.

Review: Cast livens PICT's classic 'Hobson's Choice'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For a play that's nearing its centennial, 'Hobson's Choice' offers a surprisingly lively evening of theater. Much of the credit goes to the cast of this Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre production, most notably its leads Michael Ball, Derdriu Ring and Simon Bradbury who inject vigor, conviction and good humor into their portrayals.

Personality Test: Prime Stage Theatre's Wayne Brinda

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Wayne Brinda -- the founder and artistic director of Prime Stage Theatre, known for bringing youth literature to life -- divides his time between the theater and his role as assistant professor of secondary education at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, where he spends his weekdays during the school year. A North Hills native, Brinda and his wife, Connie, live in Freedom with their two cats, Conner and Casey.

‘The Tempest’ by Julie Taymor, With Helen Mirren - Review

NYTimes.com: "Messing around with Shakespeare is the bedeviling vice of directors. Saving him from their excesses is the great and noble duty of actors. This tension between extravagantly visionary stage (or screen) craft and disciplined acting may be the story of Shakespeare in our times. It is certainly present in the latest filmed version of “The Tempest,” directed (and also, according to the credits, written) by Julie Taymor.

Theater Talkback: The Exploding Art of Set Design

NYTimes.com: "Conversation turned to taxidermy as a couple of friends and I awaited the start of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” the other night. This is not a favorite topic, needless to say, but it sprang naturally to mind because our seats at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater were directly underneath a stuffed horse suspended upside-down from the ceiling of the theater.

‘My Last Play’ by Ed Schmidt, in His Brooklyn Living Room

NYTimes.com: "TWO years ago Ed Schmidt, a New York playwright, got word that his father was near death in upstate New York. He bundled his family into the car and drove north, explaining to his young children on the way the sad fact that Grandpa might not recognize them when they got there. As it happened, they arrived minutes too late; Willie Schmidt, a former history teacher and camp director, had died, probably as they were parking the car.

Jeremy Hunt outlines plans to boost art donations

BBC: "Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced plans to help boost private funding for arts organisations. The 10-point plan includes an £80 million match-funding scheme to be set up to encourage private donors.

DGA and Studios Reach Tentative Deal

backstage.com: "The DGA and the AMPTP reached a tentative deal after about three weeks of negotiations, but the rest of the town will have to wait a little longer to learn the details: the guild announced only that the details would be disclosed 'once the agreement has been submitted to the Guild's National Board for approval at a special board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 8.'

Lawsuit Claims Film School Overstates Job Opportunities

backstage.com: "A new proposed class action targets the Los Angeles Film School and Los Angeles Recording School for alleged deceptive practices in attracting students by over-promising jobs in the entertainment industry.

MPTF to Survey 200,000 Members Regarding Health Care

backstage.com: "Following recent controversies about its direction, the Motion Picture Television Fund said Wednesday it will survey about 200,000 members of the entertainment industry concerning their future health care needs.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

2011 Student Design Competition

iSquint.net: "That’s right, a student competition, but nothing like what you have seen before. iSquint.net has partnered with Nemetschek Vectorworks, City Theatrical and Field Templates to bring you the 2011 Student Design Competition. If you have a love for lighting, have a current student ID from a college or university and have the drive to design, then have I got a competition for you.

NYC Theatrical Weapons Permit

props.eric-hart.com: "This week, The Great Game is playing. We had to rent a number of guns for the show, including some blank-firing ones. Now, New York City has some of the more strict gun-control laws in the US, and even blank-firing replica firearms require a “theatrical weapons permit” to rent and transport to the theatre. We’ve had a bit of turn-over in our production staff since the last time we had a show with such guns, and it turned out none of us were currently licensed. So I volunteered to be the one to bare my personal life and barter my soul to the New York City Police Department in exchange for permission to make a sound effect from a replica firearm.

Hollywood stars align for Cirque du Soleil's Guy Laliberte

Los Angeles Times: "With 'Iris' set for a summer debut at Kodak Theatre and a New York production in the works, Cirque creator Laliberté has cemented his influence worldwide. Not bad for a one-time street performer.

Will George Lucas resurrect dead actors on film to make one giant postmortem film?

io9.com: "Buried deep in an interview with actor/director Mel Smith is yet another devious plot from the mind of George Lucas. Apparently he's been gobbling up the film rights to dead movie stars, so he can reconstruct them digitally on film.

Mountain Playhouse to open with 'Ring of Fire'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown will open its 72nd season with the Johnny Cash musical 'Ring of Fire.'

Review: 'A Tuna Christmas' an inventive production

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Little Lake Theatre's production of 'A Tuna Christmas' would be an evening well spent if it offered nothing more than an opportunity to watch Art DeConciliis taking on the roles of waitresses Inita Goodwin and Helen Bedd.

Review: Dance Alloy creates a witty, provocative celebration

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The 35th anniversary program of Dance Alloy Theater was a remarkable celebration of the modern dance that was by turns joyous, serious, witty and provocative. Seen Saturday night at the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side, the performances showed the company to be in excellent shape artistically.

‘Baby Universe - A Puppet Odyssey’

NYTimes.com: "In “Baby Universe: A Puppet Odyssey,” Earth is a beat-up old floozy who wistfully recalls her more verdant, hydrated days: “So much life. I was pretty then.” Mostly, however, she’s just tired and jaded: “I don’t care about my people. I’ve been trying to kill them for years.”

'American Psycho: The Musical' Heading to Broadway

backstage.com: "'American Psycho,' the blood-drenched 2000 film about a Wall Street trader turned serial killer, is heading to Broadway in musical form.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Actress in 'Spider-Man' Musical Suffers Concussion

backstage.com: "An actress in the 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' Broadway musical is out of commission until at least Tuesday after suffering a concussion during a preview performance Sunday night. According to the New York Times, Natalie Mendoza was standing off stage when either a heavy rope made of reinforced materials or the equipment attached to the rope hit her in the head.

Dec. 2: CMU Students Present Latest Interactive Technology in Annual "Building Virtual Worlds" Show - Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University: "BVW 2010, a freewheeling show produced by students in Carnegie Mellon University's Building Virtual Worlds (BVW) class, will showcase their latest ideas in interactive digital entertainment during performances on Saturday, Dec. 11 in the Philip Chosky Theater of the university's Purnell Center for the Arts.

Goboman.com Acquires a Laser Cutting System For Custom Gobos

iSquint.net: "GoboMan has recently acquired a laser cutting system for manufacturing custom Gobos. This investment in a sophisticated laser cutting system enables GoboMan to produce high quality and highly accurate laser cut custom gobo with a short turn around. “GoboMan is now in a position to offer an economical alternative on custom Gobos to theatrical dealers and production companies who previously had only a couple of sources to buy from to get custom gobos” said Steve Hoffman president of GoboMan.

Actors unions' board approves new film and TV contract

Los Angeles Times: "A board representing Hollywood's two main actors unions on Saturday overwhelmingly approved a recently negotiated film and TV contract that will provide members with modest pay raises and an increase in employer contributions to their health and pension plans.

Why I Hate Comp Tickets

Arts-Marketing.blogspot.com: "If there is one thing that can kill your earned revenue quicker than anything else, it is a misguided complimentary ticket policy. Someone asked me the other day why I hate comp tickets so much, so I decided to list my top reasons:

‘runt’ explores Jamaica’s dog-eat-dog world

The Pitt News: "Michael Phillip Edwards’ one-man play, “runt,” is grounded in a provocative question — what makes a strong dog think it’s weak?

Hamlet in a hoodie is a movie-house must-see

Thestar.com: "I was lucky enough to catch it live on stage in London this past October and although I’ve certainly seen my share of Hamlets in the past few years, this had to rate as one of the very best, not just for Rory Kinnear’s electric performance in the title role, but for Nicholas Hytner’s whole production.

MARY McCOLL NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DESIGNEE OF ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION

Actors' Equity Association: "Actors' Equity Association has announced the selection of Mary McColl as Executive Director, effective January, 2011. Ms. McColl succeeds Acting Executive Director Carol Waaser, who retires in 2011 after almost 28 years with the Union.

From Northern India, A Singular Sufi 'Seduction' : NPR

NPR: "At New York's Lincoln Center, an intriguing theatrical concert is unfolding. Musicians from a Sufi Muslim sect in Northwest India are attempting to seduce the audience.

Spider-Man on Broadway: Can it do what a blockbuster does? - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail: "Almost every theatre production will have a number of “preview” performances in front of paying audiences before officially opening. Theatre isn't theatre without an audience – and the director, cast and creators need live, human bums in seats to work out the final kinks in a production.