CMU School of Drama

Thursday, March 31, 2011

City moving ahead on streetlight improvements

Post Gazette: "Pittsburgh City Council today moved forward with a project to set new lighting standards and overhaul the city's streetlights.
Council gave preliminary approval to the city's first-ever lighting code, which Councilman Bill Peduto said will set technical specifications for streetlights and bring equity in lighting to city business districts and neighborhoods.

Playwright's cross-country bus trip inspired 'Mercy & the Firefly'

Post Gazette: "The road to 'Mercy & the Firefly' went from Homestead to East Los Angeles. It started with Amy Hartman boarding a bus as part of the Bricolage Urban Scrawl and picked up steam when the playwright visited the West Coast for work. The play also survived a major pothole -- a computer crash that ate a year's worth of work.

Review: Soprano excels in title role of 'Turandot'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The new production of 'Turandot' that was unveiled by Pittsburgh Opera on Saturday night brought down the house at the Benedum Center, Downtown. The sets and costumes were, for the most part, smartly spectacular, the direction was imaginative and the musical elements included many thrilling moments.

Quantum Theatre adds play 'Maria de Buenos Aires' performances

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The tango operita will run through April 17 with performances at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, this Saturday and April 9 ; 7 p.m. Sundays; 8:30 p.m. Monday and April 5 ; and 7:30 and 10 p.m. April 16 .

'Mercy and the Firefly' a study in overcoming obstacles

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Were it not for supportive friends, Amy Hartman's 'Mercy and the Firefly' might never have been.
The tale of homecoming, redemption and forgiveness opens Thursday as a production of The Rep, Point Park University's professional theater company.
It began life as a 10-minute play written and staged for one of Bricolage's annual B.U.S. (Bricolage Urban Scrawl) Festivals that take plays from the first scriptless meeting of writers, directors and performers to first performance in 24 hours.
'I really liked it and decided to turn it into a full-length play,' Hartman says.

Mormons Try to Relish the Broadway Big Time, Even When It Brings a Cringe "The house lights came up and it was intermission at “The Book of Mormon,” the new Broadway musical about a pair of innocent young Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda to spread the faith. John Dehlin, a graduate student who flew in from Utah to see the show with a group of Mormons from around the country, was still riveted to his theater seat, having flashbacks.

Have computers made architects less disciplined?

Slate Magazine: "We generally assume that technological advances save time, boost efficiency, increase productivity, and so on. Once we get used to the latest conveniences, we can't imagine life without them. I've been writing a book chronicling a building designed and built in the mid 1970s. During one of my interviews, an architect involved in the project reminded me that this was a time before faxes, cell phones, color Xeroxes, personal computers, and Power Point. The cumbersome and slow production of drawings and reports required extensive preparation—hurried changes were difficult if not impossible. Such working methods required what he described as 'tremendous discipline and rigor of thought.'

Senco Fusion Cordless Finish Nailer Review

ToolGuyd: "Senco’s Fusion nailers are cordless, hoseless, fuel-less and lag-free. The innovation and quality of these nailers was enough to elevate it to the top spot of our recent Top 5 Kick-Ass Tools roundup. The Fusion looks phenomenal on paper, but how well does it perform?
I first tested the Senco Fusion finish nailer a few months ago and then used it for a few recent projects. In between my own evaluations, I passed the Fusion to a few nailer-wielding colleagues to see what they thought about it.

10 Signs It’s Time To Quit Your Job

The Best Article Every day: "Chances are if you are lucky enough to have a job, the thought of quitting sounds ridiculous. With the unemployment rate at an all time high, most people are thanking their lucky stars to be employed.
But even in a bad economy some jobs are just not worth it. Are there any telltale signs you should be looking for when trying to decide if you throw in the towel? Here are ten signs to look for to determine if it’s time to find a new job

Where did that job come from?

The Producer's Perspective: "Just the other week, I was talking to a very well-respected Producer who has been around for quite a few Tony Awards. He wanted some advice on hiring an internet marketing firm. I was giving him a few tips on how I pick my internet vendors, when he interrupted me and said, 'You know, Keith, it wasn't too long ago that we didn't have internet marketing firms.'

Costume Designer Ann Roth: “I Don’t Dress Movie Stars”

Clothes on Film: "Interestingly, Ann Roth touches upon a similar point made by The Tudors’ costume designer Joan Bergin in our exclusive interview. Bergin explains that, like Roth, she creates for characters, not catwalk. This is a common misconception of the costume designer’s role. Sometimes there is overlap, intentional or not, but costumes are intended to serve the narrative; any allusion to contemporary fashion is either intentional (if it is part of the plot, say with The Devil Wears Prada) or inferred by the audience.

L.A. Theater's Moment of Truth

LA Weekly: "This summer, Los Angeles theater will be under a national magnifying glass of conferences and festivals that will make us the focus of attention we haven't seen since the Olympic Arts Festival in 1984. That event brought us world theater superstar directors such as Poland's Tadeusz Kantor, Japan's Tadashi Suzuki, France's Ariane Mnouchkine and German choreographer Pina Bausch, not to mention the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera of Covent Garden. All of these, and more, poured into local theaters around the same time.

British Arts Groups Feel Sting of Funding Cuts

Backstage: "Hundreds of British arts organizations had their public funding slashed or eliminated Wednesday, the result of government spending cuts aimed at tackling the country's deficit.
The government-funded Arts Council England must cut 15 percent from the amount it gives to art, music, theater, dance and literature groups by 2015—which still leaves it with almost 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) to hand out.
The council said that instead of 'salami slicing'—cutting 15 percent from everyone—it wanted to create a smaller but stronger portfolio of groups. So some have been cut off entirely, while others have seen their funding increase.

SAG/AFTRA Reach Tentative Agreement on New Corporate/Educational Contract

Backstage: "One of the lesser-known SAG/AFTRA contracts, at least in Hollywood, is the agreement covering work done for corporations and educational institutions. That pact, which was to expire April 30, is negotiated with industry representatives, and has now been renewed through April 30, 2014.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

AutoCAD 2012: First Look at Rectangular Arrays

The CAD Geek Blog: "Along with their complete line of 2012 products, Autodesk told the world about AutoCAD 2012 (now shipping) during their annual product launch event. While individual products were certainly an important component of the product launch event, they were not the most important element. More importantly was the way Autodesk will assemble its product portfolio into a series of industry-focused suites. I’ll spend more time on Autodesk product suites in a later post, but first I wanted to take a look at one of my favorite features inside AutoCAD 2012 – a completely redesigned ARRAY command.

President Cohon’s open forum improves communication

The Tartan Online: "Carnegie Mellon President Jared Cohon gave an address on the state of the university last Friday. The event, which was organized by the Staff Council, was an open forum intended to respond to staff concerns. Prior to the address, staff members submitted questions and comments, and Cohon chose his talking points from the submissions. After Cohon’s address, the forum was opened to the audience.

Applications Now Available for ETC's LDI 2011 Student Sponsorship

Lighting&Sound America Online -News: "Now is your chance to apply for ETC's famed LDI Student Sponsorship: Graduate students and senior undergrads studying lighting design, theatre technology, or a related field are eligible to win one of the open spots to attend the 2011 LDI tradeshow, October 28-30, in Orlando, Florida.

5 Questions For David Grindle, Executive Director Of USITT

Live Design: "David Grindle was appointed the first-ever executive director of USITT in May 2010 and has survived his first winter in Syracuse, NY. On the eve of the USITT 2011 conference and stage expo in Charlotte, NC, Live Design touched base with Grindle to check on the state of the Institute.

Live Design’s 2011 Excellence in Live Design Awards

Live Design: "Live Design is pleased to announce the fourth annual Excellence in Live Design Awards. These awards present an opportunity to be recognized among your peers in the industry.

OT: Manage Your Funnels

Strobist: "As photographers, we are more likely to be hired as creatives than to hire a creative. But recently I was involved in choosing a print designer, a video production house and an illustrator.
Seeing the different paths that lead us to each of these people was a little like having an out-of-body experience. It was a cool look into the other side of the equation, and one that left me with a better understanding of marketing my own services as a photographer.
Three funnels you should not discount, inside.

The Soapbox: The unfairer sex

Massively: "Talking about the representation of women in video games is usually an exercise in depression. You don't have to search very hard for negative examples; consider The Witcher, in which sleeping with women is treated essentially as some sort of ersatz Pokémon variant. Or take a look at Grand Theft Auto III, hailed as a groundbreaking game, which featured a grand total of three female characters in the story, all of whom were painted as some combination of promiscuous, stupid, or untrustworthy.

‘Mary Poppins’ drops into Philly "Steffanie Leigh, who previously understudied the title role in the touring production, will star as Mary Poppins while original Broadway company member Nicolas Dromard will assume the role of Bert.
Leigh, a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, has previously been seen on stage in productions of “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “42nd St.,” “Into the Woods,” “Grease,” “Mame,” and “Les Miserables.”

John and Helen Meyer Scholarship Announced

LiveDesign: "The John and Helen Meyer Scholarship to the Live Design Broadway Sound Master Classes (BSMC) will be available to promising sound designers from around the world. A total of six—two undergraduate students, two graduate students, and two recent graduates (1-3 years out of school)—are eligible.



TECHNICAL DIRECTOR – The Tony Award winning Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (LORT B and D) is accepting applications for the position of Technical Director. The Technical Director is responsible for supervising the Scene shop staff, all aspects of scenery construction, and the coordination of technical elements for a ten show season plus an annual production of A Christmas Carol. Necessary skills include AutoCad drafting, familiarity with a wide range of scenic materials and construction techniques, and experience with designing stage automation and mechanical systems. Good interpersonal and communication skills are a must. Experience working with nationally recognized designers and directors preferred. Familiarity with OSHA-compliant safety programs a plus. A minimum of five years of LORT theater or similar professional experience is required. Position is salaried full time (12 months). Benefits include vacation, health and dental insurance, and a 401K match. Please submit cover letter and resume to: Phil Rundle, Production Manager, Cincinnati Playhouse, PO Box 6537, Cincinnati OH, 45206 or by email to The Cincinnati Playhouse is an equal opportunity employer and encourages a diverse group of applicants to apply.


JOB TITLE: Technical Director
REPORTS TO: Production Manager
START DATE: June 2011

  • Minimum 5 years of professional theatre (or related) experience in technical direction – LORT preferred
  • Significant experience in and knowledge of; scenery construction, estimating of time and materials, stage
  • rigging, and mechanical design. Experience with Vortek automated flying systems a plus.
  • Experience in motivating and managing a team with a variety of experience levels.
  • Proficiency in AutoCad and/or Vectorworks.
  • Able to keep multiple projects moving towards completion at the same time, set and maintain priorities,
  • discover and implement solutions, delegate work, and keep a close eye on the details.
  • Instill a positive attitude as department and team leader.
  • Demonstrated commitment to safety and safe practices in the theater.
  • Strong written communication and verbal skills
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Love of barbeque a plus.
  • Responsible for the technical design, engineering, scheduling, procurement of materials, and construction of
  • all scenery and related items required by DTC productions.
  • Hiring, training, and supervision of Scenic department employees, including staff and overhire as required to
  • fulfill the responsibilities of the department.
  • Within the financial and scheduling constraints, effectively communicate and work closely with designers
  • and directors to support their vision.
  • Responsible for transportation and assembly of all of all scenery as required by construction, painting,
  • rehearsal, installation, strike, and storage.
  • Produce for each project: estimates of labor and materials needs, technical drawings, build and installation
  • schedules, strike plan.
  • Coordinate with other departments to insure proper sequencing of build and load-in of scenic elements.
  • Attendance at all departmental and production meetings, technical rehearsals and preview performances as
  • determined necessary by the Production Manager.
  • Oversee maintenance and inventory of all scene shop vehicles and equipment.
  • Monitor and implement industry best practices at the scene shop and theaters.
  • Must be able to lift 50 lbs.
  • Other miscellaneous duties as needed.

This is a full-time salaried position with a full benefits package. DTC values diversity in the work place.
Send cover letter, resume, and 3 references to TD Search, 2400 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201 or email to:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

When did live theater get so small?

The Denver Post: "Colorado's theater companies are thinking small. So small that if you added up all the people it would take to pack the state's 10 tiniest live theater venues, you still couldn't fill the first 12 rows of the Denver Center's Buell Theatre. More and more, new startup companies are opting to make a go of it in performance spaces no bigger than the Denver Center's coat check.
<-- Comments Here

Bret Michaels Files Lawsuit Against CBS and Tony Awards "Bret Michaels, who performed with the cast of the Tony-nominated Best Musical Rock of Ages at the 2009 Tony Awards and suffered an injury when a set piece descended on him following his performance, has filed a lawsuit against CBS and the organizers of the Tony Awards, according to the Associated Press.
<-- Comments Here

‘Spider-Man’ Overhaul Includes Loss of a Major Element "The geeks are gone. In the first major change confirmed for Broadway’s “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” the critically panned Geek Chorus of narrators — a strategic device in the musical — will be cut altogether during the show’s hiatus this spring, three members of the production said on Thursday night.
<-- Comments Here

How Perfectionism Can Lead to Procrastination (and What to Do About It)

Lifehacker: "It's hard to get anything done if it needs to be perfect, because if you're constantly criticizing the work there is always more work to be done. But the real problem comes in when you don't even want to do the work because making it perfect seems too daunting.
<-- Comments Here

Operation Heal the Fence responds to earlier vandalism

The Tartan Online: "A group of first-year art students used a hacksaw on the Fence Monday afternoon to carve away some of its layers of paint. In response, Tim Hieter, a master's candidate in materials science and engineering, created a Facebook event — 'Operation Heal the Fence' — which attracted hundreds of students to the Cut that night to reclaim and repaint the Fence.
<-- Comments Here

Quantum postpones opening of 'Maria de Buenos Aires'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Quantum Theatre has postponed its opening of 'Maria de Buenos Aires' that was to have opened tonight in the former YMCA building in East Liberty.
Performances had been scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.
<-- Comments Here

Monday, March 28, 2011

Operation Heal the Fence responds to earlier vandalism

The Tartan Online: "A group of first-year art students used a hacksaw on the Fence Monday afternoon to carve away some of its layers of paint. In response, Tim Hieter, a master's candidate in materials science and engineering, created a Facebook event — 'Operation Heal the Fence' — which attracted hundreds of students to the Cut that night to reclaim and repaint the Fence.

Pittsburgh Opera's 'Turandot' is a stunning, balanced production

Post Gazette: "What holds the sun and the moon, runs circles around itself and turns men into women?
The answer is the Pittsburgh Opera's stunning new production of 'Turandot,' Puccini's opera in which the titular princess offers fatal riddles to princely suitors.

Pittsburgh's arts groups travel the globe for ideas

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Reputation and recommendations aren't enough. Recordings aren't sufficient, either. For the people responsible for bring the best in performing arts to Pittsburgh, there's no substitute for the live experience.
That's why Pittsburgh's artistic leaders spend one to three months a year on the road looking for new talent to delight audiences at home.
'There's a visceral connection in a live performance that is simply impossible to achieve in any recorded medium,' Paul Organisak, executive director of Pittsburgh Dance Council and vice president for programming for Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, says. 'We're working in the live arts. It has to be experienced live. We're not presenting recorded dance.'

Travel creates connections that continue to pay for theater companies

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "When the world of theater is so readily available on DVD and online, is it really necessary for presenters to gallivant around the world in search of plays, productions and performers?
Yes, for the real thing, says Pam Lieberman, executive director of Pittsburgh International Children's Theater and Festival and the manager of children's theater programming at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Review: Community effort in 'The Gospel of Colonus'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "A contemporary pastor in moral crisis brought immediacy to the ancient Greek tale of Oedipus with 'The Gospel at Colonus' last weekend.
Produced by Opera Theater in association with the August Wilson Center, Lee Breuer and Bob Telson's adaptation of Sophocles' drama filled the August Wilson Center stage with 156 singers and a quartet of musicians.

AutoCAD WS mobile Offline Editing Viewing of DWG Files

Between the Lines: "The AutoCAD WS mobile version includes the ability to sync files to your mobile device and view, markup, and edit even without an Internet connection. Your DWG and DXF files are synced from your free online AutoCAD WS account. If you make changes to the files while offline, the changes will automatically be saved and available for sharing once the device is connected to the Internet. The files are stored on a secure web location also commonly called “cloud” storage, but instead of that “cloud” term, think of it as portable data access anywhere. There are no limits for storage at this time but there is a 15MB single DWG upload restriction.

Working in the Theatre - The Characters Start Talking: Playwrights 2011 - March, 2011

American Theatre Wing: "The panel of playwrights - Annie Baker, Rinne Groff, Karen Hartman and Alfred Uhry - talk about their writing process; the role of the dramaturg; writing adaptations; collaborating with directors; whether they have a specific actor in mind when they're writing; and how they see the role of the playwright in theatre today.

Two arms, two arms: Why are Chicago theater seats so darn cramped?

WBEZ: "I was at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts the other night, and as I sat watching the show I felt the arm of my companion wrap around me. This was delightful, until after the show when he attributed his behavior not to affection but to his complete inability to fit both shoulders between the people to his left and me on his right. This suggests he’ll be tenderly curling his arm around total strangers any day now.

Do We Really Want Judges Determining What Art 'Says'?

Techdirt: "In this case, despite plenty of other lawsuits that found appropriation art to be legal, the judge ruled that this is infringing, leading many to predict a pretty massive shakeup in the modern art world, where this kind of appropriation art has become pretty common. What strikes me as most troubling is that the judge's decision appears to rest mainly on what the artist's stated intent was in creating these paintings, and deciding that since he was neither commenting on the original works nor the subjects of the images, it's no longer a protected fair use.

National Deals for Students!

College Candy: "If we could only use one word to describe college students it would be “drunk.” Wait. I mean, it would be “broke.” (Though “drunk” is also pretty spot on.) Between the cost of a college education, the books to get that education, and the drinks that come along with that education, most college students don’t have much money left to do the one thing we love most…shop!

Mobile Audience Participation with Jonah Bokaer and the Ferst Center

Technology in the Arts: "Audience interaction has become a pretty major trend this year and arts organizations around the country are experimenting with different ways to engage their audiences. But how does one go about making their experience a participatory one? Artist Jonah Bokaer and the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech decided to approach the issue using mobile technology. Jonah Bokaer is an award-winning choreographer and media artist participating in the Ferst Center’s first ever year-long dance residency program, ARTech.

Regional theaters find cachet and cash in national tours "When the cast of the Walnut Street Theatre's The Glass Menagerie packed it in after a final performance Saturday night, the performers were far from Philadelphia and the nation's oldest theater, where they'd started out in January.

The rise of the understudy: A crisis on stage, starring a cast of total unknowns

The Independent: "Understudies, the dependable but largely invisible actors who provide a safety net for West End stars, are being catapulted out of the dressing room and into the spotlight, as growing numbers of stars are unable to keep up with rigorous performance timetables.

Actors Join L.A. Labor Protesters

Backstage: "March 26 was dubbed 'Solidarity Saturday' in Los Angeles, as thousands of union workers from the surrounding areas marched the streets of downtown L.A. and rallied in Pershing Square to protest efforts to weaken public-employee unions. Among those marchers were members of the Screen Actors Guild.

Tennessee Williams At 100: Forever 'The Poet Of The Outcast'

NPR: "The observer of humankind who crafted those words, Thomas Lanier Williams, was born 100 years ago — on March 26, 1911 — in the Mississippi Delta town of Columbus. In a career that spanned half a century, he redefined what a play could do. He created some of the most remarkable characters in world drama in his more than 70 plays, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Rose Tattoo and The Night of the Iguana. He also wrote two novels, several collections of poetry and stories, and adapted many of his plays to the screen.

Ailey, Taylor dance companies surviving, thriving "The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Paul Taylor Dance Company have survived and prospered. But what of other arts institutions?

When did live theater get so small?

The Denver Post: "Colorado's theater companies are thinking small. So small that if you added up all the people it would take to pack the state's 10 tiniest live theater venues, you still couldn't fill the first 12 rows of the Denver Center's Buell Theatre. More and more, new startup companies are opting to make a go of it in performance spaces no bigger than the Denver Center's coat check.

Blithe Spirit finds new life in local production

Pittsburgh City Paper: "To celebrate the start of its 50th season, McKeesport Little Theater has selected a play even older than itself, but just as sturdy. Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit (1941) finds new life with broader comedy and more sexual tension under the direction of local playwright F.J. Hartland.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quantum postpones opening of 'Maria de Buenos Aires'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Quantum Theatre has postponed its opening of 'Maria de Buenos Aires' that was to have opened tonight in the former YMCA building in East Liberty.
Performances had been scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.

'Gospel at Colonus' mixes Greek drama, Scriptures

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Ancient Greek drama is more honored than performed. The tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides are famously difficult to stage, despite the power of their stories and impact of their poetry.
Sometimes, a fresh approach can be helpful with a genre more than 2,500 years old, as the Greek tragedies are.
'Doing it as gospel does strike a chord in an American genre that overlaps in many ways with Greek theater,' says Opera Theater Pittsburgh's artistic director Jonathan Eaton.

Makeover of Puccini's 'Turandot' premieres in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Andre Barbe is in awe of the commitment he's found at Pittsburgh Opera, where work is proceeding intensely on a new production of 'Turandot' he's designed with stage director Renaud Doucet.
'There is so much activity. Everybody is involved from 10 in the morning to 10 at night, three services a day. Usually in the theater, you have six weeks for a big production, but we have three weeks here,' says Barbe, who designs sets and costumes. 'It is fascinating for me to see the involvement of people who have been doing this for 20 years.'

Visual arts require face time

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "In the art world, the human search engine still rules.
For curators, the task of bringing art to Pittsburgh's galleries and museums still means traveling out of town to see it for themselves.
Face time with artwork provides a perspective that simply can't be duplicated with the internet, says Murray Horne, curator of the Wood Street Galleries in the Cultural District.

Rafta, Rafta..., Comedy About East Indian Ties That Bind, Opens March 27 at Old Globe "Ayub Khan-Din's Rafta, Rafta…, winner of the 2008 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy for its acclaimed run at The National Theatre in London, opens March 27 in a new American production at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, CA. Previews began March 22.

WGA Sends Studio Deal to Members

Backstage: "The WGA deal reached last weekend now moves to the membership for a ratification vote, the guild announced Friday. Specifically, the WGA West board and WGA East council voted unanimously to send the tentative deal out to the guilds' combined membership.

Oriental Shakespeare, Ravi Shankar at Edinburgh Festival

Backstage: "Indian musician Ravi Shankar and Asian versions of Shakespeare are among highlights of this year's Edinburgh International Festival, as EIF director Jonathan Mills completes a five-year artistic tour of the world.
The EIF, running from August 12 to September 4, combines with the Fringe and the city's International Book Festival and military tattoo to offer the world's biggest annual extravaganza of the arts.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

'A Celebration of Pittsburgh's Women Artists' at New Hazlett tonight

Post Gazette: "For the past three years, the last Saturday in March has been dubbed Support Women Artists Now (SWAN) Day with events around the world. SWAN Day programs, conceived by the San Francisco-based organization WomenArts, have taken place at more than 500 sites in 14 countries.
In many locations, the day is marked by a concert, a reading, a play or a performance. In Pittsburgh, the occasion is marked by all of these and more.

Oedipus gets R&B twist in 'Gospel at Colonus'

Post Gazette: "In the middle of its season devoted to operatic investigation of stories from classical myth, Opera Theater arrives at 'The Gospel at Colonus,' a modern African-American re-telling of the ancient story of Oedipus.

Christian Delcroix returns to play loyal elephant in PMT's 'Seussical'

Post Gazette: "Christian Delcroix had a few free weeks before reporting to Washington, D.C., to play Young Buddy in the all-star Kennedy Center revival of 'Follies,' the follow-up to his Broadway debut in the Tony-winning revival of 'South Pacific.'
What's a Pittsburgher to do between musical theater gigs?
He called his mentor, Ken Gargaro, and asked if there might be a part for him in Pittsburgh Musical Theater's current show. That way, Mr. Delcroix could stay a while with his family in West View and hang out at PMT, which he considers his second home in Pittsburgh.

Quantum creates Argentine cafe for 'Maria de Buenos Aires'

Post Gazette: "It's easier said than done to step off the street in East Liberty, climb a few stairs and find yourself in an Argentine tango cafe. With dancers, of course. Sangria served at the intimate crowd of tables. Singers. A live orchestra.
Three computer screens.

Quantum tackles operatic look at the rebirth of tango

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "It only requires two to tango.
But it takes an international community to create a tango operita.
Elements of tango, opera, poetry and video will come together in an immersive experience with Quantum Theatre's production of 'Maria de Buenos Aires' that begins performances Thursday on the second floor of the former East Liberty YMCA.

Greensburg actor makes leap to directing with 'Hyronomous A. Frog'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Well-known local actor Mike Crosby of Greensburg takes the plunge into directing with Greensburg Civic Theatre's Greasepaint Players' production of 'Hyronomous A. Frog (The Frog Prince).'
With some 35 productions at various community theaters during the past five years on his resume, Crosby says he wanted the opportunity to gain experience in another aspect of theater. He is especially interested in sharing his love of his craft with young actors and pairing them with veteran actors so the youngsters' enthusiasm is infectious.

Stage Right's 'Superstar' becomes a family affair

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Stage Right ends its current season with a family reunion of sorts for members of the Greensburg-based professional theater company.
The group's production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice Broadway rock musical 'Jesus Christ Superstar' brings together an all-star cast of the company's veteran performers, including Vince Tresco as Jesus, Scott Sambuco as Peter and John Noble as the high priest Caiaphas.

Bret Michaels Files Lawsuit Against CBS and Tony Awards "Bret Michaels, who performed with the cast of the Tony-nominated Best Musical Rock of Ages at the 2009 Tony Awards and suffered an injury when a set piece descended on him following his performance, has filed a lawsuit against CBS and the organizers of the Tony Awards, according to the Associated Press.

‘Spider-Man’ Overhaul Includes Loss of a Major Element "The geeks are gone. In the first major change confirmed for Broadway’s “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” the critically panned Geek Chorus of narrators — a strategic device in the musical — will be cut altogether during the show’s hiatus this spring, three members of the production said on Thursday night.

Lanford Wilson, a Playwright With Compassion for His Characters "Lanford Wilson liked losers. This is not to say that he gloried, masochistically, in defeat. But as a playwright, he knew that the most poignant drama often radiates from people’s failure to connect with one another, with their aspirations and with their own feelings. In this sense, you could say he was an heir to Tennessee Williams, another dramatist who saw the poetry in withered hopes and ideals tenuously sustained against a world of denial. If his characters lacked the complexity of Williams’s greatest creations, they possessed some of the same vital glow, that of a self-consuming bonfire in a chilly twilight.

Tanya Saracho’s ‘Nogalar,’ Mexican Take on Chekhov "IN reviewing the ebullient play “Kita y Fernanda” in 2008, a Chicago critic called its young author, Tanya Saracho, “the Chicana Chekhov” for her deft blend of comedy and drama. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the vehicle that brings Ms. Saracho to the Goodman Theater in Chicago this week is her loose adaptation of Chekhov’s “Cherry Orchard,” titled “El Nogalar,” which she sets against the bloody backdrop of Mexico’s drug wars.

‘The Other Place’ by Sharr White at Lucille Lortel Theater "EARLIER in his career Sharr White wrote lavish plays: modern-day riffs on the ancient Greeks, plays with extravagant settings and lots of characters. He has ideas for more such epics, which he says would be great. Those are not the plays he’s writing right now.

‘The Book of Mormon’ at Eugene O’Neill Theater "This is to all the doubters and deniers out there, the ones who say that heaven on Broadway does not exist, that it’s only some myth our ancestors dreamed up. I am here to report that a newborn, old-fashioned, pleasure-giving musical has arrived at the Eugene O’Neill Theater, the kind our grandparents told us left them walking on air if not on water. So hie thee hence, nonbelievers (and believers too), to “The Book of Mormon,” and feast upon its sweetness.

On Location: Serbia launches new film incentive

Company Town | Los Angeles Times: "With its low-cost labor and scenic locales, Serbia has long been a popular European location for filming. Now, facing rising competition from neighboring countries such as Hungary, the Czech Republic and Germany, the country wants to up its game.

John Wells sits down with Dramaturgy Students

The Ghost Light Dramaturgy Collective: "John Wells, perhaps the most famous and successful alum of Carnegie Mellon, has for the past five years been a staunch supporter of our fledgling dramaturgy program. He sat down with our majors on a visit Thursday, before a ceremony celebrating his transformational gift to the School.

How Perfectionism Can Lead to Procrastination (and What to Do About It)

Lifehacker: "It's hard to get anything done if it needs to be perfect, because if you're constantly criticizing the work there is always more work to be done. But the real problem comes in when you don't even want to do the work because making it perfect seems too daunting.

Kander and....Pierce? A New Collaborator for the Composer of 'Chicago' and 'Cabaret' "John Kander, who with Fred Ebb spent four decades creating some of musical theater’s most beloved hits, including “Cabaret” and “Chicago,” is teaming up with a 32-year-old playwright and fiction writer, Gregory Pierce, on his first full, new theater collaboration with another writer since the passing of Mr. Ebb in 2004.

A New Choreographer for 'Spider-Man' "The producers of Broadway’s “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” announced on Thursday evening that they had hired a choreographer, Chase Brock, to help stage new musical numbers and script revisions during the show’s fifth and sixth months of preview performances before the scheduled opening on June 14.

SAG, AFTRA Inch Closer to Merger

Backstage: "Efforts to merge the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are moving ahead, though not quite so fast as some have suggested. The next big step in the process will take place in May, when SAG and AFTRA hold their respective national board meetings. According to sources close to and directly involved in talks between the two unions, those meetings will likely see the creation of committees charged with drafting a formal merger plan.

Friday, March 25, 2011

'West Wing' creator to boost Carnegie Mellon drama school

Post Gazette: "On any other day in the life of John Wells, the big deal would be a phone call saying he was a step closer to directing Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in the film version of 'August: Osage County.' But the call came yesterday when he was at his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon, to announce the establishment of the John Wells Directing Program.

Vandals take hacksaw to Fence, deface campus symbol

The Tartan Online: "Students damaged the Fence with a hacksaw this afternoon. At around 4 p.m., a group of students observed individuals cutting through a crosspiece and column of the Fence. Facilities Management Services staff have covered the damaged portions with duct tape and plastic as a temporary measure.

CMU artists shoot for the moon and an alien audience

Pop City: "Legendary space artist Lowry Burgess has been working in outer space most of his life.
He was the creator of one of the first official art payloads transported to space by NASA in 1989. He has bounced holograms off the moon for a work that joined Galileo's Notebook at a prominent exhibition in Paris.
'All my work on Earth has had cosmic connections going back to the 1960s,' says Burgess, sitting in his studio on Gold Way in Oakland, surrounded by art. 'NASA is not arts prone, but they are very supportive of me,' he says humbly.

Campus Superstars

Carnegie Mellon University: "Five College of Fine Arts students have been named finalists in the Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh's fourth annual Campus Superstar competition. This solo singing competition is modeled after the popular television show 'American Idol.'

Success is no mystery for theater group

Post Gazette: "This year, a local group marks a decade of bringing murder and mayhem to a venue near you.
That's murder for a good cause.
Founded in 2001 by South Park resident Cory McCaffery Sigler, the nonprofit theater group McCaffery Mysteries, based in the South Hills, has performed interactive murder mystery shows here and in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, New York and Ohio.

Turn Off the Dark, But Turn On the Spidey Project

Topless Robot: "The Spidey Project, the $0-budget Spider-Man musical that was conceived, written, composed, cast, rehearsed and performed in one month (in comparison to Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which cost $70 million and is still in development after six years) is now available in its entirety online. Part 1 is above, Parts 2-4 are after the jump. I've only watched the first half, but it's pretty awesome so far -- the 'Chipotle' song especially. Please watch it

22 Tips: Designing an Effective Slide Deck Presentation

freelance switch: "Every once in awhile an opportunity arises for freelancers to present their work or expertise to peers and prospective clients. Agreeing to take part is at best a fantastic chance to network, a way to exchange ideas and insights or to pick up contacts that will give you work. At worst, it is a terrifying and overwhelming commitment.

What to Do When You Have too Much Work

FreelanceFolder: "We all strive to be there–we want to have so much work we never really have to advertise or cold call or do much marketing ever again. We want enough clients so that we can pick and choose the best ones with the best projects. But what happens when you actually make it there?
Personally, I have a tendency to overschedule myself–which is normally a good thing because clients usually take longer than they think they will to get the project to me. However, every so often it seems everyone does decide to start their projects on time and I end up working 15 hour days with little sleep.
No one likes working overtime, least of all a freelancer, so what do we do when we have too much work? How do we get our schedules on track?

Supply is Not Going to Decrease (So It’s Time to Think About Curating)

Art Works: "I’ve been waiting for a while to respond to the controversy that erupted after Rocco Landesman’s comments on #supplydemand in the arts at Arena Stage in January. (Createquity’s previous coverage, provided by Aaron Andersen, is here.) Most of the very thought-provoking commentary in the interim has taken issue in one way or another either with the notion that demand cannot increase, or the appropriateness of the supply/demand construct altogether. Now that the dust has settled a bit, I want to propose a slightly different way of thinking about the situation.

Values of the Creative Class

Fast Company: "With today's workplace dominated by creative workers, it has become important to know what qualities they admire. Are organizations embracing these values? We continue our Leadership Hall of Fame series, a year-long look at the top business books and authors, with an excerpt from The Rise of the Creative Class (2003) by Richard Florida.

Using Technology To Become Efficient With Time

lifehack: "Ever since I started school I have had to battle my procrastination. Sometimes it almost feels like a disease; one that is treatable at times, but just seems to never go away. Because of my bad procrastination, I adopted systems like GTD, a calendar and scheduled and time-blocked everything, reminders of important tasks and due dates “dinging” from everywhere. What I found is that unless I am on top of my game and choosing to “be productive”, I easily fall back into the pit of procrastination, where time is never “of the essence”.

AutoCAD 2012 Released Today as the 26th release of AutoCAD

Between the Lines: "The AutoCAD 2012 Splash image is a rendering of backstage robotic video screens for the latest rock concert tour by Bon Jovi. AutoCAD and Autodesk 3ds Max software products were used in the design process. Image courtesy of Tait Towers, Inc. The splash image sets the tone as this release rocks!

On Location: State film tax credits are saving grace for 'Amish' TV movie

Company Town | Los Angeles Times: "Veteran producer and talent manager Larry Thompson was captivated by the true story of the Amish community in Nickel Mines, Pa., that somehow managed to forgive a gunman who killed five girls in a 2006 schoolhouse shooting.
Thompson believed the story would make for an inspiring TV movie about the power of faith and forgiveness, but he knew the dark subject matter would be a tough sell in Hollywood.

Sarah Ruhl(s): Playwright's work dominates spring theater

WBEZ: "How many Sarah Ruhl plays can one town take at the same time? It would appear Chicago is about to find out as an unofficial festival of Ruhl’s work descends upon us.

Downstage Center - Michael Frayn - March, 2011

American Theatre Wing: "Acclaimed for his works of fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, and theatre, Michael Frayn discusses how he determines when an idea is right for the stage when he has multiple forms to choose from. He also recalls writing and performing childhood puppet plays; the reason why his edition of Cambridge's Footlights Revue was the only one not to be seen in London; his days as a newspaper columnist, during which he frequently mocked and parodied the popular theatre of the day -- and whether he later regretted some of his jabs at theatre.

Scenechronize Raises $5 Million

Below the Line: "Scenechronize CEO Hunter Hancock announced that the company has closed a $5-million financing deal for its web-based production management system, (led by three private investors), and will soon be opening a new office in Burbank for its sales, marketing and customer support staff to complement its current office in San Francisco. Hancock also announced that veteran Hollywood director David Semel will join its board of directors.

Designers Donate Royalties on By Design Day

Stage Directions: "The third annual By Design Day will take place on April 23, and PLASA, as well as a long list of top designers, are asking all designers to donate one day of their royalties to support the efforts of Behind the Scenes (U.S.) and Light Relief (U.K.) Both of those orgs provide help to entertainment technology professionals in need.

Resources for Learning SketchUp

Popular Woodworking Magazine: "SketchUp is often referred to as intuitive and easy to use. Those things are true in a way, but as it is with any software application, there is a learning curve. If you’re on the uphill side of that curve, with rubbery legs and having a hard time catching your breath, here are some things that we’ve found (and created) to help.

How to Build Durable Scenery and Props Using Crystal Gel

Rosebrand: "Rose Brand congratulates our second blog contest winner, Gary Duffey. Gary's blog entry described how he created a durable and realistic looking goat for Blame Society Productions of Madison, Wisconsin. The goat needed to be durable enough to withstand a two-story drop.
Here is how HE did it.

SDCF Masters of the Stage - 2002 Symposium: Getting Hired - June, 2002

American Theatre Wing: "At its 2002 Musical Theatre Symposium, SDCF hosted a panel featuring Todd Haimes (Artistic Director, Roundabout Theatre Company), Marty Bell (Producer, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime), Sue Frost (Associate Producer, Goodspeed Musicals), Michael Rego (Associate Producer, Urinetown), Robert Johanson (Artistic Director, Paper Mill Playhouse), David Warren (Director, Summer and Smoke) and Elizabeth Williams (Producer, Crazy For You) to discuss how directors and choreographers get hired and how, once hired, they can forge a relationship with a producer. Topics include commercial vs not-for-profit hiring processes, career development opportunities for directors and the role of an assistant director. This conversation includes anecdotes from regional institutions and Broadway, valuable advice and a broad scope of the many paths for the emerging director or choreographer.

3-D Models Created by a Cell Phone

Technology Review: "Capturing an object in three dimensions needn't require the budget of Avatar. A new cell phone app developed by Microsoft researchers can be sufficient. The software uses overlapping snapshots to build a photo-realistic 3-D model that can be spun around and viewed from any angle.

6 Questions to Ask About Your Team’s Effectiveness: Online Collaboration « "If you’re working with a distributed team, you should be regularly gauging and improving your effectiveness to ensure you are meeting the goals of both the team and the company as a whole. Here are a few questions to help you quickly zone in on problem areas with your virtual workforce, as well as some suggested solutions to help you correct them.

Connection, A Responsive Light Installation by United Visual Artists

The Fox Is Black: "I’m a big fan of United Visual Artists, UVA for short, and their work and experimentation with light. One of their most recent projects is called Connection, a “work consists of an array of vertical luminaires integrated into a pedestrian bridge.” What’s interesting about this though is that the lights are triggered by human movement, so what was a pretty banal bridge is now a lively, moving piece of art. When people walk by it almost looks the the bridge is physically undulating, like it’s swaying in the breeze.

Sleep No More

Props: "This week, I took a chance to watch Punchdrunk‘s current New York City production of Sleep No More. You may remember I previously wrote about Punchdrunk when I showed some Art Deco footlights I constructed for this production. I do not normally write about productions I see, but this was such a unique experience with a heavy reliance on props, so I thought I’d share.

Tweeting Your Way to a Summer Internship

Fast Company: "Soliciting interns via Twitter is nothing new, of course--Charlie Sheen tried it what seems like ages ago. But treating the application process itself as a public sort of reality competition, in 13 of those 140-character bursts? So far as we know, this is real hiring innovation.

Pixar's Motto: Going From Suck to Nonsuck

Fast Company: "In a world that is obsessed with preventing errors and perfection, perhaps it's ironic that despite 11 straight blockbuster movies, Pixar cofounder and President Ed Catmull describes Pixar's creative process as 'going from suck to nonsuck.'
That's because Catmull and Pixar's directors think it's better to fix problems than to prevent errors. 'My strategy has always been: be wrong as fast as we can,' says Andrew Stanton, Director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E, 'Which basically means, we're gonna screw up, let's just admit that. Let's not be afraid of that.' We can all work this way more often.

Gallery: Why Are Warrior Women Always Dressed Like Strippers?

TheGloss - A gloss on beauty, fashion, style, love and more: "Since this is a fashion and beauty website let’s talk about why so-called empowered “warrior women” are always dressed like like they’re about to trot down the main stage at Scores.
Because one point this horrible, wretched movie (which I am in no way judging) made well was when one of the characters jumped up and said “Don’t you get it? All of this is to turn guys on!”
Which, well, yes. Got that.

Five year Civil War theater project begins at City Lit

WBEZ: "City Lit Theater has just announced a fascinating project--a five-year commemoration of the Civil War, leading up to the 150th anniversary of the war's end in 2015.
Yes, I know the war didn't end in 2015, you misplaced-modifier hawks. In fact, the Civil War didn't end at all: what do you think those Tea Party people are on about? That's what makes the City Lit project so gripping: that its exploration of the themes of the Civil War are necessarily conversations about the nation--or nations--we live in today.

Designer Lighting Joins Ranks of Wedding Planning "New technology, not to mention one-upmanship among wedding planners and their clients, has multiplied the possibilities. Depending on how it is deployed, and by whom, it can also multiply the costs.
As recently as five years ago, said Preston Bailey, the Manhattan event designer, “I had to convince all of my clients of the importance of bringing in an outside lighting company.” Now, he said, many of the clients who can afford to hire him to create striking centerpieces and backdrops are also prepared to hire someone to illuminate those features.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Life through Puppets

TH - Feature Stories Article: "Being an understudy in the touring production of the hit Broadway musical 'Avenue Q' gives new meaning to the term 'stagehand.'
Jeffrey David Sears recently joined the cast as an ensemble member/puppeteer and understudy for lead character Princeton. Each of the main actors operates a Muppet-style puppet in this musical whose language and adult topics clearly distance it from that other well-known puppet thoroughfare, 'Sesame Street.'
The touring company will perform twice Sunday, March 20, at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Center for the Arts.

Numerous Concerts in Tokyo Area Canceled, ProLightingSpace Postings Set Up with More Info

PLSN: "The massive earthquake and tsunami rocking northeast Japan has resulted in a wave of concert cancellations for international touring artists including Iron Maiden, Slash, The National, Jack Johnson, The Gaslight Anthem and others, with public safety, logistics concerns and power conservation efforts cited as the region tries to recover from the historic tremblor.

IATSE Local One President Discusses Recent Wisconsin Events: 'A Wake-Up Call' 2011/03/14

Broadway World: "The events in Madison, Wisconsin must serve as a wake-up call to us in the great state of New York. The attacks on Union workers in Wisconsin matters to us in more ways than most can imagine. If you wear a Union pin on your lapel, there are powerful forces in this country who are
putting a bulls-eye on your back as part of a larger campaign whose target is all working families and everything we hold dear.

Screen Industries Centre Ramps up Training in 3D, Virtual Production

Mediacaster Magazine: "Toronto's Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) is ramping up its training for Ontario's professional content production community with new initiatives across all elements of the digital media workflow, including stereoscopic 3D and the virtual production technologies used on films like Avatar, A Christmas Carol, and the television series V.

Unusual Rigging & Engineering Rigs International Conference

Lighting&Sound America Online -News: "When asked to organize an international conference in Dubai for 2,200 delegates, the production company Instinctif took the decision to keep the format tight by running the event over two days. The main conference room was set in the Madinat Jumeirah Resort, with plenary and breakout sessions utilizing a further 11 rooms in both the Madinat and the Jumeirah Beach Resort and Conference Centre.

Dallas Theater Center Kicks Off $12 Million Campaign

Stage Directions: "Dallas Theater Center has entered the public phase of a $12 million drive by announcing they’ve already raised $8 million. The lofty goal has been dubbed the “Bringing the Wyly Theatre to Life” campaign, and will fund new plays and musicals, as well as a variety of artistic and community initiatives, including the establishment of a resident acting company, subsidizing the popular “Pay What You Can” program and forging partnerships with local arts programs at Southern Methodist University and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. It will also place $800k into a cash reserve.

Addams Family and American Alliance for Theatre and Education Start Video Contest

Stage Directions: "American Alliance for Theatre and Education has partnered with The Addams Family on Broadway to promote the “No Snap Judgements” video contest. The video contest asks schools to submit short videos describing how they think theatre education helps students look beyond first impressions to accept those who might be different. The grand prize winner will receive a trip to NYC to see The Addams Family on Broadway.

Budget Cuts Put School Sports On Chopping Block

NPR: "School sports surely mean more in the United States than in any other country. For small-town America, sports teams even become a significant part of a community's identity.
And now that so many American school districts –– even whole states –– are facing reductions in school funding, more and more, it is athletics that are being cut back. Sometimes now, public school sports survive only by the grace of private donations, from parents and fans.
Of course, it's not just sports that are prime prospects for elimination, but also art and music. After all, sports, art and music, the S-A-M of school –– what I call the SAM activities –– are known as extracurriculars, emphasis on the 'extra.' They're the logical expenses to slash before you take down the educational basics: reading, writing, arithmetic.

Can Toronto love the Juno Awards? "Toronto, the Juno Awards are trying very hard to win your love.
It’s become an accepted part of the Junos’ 40-year mythology that the nation’s largest institutional celebration of homegrown music fled this city in 2002 for the receptive arms of St. John’s — and, during the years since, seven other enthusiastic host cities — because busy, buzzing Toronto didn’t really give a damn whether it hosted the Juno Awards or not.

Things I Learned at Pixar

Church Production Magazine Article: "Upon the release of each and every Pixar movie you can count on all sorts of publications to run an article about the secret of Pixar’s success. While I labored away on the animation for five of these files I was able to soak in the finer points of Pixar fundamentals, and since then I have endeavored to apply them to my video ministry work.

Hollywood appeals to lawmakers to keep tax program alive

Whittier Daily News: "Members of California's entertainment industry made their case Friday for tax credits designed to keep film and television production from fleeing the state at a special hearing before Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, at Pasadena City Hall.
According to the California Film Commission, the $500 million, five-year California Film and Television Tax Credit program has generated more than $2 billion in economic activity - and more than 40,000 jobs - since its introduction less than two years ago.


Sometimes the story of the process is as exciting as the product itself. Two alumni working in the entertainment industry – Frank Janesh (CFA'01) in Los Angeles – and the news industry – Nitya Chambers (H&SS '01) in Washington, D.C. – talk about what it takes to go from an idea to a completely polished work. They'll share the lifecycle of projects such as the Grammy Awards and media coverage of Presidential elections, and they'll discuss the importance of the creative problem solving they do every day.

Nitya Chambers is's Coordinating Producer of Special Projects. She works on the integration and presentation of breaking news and planned coverage, particularly regarding social media and content feeds, and coordinates with the tech and design teams on how best to present stories.

Frank Janesh is a Principle at The Scenic Route, a full-service production company providing design, consulting, implementation and support for film, television, live events, museums and industrial installations. He is primarily responsible for day to day operations and project management. Clients have included the Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Kids' Choice Awards, museum exhibits, trade show installation for GE, Paul Mitchell and the US Army.

Show+Tell is free and open to all members of the Carnegie Mellon community.

Thursday, March 31, 2011
6:30 p.m. - Dessert Reception
7:00-8:30 p.m. - Presentation

University Center, Rangos 3

Carnegie Mellon University


Questions about the event?
Contact Andrea Shockling at or 412.268.7389.