CMU School of Drama

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bieber, TIFF and a Halifax museum: Why Tories are now friends of the arts

The Globe and Mail: As political announcements go, it wasn’t spectacular: $4,509,763 in funding for 69 Alberta arts, culture and language groups, including 64 who already rely on the same funding program. A poetry festival got $5,000, a theatre got cash for new wiring, and so on.

‘The Duchess of Malfi’ and Other Blood on London Stages WHEN the cannibal pie maker Mrs. Lovett sings, “Times is hard” in the popular revival of “Sweeney Todd” at the Adelphi Theater, the words reverberate. Played by Imelda Staunton as the ultimate avatar of British can-do gumption, Mrs. Lovett inhabits a visual landscape guaranteed to set off alarm bells in audiences here. That’s in addition to the usual tensions that come from knowing that many throats will be cut before the evening ends.

Summer fest set at Opera Theater of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: For nearly a decade, the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh has been a roving band, a troupe seeking a different venue for every production. General director Jonathan Eaton, now in his 13th season leading the company that Mildred Miller Posvar founded in 1978, prefers it this way. He likes to pick a location that connects with the opera he is producing. The setting becomes the set. He moves fluently from well-known venues, such as the Byham Theater, the Charity Randall Theater and CAPA, to offbeat places, such as Allegheny Cemetery, The Andy Warhol Museum and Artifacts, a furniture and rug gallery in the West End.

'The Exorcist' Turns to an Adult for Its Child

Backstage: When it comes to its theater, Los Angeles can be in some ways refreshingly unconcerned with youth -- at least in regard to child characters. Because of the strict rules governing child actors in theatrical productions, L.A. casting directors are turning to adults to add depth to dramatic roles written for children.

Time Code Survey Results

- John Huntington's Blog -: Back at the end of May, while working on the new edition of my book, I posted a call for respondents to a quick survey about the usage of time code in shows. I announced the results at Infocomm at the geekout, and now finally have a bit of time to write things up.

Next to Normal

Pittsburgh City Paper: Carrnivale Theatrics — founded in 2009 by Point Park-er Justin Fortunato and Duquesne alum Robert Neumeyer — has since presented Ragtime, Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods. This year's production, Next to Normal, would be the first I'd seen, and I went in with a bit of an attitude. "College kids? One show a year? Notoriously difficult musicals? Well ..."

Friday, June 29, 2012

MoveTube: Savion Glover takes on Fred Astaire Dance on YouTube tantalises us with the promise of figuring out exactly how dancers do what they do: staring at performance footage over and over again, we think it must be possible to nail the detail of every move. But every time I watch this clip of Savion Glover, I lose focus – I feel myself caught in the headlights of his speed, intricacy and his dazzling casualness.

Manhattan Theater Club Unveils New Play Initiative The Manhattan Theater Club on Wednesday announced a new initiative at City Center to support the creation of new plays. The Studio at Stage II, as the initiative is called, will host two new productions in its first season beginning this fall, with all seats $30. The theater also announced a new partnership between and Ars Nova, called The Writer’s Room, that will commission work to be shown at the studio.

Preview: Infidelity rears its head in No Name's 'Orange'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Don DiGiulio and his No Name Players got a bonus when Steven Wilson came aboard to direct "Orange Flower Water" by Craig Wright. Mr. DiGiulio had met fellow Pittsburgher Wilson in Chicago, where both were involved with A Red Orchid Theatre, best known as the creative home of actor Michael Shannon and talents including Mr. Wright.

The Living Theatre Lives On

Backstage: The Living Theatre, the longest-running experimental theater company in the United States, will celebrate its 65th anniversary this fall -- but it almost didn't survive the spring. Faced with eviction in May, the venerable theater, founded in 1947, did a very 21st-century thing: It launched an urgent fundraising campaign through the donation site Lucky Ant to raise $24,000, the necessary cost of covering overdue rent and hiring a consultant. Had the fundraising been unsuccessful, more than theater space would have been lost: 86-year-old founder and artistic director Judith Malina, who lives in the building, would have been evicted.

William Ivey Long New Chair of American Theatre Wing

Stage Directions: Looks like William Ivey Long is giving back to the American Theatre Wing. Long, a five-time Tony-award-winning costume designer joined the board of the American Theatre Wing (the organization that founded the Tony Awards) last year, and this year has been elected chair of the board of directors of the American Theatre Wing. Ted Chapin, current chair, will continue on the board as co-vice chair. The board also took on new members this year, including Pamela Zilly, Pamela Bell, and Mark Abrahams.

Preview: Rising star gets to learn from the veterans in CLO production of 'Annie'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Very early in the Pittsburgh CLO production of "Annie," the optimistic orphan meets up with the adorable dog Sandy and launches into her big number, "Tomorrow," which is interrupted by a brief encounter with a New York policeman.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Radiohead Postpones European Shows The stage collapse that killed a Radiohead crew member last Saturday in Toronto also destroyed the band’s sophisticated light show, forcing the British group to postpone seven concerts in Europe over the next two weeks while repairs are made, the band said on Thursday in a statement. That means Radiohead will skip a swing through the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Bologna and Codroipo, a two-night stand in Berlin and a stop at Canton de Vaud in Switzerland. It will resume the tour in Nimes, France, on July 10.

Waffle Shop to close in East Liberty in July

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The Waffle Shop, an East Liberty-based public art space that serves food and invites patrons to take part in video talk shows, will close July 29. Waffle Shop: A Reality Show opened in October 2008 on the corner of Baum Boulevard and Highland Avenue. It was supposed to be a one-semester project for a Carnegie Mellon University art class taught by associate professor Jon Rubin, but it quickly took on a life of its own.

Clear Channel and radio broadcasting: Come stream with me

The Economist: FRANK SINATRA knew he was getting a raw deal. He could sing but he was not much of a songwriter, so he never saw a cent when most of his 300 or so singles were played on American radio. He spent years fruitlessly lobbying Congress to change a 1909 royalties law, which requires radio broadcasters to pay composers but not performers. Broadcasters—a more formidable lobby than artists or record labels—have long fought any change, arguing that airtime gives singers free publicity. But this month the artists and labels have had some good news.

Recording: In The Studio: Training Yourself To LIsten Objectively

Pro Sound Web: Anyone that has spent all day mixing a song only to come back to it the next day with it sounding much worse needs to check this out. Here’s a short video of Stephen Webber talking about how to listen to your audio work for the first time.


The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is seeking an Assistant Production Manager for the 12-13 season.  The APM will assist/ work in concert with the Production Manager in overseeing the daily operations of the Production Department as well as assist in leadership and administration of the production department. 

Additional duties required by the ideal candidate, include but are not limited to: help in leading the Safety Committee, help maintain a safe working environment for all Production personnel, assist in job searches for interns/staff within the Production Department, attend all production meetings and take and distribute notes, facilitate communication between area heads and designers, attend technical rehearsals and run production meetings at end of tech. The ideal candidate will also help the PM with writing LOA’s for all Production Staff, tracking weekly production personnel payroll, weekly IA work assignments, editing production paperwork (production schedules, due dates and deadlines, contact sheets) and inputting designer and staff info into new shared program LIMELIGHT.

The ideal candidate will be proficient in all Microsoft Office programs, and have excellent communication and problem solving skills, as well as maintain an even temperament in high stress situations.  The ideal candidate must be able to multitask and have good organizational skills.
Candidate must be willing to work some nights and weekends.

The position is a full time, salaried position. BA/BFA in Arts Management or Theater Production required.  Additional two years of APM experience in regional theatre (preferably LORT or equivalent) preferred. Position is salaried and includes health benefits.  We are interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of people, including women and minorities.

Mail, or email: cover letter, resume, and references to Melissa Vartanian, Production Manager, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Attention: APM Search, 108 E. Wells St., Milwaukee, WI, 53202.      Deadline is July 20, 2012.  No calls or faxes, please.

Spoiler alert: the tough task of keeping a play's plot secret In the storytelling art-forms, there's a strong and proper convention that critics shouldn't give away endings and, since the multiplication of online reaction, that warnings about spoilers should be given.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Liz & Dick" investigated by 2 labor organizations Lindsay Lohan's Elizabeth Taylor biopic "Liz & Dick" has come under investigation by the labor organizations International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and SAG-AFTRA, after multiple reports of exhaustion of both cast and crew.

Talking About Race in America

Grantmakers in the Arts: On June 11-13, 2012, thirty individuals met at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh for a Grantmakers in the Arts Thought Leader Forum on Racial Equity Grantmaking. They were all there because they were experienced arts funders working in social justice. Some are relatively new to their positions, others have been around for a while leading discussions in and outside of GIA on the topic of the arts, equity, and social justice.

Broadway Bares XXII Uses Risque Fairy Tales to Raise $1.25 Million

Stage Directions: Broadway’s best performers were Grimm, but ultimately they had their fairy tale ending, as Broadway Bares XXII raised $1.25 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; $250k of that came from presenting sponsor M•A•C VIVA GLAM. All told, the record-setting event featured numbers by 17 choreographers. We've got a slideshow of 18 pics of the performances and presenters after the jump -- and yes, they are (slightly) NSFW.

Live Sound: Mixing Beyond Stereo: Delving Deeper Into Aspects Of Sound & Perception

Pro Sound Web: As live mix engineers, the audio reinforcement systems we operate typically fall into two categories: mono or stereo. Yes, there are the occasional opportunities to mix surround sound, and for many events, delay clusters or various fill loudspeakers are common, but for the most part it’s all about some version of mono or stereo.

The Met's $516,577 Electrician

The Future of Capitalism: Bloomberg News has a useful look at compensation at some of the New York-based nonprofit arts institutions. "Nonprofit" is a term of the art here, because while the organizations may be structured as nonprofits under the tax law and while their goal may not be to maximize profits, the amount of money being paid out in compensation to the employees is more than at many institutions whose goal is to make a profit.

J-O-B Technical Designer – Theatre & Entertainment

Summary:  System design support to the Theatre & Entertainment market through production selection, redesign or new product development to meet customer’s unique lifting needs.  Assists with development of technical bids, submittal packages and custom equipment concepts taking into consideration architectural needs.
Primary Responsibilities: include the following. Other duties may be assigned.
·         Work with project management team to develop technical bid documents, submittal packages and custom equipment concepts.
·         Perform engineering activities involving the design of new products, redesign of existing products and cost evaluation to support marketing, sales, manufacturing and quality objectives, meet management goals, and serve customers.
·         Perform design engineering processes to meet market objectives: complete projects on time, satisfy all required standards; facilitate production by providing accurate drawings and quality control; and support the documentation processes by providing appropriately documented product designs, tests and revisions.
·         Support manufacturing and production in the development or redesign of products to maximize manufacturing resources and capabilities by utilizing knowledge of machining and fabrication principals and geometric tolerances.
·         Support sales efforts with engineering of products or systems to meet the needs of prospective customers.
·         Support purchasing in the development of vendor criteria, the evaluation and selection of vendors, and the ongoing monitoring and changing of vendors and service providers.
·         Support quality in the development or redesign of products and test procedures to meet quality standards.
·         Support the values and mission of the corporation, support initiatives from management, and foster an atmosphere of cooperation, professionalism, and productivity.
All Employees
·         Maintain a positive work atmosphere by acting and communicating in a manner so that you get along with customers, clients, co-workers and management.
·         Continue to grow lean knowledge and use the tools to identify and assist with continuous improvement.
·          Comply with safety regulations and maintain clean and orderly work areas.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and/or Experience:  Two-year Associates degree plus a minimum of 2 years Architectural design experience or 3-4 years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.  Background of entertainment rigging principles and theatre terminology required.  Experience with installation of entertainment rigging equipment a plus. Knowledge of electric motor controls is beneficial.

Language Skills:  Ability to read, analyze, and interpret tender documents, blueprints, general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations.  Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals. 

Mathematical Skills:  Ability to apply mathematical operations to such tasks as frequency distribution, determination of test reliability and validity, analysis of variance, correlation techniques, sampling theory, and factor analysis. Must be able to perform mechanical design calculations.

Interpersonal Skills:  Must be able to work in a team environment and be able to balance both team and individual responsibilities.  Can communicate clearly and persuasively in both positive or negative situations using verbal or written skills.  Can manage difficult or emotional situations by soliciting feedback and focusing on resolving the issue rather than placing blame.

Reasoning Ability:                                                     
Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of  variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.

Computer Skills:                                            
To perform this job successfully, an individual should be proficient in Auto Cad, Auto Desk Inventor and Microsoft Office. AutoDesk Revit experience is a plus.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to sit and use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.


To apply please send a resume and cover letter to, fax 507-454-1255 or mail Thern, Inc. 5712 Industrial Park Road Winona, MN 55987.  Questions please call 800-843-7648 URL

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

City lines up new trade shows as work rules ease further Three more trade shows have committed to dates at McCormick Place on the heels of a labor pact that officials predict will open doors for major corporate shows that have shunned the city. The three show signings are with Reed Exhibitions, one of the largest private show management companies in the world.

Scott Johnson, Radiohead Drum Tech, Dies in Toronto Stage Collapse

FOH online: Staging elements for a June 16 Radiohead concert at Downsview Park partially collapsed, with falling structural elements pinning and killing drum tech Scott Johnson, 33, at the scene. Another crew member was hospitalized with a non-life-threatening head injury, and two others were treated at the scene.

Investigation Begins into Radiohead Stage Collapse

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: The event production community was shocked by another stage collapse tragedy on Saturday, June 16, when a partial roof collapse at Downsview Park, Toronto, Ontario, killed one crew member and injured three others.

Sapsis Rigging Provides Fall Arrest Systems for Two Colleges

PLSN: Sapsis Rigging has provided fall arrest systems for the Philip Chosky Theater at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and the John C. Borden Auditorium at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. “The more that students understand the real risks involved and the best ways to protect themselves, the better technicians they will be in professional situations,” said Bill Sapsis, president of Sapsis Rigging Inc.

New Deal For Broadway Sound Designers A settlement was reached on June 13, 2012, between United Scenic Artists, Local 829, and The Broadway League, establishing a new agreement covering sound design on Broadway. This is more than an improvement in terms. After waiting almost 20 years, the members of this craft working on Broadway wanted to be heard and to establish terms equivalent to their colleagues in scenic, costume, and lighting design.


HERE, the downtown performing arts center that supports the work of resident artists through commissions, developmental activities, fully produced works, and subsidized performance and rehearsal space, seeks a Production Manager with a minimum of 3 to 5 years of experience, preferably in a theatre context, for a full-time, year-round position. The Production Manager is responsible for the technical and production activities at HERE, including Resident Artist works in progress, festival workshops, and productions; presentations of the work of visiting artists; gallery exhibitions of visual artists; and oversight of/assistance to the curated rentals. The Production Manager reports to the Artistic and Producing Directors, and works closely with General Manager (GM) and Technical Director (TD).   The Production Manager is also responsible for HERE’s entire physical plant – including offices, cafes, restrooms, etc. The Production Manager should have a full understanding of technical systems, and strong managerial and administrative capabilities. This position also participates in and provides insight into achieving HERE’s overall vision and mission; this is a key management role at HERE, with the opportunity to work on a wide variety of productions from the ground-up.

·         With the TD, works with Resident Artists and their creative teams to plan, budget, and technically manage and schedule their shows – work-in-progress, festival workshop, and full production; communicates individual production parameters and specific assumptions to the artistic staffs of each production and festival artists; works closely with GM on show budgeting.  Reports to Producing Director, Artistic Director and General Manager on production progress, challenges, and needs.

·         Working with TD, works with show designers to purchase, rent, or acquire scenic, lighting, video, and sound elements for HERE in-house productions and presentations.  With TD, creates Load-in and Tech schedules and planning with designers and Resident Artists.

Schedules and hires, with TD, all production personnel including temporary labor and interns; directs supervision of stage management, subcontracted technical staff, board operators, and production assistants.  Monitors show and facilities overhire budgets; compiles and submits payroll for department.

In conjunction with the TD, schedules and meets with outside curated rentals, visual artists, and visiting artists 2-6 weeks prior to load-in; works with TD on supervision of load-ins and strikes to ensure that these artists and companies have what they need and the space is properly restored after strikes.  Coordinates and manages equipment rental requests from curated rentals; provides GM with rental equipment invoices/totals.

Plans, manages, and enters into organization calendar the schedules for both theatre spaces, the art gallery, and the rehearsal space; identifies space for techs, rehearsals, and performances for Resident Artists’ works in progress, festivals, and full productions; handles all requests for use of rehearsal spaces, works with GM on rehearsal billing (when applicable).

Oversees art gallery and manages and schedules installation of HEREart shows.

Conducts ongoing evaluations of production department systems, organization, policies, and procedures; tracks, inventories, and recommends upgrades for HERE’s substantial equipment.

Oversees facility needs with GM; organizes and maintains performance spaces, rehearsal space, tech closet, and storage spaces with TD; manages building and repair projects as needed; supports TD on staffing for annual maintenance; works with and supervises TD on facility systems - doors, locks, plumbing, alarm, etc.; researches, engages, and oversees, as needed, outside contractors for facility system needs.

Schedules, for Production Manager, TD and occasional overhire technical staff, evening/day hours during productions to oversee facility, act as a fire-guard, and respond to any time-sensitive needs.  Ensures shows remain on schedule, and facility is ready for the public. 

Applicants should possess an all-around knowledge of technical theatre and industry standards, public assembly fire codes, and with a general knowledge of lighting, audio, and video systems. Applicants should have computer proficiency in MSOffice, and familiarity with all major theatre technical software programs. Position to begin mid-August.

Please send resume and cover letter to Production Manager Search;