Friday, August 31, 2012
Los Angeles - Arts - Public Spectacle: Earlier this month the L.A. Weekly broke a troubling story that starkly illustrates the growing chasm between the haves and the have-nots in today's society. The article brought to light the callous actions of Ronnie Teasdale, owner of L.A.'s Crossfit Mean Streets gym, who plastered his gym's Facebook page with supposedly "hilarious" photos that demeaned several unfortunates of the homeless community from the neighboring Skid Row district.
The Tartan Online: Imagine yourself fresh off the bus from Pittsburgh to New York. You have a bag of clothes and a bag of puppets, props, and makeup. It’s one week before you perform in the New York International Fringe Festival, the largest multi-arts festival in North America that features around 200 shows in a two-week period.
Carnegie Mellon University: Eric Anderson, associate professor of industrial design and co-director of the Master in Product Development Program in the School of Design, has been named associate dean of the College of Fine Arts.
broadwayworld.com: Critically acclaimed theater troupe PigPen Theatre Co. celebrates its move to New York City with the October 4 opening of its brand new production, The Old Man and The Old Moon, co-produced by Britt Lafield/BKL Productions and SoHo Playhouse, Inc. at The Gym at Judson (located in the iconic Judson Memorial Church). The only company to win top honors at the New York International Fringe Festival two years in a row (in 2010 for The Nightmare Story and in 2011 for The Mountain Song), PigPen’s seven members met as students at Carnegie Mellon University and officially formed the company in 2008. See below for full production details.
Playbill.com: Question: It's familiar knowledge about how understudies and swings take over when an actor is out sick or on vacation. But what about behind-the-scenes crew? What about the stage manager, the soundboard operator and dressers?
Pro Sound Web: Editor’s Note: I ran across the following while reading through some old SynAudCon newsletters. My thanks to Peter for allowing us to share it with you here. As Pat Brown of SynAudCon noted, “These are for real - there are people out there that really believe them. This makes for good job security for all of us!”
HowlRound: During the Critiquing Criticism discussion this March at Humana, (moderated by HowlRound’s Polly Carl and live streamed on #NEWPLAY TV), I felt a familiar rush of anger. Here were arrayed before us a group of prominent theater critics from a variety of web and print publications, as well as an artistic director of a well-respected theater company, and someone who worked at a major theater in play development. The journalists ranged in age from their twenties through fifties, and the discussion focused on the decline of theater criticism in print publications—both column-inches and dedicated theater critics being cut, and the tendency of print reviews to be forced into Consumer Report-esque blurbs, informing you whether or not this show was worth your money, as opposed to the lengthy critical essays of the past. There were spats between the internet generation and the older folks, regarding the merits of social media—Facebook, Twitter, blogs like this site, etc.—and whether they were an enhancement to popular theatrical discourse. This was certainly a lively and interesting conversation, so why was I angry?
BackstageJobs.com: The Assistant to the Technical Director will support the Technical Directors and Production Managers in all areas of the planning and execution of events, including drafting, show purchasing, budgeting, scheduling of labor, preparation for site- surveys, venue and vendor research, and other general production and office tasks. This position will include some travel and on-site work on an as needed basis.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
post-gazette.com: Carnegie Mellon University will host a one-night reading of "8," a play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 8. The performance by CMU School of Drama students will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, in the University Center's McConomy Auditorium. Tickets are free; students may obtain two per person with a valid ID and the public may obtain one per person. Tickets must be picked up in advance at the University Center Information Desk.
Short Shorts 45: Navel Gazing About Critics, More Twitter dangers, and supposed lack of West End leading men
The Stage / Shenton's View: The public editor of the New York Times Arthur S Brisbane, who deals with public complaints to the paper, recently wrote about the responses he’s had to deal with to the paper’s many critics, and referred to the steady flow of correspondence he receives: “never in a crescendo, always diffused across various themes, this muted chorus of discomfort swells when opinion cuts too deep.”
NLRB Files Second Complaint Against Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Seeks $2.6 Million
Stage Directions: In a labor dispute that has been going on for more than a decade now, the National Labor Relations Board has issued a “Compliance Specification” which states that the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Fla., owes about $2.6 million in back pay and benefit contributions, plus interest, to IATSE stagehands for firing them and refusing to negotiate in good faith towards a new contract.
Pro Sound Web: FFT based field measurement systems have made it possible for us to do phase alignment at fixed installations as well as at live events, where every venue demands a different approach. This is particularly important these days, since mid-high boxes are often flown and subwoofers remain on the ground, meaning that phase differences at the listener location can be very significant.
usitt.org/sightlines: Interested in submitting an article for the 2013 Tech Expo? It is time to look back on the past years of production challenges and pick one or more that are the most accomplished or the most interesting to write about and share with the rest of USITT. The entries can come from all areas of production. They can be extravagant solutions to specific production needs or simple devices for any shop or backstage. Successful Tech Expo entries have explored new technologies, new materials, and creative uses for materials that are already in everyday use for production.
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR – Alliance Theatre is seeking experienced TD with excellent managerial and technical skills to produce scenic elements in a timely and cost effective manner. Must have experience in advanced carpentry, metal working, welding, automation (Creative Conners), rigging, CAD drafting, budgeting, cost analysis. Must have valid Drivers license and ability to lift 50 pounds on a consistent basis. Ideally, position to begin late August, 2012. Full time position with vacation and health benefits. Please send cover letter and resume along with three references to: Victor Smith, Director of Production at email@example.com.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
KDVR.com: In a matter of hours, the hit musical “The Book of Mormon” sold out it’s Denver performance, the first stop on it’s national tour. The cast is amazed and humbled by the fan support. Grey Henson plays the part of Elder McKinley. He told Fox 31 Denver, “The show is really driven by the audience and the fans and the responses. To have that conversation with the audiences is something we’re really excited for.”
WTTW: After months – some might say years – of anticipation, the city of Chicago unveiled a draft of its official cultural plan last week. The plan – 64 pages in total, with over a hundred small and large scale ideas to strengthen the city’s arts scene – is the first since Mayor Harold Washington was in office back in 1986.
CultureMap Houston: With its worldwide reputation for a booming energy sector, Houston's creative side is easy to overlook. But a just-released study, commissioned by the Houston Arts Alliance and conducted by EMSI, paints the city's economy as ripe for future creative growth.
guardian.co.uk: Paris has three times the number of cinemas as London, twice as many public libraries, far more bookshops, theatres and music venues while London has more museums, restaurants, night clubs and green spaces. The figures emerge from the World Cities Culture Report 2012 published on Wednesday - an international survey which is the biggest of its kind examining in number crunching detail the cultural offerings of 12 cities, although the authors stress that it is not an attempt to rank them.
IATSE Labor Union: In an award that remedies twelve years of blatant and continuous violations of federal labor law, the National Labor Relations Board has ordered the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida, to pay $2.6 million in back pay and benefit contributions to IATSE stagehands. These workers had been unlawfully fired and unable to work at the Kravis Center for more than a decade. This decision also includes interest that continues to accrue and remedies violations of federal labor laws committed by the Kravis Center during the period September 2000 through September 2007.
rpi.edu/jobs: The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, invites applications for the position of Master Electrician/Lighting Supervisor. The full-time twelve-month position is to be filled immediately.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
cmu.edu:PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama has a proven track record of producing stars of stage, film and television, and three groups of current drama students hope to continue the tradition when they showcase their talents at the 16th annual New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC), Aug. 10 – 26, in New York City. FringeNYC is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, with more than 200 companies from around the world performing more than 1,200 shows in 16 days at more than 20 venues.
www.palmbeachdailynews.com: The National Labor Relations Board has issued a second complaint against the Kravis Center in the center’s long-running dispute with the stagehands union. The complaint issued Monday alleges that the center did not bargain in good faith when, in fall 2010, it declared an impasse in its contract negotiations with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts Local 500.
popularwoodworking.com: With SketchUp, you can use a photo of a piece of furniture to make a model of the piece. From that model you can develop your plans for building a reproduction. Here’s an example using the Shaker Stepback Cupboard made by Glen D. Huey for our April 2010 issue. I swiped the image off the cover, and I know the overall dimensions. Images from the web are often too low a resolution to be really useful, and the best photos are ones you take yourself. If you can get a dead-straight view from the front and side, the process will be easier. Otherwise, you’ll need to take into account the perspective of the photo when you take dimensions in SketchUp and make the model. The first step is to import the model into SketchUp.
latimes.com: Are we really living in a post-racial world? It seems like we’re back in the 1990s, when all hell broke loose on Broadway after the British star Jonathan Pryce was cast as the Eurasian lead in “Miss Saigon.” The “multicultural” casting of “The Nightingale” at La Jolla Playhouse has provoked a similar backlash, with leaders of the Asian American theater community decrying the way a work set in ancient China has been cast with only two Asian American actors out of an ensemble of 12.
TwinCities.com: In 2007, the Minnesota Fringe Festival printed 110,000 programs to help audiences navigate the annual summertime bacchanal of theater, dance and alternative performance. This year, a mere 5,000 copies of the printed program plopped on the doorstep of Fringe offices.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Stage Directions: The Long Reach Long Riders finished their 2,000-mile (and 52 nautical knot!) journey on August 11 in Seattle, Wash. The charity motorcycle ride was their ninth annual outing and this year journeyed through the Pacific Northwest to raise money for Behind the Scenes. This year the ride had seven Harleys, six Hondas, four BMW’s and two Suzukis—along with two chase cars and two ferries. You can still support the ride and Behind the Scenes, they’re accepting donations until August 31!
PLSN: New Portable Stage and Fall Arrest Draft Standards have just been posted for industry review by Karl Ruling, PLASA Technical Standards Manager. The standards are available for download on the PLASA website and are in review through Sept. 24.
livedesignonline.com: The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games saw the main stadium transformed into a huge array of LED video pixels, mapped to the space inhabited by the entire audience. Developed by Tait Technologies, the pixel tablet has become the latest product to emerge from the expanding range of Tait’s available rental systems. Producing over 70,500 pixel tablets for the entire stadium seating grid saw video emerge from its two dimensional world to become 3D; the audience members integrated into the show itself.
livedesignonline.com: A million-watt PA system using more than 500 speakers and 50 tonnes of associated sound gear—which is double the amount of speakers than on the main stage at Glastonbury. The design team made enough scale model pieces to cover a 100 metre running track. Every performer was been represented by a plastic figurine.
livedesignonline.com: Bob Bonniol is used to unusual requests. As the principal creative director of Mode Studios, he is often called in to design some of the most technologically advanced digital scenery setups for large-scale productions, such as concert tours, plays, and local festivals. Or even to develop the digital scenery and AV infrastructure for the Seattle Opera’s simulcast of Madama Butterfly.
Smithsonian Magazine: At the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, American Walter Winans took the podium and waved proudly to the crowd. He had already won two Olympic medals—a gold for sharpshooting at the 1908 London Games, as well as a silver for the same event in 1912—but the gold he won at Stockholm wasn’t for shooting, or running, or anything particularly athletic at all. It was instead awarded for a small piece of bronze he had cast earlier that year: a 20-inch-tall horse pulling a small chariot. For his work, An American Trotter, Winans won the first ever Olympic gold medal for sculpture.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Trinculo's Attic: So, you’re considering using an embedded electronics system in a production, but you’re not sure how to go about implementing it? You’ve come to the right place! There are a variety of options available to you, depending on your level of experience and how much time you have to get it done. We’ll walk you through these options, including the skills and time needed and the pros and cons of each.
Rolling Stone: Despite a big-name director and an impressive soundtrack featuring the Beach Boys, Surf:The Musical is closing in Las Vegas after a disappointing six-week run, reports Las Vegas Weekly. Planet Hollywood pulled the plug on the show, which had a preview opening June 29th and a formal debut July 17th. The musical will close August 15th.
Below the Line: Autodesk announced that it has partnered with Lightstorm Entertainment and Weta Digital to develop a new generation of virtual production technology for the motion picture industry. Lightstorm Entertainment is James Cameron’s production company, responsible for the 2009 box-office hit Avatar. Weta Digital has a history of pushing the boundaries of visual effects and computer graphics with their work on such films as Avatar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Adventures of Tintin.
CollegeCandy – Life, Love & Style For The College Girl: Alright soon-to-be seniors, it’s that time! You’ve put in a good solid four years of studying, drinking, hangovers and hookups. Now it’s time to get serious and be an adult. Well maybe not entirely, but getting a job is definitely the first thing you will need to do to pay off your college loans or the debt you’ve incurred from all those late nights of drinking. The key to getting a job? Having a killer resume. The truth is you’re going to be competing with every graduate out there, the unemployed, and the experienced and your resume is what represents you. So you better make it good! Here’s a list of “to dos” that will make you stand out in the pile.
lifehacker.com: Everyone has an answer to "how much sleep do you need"? A common one—and one that I have given on many occasions—is to respond "Oh yes, I need my 8-9 hours of sleep every night, I know that." It turns out, that might not be true after all.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Variety: "Kinky Boots" has locked in its Broadway berth, confirming a spring start at the Hirschfeld Theater. Toplined by Stark Sands ("American Idiot") and Billy Porter ("Angels in America"), "Kinky Boots" has already set a pre-Gotham tryout in Chicago for this fall. Annaleigh Ashford ("Dogfight") is also among the thesps tapped to appear in 32-member cast.
backstage.com: “Non-Equity: The Musical!,” while more than a bit rough around the edges, is a fairly enjoyable 100 minutes, thanks to its breezy humor and gamely enthusiastic cast. Certainly it will resonate with any actor just starting out and working hard to gain that elusive union card.
latimes.com: In the late '80s a thunderbolt of inspiration struck Jack Valenti, longtime chief of the Motion Picture Assn. of America: What if his organization got rid of the X rating, besmirched by years of misappropriation by hard-core exploitation films, and replaced it with a new marker that was both trademarked and respectable?
NYTimes.com: Be wary of a play whose selling points, according to its publicity materials, include “20 cubic feet of potting soil” and “spinal movement.” Granted, this is the Fringe festival, where peculiarities are prized. But when a production – in this case “Antigone Unearthed” – seems more concerned with pretense than storytelling, head-scratching is sure to ensue.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Thursday marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gene Kelly, the athletic artist and Pittsburgh native who revolutionized dance on film and often said his fondest desire growing up was to play shortstop for the Pirates. He also was a 1933 University of Pittsburgh graduate, and his alma mater is teaming with his widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, to honor him this year.
TribLIVE: “The Book of Mormon” arrived on Broadway like a bawdy toddler, cursing and making poo jokes, but winning hearts anyway. Now, it’s ready for a road trip. The nine-time Tony Award-winning musical opens its first national tour in Denver this month after its creators have gently prepared the little sister version to stagger off without them.
Friday, August 24, 2012
projectionfreak.com: I was a shooter long before I was a projectionist so watching the olympics takes on a whole different significance. I use a robotic camera system where I work and robocams have been a fascination of mine for years, starting with the venerable Sony EVI-D30. My current rig is 3 Vaddio HD19′s but they pale in comparison to some of the robotic/wire cam work of the London games. Watching women’s rowing the other day, I kept noticing the cut-away shot to the overhead camera. At first I thought maybe blimp or aerial cam, but on the dolly shot from shore it was clearly a wire cam. Then I looked at the length of the race- 2500m! What the hell kind of rigging would you need for over 2.5 kliks of distance on a wire cam????? Well- two x 95m high towers and 2500m of cable- that’s what. Pretty sure this is a record……
Perhaps you thought General Butt Naked in "Book of Mormon" was a fictional character? You thought wrong.
Boing Boing: In Vanity Fair, Tom Freston profiles the former Liberian warlord turned evangelical minister whose alias many Americans know only through a character in Matt Stone and Trey Parker's Broadway hit, Book of Mormon.
backstage.com: Don’t expect any easy meanings or explanations from “the invisible draft,” an aesthetically superb but vexing performance collage conceived and created by Claire Moodey. The closest you’ll come is in an oblique exchange toward the end between Maxwell and Milo Cramer, the brothers who capably execute the show’s live aspects. “What does that mean?” Maxwell asks. “I don’t know,” Milo answers, “but I like to have a manifesto to hide behind.”
ThinkProgress: Mitt Romney started the primary campaign by suggesting that federal arts funding should be cut in half. Now, in an interview with Fortune Magazine, he’s gone a step further, and has said that as president, he would entirely eliminate the subsidies for PBS, and for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. That shift in his position might be more devastating to the people who benefit from those subsidies, both as employees and as audiences for the work supported by them. But it’s a move that, rather than clarifying Romney’s views on the proper scope of government, move him deeper into a dodge that reveals the fundamental unseriousness of beating up on the arts.
NYTimes.com: One of the signal pleasures of attending the Stratford Shakespeare Festival here is the opportunity it affords to sample the breadth and depth of Shakespeare’s work in just a few days: a history play on Wednesday, a comedy on Thursday, a late romance on Friday. To survey Shakespeare’s plays in such proximity is sometimes to be reminded how unsatisfying — or at least how limiting — these traditional classifications can be.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "The Book of Mormon" arrived on Broadway like a bawdy toddler, cursing and making poo jokes but winning hearts anyway. Now it's ready for a road trip. The nine-time Tony Award-winning musical opens its first national tour in Denver this month after its creators have gently prepared the little sister version to stagger off without them. "Doing a musical is like having a kid," says Trey Parker during a break in rehearsals in New York. "It's out there alive somewhere. It's not like a movie or a TV show where what we intended is what everyone will see. The kid can act out. The kid's going to do what it wants to do."
Thursday, August 23, 2012
thegrindstone.com: Whether you are asking for career advice, pitching an editor or emailing a colleague a question, the way that you communicate in email can affect your chances of landing that big media placement, making it to the next level in your career or landing a second date with that guy from OK Cupid.
backstage.com: Watching “SleepOver,” it becomes clear that high school senior Max W. Friedlich is a talented writer, with a sharp ear for dialogue and a good eye for character. Though “SleepOver” is short on dramatic action and peters out in an unclear ending, those faults don’t mitigate the satisfaction of encountering a promising talent.
Playbill.com: The Swiss performance troupe Mummenschanz — seen on Broadway in 1977 and 1986 — will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a North American tour, which includes a four-week holiday engagement in NYC.
There be dragons! Fire-breathing creatures co-star with cutting-edge special effects at Consol Energy Center
TribLIVE: Shield and sword-bearing Vikings tussle, tumble and breakdance while attempting to ward off the attack of flame-breathing dragons, who threaten to burn their village. Hiccup, a teen-aged Viking misfit, finds his calling through a swiftly moving succession of stunningly beautiful locations.
Wired.com: A nonprofit called ReAllocate is developing an art project — called Blue Sky — for Burning Man that will scan people and 3-D-print a model of them before delivering it by drone using GPS tracking.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
lifehacker.com: No one likes 9 AM. It's early, we're tired and we still have hours of work ahead of us. But we're not the only ones who get off to a slow start. Everyone in the office—bosses included—is in their own world for the first 30 minutes of the workday. Rarely does anyone disturb us or give us a huge task that early in the morning. No, those precious 30 minutes are all ours. And if we use them properly, the rest of the day can be more productive.
NYTimes.com: IN late May, a week after she graduated from Yale University, 22-year-old Marina Keegan headed to her family’s summer cottage on Cape Cod to begin revisions of “Independents,” a musical whose book she had written the summer before. The plan was for her to be joined there by the show’s director, lyricist and composer, but she never made it; the car in which she was riding crashed, killing her.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The Pittsburgh New Works Festival kicks off with staged readings this Sunday and next Sunday, then dives into four weeks of performances to complete its schedule of 18 one-act plays by 18 playwrights.
lifehacker.com: If you're a beginner electronics hobbyist you know that the capacitors on most battery-operated objects aren't powerful enough to kill you but can still provide a painful jolt of electricity if not discharged before removing from a circuit board. Build a capacitor discharge tool using a resistor, two pieces of 12AWG wire or larger, and heat shrink tubing.
TribLIVE: Three Pittsburgh premieres are among the six productions Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre has planned for its 2013 season. The season begins with "Our Class" (April 10-May 4, 2013, Henry Heymann Theatre) by Polish writer Tadeusz Slobodzianek, in a new English version by Ryan Craig.
NYTimes.com: POSTERS from infamous Broadway flops loom behind the young performers gathered for lunch recently at Joe Allen, the theater district restaurant. But for these exuberant actors, all making their Broadway debuts in “Bring It On: The Musical,” the brutal realities of the business couldn’t seem further away.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
lifehacker.com: When we have some writing to do, many of us start with a simple outline—jotted down notes or even questions covering the "what," "how," and "why" of the piece. However, a complete outline with answers that go with the questions or points will make writing much easier.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre has unmasked its 2013 season, featuring the return of David Whalen and Martin Giles as literature's most famous crime-solving duo in the thriller "Sherlock Holmes and the Crucifer of Blood." Messrs. Whalen and Giles portrayed Holmes and Dr. Watson during the 2012 holiday season in PICT's "Mask of Moriarity," the highest-grossing production in the company's 16-year history. The actors, each a Performer of the Year for the Post-Gazette, are currently onstage as various characters in the company's Chekhov Celebration.