CMU School of Drama

Monday, December 31, 2012

Jury makes a point (break), awards $250,000 to playwright

Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark - Top Los Angeles Theatre & Film Entertainment Lawyer: In 2003, playwright Jamie Keeling came up with the idea to adapt the film for the stage but to “cast” the Johnny Utah character from the audience each night, having the selected patron recite lines from cue cards. But, when the show’s producer New Rock Theatre Productions stopped paying Keeling royalties, the playwright sued.

'Nutcracker' features more magic, terrific set designs

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Holiday magic has always been a part of "The Nutcracker," given Marie's dreamy journey to the Land of Enchantment. But now choreographer Terrence Orr doesn't waste any time getting to the heart of the matter. In years past, the lamplighter took a leisurely walk, a serene prelude to what was to come. Perhaps acknowledging that this could be a bit of a yawn for young audiences, Mr. Orr literally pumped up the magic from the start.

12 Peers Theater's Tick, tick ... BOOM!

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: Tick, tick ... BOOM! is an odd choice for 12 Peers Theater, or perhaps for any company this far into the 21st century. Though originally staged in its current form in 2001, Boom is set — and thoroughly rooted — in 1990. The one-act focuses on the angst of late Boomers/early Gen-Xers/Brady Bunch generationers on hitting the Big 3-0 without having achieved one's goal: still living like a kid while friends move into adulthood.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Operation: CNC Snowflake

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories: Previously, we’ve discussed Snowflake 2.0, a simple application that makes it easy to draw vector shapes with six-fold symmetry (many of which happen to look a lot like natural snowflakes) and save them as PDF outlines— perfect for use as inputs to computer-controlled fabricating machines.

News Brief: CMU Shines Among P-G’s “Best of Theatre” 2012

Carnegie Mellon News - Carnegie Mellon University: The Post-Gazette recently released its "Best of Theatre" Top 10 for 2012. Every listing, plus some of the runners-up, included a School of Drama connection.

IdioSyncrazy's 'Private Places' is a bit long, but still intriguing

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Come walk with me," the mild-mannered "flight attendants" cooed softly. Then they led individual "passenger" groups to the second-floor studio at the Dance Alloy, where they discovered a "cabin" area encased in plastic. There Philadelphia-grown IdioSyncrazy proceeded to explore "Private Places," presented by the Kelly Strayhorn Theater. It took its inspiration from multiple service occupations, but primarily centered on the airline industry.

Carnegie Mellon Drama's Angels in America

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: Winning the Pulitzer, Tony and any other award a play can win, Tony Kushner's Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes was nothing short of an earthquake when it debuted in 1993: a huge rumbling of ideas and an intense examination of what it means to be an American. As he proved with his screenplay for Lincoln, Kushner has no equal when it comes to making huge political ideas personal and making the personal the rock-solid foundation of the political.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Moment Factory's "Winter Sweet" Light Show on Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall

Control Geek: I've been a fan of Montreal's Moment Factory for years (here's my writeup of and videos from their interactive work on the NIN tour from 2008), and over the summer, they created a projection-mapped son et lumière on Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, called Duality. I wasn't able to get there over the summer, but on my way back from Maryland for the holidays last night, I stopped in and saw the new winter show, Winter Sweet. It was a rainy and cold Christmas Eve, but a few other brave souls and I caught the show

Use the "Layoff Test" to Build Your Professional Network Your professional network may be just as valuable a job hunting tool as your resume, but if you haven't kept it up to date and you're not in touch with the people you're closest to, now's the time to reach out. Use the "Layoff Test" to beef up your professional network and strengthen those bonds now, when you don't need anything from them but their friendship.

Theater Notes: Some troupes offer alternative holiday fare

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Not all theater is holiday-themed at this time of year. A case in point is "Gruesome Playground Injuries" at Off the Wall Theater in Carnegie. Can Kayleen (Erika Cuenca ) and Doug (Tony Bingham) find love among broken hearts and broken bones? The play by Rajiv Joseph and directed by Maggie Balsley follows the lives of childhood friends who are brought together as accident-prone kids and who continue to meet in the wake of physical calamities.

Point Park Conservatory's The Crucible

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: I've seen innumerable productions of The Crucible, Arthur Miller's drama in which the Salem witch trials of 1692 serve as a political allegory for the 1950s Red Scare. Still, I chose to review Point Park University's Conservatory Theatre Company's new staging of this work that premiered in 1953. I enjoy The Crucible if for no other reason than because it's from an era when play structure and construction were considered essential elements of playwriting. And Arthur Miller wrote steel-beamed, iron-riveted tales.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Interviews with Touring Techs #1 Kenny Barnwell Published December 25th, 2012 in Roadie News by CHIEFBEAR

Megan Duckett of Sew What? Wins Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Stage Directions: Megan Ducketter, president of theatrical drape manufacturer Sew What?, has won the 2012 Stevie Award Bronze Winner - Female Entrepreneur of the Year in the category of Business Services of 11 to 2,500 employees. This is the sixth award Duckett has received from the Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Pittsburgh's First Night will be packed with acts

TribLIVE: In the six hours leading up to the new year, Downtown Pittsburgh will be alive with activity as the annual First Night celebration takes over the streets and many of the buildings in the Cultural District. All it takes is a button ($10; $8 in advance) and some good walking shoes to enjoy a full night of family-friendly entertainment.

Off the Wall's Gruesome Playground Injuries

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: First things first: Congratulations to Off the Wall Productions for the opening of its new and handsome performance space in Carnegie. Since 2007, the company has been presenting surprisingly contemporary and adult fare in the relatively conservative city of Washington ... or "Little Warshington," as we Pittsburghers say. This season, it's pulled up stakes and rehabbed a Carnegie property into a deluxe theater with all the latest technical gewgaws and a swanky, expansive lobby/café.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stage Lighting Super Saturday

Stage Lighting Super Saturday

On Charles Dickens' 200th Birthday, There's No 'Bah Humbug' 'Tis the season for "Bah Humbug" and "God bless us every one," especially as the world caps off a year of celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the birth of novelist Charles Dickens. Starting this weekend as the Christmas season begins with Advent, cities will transform their streets to Victorian English landscapes with strolling carolers and stage different productions of Dickens' most famous yuletide work, "A Christmas Carol."

Casting ‘Golden Boy’ for Broadway NINETEEN actors will take their bows when “Golden Boy,” Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of Clifford Odets’s 1937 play, opens Thursday on Broadway at the Belasco Theater. A few, like the Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub of “Monk,” will be familiar faces; many more will be recognizable in that “I know I know him” way that lets character actors both pay the bills and ride the subway in peace. At least two have previous experience with Odets, having worked with the director Bartlett Sher on his acclaimed 2006 revival of “Awake and Sing!”

J-O-B Lead Fabricator

Bill Ferrell Co. seeks a Lead Fabricator / Motion FX Technician to join our team.  BFC is a Los Angeles area mid size shop that specializes in rental and custom built Motion effects and staging primarily for the television and special events markets.
We are currently looking for someone to lead our fabrication shop in building turntables, lifts, winch effects, control systems, stages and scenery. This position will also assist our Motion FX manager in developing, maintaining, installing and troubleshooting our mechanical and motion effects. Applicants must have outstanding problem solving, communication and organizational skills. Mechanical aptitude, metal shop, electrical, AutoCAD and Microsoft Office skills are required. Machine shop, hydraulics, electronics and rigging skills are a plus.
Position will be full time with benefits and can start immediately. Pay range will be $22 - $28 an hour depending on experience.  Resumes to

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Live Sound: Sound Shaping: Using Graphic Equalizers To Optimize Your System

Pro Sound Web: A couple of years ago marked the 40th anniversary of Altec Lansing’s passive third-octave “continuous” equalizer that began modern sound system equalization. It didn’t start as a graphic equalizer, but rather, was three rows of eight knobs on third octave centers. A companion third-octave real-time analyzer, three rows of eight VU meters, provided a means to measure a sound system.

Metropolitan Opera Embarks on $60 Million Renovation The Met’s technology has fallen behind European opera houses, where many of the directors bringing new productions to New York are used to computerized controls that produce precise results for increasingly spectacular shows. At the Met stagehands still twiddle dials, plug in cables, consult numbered charts and use a lot of muscle. “It’s really old-fashioned technology,” the Met’s general manager, Peter Gelb, said in an interview this week. “We work with it. We use it. But it has to be modernized. It’s safe without limitations in our use of it, but at some point it could fall apart. We’re not waiting for that day to happen.”

Ben Brantley on Chekhov on New York Stages A SOUND rises from the throat of a terminally ill woman in the second act of Chekhov’s “Ivanov,” and it is the noise of life itself. You can hear it rendered, with nuanced form and contradictory content, by Joely Richardson in the Classic Stage Company’s current revival of this early play by Anton Chekhov, one of a multitude of productions of his work that opened in New York and London this year.

University Job: Professor/Associate Professor, Bowdoin College The Bowdoin College Department of Theater and Dance invites applications for a tenured faculty position at the rank of associate or full professor to begin July 1, 2013. We seek the following: either 1) a scholar/practitioner of theater or theater and dance, working in the areas of history and criticism, or 2) an artist/scholar in the area of digitally-mediated performance able to teach the cultural, critical, and technical aspects of digital media and stage design. Depending on area of specialization, the successful candidate might offer courses in the areas of theater/dance histories and theories, writing or devising for the stage, cross-cultural performance, live performance and digital media, history of stage technologies, critical writing on media, lighting and sound. The normal teaching load at Bowdoin is four courses per year, one of which might be production-related for this position.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

New Wrinkles in Hand Protection

Occupational Health & Safety: When it comes to the industrial workplace, hand protection is a critical part of personal safety. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, injuries to the hand, wrist, and finger account for the second-highest (23 percent) number of workplace injuries, with approximately 110,000 lost-time hand injuries annually. Whether your job exposes you to extreme heat or cold, cuts, or chemicals, the importance of reliable, durable gloves simply can't be ignored.

AV: Loudspeaker Sensitivity: What’s A Watt Anyway?

Pro Sound Web: The specification of a loudspeaker’s sensitivity is probably one of the most common, yet perhaps one of the most misunderstood. It’s common to see the magnitude response of a loudspeaker system reduced to a single number as a sensitivity rating. This is perhaps at the heart of the confusion.

A Review of ‘The Sound of Music,’ at the Paper Mill Playhouse Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens are not among my favorite things, but “The Sound of Music” remains one of my favorite musicals. I still cherish vivid, if fragmentary, memories of seeing the original Broadway production when I was a very young boy, and I know most of the score by heart.

University Job: Assistant Professor of Scenic Design, University of New Mexico The University of New Mexico, Department of Theatre and Dance, invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the area of Scene Design beginning in August 2013. The successful candidate will be a team member working within an interdisciplinary environment and is expected to teach undergraduate courses in Scenic Design, Drawing and Rendering, Scene Painting, Design Seminar, and Design History and Styles. The candidate will participate in departmental production activities, committee assignments within the College and/or Department, design two department mainstage productions each year, supervise scenic art/ props, and mentor/ supervise student designers. Salary $45,000 (9- month contract) plus full benefit package. This is a probationary appointment leading to a tenure decision.

Monday, December 24, 2012

10 things ‘The Nutcracker’ won’t tell you

MarketWatch: Ah, “The Nutcracker.” That celebration of all things Christmas, that choreographed ode to childhood, that visual spectacle replete with parties, pageants and even candy canes come to life. Oh, and yes: that show that pretty much ensures every ballet company can survive another season. As much as “The Nutcracker” may be an artful expression of holiday cheer, the two-act ballet is also a moneymaker in an industry that’s otherwise heavily dependent on the largesse of deep-pocketed donors.

Tourists Increase Share of Broadway Ticket Sales Tourists accounted for nearly two-thirds of the tickets sold for Broadway shows last season, according to the Broadway League’s annual demographics report, released on Monday. The new study, based on audience questionnaires passed out at 81 individual performances of 31 different productions between June 2011 and June 2012, showed that tourists accounted for 63.4 percent of Broadway ticket sales, up from 61.7 percent in the 2010-11 season. Foreign visitors accounted for a full 18.4 percent of tickets.

A Hit in Germany, a ‘Rocky’ Musical Aims at Broadway WHEN a team of Broadway veterans began pitching New York producers on turning the classic 1976 movie “Rocky” into a musical, the mere idea made people wince. Would it have a chorus of tap-dancing boxers? Fighters breaking into song in the ring? A musclehead made eloquent with rhyming lyrics, as he punches sides of beef in a meat locker?

University Job: Assistant Professor – Theatre Production, Ryerson University The Ryerson Theatre School (RTS) in the Faculty of Communication & Design at Ryerson University ( in Toronto invites applications for a tenure-stream appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor. The area of specialization is Theatre Production. The successful candidate will be expected to teach a variety of theatre courses at the undergraduate level ( The position will commence August 1, 2013

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nuts for 'The Nutcracker'

Crain's New York Business: Black Friday not only kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season, it also marks the beginning of the annual run of The Nutcracker at the New York City Ballet. And it turns out that discounted cashmere sweaters and sugarplum fairies have much in common: They are both cash cows. Just as retailers count on holiday shoppers for a big chunk of their annual sales, the ballet company generates 45% of its yearly revenue, or about $12 million, from the extravaganza. "It is very important to us," said Katherine Brown, executive director of the New York City Ballet. "I just couldn't imagine us not doing it."

Postponed Opening for 'Glengarry Glen Ross' Keeps Critics Quiet Al Pacino is back on Broadway, or so I hear. I wouldn’t know from firsthand experience. Unlike the many thousands of theatergoers who have seen Mr. Pacino in the revival of David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross,” making it the highest-grossing straight play currently on Broadway, critics have not been invited to attend until later this week, more than six weeks after the show began previews.

Nick Holonyak, Inventor of the LED

YouTube: Physicist Nick Holonyak built the first LED 50 years ago.

University Job: New Media Technology Lab Assistant, Wellesley College Responsible for running, maintaining and supervising the use of technology labs: Video Editing Suites, Digital Print Lab and Media Arts Lab. Ensure the proper use of equipment and materials and foster greater collaboration and cross disciplinary studio projects in the visual arts. Maintain clearer channels of communication and better logistical coordination, in collaboration with the individuals working to support the various studios, labs and the Jewett Gallery. Insure that space, tools and equipment may be utilized for intermedial studio projects, without compromising the safety or effectiveness of specialized studio coursework. Provide technical support to faculty and students working independently and off hours in the studios. Assist faculty and students in authoring, printing and installing their art productions, both for final critiques and final display and screenings.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

More L.A. area theaters offer Christmas shows "What was merry Christmas to Scrooge? Out upon merry Christmas! What good had it ever done to him?" — Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol." At the box office there is no "Bah! Humbug!" The recompense that two big Southern California theaters reap from Christmas plays would quiet even Ebenezer Scrooge's scoffing. But the holiday-theater franchises that the Old Globe in San Diego and South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa enjoy have eluded — or gone unsought by — L.A.'s four biggest nonprofit stage companies.

Robin Byrd Onstage - Live, but Not Nude ANYONE who has watched late-night television in Manhattan in the last 35 years has probably run across “The Robin Byrd Show,” the clothing-optional talk show and explicit striptease that, depending on your point of view, is either a testament to the wonders of sexual liberation or to the occasional perils of basic cable.

Taking note of a wave of shorter plays As artistic director of L.A.'s Center Theatre Group, Michael Ritchie reads more than a play a day on average — perhaps 500 a year — in quest of the 15 or 16 he'll pick each season for his company's three stages. But lately he's noticed that there's a bit less to read. Shorter scripts have been popping up more than they used to.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Holiday Hustle

American Theatre – December 2012: Each Autumn, whether we’re ready or not, the signs of Christmas come glittering into focus. The first glimpse of red and green décor. The first opportunity—or obligation—to see family. A cinematic street scene of Christmas lights and falling snow (no matter the temperature). Meredith Willson described this anticipatory time best: “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

For Quiara Alegría Hudes, Plays Are Family THE playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes lives in an eighth-floor apartment in Washington Heights with mesmerizing views of the Hudson. But she never strays far from Philadelphia, the city of her birth and the setting of nearly all her plays.

Seven Industry Standards in Public Review

PLSN: Seven industry standards are currently in public review at Comment deadlines are either on Jan. 8, Jan. 15, Jan. 22 and Jan. 29, 2013. The standards relate to DMX512-A, fog equipment, GFCIs, gobo projection and the use of chain hoists.


Technical Director
First Stage - Milwaukee, WI

First Stage is now accepting applications for Technical Director.  This position reports to the Production Manager, and is responsible for managing the Scene Shop and a three-person full time crew and occasional overhire in the production of an eight-show TYA season plus other workshops and events.


The Technical Director is responsible for the construction and installation of theatrical productions. The position requires a strong organizational background, excellent communication / interpersonalskills, the ability to multi-task while maintaining attention to detail and a creative approach to scenic construction.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Congressman calls for ban on 3D printed guns

Boing Boing: Well, that was predictable: days after a 3D printed gun fired a few rounds, Rep Steve Israel has called for a ban on of Wiki Weapons. The congressman points out (correctly) that all-plastic 3D printed weapons would not be easy to spot using traditional methods, such as metal detectors.

Pittsburgh CLO Cabaret's A Grand Night for Singing

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: I guess you can't blame Rodgers & Hammerstein for being the most successful creators of musical theater in history. They were just writing what they wrote; it's not their fault a vast majority of Americans clutched them to their bosoms. So the question that keeps popping up during the Pittsburgh CLO Cabaret's very sturdy production of the R&H revue A Grand Night for Singing is whether the vast majority of Americans are knuckleheads.

Bricolage's Midnight Radio: Cult Movie Classics

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: Wrapping up its fourth season of Midnight Radio, Bricolage Production Co. pushes the boundaries of taste, humor and patience with Cult Movie Classics. Prepare to cringe, groan and pound the chairs (hey, they're new) as you double over, laughing at the Bricolagization of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and Mothra vs. Godzilla. The originals are painful enough, but with the careful editing and live dialogue and special effects, Cult Movies is truly a classic.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

E-Stop Survey Results

Control Geek: We are updating and unifying our automation control systems at City Tech, and since we strive to model best practices in the industry, I put out a call for respondents to a survey asking questions about Emergency Stop (E-Stop) utilization in the entertainment industry. I was mostly interested in what was the most widely-used connector and control voltage, but (as often happens) I ended up learning something altogether different.

12 Peers Theater's Tick, tick ... BOOM!

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: Tick, tick ... BOOM! is an odd choice for 12 Peers Theater, or perhaps for any company this far into the 21st century. Though originally staged in its current form in 2001, Boom is set — and thoroughly rooted — in 1990. The one-act focuses on the angst of late Boomers/early Gen-Xers/Brady Bunch generationers on hitting the Big 3-0 without having achieved one's goal: still living like a kid while friends move into adulthood.

Pittsburgh Irish & Classical's The School for Lies

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: It's a cute idea: Take an English translation of The Misanthrope, by Molière, and make it "modern." Keep the 300-year-old plot and the powdered wigs, but add cell phones, text-speak and a beat-box. Then add the finishing touch — everything rhymes. The School for Lies is a harmless re-creation by David Ives, comic playwright extraordinaire, best known for his one-act farces. Ives is one of the cleverest writers in America, a pleasant absurdist, and even when his plays don't rhyme, they seem blessed by Dr. Seuss. Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre often ends its season with a December comedy, and if you have a Zen-like patience, the Pittsburgh premiere of Lies should keep you chuckling for nearly three hours.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sony Pictures Studios Launches Clean Truck Fleet

Below the Line: Sony Pictures Studios has upgraded its fleet of diesel, generator and camera trucks to achieve compliance with California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations years ahead of schedule, offering its customers in the entertainment industry cleaner and more efficient transportation.

Carnegie Mellon Drama's Angels in America

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: Winning the Pulitzer, Tony and any other award a play can win, Tony Kushner's Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes was nothing short of an earthquake when it debuted in 1993: a huge rumbling of ideas and an intense examination of what it means to be an American. As he proved with his screenplay for Lincoln, Kushner has no equal when it comes to making huge political ideas personal and making the personal the rock-solid foundation of the political.

'Midnight Radio: Cult Movie Classics' is fun and satisfying

TribLIVE: Bricolage Production Company ends its short but inventive season of “Midnight Radio” with a show themed to cult-movie classics. For those unfamiliar with this popular program, it‘s important to note at the outset that the title is somewhat misleading.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Staples Announces In-Store 3D Printing

Geekosystem: 3D printing is an exciting prospect. Being able to turn literally anything you can imagine into a physical object is truly the stuff of the future, but the days of everyone having a 3D printer in their home is still a ways off. Even so, perhaps it’s not quite as far as many imagine. Staples announced that they will offer in-store 3D printing starting next year. We hope this also means that the process of 3D printing will be simplified, because getting regular 2D documents printed at a copy center can sometimes be a nightmare. We don’t see adding a third dimension to the mix suddenly speeding anything up.

Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre's 'School for Lies' is witty break from holiday sentiment

TribLIVE: For those already experiencing sensory overload from seasonal celebrations, amusements and sales promotions, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre offers an alternate diversion. There‘s nary a hint of holly nor a bough of tinsel-bedecked pine to be found anywhere at “The School for Lies,” which opened Saturday in the Charity Randall Theatre in Oakland.

PBT's 'Nutcracker': Dancing into different roles

TribLIVE: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre routinely uses rotating casts for its productions, giving different dancers the opportunity to perform coveted roles. But this season‘s casting of “The Nutcracker” takes the process to another level, with some dancers tackling a dozen or more roles during the run of performances. “It‘s an inspirational thing to do,” artistic director Terrence Orr says. “If you perform the same role over and over, it can become boring. Some roles are very hard, others not so physically difficult. Being on stage with different people makes you create a different performance. Each one is different. That‘s fun for me, too.”

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sapsis Rigging Opens Midwest Office

Stage Directions: Sapsis Rigging has opened a satellite office in Bowler, Wisc. Headed up by Billy Williams “one of the company’s top hoist technicians” the office is now available to serve the needs of schools, theatres, performing arts centers and any other place that needs rigging expertise.

PBT's 'Nutcracker' begins its second decade

TribLIVE: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's lavish production of "The Nutcracker" begins its second decade this season, a continuing example of holiday fare that delights young and old alike. The production by artistic director Terrence Orr sets the action in Pittsburgh. The Saturday matinee performance at the Benedum Center seemed to have a higher proportion of children than evening performances, which was audibly apparent from their laughter when Grandfather, previously stiff and feeble at the Christmas party in Act I, breaks into contemporary popular dance steps.

Going it alone: Solo actors find power and fear in one-person shows

TribLIVE: “Terrifying,” “empowering,” “a marathon,” “a great experiment,” “a pleasure” — those are just some of the terms local actors use to describe their experiences in single-performer plays. Whether it‘s just a fluke of scheduling, an indicator of theater economics or a cultural trend, single-performer shows appear to be increasingly common on local stages.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Four Gentlemen of Verona?

2AMt: We have two Equity theatre companies in the Boston area in devoted primarily to Shakespeare. Commonwealth Shakespeare Company does a splashy outdoor free production on Boston Common every summer, while Actors Shakespeare Project does full seasons of edgy productions in a variety of metro-Boston venues. I don’t think the two consider themselves in competition with one another; their production dates don’t overlap, they frequently employ the same actors, Comm Shakes has at least three times ASP’s budget, and they arguably are going after different audiences.

Stage Right offers four versions of its musical 'Annie'

TribLIVE: Leapin‘ Lizards! There are four versions of the adorable little orphan with the big voice in Stage Right‘s holiday production of everybody‘s favorite musical, “Annie.” They‘re not on stage at the same time, and John Noble, who plays the one-and-only Daddy Warbucks, says each of the girls adds a little something different to her performance of the role. “It‘s a wonderful difference,” Noble says. “Each one is their own Annie. It‘s exhilarating for me when we rehearse in rapid-fire succession.”

'School for Lies' delights in clever repartee, twists and turns

TribLIVE: Cuddled together in a booth at the Double Wide Grill, actors Nike Doukas and Leo Marks are the picture of a contented couple. When they converse, their eyes lock onto each other. They finish each other‘s sentences. Responses to interview questions overlap and weave together to complete a thought.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Arduino Esplora Is the Perfect Beginner Arduino, No Electronics Experience Required One of the most difficult parts of any Arduino project is coming up with a way to actually interact with your creations. The Arduino Esplora is a new device that remedies that, and works as an open source controller for all types of projects.

Stage review: 'Speed Queen' a gripping one-woman show

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: In the house of celebrity are many mansions, from the truly talented to the Kardashians with plenty in between, like heinous criminals who keep the media busy. Americans love those thieving, murdering, kinky lawbreakers, especially if they've been on the lam -- Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, Charles Starkweather and his 14-year-old partner, Caril Ann Fugate, and Pretty Boy Floyd whose corpse was on public display in a Cadiz, Ohio, funeral home not far from Pittsburgh.

'Nutcracker' features more magic, terrific set designs

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Holiday magic has always been a part of "The Nutcracker," given Marie's dreamy journey to the Land of Enchantment. But now choreographer Terrence Orr doesn't waste any time getting to the heart of the matter. In years past, the lamplighter took a leisurely walk, a serene prelude to what was to come. Perhaps acknowledging that this could be a bit of a yawn for young audiences, Mr. Orr literally pumped up the magic from the start.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to React When Someone Says You're Wrong (but You Know You're Right) We've all been in the circumstance where we're having a conversation (or argument) with someone and they're convinced you're wrong about something, even though you know you're right. Whether it's trivial facts, or serious issues, how you react to the accusation can turn the course of the whole conversation. Here's how to do it right.

To unravel the best way to deal with these conversations, I spoke with Roger S. Gil MAMFT, a mental health clinician who specializes in marriage and family therapy.

"Cult Classic Movies"

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Cult Classic Movies" is the final installment of season No. 4 for Bricolage's fun Midnight Radio series, which this year drew on topics chosen by the audience. The folks who fill the seats did a good job, challenging the troupe to explore spies, haunted Pittsburgh and finally movies, along with producing old-time radio in a live theater setting and having a grand time doing it. The result is sometimes clever, sometimes silly, vulgar fun, showcasing talented local actors Sheila McKenna, Patrick Jordan, Amy Landis, Jason McCune and Skyler Sullivan, who with Mr. Jordan also is on Foley sound-effects duty.

Theater Review: An innovative and powerful 'Angels in America' at CMU

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama unleashes its innovative resources to full effect in the staging of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," part one of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

"Angels" also won best play Tonys for both parts of "Angels" ("Perestroika" is part two), works that put enormous demands on any creative team. Actors play multiple roles and in some cases represent real people, plus characters conjured in hallucinations.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Krzysztof Wodiczko - Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection

Krzysztof Wodiczko - Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection from Maria Niro on Vimeo.

Vimeo: Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection is a video installation by internationally renowned Artist Krzysztof Wodiczko, famous for his large-scale video installations. On view in Union Square Park from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day from November 8 through December 9 2012.

Passion, Vision and Community Support

Stage Directions: Reading our annual High School Theatre Honors Program articles, in some ways it seems it’s “easy” to have one of the best theatre programs in the country. “All” you need is a dedicated administration, a community with over-the-top unwavering support and someone leading the program who has a fiery passion for the arts that is infectious. Hundreds of good to great programs have most of those elements, but according to our readers, here are five that have it all. (And “all” doesn’t mean cutting-edge facilities—some are creating great theatre in modest spaces.) They all have something else in common, too: their selection of work for the students is offbeat and bold.

TEDx Talk by David Allen

GTD Times: David Allen’s recent TEDx Talk has generated quite a buzz. “The art of stress-free productivity is a martial art.”

Nonprofit arts, cultural organizations contributed $301M to local economy

Ahwatukee Foothills News: News: Phoenix nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and their audiences had a total economic impact of $301 million and generated $13.9 in local government tax revenue and $17.7 in state government tax revenue during the fiscal year 2010. The figures are contained in a recent national arts economic impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit arts organization for advancing the arts and education.

USITT Selects Five Spaces to Honor with Architecture Merit Awards

Stage Directions: USITT will recognize five new performance spaces with its 2013 Architecture Merit Awards at its annual spring conference. The recipients were chosen from 28 submissions and are: Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) at California State University in Northridge, Calif., designed by HGA Architects and Engineers; Wagner Noȅl Performing Arts Center, at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Midland, Texas, designed by BOORA Architects; Kilden Performing Arts Centre in Kristiansand, Norway, designed by the young Finnish ALA Architects Ltd.; Rosie the Riveter Visitor and Education Center at the World War II Home Front National Historic Park in Richmond, Calif., designed by Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects; Garsington Opera Pavilion on the Wormsley Estate in Stokenchurch, High Wycombe, U.K., designed by Robin Snell of Snell Associates.

Getting Consumers to Buy More Broadway: A Fable

Market Notes from Shubert Ticketing - November/December 2012: There's an old marketing tale (which may or may not be true) that goes like this: The people from Ajax Cleanser (the kind that came in a can with holes on the top) had lots of market share and a solid business, but growth was at a snail's pace. Everyone already had Ajax under their kitchen sink and used it every day. It was the ultimate mature business.

The magical power of the 80/20 rule

EDN: Of all the management tools available to engineers at Touchstone and other companies, the 80/20 rule might be the most powerful. It is so simple and effective, so it continually blows me away how many people are unfamiliar with this powerful concept. Let’s start with what the 80/20 rule is. The 80/20 rule is a great and simple way to focus your activity on where you can get the greatest leverage for your time. You don’t have to worry all 100 percent, just the 20 percent that represents 80 percent of the output. The rest just doesn’t move the needle, so you don’t need to worry about it.

Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago in New Era With Chay Yew When a storied theater undergoes a leadership change, the new guard must decide how to handle members of the old guard — playwrights, directors, staff members and loyal audiences — who may rely financially or artistically on the status quo. Often there are bruised feelings, but few recent turnovers have been as contentious as the one here at Victory Gardens Theater, where the finger pointing recalls family melodramas like “August: Osage County” or even “King Lear” (minus the murders).

Simple tester checks Christmas-tree lights

EDN: Why is it that you always test 48 bulbs before you find the bad one in a 50-light string? The simple circuit in Figure 1 allows you to divide and conquer, greatly reducing the time it takes to find the bad bulb.

News From the Real World Podcast!

The latest in an ongoing experiment...

This Week's Articles:
  • Should Universities Let College Athletes Major In Sports?
  • TechShop to Open Pittsburgh Location in Bakery Square in February
  • Kirk Douglas and 6 Blacklisted Actors and Writers Who Defied Hollywood
  • Columbia University MFA Students to Get Equity Status
  • From Denzel Washington's 'Flight' to 'Parenthood': Inside the Fight Over Trademarks
  • Happy Teens Grow Up to Be Wealthier Too
  • Shredded police documents found in Macy's parade confetti
  • How That Football Field Was Blown Up in The Dark Knight Rises
  • No students move following CU dorm segregation for gun owners
  • In Midtown, Disney Offers a 'Pop-up' Look at 'The Lion King'  
Give it a look/listen - let me know what you think!

Leader searches look to be arduous at Penn State, Carnegie Mellon

TribLIVE: The stakes couldn’t be higher at Carnegie Mellon University and Penn State University this fall. Both presidencies are in play as search committees hunker down to determine who will lead the schools — both internationally known research universities and major economic drivers in Pennsylvania. Neither the job nor the search will be easy.

‘Bare’ Revived at New World Stages SOMETIME in the early 2000s the composer Damon Intrabartolo enrolled himself in a camp for self-described ex-gay Christians as a kind of agent provocateur. With the pretense of seeking to cure his homosexuality, he intended to suss out, and possibly lightly sabotage, the program.

J-O-B Professor

University Job: Assistant or Associate Professor of Theatre (Production and Design), Concordia College, Moorhead, MN: Concordia College, Moorhead, MN invites applications for a full-time, tenure track assistant or associate professor of theatre (design and production) appointment beginning in August, 2013. The successful candidate will be an excellent design teacher with broad academic and professional experience. The candidate must have demonstrated ability to design scenery and direct for the mainstage, and collaborate as a member of an artistic team to realize a unified production. Potential for excellent teaching, scholarship and creative activity are essential.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

So you want to be a stagehand. This clip just got posted at, by 3 different people, I thought some of you might enjoy it.

Recording: In The Studio: Digital Audio Aliasing Explained

Pro Sound Web: As stated in Matthew’s article, all digital audio is mathematically represented; you don’t need to understand binary to appreciate that the audio being digitized is being turned into a number for the computer. The Audio-Digital Converter (ADC) is essentially receiving a graph. It may help to think of it as a camera taking pictures rapidly, and each picture showing a tiny portion of the wave ready to be reconstructed at a later date.

A Trip to Chicago Museums, Fabric Shop Chicago has a number of well-known museums and other attractions. One of the Regional Attractions offered before the start of the 2013 Annual Conference & State Expo in Milwaukee will introduce several venues that are not as widely known. Signup for the day-long event can be completed along with Conference registration.

Pre-Broadway Shows In Chicago Lured By State Tax Credit The New York-bound musical "Kinky Boots" enjoyed a pre-Broadway run at a downtown Chicago theater this fall, but only after the state of Illinois lured producers with something that's scarce these days – money. The Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein production that's based on a 2005 movie, along with a second musical, "Big Fish," were the first to apply for a certificate making them eligible for a state theater tax credit. Lawmakers slipped it into a package of tax breaks approved late last year for corporate heavyweights Sears Holding Corp. and the CME Group Inc.

NEA Announces Arts Works Grant Recipients for Fall of 2012

Stage Directions: The NEA has announced the recipients of their Arts Works Grants for the March 2012 application deadline. A total of 146 theatres received grants ranging from $10,000-$100,000. Five theatre organizations received the recommendation for $100,000.

Too Many Vintage Hand Tools, Not Enough Use or Space It’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and I have a messy house…with guests arriving on Thursday. I should be cleaning. But I started that chore in the study/shop with the intent of at least organizing the mess therein, and fell into the rabbit hole of looking through the three boxes of my grandfather’s vintage tools that I inherited in late 2007. (And then I fell farther into that hole and decided to take pictures and write about them… .)

Control your holiday lights with a magic wand

EDN: This circuit allows you to turn on your holiday bulbs with a wave of the magic wand. The strings flash in sequence. At the heart of the idea is the magnetic wand. It gives the appearance of real magic.

The World's 25 Best Design Schools

Business Insider: As we enter the golden age of design in startups, highly talented user-interface and product designers are becoming ever more important. Some companies leading the charge are Apple, Path, Pinterest, Square, and Airbnb. What those companies have in common is that design is at the core of their businesses. But which school is best suited to get you the design job you want?

From the Edge Meets La MaMa:

Briefingroom on LiveDesignOnline: Works from a US national exhibit of edgy theatrical designs assembled for the 2011 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space will be shown at La MaMa’s La Galleria in New York from December 6 through 16. From the Edge, a collection of works from 36 politically compelling productions across America, was commissioned and sponsored by USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation Receives National Award for Arts Support

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber: The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and Allied Arts congratulate Chesapeake Energy Corporation today on being named one of the ten best companies in the nation for private-sector support of the arts. They were selected by the Business Committee of the Arts (BCA), an organization founded in 1967 by David Rockefeller to bring business and the arts together. As a division of Americans for the Arts, the BCA recognizes exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, partnerships, volunteer programs, gifts, sponsorships and board membership. Allied Arts, Oklahoma’s only United Arts Fund, nominated Chesapeake for the prestigious award, citing the company’s support of a variety of art genres both in Oklahoma City and in Chesapeake’s operating areas across the country.

In 'Blood Potato,' an Iraq Vet Comes Home to a Troubled Community Iraq vets returning from combat have become our Lost Generation, their stories serving as inspiration for countless writers and artists. But finding someone who can translate the power of those stories without becoming hackneyed or moralizing is rare. James McManus’ unsettling new play “Blood Potato” smartly avoids the trap altogether. Here, the troubles don’t begin in the military. They started long before, in the rust belt town of Donora, Pa.

David Mamet on His Inspirations for ‘The Anarchist’ ON the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was in a hotel in Toronto. The morning paper had a reprint of a Chicago Tribune interview, run that Sunday, with Bill Ayers, a member of the radical Weather Underground in the 1960s.

J-O-B Concert Manager

University Job: Concert Manager, Wellesley College: Responsible for the scheduling, promotion and management of all aspects of the Music Department’s professional concert series, all other faculty concerts, all student concerts sponsored by the Music Department on campus and other occasional concerts hosted by the Music Department. This includes concert planning, production of program materials and related logistical and financial matters. Responsible for evaluating the success of the series and conducting long-range planning. Represent the Music Department in communications with musicians/agents/managers, including negotiating contracts, planning program content and superintending logistical arrangements for concert production. Schedule, promote and manage ensembles in residence. Initiate and/or promote interdepartmental collaborations for series. Create and administer the Music Department’s concert series budget. Oversee student assistants.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Church Sound: Church Sound: Track Down The Buzz In Your System

Pro Sound Web: Buzz in an audio system might be the most annoying sound you’ll ever hear. A close second is the first unexplainable rattle emanating from your new car. Buzzy audio has been the source of many an email I’ve received, and today you’ll learn the process for tracking down that audio buzz and stopping it.

Hollywood Mavericks

Details: Last year's Margin Call, the Oscar-nominated drama about the 2008 financial meltdown, was the first project developed by Before the Door—one of a new wave of production houses designed to curb Hollywood's habit of chewing up and spitting out emerging talent. And it offers a nice bit of symmetry: After all, it was the movie industry's own too-big-to-fail practices that made ambitious, tightly knit creative partnerships like theirs possible. "We arrived at the moment when studios started making fewer movies, but there were these new platforms to watch them on," says Neal Dodson, who founded the company in 2008 with fellow Carnegie Mellon theater geeks Corey Moosa and Zachary Quinto. "People didn't know how to make them at the right price, and we pretended that we did until we actually did."