CMU School of Drama

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Watch how Blood & Chrome resurrected the Battlestar Galactica using greenscreen We've got an exclusive, behind the scenes look at how Blood & Chrome built the Galactica without having access to any of the physical sets from Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar series. VFX artists, producers and engineers give us a glimpse of how they rebuilt this giant "war machine."

Dance Review: Kyle Abraham's 'Pavement' rock solid

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Kyle Abraham just may be the defining choreographic voice of a new generation. He makes dance that has swagger, something that can escalate into anger and violence. It depicts a generation that is alienated not only by social pressures, but by virtue of technology. But this is also a generation that still needs to touch, to caress, to connect. It also happens that Mr. Abraham is black and the Pittsburgh Dance Council program, titled "Pavement," went back to the Lincoln-Larimer native's local roots, inspired by gangs in Homewood and the Hill District.

Sneak Peek of TechShop Pittsburgh It’s just a few weeks away. March 9, TechShop is set to open its doors in Bakery Square. The Pittsburgh Technology Council has been following every move. We had techShop on TechVibe Radio in January and we even shot a little promo video. I just got back from from some pre-media events this afternoon and the machinery is being installed. Activity is all over the place. TechShop Founder Jim Newton gave me a personal tour of the progress. He’s double stoked to be making the final descent and land TechShop in Pittsburgh next month as its seventh location. TEQ has coverage of TechShop in its upcoming March issue, but we’ve decided to provide Techburgher readers with a first read of the story. It’s right below, by yours truly!

Pop power of 'American Idiot' jolts Heinz Hall

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Green Day screamed an angry scream almost a decade ago, and the power-pop opera "American Idiot" burst forth, giving voice to like-minded antiestablishment rebels. The band's songwriter and frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong, had emerged from the punk scene with rage and angst and a multiplatinum hit, followed up in 2009 by "21st Century Breakdown." It was around that time that destiny took an odd turn -- toward the East Coast. He began hobnobbing with another rebel, Michael Mayer, the director of Tony-winning "Spring Awakening," a musical that threw tradition out the stage door and attracted young audiences to the theater.

Theater review: 'Cat on Hot Tin Roof' smolders

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A star revival can seem to be more about the star than the play, the star often being the essential prerequisite. Witness Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," which is so often dominated in the imagination by the determinedly seductive Maggie the Cat. So cast Scarlett Johansson and you'd seem to have a classic star vehicle. Ms. Johansson certainly has the equipment: curvaceous figure, pouty lips, throaty voice. But unlike some movie stars, she is also a fine stage actor, as she proved three years ago in her first Broadway foray, in Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge."

Gamer Faces $50K Fine For Mapping A Train Station

Popular Science: If you give a gaming community the tools to create a custom level, or "map," you'll end up with lots of fun stuff. Some people will even recreate real-life places, which is what Diego Liatis and friends did with Montreal's Berri-UQAM metro station. But the Société de transport de Montreal is worried the level will cause panic among straphangers presumably because it gives would-be evil-doers a handy guide to the underground system. The agency is now threatening a lawsuit if the custom level gets released.

Unseam'd Shakespeare unlocks all The Bard in 97 minutes

TribLIVE: The Unseam'd Shakespeare Company kicks off its 20th season with a mini-marathon. The company will sprint through all 37 of William Shakespeare's plays in 97 minutes with its production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).”

A First Look At KORG's MS-20 Synthesizer Reissue

Retro Thing: We first mentioned KORG's new mini version of the classic MS-20 synthesizer last month. Here's a hands-on look by Peter Kirn at Create Digital Music. Peter comes away impressed; KORG has managed to cram the essence of the 1978 original into a somewhat modernized package. It still only plays one note at a time, there are no patch memories and you can only control notes via MIDI -- don't expect to tweak knob settings from the comfort of your computer desktop.

Spotlight: Hannah Daniel, Dramaturg

2AMt » Blog Archive: For many viewers, this week’s episode of Smash was their first introduction to the word dramaturg. Unfortunately for the TV show’s musical, Bombshell, (and for those of us who need to re-explain what we do to our friends and families) the function of dramaturg was misapplied. Many of my colleagues have written about the episode already, including the clever Jenn Book Haselswerdt. Fortunately, though, there are hundreds of wonderfully creative dramaturgs doing marvelous work all over the world. Catch up on what some of these dramaturgs are up to right here on 2amtheatre! Today, we feature an interview with Hannah Daniel, currently the Arts Discovery Programs Coordinator at People’s Light & Theatre in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

What Recruiters Really Want to See on Your LinkedIn Profile

Levo League: It’s obvious that LinkedIn is an important tool in the job search; we’ve all read and heard about that for some time now. As with any career-related topic that gets a lot of airtime, there is now tons of information, some conflicting, and it’s hard to sift through all of it. While I am not the authority on LinkedIn by any means, I have spent a lot of time looking for candidates on it (for many real, open roles at amazing companies) and I know what I like to see. So here it is… what recruiters really want to see on your LinkedIn


 THEATRE ASPEN, a dynamic small professional theatre in Aspen, Colorado is accepting applications for an experienced, full-time (seasonal) Technical Director. The TD reports to the Production Manager and is responsible for all aspects of scenery and stage operations inclusive of design safety and implementation for a summer repertory season of three shows. 

Personality Test: Robin Abramson

TribLIVE: Most know Robin Abramson as an actress in dramas. Abramson, who grew up in Monroeville and attended Gateway High School, most often plays roles in contemporary dramas such as “Maple and Vine” and “Time Stands Still” at City Theatre and “Electric Baby” and “When the Rain Stops Falling” for Quantum Theatre. Before graduating from Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts, she appeared there in serious shows such as the musical “Floyd Collins” and Chekhov's “Three Sisters.”

Pitt Rep's Zanna, Don't!

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: You'd have to be dead not to get at least some enjoyment out of the University of Pittsburgh Rep's production of Zanna, Don't! This excessively perky off-Broadway musical from 2002, with music by Tim Acito and lyrics and book by Acito and Alexander Dinelaris, starts at the far end of relentless optimism, kicks it up a few notches to explosive joy, and finishes somewhere past delirious cheer. I think I might have seen the cast take a breath about halfway through, but I wouldn't bet on it.

UK's best circus performers will compete in bid to develop a 'British Cirque du Soleil'

Stage | The Observer: When economists bemoan the foreign drain on homegrown talent and skills, they probably don't have trapeze artists, acrobats or high-wire walkers in mind. Yet Britain has lost a generation of highly-trained performers to circus troupes based abroad. In response, the first nationwide attempt to keep more skilled entertainers working on these shores will be launched Monday . Circus Space, the only training organisation in Britain that offers a degree in circus skills, will announce a competition to find the best new acts and keep them performing inside British big tops.


Culturebot: The night before Culturebot’s Long Table on The Politics of Cultural Production at Under the Radar I sat nursing a drink in The Public’s swanky new restaurant lounge waiting for a show to start in Joe’s Pub. It was a very Manhattan moment – young, shiny, happy, beautiful young(ish) professionals out on the town in a swanky lounge upstairs while downstairs the less shiny and well-off but equally happy, young and beautiful artists and audiences of Under The Radar were having a throw-down dance party in the black box theater with cheap beer and Reggie Watts on the turntables.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Custom Work: Stage Machinery Part 2 – Motion Control

Trinculo's Attic: A few months ago, we blogged about the winches we built for Grizzly Bear. We hinted at the clever motion control system we created for them, but we didn’t go into much detail in the original post. Here, for anyone who’s interested in the technicalities of motion control, are all the details: The core problem we ran into when designing the winch system was that rather than being a cue-based system, where the instruction would be “move to position B at speed X”, we were dealing with a streaming DMX system. While the DMX system could send instructions like “target position B, speed X”, it was likely that we would encounter situations where we wanted both the target and the speed to change while in transit.

Dance preview: 'Moulin' a challenge for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancers

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Be whisked away to the city of romance, without leaving Pittsburgh. This Valentine's Day weekend, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will present the local premiere of "Moulin Rouge -- The Ballet" at the Benedum Center, Downtown. "It's a beautiful ballet, and it's of course set in turn-of-the [20th] century Paris, and it is the Moulin Rouge, the most famous cabaret," says artistic director Terrence S. Orr.

Copyright And The Harlem Shake: Selective Enforcement

Techdirt: For those of you who have managed to avoid the viral sensation of February, known as "The Harlem Shake," consider yourselves lucky. People still seem at a total loss how this became "a thing," but it involves the opening 30 seconds of a song released nearly a year ago, called The Harlem Shake, by Baauer, with the first half involving someone in a wacky costume (often involving a helmet) dancing while others around them ignore it, followed by a bass drop and suddenly everyone around is dancing crazily, often involving costumes, stuffed animals (or real animals), people in sleeping bags and much much more. It's gone quite insane (and, yes, we know it's not "the real Harlem Shake" but so what?) with way, way, way, way too many people, companies and organizations all doing their own versions. There were reports of 4,000 Harlem Shake videos being uploaded to YouTube every single day, and over 60,000 being on YouTube already. If you want (and I warn you to be careful), you can spend hours going through video after video. The KnowYourMeme link up top has collected some of the most popular ones. I cannot vouch for how many such videos it takes before you are driven insane, so be forewarned.

Dance preview: Staycee Pearl dancers step outside racial boundaries

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Dance isn't always a statement. Sometimes, movement and music are means for exploring answers to questions that might always seem fleeting. In the Staycee Pearl dance project's new work "... on being ...," the question is both timely and timeless: What does it mean to be black -- or any race -- yet create work free of racial or ethnic identifiers? The piece will premiere this weekend at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty.

Failgreat (Diversify Production idea)

2AMt » Blog Archive: Thesis: Introducing bold new kinds of productions will require change. Change can be frightening. This post is basically a sermon intended to help beat back the fear. “How do you give In to the true That wants to become A new part of you?” – Craig Wright I expect most diversification in programming to come from new organizations and growth in currently tiny organizations, but bringing it about will still require a couple of things from established, even august, arts institutions.

Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre board fires founder, artistic director Paul

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre board of directors today fired founder and artistic director Andrew Paul and told him would not be working on the four plays he was scheduled to direct. Mr. Paul, who founded the company 17 years ago, moved to Las Vegas two years ago when his wife got a job there and has been splitting his year between his family and Pittsburgh.

'Green Day's American Idiot' embraced by new generation

TribLIVE: Baby boomers wax nostalgic over “Hair.” Gen Xers embraced “Rent.” For millenials, “Green Day's American Idiot” may be their musical. The show, which received two 2010 Tony Awards plus a nomination for best musical, will play Tuesday through Feb. 24 at Heinz Hall, Downtown, as a non-subscriber presentation of PNC Broadway Across America — Pittsburgh.

Just how many Star Vehicles recoup anyway?

The Producer's Perspective: You know what everyone is saying these days, right? If you want to make money on The Broadway, then you gotta have a gimmick star. We here at the ol’ office don’t believe in anecdotal evidence very much, so we dug into the archives of the last ten years to find actual data see if that dog had legs. (Wait. Is that a saying? Huh. I don’t think it is. But you get it, right?.)

Shedding Light Behind-the-Scenes

CMU: How many computer scientists get the chance to accept an Academy Award? Drew Olbrich (CS'92) just did. At the February 9th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation, the Carnegie Mellon University alumnus and his colleagues were honored for developing Light — an interactive application for lighting animated film scenes. "When I learned of the award, I was extremely surprised and excited, then a few seconds later, I realized I'd have to wear a tuxedo and speak in front of 500 people," Olbrich laughed.

A Wild Bar for a Wild Party

Prop Agenda: It is a little over a week since Elon University’s Wild Party closed, so I thought I would share some of the props I built while working as the props master on it. First is the sleek Art Deco bar. This production featured a lot of dancing and movement (in fact, the show was more of a dance piece with singing than a traditional musical) and the bar was key in a lot of the dancing. Actors jumped up and down off of it constantly and danced on top of it. Needless to say, it had to be sturdy.

J-O-Bs Eastern Music Festival

Now entering its 52nd year, the Eastern Music Festival & School (Greensboro, North Carolina) is recognized internationally for its prodigious contributions to the field of classical music and its commitment to nurturing talented youth.  The five-week Festival presents more than 100 public events (concerts, workshops, master classes, open rehearsals, lectures) each season, featuring world-class artists and students from its academy for pre-professional young musicians ages 14–22.  The 2013 season (June 22–July 27) will include, among others, visiting artists Joshua Bell, André Watts, Lynn Harrell and conductors Gerard Schwarz, Grant Cooper and José-Luiz Novo.
It takes a fantastic group of dedicated staff and interns to create and carry out a successful Festival. Please review and share the following links:
2013 Summer Employment / Internships Flyer

Assistant Front of House Manager

Assistant Stage Manager

Assistant to Director of Operations

Outreach Performance Intern

Review: 'American Idiot' proves rock opera is here to stay

TribLIVE: Rock and roll is here to stay. Generations of musical theater fans have been enjoying rock musicals since “Hair” debuted almost 50 years ago. It's time for musical theater fans to welcome it into the family. Each generation has found a rock musical to call its own, whether it was “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “The Who's Tommy” or “Rent.”

American Tragedy at Duquesne Red Masquers

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: David M. Katzin's American Tragedy, in its premiere by the Duquesne University Red Masquers, is full of surprises. The ambitious production, directed by Duquesne's theater-arts head John E. Lane Jr., is uneven but never unwieldy. Most remarkable, though, is the multi-layered text by Duquesne alum Katzin, using the story, if not all the facts, of a mid-19th century disaster to "look for America."

Creator of the Pentametron collaborates with Brooklyn Ballet

Brooklyn Daily: Park Slope artist Ranjit Bhatnagar can’t paint and he can’t sculpt — but he knows how to make ones and zeroes into something beautiful. The computer-based artist will put his programming skills to the test on Feb. 28 in a collaboration with the real-life dancers at Brooklyn Ballet.

New writing survey finds theatres canceling shows in wake of funding cuts

News - The Stage: More than 60 % of UK theatres and producing companies have said they have cancelled or postponed at least one production since April 2012, according to a survey looking at the impact of funding cuts on new writing. The independent report, called In Battalions, surveyed 26 theatre producers including the Almeida Theatre in London, touring company Out of Joint and new writing company Paines Plough.

Review: Becky’s New Car at The Rep

By Taylor Jack Helmbolt

    Last Sunday, February 10th, a colleague and I ventured over to the Pittsburgh Playhouse on Point Park’s campus to see The Rep’s new rendition of Becky’s New Car by Steven Dietz. The matinee was located in the small, intimate studio theatre, and played to a sold-out house. This cozy little venue nicely complimented both the writing style of the play and the directorial choices of this particular production. In fact, the combination of venue, direction, and writing led me to notice a rather commonly occurring tendency in the construction of contemporary American plays. I believe that, under the umbrella of modern American Theatre, there is a specific brand of play that attempts to reach audiences by openly conversing with them. Through the use of direct actor-to-audience dialogue, these plays attempt to draw in audiences and connect them to the characters on a personal, friendly level. I use the term “dialogue” rather than “monologue” because, unlike more classical texts that utilize soliloquy to communicate motivation, inner monologue, or plot points to the audience, these plays actually attempt to start a conversation with the observers and even seem to encourage feedback. They do not simply monologue at the observers, but instead attempt to evoke a response, or perhaps a “mood” of verbal exchange. When successful, the audience members feel as if the keystone “conversational character” is a friend or acquaintance rather than a mere stranger. This dramatic tool can be very effective, and Becky’s New Car seems to be a perfect example of its integration into contemporary American playwriting. This particular production took this talkative attitude to the extreme in what, I believe, was an ultimately successful attempt at establishing amiable character-audience relationships.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Donyale Werle to Speak at USITT 2013

Stage Directions: Tony Award-winning scenic designer Donyale Werle will speak at the upcoming USITT conference in Milwaukee on the subject of making Broadway more environmentally friendly. Werle, who is the pre-production co-chair of the Broadway Green Alliance, is committed to making theatre a “greener” practice, and uses salvaged materials in her sets and designs. Her set for Peter and the Starcatcher, for which she won a Tony, was made entirely of recycled materials. She will speak on Saturday, March 23.

You’re Hired! 26 Tips To Help You Score The Job You Want As anyone who’s had a frustrating conversation with their parents knows, the job market just ain’t what it used to be. Where our parents generation may have switched jobs four or five times in a lifetime, these days, it’s far more common for people to change jobs — and sometimes whole careers — at least twice in a decade. The Bureau of Labor reports that the average worker spends around 4.4 years in each position. And for millenials, that number’s even higher. Whew.

Their business really is a Circus.

The Producer's Perspective: Who doesn’t love a little Cirque du Soleil? I remember the first time I saw “O” in Vegas (and yep, I said first time, because I’ve seen in multiple times). I spent most of the evening with my mouth wide open, wondering how the $#&@ they came up with this stuff. (I was actually lucky enough to dine with “O” Director Franco Dragone in Belgium a few years later and heard some of the amazing stories about how he did come up with that stuff – and it was one of the most inspiring dinners I’ve ever had).

Read my book online now!

Prop Agenda: Okay, you can’t read my whole book online. But I do have two whole chapters you can check out on The Prop Building Guidebook’s companion website. What are these chapters, you may ask? Well, as you can imagine, prop making covers a vast amount of information, and choosing what to put in and what to leave out was one of my biggest challenges.

Are Blueprints Really Dead?

(Between the Lines): I read an online articles headline stating blueprints were dead. I would love that, but in reality I find that proclamation of blueprints being dead as a headline hard to believe at this time. This topic also started a flurry of tweets discussing if paper blueprints were really dead and discussing if hardware could survive some work environments.

Mosh Pits Teach Us About the Physics of Collective Behavior

The Atlantic: Stop me if you've heard this one. A Cornell graduate physics student takes his girlfriend to her first heavy metal concert. Instead of diving straight into the mosh pit, as he typically would, he hangs back "to keep an eye on her." Being a physicist first and a mosher second ("fieldwork was independently funded"), the student, Jesse Silverberg, can't help but notice curious patterns in what had always felt like the epitome of chaos. "Being on the outside for the first time, I was absolutely amazed at what I saw -- there were all sorts of collective behaviors emerging that I never would have noticed from the inside." So for an even better perspective, he turns to YouTube, to figure out what happens to people under the "extreme conditions" borne of a combination of "loud, fast music (130 dB, 350 beats per minute) ... bright, flashing lights, and frequent intoxication."

'Martha Speaks' comes to life on Pittsburgh stages

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Every dog has its day. Martha, the talking dog from children's literature, has lined up a few days here in Pittsburgh.

It's courtesy of the Pittsburgh International Children's Theater which has brought "Martha Speaks" to town with performances tonight and through the weekend.

"Martha Speaks," produced by Theatreworks USA in New York, is a stage production based on the kids' books and the PBS cartoon series. It's the story of a little girl's dog who happens to eat a bowl of alphabet soup and suddenly can talk. Naturally, having a talking dog leads to all sorts of fun adventures.

Are Computers Ruining Education? The original description for this image says "My med school this morning. Future doctors of america learning ADHD one imgur link at a time."

How Big Business is Stymying Makers' High-Res, Colorful Innovations

Wired Design | If you're waiting for desktop additive-manufacturing technology to move closer to professional-level results, be prepared to wait for a very long time. The past year was a breakout for desktop 3-D printing. MakerBot released two new models, Formlabs debuted the first prosumer 3-D printer to use high-accuracy stereolithography, and a slew of innovative, printed projects lifted awareness and desirability of additive manufacturing for the general public.

How To Get Started with Programmable RGB LED Strip Lighting

Tested: One of the greatest things about the Maker scene is that there’s just so much of it—it encompasses everything from rocketry to hydroponics. And as a maker, just getting started can be the hardest part: deciding what to work on next, or if you’re new to the scene, what to work on first. So I’m starting up a new series of articles that I hope will help you get your bearings on what's possible. But I'm going to refrain from calling out specific projects to work on; not only would my list probably be unhelpful (there’s only so many ways to write “build a fighting robot”), it sort of defeats the point of the whole endeavor, which is to express yourself through creating something suitable to your own abilities and interests. Instead, I’m going to look at some cool components that could be a major part of lots of different projects. Hopefully you’ll be inspired.

DeWALT TSTAK Storage Boxes - Review

Tools In Action - Tools and Gear for the Working Man: If you have been following us you know that DeWALT makes the toughest storage solutions on the market with the Tough System. The Tough System is great but what if you need a smaller option? Luckily the TSTAK came along to fill that void, think Tupperware for men. The TSTAK was designed from the ground up for the user, not just some rebranded existing storage system.

Come to Design Night on March 7 at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco

It is Alive in the Lab: On Thursday, March 7, 6-10 p.m., the Autodesk Gallery will host Design Night: Illumination, where we will explore how artists and designers are using light to enhance our lives, from the very practical to the stunningly beautiful. From solar power technology and programmable LEDs to mind-blowing light art, there’s a lot more to light than meets the eye.

J-O-B Sales

Lighting & Sound America: A Regional Sales Manager is responsible for working with CSL clients and prospects, conducting technical demonstrations, developing proposals and system specifications, and meeting sales quotas within the defined region.

Monday, February 25, 2013

#NFTRW Weekly Podcast

This week's articles:

1. Why You Love That Ikea Table, Even If It's Crooked
2. How do I Get Over My Bad Habit of Procrastinating?
3. Cause of Super Bowl blackout was installed to prevent Super Bowl blackout
4. Campaign Launched To Stop School From Claiming Copyright On Student Work
5. San Francisco's Bay Bridge Is About To Become The World's Largest Light Sculpture
6. Robert Wilson's Theatrical Universe
7. Marianne Elliott: 'Why do something that's run of the mill?'
8. Can a play with a mentally challenged cast be reviewed by critics in the standard way?
9. Wing News (February 2013)
10. Judge rules that it's illegal to sell custom Batmobiles because the Batmobile is itself a fictional character

Featuring:Dale, Lauren, Matt, & Margo

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

Here are the top five comment generating posts of the last week (student comments at the link indicated):

The Keys to Higher Productivity? More Sleep, More Breaks, Less Time Doing Work

Top Stories | New Equipment Digest: If you're working harder and putting in longer hours, and you're still struggling to get everything done, Tony Schwartz has a message for you. You can get more work done by devoting more time to doing less.
-- 16 Comments Here

25 Years Strong, 'Phantom Of The Opera' Kills And Kills Again

NPR: The longest-running Broadway musical ever, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, celebrated Saturday another milestone: its 25th anniversary. When it all started Jan. 26, 1988, Ronald Reagan was president of the United States, a gallon of gas cost about 90 cents and a ticket to The Phantom of the Opera was a whopping $50. It was the hottest ticket in town.
-- 11 Comments Here

Live Sound: Putting Safety First In Live Sound

Pro Sound Web: We don’t often think of concert and event production as being a dangerous profession, but far too many accidents and injuries - and sometimes even deaths - occur each year in our chosen profession. Most of these accidents are caused by human error and can be avoided if we simply pay attention to what we’re doing and follow basic safety rules.
-- 10 Comments Here

Relax! You’ll Be More Productive THINK for a moment about your typical workday. Do you wake up tired? Check your e-mail before you get out of bed? Skip breakfast or grab something on the run that’s not particularly nutritious? Rarely get away from your desk for lunch? Run from meeting to meeting with no time in between? Find it nearly impossible to keep up with the volume of e-mail you receive? Leave work later than you’d like, and still feel compelled to check e-mail in the evenings?
-- 10 Comments Here

Carrie Underwood dress lights up Grammys

TODAY Entertainment: As Carrie Underwood took the stage to sing "Two Black Cadillacs" on Sunday night, Grammy fans noticed something strange was happening to her dress: the seemingly white gown started to light up with a variety of holographic patterns.
-- 10 Comments Here

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Scandals Scare At Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet

NPR: It's a story right out of the movies: The artistic director of one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world is violently attacked. His attacker and the motive are shrouded in mystery. But behind these sensational headlines is a ballet company that is both legendary and plagued with scandals and infighting. Last month in Moscow, Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director, was attacked by a masked man who threw acid in his face, causing severe burns and nearly blinding him. Filin, a handsome, 42-year-old former principal dancer, has been with the company since he was a teenager. He was attacked one night as he was returning home, says New York Times Moscow correspondent Ellen Barry, who has been covering the story.

As 3-D Printing Becomes More Accessible, Copyright Questions Arise

All Tech Considered : NPR: Many people think 3-D printing could help spark a manufacturing renaissance in the U.S. — even President Obama highlighted this technology in his State of the Union address last week. But as 3-D printers and 3-D scanners get cheaper, this nascent industry could be roiled by battles over intellectual property. Not so long ago, a good 3-D scanner that could create accurate digital models of objects in the real world cost more than $10,000. Then, Microsoft released the Kinect — the video game controller that allows you to play games by just waving your hands.

Live Sound: Putting Safety First In Live Sound

Pro Sound Web: We don’t often think of concert and event production as being a dangerous profession, but far too many accidents and injuries - and sometimes even deaths - occur each year in our chosen profession. Most of these accidents are caused by human error and can be avoided if we simply pay attention to what we’re doing and follow basic safety rules.

The Stagehand Chronicles: Your Love Is On Fire

BAM 150: In honor of Valentine's Day, we met with couple Ginger and Bill Horton, two of BAM's resident stagehands, who are both trained pyrotechnicians. They most recently worked as pyrotechnicians for Sō Percussion's Where (we) Live at the BAM Harvey Theater. Bill began working at BAM in 1982, and Ginger began working here in 1988 (she left a few years later, and returned to BAM in 2003). They met on Ginger's first day working here, and began dating two weeks later. They have been together for 25 years, and have been married for 22.

Driving Compliance with Material Safety Data Sheets

OSHA content from EHS Today: Material safety data sheets (MSDSs) are the cornerstone of compliance for a number of OSHA and EPA standards. Yet, as notorious as they are among safety professionals, some argue that MSDSs remain regrettably underutilized.

Carnegie Mellon analysis shows online songwriters seek collaborators with complementary skills

Science Codex: A musical collaboration, be it Rodgers and Hammerstein or Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, requires a mix of shared and complementary traits that is not always obvious. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University discovered elements of this unique chemistry by using an automated technique to analyze an online songwriting community. Based on four years of data collected though an international songwriting challenge called February Album Writing Month, or FAWM, the Carnegie Mellon team found that common interests or skills do not cause collaborators to seek each other out. The researchers found, for instance, that two people were actually less likely to collaborate if they liked the same songs. More likely would be a writer in one genre seeking out a collaboration with someone who works in a less familiar genre.

Grammys 2013: Circus Looks, Dress Projections, Tributes and More

PLSN: Honoring musical genres ranging from rock to hip hop, Latin, folk, pop, jazz and electronica, the 2013 Grammy Awards also featured a diverse array of visuals, with memorable looks including Taylor Swift’s carnival-themed wonderland and video twists including Carrie Underwood’s video-mapped dress and immersive LED for Frank Ocean’s performance of “Forrest Gump.”

Squeezing One More in Fashion’s Front Row Getting a front-row seat during New York Fashion Week offers attendees the chance to be photographed by paparazzi before the show begins, to actually see the clothes on the models as they strut by, and to exchange a self-congratulatory glance with Anna Wintour (even if that glance goes unacknowledged by the Vogue editor).

‘Caesar Must Die,’ by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani It’s easy to imagine that the performers in “Caesar Must Die,” a riff on Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” are cut from coarser, more authentic material than that found in most productions. The movie, after all, is set in an Italian prison and cast almost entirely with real inmates. The prisoners’ rough faces and darting eyes, the crooked arc of one man’s nose and the unnervingly sly line of another’s smile, suggest so much (murder most foul, to borrow a line), as do the occasional shivery biographical asides, particularly about the mafia, that jostle alongside the play’s poetry. These men, surely, know about betrayal, vengeance and power,knife in the gut and hands washed in blood.

Introducing Autodesk FormIt

YouTube: Introducing Autodesk FormIt. the 1st Architectural Form Modeler for the iPad. FormIt is an intuitive, easy to use mass modeling application helping designers make informed decisions while accessing site & climate data. The building and site aware app allows designers to sketch proposed design options that can be compared with program requirements and then shared with the project team for continued collaboration through Autodesk® 360.


The Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies seeks a Production Manager to organize, supervise, and coordinate all TDPS productions. This position incorporates both administrative and academic responsibilities including budget development, planning and contracting for up to 15 productions annually in three performing spaces, staff supervision, and oversight of students as designers, cast and crew.  May teach stage management. For further information on TDPS see:
Qualifications: BA or BFA in related area and/or equivalent experience/training, and graduate degree and/or extensive professional experience in theater and/or dance production with specific emphasis in theater management and production management. Knowledge of practices of theatre/dance in higher education preferred, though not required. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; spread sheet and database competence.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

25 Years Strong, 'Phantom Of The Opera' Kills And Kills Again

NPR: The longest-running Broadway musical ever, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, celebrated Saturday another milestone: its 25th anniversary. When it all started Jan. 26, 1988, Ronald Reagan was president of the United States, a gallon of gas cost about 90 cents and a ticket to The Phantom of the Opera was a whopping $50. It was the hottest ticket in town.

Strictly FX At The Super Bowl XLVII Pepsi Halftime Show Special effects provider Strictly FX of Chicago, IL, was an integral part of the Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show, working closely with executive producer Ricky Kirshner of RK Productions, and production designer Bruce Rodgers of Tribe Design. “For this one, I think we were able to give them a lot more ideas than they were given in the past—they were accustomed to dealing with firms that only did pyro. We do all the effects—not just pyro—we can provide flame effects, CO2 effects and lasers. We’re also able to visualize our concepts, show them renders, as well as show them animations of all our cues,” notes partner and effects designer Mark Grega of Strictly FX.

The Keys to Higher Productivity? More Sleep, More Breaks, Less Time Doing Work

Top Stories | New Equipment Digest: If you're working harder and putting in longer hours, and you're still struggling to get everything done, Tony Schwartz has a message for you. You can get more work done by devoting more time to doing less.

Relax! You’ll Be More Productive THINK for a moment about your typical workday. Do you wake up tired? Check your e-mail before you get out of bed? Skip breakfast or grab something on the run that’s not particularly nutritious? Rarely get away from your desk for lunch? Run from meeting to meeting with no time in between? Find it nearly impossible to keep up with the volume of e-mail you receive? Leave work later than you’d like, and still feel compelled to check e-mail in the evenings?

OSHA’s Warning on Safety Incentive Programs Are Wide of the Mark

OSHA content from EHS Today: Some good-faith efforts by employers to motivate employees to work safely are running afoul of OSHA, which believes that rewards like a pizza party to celebrate a safety milestone actually may provide a disincentive for employees to report injuries. However, in an attempt to clarify its position, OSHA has cast a net that is too wide and only will lead to confusion over how a company may use incentives to motivate workers. I am not in any way suggesting that companies cover up injuries or punish employees who report them. Nor do I believe that safety incentive programs really work. (More on that in a bit.) But companies that choose to use those programs in good faith deserve better guidance from OSHA.

Carnegie Mellon seeks up to triple damages in Marvell patent case

Reuters: Carnegie Mellon University is asking a court to make Marvell Technology Group Ltd pay up to three times the $1.17 billion jury verdict that the chipmaker was ordered to pay in December for patent infringement. The university filed papers Monday in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, saying Marvell knew it was using Carnegie Mellon patents wrongfully and should pay up to triple damages as a result. Carnegie Mellon also is seeking $321 million in pre-judgment interest.

Epic Production Technologies Scales Back

PLSN: Epic Production Technologies, once a major North American provider of concert and theatrical lighting and staging for Billy Joel, Elton John, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Green Day, The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera, appears to have sharply scaled back its operations. Press reports noted layoffs at company locations in Winnipeg and Burnaby Canada and in Oxnard, CA. Senior executives including Marc Raymond, Ted Fowler and Brian Konechny are also reportedly no longer working for the company.