CMU School of Drama

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Opera Glasses, Google Edition Opera companies, particularly small experimental ones, have been toying in recent years with immersive performances, in which audiences and performers move through different spaces. Often, these have been new works in English, but for companies interested in reimagining the classic canon, one question regularly arises: How to give mobile audiences the supertitle translations to which they have become accustomed?

The #1 Reason for Resume Rejection

LinkedIn: While there are always multiple factors in play, one of the most obvious culprits of lack of positive attention is a flawed resume. Despite numerous reports suggesting resumes are dead, they still tend to be almost universally required as a first step in applying for a job across the majority of the business world.

Slacking on your cover letter? I wouldn’t hire you.

LinkedIn: I recently looked for a new manager-level hire. I got over 100 résumés indicating a great deal of interest, but I was shocked to see that over 90% did not have a cover letter, and some cover letters were addressed to a wrong person. People often complain that they never hear back from the companies they apply to, and this may be one of the reasons why.

If You Do This, Your Emails Might Be Rude

LinkedIn: When we walk up to introduce ourselves to strangers, we intuitively follow basic cultural rules of politeness. Don’t launch into a monologue about yourself. Don’t look over their shoulder to see if someone more important is nearby. Don’t invade personal space, or you’ll be branded as a close talker.
On email, though, it’s the Wild West.

A Resume Will Never Get You the Job You Really Want

LinkedIn: You send in your resume. You include a hopefully eye-catching cover letter. You ask someone to put in a good word for you.
Then you wait. And wait. And don't get the job.
Why? You didn't put in the work.

Don't Bother Paying Attention, This Play Wants You To Fall Asleep The theater, as magical and transformative as it can be, can also get a bit dry, and long, and sometimes, if we're being honest, a little boring. At times, this feeling of boredom is perceived as an almost necessary step to fully understanding and appreciating a theatrical performance. Yet, what if instead of pushing through the drowsiness until the glorious intermission and the snack bar that awaits, you were actually encouraged to fall asleep?

Friday, May 30, 2014

A LinkedIn Network Designed Specifically For The Creative Class

PSFK: It’s no secret that the workforce today is undergoing a shift, with the creative class spearheading the transition towards a freelance economy. Products and resources (such as this stress ball that helps freelancers stay on task) are becoming more and more prevalent to address the needs of those with project-based work. Zerply is one of these tools, functioning as the LinkedIn for artists and other creative professionals in the entertainment industry whose careers don’t fit neatly into the confines of a traditional resume.

James Wolpert of 'The Voice' fame is raising funds for new album on Kickstarter James Wolpert is making his album - and he needs your help.
The Strasburg native and "The Voice" star has formed Daphne Kay, a band with Cory Juba, a friend from Wolpert's days at Carnegie Mellon University. The duo are now ready to release an album and have gone to Kickstarter to raise funds.

Steep Theatre Partners with Carnegie Mellon Playwrights; STICK FIGURES Reading Set for 5/28 Steep Theatre is proud to announce a new partnership with the Dramatic Writing MFA program at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Steep has long been committed to bringing new voices to Chicago theater audiences. Over 13 award winning and critically acclaimed seasons, Steep has produced nearly 30 Chicago, American, and World Premieres. The company has also championed the work of playwrights like Simon Stephens, whose work has been largely unfamiliar to American audiences.

Theatre Communications Group to Hold 2015 National Conference in Cleveland Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, proudly announces that the 25th annual TCG National Conference will take place in Cleveland from June 18 to 20, 2015. The TCG National Conference provides the largest forum for the national theatre community to assemble for artistic and intellectual exchange. The multi-day event draws hundreds of theatre professionals from around the world for meetings, speeches and performances, as well as a chance to explore the local theatre community.

The Interactivity Behind the Lincoln Heritage Museum, Part 1 How do you tell the story of Abraham Lincoln’s life with audio, video, and all sorts of electronic sensors that didn’t exist in his time and make it look convincing? Alan Eidson of Eidson Studios was called in to install all of this for the Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College and he’s about to tell us the story right here on the SVC Podcast.

Sunnyvale Theatre Switches to All-LED Lighting Rig from ETC

Stage Directions: The Sunnyvale Theatre in Sunnyvale, Calif. (near San Jose) recently switched to an all LED rig from ETC, and reaped a lot of benefits. After considering a traditional, hybrid, or all-LED rig, and performing cost/benefit analysis on all three ETC dealer Musson Theatrical and ETC representative Wunder Lighting and Controls, the theatre chose to go with an all-LED rig. After a shoot-out of LED fixtures they purchased four Source Four LED units to experiment with in their space.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Estelle Parsons Honored with 2014 Obie for Lifetime Achievement

Stage Directions: The 2014 Obie Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Estelle Parsons. The 59th annual Village Voice Obie Awards will take place on May 19, hosted by Tamara Tunie and Hamish Linklater. Best known for her Academy Award-winning performance in Bonnie and Clyde and her 10 years as Mother Bev on the hit sitcom “Roseanne,” Parsons most recently starred in The Velocity of Autumn on Broadway, for which she earned an Tony nomination.

The Newest Godzilla Would Have Taken 450 Years To Design On A Single Computer

The Creators Project: On May 16th, the newest incarnation of cinema's most nefarious mega-monster will start surging through movie theaters across the States. This is the first Godzilla re-boot in a decade, and based on what we know so far about this installment in the Kaiju franchise, this version genuinely looks awesome. We're talking really epic. It doesn't hurt that it stars Bryan Cranston in his first leading gig since Breaking Bad's finale.

Many Oregon Workers Taking ‘Safety Break’ Today

Occupational Health & Safety: Employers large and small – a restaurant/brewery, the electric utility serving most of Portland, Oregon Parks and Recreation's Tryon Creek State Natural Area, and others – are pausing their operations today so their employees can participate in Oregon OSHA's 2014 Safety Break for Oregon.

London Production of 'Miss Saigon' May Come to Broadway The producer Cameron Mackintosh is considering bringing his new London production of “Miss Saigon” to Broadway next year if the reviews are strong in Britain and a suitable theater becomes available in New York, according to two theater executives with knowledge of Mr. Mackintosh’s plans.

A Small Change To Cut Mixing Time In Half

Pro Sound Web: Do you struggle with mixing? Does it take you forever to be happy with a mix? If so, you may be falling prey to a very common and very preventable problem.
I recently picked up a new mixing gig for a client. The songs are full band arrangements, and they are very well produced. There are a few tracks here and there that aren’t recorded as well as I would like them to be. Even so, I’m finding myself mixing these songs much faster than I expected.

A Tony for the Mantel? Maybe Not A leading theater organization is developing proposals — sure to be unpopular with some producers — to stop selling the medallion-topped Tony Awards to scores of investors who help finance winning Broadway shows.
Concerned that the integrity of the Tony is cheapened by putting it on sale, leaders of the American Theater Wing, which helps oversee the Tonys, are considering alternative awards to sell to investors, who are currently invited to buy a Tony for $2,500 if their musicals or plays win in the four show categories

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Daniel Beaty Promotes Both Artistry and Social Good On a recent sweltering day, the actor and writer Daniel Beaty spent six hours at a high school near Watts, showing the students how their pain could turn into poetry. A few hours later, and about 20 miles north, he walked onstage at the Mark Taper Forum to portray the singer Paul Robeson, Robeson’s wife, the Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein and 40 or so other characters in “The Tallest Tree in the Forest.”

This 16-Year-Old Student Shows What Fashion Was Like In Every Decade From The 1920s. Her 1970s Photo Looks Completely Real! In this series she contrasts the fashion worn by the mainstream and counter-culture of each decade. She gives painstaking detail to the makeup and fashion sense of each group, and goes so far as to make the photos look like they came from the decade they represent.

Labor Talks Begin at Metropolitan Opera The Metropolitan Opera opened labor talks on Tuesday with the Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the union that represents the stagehands who build, move and light the sets and props at the opera house.

Carnegie Mellon's Integrated Innovation Institute First To Cross-Train in Engineering, Design and Business

Press Release - Digital Journal: Carnegie Mellon University believes so and today formally launched the Integrated Innovation Institute, an unprecedented market-focused center designed to speed the pace of innovation by producing professional master's degree graduates with the skills and know-how to accelerate new product and service creation.

20th Anniversary Gala for The Theater Project next Thursday

New York Theater | On next Thursday, May 15th devoted theater lovers will celebrate two decades of the best in contemporary theater in New Jersey. The 20th Anniversary Gala for The Theater Project, a professional theater company, will be held at the Wilshire Grand in West Orange. The evening will include a cocktail hour, sit down dinner, silent auction and conclude with an entertainment program.

A Holocaust Play in Amsterdam Opens in Controversy Over the decades, the story of Anne Frank has been interpreted onstage in varying ways, including a version that some critics describe as too simplistic. Now a new play, simply titled “Anne,” that opened here last week presents a complex portrayal of a teenage girl: sometimes impetuous, spoiled and lonely.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Technical Theatre Awards Launches 'Bigger, Better Event' for 2014

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: The Technical Theatre Awards, which celebrates the outstanding achievements of UK theatre workers behind the scenes, has launched its 2014 'bigger, better, brighter' event with a call for sponsors and nominations.
The TTAs debuted at PLASA 2013 at London's ExCel to credit the often unsung heroes working backstage to make theatre magic happen.

USITT to Explore New Entertainment Technology at Spark! Symposium Sept. 7-9 in N.C.

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: USITT's first Spark! symposium on using new technologies to enhance live performance is slated for Sept. 7-9 at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Spark! will bring together artists and engineers, designers, and technicians to "spark" ideas for applying innovations like 3-D holographics, new audio and visual software, and products like Google Glass in the entertainment industry.

David Henry Hwang: racial casting has evolved – and so have my opinions

Stage | I lied to producer Cameron Mackintosh. In 1991, Mackintosh had announced the Broadway transfer of his hit West End musical Miss Saigon, a retelling of Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly set against the backdrop of the Vietnam war. The brilliant Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce would reprise his starring turn as the Engineer, a Eurasian pimp. Many Asian Americans and others regarded Pryce's casting as an example of "yellow face" casting. While black face – a Caucasian actor applying make-up to portray a character of African descent – was generally considered a relic of a more racist past, yellow face (as well as brown face and red face) remains a more common practice to this day.

New theater coalition wants end to racial, ethnic stereotypes

Minnesota Public Radio News: Five Twin Cities theaters of color are forming a coalition to ensure that their communities are respected on stage.
By joining forces, Penumbra Theatre, Mu Performing Arts, New Native Theater, Teatro del Pueblo and Pangea, aim to broaden cultural perspectives in the local theater scene.
The move comes as theaters nationwide are struggling to adjust to changing demographics.

Circus Accident Investigators Blame Failed Carabiner

PLSN: Although an OSHA investigation is ongoing, preliminary reports from safety investigators pointed to the failure of a five-inch steel carabiner in the circus accident that seriously injured nine at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center here May 4. Eight of the nine female performers were injured after falling from a 30-foot height to the floor, the ninth was on the ground when the rigging for the “hair hang” apparatus used for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Legends tour suddenly failed.

Electrical Safety -- Don't Be Shocked!

Occupational Health & Safety: One challenge that's got many electricians, safety trainers, and frontline workers confused is the definition of low voltage. Another question regards the difference between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) in terms of the risk of shock and/or electrocution. These two areas are linked, since the potential of shock from low-voltage, both AC and DC, is dependent on the amperage involved.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man 2 VFX With a strong worldwide release including a $91 million plus opening weekend at the U.S. box office, Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is well on its way to blockbuster status. The second edition in the studio’s webbed superhero reboot, helmed again by director Marc Webb, pits our hero against old and new foes alike, with much of the ensuing mayhem taking place within one of the most visually iconic and familiar city settings in the world – Manhattan.

The Paradox of Art as Work There are few modern relationships as fraught as the one between art and money. Are they mortal enemies, secret lovers or perfect soul mates? Is the bond between them a source of pride or shame, a marriage of convenience or something tawdrier?
The way we habitually think and talk about these matters betrays a deep and venerable ambivalence. On one hand, art is imagined to exist in a realm of value that lies beyond and beneath mere economic considerations.

Dust Collection System FAQ

Popular Woodworking Magazine: It may sound as resolute as a long-range weather forecast, but yes, maybe and no. It is really a personal choice. Locating the dust collection machine outside the shop will lower sound levels and free up shop space. For some woodworkers (me included) these are the deciding advantages. But if your winters are cold, first consider how to minimize the loss of heated air, possibly through a filtered passive air return.

Bus tours of Pittsburgh movie locations to begin soon

Local News - WTAE Home: "Lights, Camera, Pittsburgh!" is scheduled to launch May 31.
The 2 1/2-hour trip, put together with help from the Pittsburgh Film Office, will show off areas that were backdrops in major motion pictures and explain why those spots were chosen.

Patrick Wilson's wisdom

Celebrities - Some 20 years ago, Patrick Wilson and Christian Borle were friends and classmates at Carnegie Mellon University.
Today, both have found success. on stage and screen. Wilson starred blockbusters ["Watchmen"]. Borle, too, has found success on the stage in productions such as "Spamalot" and "Peter and the Starcatcher" to NBC's "Smash."
What's their secret to their success? Borle's answer is simple.

Three Rivers Arts Festival lays out dance, art offerings

TribLIVE: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust estimates 400,000 people will attend the 55th Annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.
So, the Trust's staff has packed the 10-day festival running June 6 to 15, at Point State Park, Downtown, with a diverse schedule of music, visual arts, dance and drama to make sure everyone has a good time.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Study finds attending plays feels as good as a pay rise

News : The Stage: People who attend plays have a level of wellbeing equivalent to the amount of happiness derived from a £1,000 annual income increase, new research on the social impacts of culture has found.

Simplicity Rules: A Well-Considered Sonic Approach For Broken Bells

Pro Sound Web: Technically, Broken Bells is a duo, a Los Angeles-based indie-rock band comprised of Brian Burton (also known as Danger Mouse) and The Shins lead singer/guitarist James Mercer who first conceived the idea of doing a project together after meeting at the Roskilde Festival in 2004.

Making Opera Relevant in the Current Economy

OperaPulse :: Opera's Online Voice: The current state of San Diego Opera is a quintessential representation of a broken traditional model. Opera companies must consider a change or a sober look at the way they do business. In this era of open source support for the growth of business, we’re witnessing an unprecedented degree of transparency and collaboration. If a consumer is interested in a product or company, most are now asking many other questions besides how beneficial it will be to their lives.


DigBoston: Before she was the world renowned intellectual, activist, and writer, Susan Sontag was that dreadful, awkward thing we all try our best to block out of our collective memory: an adolescent. With the guidance of her prolific journals, The Builders Association (under the direction of Marianne Weems) seeks to bring to life a portrait of the woman as a young, budding writer in an effort that is sensually intimate and stoically powerful.

Get the Facts About Struggling Student Loan Borrowers

US News: Media reports are full of headlines about the perils of student debt and how it threatens to be the next economic bubble. Reports cite outstanding student debt eclipsing that of credit cards and auto loans, default rates rising to their highest level in recent years and delinquency rates higher than any other form of consumer debt.

Live Design Announces 2013-14 Products Of The Year

Gear content from Live Design: Live Design has named its 2013-2014 Products of the Year, chosen by panels of prestigious designers and programmers in the disciplines of lighting, sound, and projection.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

AV: Real World Gear: Column Loudspeakers

Pro Sound Web: Despite their rather scant appearance, many modern column loudspeakers deliver exceptional full-range performance, and this can be furthered by companion LF boxes and subwoofers.
Although they’ve been around for more than a half-century, column loudspeakers are popular because they offer a compromise solution for those who need efficiency in the vocal range combined with even coverage and a very slim, unobtrusive profile.

Tap for Tickets: Why Broadway Going Mobile Is The Ultimate Second Act

Jonathan D. Lovitz: "I just love waiting on line for Broadway tickets," said no one, ever. Equally unlikely to be said is, "I'm really looking forward to spending thirty minutes on the phone with Ticketmaster and paying those completely fair fees." So in a world where we order dinner with a tap, choose our clothes with a swipe, and pick our dates with a pinch, why are we still buying tickets for the theatre the old-fashioned way?

Film production worker claims union contract broken during ‘Grudge Match’ filming

Louisiana Record: A film publicist is suing the union she belongs to as well as a film production company responsible for the recent film Grudge Match after her contract was allegedly broken.
Jeanmarie Murphy filed suit against IATSE Local 600 and Riverboat Productions LLC in the 24th Judicial District Court on April 9.

Boston Conservatory Launches Conservatory College

Stage Directions: The Boston Conservatory, a private, fully-accredited college founded in 1867 to train students in music, dance and theatre, has launched a new academic division, the Conservatory College, which will teach students in new but related areas of interest, including programs like multi-disciplinary stage management and music education programs that focus on the special skills needed in teaching music to individuals on the autism spectrum. A full list of new programs include: B.F.A. in Contemporary Theater; B.F.A. in Theater—Multidisciplinary Stage Management; B.F.A. in Dance—Walnut Hill Partnership Program; M.A. in Multidisciplinary Studies—Critical Arts Writing; M.M. in Music Education—Autism Concentration; and a Graduate Certificate in Music and Autism.

Circus “Hair Hang” Apparatus Fails, Nine Performers Hospitalized

Stage Directions: A Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus aerial act was disrupted at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center here May 4 as the apparatus for the all-female “hair hang act” failed. About 20 were injured, including eight performers who fell from a 30-foot height. All eight sustained serious injuries. A ninth performer on the ground also sustained serious injury.

Sublimotion fuses food and projection

InAVate: A new ‘theatre of the senses’ has fused eating with a projection mapping show to create what must be one of the most impressive – and expensive - dining experiences ever. Sublimotion, located on the Spanish island of Ibiza, is the brainchild of renowned chef Paco Roncero. If diners aren’t fazed by the cool €1,500 per head cost, they can take a seat at the dining table which becomes the canvas for a colourful projection show.

Friday, May 23, 2014

How Television Became Art Vulture’s Matt Zoller Seitz proclaims that we are in the second phase of TV’s golden age, as mini-series-anthologies become the norm, and writers find consistently new, innovative, and often more compact ways to tell their stories.
Citing Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story as the harbinger of this phase, Seitz also praises True Detective and Fargo for presenting contained stories that not only allow for tighter narratives, but also allow for their megawatt stars to not be tied to a traditional TV shooting schedule.

For Broadway’s First Black Phantom, a Dream Fulfilled Say a wish out loud enough times, and it might come true. It worked for the Broadway baritone Norm Lewis, anyway. For years, when Mr. Lewis, the star of 2012’s “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” was asked what his dream roles would be, he often mentioned Harold Hill in “The Music Man” or Billy Bigelow in “Carousel.” Yet the role he invariably named was the title character in the long-running musical “The Phantom of the Opera,” and at last it has come his way. Mr. Lewis will don the cape and mask for a six-month run starting May 12.

Hearing From the Women Who Made the Year’s Musicals Sing “You’re not going to get us to pull each other’s hair,” Kelli O’Hara said as she and her four fellow Tony Award nominees for best actress in a musical — one of this year’s most competitive races — met recently to discuss life in the theater. But as warm as they were to one another, their words carried some bite about the business.

Circus performers are improving, relatives say

Metro - The Boston Globe: Eight female performers who were seriously injured in Rhode Island after falling about 20 feet during a circus act in which they were suspended aloft by their hair are improving, relatives said Tuesday.
“The girls are all OK, you know, and my daughter is OK,” said Roiter Neves, the father of Widny Neves, a 25-year-old aerial acrobat who was injured Sunday during the accident at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.

D.C. Plays Close Quickly on Broadway Stages

Arts Desk: After just 16 performances on Broadway, Arena Stage's multi-million dollar production of The Velocity of Autumn closed yesterday. Producers made the announcement last Wednesday, mere hours after the play received a Tony nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Play. Ticket sales were dismal, the New York Times described it as "a little strained and too whimsical," and neither its acclaimed stars nor director Molly Smith couldn't save it.

Poor man’s copyright: Mailing something to yourself doesn’t work. You could have heard about the “poor man’s copyright” anywhere: from an older relative, from a friend, from a high school English teacher. They find out that you’ve been working on a novel and they want to help, so they tell you to mail it to yourself once it’s done. That way, even if you don’t do anything with the novel for years (or if those snooty literary agents and publishing houses are incapable of recognizing genius when they see it), you still have a copy bearing an official federal date—and no one can steal your spot on the New York Times best-seller list.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Look Inside Klein's New Heat Treatment Plant

Pro Tool Reviews: I had the opportunity to tour Klein Tools’ Manufacturing Headquarters and attend the grand opening of their Heat Treatment Facility in Mansfield, Texas. Klein focuses heavily on the electrical and utility industry when designing tools and remains committed to manufacturing in the United States. With the two manufacturing plants now in Texas, Klein has brought over 200 jobs to the local community. Currently, Klein has over $100 million planned for further US based manufacturing.

LED Lenser M17R Flashlight: Let Your Light Shine Like all great stories, LED Lenser began its journey in a garage with two men and a dream. Denied a loan by the local bank, twin brothers Rainer and Harald Opolka struck out on their own and created the LED Lenser company which did 200 million in revenues in its first five years and now employs over 1000 people. Not bad for a flashlight.

Three PLASA Standards Are Posted for Public Review

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: Three draft standard have been added to PLASA's public review website at bringing the total to six. Their reviews run through June 30; their review will be over when July 1 starts.

Skunk Works: A Place for Innovation

Field Notes: What happens when you try to create something new in your organization? You might be lucky enough to be able to go off in a corner and sprint through the design work without any disturbances. But more likely, you are encumbered by some pesky obstacles otherwise known as policies and procedures. You work tirelessly, are just inches from a reaching a Eureka! moment, only to have one of the following happen:
You get thrown out of the conference room because you didn’t sign up for the time slot
You get dragged into staff meeting
You need authorization from your boss to go further, there are no approval forms in the tray and the printer is out of ink
And then a donut or facebook or something shiny catches your attention, and it’s another day before you come back to your big idea.

Six Charged in Fatal 2012 Stage Structure Collapse

PLSN: Criminal negligence and involuntary manslaughter charges were brought against five people and a staging company associated with the April 18, 2012 collapse of a stage structure that killed an IDF officer and injured seven other military personnel.
The victims, including Second Lt. Hila Bezaleli, 20, who was killed, had been rehearsing in preparation for Israel’s annual Independence Day remembrance ceremonies at Mount Herzl when the structural elements failed.

Creating the Storms of Electro for 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' For reference in creating Electro’s internal storm, the filmmakers turned to nature, grabbing inspiration from neurological networks, deep space nebulas, and, of course, lightning. On-set, Jamie Foxx wore elaborate make-up that had a dual purpose: serving as a base for the final look of the film, and working as tracking markers for post-production. Since Electro was wearing a hood, he was lit up with remote controlled LED lights from below to prevent the hood from darkening up his face too much in order to achieve the ultimate goal of his skin emitting light.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

'Human chandelier' falls: 9 performers in R.I. circus accident The curtain drops to reveal women hanging by their hair. Leotards are in perfect place -- toes pointed, smiles on.
The music kicks in on cue, and then suddenly -- horrifyingly -- what's known as the "human chandelier" plummets to the ground.
"I screamed. I'm like, that's not right," Chelie Barrie, a spectator, told CNN affiliate WPRI. "You know, sometimes you're surprised and it's part of the show, but this clearly wasn't."

Rocky: Dan Scully On The Projection Design

Rocky On Broadway content from Live Design: Projections play a large role in recreating the world of 1970’s Philadelphia—such as running under the El tracks—in translating Rocky the film to Rocky the musical, currently knocking out audiences at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway.

Why Artists Will Always Work For Free

Andi Osho's Life Blog: This week I compiled a list of what I’m working on to help me better manage my time. The list included screenplays, short films in different stages of completion, various smaller projects and of course, this blog –none of which are paid.
Across the internet there's much talk and lamentation for and from the poor, struggling artist who is abused, taken advantage of and disrespected by an industry that seems to expect them to work for free. While that does happen, I have another take on working for free or, as I think we should rebrand it, working for potential.

Grey's Anatomy director of photography accused of 'verbally abusing female staff'

Mail Online: Grey's Anatomy has been labelled a hostile working environment, according to a lawsuit filed by a former best boy grip.
Timothy Day - who worked on the award-winning series for a decade - claims that the show's longtime director of photography Herb Davis subjected Debbie Allen and other female employees to discrimination for years, as reported by TMZ.

Theater Project honors J. Edward Cecala and Diana Fairfax of Westfield at anniversary gala The Theater Project will recognize J. Edward “Joe” Cecala, and Diane Fairfax at its 20th Anniversary Gala to be held on Thursday, May 15 at the Wilshire Grand in West Orange.
Cecala is a former resident of Westfield, where he and his wife of 41 years, Kathy, raised their three children, Joe Jr., Kristen Marie, and Patrick Thomas II. Cecala s being honored for his long-standing support of The Theater Project, a professional company based in Maplewood and Cranford.

Soprano soloist adds exquisite touch to PSO's Mozart Festival

TribLIVE: A vocal sampler provided a successful conclusion to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's brief Mozart Festival on Friday at Heinz Hall, a concert which will be repeated on Sunday.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Showbiz Analysis with Charles Haid

Daily American: Parade Entertainment: Actor and director Charles Haid will forever be remembered as hotheaded Officer Andy Renko from the hit NBC series Hill Street Blues (1981-1987). Playing the “perennial adolescent” cop earned him two Primetime Emmy nominations and the opportunity to work with a talented cast and crew with some fascinating college connections. I recently had the pleasure of catching up with Charles Haid for my special Hill Street Blues series for and my podcast Whine At 9. During our conversation, Haid shared memories of the feisty Andy Renko, the synergy of Carnegie Mellon University-affiliated castmates and series co-creator Steven Bochco, and his success after the popular show.

3d Printed Electrostatic Loudspeakers From Disney Research

Technology News - redOrbit: 3D printing continues to change the world. Last year a gun University of Texas law student devised a method for 3D printing of a firearm, and this year NASA announced it will soon utilize 3D printers as an alternative to traditional manufacturing processes.

Petersen Automotive Museum Unveils Eye-Catching New Exterior

ArchDaily: The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles has announced that it will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2014 with a redesign of its interior and a complete transformation of its exterior facade to create a “world class museum that will showcase the art, experience, culture and heritage of the automobile.” The exterior design by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates will give the Petersen a truly unique and iconic look that will hopefully attract architecture and car enthusiasts alike.

Screws are Screws – Aren’t They?

Popular Woodworking Magazine: It usually happens as you hang a door or install a shelf. You’ve got a balancing act going as you hold one piece, steady a second piece and attempt to drive a screw all at the same time. Then, as you snug the screw those final few threads, the connection pulls tight and the screw snaps.
I was curious to find out why some screws break and others don’t. I know what I discovered will amaze you as much as it did me.

6 suspects in deadly Mount Herzl stage collapse indicted

Israel Hayom: The Jerusalem District Attorney announced the indictment of six suspects from the 2012 incident that left 20-year-old Lt. Hila Betzaleli dead after a lighting rig collapsed on her during a Memorial Day ceremony rehearsal at Mount Herzl. The suspects have the option to attend a pre-trial hearing before being tried for causing death and injury by negligence.

Congratulations Graduate! Eleven Reasons Why I Will Never Hire You. Over the past 20 years, I’ve been in hiring roles and have received thousands of resumes from new college graduates. I’ve interviewed many for real jobs and done my share of informational interviews. Sometimes I’ve hired people into entry-level positions. More often though, I haven’t.
Those who did not get the job were sometimes just not the right fit. Other times, they were trumped by a more impressive candidate or victim to some other random event mostly out of their control.
Too many had the background to make the cut or at least garner a second interview. But disastrous interviewing skills brought you down.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Classy or trashy? Dancers twerk to classical music

Toronto Star: You rarely use the words “twerking” and “classical music” in the same sentence.
But that’s the only way to describe a controversial new music video that fuses a piece of classical music with a gyrating, scantily clad Korean dance troupe.
The eye-popping video was masterminded by a Belgian classical music festival in a bid to bring a century-old symphony to new ears.
It seems to have worked — the clip has racked up more than 1.7 million views in the past week.

Major Donation to USITT Spurs Research USITT's ability to fund cutting-edge research took a huge step forward on March 26 when Novella Smith and Robert Gerlach made a $20,000 donation to the Edward Kook Fund. The gifts, announced at USITT's Annual Meeting in Fort Worth, were a surprise engineered by Ms. Smith and Mr. Gerlach as a way to show their appreciation for support they received in 2001 for their Development and Study of LED-Based Theatrical Lighting. That grant, coupled with an enormous amount of time and effort, helped lead to the creation of the Seledor series of LED lights.

Wit, Wisdom, Wackiness from Fort Worth They triggered laughter; they prompted tears; they brought people to their feet for standing ovations.
The seasoned heroes at the 2014 Conference & Stage Expo are most at home backstage, but they wowed with wit, wisdom, and a little wackiness when put in the spotlight in Fort Worth, Texas.

How Much Does it Cost to “Make” a Ticket?

Selling Out: Let’s start answering that question by asking a different one.
How much does it cost to make a sandwich?
Let’s say that you buy bread, condiments, meat and cheese for about $2 and each time you turn on your sandwich press, it costs you $.50. Ignoring labor costs for a moment, it costs you $2.50 to make a sandwich. If you sell it for $6, you’ll probably end up with a profit after you pay for everything else a business needs

We Wrote 9 Awesome Email Templates So You Don't Have To

The Muse: One of the most helpful things for a busy professional is not having to reinvent the wheel. Be that leveraging experts within your company instead of researching a topic from scratch or using the same order form your colleague developed, building on the work of others saves time and effort.

Ryobi Airstrike 18v Cordless Nailer Review

Tool Box Buzz Tool Box Buzz: The Ryobi Airstrike tools (in addition to the 18 gauge brad nailer, there’s also a narrow crown stapler) are a sign that Ryobi isn’t just relegated to the DIYer or homeowner crowd anymore. The bright green tools are finding their way onto professional job sites more and more often.
The Airstrike nailer is powered by Ryobi’s One+ 18 volt battery system, already well-established. With the battery installed, the tool is well-balanced and comfortable to hold. It’s not overly-heavy, either.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Some startling new statistics on Broadway Musical Adaptations vs. Original Shows.

The Producer's Perspective: One of my more popular blogs over the years was this ol’ chestnut from back in 2008 (!) about adaptations on Broadway, and specifically the number of movies being turned into musicals.
I was prepping for a conversation with an agent recently about the challenges of totally original new musicals versus musicals based on something (a book, a movie, a catalog of music, etc., that gives you a marketing head start because of the pre-existing brand), so I decided to dig a little bit deeper through the annals of adaptation history on Broadway. It’s easy to say things are riskier or have a harder time gettin’ off the ground. It’s another thing to have data to back it up.

Lena Hall on Her Tony Nomination for 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'

BlackBook: When I first heard that Neil Patrick Harris was stepping into the infamous shoes of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, I thought it was a natural fit. Though I first met Neil as a co-star when he was just 14 on the set of Cold Sassy Tree (where I was his first kiss) the world now knows him as a master showman. A total magician, comedy gold, and boasting the most excellent voice—and gams to boot!—it’s no surprise that he is fantastic in the role of Hedwig. But the revelation here, is Lena Hall, who plays Yitzhak, as woman playing a man who longs to be a drag queen.

Two Musical Theater Creatives Score $100K Each from Kleban Foundation

Variety: Musical theater scribes Nathan Tysen (pictured above, right) and Arthur Perlman (above, left) have nabbed the 2014 Kleban Prize, the hefty annual award that comes with a $100,000 check for each of the award recipients.
The 24-year-old prize, which doles out honors to tuner lyricists and librettists, is awarded by the Kleban Foundation, the org named after the late Edward L. Kleban, lyricist of “A Chorus Line.” The funds are given to reward previous achievement and also to help artists support themselves as they create future work.

Millennial America

Peter Sachon: Orchestras need to offer compelling reasons for millennials to make live symphonic music a part of their lives. After all, millennials are the largest generation in human history, and at nearly 90 million people they will very soon make up the vast majority of our orchestras’ stakeholders, constituents, audience, staff members and supporters – and instrumentalists. By 2017, they will surpass the buying power of the baby boomer generation. There is simply no generation in the next forty years that will have the size and potential purchasing power to influence American orchestras more than millennials. While orchestras aren’t the only institutions that have abandoned the young, they can still be among the first to reclaim them — and in so doing they can begin to reclaim the position of live orchestral music in American culture.

Carnegie Mellon Becomes First Higher Education Partner of Tony Awards

Stage Directions: In addition to the nominations that were announced yesterday, the Tony Awards have named Carnegie Mellon as their exclusive higher education partner. As partners they will work to build the first national recognition program for K-12 theatre educators. Nominations will be open to the public starting in September 2014 and a panel of judges comprised of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, CMU and other leaders from the theatre industry will select the finalists and winner based on criteria set forth by the committee. The winning teacher will receive the “Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre Education presented by Carnegie Mellon University” on-stage at the 2015 Tony Awards.

2014 Tony Award Nominations Announced

Stage Directions: On Tuesday, April 29, actress of stage and screen Lucy Liu and Tony-nominee Jonathan Groff announced the nominees for the 68th annual Tony Awards. The Tony Awards show will take place Sunday, June 8 from 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Eastern and will be televised on CBS (live on the East Coast, delayed for the West Coast). The nominations for awards in 26 competitive categories were selected by an independent committee of 33 theatre professionals. A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder received the most nominations (with 10), followed closely by another musical, the remount of Hedwig and the Angry Inch with eight. For straight plays, two revivals (The Glass Menagerie and Twelfth Night) received the most nominations, with seven. In addition to the competitive categories, the Tony Awards will honor other theatres and theatre professionals this year.

Friday, May 09, 2014

New Paper Says It's Time To Reasonably Decrease Copyright Term And Rethink Putting Copyright In Treaties

Techdirt: A couple years ago, a Congressional staffer named Derek Khanna wrote a fantastic policy brief on copyright, arguing for a variety of sensible reforms, including bringing copyright term downward to a much more reasonable level. You know what happened next. Hollywood went ballistic and called on its favorite politicians, who attacked the report and Khanna, leading to the report being yanked -- despite having gone through a full review process -- and Khanna not being retained in his job.

Pittsburgh Musical Theater getting new leadership

TribLIVE: After 24 years as the founding director of Pittsburgh Musical Theater and the Richard E. Rauh Conservatory, Ken Gargaro is making his exit, effective Sept. 30.
Colleen Petrucci, who has been serving as the company's general manager and the conservatory's director, will succeed Gargaro as the new executive director, beginning July 1.

‘The Book of Mormon’ features star-crossed Grey Henson

Cranston Herald: Grey Henson was a senior, working on his Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting and musical theatre at Pittsburgh’s acclaimed Carnegie Mellon in 2012 when he auditioned for the role of Elder McKinley in the upcoming road show of “The Book of Mormon.”
“I was a little nervous,” the Georgia native said. “I was half way through my senior year and rehearsals would be starting that May. I was able to graduate, rehearse for my role, open the tour and get my equity card right after graduation.

Pgh Musical Theater captivates audiences with ‘Les Miserables’

New Pittsburgh Courier: The emotional music of “Les Miserables” is what made Carnegie Mellon vocal performance student Donovan Smith step away from performing in operas and return to the stage to perform in Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s powerful production of “Les Miserables.”
“It is so similar to an opera, with the exception of the strict vocal guidelines,” he said.

Can't Ask That? Some Job Interviewers Go To Social Media Instead

All Tech Considered : NPR: Many of Don Kluemper's management students at the University of Illinois at Chicago have had this experience: After going on a job interview, they sometimes receive "friend" requests from their interviewers.
It puts the students in a bind, he says. They fear that not accepting the request might hurt their job chances, but they also feel compelled to scrub their profiles before accepting.

A Fan of Awesome Movies Asks if Movies Have Become Too Awesome Nothing less than the fate of Manhattan, the Earth and the galaxy are at stake in upcoming releases The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla and Guardians of the Galaxy. Will these films play out in dialog-heavy scenes in a coffee shop, a boardroom or a lonely beach? Of course not. Their conclusions will be decided in grand battles across vast expanses and with images and technology beyond reality.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

PICT Theatre audiences asked for the classics, and that's what they're getting

TribLIVE: Artistic and executive director Alan Stanford says the audiences for PICT Theatre, which recently was renamed from Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, have spoken, and they have been heard.
“Our audience wants the classics,” Stanford says.
So, he is opening the 2014 season with Noel Coward's comedy “Blithe Spirit.”

The Women of ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ The famous name above the title in the current Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” is Denzel Washington, but LaTanya Richardson Jackson gets the nicest dressing room at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, where Kenny Leon’s new production opened this month.

The Metric System

ToolGuyd: In science, imperial units are very rarely used. Acceleration due to gravity? ~9.81 m/s^2. The speed of light? 3 x 10^8 m/s. Speed of sound? 343 m/s at sea level. The wavelength of red? 650 nm.
When it comes to linear measurements, meters are very easy to work with.
1000 meters in a kilometer, 100 centimeters in a meter, 10 millimeters in a centimeter, 1,000,000 nanometers in a millimeter.

How ‘A Night With Janis Joplin’ Was Suddenly Canceled Assured by producers that their jobs were safe, actors skipped auditions for other musicals. Band members signed apartment leases. Investors wrote more checks for the show.
But when they all gathered together on April 8, for a final rehearsal of their musical, “A Night With Janis Joplin,” a theater’s worth of hopes were dashed. They learned that the show’s lead producers — who had moved “Joplin” from Broadway to the lower-budget Off Broadway — were canceling the run because of poor ticket sales, just 48 hours before reopening downtown at the Gramercy Theater.

Pixar's Ed Catmull On Why Communication Should Know No Boundaries

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: Pixar has nearly 30 years of imaginative work behind it, but the company struggles with the same frustrations as any organization. At the recent Innovation Uncensored New York event, Pixar President Ed Catmull shared his experiences with keeping a diverse crew on track.

A Look at This Year’s Broadway Choreography The choreography of seven new Broadway musicals I’ve recently seen falls into the category of “good generic.” In each case — efficiently, pleasingly, vividly — it’s taken me somewhere I’ve been before.
The shows range from Disney’s “Aladdin,” which reconjures the pop mythic Arabian fantasy land of “Scheherazade” and “Kismet,” to “If/Then,” which reimagines the Manhattan of today. Any of the seven might be contenders for this year’s Tony Award for best choreography when the nominees are announced on Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Candida at Pittsburgh Public Theater

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: I was slightly worried going into Pittsburgh Public Theater's production of George Bernard Shaw's Candida. After all, Shaw never willingly passed up a chance to lecture his audience. And, too, in nearly three decades of reviewing I'd never seen Candida and, usually, there's a reason a play goes unproduced for 30 years.

5 Common Job Interview Mistakes

Real Simple: Your handshake is firm, your eye contact is exceptional, and your thank-you notes are the perfect mix of professionalism and personality. But hold on: Are you bringing in a Big Gulp?! Experts share the less obvious uh-ohs that could derail your chances.

When is the best time to send emails? Pinpointing the best day and time to send a campaign is difficult because ideal sending times vary between industries and lists, and may also depend on the segment of a list you're sending to.

‘The Glass Menagerie’ Hopes for First Tony Nomination One of the most famous and popular American plays, it turns out, is also one of the most slighted in Broadway history.
Tennessee Williams’s “The Glass Menagerie,” a staple of school reading lists for its poetic portrait of a domineering mother and her fearful children, has been produced seven times on Broadway, from 1945 to this season — more than any other American classic except the playwright’s “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Yet to the surprise of many admirers of “Menagerie,” the Broadway productions have never received a nomination for a Tony Award, the theater industry’s highest honor.

Tony Nominations Spread Across a Wide Stage The major races for Broadway’s Tony Awards will be unusually wide-open this spring, with the nominations, announced on Tuesday, showing more love for Shakespeare than for Hollywood and for popular songs by Carole King and Duke Ellington than for original musicals. Ambitiously conceived productions like “Rocky” and “If/Then” fared poorly, and some of the season’s most praised performers — including the boldface names Daniel Radcliffe and Denzel Washington — were edged out.

The Wooster Group's Rumstick Road Roars Back, Ephemeral But For All Time

Village Voice: When an aspirant student of literature sets about learning the canon, the masterworks will be waiting. Indeed, they're always there, resting on library shelves across America. Young film scholars needn't travel very far to enjoy the classics of their medium, either, now that almost any opus can be downloaded at high speed and in high definition. Only the theater denies its disciples this luxury. You can't simply buy, rent, pirate, or otherwise track down Jerzy Grotowski's Orpheus as it was performed in 1959, nor the Manhattan Project's Alice in Wonderland as it was mounted in 1970. The enthusiast is only afforded the compromise of ancillary evidence: scripts, production notes, a handful of firsthand accounts and reviews. Great performances are by nature impermanent. When it comes to the masterpieces of the theater, we have to take history's word for it.

Monday, May 05, 2014

3 Ways to Avoid Résumé Buzzword Banality

US News: Which of these words have you used to describe yourself on your LinkedIn profile or résumé?
Responsible. Effective. Strategic. Analytical. Expert. Organizational. Specialized. Creative. Innovative. Experimental. Motivated. Driven. Patient.
A recent LinkedIn study identified these as 13 of the most overused buzzwords worldwide in members’ profiles for 2012 and 2013. “Responsible” was used twice as often as any other word on the list.

Save your AutoCAD Drawings to the Cloud! (Automatically!)

 Lynn Allen's Blog: Talk about the ultimate backup system...Autodesk 360 makes it easy to save your drawing files, Revit files, Inventor files, etc to your Autodesk 360 account while still saving your file to your local destination.

New Award Recognizes Two Young Choreographers - A group of independent performers and choreographers that includes Dean Moss, Kimberly Bartosik and Joshua Lubin-Levy have established the Award, a mentorship prize for young choreographers, based on what the prize’s web page describes as “the goodwill of New York City’s experimental dance community.” The group describes its nomination and selection process as confidential – nominators are anonymous – with aesthetic rigor and innovation as the principal criteria.

The Sexist Reality That the Tony Nominations Just Highlighted

Michele Willens - The Atlantic: The 2014 Pulitzer Prize for theater went this month to Annie Baker for her play The Flick. The runners-up were Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori for Fun Home, and Madeleine George for The Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence.
All those works have two things in common: They were written by women, and they didn’t play on Broadway.
Meanwhile, all five dramas nominated today for the Tonys' top prize were penned by men.

Sightings: Why Not Save the Indignation for Something Worthwhile? Spring is here, which means that it's time once again for the American Library Association's annual Top 10 list of "most frequently challenged books." These are the books that have drawn the largest number of formal complaints "requesting that materials be removed [from a library] because of content or appropriateness." Each time the list comes out, enlightened readers hasten to snigger at those benighted members of the booboisie who dare to suggest that "Of Mice and Men" and "To Kill a Mockingbird," both of which have previously appeared on the list, might possibly be thought unsuitable for consumption by youngsters.

Should High Schoolers Perform The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?

HowlRound: “So long as it’s got a cunt it’s all right with you!” Stevie barks in Edward Albee’s 2002 Tony-award winning play The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? while interrogating her husband about the affair he is having with the title character (a goat named Sylvia). The play’s action centers around the aftermath of bestiality and infidelity within an upper-class family. Given the nature of the text, such an aforementioned line is to be expected. Ditto all terms like “goat-fucker” etc. It is Albee after all. But now imagine those lines coming from a sixteen-year-old girl’s mouth. Cringe-worthy?

Sunday, May 04, 2014

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

Autism & Theater Techniques to Increase Social Skills

HowlRound: In 2010, we found ourselves in conversation about the rise in autism diagnoses. It seemed everyone at Trinity Rep had a person in their life on the spectrum. It is now believed that 1 in 68 American children live with Autism Spectrum Disorders. With early intervention, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and social skills classes exploding in the Ocean State, prognoses were getting more and more positive. That is not to diminish the struggles these children face every day at schools, grocery stores, movie theaters, and sports events that were not built with their needs in mind. We wanted to find a way to engage them and make the theater a safe place for them to grow and learn.

How to Follow Up Without Being Annoying No one wants to be annoying or bothersome to a professional contact, especially when you want a job, meeting, sales dollars, or something else very important from that person. But the average person can get a few hundred emails a day, and some of your messages might go unanswered. How do you know when it's okay to send a follow up message without being annoying?

8 Ways to Turn Unemployment Into Positive Situation Unfortunately, unemployment is often associated with negative feelings of fear, unworthiness, and stress. After being unemployed for a while, many will feel that they have lost all purpose and control of life. However, if you find yourself without a 9-5 daily routine, you will soon realize the one advantage that you have over your behind-the-cubicle friends – TIME.

Fox to Air Live Version of ‘Grease’

Variety: “From Broadway to film, and across generations, ‘Grease’ is one of the most beloved musical stories ever told — and we can’t wait to bring it to our air in a spectacular live event,” said Shana C. Waterman, senior VP of event series for Fox. “Its iconic characters and addictive songs make it the perfect fit for Fox, and we’re going to give it the kind of star power and production quality to make every Sandy, Danny, Rizzo and Kenickie out there want to get up and sing along.”

A centuries-old tragedy brings teens together

The Times of Israel: When William Shakespeare wrote about the warring households in “Romeo and Juliet,” he wasn’t thinking about Jews and Arabs. Yet in Israel, more than 400 years later, his classic tale of feuds and betrayal served as a focal point of harmony for mixed audiences of Jewish, Muslim and Christian students.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Today, Children, We’re Not Going To Do A Show Howard Sherman The Washington Post seemed to be first on the case, with a story titled, “Kindergarten show canceled so kids can keep studying to become ‘college and career ready.’ Really.” That pretty much set the tone and I jumped into the fray, sharing it online with introductory words including “dumb” and “shame.” I happened to be e-mailing with a producer at CBS News on a personal topic and passed the article along to her, and I tweeted it in the direction of a reporter at The New York Post, knowing how they like to take umbrage at things. I wanted people to see how ridiculous this was, and is.

The Morality Police in Your Checking Account: Chase Bank Shuts Down Accounts of Adult Entertainers

Electronic Frontier Foundation: In the latest example of a troubling trend in which companies play the role of law enforcement and moral police, Chase Bank has shut down the personal bank accounts of hundreds of adult entertainers.
We’ve written before about the dire consequences to online speech when service providers start acting like content police. These same consequences are applicable when financial services make decisions about to whom they provide services.

'Polyester' brings back lighter side of disco culture

TribLIVE: Trafford's Theatre Factory takes audiences back to the '70s disco scene in its production of “Polyester the Musical” opening this week.
“Think ABBA meets ‘Spinal Tap,' and you have a really good idea of what's going on in ‘Polyester,' musically,” says Michael Byrne, one of the cast members. “Catchy beats that you would swear you've heard before with lyrics you never saw coming: That's this show in a nutshell.”

Civic Theatre hopes 'Accomplice' keeps the audience guessing

TribLIVE: Director Katya Shaffer of Jeannette makes an interesting observation about “Accomplice,” the Rupert Holmes thriller set to take the stage May 2 at Greensburg Garden & Civic Center.
“If you try to find any synopses online, you'll notice there isn't much there,” she says. “That's because there isn't much you can say about this show without giving away part of the thrill that makes it so unique. It's like going on the biggest roller-coaster ride; and, when you get off at the end, you still feel like you're on the ride.”

Fringe festival adds to local theater options

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A new theater festival kicks off in Pittsburgh this weekend, when theaters throughout the area are packed with openings for sophisticated tastes and season-enders to delight families.
The first Pittsburgh Fringe Festival sends out 22 works by artists from as far away as San Francisco's Joe Medina, of the band Merch, who will deliver "The Monologue," a shout-out to the band's latest recording, "This Betrayal Will Be Our End." Closer to home, there are local performers such as the No Name Players premiering a new musical, "[best imitation]" by Jeremy Richter and directed by Don DiGiulio.
The festival opens with two events on Saturday and continues the following weekend.

Pennsylvania dialects: From Pittsburghese to Philadelphia speak, the Keystone state is fascinating. The 4 hour and 46 minute drive from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh is marked by several things: barns, oddly timed roadwork projects, four tunnels that lend themselves to breath-holding competitions, turnpike rest stops featuring heat-lamped Sbarro slices and overly goopy Cinnabon. But perhaps the most noteworthy—and useful—hallmark of that road trip is all the bumper stickers that one spies along the way.

Musicals We’d Like to See on Live TV

Flavorwire: Last fall, NBC had a surprising hit with The Sound of Music: Live! Did we think that a live broadcast of a musical that by all accounts is not as fun on stage as it is on celluloid would be a grand thing to sit through on a Thursday night? Especially when it featured a country music superstar who was not particularly known for her acting talents? Well, people loved it and people hated it, but it sure was fun to watch and tweet about, and its success convinced its producers to make it an annual event. Peter Pan, the 1954 musical, will be broadcast in December. And just yesterday, Fox announced they’ll be following suit with a live broadcast of Grease sometime next year.

2014 Tony nominations guided by 'A Gentleman,' plus Pittsburgh ties and snubs

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The darkly comic musical “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” felt the warm embrace of Tony Award voters with 10 nominations, the most of any production when nominees were announced yesterday.
The sixth Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” earned six Tony Award nominations, the first such honors since the play made its debut in 1945.

Projection mapping turns 400ft gas tank into light show

InAVate: Bremen-based projection mapping collective Urbanscreen has completed its latest project inside a 400ft oil and gas cylinder overlooking the Rhine river in Germany. The 112-metre high Gasometer Oberhausen is now used as an art space, and this project is part of 'The Appearance of Beauty' exhibition.

Six Nuances You Feel, Not Hear

Pro Sound Web: Have you ever believed that there’s just something badass engineers do that the rest of the world isn’t privy to? Are you disappointed when everyone on forums seems to agree that engineers are just using really good judgment and generally using basic processing?

What Performance Do You Think Was Egregiously Overlooked For A Tony Award Nomination? recently shared ten Broadway musical performances that we felt were egregiously overlooked for a Tony Award nomination. Thinking about these underrated musical performances made us wonder: Which performers did our readers think should have been Tony nominated?

The Best Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tools - 18V Faceoff and Shootout Pro Tool Reviews did its first corded oscillating multi tools comparison shootout back in 2009. It was one of my earliest comparison articles and remains popular with those looking to check out what’s available in the realm of corded multi-tools. At the time, cordless multi-tools were just starting to hit the market—and most of those new models were of the 12V variety. Today’s cordless multi-tools have come a long way, and the current crop of 18 volt(ish) models are more than a little impressive. For starters, these new tools boast incredible run times. With most 12V cordless multi-tools, run-time was measured in the 10 minute range or less. Now, your full-size cordless oscillating multi-tool will easily deliver over a half hour of work—on the low side.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Are You Checking Work Email in Bed? At the Dinner Table? On Vacation?

Mother Jones: My airplane home from Boston is delayed for takeoff, so the woman next to me pulls out her phones to get some work done. Like many of us, she has two—an iPhone for her personal life and a BlackBerry paid for by her employer. "It's a dog leash," she jokes. "They yank on it and I respond. If somebody from work emails me on Friday at 10 p.m., they're pissed if I don't write back in five minutes." When I ask whether she ever just turns it off, she shakes her head in annoyance, as though I'd uttered something profane. "My team leader would kill me," she says.

Autism & Theater Techniques to Increase Social Skills

HowlRound: In 2010, we found ourselves in conversation about the rise in autism diagnoses. It seemed everyone at Trinity Rep had a person in their life on the spectrum. It is now believed that 1 in 68 American children live with Autism Spectrum Disorders. With early intervention, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and social skills classes exploding in the Ocean State, prognoses were getting more and more positive. That is not to diminish the struggles these children face every day at schools, grocery stores, movie theaters, and sports events that were not built with their needs in mind. We wanted to find a way to engage them and make the theater a safe place for them to grow and learn.

‘Orphee’ an opera worth repeating

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Here’s an old music joke: Knock knock. Who’s there? Knock knock. Who’s there? Knock knock. Who’s there? Philip Glass.
The composer’s reputation for repetition is deserved in the case of “Orphee,” his opera based on Jean Cocteau’s 1950 film. The movie’s script was itself inspired by the ancient myth of Orpheus and served as the source material for the opera’s French libretto. Musical repetition naturally extends from the film’s obsession with mirrors.

Tony Awards Will Add New Educator Honor Starting in 2015

Variety: The Tony Awards have teamed with Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University to inaugurate a new national honor for theater educators.
The kudo, which will be awarded every year to one educator teaching at a K-12 grade level, is part of a new partnership between Carnegie Mellon and the Tonys, which have named the university its “exclusive higher education partner.”

Review: 'Candida' offers modern view of marriage

TribLIVE: I'm always wary when someone emphasizes the good points of a play by saying, “… And it's one of his shortest works,” or “It plays far better than it reads.”
Both statements are true of the Pittsburgh Public Theater's production of George Bernard Shaw's “Candida” that's playing through May 18 at the O'Reilly Theater, Downtown.

Carnegie Mellon To Become First, Exclusive Higher Education Partner of the Tony Awards®

Carnegie Mellon News - Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has been named by the Tony Awards® as its first, exclusive higher education partner. As part of the collaboration, the two organizations will jointly create and launch the first, national recognition program to honor kindergarten through high-school (K-12) theatre educators.

Alumni Snag 6 Tony Nominations

Carnegie Mellon University | CMU: Six alumni from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama are up for Tony Awards this year, Broadway's highest honor.
Also announced yesterday, CMU became the first, exclusive higher education partner of the Tony Awards®. The collaboration creates the "Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre Education," the first, national recognition program for K-12 theatre educators.

Arts Audiences are Increasingly Restless and Fickle, Study Finds

WQXR: The Culture Track 2014 study of audience behavior, which surveyed 4,026 American adults, paints a picture of dabbling arts consumers, cynical but curious. And "culture" doesn’t necessarily mean a night at the opera or museum: 80 percent of respondents define a visit to a public park as a cultural experience; 64 percent find culture in going to a bar or a restaurant.

ETC Helps Behind the Scenes (BTS) Foundation Support Those in Need

PLSN: At the USITT show here in March, Steve Terry of ETC presented a check for $20,262 to Behind the Scenes, which reflected ongoing proceeds from sales of ETC’s iRFR and aRFR (Radio Focus Remote) application for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android. The donation brings ETC’s total Behind the Scenes contributions to date to just under $170,000.

National theatre faces £1.4m payout

Herald Scotland: The tragedy which superstitious actors rehearsing often call The Scottish Play in case it brings them bad luck has turned out to be just that for the National Theatre of Scotland's insurers.
Jason Makula wanted £13m after a temporary wall fell on him at the theatre where Hollywood actor Alan Cumming's acclaimed one-man version of the play was performed. The case was settled last week for $2.37m (£1.4m) after a year of wrangling.

'Bears': (Very Remote) Location Production for Disneynature's New Doc Dazzling animation is typically the first thing that comes to mind on seeing the Disney brand, yet Walt Disney was also a pioneer in capturing wildlife in the real world—and had a whopping eight Oscars to prove it more than half a century ago. Bears, his namesake studio’s newest wildlife production, is the fifth theatrical release from Disneynature, a Disney niche brand established six years ago to provide resources and a venue for the industry’s finest nature filmmakers.

Risk Assessments Made Easy

Occupational Health & Safety: Every business should carry out regular risk assessments, and there's no excuse not to with the Risk Assessor App, which is free to download on the App Store. It makes the process easy and produces a clean, easy-to-read report in PDF format. It's important to keep the assessments up to date, so the App syncs reminders for future assessments with iCal.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

New York’s Signature Theater Scores the 2014 Regional Theater Tony Award

Variety: Speaking of the Tony Awards: Off Broadway’s Signature Theater will receive the Tonys’ 2014 regional theater award, in the wake of a new rule initiated last year that made Gotham companies eligible for the trophy.
The annual kudo — which can be a boon for a theater’s marketing and fundraising efforts — was previously open only to troupes based outside of New York.

The Future of Vivisective Theater in an Industry of Entertainment

HowlRound: I am a junior theater and English double major at Northwestern University. In the years I have spent so far learning about theater, I have struggled with the definition of theater’s place and purpose in society, as many theater artists do. A friend or peer might see a show and say that the relationships felt true to life or true to her experiences, which makes for a satisfying evening in their eyes. While I can certainly see the artistic merit in such work, I wonder if this kind of reflection is anything more than looking in a mirror if it does not somehow change the way we live and the way we approach the world. What is its purpose?

Fox to Air Live Version of ‘Grease’

Variety: “From Broadway to film, and across generations, ‘Grease’ is one of the most beloved musical stories ever told — and we can’t wait to bring it to our air in a spectacular live event,” said Shana C. Waterman, senior VP of event series for Fox. “Its iconic characters and addictive songs make it the perfect fit for Fox, and we’re going to give it the kind of star power and production quality to make every Sandy, Danny, Rizzo and Kenickie out there want to get up and sing along.”

Five of the best: High-tech hammers People have been banging nails into things for nearly five and a half thousand years, if archaeologists are correct. And wood is such a versatile and abundant building material that we’re sure to be banging spiky bits of metal into it for thousands of years to come. But how similar is the hammer going to look at that stage? What is the state of the art in hammer technology? Are they still just flat-ended bits of metal on the end of sticks?

A 'Midsummer' Is Headed for China - Tim Robbins and the Actors’ Gang, a Los Angeles ensemble theater troupe, will bring their production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to audiences in China this summer. Mr. Robbins, the actor who has served as the company’s artistic director for more than three decades, will direct the performances scheduled to take place June 10 to 15 at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing as part of its Shakespeare festival and June 19-21 at the Zendai Himalayas Art Center in Shanghai.

CMU, Tony Awards teaming to honor teachers in the arts

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Almost everyone who is anyone in the performing arts had a Mr. Mayberry, that teacher who encouraged or inspired actors, singers, dancers, designers, even producers, to dedicate themselves to the theater.
Thanks to a new collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University and The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards, some finally will be getting long-overdue recognition.

To present Equity or non-Equity in Dallas, that is the question

Dallas Morning News: Patrons who had never seen Disney’s Beauty and the Beast before seemed happy with the show at the Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.
If you’d seen the original national tour, however, you might have wondered: Why do the performers list shows in their program credits without saying where they performed them? Where are the “No Matter What” and “Maison des Lunes” songs? Where is the battle scene between the villagers and the enchanted objects? Why are we seeing painted pictures of books rather than the Beast’s library? Why are there only 10 musicians?
A simple answer reflects a growing reality in the country.

Laid Off 'Frozen' Animators Didn't Get Bonuses From Disney Hollywood’s animation union says some of his members have been frozen out of a generous bonus paid to workers at Disney Animation Studios as thanks for the success of the blockbuster animated film Frozen. The Oscar-winning film, which has taken in more than $1 billion worldwide, is the highest-grossing animated movie of all time. “Disney paid bonuses to everyone who worked on Frozen except for those who were laid off after the film was completed

Researchers Count 113 Work-Related Ladder Fatalities in 2011

Occupational Health & Safety: A paper published in the April 24 edition of CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report is an evaluation of injuries and deaths resulting from work-related falls from ladders. The authors analyzed data from several injury surveillance systems and calculated there were 113 fatal falls, an estimated 15,460 non-fatal injuries resulting in at least one day of lost time, and 34,000 non-fatal injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in 2011 alone.

Dances of Future Past

The Clyde Fitch Report: A couple weeks ago, I was invited by the University of Houston to lecture on the recent history and near future of American dance. I talked about the still-stinging loss of Joyce SoHo (among other stages for contemporary movement in this country), the ongoing devolution of institutionalized dance companies into ad hoc groups, and how technologies like the Microsoft Kinect and massive, curved HD televisions are functionally replacing theaters with virtual proscenium stages in our living rooms. Institutions optimized for a previous era of dance-making, I argued, will diminish in relevance now that I can summon the totality of archived dance history on my cell phone in more pixels than the human eye can perceive. The inevitable question broached by my audience was, where is all this crazy-making nonsense going?

Was Shakespeare a Good Actor?

John Paul Rollert - The Atlantic: Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, today, will bring an outpouring of written appreciations for his works. Many, though, will likely omit or only fleetingly mention one fact: Shakespeare’s first acts of creation were not poems or plays, but the characters he gave life to as a struggling actor.

Gregg Allman Begs 'Midnight Rider' Director Not to Resume Filming

The Hollywood Reporter: The subject of the controversial biopic doesn't want production to continue after the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones.
Midnight Rider subject Gregg Allman, a founding member of the iconic Southern rock group The Allman Brothers Band, is urging director Randall Miller not to proceed with production on the controversial biopic after the tragic death of camera assistant Sarah Jones.