CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Theatres are not catering for the working class majority

Culture professionals network | Guardian Professional: After many years working in theatre, including five as artistic director of the Broadway in Barking, I’ve attended my fair share of conferences about ways to encourage diversity in audiences for the arts. Race, youth and disability are always discussed but class remains the unnamed elephant in the room, often dismissed in a cursory mention of lower ticket prices. In my experience, class is the biggest barrier to accessing the arts, cutting across all the other marginalised groups.

Sin City Opera’s ‘Magic Flute’ a dazzling experience

Las Vegas Review-Journal: My magical journey to see the Zappos-sponsored production of Sin City Opera’s “The Magic Flute on Fremont Street” in downtown Las Vegas began when I arrived beneath the giant mechanical praying mantis at the entry to Downtown Container Park. I was swept up into a warm-up session of aerobics with Mission: I’m Possible, an evangelical runners group that meets there each Thursday before a run to The Smith Center and back. We stretched our limbs to the booming spouts of flame from the monster mantis.

Into the Woods, Featuring…Flynn Rider?! Has Disney Really Changed the Character Names for the Upcoming Film?

Broadway Buzz | It appears that some familiar Disney character names may have snuck their way into the forthcoming Disney film adaptation of Into the Woods.

According to the movie’s official website, Rapunzel’s Prince, played by Billy Magnussen, has been renamed Flynn Rider: the moniker of a similar character in the 2010 film Tangled.

Staring into the Abyss

On The Media: Brooke follows up on her conversation with Radiolab, and explores our longstanding fascination with nihilism: why it's popular today, and whether that's always been the case.

Dumb interview questions, smart answers

BBC - Capital:

The job interview. It’s the necessary, angst-ridden big step in the process of landing a job.

It’s no wonder we get jittery: we all know that we’ll be asked some outlandish, abstract or just plain ridiculous questions. What’s more, there’s a hidden code — a language of interviewing that the hiring manager knows, but doesn’t tell candidates. If only we could be in on the secret.

From Broadway To Hollywood: Derek McLane's Scenic Designs

Theatre content from Live Design: Tony Award-winning designer Derek McLane considers designing Guys And Dolls in a dining hall at Harvard in 1978 (where he was an archaeology major) as a pivotal moment, the seed of his award-winning career—the split second in which his future direction was clear. Next stop, Yale School of Drama, studying with Ming Cho Lee, where his interests in art and theatre intersected, and drawing classes gave way to scenic design.

Lititz, PA Rocks

Theatre content from Live Design: 717 is about to become the hottest area code in the rock n' roll biz. The small town of Lititz, PA, which is 160 miles from New York City and 75 miles from Philadelphia, is home to the scenic gurus at Tait and the audio experts at Clair Brothers, with neighbors such as Control Freak Systems and Atomic Design, making it a hub for the entertainment business. And things are about to get a lot busier.

Some Things I’ve Noticed About Working With Sound…

Pro Sound Web: As with politics, it can be very difficult to be rational when we think, discuss and make decisions about sound. Of course, much about sound is subjective, even if there are quantifiable aspects to what we do.

No matter how it looks on Smaart, the end result has to be something that satisfies the audience, or at least satisfies us – and we should (hopefully) be the toughest customer of our own product.

Rock Lititz Studio Launches

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: The industry's first purpose-built production rehearsal facility, Rock Lititz Studio, in Lititz, Pennsylvania, celebrated the grand opening of the rehearsal venue on September 20. The space focuses specifically on production rehearsal needs, with all the amenities required to assemble, program, test, and rehearse the various elements of large-scale live events. The concept for the 52,000-sq.-ft. studio grew from the already established cluster of industry leaders gathered in Lititz. Clair Global, an award-winning audio company in live touring, joined with Tait Towers, an innovator in staging and automation, to create Rock Lititz. The 96-acre campus will over time become home to even more production-based vendors and resources.

The people behind college matchmaking: School counselors and admission officers

The Washington Post: Robyn Lady, a high school counseling chief from Northern Virginia, cruised the halls of the Indiana Convention Center late last week to schmooze with other counselors and admissions professionals at the nation’s largest gathering of college matchmakers.

Lady, director of student services at Chantilly High School in Fairfax County, was one of about 2,000 high school representatives mingling with 2,000 college admissions officers at the 70th convention of the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

Bosch GLM15 Laser Measure Review

Pro Tool Reviews: These days, technology has given us powerful tools in small packages. From layout to distance measuring, we’ve benefited greatly from technology in our jobsite laser tools. Sometimes though, to get to the amazing calculating features, I feel like I need a 40 hour week of training just on the tool. The new Bosch GLM15 Laser Measure is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the simple measuring jobs.

Milwaukee Jobsite Backpacks

Pro Tool Reviews: Milwaukee Jobsite Backpacks… when I first saw this at this year’s New Product Symposium, it immediately went on my Christmas list. Okay, that was a little self serving. I wanted to throw that out there first just in case anyone that might be shopping for me is reading…

Monday, September 29, 2014

AES and OCA Alliance Work Towards Media Control Standard

Stage Directions: The AES and the OCA Alliance have partnered with the intention of making the alliance’s proposed Open Control Architecture as an AES public standard. OCA defines communications protocols for reliable and secure control and monitoring of AV device networks of 2 to 10,000 nodes. AES project “AES-X210” is currently working to render OCA into a ratified AES standard. At the convention alliance members will be participating in panel discussions to increase the understanding of the benefits and impact of the upcoming AES standard for manufacturers, designers, specifiers and end-users.

An Empire Where the Curtain Would Not Fall When Howard Panter saw the budget for the 2005 Broadway transfer of “Sweeney Todd,” which he had produced a year earlier here in the West End, one line item surprised him — $50,000 for the pots and pans that would adorn the minimalist set. He told his producing partners in New York that he and John Doyle, the show’s director and designer, would go to a little junk shop down in the seaside port town of Hastings and get everything for just 500 pounds (or about $900 at the time).

SDC Issues Call Seeking Articles for Peer-Reviewed Section of SDC Journal

Stage Directions: The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society has partnered with the Directing Program of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) to present peer-reviewed articles in SDC Journal, the official publication of SDC. The new section of SDC Journal will publish scholarly articles and book reviews on the crafts of stage direction and choreography beginning in the Summer 2015 issue. The peer-reviewed section will be co-edited by Anne Fliotsos, PhD, Professor of Theatre at Purdue University, and Ann M. Shanahan, MFA, Associate Professor of Theatre, Loyola University Chicago. SDC Journal will publish one academic essay and one book review per issue. Submissions are now being accepted; the deadline for submissions is December 1, 2014, though early submissions are encouraged.

Exciting Digital Theatre Created With Google Hangout

SERIOUS WONDER: Google Hangout on Air has recently provided an instant global platform for an exciting virtual drama by digital theatre pioneers Elastic Future.

The fictional story LONGITUDE by playwright Tim Wright, about an underground network of water dealers who try to make a fortune off of climate change, was shot live in Lagos, Nigeria, Barcelona, Spain and London, England over three consecutive weeks.

Little Giant Select Step Ladder

Tools of the Trade: A few years ago, Little Giant released the Select Step, bringing their extending, transforming ladder concept to the stepladder. I’ve owned one since it came out and have used it on a variety of jobsites where it has received unanimous praise from guys in just about every trade. Basically, everyone loves the thing and there are a lot of reasons why.

Off Broadway Run of 'American Psycho' Is Dead The highly anticipated Off Broadway production of the musical “American Psycho” has been canceled after the show’s commercial backers pulled the rights from Second Stage Theater, its artistic director, Carole Rothman, said on Friday. No explanation was given; the commercial backers at Act 4 Entertainment, who were teaming up with Second Stage to develop the show in hopes of an eventual transfer to Broadway, did not immediately return phone calls.

22 New Tools from Milwaukee

Tools of the Trade: Milwaukee recently held a media event where they unveiled an impressive group of power tools, hand tools, and accessories that will be released between now and the middle of 2015.

Technology Tools for Everyday Productivity Every so often I sit back and take inventory of the tools I’m using with an eye on weeding some out and adding some in. Technology can be a tremendously useful thing when it comes to getting more productivity, but you must continually monitor what’s working and what’s not.

Irwin Vise-Grip Cutting Pliers

Pro Tool Reviews: Irwin is expanding its hand tool lineup with their newest Vise-Grip Cutting Pliers. These additions are designed to be more comfortable, durable, and have greater power than previous designs. All of the new Vise-Grip Cutting Pliers feature Irwin’s 3-Zone Comfort Grips. They also are manufactured with induction hardened cutting edges that will make it through ACSR, nails, screws, and piano wire.

Too Loud? Maybe Volume Isn’t The Reason

Pro Sound Web: One of my pet peeves: there really is no excuse for loud, bad concert sound. It’s a topic I’m revisiting in light of Dave Rat’s recent comments here.

In particular, what piqued my interested was Dave’s statement that “painfully harsh, poorly mixed sound is always too loud.” His point is that yes, rock concerts are (and should be) loud, and even so, they aren’t as measurably loud as a NASCAR race or an NFL game. And I agree that sound level can be an important part of an experience.

Dual Tools DualSaw RS1200 Review

Pro Tool Reviews: Perhaps you’ve seen the commercials for Dual Tools’ DualSaw RS1200 on late night television. The outside-the-box design has sparked a lot of interest and buzz around the reciprocating saw end of the industry, but how does it actually perform?

PLASA London Reveals Lighting and Staging Education Sessions

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: As PLASA London 2014 fast approaches, the show's organizer has released details of its education offer at this year's event. The PLASA Professional Development Program is renowned as a platform for sharing ideas and showcasing industry expertise. This year, the Professional Development Program will occupy two spaces at ExCeL London -- the Audio and AV Theatre and the Lighting and Stage Theatre.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

A User's Guide To Standing While You Work

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: Five or more hours of sedentary sitting, according to Dr. David Agus, is the health equivalent of smoking a pack and a quarter of cigarettes. Yikes.

Yet, sitting around is something we get plenty of practice at. Reading and writing and creating on a computer makes for big chunks of sedentary time. If you’re reading this post right now, are you sitting down? How long have you been sitting?

Meyer Sound Transforms NYC Tunnel into Underwater Sound Installation

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: This summer, undersea sounds captured by artist Jana Winderen temporarily transformed New York City's seven-block-long Park Avenue Tunnel in the immersive sound installation DIVE. The soundscape was heard through more than 60 Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers configured by Tony Myatt, a professor at the University of Surrey.

How to Be a Nice Hard-Ass

Remodeling: As a business owner and/or manager, there are times one needs to be—pardon the term—a hard-ass. It comes with the territory.

But this doesn’t always mean being a jerk. How do you avoid that?

How to Get Past "What Do You Do?" There was an abundance of networking and small talk at HubSpot's massive INBOUND conference (there were more than 10,000 attendees) in Boston earlier this week. You can bet the question "What do you do?" arose hundreds, if not thousands of times.

But how many times did this particular question--or a snap judgment of the answer--annoy someone? That feeling is probably why a packed room came to hear branding and marketing expert C.C. Chapman give a talk called "Why I Hate The Question of "What Do You Do?"

Amazing video of people dancing on the wall of a building This is Amelia Rudolph and Roel Seeker suspended on the wall of Oakland's City Hall, dancing like some kind of fairies or angels. The effect of them moving over the building's façade as it if were the ground is disoriented but really beautiful. I can watch them doing this forever.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pittsburgh New Works Festival

Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper: The Pittsburgh New Works Festival presents a series of evening-length programs of three world-premiere one-acts each, produced by local troupes. Following are reviews of the concluding pair of programs, C and D

Texture Contemporary Ballet offers another packed showcase

Dance + Live Performance | Pittsburgh City Paper: You could say the title of Texture Contemporary Ballet's latest program, Synergy, also names what has made the three-year-old troupe a success. The combined efforts of artistic director Alan Obuzor, associate artistic director Kelsey Bartman and an array of energetic dancers and choreographers have consistently produced programs whose total effect has exceeded the sum of their individual contributions.

Premiere: The Making of The Boxtrolls' Awesome Steampunk Contraption

WIRED: One of the coolest things about Laika’s upcoming flick The Boxtrolls is the Mecha-Drill. It’s hard to explain why it’s so amazing without spoiling part of the movie, but the short version is it’s a huge steampunk contraption piloted by the film’s Big Bad, Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley). It also was, as Laika president Travis Knight told WIRED, “the biggest puppet we’ve ever made.”

5 Bonkers Opera Finales in Honor of the New Met Season

The Clyde Fitch Report: The Metropolitan Opera kicked off its new season this week with Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). The singers and the return of conductor James Levine to the opening-night podium (after protracted health problems) were all well-received.

In honor of this beginning of the season, which labor strife kept in doubt for much of the summer (now seemingly resolved), I want to flip it around and have some fond, good-natured fun with some of the more bizarre-to-insane ways that operas can end. I’m talking about the operas’ plots here, the famously artificial, often illogical melodrama that opera fans learn to accept and then love, though often with rueful bemusement at the improbable narrative events.

Review: 'Book of Mormon' musical still irreverently fun

TribLIVE: “The Book of Mormon” is back in town this week with all its sassy insights and irreverent humor completely intact.

By now, many of you are familiar with this musical, either from seeing it when it was presented as part of the PNC Broadway Across America — Pittsburgh series or from word of mouth that portrays it either as anti-religious impudence or an outrageous, funny comedy that takes a few well-aimed shots at religious beliefs in general and Mormon doctrine in specific.

From Coraline To Boxtrolls, How Laika Has Revolutionized Stop-Motion This week, stop-motion production studio Laika comes out with its third feature, The Boxtrolls. A lot has changed in the world of stop-motion animation since Laika's first feature, Coraline, and in a world filled with CG features, it's amazing what Laika can accomplish.

Actors of Color Gain Ground

Backstage: This fall could mark a watershed moment for actors of color on American television.

ABC will debut a line up featuring an African-American family in “Black-ish,” a gay couple with an adopted Asian daughter in “Modern Family,” and Kerry Washington staring as a political fixer on “Scandal.”

On Thursday night Viola Davis will join that schedule when her series “How to Get Away with Murder” premieres. Meanwhile, the CW is launching “Jane the Virgin,” starring Gina Rodriguez, and Fox is set to debut “Empire,” which stars Terrance Howard, early next year.

‘Wolf Hall’ to Hit Broadway in the Spring with Original Stars in Tow

Variety: “Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2,” the rebranded two-part theater event that originated at the Royal Shakespeare Company as “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies,” has mapped out its route to Broadway, landing at the Winter Garden Theater in an April opening.

What a piece of work is a (wo)man: the perils of gender-crossed Shakespeare

Stage | There’s an intriguing moment in Antony and Cleopatra when we catch Shakespeare chafing against the casting practices of his day. Writing a play that features one of the greatest beauties in history – but knowing that she must be played on stage by a young male – the dramatist has this drag-Cleopatra lament the possibility of audiences after her death seeing “some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness”. Similar onion-layers of meaning must have occurred in contemporary productions of Twelfth Night, in which, in the subterfuge scenes, the actor playing Olivia would have been a male pretending to be a female pretending to be a male.

Laika Delivers Yet Another Stop-Motion Masterpiece with The Boxtrolls

The Mary Sue: I was nervous going into The Boxtrolls. Real nervous. See, in 2012 Laika put out ParaNorman, which is in my top five animated films of all time. It’s hard to overstate how much I love this movie. I love how it looks, I love the acting, I love how it features both complex examination of social issues (specifically, bullying) and the line “I think that statue just pissed at us.” It can be tough for me to keep my expectations at a manageable level, and for Boxtrolls I just was not able to do it.

L.A. Theaters Want ‘Triple Threat’ Actors for Musicals

Backstage: Los Angeles theater actors in search of paid work and awards should discover their love of musicals.

When the Ovation Awards nominees were announced Monday, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts had 17 nods and 3-D Theatricals had 13. Both L.A.-area theaters specialize in musicals and received the largest swath of nods for their productions of "Floyd Collins" (9) and "The Producers" (7) respectively.

Clear Channel Spectacolor Signs on to Produce Broadway ‘Side Show'

Variety: Clear Channel Spectacolor, a division of outdoor advertising company Clear Channel Outdoor, has ponied up to produce one of the Broadway shows its signs will advertise, coming aboard the fall opener “Side Show.”

Spectacolor contributed “a significant cash component” to the show’s $8 million capitalization costs, according to Clear Channel Outdoor president Harry Coghlan and to Broadway producer Darren Bagert, although neither would disclose the exact amount.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Meyer Sound Transforms NYC Tunnel into Underwater Sound Installation

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: This summer, undersea sounds captured by artist Jana Winderen temporarily transformed New York City's seven-block-long Park Avenue Tunnel in the immersive sound installation DIVE. The soundscape was heard through more than 60 Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers configured by Tony Myatt, a professor at the University of Surrey.

American Theatre Wing New Home to Obie Awards

Stage Directions: The American Theatre Wing partnered with the Village Voice to co-present the Obie Awards, Off-Broadway’s highest honor. The Wing will run the awards under a new Obies Administration Committee, which will be chaired by Michael Feingold, longtime critic for the Village Voice who was Obie Chairman from 2006-2013. He was let go from the Voice shortly before the 2013 Obie Awards, but returned to chair the 2014 awards. The Voice has licensed the Obie trademark to the American Theatre Wing for an initial period of 10 years. The next Obie Awards ceremony and the first under this partnership will take place in May 2015, and will mark the Obie’s 60th anniversary.

25 Top YouTube Channels for Small Business Owners As Jonathan Davids, founder of influencer marketing platform Influicity recently explained to Small Business Trends contributor Brent Leary, YouTube is becoming an important place for brands to connect with customers. But it can also be an important place for small business owners and entrepreneurs to learn more about building and running their companies correctly.

Leisure Reading for You!

Gallagher Blogs: Kendra Albert, now a 2L at Harvard, tried to recapture her enthusiasm for reading in the months before she started law school. You can hear her describe "The Great Book Project of 2013" at the Boston Quantified Self Meetup here. She discusses books, technology, and more in her blog, Lawspeak for L33t Speakers.

A User's Guide To Standing While You Work

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: Five or more hours of sedentary sitting, according to Dr. David Agus, is the health equivalent of smoking a pack and a quarter of cigarettes. Yikes.

Yet, sitting around is something we get plenty of practice at. Reading and writing and creating on a computer makes for big chunks of sedentary time. If you’re reading this post right now, are you sitting down? How long have you been sitting?

DeWalt DCS391 Circular Saw Review

Pro Tool Reviews: We got our hands on the DeWalt DCS391 20V Max Circular Saw to see how it stacked up in the 6-1/2 inch cordless circular saw class. As one of the most popular brands in the country, it’s always exciting to open up the black and yellow package of a new DeWalt tool and this was no exception. While more details of the specs are below, the important statistics are that the DCS391 runs off the 20V Max battery packs, has a no load speed of 3700 RPM, and runs a 6-1/2 inch blade. While there are a few manufacturers out there running 7-1/4 inch blades, the 6-1/2 inch is still the standard, making it through 2x material with room to spare.

Stardraw Library Exceeds 70,000 Symbols

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: The library that supports Stardraw Design 7.1 has reached a new milestone, now containing more than 70,000 symbols representing products from over 700 manufacturers.

Stardraw's symbols library has been a work in progress for over 20 years.

2015 Tony Awards Date and Location Announced Theater fans, get ready: The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing has announced the date and location for the 69th annual Tony Awards!

The ceremony will take place on Sunday, June 7, 2015, at the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York City. It will air at 8:00 PM ET on CBS, its network home since 1978.

Forced Entertainment has perfected the art of survival

The Stage: There’s a contradiction about near-legendary Sheffield-based experimentalists Forced Entertainment. On the one hand, it has been at the far front end of performance and innovation, on the other it has become part of the establishment and had Arts Council England (ACE) funding for half its life. This year it is 30 years old.

Cosmopolitan says it never wanted ‘Nocturne’ show

Las Vegas Review-Journal: They never wanted a separate show in the first place.

That’s perhaps the most surprising revelation in The Cosmopolitan’s response to a lawsuit filed by the producer of “Vegas Nocturne,” the now-closed show component of the interactive “supper club” Rose.Rabbit.Lie.

The hotel’s response, filed Friday in Clark County District Court, alleges “Nocturne” spun out of an integrated concept where “no one component would overshadow any other” and ended up costing $60,000 per show and losing $1 million per month for its six months of operation.

Solo 401(k) 'one of the best-kept secrets' for the self-employed

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: After graduating in May from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, 28-year-old Stephen Morse established his own financial advising firm in Scott.

Being his own boss, Mr. Morse has no access to the traditional company 401(k) plans offered by many corporations to their employees, but he plans to take advantage of a little-known retirement saving option for self-employed individuals called a Solo 401(k).

D-School Futures: Carnegie Mellon's Wayne Chung on Training Designers to Solve Wicked Problems

Core77: ID education today is requiring us to shove ten pounds into a five-pound bag. This sentiment has always been true for most ID educators. But it feels especially true today due to the proliferation of design positions available: IxD, UX, service design, experience design, etc. ID graduates all want to be playing a significant role in these areas. Consequently, the tools of trade, skills and type of output require augmentation and additions to the course exercises and projects. Add coding, electronics and other physical and digital interaction skills, and you have a lot to cover.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lear deBessonet Puts Her Stamp on ‘The Winter’s Tale’ There were 4-year-olds and 90-year-olds in the rehearsal room, teachers and taxi drivers and nannies and ushers, laughing and shouting during a sheepshearing scene in “The Winter’s Tale,” a 90-minute musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s late play that will open on Sept. 5 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Ruby Rae Spiegel’s Play ‘Dry Land’ Confronts Abortion Ruby Rae Spiegel’s earliest stab at playwriting makes her cringe in the recollection. It was a modern-day “Peter Pan,” with Wendy sending instant messages. But give a girl a break: Ms. Spiegel was only in seventh grade when she wrote it, and she had a classic motive. She wanted to cast a boy she liked as Peter.

Rock Star: Carnegie Mellon's David R. Shumway Explores The Making of Musical Icons From Elvis to Springsteen

SYS-CON MEDIA: The musical icons of the past 60 years were not created overnight. Instead, many factors — from stage personas and outspoken political views to success in movies and television as well as timing — went into making legends.

Ophelia Re-envisioned in ‘Imagining O’ Two women, robed in black, gazed at each other across a low table at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University. They were rehearsing “Imagining O,” Richard Schechner’s reinvention of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and Pauline Réage’s novel “The Story of O,” which opens next Wednesday as part of the Peak Performances series. Mr. Schechner, as brash as he is gentle, asked the actresses to work the scene again. “I want absolute intimacy,” he said.