CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Former olympic skaters show their expert chops in show at Mandalay Bay

Las Vegas Review-Journal: For a desert mecca, Las Vegas has a definite thing for ice.

But we’re not talking cubes in a glass. Or hockey. Or the long-gone (and probably unlamented) “Nudes on Ice.”

No, we mean real live Olympic medalists out there on the ice, leaping and gliding and spinning, sometimes to the accompaniment of real live musicians.

The tradition continues Saturday at Mandalay Bay, when several champions team up with rockers O.A.R. (alias Of A Revolution) for “Home Is Where the Heart Is.”

Enhanced Opera Replaces Physical Sets With Digital Projections

The Creators Project: The Cunning LIttle Vixen is an opera composed by Leoš Janáček in the early 20th century, a magical love story between two foxes which took its inspiration from a Czech newspaper comic strip. It was performed earlier this year by conductor Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra, and directed by artistic director Yuval Sharon, who introduced a digital twist into the set and character design courtesy of Walter Robot studios—a.k.a., Bill Barminski and Christopher Louie.

Into the Woods with Production Sound Mixer John Casali

Sound & Picture: We met filmmaker Rob Marshall during the Cinema Audio Society Awards in 2012, and he told us he was working on a new musical with Disney – Into the Woods. It was something he seemed pretty excited about and now, having seen it, we can see why – it’s simply wonderful. This is an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine stage production that opened on Broadway back in 1987, and it intertwines Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a truly unique and unexpected way. The story follows a Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) who have been cursed by a Witch (Meryl Streep); to lift the curse, they must collect four items never been touched by the Witch. In their search, they meet by chance Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), among others.

An Unusual Customizable Tool Vest

Tools of the Trade: Last week I was at a tool industry tradeshow waiting for the exhibition hall to open when I happened upon a guy wearing a cool-looking tool vest. It was made from some kind of mesh and had a couple of chest pockets plus a pair of side pouches crammed full of tools.

Get Motivated With 2014's Inspiring, Unforgettable Quotes

www.entrepreneur.com: With the year coming to a close, there's no better time to look back at the words that moved us, made us laugh and inspired us to do more. From the encouragement of big name graduation speakers, to sound TED Talk advice and remembering those who are no longer with us, here are 11 examples of words of wisdom from the pages of Entrepreneur.

Max—or Nix?—the Movers

Stage Directions: I’ve grown up in this industry. I’ve seen lighting designers make absolute magic from a rig of several hundred moving heads, and I’ve seen a designer take 14 crusty old beam projectors and create something eleventeen times as meaningful and beautiful simply by using the lack of gear gracefully. And what I’ve learned from this is that having tons of kit doesn’t mean you’re going to make magic.

‘Kickboxer’ Crew Members Still Unpaid as Union Presses Producers

Variety: About 150 union crew members on the remake of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s “Kickboxer” have not received their pay following the wrap of filming in New Orleans several weeks ago.

An attorney for Ted Field’s Radar Pictures has told Variety that the payments will be made by early next week. The failure to pay members of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has provoked a strong response from Mike Miller, president of the union’s motion picture division.

Video: Real time 3D face mapping is so frighteningly awesome

sploid.gizmodo.com: I'm both completely terrified and absolutely impressed by this amazing real-time face tracking and 3D projection mapping system that can digitally impose masks onto people's faces. It works amazingly well, like their faces have been completely replaced with new ones.

Getting Help With Your New 3D Printer

MAKE: Hopefully many of you received brand new 3D printers for the holidays. If so, I’m sure there are more than a couple of you wondering, “What do I do now?”. Thankfully, there are fantastic communities that have sprung up around 3D printing and they are here to help you.

2014 Domestic Box Office: Admissions Lowest Since 1995

Deadline: Despite a fantastic Christmas at the box office, 81 million people didn’t buy movie tickets this year. Not only were this year’s domestic admissions of 1.259 billion off 6% from 2013’s 1.34B, but the number of tickets sold hit their lowest level since 1995 when 1.211B people went to the cinema. Calculations are based on this year’s 3Q ticket price average of $8.12 from the National Association of Theater Owners, just a penny off from 2013’s $8.13.

New independent theatre coalition is announced

DC Theatre Scene: We support theatreWashington’s decision to set compensation requirements for their professional theatre awards because we believe ALL artists are entitled to better pay. It is unfortunate, however, that tW’s approach to industry leadership and reform so often serves to filter and exclude the lower economic demographic of artists and their audiences, whether intentionally or not.

Cameras were rolling in the 'Burgh

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: What a year.

Aaron Paul invited the world to join him, Amanda Seyfried and Justin Long for a drink at Jack’s on the South Side during the making of “Fathers & Daughters.”

“Southpaw” co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams sparked gossip after being photographed dining at Meat and Potatoes, Downtown, and Alec Baldwin recently broke bread with Dr. Cyril Wecht at Dish Osteria on the South Side.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Motown musical details Berry Gordy's lasting impact

TribLIVE: Playing historical, familiar and often iconic characters on stage is nothing unusual for actors.

Whether it's a title role such as Richard III, Evita Peron or smaller parts like Benjamin Franklin in “1776,” performers struggle to balance the responsibility to portray a real and well-known person with their own vision of the character.

Few know this as well as Julius Thomas III, who plays legendary songwriter and Motown Record founder and producer Berry Gordy Jr. in the national touring production of “Motown the Musical” that plays Dec. 30 to Jan. 4 at Heinz Hall, Downtown.

Disney CEO Bob Iger's empire of tech

fortune.com: Even in a dress-down gray sweater, Bob Iger looks a bit mechanical. His mouth is almost geometrically straight, his face constructed of some cool alloy. His hair, of course, is perfect. That he can remain so mirthless even while wearing red-rimmed 3-D glasses and a fedora bedecked with tiny blinking lights is something of an achievement. Slowly he steps into the Dish, a windowless virtual reality chamber with curved walls at Disney’s Imagineering labs, a short drive from his office in Burbank, Calif.  He is now in a forest—with cartoonish, lush green trees and brightly colored flowers, each comprising millions of floating pixels. All of a sudden, Iger stops and pretends to lean against one of the virtual trees on his path. A row of spectators off to the side—who include several members of his management team and some of the technologists who created the three-dimensional woodland—erupt in relieved laughter. Iger is having fun.

How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions

The Muse: You’ve reviewed your resume, practiced your elevator pitch, and reviewed a few stories you can share during the interview. All is well, and you’re feeling confident. And when the interviewer says, “Tell me about a time you disagreed with your supervisor,” you are ready to go and launch straight into a story about that one time you bravely confronted the director of marketing at your previous company about a new campaign you had a bad feeling about.

Okay, so maybe that doesn’t sound like you—yet. Let’s take a step back and talk about how you can get there.

The Official Bulletin: 2014 Q4 / No. 646 | IATSE Labor Union, representing the technicians, artisans and craftpersons in the entertainment industry

The Official Bulletin: 2014 Q4 / No. 646 | IATSE Labor Union, representing the technicians, artisans and craftpersons in the entertainment industry: I am extremely proud, however, that we in the IATSE in-creased our participation in the overall political process and we were recognized in the labor community for the outstand-ing work we did through our political program, dramatically outperforming goals set for a union of our size. Our internal program will be ongoing to make certain we can put forth our best efforts for the elections in 2016. We will elect our next President. It is crucial to hold onto the White House and win back seats in both Chambers of Congress, and in state houses across the country.

Jane Greenwood, Wendall Harrington Tapped for USITT 2015 Distinguished Achievement Awards

Stage Directions: Two famed Broadway designers who are also Yale School of Drama colleagues, Jane Greenwood and Wendall Harrington, will receive USITT Distinguished Achievement Awards in 2015.Two famed Broadway designers who are also Yale School of Drama colleagues, Jane Greenwood and Wendall Harrington, will receive USITT Distinguished Achievement Awards in 2015.

Greenwood, whose career as a costume designer spans six decades, will receive USITT’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Costume Design at USITT’s 2015 Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Cincinnati March 18-21.

Overseas critics laud joint Pittsburgh CLO, Chatelet production 'American in Paris'

TribLIVE: European theater critics are singing the praises of “An American in Paris.”

“I would beg, borrow or steal to see it all again,” says Francis Carlin in London's Financial Times.

The musical, inspired by the Oscar-winning 1951 film that starred East Liberty native Gene Kelly, opened in Paris on Dec. 10 as a joint production between Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and Theatre du Chatelet under the guidance of Van Kaplan, CLO's executive producer, and Stuart Oken.

‘Exodus: Gods And Kings’ Banned In Egypt & Morocco

Deadline: Deadline first reported weeks ago that Fox’s revisionist take on Moses and his flight from Egypt would struggle to get past censors in the country, where it is generally prohibited to depict prophets and religious figures. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, for example, was banned earlier this year after Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the highest religious authority in Sunni Islam, criticized Aronofsky’s film. Now Scott’s film has come in for a bashing from head of the Egyptian state censorship board, Abdul Sattar Fathi.

Why Team America Suceeds As Satire Where The Interview Fails

io9.com: The "Let's kill Kim Jong-un" move The Interview has drawn inevitable, and not always favorable, comparisons to another movie that skewers North Korea, Team America: World Police. But why do people hold up the South Park creators' often crudely funny film as a bar The Interview fails to reach?

Girls on Film: How Hollywood changed for the better in 2014

The Week: Each year, before we head into the maw of the big awards season, we get to ease into a short period of cinematic reflection. When looking at female advancement in the industry, or lack thereof, we tend to focus on a single epic event: Kathryn Bigelow’s history-making Oscar win, Bridesmaids' massive box office success, Sandra Bullock leading the space adventure Gravity almost entirely on her own, or Melissa McCarthy becoming Hollywood’s go-to comedienne.

From the Stage to the Streets: Chicago Artists and Activists Respond to “We Must Breathe”

HowlRound: If you search #WeMustBreathe on Twitter, you will be sorting through Tweets for hours. 140 characters for one Tweet may not seem like much, but when compiled under a hashtag that describes an evening of performance and protest in Chicago, 140 characters turns into several thousand

Why You Need ADHD Accommodations in College

Psychology Today: If you have ADHD, you are not getting out of the starting gate at the same time as everyone else. It may take you longer to process what you learn in class. It may take you longer to focus and complete a test. Accommodations are adjustments made to your learning so you are on an even playing field with your classmates.

Montrealer Bruce Rickerd breaks Guinness World Record

www.cirquefascination.com: Bruce Rickerd, a former Montrealer who was born in Ottawa, broke the world record of most theatrical performances by a male musician on Saturday in Las Vegas.

It’s easy to miss Rickerd during Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère show at the Treasure Island casino, especially when there’s a man balancing upside-down on the foot of another, or a giant inflatable snail emerging from the massive moving stage or the gasp-inducing drops from acrobats above.

But he’s there — up high on the right or rather, stage left — playing guitar in just about the same place he’s been for every one of the 10,000 shows come Saturday in the 21-year history of Mystère as he and the rest of the band tie the music and sound effects to action on stage.

That’s right. He’s never missed a day of work.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Interview with Suzanne Appel

HowlRound: Suzanne Appel is the managing director of Cutting Ball Theater, where playwright Andrew Saito is spending his Mellon residency. Cutting Ball is a fifteen-year-old company in San Francisco founded by artistic director Rob Melrose and associate artistic director Paige Rogers. Appel joined the company in 2011, after completing her MBA/MFA in theater management from Yale School of Drama. This interview was conducted right before the September 2014 gathering of Mellon Residency Playwrights and Theaters in Boston, hosted by HowlRound and ArtsEmerson.

Beyond The Interview: The Top 10 Cave-In Artists of the Year

Reason.com: Sony copped a lot a flak for caving in to the mysterious Guardians of Peace and pulling The Interview from theaters. It may have since rediscovered its spine, allowing the movie to be released in a few theaters on Christmas Day and making it available online too, but the impact of its act of self-censorship continues to reverberate. It has rightly found itself lambasted for initially hiding away a piece of culture at the behest of a yammering mob making threats and wailing about feeling offended.

Your Average Obsessive: From the Superhuman to the Simply Human

HowlRound: The first time I remember seeing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder represented in contemporary culture was during a visit to my parents’ home in 2008. They told me about a quirky detective drama they’d grown to like called Monk, where a San Francisco cop, brought to life by veteran stage and screen actor Tony Shalhoub, comes down with a mean case of OCD that helps him solve seemingly unsolvable crimes with panache and brilliance.

2014's best parties begin with Pittsburgh Public Theater's 'British Invasion'

TribLIVE: For some, it was the sight of Pittsburgh Public Theater artistic director Ted Pappas leading a conga line of the Queen's Guard through the ballroom of the Westin Convention Center hotel and a dance floor that stayed full for most of the night thanks to Cityscape. For others, it was a tall, dark and handsome bloke portraying James Bond that sealed the deal. “I'll fight you for him,” said Gerri Weiss.

What It Really Takes to Be an Artist: MacArthur Genius Teresita Fernández’s Magnificent Commencement Address

Brain Pickings: In 2005, artist Teresita Fernández — one of the most original and visionary sculptors of our time, whose work appears in the bewitching monograph Blind Landscape (public library) — received one of those legendary phone calls from the MacArthur Foundation. The mysterious caller informed her that the foundation’s secret committee had awarded the coveted MacArthur Fellowship — a generous $500,000 grant, with no strings attached, given solely so that the recipient can continue pursuing her or his creative work.

D.C. Theater Review: ‘Diner’ by Sheryl Crow, Barry Levinson

Variety: “Diner,” Barry Levinson’s 1982 film about six Baltimore chums savoring their last gasps of 1950s adolescence, has been turned by scripter Levinson and songwriter/lyricist Sheryl Crow into a musical that’s just as touching and entertaining as the movie. Making a low-key debut at Arlington, Va.’s Signature Theater, with no announced future plans, the show reflects an extensive overhaul conducted since its aborted rollout two years ago. But now, a gleaming “Diner,” with sparkling contributions from Crow, is decidedly open for business.

Three Rivers arts fest participants sought

TribLIVE: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is accepting applications for participants in the 56th annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival through Feb. 1.

Festival organizers seek visual and performing artists of all disciplines for the next event, set for June 5 to 14. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust will partner with the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council to host an informal discussion open to all visual and performing artists regarding opportunities to participate from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 10. at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, 810 Penn Ave., Downtown.

The Six Steps to Success in the Theme Park Business

www.themeparkinsider.com: What do you need to know to understand the theme park industry? Here at Theme Park Insider, we've devoted our entire website, plus several books, to helping consumers understand theme parks enough to help them get the most value they can from a theme park visit. But if you're going to take a step back from a consumer's perspective, to understand themed entertainment as an industry, you need even more information.

Should You Get Life Insurance For Your College Student?

www.forbes.com: Insurance is a tricky subject, and it’s also one that many people don’t like to talk about because of the morbidity of it. But the fact is, people die, including students. And in some cases, it can make sense for college students and young adults to have life insurance.

However, no parent ever wants to think about the loss of their child. But you know what’s worse? Being burdened by debt along with despair in the event a loss happens. It’s for this reason that life insurance could make sense for some students.

The AP picks its Top 10 theater of 2014

New Pittsburgh Courier: This year’s best-in-theater list includes a musical with multiple murders, another with a cross-dressing German, one that’s set in a decadent Berlin nightclub, the revival of an America masterpiece and we celebrate someone who broke an important barrier.

Coming Soon: The 3D-Doodled Cinderella Slipper

The Creators Project: In the age-old fairytale, Cinderella gets her glass slippers as a gift from her fairy godmother. In the real world, 3D printing seems to do the trick. Enter origami artist and designer Kade Chan's 3D-doodled high-heel prototype, an experiment in footwear whose ornate, swirling patterns can be hand-drawn to match individual feet, not unlike the 3D-drawn dress we reported on in September.

At Broadway Box Offices, a Happy Holiday Season

NYTimes.com: Several Broadway shows are hitting theatrical high notes as the curtain comes down on 2014, according to box office data released on Monday.

For the week ending Dec. 28, 19 shows grossed over $1 million, with three shows topping $2 million: “Wicked” ($2.9 million), “The Lion King” ($2.8 million) and “The Book of Mormon” (just over $2 million). Rounding out the top five were “Aladdin” ($1.9 million) and “The Illusionists” ($1.8 million).

Sunday, December 28, 2014

How the Arts Drove Pittsburgh's Revitalization

The Atlantic: Pittsburgh is enjoying an urban renaissance, regularly making it into the top ranks of “most livable city” lists. The reasons for this revival are numerous and complicated, including the presence of its world-class universities, vibrant tech sector, sophisticated health-care systems, rejuvenated riverfronts, and much more.

McCullough vs. the Shakespeare Cult

The Clyde Fitch Report: In this edition of Chicago Playwrights, we speak with playwright, comic and educator Mia McCullough about the over-production of Shakespeare plays in the American theatre. Described as having an “eye and ear for irony and caustic, comic dialogue,” McCullough’s work has been produced by such companies as Steppenwolf, Stage Left, Chicago Dramatists, Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, Actors Express (Atlanta), InterAct (Philadelphia), The Victory Theater (Los Angeles), and The Old Globe (San Diego).

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pittsburgh stagehands thrust into August Wilson Center dispute

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The August Wilson Center for African-American Culture and Local 3 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees entered into a labor contract in April 2013. The struggling nonprofit stopped paying the stagehands who worked there, owing 59 backstage employees more than $30,000 in wages, vacation savings, union dues, and pension and welfare benefits.

An engineer’s perspective on IAAPA Attractions Expo 2014

InPark Magazine: At its brand launch and supplier relations event, Dream East introduced itself as the cultural entertainment division of SkyOcean International Holdings, Ltd. With each guest at the event sporting a blue DreamEast antler bowler, the company introduced its new project and first theme park rollout, DreamEast – Legend World. The locations that DreamEast hopes to focus on are Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Each would be an all-inclusive destination with retail, hospitality and entertainment geared to tourists and locals alike.

“Everyone caved”: How much of the “Interview” fiasco is actually Hollywood’s fault?

Salon.com: Emotions seem to be riding high in Hollywood following Sony’s decision to pull the Seth Rogen/James Franco assassination comedy “The Interview,” with objections to Sony’s decision clocking in at the highest moral levels. Aaron Sorkin says “the U.S. succumbed to an unprecedented attack on our most cherished, bedrock principle of free speech” while Steve Carell, whose own North Korea-based film project has been tabled, too, mourned the principles of the First Amendment.

Da Vinci 1.0 review: a bargain 3D printer that comes at a cost

Tech News and Analysis: Crowdfunding sites have been teasing us with inexpensive 3D printers for a year now. But in the end the first modern desktop 3D printer that costs less than $500 came from Taiwan, not Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

Watch Dancers Wander Through A Digital Dream World

The Creators Project: Artist duo Adrien M / Claire B do not create typical backdrops for dance performances, but instead transform the physical stage into a living virtual environment with many surprising visual planes. For Pixel—entraits, above, they immerse a troupe of eleven dancers skilled in breakdancing, body-twisting circus movements, and hip-hop, in spectacular digital media, from showers of light to ice rinks.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Stop trashing artists who disclose their finances

Boing Boing: When Pomplamoose's Jack Conte disclosed the complex finances in the band's latest tour, other artists and the wider public raised a critical chorus of armchair quarterbacking, decrying the band's decisions and financial acumen -- a dismal rerun of the inevitable, reflexive social punishment that discourages transparency in the arts.

How NOT to Introduce Yourself | Bernard Marr

LinkedIn: Networking is one of the most challenging skills you may have to learn in the world of business. It can be an awkward experience, having the attention of a group of strangers focused on you, and trying to make a good first impression. It’s an important moment. The person opposite you might be someone who could make or break your career. If you make a good impression, he or she might be able to refer your next big client, or have the influence to help you land that next big contract.

It's Official: Live Nation Acquires C3 Presents

Pollstar: Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) announced today the completion of a transaction to acquire a controlling stake in C3 Presents. C3, led by the management team of Charles Attal, Charlie Jones and Charlie Walker, is one of the largest concert promoters in North America, owning and operating Austin City Limits Music Festival, producing Lollapalooza, and promoting over 1,700 additional concerts and events annually, as well as creating a growing portfolio of emerging music and lifestyle festivals. In recent years, Lollapalooza has become one of the most successful global festival brands, with festivals in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Santiago and Sao Paulo, along with its iconic Chicago event.

Koons Again Accused of Copyright Infringement

NYTimes.com: Jeff Koons is drawing crowds at the Centre Pompidou with a major retrospective of his oeuvre, but the subject of one work — a pig lolling next to a seminude brunette mannequin with cropped hair — has prompted a threat of a legal struggle over copyright infringement.

Liberace Hologram to Tour World

Rolling Stone: A Liberace hologram is set to tour the world with a debut performance scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, though no dates have been announced yet, The Guardian reports.

Missouri professors using 3D printers for art

dailyjournalonline.com: As 3-D printing becomes cheaper and more widely available, some of its original adopters locally are using it to enhance their art. Art and sculpture professors at Missouri Western State University and Northwest Missouri State University have been honing their skills with 3-D printing for several years and watching the possibilities expand.

Steve Wynn out to ‘exhaust’ audiences with ‘Showstoppers’

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Yes, his name is on “ShowStoppers.” And yes, he monitors rehearsals and he narrates the finished product. But there’s a $5 million reason to listen when Steve Wynn says: “What’s the point of doing something you don’t believe in yourself?” That reason is “Funhouse,” the show that never opened at Wynn Las Vegas.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

How to Use Drill Clutch Settings

Pro Tool Reviews: So you got (or are getting) a new drill this holiday season. Maybe it’s your first cordless drill or a higher level drill than your dad’s old Black and Decker that has been around for 30 years. As you carefully take it out of the package and silently promise that you’re going to take care of it perfectly, you begin to look at the features. Many will have multiple speed settings; that’s easy enough to understand. Most high end drills also have this perplexing collar with 20 or more settings that you can twist into. These are your drill clutch settings. Let’s take a look at the significance of this feature and how you can better use it.

Insights Learned From Doing Monitor Sound For A True Singer

Pro Sound Web: Welcome to doing monitor sound for a singer. There are many kinds of professional entertainers, songwriters and celebrities, but now you’re working for that breed of performing artist who sings quite well and requires a refined approach in order to do her best on stage.

View from the ArtsBridge: A College Audition Success Story

ArtsBridge: We caught up with one of our past ArtsBridge Summer students, Jordan Plutzer, to find out how he was doing in his first semester, and to ask if he had any advice for students about to attend their college auditions. Jordan is now a freshman in musical theatre at Carnegie Mellon University. When we spoke, Jordan was sitting in his dorm room, which he and his roommate have affectionately dubbed “the bunker.” The room is decorated with strung lights, concert pictures that Jordan’s father took, San Francisco Giants memorabilia, posters of movies that Jordan and his roommate mutually enjoy, as well as pictures of family and friends.

My IAAPA diary: The 2014 Attractions Expo as seen by a young producer

InPark Magazine: I grew up in Northeast Ohio, an area that, in its heyday, was a hotbed of theme park activity. My summers were filled with trips to Cedar Point, Geauga Lake and SeaWorld Ohio. But it became a highlight of my summers when my family, like so many others from the Midwest, packed up the minivan and made the trip to Central Florida.

Laliberté optimistic about Cirque du Soleil’s Future

www.cirquefascination.com: It was a novel experience: interviewing Cirque du Soleil co-founder and owner Guy Laliberté, noted party animal and high-stakes poker player, in a church. The occasion was the Cirque du Soleil’s 30th-anniversary concert at St-Jean-Baptiste Church in Montreal. After settling into a pew for the show, I was offered a rare chance to chat with Laliberté. Having recently read a rather gloomy article on the fortunes of Cirque in the Wall Street Journal, I blurted out something about a funereal aspect to the concert. Laliberté took it in stride.

Watch the World's Most Complete Stegosaurus Skeleton Being Assembled

gizmodo.com: First discovered in Wyoming, the world's most complete Stegosaurus skeleton has found a new home across the pond at the Natural History Museum in London, England. And you can now watch the museum's curators and palaeontologists re-assemble one of the world's oldest and best-preserved jigsaw puzzles. The process originally took about four hours, but this timelapse of the entire assembly will demand just 24 seconds of your limited attention span.

A Guide To Movie Musicals Streaming On Netflix

Celebrity Gossip and Entertainment News | VH1 Celebrity: With Into the Woods in theaters Dec. 25, we know you’re getting into the movie musical mood. Thankfully, there’s plenty of song-and-dance goodness on Netflix to curb your Broadway appetite before then. From Grease to Rent, and even from-the-vault classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, your favorite streaming website has enough flicks to keep you singing for days. Even weeks. Below, we explore 10 movie musical adaptations currently at your disposal. Fill your queue with these gems; we guarantee an almost instantaneous boost in mood (well, for the most part).

What’s holding up appointment of new theater director at NEA?

The Washington Post: Ralph Remington may just be the most irreplaceable man in Washington theater. This week marks a year since Remington left his job as director of theater and musical theater at the National Endowment for the Arts to take a position with the Actors’ Equity Association in Los Angeles. In the interim, the federal agency has advertised the position twice but hasn’t filled the job. Many theater professionals have been wondering why there has been such a delay and worrying about not having a national advocate in Washington.

The Hobbit: A Production Sound Perspective

Sound & Picture: If you were a production sound mixer, what if we told you there was a job where you had to live in New Zealand and listen to dwarves, wizards, a hobbit, and other mythical creatures on headphones for a year? Oh, and Peter Jackson is directing. Would you do it? Yeah, it seems like an easy answer, and thankfully one Tony Johnson, CAS was able to say yes to.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Does Your Venue Policy Include Terrorism Insurance? Knowing Might Become Important Soon

Butts In the Seats: We get a lot of alerts about Congressional actions that might impact arts organizations all the time. Something that wasn’t really on my radar at all was the (non) renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. Basically, the federal government provides guarantees for insurance companies that end up having to pay out terrorism claims. If the act isn’t renewed by January 31, it is likely that terrorism coverage policies will be cancelled.

24 Things you could have seen at JLC LIVE NW

Tools of the Trade: The JLC LIVE show has been around since 1995. I attended sporadically in the early years but have been to nearly all that have occurred in the last 10 years, including the one held in Portland, Oregon a couple of weeks back.

Autodesk University 2014 Closing Keynote Online

autodesk.blogs.com: Watch Amar Hanspal Autodesk senior VP of the Information modeling and Platform products Group along with guests Randall Munroe science explaining cartoonist, Mike Chen, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-founder of Made in Space, Dr, Yvonne Cagle, M.D. (Colonel, U.S. AIR FORCE, RET.), and Arx Pax Maglev Technology you may know better as the Hendo Hoverboard by Greg & Jill Henderson. The Closing Keynote was great fun and was the send off to the much anticipated AU Party that was held this year at The Palms.

Generosity in the Land of Ballet

FROM THE GREEN ROOM: Dance/USA's e-Journal: As a ballet outsider, most of what I thought I knew about the ballet life offstage came from movies and writings that emphasize ballet’s competitiveness, with the adjective “cutthroat” in there somewhere. Not to say that aspect of ballet doesn’t exist, but though it may make for good drama, it’s not the real story.

'Something Rotten!' to Skip Seattle Premiere and Debut on Broadway in March

NYTimes.com: With a prime Broadway theater suddenly available, the producers of the new musical comedy “Something Rotten!” announced on Tuesday that they are dropping plans for a world premiere in Seattle and instead starting performances in New York in March.

How to love what you do (and make a living too)

Crew Blog: For most of us, we spend time in each of the sections of this diagram, but rarely in the space where they overlap. That means we’re either spending time doing what we love without being adequately compensated for it, or we’re working a job that loves us back with money, benefits, freedom, and so on, but we’re not enjoying it.

Of All the Blogs...

Dimmer Beach: This is one of them. I will start to ease us into the end of the year with a few helpful fixture tips and start a segment I hinted at (well, I said I was going to do but haven’t got there yet) at LDI.

The Differences Between Dynamic Range & Signal-to-Noise Ratio

Pro Sound Web: Adequate signal-to-noise ratio is one of the characteristics of a professionally designed sound reinforcement system. The terms “dynamic range” and “signal-to-noise ratio” are often used interchangeably, but a closer look reveals that they are not exactly the same thing.

Back & Better Than Ever

Pro Sound Web: Fall Out Boy is back, and as this year’s recently concluded months-long concert tour demonstrated, the American rock/punk quartet is more popular than ever. The tour comes following the band reuniting after going on a hiatus, in advance of the release of its sixth studio album, American Beauty/American Psycho.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Think Wood Can't Be Sewn? Think Again!

Design Milk: Berlin-based product designers Anastasiya Koshcheeva and Oya-Meryem Yanik teamed up on a project that is a study in materials. Chester is a new, innovative material that looks at molded wood in a completely new way. After much research, they created a new surface material that’s held together with seams, and not the typical glue, giving the wood a quilted look.

Dolby takes on IMAX with own cinema system

InAVate: Dolby has announced it is launching Dolby Cinema, its own advanced cinema format, which will see it compete with IMAX. The system pairs its Dolby Atmos audio technology with Dolby Vision, which offers laser projection technology with 4K, high-frame-rate 2D and Dolby 3D capabilities. The first Dolby Cinema sites will be located at the newly constructed JT Cinemas complex in Eindhoven, Netherlands, and the UCI/Cinesa La Maquinista complex in Barcelona, Spain.

Year-end Washington Policy Decisions Affecting the Arts; What are the Most Likely Possibilities?

ARTSblog » Blog Archive: You might be wondering what is happening in Congress as the lights twinkle towards year-end. You might be seeing pictures of ducks, a tribute to the current, post-election session that’s termed “lame-duck.” All the while, retiring and defeated members of Congress take up life in cubicles, losing their office space, most of their equipment, and sometimes even most of their staff. Yet, Congress is still in session. Policy is still happening, and deals are ever-changing.

Al Schmitt’s Microphone Approach

Pro Sound Web: After 18 Grammys for Best Engineering (more than any other engineer) and work on over 150 gold and platinum records, Al Schmitt needs no introduction to anyone even remotely familiar with the recording industry. Indeed, his credit list is way too long to print here (but Henry Mancini, Steely Dan, George Benson, Toto, Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones, and Diana Krall are some of them), but suffice it to say that Al’s name is synonymous with the highest art that recording has to offer.

The Latest in Jobsite Equipment

Remodeling: For crew members who want to listen to music via their mobile devices, DeWalt’s new Jobsite Bluetooth Speaker offers a portable option. The speaker can run on either a 12-volt or 20-volt lithium-ion battery, or by using an AC adapter. Users can connect Bluetooth-compatible devices though the unit’s auxiliary port, and can also use a USB power port for charging.

Review: 'Nutcracker' adds 'Burgh touches to favorite

TribLIVE: There's a lot to love in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's production of “The Nutcracker,” the holiday favorite about a girl's magical Christmas Eve. The production by company artistic director Terrence Orr was introduced in 2002 and remains an enchanting spectacle. Performances continue through Dec. 28 at the Benedum Center, Downtown. The Tuesday, Dec. 23 matinee will be a sensory-friendly performance, designed for people with autism and other special needs.

Stage preview: Off the Wall dance and drama from a woman's perspective

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Off the Wall Productions lives by its name, with a mission to deliver something unexpected. In the case of its December offerings, that would be two somethings, with dance matinees and theatrical evenings on Saturdays and the reverse on Sundays. The acting company is presenting Liz Duffy Adams’ comedy “OR,” a bioplay about one of the first female playwrights, and fireWALL, Off the Wall’s resident dance company, is introducing “Uproar,” about a female writer in the act of creating.

‘Into the Woods’ Movie Boosts Stage Productions

Variety: “Into the Woods” is everywhere these days — and not just at a movie theater near you. With the Disney film version of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1986 musical now in marketing overdrive for its Christmas release, you can catch stage productions of the show at the Wallis in L.A. (through this weekend), at the Roundabout Theater Company in New York (through March 22) and, this summer, at the Muny in St. Louis. Considering “Into the Woods” is an enduring favorite of theater fans, these productions don’t owe their existence solely to the film’s release — but theater programmers were almost certainly keeping one eye on the movie as season schedules fell into place.

Neat chart will help you understand the vast universe of women footwear

sploid.gizmodo.com: I really like women shoes, not only for the reasons you are thinking (that too) but because I think they can be beautiful design pieces. This neat chart—by infographic design studio Pop Chart Lab—brakes down the contemporary footwear styles so we can understand and appreciate the nuances of such a vast world.

This Street Photographer's Start-to-Finish Analog Process Is a Rarity

reframe.gizmodo.com: The number of people who still shoot film is small. The number of people who shoot and develop their own film is smaller, and the number of people who then make their own prints in a darkroom is miniscule. Andre D. Wagner is one of the few. This video is a window into not only his process, but his approach to taking pictures on the streets.

LIGHTFAIR International 2015 Stages Global Connection for Integrated Design

Signshop: The worlds of design, technology, controls and systems integration converge in an incomparable presentation of innovation and education—all in the global celebration of lighting advancement that is LIGHTFAIR® International (LFI®) 2015 May 3-7 in New York's Javits Center.

How Colorists Choose the Color of the Year

Custom Home Magazine: As word got out that Pantone named Marsala its 2015 Color of the Year, designers and critics were turning their heads and begging the question, ‘what were they thinking?’ It’s not as if Pantone just threw a dart at a color wheel and hoped for the best. As its press release notes, picking a color of the year ‘requires careful consideration’ – consideration that can take four or five months of various ‘meetings of the minds.’

Monday, December 22, 2014

Stagehands' union is an integral part of Pittsburgh's cultural scene

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A small, fluid group of employees who work backstage at theaters, concert halls and stadiums often finds itself front and center of the dramas that unfold in Pittsburgh’s performing arts scene. It’s called stagecraft: The 200 or so members of Local 3 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees are crucial to every major concert, opera and play staged here. Stagehands were in the thick of the legal battle over the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Their specialized skills can transform the look, sound and feel of a performance. At the same time, the working conditions under which they operate can shut down a rehearsal and infuriate directors — especially since they often represent a major cost of production.

Checklist to Reduce Airborne Health Hazards

Remodeling: Groups like the Building Performance Institute say that indoor air quality is rising on homeowners’ lists of concerns. Thus, the more you know about air-related problems, the better you’ll be able to spot potential concerns and snuff out existing troubles.

Alternatives To The Ol’ Ball & Stick

Pro Sound Web: When I began working in pro audio, I pretty much copied what everyone else was doing when it came to microphone selection and placement – “ball” mics for vocals and “stick” mics for instruments and amps, with hardly any “studio” mics on stage except when live recording was being done.

How Does it Feel to Play a Terrorist in “The Death of Klinghoffer”?

Jewcy.com: So, one of the terrorists in the recent New York run of the suuuuuper-controversial opera The Death of Klinghoffer was played by—who else?—a Jew. If this is your first time on the internet and you’re unfamiliar with the Klinghoffer fracas (greetings!), I suggest you familiarize yourself here and here. (tl;dr version: a Jewish American named Leon Klinghoffer was murdered aboard a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists in 1985, someone made an opera about it, a lot of people find the opera deeply offensive, others think it’s OK/not that big of a deal/really good.)

13 Personality Traits That Can Keep You From Success

Inc.com: If you're examining obstacles to success, it's a good idea to begin by looking within. Here are 13 personality traits that, left unchecked, can keep you from being as successful as you'd like to be. Do any of these resonate with you?

Behind the scenes video shows how 7 scenes are filmed in 1 take

sploid.gizmodo.com: Johnnie Walker has a pretty neat commercial on air these days that covers 7 different backgrounds in just one long take. It's a well choreographed and perfectly timed spot, a man is at a bar and starts walking. As he moves along, the scenery changes along with him to give him a wild journey until he's back at the bar.

Time Management as an Art Project

Kellbot!: For the past few months I’ve been waking up in a cold sweat freaking out about things I forgot to take care of. A lot of it is little, like forgetting to schedule a hair appointment until after they’ve closed for the day. Some of it is bigger, like the Kickstarter I did a few years ago that fizzled out (more on that in another post) and a few things are huge, like the fact that I completely bungled my corporate tax filings for the last 3 years.

Why a Black 'Annie' Is So Significant

The Atlantic: As millions of moviegoers sit down in front of the same few studio films playing at their local theater over the holidays, the handful of Hollywood creators behind those projects will have that still-rare power: the undivided attention of much of the country. In communities of all kinds, audiences young and old, of various backgrounds, will gather to consume the artistic vision of a select few people.

Sugarland, promoter settle with Indiana State Fair victims

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Country duo Sugarland, concert promoter Live Nation and 16 other defendants have agreed to pay $39 million to settle claims stemming from the deadly 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse, lawyers for the victims and their families announced Friday. Seven people were killed and nearly 100 were injured in August 2011, when high winds toppled rigging and sent the stage roof onto fans awaiting the start of a Sugarland concert. Two investigative reports found the stage rigging that collapsed didn’t meet industry safety standards and that fair officials lacked a fully developed emergency plan. The accident led to new regulations on the erection of rigging for outdoor events.

No Comparisons

Signshop: In my opinion, one of the problems these days with comparisons between LEDs and neon (Photo 1) is that you really can’t make a fair comparison. It’s apple and oranges. In fact, there really is no comparison. Unfortunately if you investigate this topic via the Web, you’ll find instances of lopsided, generalizing comparisons. Those who have long lists of the many LED “pros” and only a few “cons” appear to be merely in a mode of not selling neon.

Theater Owner Pushes ‘Side Show’ to Close

NYTimes.com: For all its great reviews and A-list creative team, the musical “Side Show” became the fastest flop of the fall Broadway season on Friday because of a deadly combination: middling ticket sales and another musical eager to grab its theater.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Reinstatement of ‘Ka’ battle a somber celebration

Las Vegas Review-Journal: It sounded like it would be a celebration. A promotion. Something to generate 30 seconds of footage for the evening news. Look forward, not back and all that. If all followed plan, the climactic battle scene of “Ka” would be back in the show permanently on Friday, after being phased in last week. But Cirque du Soleil wasn’t finished looking back. When it demonstrated the return of the “Ka” battle scene for reporters on a recent afternoon, the mood was still somber. And company officials were there to tell, not just show.

Ballet West opens new world-class facility

The Salt Lake Tribune: A cross-hatched metallic scrim decorating the boxy Jessie Eccles Quinney Ballet Centre offers a new downtown light show on busy 200 South. The contemporary flair of the diagonal design visually ties the new $22 million building to the brick patterning and terra-cotta façade of its 101-year-old neighbor, the recently renovated Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre. Arts leaders think the high-tech LED lighting display will shine as a metaphor for the cultural and financial investment in Salt Lake City’s expanding downtown arts district.

Welding education - the good, bad, and ugly

TheFabricator.com: Welding education has been handled in various ways—some good, some bad, and some just plain ugly. During World War II, several welder-training organizations were established. Some were government owned and operated, and others were independently owned.

Behind the Scenes Shares Ways of Supporting Colleagues with Holiday Giving

Stage Directions: Behind the Scenes, the foundation-backed charity that provides entertainment technology industry members who are ill or injured with grants that may be used for basic living and medical expenses, noted a few ways this annual time of year for giving can be made even more meaningful this holiday season.

An Alternative To Automation

Pro Sound Web: There are certain times when adjusting clip gain (volume) makes more sense than utilizing automation. For example, what if you want a whole section of a vocal to be louder or softer? Not a single word, part of a word or phrase, but a section?

Heated Jackets For a Comfortable Work

Builder Magazine: This year, in parts of the country where a dipping thermometer and cool bracing winds are the norm for several winter months, the hottest trend for construction personnel on the go may well be outerwear. We’re not talking team jackets or designer coats, but rather heated jackets that carry the insignia of the tool manufacturer who markets them on the front and a rechargeable heavy duty battery to run it in a pocket.

Artistic director Ari Roth is fired from Theater J

The Washington Post: Ari Roth, longtime artistic director of Theater J, an organization he has built over the past 18 years into one of the city’s most artistically probing and ambitious theater companies, said he was fired Thursday. Roth said notice of his dismissal was delivered by Carole R. Zawatsky, chief executive officer of the DC Jewish Community Center, of which Theater J is an arm. The cause given, he said, was insubordination, violating what he called the JCC’s “communications protocol.”

The 2014 Gift Guide: What To Get Creatives (And Those Who Want To Be More Creative)

Co.Create | creativity + culture + commerce: Geese are fattening, old men are awaiting haypennies (whatever those are) in their hats, and Christmas (or whatever) is fast approaching. And while you almost certainly have great ideas for the boring people in your life (what up, gift card!), more creative friends/family members/co-workers require more consideration: their gifts have to be both genuinely useful and clever enough to make it clear that you know them well.

Long Reach Long Riders Announce 2015 Route

Stage Directions: The twelfth annual Long Reach Long Riders charity ride will leave from Nashville before traveling the Ozarks. The Long Reach Long Riders are pleased to announce the route for their 12th annual charity motorcycle ride.

Charles Isherwood’s Best Theater of 2014: ‘Father Comes Home From the Wars’ and More

NYTimes.com: The older you get, the quicker Top 10 time seems to arrive. The past year in theater seemed more than usually breathless, but the rewards were many, sometimes seemingly constant. An exciting new play one month, a revitalized Broadway musical the next, and always what astonishes me most: the breadth and depth of the acting talent to be seen on New York stages. All my choices, and many shows that didn’t make the final cut, left me immensely gratified by the dedication and sometimes necessary fearlessness of New York’s theater actors.

Bellagio conservatory conjures jolly holiday

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Desert dwellers dreaming of a white Christmas will find a 24-hour winter wonderland as close as Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Open around the clock through Jan. 3, the free holiday display includes such signs of the season as a 42-foot Christmas tree, thousands of twinkling lights and 28,000 poinsettias.

Michael Price Prepares to Leave Goodspeed Musicals

NYTimes.com: The first time Michael P. Price went to work at Goodspeed Opera House, during its inaugural season in 1963, things didn’t go so well. Fresh out of the Yale School of Drama, he was a young, brash production manager, and he lasted all of four months before he was fired.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Are Tech-Trained Millennials The Right Hire For AV Integrators?

Pro Sound Web: Been to an InfoComm show lately? If you have, something you may notice is that the average age at the show is, well, let’s be PC and say not young. For many that have been around the business for some time, they may not have noticed the age creep taking place, but for many who come year after year and see the same faces you may have seen a wrinkle or two that wasn’t there before.

A dark ‘Nutcracker’

Theater | Will Gartshore: Will Gartshore’s relationship with Bethesda’s Round House Theatre is not new. In 2005, he delightfully assayed an amphibian in “A Year with Frog and Toad,” and more recently he played a bisexual Gallic lothario in “This.” And now with “The Nutcracker,” a new holiday musical, he sort of brings together those experiences to play Monkey — a cheeky French sock monkey to be precise.

Builders’ Favorite Hand Tools

Tools of the Trade: Several months back we ran a survey asking newsletter recipients to tell us about their favorite hand tools—specifically, their brand preference for 16’ tapes, 25-30’ tapes, screwdrivers, adjustable wrenches, lineman’s pliers, and pump pliers. The survey was multiple-choice and broken down by trade; 68 people who identified themselves as builders (GC—New Construction—Multiple Trades). It was not a huge sample size but large enough to get some sense of what builders like.

Goodman Theatre Grants Sophia Ferraza’s Wish

Stage Directions: Chicago’s Goodman Theatre will host Make-A-Wish Foundation recipient Sophie Ferraza, giving her training and rehearsal time before having her appear onstage in The Second City’s holiday satire Twist Your Dickens, or Scrooge You!, followed by performing multiple roles in the Goodman’s own production of A Christmas Carol on two nights.

Quandary for Sony in Terror Threats Over ‘The Interview’

NYTimes.com: Sony Pictures Entertainment, the F.B.I., theater owners and competing film studios scrambled on Tuesday to deal with a threat of terrorism against movie theaters that show Sony’s “The Interview,” a raunchy comedy about the assassination of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

Incentives and Rewards: Lazy or Excellent Management?

Occupational Health & Safety: The following excerpt is from a 1993 HBR article entitled "Rethinking Rewards": "In fact, we believe our incentive compensation program is at the heart of our company's success. . . . Since we adopted this approach, the quality of the budgeting process has substantially improved. Finally, award opportunities are uncapped, and, as a result, they encourage the entrepreneurial spirit that we value. When designed effectively and integrated thoroughly into the management process, executive incentive programs work well for management and shareholders alike." That article was written by L. Dennis Kozlowski, former chairman and CEO of Tyco. He was convicted on June 17, 2005, for financial crimes.

Hugs Help Protect Against Stress and Infection, Say Carnegie Mellon Researchers

Health News: Led by Sheldon Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty University Professor of Psychology in CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the researchers tested whether hugs act as a form of social support, protecting stressed people from getting sick. Published in Psychological Science, they found that greater social support and more frequent hugs protected people from the increased susceptibility to infection associated with being stressed and resulted in less severe illness symptoms.

Ben Brantley’s Best Theater of 2014: ‘An Octoroon,’ ‘On the Town’ and More

NYTimes.com: Broadway got lost in the stars this year. It seemed that everywhere you looked — at least in that consortium of temples, er, theaters around Times Square dedicated to the adoration of the boldface — there was yet another celebrity, using his or her magnetism to draw gullible audiences and, as often as not, upset the balance of a perfectly good drama. It is fitting that the fall’s runaway hit, Terence McNally’s “It’s Only a Play,” was an overextended sketch in which famous people portrayed famous people talking about famous people.

Floor Plans? There's an App for That

Builder Magazine: A new product from toolmaker Stanley puts the power of accurate measuring and floor plan creation into a smart phone or tablet. The Floor Plan App digitally measures and creates floor plans. Using a smartphone or tablet’s camera, users view a room or space through the app’s augmented reality function and can designate placement of room corners and doors. The app’s intuitive software estimates and automatically populates each room with dimensions and square footage calculations.

The Greater DC Diversity Pilot Initiative, #2: Talking Diversity in the Arts (Reflections on the Community Diversity Forums)

ARTSblog » Blog Archive » : I had never been accused of being white. It was the second Diversity Forum with about two dozen local arts stakeholders and a clearly skeptical gentleman asked, “What are two white guys from a national arts organization doing facilitating a local conversation around diversity in the arts?” The question took me aback. “I’m not white, I’m Latino,” I instinctively responded as if my bona fides to facilitate this conversation were my non-whiteness.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Expert advice on digital design for "multi-platform" museums

It's Nice That: It’s strange to think of an Egyptian statue of Rameses from 1250BC, Ice Age sculptures, or the Rosetta stone and their place in a digital world. The awe-inspiring physicality of the things feel so at odds with The Cloud, or an app, or words like “omnichannel” that are bandied around so readily and confusingly. As head of digital at the British Museum, Chris Michaels’ job is to examine these conundrums, moving the organisation and its BC-dated objects firmly into the 21st Century. This week he’ll be discussing the future of multiplatform media at the Remix creative summit, so we picked his brains about the role of new technologies in promoting very, very old objects.

Collaborate or die! LOV network

ArtsProfessional: Since 2010, Lincolnshire One Venues (LOV) has been developing a new way of working; challenging how venues and cultural organisations work together to become stronger, cohesive and more adaptable in the current economic climate. This network of ten visual and performing arts venues* initially came together out of a necessity to survive – the group’s motto at the start was ‘Collaborate or die’, or as any good motto must also be in Latin: ‘Aut mori collaborate’.

Wage Watch: What Carpenters Earned in 2014

Remodeling: Every year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports wage totals for hundreds of occupations in every metropolitan and non-metropolitan area in the U.S. as of May of the previous year. Local differences matter: For carpenters, the pay in one part of California is nearly quadruple that in South Carolina.

Next Prague Quadrennial Set for June 18-28 2015

Stage Directions: After four years, the largest world exhibition of performance design is set to flood the center of Prague. The event spans 11 days and will feature 64 national expositions and more than 500 live events at more than 100 locations in the center of Prague, drawing an expected 50,000 visitors.

Eight Key Mixing Mistakes—And How To Avoid Them

Pro Sound Web: Most recording musicians, engineers and producers are well aware what a difference mastering can make to our mixes. And as we’ve discussed in previous columns (such as Audio Mastering Basics: Taking Your Music That Extra Step), mastering is an art form in itself, and is best placed in the hands of a specialist.

9 jobs robots could replace in 2015

mashable.com: Walking through the city, I find myself thinking about all the jobs a robot could do. A robot could probably stand in for my coffee truck guy, though I doubt he’d smile, call me “buddy” and ask if I said “three sugars” or “no sugar.” A robot could probably take over for that guy spraying down the street every morning — though I often wonder why we need anyone doing that at all.

7 Signs of a Toxic Culture at Work

Bernard Marr | LinkedIn: Do you dread your job as much on Friday as you do on Monday? Do you dread going into the office or interacting with a particular co-worker? Are you chronically stressed out or anxious at work? We often continue working in a job even when the culture is making us unhappy. It's like that old analogy of frogs in hot water: If you put a frog into hot water, it would jump out. But if you put it into cold water that slowly starts to boil it would happily sit there until it is cooked.

The Nonprofit Sector Has a Ferguson Problem

NPQ - Nonprofit Quarterly: Nearly 1,200 miles away from Ferguson, glued to my television, watching CNN coverage of the protests there, I could hear the reaction to the grand jury’s decision loud and clear. Chants and police sirens rang through my Boston neighborhood. I was one of many in the nonprofit community pondering how a Midwest town descended into unrest we haven’t seen since the L.A. Riots.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Creating sounds, mix, more for 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1'

postPerspective - Randi Altman's postPerspective: It may be called The Hunger Games, but in Mockingjay, Part 1, the games are over. Life for the people of Panem, outside The Capitol, is about rebellion, war and survival. Supervising sound editor/sound designer/re-recording mixer Jeremy Peirson, at Warner Bros. Sound in Burbank, has worked with director Francis Lawrence on both Catching Fire and Mockingjay, Part 1. Without the arena and its sinister array of “horrors” (for those who don’t remember Catching Fire, those horrors, such as blood rain, acid fog, carnivorous monkeys and lightening storms were released every hour in the arena), Mockingjay, Part 1 is not nearly as diverse, according to Peirson. “Catching Fire was such a huge story between The Capitol and all the various Districts. We had different areas of the jungle in the arena, and all the different traps and mayhem that was happening. I have to say Mockingjay is a little more straightforward. It’s more like the big set up for the final chapter.”

Why we’re better together: Benefits of partnership working

ArtsProfessional: Meander through the streets of Liverpool’s Bluecoat Quarter right now, and you will almost certainly pause to ponder the dismembered bodies of the mannequins peering through the floor-to-ceiling gallery windows as part of the Art of the Lived Experiment exhibition at the Bluecoat. Alternatively, you might want to go to the Salisbury Arts Centre where Hoodwink Theatre Company is preparing for its next performance. Or maybe take a trip to Curve in Leicester, where Let’s Dance International Frontiers is likely to be conducting rehearsals for its fifth dance festival next year.

Closer Look: HDCP 2.2

Projection content from Live Design: At one point or another, HDCP has probably stumped all of us. HDCP problems can be difficult to identify and aren’t often the first thing you begin troubleshooting when your setup won’t work. Established in 2000 and adopted in 2004, HDCP is a protocol that is meant to protect copyrighted content from being redistributed illegally while still being able to view it in the privacy of your own home. By description, it sounds like a perfectly acceptable idea, but in practice, it might just be one of the worst things ever created. It causes headaches not only for consumers, but also for professionals with complicated AV setups. What this generally means for us is when a system is setup, no content makes it to the display and the display is black or shows an error message. These problems can be challenging to troubleshoot.

Ancient Art, Modern Maker

Carnegie Mellon University | CMU: Sacred geometry first inspired the art of James Gyre (A'03) during his time studying painting at Carnegie Mellon University. He paired those ancient principles with the modern practice of laser cutting at TechShop Pittsburgh. Gyre embodies the growing Maker movement, and his merging of past and present caught President Obama's eye on a trip to Pittsburgh.

Want to Hire and Retain Good Workers? Pay Up.

Remodeling: By the time Robert Criner realized his mistake, it was too late. One of Criner’s best workers told him that he was leaving to work for a competing remodeling company. The reason? The company was willing to pay $1 more per hour. Criner thought that he was paying fairly. But after doing some research, he discovered that he was paying a full dollar less an hour than his competition. “I gave everyone a $1 an hour raise on the spot,” says Criner, president of Criner Remodeling, in Newport News, Va. “But I still lost a good man.”

Megan Hilty Brings Her 'Kennedy Center Christmas' Dec. 13

The Georgetowner: In a telephone interview, the singer-actress Megan Hilty will sometimes tell you that she felt “terrified” on certain occasions in her career: when she took over the role Glinda in the Broadway smash “Wicked”, for instance, or when she performed in her first solo concert. Yet, if you’ve seen her on stage or on television, solo or with a big cast, you notice something about Hilty. She’s a big voiced but rangy song stylist with a blonde and curvy, glittery presence. She is the epitome of people born to the stage, to the “gotta sing, gotta dance (and gotta emote and act)” world of the Great White Way. She’s a Broadway baby in the best and whole sense of the phrase.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Driving The Displays

c2meworld.com: With the freedom to display real-time video clips and graphics in virtually any configuration on its 127 on-set monitors, ESPN’s “SportsCenter” raises the bar on live studio news and sports production. ESPN’s new Digital Center-2 (DC-2), which opened last June on its Bristol campus, houses the 10,000 square-foot “SportsCenter” studio, a visually rich eye candy showcase where imagery splashes across wall, floor and banner displays.

Production company in Carnegie adds different spin to 'Christmas Carol'

TribLIVE: “A Medieval Christmas Carol,” to be performed by Stage & Steel Productions, is a retelling of the timeless classic “The Christmas Carol.” King Scrooge and the Three Ghosts of Yuletide are set in a fantasy medieval period. Stage & Steel Productions, based in Carnegie, is community theater with an edge.

The sincere beginning of a 24-year theater performance

Philly.com: The spectacle - exhilaration and humiliation all muddled together, on stage as in life - will appear at FringeArts Thursday through Dec. 13 in the form of The Sincerity Project. Then, if all goes as planned, it will return with the same cast every few years for the next 24 years. Like a live-theater version of the Up documentary films that have tracked a dozen British children since 1964 from age 7 to 56, it will, Torra hopes, capture the aging bodies, evolving relationships, and changing views of seven cast members whose ambitions, impulses, and fears provide content for the show.

'Big Hero 6' Fuses Science, Technology and Artistry

www.voanews.com: Disney’s latest animated film, Big Hero 6, is a blend of science, technology and art. Cutting-edge technology was used in the making of the movie, and one of its key characters, a robot, is based on real world science. The action adventure movie about a boy genius, his robot and his friends started out as an obscure comic book. Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams kept the title and the characters' names, but transformed Big Hero 6 into something uniquely Disney.

'Fool For Love' Will Be Revived on Broadway

NYTimes.com: The Tony Award winner Nina Arianda (“Venus in Fur”) will return to Broadway in September in an acclaimed revival of Sam Shepard’s moody, bruising drama “Fool for Love” opposite film actor Sam Rockwell (“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”), Manhattan Theater Club announced on Wednesday.

4 Reasons Why Owners Should Fire Up Their Resumes

PowerTips | Remodelers Advantage: How long has it been since you’ve updated your resume? As the owner of a remodeling business, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been many years (if ever). But you need to update it today. Don’t worry. It’s not because I’m privy to an impending doom that is going to close down your company. But I think you’ll find this exercise to be both practical and enlightening.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Little Bird Told Me: Twitter Analytics

Arts Hacker: Did you know that you can access analytics about your Twitter followers, impressions and engagement, for free, right in your own profile? Twitter sure doesn’t make it obvious unless you’re already using Twitter ads / promoted tweets.

Go Direct Or Deploy Mics For Electric Bass?

Pro Sound Web: My first day as a real engineer rather than an assistant was all about bass. The engineer (who was the studio manager as well) took a break after we recorded basic tracks on a Salsa song. Before leaving the room he told me to punch where the bassist wanted. I started, and was easily able to hear and punch individual notes rather than whole phrases. A few times I disagreed about which note was pulling the groove off but punched where I was told anyway.

Drag Queens Reflect (Grrr) on the Christmas Season

NYTimes.com: It must be Christmas if a drag queen is singing about S.T.D.s. “What am I going to do, a show about how wonderful Christmas is?” This was Jackie Beat, who is known for parodies of Christmas carols including “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Syphilis.” “It’s annoying.”

Bionic Bra Proves Necessity Is Apparently Not the Mother of Invention

www.wirelessdesignmag.com: The recent story about a “Bionic Bra” from the University of Wollongong had me wondering...why?! Of all the medical devices we have a dire need for, a sensor-equipped, “smart yarn”-infused, automatic-tightening bra certainly isn’t one of them. The bra in question essentially monitors a woman’s breast movements during physical activity and adjusts for proper support through the use of integrated sensors and actuators.

Monday, December 15, 2014

An Autistic-Friendly Version of ‘The Curious Incident’

NYTimes.com: He cannot stand the color yellow or the color brown or loud noises or being touched or the way everyone thinks that rats, like his pet Toby, have the plague or something. Because they don’t.

New OSHA Reporting Requirements Coming Jan 1

PTR: With the new year always comes changes in the law and that includes OSHA reporting requirements for several areas in 2015. The big ones involve serious injuries and death. Of course, it’s your responsibility as the business owner to make sure that your project managers and employees know what to do in the event of any workplace injury.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Tough Season for Some Plays on Broadway

NYTimes.com: While this fall’s batch of Broadway musicals are struggling to sell tickets, the picture is more mixed for plays that have opened in recent months, according to box office data released on Monday and to similar reports in recent weeks.

Festool Vecturo OS 400 Multitool Review

Pro Tool Reviews: I’ve had the Festool Vecturo OS 400 Multitool in my arsenal now for several months, and this is a completely different type of multitool than what you may be used to. I have a lot of experience with oscillating multi-tools, both corded and cordless, and the new Festool Vecturo takes on the high end, but with a decidedly woodworker angle.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Announcing PLASA Focus: Kansas City 2015

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: PLASA Events announces that it will be making its first trip to the mid-west for PLASA Focus: Kansas City 2015. This will be the second PLASA Focus event to occur in 2015, and will take place on Wednesday, May 20 and Thursday, May 21, 2015 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

BTS Calls for Support During Holiday Season

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: A growing number of people have agreed with friends and family to make donations to charity rather than exchange holiday gifts. Now, companies are making the decision to contribute to charity rather than send out yet another gift package to say thank you to customers and employees.

Investors Seek to Revive New York City Opera

WSJ: New York City Opera is poised for a rebirth.

A group of investors is proposing to pay slightly more than $500,000 for the shuttered opera company’s name as well as some other assets and liabilities, according to Gerard Catalanello, an attorney for the group.

On Friday, City Opera’s board of directors voted to recommend the sale to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, according to a statement jointly released by the board and the investor group.

The deal requires court approval and could be challenged by competing bidders.

Behind the Scenes Shares Ways of Supporting Colleagues with Holiday Giving

PLSN: Behind the Scenes, the foundation-backed charity that provides entertainment technology industry members who are ill or injured with grants that may be used for basic living and medical expenses, noted a few ways this annual time of year for giving can be made even more meaningful this holiday season.

BandAid30 Gets Visual Boost with Projection on British Houses of Parliament

PLSN: With just 24 hours notice, The Projection Studio delivered a full projection design to enable a giant image of the BandAid30 music video to appear on the facade of the Houses of Parliament on Sunday, Dec. 7. It was the first time a full motion video has been projected onto this landmark building. The song is helping to raise funds and awareness in BandAid30’s ongoing fight against Ebola.

Whatever Can, Will

Pro Sound Web: Pretty much everyone knows Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will. What’s not nearly as well known is that good ol’ Murph had a grandson named Frederick F. Murphy.

History doesn’t tell us what the “F” stood for – some say it was “Frederick,” which doesn’t seem likely unless one considers that there’s nothing inherent in a birth certificate that’s immune to the “Murphy magic.” And it leads to a pretty cool nickname: F Squared, or F2 for short.

Photo Gallery: Sydney, A Projection Mapped Christmas Wonderland

Live Design: Presented by PAYCE, the 2014 edition of Lights of Christmas is expanded across 17 nights from 9 to 25 December 2014. TDC is partnering with AGB Events for the fourth year in a row to ensure that this magical show is brought to the Sydney and wider public online. The largest light show in Australia during the spectacular festive season, Lights of Christmas drew an audience of 200,000 visitors in 2013 and was Internet streamed live across the world.‎

I Do Believe In The Magic Of Technology

Theatre content from Live Design: Technology is a magical thing. It is the key to simulating the real-time magic of Neverland for NBC's three-hour broadcast of Peter Pan Live! directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford.

According to The New York Times, this production has ten times the amount of technical components as last year's The Sound Of Music Live! Peter's misbehaving shadow is a computerized projection, while Tinker Bell is a live, computer generated, and characteristically sassy pixie.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Lynch, Waters, Soderbergh: A Generation of MIA Filmmakers

Flavorwire: Earlier this year, John Waters — whose last movie, A Dirty Shame, was released a full decade ago — finally got the offer he’d been waiting for all this time. According to his hitchhiking chronicle Carsick, his very first driver was “Harris,” “an art school type” with a sideline in weed dealing who called himself a fan. They talked for a bit about movies before Harris asked the (five) million-dollar question: “How come you aren’t making a movie?”

Final Week for L’Hotel at the Public

Program Notes | Pittsburgh City Paper: This entertaining world-premiere production asks, what if some famous residents of a famous Paris cemetery spent the afterlife as fellow lodgers at a grand hotel? And what if some of them were egos like Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Victor Hugo and Sarah Bernhardt?

A Majestic Indoor Lake Fills the Park Avenue Armory

The Creators Project: A shallow lake in the Wade Thompson Drill Hall of the Park Avenue Armory transforms the floor into a cavernous pit, a pristine mirror image of the great steel awning above it. At one of the two grand pianos standing in the field of water, a woman readies herself for a recital of classical pieces inspired by water. The lights dim, ripples form in the liquid, and the piano begins to glow from within. This is tears become ...streams become… an installation by Turner-Prize winning artist Douglas Gordon that features ten nights of performances by renowned pianist Hélène Grimaud.

YouTube’s Alex Carloss Receives Deloitte Innovation in Media and Entertainment Award

Variety: As head of youtube originals, Alex Carloss leads his team’s efforts to develop, launch and nurture shows from the next generation of influential creators and entertainers exploding on the YouTube platform. For this pioneering role, he will receive the Deloitte Innovation in Media and Entertainment Award, created to recognize trend-setters in entertainment and media who are pushing to maximize creativity and value within the industry and among its consumers.

18 Multicultural Theater Companies Across the U.S.

Backstage: As a major voice for justice and truth, theater has a responsibility to tell universal stories to and from a variety of communities. As mainstream American theater adjusts to an ever-emerging melting pot of cultures, theaters across the country are placing inclusion at the forefront of their work. Here are 18 great examples of multicultural theater companies that raise up underrepresented artists of all kinds.

Sherlock World? BBC shows lined up for £2bn UK theme park

Media | The Guardian: Popular BBC shows such as Doctor Who, Sherlock and Top Gear could be turned into theme-park attractions as part of a development deal involving the Hollywood studio behind Mission Impossible and Star Trek.

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has struck a deal with a Kuwait-backed property developer to allow a range of its programmes and characters to be “brought to life” at a new £2bn theme park and holiday resort to be built by the Thames estuary in north Kent, in partnership with Paramount Pictures.

14 Theatrical Plans to Change the World

AMERICAN THEATRE magazine | Page 4: As cute as Ruff! sounds, though, it’s the end of the show that makes it a must-see. When the play is over, children get to spend time with trained therapy dogs—a perk that really ought to be part of every production in America.

But these animals do more than get their ears scratched. They also reinforce the message of the play, particularly for children who might be timid around animals. “If the play helps kids understand how dogs think and react a little differently, then that’s a huge success for us,” Rapier says. “If they take a step forward and are able to use that in their interactions with other kids, that’s even better.” —M.B.

Watch physics in motion with this cool Lego build

lego.gizmodo.com: How about some applied physics and engineering being added to the Lego line of products? This kit featuring a dynamic marble run and a bunch of dominoes by Christian Bechinie would be fun to build, looks amazing in motion and has hundreds of elements that could be reused in other machines.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Pomplamoose Problem: Artists Can't Survive as Saints and Martyrs

Artist Empathy: About a week ago, indie duo Pomplamoose posted a breakdown of the income and expenses of their recent tour. At first, it seemed as if their transparency was a welcome boon to artists who know that touring – unless you are a top-selling stadium act – is not a realistic substitute for the loss of album sales. But then Pomplamoose found itself the center of attacks from both sides of the current music industry debate over artist’s compensation. Consumers and supporters of the “music wants to be free” ethos picked apart the numbers and decided that Pomplamoose spent too much money on lights and on pay for their back-up band. Artists picked apart the numbers too, and as insinuated in this piece on Gawker, many decided that Pomplamoose member Jack Conte was just engaged in a cynical marketing ploy for his crowd-funding company, Patreon.

Pomplamoose 2014 Tour Profits

Medium: Pomplamoose just finished a 28-day tour. We played 24 shows in 23 cities around the United States. It was awesome: Nataly crowd surfed for the first time ever, we sold just under $100,000 in tickets, and we got to rock out with people we love for a full month. We sold 1129 tickets in San Francisco at the Fillmore. I’ll remember that night for the rest of my life.

Indie Musician's Viral Tour Diary Was a Marketing Stunt for His Startup

gawker.com: Jack Conte of the YouTube-famous band Pomplamoose caused a stir last week when he posted an account of his tour financials on Medium. "Being an independent artist is so difficult" was the thrust of his essay—true, no doubt—and tucked into the back half was a mention of an apparent way out: Patreon, a crowdfunding service that Conte cofounded last year.

A Line of 3D Printed Clothing Based on Defects

Design Milk: Rather than create a carbon copy of Greek inspired sculpture, Hard Copy started off as defective digital images, using 3D software, that can’t be replicated. As a result, these pieces exist solely in the virtual space and cannot be reproduced in reality.

Remembering Columbine, Off-Broadway

The Clyde Fitch Report: The Erlkings is a new play by Nathanial Sam Shapiro that takes a gimlet-eyed — maybe jaundiced — view of the 1999 Columbine massacre perpetrated by Erik Harris and Dylan Klebold. Named for a German poem that was found in Harris’ journal, and based not just on the murderers’ personal journals but public documents and records, The Erlkings weaves together moments from the lives of these young men as they meticulously plan one of the bloodiest mass killings in American history.

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