CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

12 Things You (Maybe) Didn't Know About the NEA

NEA: If you’re reading this blog, you know that the National Endowment for the Arts awards grants. And you probably know that we generate arts research too. And that we publish a magazine. But there are things you may not know about your federal arts agency that we would like to share.

Stuntwomen in Movies, TV Receive Unequal Pay for Equal Work

Variety: You’ve probably seen the well-regarded — and deplorable — statistics about women’s employment in the entertainment industry from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, and Dr. Martha Lauzen’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. The statistics are discouraging, but I’m glad they exist. Without them we wouldn’t know the true shape of our working reality.

What It Takes to Make Behavior-Based Safety Work

Occupational Health & Safety: People tend to respond one of three ways when it comes to Behavior-Based Safety (BBS). There are those who are strong supporters because they have witnessed transformations. Others adamantly despise the process, usually because they either do not understand the intention of the efforts or have had bad experiences due to improper or unethical implementation practices or design choices. Then, there are some who are new to the methodologies and are trying to determine whether it is right for them and their organization.

Technology in the Arts Education Space: A Conversation with Russell Granet, Executive Director of Lincoln Center Education

AMT Lab @ CMU: On April 24, 2015, AMT Lab Contributor Jackie Shimshoni interviewed Russell Granet, Executive Director of Lincoln Center Education. In the interview, Granet discussed arts and technology at the Lincoln Center and the role technology has played in educating audiences about their wide array of programming. He also offered valuable insight for arts managers in both performing and visual organizations who may wish to enhance their own educational offerings.

RE/P Files: A Special Emphasis On Reverberation

Pro Sound Web: Artificial reverberation, or echo as it is often called, is one of the most useful effects available to the recording engineer. Recently there has been an explosion of reverb devices available in the marketplace, and to compete for your dollars, they all must claim to be the best if not the ultimate machine of all time.

From creation of transgender opera, As One, to UrbanArias' quick embrace

DC Theatre Scene: “This project has changed me completely,” Laura Kaminsky told me, “as an artist and as a composer. It’s been an amazing experience so far. For months, I was taking Hannah’s spirit everywhere with me. She was haunting our household.”

MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ Winners for 2015 Are Announced

The New York Times: Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer and star of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” thought it was the cable company calling to beg him to reconsider his recent service cancellation.

Nicole Eisenman, the artist, was in the meat section of a Fire Island grocery store, buying bacon.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the best-selling nonfiction book “Between the World and Me,” was at home in his Paris apartment when the call came.

“I wished I could be cool,” Mr. Coates said in a telephone interview. “But you just can’t be cool.”

The Unusual business of going green

ZioGiorgio.com: Unusual Rigging is proud to announce that it is now meeting over 50% of its annual on-site power consumption with renewable energy via a solar PV system.

The 100KW solar PV system is installed on the roof of Unusual’s new 1,056 sq m warehouse, which opened in June this year, and was energized on September 3.

Labor of love: rigger

News - Petzl: In July 2015, the Musilac music festival (Aix-les-Bains, France) was in full swing. Just a few hours prior to the festival, riggers were busy setting up the lighting and sound systems for the massive stage on the shores of Lake Bourget. Learn more about the intricacies of this interesting profession through an interview with Ben Mazuer, rigger.

Show will go on in December for Pict Classic Theatre

TribLIVE: Pict Classic Theatre's “Oliver Twist” will open Dec. 3 as planned.

The production and the company have been on hold since early September when Pict canceled its October production of “The Tempest” and laid off its entire staff because of a lack of money.

20 Theatre Workers You Should Know

AMERICAN THEATRE: This month American Theatre inaugurates a new feature on theatre folks who deserve to be more well known in the field—and you don’t have to take our word for it, as each one has been recommended to us by at least one colleague. Here we feature 20 people of all different disciplines, or “roles”; in the future we’ll feature at least one playwright, one director, one designer, one performer, one administrator/staffer, and one freelance artist.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Elements of Oz at Peak Performances Is Not Your Mama’s Wizard of Oz

ELEMENTS OF OZ Teaser from Peak Performances on Vimeo.

Baristanet: A unique and plugged in performance by The Builders Association titled Elements of Oz will offer a lighthearted 21st century mash-up of the classic The Wizard of Oz, featuring YouTube fanatics, heavy metal, and a heartfelt recreation of the iconic film at Peak Performances at MSU this weekend.

This is one show in which you are asked to turn your cell phone ON — the stage action will be enhanced by interactivity with viewers’ smart phones, delivering the Technicolor Land of Oz of our imaginations.

GOODMAN THEATRE ANNOUNCES ITS SIXTH PLAYWRIGHTS UNIT

SHOWBIZ CHICAGO: Goodman Theatre launches the 2015/2016 Playwrights Unit with four newly-named members: Kristiana Rae Colón, Sandra Delgado, Jenni Lamb and Calamity West (bio information follows). In partnership with Chicago Dramatists, the Playwrights Unit is a year-long residency program designed to foster new work by emerging and established Chicago playwrights.

Papal equipment takedown could take days, Stagehands IATSE Local 8 says

Philadelphia Business Journal: Pope Francis' historic visit to the United States ended with a bang on Sunday in Philadelphia, but work continues for a local union, which said to expect equipment dismantling to continue into the week.

"It was as good as it appeared on TV," said Michael Barnes, president of the Stagehands IATSE Local 8. "There wasn't a hitch and there were no safety issues; everything got up that was planned to get up, and the show went off on time."

“Choir Boy” at The Rep Professional Theatre Company

The Pittsburgh Tatler: Tarell Alvin McCraney’s 2013 play Choir Boy is set in the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, a (fictional) elite all-black private boarding school with a strict code of honor to go with its equally rigid dress code. “Snitching” is strictly prohibited, as the code demands that young men step up to own their transgressions voluntarily. So when Pharus (Tru Verret-Fleming), the newly-appointed leader of the school’s choir, is verbally harassed by another student, Bobby (Justin Lonesome) for being a “sissy,” he’s honor-bound not to report to the headmaster, even though the harassment disrupted the school’s commencement ceremony and threatened to undermine the headmaster’s fundraising efforts with the school’s board.

Scalable Lighting Control Solutions

ChurchProduction.com: One of the major trends in the lighting control market involves models that include both physical hardware-based consoles as well as software-based systems using the same basic syntax or user interface.

How to Tour Theatre Like a Punk Band

HowlRound: If you want to tour, you have to do it like a punk band. Lately, this is something I've heard several times. I first had this conversation with Internet poet Steve Roggenbuck over vegan pancakes and I heard it most recently from Louisville circus act Blue Moon. But my favorite band of travelers this summer was a group of puppeteers and musicians out of Chicago. On August 20, Rough House Theater pulled into Louisville; put up their hand built stage; erected their DIY light system; and performed Sad Songs For Bad People. It's the second show the group has taken on the road, following last summer’s tour of Constance and the Perpetual Motion Machine.

Mascot Frankfurt Jacket and Springfield Pants Review

www.protoolreviews.com: Fall is here, and we got to check out a new line of clothing from Mascot Workwear that’s perfect for the coming colder months. These clothes really seem to be a rugged choice for those whose jobs take them into mud, rain, concrete and more. The entire Mascot Workwear line is huge, spanning over 500 different tops, bottoms, boots, and more. We got to check out the Mascot Workwear Frankfurt Pilot Jacket and Mascot Springfield Pants, but the brand covers everything from safety gear to outfits in just about any color imaginable.

10 Lessons I Learned from a Year of Productivity Experiments

lifehacker.com: Over the last 12 months I have conducted countless productivity experiments on myself, interviewed some of the most productive people in the world, and read a ton of books and academic literature on productivity, all to explore how I could become as productive as possible. This is what I’ve learned.

Penn State Opens Invention Studio

Campus Technology: Pennsylvania State University is opening a new exploration lab designed to foster student creativity and inventiveness.

The "Invention Studio" will be located in the Penn State Knowledge Commons on the University Park campus and open to all of the university's students, faculty and staff members. The university is creating the studio in partnership with littleBits, a company that makes simple electronic building blocks that will be available in the studio for people to use.

Applying for Financial Aid Is About to Get Easier

The New York Times: Choosing a college and applying for aid is complicated — so much so that many smart, low-income students don’t make it past the initial hurdles. But last week, the federal government streamlined and simplified the Fafsa (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which is the gatekeeper for all federal aid for college, including Pell grants and Stafford loans.

The Focus Zone

Pro Sound Web: To accomplish anything in life, we, as humanly creatures, must utilize an assortment of resources to accomplish any given task.

For example, going to a store to purchase something involves brain time in making the decision to venture out, “wear and tear” on our vehicle, and the depletion of our finances – all are expenditures of resources.

Little Lake Theatre Sails from the Family Nest

Pittsburgh Magazine - October 2015 - Pittsburgh, PA: Little Lake Theatre Company’s new artistic director, Roxy MtJoy, quotes a line from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” when sharing her vision for the beloved venue in North Strabane Township, near Canonsburg: “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

MtJoy, who hails from Greene County and whose directing experience includes off-Broadway and Los Angeles credits, is the first artistic director in the community theater’s storied 67-year history whose surname isn’t “Disney.” She’s determined to make her forebears proud.

Monday, September 28, 2015

New York Actor Defends Child Who Disrupted a Performance

The New York Times: The use of cellphones, the rustling of candy wrappers, and audible murmuring are some of the worst transgressions audience members can make during live theater performances in New York City.

But when a child disrupted a matinee performance of “The King and I” at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on Wednesday, the woman accompanying the child found an unlikely ally.

New Vectorworks 2016 Design Software Hits the Entertainment Market

ChurchProduction.com: Global design software developer Vectorworks, Inc. formerly Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. announces the release of Vectorworks 2016, as well as its rebrand. The release includes more than 100 updates and features for its award-winning CAD and BIM design solutions, including Vectorworks Designer, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Fundamentals and Renderworks. From streamlined project sharing, graphical scripting and point cloud support, to subdivision modeling and a system that measures a design's energy performance, the company release says users will be poised to generate, define, build and explore form and function through enhanced workflows and improved design processes.

A Facelift for Shakespeare

WSJ: The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will announce next week that it has commissioned translations of all 39 of the Bard’s plays into modern English, with the idea of having them ready to perform in three years. Yes, translations—because Shakespeare’s English is so far removed from the English of 2015 that it often interferes with our own comprehension.

NASA's Graphics Standards Manual Reissued

Design Milk: Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth, the geniuses behind the reissue of the 1970 New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual, designed by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda of Unimark, are planning to, once again, give us another chance at owning a piece of legendary design history. This time they’ve chosen the NASA Graphics Standards Manual, which was designed in 1974 by Danne & Blackburn, and then rescinded by NASA in 1992. As a way to celebrate the 42-year-old design, the duo is introducing the NASA Graphics Standards Manual Reissue, a hardcover version of the original.

'One audience member tried to punch an actor': the battle to shake up Shakespeare

Stage | The Guardian: Britain does Shakespeare brilliantly, but it mostly does Shakespeare a certain way. So much of our Shakespeare looks and sounds the same, with classical actors and perfect verse-speaking. House styles may differ but the starting point is the same: close textual analysis and a predetermined reading.

That’s not to knock that approach. It yields top-drawer – not to mention varied – productions: everything from Gregory Doran’s loving reverence to Rupert Goold’s vivid reinvention.

Six Power Tips for Great Meetings in Today’s Virtual World

Beth’s Blog: While virtual meetings have their challenges—from the temptation to multi-task to being derailed by technical issues, you can still accomplish things at a good meeting that you can’t when you’re sitting by yourself at your computer. Meetings harness the energy of multiple minds around a topic. They nudge people to think more expansively and creatively than any one mind is likely to do.

Getting Things Done w/ David Allen

www.asianefficiency.com: We are honored to have David Allen on the podcast, as we have mentioned his Getting Things Done methodology on almost every episode. Zack and David discuss the updated version of David’s book, how to change your habit and clear your mind, and how David implements his own methodology.

DOT and OSHA Training

Occupational Health & Safety: When we discuss training in the transportation industry, most of us think of driver training. While driver training is an important aspect of all motor carrier safety programs, there's another group of employees that are often overlooked that also need to be trained: your management and maintenance personnel.

CNN is going to live stream the Democratic debates in virtual reality

The Verge: On October 13th, CNN will live stream the US Democratic presidential debate in virtual reality. Anyone with a Samsung Gear VR headset will be able to drop in via VR streaming company NextVR's portal in the Oculus store. CNN says viewers will get a "front-row seat" from the perspective of an audience member, with the immersive stream allowing people to "hold a gaze on a particular candidate, catch off-screen interactions, and more."

Preparing for a Visit from OSHA

NAHB Now | The News Blog of the National Association of Home Builders: Curious about what happens during an inspection conducted by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and how to get ready for one? If so, here are some tips and guidelines that may come in handy.

Dates and venue for Showlight 2017 announced

ZioGiorgio.com: With curiosity duly piqued among the lighting fraternity, news of the next Showlight Quadrennial is spreading with the announcement that Showlight 2017 will take place on 20-23 May 2017 in the beautiful Renaissance city of Florence, Italy.

The eagerly awaited colloquium, organised by lighting professionals, for lighting professionals, is now in its tenth incarnation, its peripatetic nature having taken it to London, Hollywood, Amsterdam, York, Ghent, Edinburgh, Munich, Glasgow, and most recently, CeskyKrumlov in 2013.

Cal/OSHA criminal investigation into deadly fall of construction worker leads to manslaughter...

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --: Cal/OSHA's criminal investigation into the December 2012 falling death of a 51-year-old carpenter in San Francisco resulted in manslaughter charges by the San Francisco District Attorney against the worker's employer and foreman. Salvador William Versaggi, owner of Versaggi Construction, along with foreman John Fitt pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to the manslaughter charges and two counts of violation of the labor code.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

How Educational Elitism Is Hurting Theatre

OnStage: We’re getting closer to the end of August, meaning that many students across the nation have just started – or are about to start – the Fall 2015 semester at the college or university that they currently attend. Personally, as I near the start of my last year of college, I am reminded of something that I’m sure many other college theatre students in America have faced at one point or another, and if they haven’t, probably will eventually. It is a problem that I believe is very unfortunate not just for us, but for the entire theatre community. Whenever I tell someone that I went to a local state university in Willimantic – as opposed to one of the larger and more well-known universities in the country – I get very similar reactions from various people. Sometimes it appears in the form of a “Well, why do you go there? Why not [insert school here]?” as if they believe that I am not as smart or talented as someone else might be, while in other cases it appears in the form of either a “Huh” or “Oh, okay” as they nod their heads, heavily indicating that they don’t think much of the college education I have received. In a few other cases, the reaction is merely complete silence.

Photo Students Capture Their Most Embarrassing Moments

The Creators Project: Dutch art director and curator Erik Kessels told a classroom of second-year photography students from Écal to embarrass themselves as creative practice. The workshop then exhibited these projects as a group show titled The Embarrassment as part of the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam.

Is Hamlet fat? The evidence in Shakespeare for a corpulent prince of Denmark.

www.slate.com:...what if our mental image of Hamlet is wrong? What if the grieving, vengeful prince is actually fat? Just because you’ve never considered the possibility doesn’t mean that Shakespeare scholars haven’t argued about it, just one front in a centuries-old debate about how you determine meaning in Shakespeare’s plays.
 

See How Daenerys' Dragons Come to Life in Game of Thrones' Emmy-Winning VFX

io9.com: I don’t know what’s more impressive: The sheer number of layers that go into every aspect of the dragon’s flesh, the many insane apparatuses that the show constructs to give Emilia Clarke something to act against, or all the little details, like the subtle gore dripping from the dragons’ mouths after they feed.

The Trouble with Tablets

Occupational Health & Safety: As the methods of communication have evolved, humans have always struggled to stay upright. From the beginning, putting a pen to paper on a typical desktop involved hunching forward and dropping the head to view the writing area.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Business Lessons From ‘The Wrecking Crew’ Documentary

Pro Sound Web: “Obscurity is the realm of error.” — Attributed to Luc De Clapiers.

The Wrecking Crew is a documentary about an elite collection of musicians. These troubadours were studio musicians who helped add to the sound of rock n’ roll from the mid 1950s to the present day.

Despite their incredible influence, their names and body of work were known only by a small set of music industry insiders. Their names do not appear on any albums nor do they have a hallowed space in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

CBS3 reaches contract with employee union, averting strike

Philadelphia Business Journal: CBS3 has reached a three-year contract agreement with the union representing the station’s approximately 75 photographers and technicians while NBC10 is preparing temporary replacement workers as a possible strike remains possible for the station, sources told the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Q&A With Scenic Designer David Zinn | Fun Home, 10 Out Of 12, & More

Live Design: Scenic/costume designer David Zinn’s most recent Broadway productions include the Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home, for which he was nominated for a Tony, as well as Airline Highway and An Act Of God.

Live Design caught up with him to discuss designing Fun Home, based on the 2006 graphic memoir by American writer Alison Bechdel, Anne Washburn’s play 10 Out Of 12, and more.

Straightpoint Load Cells for Dr. Phil TV Show

Tanya Gregory | LinkedIn: Behind the scenes at one of the most popular talk shows in North America, five Straightpoint load cells monitor the weight distribution of Dr. Phil’s video wall.

Advanced Industrial Solutions, a distributor for the force measurement, load monitoring and suspended weighing load cell manufacturer, supplied five bolt type anchor load cell shackles with wireless transmitters to the studio.

The COPD of the arts – elitism

buildmyaudience.com | Audience development beyond arts marketing: Our language, our choice of venue, our outreach efforts, everything that we use to communicate to people what we are about needs to rise above elitism. Otherwise, the regular folks that might enjoy our arts offerings will simply turn a blind eye and deaf ear and state that we are not for them.

How Educational Elitism Is Hurting Theatre

OnStage: We’re getting closer to the end of August, meaning that many students across the nation have just started – or are about to start – the Fall 2015 semester at the college or university that they currently attend. Personally, as I near the start of my last year of college, I am reminded of something that I’m sure many other college theatre students in America have faced at one point or another, and if they haven’t, probably will eventually. It is a problem that I believe is very unfortunate not just for us, but for the entire theatre community. Whenever I tell someone that I went to a local state university in Willimantic – as opposed to one of the larger and more well-known universities in the country – I get very similar reactions from various people. Sometimes it appears in the form of a “Well, why do you go there? Why not [insert school here]?” as if they believe that I am not as smart or talented as someone else might be, while in other cases it appears in the form of either a “Huh” or “Oh, okay” as they nod their heads, heavily indicating that they don’t think much of the college education I have received. In a few other cases, the reaction is merely complete silence.

Elitism in Theatre: The Ignorance of Casting Professionals

OnStage: Last week, I wrote a column entitled How Educational Elitism Is Hurting Theatre, in which I described the challenges facing theatre students who attend schools other than the “top schools” in the country, such as Yale, NYU and Carnegie Mellon. I talked about how people tend to be looked down on or not given as much consideration when auditioning for a role or applying for a job, when they are stuck in this scenario. After taking a glance at the comments section for that column, I felt inspired – if not obligated – to elaborate a bit more on my thoughts on this subject, particularly with regards to how it affects finding work in the industry.

Researchers at UW Madison hope their work will optimize teachers' time with students

InsideHigherEd: Imagine if schoolteachers and college professors were immediately able to identify how each of their students learns, what learning style works best for each child and what new topics he or she is struggling with.

Research faculty members at the University of Wisconsin at Madison are hoping that this can be the future of education. Their research uses a combination of psychology and computer science to determine how best to optimize teaching for individual students. This means teachers and professors will be able to immediately know what subjects students are struggling with and be able to address those needs, instead of teaching an entire class of students with ranging difficulties.

Carpenter's Pencils That Stay Sharp

Tools of the Trade: If you’ve been around a jobsite long enough, you’ve likely come to appreciate the finer things in jobsite life like pencil lead that doesn’t snap every time you take a knife to it, and that stays sharp for more than three clicks on a board. Here’s a quick survey of some worth checking out, for framers and finish carpenters alike

Pitbull's new Vegas show is pretty awesome

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Why, Pitbull asks, do we submit ourselves to all "the struggle, the hustle and the sacrifice" of trying to get ahead in today's world?

"To be able to live the American dream," that's why.

And the dream?

To be surrounded by six hot women in shades, black-sequin jackets and a long-legged trip down to their silver high-heeled boots.

Back To The Future?

Pro Sound Web: Over the past several years, entertainment production wireless system users in the U.S. have seen the energizing of digital television (DTV) and the 700 MHz band re-allocation, all the while preparing for the mass introduction of white space devices – which is now just around the corner along with the 2016 commencement of the 600 MHz incentive auction.

What does this all mean? It’s the reshaping of all entertainment production wireless operations in the U.S.

A sneak peek at Life Is Beautiful's Troubadour Stage

Las Vegas Review-Journal: It's 3:30 p.m. on a scorching Thursday in downtown Las Vegas. While things are beginning to settle down and leaves are starting to change in other parts of the country, the entertainment capital of the world — or at least this section of it in East Fremont is bustling with a flurry of activity as construction crews work furiously to get everything prepared for Friday's opening of this year's Life Is Beautiful festival.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Is Hamlet fat? The evidence in Shakespeare for a corpulent prince of Denmark.

www.slate.com:...what if our mental image of Hamlet is wrong? What if the grieving, vengeful prince is actually fat? Just because you’ve never considered the possibility doesn’t mean that Shakespeare scholars haven’t argued about it, just one front in a centuries-old debate about how you determine meaning in Shakespeare’s plays.

Victory Gardens Launches Directors Inclusion Initiative

Stage Directions: Victory Gardens Theater has named the first five directors of their new Directors Inclusion Intitiative, aimed to develop talented and emerging Chicago stage directors identifying as people of color, disable, women, transgender and gender non-conforming.

Absolutely Massive Building Projection Mapping - iMapp Bucharest 2.0

Projection Mapping Central: Last year for the 555 year anniversary of the city of Bucharest, the facade of the Parliament Palace (the 2nd largest building in the world after the Pentagon) was transformed into a projection mapping spectacular. Now the city of Bucharest is back for more. This year the show is called iMapp 2.0.

SAG-AFTRA Video Game Voice Actors Strike: Actors Taking Strike Vote

Variety: Negotiators for SAG-AFTRA are seeking a strike authorization from video game voice actors after failed negotiations for a successor deal.

The performers union sent out postcards for the strike vote on Sept. 16 to “affected members” — meaning those who have worked on the Interactive Media Agreement — with a deadline of Oct. 5. The SAG-AFTRA constitution mandates that a strike authorization goes into effect only if backed by at least 75% of those voting.

“After a successful strike authorization vote, we will reach out to the employers and ask them to return to negotiations,” the union said.

Archipelagos, Fragile Shores, and Orphan Seas: A reflection on climate change and performance

HowlRound: I am thinking about what it means when we say we are writing about climate change.

I am thinking about the elements.

I am thinking a lot about water.

Photo Students Capture Their Most Embarrassing Moments

The Creators Project: Dutch art director and curator Erik Kessels told a classroom of second-year photography students from Écal to embarrass themselves as creative practice. The workshop then exhibited these projects as a group show titled The Embarrassment as part of the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam.

Plywood throne designed for Pope's NY mass reflects "humility"

www.dezeen.com: California-based designer Jim Lenahan – best known for his concert sets for musicians like Tom Petty and Korn – has designed a chair for Pope Francis' visit to New York today.

The Pope is in New York today as part of a three-city tour of the United States taking place this week.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Split Into Two Parts

The Mary Sue: J.K. Rowling announced on Twitter that Cursed Child is so epic, that the play will have two parts! The Cursed Child twitter reports that the two parts will play consecutive days in a week, or possibly on the same day. Jack Thorne, a BAFTA winning writer, is a big fan of the decision

Journal of a Choirboy: Reflections on Performing in The Christians?

HowlRound: The Associate Pastor reads his prayers for the sick, and I think of those who are unwell, or those I miss and can no longer see. When he finishes, we lift our heads and offer an “Amen.” Shortly after, it’s our turn to stand and sing: “Farther along we’ll know more about it, farther along we’ll understand why. Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine, we’ll understand it, all by and by.” The song is buoyant and bright — so much so that it feels like Sunday morning, like I’m back at my hometown church. But I’m actually on a stage, not an altar, performing in The Christians where the sacred line between church and theatre often blurs.

A Feminist Playwright? Me? Yes. Yes, I Am.

The Clyde Fitch Report: I didn’t used to think of myself as a feminist playwright. A feminist, yes. I have never thought of it as the “other ‘F’ word” or shied away from the label.

But a “feminist playwright”? No. That title belongs to eminent writers like Caryl Churchill or Penelope Skinner, who I admire from afar. That’s not me. I’m just a writer who happens to also care about gender equality.

The Tangled History And Mysterious Legality Of "Happy Birthday"

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: The headlines on Tuesday and Wednesday blared, "Happy Birthday found to be in the public domain." Unfortunately and confusingly, they were incorrect. A judge's ruling in a suit filed two years against the ostensible current rights holders for the lyrics to that song, Warner-Chappell Music, didn't decide that. Instead, the judge found that Warner-Chappell lacked valid rights to the lyrics, whether or not they remained under copyright protection, even as it collected fees to the tune of $2 million a year.

A Season of Women-Powered Plays in 2015–16

AMERICAN THEATRE: While U.S. theatres still have a long way to go before they reach an equal playing field for male and female artists, we wanted to do our part to redress the disparity and shine our spotlight on gender diversity in action. So we asked a wide variety of theatremakers what productions they were looking forward to in the coming season that are either created by, or will prominently feature, female or transgender artists.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

For Christopher Shinn, Confronting Death Brings a New Play to Life

The New York Times: Christopher Shinn tilts back in a metal folding chair until it reaches a precarious, 45-degree angle against a wall of the Hartford Stage rehearsal room. He watches silently as the first scene of his new play, “An Opening in Time,” begins with a bam. A baseball hits the house of the main character, Anne, who steps outside, startled. She regards the ball intently. And so does Mr. Shinn. His chair looks like it may slip and crash at any moment, but he never loses focus and never goes down.

Q&A Mark Shanda | New USITT President Until 2018

Business & People News content from Live Design: Stepping into the role of president of the USITT Board of Directors through 2018 is Mark Shanda, divisional dean for arts and humanities at the Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences. Live Design chats with him about his academic career, vision for the organization, and advice to students. From his first conference in 1986, to being inducted as a Fellow in 2013, he has certainly seen USITT evolve over the years.

Lupita Nyong’o Shines a Light on Africa

The New York Times: A few days after arriving at the Yale School of Drama from Kenya in 2009, Lupita Nyong’o found herself understudying in a professional production of “Eclipsed,” Danai Gurira’s harrowing play about women in the second Liberian civil war.

“I never had to go on,” Ms. Nyong’o recalled recently, pantomiming a relieved wipe of the brow.

Batmobile is now under copyright protection

Las Vegas Review-Journal: The Batmobile, the indispensable crime fighting vehicle driven by comic book hero Batman, has enough distinct character traits to qualify for copyright protection, a U.S. appeals court has ruled.

The 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed a ruling against a manufacturer of replica Batmobiles.

Stagehands IATSE Local 8 has a lot of setting up during papal week

Philadelphia Business Journal: Most of the attention this week is being placed on Pope Francis, but he isn't the only high-profile figure visiting Philadelphia this week, creating a hectic work week for at least one local union.

The Stagehands IATSE Local 8 has been hard at work for more than a week now, preparing for Pope Francis' arrival this weekend.

Kickstarter and Public Benefit — Can for-profit crowdfunding really support non-profit goals?

Medium: Big news from this weekend: Kickstarter has decided to become a “public benefit corporation.”

Benefit Corporations, like L3Cs and other new “not-just-for-profit” entities, allow a company to declare the importance of its social mission alongside its commercial ambitions. They have become fashionable in the past decade, in part because a public commitment to mission can inspire loyalty and trust among customers and employees alike.

A New Website Tells You Where To Buy and Sell Salvaged Wood

Architect Magazine | Products, Technology, Wood, Engineered Wood: Lumber and engineered wood is everywhere on the jobsite—both when a building is going up, and when it’s coming down. In a 2008 report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited a 1998 figure by the Environmental Protection Agency that the equivalent of roughly 250,000 single-family homes were being demolished annually in the U.S., resulting in more than one billion board feet of usable, structural lumber that could be reclaimed from those projects.

Be the Team Consultant, Not Its Know-It-All | Remodeling | Management, Operations

www.remodeling.hw.net: A leader/manager is faced with an overwhelming amount of choices during the average work day. It is common in a small business to feel pulled in many directions almost continuously. In fact, that sensation gets to be so familiar (even if it is not pleasant) that the absence of craziness can create a sense of anxiety!

This is obviously not the healthiest environment in which to work.

Signature Theatre wants your new musical

The Washington Post: There’s another place for you in Arlington to hone your new musical.

Signature Theatre revealed details on Thursday of its new SigWorks: Musical Theater Lab, a project that begins next summer with workshop productions of two still-to-be-chosen original musicals.

Defying Gravity…Safely: Approaches And Best Practices In Flying Loudspeakers

Pro Sound Web: Some in audio think that the term “rigging” only applies when loudspeakers are flown, but it also pertains to lesser endeavors such as placing a single loudspeaker on a tripod stand. The bottom line is that for any piece of production gear not sitting directly on the ground, steps must be in place to insure that it does not fall and injure someone (or worse).

Stagehands IATSE Local 8 increases wages and benefits for members in agreement with Live Nation

Philadelphia Business Journal: A local union has reached a five-year deal with Live Nation for three of its local entertainment facilities, increasing wages and establishing benefits while adding to its own membership.

Theater workers look ahead to future without Colonial

The Berkeley Beacon: Mark McLaughlin has been working as a stagehand at Emerson’s Colonial Theatre since he was 15. The 47-year-old works in the Colonial ‘fly room,’ a small space about 30 feet above the stage filled with ropes and counterweights used to change scenery during performances.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How MIT Media Lab Pictured the Future of Tech And Marketing For "Minority Report"

 Co.Create | creativity + culture + commerce: When Steven Spielberg asked MIT researchers to John Underkoffler to envision the future for his 2002 sci-fi movie Minority Report, many of the resulting scenarios—drones, ID scans, consumer-tailored advertising—anticipated technologies that would soon become commonplace.

Now, producers for Fox TV's Minority Report spin-off (debuting Monday September 21st) have again turned to MIT, recruiting Media Lab graduate Greg Borenstein to set the futuristic stage for its story. Set in 2065, this Minority Report follows retired "pre-cog" Dash (Stark Sands), who uses his psychic gifts to help Washington D.C. detective Lara Vega (Meagan Good) stop crimes before they happen.

How Is Creativity Differentially Related to Schizophrenia and Autism?

The Creativity Post: For some reason, the general public is fascinated by the link between madness and genius. A new paper, which has been garnering a lot of media attention, has stoked the flames once again on this age-old debate.

The paper shows a link between artistic engagement and the genes underlying schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

New Bosch Mobile Battery Bank Powers Your Corded Tools & Equipment

toolguyd.com: There has been a lot of cordless power tool innovations in recent years. 6.0Ah battery packs, a new Milwaukee M18 High Demand 9.0Ah battery, 36V and 40V Max lawn and garden outdoor power tools, a double 36V Bosch mower), wireless battery charging, and Dewalt Buetooth-equipped batteries.

What could tool brands possibly come out with next?

And the answer: a mobile battery power unit, model GEN 230V-1500

Dropbox’s new team feature makes it a better tool for the workplace

The Verge: Dropbox is launching a team feature that aims to make its file hosting service a better tool for workplace collaboration, the company announced Monday. Existing Dropbox users will soon see a "team" tab on the left-hand menu list that will let you organize groups of employees and share files with those sets of users in a central hub..

Monkey Business: PETA Sues On Behalf Of The Monkey Selfie; Claims Copyright Belongs To The Monkey

Techdirt: Remember the monkey selfie? That is the photo that was taken by a macaque monkey in Indonesia, using a camera left on the ground by photographer David Slater. It first became a story back in 2011 when the photographs of the monkey became a bit of an amusing filler piece for some newspapers.

Dance Meets Cutting Edge Digital Creativity at an LA Workshop

The Creators Project: Last week, UCLA campus-located broad art center hosted the fifth edition of the Choreographic Coding Lab (CCL), a unique format for creative celebration, and the result of the first phase of research initiative Motion Bank. Seeking to provoke new and innovative creative approaches, the incubator spent five days solidifying one of its initial missions: to merging cutting-edge digital tools with contemporary choreography.

Emmys Diversity: The Numbers

Flavorwire: There has been quite a bit of talk about diversity at the Emmys, and we even saw a few genuinely inspiring moments that offered hope on Sunday night. But numerically, did this years’s awards make a dent in a traditionally white male-dominated field?

Several groups crunched numbers the following morning to determine that, as heartening as some developments are, there’s a huge “diversity gap” yet to overcome.

The Hamilton Cast Album: Has Theatre Been Reinvented?

OnStage: I don’t live in New York. I don’t have the funds to travel to see theatre, and I’m so frequently in production (as I am right now) that I frequently feel distant from the Broadway vibe. And it’s been hard that I’ve not been able to see and respond to Hamilton and the buzz it’s creating. I’ve had to wait for the cast album, and hope that (unlike so many others) it will simulate the visceral ephemerality of the stage production. I also felt this way about Spring Awakening…and the cast album failed me in nearly every way. I suspect that Spring Awakening played so much better on stage than it did on CD—it must have, because I was completely unmoved by the album. So much so, in fact, that I lost any interest in seeing the show. So Hamilton has had me worried. I’m always leery of hype, and always suspect of largely universal praise. I was very intrigued yesterday when the album dropped on NPR.

"There's no long-term future for young creative people in London"

Dezeen: London's world-leading position as a creative centre is under threat, according to this year's London Design Medal winners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, thanks to a "short sighted" government that is "scarred by creativity". Readers largely welcomed the duo's intervention, but some weren't convinced by their arguments.

Elie Landau Joins Broadway’s Triptyk Studios

Variety: Triptyk Studios, the production company involved in the upcoming Broadway musical based on Archie comics, has tapped longtime industry veteran Elie Landau to fill the post of executive producer as the company’s activities expand.

How To Master The Fine Art Of The Follow-Up

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: Is there anything more frustrating than waiting for an answer and getting silence? Someone is holding onto your money, your idea, or your very future, and you need feedback before you can breathe (or just buy groceries).

Tactfulness and persistence are both important, but exactly how tactful and how persistent, and also, do phone calls work? We got the points of view from several authorities on the subject on what makes for successful pestering. (Results may vary.)

The Metropolitan Opera Will Finally Stop Using Blackface on Stage

Colorlines: As it heads into the 2015-2016 season, the Metropolitan Opera has announced that it will no longer use makeup to darken the face of the lead in its productions of “Otello.”

“Otello,” an opera based on Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice” which tells the story of a black general who falls to the treachery of a jealous soldier, debuted at The Met in 1891. It currently stars Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko in the title role, and he is the very first to not wear blackface.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

‘Moonshine’ Review: ‘That Hee Haw Musical’ Opens in Dallas

Variety: Falling somewhere between a spirited homage and a snarky burlesque, “Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical” is a Southern-fried musical farce that may be embraced by nostalgic fans of its source material — the long-running TV variety show aptly described as “a cornpone ‘Laugh In’” — but rejected by others for its broad streaks of blue humor.

Hearing A Familiar Tune: Broadway's 15/16 Revivals

Breaking Character: Fall is officially here. And with that, opening night for Broadway’s newest productions and the launch of the 2015-2016. Here at Samuel French, we’re particularly excited – already, nine SF shows are slated for revival. You can check out a full list of announced shows for the 2015-216 season here, but for now, let’s take a look at some of these exciting pieces and their original productions.

See How Daenerys' Dragons Come to Life in Game of Thrones' Emmy-Winning VFX

io9.com: I don’t know what’s more impressive: The sheer number of layers that go into every aspect of the dragon’s flesh, the many insane apparatuses that the show constructs to give Emilia Clarke something to act against, or all the little details, like the subtle gore dripping from the dragons’ mouths after they feed.

Two new services for Showforce as they prepare for a busy event season

Event Industry News: As the Middle East prepares for a busy event season Showforce is delighted to announce the addition of two new services to their portfolio of event support services. From this September the company will provide female event crew and technical support staff alongside their stage crew, technicians, production staff and promotional personnel.

2 Expert Tips to Give Your 3D Prints Smooth, Colorful Finishes

Make:: Steph Grimes, DHF’s Director of Education, was the first to share. She presented the results of a series of experiments with affordable hobby paints on printed parts.

While many demos for painting/coating 3D printed parts emphasize sanding and priming as an essential first step, she rejected this route with a practical educator’s eye towards what the young Maker will be willing to incorporate into their own projects

How Pantone Became The Definitive Language Of Color

Co.Design | business + design: A few minutes into the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy opens her eyes and surveys the Technicolor world around her. Dorothy follows the Yellow Brick Road, she arrives at the Emerald City, and she clicks her Ruby Red slippers. Those vivid hues are seared into your memory. And guess what? Pantone has names for all of them. If you wanted to explain the precise colors to anyone, anywhere around the world all you have to do is dial up Pantone 14-0957 (Spectera Yellow), Pantone 16-6339 (Vibrant Green), and Pantone 17-1664 (Poppy Red).

'Everest' Cinematographer Recalls "Very Difficult Shoot"

Hollywood Reporter: “It’s very physical, working at higher altitudes and not having time to climatize your body," said Salvatore Totino. "I never had a headache like that."

At 29,029 feet, Mount Everest ranks as Earth’s highest mountain and attracts the world’s most seasoned climbers. It was also used as the filming location for a portion of Universal’s Everest.

“It was a very difficult shoot, physically challenging, with weather you couldn’t control. You had to keep adapting,” director of photography Salvatore Totino told The Hollywood Reporter.

alt-J Tour U.S. with Custom LED Solution from XL Video

Techie Talk: Following on from the custom video solution they supplied for alt-J’s headline show at London’s O2 Arena and subsequent worldwide festival runs, XL Video has supplied a similar LED set-up for the band’s current U.S. tour.

ETC Names 2015 LDI Student Sponsorship Recipients

Stage Directions: Every year ETC invites students with an interest in lighting design and stage technology from around the world to apply for the company’s annual LDI Sponsorship as a part of its commitment to nurturing young people looking to launch professional careers in the industry. Sponsorship recipients – five from North America and two international students -- are awarded an all-expense-paid trip to the 2015 LDI tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 23rd through 25th, in addition to receiving exclusive ETC swag, backstage access to ETC’s booth and newest products, as well as a special networking reception with the industry’s leading professionals. Each student is also paired with a lighting designer mentor who will offer them guidance and support for one full year in order to help them get their fledgling careers of the ground.

Quantum Theatre’s version of Shakespeare's 'The Winter’s Tale' delightfully makes something old something new

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Rest assured, the most famous Shakespearean stage direction is fully honored: “Exit, pursued by a bear.”

Otherwise, Shakespeare is thoroughly, ambitiously remade in “The Winter’s Tale” by director Karla Boos of Quantum Theatre, Andres Cladera and the musicians of Chatham Baroque, the dancers of Attack Theatre and designers of inordinate invention.

Open Source Hardware Certification Announced

Hackaday: Last weekend was the Open Hardware Summit in Philadelphia, and the attendees were nearly entirely people who build Open Source Hardware. The definition of Open Source Hardware has been around for a while, but without a certification process, the Open Hardware movement has lacked the social proof required of such a movement; there is no official process to go through that will certify hardware as open hardware, and there technically isn’t a logo you can slap on a silkscreen layer that says your project is open hardware.

Vancouver artistic directors dish on building a season

Georgia Straight Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly: Building an arts season is a fine craft, a logistical puzzle, a feat of networking, and an act of faith. What it is not, if you talk to the local artistic directors who so carefully curate the seasons you’ll read about in this issue of the Georgia Straight, is a random selection. Or a flight of serendipity. Or a reflection of one person’s favourite things. Well, okay, maybe a tiny bit of that last one.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ben Brantley on Learning to Embrace Broadway Revivals

The New York Times: So you think you’ve seen it all before — and recently, too.

I was of your mind once. Time was when looking at the schedule of a new theater season in New York would bring on a blinding déjà vu headache that threatened to send me to bed. “Not that show again,” I would think. “Didn’t I just see it a couple of years ago? Is there truly nothing new under the neon of the Rialto?”

The Trouble with Tablets

Occupational Health & Safety: As the methods of communication have evolved, humans have always struggled to stay upright. From the beginning, putting a pen to paper on a typical desktop involved hunching forward and dropping the head to view the writing area.

Photo Gallery: What's Trending In Lighting Apps

Lighting Designers Talk App Tech | Live Design: How smart is your digital device? The answer might depend on how many—and which—apps you have downloaded and how you use them. Developers have harnessed billions of ones and zeros to create resources that please our four app-happy lighting designers and give them the resources they need, from color swatches and gobo patterns to light meters and note taking, all in service of portability and mobility on the job. There are also a few things these designers wish existed in the app store.

What Theater Directors Can Teach You About Leading a Team

Remodeling | Management: I love theater. The magic that happens when one sees a performance is often inspiring, intoxicating, and thought-provoking.

The work a director and the actors do to bring the play to life seems simple when looking at it from the outside, but it is, like many things, quite complicated. Several things need to happen to make the relationship work.

Frame Of Reference: Choosing The Right Material For Critical Listening

Pro Sound Web: When I was a budding sound engineer with the U.S. Air Force Band during the 1990s, one of my mentors was a consultant in the Washington, D.C. area named George Weber.

George was a somewhat eccentric guy and definitely a dyed-in-the-wool audiophile. He had done some modifications to the band’s K&H studio loudspeakers, and those things did sound amazingly good.

Two Philadelphia Unions Using the Pope for Bargaining Power

TVSpy: According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, employees represented by IATSE Local 804 at CBS-owned KYW have not set a specific strike date, but those represented by IBEW Local 98 at NBC-owned WCAU have set a strike date of September 21. The Pope comes to Philadelphia next Saturday, September 26.