CMU School of Drama

Friday, April 29, 2016

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

NEA: In collaboration with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts looks at the arts and culture of Pennsylvania.

Up-Close and Personal with Laser Cuts

Hackaday: Plenty of materials take the heated edge of a laser beam quite well, but many others don’t. Some release toxic fumes; others catch fire easily. For all the materials that don’t cut well (PVC and FR4, we’re looking at you!) and for those that do (hello, acrylic and Delrin) they’re each reacting to the heat of the laser beam in different ways. Lucky for us, these ways are well-characterized. So let’s take a look at how a laser cutter actually cuts through materials.

Lyricist Sheldon Harnick talks Fiddler on the Roof

HowlRound: “In April, I’ll be ninety-two years old, and at that age, to even have one show open on Broadway would be a blessing—to have two is spectacular,” remarked Sheldon Harnick, Broadway Lyricist of Fiddler on the Roof and She Loves Me.

George Takei Salutes “Diverse” Broadway Vs Hollywood “Stereotypes”

Deadline: The Star Trek icon Mr. Sulu and the real-life social activist who played him will mark the eve of the cut-off date for Tony eligibility by saluting Broadway’s most diverse season ever. George Takei adds, in this year of #OscarsSoWhite, a Bronx cheer to Hollywood in general and the treatment of Asian Americans at February’s Academy Awards show in particular.

Meet the Self-Described "Sign Geeks" Keeping Neon Alive

The Creators Project: No matter what era you were born into, the alluring warmth and flickering glow of vintage neon signage is undeniable. Our attraction to these bent and illuminated glass tubes is due, perhaps, to an appreciation for a craft that seems inaccessible to most—they're science meets design meets applied urbanism. While the existence of classic neon signs is slowly disappearing, self-described "sign geeks," with the intent to document and share these beautifully crafted pieces of art, are keeping the glow alive.

The Task of Resurrecting Historic Plays by Women

THE INTERVAL: In 1944, journalist Martha Gellhorn hid in the bathroom of a hospital ship crossing the English Channel and became the only woman to land on Normandy Beach. In 1945, she was one of the first journalists—male or female—to visit and report from the newly liberated Dachau concentration camp. In 1946, she, along with journalist Virginia Cowles, wrote the play Love Goes to Press, which was characterized by The New York Times during a recent revival as a romantic comedy. How one goes from reporting on D-Day to writing a comedic play in two years, I have no idea. A basic Google search doesn’t provide much information, but then again, the Martha Gellhorn Wikipedia entry only dedicates three sentences to Normandy Beach and Dachau under the section heading, “War in Europe and marriage to Hemingway” (oh right—she was married to Ernest Hemingway for five years).

Spend a Night at the Museum in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine - May 2016 - Pittsburgh, PA: A few years ago, only a handful of area museums, theaters and other cultural venues offered after-hours events filled with food, drink and activities. Now, you can find them multiple times each month.

Costume Designer Rachel Healy: Classics Connect Us to Our Humanity Costume designer Rachel Healy believes the classic arts—ballet, classical music, theater, literature, and the fine arts—are a reflection of the truth about ourselves. Through them we are able to better approach and connect to our own humanity.

“All people grapple with the big questions: Why are we here? Why are we connected?” she said in a phone interview on Nov. 25. The classics are vehicles that allow people to find those answers for themselves. “They allow us a place to go home to—inside.”

Blue Man Group costumes stolen in Wichita

The Wichita Eagle: Someone made off with more than $1,000 worth of the Blue Man Group’s costumes late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning at Century II, Wichita police Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said.

The stolen items included a towel and several outfits, Woodrow said Wednesday.

From Loss to Laughter: Syrian Refugees Write Plays

AMERICAN THEATRE: With one hand, 15-year-old Eman al-Shayab reaches down and detaches her prosthetic right leg. Defiantly she whirls it around and mimics throwing it at a fighter plane that has just dropped the barrel bombs that severed her real leg. In her imagination, the severed limb strikes the plane and sends it into a tailspin. Sobbing, the pilot asks, “Why have you made me crash?”

See the Incredible Amount of Work It Took to Make Deadpool's Mask One of the Deadpool movie’s best elements was how the movie brought his mask to life. This might shock you to learn, but there was an astounding amount of work involved in making a mask that could be as expressive as it is in the comics, but that Ryan Reynolds’ could still see and talk out of.

Drama Desk Nominations 2016 (FULL LIST): ‘Shuffle Along’ Leads

Variety: The well-received Roundabout Theater Company revival of “She Loves Me” led the nominations for the 2016 Drama Desk Awards, pulling in nine nods including best musical revival, plus acting awards for cast members including Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi and Jane Krakowski. New musical “American Psycho” earned eight — although not one for outstanding musical.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Skilsaw’s Worm Drive Table Saw

Tools of the Trade: I’ve been using the new Skilsaw model SPT70WT-22 table saw for a month or so and overall it fit my expectations of a job site saw built for framing and rough carpentry. It didn’t quite make the cut for finer woodworking uses like glue-line rips and joinery, but Skil’s framing heritage endows this saw with more of an “outside dog” pedigree anyway. With it’s worm drive motor, it’s more at home with its feet planted in the dirt and sawdust of the job site than on a concrete floor.

Lilly Awards Announce 2016 Honorees

Stage Directions: The Lilly Awards, which celebrates women of distinction in American theatre, will honor Danai Gurira, Martha Plimpton, Kate Whoriskey and Mia Katigbak at their 2016 awards ceremony on May 23. The Lilly Awards will also announce the winner of the $25,000 Stacey Mindich Prize, which funds a new work by a female playwright, and the Leah Ryan Prize, which awards an annual cash prize to an emerging woman playwright and produces a reading of the winning play in New York City.

Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Paramour’ Has Strong Start in Broadway Grosses

The New York Times: Cirque du Soleil’s first Broadway venture, “Paramour,” is off to an unusually strong start at the box office, drawing large crowds to see this musical-theater-meets-acrobatics spectacle at the cavernous Lyric Theater.

The show, about a love triangle set in Hollywood’s golden age, grossed just over $1 million for six performances last week, as it begins a long period of previews building toward a scheduled opening on May 25.

Actors Fund Gala Raises $1.2 Million

Stage Directions: The Actors Fund honored Michael Douglas, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Cynthia Gregory, Robert Greenblatt, and Casey Nicholaw with its Medal of Honor at its annual gala Monday, April 25. The gala raised more than $1.2 million for the Actors Fund, which runs programs that include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services.

Eyeing Tonys, ‘Shuffle Along’ Hopes to Be Classified a Revival

The New York Times: The Music Box Theater on Broadway has been packing in the crowds for weeks, with theatergoers eager to see a starry but unfamiliar musical, “Shuffle Along,” even as that jazz-and-tap show is still being revised in previews.

But now comes the moment of judgment: Is it any good?

And another very important question: Is it new?

Tony Awards Announce Special Awards

Stage Directions: In advance of the Tony Awards (Sunday, June 12) the Awards have announced several non-voting awards that will be given this year. Tony Award-winning lyricist Sheldon Harnick and multiple Tony-nominated director Marshall W. Mason will be this year’s recipients of the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. Additionally, the Tony Awards announced the 2016 winners of The Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre, which are awarded annually to institutions, individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theatre, but are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories. This year’s Tony Honors will be presented to: Seth Gelblum, Joan Lader and Sally Ann Parsons.

15 CMU illnesses linked to campus cafe

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Fifteen Carnegie Mellon University students got sick with "gastrointestinal distress" after eating either soup or sandwiches at a campus eatery on Monday or Tuesday.

Looking Forward and Back: THE NORMAL HEART, A Story about Past, Present and Future

Breaking Character: History and time have a funny way of creeping back on us. Larry Kramer, American playwright, said the above words via his character Ned in 1985 but one would find these relevant even in the twenty-first century.

BBC Makes Diversity a Priority, Pledges Half Its On-Air Roles and Workforce Will Be Female By 2020

The Mary Sue: We already know that the BBC makes awesome television like Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Orphan Black. Now, they’re giving us a reason to love them more by making the conscious decision to prioritize gender parity and racial diversity both in their content and in their workforce.

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Addresses Industry Xenophobia with "The Serious Business of Diversity" Panel

Far Flungers | Roger Ebert: In response to February's Oscar ceremony hosted by Chris Rock, the sixth edition of C3 (Conference for Creative Content) at the 32nd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival added a free panel: "Yellow Nerds and Dongs @ The Oscars or Can't You Take a Joke?: The Serious Business of Diversity in Hollywood." Presented at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo on Saturday, April 25, the panel included actor/activist George Takei, producer Janet Yang, documentary producer/director Arthur Dong, L.A. Times writer Marc Bernardin, Manager of Creative Talent Development & Inclusion at Disney Emerlynn Lampitoc and co-chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition Daniel Mayeda.

Championship Pitch Sends CMU Team to World Finals After classes end and faculty head home, Carnegie Mellon University's Cohon University Center becomes a hub of student activity. Halls are filled with the sounds of racquet ball games, study groups and dinner conversations.

On one Tuesday in late April, robust music makes its way to the ears of a facilities employee who stops, listens and pokes his head into The Originals rehearsal to offer a big thumbs up.

History-Making Women of THE SECRET GARDEN Reunite to Talk Breaking Ground in Musical Theatre

Breaking Character: The Secret Garden arrived on Broadway at the St. James Theatre 1991, it was considered a bold curiosity by the press: Four women had taken on the task of bringing Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved children’s novel to life as a stage musical — to a reported tune of 6.2 million dollars.

Inge Festival Brings the Theatre World to Independence

AMERICAN THEATRE: Henry Drummond was working over Matthew Harrison Brady, arguing for the insights of Darwin over literal belief in the stories of scripture. And I got the feeling that much of the audience was on Brady’s side. Karen Carpenter, the artistic director of the William Inge Festival, acknowledged this was probably true.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Orchestra Left Without Chair When Music Stops: Another Independent Contractor Misclassification

The National Law Review: How independent are musicians who play and perform with others? Do they have more artistic control on their own, or do they only become truly great artists in collaboration with others when their independent talents combine to make incredible music? We suspect David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar, Richie Sambora, and others who have “gone solo” and played in multiple groups might have interesting opinions on this issue.

To the new culture cops, everything is appropriation

The Washington Post: A few months ago, I read “The Orphan’s Tales” by Catherynne Valente. The fantasy novel draws on myths and folklore from many cultures, including, to my delight, fairy tales from my Russian childhood. Curious about the author, I looked her up online and was startled to find several social-media discussions bashing her for “cultural appropriation.”

Entertainment Education: Schools On The Move

Variety: These innovative and cutting-edge programs offer competitive, top-notch training in all areas of film, TV and media.

Paramount Is Being Sued for Not Having Enough Product Placement in Transformers 4 Congratulations to Paramount, which is finally in court on a $27 million lawsuit for failing to actually place a product from a product placement deal. Yeah. On one side is Paramount, the studio behind the Transformers franchise, and on the other side is a Chinese business who paid them to put even more logos in the movie.

‘The Robber Bridegroom’ Among Off-Broadway Alliance Nominees

Backstage: The next “Hamilton” might be among this year’s crop of Off-Broadway Alliance Award nominees.

Nominations for their 6th Annual Off-Broadway Alliance Awards, which honor commercial and not-for-profit productions that opened during the 2015–16 season, have been announced.

This pen lets you mix your own makeup

The Verge: Sometimes I see a color in the world and think, "that would be fun to wear on my face." But I can't just whip up lipstick in my house and I also can't follow through on every makeup shopping whim. Yesterday, though, I discovered a company that might help me live out my lipstick fantasies.

Ever Want to See, Hear, Feel -- and Smell -- 'The Exorcist'? Then This Is for You

Movie News | If you're a horror geek and you've never attended one of Universal's Halloween Horror Nights, then you're missing out on some very cool (and frightening) interactive experiences that revolve around your favorite horror movies. Past Halloween Horror Nights have featured attractions related to Insidious, The Purge, Crimson Peak, Michael Myers and even the end-of-the-world comedy, This Is the End -- and in 2016 Universal just announced the first major film participating in this year's festivities: The Exorcist.

I’m Gonna Trust You

Female Gazing: I feel like all I’ve cared about lately are lessons I’ve learned at work.

Today my boss and I said one out loud.

He hired me to do a thing I had never done. I did it, I pushed through the fear. I did a good enough job to get re-hired but I’m still not the most confident person in the world. I still have fear and nerves.

Easter Bonnet Competition Raises $5.5 Million for BC/EFA

Stage Directions: The annual Broadway Easter Bonnet Competition took place April 25 and 26 at the Minskoff Theatre, capping six weeks of fundraising for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The award for bonnet design went to the company of An American in Paris for its two-sided bonnet of an exploding smartphone, while the year’s top fundraising award went to Hamilton, which raised $516,029. All told the event raised a record $5,528,568, and held plenty of surprises—detailed after the jump.

Benedum fire causes no problems for Pittsburgh Opera's upcoming premiere

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Just days before Pittsburgh Opera's premiere of David Hockney's designed production of Stravinsky’s "The Rake's Progress," a battery in a prop pocket watch caused a small fire that required Pittsburgh firefighters to extinguish.

The Art-Science Crossover or Lessons Learned by a Doctor/Playwright

HowlRound: Being a doctor/playwright is a bit like being a firewalker; everyone thinks you’re crazy, and they’re probably right. Some of my medical colleagues are not exactly theatre devotees. When I tell them about my passion for live performance, I get puzzled frowns. I’d probably get the same reaction if I was talking about Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.

Income Inequality at Studios Apparent in Salary Surveys

Variety: At his March meeting with shareholders, Disney CEO Robert Iger faced the usual string of friendly queries about upcoming blockbusters, suggestions for new attractions and a request from a mother about an internship for her film-student son.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kelly Critic Review: 'Fame,' Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Paradox was on display at Central Catholic Masque's production of “Fame,” on Friday, April 8th. The juxtaposition of such a progressive, liberal musical with the backdrop of a traditional chapel as its venue made for a surprising balance, with the help of a solid ensemble and standout leads. With the power of music, it was easy to teleport from the rows of the Central Catholic cathedral to the "High School for the Performing Arts" in New York City that serves as the setting for Fame.

5Qs Stephen Moss Lighting Designer

USITT 2016 Rising Star Award Winner | Live Design: It wasn’t until his sophomore year of college that Stephen Moss discovered the light: his knack for lighting design that is. Born and raised in Music City—Nashville, Tennessee—Moss grew up playing the French horn and enrolled in music education at Lipscomb University. While he had done sound design for a few plays in high school and continued this trend as an undergrad, he had never dabbled in lighting until Lipscomb was fresh out of lighting techs and decided to throw him into the spotlight.

'No sketching': V&A signs betray everything the museum stands for

The Guardian: Stealthily photographing someone’s knickers might normally get you arrested, but everyone’s at it in the V&A. A ban on photography in the museum’s new exhibition, Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear, means the gallery is full of people furtively trying to snap pictures of pants when the guards aren’t looking. Sneaky museum Instagramming never felt so naughty.

Owners to give shares of Middleton company's stock to employees The first hint was a holiday note telling Electronic Theatre Controls Inc.'s nearly 900 U.S.-based employees to take stock of a good year. Next came the Birkenstocks, a pair for each worker. And finally, at a company meeting, Chief Executive Officer Fred Foster delivered the real prize: actual shares of company stock.

Forty years after founding ETC, Foster said he and his co-owners are giving 33% of the company to employees over the next 10 years — and maybe even more after that.

Imagine a Paperless Audition

OnStage: The auditions process is always going to be stressful, not much can be done about that. But what if it could be made easier? What if the check-in process was smoother? As a casting professional, what if the organization and cut process simpler?

Why I Will Never Be a Starving Artist

HowlRound: I graduated from college with a playwriting degree, and one year later, I hadn’t written a single new play. I was ready to call myself a failure as a playwright. Get up, move on. My inspiration had dried up, my motivation was gone and I couldn’t have come up with a decent idea for a new piece if you paid me. And I certainly needed the money.

One Stop Shopping: The Pittsburgh Fringe Festival Coverage 2016

Pittsburgh in the Round: In case you missed any of our posts, here are every single one of our articles that we wrote about the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival this year. A very special thank you goes out to Xela Batchelder, Dan Stiker, and the entire Fringe staff for their exemplary work this year. Another big thank you goes out to all the participants for press tickets, allowing us to thoroughly cover every show.

MoMA confirms architecture and design galleries will not close New York's Museum of Modern Art has issued a letter to quell speculation over the closure of its architecture and design galleries.

Martino Stierli, MoMA's Philip Johnson chief curator of architecture and design, wrote to publications including Dezeen after questions were raised last week over the future of the institution's dedicated spaces for architecture, design, drawings and photography.

2016 Stage Raw Awards: Nominees & Winners

Footlights: Now in its second year, the 2016 Stage Raw Awards, given to honor the excellence found in Los Angeles 99-seat (intimate) theater, were held on Monday, April 25 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Downtown LA. The evening’s hosts were Dr. Pinch (Independent Shakespeare Co.’s David Melville) and the Pinchtones will host.

A Brief History of Dinosaurs in Film

Tested: The word "dinosaur" was coined by Victorian naturalist Sir Richard Owen in 1841. Derived from the Greek, it means "terrible lizard". The modern meaning is, of course, "humongous slavering monster that tramples the getaway car, eats the supporting actor and fills the IMAX screen from top to bottom."

Featured Member: Antoine Hunter

Theatre Bay Area: The Oakland Ensemble Theatre were the ones who told me I have a huge voice in writing plays. I began writing plays there while I was at Skyline High School [where] I was known as “Black Shakespeare” because someone always died in my scripts. My first script, Fly Away, was presented by OET, directed by Donald Lacy, and later Love Life Foundation [again] under Donald Lacy. Fly Away was about two teenagers, a Deaf boy who had a beautiful hearing girlfriend, who’d both just entered high school.

August Wilson remembered with 'Jitney' reading

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company will mark August Wilson’s birthday Wednesday with a reading of “Jitney” at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Downtown.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Word or Two from Pittsburgh Opera’s General Director, Christopher Hahn, on “The Rake’s Progress.”

Pittsburgh in the Round: Christopher Hahn, General Director of Pittsburgh Opera, was quite enthusiastic earlier this week when we discussed the company’s upcoming production of The Rake’s Progress, and I must say up front that I shared his enthusiasm. The work has long been a personal favorite, and the chance to see the famous David Hockney production, which the company owns, will be a rare and exciting treat.

vardehaugen uses real scale drawings to map out its projects ed by architect håkon matre aasarød, vardehaugen is an oslo-based firm currently working on a number of schemes at a variety of different scales. in order to better visualize its work, the design team has developed a method of ‘real scale drawing’ that allows a form of human occupation, even before a project is built.

Final Performances of "The Flick" at Pittsburgh’s The REP

Blogh | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper: The Flick is a real anomaly that sounds daunting and maybe even shouldn’t work: Who these days writes a low-key three-hour comedy, played on one dingy set, where all three main characters are underpaid dorks and two of them are depressives?

Everyone Wants You to be Great: Thoughts on Play Submission from the Other Side of the Desk

HowlRound: Emily and I (Jess) were collaborators in Chicago before we each went to different grad schools. Now, we are both in residence through the National New Play Network at two different NNPN theatres. While Emily is a playwright, and I am a producer in the program, we’ve both been brought into the literary workings of our theatres: Curious Theatre Company in Denver for Em, and Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas for me.

New Worlds of Design For Artistic Director Bill Rauch, having seven female scenic designers here this year—Rachel Hauck and Sibyl Wickersheimer are returning to OSF for Roe and Richard II, respectively—was “no accident,” he said. “Female designers are vastly underrepresented in our field, and we want to continue to expand opportunities for the extraordinary women working in the American theatre today in all design disciplines at OSF.”

A theater teacher played 'Hamilton' for a group of inmates. Their reaction was priceless. I work with a group of men who aren’t used to seeing themselves in the narrative unless they’re portrayed as villains.

These men are prisoners. They understand that much of America thinks they’re monsters who deserve to be locked in cages. They are the bastard, orphan sons of … every kind of woman you can imagine. They are also beloved sons and husbands and part of close families who come to visit them every week.

Secret lives of women who broke taboo to act in Shakespeare

Culture | The Guardian: Great Elizabethan and Georgian stage stars, such as Will Kempe, Richard Burbage and David Garrick, may not be household names today, but their reputations live on in the theatre. What, though, of the actresses who appeared in the same companies? Their names, as well as their reputations, have mostly been forgotten.

New in AutoCAD 2017 | Print Studio

Autodesk | 3D Printing: Autodesk® Print Studio, a separate application that ships with AutoCAD® 2017, simplifies the 3D printing process to save you time and minimize waste. AutoCAD users have been able to take advantage of 3D printing since AutoCAD 2010, but unless you were very familiar with both the 3D printing process and your target device, you could easily slip into a rabbit hole of trial and error. No more.

'Shakespearification' obscures the other literary and cultural treasures of 1616 This year marks 400 years since the publication of the first volume of poet and playwright Ben Jonson’s collected texts, the first complete English translation of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, by poet and translator George Chapman, and the Political Works of King James I, arriving a few years after the King James Bible. Little would contemporaries have guessed that 400 years later these momentous works would be eclipsed by a death in Warwickshire – one William Shakespeare.

Theatre-ing While Disabled: Teaching Artist Edition

HowlRound: This production, which bills itself as a “forty to fifty-minute high energy theatrical presentation,” is not the sort of thing I’d seek out at this stage in my life. But at the time, I didn’t yet have a comprehensive diagnosis. I was still under the impression that most of my pain could be cured with sit-ups and prayer, neither of which have turned out to be effective for my congenitally-fractured spine.

The Next Page: An ambitious renovation of August Wilson’s boyhood home will be good for Pittsburgh and the arts

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: For years, the house at 1727 Bedford Ave. in the Hill District has sat as a rebuke to Pittsburgh — derelict, crumbling, the windows rotting. Visiting theater artists and other pilgrims have been shocked at Pittsburgh’s seeming indifference to the birthplace and childhood home of a great American.

Meet the Arduino Clone That’s the Size of a AA Battery The AAduino is an Arduino compatible microcontroller board, created by Swedish embedded systems engineer Johan Kanflo, that’s the size of a AA battery. The AAduino is designed to fit comfortably inside of one of the bays of a standard 3xAA battery holder. The resulting ‘Duino in a very small, reasonably powerful, wireless node will endless application possibilities. Johan describes the impetus for the design.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

Exploding the myth of the scientific vs artistic mind It’s a stereotype, but many of us have made the assumption that scientists are a bit rigid and less artistic than others. Artists, on the other hand, are often seen as being less rational than the rest of us. Sometimes described as the left side of the brain versus the right side – or simply logical thinking versus artistic creativity – the two are often seen as polar opposites.

Nudity on stage - why it always changes the dynamic

Chicago Tribune: A one-act festival of 10-minute plays "incorporating an element of nudity" was announced today by Stage 773, the Lakeview venue. If you've been around Chicago theater long enough, either as a spectator or participant, this is just the latest in a long tradition of baring one's body on stage.

William Shakespeare? Enough, already. It’s been four centuries, for crying out loud!

DC Theatre Scene: I plan to bury Shakespeare, not to praise him. The 23rd of this month marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. I propose to honor him with a stake driven through his heart. I hope this will be the end of Will.

The Art of Failure

NEA: Everyone is familiar with the concept of failure. However bitter it may feel, failure can be a necessary step towards success. In the arts, without taking chances, artists risk not tapping into creativity that can potentially lead to great outcomes. NEA has spoken with many individual artists and art leaders in the past, from various art fields, on their relationship with failure as well as success (see our 2014 NEA Arts issue). Today, we’ve pieced together a few of their personal insights to remind you that maybe, failure isn’t so bitter after all.

'Hamilton' Is Getting Screwed Out of a Tony Award

Rolling Stone: This is a story about the most unlikely beef in rap history. When the Tony Award nominations are announced on May 3rd, honoring the best of the Broadway season, Hamilton is expected to dominate in every category. You know Hamilton, right? The groundbreaking hip-hop musical about our founding fathers? President Obama and Queen Beyoncé are both fans. And tickets are basically sold out until 2017. If the tea leaves prove correct, the Tony Awards could wind up feeling like one big infomercial for Hamilton. Which is pretty awesome! Except for the one person from Hamilton's creative team getting screwed out of a nomination, if not a win. Say hello to the show's sound designer, 49-year-old Nevin Steinberg.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Ground on Which He Stood: Revisiting August Wilson’s Speech

AMERICAN THEATRE: Marion McClinton well remembers a night at a bar in the spring of 1996. He was directing a play at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre by his friend and colleague August Wilson, and the two men went for a drink. It was at a Steel City bar, McClinton recently recalled, that the late playwright gave the director a private preview of the speech that would become nearly as synonymous with Wilson’s name as his great 10-play cycle.

Nudity on stage - why it always changes the dynamic

Chicago Tribune: A one-act festival of 10-minute plays "incorporating an element of nudity" was announced today by Stage 773, the Lakeview venue. If you've been around Chicago theater long enough, either as a spectator or participant, this is just the latest in a long tradition of baring one's body on stage.

Shotgun Players’ ‘Hamlet’ Plays Role Roulette

AMERICAN THEATRE: On the first night of previews, Megan Trout was nervous. That’s understandable, of course, for any lead actor in a play, especially when the role is Hamlet. Trout found the moments before the show started at Shotgun Players in Berkeley, Calif., especially “terrifying and exhilarating” because, she says, “I did not feel 100 percent prepared for the part, which felt really abnormal.”

‘American Psycho’: 7 Things to Know about Musical’s Blood, Fashion

Variety: If you’re making a stage musical of “American Psycho,” one thing’s for sure: There will be blood. But that raises a whole host of questions: How do you make stage blood? How much of it does the show go through each night? And how does the production manage all that plasma on a mostly white set, full of actors clad in vintage 80s couture? In the run-up to the April 21 opening night of show on Broadway, Variety checked in with “American Psycho” director Rupert Goold, SFX specialist Lillis Meeh and theatrical fabric painter Jeff Fender to get answers.

Primed For The WILD PARTY! Learn How To Use CrystalGel As A Primer

Rosco Spectrum: As a scenic designer, scenic artist, and educator, I am always looking for ways to challenge the students and introduce them to new materials on a budget. My design for Western Illinois University’s WILD PARTY was conceived on the idea of a skewed reality influenced by German Expressionism and Art Deco. One skill that the students in the shop needed to learn was how to work with steel. This choice was an economical option for Western Illinois University as well as a pedagogical choice.

Snacking In Shakespeare's Time: What Theatregoers Ate At The Bard's Plays

The Salt : NPR: Between 1988 and 1990, when archaeologists excavated The Rose and The Globe theaters (where Shakespeare's plays were performed), they were able to learn as much about the audiences as the playhouses themselves.

There were no dress circle lounges nor mezzanine bars 400 years ago. As the characters in plays like The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth and As You Like It feasted on stage, down in the yard and up in the galleries, the audience noshed on cold nibbles and ready-made street food.

Exploding the myth of the scientific vs artistic mind It’s a stereotype, but many of us have made the assumption that scientists are a bit rigid and less artistic than others. Artists, on the other hand, are often seen as being less rational than the rest of us. Sometimes described as the left side of the brain versus the right side – or simply logical thinking versus artistic creativity – the two are often seen as polar opposites.

The Second City Will Host Diversity Weekend

Backstage: The Second City is celebrating diversity with its upcoming weekend of events April 30–May 2 in Toronto.

The improvisational comedy troupe is hosting the diversity event filled with performances, workshops, and training opportunities for fresh talent.

CMU Drama School graduates learn skills for successful careers

Carnegie Mellon Today: Larry Powell steps on stage of the Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles. The 700-seat theater, 3,000 miles from Broadway, has for decades hosted Hollywood stars hungry for West Coast stage time. The actor—who received his professional training in Carnegie Mellon University’s rigorous theater conservatory program—has already established a respectable career through starring roles in regional theaters across the country. He doesn’t have an Oscar or an Emmy yet, but at 29—and with stellar reviews in The New York Times for two Off-Broadway plays already under his belt, he might be on his way to one.

A Complete Overview of the PRG GroundControl™ Followspot System

YouTube: Learn about the many features and benefits of the system that is revolutionizing the entertainment industry —the PRG GroundControl Followspot System. This innovative new solution allows a technician to operate a PRG Bad Boy Spot or Best Boy Spot luminaire as a followspot but with the operator working safely from the ground up to 2000 feet away.

At Arena Stage’s ‘All the Way,’ it’s a different show backstage

The Washington Post: It’s five minutes from the end of “All the Way,” and a very specific, highly choreographed version of hell is breaking loose backstage.

Actors Bowman Wright, Adrienne Nelson and Shannon Dorsey, all covered in paper streamers from the previous scene, come out of one of the four exits at Arena Stage’s Fichandler theater and into the arms of three dressers.

OXX CoffeeBox - Worlds toughest coffee machine

YouTube: We take look at the OXX CoffeeBox rugged coffee machine for the Jobsite. It is self contained and uses K Cups.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Orientalism, Whitewashing, and Erasure: Hollywood’s Historic Problem With Asian People

The Mary Sue: Hollywood has no idea what to do with Asian people. And, given the fact that Hollywood often serves as a reflection of contemporary culture, this is a major problem. Aside from casting us as goofy comic relief (Long Duk Dong, really) or evil mystical ninjas (come on, Daredevil season 2), they just don’t know what to do with us. The confusion and ignorance around what we bring to the table sometimes gets so bad that rather than try and find out who we actually are, they’ll overwrite us with white characters, erasing us completely from narratives that inherently belong to one culture or another (looking at you, Ghost in the Shell). Sometimes, to bridge that gap, they’ll even try to use yellowface, which (if you somehow weren’t already aware) is the practice of donning makeup and a really racist accent to look and sound Asian.

Building a Better ‘Mikado,’ Minus the Yellowface

AMERICAN THEATRE: Since its premiere in 1885, Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Mikado has been performed primarily in the following manner: a non-Asian (usually all white) cast dons kimonos, puts chopsticks in their hair, and wears heavy eyeliner to portray the denizens of the fictional Japanese town of Titipu. For lovers of G&S, the opera is a classic, both for W.S. Gilbert’s satire of 19th-century British society and as a memorable showcase of Arthur Sullivan’s tuneful music (indeed, even though I’ve never seen The Mikado, even I can hum “Three Little Maids”).

William Shakespeare? Enough, already. It’s been four centuries, for crying out loud!

DC Theatre Scene: I plan to bury Shakespeare, not to praise him. The 23rd of this month marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. I propose to honor him with a stake driven through his heart. I hope this will be the end of Will.

Creativity Is Much More Than 10,000 Hours of Deliberate Practice

The Creativity Post: In his new book "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise", psychologist Anders Ericsson and journalist Robert Pool distill an impressive body of research on "mastering almost any skill." Indeed, deliberate practice can help you master new skills. Deliberate practice involves a series of techniques designed to learn efficiently and purposefully. This involves goal setting, breaking down complex tasks into chunks, developing highly complex and sophisticated representations of possible scenarios, getting out of your comfort zone, and receiving constant feedback.

SAG-AFTRA and ‘Hamilton’ Make Strides in Actors’ Fair Pay

Backstage: This month has seen major strides for actors standing up for proper pay: one for actors everywhere with the proposed amendments to SAG-AFTRA commercials contracts, and one for actors that people everywhere are watching—the original Broadway cast of “Hamilton.”

A spine tingling Macbeth at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

DC Theatre Scene: The worst traffic in history, created by road construction and events, plagued a five-block radius within downtown Baltimore this past Saturday, causing even the cast of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s production of Macbeth to be late and delaying the show by 15 minutes. I was none-too-pleased, covering three blocks in 40 minutes and never making it to a certain parking garage. So, it’s a good thing the bloody Macbeth made my spine tingle and hair stand on end.

Aerial Work Platform Compliance Standards for Fall Protection

Grainger Industrial Supply: Fall protection is an important issue for those who use aerial work platforms (AWPs). The issue facing users is determining the appropriate fall protection system or systems to use. This document addresses the unique fall protection requirements for AWPs. General fall protection standards also apply to AWPs

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Economics of Terror: Why the West End Needs a New Audience

Clyde Fitch Report: London’s theatre season, much like New York, is informally bookended by an awards season that each year seems to stretch well beyond the interest of the casual theatregoer and tests the patience of even the hardiest arts journalist. Unlike the Broadway season, however, London’s West End does not have a formal year-to-year cut-off date, resulting in a slightly more fragmented awards trajectory for new productions. Comparing the openings between the two theatre capitals over the next few months shows New York’s obsession with the Tony cut-off date and London’s apathy at pulling together a formal season to service one single award ceremony.

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Ran Tests to Make White Actors Look Asian Back in late 2015 when Scarlett Johansson was cast in Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks’ live-action adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s manga series The Ghost in the Shell, fans were already critical of the casting of the Danish-Polish actress in the role of Major Motoko Kusanagi, an Asian woman.

Augmented reality and virtual reality for events We’ve heard a lot of hype about immersive technologies, augmented reality and virtual reality.

There’s been plenty of scepticism but arguably 2015 saw many great examples from within the events industry. Rapid innovation looks set to continue with 2016 expected to bring many more advancements – the relevance to our industry is surely undoubted?

Willie Geist chats with Rory O’Malley, the new King George in ‘Hamilton’ While backstage at ‘Hamilton,’ Willie Geist hung out with Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr) and his old college classmate, Rory O’Malley, who just recently took over the role of King George III in the popular Broadway show.

‘Paramour’ Broadway Sales: Cirque du Soleil Show Debuts Strong

Variety: Can Cirque du Soleil sell on Broadway? Looks like it, at least judging from the one preview that new Cirque show “Paramour” has performed so far.

“Paramour” — the first outing from the Cirque du Soleil Theatrical division, and incorporating the troupe’s nouveau-circus spectacle into the structure of a more traditional musical-theater project — raked in $190,774 at the Broadway box office for the single show it played last week. Multiply that by an eight-show performance schedule, and that’s a weekly gross of $1.5 million.

Boy, this play shows why art shouldn’t just mirror middle-class, white lives

Dawn Foster | Global | The Guardian: At the Almeida Theatre in Islington, north London, last week, I had the rare opportunity to see a play that focused on a society that is rarely portrayed in high culture and is, in fact, more likely to be a subject of ridicule in lowbrow, sneering, reality TV shows. Boy, a new play by Leo Butler, follows Liam, a 17-year-old Neet (not in education, employment or training) for 24 hours as he wanders the capital, trying to find friends, connect with a family who have given up on him and with community services that communicate so differently from the way Liam does, it seems like they are speaking another language.

What is Suspension Trauma?

Mountain NEWs: We spend a lot of time training with our safety gear. After all, a product is only as good as the knowledgeable person using it. From donning a harness to establishing anchor points at height, our crews are always trained for heightened awareness when it comes to safety (and if you aren’t, what are you waiting for?). Along with knowing the proper use and handling of fall protection items on site, workers also need to be aware of the dangers that occur after an incident happens, and how to quickly act.

Big Changes Coming to ANSI A92 Standards

Genie Aerial Pros: Tier 4 final emissions standards have already driven large disruptions in aerial rental, but pending changes to the ANSI A92.X standards series* (which covers all North American aerials), be on the lookout for these standards to have an even greater impact in the years to come.

$1 Billion Warner Bros. World Under Construction Adjacent to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

InPark Magazine: Miral and Warner Bros. officially announced that a Warner Bros. themed destination is set to open in Abu Dhabi.

Situated on Yas Island, one of the world’s leading business, leisure and entertainment destinations, the development will include the only Warner Bros. branded hotel alongside the immersive theme park.

The first phase of the project, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, is set to open in 2018. Construction is underway and rides are in production.

'Hamilton' Is Getting Screwed Out of a Tony Award

Rolling Stone: This is a story about the most unlikely beef in rap history. When the Tony Award nominations are announced on May 3rd, honoring the best of the Broadway season, Hamilton is expected to dominate in every category. You know Hamilton, right? The groundbreaking hip-hop musical about our founding fathers? President Obama and Queen Beyoncé are both fans. And tickets are basically sold out until 2017. If the tea leaves prove correct, the Tony Awards could wind up feeling like one big infomercial for Hamilton. Which is pretty awesome! Except for the one person from Hamilton's creative team getting screwed out of a nomination, if not a win. Say hello to the show's sound designer, 49-year-old Nevin Steinberg.

Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Arts Festival announces lineup, new features

Blogh | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper: The festival’s 57th annual incarnation, June 3-12, will be broadly familiar: a Point State Park-based footprint, lots of bands, the artists’ market, large-scale outdoor public artworks, a juried visual-art show, festival food.

There’s even the welcome, lately near-annual tradition of a new show by performance-art rock-band faves Squonk Opera.

Why LinkedIn Is Changing The Way It Interacts With Students

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: LinkedIn has spent years trying to reel in students. Since 2014, it had an entire portal dedicated to helping students find universities, connect with other students, and even choose potential majors. Now the company is retooling the way it interacts with students.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

‘Hamilton’ and Lin-Manuel Miranda Among Pulitzer Prize Winners

WSJ: The accolades for “Hamilton” keep pouring in. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop-infused Broadway drama about Alexander Hamilton has won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The show has already won a Grammy for best musical theater album, plus multiple Drama Desk awards in 2015, when it was a hot off-Broadway production.

Hamilton’s Pulitzer Win Is an Even Bigger Deal Than It Seems

Vanity Fair: The much-heralded musical Hamilton just racked up another prize. After winning several critical awards, a Grammy, and, best of all, the glowing praise of Beyoncé herself, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play has picked up the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, beating out the likes of Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and The Humans by Stephen Karam.

Hamilton Wins 2016 Pulitzer Prize; Miranda Reacts

Playbill: Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical phenomenon that tells the story of “ten-dollar Founding Father without a father” Alexander Hamilton, was named winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

It joins an exclusive club of just eight other musicals that have won the prestigious award since it was founded nearly a century ago. The Pulitzer, which is awarded to “a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life,” includes a $10,000 cash prize.

‘Hamilton’ Wins 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

AMERICAN THEATRE: The Pulitzer committee announced the winners of the 100th annual Pulitzer Prizes at Columbia University on April 18. In the drama category, Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda received the top honor, along with a $10,000 cash prize. The finalists for the drama prize were Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and The Humans by Stephen Karam.

100th Anniversary Pulitzer Prizes Go to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’, Emily Nussbaum

Flavorwire: The big winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize — or at least the one that everyone will remember — is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. Otherwise, The New Yorker had a strong showing with three winners: Emily Nussbaum (Criticism), Katheryn Schulz (Feature Writing), and William Finnegan (Biography or Autobiography for Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life).

‘Hamilton’ Wins 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Backstage: As was widely anticipated, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Founding Fathers musical “Hamilton” took home one of theater’s top honors April 18.

Announced via livestream from Columbia University’s World Room, the Pulitzer Prizes for achievements in letters, drama, and music honored the best arts and culture of last year.

Pulitzer Winners 2016: ‘Hamilton’ Wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Variety: “Hamilton,” the Broadway smash that’s looked like an awards-season favorite from the moment it opened, has been awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Although it’s rare for a musical to the win the drama prize over plays, “Hamilton” had nonetheless looked like a lock for the Pulitzer, given its link to American history and the fresh, contemporary resonances it finds in the nation’s foundational moments.

'Hamilton' wins a Pulitzer Prize

Chicago Tribune: When "Hamilton" begins performances in Chicago on Sept. 27, it will do so as the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama.

The coronation of the hit Broadway musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda — announced Monday afternoon with the year's honors in arts, letters and journalism — is hardly a surprise.

Hamilton wins Pulitzer Prize in Drama 2016; The Humans, Gloria Finalists

New York Theater: Lin-Manuel Miranda has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for his musical “Hamilton.”

The choice was widely expected. In my first review of Hamilton, Off Broadway, I wrote “Hamilton” is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking new musical about the life and times of the Founding Father whose face is on the ten dollar bill.

Hamilton just won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and yes we wrote this headline in advance Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, it was just announced live at 3:10pm. We are able to get this news to you right away because we prewrote everything here except the exact time of the announcement.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’ wins Pulitzer for drama

New Pittsburgh Courier: “Hamilton,” the hip-hop stage biography of Alexander Hamilton, has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama, honoring creator Lin-Manuel Miranda for a dazzling musical has captured popular consciousness like few Broadway shows.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Hamilton' Wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Rolling Stone: Hamilton, Broadway's hip-hop-infused smash about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It became the ninth musical in the Pulitzer’s 100-year history to win this award after Next to Normal in 2010 and Rent in 1996.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Cirque du Soleil Cancels North Carolina Stops Over Anti-LGBT Law

Variety: Cirque du Soleil has joined the raft of entertainment-industry companies and individuals pressuring South Carolina to repeal recent legislation that is seen by many to be anti-LGBT, with the Canadian nouveau-circus troupe cancelling upcoming N.C. stops for two of its shows, “Ovo” and “Toruk.”

How to Use Excel: 12 Techniques for Power Users Excel is great, but trying to figure it out how to use Excel on your own can get you only so far because it isn’t intuitive. But if you use the techniques and tips in this tutorial, you’ll be able to get your work done faster and without a lot of stress.

Learn how to apply Excel formulas, calculations, filtering, data manipulation, workflow efficiencies, and more. Here are a dozen Excel techniques and features you need to know.

The Art of Failure

NEA: Everyone is familiar with the concept of failure. However bitter it may feel, failure can be a necessary step towards success. In the arts, without taking chances, artists risk not tapping into creativity that can potentially lead to great outcomes. NEA has spoken with many individual artists and art leaders in the past, from various art fields, on their relationship with failure as well as success (see our 2014 NEA Arts issue). Today, we’ve pieced together a few of their personal insights to remind you that maybe, failure isn’t so bitter after all.

Costumes and Makeup: Designing Temporary Body Modification

HowlRound: Every day we get up and get dressed. We may think for hours, days, and weeks on what to wear. For some of us this process begins with the buying of garments, and for others it is a no-brainer because our likes are clear and our needs are simple. We modify our look with what we wear. It is our armor. We use it to protect ourselves from the weather, to suit our mood, and to shield our psyche from the world. As a costume designer, I know this to be true. I use this process to discover the characters I am designing for the productions for which I am involved. However, how many of us have considered it to be a type of body modification? It is temporary, but it is also modifying. We are visually changing how we are seen.

Historians are criticizing Hamilton, and fans should be thrilled. In part thanks to this Q&A between Slate’s Rebecca Onion and Rutgers professor Lyra Monteiro, a conversation is finally brewing about how Hamilton, the brilliant musical phenomenon, approaches history, the factual record, and its real-life subjects. If, like me, you work in theater and spend a lot of time procrastinating on social media, you’ve probably seen many of your friends ranting about small-minded academic quislings fact-checking every minute of the show from their ivory towers.

‘Hamilton’ Producers and Actors Reach Deal on Sharing Profits

The New York Times: The producers of “Hamilton,” a show that could well make hundreds of millions of dollars, on Friday bowed to pressure and said they would share some of the musical’s profits with original cast members.

The deal, which was announced by a lawyer representing more than two dozen actors and dancers who were part of the show’s development and first productions, is a major victory for the cast and could have ripple effects in the theater industry, where the huge success of “Hamilton,” and the lack of profit-sharing, catalyzed a growing debate about actor compensation.

Who Comes for Fish? in Here Oceans Roar : An Amanuensis for the Ocean

HowlRound: Here Oceans Roar, the opera script that I’m in the midst of writing, had its inception in the silver salmon of the Salish Sea, and in the wheelhouses of women and men who fished off the West Coast of British Columbia during my summers on a salmon troller. In the writing of it, I’ve also drawn knowledge and sustenance from writers such as Melville and Coleridge, and from oceanographers and biologists, such as Anna Metaxis, Boris Worm, Kim Juniper, and Kate Morin.