CMU School of Drama

Friday, September 30, 2016

Simply Powerful

Stage Directions: Today’s CAD packages have—and this is perhaps an understatement—a lot of power beneath their proverbial hoods. An industry-standard drafting suite like Vectorworks or WYSIWYG costs thousands of dollars, not only in up-front costs but in ongoing update and maintenance fees. They also demand many hours in training or searching through forum posts or watching YouTube tutorials looking for the exact function one needs. The creators of Drafty decided this was unacceptable, and thus, Drafty was born.

Stage preview: One-legged dancer taps first starring role in CLO Cabaret's 'The Toxic Avenger'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Evan Ruggiero’s first audition for the Pittsburgh CLO ensemble earned a callback. He arrived ready to dance, but that wasn’t the hard part of the audition.

“I remember walking up to the choreographer and saying, ‘Just to give you a heads-up, I have one leg.’ ”

Mr. Ruggiero was used to being the center of attention, performing as a one-legged tap dancer in solo shows at Feinstein’s/​54 Below in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. For CLO, he was trying to win a job, surrounded by others who were trying to do the same.

Train the new film industry, and Sudbury will succeed: Expert Paul Bronfman, chair and CEO of William F. White International Inc., said he is pleasantly surprised by the success of the film industry in Sudbury and Northern Ontairo.

Bronfman was one of several keynote speakers at a training symposium at Northern Ontario Film Studio to offer behind-the-scene access to industry experts.

Stage reviews: 'Imaginarium' a grand escape; The Rep 'wigs out'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Finding the Imaginarium proved much easier than leaving it.

The elaborate escape-room challenge by Bricolage Productions and ScareHouse requires full-tilt brain power, a game-for-anything spirit and, for Pittsburghers, a trek to Harmarville, where a sprawling single-story building is clearly marked with “Enter the Imaginarium” signs.

11 twitter accounts you must follow if you are into project management

Medium: With close to 1.3 billion registered users, Twitter stands on top of the list when we talk about social media platforms. No matter who you are and whatever you do, you simply cannot ignore the fact that Twitter is place where you can find top influencers and industry leaders.

And, project management is no different. The biggest names and the smartest brains from the project management industry are part of the twitterati list. And, in this post I’m going to share the list of top 13 of those names you need to follow on Twitter if you are related to project management industry.

A Rose by any Other Name…

Stage Directions: In a field where personal satisfaction often out-weighs monetary payment a title can mean a lot. When I was hired for my last job I was officially called the “Production Assistant/Stage manager;” in reality I was assisting the production manager, shopping/buying for the shop, managing budgets, contracting crew, stage managing the Main Stage season, and working with the Second Stage stage manager. After I had been working for several months, and really started to understand the scope of the job, I had a meeting with my boss about changing my title.

2016 Women in Construction

Constructech: Today, women are proving they have what it takes to stand at the construction jobsite and lead large teams and projects, while also identifying ways technology can help deliver projects on time and on budget. However, the construction workforce is still lacking when it comes to women on the jobsite.

Educational Theatre Association Releases Most Popular High School Shows

Stage Directions: The Addams Family is the most popular musical in high schools across America, according to the Education Theatre Association. Their newest survey of the most popular shows in high school is full of expected titles: The Addams Family, Mary Poppins and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are the top three musicals; while Almost, Maine and A Midsummer Night’s Dream lead the plays division. But there are outliers as well. The third most popular play is the commedia dell’arte classic, Servant of Two Masters—perhaps influenced by the popularity of James Corden and his star turn in One Man Two Guvnors? Full list and all its surprises after the jump.

Concept Mapping for Designers of the Future

Cooper Journal: Recently, Cooper and the Speculative Futures group teamed up to conduct a joint workshop introducing designers to Concept Mapping Together, a collaboration protocol based on the work of Joseph D. Novak (see The Origin and Development of Concept Maps) and his fellow cognitive and educational researchers. The protocol is an adaptation of their methods oriented to design facilitation practice. Cooperista Kaycee Collins, Phil Balagtas, and I led the workshop with ten expert design facilitators to teach attendees the protocol and explore it’s powerful application to futures design.

‘Other People’ Hair, Makeup Team Transform Actress Into Cancer Patient

Variety: Makeup department head Elle Favorule had a particularly difficult challenge to deal with on Chris Kelly’s semi-autobiographical film “Other People,” starring Molly Shannon: how to believably transform Shannon into Joanne, a woman with end-stage cancer.

Don't judge — 'Tony n' Tina's Wedding' is a blast

Chicago Tribune: An Australian friend of mine used to edit the Down Under edition of "Rolling Stone." I was surprised to hear she had quit such a seemingly glamorous job, but she said that, one day, she had been pitched something on some newly hot musical genre — punk or ska or something — and realized that she had been there the last time it came around. Time to go, she decided. I thought — no cheers, please — that there was a reasonable chance that the reappearance in Chicago of "Tony n' Tina's Wedding" might be that moment for me.

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra goes on strike

Pittsburgh Business Times: Musicians from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra are now on strike, in response to a proposed 15 percent pay cut, pension freezes and reduction in the number of musicians.

Since February, musicians have been meeting regularly with the orchestra's management to reach a fair labor agreement, according to the Musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. On Friday, they established a picket line outside Heinz Hall, home of the orchestra, according to a release.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Diana Nelson Jones' Walkabout: Doors Open program gives access to unseen Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: If you have ever wanted to sit in the mayor’s chair without going to all the trouble of campaigning, you will have your chance soon.

Doors Open Pittsburgh debuts Saturday and Sunday with 40 Downtown sites in which people can go behind the scenes — into guest-only areas of hotels, members-only lounges in clubs, onto rooftops, architects’ offices and Mayor Bill Peduto’s office, to name a few.

A New Ruling in the SawStop vs. Bosch Lawsuit

Tools of the Trade | Manufacturers, Table Saws: A favorable court ruling should be giving SawStop some confidence in its ongoing patent dispute with Bosch concerning the sale of Bosch’s REAXX table saws, but it doesn’t mean that REAXX customers will be left in the sawdust.

On September 9, 2016, an Administrative Law Judge with the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) ordered that Bosch had violated the law under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1337) with its REAXX table saws after they were determined to infringe upon two SawStop U.S. patents.

Using EQ The Right Way

Pro Sound Web: Equalizers, by their nature and name, are supposed to redress imbalances in a sound system.

Unfortunately, equalizers, whether graphic, parametric, or shelving in nature, are only as good as the person using them. Knowing where to turn the knob or push the fader is usually a dark science, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Q&A With Pete Lynn | TDC Technical Project Manager, Media Servers

Live Design: Pete Lynn, technical project manager for media servers at Australian-based Technical Direction Company (TDC), has more than 20 years of experience in the live entertainment industry, specializing in design and operation of high-end technically complex live vision systems.

The rise of portfolios within college admissions

eCampus News: Learning Machine CEO Chris Jagers hosted a conversation about the growing role of portfolios during the college admissions process at the annual meeting of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Participants from MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, Maker Media, and Learning Machine Research presented findings, told stories, and answered questions from High School Counselors and College Admissions Officers about the role of portfolios within admissions, classrooms, and society at large.

So This is How You Destroy a Giant Robot With the new web series launched on Wednesday, MegaBots, Inc., the upstart engineering team building a 16-ft tall, 10-ton fighting mech to fight a giant Japanese piloted robot, we finally get to see what these mad mechatronic scientists been doing this past year.

After releasing a video in June 2015 challenging Suidobashi Heavy Industries' Kuratas to a fight, and then another asking Kickstarter backers for money in August 2015, not much info had come out of MegaBots' Oakland headquarters, now dubbed Fortress One.

Hierarchies of Power: Cisgender Playwrights and Trans Characters

HowlRound: When I begin writing a play, I’m usually writing about something I feel complicated about. There’s a heart in the center of the new play that’s torn. I don’t have the desire to write a play about something I know the answer to. So it makes perfect sense that my inclination for an article would also fall to a topic for which I don’t have a definitive answer. When I was asked to write for this series there were several topics that occurred to me, all them engaging and interesting—but the question of cisgendered playwrights writing trans characters kept calling to me. It’s a complicated topic that produces more questions for me than certainties.

Broadway Flea Market Raises Record Amount

Stage Directions: Broadway fans and theatre treasure seekers flocked to the 30th annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction, raising a record $782,081. The day long event took place Sunday, Sept. 25, and featured 68 tables, 73 Broadway stars, and more than 200 auction items. Fans added unique pieces to their own theatrical collections from the tables representing Broadway and Off-Broadway shows and the auction offered extravagant Broadway experiences, like a walk on role in Kinky Boots or tickets to the opening night of Hello Dolly! All proceeds will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Penn Elcom Launches Game-Changing Automatic Castors

Techie Talk: Penn Elcom Online launches a truly revolutionary new product – Automatic Castors – a neat and ingenious product … for which the flight case making sector has been waiting for years!
This is also a game changer for the brand that is renowned worldwide in the entertainment, leisure and production industry, for its flightcase components, and is available via Penn Elcom’s global online sales portal which went live earlier in the year and is proving a huge success.

Ministry of Evil: Designing a Demonic Sock Puppet

AMERICAN THEATRE: In Robert Askins’s Hand to God (the new season’s most-produced play), Satan appears to possess the sock puppet of a troubled teenage boy, wreaking hilarious havoc on a Texas church’s puppet ministry. Askins took inspiration from his own experiences with his youthful church’s puppet ministry. So did Mike Horner, artistic director of Paul Mesner Puppets, when he was hired by Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, Mo., to design puppets for their production of Hand to God, Sept. 7-Oct. 2. Below, Horner shares how he came up with the look for the demonic Tyrone.

‘Marvel’s Luke Cage’ Audio Crew Finds New York Sounds for Netflix Series

Variety: Back in November 2013, Marvel announced it was expanding its Netflix universe with four new series featuring the so-called Flawed Heroes of Hell’s Kitchen — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist — with the ambitious initiative culminating in an eight-episode miniseries, “The Defenders.” Since the characters live in New York City, Marvel further noted that Gotham would serve as the principal filming location for the entire package.

'Failed' Indiegogo film project was a troll all along

The Verge: Two years ago, FND Films, a Chicago-based comedy group, raised $77,900 on Indiegogo to produce a feature-length film, It’s All Good. It was the company's second time around on the crowdfunding service, after a successful $11,000 campaign to create the 40-minute short film, Punching. No real information was given about the movie, other than it being "an action-comedy starring Aaron Fronk, Vinny DeGaetano and Cooper Johnson that blends absurd humor with an intricate plot."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sound Designer Nevin Steinberg Podcast | : Broadway Musical Hamilton Sound Design

Theatre content from Live Design: In this podcast, leading Broadway sound designer Nevin Steinberg discusses his work on hit shows including Hamilton, Bright Star, The Full Monty, and Spamalot; why he doesn’t listen to the cast albums of his shows, the trials of redesigning theater sound for touring companies, coming trends in Broadway sound design, and his experiences working with such legendary artists as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mike Nichols, Steve Martin, and Edie Brickell.

2016 Pro Tool Innovation Awards: The Winners Each year, Pro Tool Reviews reviewers and judges put their hands on hundreds of tools between reviews, shootouts, trade shows, and media events. 2016 has been a HUGE year for innovation with improvements to existing tools and the introduction of products we never would have dreamed of ten years ago. Choosing the winners for the 2016 Pro Tool Innovation Awards was more difficult this year than it ever has been thanks to some incredible innovation and competition within some game-changing categories.

Kyocera DuraForce XD for T-Mobile

Pro Tool Reviews: There’s no doubt that I get excited about new and innovative tools. After all, if brands only redesigned the housing, there wouldn’t be a whole lot to talk about. What’s really changed is our need to carry technology on the jobsite. From our cell phones to tablets and laptops, it seems like we can hardly be left alone long enough to actually work! Hitting this technology sector of the industry is the new Kyocera DuraForce XD.

Growing the business within the confines of a small shop

The Fabricator: A lot of small shops focus on growth and attempt to expand at their own pace. When they start to see significant growth, many, like ours, realize that being a “small” shop is exactly what might be holding us back. Having the skill to grow is a whole different ballgame than having the space to grow.

We currently are experiencing these growing pains at our shop and have been for quite a while. Sometimes you just have to make it work with what you have.

Hit musical The Fantasticks makes its Pittsburgh Public Theater debut

NEXTpittsburgh: The iconic musical that premiered Off-Broadway in 1960 and ran continuously for a staggering 42 years is now making its Pittsburgh Public Theater debut.

Kicking off The Public’s 42nd season with a rousing new production, The Fantasticks runs from September 29 through October 30 at downtown’s O’Reilly Theater.

California Censors IMDB Because of Hollywood’s Alleged Ageism

Hit & Run : California Gov. Jerry Brown has only a couple of days left to decide whether he's going to sign or veto an important reform bill that would seriously reduce the ability of local law enforcement agencies to abuse the asset forfeiture process to seize and keep millions of dollars from citizens without having to prove they've committed a crime.

Reimagining the Seating Chart

Selling Out: You’ve probably had this experience: You’re about to buy tickets to a show, and you’re debating between, say, front balcony and rear orchestra. The rear orchestra costs more, but it’s worth it if the view is better. Only … will the view be better? How well can you see the stage from the rear orchestra at this particular venue? Would you have a better view from the front balcony, since you’d be raised above the crowd?

The Creative Commons, or “Commonly Creative”

HowlRound: Any playwright or other theatre artist ought to have some familiarity with the copyright law, not only to protect their own rights to their creative work, but also to understand what kind of work they can use created by somebody else—no one works in a vacuum. Artists are constantly riffing and expanding upon the images and ideas that they see and hear around them. But as a general matter of copyright law, only the person who creates the work has the right to copy and/or use it.

Can Performance Art Fight Climate Change?

Theater - The Stranger: On October 2, a civic-minded performance group called Coltura is holding a funeral for gasoline. Actors outfitted in white leotards will play "gasoline ghosts," ethereal beings addicted to Texas tea. During performances, the ghosts haunt gas stations, waft smog into their nostrils, carry around gas nozzles with severed hoses, and otherwise clown around with carbon. They remind us that our love of oil lasts long after our own deaths. For the funeral, they'll carry a casket from the Space Needle all the way to downtown.

Glue Wood Joints Together Without Any Clamps Using Super Glue Wood glue takes a while to set, and that can be a problem when you can’t use a clamp to hold the two pieces in place. For situations like that, a little super glue is all you need.

Acoustical Shells 101: Veneer’s Beauty is Skin Deep

J.R. Clancy: For an audience, attending a symphony concert blends auditory and visual stimuli. From the lobby’s décor to the performers’ attire, the entire experience engages the senses. The hall’s interior design also has a strong impact, which is a primary reason the acoustical shell deserves so much attention. When done well, an acoustical shell unites the stagehouse and audience chamber – both acoustically and visually.

Getting Specific: One Playwright’s Complicated Casting Choices

HowlRound: I’ve written and spoken a lot about being a Native American playwright. You can find my talk during the 2011 TCG National Conference about what it means to be “exotic” in theatre here. Or my previous HowlRound post on common issues writers of color face in the business here. Or my TCG Circle blog to non-Indigenous writers that want to tell Indigenous stories here. Unfortunately, an issue that just won’t go away for me is casting. In fact, it is getting worse, but not in ways I expected.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Don’t Sweat It, Rent It!

Remodeling: Maybe it’s because a power tool is in the repair shop.

Or an extra tool could help on a big new project.

Or you need project capability without a big upfront tool cost.

Today there are all sorts of good reasons why thousands of contractors routinely rent instead of buy the tools they need now.

Contractor or employee: What's the difference?

CBS News: Here’s a warning to small-business owners who routinely use contractors.

The owner of a home care services agency contracted with 35 workers to provide services to her customers. An IRS audit determined that the workers she paid were actually her employees, not independent contractors. The tax agency then demanded that she pay federal employment taxes, including the employer portion of Social Security taxes and federal unemployment tax.

If the IRS’s position holds, she would also be responsible for pay additional state unemployment taxes and workers’ compensation/disability premiums.

Dude, Where’s My Gear?

Pro Sound Web: As I waited patiently through dozens of random items donated for a local auction, the moment finally came… A box of microphones donated from a local music store.

The previous hour or so had been nerve-wracking. I didn’t dare leave my seat for fear that the mostly unorganized charity fund-raiser crew would decide to pull it up when I wasn’t looking.

Theatre History Podcast # 6: Diversifying the Classics with Barbara Fuchs

HowlRound: Spain’s Siglo de Oro, or Golden Age, was a period in which the country’s political and economic power contributed to a cultural flowering that included a vibrant and prolific theatre scene. However, only a few plays from this era get taught in college classrooms or produced onstage. Barbara Fuchs of UCLA is trying to change this with the Diversifying the Classics project, which aims to take previously overlooked plays and translate them for an English-speaking audience.

New California Law Attempts To Fight Hollywood Ageism By Censoring Third-Party Websites

Techdirt: Actress Junie Hoang may have lost her legal battle against IMDb for revealing her age, but the California Assembly is ensuring she'll win the war. Hoang sued IMDb for $1 million, claiming the publication of facts without her permission had resulted in her being a victim of Hollywood ageism. IMDb won the lawsuit, but Governor Jerry Brown has just signed a bill into law that will prevent sites like IMDb from publishing actors' ages.

Painting with Light at EAS

Techie Talk: Belgium based show, performance and visual design specialist Painting with Light exhibited for the first time at EAS, the Euro Attractions Show expo staged at the Fira Gran Via Convention Centre in Barcelona, Spain.

The Healthy Maker: Tackling Vapors, Fumes And Heavy Metals

Hackaday: Fearless makers are conquering ever more fields of engineering and science, finding out that curiosity and common sense is all it takes to tackle any DIY project. Great things can be accomplished, and nothing is rocket science. Except for rocket science of course, and we’re not afraid of that either. Soldering, welding, 3D printing, and the fine art of laminating composites are skills that cannot be unlearned once mastered. Unfortunately, neither can the long-term damage caused by fumes, toxic gasses and heavy metals.

Making a Pizza Box MIDI Controller with Conductive Paint The ever-clever John Edgar Park is at it again with a fun and fantastically well documented project for the Adafruit Circuit Playground microcontroller. At first, John tries creating a crude MIDI input device using the Playground and pennies connected to alligator-clipped wires to create capacitive touch buttons.

This huge inflatable duck terrorizing Scotland is a sure sign 2016 is the end

The Frisky: Humans have been predicting the end of the world since the very beginning of human consciousness, but a giant inflatable duck falling on a Scotland highway is probably one of the more simultaneously absurd and convincing prophetic gestures of The End Times™ to date.

Clay Paky Celebrates PLASA Award Win with Scenius Profile A few days from its 40th anniversary, Clay Paky won the Plasa Award for Innovation with the Scenius Profile. The judges stated that “this product’s innovation reaches from the lamp and reflector all the way through the optical path.” This is pretty much the acknowledgement Clay Paky’s technicians had hoped for after working enthusiastically to invent a fixture with superior light quality, with the contribution of Osram’s R&D department, which created the beautiful lamp used in the Scenius.

Cultural venues ask patrons to keep eyes on the show, security

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: If you notice something suspicious at a play, musical or concert Downtown, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust wants you to alert an usher or call 911.

The trust announced Monday that it has partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s nationwide awareness program “If You See Something, Say Something.”

Let’s Play ‘Underground Railroad Game’: A Lacerating Comedy on Race

The New York Times: Our “safe word” for today is “Sojourner.”

Those three syllables are the gift of Teacher Stuart and Teacher Caroline to their fifth-grade students in Hanover, Pa., to be used in moments of distress during an especially adventurous history project. “Sojourner,” boys and girls, is what you say when you find yourself way outside your comfort zone and need to take a break.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Saving the Paramount: Volunteers remove 880 seats in less than 3 hours With the threat of flood waters looming, more than 100 volunteers took less than three hours Sunday to remove 880 seats from the main floor of the grand old Paramount Theatre.

The landmark, which opened in 1928, is just a block from the Cedar River. It was inundated by the flood of 2008, which trashed the seats, the carpet, the walls and its signature Wurlitzer organ.

Making Sense of Cultural Equity

Createquity.: About us. By us. For us. Near us. It has been almost a century since the great W.E.B. Du Bois–one of the co-founders of the NAACP–offered this stirring call for what, today, we would call “cultural equity.” To say much has happened in those ninety years would be to oversimplify. Significant progress has been made. And yet for many, and on many levels, it is not enough. In a speech given just last year, Jeff Chang, executive director of Stanford’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts, exclaimed: “at a moment when…our images depict us as one happy rainbow nation, and yet the structures of power, including the national culture complex…is still overwhelmingly white, we begin to recognize that we have not yet achieved cultural equity.”

Adaptive Leadership

Stage Directions: If you work in a close-knit theatrical community, you can guess the director or choreographer of a show just by its staging. And despite creating environments in multiple time periods and locations, many designers also have ‘visual signatures.’ So do stage managers have a style that is apparent to other theatre artists even when the SM is not physically present?

New Drama Season Proves Laughter Is Best Medicine The School of Drama kicks off its 2016-2017 season with a mixture of old and new plays that reflect on gender politics and social systems through several distinct lenses.

“This year’s productions will use humor as a primary device to shed light on the human condition,” said Peter Cooke, head of the School of Drama. “From Irish politics to a feminist 17th century classic, these plays prove the adage that ‘laughter is the best medicine.’”

Is Stagefright Taught?

Music Teacher's Helper Blog Music Teacher's Helper Blog: Do teachers contribute to stagefright? Can we help students avoid it?

Stagefright seems to happen when performers focus too much on themselves–what people think, whether they’ll get through a tricky spot, whether some unforeseen problem will throw them off, whether they’re deserving of being out on stage.

It seems to me that when the focus is on the music, rather than the performer–when a performer has something musical he or she really wants to say–there’s much less of a chance for stagefright to take hold.

Next to Normal

Pittsburgh in the Round: Mental health is a tricky subject to approach in storytelling. Do you try to solve the depression of a character, and risk pulling all the weight out from under your story’s credibility? Do you try to define the core of a character’s mental illness, and risk simplifying the psychological and biological complexities of a common real world problem? Do you avoid diving into the issue out of fear, reducing an otherwise compelling spider web of head and heart to the dusty cobwebs of an unswept stage?

Staging Local, Staying Small

HowlRound: HowlRound contributors like Marshall Botvinick, Deborah Salem Smith, and Brianna Susan Smith have praised efforts to encourage local theatre that benefits a local economy. This is a way to engage a community and support a radius of artists who seek to be recognized for their work. For Medford-based Two Roads Performance Projects, staying local has always been important. Our mission is to support the creation of local art through site-specific performance and environmentally and historically-based dance and theatre. Recently, the intersection of local history and theatre has created a unique set of challenges for us to serve our community while asking far-reaching questions.

Two schoolgirls set on fire in school play horror as stage prop bursts into flames

Mirror Online: This horrific footage captured the moment two schoolgirls were set alight in the middle of a school play.

Their teacher has since been sacked for allowing a child to throw a lit candle into the cardboard prop that the two victims were hiding in.

The Tron Realm - Where Science-Fiction Meets Reality - Malaysia's No.1 Car Site: Shanghai Disney Resort and its alliance participant SAIC-General Motors today opened a new experience inside the park dubbed the Tron Realm, Chevrolet Digital Challenge. The new attraction is sponsored by Chevrolet and offers visitors a chance to be immersed in a highly imaginative and innovative world of technologically advanced marvels.

So you think I'm taking a break from theatre, do you?

Gail Tierney: A few days ago, I was planting shrubs alongside a new friend. We were asking polite questions to get to know each other, and my background in theatre naturally came up. He asked follow-up questions, and I shared my well-oiled monologue about how I’ve been doing theatre since I was a child and how I recently graduated from an intense conservatory program and how I’m now taking a break to define my artistic voice because my limited perspective as a young, privileged white woman doesn’t feel too relevant in 2016.

We Tell Ourselves Franchises in Order to Live

Filmmaker Magazine: Last weekend I took a trip to the Regal Union Square Stadium 14 and paid seventeen bucks to see Blair Witch. Based on the reviews, I was pretty certain that I wasn’t going to like it very much (spoiler alert: I was right). But still I felt compelled to hop the Q train and head into Manhattan to meet my friend at the multiplex.

What brought me out there?

Pittsburgh Musical Theater Welcomes New Conservatory Director

Pittsburgh Musical Theater | PRLog: Pittsburgh Musical Theater (PMT), a professional theater company and multi-disciplinary theater academy, welcomed Jennifer Lybarger as their new Conservatory Director.

Lybarger, who has been involved in PMT since 1992, celebrates 24 years with Pittsburgh's best theater program in the city. PMT is in its 25th year of operation, speaking volumes to the longevity of both Lybarger and the company.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

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

“Offend and Apologize” Doesn’t Benefit The Arts

Arts Integrity Initiative: In recent years, it’s been suggested that some companies and organizations have intentionally caused upset through a statement or product, only to quickly recant, for the express purpose of getting two press “hits” out of one incident, in the process demonstrating their responsiveness to their customers or the population at large. As a one-time publicist, admittedly in the lower-stakes world of not-for-profit theatre, I’ve never been entirely convinced that this is a valid or even calculated strategy, or that it benefits the “offender” in any way.

I Wrote That? Playwrights Look Back at Their Teenage Work

The New York Times: How mortifying would it be to page through the creative writing you did as a teenager? And then, years or even decades later, actually see it in print?

That’s what we recently asked a set of notable playwrights to do. The inspiration: A rare New York engagement of Shelagh Delaney’s 1958 kitchen-sink drama, “A Taste of Honey,” which she wrote when she was a mere 18. Not only had she never written a play before; she’d never seen one.

Three Simple Rules For Answering The Toughest Interview Questions

Fast Company | Business + Innovation: Let’s see if this scenario sounds familiar: You’re in the interview hot seat, but so far, you’re pretty sure you’re nailing it—until the hiring manager throws you a curveball. The dreaded "What’s your biggest weakness?" comes up. Or better yet, "Why are you leaving your current job?" We know you’re thinking of your favorite four-letter word.

Upcoming Changes to Forbes Avenue Revealed-Faculty & Staff News

Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon and PennDOT have rolled out an improvement plan for Forbes Avenue that will benefit pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transit riders traveling through the CMU campus.

The project, announced at a public meeting in late August, will transform the major Pittsburgh artery through the heart of the university into a calmer, more efficient and aesthetically appealing roadway, enhancing travel for everyone. The work also will help connect CMU’s main campus to the David. A. Tepper Quadrangle and other destinations to the north and west, as it will provide for a safer and easier commute across Forbes.

How Pittsburgh became America's most unlikely cultural capital When Pittsburgh was ranked the best US city for foodies by the respected Zagat restaurant guide last year, many were surprised.

Not so in the USA, where the city in the heart of Pennsylvania once known as Steel City has become not just a culinary and micro brewery hub but a centre for the arts as well.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Theatre in the Age of Climate Change: An Educator’s View

HowlRound: A group of students is folding recycled paper aeroplanes. When ready, they hoist their planes high, a cloud of bright wings and tail fins. I ask them to make eye contact with another student, launch their plane, and make a swap. Hilarity erupts as some planes go off course in crazy circuits, but everyone participates and every pair completes the task.

Now a different instruction: “Throw your plane as high in the air as you can.” When the planes are aloft, I add: “Collect as many planes as you can! The person with most planes wins!” There is a moment’s hesitation, then the grabbing begins.

Prolyte Campus blog: Stick to the nodes – Part 2

Prolyte: There are some different points of view on node points in our business. This is caused by the fact that welding in aluminium alloys causes a weakened area in the material in and around that weld, known as the HAZ (heat affected zone). We know that almost all trusses do have a multitude of welding positions that will meet in node points and can be heavily present in the connection part areas.

“Offend and Apologize” Doesn’t Benefit The Arts

Arts Integrity Initiative: In recent years, it’s been suggested that some companies and organizations have intentionally caused upset through a statement or product, only to quickly recant, for the express purpose of getting two press “hits” out of one incident, in the process demonstrating their responsiveness to their customers or the population at large. As a one-time publicist, admittedly in the lower-stakes world of not-for-profit theatre, I’ve never been entirely convinced that this is a valid or even calculated strategy, or that it benefits the “offender” in any way.

How Pittsburgh became America's most unlikely cultural capital When Pittsburgh was ranked the best US city for foodies by the respected Zagat restaurant guide last year, many were surprised.

Not so in the USA, where the city in the heart of Pennsylvania once known as Steel City has become not just a culinary and micro brewery hub but a centre for the arts as well.

How “N*W*C” Became Drama Non Grata On A California State Campus

Arts Integrity Initiative: To start at the end, or at least where we are today: Michele Roberge, executive director of the Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the campus of California State University, has resigned, effective yesterday. Why? Because the school’s president, Jane Close Conoley, insisted upon the cancelation of Roberge’s booking of the comedy N*gger Wetb*ck Ch*nk, a show that has toured extensively for more than a decade to performing arts centers on and off college campuses. In fact, it played to a sold out house of more than 1,000 seats last year at the Carpenter Center. When Conoley raised a red flag earlier this year, Roberge made it known that if Conoley forced the cancelation, she would resign on principle. And so when the axe fell, she did.

Roots and All

TheaterJones: If you saw Trinity Shakespeare Festival’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Texas Christian University in June, and Lyric Stage’s full-orchestra revival of Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot at the Irving Arts Center in September, you might have noticed a major similarity in their set design: a visually stunning tree with myriad roots and branches twisting in every direction.

It was, in fact, the same tree in both productions, designed by busy designer Bob Lavallee, the scenic designer for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is made with a wood structure with different sizes of Sonotube, a form for concrete, used for the coiling effect around the roots, trunk and branches.

When A Tree Falls in Athens and Rises in Camelot, Whose Design Is It Anyway?

Arts Integrity Initiative: There’s a very large tree that has been traveling around the Dallas-Fort Worth region in Texas. There’s no need to worry, as the tree hasn’t acquired independent mobility and become sentient, but rather, it has made major appearances in two theatrical productions in the area in a short span of time. Designed originally by Bob Lavallee for the Trinity Shakespeare Festival production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Texas Christian University, it just finished a run center stage in Camelot at Lyric Stage.