CMU School of Drama

Friday, December 30, 2016

Theater books of 2016 to read in 2017

New York Theater: Below is a list of theater books published in 2016 (or reissued in paperback this year, or just books I couldn’t resist listing.) I reviewed some of these books or interviewed the authors. But a few are on my own 2017 reading list.

Let Them Kiss: On Same-Sex Romances in Media

The Mary Sue: We’ll never be satisfied. We want queer representation, but when we get it, it’s not good enough. We’re always looking for something to be upset about. We keep nitpicking. Even when it’s good, we complain there’s not enough of it. If they kiss, we say it’s sexualizing the characters too much, perhaps even objectifying them. If they don’t kiss, it’s queer-baiting. Why even bother including a queer romance if people will only complain about it? It’ll never be perfect, after all.

Meet the Amazing Male Ballerinas Dancing En Pointe in Drag

The Creators Project: The pain and prestige of performing en pointe is usually reserved for female ballet dancers, but all-male dance troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (known as The Trocks, for short) have braved the bruises and blisters of pointe shoes for more than 40 years. Dancing on their toes since 1974, The Trocks perform playful, entertaining parodies of classical ballet en travesti, a theatrical term for dressing as the opposite sex.

Top Ten 2016 L.A. Theatre Productions

The Huffington Post: In alphabetical order, here are the top theatrical productions seen in Los Angeles this year, where despite Actors Equity demanding a higher pay structure that will decimate many smaller theatres, the work goes on, not so much for the profit of the artists but for the profit of the audience.

Theatre: A Counterweight for Heavy Times

AMERICAN THEATRE: Last June I sat among a packed house at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in D.C. for a preview of Mike Daisey’s The Trump Card, another of his funny, angry, discursive monologues about politics and personality. It was still more than a month before the Republican convention, and many months before the general election—in other words, a dewy, halcyon age that now feels like a lifetime ago—and an audience full of presumably left-of-center theatre folks, in town for the annual Theatre Communications Group conference, laughed nervously, but maybe not nervously enough, at Daisey’s ingratiating opener: “You, my friends, are fucked.”

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A New Day for Gay Plays?

The New York Times: No one would argue that gay men and women continue to face the kind of discrimination they did back in 1968, when Mart Crowley’s “The Boys in the Band” cracked open the closet door onstage, shining a stark light on what was then a topic rarely explored in popular culture.

Mr. Crowley’s was the first play explicitly about gay men’s experience to break through to the mainstream, logging more than 1,000 performances Off Broadway, racking up mostly positive reviews in major outlets, being published in a mass-market edition and eventually becoming a film.

The Best Sights from 2016’s Technology Trade Shows

Machine Design: Every year we kick off the show schedule with the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Expo in Anaheim, Calif. The show is a large production because it occurs simultaneously with West PACK, Plastic West, MD&M West, Automation Technology West, and Electronics West, so there is plenty of new tech to see. One of the coolest products that caught my eye was 3D hologram display from ANSYS.

Stage review: Rocky Bleier is in the zone with 'The Play'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “If you live the life,” Rocky Bleier tells us, “you can’t escape the stories.” He’s talking about his Steelers roommate, the ferocious Jack Lambert, but it’s his story we’ve come to hear, and it’s a heck of a yarn.

The son of a bar owner from Appleton, Wis., who went on to be a Notre Dame football captain, a Vietnam wounded warrior and a 1,000-yard rusher during the Steelers’ 1970s dynasty years, has enough stories for several lifetimes, actually, and certainly enough to fill 90 compelling minutes.

Carey Mulligan Wants to Spread Awareness About Dementia

The Mary Sue: Anyone who’s seen their loved ones suffer from dementia know how painful and devastating those symptoms can be, something Carey Mulligan recently opened up about to start a larger dialogue of awareness and understanding.

As a guest host on BBC Radio 4‘s Best of Today, Mulligan talked about her 91-year-old grandma Nans, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. The actress described family visits to her grandma’s assisted living home in Wales and how they can be both heartbreaking and “magical,” especially when they share music her grandma taught her as a child.

Lin-Manuel Miranda named AP Entertainer of the year

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Winning a Pulitzer Prize and a clutch of Tony Awards in a single year would be enough for anyone. Not Lin-Manuel Miranda. Not in 2016.

The “Hamilton” writer-composer picked up those honors and also earned a Golden Globe nomination, won the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, wrote music for a top movie, and inspired a best-selling book, a best-selling album of “Hamilton” covers and a popular PBS documentary.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Podcast Episode 104 - Tony Award winning Director/Choreographer Jerry Mitchell

The Producer's Perspective: I first met Jerry Mitchell in 1993. He was throwing some tires around on stage as the Associate Choreographer of the Weissler revival of Grease and I was the PA.

I didn’t know much, back then. But I do remember thinking . . . “I don’t know who this tall dancin’ drink of H20 is, but the musical theater world certainly will soon enough.”

Soon after Grease, Jerry went on to choreograph some of the most joyous musicals of the last few decades, including Hairspray, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten before taking his seat in the Director’s chair, as the Captain of Legally Blonde, On Your Feet!, and everybody say yeah . . . Kinky Boots.

Jerry’s work, like his personality, is filled with such a positive, infectious energy. It’s hard not to have a big grin on your face when you’re watching his work . . . or when you’re interviewing him for a podcast.

7 Great Drawing and Sketching Apps That Turn Anyone Into an Artist

fieldguide.gizmodo.com: Music production isn’t the only area in which smartphones and tablets can help those with no experience (or talent) push out something slick and professional. Here are the best apps for creating eye-catching works of art, whether or not you’ve ever put digital pen (or paintbrush) to virtual paper before.

Interview with playwright and director Stuart Fail, author of ‘Consider the Lilies’

AXS: Stuart Fail is a playwright and director with an incredible resume. His most recent play, “Consider the Lilies,” stars Austin Pendleton who has worked on A-list movies such as “Finding Nemo”, “Finding Dory” and “A Beautiful Mind” as well as on famous Broadway productions including “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Diary of Anne Frank” and “Grand Hotel”. Moreover, Stuart is a founding member of House Red Theatre Company. “Consider the Lilies” focuses on a lonely alcoholic painter named Paul who fears getting old and engages in reckless behavior in order to feel young. David, a younger man, is both Paul’s actor-turned-agent and dearest friend who strives to help Paul combat his demons.

The most controversial part of 'Rogue One' has finally been explained

Business Insider: As "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" continues to dominate the box office, more and more people are getting in on the conversation about one of the movie's characters.

Grand Moff Tarkin, the commander of the Death Star and one of the prominent villains in 1977's "Star Wars: A New Hope," is brought back to the screen in "Rogue One," thanks to advances in motion capture.

Standing Up for Playwrights and Against ‘Colorblind’ Casting

AMERICAN THEATRE: Last November, we witnessed two troubling examples of university productions disrespecting a playwright’s intent in regard to casting. Clarion University in Pennsylvania had to cancel their production of Lloyd Suh’s Jesus in India after neglecting to inform the playwright that they had cast white students in roles written for South Asian actors. This news came on the heels of Katori Hall’s eloquent objection to a production at Kent State of The Mountaintop that featured a white actor playing Martin Luther King Jr. Diep Tran’s article on AmericanTheatre.org (“On the Rights of Playwrights and White Tears”) provides further context to events that have ignited both productive debate and reprehensible personal attacks.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Four centuries of eyewear design go on display at Design Museum Holon

www.dezeen.com: Inuit snow goggles, opera glasses disguised as ladies' handheld fans and experimental sunglass designs from the 1960s feature among a trove of historical eyewear that has gone on display at Design Museum Holon.

The glasses belongs to a single collector, Claude Samuel, the son of a former eyewear designer for French fashion brand Pierre Cardin.

Good Wood Makes a Stradivarius Sing

gizmodo.com: Stradivarius stringed instruments—the finely constructed, highly sought after multi-million dollar wood boxes* crafted in the 17th and 18th century by Italian luthier Antoni Stradivari—are a bit of a mystery to modern day observers. Despite their quality, nobody quite knows what makes them so superior.

An Oral History of Steppenwolf’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’

AMERICAN THEATRE: The journey of bringing the theatrical production The Grapes of Wrath to the stage in many ways mirrored the Joads’ struggles at the heart of the original story. When the Steppenwolf ensemble set out to realize this conquest, they could not possibly have surmised the enormity of the task that they had laid out for themselves, or the shared devotion that it would take to move this play through a lengthy development process from the original run in Chicago to the eventual triumph on Broadway.

New head appointed for Pittsburgh film and arts center

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Germaine Williams, a senior program officer for arts and culture with the Pittsburgh Foundation, is the new chief executive officer of Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Mr. Williams, 43, takes over the nonprofit on Jan. 23. He will oversee an organization with a $4 million annual budget, fewer than 30 full-time employees and many part-time workers and adjunct teachers. It operates a film school in Oakland, an arts center and gift shop in Shadyside and also screens films at the Regent Square Theater, the Downtown Harris Theater and the Melwood Screening Room in Oakland.

A Springfield music venue, The Drop, gets a second visit from fire marshals

www.news-leader.com: Concert promoter Johan Collins — who books music acts for a downtown music venue, The Drop — admits his mistake.

"We were really just idiots," he said.

On Thursday night, Collins and fellow concert organizers violated city fire code — again.

Assistant Fire Chief Randy Villines, who oversees Springfield's fire marshals, said The Drop attempted to put on a concert in an "unapproved" warehouse space at the rear of the building where it is located, 405-407 N. Boonville Ave.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Is the Ticket Price Right?

AMERICAN THEATRE: As a college student studying theatre in the early 1980s, I frequently paid 50 cents to take PATH to New York, stand on line at the TKTS booth in Duffy Square, and pay $12.50 to see a Broadway show. (A regular ticket was $25.) Venturing into midtown Manhattan during the Reagan presidency was an adventure, as you had to make your way through homeless people living in the street and avoid eye contact with the ladies of the night. Half the Broadway theatres were dark and shuttered. Tickets were relatively inexpensive, so young artists and enthusiasts had easy access to plays, which also served as an extended classroom for emerging artists.

Cubstock 2016

PLSN: When the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series, defeating the American League’s Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game 7’s 10 innings, including a late rain delay, it marked the end of an epic era. The Cubs had not won the World Series since 1908 and the City of Chicago was prepared to celebrate the historic win, they just may not have expected it to have truly historic attendance.

Seeing Film Scenes Side-By-Side with the Original Storyboard Drawings Is So Cool

sploid.gizmodo.com: In these wonderful videos by Glass Distortion, you get to see the creative process of filmmaking: you can read what was written in the script, peek at what was imagined in the storyboards, and see the finished scene that was filmed for the movie. It’s the whole sausage making of turning words on a page into visual art laid out right in front of you.

Watch Saturday Night Live Quickly Break Down the Cold Open Set for the Monologue

sploid.gizmodo.com: Broadcasting TV shows live seems like a crazy idea that no one should actually do, because it’s basically a punishing race against the clock.

Just check out this set change on Saturday Night Live, there are so many hands working on transforming the cold open set into the monologue, and they still barely get it done in time.

Trailers that sell the live theatre sizzle. DC Theatre Scene's picks for best video trailers

DC Theatre Scene: Turning a stage show into an enticing video is an art. There are three trailers which I think are among this year’s most outstanding. And, best of all, if they happen to convince you to see the show, tickets are still available.

Companies may hire outside firms to create their all-important show trailers or have the talent within their own staff to manage them.

Before we look at this year’s best, let’s find out how they are produced.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Kitchen Theatre: Space for Grief, Community, and Activism

HowlRound: Motivated by my interest in non-traditional theatre’s potential to mobilize social action, I was led to attend Aglio e Olio: a performance categorized by its creators as “kitchen theatre.” The event was invite-only—which I acquired through recommendation from a friend—and took place in the director’s home kitchen. Conceived to give creative, communal space for the writer/performer’s grief over the loss of her father, the invitation gives scant detail beyond the promise of a “multi-sensory experience.” Although the play itself tends closely to its focus on the interrelatedness of food, family, and loss, I found the ingenuity of Aglio e Olio’s approach applicable to challenges many modern activists are facing.

Natasha, Pierre ... leads top 10 favorite 2016 shows from Broadway, Off-Broadway and NY Fringe

DC Theatre Scene: My list of ten favorite shows on New York stages in 2016 reflect two unmistakable trends – the use of the stage to present important current issues facing the country, and shows that innovate in artistic form.

If these seem like very different trends, an argument can be made that they are both in reaction to this surreal election year.

Some shows that fit the bill of socially conscious or artistically innovative, or both, aren’t on this list, simply because they weren’t my favorite. The most obvious example is Richard Nelson’s trilogy “The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family,” which was admirable in many ways, but which didn’t hold me the way his earlier, similar trilogy about the Apple family had.

AutoCAD 2017 PDF Import Conversion Explained

blogs.autodesk.com: Do you ever find yourself asking “When can I stop buying third-party applications for tools that should be native to AutoCAD?” I’ve been asking that about converting PDF to DWG for years! Well, my friends, Autodesk has finally answered that question with the release of AutoCAD 2017. It’s true!

Baz Luhrmann’s Career Advice? Label Your Toiletries

GQ: My office is in the dressing room. There are always a lot of people with me when I'm getting ready, and we're having meetings while I dress. That's when I'm solving ideas or having creative thoughts. The dressing process has to allow for that, for the story or whatever is happening, so that I can be absorbed in it. So, jeans are in one area, shirts are in another. It's not like I have a bunch of clothes higgledy-piggledy.

Bridgeport Firm Builds Stellar Sets For Broadway Shows, Victoria's Secret

Bridgeport Daily Voice: A Bridgeport construction firm embraces its slogan "All The World's A Stage," building everything from a grand staircase for Broadway's "Nice Work If You Can Get It" to the catwalks for the "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" to Captain Hook's Jolly Roger pirate ship on "Peter Pan Live!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Fatality inquiry into 2009 Big Valley Jamboree death says standards needed for stages

Globalnews.ca: A fatality inquiry into the death of a spectator at an Alberta country music festival is recommending national design standards for temporary stages.

The inquiry report released Monday detailed how Donna Moore was crushed by heavy speakers when high winds caused the stage to collapse at the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose on Aug. 1, 2009.

Gaming and the Future of Dramaturgy: Goethe's "Faust" as an Immersive and Interactive Experience

The Theatre Times: My first job, as a web designer out of college, was at Time Magazine in 1995. That was the year when Time Magazine started Time.com, and they were looking for a new media designer, who would convert their publishing content into digital content. It was a different time back then; the internet era had begun, but web content was generated as if it were a print magazine: we had a weekly update, as Time Magazine was a weekly magazine. My main job was to make a fancy website of the print magazine covers whenever the new cover was released. I did that for two years; those were the “dot-com days”. But back then I wanted more interaction and I found video games very suitable for that. It was more like communication, a bi-directional medium because the game you create doesn’t end unless the player plays it. It was the form of media that I wanted to create: video games seem to be pure.

Everything We Know About Whether and How the Arts Improve Lives

Createquity.: The platitudes are on the lips of every arts supporter, ready to be recalled at the first sign of a public hearing or potential funding cut. “The arts are essential – a necessity, not a luxury.” “The arts help kids learn.” “The arts are the foundation of the knowledge economy.” It feels good to say those things, especially if you’re someone who has spent a life in the arts. But are they actually true? Are we pulling a fast one on ourselves and our audience by saying them? Or are we doing a service to the world by spreading the good news?

top 10 restaurant interiors 2016

www.designboom.com: the influence of interior design on the realm of story and context is more important now than ever. as well as the culinary experience, a picture worthy interior to post on social media is one of the appealing factors that draw food-enthusiasts to eat and dine at a restaurant. throughout this year, a host of diverse establishments have opened across the world marrying food and design. from a gluten-free café to tattooed japanese restaurant, we’ve compiled a list of the most interesting restaurant settings that caught our eye in 2016.

A Theatre Critic’s Critique

www.wengercorp.com: What role do theatre critics play in the performing arts today? To delve into that question, we caught up with veteran theatre critic Jonathan Mandell via email regarding his thought-provoking article “Are Theatre Critics Critical? An Update”.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Broadway A Capella In Transit

Theatre content from Live Design: Broadway's first a cappella musical, In Transit, is currently running at the Circle in the Square Theatre, with sets by Donyale Werle, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Ken Travis, projections by Caite Hevner, and costumes by Clint Ramos. Variety calls Werle's "witty" New York City subway platform set "an ideal fit for the Circle in the Square configuration."

Showlight 2017: The Ideal Holiday Gift

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: With Showlight 2017 only six months away, plans and preparations are well underway for the next instalment of this industry-favorite lighting quadrennial which takes place May 20 - 23 in Florence, Italy.

THR talks animation with only white men

Fusion: Animation is a notoriously male-dominated field. That’s not an opinion—it’s a fact. In the early days of Disney, women were outright barred from what the company called “the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen” and relegated to the ink and paint department. While women are gaining steady ground in animation programs, as of last year, only 21% of working members of the Animation Guild—the key union for animation artists—were women. And you hardly need statistics to know the field is heavily white. Just look at the history of damaging ethnic caricatures that animation has given us over the years.

Animation Roundtable: Seth Rogen and 6 More on Avoiding Ethnic Stereotypes and How to "Break the Mold" of Princesses

Hollywood Reporter: "What are you doing here?" veteran animator John Musker jokingly asked Seth Rogen as the masterminds behind some of this year's eclectic lineup of animated features began to assemble at the Line 204 stages in Hollywood to talk shop. Not that anyone resented Rogen's presence, since Sony's saucy Sausage Party, on which he served as a writer, producer and voice actor, added some unusual R-rated spice to the mix. "That taco was amazing," laughed Mike Mitchell, 46, director of DreamWorks Animation's Trolls, as the group welcomed Rogen, 34, to their unique fraternity: filmmakers who can spend five years or more, sweating thousands of tiny details, to bring their visually inventive movies to the screen.

Tracy Letts Interview: How He Was Bested By Hollywood—Then Beat It

IndieWire: “The guy is a god. If you have any interest in American theater, you know this guy. You know and fear him.”

These are the first words director James Schamus had to say when asked for his thoughts on Tracy Letts. Indeed, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Tony Award-winning actor is a legend of the stage, but only recently has he broken into film and television — as an actor. His latest role is on the HBO series, “Divorce,” and it’s a part that was only supposed to last one episode.

“I died in the pilot,” Letts bluntly put it, when IndieWire spoke with him in his Chicago home.

Monday, December 19, 2016

“Lungs” at Off The Wall Productions at Carnegie Stage

The Pittsburgh Tatler: What’s the best way any given individual can take action to mitigate climate change? Recycle? Drive an electric car? Buy energy efficient appliances? Insulate and use less heating and cooling? Stop flying? Buy organic and local? Use public transportation? Pee in the shower and turn off the faucet while brushing teeth?

Eco-virtuous as all those actions may be, their net effect, even multiplied across the many billions of people living with the resources to make those choices, would be virtually nil compared to the one choice that would truly make a difference if taken collectively by a majority of inhabitants of the Earth: not having a child

Time Out theater critic Adam Feldman chooses his top ten shows of 2016

www.timeout.com: Looking back at the end of the theater year is always an interesting process: Some shows that made a strong first impression on me have faded somewhat with time; others have grown. Without further ado, here are my choices for the best of 2016.

Welcome to the Jubilee

HowlRound: We can envision a near future in which all American Theatre seasons are overflowing with works written and directed by women.

We can conceive of the myriad outstanding plays by people of color and Native artists being produced nationwide.

We can foresee LBGTQIA creators hired to write, direct, and choreograph in every theatre in the United States of America.

We can anticipate artists with disabilities in every role the theatre has to offer, onstage and off.

Touring with Stage Automation

Stage Directions: Most of us have been to or worked on shows with stage automation. We’ve all seen it become more commonplace and more complicated—hoists, tracking platforms, revolving stages, synchronized curtains and wall reveals. We are all aware of the planning and build time that goes into these effects, and the time needed for programming, for making small mechanical tweaks, and ensuring it all works smoothly and safely with the rest of the show.

But what about traveling with stage automation?

Has TED Really Taught Companies to Be Better Storytellers?

Inc.com: Imagine you had just 18 minutes to rally a team of 150 burned-out employees to stand behind your company¹s new mission. Or convince a dream client to hire your firm to handle their biggest campaign of the year.

The best TED presenters have tapped into the power of storytelling to do far more in their 18 minutes in the spotlight. We've watched them change our minds, open our hearts, and­ even alter our behavior.

So why isn¹t every corporate and nonprofit executive using storytelling in a strategic way to inspire their troops, convince skeptics, and move their agendas forward?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Gypsy of the Year Raises $4,492,636

Stage Directions: The 28th annual Gypsy of the Year competition (#GypsyOfTheYear) — which celebrated six weeks of dedicated fundraising from 55 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies — raised $4,492,636 for Broadway Cares. The grand total was announced Tuesday by Tony Award winners Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) and Jessie Mueller (Waitress) and Hamilton star Javier Muñoz following two incredible days of performances. Erivo, Mueller and Muñoz also presented the awards to the top fundraisers and best performances across the two afternoons.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

How 3D Sound Makes Virtual Reality More Real

The Creators Project: Attend a virtual reality meetup or conference and the discussion will eventually turn to developing better 3D spatial sound for VR experiences. The New York Times’ VR journalism platform, NYTVR, recently upped the ante (for iOS, Android and Google’s VR platform Daydream) when Tribeca-based Q Department Studio, creators of a VR and augmented reality spatial sound system called Mach1, teamed up with Secret Location—makers of the VR content management system, VUSR—to help bring virtual sound up to speed with visuals.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Theatre Bay Area Announces 2016 TBA Awards Recipients

Stage Directions: Theatre Bay Area celebrated theatre and its practitioners at the 2016 TBA Awards Monday, Dec. 5 at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater. This year, 75 awards were given to recipients out of a pool of over 372 finalists, generated by over 300 adjudicators who cast ballots for over 281 productions at 96 companies across three tiers based on operating budget and use of Actors’ Equity Association (union) talent. Complete list of the winners is after the jump.

Photo Gallery: Frozen – Live At The Hyperion

Live Design: Frozen, the Oscar-winning 2013 Disney animated megahit film about finding love and finding oneself amidst a tale of sisterly bonding and sacrifice, has opened at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim as a musical stage adaptation, Frozen – Live At The Hyperion. The movie has proven so popular, in fact, that it is also being transformed into a Broadway musical scheduled to open in the spring of 2018. Though unrelated to the Broadway show, the Disney California Adventure production brings with it a Broadway pedigree, from 2016 Tony Award-nominated director (for Eclipsed) Liesl Tommy to four-time Tony-nominated script adaptor Chad Beguelin, and designers with their own collection of Broadway credits, awards, and nominations.

PMT sings into the New Hazlett with 'A Lyrical Christmas Carol'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: More than 1,000 alumni of Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s "A Lyrical Christmas Carol" have been invited to join in a singing reunion during the Saturday show at the New Hazlett Theater.

"A Lyrical Christmas Carol" was adapted by Ken and Jane Gargaro in 1991 for PMT’s conservatory company, and it has continued each year since, with the exception of 2002.

Photo Gallery: 5Qs | Durham Marenghi, Lighting Designer

Live Design: Durham Marenghi, lighting designer for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies at Maracanã Stadium, started his career at the tender age of 14 while playing Oberon, king of the fairies, much to the amusement of the theatre’s technical staff. Rather than acting, he chose to pursue lighting design. During his first year at university, he built a lighting console for the local theatre, which he eventually joined. He then spent some time on tour with the Sex Pistols, working his way up the lighting ladder.

Makita 18V LXT Sub-Compact Combo Kit Review

Pro Tool Reviews: The Makita 18V LXT Sub-Compact Combo Kit is making us rethink the natural order of things when it comes to cordless power tools. Until now, there has always been a clear delineation between 18-volt and 12-volt tools. 18-volt tools have the most power and were built for heavy-duty applications while 12-volt tools are lightweight, compact, and can handle roughly 80 percent of your daily tasks.

Photo Gallery: Desert Trip Festival

Live Design: Desert Trip took place over two weekends in October, bringing together six epic rock ‘n’ roll acts in one festival setting at Empire Polo Club in Indio, California: ​The Rolling Stones, ​Bob Dylan and His Band​, Paul McCartney​, ​Neil Young + Promise of the Real​, ​Roger Waters, and The Who​.

Cold-Weather Tool Tips

Remodeling | Tools and Equipment, Remodeling, Business, Live-Work, Jobsite Equipment, Building Envelope, Waterproofing: I usually try to plan my work according to the weather; I like working outside when it's sunny and warm and inside when it's cold. But I live and work in a cold climate, so my plan usually doesn't pan out. Here in South Dakota, temperatures may peak at 5 degrees on a winter day.

As everyone who lives with cold weather knows, tools and equipment don't work the same when temperatures drop. Electric cords crack and break, electric motors frost over when moved from warm to cold spaces or vice versa, gas or diesel motors won't start, and batteries go dead. The list goes on and on.

Kevin McMahon looks ahead after 15 years as leader of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Just before Thanksgiving and without fanfare, Kevin McMahon re-enlisted as president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

The invitation came during a quarterly board meeting, with Mr. McMahon nearing the end of a five-year contract and 15 years since he succeeded Carol Brown as one of the most powerful people in Pittsburgh arts.

He described it as a simple matter of the board asking him to stay on for another five years, “And I said yes.”

WaterTower Theatre Names Joanie Schultz Artistic Director

AMERICAN THEATRE: WaterTower Theatre has named Joanie Schultz as its artistic director. She will begin her new post Jan. 1, 2017, succeeding Terry Martin, who resigned in May. Director of development and marketing Gregory Patterson was also promoted to the position of managing director.

Get a Job in Any Field, No Matter What You Major In

www.lifehack.org: Are you getting flack from your parents, wondering why, if you majored in biochemistry, you’re slaving away at a non-profit or working at a start-up that isn’t starting up so well? Are you drifting further and further away from the career you thought you’d walk into after finishing your liberal arts education?

First of all, you’re not alone. Very few people end up working in fields related to their undergraduate major. Even if you were pre-med, it’s not a sign of failure that you didn’t go to med school or become a doctor. It’s becoming increasingly less of a stigma to switch careers and try things until we land on the career that we find most meaningful.

Inside LA STAGE History: Padua Hills Theatre and Las Posadas

@ This Stage: In December 1949, just one week before Christmas vacation, the fifth grade classes of Eastmont Elementary in Montebello were given a special treat: a field trip to the hills of Claremont to witness the annual Spanish-language performance of Las Posadas, performed by The Mexican Players at the Padua Hills Theatre. To hopefully clarify this adventure to her students, teacher Mrs. Rice called upon the one Spanish name in her class. “Julio, would you like to tell the class what Las Posadas is about?” 11-year-old Julio Martinez Jr., not long out of the streets of Manhattan’s Puerto Rican Harlem, volunteered, “What the hell is a posadas?”

Women composers look to even up the movie score

Variety: As the movie business struggles with diversity and gender equality issues, there are signs of progress on the music front: At least four features being released between now and year’s end have been scored by women, and at least two are expected to be major awards contenders.

Students remove Shakespeare portrait in English dept., aiming for inclusivity

The Daily Pennsylvanian: Penn English professor and Department Chair Jed Esty was surprised to find a large portrait of William Shakespeare waiting in his office.

A group of students removed the iconic portrait from the walls of Fisher- Bennett Hall and delivered it to Esty’s office after an English Department town hall meeting discussing the election, which took place on Thursday December 1. They replaced it with a photo of Audre Lorde, a black female writer.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Steelers legend on the field brings story to the stage

TribLIVE: Rocky Bleier says to tell you he is feeling nervous.

This is a man who was drafted into the Army a year after he was drafted by the Steelers. He survived a horrific injury in Vietnam that should have left him unable to walk. He endured the pain of rehab to not only return as a pro football player, but to help the Steelers win four Super Bowl rings.

But this particular project has the man whose courage is legendary feeling nervous.

Wheeldon’s New “Nutcracker” – Radical, Retooled and Untraditional

Showbiz Chicago: The much anticipated, $4 million dollar world premiere of Joffrey Ballet’s revolutionary Nutcracker opened last night to much fanfare from the press and lukewarm applause from the audience. Creator Christopher Wheeldon feels that Joffrey Ballet “…needed a Nutcracker “that specifically belongs to the Joffrey Ballet – a version that accurately represents it’s dedication to unique repertoire and innovative works” (so what was Robert Joffrey’s 20 year + Nutcracker? Chopped Liver?).

L.A.’s Pro-99 Community Calls for New Referendum

@ This Stage: Members of L.A.’s “PRO-99” theater community continue to gather signatures to demand a new referendum on Actors’ Equity’s 99-Seat Theater Plan, which is scheduled to end today.

Despite an overwhelming “No” vote by over 66% of the Los Angeles membership on a referendum put before it last April, the union moved forward to eliminate the existing plan which has been in effect since 1989.

Giving Without Getting In Return

Butts In the Seats: No, this isn’t a moral posting about how it is better to give than get during Christmas.

I have been writing a lot recently about the transactional view of arts and culture, namely value is based in economic exchange either directly or in terms of the economic activity it may generate.

Boston Chief of Arts and Culture Julie Burros' Take on Technology

AMT Lab @ CMU: AMT Lab Chief Editor Katie Grennan recently sat down with Julie Burros to talk about all things technology and how it has made a difference in her robust career of making an impact the arts for major U.S cities, including Chicago and Boston.

Emmy Rossum Wins Pay Dispute, Shameless Renewed For S8

The Mary Sue: Last week, we reported on Emmy Rossum’s pay dispute with Showtime and Warner Bros. Television, which left a renewal of Showtime’s hit show, Shameless, hanging in the balance. Well, today, there’s some excellent news for Rossum, for Shameless, and for the fight against a gendered wage gap.

American Stage on Concluding August Wilson's Epic Century Cycle

Breaking Character: In 2007, American Stage produced its first August Wilson play, Gem of the Ocean. In January 2017, the professional theatre company will have accomplished what only a handful of other theatre companies in the world can claim when they produce Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, completing the entirety of August Wilson’s seminal American Century Cycle.

Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Conflict Over Billing

HowlRound: Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 has come a long way from ten dollar ticket specials during its 2012 premier at Ars Nova. Transferring to an off-Broadway pop-up venue called Kazino, then to American Repertory Theater, it is now open at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre. This marks the first Broadway transfer for Ars Nova, a non-profit known best as an incubator for young talent. This should be the very picture of success for both Ars Nova and the musical, adapted from a section of War and Peace. The Broadway producers, however, made some unusual headlines during previews when they changed how the show was billed.

Victory Gardens names Erica Daniels as its Managing Director

Stage Directions: Victory Gardens’ Artistic Director Chay Yew and their Board President Steven Miller named Erica Daniels the theatre’s new managing director. Daniels has worked with Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Second City Theatricals.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical

Pittsburgh in the Round: In a shift from its usual Christmas offering, the Conservatory Theatre Company at Point Park University has chosen to play The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical for its holiday show. It’s Christmas, all right – in more ways that one. Pageant is a retelling of a 1971 children’s book that was published by Harper & Row. With this source material, The Conservatory Theatre Company has given us a lovely little show that’s like a reimagined It’s a Wonderful Life for a contemporary America where everybody is willing and ready to acknowledge that some high schoolers smoke, drink, and shoplift.

Dreidels dance in The MeshugaNutcracker!

Cultural Weekly: Cultural Weekly is taking two weeks off, so here is a double serving of dance events including flamenco in East Hollywood, Louise Reichlin in Canoga Park, Pieter’s holiday fest in Lincoln Heights, Lula Washington does Kwanzaa in Crenshaw, a quartet of local dance troupes in the Music Center Holiday Celebration and lots of Nutcrackers, from Los Angeles Ballet’s and American Ballet Theatre’s traditional versions to a Hot Chocolate take from Debbie Allen and the MeshugaNutcracker!

Face the Music using directional speakers

Sound & Video Contractor: Imagine being a guest in the home of Ringo Starr...he takes you into his music library, running his hands over the hundreds of records in his collection until his fingers stop on the one that moves him the most. He pulls the record out of the jacket and onto the turntable, lowers the needle and turns up the volume. As you sit across the couch in wonder, you listen to the ebb and flow of the music while watching Ringo's reaction to what you are both hearing. Maybe the song triggers a memory for him that evokes a tear or a laugh or moves him to start singing along. Maybe it does for you as well.

Designing Wilson’s Worlds

Breaking Character: In 2007, I was the production manager for American Stage Theater Company. The Artistic Director at that time, Todd Olson, included Gem of the Ocean in the season and it would be the first time I had worked on an August Wilson play. I had seen them, read them, studied them but never actually worked on them. I was also the Properties Designer for the play and found the challenges quite rewarding. The text was so full of imagery and poetic thought that I thought, “What a great play to design. Real and not real at the same time. A designer’s dream.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Submitting Like A Man: Submitting Like the Future Is Female

HowlRound: In the weeks since the election, I've found myself struggling, like many of us, to go back to business as usual. In the face of the heightened number of hate crimes, the president-elect’s conflicts of interest and corruption (ahem, crookedness?), the bold resurgence of white supremacy, and so much else, how can I go back to tweeting about gender bias in the entertainment industry? I'm not saying it's lost all importance, but it certainly feels like it's lost its urgency.

Squirrel Hill native gives Broadway 1st a capella musical

TribLIVE: Tony Awards stick to Squirrel Hill native Kathleen Marshall like musical magnets. The three-time Tony Award-winner is a musical woman in motion again: She is breaking Broadway boundaries with its first a capella musical, “In Transit,” which she is directing and choreographing.

Two Chicago Orgs Win Joyce Awards

Stage Directions: Two collaborations between artists of color and cultural organizations in Chicago have each won $50,000 from The Joyce Foundation's annual Joyce Awards competition.The Free Street Theater will commission a new play, Meet Juan(ito) Doe, from playwright Ricardo Gamboa, and Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music will commission Quantum Music/Englewood from celebrated saxophonist and composer, Ernest Dawkins, and accomplished percussionist and sitar player, Rahul Sharma.

What Am I Going To Do With All These Skills?

Butts In the Seats: I was recently talking to a conservatory trained pianist who has taken a position teaching at a liberal arts college this last semester. He was complaining about the politics and bureaucracy involved with working in a university system. At one point the conversation turned to him complaining that he didn’t understand why his students had to study math, history, foreign language, etc, asking what use was that to musician.

Top 10 Lists of Top 10 Theater 2016

New York Theater: Here are drama critics’ lists of Top 10 New York theater for 2016. Unlike last year’s top 10 lists, there is no one single show that dominates. But “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” and “Notes from the Field” come closest to consensus choices…so far.

Quebec helps Moment Factory with its growth spurt

www.cirquefascination.com: Montreal company Moment Factory, for instance, has seen such a surge in demand for its innovative multi-media creations in recent years that it can’t keep up with demand. “We get about 20 invitations a week now. We can’t do them all. We’re actually handling only about 10 per cent,” said the company’s executive producer, Eric Fournier.

Moment Factory is hoping to significantly increase that percentage in the next three years by doubling, to 500, a workforce where the average age is 30. The Quebec government will help that happen with a contribution of $2.6 million toward manpower training.

Synetic's silent Sleeping Beauty

DC Theatre Scene: Arlington’s Synetic Theater transports audiences to the fairy tale realm of enchanted forests and love at first sight in its latest wordless adaptation.

Sleeping Beauty gets the visceral performance troupe’s signature treatment this time, and it may hit home among preteen fans of the genre, but the whole disappointingly lacks the dimensions required to fill in the flimsy original material and sustain a 90-minute running time.

Good Girls Revolt Gets Canceled With No Women at the Table

The Atlantic: In early December, Amazon Video announced that it would not be renewing its new series Good Girls Revolt for a second season. The show, inspired by veteran journalist Lynn Povich’s book, told the story of the landmark sex discrimination lawsuit she and 45 other women filed against Newsweek in 1970. Good Girls Revolt captures the cultural awakening of that time period and centers on a group of young women who, despite doing work similar to that of their male coworkers, are paid less and are relegated to the title “researchers,” while their male colleagues are “reporters,” getting all the credit and bylines.

International Theater Blazes New Trail

Variety: From two adjoining townhouses on London’s Bedford Square, theater mega-producer Cameron Mackintosh is fitting 10 musicals into a globe-spanning, seven-year plan that will land “Les Misérables” in Tokyo and “Mary Poppins” in Dubai. Over on Charing Cross Road, Ambassador Theater Group is gearing up to open the newest addition to its portfolio of venues, the Hudson Theatre on Broadway, in an expansion of a network that stretches across 38 houses in Britain, seven in the U.S., and one in Sydney. And in a warren of offices above the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre, Sonia Friedman, one half of the transatlantic producing team behind “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” finds herself at the helm of a play that seems as likely to run in Shanghai as it does on Broadway.

TAIT Stage Technologies Support Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’

TPi: After two years in development, the RSC’s new production of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest opened to the press on 17 November 2016. The production, in collaboration with Intel and The Imaginarium Studios, has brought one of Shakespeare’s most imaginative plays into the 21st century, breaking new boundaries in live theatre performance by using the latest innovations from TAIT Stage Technologies.

Britain’s Production Boom in Film, TV: Can Workforce Keep Up?

Variety: The boom has been fueled by a nearly 10-year-old film tax credit, worth 25% of a production’s budget, which was extended to high-end TV production in 2013. The steep fall in the value of the pound following Britain’s June decision to leave the European Union has made the country even more attractive to those offshore.

Even the Flowers Sing at This High-Tech Botanical Garden

The Creators Project: It may be called a “holiday light show,” but don’t let that scare you. There’s not a single Santa suit or manger in sight at Enchanted: Forest of Light, the weird and rather wonderful after-hours installation at LA’s historic Descanso Botanical Gardens. A progressive series of luminous sculptural installations wends a mile-long path through the wild wooded grounds, offering site-specific and sometimes interactive engagements with the landscape, especially the trees.

James Graham On How His 2012 Political Hit "This House" Will Go Down in 2016

The Theatre Times: The danger of writing political plays is that reality, of course, has a habit of overtaking you. More than overtaking you, actually – trouncing you on the dramatic Richter scale.

Four years ago, in the month Obama was re-elected President, I was lucky enough to have a play open at the National Theatre. Four years later, in the month Donald Trump won the right to replace him, This House is being revived in the West End. And without living up to the hand-wringing writer clichés – yes, I have been asking angsty questions about what a play written for a different political time will feel like, and “say” about, the new one we’re entering now. Post-Brexit, post-Trump and pre-God knows what else. All without the moral and spiritual crutches of David Bowie or Leonard Cohen to guide us.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Podcast Episode 101 - Tony Award Winning Director and Diversity Advocate, Kenny Leon

The Producer's Perspective: It was 9 AM on the set of Hairspray Live! when I sat down with Tony Award- winning Kenny Leon for this interview, and they were just a couple weeks away from their telecast. But you wouldn’t know it with how cool Kenny was. There were PAs running left and right, wardrobe folks talking about this and that, but to Kenny, all was under control.

Top 10 New York Theater in 2016 To Be Grateful For

New York Theater: My list of ten favorite shows on New York stages in 2016 reflect two unmistakable trends – the use of the stage to present important current issues facing the country, and shows that innovate in artistic form. If these seem like very different trends, an argument can be made that they are both in reaction to this surreal election year. Some shows that fit the bill of socially conscious or artistically innovative, or both, aren’t on this list, simply because they weren’t my favorite. The most obvious example is Richard Nelson’s trilogy “The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family,” which was admirable in many ways, but which didn’t hold me the way his earlier, similar trilogy about the Apple family had.

Telling Stories through Video Games

NEA: In many ways, “screen time” has become the scourge of modern parenting. At what age should children be given digital devices? How many hours a day should they use them? Is it safe for their brains? For their eyes? For their social development?

But Houston nonprofit Writers in the Schools (WITS) is changing the dynamic, and turning screen time into a source of learning and creativity. This morning, we announced that WITS will receive one of 37 inaugural Art Works: Creativity Connects grants for their nascent WITS Digital program.

Point Cloud Improvements, Part 2

Tuesday Tips: Last week I mentioned some handy features that have been added to help with your point cloud needs. This week let’s continue to discuss some of the latest AutoCAD point cloud features!

CirqueCast, Episodes #10 & 11!

www.cirquefascination.com: We are back with another discussion episode! In this episode, we discuss the Toruk DVD and Paramour Soundtrack, Corteo’s return in arena format, the NFL + Cirque du Soleil project announcement, and Richard goes over a few details from the Celebrate Project, Cirque du Soleil’s first theme park opening in Mexico in 2018.

NexD1 Printer Brings Polyjet-Style 3D Printing to Consumers, Adds Conductive Resins

makezine.com: Like many media outlets, Make: has an interesting relationship with crowdfunding projects — there are so many interesting ideas launching every day, but also so many examples of projects that are delivered late, and sometimes not at all. Because of this we usually stay away from coverage of new campaigns that come up. But once in a while we get to see something that excites us enough to sidestep our unofficial policy.

Last week, Ludwig Faerber and Ben Hartkopp from Berlin-based Next Dynamics stopped by to show us their about-to-launch-on-Kickstarter 3D printer, the NexD1.

Why Does a Play About the Internet Have a Realistic Set?

urban excavations: It might be about strangers communicating on the vast and anonymous internet, but Tiny Beautiful Things is a play of personal moments and intimate environs.

Now playing at the Public in their Shiva Theater space, the show adapts the online advice columns that Cheryl Strayed wrote under the pseudonym “Sugar.” Three actors play scores of her readers, asking for insights on love, life, and relationships, and Nia Vardalos plays Sugar herself, responding with the insight that made the original columns a sensation.

A Christmas Carol: The Musical, pure gold at Toby's

DC Theatre Scene: “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol: The Musical is to the Dickensian tale what Spamalot was to Arthurian legend. Perhaps it is smidge or two less slapstick, but it is still a fun, self-aware, frequently delightfully hammy musical romp through a dusty old classic. And it is a near-perfect fit for a dinner theater show at Toby’s.

Spikemark 3.7.0 is here!

creativeconners.com: We have been working hard for the last few months to update Spikemark and we are pleased to announce that it is ready for prime time! The newest version of everyone’s favorite automation control software includes a few additional features, updates the firmware on the Stagehands and squashes a couple of bugs. Although we put the new firmware through its paces in the shop, if you are currently in the middle of a run we recommend holding off on the upgrade until your current show closes.

Overcoming procrastination: A flow-chart approach

Dr. Patrick Keelan, Calgary Psychologist: I’ve long been fascinated by the simple but effective way in which flow charts guide a person toward taking the correct action to address a problem. Flow charts I encountered in different jobs before I became a psychologist typically had the person answer a question in a box. A ‘yes’ answer would direct the person to take a particular action and a ‘no’ answer would lead them toward a different action. Continuing to answer questions in boxes and taking the appropriate actions would ultimately lead the person toward the solution of the problem with which they were dealing. This would typically be accompanied by a message in a box reading, “No further action required”.

Your Body Is Not Ready For Virtual Reality

gizmodo.com: Michael Fassbender’s soft lilt is in my ear spouting nonsense about assassins and their creed. Around me is a whirl of action set against a cartoonish backdrop. I’m in the new Assassin’s Creed virtual experience, and thanks to a blend of low-res graphics and high-res people, it feels like I’ve found my way inside some lost Mortal Kombat game circa 1993.

CLO's 'Musical Christmas Carol' Features the Miser, the Mirth, and the Mythical

Entertainment Central Pittsburgh: The year is 1843. Charles Dickens is hard at work on the novel that he’s sure will be a masterpiece, securing his place in the pantheon of great writers. It is a big, sprawling, satirical saga called Martin Chuzzlewit. If you can find a copy on a library shelf, it may have cobwebs attached.

Amid the labor and worry over Chuzzlewit, Dickens took a few weeks to pen a little book just in time for the Christmas of ’43. You know the name of that one. For Pete’s sake, everybody knows it, even in Japan, where Kurisumasu Kyaroru (the Japanese pronunciation) is, according to one scholar, considered “one of the most famous works of English literature, possibly in the same league with Hamlet.”

Sensor-packed smartsuit takes motion capture out of the studio

newatlas.com: Many modern animated characters owe their lifelike movements to actors in motion capture (mocap) suits surrounded by cameras, but that cumbersome, expensive process might soon be a thing of the past. Danish startup Rokoko has developed the Smartsuit Pro, a mocap suit that works without wires or cameras, and instead relies on sensors and a Wi-Fi network to record or stream motion to a character in real time.

'Gross Indecency': Cast with women, true story of Oscar Wilde searches for new meaning

Chicago Tribune: An actor portraying Oscar Wilde doesn't have to look like him for the performance to work, but it can help, and Chicago performer Jamie Bragg does resemble him to a degree. We know this because there is no shortage of photographs of Wilde; he might be one of the most recognizable literary faces of the Victorian era because of it. While the rest of late 19th century London society was busy buttoning up tight, there was Wilde, happily posing for the Victorian equivalent of selfies.

NFTRW Podcast Week of 11-27-16

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Letter From the Black Theatre Commons

AMERICAN THEATRE: In the aftershock of Nov. 8, the Black Theatre Commons would like to reach out to our collective communities. In many ways our culture is shaped by stories—the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and who we would like to be. Our national narrative is shaped by many voices, and lately this narrative has become more toxic as the result of a divisive election cycle. The current American narrative is about American citizens that we will debase, deport, and demean based on ethnicity, sexual identity, religion, ability, or gender. It is a narrative in which the victors are dictators and the villains are journalists. Our narrative has become more about who we hate than about who we are and what we stand for as a people.

Counting down the best of Chicago theater in 2016

Chicago Tribune: In Chicago theater, 2016 was the year of "Hamilton," for sure. But that high-profile attraction — a raiser of all theatrical boats — landed at a moment of rich, diverse and emotional exploration. Here are my 10 best shows of the year, followed by 10 more that should have made the list. I've not included Broadway tours (otherwise there would have been room for "Fun Home" in November and "The Sound of Music" in June). But these are the 20 fresh nights that live with me most powerfully at this time. As always, the choices were tough. You should see how many shows almost made the cut.

Acting Against Sexual Assault: The Subject Project

HowlRound: In a culture that minimizes rape and uses silence as a weapon, we must tell stories. When the judge handed down the infamous six-month sentence in the Brock Turner case, my Facebook feed erupted in collective outrage. I was angry too, but I felt the emotion itself was useless. Then I recalled a principle from acting class: don’t focus on feelings, perform an action. But what action could I take?

Denver Evicts People Living In Art And Music Space

Pollstar: Denver city and fire officials met Friday with the owner of a converted warehouse that offered art and music space and was closed after authorities found serious fire code violations.

Fire officials were investigating what penalties, if any, the owner of Rhinoceropolis could face after five people living in the two-story, commercially zoned industrial brick building were evicted Thursday, said Denver fire Capt. Greg Pixley.

instuMMents 01 is the world’s most portable 3D curve scanner

www.designboom.com: instruMMents, an innovation company founded by the creators of misfit ‘shine’ fitness + activity tracker, introduces ‘pro app’, making ’01’ the world’s most portable 3D curve scanner. ’01’ can roll over objects to capture contours, wirelessly connecting to smartphones. from there, people can log, share and download in key 3D formats. instruMMents also introduces ’01Go’, a pen-version of the dimensioning instrument.

Andrew Lloyd Webber to Waive SCHOOL OF ROCK Fees for Schools Producing the Musical

www.broadwayworld.com: In his latest motion of support for promoting arts education in schools, Andrew Lloyd Webber said in an interview with The Times that he plans to allow schools to produce his latest hit musical, School of Rock, for free. Moreover, Lloyd Webber will provide the groups with scripts, scores, and other necessary materials for the musical. "It's a no-brainer. School of Rock is about kids making music. Let's get on with it. You have to get music back into everybody's DNA again," Lloyd Webber said, with regard to his opinion that schools should be able to perform musicals before they finish their commercial runs on Broadway, the West End, and elsewhere.

Judgement and The Ghost Ship Tragedy: America Has Abandoned Its Artists

Medium: After hearing this was a “rave” I’ve seen some people react with a raised eyebrow and knowing, “Ohhh, well…” as if that somehow explains or makes this tragedy any more comprehensible. I couldn’t quite put words as to why I found that response so offensive.

The people who lost their lives in the Ghost Ship Artist Collective warehouse fire, were victims of a constellation of unfortunate circumstances, including the criminal negligence of a badly maintained building. They themselves did absolutely nothing wrong.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL IN MOURNING

www.cirquefascination.com: « The entire Cirque du Soleil family is deeply saddened by the accidental death of Oliver Rochette, a LUZIA technician from Quebec, that happened on November 29th in San Francisco. His immediate family, including his father Gilles Ste-Croix, one of the founders of Cirque du Soleil, has been informed of the accident. Our thoughts are with Gilles, his family, and all Cirque du Soleil employees. »

The Importance of the NEA

NEA: A look at the impact of the National Endowment for the Arts on American culture.

Universal's patent applications offer a glimpse at future theme park attractions

www.themeparkinsider.com: Universal Parks & Resorts is working on several new rides system concepts that could power unique attractions in its upcoming park developments.

The plans were revealed in patent applications published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office in the past two months. Richard Bilbao of the Orlando Business Journal found several of these applications on the USPTO website, so I ran a search to take a look at the patent files for myself.

HIPPO Life is Healing Through Art

Footlights: “I’m an actor and a coach.” Ok. What else? After teaching acting on Hollywood Row for years, Anthony Gilardi of Anthony Gilardi Acting Studio wanted to do more. He did. He created HIPPO Life, a non profit dedicated to using art as a means of rehabilitation, social awareness, creative expression, empowerment, and helping his fellow man/woman.

Lucasfilm Has Gender Parity At Executive Level

The Mary Sue: I’ve been talking a lot about Kathleen Kennedy lately, probably because I’m a female geek writing for a feminist geek site and she’s the President of Lucasfilm and responsible for freaking Star Wars. Mostly, we’ve been talking about the issue of female directors, and why there haven’t yet been any female directors on Star Wars films. However, even as we’ve been talking about this one area where Lucasfilm could be doing much better, there’s another area where Lucasfilm is getting gender right.

Oscars: Gender-Fluid Actor Makes Academy History

Variety: Opening Friday in limited release for an Oscar-qualifying run is “Confessions of a Womanizer,” directed by Miguel Ali. The small indie film is the longest of shots for Academy consideration, but that’s not stopping it from making history.

Why Creative People Should Stay in Chicago and Not Flee to the Coasts

Chicago magazine | Arts & Culture December 2016: On the heels of a groundbreaking year for Chicago artists, culminating with indie crusader Chance the Rapper’s seven Grammy nominations, aspiring creatives from all over the city flocked to Michigan Avenue for a panel on “How to Make It in Chicago’s Creative Industries.” Jaime Black, founder of Dynasty Podcasts, the city’s longest-running music podcast, has been hosting similar informational panels for years. But Wednesday night’s event at Chicago Athletic Association Hotel packed the house—thanks to panelists Austin Vesely, Andrew Barber and Hebru Brantley.

NFTRW Podcast Week Ending 11-20-16

Friday, December 09, 2016

Scenic and Media Designer Bryce Cutler Announced As Winner Of The 2017 Rising Star Award

www.broadwayworld.com: The Rising Star Award, established by LDI/LiveDesign magazine, is given annually to a young professional at the beginning of his or her career. The award recognizes excellence and artistic achievement in scenic, lighting, sound, projection design, and convergence of these design disciplines.

Congress passes BOTS Act to ban ticket-buying software

Ars Technica: Using software bots to buy concert tickets will soon be illegal, thanks to a bill passed by Congress yesterday.

The Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act makes it illegal to bypass any computer security system designed to limit ticket sales to concerts, Broadway musicals, and other public events with a capacity of more than 200 persons. Violations will be treated as "unfair or deceptive acts" and can be prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission or the states.

EPISODE 17: John Huntington pt 1: Author of Show Networks and Control Systems

The Cue – A Show Control Podcast: John Huntington is a Professor of Entertainment Technology at New York City College of Technology, also known as Citytech, which is part of CUNY. Through his company Zircon Designs, Huntington freelances as an author, entertainment and show control systems consultant, and sound designer/engineer. He is also an award-winning photographer.

Huntington’s book Show Networks and Control Systems is the leading book in the field. The book was first published as Control Systems for Live Entertainment by Focal Press in 1994, and was revised in 2000 and 2007. In 2012, Huntington started self publishing the book, renamed it, and extensively expanded the networking coverage.

Video of the Month: Laser Cutting With AutoCAD 2017

blogs.autodesk.com: Using a chess set as an example, the “3rd Dimension and Laser Cutting with AutoCAD 2017” video goes through the process step-by-step — from AutoCAD file prep to configuring the laser cutter. Featured files are in 2D, so AutoCAD LT users can glean information for their own use. The webinar also discusses where and how you can access laser cutters.

WGA West President Blasts Trump Over Attack on Steelworkers Union

Variety: Writers Guild of America West president Howard A. Rodman has issued a blistering condemnation of President-elect Donald Trump over attempts to intimidate Indiana union official Chuck Jones.

Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, had noted that 550 of his members at Carrier plants would lose their jobs in spite of Trump’s deal to keep another thousand jobs from moving to Mexico. Trump responded by attacking Jones on Twitter.

Judge Rules 'Midnight Rider' Producer Can't Collect on Insurance Due to Criminal Acts

Hollywood Reporter: A California federal judge has rendered a big ruling on the insurance dispute that emanated from the fatal train accident during the 2014 shooting of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider in Georgia. In a summary judgment opinion released Thursday, the film's production company is denied a bid to force its insurer to cover losses. U.S. District Judge Otis Wright concludes that criminal acts have been properly excluded under the film company's policy.

Against Entrepreneurship

HowlRound: The picture has been painted for us. Adapt or die. We in the theatre know this much is true: jobs are scarce, good pay and benefits scarcer. Funding, like audiences, seems to be dwindling. The solution, we’re told, is just as clear—embrace the market, become creative entrepreneurs. This may be a stopgap measure to survive this state of precarity, but it doesn’t alter that state. Indeed, this proposed solution short-circuits the questions of why audiences are dwindling, of why we aren’t paid well for our work. What if, instead of changing ourselves and our art practices to fit the market, we could alter the conditions of the field itself? It is possible. Indeed, it is necessary for the survival of our field.

A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas

Pittsburgh in the Round: To paraphrase a bit of country hero Forrest Gump, “Community Theatre is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get”.

It would seem logical since we have lots of holiday shows; A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, and Holiday Inn to name a few, that there should be a Christmas show away from the pretense of city folks. That is the logic and inspiration behind A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas. The logic however stops there.

Colorful light to illuminate London's river bridges

newatlas.com: Artist Leo Villareal and his team have been chosen to develop a series of installations that will light up the bridges along the River Thames in London, UK. Their contest-winning proposal, "Current," envisages colorful lighting installed on the 17 bridges from Tower Bridge to Albert Bridge.

Your Next Birthday Party Needs This Life-Size Balloon Animal T-rex Skeleton

sploid.gizmodo.com: Mark Verge makes balloon animals, but his creations aren’t limited to just tiny poodles and flowers like some yellow pages birthday clown. As YouTube’s Coolest Thing channel reveals, he instead builds mammoth creations using nothing but balloons, including a life-size version of a T-rex skeleton.

Leftist Students Shouted 'F*ck You B*itch' at the Gay Director of a Pro-Trans Movie, Boys Don’t Cry

Hit & Run : Reason.com: There was a time not so long ago when the people shouting "fuck you bitch" at a gender-fluid gay filmmaker would have been bigoted right-wing conservatives. But because we currently live in the year 2016, the people who heckled Kimberly Peirce—director of Boys Don't Cry, a groundbreaking film about a transgender man—during her recent appearance at Reed College were far-left students.

Our top 10 Broadway shows of 2016

Chicago Tribune: The 2015 musical "Hamilton" continued to suck up a lot of the Broadway oxygen in 2016 — first during the spring award season and then during the political fallout of the late fall. But theater artists created other, mostly quieter shows that were striking in the depth of their exploration of modern life. "Dear Evan Hansen" took on social media. "The Humans" explored the legacy of Sept. 11, 2001, which lurks in the American psyche. And "Shuffle Along" reminded us that racism is not in our past but alive in the American present.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

TV Showrunners Talk Rape-As-Character-Development

The Mary Sue: In most storytelling, from films and TV to comics, the sexual assault of female characters is an oft-used plot device that is often a frustrating “shorthand” for character development. It’s made even more frustrating by the fact that too often, it’s used not in the interest of developing the female character to whom it happened, but to motivate the male characters around her to action. Thankfully, there are television showrunners who are just as tired of Rape-As-Plot-Device as we are!

Well, Pantone's Color of the Year 2017 Is Optimistic

The Creators Project: Today, Pantone Color Institute®, the global authority on color, named their Color of the Year 2017: 15-0343 Greenery. Described as "a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring, when nature's greens revive, restore and renew," the vibrant green with yellow undertones provides rejuvenation and a reconnection to both nature and something larger than oneself.

[Premiere] Have a Near-Death Experience… with Puppets!

The Creators Project: What starts as a polite dinner party among friends soon devolves into existential crisis and a comedy of manners in the latest episode of The Creatures of Yes. The series, created by brothers Jacob and Caleb Graham, follows a group of puppets as they go about their life and times, and distinguishes itself with its throwback recording equipment and careful production design. This week’s episode, “Near Death Experience,” showcases what the series is best at: subverting expectations and complicating plotlines while remaining family friendly. There’s even a sense of gentleness to these videos that is rare for the modern wave of “must-shock” puppetry aimed at viewers above seven.

Soundly Launches Cloud-based Sound Effects Service & Editing Application

Sound & Picture: Soundly, a startup audio technology company, today released Soundly, a cloud-based sound effects library and workflow tool. Soundly represents a completely new approach to sound effects access and editing. A cloud-based sound library with access to thousands of premium sound effects and a powerful workflow tool, Soundly lets video and audio editors instantly search the cloud or local sound libraries, customize sounds, and place them to picture instantly, wherever they have an Internet connection. Traditional sound effect libraries can be expensive, hard to use, and not very portable. Content creators know that good sound can make or break a video or film, and Soundly was created to give affordable access to thousands of sounds along with access to a community of specialist sound designers.

Stepping Into Star Wars: ILMxLab’s Plans for Virtual and Mixed Reality

Variety: Lucasfilm’s ILMxLab wants to turn “Star Wars” and other movies into portals for destinations that can be visited with virtual and augmented reality headsets, executives said during a panel at the Virtual Reality Intelligence conference Wednesday. “We are thinking very heavily about creating a dynamic destination where stories flow through,” said ILMxLab Executive Creative Director John Gaeta.

Playwright Rosary Hartel O’Neill Reflects on Paris

Breaking Character: Rosary Hartel O’Neill is a regaled playwright and scholar who is currently juggling several different plays being performed in venues across the globe. One of her most promising works, Degas in New Orleans, focuses on the real-life experiences of the renowned French painter Edgar Degas who travelled to New Orleans in the years after the Civil War in attempts to help his finically struggling American family. Rosary, who was raised in New Orleans and is bilingual, hopes that the play will be performed in both English and French. In September of 2016, she traveled to Paris where she discussed the future possibilities for the work and her newest play, Beckett at Greystones Bay, which follows a period in the life of famed writer Samuel Beckett. Below, writer Meagan Meehan chats with Rosary about these experiences.

Oakland Mayor Pledges $1.7 Million After Deadly Fire

Rolling Stone: Oakland, California Mayor Libby Schaaf pledged $1.7 million to create and sustain "affordable, safe spaces" for local artists and arts organizations following the warehouse fire that killed at least 36 people last Friday. The Ghost Ship art collective warehouse was a home and performance space in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood.

New Bot-Blocking Legislation Could Make It Easier To Score Tickets To Popular Events

Consumerist: About a week after New York barred scalpers from using bots to scoop up tickets to sporting events, concerts, and other popular attractions, the U.S. Congress has sent its own anti-bot legislation to President Obama to sign.

The Better Online Ticket Sales Act of 2016, otherwise known as the BOTS Act, was passed by voice vote on Wednesday. Much like its New York counterpart, the legislation would put the kibosh on computer software used by scalpers to grab a lot of tickets at one time.

Artists Send Symphony to the Stars

www.cmu.edu/news: Since the beginning of time, people around the world have looked up at the vast sky and wondered, "Is anybody out there?" Carnegie Mellon University Professor of Art and pioneering space artist Lowry Burgess thinks so, and he's banking on the fact that life forms in space appreciate the arts the same way humans do.

Parenting and Playwriting: How to Comfort Our Daughters

HowlRound: It shouldn’t have been a surprise that my children’s elementary school elected Donald Trump in their mock election. Kansas hasn’t gone to the Democrats since 1964, yet when the announcement came over the loud speakers as I perused the annual book fair after school, I found myself astonished. The kids at the fair cheered, and I died a little. I tried very hard not to boo aloud. They are, after all, children.

Children who vote like their parents.

My Theater Management Rule of Three.

The Producer's Perspective: As a Producer, General Manager, Company Manager . . . or Manager of Anything (including a family, by the way). . . keeping your company/actors/employees/KIDS happy and productive is an integral part of being an effective leader.

You’ve heard the expression, “Happy wife, happy life.”

Well, I always say, “Happy staff, happy accountants when they look at your P/L statement for the year.”

(Ok, that didn’t really have the right ring to it, but you get the idea.)

The Lion in Winter

Pittsburgh in the Round: It’s well into the holiday season and there’s a chance you’ve either had or will have a tense family dinner. No matter your family situation, you’re probably not going have as tense a Christmas as King Henry II and his family. In James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter, Henry, his wife, his sons, and his mistress all gather round for a fun holiday of constant manipulation and harsh betrayals. PICT Classic Theatre opened their new production in the appropriately castle-like Union Project in Highland Park, and they invite you to spend a tense holiday with a family that will most likely make yours seem better.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Attack Theatre's "Unbolted"

Program Notes: If you’re a dance fan in Pittsburgh, I probably don’t have to tell you about Attack Theatre. The city’s most tenured independent contemporary-dance company is also perhaps its most ubiquitous, with frequent site-specific shows, community performances, and collabos with other arts groups supplementing its own theatrical season.

“The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat” at Quantum Theatre

The Pittsburgh Tatler: Imagine what life would be like if you could see the shapes and contours and colors of things, but your brain could not organize those shapes and contours and colors into recognizable objects and people. Your vision would be in perfect order, but you would be effectively blind, incapable of making sense of the lines and patterns that make up the visual field.

Behind the Scenes Look at NBC’ ‘Hairspray Live!’

Variety: It’s just two weeks before the Dec. 7 debut of NBC’s “Hairspray Live!,” and choreographer Jerry Mitchell is (cheer)leading the troupe of performers through rehearsal on a soundstage on the Universal lot.

“You Can’t Stop the Beat” is the musical’s show-stopper, the final song, which features the entire dream-team cast — from Jennifer Hudson (Motormouth Maybelle) to Kristin Chenoweth (Velma Von Tussle) to Ariana Grande (Penny Pingleton) — meticulously assembled by executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. It’s a high-energy number, which Harvey Fierstein (Edna Turnblad), who wrote the teleplay, has dubbed “You Can’t Stop to Breathe.”

Orange County Choppers Designs an All-Electric Bike Using Fusion 360

DESIGN DIFFERENTLY: Earlier this year, Pohl met a member of the Autodesk staff who encouraged him to try Fusion 360 for a design. “I was a SolidWorks guy,” he admits. “I was terrified to switch. It’s like jumping into the deep end of the pool.” Once he started using it, though, he thought “Wow, this is incredible. It is really a magic show.” In comparison to everything he had used before, it was “cleaner” and “snappier.” As he puts it, “You don’t really wait on anything—it just happens.”

CFA Winter Festival Celebrates the Arts at CMU

www.cmu.edu/news: Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Fine Arts (CFA) will showcase its students’ work during the Winter Celebration weekend.

From 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, the Miller Gallery and the School of Design will host a reception for the current exhibitions, “Climactic: Post Normal Design” and the “FOCUS: CMU School of Design Senior Exhibition.” The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibitions run through Sunday, Dec. 11.

Race and representation on Chicago stages

www.timeout.com: In July 2006, this very magazine asked a provocative question on its cover: Why is theater in Chicago so white?

I didn’t have a hand in that story—it was written by then-staffers Christopher Piatt and Novid Parsi—but as Time Out Chicago’s chief theater critic for nearly eight years now, the question is never far from my thoughts. And how could it not be on my mind, when people bring it up all the time in private conversations, on social media, at conferences or over drinks at the bar, telling me how much it meant to them to see Chicago theater’s segregation problem addressed so directly.

Hysterical classic 'Tuna Christmas' is coming to Greensburg Civic Theatre

TribLIVE: Everyone has pre-Christmas stress this time of year — but not like the citizens of Tuna, Texas.

In Greensburg Civic Theatre's holiday production, “A Tuna Christmas,” their problems seem insurmountable. Bertha Bumiller's drunken husband hasn't come home and she's trying to hold her family together. A mysterious “Christmas Phantom,” who is known for vandalizing holiday decorations, is threatening the town's annual lawn display contest. There also have been UFO sightings in Tuna.

On Festivals: Curatorial Thought in Process

The Theatre Times: The curator’s role in the performing arts area seems to be, for many—including the curators themselves—inaccurate. Regardless of the multiplication of festivals and shows, the word “curatorship” remains controversial and under construction. According to the word’s etymology, “curate” means “to look after.” The word is widely used in the visual arts. For the professor and art reviewer Roberto Teixeira Coelho (2012), it originally designated the process of organizing and assembling a public exhibition for a group of works made by an artist or by a group of artists.

3D-printing software reshapes musical instrument design

newatlas.com: When most of us think of a musical wind instrument, we generally picture what is essentially a tube with a mouthpiece at one end – something like a flute, recorder or saxophone. And while that's a tried and trusted design, the fact is that wind instruments can take almost any form. Weirdly-shaped instruments are more difficult to design, however, which is where a new computer program called Printone comes in.

Former Neo-Futurists Speak Out Against 'TML' Creator, Charge Abuse Of Power

Chicagoist: Greg Allen sent the Chicago theatre world reeling last week with his announcement that he’s pulling the rights to the show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind from the local Neo-Futurists group in order to revamp it as a more explicitly political show that supports women and minorities. But several former Neo-Futurist ensemble members say that a pattern of bullying behavior—the kind that allegedly prompted his suspension from the show in 2012—casts doubt on his credibility to do so.

In wake of controversial shows, theater artists gather to discuss equitable casting

News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper: This past July, Little Lake Theatre Company staged a production of Anna in the Tropics, Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer-winning 2003 play about Cuban immigrants, and cast all the roles with white actors. That casting provoked a response on Facebook from Sol Crespo, a Puerto Rico-born, New York-based theater artist who often works in Pittsburgh. Seeing white actors in roles written for people of color “makes me feel like I don’t matter, like I’m invisible, like my voice doesn’t need to be heard,” she later said.

What Does A Christmas Carol Mean in 2016? A History of ACT Theatre's 41-Year Tradition

Theater - The Stranger: It's easy to be cynical about A Christmas Carol. Hedonistic Victorian-era ghost stories? Sure. But blah blah Scrooge, blah blah Tiny Tim, blah blah plaid-clad children frolicking in the halls of the theater. Please. As if the theater needed any more children.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw Shootout!

Pro Tool Reviews: If you’ve been with us for a few years, you may remember our Heavy-Duty Reciprocating Saw Shootout from a while back. Things really haven’t changed much in how the classic demo saw is used, but the saws themselves have changed drastically, particularly thanks to battery technology. Whether you’re here to see how your favorite brand did or are looking for the best cordless reciprocating saw for your needs, we’ve got eight of the most popular brands lined up with their highest performing cordless saws.

Oakland Fire Was a Rare Mass Casualty Blaze. Fire Codes Help Explain Why.

The New York Times: The fire that killed at least 30 people in a warehouse-turned-performance space in Oakland, Calif., on Friday was one of the deadliest in the United States in many years, a tragedy that highlighted both the importance of fire safety codes and the vital role they have played in turning mass casualty blazes into rare events.

They have become infrequent thanks to safety measures that started to emerge at the turn of the 20th century, when fires at theaters and nightclubs not infrequently killed hundreds of people.

NFPA President Reacts to Recent Tragic Fires

NFPA Xchange: First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out from NFPA to the families, communities and first responders who are impacted by the number of recent fire tragedies filling the headlines. For those of us who devote our careers to making the world safer from fire, these stories shake us to our core.

Tamara Tunie: Legends from the ‘Burgh

NEXTpittsburgh: Live cabaret, Burgh pride, and iconic songs will heat up the Main Stage for a very special limited-run at City Theatre Company this weekend.

After taking her hit cabaret show, Legends from the ‘Burgh, on a critically acclaimed national tour and packing houses in NYC, Pittsburgh native and CMU graduate Tamara Tunie returns home to perform American standards and jazz songs composed by hometown legends.

'Beauty and the Beast,' laughing through their own story

Chicago Tribune: This outre "Beauty and the Beast" at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art is the work of radical artists, intent on working at the margins. And, please be warned, it is as sexually explicit a live piece as you ever are likely to see, unless you, dear reader, traverse an unusual path through our hearty Midwestern city.

Oakland's Ghost Ship fire is nightmare scenario for promoters, governments and music lovers

LA Times: The fire that ripped through an electronic music concert at an Oakland warehouse-turned-art space Friday night was a worst-case scenario for anyone who attends such events.

As of Sunday morning, 24 bodies were recovered, with more people unaccounted for. Officials fear the death toll could rise to 40. It might be one of the worst disasters in the history of live music in North America.

It Could Have Been Any One of Us

KQED Arts: There are no words to convey the heartbreak felt by those closest to the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire. At the moment, 36 are confirmed dead, with search crews still sorting through the ashes of the site. As stories and details of the fire are shared, and while thousands await news of missing loved ones, a phrase keeps coming up: “It could have been any one of us.”

Mr. Marmalade

Pittsburgh in the Round: Perhaps the most compelling aspect of CMU’s production of Mr. Marmalade is the actors’ ability to take on the roles of children. Specifically, a four year old. Aleyse Shannon, as the character Lucy, becomes a child in such a subdued, but critical way. She approaches the role with genuine curiosity and the unfettered brashness of a confident, precocious little girl.

The Getaway tour, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Moment Factory: It was an honour to collaborate on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Getaway Tour. The fruit of this collaboration was revealed in September 2016 with the launch of the Peppers’ arena tour, in Budapest.

Enthusiastic about the thought of working with the legendary group, we had a formidable challenge: to help craft a rock show of epic proportions. To add to the complexity, the band famously spurns pre-determined set lists--thus requiring the entire ‘rock show’ to be adaptable and allow for improvisations like jam sessions, solos, and unanticipated shifts.

Flame and Pyro Survey Results

Prop Agenda: Every answer has at least some variety. Perhaps the closest ones with any sort of “consensus” were burning paper and a hot plate. But it goes to show just how different every venue could be. Even within the venues, the requirements could change on a show-to-show basis. A lot of what is “allowed” comes down to the fire marshal’s approval, and that can change depending on which fire marshal visits your theatre, or even how you present the effect to the fire marshal.

Light the Song with Sense and Color: A Conversation with TAIT

Phish.net: You couldn't miss it. When Phish took their usual places onstage in St. Paul to kick off their 2016 summer tour they had some impressive new hardware at their disposal. First, behind them in a half-circle, stretching from stage right to stage left, was a five-and-a-half-foot tall wall of light-emitting diode (LED) video screens. Second, above their heads was another huge, rectangular screen, facing down and toward the audience. As the show started, colors and images began playing across both screens. For the entire first set, the overhead array stayed in a compact rectangle. But when things got cooking at the start of the second set—during the throbbing minor-key “Mike’s Song” jam—the big rectangle fragmented, spreading apart into a patterned array of smaller screens, a look reminiscent of the hordes of perpetually attacking spacecraft from classic arcade games like Space Invaders and Galaga.

Ars Nova Introduces Fair Pay Initiative

Playbill: Ars Nova, the non-profit Off-Broadway theatre company responsible for launching the original incarnation of Broadway’s Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, held its annual gala, the Nova Ball Remix, December 5 downtown at Capitale.

At the event, Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence Rachel Bonds, whose Sundown, Yellow Moon will premiere in spring 2017, announced the establishment of the Ars Nova Fair Pay Initiative. “Since 2014 Ars Nova has been slowly and steadily raising base pay for artists,” she said. “They’ve increased their operating budget by over $300,000, dedicating over a third of that increase each year towards raising fees, salaries, and benefits for all of the artists who work on their readings, workshops, and productions.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Chicago’s Longest-Running Stage Show Is Ending. Now What?

Chicago magazine | Arts & Culture December 2016: Chicago took a hit Wednesday when, after 28 years, former Neo-Futurist Greg Allen pulled the company’s rights to Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. Founded by Allen in 1988, the show of 30 plays in 60 minutes had become synonymous with the Andersonville ensemble, and regularly sold out its late-night weekend time slot.

Cirque makes every effort to keep its staff safe, CEO says

www.cirquefascination.com: It’s not the kind of phone call anyone wants to have to make.

In his car on the way home from the premiere of the Cirque du Soleil touring show Ovo at the Bell Centre Tuesday night, Cirque chief executive officer Daniel Lamarre learned that Olivier Rochette, a technician working on the show Luzia in San Francisco, had been killed that night. He was struck by a telescopic lift as it was being taken off stage before the show.

Rochette’s father is Gilles Ste-Croix, one of the founders of the Quebec circus and someone Lamarre has worked closely with for more than a decade. Lamarre’s next call that night was to Ste-Croix, who was at his winter home in Mexico.

Autodesk Expert Elite Highlight Series

AutoCAD Blog: Each month, the Autodesk Expert Elite Highlight Series—see links, below, to all entries since February—serves up rich, Autodesk product-related content on AutodeskHelp. Makes sense. Autodesk Expert Elites are marked by their product expertise and their commitment to sharing knowledge, providing leadership, and collaborating in ways that strengthen our community to everyone’s benefit. And AutodeskHelp is your one-stop shop for the latest solutions, breaking news, and behind-the-scenes access to the world of Autodesk support.