Monday, September 16, 2019

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

Fine Line Between Collaboration And Exploitation

Butts In the Seats: There was an interesting article in The Atlantic this past July about how the Navy was working on crewing ships with a few generalists who would handle many jobs rather than many experts focusing on a narrower range of functions.

At first, when they were talking about everyone being cross-trained to fill a number of different functions, I started thinking it was a good example for a post about eliminating siloed job functions in arts organizations.


Collaboration Crosses Creative Arts Emmys Categories

Variety: With 97 Emmys set to be given out over the two-night Creative Arts ceremony, it can be easy to forget that the silos the Television Academy creates for awards purposes belie the need for crafts departments to collaborate as much as possible to create a successful show.


Artists Call on Ticketmaster to Drop Facial Recognition Tech Plans

www.ticketnews.com: Artists including Tom Morello, The Glitch Mob, Speedy Ortiz and Atmosphere are among those who are throwing their support behind a campaign asking that Ticketmaster ban facial recognition software at concerts and other live events.



In ‘Year of Chicago Theatre,’ small Chicagoland companies take major steps to be more inclusive, generous and accessible

www.chicagolandmusicaltheatre.com: In this 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, small theatres across Chicago are taking major steps to be more inclusive, generous and accessible, reaffirming Chicago’s growing reputation as the epicenter of storefront theatre in the United States. Many small theatres are evolving their company thanks in part to the Chicago-based Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (the Foundation), which supports more than 50 Chicago small theatre companies with annual budgets below $1 million, to help theatres strengthen operations and focus on producing works and furthering initiatives that are relevant to both the artists and their neighborhood audiences.


SNL Has Hired Its First Asian Cast Member

The Mary Sue: First up, in its 45th season, the show is finally adding its first cast member of full Asian descent, Bowen Yang. Yang, who cohosts the podcast Las Culturistas, was a writer on the show last season and he did make it onscreen playing Kim Jong-un opposite Sandra Oh, herself one of only a handful of Asian actors to ever host the show. Yang was hilarious but his appearance shown a spotlight on the lack of diversity in the cast.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Worth a Look

Here are a few articles from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

Theater workers, let's reject 'happy just to be here'

Datebook: In my coverage of Stephen Buescher’s racial discrimination lawsuit against American Conservatory Theater — which has now been settled — one line has stood out to me.

“There’s this feeling of … ‘You know what, you should just be happy that you’re here,’ ”


Women designers make it work onstage

Theater Preview | Chicago Reader: Roughly 15 or so years ago, the Jeff Committee called in a trio of cis-male set/light/sound designers to give members an overview of their work. As the presentation wound down, the men took questions. The question I remember (because as a then-member of the committee, I asked it) was whether women were represented to any significant degree among designers and if not, why not. The answer—a slightly awkward and quite vague "Well, not really . . . because there just aren't"—was as dismal as it was memorable.


Photos from Burning Man 2019 Showcasing the Amazingly Creative Event

mymodernmet.com: With Labor Day now past, another Burning Man has concluded. Black Rock City, the temporary site of the annual event in the northwest Nevada desert, was host to 70,000 participants from August 25 to September 2. Burning Man has a new theme every year, and for 2019 it was Metamorphoses—an idea intended as a “celebration of change and an exploration of uncertainty” and an “embrace of the elusive now.” To express the concept, there was an amazing collection of sculptures and, of course, festival fashion.


Bridging the State of the Art

Theatre Design & Technology - Summer 2019: At the birth of the modern era of high-tech show production in the 1980s, most entertainment technology training was theatre-focused and taught in conservatories.  At that time, this made sense because the world of shows was a lot simpler.


If not now, when?: Falsettogate, and what it teaches us about meaningful minority inclusion

Exeunt Magazine: Falsettos, a 1992 musical by William Finn and James Lapine, is an incredibly Jewish musical. It opens with a song called “Four Jews In A Room Bitching” and takes place in the run up to a Bar mitzvah. It became apparent that none of the creative team or cast in this London revival were Jewish. We were concerned.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

Big data analysis reveals staggering extent of gender inequality in creative industries

theconversation.com: The term “big data” may bring to mind swaths of private information held by tech companies. But lots of big data is, in fact, visible to all – we just may not think of it as “data”.

If you’ve been to the movies recently, you will have seen a dataset of credits – listing the cast and crew members alongside their roles. While the credits from any one film may not be that useful, the credits from every film can form a big dataset. At Nesta and the PEC (a new policy and evidence centre for the creative industries), we have been exploring how these types of non-confidential big datasets can shine new light on gender representation in the creative industries.


Blow to 10,000-hour rule as study finds practice doesn't always make perfect

Science | The Guardian: With blatant disregard for the public benefits of motivational idioms, researchers have concluded that practice does not, necessarily, make perfect.

A study of violinists found that merely good players practised as much as, if not more than, better players, leaving other factors such as quality of tuition, learning skills and perhaps natural talent to account for the difference.


Playwrights of Color, White Directors, and Exposing Racist Policy

HowlRound Theatre Commons: Damn. This thought reverberates through my body, an ultrasonic sound wave carrying much more than disappointment and dismay. As a Black director, actor, and facilitator of anti-racist theatre, I am unable to shake myself free of the viscosity of thoughts I’m having around another company’s decision to uphold a racist policy: hiring a white director to stage a play written by a playwright of color. This has happened time and again: with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From the Wars, James Ijames’s Kill Move Paradise, David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, Karen Zacarías’ Native Gardens, August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.


Musical Malaise: The Twilight of the Original Score?

www.clydefitchreport.com: In a disturbing and all-but-hilarious New York Times story from London, it was reported that staff members at several West End musical theaters may now be wearing body cameras. This is to combat an apparent plague of “aggressive, alcohol-fueled theatregoers.” An usher at one of the theaters was quoted as calling the audiences for jukebox musicals the “worst behaved.” London’s “more upmarket productions,” it seems, “are not immune from rowdy behavior.”


Models and Mentors: A History of the Wry Crips Disabled Women’s Theatre Group by Michaela Goldhaber as told by the Company’s Founders

WIT journal: For thirty-four years, Wry Crips Disabled Women’s Theatre Group in Berkeley, California, has been helping women with disabilities find their voices and create performances. In its first twenty years, Wry Crips put together a new performance almost every other year, each one with seven or eight women reading their own writing about their experiences as disabled women. Wry Crips slowed it’s pace in the next decade, but is going strong now with five dedicated members working on Wry Crips Occupy, a historical play about the 504 protest in 1977 when disabled activists took over the federal building in San Francisco.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Ellipses...

I used to be a whole lot better at doing this...  The plumbers working on our house screwed up the hot water the other day.  I figured it out with the help of decades of This Old House viewing...  I'm really unhappy about the AG's performance.  I thought we were better than this.  I guess we're not...  Tomorrow is the last day of the semester.  It feels like it happened really quickly.  Spring semester always does...  College Ultimate Regionals are at CMU this Saturday.  We bought tickets to see Endgame this Saturday afternoon.  Oops...  Backspace, backspace, backspace, backspace...  I'm probably going to take a break from my diet for a little while.  I hope it doesn't see me putting on too much weight...  Thinking about a staycation for the top of June.  We'd get away, but there is just too much going on...  There's sheetrock going up in the basement.  The project is really starting to look like something...  Four days before Semester Reviews I am going to issue a new schedule with a major revision.  I hope not too many people get upset...  My boss got a promotion and a co-worker just got an award.  Pretty good week for the SOD faculty...  We have appeared to have gone directly from needing the heat to needing the AC.  A couple of weeks for open windows would have been nice...  There are DP slots available for this summer's Drama Precollege if you know a high school sophomore or junior that might be interested...  Still waiting to tee up Love, Sex, Robots on Netflix.  I'm not sure what I am waiting for...  That moment when Parker walked into that fab shop in PNG and the owner recognized him and gave him run of the place may be the high water mark for reality TV...

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Worth A Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

The Story Behind Hollywood Writers vs. Their Agents

The Atlantic: In the summer of 1962, MCA Inc.—the giant Hollywood talent agency so dominant in its field that industry insiders called it The Octopus—acquired a majority stake in Decca Records and Universal Pictures, giving it control of a full-fledged movie studio and a major recording company. For the better part of a decade, MCA had already been the country’s largest creator of television programming. The agency was known for controversially “packaging” its star actors with writing and directing clients into ready-made shows for one-stop, near-monopoly sale to the networks.


Radiohead inquest recommends licensing companies that build temporary stages

CBC News: A coroner's inquest into the death of a drum technician who was crushed when a stage collapsed before a Radiohead concert in Toronto is recommending that companies that build temporary stages for events undergo licensing.
Jurors examining the circumstances surrounding the death of Scott Johnson also suggest that riggers who work on performance venues in Ontario go through a certification process similar to what's in place for electricians.


Life@CMU Measures Student Stress, Depression

www.cmu.edu/news: Carnegie Mellon University is turning to its strength in research to help enhance the student experience.
Commissioned by the Office of the Provost and the Task Force on the CMU Experience, the Life@CMU Project examined student behavior over the course of a semester, and looked at how factors such as stress and sleep affected, and in some cases predicted, students’ well-being. Results of the study, which were presented during a recent campus forum, will be used to guide future student experience initiatives.


A Look into Theatre’s FutVRe

HowlRound Theatre Commons: VR and AR are two different monsters. VR hardware is bulky—think HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. The headgear is attached to wires, and the system requires a complex camera setup to track the user moving through the room. VR also utilizes controllers to help the user interact with their environment. AR hardware is physically much smaller—think Google Glass. While the ultimate goal of AR is everyday use to augment our reality, the goal of a VR experience is to create an entirely new one.


Earth Day | Environmental Impact of Music Festivals

www.livedesignonline.com: It’s no secret that the live industry has room for improvement when it comes to environmental impact—from the carbon footprint created by fleets of trucks zig-zagging around the country (not to mention the thousands of fans traveling to each event) to the mountains of discarded plastic and paper goods at events.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Photo Friday

Yes, I know it is Saturday...





Thursday, April 25, 2019

Ellipses...

In what must be the absolutely least surprising announcement of the day Joe Biden is running for President...  The kids are trying to set up credit ultimate for a week from Saturday. I hope I am up for it...  The last Thursday of the month can absolutely sneak up on you if you don't regularly street park...  The 600 calorie days hit the worst at lunchtime I think.  After that is mid afternoon.  Dinner hasn't really been a problem...  I was back at West Penn today.  Several years after the bulk of my thing I still don't really like these places...  If one more person needs an early crit this spring I can collapse an entire session.  I'm not sure it would be a good idea if I do...  I'm reading the Three Body Problem series. The book I am reading now is not happy.  More and more I think I accidentally stumble into really unhappy stories...  The house renovation continues, mostly plumbing and electric this week.  The further into it we get the more we remember points of abrasion the last time...  I need this thing tomorrow that I know I've known I would need tomorrow for like 14 weeks.  And yet, here it is today.  Some things are hard to change...  I'm pretty sure I have seen the writing on the wall for Semester Reviews.  I'm not sure how long it will take though...  The political state of things these days is really depressing.  I think whatever your views are you cannot be too thrilled with the way people are conducting themselves...  I'm starting to give real thought to what is going on this summer.  It is likely time to put the summer schedule into my calendar...  Duluth Trading Company emails every day.  I think this is less likely to make me buy something and more likely to make me never pay full price for anything...  The problem with asking for more money for your project is that you might get more money for your project - and then have to do a bigger project.  It's not always about the money...  I thought it was going to be warmer today...

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

Hollywood Writers Have Fired Their Agents; Here's Why

www.forbes.com: Fans of various television series and films who follow writers of said projects on Twitter were met with something very different this past Friday afternoon - a deluge of tweets featuring a form letter displaying those writers announcing a cutting of ties with their agencies. But, while Friday’s action may have been introductory for some, it’s actually the end of the beginning of a war that’s been brewing between writers and their representation for the past twelve months.


How Australian theatre rebalanced its gender disparity

ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): In 2009, director Neil Armfield stood on the stage at Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre and announced, for his swansong season as artistic director of the company he co-founded, a season of shows almost exclusively written and directed by men.

It was a moment that prompted considerable scrutiny of industry-wide gender disparity.

In that year, at the eight best-funded Australian theatre companies — members of the Major Performing Arts Group (MPAG) — just 24 per cent of plays were written by women, and 24 per cent were directed by women. A staggering 86 per cent of productions had at least one man as writer or director.


Bioplastics bad for environment says recycling expert Arthur Huang

www.dezeen.com: Bioplastics could potentially be worse for the environment than conventional plastics, according to recycling expert Arthur Huang.

Switching to plastic made from plants instead of fossil fuels would require vast amounts of farmland, Huang said. This could could cause environmental problems and deprive humans of food.


What’s Your Vision for a Post-Carbon Arts Sector?

HowlRound Theatre Commons: Sounding an alarm in October 2018, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a special report to warn the world about the impact of the smallest decimal point changes in global warming temperatures above pre-industrial levels. The report also stated that, in order to prevent even larger scale human suffering than we are currently on course to collide with, the world has to commit to drastically reducing global emissions starting now until 2030, or face a point of no return for humanity. This hard deadline implies not just a profound shift in our current lifestyles, but also the creation of entirely new systems and cultural values for how our civilization operates.


Dialogue: The things that make you fall back in love with theatre

Exeunt Magazine: It’s April, and it’s surprisingly cold, and Fun Home STILL hasn’t got the West End transfer it so richly deserves. So what happens when everything feels a bit grey, and you stop feeling passionate about an artform you’ve spent large portions of your adult life waxing lyrical about? And what makes that feeling come back? In this group piece, Exeunt writers talk about the shifting emotional landscape of their relationship with theatre, and explore what it’s like to fall in, and out, of love.