Sunday, January 31, 2016

Worth a Look

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

Billie Joe Armstrong Warns of Censorship After School Cancels 'American Idiot'

The New York Times: In what could be a scene straight from the punkish musical “American Idiot,” a Connecticut high school has canceled a planned production of the show, citing its sex, drugs and foul language.

Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead singer of Green Day, and a co-writer of the book for the musical based on his band’s 2004 rock opera of the same name, responded on Instagram, calling the decision by the school, Enfield High, an issue of censorship.

The Shittiness Of IP Law Has Taught The Public That Everything Is Stealing And Everyone Is Owed Something

Techdirt: In an article that's actually a bit (but just a bit) more thoughtful than the headline applied to it ("How Corporations Profit From Black Teens' Viral Content"), Fader writer Doreen St. Felix tackles the cultural appropriation of creative works. Sort of.

New York Jets Cheerleaders Win $325,000 Class-Action Settlement; The New York Jets are paying out approximately $324,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by the team’s cheerleading squad over low wages.

New York Attorney General Calls For Caps On Ticket Resale Prices, Outlawing Of Scalper Bots

Consumerist: When you go to buy tickets for a popular concert or sporting event, you likely know that you’ll ultimately have to make your purchase from a ticket reseller who will mark up the price to try maximize their profit. But the New York state attorney general is calling on the state legislature to put new rules into place that would protect consumers from scalpers who swoop in and buy up every ticket before they are available to actual fans.

“Ticketing is a fixed game,” said NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today, as his office released the results of a three-year investigation [PDF] into the event ticketing industry.

How Big Is The Gig Economy? The Government Is Finally Going To Find Out The gig economy has launched a healthy "future of work" panel circuit amid a roaring debate over whether apps like Uber, Postmates, and Handy—which hire an army of independent contractors instead of employees—represent a return to the sweatshop or a new freedom to work when and how one pleases. But all sides of the debate face the same dilemma: When they propose a new policy or launch a new initiative, they have only a vague idea of how many workers it could impact. There is no current government data that specifically catalogs this group of workers.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Worth a Look

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

Write Something Funny: Why Comedy is Vital to the Future of Theatre

HowlRound: There is something wonderful about a theatre full of laughter.

I’ve experienced moments of tragedy as an audience member so tense that you would shush a pin for dropping, have been enraptured by spectacle storytelling, and have had my personal values challenged by deep intellectual pieces that sit with me for weeks.

But there is something different about a theatre full of laughter.

Phil Willmott: Let’s be proud of fringe theatre again

Opinion | The Stage: I've been thinking it's time we became proud of the words 'fringe theatre' again.

It’s a sad fact that there are a gazillion more people who want to make their living in theatre than the industry’s commercial and subsidised sector can sustain. For many of us, at some time or another in our working lives, there’s no alternative but to volunteer our downtime to be in fringe shows if we want to play a great role, work on a great play, bulk up our CV and showcase our talents.

The Play Lovers' Guide to BroadwayCon! Your Itinerary For A Theatre-Filled Weekend BroadwayCon isn't just for fans of musical theatre. We've got the breakdown of everything to see and do for the fans of straight plays, so you can make the most of your weekend.

Theatre’s Technical Jobs: Much More Than Meets the Eye

AMERICAN THEATRE: We’re living in what is sometimes called the Information Age—an apt name for the constant flow of facts and data in which we swim, all made possible by ever-accelerating breakthroughs in computing. The catch, of course, is that, in a society where the one constant seems to be technological change, we may have too much information to process, too many systems to learn—and much of it will be obsolete by the time we’ve taken it in.

“You could probably have a full-time job just keeping up with the changes in technology,” says Erik Lawson, who started as an audio engineer and is now a sound designer based in New York City.

AMERICANNot in Our Theatre: The Fight Against Sexual Harassment

AMERICAN THEATRE: On Jan. 30, 2015, after a long day in rehearsals, Chicago actor Lori Myers posted the following on her Facebook page: “It is very discouraging to me to continuously hear stories of sexual exploitation concerning young women in our theatre community. These women were sometimes underage, manipulated, and traumatized. If your friend, sister, daughter, or coworker was working under a sexual predator—what would you do about it?”

Monday, January 18, 2016

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from Last Week's Greenpage that mightbe worth your time...

Bowie's magical wardrobe led his fans into strange new musical landscapes There is no real need to reiterate that Bowie was a fashion icon. That, if this week’s posthumous tributes are anything to go by, is a given. Nor is there any further call for a detailed account of his greatest looks; his talent for reinvention; his impact upon the aesthetics of his culture; or the influence he continues to exert upon contemporary designers. All of this has been amply covered elsewhere.

‘Midnight Rider’: Randall Miller Attorneys Defend Request for Release

Variety: Randall Miller’s legal team said in a court filing on Tuesday that there was nothing unethical with his motion for an early release nor does it signal a breach of his plea agreement for charges related to the Feb. 20, 2014 train accident on the set of “Midnight Rider.”

Judge Allows Graffiti Artist's Lawsuit Over Katy Perry's Met Gala Dress

Hollywood Reporter: The renowned street artist known as "Rime" wins the right to pursue a well-known fashion designer for ripping off his mural.

In November, we asked the question: Is anything worn by pop superstar Katy Perry protected by the U.S. Constitution? Well, it appears as though the answer to this question is a firm "no."

Submitting Like a Man: My year resubmitting scripts as a dude

HowlRound: Strap on your balls and grow some chest hair: for the next year, I will be submitting like a man: resubmitting every script I have written, but under a man’s name.

Let me explain.

From the day I graduated NYU nine years ago with a shiny new BFA in Dramatic Writing, I started submitting plays. There are many ways one can build a resume as a playwright, and submitting to calls for scripts was the one I chose. A few months in, I started keeping a list of all the submissions I was doing. Part organization, part paranoia—I wanted to have a record of where I’d sent my stuff.

SM as Whistle-Blower

Stage Directions: You are rehearsing a show and the director wants to change the script. What should you do? What can you do?

Stage Directions editor Jacob Coakley interviewed Howard Sherman about new productions being inspired/borrowing/stealing from older or original productions of the same show. It is a terrific interview, especially when Sherman makes points about authorial intent and what we are teaching aspiring artists and audiences about intellectual property in art.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

It's Official

From the commissioner:

 Proving fairly conclusively from my perspective that fantasy sports are not a skill.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Well That Was Unlikely

Pierogies Win!

I'd like to thank the Rams' and Chiefs' defenses and special teams.  After so many years of just being filler in this league it is nice to actually win.


Friday, January 01, 2016

Radio Check

A short list of things detrimental to Blogging tempo:

  • Facebook
  • Computer games
  • Children
  • The DVR/Netflix/Binge watching
  • RSS readers
  • Significant illness
  • Other blogs/webpages
  • Friends
  • Books
Trying to do better.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Worth a Look

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

Broadway Lacks Diversity, Parity Behind the Curtain

Variety: Just last week, “Allegiance,” a musical set during the Japanese-American internments of WWII, and starring a mostly Asian-American cast (including George Takei), opened hot on the heels of “On Your Feet!,” the biomusical of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, with a predominant-ly Latino cast. Already open is a production of chestnut “The Gin Game” starring Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones; and a new staging of “Spring Awakening” featuring deaf actors and, for the first time in Broadway history, an actor who uses a wheelchair.

Le Bataclan, Past And Future

Pollstar: Le Bataclan has, in its 151-year history, hosted ballet, theatre, traveling acts including “Buffalo Bill” Cody, movies and, in its most recent incarnation, artists of any and all genres. On Nov. 13, it became a slaughterhouse for terrorists who burst in, held hostages for five hours and murdered 89 people.

Gender Swapping Shakespeare Is Far More than a Reaction

Flavorwire: A lot of the discussion surrounding gender-swapped Shakespeare productions hinges on an idea of theatrical reparation. The idea isn’t just that these casting decisions make up for the Elizabethan refusal to let women play any part, but also that they address the dearth of substantial female roles in Shakespeare’s works (at least outside the comedies). People talk about revival/reboot culture in TV and film — but theater has functioned as a revival culture for centuries, and has proven both the innovations and the potential paralyses therein. In an art form predicated primarily on endless reconstitutions of the past, that not only cherishes its classics, but necessitates their constant rebirth, such changes have to be made if the theater wishes to explore and critique male-dominated pasts without perpetuating a male-dominated present.

Seven Standards in Public Review

Stage Directions: PLASA North America isn’t letting the split from PLASA EU get in the way of their standards process. They’ve just posted seven standards for public review on their website. ​

Dramatists Guild Blasts Directors Who Cast Characters "Outside His or Her Obvious Race, Gender"

Breaking Character: Recent controversy over casting non-white characters in stage productions has prompted the Dramatists Guild to issue a position paper opposing “casting a character outside his or her obvious race, gender or implicit characteristics. To do so without meaningful consultation with the writer is both a moral and a legal breach” of the DG contract.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Worth a Look

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

What If I'm Attacked at Work? A Crew Primer, Part 1

JOL: In Paris last Friday, 13 November 2015, a few jihadi cowards stormed into Le Bataclan and murdered scores of people with AK-47’s. At FOH, the house lighting tech, Nathalie Jardin, took rounds and died form her injuries. Merchandiser Nick Alexander died from his gunshots onsite. They were just at work, doing what they loved, making the almighty dollar, but mostly digging the journey that we call Entertainment.

Publisher Claims The Diary of Anne Frank Was Co-Written by Her Father

Flavorwire: The Anne Frank Fonds has announced it intends to re-file their copyright of Anne Frank’s famous diary, adding Anne’s father Otto Frank (who incidentally established the Anne Frank Fonds in 1963) as a co-author of the book.

Why is this happening? Because The Diary of Anne Frank was supposed to enter the public domain on January, 1, 2016.

Color Conscious Directing: Three More Questions to Ask

HowlRound: Since I first wrote about color-conscious casting, I’ve learned—by directing my own productions as well as casting plays that I did not direct—that color-conscious casting doesn’t guarantee a color-conscious production. Diverse casting is a cause; a more challenging and/or inclusive conversation is not inherently an effect.

To recap, I believe that “color-conscious” casting means casting a production with a lens for how race factors into the story of the play. It’s treated as an additional given in the fabric of the production. For me, “color-blind” casting doesn’t work because audiences are not blind to how diverse casting changes their view of the story. I think sometimes, during casting, we put blinders on and then forget to take them off when we enter the rehearsal room.

Teaching, Learning, and Making Theatre in a Time of Crisis

OnStage: It’s been a difficult week. From terror in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad to racial tensions at the University of Missouri and other college campuses nationwide…it’s been a difficult week. When things get this hard and this stressful, I think back to a question someone asked me once when I was an undergraduate. “Why,” they asked, “when there are people starving, and terrorists, and police brutality, and injustice, and racism, and political upheavals, and homeless people, and so many other terrible things, WHY would you think THEATRE is important?!?” My answer then is the same as my answer now. Theatre is important specifically BECAUSE of all of those things.

Suspension Bridges of Disbelief

Hackaday: Suspension bridges are far and away the target of choice in America’s action blockbusters. In just the past three years, the Golden Gate Bridge has been destroyed by a Kaiju, Godzilla, a Skynet-initiated nuclear blast, and a tsunami. Americans don’t build real bridges anymore, or maintain the ones that we have, but we sure love to blow them up in movies.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Worth a Look

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

The White Version of MLK in 'The Mountaintop'

The Root: “I remember he had the prettiest skin I had ever seen. Flawless. So chocolate you could see yourself reflected in it,” Carrie Hall, my mother, recounted wistfully. On March 28, 1968, she had caught a glimpse of Martin Luther King Jr. when he came to Memphis, Tenn., to lead a march for sanitation workers. It quickly descended into a police-provoked riot fueled by tear gas and bullets. My mother remembers fleeing for her life to the safety of her home, mere blocks from the Lorraine Motel. Seven days later, King would be murdered at that very motel, a sniper’s bullet piercing his flawless brown skin.

Independent Contractors and the American Theatre

HowlRound: Very early in my career, I accepted a summer job with a large producing organization. Happy to be working, I didn’t mind that the compensation totaled less than $100 per week. I assumed it was the cost of “getting my foot in the door” and was still young and idealistic enough to not mind living on beans and rice. Several months later, navigating the world of income tax for the first time, I received a tax form from this organization unlike the W-2’s I had received from my other employers: IRS Form 1099-MISC. Mystified, I turned to tax preparation software and plugged in all of the endless data required.

Everything I Love Is Problematic

The Mary Sue: Everything I love is problematic, I’m realizing. Star Wars and Harry Potter don’t have enough diversity. Every person in the comedy group Monty Python is a white man. Pitch Perfect 2, Mean Girls, and Family Guy have jokes that are offensive to many groups of people. Bill Cosby, H.P. Lovecraft, and Marion Zimmer Bradley were not good people. I can’t wear my Jayne hat without worrying a little hate will leak into my ears through that adorable pompon. In short, just like people, no media is perfect.

The story behind NYC's only backlot

Business Insider: The Kaufman Astoria Studios are located in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, about a 20-minute subway ride from Times Square, and they're one of the biggest and most complex production centers along the East Coast.

A new “Happy Birthday” boss? Charity claims it owns famous song’s copyright

Ars Technica: In September, a judge ruled that music licensor Warner-Chappell doesn't own the copyright to "Happy Birthday." The question now seems to have become who does?

A charity called the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) has now stepped forward to say that if Warner loses the copyright, it should become the rightful owner. Earlier this week, ACEI filed court papers (PDF) asking to intervene in the copyright dispute.