Monday, October 16, 2017

Worth a Look

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

When It Comes To Art, Why Is Sex More Controversial Than Race?

NYLON: I’m no expert, but I am aware enough to know that art isn’t meant to be loved by all; it’s meant to be criticized, evaluated, picked apart, sure. Some pieces are going to offend, and others are going to motivate. Why then, as of late, have pieces deemed “controversial,” also been deemed worthy of removal?

Snipers For Concerts? Jonathan Gilliam Makes His Case

Pollstar: Jonathan Gilliam has gone on the record that it is time for concerts to start thinking like the NFL and include law enforcement snipers and/or spotters.

This may seem extreme – if maybe less so after the events in Las Vegas – but Gilliam talked to Pollstar to make the case that it is a simple advancement, with no repercussions from the fans. Gilliam’s bio is at the bottom of the interview but it reads like Bruce Willis’s entire career: He has been a police officer, a SEAL, a DHS consultant, a Federal Air Marshal, an FBI Special Agent in charge of coordinating large events and their threat assessments, and has been seen on television news programs more than 1,000 times. He hosts his own Facebook TV show called “The Experts.”

Christopher Columbus on Stage: from Satirical to Savage

New York Theater: Even on Columbus Day, Christopher Columbus has largely gone out of favor – in America, and on stage. The closest recent nod to Columbus on a New York stage was a character named Before Columbus in the recent revival of Suzan-Lori Parks’ “The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World”

If that’s not the way it always was – the first play about Columbus goes back to the 1500’s (“El Nuevo de Mundo” by Lope de Vega); the first to be staged in America itself was in 1794 (“Columbus, or The Discovery of America. A Historical Play” by Thomas Morton) – yet even as far back as 1858, the theatrical treatment was far less than worshipful of the Italian explorer of the New World.

I’m a Coward I’m a coward.

Years ago, I went to a meeting in a hotel room with a powerful man. We started talking. He asked me about my sexual past, and I laughed and told some funny stories. I expect to talk about relationships and love and sex in meetings, since that’s what I write about. It was just the way he was asking me — he was pushing for details. I was suddenly aware of how alone I was in that room. Then he pointed to the bed next to us and said, “You know there’s a bed in here.” Like a young Dorothy Parker, with eloquence and wit beyond my years, I responded: “Yeah. I see that! Cool bed, man!”

Library trolls copyright zealots by naming collection after Sonny Bono

Ars Technica: The Internet Archive is an online library known for pushing the boundaries of copyright law to promote public access to obscure works, including classic video games and historic images. Now the organization is taking advantage of a little-noticed provision of the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act to publish complete copies of out-of-print books published between 1923 and 1941. The group hopes that the move will inspire other libraries to follow its lead, making hundreds of thousands of books from the mid-20th Century available for download.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Worth A Look

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

Las Vegas shootings raise doubts about safety of live entertainment Is live entertainment safe in the era of mass shootings, concert-hall bombings and terrorism of all sorts? Some security experts are ringing alarm bells — again.

But could even the best emergency preparedness plan have prevented what happened in Las Vegas or ameliorated the chaotic aftermath? Some security consultants think the tragedy at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival might have been a one-off.

Why LeBron James Doesn’t Own the Rights to His Tattoos LeBron James has three NBA championship rings, a house with a bowling alley, and sponsorship deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But does “King James” own the rights to the tattoos on his own skin?

That question is prompted by an ongoing copyright infringement lawsuit in New York, one of only a few suits to raise the legally murky issue of whether companies like movie and video game studios must pay to license the the work of tattoo artists the way they would pay for using a pop song, even if that tattoo is permanently inked on a person’s body.

Women to Watch 2017: Women Behind the Scenes

THE INTERVAL: Last year, we did a feature called “Women to Watch” where we asked women who had been featured on The Interval to recommend some emerging theatre artists who they thought deserved more attention. When thinking about how we wanted to do the feature this year, we decided to switch our focus and spotlight women working behind the scenes in theatre. From publicists to agents to literary managers, it takes a village to make a piece of theatre happen, and there are many talented women in those positions that deserve to have their work in the spotlight.

Staples Center to Offer Complimentary Sensory Safety Kits For Guests

Amplify: Staples Center is offering kits to fans with disabilities to improve the experience at the venue. The Los Angeles arena has created sensory safety kits for individuals affected by autism, PTSD or other sensory-related issues.

Watch Aaron Draplin design a logo in 15 minutes

Boing Boing: It's fun to watch an A-list designer like Aaron Draplin (creator of Field Notes notebooks) how he goes about designing a new logo. Here, he was challenged to design a logo for a concrete foundation company. He starts by just writing the name of the company with pencil and paper (not on a computer) and sees what the letters suggest.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Worth a Look

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

Standing ovation for the arts community

Houston Chronicle: Hurricane Harvey struck the downtown arts district both above and below the belt. Not only did water inundate the streets and force its way through the front door of the Houston Ballet's Center for Dance on Preston, it also rushed underground into the parking garage below Jones Plaza. Fetid stormwaters lapped at stranded cars and eventually forced their way into sections of the maze-like tunnel system that undergirds downtown. From there, it filled the basement housing the electrical equipment and props at the Alley Theatre.

Yearlong SAG-AFTRA + Video Game Strike Reaches Tentative End

Backstage: The longest strike in SAG-AFTRA’s history came to a close early Saturday morning with union negotiators reaching an agreement with 11 major video game companies over compensation, transparency, and vocal stress reduction.

In a statement released yesterday, SAG-AFTRA outlined the nature of the tentative agreement.

Why The World Needs Maker Faire

Medium: Since Maker Faire Bay Area, I have had the privilege of participating in vibrant Maker Faires in Barcelona, Xi’an (in China), Singapore, Tokyo, and Moscow. Also, during that time, we did something of a test-run of a Maker Faire in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Maker Faires have spread around the world — over 200 this year in 40 countries. This weekend the World Maker Faire takes place in New York City for the eighth time.

Supertitles Galore At The 2017 Avignon Festival: Necessary Or Not?

The Theatre Times: I’ve recently returned from the Avignon Festival where I’m sure I saw more shows with supertitles than ever before. As a supertitle artist myself and having just finished a translation of a book on supertitles for the theatre, my experience in Avignon has made me even more aware of the important role supertitles must play even if the challenge of reading them can be frustrating and annoying, to say the least.

A Rigged System

LinkedIn: A long time ago, the live events industry did not have all the safety regulations in place that you see today. An audiovisual company could go into a hotel with truss and motors, and rig the equipment for the show. Regulations were lax, prices were reasonable, and companies were given freedom to put on events without many restrictions. Unfortunately, there are many potential hazards in live show environments, and minimal safety regulations can lead to accidents if an equipment provider is not properly trained. Ultimately, hotels realized that hoisting heavy equipment over people’s heads posed a serious safety and liability issue, and began to implement restrictions that gave them control over rigging in their venues. While added safety is critical, a new era of rigging was born where complete control by the venue opened the door for price gouging and exploitation of the system.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Worth a Look

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

In Houston, a Theater Finds Itself Offstage After Harvey

WSJ: Dean Gladden breathed a sigh of relief two years ago when a $46.5 million renovation of the Alley Theatre, the first major improvement in the Tony Award-winning theater’s five-decade history, was finally completed.

Standing in the theater’s flood-damaged, putrid-smelling basement almost two weeks after Hurricane Harvey dumped trillions of gallons of rain on the nation’s fourth largest city, Mr. Gladden was almost breathless.

Report Reveals ‘Class-Shaped Hole’ in UK Acting Industry

Backstage: Tracy Brabin has been Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire since 2016 after a by-election triggered by the murder of Jo Cox. She considers herself part of “the exciting influx of Labour MPs in the last year, most of whom have done other jobs”. Tracy’s other job was as an actor, coming to the Labour Party after a 20 year career; breaking through in the 1989 comedy-drama “A Bit of a Do”, becoming a regular in “Coronation Street”, “Emmerdale” and “Eastenders” and later writing for “Tracey Beaker”, “Heartbeat” and “Shameless”. Last month the results of her and fellow MP Gloria de Piero’s inquiry into access and diversity in the acting industry were published, evidencing what many have known for some time: “There is a class-shaped hole in the industry”.

Netflix Ends Unauthorized 'Stranger Things' Bar With A Super Classy Letter

Logan Square - Chicago - DNAinfo: We've got bad news for anyone who assumed the wildly popular "Stranger Things" pop-up bar would get an extended run.

Netflix won't let the Logan Square venue at 2367 N. Milwaukee Ave. stay open past the six-week mark.

Adam Beach on Hollywood's Erasure of Native Actors

Colorlines: Adam Beach (“Suicide Squad”), one of the country’s most recognizable Native thespians, understands just how often Indigenous narratives are Whitewashed. He denounces this ongoing erasure—which is connected to a centuries-long legacy of genocide and forced assimilation whose remnants still threaten Native communities

Amber Tamblyn: I’m Done With Not Being Believed

The New York Times: When I was 21, I went into the office of a producer of the television show I was starring in to discuss a big problem. By this point I had been acting for more than a decade, and the show was very successful and beloved. Still, I was nervous about facing the firing squad of Emmys that sat behind him and saying what I had to say.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Worth a Look

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

At North Shore Music Theatre, An Absence of Race, Ethnicity and Understanding Prevails

Arts Integrity Initiative: It’s a bit hard to follow the thinking of Bill Hanney, the owner and producer at North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts. Initially, it was hard because Hanney was silent, not responding to complaints – initiated by Lauren Villegas of Project Am I Right? – over the lack of Latinx casting in the company’s production Evita, which has no Latinx performers in principal roles and seemingly few in the entire cast.

Philadelphia stagehands union to strike against Walnut Street Theatre

Philadelphia Business Journal: The Philadelphia Stagehands Union Local 8 will go on strike against the Walnut Street Theatre, which stagehand officials allege discriminated against two of its now-terminated members.

The 750-member Local 8 at 5 p.m. on Wednesday will go on strike after the theater company allegedly terminated two stagehand members over the Labor Day weekend, according to a release issued Wednesday by the union.

Women on Broadcast TV: Little Progress for Diversity (Study)

Variety: The progress of women in the television industry continues to be incremental when it hasn’t stalled out, according to the annual Boxed In study conducted by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.

Lawyers Overcome First Challenge In Showing 'We Shall Overcome' Is In The Public Domain

Techdirt: A year and a half ago, we wrote about how the same team of lawyers who successfully got "Happy Birthday" recognized as being in the public domain (despite decades of Warner Chappell claiming otherwise, and making boatloads of money) had set their sites on a similar fight over the copyright status of the song "We Shall Overcome." There were a lot of details in the original lawsuit that we wrote about -- all suggesting very strongly that the song "We Shall Overcome" was way older than the copyright holder claimed, and it was almost certainly in the public domain.

How does Burning Man affect Pyramid Lake Paiute community? Over the years, Burning Man has grown from a small group of friends on Baker Beach in San Francisco in 1986 to one of the largest art festivals to date in the world.

The event moved in the 1990s to Black Rock City, Nevada — located about 3 hours northeast of Reno — and these days it attacts nearly 70,000 people annually from across the world to participate in the week-long festival to witness various forms of artistic self-expression.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Worth a Look

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

Houston Opera, Symphony, Ballet, Theaters Devastated For the second time in less than two decades, the 17-block Houston theater district, the second largest in the country, has been severely damaged by flooding. Hurricane Harvey defied an elaborate system of flood gates designed to protect the underground facilities, and the Houston Grand Opera, Symphony, Ballet, and other, smaller organizations have been flooded.

Keeping ‘Insecure’ lit: HBO cinematographer Ava Berkofsky on properly lighting black faces

\ The actors on HBO’s Insecure are hotter than you. They’re hotter than your friends, they’re hotter than me and they’re even hotter than the ex the show won’t let you forget about. Co-created by writer and star Issa Rae (along with Larry Wilmore), the series gives viewers a window into black life as a late 20-/early 30-something in Los Angeles — the hookups and personal hang-ups, the office politics and friendship dynamics. But whether you’re #TeamIssa or #TeamLawrence, you have to admit the people who portray the show’s female and male leads — Rae and actor Jay Ellis — pop on screen, as do everyone else. This isn’t an accident.

CMU Drama Students Take A Stand Against Hate

Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama: “Taking A Stand Against Hate,” an inclusivity forum in response to the events that occurred in Charlottesville in August, took place Sept. 1, in the lobby of the Purnell Center for the Arts.

The Top 10 BFA Theatre Design & Tech Programs in the Country for 2017-18

OnStage Blog: The end of August is usually a time where college seems to be on everyone's mind. Whether it's incoming freshmen getting ready to move into their residence halls or high school seniors preparing their applications, college is a constant discussion.

For theatre students, where you attend can certainly have an impact on your career with the type of training you receive. It's also important to note that while each school listed here is excellent, a college degree doesn't guarantee success nor is one required to become successful in this industry.

Immersive entertainment has a naming problem

The Verge: Last week, news broke that Disney was surveying customers about a new name for its Florida-based Hollywood Studios. The change would come alongside a fundamental reimagining of the park itself, moving away from the ride-centric home to attractions like Star Tours and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and towards a more interactive, immersive land in line with the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy Edge. “Enter this newly named Disney Theme Park and completely immerse yourself in the realm of some of your favorite stories,” the survey read, promising guests the chance to “step into imagined worlds made real, and take the lead in an adventure that surrounds you at every turn.”

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Worth a Look

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

Equity Members Set to Vote on Dues Raise

Backstage: Actors’ Equity Association, the country’s union for professional actors and stage managers, is hoping to increase its annual membership dues for the first time since 2002. But before the fees are raised, the members whom it would affect must approve the motion.

This proposal is part of a union campaign known as “Equity 2020,” which as the union stated in an email to membership, “was create a more aggressive, inclusive and responsive union over the next three years.”

IATSE Donates Funds to Assist Members Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Stage Directions: Due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, the IATSE will donate $10,000 to the Walsh/DiTolla/Spivak Foundation to provide financial assistance to affected IATSE members and their families. Local unions and members of the IATSE are asked to contribute what they can to the Foundation, enabling affected members and their families more flexibility to cope with the challenges created by Harvey.

“Gone With the Wind” dropped from Memphis theater over racial concerns According to a report published on Deadline, the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee has pulled the classic 1939 film “Gone With the Wind” from its schedule after determining that it was “insensitive to a large segment of its local population.”

Statements from the management of the Orpheum note that there had been a broad and often negative local response to the August 11 screening of the Academy-Award winning tale of the Civil War Era South starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable.

'Born in China' filmmakers wore these silly panda suits to get up close DisneyNature filmmakers are known for doing whatever it takes to get stunning footage of wildlife up close — even wearing goofy-looking panda suits required to shoot real pandas for Born in China.

Yes, director Lu Chuan's ground crew really wore panda outfits, complete with panda poop smell, to shoot the hit nature film, released around Earth Day and set for a Blu-ray release Aug. 29.

Oak Brook theater defends same-sex couple, interracial casting in Shakespeare play First Folio Theatre executive director David Rice did something this week he hasn't had to do in 35 years as a theater professional: He defended his company's casting and his director's vision.

In an email statement to First Folio supporters and the press, Rice addressed complaints from some theatergoers objecting to the Oak Brook theater's casting of William Shakespeare's "As You Like It." The production features a same-sex couple and three interracial couples.

Monday, September 04, 2017

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

This usually goes on the other page, but I wasn't paying attention and forgot to post it.  So now it's here.

Here are the top five comment generating posts from last week's Greenpage:

Three Reasons Why Your Theatre Degree Isn’t Useless

OnStage Blog: People with theatre degrees and those pursuing them have heard countless comments suggesting they haven’t made the right choice.

“You know you’re not going to make a lot of money, right?”

“Why don’t you get a more practical degree?”

“So you want to wait tables for the rest of your life?”

Some of these comments have come from theatre folks themselves, such as:

“Yeah, I’m going to be an actor, which means I’m going to live in a cardboard box forever.”

These perceptions towards theatre degrees are disappointing for a variety of reasons. Obviously, these sorts of comments are far from uplifting.

Billy Porter: Why I am committed to disturbing the peace

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: So it looks like I caused a kerfuffle this past Sunday at my concert at the amphitheater at Hartwood Acres. It appears that some folks were offended by the colorful language I used in my “political rant,” dissenting from President Donald Trump and his cronies. Here’s what I’ll say:

First and foremost, I apologize for dropping F-bombs in the presence of children.

Race, Money and Broadway: How ‘Great Comet’ Burned Out

The New York Times: The young, flamboyant and unusually diverse collective of actors and musicians who brought “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” to Broadway enjoyed the giddy highs of theater’s most glamorous perch — a run at the grand Imperial Theater, a season-topping 12 Tony nominations, a spotlight shared with the pop star Josh Groban.

For most of the performers, it was their first time on a Broadway stage. Costumed as punkified peasants and aristocrats in a bold musical adaptation of Tolstoy, they danced down the aisles, handing out pierogies and creating an unusually immersive musical experience.

Backstage at 'Aladdin': The magic of design, costume makes everything sparkle

Chicago Tribune: Wishes have been granted by a genie and a magic carpet has flown for months at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago, where the national touring production of Disney’s “Aladdin” has brought the animated film’s Agrabah to life on the proscenium since April. Show after show, the journey of a street rat-with-dreams, from penniless urchin to prince, all comes together like magic.

17 Important Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job Offer To some applicants, the lure of receiving a monthly salary after months of job hunting is so irresistible they sign the first offer they get.

Maybe they already know the offered compensation package, maybe knowing their basic salary is going to be bigger than what they received previously was enough.

But money isn’t the only item you’re agreeing to when you accept a job offer.