Monday, May 14, 2018

Worth a Look

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

EU rule could leave theatres dark

Letters | Stage | The Guardian: I am writing to you as the president of the Association of Lighting Designers, and as the Founder of Theatre Projects, an international theatre design company that for 60 years has been at the forefront of British theatre technology, responsible for the stage design of the National Theatre, and for over 1,500 theatre projects in 80 counties.

A Mass of Copyrighted Works Will Soon Enter the Public Domain

The Atlantic: The Great American Novel enters the public domain on January 1, 2019—quite literally. Not the concept, but the book by William Carlos Williams. It will be joined by hundreds of thousands of other books, musical scores, and films first published in the United States during 1923. It’s the first time since 1998 for a mass shift to the public domain of material protected under copyright. It’s also the beginning of a new annual tradition: For several decades from 2019 onward, each New Year’s Day will unleash a full year’s worth of works published 95 years earlier.

Charlie Douglass and his Laff Box invented the laugh track as we know it. Douglass was a mechanical engineer who had worked on radar for the Navy in World War II, so he knew his way around audio and electronics. In 1950, The Hank McCune Show, a mostly forgotten series from NBC, had used a rudimentary laugh track. But by 1953, Douglass had developed a better way to insert a laugh into a show. If you’ve ever watched an old sitcom, you’ve almost certainly heard his work.

Stage Managers And Human Reaction Time

TheatreArtLife: When I was first learning how to “be” a stage manager, I learned how to properly record blocking, how to lay out spike tape, and the best way to distribute a schedule. Nothing prepared me for having a direct impact on the physical well-being of my performers.

A Colorblind Make-up Artist Defies the Odds

Make-Up Artist Magazine: Being a make-up artist is a challenge. Being a colorblind make-up artist is a conquest.

Toby Derrig found out he was colorblind in first grade when he accidentally colored a Texas Longhorn green and almost got sent to the “time out chair” for messing around. That led to a doctor’s appointment where he was diagnosed with extreme deuteranopia. Derrig was colorblind.

Worth a Look - Time's Up

And five more:

WriteGirlTaps Actors, Screenwriters to Support Young, Female Writers

Variety: Actors and screenwriters came together Saturday night to support the young women involved in WriteGirl at the organization’s annual Lights, Camera, WriteGirl! event.

Tribeca Film Festival 2018: Time’s Up Staged a Tribeca Takeover Saturday was a day of reckoning at the Tribeca Film Festival as voices from the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements brought their message of survival, empowerment and advocacy from Hollywood to New York City. Oscar-winning actresses Julianne Moore and Lupita Nyong’o, Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo, actresses Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Ashley Judd, former NFL player Wade Davis, activist Tarana Burke—who was also awarded a Disruptive Innovation award at this year’s festival—and more were on hand to talk about the movement’s momentum and what comes next.

Time's Up Women of Color Tell Their Industry to #MuteRKelly

The Mary Sue: We’ve already taken down Bill Cosby for his decades-long history of abusing and assaulting women. Now, it’s R. Kelly’s turn. The Women of Color of Time’s Up have banded together to call on their industry to boycott and investigate R. Kelly.

A Matter of Legitimacy: Female Nudity On-screen

Balder and Dash | Roger Ebert: Hollywood is built on negotiations. Managers negotiate rates, stars negotiate their time. But actresses are often gifted an additional element to negotiate: the surrender of their bodies for the camera. Where a bare breast was once considered taboo, now audiences barely bat an eye at female nudity. It’s expected, anticipated, demanded. With the rise of #MeToo and #TimesUp we’ve seen women gain equal pay and a more comforting atmosphere regarding sexual harassment, yet on-screen nudity remains an ambiguous gray area.

The Crown's Claire Foy to Receive $275,000 in Back Salary Following Pay Disparity In March of this year, Left Bank Pictures, the producers behind Netflix’s monarchy fantasia The Crown, found themselves in hot water after revealing that supporting actor Matt Smith (Prince Philip) takes home a larger salary than star Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II).

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Worth a Look

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

Term of Affection? Ethnic Slur? Theater Union Decides That ‘Gypsy’ Must Go.

The New York Times: They are itinerant singers and dancers. Chorus members. The names below the title. But should they still be called gypsies?

Actors’ Equity Association doesn’t think so. The union that represents stage performers announced this week that it would cease using the title “Gypsy Robe” to describe one of its most cherished insider rituals — the passing of a colorful patchwork garment from one chorus to another on a Broadway show’s opening night — citing the potential offense to Roma people.

The action is prompting a combination of reflection and head-scratching in the tight-knit theater world.

Music Modernization Act Unanimously Passes House of Representatives

Variety: In what is being hailed as a historic day for music creators, theMusic Modernization Act passed the House Wednesday, paving the way for improved royalty payments to songwriters, artists and creatives in the digital era. The bill, HR 5477, passed unanimously with 415 votes. The bill is overwhelmingly supported by the music industry, and has bipartisan support in the house, where it was introduced by co-sponsors Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).

The Simpsons' Hank Azaria Says He's Willing to Stop Voicing Apu

Collider: A few weeks ago, The Simpsons accidentally became relevant again, but not in the way the show intended. An episode titled “No Good Read Goes Unpunished” responded to the recent documentary The Problem with Apu, which points out that Apu, while not a malevolent figure, is an Indian stereotype that has been used to mock people of Indian and East Asian descent, so perhaps the show should rethink the character.

German theater asks guests to wear swastikas for Hitler play

The Seattle Times: A theater in southern Germany is proceeding with plans to open a satirical play Friday about Adolf Hitler’s youth in which some patrons will be wearing swastika armbands, despite objections and legal complaints. The Konstanz Theater’s production of George Tabori’s “Mein Kampf ” opens Friday night for a monthlong run.

How trans characters were described in screenplays. Earlier this month, a Vulture feature put screenwriters under a microscope, compiling their introductions for memorable female characters. The descriptions were sometimes worthy of the characters they ushered into the story, as with Carrie Fisher’s extensive and evocative description of Doris Mann in Postcards from the Edge. More often, they revealed a reliance on tired tropes and a fixation on physique—Double Indemnity‘s femme fatale is distinguished by her “very appetizing torso.”

Worth a Look - Time's Up

And five more...

Matt Smith Finally Speaks Out on The Crown Pay Disparity

The Mary Sue: Thanks to the Time’s Up movement, Hollywood’s gender pay gap is no longer a secret, and more stories are coming out. One egregious example came last month, when the producers of Netflix’s The Crown revealed that Claire Foy, who plays the title role of Queen Elizabeth II, was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith during the first and second season of the global hit. In fact, on a show reportedly budgeted at $7 million an episode, Claire Foy took home a comparably measly $40,000 per episode. That’s less than one percent of the budget allocated to the star.

Viola Davis Comments on #MeToo at Power of Women

Variety: On the red carpet for Variety‘s Power of Women New York event Friday, Viola Davis shared her thoughts on the #MeToo movement, its implications, and the lasting effects of sexual assault. “I think the conversation now is people really feel like the impact is just a woman loses her career — it’s way deeper than that,” Davis said. “You lose your life in that moment.”

Clayne Crawford Explains ‘Lethal Weapon’ Reprimands, Apologizes

Variety: Star Clayne Crawford apologized to the cast and crew of “Lethal Weapon” Tuesday in the wake of reports claiming that his behavior on set has endangered the future of the Fox drama.

Former union leader denies allegations

Albuquerque Journal: A former New Mexico labor and film union leader has denied allegations brought against him in a lawsuit.
Jon Hendry is the former president of the New Mexico Federation of Labor and the former business agent for the local chapter of the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees.

Why I Am Boycotting Writers Theatre in Chicago The controversy at Writers, a widely respected company located near Chicago, is a few months old, so I’ll quickly recap. Last fall, CFR broke a story that former Writers intern Tom Robson accused longtime Artistic Director Michael Halberstam of sexually harassing him both verbally and physically in 2003. The story spread to other outlets; soon, the trade publication PerformInk released a more detailed account of how widespread Halberstam’s harassment had been, reporting that “what happened to Robson has happened to others,” and that schools were even warning students about auditioning for the company.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Worth a Look

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

No More Hotel Auditions, Says Union Representing Actors

The Two-Way : NPR: SAG-AFTRA is calling for an end to auditions in private hotel rooms or residences, after a spate of sexual harassment allegations against powerful Hollywood figures. "We are committed to addressing the scenario that has allowed predators to exploit performers behind closed doors under the guise of a professional meeting," the union's president, Gabrielle Carteris, said in a statement.

Actors' Equity votes to change the name of the Gypsy Robe

Broadway News: The Gypsy Robe is changing its name.

After hearing concerns about the insensitivity of the name, the Actors’ Equity Association has voted to rename the robe that is awarded to the chorus member with the highest number of Broadway credits on opening night of a show. The name change will be put in place next season and the more than 60-year-old tradition of the robe will continue.

White Actor Is Voicing A Black Character In ‘Spy Kids’

New Pittsburgh Courier: The computer-animated series Spy Kids: Mission Critical is hits Netflix on Friday. The ten episodes will follow attendees at Spy Kids Academy, which is a top secret school for kid agents. The kids have to save the world against an evil force known as S.W.A.M.P. (Sinister Wrongdoers Against Mankind’s Preservation) and their leader, Golden Brain. The series including one Black male character, known as PSI, but the actor who is voicing the character, Travis Turner, is white .

What Proposed EU 2020 Lighting Regulations Really Mean

Live Events: The UK’s Association of Lighting Designers (ALD), as part of its Save Stage Lighting Campaign that is warning of the devastating effects the proposed EU 2020 Lighting regulations would have on production lighting, has today released a clear, concise guide to those regulations.

The monkey selfie lawsuit lives

The Verge: Just when you thought you wouldn’t hear about the monkey selfie ever again, the legal saga lives once more. Although the parties — the photographer, a self-publishing book company, and PETA, on behalf of the selfie-taking monkey — reached a settlement in September of last year, the Ninth Circuit is now refusing to dismiss the case. This means the court will be coming out with an official appellate decision about the monkey selfie.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Worth a Look

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

'The Simpsons' To 'The Problem With Apu': Drop Dead

Monkey See : NPR: Comedian Hari Kondabolu made a documentary in 2017 called The Problem With Apu. It's not very long — less than an hour. In it, he interrogates the legacy of Apu, the convenience store owner on The Simpsons voiced by Hank Azaria. Kondabolu talked to other actors and comics who longed for more South Asian representation, only to find that at the time, Apu was just about all there was. And Apu was not only voiced by a white actor, but he was doing what Azaria has acknowledged is a take on Peter Sellers doing an Indian accent in the movie The Party. In other words, he based his caricature of an accent on someone else's caricature of an accent. Or, as Kondabolu said on W. Kamau Bell's show Totally Biased, "a white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father."

OHIO study shows high number of concussion-related symptoms in performing arts A recent study released by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine shows a stunning number of participants not only experienced concussion-related symptoms and head impacts but also continued performing either without reporting the incident or without receiving the recommended care. These participants were not taking part in any sporting contest at the time, however. They are theater personnel.

Equity Launches Campaign for Tony Awards Chorus + Ensemble Category

Backstage: Actors’ Equity, the nation’s union for live theater actors and stage managers, has launched a campaign petitioning the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League to offer a new category in the Tony Awards: best chorus and best ensemble in a musical or play.

Queer Women of DC TV: Power of Inclusive Stories at ClexaCon

The Mary Sue: “It’s all about stories,” said Chyler Leigh at the final panel of ClexaCon on Sunday, April 8th. If there’s one phrase that can sum up the impact of the myriad queer women and characters that were celebrated at the three-day con in Las Vegas, that’s it. ClexaCon was both a celebration of wonderful shows, creators, ships, and characters, and a reminder of the impact these stories have on their audiences.

The EU's latest copyright proposal is so bad, it even outlaws Creative Commons licenses

Boing Boing: The EU is mooting a new copyright regime for the largest market in the world, and the Commissioners who are drafting the new rules are completely captured by the entertainment industry, to the extent that they have ignored their own experts and produced a farcical Big Content wishlist that includes the most extensive internet censorship regime the world has ever seen, perpetual monopolies for the biggest players, and a ban on European creators using Creative Commons licenses to share their works.

Worth a Look - Time's Up

And five more...

Nondisclosure Agreements, Inclusion Riders + More U.K. Legal News

Backstage: After revelations about the use and abuse of nondisclosure agreements against staff at the now infamous Presidents Club fundraiser as well as their use in the silencing of allegations against Harvey Weinstein, there’s increased pressure on the government to look into the legality of NDAs and to better regulate or even ban their use. The Human Rights Commission, a U.K. rights body, released a major report and said that NDAs were being misused to sweep misconduct “under the carpet” instead of their original purpose: to protect the identity of victims.

Molly Ringwald Revisits “The Breakfast Club” in the Age of #MeToo

The New Yorker: Earlier this year, the Criterion Collection, which is “dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world,” released a restored version of “The Breakfast Club,” a film written and directed by John Hughes that I acted in, more than three decades ago. For this edition, I participated in an interview about the movie, as did other people close to the production.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Carousel,’ After #MeToo Billy Bigelow says he does not beat his wife. “I wouldn’t beat a little thing like that — I hit her,” he explains to the Starkeeper, head man in heaven’s waiting room. But I’ve gotten ahead of myself.

Bigelow is the protagonist in Carousel, the second work by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, and one that’s come to be known as a problem musical, or “the wife-beater musical.” And the problem is not that Billy hits his wife, Julie, but that Julie, seemingly, makes an excuse for him, thereby teaching their daughter Louise that abuse is a form of love.

Why Should You Try Inclusion Riders? Because They Work — For Everyone

Variety: When Frances McDormand introduced the wider world to the phrase “inclusion rider” during the 2018 Oscars, it had an effect almost immediately. Weeks later, the production companies of Michael B. Jordan, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, and Paul Feig were among those jumping on board, saying they would adhere to the riders’ mandate to include certain percentages of employees from traditionally marginalized groups. Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel even wrote a memo supporting inclusion riders.

Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent

AMERICAN THEATRE: Is this really the right time for a spate of male-authored, male-directed musicals about subservient women to come to Broadway?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Worth a Look

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

"It Just Didn’t Occur to Me": Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg on Race

The Mary Sue: We have been very vocal about our disappointment about the latest season of Jessica Jones, especially in regard to the treatment of men and women of color. (Jeri was great though.) Thankfully, it hasn’t been just us and the criticism about the issue has been loud enough that it reached the ears of showrunner, Melissa Rosenberg.

Thoughts from Mark Shanda - USITT President The mission of USITT is to connect performing arts design and technology communities to ensure vibrant dialogue among practitioners, educators, and students. Let that mission statement roll around in your head for just a minute and please keep that central to your engagement for the balance of the week. Some key words that jump out to me include community and vibrant dialogue. In this past year, our community has faced challenges that we never imagined we would face and the need for vibrant dialogue is critical.

Tax Tips for Freelance Creatives: Debunking Common Myths

99U: Does the thought of doing your taxes make you want to cry? For many in the design industry, including myself, the answer is a resounding yes. But a solid grasp of figures and finances is the equivalent to building the strong foundation to a building. If you can shore up the money part of your business, you can spend more time doing what you really love—the creative part of the job.

Theatre's missing accents

Exeunt Magazine: In ‘I bet Nicholas Hynter doesn’t have to do this’, a brilliantly titled chapter of Glory and the Garden (eds. Ros Merkin & Kate Dorney) , Gwenda Hughes chronicles the complaint letters she received as artistic director of The New Vic, then The Victoria Theatre in North Staffordshire. Amongst these are a series of moans directed at Northern Broadsides’ Shakespeare, including one outraged-of-Cheshire writer who felt horrified at the bard’s words being so unsuitably intoned by those with (gasp) regional accents.

On the Representation of Disabled Women in Cinema

Chaz's Journal | Roger Ebert: Hollywood just doesn’t seem interested in telling unique disabled stories in general, and the only narrative they do regards men who become disabled. "Where the women at?," to paraphrase “Blazing Saddles.” When I saw “The Shape of Water” last year I had to smile. The movie has its flaws from a disability standpoint, but seeing a mainstream Hollywood feature about a woman with a disability from birth, who is a sexual being, who is independent, and who leads her own story, felt revolutionary.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Worth A Look

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

Musician wins landmark ruling over ruined hearing

BBC News: A viola player who suffered a life-changing hearing injury at a rehearsal of Wagner's Die Walkure in 2012 has won a landmark High Court judgment against the Royal Opera House (ROH).

The case won by Chris Goldscheider has huge implications for the industry and the health and safety of musicians.

It is the first time a judge has scrutinised the music industry's legal obligations towards musicians' hearing.

The ROH said it was "surprised and disappointed" by the judgment.

Pilot Season: Female Creators, Directors Break Through

Variety: The 2018 pilot season is shaping up to be a landmark year for women behind the camera.

Female creators and directors saw gains virtually across the board, as networks ramp up efforts to include more women in the pilot process. As Variety previously reported, the Time’s Up and Me Too movements have played important roles this season, with the networks all looking for ways to increase female representation.

Disability Theater Access in 2018

Chaz's Journal | Roger Ebert: The Cinemark movie theater I frequent in Sacramento boasts four wheelchair spaces. As a movie lover with disabilities this is a process not unlike fitting in additional guests at a dinner party. You wonder how friends will sit together and have optimal access to the food on hand. A trip to my local theater to see “Black Panther” in February saw my metaphorical dinner party end with the equivalent of thrown plates and wasted food, a sad reminder of how movie theaters in America continuously fail patrons with mobility issues.

Still on stage after 40 years: Wisconsin firm grows beyond theater lighting In a spotless, 10-acre factory in Mazomanie, Wisconsin, Loyal Burkhart II assembles gears for hoists that will raise screens and backdrops above a theater stage somewhere in the world.

The hoists being tested on the floor nearby are bound for a theater in Israel.

It Takes an Army

Chaz's Journal | Roger Ebert: By now, we all know that it takes a village to raise a child. Less well-known is that it takes an army of women to raise consciousness about how Hollywood’s gender and race imbalance—both in front of the camera and behind it—is inimical to equal employment, pay, and representation.

Largely due to the efforts of activist female filmmakers including Allison Anders, Ava DuVernay and Maria Giese, agenda-driven academics such as Martha Lauzen and Stacy Smith (all five pictured above), and institutions such as The Bunche Center at UCLA, inclusion has been a critical and still unresolved factor for the past two decades in the Hollywood movie equation.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Worth a Look

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

Game developers push for unionization amid insecure positions, excessive OT

Ars Technica: Going into the Game Developers Conference this week, you could foresee some of the hot topics that would be consuming the world’s largest gathering of game makers: stuff like real-time raytraced graphics, fantastical blockchain-based business schemes, and how to design games for augmented reality. But another surprising issue has overtaken many of the discussions in the Moscone Center hallways this week: that of unionization.

Bethel Park changes stagehand policy after parent raises issue of blackened faces

TribLIVE: Stagehands at Bethel Park's high school switched from blackened faces to black ski masks after a concerned parent contacted the district, said Vicki Flotta, spokeswoman for the Bethel Park School District.

‘Midnight Rider’ Case: Director Randall Miller’s Ask For Leniency Denied By Judge

Deadline: Midnight Rider director Randall Miller, serving a sentence for involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 on-set death of 27-year-old crew member Sarah Jones, was denied having his supervision removed by the judge overseeing the case since its beginning.

Music Copyright 101: Sampling, Covers, Mixtapes & Fair Use You’ve seen the words “All Rights Reserved” contained in the liner notes of a CD or in the purchasing agreement of an iTunes file. What rights do those words give the copyright holder?
You would probably be able to identify some of them: that the music and the recording are protected by copyright, that the owner of the copyright reserves the right to copy the music, distribute and sell the music, allow others to pay to use the music, and prevent others from making unsanctioned copies of the music.

Best of Slow TV

Cool Material: Slow TV is a wildly successful phenomenon in its home country of Norway and it’s something we can totally see exploding in popularity here in the states. Essentially, Norwegian television crews strap cameras to various forms of transportation or insert them into activities and record hours-long programs. There’s no plot, cast, or season premieres and finales. Yet millions of people tune in to watch.