Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Worth a Look

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

The Legend of Zelda

2AMt: I was a lucky audience member for the Oct 26th SDC Zelda Fichandler Award presentation at Arena Stage (which was given, this year, to Blanka Zizka of Wilma Theater). I wanted to attend, in part, because I had just joined the stage directors and choreographers union a few weeks prior and, in part, to support Howard Shalwitz who was being recognized as the Distinguished Finalist. What I didn’t expect was an education in the significance of the early regional theatre movement and how its principals can guide the theatre of today in becoming a true force in our cultural landscape, once again.

Study: On-Screen Gender Inequality Persists in Hollywood

Backstage: A survey of the top 100 grossing movies of 2009 showed that male speaking roles continued to clearly outweigh female roles and that females showed more skin on-screen, the "LA Times" reported.

From Petipa to Balanchine, Borrowing Is Part of Dance The “Nutcracker” season is almost upon us — but can you be sure who choreographed all of the versions you might see? Last year, as I toured the United States in a “Nutcracker” marathon, I observed how more than 12 American productions featured the Sugar Plum pas de deux that Lev Ivanov choreographed for the 1892 original in St. Petersburg. But in only one case was the pas de deux — whose adagio, early on, features a beautifully spectacular phrase unlike anything else in 19th-century ballet, with the ballerina seeming to peel herself open in her partner’s arms — actually credited to Ivanov.

Good theater is good for the economy, to tune of $1.9 billion

The Denver Post: It will come as no surprise to artists that, for the second straight year, nonprofit theaters contributed $1.9 billion to the national economy in 2010, according to the latest annual survey by Theatre Communications Group.
But it might come as a surprise that no one seems to care. Or at least that figure doesn't hold much sway when it comes to supporting arts-funding measures at the ballot box.

NY Times Discovers The Coming Legal Battle Over 3D Printing

Techdirt: We've been discussing 3D printing for over a decade, including warning that some of the disrupted companies/industries are likely to go ballistic and talk about how they're being "robbed" by this form of competition. Hopefully, enough people realize this is crazy, but it seems doubtful.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Little Help Here


   Tenure-track Associate Professor -- Sound Design
   Carnegie Mellon University
   School of Drama
   Pittsburgh, PA
   Date Posted: Sep. 8, 2011


   Tenure-track Associate Professor -- Lighting Design
   Carnegie Mellon University
   School of Drama
   Pittsburgh, PA
   Date Posted: Sep. 8, 2011


   Assistant or Associate Professor -- Stage Management
   Carnegie Mellon University
   School of Drama
   Pittsburgh, PA
   Date Posted: Sep. 8, 2011


Saturday, November 26, 2011


While we were driving off to Thanksgiving this #theatreturducken hashtag appeared on Twitter - three plays strung together.  What else are you going to do while driving all the way across Ohio?

Here are mine and some of the others I saw and liked:


murder by death of a sales menopause the musical

In My Life is a Dreamgirls

Oedipus the King and Aida

70, Girls 1776 Characters in Search of an Author
David J. Loehr

The Pillowman Who Came to Dinner With Friends
Retweeted by

guys and dolls house of blue leaves
Patricia Milton

Kiss of the Spider Woman of No Importance of Being Earnest
Retweeted by

Man of La Cage aux Follies

The Sound of Music Man of LaMancha

west side by sideshow
If you click the hashtag you may be able to see the whole enchilada on Twitter.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Ellipses...

The folks that make the app I use for blogging on the tablet have updated it, so I guess I should give it a try... I guess I could temporarily suspend my disparaging of this holiday...  I got the bird carving duties.  I would have given myself a B, but I don't think it dragged the evening down at all...  It's one hour until Target opens for Black Friday.  We talked about going just to see, but I think we'll be more into sleeping at the moment...  This time around I'm hanging pretty exclusively with Mrs. TANBI's family (for whom I am of course very thankful), maybe down the line we can get more folks together...  Once upon a time we'd thought of having the holiday at the new place but it was not to be...  We had the cranberry sauce that isn't in the shape of a can...  Driving from home, at one point we dared to defy the instructions of the GPS.  After we did it, instead of just the one green route line there was green all over the place as if the machine was saying: "so that's how it goes, fine, go wherever the hell you want"... In previous years this meal has included peanut butter mini muffins, but this year they were replaced with pumpkin mini muffins.  I thought these might make a nice base for a stuffing...  Not sure how it happened, but even with three games on TV I barely even watched one...  I hate to admit it but there do appear to be one or two items on the Home Depot black Friday ad.  Thankfully the nearest Home Depot is over an hour away so I won't be going...  I totally cracked up my FIL when I suggested that instead of summer jobs I would recommend #occupy and give extra credit to students that get arrested...  It's not about driving and football and shopping though, it's about family and I am thankful to have family to celebrate with...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Two Airports

Videos I managed to get off my iPhone (harder than you'd think)...

Pittsburgh.  Landside to Airside:

Las Vegas.  To the C Gates:

Both trains have that jog at both ends so it must be on purpose.  I wonder what that's about.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Worth a Look

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

Ontroerend Goed: Are you sitting uncomfortably?

The Guardian: Alexander Devriendt was at a standup show with his girlfriend a couple of years ago, when the comedian on stage unexpectedly turned on her, calling her a bitch and telling her to sweep up the stage, since that was all she was good for. She professed not to mind, but Devriendt was infuriated, not least because he couldn't retaliate. "Because it would seem like I wasn't getting the joke. I hated that feeling," he says, still bristling. "I felt so unmanly."

Can Julie Taymor Shut Down 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark'?

Hollywood Reporter: Julie Taymor's lawsuit against producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark might be a much bigger deal than most people realize. The initial media coverage of the suit Tuesday presents Taymor's claims as a dispute over owed royalties -- which is certainly part of what the director is seeking, but not all of it. In fact, as strange as it sounds, Taymor's million dollar claims are obscuring the potentially billion dollar ones.

Zandra Rhodes' designs mirror personal style

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: The florescent pink hair gives her away.
Zandra Rhodes' locks are as vibrant as her personality -- and the clothing she designs. "People often ask me if I am dressed up for Halloween, and I tell them that I actually look like this all the time," Rhodes, the internationally renowned fashion designer, says with a smile. "I have had my share of people calling me 'Cyndi Lauper,' too, and I tell them I am old enough to be her mother. Recently, I have been stopped in airports in the U.S., and people have commented that they like my hair. So, maybe, things are changing. I think young people are more receptive to you looking different."

CMU Drama's Peter Cooke and Jed Harris talk about MAD FOREST

YouTube: CMU Drama presents MAD FOREST

A New Way to Go Green

USITT Sightlines: In 2008, I was the set designer for a production of Into the Woods. It was produced on our main stage, a 51-foot proscenium. It was a big set, done in a fairly traditional way for that show. A local high school was producing the same play a few months after us. We were able to give them a lot of scenery that we would otherwise have thrown away. It was nice to see so much scenery get used a second time.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Worth a Look

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

Art Talk with Anita Hollander

Art Works: As described by the New York Times, Anita Hollander is “provocative, funny, moving, communicative and beautifully polished…She has a wide range of vocal colors which she uses with dramatic sensitivity as well as comic insight…All this plus a charming presence that flavors everything she does.” Her extensive resume includes notable roles in Cabaret, CATS, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and Oklahoma! just to name a few productions. Hollander also wrote and continues to perform Still Standing, a one-woman show that chronicles her adjustment to losing her left leg to cancer in 1977. In addition to her work as an actor and arts educator, Hollander actively campaigns for wider inclusion of artists with disabilities in all aspects of the arts and entertainment industries. We spoke with Hollander by e-mail about her version of the artist life and the challenges of getting the arts to be “truly reflective of the diversity that is our country.”

Goodspeed Musicals Will Open New Artists Village

Stage Directions: You’ve heard a lot in recent years about theatres spending millions to build fancy new theatre buildings, but I believe this is the first I’ve heard of a theatre building new houses for their artists. On Monday, Nov. 14, Goodspeed Musicals will cut the ribbon on their new Artists Village, a collection of 17 new homes of varying sizes (townhouses as well as 3, 4 and 6-bedroom homes) offering 65 fully-furnished bedrooms (each with their own private bath) for their artists. Goodspeed will use these home to offer better accommodations to visiting artists, but they’ll also use the village to offer more time to writing teams to work on a project, and the houses will be an anchor for economic development in the East Haddam neighborhood.

A Playwright’s Playwright

Gwydion Suilebhan: I have been thinking about Ashbery and Bishop ever since I saw a production of Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest at Forum Theatre not long ago. (I have intentionally delayed this blog post so that it appeared after the run of the play was over; I’m not a reviewer, nor do I want to be — I am simply a playwright thinking about his craft.) I have been an admirer of Churchill’s work for some time, ever since my first reading of Top Girls, and I was thrilled to be able to see more of it in person. I’m also a great admirer of Forum, which is one of the most ambitious companies in the DC area. No challenge is too great for them, and they swing for the fences every time.After the show, however, I found myself thinking: this is a playwright’s play. She’s using structure to reflect the psychology of revolution. The first act’s snippets of story are reflective of the way narrative is thwarted in a tyrannical state; the second act’s outpouring of story is the revolution itself, narratives released from their chains; and the third act is what happens after the revolution, when the long-repressed narratives begin to conflict and twist and reveal both their fault lines and their secrets. How clever of her, I decided… perhaps a bit too clever.

'Dusk' deals with end-of-life issues

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Debra Caplan from Allegheny General Hospital wants to spark more conversation about dealing with end-of-life issues. "It's all about listening," says the senior vice president who oversees the hospital's Northside Partnership. To help open some ears, the Partnership, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Forbes Hospice and the Area Agency on Aging on Wednesday will present "Dusk," a 60-minute play that deals with the decision-making process.

10 Minutes of Hobbit-y Goodness

Topless Robot: Peter Jackson's fourth video blog for The Hobbit came out, and holy hell is it a joy. First of all, it's 10 minutes of behind the scenes goodness, and so you get to see Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Ian McKellan as Gandalf, all the dwarves, some Mirkwood, all sorts of stuff. Then there's the video's ostensible theme, which is 3-D. I know most of us are sick of 3-D, and I don't know that this will change your mind, but it is fascinating to discover how insane the shooting process is.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Sunday, November 06, 2011


Been  a long time since I've really said anything.  I should fix that...  I have absolutely no problem believing Herman Cain did some things ultimately NSFW.  I also think I wouldn't have any trouble believing it of pretty much anyone...  At work on a Sunday.  I'm the one that wanted the glamorous life in Show Business...  Looks like folks in Connecticut have been without power for 8 weeks.  Growing up I can't remember having the power out for mare than 8-10 hours.  Why doesn't this bother people?  It should...  Turns out our new roof is really steep.  Seems even steeper while you're sitting on it, and steeper than that while transferring back to the ladder...  Trivial things really bother me.  Maybe I should see if I can get a spot on 60 Minutes...  I am not doing any better at timely grading than in the past.  Really doing somehting wrong.  Really hard to make a real change...  Not for nothing, but I think "chicken pox parties" aren't the best plan...  Got a new phone from my inlaws for my birthday.  Went from 3G to 4s.  Very nice...  We're doing a production of "Hair."  I wonder if there's a way to tie that to Occupy Pittsburgh...  Trying to make safety glasses stick.  Not sure I am going to be successful...  Even when something is within your capabilities and your budget it is probably a decent idea to ask if it is really worth doing...  The TD3 class got the bid on the project we were working on in class.  Now they build it and get paid.  Interesting new educational model...  Watched the movie "How Do You Know?" the other night.  It is SO not the movie they were advertising in the trailers...  I wonder if it would be possible to put together an entire theatre season around the 99% movement?  Start with Death of a Salesman...  I bought these Genie towers for the theatre at work and they made this load in much easier, and yet while watching the load in now I want 8 little loadstars...  After a few more season two episodes, I think it's clear that the folks doing "Young Justice" would like to be doing a Justice League cartoon.  I don't mind that at all.   Vacation ideas for Miami?  Let me know...

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Another Big Greenpage Week

Once again I can't confine myself to 5 articles:

Unmasking Specter Studios

Pop City: The MTV show Rob Dyerdak’s Fantasy Factory just aired an episode that involved cast members in tiger, leopard and panther costumes. A member of the rock band The Flaming Lips recently donned a bear costume to perform their song Bear on stage. The cat and bear costumes—as well as two more bear costumes that will appear in a Volkswagen commercial to air in the United Arab Emirates and a bear’s head that recently appeared on the cover of Bloomberg Business Week—all hail from a warehouse located on a secluded side street in Sharpsburg.

Same-Sex Marriage Will Lead To Gay Kisses In High School Plays, Conservative Warns

ThinkProgress: The Family Institute of Connecticut’s Peter Wolfgang appeared on MSNBC with Thomas Roberts this afternoon to discuss the controversy surrounding a play featuring a same-sex kiss at Hartford Public High School.

Can DigiFab and Manual Craftsmanship Co-Exist?

MAKE: Among MAKE readers, we’re nearly unanimous in agreeing that the rise of digital fabrication is a complete game-changer for crafters, hackers, and tinkerers of all stripes. Laser cutters, CNC mills, and 3D printers have altered the way we think about design, and raised the bar for quality and precision in our work. I’m a passionate adopter of these technologies, but am also wary of the cultural shift they represent as they become more ubiquitous.I was talking to a friend about this recently, voicing my disappointment in so many talented colleagues of ours who stay strictly within software, afraid to pick up tools with which they could alternatively realize their creations. His response surprised me: “I’m more comfortable with a Wacom and Photoshop. I grew up with computers and I can’t imagine creating with anything else. I think digital fabrication is the future and I want to be a part of it.”

A LIFE IN THE THEATRE: Broadway Carpenter Charlie Rasmussen Meet house carpenter Charlie Rasmussen, the oldest active member of Local One of IATSE. Charlie Rasmussen arrived on Broadway as a production carpenter at the Broadway Theatre in 1950. Sixty-one years later, at age 85, Rasmussen is in his office at the Broadway Theatre, one floor below the stage where Sister Act has finished a Wednesday matinee — and where he has been, since 1980, the theatre's house, or head, carpenter.

SAG and AFTRA Condemn IMDb Revealing Performers' Ages

Hollywood Reporter: The Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA struck out at IMDb and its owner on Thursday, condemning their practice of revealing ages of performers without the actor or actresses' permission -- and then refusing to delete or change it even when that person requests them to do so.According to a press release issued by the guilds, there were recent behind the scenes talks with IMDb about this practice that involved SAG, AFTRA and other unnamed guilds, but those talks have now broken down.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Worth a Look

Here are five articles from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman Announces New Research on the Value Added By Cultural Industries There are 2.1 million artists in the United States workforce, and a large portion of them -- designers -- contribute to industries whose products Americans use every day, according to new research from the National Endowment for the Arts. Artists and Arts Workers in the United States offers the first combined analysis of artists and industries, state and metro employment rates, and new demographic information such as age, education levels, income, ethnicity, and other social characteristics.

Stephen Sondheim Chicago Tribune interview with Chris Jones At the top of "Look, I Made a Hat," the second half of his exhaustively detailed two-volume set of collected lyrics to such incomparable musicals as "Gypsy" and "Follies," Stephen Sondheim addresses some of the complaints about the first book, "Finishing the Hat." "The most common of them," he writes, "is that I didn't speak enough about my personal life, 'personal' being the euphemism for 'intimate,' which is the euphemism for 'sexual.'"After saying that he had been as personal as he could be about his creative life — a creative life that, among many other highlights, included early tutoring from surrogate father Oscar Hammerstein II and collaborations with such giants as Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Ethel Merman, James Lapine, Bernadette Peters, et cetera — Sondheim writes that these volumes are collections of lyrics, plus interpolations, not a memoir. "Look, I Made a Hat" deals principally with his work after 1981 and will be published by Knopf on Nov. 22. "If I'd wanted to write a memoir," he writes, "I would have, but I don't, and I didn't."

Artists, Institutions, and the Decline of Public Discourse

HowlRound: My two disturbing moments taken together, in what I will admit is a bleak interpretation, amounted to something like: arts administrators don’t want to be bothered talking about how artists feel disenfranchised anymore because they find the conversation both insulting and passé, and artists don’t believe what arts administrators have to say so why should an arts administrator bother to engage in the first place. All I can think is we’re mimicking congressional politics. We’re all happily ensconced in our immovable worldviews and we’re willing to manipulate whatever the other side says to prop up our own vantage point. This form of public discourse is straight out of certain disreputable news rooms most of us complain about. Our own discourse is no more fact-based, careful, or informed.As artists and institutions, we are actively participating in the decline of public discourse taking over our nation. And frankly, I think we should stop it.


2AMt: Over the past 48 hours, the culture pages in England have been filled with reports which are all variants of the same story: “Walkouts abound at The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Marat/Sade.” I first spotted this on Sunday in The Daily Mail and since then, the BBC, The Guardian and The Telegraph, among many others, have all piled on. Marat/Sade, while an acknowledged modern classic, is a challenging work with content that surely doesn’t appeal to all audiences. So it shouldn’t really surprise anyone that a play about the Marquis de Sade might provoke squirming and even early exits; I suspect that Doug Wright’s Quills, also about de Sade’s incarceration at Charenton, sent some people fleeing from assorted theatres as well. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if artists involved in various productions of both of these plays see the odd hasty retreat as a sign that they’re succeeding, a badge of honor.

Critical Juncture

Theatre Communications Group - American Theatre – September 2011: Whenever I told friends that I was writing about 12 of the most influential theatre critics in America, I made sure to pause for the laugh. Are there a dozen out there? In this atomized age of Twitter and Facebook, with media outlets shedding arts staffers and shredding budgets, what constitutes influence? How was this list compiled? Not scientifically, to be sure. But these 12 journalists made the cut for specific reasons: years on the beat, quality of writing, reach of their voice through syndication, and, lastly, understanding of the field. Another criterion is quite blunt: Many of them are "last man or woman standing" in their communities; after they retire or take a buyout, it's unclear if some blogger or junior critic will step up to fill the void. As such, they form a vital phalanx of critical opinion that chronicles and weighs work that national media outlets are content to ignore. These dozen writers may not be flashy prose stylists or even revolutionary thinkers about their art form. But they have dedicated years to the field—and certainly not to get rich.

You Do It Too

I just emailed Congress to urge them to oppose the Internet Blacklist Legislation, known as the PROTECT-IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. This legislation seeks to give the executive branch power to conduct slash-and-burn campaigns against websites that allegedly host – or even link to – content that infringes on intellectual property rights. That would “disappear” whole domain names, fundamentally undermining Internet security, and/or choke off their financial support. The Internet Blacklist Legislation puts more sites than ever at risk, effectively upending the DMCA safe harbors that have been crucial to the growth of Internet innovation and creativity.

Sadly, these short-sighted and dangerous bills won’t do much to stop online infringement – but they will jeopardize our ability to speak and read online with the kind of freedom we cherish in the offline world. Deep-pocketed Hollywood lobbyists are aggressively pushing to control and censor the open Internet, willing to sacrifice free speech and our Internet culture in hopes of controlling how people view their movies and products.

We need to stop this bill before it goes any further. Will you contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to oppose the Internet Blacklist Legislation? Visit: