Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Comment of the Week

Here are the contenders for this week:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "New report: Are nonprofit theaters too closely tie...":

People get confused with the term not for profit and something that doesn't make money. We are in the business to make money. Our product is the art. Our consumer public is our audience. Our market is the region surround our building. Theater companies get caught up in their mission statements, they get trapped behind dramaturgical jargon and community kiss-assery. Non profit theater isn't soley about the mission statement or catering to their communities it also about supply and demand, laissez faire economics. In a market economy where producers have some influence on who to bring their product to, regional theaters should be in bed with Broadway. It brings the arts to the masses and helps balance the budget back at home. Do people go see farm teams because they like baseball? No, they want to see what is up and coming, what may some day be the next big thing. They want to lock it down now. I don't think nonprofit theaters are close enough to commercial producers. Regional theater is a breeding ground, a petri dish for the future. Give people what they want - a good show here and now and also a money maker later. 

Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Getting the Most Out of Gen Y":
What I find the most interesting part of the article is the discussion about how Generation Y "curates" their lives. I've never thought about it like that before, but it is absolutely 100% true, and is an important thing to note when trying to market the performing arts to my generation.
Because we grew up with the Internet and Google and Youtube, and now we have iTunes and Spotify and Pinterest, we can choose EXACTLY what we want to watch and even preview it so that we know whether we'll like it or not. Because there's such a huge array of things we could choose, we choose and then stick to our choice. Sure, there are some adventurous people who will try new things and listen to an odd band because it suddenly pops up, but for the most part, we rely on what we already like and sometimes on what our friends recommend to know what we should focus on.

For the performing arts world, that means its hard to draw in new viewers or audience members without furst creating a loyal following. Few Generation Y-ers will go see a play without having heard anything about it. We need to have a friend who can give us an honest review, or have it become a Twitter trend. It doesn't mean that it's impossible, it just means that maybe companies are going to have to think of other ways to market to my generation, which some have already started to do with Twitter and blogs, etc.   
Comment #3: a new comment on your post "François Hollande wants to abolish homework. Is th...":
Public education, perhaps the most important thing that governments are in charge of and constantly trying to reform without ever seeming able to quite get it right. Of course, Hollande would want to abolish homework; I might be mistaken, but I think that his thought is based on the idea that once kids go home, they do not all have the same type of support from their parents when it comes to their schoolwork, and for this reason they do not end up having the same learning opportunities. Suppressing homework, however, would end up taking a lot away from ALL students, instead of just some. This is definitely a tough issue, but no homework isn't the solution. At the end of the day, homework forces you to actually revisit and put in place the concepts you might have just listened to or jotted down in class; this second phase is essential to efficient learning and education. So, yes, homework can be a pain, and yes, we need it anyways.
Also, we don't have four day weeks in France. Wednesday is a half day, but we finish school much later than US schools everyday. And once you get to high school, you also have school on Saturday mornings. I'm just sayin'. 

Comment #4: a new comment on your post "The Bad Boy of Musical Theatre: Underscore, Mother...":
This article directly relates to one of the key things I learned this past mini; the way you tell the story should amplify the story. This idea relates to broader concepts (i.e. form vs. content) but for the purposes of this article I'm only going to comment on this specific idea.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is interesting because it tells a story in a way that mimics the story. In other words, since the story is about Andrew Jackson maturing from an angst teenager to a darker adult, the show is structured to mature from a rowdy, funny show with a emo-rock score to a more serious musical.
I believe that this is where musical theatre is going. Now that the genre has socially-recognized pre-established conventions (I'm thinking along the lines of Oklahoma! era musicals) artists can ignore those conventions and to push the boundaries of musical theatre to tell stories in the more innovative and engaging ways possible within the genre. I think this process happens with all genres of media (books, poems, graphic novels, theatre, horror movies, romantic comedies, etc.), but I can't exactly pinpoint the milestones in the process of each genre off the top of my head.   
Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Pulitzer Winner Bruce Norris Retracts Rights to Ge...":
It is great that he actively corrected something that he felt was wrong. Asking the white actor to put on blackface for a show that really delves into racism is just a tad counterproductive. They probably shouldn't be putting on this show if that is how they feel about their country's Black actors. Then again, maybe they should so that the audience can witness the hypocrisy of it all.

However, just to play devil's advocate, I wonder how we (the US in the eyes of the Germans) are perceived through this issue. At what point do we interfere with another culture too much? Why do we take it upon ourselves to change other people and places? They are working through a certain point in their own history regarding race. America certainly didn't take foreign advice when we oppressed people with a skin color other than white. I'm not saying that we shouldn't revoke the rights to produce this production because we should inspire change. At least in the sphere of the arts, where change is constant, there is more room for influence. What I'm saying is that the US shoves it's own ideals at other countries and groups of people with the presumption that we are "better" and "correct". Maybe our persistence should be considered next time, not necessarily on this issue but on the numerous issues that we are involved in around the world.
Votes close Thursday.  Put your votes in the comments here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Worth a Look

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

Pulitzer Winner Bruce Norris Retracts Rights to German Troupe's Clybourne Park Over "Blackface" Casting Bruce Norris, whose play Clybourne Park features white and African-American characters — to Pulitzer Prize-honored, Tony Award-winning effect — stripped a German theatre company of rights to his drama when he learned that a white actress would be using makeup to play a black woman.

Paperless Process

Stage Directions: It began as a class discussion that went productively off-topic. My Stage Management I class at Carnegie Mellon University was discussing the increased use of computers and technology in doing their shows. The reading assignment for the day was from The Backstage Guide to Stage Management, and the chapter outlined Tom Kelly’s good-natured curmudgeonly attitude toward the modern tools we use to do our theatre. Kelly’s generation had seen many advances in technology in life and work, whereas these students had grown up using computers almost every day. With this mindset, it seemed that stage management could adapt and take advantage of these advances in the same way that other production departments have, and this led to other queries. Paperwork is both a defining aspect of the stage manager’s job and a bane of our collective existence. But if you take it out of the equation, perhaps the job becomes more than the familiar but endless printing of documents, and as a by-product, wastes far less resources. Technology could be a tool to streamline and refocus the process. The discussion became, could you actually stage manage a show completely without paper? Two juniors in the class—David Beller and Brooke Marrero—had shows coming up early in the following semester. I proposed a challenge to them: do their shows without using paper, and see how the job changes.

Holler: If You Can Make It Here…

HowlRound: We’ve all been there. If not about moving from the Midwest to NYC, then we’ve struggled about moving from Waukegan to Chicago, or Tucson to Los Angeles, or Saxapahaw to Raleigh. The lure of the Big City—Bright lights! Fame! Glory! Artisanal cupcakes! —Will sooner or later make us question the worth of our piddling little small-town lives. Some of us will resist that temptation, others will dip our toes in “just so that we can say we did,” and still others will dive head-first and never look back. Many before me, from EB White to Jay-Z to PrettyLady, have opined on the psychology (or psychosis) of choosing New York. I’ll keep my response focused on the questions you raise from the perspective of a mid-career theater artist who has started to build a professional presence in the city.

No, You Can't Use the Nets' Specialized Lighting System And then there are the lights. The arena actually has two sports lighting systems: one for the Nets and one for everyone else. The one for everyone else is a metal-halide system, which is the sort of bright, white lighting used at most sports arenas. When the Harlem Globetrotters played the first basketball game at Barclays earlier this month, arena officials turned these lights on. They also will be used when Barclays is host to college basketball—and that includes Kentucky's game against Maryland in November. (Yes, even John Calipari will have to settle for the regular lights.) The Nets lights are different: Six flying trusses, suspended 75 feet above the court, will house 468 tungsten-halogen fixtures that will beam a warm glow squarely onto the court. Karen Goldstick, the principal at White Plains-based Goldstick Lighting Design, which was in charge of the project, said the effect is that the playing surface will pop like a stage—"theater-like," she said—and the rest of the arena will go dark. "You'll notice a big difference in color," said Goldstick, who also works as the NBA's official venue lighting consultant.

Getting the Most Out of Gen Y

Analysis from TRG Arts: For decades, the arts industry has chased new audiences, especially younger audiences. Today, that chase is directed at the largest population under 30 years old in human history. It’s little wonder that Gen Y (born 1981 – 2001) is a hot topic for arts marketers. As a data-informed member of Gen Y, here’s a take on my generation of arts consumers.


It's raining.  So far nothing in the basement, but we did discover a leak we didn't know existed in the kitchen.  Stay tuned...  Today the TD1 class did their "reorganize the shop" presentations.  On this occasion I think I saw the first plan for a mez that didn't rub me wrong...  I had a very nice birthday, thanks to everyone that sent well wishes...  The news keeps trying to tell me the weather is good for one candidate or the other.  I think it matters not...  I can't find the remote or the cables for our camcorder.  I guess I should be happy I know where the charger is...  Go see Cloud Atlas.  The web is declaring it a flop and it is one of the best movies I have seen in quite some time...  I am hoping that in the midst of all this rain it doesn't decide to change to snow.  that would be unfortunate...  I need one more assignment for TD3 this semester.  They are working on Arduino and Shop Bios, but I feel like we haven't done a good paper project - and I can't have only 3 projects for 16 weeks.  That wouldn't be right at all...  Got beat this week in fantasy football even though I made a 14 point lucky last minute change...  Uploading a 3 gig file to dropbox takes a very long time...  I am starting to feel like maybe the election isn't going to go our way.  It is frankly mind boggling...  We got our first News From the Real World Podcast completed.  It needs some fine tuning, but I think the idea is pretty cool...  We've now got trips on the board for Chicago and for Las Vegas - Bloomington too - all before the end of the year...  Pittsburgh moved trick or treat to Saturday.  I didn't know Pittsburgh had that kind of authority...  We had another cat try to move in this weekend.  We had to inform her that there were currently no vacancies...  The TV repair guy has disappeared with my part money.  Gonna have to decide what to do about that...  Why do they keep expecting Republicans who say Uber conservative things about abortion to apologize or take back the statements?  It is clearly what they actually believe and is likely closer to the platform position than it would be if they took it back...  Liking Homeland so far this season.  I would have expected this season to develop more slowly (and I would still have liked it to have gone back and done the Todd Walker story) but what they've done so far is cool.  Not sure I need the B-Story at all...  If you are North or East of me make sure you do what you can to stay safe...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders.

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "‘Rope’ leaves some details hanging":

This article provides a very common, yet crucial critique. It's commonplace to mess around with the time period and setting of a play. In many cases, it's helpful to highlight that the themes of the play are timeless and worldly. For example, setting Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" in the 1950's. But, when this change-over is done, care must be taken to completely put it into one time and place or the other, instead of melding the two. By melding the two, the point of timelessness is lost. Apparently in this case, the director didn't take care in editing the script, to fit the time period, nor did the designers (costume and set in particular) put any such care into modernizing the place and solidifying it's changed time period and location. It's just a lesson learned, that when the director doesn't have a clear message or dedication to a time period change, it shouldn't be done. The creative team can't do their job, if they're getting mixed signals or unclear communication from the director.

Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Video: The Exonerated: True Stories of Innocents S...":
These two people are very compelling and the play that they worked on sounds incredible. One never considers what happens to the people after they have been wrongfully incarcerated, especially if their fate was the death penalty. There are plenty of stories about revenge and being wrongfully accused but there is never really acknowledgement of what happens to "normal" people. People that don't have the intentions to strike up a revenge plan. I would think that those that have been wrongfully accused would go back into their regular life and society and learn that it is incredibly difficult to do so.

The interesting part of this video was the way they pulled up some statistics regarding a smaller community and racial communities. I didn't know that the African American communities were quicker to get back to normal than say a caucasian community. I guess it makes sense because there was an incredible amount of racism in America and wrongful imprisonment was only one of the many hoops that community had to jump through. The small town affect is also another interesting little fact. I would be curious to know if anyone moved away from that environment after going through something like that. It is certainly hard to imagine trying to move on when your entire community thrives on gossip. Especially when that community can't look at you in the same light again.

Cases like these can really damage a person. It would be good to know if any exonerated people have experienced imprisonment in a place like Guantanamo Bay. It is a great idea to bring this play out and show it to the world. Maybe it will change the way we view the death penalty and how we choose to react to those that were wrongfully subjected to this type of punishment.

Comment #3: a new comment on your post "How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Y...":
External monologue: Most likely goes something like this article suggests. It is good to hint that you are looking to settle into the company and could see yourself planning a longer career with them. It's a stock answer, yes, and I find that it's also good to be memorable as well. This answer with a twist might not be so bad. I'm sure there's plenty of ways to shoot something unique into the mix while still saying that you want to be motivated and meet/improve the needs of the company which is looking to hire you.


The number one tip for a successful interview is to never let that crazy slip out.

Comment #4: a new comment on your post "In Defense of Blackface":
I'm not quite sure what to think about this article.
For one, I absolutely agree that the instance of college students dressing up like Ku Klux Klan members with a noose and another friend in blackface is racist and unacceptable in all settings, Halloween included.

What I do have a problem with is the title of the article and its premise. The title "In Defense of Blackface" is certainly eye-catching and grab people's attention. And I do understand that historically speaking, blackface may have more benign, non-racist roots (the jealousy/envy that he talked about), although some of what he talks about, like the looser sexual culture, came about because of white owner's disregarding slave marriages and splitting up families by selling husbands or wives or children.
However, I'm not sure that these historical roots are relevant to the discussion in the 21st century, as interesting as they are. Meanings and symbols can change DRASTICALLY over time, and blackface has evolved into a racist expression. What it's MEANT to be is irrelevant; what it's perceived to be by the vast majority of the population is what matters. 100 years ago, holding up your middle finger at someone might have meant absolutely nothing, and 400 years ago, maybe it meant "I love you." That doesn't change the fact that now, holding up your middle finger at someone means something else, and people are going to interpret it with that 21st century view, NOT the view of 100 or 400 years ago.

Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Representing Asian-American Actors on L.A.'s Stage...":
I think this article is very interesting. I'm hoping that there will soon be more productions featuring Asian Americans on stage. George Takei's "Allegiance" looks very promising in elevating the Asian American character in drama. Perhaps it will even inspire Asian Americans to take the stage like Lea Salonga. I agree with Dang that the talent is out there; the opportunities to acquire a role just have to be created. I'm also wondering if what Dang wants is different from all-Asian-American productions. Dang just states that he wants diversity/ more roles for Asian American actors. But is that the same as having plays entirely made up of Asian Americans? Does he want diversity or just more opportunities? It's kind of similar to "The Wizard of Oz," usually made up of white actors, and "The Wiz," usually made up of black actors. Should the theatre world be focusing on creating more opportunities for different ethnic groups, even if that means a continued segregation between those groups? Or should it be focusing on creating and integrating these roles? Personally, I think Dang needs to go one step further and not only create more opportunities on the stage, but also integrate the roles in productions

Put your votes in this post's comments by Thursday.

Worth a Look

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

Bigger Lawsuit Over Fox's Intern Programs

Hollywood Reporter: The original lawsuit, filed last August, involved two interns who worked on Fox Searchlight's Black Swan and claimed that the company's unpaid internship program violated minimum wage and overtime laws. But as The Hollywood Reporter reported this summer, during pre-trial discovery, the attorneys at Outten & Golden began looking to add new named plaintiffs and expand the purview of the litigation after an investigation purportedly showed "that the same hiring, personnel and company policies that applied to Searchlight interns applied to all interns who participated in FEG's internship program."

Arab Cinema Could Collapse Completely, Abu Dhabi Festival Attendees Hear

The Hollywood Reporter: Yousry Nasrallah, the Egyptian director whose film After the Battle played In Competition during the Festival de Cannes, says Arab film sector faces collapse due to Middle East turmoil and Arab TV stations not buying films.

Representing Asian-American Actors on L.A.'s Stages Asian American actors need more opportunities on Los Angeles-area stages. That's the message that Tim Dang, producing artistic director at East West Players, hopes four artistic directors from major Southern California theaters take away from an upcoming forum.


'Beasts' Controversy Shines Light on Child Actors The hullaballoo around the indie film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and its ineligibility for the Screen Actors Guild Awards has refocused attention on child actors’ workplace protections. The producers of “Beasts” weren’t signatories to SAG-AFTRA’s Low Budget Feature Agreement. Director Benh Zeitlin cast 8-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, a nonunion member, in the lead role of Hushpuppy, a girl living with her ailing father in the backwoods of Louisiana who goes on an adventure as melting icecaps unleash a flood.

An exclusive clip of Ridley Scott terrorizing the hell out of the Prometheus crew Watch Ridley Scott go old school and just scare the heck out of his actors in attempt to capture genuine fear on film. We've got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the director's efforts to shock actress Kate Dickie, who played Ford, the ship's doctor. It's both diabolical and wonderful at the same time. Say what you will about the plot of Prometheus — the practical sets, creatures, and landscapes were astounding. And it's pretty great to see a big-time director going back the basic "scare the shit out of the actor and catch it on film" trick. No need for green screen, just shoot a giant Hammerpede out of a dummy's mouth. Magic!

PLASA Announces Winners of Rock Our World and Stewart Awards

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: The award to the ETCP Rigging Subject Matter Experts was presented by PLASA North American Regional Board Chair Eddie Raymond who said, "These individuals volunteered numerous hours over the last year to the task of reviewing and updating the certification exams. This endeavor was necessary due to the success of the program and the number of certifications that have been awarded. This also assures that the exams are up-to-date with the latest rigging practices, equipment, and regulations." The ETCP SMEs honored were Patrick Bash, John Bleich, David Boevers, Marcel Boulet, Eric Braun, Olan Cottrill, Dan Culhane, Brad Dittmer, Jim Doherty, Russ Dusek, Tony Galuppi, Kelly Green, Tom Heemskerk, Dan Houser, Glenn Hufford, Ed Kish, Eric McAfee, Joseph McGeough, Brian Miller, Joe Mooneyham, Walter Murphy, Mark O'Brien, Michael Reed, Stephen Rees, Bill Sapsis (chair, arena SMEs), Peter Scheu, Loren Schreiber, Karen Seifried (chair, theatre SMEs), and Gil Vinzant.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Not For Nothing

You know what bothers me most about the debates? When they are all talking over each other.

This is pretty strange because I do that all the time. I guess I see a difference in a meeting in a conference room and a debate on television. It just felt like every time they went at it that it just lowered them all - diminished the office they aspire too.

In the future I think the moderator should have control over the candidate's mics and when they aren't supposed to be talking they actually can't talk - at least to the people at home.

It is probably unlikely they would agree to that.

Can we read anything into what a candidate will be like through this behavior? I guess I want to think that for someone that will have to cultivate favor with other leaders, with other international leaders as well as members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, and State Governors to say nothing of religious and corporate leaders, for someone that has to be able to not only actually listen but to make sure the other folks believe he is listening, for someone in that position I think being able to demonstrate the restraint in a public forum to not talk over the others is fairly significant.

My judgement is that in most of those Bickerson moments Governor Romney was pretty much always the last person speaking. I would think if you want to be President, demonstrating that you listen would be fairly important. From what I have seen in the debates I am not sure Mitt Romney thinks he has to listen to anyone.


There's another debate tonight.  Is it possible there are people out there still undecided?  I really don't think so...  Did you see the article about how some mad scientist dumped tons of iron into the ocean to see how it would change the ecosystem?  Sounds like something out of a Bond movie...  I have three quarterbacks on my fantasy team.  They are all good.  Without fail one of the two I sit has a breakout game...  Why is it that the folks that ran those big banks into the ground got to keep all of their money?  It would seem to me that if executives were actually responsible to shareholders there would have been more in the way of penalties...  We finished The Rivals and are now on to Into the Woods.  I think Into the Woods may now be the musical I have produced the most.  Someday I should count...  Now that we're all pretty sure Obama was born in America it sounds like the wingnut folks are pushing the story that he is actually gay and married to a man.  Some folks will just never be content with a Black man as President...  It happened again.  I got to Mid-semester with a pile of grading to do.  Can't seem to shake the habit...  We're trying to decide if our house could use a front porch and if so how much would that be worth.  Somehow the initial renovations were easier to justify...  Outlets are still reporting it wrong, but the courts decided you don't need a government picture ID to vote in Pennsylvania...  I gave a guy $100 to fix our TV and I think he went on vacation.  That's fairly disappointing...  Our run crews at work seem to have some kind of difficulty telling "up" from "down" and not in the in/out or off/on kind of way.  Its a problem we don't think we should have to solve...  Waiting for my ESTA certificate to arrive in the mail and trying to figure out which of the existing certificates will have to rotate out...  If you are faltering, the New Yorker endorsement or the one from the Salk Lake City paper will remind you what positive things have happened in the past four years...  This blog has started an odd habit of cutting off the number of posts it displays.  I can't seem to figure out why that is happening...  If you aren't watching Homeland you might want to think about catching up.  So far season two is great and they just renewed it for a third...  Nice to see the Steelers pull one out on the road...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Two Things

So I am sitting here watching the presidential candidates at the Al Smith dinner on MSNBC. As a side note, I only really know about the Al Smith dinner because of a West Wing episode. It really is interesting the things you can learn watching TV.

I have taken to watching more MSNBC. I watched the second debate on MSNBC the other night. I thought the President did pretty well, maybe not as well as the anchors thought. More than that, I think the anchors on the left have been giving a little too much credit or piling on a little heavy.

Romney really took a hit for his response to the pay equity question. That was the unfortunate "binders full of women" moment. He did wind up meandering and didn't so much answer the question, but if you listen to the response that isn't really where he started. He started talking about his chief of staff and the length of her work day. I think he was heading for what is a typical response on pay equity, that women make less because they need typically need more flexibility, that they want more time off and so if you are paying someone a salary it is reasonable to pay them less because overall they will work less time.

I kind of wish he had managed to get that point out of his mouth instead of talking about hiring women in general. It would be interesting to see the public discourse over that standard response - to say nothing of President Obama's response during the debate.

The other thing. But for word smithing I think it is possible that Mitt was right about the Libya thing. THe point he was trying to make was that in the near time frame the story from the administration was that the embassy attack was tied to the "Innocence of the Muslims" video as opposed to a choreographed attack on the anniversary of 9/11. That is my recollection from watching the news too, that it took a couple of days until the story changed from spontaneous reactionary riot to organized terrorist plot.

That in the speech the President referred to the attack as an act of terror is immaterial because that isn't the heart of the charge. Romney's point was that the administration had failed to recognize an organized terrorist attack for what it was, not that the President hadn't called it terrorism. It is interesting that Romney couldn't hold himself together enough to recognize what was happening and wound up looking foolish arguing over the exact words.

But if you lean left you should maybe know that although he whiffed it on TV, Mitt and his people have better answers to those issues and we can't count on him to stumble again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders for Comment of the Week:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "False Equivalency: Broadway Is Not The American Th...":

For technicians such as myself, it cannot be denied that Broadway productions do provide something of an "idea factory," at least in terms of technical development, for the world of theatre at large. Since very few producing entities outside of Broadway can come close to matching the budgets of commercial theatre in New York, it isn't surprising that Broadway productions can afford to stretch the limits of what we can create in the theatrical experience. From the soaring Peter Pan to the barely visible for all the fog of Starlight Express (dating myself here) to the fiascos of Spiderman, succeed or fail, these shows have pushed the envelope of our technical capabilities. On the other hand, I can't think of a community practicing theatre in America more woefully devoid of fresh artistic ideas that Broadway producers. Of course I'm exaggerating here, but it seems to me, perusing the endless string of familiar titles gaudily emblazoned on the marquees of Times Square, that, like Hollywood, Broadway has fallen into the cozy trap of simply reproducing what has already been proven to work. Commercialism is not the friend of experimental art, and marketing is the practice of giving people what they want, or alternatively convincing them they want what you're offering. I don't blame Broadway for taking the easy road here, Broadway does what Broadway does, but I, like the author of this article, will neither applaud them `for leading us into the brilliant new future of art. If that future holds no more promise than the recent derivative and repetitive string of cheap reproductions, I shed a tear for us all.   

Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Wear These Scary Backward High Heels If You Dare [...":
Well I was not expecting that. I have always been in love with high fashion (though there are admittadly time it's taken to far) but I'm a wee bit confused on where the artist is coming from. Well the shoes are a interesting idea I don't see how it makes a comentary on our search for perfection. The artist says they want to explor whats beyond perfction yet they choose a beautiful, skinny model to wear the shoes Well yes the model does look in pain it does not feel like enough to completly convey the stated intention behind the peice. This comes across more as a statment against avant garde fashionthen a statement condeming our desire for perfection of beauty. All that aside I realy do like the concept of the shoes. They part that your foot fits in is really quite similar to a point shoe (as in ballet) but the heel in front removes all the grace from her movment, creating a interesting juxtoposition between her whole look and the way she moves.

Comment #3: a new comment on your post "A Microprocessor for All Seasons":
Here's the thing about Arduino, it's not really useful on its own. It's not like you can put an Arduino Uno on your set and it magically becomes wonderful. The value of Arduino is that it is a gateway into other fields. I had little to no understanding of electronics and circuitry before tinkering with Arduino. I hadn't used computer programming since high school where I took a class in C++. It is all these other concepts, tools, and design options that make Arduino so valuable to our field. Once we introduce programming and circuitry into our TD and designer brains (I'm sure those who say it should be already) uses for Arduino will be more apparent. And even if they don't manifest themselves, that doesn't devalue Arduino's educational usage, it's ability to teach and introduce people to new technologies.   

Comment #4: a new comment on your post "Director Robert Lepage: risking it all":
I am so intrigued by this type of theater! The first few lines of this article, too got me hooked.. just delving into this story gave arise too so many questions. FIRST of all Lepage certainly seems like he is risking it all, in the best way possible, for the sake of his art, vision, and incredibly mad ideas. (The good kind of crazy!) When does this get to be too much though? For him it seems like the sky's the limit, he's not only working on this new show in Las Vegas BUT he is also involved in the MET's production of the Tempest, it seems spectacular. I always wonder how someone gets to do all of these things and stay sane for the most part! In the article it was stated that some of his previous works went up in smoke- just because of time constraints and alot going on, maybe a lot of projects and ideas that just needed more time. I think I'm just fascinated that he took a huge, tremendous risk, failed, but now is so so successful with multiple projects on the burner! I only wonder that, after what some might consider a flop, how do you pick right back up with the same amount of ambition.. I feel like it would be tough for someone starting out! I'm so pleased that I read this article though, I wish I could just find out how Lepage got to such a point where he gets to do what he loves AND is met with project after project to express that. I want to know more about how he manages it all too! And maybe a better question- how does a set designer fit into his work? Are they an equal part of the collaboration? A lot of burning questions- I am just fascinated. He is willing to triumph greatly or fail triumphantly. Amazing.

Comment #5: a new comment on your post "Rural Theater in a Democracy":
I love that these professional theatres exist and are trying to reach out to everyone. I have to admit I have never considered what theatre is like or if it even exists in areas like the Appalachian Mountain area. But I am glad that it does. The article quotes Alexis de Tocqueville saying, 'only in the theater have the upper classes mingled with the middle and lower classes'. It must have sounded so great and noble when he wrote it, but I don't think that it is true any more. I think that 'mainstream' theatre has gravitated as a whole toward the moneymakers and the upper class crowd pleasers. Which is incredibly dangerous, because if you are only marketing to the upper rich percent, they are going to get bored eventually and theatre won't have a leg to stand on. But where Roadside thrives is that they market to everyone, the lower class identifies and when the upper class sees shows about the lower class they usually can find it fascinating. What I am getting at is that companies like this are pivotal in the future of theatre, and getting that type of art out to everyone.

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