Sunday, September 01, 2013

Worth a Look

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

Does digital technology help theatre – or hinder it?

Stage | I'm seriously beginning to wonder whether the Edinburgh international festival has yet to experience that new-fangled technology called the electric light, or whether they might still be writing on parchment using quill pens. While director Jonathan Mills has programmed his 2013 festival with a technological theme, supposedly exploring "the way technology seizes and shifts our perceptions of the world, translated and made manifest by artistic visionaries," most of the theatre shows seem oddly old-fashioned.

Cinema's Greatest Effects Shots Picked By Hollywood's Top VFX Specialists

Features | Empire: From Eadweard Muybridge and George Méliès to James Cameron and Phil Tippett, the history of movie effects is basically the greatest bedtime story never told. Except it’s a yarn so full of dragons, dinosaurs and mimetic polyalloy killing machines sent back from the future that you’d never get any sleep after hearing it. As Life Of Pi and Avatar amply demonstrate, there are many chapters still to be written and innovations still to be forged, but whether in-camera, matte, prosthetic, CG, or just lovingly modelled by a man with a passion for Plasticine, effects have brought magic to the movies since the silent era. In a unique celebration of the art, Empire asked the people who make them happen to pick their favourites.

Are Arts Leaders “Cultural” Leaders?

diacritical: The two terms sometimes get mixed up. They’re not interchangeable. For the most part, the big cultural debates of our time take place without participation of our artists and arts leaders. If artists aren’t participating – let alone leading – it’s difficult to make the case that they’re cultural leaders. Somehow, our public debates about values – and by extension, what our culture looks like – have become the exclusive domain of politics. To speak out on values can only be seen as a political act in America. Issues like gun culture, family values, social services, and public space are owned by narrow political forces who have a vested interest in them and who frame how they’re discussed.

What Makes an Artist a Professional for Tax Purposes? For a writer, artist, actor, model, or musician, thousands of dollars in taxes can often ride on a single question: is the artist a professional or an amateur? At first glance, it might seem like an easy question to answer — but there are some surprising twists in the rules, especially in state and IRS rules on tax deductions.

In Memoriam: Tayneshia Jefferson

Stage Directions: Tayneshia Jefferson, a professor of stage management at Carnegie Mellon and USITT board member, died on July 31, 2013 after a brief and sudden illness while visiting family in Houston. She was 41 years old. Her family will be holding services in her hometown of Houston, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 10 at St. Monica Catholic Church. Throughout her career Tayneshia served on the artistic and management staffs of Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre (UFOMT), Austin Lyric Opera, Zachary Scott Theatre Center and ProArts Collective, the Alliance Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Houston Ebony Opera Guild, The Kennedy Center and more. For USITT she served as a mentor for the Stage Management Mentoring Project and Vice-Commissioner for Stage Management as well as the Chair of the People of Color Caucus. Her sudden death left her friends, colleagues and students in shock. When reached for comment David Grindle, executive director of USITT, wrote: “Tayneshia was an inspiring person who made an impact on our industry and the people in it. As a stage manager and production manager she remained a harbor of calm in many a stormy sea. As an educator she inspired a generation of young people to be better than many of them knew they were capable of being, both as professionals and as people. USITT has lost a vibrant member, board member, and leader. However, our organization is better for her many years of involvement and we are pleased to say she was one of us. Our deepest sympathy goes to her family and to all those in her extended theatre family that were touched by her life.”

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