Sunday, April 27, 2014

Worth A Look

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

Woolly Mammoth Cancels Festival of Radical New Theatre from Moscow in Wake of Political Tensions

Stage Directions: The heightened tension between Russia and the U.S. has reached the theatre. The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company has had to cancel their Russian artistic exchange program The Russians are Coming! A Festival of Radical New Theatre from Moscow because the instability in Russia and heightened tensions with the U.S. over the invasion on the Crimean Peninsula has led to a freezing of funds that was to pay for the event. The press release from Woolly Mammoth is heartbreaking with its quotes of how quickly planning and funding for the show changed, Center for International Theatre Development founder and director Philip Arnoult just returned saying “I’m seeing a cultural war being fought against the background of the larger Ukrainian stories. Our artistic partners, as well as organizers in the country, are both stunned and saddened at how quickly the cultural climate has changed.” Woolly Mammoth has not yet announced what program will take place instead of this event on its calendar.

A centuries-old tragedy brings teens together

The Times of Israel: When William Shakespeare wrote about the warring households in “Romeo and Juliet,” he wasn’t thinking about Jews and Arabs. Yet in Israel, more than 400 years later, his classic tale of feuds and betrayal served as a focal point of harmony for mixed audiences of Jewish, Muslim and Christian students.

Islam the opera: curtain up on Clusters of Light about life of prophet Muhammad

Stage | The Guardian: It was quite a challenge, even for the crack team of theatrical experts summoned from around the world: less than six months to produce a hi-tech musical extravaganza about one of the most renowned figures in human history. Oh yes, and the title character can't appear on stage.
But somehow it happened and on Sunday night a lavish production about the life and teachings of Muhammad, Islam's main prophet, intended as a rejoinder to more militant interpretations of the faith, premiered at a specially built £20m mock-Roman amphitheatre in Sharjah, the small emirate adjoining Dubai.

Tom Lehrer, Culture And Copyright After Death

Techdirt: But what caught my attention was some discussion that Lehrer has had with certain fans concerning the copyright on his works, whether or not it's okay to put them online and what happens to them after his death. The simple answer seems to be that Lehrer couldn't care any less about all of it.

Incorporating Rescue Into a Fall Protection Plan

Occupational Health & Safety: A fall protection plan is commonplace for most employers, but does it include a rescue plan? Even with the best fall protection plan and equipment in place, accidents do happen. How can you protect your workers at height in the event they need a way to save themselves or rescue a co-worker?
Falls continue to be one of the most common accidents in the workplace, according to NIOSH; however, fall protection equipment is only half the answer to keeping workers safe at height. The other half involves rescuing workers to get them safely to the ground in a timely fashion to avoid additional injuries while suspended.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Vote for Comment of the Week

Votes by Friday noon, please.

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "“Live Theater”: As Opposed to What, Dead Theater?":

It's strange to see someone so upset over something that seems so trivial. Of course calling theatre "live theatre" is redundant, but it wouldn't be my inclination to be offended by the phrase. The author of this article states that its demeaning to theatre but to me, it seems like if anything, it would patronize the viewer of the headline. I guess I can see how calling it "live theatre" may lower it to lesser forms of entertainment like film, or god forbid, television, would come across as cheapening the performance. But to me, an article using "live" in front of "theatre" in their headline just seems like it implies that the reader may be confused as to the definition of theatre.
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "Don’t Think Pink (in Reverse)":
The trouble with how this article was presented on the blog (through its title and the little bit of the article that is previewed) is that it's not clear that this article is actually connected to theatre. It may have been beneficial for the author to have indicated that it was theatre-related in the title. I chose to read it without knowing it was more specifically related to theatre, just out of interest in reading a perspective on products marketed specifically to females. But it turned out to be much more relevant to theatre specifically, as the main focus was on marketing Broadway shows to men. As the article explains, there is the same situation that always comes from gender-specific marketing. While companies approach it with the (likely) good intentions of trying to acknowledge and reach out to this other audience, the way in which they then try to appeal to them is based on stereotypical generalizations and just ends up isolating this other group. 
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "For Freelancers, Short Term is Long Term":
This article relates so much with the lecture we had from Joe Pino in Basic PTM on Wednesday, mainly the "Good Intentions are Costly" passage, explaining what to consider when working for free. The lecture focused very heavily on this, determining what kind of work you can and cannot afford to take. This article is something that I think would be important for anyone in our major to consider. For a lot of us, it is likely that we could end up working freelance or considering working freelance and this article presents some really important perspectives to consider. The section I could most connect to my life right now however, was "Fill Your Calendar." It explains that structure is important in productivity. Last summer was the least structured summer I have ever had. Going in, that made me think I could work on a lot of personal projects and that I would accomplish a lot. But without structure, its much harder to motivate myself to work on those things and budget my time to different tasks. This summer, I hope that having more structure will allow me to achieve more summer goals.

Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "Making a Scene, Onstage and Off":
When I opened this article, there was no way for me to know that it was set in Providence, RI but it is, and that was an awesome surprise for me (being from Rhode Island)! How cool that this huge designer, Eugene Lee, lives in Providence! I can definitely see how it would appeal to a scenic designer, the houses on College Hill are historic and beautiful. Sorry to gush, but it is very exciting to learn that the Tony award winning designer for Wicked, Candide, and Sweeney Todd, as well as working for the Tonight Show and SNL lives in Providence! And despite all the work he does in New York, he and his wife have "never considered leaving Providence". I actually do not think I'll end up living back in Rhode Island, despite my love for it, but it's really interesting and encouraging to read about someone who is able to have the career they want, live where they want in crazy house full of things they love, and to have (what sounds like) a wonderful relationship with their spouse and family. I am so happy that I came across this article. 

Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Architectural Sketching [or How to Sketch like Bob...":
This was a really great article for two reasons. First, it focused on something that feels like a prominent theme of the DP freshmen year curriculum-- the difference in how doing things by hand and doing things on the computer impacts the way you think. And second, it is so interesting to have someone go through their own sketching process. I know this comes to no surprise to anyone, but I prefer working on paper than the computer. Even as I (slowly) improve and develop my AutoCAD abilities, I know no matter how proficient I become, I will never feel connected to work on the computer the way I do when its something I can touch. I see the merit in CAD, especially for the technical aspects of drafting and in class this year, there are assignments where, even AutoCAD deficient me would chose CAD over hand drafting. But for designing something feel like I couldn't sit in front of a computer and realize my ideas. The process of sketching is a part of design to me. I have ideas, I start to sketch, I have new ideas, I work it out on the paper as I go. That process influences what the design becomes.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Worth a Look

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

How Accessibility Works at the Wheelock Family Theatre

HowlRound: Wheelock Family Theatre is the most comprehensively accessible theatre in the Boston area, and I spoke with Kristin Johnson, WFT’s inclusion specialist and in-house ASL consultant to get a full menu of what they have available, and how each of these works.

'Generous' Contracts Could Be San Diego Opera’s Biggest Liability

KPBS: As the San Diego Opera prepares to possibly shut down at the end of this month, its contracts with General Director Ian Campbell and his ex-wife, Ann, may be one of the company’s biggest liabilities.
But a former head of the Internal Revenue Service's nonprofit division told KPBS that it’s not just the potential for severance payouts that could be problematic.

Don’t Think Pink (in Reverse)

Selling Out: It doesn’t feel like very long ago that marketers were being admonished about their shallow perceptions of how to appeal to women. The assumption was that marketers, mostly being men, would make naïve and patronizing overtures to a female audience, epitomized by “pink think.” This is where you take the thing you made for a man and make it pink or in some other way, pretty and dainty. (Not that this has stopped entirely. The “Bic for Her” phenomenon is a recent example.)

Vegas Magician Stagehands Suing Over Wage Dispute

Pollstar: A Feb. 15 federal wage-abuse lawsuit filed by seven stagehands alleges that over the past three years the veteran Las Vegas illusionist sometimes made them work 14 hours a day and seven days a week without paying overtime.
A Jan. 3 state court lawsuit lodged by Copperfield business entities Backstage Employment and Referral Inc., David Copperfield’s Disappearing Inc. and Imagine Nation Company Inc. accuses six stagehands of breach of contract, conspiracy and disclosure of trade secrets.

The Broadway Effect in Rocky, Aladdin, Les Miz

HowlRound: The musical Aladdin on Broadway has gotten rid of Abu, Aladdin’s trusted if mischievous monkey companion, as well as the pet tiger Rajah, both of whom were in Disney’s 1992 animated film. In Rocky on Broadway, you cannot see the real streets of Philadelphia, nor in Les Miserables on Broadway can you see the performers’ nostrils; both loomed large in the film versions.
About a third of the forty two new shows in the 2013-2014 Broadway season were either adapted from a movie or so closely associated with one that the film serves both to lure an audience into the musical, and to raise audience expectations—the former a godsend for the producers, the latter a terror for the creative team. How do you offer something both comforting and exciting, familiar and surprising; what can Broadway offer as compensation for the loss of Abu, Philadelphia and Hugh Jackman’s shapely nose?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Vote for Comment of the Week

Quick turnaround this week.  Need votes tomorrow lunchtime.

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Movies With Women in Prominent Roles Earn More Mon...":

The Bechdel test, while it does help determine a bit in regards to equal gender representation in films, does not really mean all that much. Just because there is more than one woman and that the two women talk to each other about something other than a man, does not make it a successful, good, or even a well-represenmtative movie. The world is made up of more than two women, there is an even divide. Women have so much more to them than men, and passing the Bechdel test does not make up for the lack of female characters. Women also don't only have to be in strong leading roles, there can be women who struggle, who work at home, either from choice or force, there can be women who lead and women who assist. I just want to see more women in every role, leading and not. There is just a severe under-representation of women in films. That means that the Bechdel test needs to be updated in order to pass only truly equal movies. 
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "A tiny Arduino laser cutter":
Hey cool, this machine is pretty useless. In it’s current state at least. Take out the laser, put in a diamond point or carbine scribe, and it becomes the worlds most fragile layout tool. You could use it to scribe out clews, caster plates, or most usefully, a printer circuit board.

I don’t know that the maker community should be playing around with class III lasers. It’s just too easy to get injured. Building a little router is one thing, its damage is fairly limited to the length of its cutting mill. A laser can be damaging still far past its focal length. It scares me that people could build this with just instructions from the internet, and things in their basement. 
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "SFX: making rain, 3D printing & blow-up greenscree...":
This is a great article that highlights and breaks down the relationship between some of the latest practical effects and computer generated effects. For Noah, Burt Dalton’s practical rain effects were – mouth open – controlled by an iPad app! I especially liked learning how the team was able to block out sections of background they did not want seen on-site (as opposed to digital post) by choosing smaller mist heads on the rain rig and then backlighting the rain to produce a visually impenetrable fog. Sweet! I also like that the article addresses the issue of draining and reusing the enormous amount of water used during the shoot. In profiling New Deal’s workflow, we see how the use of 3D printers opens up a new world for miniature sets. (While this does not relate to the content of the article, I could not help but notice that the concept for the Vizio commercial rips off Ridley Scott’s epic 1984 Apple commercial. Perhaps that was the point, but even with the 3D-printed miniatures, it is not nearly as cool as Scott’s 1984.) The Airwall inflatable greenscreen is valuable for its ability to provide more location options for erecting screens. And while I am sure the pneumatic car flipper is awesome by some standards, if I never see another car flip or car chase in a movie, I will be the opposite of sad. 
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "Interns are now protected against sexual harassmen...":
Wait wait wait, shouldn't everyone be protected against sexual harassment? Isn't it a general consensus now that sexual harassment is WRONG? Why do these bills have such a hard time going through? Do the politicians have people paying them that like to sexually harass their interns? I can't believe that this is still a problem. I thought that since the case in October caused such a big uproar there would be more attention to it. Like, I understand a company not wanting to pay for someone to sue a high ranking official in their own ranks, but these people are perverts and need to be taught a lesson. Maybe if they realize how much they are costing the company then they will shape up. I doubt it though. 
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "What would you pay for unlimited Broadway shows a ...":
I love the idea, but I don't think it would work. Movie pass sounds like an incredible program for those people who see movies in theaters often. Trying to make a movie pass for theatre is completely different and much more difficult. Broadway is completely different than going to a movie. When you go to the movies, you can park your car 10 minutes before the show starts, get a ticket, find a seat, then watch a 1hr-2hr movie. This entire process is much shorter than going to see a show. The amount of time you have to sacrifice to see a broadway show is huge and people aren't going to do that once a week in my opinion. The cost would probably be $200 minimum, considering most shows are around $100. I have a feeling most people would purchase this offer maybe once a year and go on a show watching spree for one month, then stop, because it would get to expensive. People taking advantage of this program, would they have priority over the regular ticket purchaser, or would they get the worst seats imaginable. Great idea, but I don't see it going anywhere and if it does, it won't last long.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Worth a Look

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

At 81, Playwright Athol Fugard Looks Back On Aging And Apartheid

NPR: Under apartheid, trying to make an artistic political statement was difficult — artists were subject to scrutiny and even arrest. On the other hand, making a political statement was easy: All one had to do was put black and white actors on a stage together.

The LRLR Raise Funds For Behind The Scenes With USITT Raffle

Briefing Room content from Live Design Magazine: The Long Reach Long Riders celebrated their 11th ride with a raffle and live auction to benefit Behind the Scenes during the USITT Conference in Fort Worth last week. Sales of raffle tickets, some key donations, and BTS and LRLR-branded swag raised just over $12,000 for the charity.

Can Women Drive Studio Movie Decision Making?

Women and Hollywood: Yesterday, Amanda Hess at Slate's XX Factor blog published a piece titled "Women Buy Half of All Movie Tickets. That Won't Mean More Female Characters." She responds to a couple of Women and Hollywood's recent posts regarding women and the box office, most specifically the recent data released by the MPAA that shows that, while women are the majority of ticket buyers, there are still very few movies made with female leads.

Ordinary Machines: Ghost Riding

Features | Pitchfork: “God created Ol’ Dirty Bastard,” the man himself declares in his signature warble. “His walk, his talk, his movement, his step, his feet, his everything.” This soliloquy is one of the most memorable moments in Rock the Bells, a documentary chronicling the hip-hop festival’s first show in 2004. It’s also Dirty’s only triumphant moment in the film; elsewhere he’s seen in a state of depressingly severe decline. The concert is billed as the first official Wu-Tang Clan reunion in almost a decade, but it almost doesn’t happen because Dirty is too high to make it out of his hotel room. He finally shows up at the last minute, only to spend most of the performance sitting down, uncharacteristically silent and nearly out-of-view. It would be the last time all core members of Wu-Tang performed together. Four months later, on November 13, 2004, ODB was dead.

Top 20 Overused Movie Lines

ShortList Magazine: Making films can't be easy. Lucky for script writers, there's always a cliché on hand if they ever get stuck...
"Bond. James Bond." "I'll be back." "Show me the money!" "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." "You talkin' to me?"
Done right, a well-crafted one-liner can outgrow its film and enter the annals of cinema, not to mention the vocabulary any well-versed film buff. But, if you're here hoping to find the next "Life is like a box of chocolates", we strongly advise you look elsewhere. This list's not about quality, it's all quantity.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Vote for Comment of the Week

Voting closes Friday noon...

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Why Are Native Roles Going to White Actors?":

One point that struck me in this article was the attribution of Warner Bros. lack of a comment to the fact that this sort of outrage is usually short lived. People rarely demand more from their entertainment providers and when they do, their voices usually die down when the topic is no longer popular. If the public was truly committed to making movies more racially diverse and making sure that traditionally minority character kept their race in reboots, they would boycott the studios, but past behavior proves that the public is not inclined to do that. As long as studios are comfortable with the knowledge that the only repercussions they are going to face are a few harsh articles and a number of protesters that doesn't rival their guaranteed customer base, they will continue to hire whomever they want.
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "'House of Cards' crew could have equipment seized ...":
This just seems silly. If the state doesn't want the show to leave, they should use incentives to get them to stay, not childishly punish them. I'm not sure if this would be even legal under the rules of eminent domain- I don't know much about the legality of this stuff but I'm pretty sure that eminent domain only applies if the state is taking the property for civic/public use, such as taking land to build a highway that would benefit the citizens of the state in general. It shouldn't be used to take revenge on a company that is moving for economic reasons. Not only will this technique probably not work, it'll almost definitely drive away anyone who was planning to film in the state in the future. These politicians should grow up and address this problem in a constructive way.
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "Lucas Verweij on the problem with design education...":
The challenge of trying to teach a field that is constantly innovating is definitely a tough one. It's exciting to see an article that addresses this, because it is something I have given a lot of thought to over the last year. I think that the key point in this article may be the idea that design is more of a mentality than a skill. You may not be able to teach people to be designers but you can train them to think like designers. If they can obtain this mindset, it won't matter what they actual object being designed is. Earlier this year, I did not understand much of the reasoning behind the curriculum of our Basic Design class, but I have since developed an understanding that its been helping us to think in a way that will allow us to become designers. This type of education seems like the right direction. An understanding of design technologies also seems valuable however, maybe like our new IDeATe program. 
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "The Power of Partnerships in Placemaking":
As I have noted in a couple of my PTM comments from previous weeks, I am passionate about democratization of the arts; and I believe collaboration across organizations and communities plays a large part in reaching wider audiences/participants. In this article, The Power of Partnerships in Placemaking, Eric Rogers does a good job of giving the theoretical overview of his organization, Arts Place, of which he is Executive Director. While Rogers does give examples of partnerships/collaborations, these illustrate broad strokes, not the nitty gritty. For instance, when Rogers addresses the wide range of economic environments, he states, “differences in and of themselves require ironing out consistent policies that are both fair and appropriate to each community’s circumstance.” I would be very interested to learn a breakdown of exactly what “fair and appropriate” entailed in two or three specific examples. All in all, I applaud the work. I just want to know more!  
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "What Does “Get ‘Em When They’re Young” Mean for Li...":
I'm really surprised that Disney wasn't further up on this list! I really, truly love this article. What I really connected with was making things for kids that weren't complete crap. I remember reading my first Harry Potter book. What really attracted me to them was their length, and later, how well they were written. JK Rowling could have created shallow characters and shorter books and kids still would have read them. But she didn't; she created a complex world with multi-dimensional characters at great volumes. This is the greatest example of "get them while they're young." At 5, I picked up my first Harry Potter book, and now, almost fifteen years later, I'm still obsessed with that magical wizarding world. I could go on and on on nostalgia and how Harry and his friends shaped my life, but it's not important right now. What is crucial to this discussion is that something great was made for the younger generation and hooked me on reading early, setting me up for a lifetime of literature. So, just because you're doing Dora the Explorer Live, doesn't mean you can skimp on quality. That show may inspire a 6 year old to start singing and foster a great growth in the arts.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Worth a Look

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

'House of Cards' crew could have equipment seized if the show stops filming in Maryland

The Verge: As House of Cards threatens to leave Maryland over tax credits, the state is fighting back — or at least one delegate is. Del. C. William "Bill" Frick (D-Montgomery) proposed an amendment that would allow state officials to use eminent domain to seize the show's sets, equipment, and other assets if they take production elsewhere.

First Time Nationwide: Portland Presents All Of Shakespeare’s Works In Two Years

Arts & Life » OPB: If you’re a fan of Shakespeare, you’re in for a treat.
Over the next two years, local arts, theater and academic groups are banding together to stage all of Shakespeare’s plays, sonnets and poems. It’s the first endeavor of its kind nationwide, say organizers of the Complete Works Project.

Why Are Native Roles Going to White Actors?

Backstage: Despite recent blockbusters featuring Native American characters, many of the roles have gone to white performers. In 2013, for instance, Disney’s “The Lone Ranger” generated an outcry after Johnny Depp (who claims Native American ancestry) was cast as Tonto. That decision was defended as the role going to the best available actor, and a similar argument is being used in Mara’s case, too.

The Most Important Lessons in Woodworking

Popular Woodworking Magazine: Learning woodworking isn’t just about “how to” do something. A good example of this comes from my days as an apprentice in a commercial cabinet shop. I entered the experience with a misguided, romantic notion of working beside an experienced craftsman and being tutored in the fine points of cabinetmaking. I figured I would be coached and guided as my skills developed. That type of experience may exist in old books or in woodworking schools, but the real world is quite a bit different.

How the Jim Henson Company Is Turbocharging Puppetry With Technology

Underwire | WIRED: For decades Jim Henson was able to use television to bring the art of puppetry to massive audiences in a very intimate way on programs like Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. Because of his work, beautiful and masterfully crafted creatures were beamed into homes for years and ensured the popularity of puppets for generations.