Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vote for Comment of the Week

Voting closes Friday noonish.

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Spamalot: Pennsylvania school cancels production b...": 

I sighed my way through this entire article. Heres the thing: I can totally understand a lot of the reasoning to cancel a production of Spamalot in a high school setting. The show could be considered slightly risqué in a public school setting. However, it was made painfully clear that this decision was made on the homosexual basis. 

"I am not comfortable with Spamalot and its homosexual themes.."

Not to mention that the decision seems like an afterthought, they and already written the check to license the play, which means SOMEONE had to have already read the play and several people, probably from the school district itself (that's how my school had to get productions approved) had to approve the show for production in the first place! Then, once someone realized that there were homosexual situations displayed, they had to scramble to come up with an excuse as to why the production was being cancelled.

This issue will never be corrected until further education, starting at a young age. At what age do we learn that it's "normal" for men to date women? 

Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "Controlled Chaos: House & Monitor Sound For Pharre...": 
This article is one of my favorite interviews that I have read in any sound magazine. This is because typically in interviews that I read the interviewer talks a lot about equipment and how they interact with new technologies that come out but this article talks about how it is to work with artist and what that is like. I think that working with the artist is the most important part of being a quality sound engineer. One thing about this article that also interests me is the way both engineers think that the best part of their jobs is growing with a band or artist from the bottom to the top. This is something that I would really like to do. I have a group of friends at home that started a band and are really great. While I'm at home I mix their live shows and mix them in the studio. What is nice is that now they are getting bigger and playing the NYC nightclub circuit and it has been rewarding for me to mix them ant our high school talent shows and now mixing and seeing them play for real people in NYC. We also are all in college at the same time so when we're not together there is no shows that go on without me.

Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "The World Wide Theater at Our Fingertips": 
I am a very big fan of the idea of making theatre free and accessible. It irritates me so much that if there is an incredible production of King Lear in New York, someone in Hong Kong won't be able to see it. With the advent of the world wide web, there is almost no reason that productions shouldn't at least start to be put online. The National Theatre took a step in the right direction by starting to allow some access in the form of limited screenings in select theaters, but it's not far enough. I really think that adding streaming to theatre can only be a good thing. I am not, however, a fan of the idea of allowing "tweet seats," or anything of that nature. Some would see a conflict in that distinction, but I absolutely do not. You have to consider the way in which a technology changes a theatre's space. Streaming shares an insulated space with the world, whereas "tweet seats," and the like disrupt a theatre space in a crude attempt to bring in a younger audience, which I find tactless. Anyway, I loved what the bloggers (Alex and DCW3) mentioned about the "universal theatre," a theater that exists outside of the bounds of geography. It's a beautiful way of using social media to actually connect in a real way. Theater, and really all art, is a way of sharing a truth ("mirror up to nature" and all that). Wouldn't it be incredible if we could share that truth even further than the confines of a blackbox or a proscenium? the truth is we can. The one thing that disheartened me about this article was that it left the idea as just that - an idea, an abstraction, rather than showing steps that have been taken towards some sort of universal theater. Sure, they half-heartedly attempted a project with "Leaving Dynamite," but the fact that they couldn't sustain that project speaks to the ADD nature of our generation, the generation raised on the internet. That said, there always be failure before success, unless success is accidental, and since no one has ever accidentally streamed a production before, I doubt this will be the case. THere's a lot to do, and a lot of ways to do it. I honestly think some amazing things are about to happen in the world of theatre.

Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "Stagehands the foundation of Made in America": 
It's always interesting reading about the various ways that IATSE locals are portrayed in the news. We go from the negative press that they've often gotten in NYC at various venues and then the praise that they have in this article. It's nice to see some positive praise for people that do a lot of unrecognized work in our industry. 

There are a couple things that irritated me with this article. The praise that the workers were getting for putting in 14+ hour days is highly misplaced. It's not a good thing that stagehands are having to put in 14+ hours over more than 10 days. That's not a safe instance and should be worked on so that this doesn't happen. 

Also, the stagehands being told to leave an area as a performance was starting is a good thing. Gallo's comment about it being atrocious they were told to leave and that they build the stage gives them right to be in the audience is irritating. Yes, they work very hard to set up the stage but that's their job, it does not give them the right to watch a free show. 

This is an interesting viewpoint to see how stagehands are viewed city by city and event by event.

Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Harvard Lampoon president Alexis Wilkinson on how ...": 
I think Alexis Wilkinson makes a really good point when she talks about why most of her staff, and organizations in general, have issues with diversity. She talks about the inclination to hire and work with people you know and are friends with- a perfectly normal and reasonable way to behave, but in the end it can lead to a serious lack of diversity. It's not malicious or intentional in any way, but it does have serious effects we should be aware of. We definitely have this in theatre- it's something that we actually support. I know a major factor in my decision to come to CMU was the connections and alumni network you get out of it, and while this is really great for helping students make their way in the world and get jobs, it means we'll often be working for and with people who have similar backgrounds to us- people who were able to go to prestigious, expensive universities, and gain connections that many people with fewer opportunities don't have access to. 

On an unrelated note, I was impressed with her attitude towards the new website that they had created- she said that she felt that they might not even keep it up after October, and that she thought that every executive board should get to make its own decisions on what they wanted to do, and not be chained to tradition. This is an interesting perspective, and I have great respect that they put so much work in to one thing (the website is really impressive) when they knew it might not be permanent at all, or even last more than a couple months. It's great that they're willing to put in so much work into something just to see how it turns out, without worrying about the future or concerning themselves with worrying about their legacy.

No comments: