Sunday, March 29, 2015

Worth A Look

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

The Lies We Tell About Audience Engagement

TCG Circle: Over the past several years, the theatre community has become more and more anxious about “audience engagement” and less and less certain what that actually means. Some people think it means audience participation theatre, which can run from happening-style performance events to walkthrough shows like Fefu and Her Friends and Sleep No More to hauling unwilling audience members into the spotlight for 90 seconds of uncomfortable awkwardness. Some people think it means enabling the audience to participate in the show’s creation in some way. Some people think it means doing shows that engage your local audience by reflecting them in some way—usually season planning and/or casting—and creating events attached to the show, like talkbacks, community outreach events, or a lobby display audience members can add to or interact with.

Equity E-mails Its Members, Explains What a Union Is

Parabasis: AEA took the rhetorical gloves off today, explaining why it was offensive to use civil rights era imagery as part of a protest against the union and giving people a refresher course on what a union is for. My guess is this only serves to further antagonize people who don't support the union's position (there is some public calls for the union to apologize for the letter, but I see nothing in here necessitating an apology), but part of me is just happy to see them stand up for themselves in the face of millionaire movie stars tacitly advocating for their most vulnerable employees to turn scab.

Caisse seeks minority stake in Cirque du Soleil The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is vying for a minority stake in the Cirque du Soleil as political opposition mounts over the prospect of a foreign takeover of the famed Montreal circus company.

According to people familiar with negotiations, the Caisse has made overtures to potential suitors that it would like to join the winning bid for the Cirque du Soleil by acquiring a minority stake of about 10 per cent. These sources said the Caisse, Canada’s second-largest pension fund managers by assets, is reluctant to buy a bigger stake because the production company is in need of significant capital to revitalize some of its struggling shows and expand into new foreign markets. A Caisse spokesman declined to comment.

12 Touring Theater Companies That Make a Difference

Backstage: Touring is a rite of passage for many young performers, and an amazing way to see the country and impact communities far and wide. From full-fledged Shakespeare to “Berenstain Bears,” here are 12 touring theater companies that make a difference across the United States.

Multi-Ethnic Coalition Denounces Controversial Deadline Article

Variety: A coalition of several organizations issued a statement on Wednesday condemning a Deadline Hollywood article that sparked controversy for its characterization of the TV industry’s casting practices regarding minority actors.

The coalition, comprised of American Indians in Film and Television, Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, NAACP Hollywood Bureau and National Hispanic Media Coalition, condemned Deadline for publishing “inaccuracies and misconceptions.”

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from the last three weeks of the Greenpage that might be worth your time...

‘Midnight Rider’ First AD Hillary Schwartz Guilty; Gets 10 Years Probation

Deadline: Midnight Rider’s first assistant director Hillary Schwartz was found guilty of criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter today and will receive 10 years probation and no prison time. Under terms of the deal, she cannot be a director or assistant director, but she can be a producer in a capacity other than overseeing the safety of others. She also was slapped with a $5,000 fine.

Essential Pittsburgh: An August Wilson Protégé on How He Learned What He Learned

90.5 WESA: August Wilson is well known for his 20th century cycle of works about the black experience in America. But now an additional play written shortly before Wilson’s death is debuting in Pittsburgh. Actor Eugene Lee and Director Todd Kreidler, Wilson’s friend and protégé, explain what “How I Learned What I Learned” reveals about the playwright’s life as a poet in the Hill District.

A Call For R/evolution

FROM THE GREEN ROOM: Dance/USA's e-Journal: Sarah Austin’s recent controversial piece, “Is American Modern Dance a Pyramid Scheme?” is a symptom of a larger cultural, socio-economic shift that continues to affect both the arts and education. This is a shift in the perceived and broadcasted value of learning, experience, and critical thinking. Austin’s article arrived on the heals of related pieces about writing and theater programs. Clearly there is work to be done inside of arts programs, on the parts of students, administrators, and faculty, but there are larger issues at play. I may not agree with all of Austin’s points, but I applaud her bravery in stepping on a hornets’ nest and stirring us all to swarm. A lively dialogue happened on Facebook here, here, and I’m sure on many other “walls” as well.

Equity Fires Back at L.A. Theater Critics

Backstage: The Actors’ Equity Association is engaged in an increasingly heated debate with critics of its minimum-wage proposal. The union has used its Twitter handle to promote its 99-seat reform plan and push back against what it calls falsehoods, including one rumor that Executive Director Mary McColl was “approaching grantors requesting that they not make grants to 99 seat companies.”

The Reality of Six-Figure Debt on an Actor’s Salary

MagnifyMoney: Freddy Arsenault is a Broadway actor with six figures of student loan debt, thanks to the MFA acting program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Among actors, Arsenault is one of the “lucky ones”. According to Actors Equity Association, the professional theatre actors union, fewer than 15 percent of due paying members are able to secure work in any given week and only 17,000 of 40,000 members work in a given year. Of those jobs, only a select few carry the prestige and paycheck of a Broadway show.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Worth a Look

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

Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” clusterf***: A very brief history 2013’s catchy song of summer “Blurred Lines” has been at the center of a fraught legal battle in recent months, with Marvin Gaye’s children alleging that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams plagiarized the song from Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up.” The trial finally kicked off yesterday, with Thicke and Williams arriving in an L.A. federal courtroom to defend their creation. Here’s a look at some of the major developments that brought us to where we are today

Equity Vs. L.A. 99-Seat Theatre, the Final Showdown

AMERICAN THEATRE: I feel like I’m witnessing a divorce between two old friends—one of whom I know all too well, as I’ve spent many days and especially late nights in his company, the other of whom I respect and am glad to know, even at arm’s length. Oh, sure, I’ve heard the first party complain about his persnickety partner over the years—about how she just doesn’t get what he does and resents his perennially empty pockets. And much as I love him, I’ve always had the sense that she has her reasons for discontent, too; my homeboy has his share of flaws, as even he would admit in his clearer-headed moments.

Battle Tested

Stage Directions: In June of 2013, during the climatic battle scene of KÁ at the MGM Grand Resort in Las Vegas—where performers are suspended on wires far above the ground in front of a vertical wall representing a bird’s eye view of the battle—Cirque acrobat/aerialist Sarah Guillot-Guyard suddenly plunged 94 feet to the ground. She died from injuries sustained in the fall.

In December of 2014, Calum Pearson, vice president of the resident shows division of Cirque du Soleil, held a press conference giving a full accounting of what happened technically to lead to the incident, and announced that the show would be re-integrating the battle sequence. Shortly after that conference he sat down with SD to discuss what happened, emotionally and technically, to lead to that decision.

Building the Future with Gaming and Participatory Theater

Extended Play: Ian Daniel, Editor of Extended Play, recently attended César Alvarez’s new participatory musical set in outer space, “The Universe is a Small Hat,” at Babycastles Gallery in NYC. The show is set in the year 2114, when artificial intelligence, humanoid robots and Martian colonies are all real things. In this futuristic world, a group of humans leaves Earth to establish an entirely new society in space. The audience plays the colonists, and their choices shape the development of the new world.

Unidentified: Lingering mysteries in the Theater Collection

mcnyblog: Since fall of 2013, the City Museum has been involved in a large scale digitization project to digitally capture and describe over 30,000 images of theatrical production. It gives me great pleasure and supreme pride to announce we now have over 15,000 images freely available to view on the Museum’s Collections Portal. Cue streamers, balloons, fireworks, and all other celebratory ephemera.