Monday, November 23, 2015

Worth a Look

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

What If I'm Attacked at Work? A Crew Primer, Part 1

JOL: In Paris last Friday, 13 November 2015, a few jihadi cowards stormed into Le Bataclan and murdered scores of people with AK-47’s. At FOH, the house lighting tech, Nathalie Jardin, took rounds and died form her injuries. Merchandiser Nick Alexander died from his gunshots onsite. They were just at work, doing what they loved, making the almighty dollar, but mostly digging the journey that we call Entertainment.

Publisher Claims The Diary of Anne Frank Was Co-Written by Her Father

Flavorwire: The Anne Frank Fonds has announced it intends to re-file their copyright of Anne Frank’s famous diary, adding Anne’s father Otto Frank (who incidentally established the Anne Frank Fonds in 1963) as a co-author of the book.

Why is this happening? Because The Diary of Anne Frank was supposed to enter the public domain on January, 1, 2016.

Color Conscious Directing: Three More Questions to Ask

HowlRound: Since I first wrote about color-conscious casting, I’ve learned—by directing my own productions as well as casting plays that I did not direct—that color-conscious casting doesn’t guarantee a color-conscious production. Diverse casting is a cause; a more challenging and/or inclusive conversation is not inherently an effect.

To recap, I believe that “color-conscious” casting means casting a production with a lens for how race factors into the story of the play. It’s treated as an additional given in the fabric of the production. For me, “color-blind” casting doesn’t work because audiences are not blind to how diverse casting changes their view of the story. I think sometimes, during casting, we put blinders on and then forget to take them off when we enter the rehearsal room.

Teaching, Learning, and Making Theatre in a Time of Crisis

OnStage: It’s been a difficult week. From terror in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad to racial tensions at the University of Missouri and other college campuses nationwide…it’s been a difficult week. When things get this hard and this stressful, I think back to a question someone asked me once when I was an undergraduate. “Why,” they asked, “when there are people starving, and terrorists, and police brutality, and injustice, and racism, and political upheavals, and homeless people, and so many other terrible things, WHY would you think THEATRE is important?!?” My answer then is the same as my answer now. Theatre is important specifically BECAUSE of all of those things.

Suspension Bridges of Disbelief

Hackaday: Suspension bridges are far and away the target of choice in America’s action blockbusters. In just the past three years, the Golden Gate Bridge has been destroyed by a Kaiju, Godzilla, a Skynet-initiated nuclear blast, and a tsunami. Americans don’t build real bridges anymore, or maintain the ones that we have, but we sure love to blow them up in movies.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Worth a Look

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

The White Version of MLK in 'The Mountaintop'

The Root: “I remember he had the prettiest skin I had ever seen. Flawless. So chocolate you could see yourself reflected in it,” Carrie Hall, my mother, recounted wistfully. On March 28, 1968, she had caught a glimpse of Martin Luther King Jr. when he came to Memphis, Tenn., to lead a march for sanitation workers. It quickly descended into a police-provoked riot fueled by tear gas and bullets. My mother remembers fleeing for her life to the safety of her home, mere blocks from the Lorraine Motel. Seven days later, King would be murdered at that very motel, a sniper’s bullet piercing his flawless brown skin.

Independent Contractors and the American Theatre

HowlRound: Very early in my career, I accepted a summer job with a large producing organization. Happy to be working, I didn’t mind that the compensation totaled less than $100 per week. I assumed it was the cost of “getting my foot in the door” and was still young and idealistic enough to not mind living on beans and rice. Several months later, navigating the world of income tax for the first time, I received a tax form from this organization unlike the W-2’s I had received from my other employers: IRS Form 1099-MISC. Mystified, I turned to tax preparation software and plugged in all of the endless data required.

Everything I Love Is Problematic

The Mary Sue: Everything I love is problematic, I’m realizing. Star Wars and Harry Potter don’t have enough diversity. Every person in the comedy group Monty Python is a white man. Pitch Perfect 2, Mean Girls, and Family Guy have jokes that are offensive to many groups of people. Bill Cosby, H.P. Lovecraft, and Marion Zimmer Bradley were not good people. I can’t wear my Jayne hat without worrying a little hate will leak into my ears through that adorable pompon. In short, just like people, no media is perfect.

The story behind NYC's only backlot

Business Insider: The Kaufman Astoria Studios are located in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, about a 20-minute subway ride from Times Square, and they're one of the biggest and most complex production centers along the East Coast.

A new “Happy Birthday” boss? Charity claims it owns famous song’s copyright

Ars Technica: In September, a judge ruled that music licensor Warner-Chappell doesn't own the copyright to "Happy Birthday." The question now seems to have become who does?

A charity called the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) has now stepped forward to say that if Warner loses the copyright, it should become the rightful owner. Earlier this week, ACEI filed court papers (PDF) asking to intervene in the copyright dispute.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Worth a Look

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

Theatre Facts 2014 Shows Optimism for the American Theatre

AMERICAN THEATRE: As the Great Recession finally fades into memory, theatre leaders seem relieved to have other issues on their mind. The glass is looking more than half full these days, with a rise in funding from foundations and individuals driving an overall increase in income, and more than half of theatres experiencing a positive bottom line. Even so, rising costs and ongoing challenges in retaining and building audiences and managing cash flow are keeping managing and artistic directors wary.

100 Women Directors Hollywood Should Be Hiring

Vulture: Enough.

Enough with the studios like 20th Century Fox, Sony, Paramount, and the Weinstein Company, none of which put out even a single film this year that was directed by a woman.

Enough with the executives who would rather hand a lucrative blockbuster to a man who’s never made a movie before (like Seth Grahame-Smith, the novice director recently picked by Warner Bros. to direct a big-budget adaptation of The Flash) than a woman who has.

Next Gen 2015: Hollywood's Up-and-Coming Execs 35 and Under

Hollywood Reporter: A common thread among the 35 executives age 35 and under that comprise THR’s 22nd annual Next Generation list is a singular big break or a mentor who helped distinguish each person in a cutthroat business. It’s a path that leaders of previous generations — WME-IMG's Ari Emanuel, Fox film co-chair Stacey Snider and CAA's Richard Lovett, Kevin Huvane and Bryan Lourd, among them — have forged. And it’s one of the reasons that Hollywood continues to lure (and frustrate) some of the most ambitious and talented people in the world: Stardom can happen overnight.

San Francisco Is Losing Its Artists One of this city’s most-discussed recent performances took place on the morning of April 1, 2014. A group of dancers, clad in acrobatic costumes, blocked a Google bus at the corner of 24th and Valencia Streets in the Mission District.

They passed out fake bus passes. (The shuttle buses, which ferry tech workers to their cushy campuses, are resented by many locals because they stop at public transit stops but don’t serve the larger public). They formed human pyramids, shouted slogans, and tossed around exercise balls printed with parodic Google logos. They stopped the bus from moving until the police came to break up the action.>

Shows on the go: Some productions appearing on new platforms

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: As entertainment creators and presenters look to grow audiences through the marriage of product and technology, consumer choice is the winner. Every day, it seems, an event or announcement heralds a new option for the quickly evolving ways we view entertainment. This month has brought a wave of news to illustrate the point.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Worth a Look

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

My trigger-warning disaster: “9 1/2 Weeks,” “The Wire” and how coddled young radicals got discomfort all wrong At the time I was teaching the course, I was also figuring out a life outside of academia. I had been a wandering postdoc for a long time and was tired. A friend of mine had recently been violently sexually assaulted. I was a witness. The trauma she suffered, from the assault and the long, drawn-out trial of her assailants, led me to volunteer at my local rape crisis center. Working directly with folks who have experienced trauma, I entered the course believing in trigger warnings and gave them throughout the class, even though it seemed as though the title of the course was a trigger warning in and of itself. Regardless, I gave them for almost every film I showed. I even gave them for films that really shouldn’t have needed them (i.e., Psycho).

The Hidden Dangers For Workers on Film and TV Sets

The Leonard Lopate Show - WNYC: Industrial hygienist Monona Rossol returns to the show to discuss health and safety on film and TV sets. She will address safety violations in the film and TV industry which have resulted in injuries and deaths, such as the death of a young crew member last February on the set of the upcoming Gregg Allman biopic.

AEA Should Be Making Realistic Choices, and I Wonder If This LA Lawsuit Will Wake Them Up

Bitter Gertrude: There’s been an interesting development in the small theatre/AEA controversy in LA. Actors have banded together to sue their own union.

Part of the complaint is that the union ignored the will of its members when members voted down, by a 2-to-1 margin, AEA’s proposed changes to the 99-and-under code. To be fair, AEA signaled from the start they were going to do exactly that if the LA membership voted against them by telling them before the vote that it was “non-binding.” It doesn’t get clearer than that that a union has no interest in members’ opinions.

Being a Woman in Film School…

Victoria Rozler: For the past two days I have been more than prepared to flex my feminist muscles; whether that be because I’ve been watching the Suffragette trailer 29 times a day to prepare for the premiere this Friday or what, but I have been on edge. And SO luckily for me, there have been many instances I’ve come across (mainly during classes) that I’ve been forced to witness and experience the idiocy of those bigoted minds around me. I’ve decided to share these moments to not only to bring awareness to the small, misogynistic situations I already have to deal with but to hopefully start a conversation on the matter.

Against Sameness in Theatre

HowlRound: This year is the 25th anniversary of the signing the Americans with Disabilities Act and if you had told me twenty-five years ago that upon this anniversary I would be not only a writer and director working with disabled artists, but also an advocate for and about them, I would not have believed you. My company, Nicu’s Spoon, is this very year celebrating fifteen years as the first fully inclusive theatre company in New York City history. A fact that I am proud of but one that I think the NYC theatre community should not be.