Sunday, February 26, 2017

Worth a Look

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

The NEA Is Vital, Democratizing: Teresa Eyring Corrects the Record

AMERICAN THEATRE: I’m writing on behalf of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre, in response to your Weekend Edition Saturday interview with David Marcus on February 11, 2017. You’ve opened the door to a meaningful conversation about the value of public funding for the arts, and I hope you’ll be willing to consider some additional information and the opportunity to take the conversation even deeper. We were also concerned about some misleading statements that were made in the course of the interview and wanted to take the opportunity to address those here.

Women Directors Might Just Get the Hollywood Ending They Have Been Hoping For

American Civil Liberties Union: This week, Deadline reported that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is in negotiations with the major movie studios to settle agency charges of systemic sex discrimination against women directors.

The EEOC began a wide-ranging investigation of Hollywood’s hiring practices in 2015 after the ACLU and ACLU of Southern California notified the agency of evidence we had gathered showing that sex discrimination against women directors was “standard operating procedure” among movie studios and television networks.

Marriott’s ‘Mamma Mia!’ Rosie takes on body shaming in ‘Sun-Times’ review I’ll start this by saying, reviews are reviews. If you read ’em, you’re dancing with the devil. You may like what you see and you may not. I read them because I’m a spaz and I can’t handle not knowing what’s out in the universe regarding my person.

I’ve been called lackluster. I’ve been called a budding star. I’ve been called the best in the show. I’ve been called the worst in the show. I do a little dance with the devil every time, digest the words and eventually (good or bad) they fall away.

What the Debate Over That "Big River" Review Really Means

Clyde Fitch Report: It’s rare that a piece of theatre criticism kicks open debate in the way that the New York Times’ Feb. 9 review of the Encores! revival of Big River did. Although Laura Collins-Hughes gave a largely positive account of the 1985 Tony-winning musical, which is based on Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ Nominated for Costume Award

Variety: For the first time, an animated feature has been nominated for a prize at the Costume Designers Guild Awards, to be presented Feb. 21 at the Beverly Hilton.

Designer Deborah Cook used her talents to bring to life ancient Japanese characters for the stop-motion film “Kubo and the Two Strings,” created by Oregon’s Laika Studios and distributed by Focus Features and UPI.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Worth a Look

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

Chicago Theatre’s Gender Breakdown (It’s Not Good)

AMERICAN THEATRE: A new independent study shows that when it comes to gender parity, Chicago’s theatre scene still has room for improvement. Chicago-based artists Kay Kron and Mariah Schultz conducted the study as part of Kron’s master thesis at DePaul University. According to their findings, in the 2015-16 season, out of 250 plays at 52 theatres, 25 percent were written by women and 36 percent were directed by women.

V-Day in TrumpLand: Exploring the Relevance of “The Vagina Monologues”

THE INTERVAL: In 1996, activist, performer and writer Eve Ensler debuted her play The Vagina Monologues in the basement of the West Village’s Cornelia Street CafĂ©. The show became a major hit, and Ensler used her success to combat violence against women on an international scale. In 1998, she created V-Day, “a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls,” and, to celebrate V-Day’s 15th anniversary in 2013, she founded 1 Billion Rising, “the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history.” As part of the V-Day movement, Ensler allows college and community theatre productions of The Vagina Monologues to be licensed for free during the month of February, with the understanding that proceeds from these benefits will be donated to charitable organizations aligned with V-Day’s mission.

A Battle for Contextual Criticism

Exeunt Magazine: New York theater criticism is having a week. Where is my fainting chair and good strong drink?

It’s been a while since we had a bona fide criticism kerfuffle but I wish this one did not exist. The dispute that arose this week somehow queries whether contextual criticism is “serious” criticism. I can’t quite believe I have to defend the merits of theater criticism which responds to the work’s place in our time.

What Has Equity Won in Los Angeles?

AMERICAN THEATRE: The decisive blow came last December. After years of vociferous wrangling, legal and otherwise, a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed a lawsuit filed by Ed Asner and a group of plaintiffs against Actors’ Equity Association, which contested the union’s actions in its campaign to organize the region’s small theatres, with the goal of requiring them to pay minimum wage to actors. And so on Dec. 14, a predetermined deadline for Equity’s new 99-Seat Theatre Agreement kicked in, and the old L.A. 99-Seat Plan—a pact that for nearly 30 years had allowed Equity members to work in theatres under 100 seats in L.A. County for small performance stipends, as essentially volunteers, leading to a local theatre scene that blossomed in quantity, if not in numbers of paid work weeks for union actors—was kaput.

As Trump Mulls Funding Cuts For The Arts, An Artist Argues Against The NEA

NPR: NPR's Scott Simon talks to David Marcus, a senior contributor to The Federalist and the artistic director of a theater company in New York City, about defunding the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Worth a Look

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

The 23rd Thea Awards: This Year's Most Innovative Entertainment Design Projects

Entertainment Designer: The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced the 23rd annual Thea Award recipients at the annual IAAPA event in Orlando. The award is one of the industry’s most prestigious honors, and recognizes achievements in technology, design, theming and immersive experience. “As TEA heads into its 25th anniversary year, our annual Thea Awards reflect an industry that is increasingly global and technically sophisticated.

The N-Word on Stage

HowlRound: Jordan Cooper was reading the autobiography of Lucille Ball in Bedford Junior High in his hometown thirty miles outside of Dallas, Texas, when a passing classmate knocked it out of his hands and said, “What you reading,” and then added what we are going to call the n-word.

“I pushed him against the wall,” Cooper recalls. They were both brought to the principal’s office.

Less than a decade later, Cooper, now 22, is an actor and playwright living in New York, who recently starred in a play he wrote, Ain’t No Mo’, that repeats the n-word some thirty times.

#101Wednesdays - The Great Escape (...Or Not...)

NFPA Xchange: “Escape rooms” seem to be popping up everywhere. For a fee, you’re locked in a room with a group of friends. The goal is to escape from the room by searching for clues and solving a series of intellectual challenges within a given time-frame. Businesses use them as a fun team-building activity. Others go just to test their wits and see if they can solve the challenges before time runs out. It’s a great concept… except for the being locked in a room bit.

Here's How Hollywood Views Women

The Frisky: Last year there was a fairly amazing Twitter account being shared regularly. Run by Ross Putnam, a screenwriter, @femscriptintros garnered quite a bit of buzz for posting the short intros awarded female characters in major Hollywood films.

OSF tours canceled due to immigration concerns

KOBI-TV NBC5 / KOTI-TV NBC2: “It’s certainly already affected us negatively cause we want to increase tourism in Southern Oregon.”

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival brings hundreds of people a year to Ashland from across the country, and around the world.

A group of students from Canada were set to visit this season, but recently canceled because of the immigration order.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Worth A Look

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

Writers Guild East Blasts Proposed Anti-Union ‘Right to Work’ Legislation

Variety: The Writers Guild of America East has blasted proposed federal legislation that would allow workers to opt out of paying union dues.

The new bill, H.R. 744, was introduced this week by Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Joe Wilson (R-SC), would extend “right to work” to all states nationwide.

“One of the strange perennial rituals of Beltway Washington is the introduction of legislation to destroy the only effective voice American workers have on the job,” said WGA East President Michael Winship and Executive Director Lowell Petersson.

Still in transition: DC theaters, seeking leaders of color

New Pittsburgh Courier: Who would have bet that the country would have elected a Black president before any of Washington’s biggest theater troupes had an artistic or executive director of color?

“It’s not necessarily from any ill will, but more from ignorance,” says Jennifer L. Nelson, who led the now-defunct African Continuum Theatre Company until 2006 and is a resident director with the rapidly evolving Mosaic Theater Company. “And a lack of inclination to change.”

SAG-AFTRA Draws More Than 500 to Videogame Strike Rally

Variety: SAG-AFTRA drew more than 500 supporters Thursday to a spirited rally as its video game strike moves into its fourth month.

“We are not going to stop until we have a fair contract for our members,” said David White, SAG-AFTRA national executive director. “This is not just about money. It’s about fair working conditions and secondary compensation.”

More Than Booth

HowlRound: Part 1: Why Every Theatre in America Should Have an Active Shooter Plan
Real tragedy lies in the fact that out of all of the moments, and milestones that have occurred in American theatres, perhaps the most noteworthy occurred on a spring evening in 1865 during a performance of Our American Cousin. Despite the centuries of breathtaking performances and soul-revealing cultural revolutions that have characterized theatre history, schoolchildren’s first exposure to theatres historically is as the setting for Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Between the passage of time and the cringe-worthy, “But how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” jokes, it is easy to relegate the concept of real-life theatre gun violence to a time when horse-and-buggy was the favored mode of transportation.

An Interactive Visualization of Every Line in Hamilton When I first heard of Hamilton, I was doubtful ("a hip-hop musical?"). But from the moment I sat down to listen the whole way through, I was done for.

I was obsessed. I had the soundtrack on repeat for months, it was all I listened to in my waking hours. I listened so much I had favorite lines and favorite songs. I analyzed the lyrics; I reveled in the layers of complexity, the double entredres, the clever word plays.

Then my obsession hit a peak; I kept wondering, what would a visualization of Hamilton look like? I couldn't stop thinking about it.