Production

Dramaturg Uzma Hameed: ‘Ballet is so sublime, it has to handle big ideas, surely?’

BY ANNA WINTER via www.thestage.co.uk Dramaturgs are not common in ballet. Uzma Hameed, the co-creator of Northern Ballet’s Victoria and Wayne McGregor collaborator, tells Anna Winter how the definition of storytelling needs to be wider When dramaturg Uzma Hameed teamed up with choreographer Cathy Marston to make a ballet about Queen Victoria, they were determined not to slip into ITV territory. Bigger ideas beckoned. “At that point the television drama Victoria was incredibly popular, and so we were trying not to do that,” says Hameed, recalling how Northern Ballet’s artistic director David Nixon had requested a full-length work to mark the bicentenary of the monarch’s birth, though the creative approach was left open. In marking the significant date, Hameed and Marston felt the...

33 Thoughts for a New Artistic Director

BY JOE HAJvia https://seanddaniels.wordpress.com “Once I had been hired at MRT in 2014, Joe Haj was kind enough to slip me this list. Now as I have my first day at Arizona Theatre Company, I thought it was a perfect time to share it with the rest of the world. These are all Joe. I’m just the guy that looked like he needed some tips (which was, and still is, true). – Sean” You’ll want to spend all your time making plays because that is where you’ll feel safe and competent. Resist the urge; you have much to learn and much to offer by applying your creativity to building community. It’s all about Vision. Have it or perish. But remember that nobody is interested in being a satellite to your genius. Everyone who works with you is firmly placed in the center of their own lives. You must collect ...

ON TEACHING DIRECTING: THE ESSENTIAL FIVE

BY Fadi Fayad Skeikervia www.thetheatretimes.com After teaching directing for several years, across the globe and at different kinds of institutions, I have come to the conclusion that there are five essential areas of teaching directing: 1) epistemological knowledge of theatre directing; 2) contextualizing the work of the young director within his/her/their communities; 3) empowering students to find their directorial voices; 4) learning the rules of directing before breaking them; and 5) paying attention to the details of the craft of directing. I found that my most successful students, upon graduation, were those who were best able to grasp these five areas, and who were willing to continue furthering and discovering them even after graduating. Part of my teaching involves giving studen...

Audition Advice with Casting Director Christine Sheaks

BY CAT ELLIOTT via www.castingnetworks.com From “Fargo” to “Boogie Nights,” Christine Sheaks has cast some of the greats. Sheaks took a break from one of her current projects, the “Dramaworld” series on Netflix, to offer her take on auditioning best practices. Is there any advice that you think all actors should hear? “Actors need to know who they are and be connected to it before they get in the room. What makes an actor different is what’s going to get him or her the job; it’s a light that shines brightly. When William H. Macy used to audition, he did this so well. He’d just come in and do his thing. It may not have been for everyone, but it would always be true to who he was. I was the casting associate for ‘Fargo,’ and we had him come in and read several times. He wasn’t a star yet, bu...

Parting the Clouds of Callbacks and Casting

BY LAURIE RECORDS via www.castingnetworks.com The commercial casting process shouldn’t be a mystery. While every job is unique, there is an underlying structure to the process that, in theory anyway, we’ve all committed to when casting commercials. Why? Because it works! When talking to actors, there seems to be a cloud around callbacks, specifically, what happens after the callback. The stakes are higher during callbacks and what happens after, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be as informed about this part of the process as you are about the rest. Because knowledge is power, let me shed some light on the process that ought to pierce the clouds of confusion and anxiety. Say you had a terrific callback. But what the heck happens next? For you, not all that much. Just make sure you’re cl...

How Writer-Director Robert O’Hara Decides Which Plays to Direct and Which to Hand Over

BY MERVYN ROTHSTEIN via www.playbill.com It’s a unique voice, an exciting young voice, dealing with issues around race and identity and sexuality,” Obie-winning director and playwright Robert O’Hara says. “New ideas and new thoughts. I love plays that capture the imagination, that take you on a ride and an adventure. And I think this play does.” O’Hara is talking about Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play, which O’Hara directs at New York Theatre Workshop. The play, about black and white in white America, was called “willfully provocative, gaudily transgressive and altogether staggering,” as well as “furiously entertaining,” by The New York Times. Robert O’Hara and Jeremy O. Harris Marielle Solan O’Hara often directs his own plays, but recently directed works by Kirsten Childs and will direc...

Observing the Calling of “COMPANY” in London

BY HOPE ROSE KELLY via www.stagemanagers.org Reaching out to the Stage Management Association of the UK (UK SMA), I inquired if they had any observation opportunities from their members. Andy Rowley (Executive Director) kindly put a call out and Sharon Hobden, who is currently the DSM for Company, sent me an invite. This production has been noted for the gender swapping of the lead character Bobby and some other roles plus the storyline has been updated thereby bringing it into the 21stcentury with a natural ease that had I not known its origins, I would have thought it was a new musical written for today. Patti LuPone stars in the role originated by Elaine Strich. With a bit of tongue in cheek (given her history of admonishing patrons about cell phone use at the theatre), the recorded cur...

MTWichita Summer 2019 Production & Box Office Applications NOW OPEN!

Employment Thank you so much for your interest in MTWichita! We have existed for nearly 50 years as one of the premier summer theatre programs in the United States – for those onstage as well as the individuals behind the scenes. Whether you are coming back home to Wichita or joining us for the first time – we’re glad to have you here. We are actively seeking the best technical and design talent in all areas of production.  Special consideration is given to those from under-represented populations in our industry – we believe that a plurality of voices and experiences creates better art, both onstage and in our shops behind the scenes. Take some time and have a look around this page, and if you’re interested please apply! Any questions not answered here can be...

Apply for Nickelodeon Casting -Spring ’19 Internships

Nickelodeon is accepting applications for both Live-Action & Animation Casting Internships for the 2019 Spring Semester. If you are a rising junior or senior in college, please check out our amazing program. This is a paid internship. Overview The Animation Casting Intern works on the Nickelodeon Animation Talent & Casting Team to support their VP, Director, Coordinator, and Assistant. The team oversees all Nickelodeon animated projects from original scripted series, pilots and movies, to digital and promo/short-form content.   The intern is expected to assist with preparation for record sessions and auditions, which includes creating binders, highlighting scripts, line counts, making copies and filing paperwork.   Interns may also be asked to assist with sitting in on record sessi...

Candidate registration for the 2019 URTAs is now open!

MFA training in theatre begins with URTA! At the URTAs, you can audition and interview with our 43 member universities all in one place, on a single day. Why navigate dozens of different applications, fees, appointments, and travel when you can get it all done at the URTAs? Choose your city—New York, Chicago, or San Francisco—and register to be seen by our recruiters in either acting, design, directing, stage management, or arts leadership. Our nationally ranked member schools boast professional faculty, a commitment to the highest standards in professional, graduate training, and are peer-reviewed on a continuing basis. Most also offer various forms of financial assistance. Graduates of URTA programs are working on Broadway, in top theatres across the country, in film, television, and bey...

What Casting Directors Look for in Auditions

BY NICK CLARK via www.thestage.co.uk As a new award seeks to give casting directors overdue recognition for their key role in shaping productions – not to mention actors’ careers – leading practitioners in the job tell Nick Clark what they believe makes a good casting director, how they started their careers, and what actors can do at auditions to impress them Casting is the “Cinderella” of the entertainment industry. Or so says actor and writer Mark Gatiss. “Too little attention is paid to the vital, and by no means simple, task of finding the right person, the right mix, the right chemistry for stage, television and film,” he has said. And The Sherlock and League of Gentlemen star is by no means the only person to think so. The Casting Directors’ Guild is so concerned that the craft is u...

Miriam Shor: From Acting On-Stage…To Directing On-Screen

BY RUTHIE FIERBERG via www.playbill.com The actor and director reveals the step-by-step process of directing the July 10 episode of the hit series starring Sutton Foster. Miriam Shor has a habit of stealing scenes. She’s not trying to, but her magnetism, her nuance, her timing in the small moments, and her delivery in the big ones make it so you can’t look away, whether that’s as Yitzhak in the original Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Madelaine True in The Wild Party, Jessie in Off-Broadway’s Sweat, guest-starring on television’s The Americans, or her gig as series regular Diana Trout on TVLand’s Younger. But now, she directs her first episode of television: Episode 5 of Younger’s current season. Miriam Shor Courtesy of TVLand “I always was one of those annoying people hanging out at video vill...