Production

How to Rig and then Quickly Restore a Falling Bookcase

BY: JAY DUCKWORTH via www.stage-directions.com “And that my friend is why I’m never allowed in Cook County without my state issued ID and an International Order of Odd Fellows ring.” “I hate to interrupt such an interesting story,” Alex said, “But we just got an email from the stage manager. Looks like they want the stage right shelf over the computer to fall and then restore in a six-second blackout.” That’s the shelf with all the teaching books on it, yeah?, I ask. “I’m afraid so, and if it falls all the way down the weight will break the computer monitor on the desk below it.” Let’s noodle on this tonight and see what we can come up with, I conclude. Alex mocked up a shelf the same size as the one on the set so we could try a few things out. Sce...

How “SpongeBob SquarePants” Writer Kyle Jarrow Found the Story for the Stage

BY: BETHANY RICKWALD via www.theatremania.com There’s nothing quite like the world of Bikini Bottom that’s currently bubbling to life onstage at Broadway’s Palace Theatre — including the Bikini Bottom that’s been delighting television audiences since 1999. “There was the process of getting the SpongeBob world and then there was the process of getting our SpongeBob world and it’s not exactly the same,” said book writer Kyle Jarrow. “Figuring out ‘What is our stage version of that tone and that pace and that energy?’, that took a while — that took a couple years.” For Nickelodeon, the trick was in finding the right SpongeBob guy to partner with director Tina Landau in breathing a breath of fresh sea water into the suboceanic w...

International Code of Practice for Entertainment Rigging Now Available

via etnow.com ESTA and PLASA announce the release of an International Code of Practice for Entertainment Rigging (ICOPER) which is available as a free download at www.esta.org/icoper or www.plasa.org/icoper. In response to calls from the international entertainment rigging community, rigging professionals from around the globe came together to create ICOPER to promote awareness and safety worldwide by providing a model code of practice with a focus on arena rigging. However, this Code of Practice is applicable to all event production rigging disciplines. The practices described in the Code are intended to provide a universal foundation for those engaged in planning, managing and executing entertainment rigging. ICOPER also provides guidelines for those who wish to develop policy, design tr...

MTWichita – Hiring Positions for Summer 2018

UPDATE:  Applications for positions within the 2018 Summer Box Office as well as the Production Staff have closed for the year. Please check back in November for a link to the 2019 summer applications! Applications for positions within the 2018 Summer Box Office as well as the Production Staff can be found here: 2018 Summer Box Office Staff Application 2018 Summer Production Staff Application Please see below for job descriptions and check back HERE for frequent updates on summer opportunities in our box office or as a member of our technical staff. Job Description – Assistant Stage Manager (non-AEA) Job Description – Assistant Technical Director Job Description – Carpenter Job Description – Costume Craftsperson Job Description – Cutter / Draper Job Descriptio...

UPTA Early Bird Registration Deadline: November 30th

There are only 10 days left to save $10 on early bird registration for the 2018 Unified Professional Theatre Auditions! Early-Bird Registration Deadline ($45): November 30, 2017 Online Registration Deadline ($55): January 12, 2018 Audition slots fill quickly and are given on a first-come, first-served basis. Upload of registration materials by registration close DOES NOT GUARANTEE AN AUDITION SLOT. Registration Information, Convention Itinerary, and more can be found HERE. 2018 UPTA Audition & Convention Information  

Dancers and the Impossible “Perfect”

BY: SILAS FARLEY via www.dancemagaine.com As dancers, we often talk about perfect feet, perfect turnout and the perfect execution of steps. We spend our days in diligent pursuit of the total mastery of our bodies. We seek to fully conquer space and time. We want our dance to be perfect, which is a powerful incarnation of our deeper human longing for personal perfection. But in dance, as in life itself, there is no perfection in the sense of a state of flawlessness at which we can arrive. Our humanity keeps us from that. However, there is always perfection in the sense of formation: the unending process of refinement. Incrementally progressing through sustained training and exploration is what gives the dance life its vitality. I believe that this process is for our good, because it provide...

How to Take the Elusive Note ‘Throw it Away’

BY: MARCI LIROFF via www.backstage.com In a scene from director Mike White’s newest film, “Brad’s Status,” actor Jenna Fischer was asked to taste spaghetti sauce her husband (Ben Stiller) had just made. The actor found herself going through all sorts of machinations to find the intention of the scene. She realized, as she told an audience during a panel discussion following an L.A. film screening, that the enthusiasm and fun environment on set was all she needed to tap into to simply “love the …sauce.” I’ve given countless actors the direction “Just throw it away” in an effort to have them keep it simple and stop overthinking. I asked actor Joe Pantoliano (“Sense8,” “The Sopranos”) to share his thoughts with me on this topic: “ ‘Throw it away’ is a code-word action indicating less, q...

Your Audition Book

BY: AARON JODOIN via www.savemyaudition.com THE MUSIC THEATER AUDITION BOOK Your audition book. Where it all begins and ends. The music theater audition book is something to behold. It should contain all the things that you need. This blog is about what the actual audition book should be. Soon I’ll get to what should be inside of it. Bare in mind, all the things I’m about to say are my opinion only. I have audition pianist friends that would argue most of what I’m about to say. And I have audition pianist friends that would agree with most of what I’m about to say. Gather all the information you can and make your own decisions. The biggest thing I can say about your audition book is to keep it clean. If it’s starting to fall apart, go buy a new one from Staples. Binders are not expensive. ...

You Can Believe This Play’s a Disaster

The authentic farce of The Play That Goes Wrong —By JOSH AUSTIN According to Mark Bell, farce is a high theatrical art. And he should know: As the director of The Play That Goes Wrong – a raucous new Broadway comedy – he spends his days treating the genre with the respect it deserves.                                                                                               “What we’re doing is what I call ‘clown,'” says Bell. “Which, I don’t mean ‘circus clown.’ It’s about character comedy. The first thing we’ve done is we’ve found the characters: Who are the people doing this? And their job, really, is to be a slightly exaggerated reflection of who we are as real people.” The play-within-a-play, which i...

Tempo Vs. Time Feel and Tips On Improving Them

BY: DIEGO MALDONADO via www.learnjazzstandards.com As a professional drummer and educator, I’ve taught many students and I’ve noticed that many of them are concerned about their tempo. They always ask for advice on how to improve or overcome their tempo issues. However, rarely has a student asked me about time feel. I’ve found that in many cases, students of all instruments are confused with the two terms. And on many occasions when they ask about tempo issues, they are really talking about time feel issues or the other way around. Tempo and time feel are two greatly related concepts, they complement each other. If you have a good grasp on tempo, it is most likely you going to have a nice feel, and vice versa. However, you don’t necessarily need one to have the other; for instance, you can...

Upholstering a Chaise

BY: ERIC HART via www.props.eric-hart.com I just finished Buyer and Cellar at Triad Stage. We needed an all-white antique French chaise. I could not find any within our budget, especially since I knew I would need to reupholster anything I found. One of the great prop secrets is that you can order furniture frames from companies that sell to professional upholsters. I found a company that made a chaise in the style I needed. You can order a frame unfinished and knocked down, which means it arrives without any paint or stain, and it is completely unassembled. The cost is a fraction of a finished piece (and the shipping is far cheaper, too). Unboxing the chaise The frame came flatpacked just like a piece of IKEA furniture, only instead of allen keys, it fit together with glue and dowels. Ass...

The Role of the Dramaturg in the Creation of New Opera Works

BY: ANDREW EGGERT via www.thetheatretimes.com The successful development of new work for the opera stage is a complex and often elusive process. Ask anyone who has contributed to the making of a new opera, and they will tell you there is no single formula that works every time. Composers, librettists, directors, designers, and producers who collaborate on new work must always reinvent the process to suit the unique musical and dramatic needs of the piece they are creating. Increasingly, composers and producers have called on the knowledge and experience of a dramaturg—a knowledgeable theatre practioner—to help give direction to the creative process. Whether one of the central members of the creative team (for example the director) or a freelance consultant, the dramaturg can be anyone who ...