Would I Lie to You?

by Jacob Coakley
Jacob Coakley


Jacob Coakley
“The secret of acting is sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” —George Burns

I’m in the preliminary phases of a new writing project—the point where if I read something interesting online I clip it into a notebook for inspiration, where most of my writing is being done off prompts that help me flesh out the characters. And it was those exercises that reminded me of the George Burns quote at the top of this article.

Wrangling the Rigging

by Erich Friend
The new rigging helped move set decoration for In The Next Room – or The Vibrator Play in the Paul Green Theatre.

The new rigging helped move set decoration for In The Next Room – or The Vibrator Play in the Paul Green Theatre.
PlayMakers Rep at UNC Chapel Hill upgraded their rigging to keep their curriculum up to date

The Paul Green Theatre is a compact, 500-seat thrust theatre at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Intended to be a teaching theatre, it’s home to the PlayMakers Repertory Company, and a special staff runs the shop and stage operations with a complement of students from the UNC Center for Dramatic Art. One of the school’s goals is to prepare their students for working on complex shows like those presented by Cirque du Soleil—and more and more it became clear that the theatre wasn’t up to the task. Built in 1976, the theatre’s low ceiling has always challenged show designers to create a sense of space and movement beyond the confines of the stage.

Wright Theatre Expands Technology with J.R. Clancy

by Stage Directions

ALBERTA, CALGARY — The Wright Theatre at Mount Royal College Conservancy is the first theatre in Western Canada to install the PowerLift motorized winches from J.R. Clancy. Albert O’Neil, manager of conservatory support at Mount Royal oversaw the rigging renovation that included the installation of eight variable speed PowerLifts and a SceneControl 500 console at the school.
 

Writers Theatre Publicly Launches Campaign to Build New Home

by Stage Directions
Writers Theatre’s new home will include two theatres, including a 250-seat space, shown in this rendering.

 


Writers Theatre’s new home will include two theatres, including a 250-seat space, shown in this rendering.

Writers Theatre in Glecoe, Ill., (near Chicago) has publicly launched their On to a New Stage Campaign, which aims to raise $31 million to build a new home for the company, a theatre center that have two performance spaces, patron and artist amenities, and rehearsal and production space. Studio Gang Architects have designed the space. Writers Theatre has already raised $22 million towards the goal.

Writers Theatre to Break Ground on New Theatre Center

by Jacob Coakley

Groundbreaking on the Writers Theatre Theatre Center near Chicago will take place this October, with a scheduled opening in early 2016. The Writers Theatre has raised $25 million of their $31 million goal for the center, and have hired contractor W.E. O’Neil to head the project. Studio Gang Architects are the architects on the project, with Auerbach Pollock Friedlander working as theatre consultant.

Writers’ Theatre Chooses Studio Gang Architects for New Theatre Design

by Jacob Coakley
Writers’ Theatre and Studio Gang will team up to envision a new theatre.

 


Writers’ Theatre and Studio Gang will team up to envision a new theatre.

They undertook an international search, but went with a local firm: Writers’ Theatre, searching for an architect who understands Chicago neighborhoods, and theatre, chose Studio Gang Architects, led by Jeanne Gang, to design a new home for Writers’ Theatre in Glencoe, Illinois, a Chicago suburb.

Writers’ Theatre Receives $100k NEA “Our Town” Grant

by Jacob Coakley
The Writers’ Theatre will use the $100,000 to build a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, Ill.

 


The Writers’ Theatre will use the $100,000 to build a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, Ill.

Whatever its challenges, the NEA is certainly looking to change the way it interacts with arts orgs. It is giving out fewer small grants to small orgs, and betting on larger grants to projects that go beyond just institutional support. Their “Our Town” grant initiative grant awards money to a non-profit org that has partnered with a local government entity for a project that will “will improve quality of life, encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies.” That’s a far step from simply giving operating funds to artists and arts orgs. The latest recipient of an NEA Our Town grant is the Writers’ Theatre in Glencoe, Ill. The grant will help Writers’ Theatre build a new theatre in downtown Glencoe. The new theatre center will be designed by 2011 MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang and Chicago’s Studio Gang Architects (SGA), and is meant to expand Chicago’s North Shore cultural corridor.

Writers’ Theatre Welcomes Stuart Carden as Associate Artistic Director

by Jacob Coakley

Stuart Carden, new associate artistic director at Writers Theatre
GLENCOE, IL—Writers’ Theatre has appointed Stuart Carden associate artistic director. 

“I’m so excited to be in collaboration with Stuart,” said Michael Halberstam, executive director the Writers’.  “He has a rich background in literary development, a keen and ambitious scope of work as a director and a passion for the administrative challenges that come with supporting artistic direction.  In a very short time I believe we will see Stuart’s strength of perspective and influence find its way onto the stages of Writers’ Theatre.”

Writing the Monograph on William Ivey Long

by Michael Eddy

At USITT 2018, renowned costume designer William Ivey Long and professor/author Bobbi Owen were on hand to unveil, and sign, the monograph The Designs of William Ivey Long. The USITT American Designers Monograph Series is devoted to documenting the work of America’s best theatrical designers and is published by United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). Stage Directions had the great good fortune to sit down and speak with both Long and Owen right after their book signing.

Writing The Production Manager's Toolkit

by Cary Gillett and Jay Sheehan

"If you think you have nothing to lose then the risk will always be worth it.  If you want something, ask for it.  All they can say is no. This type of mindset is entirely responsible for how The Production Manager’s Toolkit became a reality." - Cary Gillett & Jay Sheehan

[In the September 2018 SD issue Cary Gillett and Jay Sheehan wrote a wonderful piece about Taking Chances for their Production Manager's Corner column. In it they noted that the common denominator that gave them the chance to take risks and dream endlessly was the understanding that they had nothing to lose. This thinking is what ultimately led to them writing the insightful and invaluable The Production Manager's Toolkit, a wonderful resource for students and mid-career professionals. Here they tell us how the book was the result of taking a chance. -Ed.Note]