UMKC Wins Stage Directions/RC4 Wireless Automation Challenge

Jacob Coakley

Earlier this year we teamed up with RC4 Wireless to offer a $10,000 wireless automation system to one school who could do the most with it. We reviewed plans, and sent off a new RC6 Wireless Motion system from RC4 Wireless to schools to actualize their designs. When all was said and done the University of Missouri, Kansas City won the contest and the gear, with a great design and build of a mobile platform, as demonstrated in this video. 

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Junior Theater Festival Will Honor Disney Theatrical Group

Naomi Crews

The iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival will take place Jan. 16-18 in Atlanta, and performers from Smash, Annie, Into the Woods Newsies, The Lion King and more will perform at the Festival celebrating educational musical theatre. The performances mark the 10 years since Disney Theatrical Group launched its library of musical theater titles for middle and elementary school aged performers at the 2005 Junior Theater Festival. 

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Theatre J’s Firing of Ari Roth Sparks Vocal Protest

Jacob Coakley

On Dec. 18, Ari Roth was fired as artistic director of Theater J in Washington, D.C. His ousting generated a lot of controversy. In The New York Times, Michael Paulson wrote that “Under Mr. Roth’s leadership, Theater J has periodically produced work that has tested the Jewish Community Center [the parent organization of Theatre J],” and that Roth “had recently been reprimanded for speaking to the news media without permission, and that he believed the J.C.C. wanted him gone to eliminate a possible source of concern for donors during a coming capital campaign.” His firing led to a vociferous response from supporters, including an open letter from more than 90 artistic directors across the country and stated (in part) that “The actions of the JCC, in terminating him for blatantly political reasons, violate the principles of artistic freedom and free expression that have been at the heart of the non-profit theater movement for over half a century. Such actions undermine the freedom of us all.” More about the firing and the response, after the jump.

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