Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Raises $700k+ at Flea Market

Jacob Coakley

The 2014 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction raised a record $713,986 on Saturday. Thousands of fans perused more than 65 tables worth of Broadway memorabilia and bid on more than 247 Grand Auction items. The tables this year raised an impressive $369,616; the live auction raised $263,850. The top-selling lot of the live auction was a handwritten musical phrase of “Let It Go,” from the hit Disney animated movie Frozen. The phrase was written and signed by songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Idina Menzel, who sang the Oscar-winning song in the movie and voiced the lead character. The phrase sold for $9,000. An opportunity to meet Menzel backstage during the run of her current Broadway hit, If/Then, also was among the top live auction lots, bringing in $8,000.

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Philips to Split Off Lighting Business

Jacob Coakley

Reuters is reporting that the 120-year-old Philips company that owns such lighting brands as Color Kinetics, Selecon, Strand Lighting and Vari-Lite is planning to break its company in two, spinning off its lighting business into a new company. According to Reuters “the new structure would bring cost savings of 100 million euros (128.46 million US dollar) next year and a further 200 million euros in 2016.” The article quotes chief executive Frans van Houten saying “I do appreciate the magnitude of the decision we are taking, but the time is right to take the next strategic step for Philips.” Stage Directions has reached out to Philips and will update this story as more info becomes available.

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Tennessee Repertory Theatre Changes Name to Nashville Repertory Theatre

Jacob Coakley

Tennessee Repertory Theatre will start its 30th anniversary season with a name change. The theatre will now be known as Nashville Repertory Theatre. The name change is meant to celebrate “the theatre’s deep commitment to working with local, professional, actors, artisans, and artists as well as its commitment to fostering the city’s theatre ecology.”

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Le Maitre Increases Pyro Productivity, Quality

Jacob Coakley

When Le Maitre needed to increase productivity at their UK pyrotechnics plant they researched alternative methods to increase production, and made some major changes to their production process. The result has been not just an increase in capacity, but in quality as well, with improvements across all their Mines products, including Micro Mines to 30-foot Mines. Improvements include cleaner products with reduced fallout (up to 1/3 for magnesium based compositions), more consistent colors, and new low perchlorate compositions that reduce their environmental impact.

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Dad’s Garage Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Finance New Home

Jacob Coakley

Dad’s Garage launched a “Help Build the House of Dad’s” Kickstarter campaign to finance their new home at 569 Ezzard St. in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta. The full cost of the building is roughly $2 million, and after a successful capital campaign, Dad’s Garage is turning to Kickstarter to raise $100,000 in the next two months to put them over the top so they can close on the property in December.

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Tait Supplies Stage Lift to Tobin Center

Jacob Coakley

Tait supplied a custom scissor lift to the new H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio. In the planning phase, technical director Stefan DeWilde specified a lift that was quiet and strong, with a final operating limit of 3890 kgs @ 300mm/s. Tait’s experts worked with sister companies Stage Technologies in Las Vegas and Delstar Engineering in the UK to engineer the lift. The custom scissor lift was built and shipped by Delstar Engineering, while the lift’s surround and access were provided by Stage Technologies. The lift’s frame was designed and built in Lititz. The system activating the lift utilizes BigTow winches from Stage Technologies, while the console is from Tait’s Constellation range, using its Navigator control technology.

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Theatre Projects Collaborates on Design for Isabel Bader Centre for the Arts

Jacob Coakley

Theatre Projects collaborated with Snøhetta and N45 Architecture on the design of Queen’s University’s Isabel Bader Centre for the Arts. The $65 million center, which combines historic preservation and modern architecture, features a concert hall, flexible theatre, orchestra rehearsal room, film screening room, film production studio, classrooms, and a full suite of support spaces. Scott Crossfield, Theatre Projects theatre designer and Steven Rust, Theatre Project’s lighting designer, worked on the design.

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ETC Supplies Ti Desks for 2014 Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Sessions

Jacob Coakley

The Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas provides professional-level training for students in all areas stagecraft—including lighting. This year ETC supplied EOS Ti desks for the students to program and run during the lighting section of the course. In the lighting section, students were responsible for all aspects of putting a show together—including loading in, patching, programming and running a light and media show. The final challenge includes creating the lighting showcase and busking. Lighting designer Brian Gale, who’s a teacher at the school, said the ETC Eos Ti desks were well-suited for this, as “The maturation of the software, desk layout, Magic Sheets and the top-down architecture of the desk all make it a nimble tool for beginning lighting designers and programmers.”

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American Theatre Wing Raises $750,000, Increases Grants to Theatres

Jacob Coakley

On Monday, Sept. 15, the American Theatre Wing held their annual gala, honoring Dame Angela Lansbury, for her lifetime of contributions to the theatre. The gala raised a record $750,000 for the Wing’s education and outreach programs. Heather Hitchens, president of the Wing, announced that the event’s success enabled the Wing to increase their National Theatre Company Grants by 20%, to $12,000 for each theatre. This year’s recipients were: Amphibian Stage Productions (Fort Worth, Texas), Ars Nova (New York, New York), Forum Theatre (Silver Spring, Maryland), Keen Company (New York, New York), PlayGround (San Francisco, California) , Red Bull Theater (New York, NY), Rogue Machine Theatre (Los Angeles, California), The House Theatre of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois), the TEAM (Brooklyn, New York), Theater Wit (Chicago, Illinois), Theatre B (Fargo, North Dakota), and Williamston Theatre (Williamston, Michigan).

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Samuel D. Hunter and Alison Bechdel Among the 2014 MacArthur “Genius” Grant Recipients

Jacob Coakley

The MacArthur Foundation today announced 21 MacArthur Fellows for 2014, and included in the list were playwright Samuel D. Hunter and graphic artist/novelist Alison Bechdel, whose graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006) was the basis for the musical Fun Home, which after a lauded Off-Broadway run last fall is headed to Broadway. Hunter is the author of several plays, including The Whale which tells the story of Charlie, an expository writing instructor who has been driven by grief to a state of morbid obesity. Each will receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000 with no stipulations or reporting requirements, allowing recipients maximum freedom to follow their own creative visions.

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