Julia Morrison in street clothes. “Tragedy: Closed with a Speech by the Actress” Cincinnati Enquirer, January 11, 1900
Julia Morrison in street clothes. “Tragedy: Closed with a Speech by the Actress” Cincinnati Enquirer, January 11, 1900

Murder Onstage: Early 20th Century Actress Kills Stage Manager in Front of Audience

Jennifer Leigh Sears Scheier

During a performance at the Chattanooga Opera House on Friday, September 22nd, 1899, Julia Morrison, the leading actress of the traveling show, Mr. Plaster of Paris, exited the stage in the middle of her Act II scene with Frank Leiden, leading man and stage manager.[1]  She seized the loaded revolver she kept between her breasts, reentered the scene, and shot Leiden three times, killing him. Fifteen hundred audience members looked on in shock until a call for a surgeon roused them. 

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Glowing Coals: No Fire, No Heat Required

Kathy Eddy

Looking for a quick and easy way to make red hot coals without the use of flame or heat. Eric Hart has posted this companion video to his forthcoming book, The Prop Effects Guidebook. Hart notes that he learned this tip first from Jay Duckworth, who probably learned it from his mentor, etc. back through time when Propcrates invented Props. Both Hart and Duckworth will be part of the first ever Prop Lab at USITT 2018 in March.

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Harold Prince
Harold Prince

Happy 90th Birthday to Hal Prince

Howard Sherman

Hal Prince is marking his 90th birthday by speaking about his past but also his very busy future. September saw the publication of his latest book Sense of Occasion and in October he spoke with SD Contributor, Howard Sherman for our Stage Directions' cover story. On his birthday, SiriusXM debuted a new limited-run series, The Hal Prince Talks, featuring the 21-time Tony Award winner Prince and the Tony winning Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller in a relaxed conversation about the art of storytelling, directing, producing, and what he thinks of theater audiences of today.

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The February 18, 1942 cover letter from Actors Equity regarding the "Committee to Consider Stage Managers’ Memo to Council"
The February 18, 1942 cover letter from Actors Equity regarding the "Committee to Consider Stage Managers’ Memo to Council"

SM History Blog Looks at Stage Management Grievances in 1942

Jennifer Leigh Sears Scheier

Stage Managers Banned Together to Fight for AEA Stage Management Contract in the early 1940s. On December 18th, 1941 and January 15th, 1942, a delegation of stage managers met with the “Committee to Consider Stage Managers’ Memo to Council” (yes, this was the committee’s official name), which was a special Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) committee specifically formed to consider their requests. 

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Marc Brickman on top of the Empire State Building
Marc Brickman on top of the Empire State Building

Marc Brickman Lights the Empire State Building for Phantom 30th

Kathy Eddy

King Kong may be heading to Broadway but The Phantom of the Opera reached the top of the the Empire State Building for a spectacular Music-To-Light Show during their Gala 30th Anniversary party. A custom-designed light show by world-renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman illuminated the tower lights of the iconic building synchronized to a special arrangement of music from The Phantom of the Opera. The show was fully visible to all New Yorkers looking up at the “World’s Most Famous Building,” as well as a global audience on Twitter. Prior to the 11pm start of the Music-to-Light Show, the iconic Empire State Building was lit in blue and white in honor of the 30th Anniversary.

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