Stage Directions has merged into PLSN magazine and we will no longer be updating this website but we invite you to join us at Stage Directions on the PLSN website by clicking here . You will find all the latest theater news, buzz, and happenings, the SD Digital Issues Archive and some fun SD Extras to keep you informed on all things theater!

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Curtain Up on Stage Directions in PLSN

Even though this will be the last Stage Directions’ weekly newsletter, we invite you to continue finding all the latest theater news, buzz, and happenings posted by Stage Directions on the PLSN website at https://plsn.com/category/stage-directions/. There you will find Theater News and SD Extras to keep you informed on all things theater, including advocacy, theater makers work, new roles in the industry, technology solutions on productions, and backstage videos. There you will also find a  link to the Digital Issue Archive of Stage Directions magazines from the past. And remember that both Stage Directions’ Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/stagedirectionsmag/) and Twitter (@stagedirections) feeds will continue unabated, so keeping following us and we will keep bringing you fun theater tidbits and breaking theater news… speaking of which, did you see our FB post today about the Yale School of Drama has been renamed and is now tuition-free… seriously!

And be sure to check out the August issue of Projections, Lights and Staging News (PLSN) magazine when we will again be bringing you Stage Directions articles on innovative theater makers, interesting production solutions, and the latest in theater technology solutions. So this is hardly Stage Directions’ curtain call, just a change of venue. I would like to thank all of our newsletter readers and advertisers for your support over the years. I look forward to continuing the coverage of all things theater for Stage Directions over at PLSN magazine. As ever, if you have suggestions of production work, theater makers, or technology solutions deserving coverage you can reach me still at meddy@stage-directions.com

Actors’ Equity Announces New Safety Protocols for Fully Vaccinated Workplaces

Today, Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) , the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional stage managers and actors in live theatre, shared updated safety protocols for fully vaccinated productions playing at single venues. These new guidelines have been significantly streamlined compared to previous versions. (more…)

Yale’s Drama School Goes Tuition-Free and is renamed David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University

A scene from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, directed by Carl Cofield, Yale Repertory Theatre. Photo by Joan Marcus, 2019.

June 30, 2021—Present and future students at Yale University’s drama school will no longer pay tuition, thanks to a landmark $150 million gift from entertainment executive and philanthropist David Geffen, the university announced today. The donation—the largest on record in the history of American theater—makes the school the only institution of its kind to eliminate tuition for all degree and certificate students, removing financial barriers to access. In recognition of the gift, Yale School of Drama is now the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University. (more…)

Eileen Garcia Appointed Properties Director at the Santa Fe Opera

Eileen Garcia on Hat Spirit Day

The Santa Fe Opera has appointed Eileen Garcia as its new Properties Director. Garcia had returned earlier this year as the Interim Properties Director to take the place of longtime SFO Properties Director Randy Lutz, who died on January 12, 2021. Stage Directions sends its sincere congratulations to Garcia and look forward to hearing all about her next act! (more…)

NEA News | Releases New Report on Artists’ Use of Technology as a Creative Medium

The National Endowment for the Arts announces the release of the report Tech as Art: Supporting Artists Who Use Technology as a Creative Medium, the result of a two-year field scan, an initiative of the Arts Endowment in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation. The field scan and report explore the multi-faceted practices of artists who engage with digital technologies in both the creative and functional aspects of their work. The report also looks at the training and exhibition infrastructure that tech-centered artists have developed to pursue their creative practices and diagnoses a critical need for funding to advance the field. Here’s a video of the work of 3-Legged Dog on Designer, Writer, and Director Kevin Cunningham’ work on Losing Something and its work with technology:

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S*P*A*Minar Replay | How to Build Safe Stage Combat Weapons with Thomas Fiocchi

In this month’s Society of Properties Artisan Managers’ S*P*A*Minar, S*P*A*M welcomed Thomas Fiocchi of Ohio University who provided an introduction on how to build safe stage combat weapons in your prop shop. Fiocchi is the resident Props Technologist at Ohio University as well as creator at Fiocchi Swords. This S*P*A*Minar took place on Sunday, June 20, 2021. In case you missed it the first time, or would like to go back and re-watch it, here is a video replay of this S*P*A*Minar:

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Backstage Video | Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre Upgrades its Flying System

Hidden behind the State Theatre’s famous hand-painted curtain at the Arts Centre Melbourne, is the flying system – a crucial component of any theater. Made up of a system of battens, wire rope lines, pulleys and computer-controlled electric hoists, the flying system enables the stage crew to lift or “fly” components of a production on and off stage. Here’s an inventive backstage video of this new flying system:

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PROLIGHTS Tick All the Right Boxes for the Stamford Shakespeare Company

Founded in 1968, the amateur Stamford Shakespeare Company has been putting on performances of Shakespeare’s classics for audiences of all ages for over 50 years. Since 1977 the Stamford Shakespeare Company has called the beautiful Tolethorpe Hall home, with their concrete-stepped amphitheater, allowing them to recreate the Shakespearian magic in a similar environment to the original performance spaces. (more…)

FRABA Launches New Business Units and New Brand Identity

FRABA branding – 1918 to 2021

The international FRABA Group has announced the creation of two new business units: UBITO and CREDEMUS. Building on the successes of major in-house innovations for the established POSITAL and VITECTOR businesses, these new enterprises will be active in new markets such as Digital Transformation and the Internet of Things. The launch of these new businesses will be marked by new logos and branding for the Group. (more…)

Lisa Burger, National Theatre Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive to Step Down in Summer 2022

Lisa Burger. Photo by James Bellorini Photography

The National Theatre has announced today that Lisa Burger, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive, will step down in Summer 2022. Burger’s career at the National Theatre has spanned 20 years. She joined the NT as Finance Director in 2001, before becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2010. Burger took on the role of Executive Director in 2015 and became Joint Chief Executive alongside Director Rufus Norris in 2019. (more…)

Black Theatre United Hosts Industry-Wide Commercial Theatre Summit

As Black Theatre United (BTU) marks its first year since the organization’s creation, the Founding Members announce they held a three-month Commercial Theatre Summit from March to June 2021 to establish industry-wide standards around Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility & Belonging (EDIAB) with a focus on Black individuals in theatre as we move into the future. (more…)

Applications Close in 6 Days for Beyond the Stage Door’s No-Cost Theatre Management Intensive for Students of Color

Beyond the Stage Door is in its final week of accepting applications for their 2021-22 theatre management program for students of color. Interested applicants can find details at www.beyondthestagedoor.com and must submit their application through the site by July 4th, 2021.

Selected participants will take part in intimate virtual seminars this fall to learn about company, general, and stage management, as well as spend four days in New York City meeting with experienced theatre professionals and industry leaders as part of the intensive, at no personal cost to the cohort members. They will also learn about other key aspects of the theatre industry, at no personal cost.

Beyond the Stage Door (BTSD) previously announced that for their first year they would pivot to an impactful hybrid model of virtual and in-person learning, due to health and safety concerns. Selected participants will take part in intimate virtual seminars this fall to learn about company, general, and stage management, as well as other key aspects of the theatre industry. In January 2022, with Broadway back in full swing, the cohort will spend four days in New York City meeting with experienced theatre professionals and industry leaders as part of the intensive, at no personal cost to the cohort members.

Recognizing that the pandemic has made it difficult for recent graduates to enter the theatre industry, the BTSD program is committed to prioritizing students who graduated from an undergraduate theatre management program in 2020 or 2021. Rising college juniors and seniors currently studying theatre management are still welcome and highly encouraged to apply to the program as well.

Beyond the Stage Door was developed by Baseline Theatrical in response to industry discussions, led by BIPOC members of the theatre community, about long-standing racial disparity in both commercial theatre hiring practices and traditional pathways to New York theatrical management careers. BTSD is designed to give students a deep dive into the management side of Broadway while eliminating financial burdens that have often kept underrepresented communities out of pursuing a theatre career in New York City. The program offers students the chance to learn from and develop long-lasting professional relationships with industry leaders in all areas of theatre including public relations, casting, marketing, producing and more.

American Express is a sponsor of the management program, continuing their long-time support of the theatre community. SpotCo, a leading entertainment advertising and marketing firm, is also contributing their support and expertise.

BTSD fully intends to return to its original month-long, no-cost summer program in 2022.

Further information from Beyond the Stage Door: www.beyondthestagedoor.org and @beyondthestagedoor

Mission Statement:
Beyond the Stage Door (BTSD) is a comprehensive and intensive program designed to educate and prepare undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds for careers in general, company and stage management in the theatre industry. Over the course of four weeks, through a combination of rigorous seminars with industry professionals, production-related excursions and applied learning projects, participants will study existing frameworks for Broadway shows, shadow current theatre managers and work alongside prominent industry leaders. By the end of their time with BTSD, each student will leave armed with the tools needed to pursue and sustain a prosperous theatre career.

Baseline Theatrical is a commercial general management firm founded in 2014. Broadway credits include Hamilton; freestyle love supreme; Derren Brown: Secret; The Cher Show; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; The Last Ship and the upcoming Pass Over at the August Wilson Theatre. Off-Broadway credits include Audible Theatre at the Minetta Lane, The Enigmatist at the High Line Hotel, Stuffed, Hundred Days, Application Pending and Annaleigh Ashford’s Lost in the Stars. Current touring credits include four companies of Hamilton. Further information from Baseline Theatrical: www.baselinetheatrical.com


 

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