Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Huntington Theatre Company - Join the Conversation!: Jack of all Things Third
The entry talks about the set and automation of one of their shows and is very well done, and the pictures are a nice addition.
What they had done to make the process easier was to set up two boom bases with pipe. A horizontal pipe holding the fabric was attached to the two vertical booms at the approximate height of their work space. They grabbed the cloth pulled it across the flat to size and then made the cut. It was an obvious elegant solution. As they say, sometimes the best solution is one so simple you can’t believe you have never done that way before.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
It reminds me of the crisis that Paper Mill Playhouse went through last April. They are still currently open, but I don't know what their current financial state is.
While this doesn't directly relate to technical direction, I think that it still is important to learn what you can about the situation, and attempt to apply as much as that knowledge as possible.
In the business classes I took in grad school we often worked with case studies. These studies detailed an event or a period in a business. You could read and study the situation and then use that as a learning experience. I think this would be useful in a theatrical situation in many ways. Its another way of integrating book knowledge into action. For instance these finical problems could be documented for case studies. Other case studies could be about safety issues and help technicians navigate through charged situations regarding safety. The closest that I have seen would be the elegant solutions class where each week a technical challenge was presented and we would create a solution.
I really have to wonder what the effects would be on theatre if the availability of cnc machines were better. People often talk about new technology and they reference lighting or automation or LED. For stagecraft I think the CNC is my pick. Now it just has to trickle down from large commercial shops and the few larger Universities that have one to the rest of the theatre world….
Monday, February 25, 2008
Check out the link above for a useful product for setting trims in a fly-house. While normally used for surveying, it is useful in theatre. The one shown goes to 25'. You can extend the top potion of the rod and at eye level a window will display the measurement that the total length of rod is at. So if you need a drop to be flown to 23'-6” you would extend the rod to that measurement and then compare that to the leveling rod. You can also use it to check the trim on something that is already flown to to check sightlines.
Reports say that it appears pretty stable, but you might need to be good at working at heights. The ladder allows for great access to corners / walls and other locations that are blocked due to the spread of the legs at the base. However, they don't seem to be available state side for us.
Check out their website at:
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
The site say this: eProduction is a free online collaboration tool intended specifically for live theatre. eProduction assists you in scheduling, managing the rehearsal process, rehearsal reporting, communication and more.
While it seems like this would be most useful to stage management or perhaps for producers or designers, I think it could be benificial for all. I can even see it in project management situations.
Friday, February 15, 2008
In one blog, he talks about creating a more active audience. I have to agree that most of the arts are becoming more interactive – from science museums and art museums to even audience participation in theatre. Yet you also have to question what defines participation. To think that silence is equal to inaction may be a mistake.
Another of his blogs, he writes about wikipedia and hints of web 2.0 environments. I have been doing a lot of thinking around web 2.0 and I haven’t yet been able to make many resolutions in my own head. I like the theory behind wiki sites. Yet, it is possible for errors to be made. Popular knowledge is not always correct. Just because more people believe x is true and not y, doesn’t really mean that y is false – or that x is true – just that public perception believes these things. Yet, consensus enables ideas that are broad and potentially better. Web 2.0 is pretty all encompassing – from blogs, to wiki’s to social networking, just to name a few, and these all have various benefits and drawbacks. I know I posted a while back about making these tools work for theatres and to help with audience development, but I have begun to think that there is a lot more that these environments can provide, even for technical theatre. For instance, I have been thinking lately of a wiki-like open directory for sources. Anyone can enter or correct a source – and there can be categories for all types of technical theatre related products. Perhaps it can combine a wiki like site with a networking site where recommendations and such were allowed. I know several people who have in depth link pages on their websites, but it is up to that person to source and update. A sight like the one propose would allow the community of users to add and update. Check out the blog that got me started :
Check it out at:
Thursday, February 14, 2008
“To think of
Celebrated heads of state or
Specially great communicators
Did they have brains or knowledge?
Don't make me laugh!
They were popular!
Please -It's all about popular!
It's not about aptitude
It's the way you're viewed
So it's very shrewd to be
Very very popular”
In business speak they call it managing perceptions. There’s also something to be said about managing expectations. The point being that an idea could be brilliant, but unless its perceived to be brilliant – it won’t get anywhere and the disparity between what is and what is perceived can be a vast ocean. Unfortunately, just doing a good job isn’t enough, one must manage others perceptions of the job. The other downside, is that someone who is good at managing perceptions, may actually not be so great at their job – but others may believe they are much better than they are.
The general idea is that you take a system, determine how the system works against the way it should work, make small improvements on the problems, standardize the system, and then repeat.
To make this work there are three principles:
Process and results are both analyzed.
Systematic thinking is required (so a benefit in 1 part of the process doesn’t become a liability in another part).
The environment must support learning and be non-judgmental and non-blaming.
I think the idea of this plan – and it makes more sense in many ways than spending large amounts of time and money to research and develop new methods of working, to then have them fail during implementation. I also think it’s a great personal philosophy.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Its cool, I like it. You can write text in the book and then import it into word. It does fairly well – but I would definitely proof read anything critical. You can save anything you put on paper as a word document or an image. This is where I think its an interesting too for TD’s. During a meeting, or even when budgeting, you could sketch out a quick idea on paper, and then quickly transfer that to a computer without needing to scan anything.
You do have to buy special paper for it – pads seem to run between 6 and 8 bucks each.
And I’ll tell you – there has already been a time I could have used it – I did a quick step unit a week or so ago and gave the carpenter my only copy. Now, it would have been nice to look at that paper once again to confirm what was on it, but of course it’s gone. Had I used my pen, I would have had a digital copy!
Friday, February 8, 2008
Take a look at it here:
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Check out the article at:
Friday, February 1, 2008