Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Family Movie Act of 2005 became law on April 27th. It covers many topics, including that making inperceptible, cutting out or removing, limited portions of audio or video content of a motion picture does not infrige on the copyright of the motion picture if it is done by (or for) a member of a private household. You can read the law, S.167, as HTML or PDF of The Family Movie Act of 2005, online.

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Friday, April 29, 2005

New Zealand Movie Theatres May Use Cell Phone Jammers:
New Zealand cinema owners said Friday they may use mobile phone jamming technology to stop mid-movie calls and text messaging in the hopes of preventing disruptions and conflicts between patrons
(from cnews). In October, France ...approved a new policy that will let theaters and concert halls install cellphone jammers, allowing only emergency calls to get through (from engadget).
This all echos a move by an Italian school that has been using cell phone jammers since June to prevent students from cheating with them (from What What!). Perhaps US theatres will soon use mobile phone jammers.

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The Experience of Going to the Theatre is Bad: For both movie and stage theatres, the hastle of going out means people are chosing to stay home.
The most recent Global Home Entertainment Survey finds that increasing numbers of people are turning their backs on going out for entertainment. Depending on the country, anything from 68% to 90% of respondents prefer to watch a DVD at home. The main reasons cited in favour of living room entertainment are eminently reasonable. It's more comfortable, less expensive, you can fast-forward and wind back. And if there is an idiot sitting next to you it's likely you'll know them well enough to be able to tell them to shut up
(from Guardian Unlimited).
And more from the study:
Not only is staying at home to watch movies becoming more popular, but how people are watching the movies and on what home theater equipment is becoming serious business. When asked what they would give up for a month for the chance to get a new home theater system for free, Americans were most willing to give up leisure shopping (47%). Another 45 percent would give up chocolate, 39 percent would give up drinking and 32 percent would give up smoking. Sex was the last choice for Americans - only 21 percent said they'd be willing to give it up - but that was far more than Spain, where 2 percent said they would be willing to choose celibacy. Russians would give up chocolate (52%), drinking (48%) and sex (23%)
(from HiddenWires).

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Scott Rayburn writes about fear and nerves when public speaking, and some of it applies to acting.

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Four Theatres to Leave Hollywood:
Since the beginning of this year, four of Hollywood’s best and most established small-theaters companies - Open Fist, the Actors’ Gang, West Coast Ensemble and Theatre/Theater - have either been evicted or are considering leaving the Hollywood area due to redevelopment and rising property values. All have resided in Hollywood for years, establishing themselves in marginal neighborhoods. Their very existence and the patrons they attracted lured restaurants and/or other businesses to the area, contributing to the rise in property values that is now pushing them out. All have delivered on their promises to be good neighbors, three of the four working with schoolchildren and engaging in community-outreach programs, in exchange for city grants. Most tellingly, all have been leaseholders rather than property owners, making them vulnerable for relocation
(from LA Weekly).

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Saturday, April 23, 2005

William Shakespeare's 441st birthday is today

William Shakespeare's 441st birthday is today (read his plays and sonnets). points out that rearranging the letters of 'William Shakespeare's birthday' gives: 'April's skies: we may hail the Bard.'

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Friday, April 22, 2005

Product Placement on Stage:
In 1966, when the Neil Simon musical Sweet Charity opened on Broadway, a waiter in one scene asked a customer, A double Scotch, again, sir? In the revival, soon to open at the Al Hirschfeld Theater, the waiter asks, Gran Centenario, the tequila?
Madison Avenue has come to Broadway.
Product placement and endorsement deals have long been staples in television shows, movies and radio programs and even, more recently, on video games. But they have been rare on Broadway. Now, advertisers, casting about for new ways to attract increasingly distracted consumers, have turned their attention to the theater world. And producers, always looking for extra cash to offset rising costs, are receptive
(from The New York Times).

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Creative Cast Album Marketing Giveaway:
The following offer is not a con, say the producers of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Broadway's new musical comedy about con men.
Starting April 27, 50,000 special limited edition cast albums of the show will be handed out, free of charge.
Prior to the official May 10 street date of the disc, on Ghostlight Records, the special free CDs (which include a spolier-warning message from John Lithgow prior to the climax song of the show) will scatter like seeds on the wind. The producers hope the score by David Yazbek will take root in the hearts of fans and blossom into word of mouth and buzz for the show at the Imperial Theatre.
The discs will first be available to anyone who comes by a special launch party 11:30 AM April 27 at the Imperial, and then to to ticketholders at every performance there to May 31.
The giveaway is unprecedented in Broadway and cast album history. The CD will not be available anywhere else until May 10
(from Playbill, via Yahoo News).

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

In the end, everything is a gag.
-Charlie Chaplin

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Theatre Tickets Cost Too Much:
Wishing to make theater accessible to all, he's the first internationally known director to lead the way by insisting that ticket prices must come down. Mr. [Peter] Brook is saying, in urgent effect, if so many people can no longer afford to go to the theater, what's the point of theater?
It's the most pressing question of all. The cost of tickets is killing the audience. They’re also killing the future. Kids can’t afford to go
(from New York Observer).

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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Podcasting Comes to Theater:
Theaterpod introduces the newest application of rich media for arts marketing.
New York, April 5 - The first podcast for theater went online April 5, 2005. It was created by Theaterpod-a partnership of Jonathan Slaff and Marty Glynn-and produced for Kings County Shakespeare Company (KCSC), a Brooklyn-based nonprofit theater troupe.
The 15-minute podcast spotlights KCSC's upcoming production, Rappacini's Daughter and Bad Evidence, two plays by Terry Quinn, which will be presented in a two-part evening by KCSC April 14 to 17, 2005 at the Abingdon Theater Complex in Manhattan.
More information on Theaterpod is available at:
The full article can also be found here.

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Black hues on Great White Way:
Thursday night, the second Broadway production in less than a week to feature black stars in roles originally played by white actors will open.
But the aforementioned performers all share a trait that distinguishes them from most of their fellow troupers: celebrity. Insiders maintain that for black actors - not to mention playwrights, directors, musicians, designers and crew members - the struggle for equal opportunity in the city many view as our theater capitol goes on
(from USA today).

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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Doubt, a parable by John Patrick Shanley has won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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