His compositions have ranged from the music that came to epitomize the spaghetti western, to the sinister march of The Untouchables to the haunting "Gabriel's Oboe" from The Mission. Now famed composer Ennio Morricone will mark his 85th year by conducting an ensemble of 200 musicians and singers, for a single performance at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on Thursday, March 20, 2014.
Morricone's most famous film scores include the famed Sergio Leone westerns including A Fistful of Dollars; For a Few Dollars More; The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and more. His other film compositions include Cinema Paradiso, The Untouchables, Once Upon a Time in America, The Mission, and more. He has also composed over 100 classical pieces since 1946.
Learn more about the upcoming concert here.
Image courtesy of 2013 Davidson & Choy Publicity, All rights reserved.
The Seattle Rep is wrapping up its student playwriting project in December 2013 even as it works to launch its new playwriting initiative for grownups in early 2014. Both the student project and the new adult program were created to encourage new playwrights.
To conclude its 12th Annual Roosevelt Playwriting Project, the Seattle Rep will present four new works by student playwrights Anna Given, Henri Joyce, Elliot Moore, and Ella Sevier of Roosevelt High School (Seattle) on Thursday, December 5. Each student has written a 10-minute play under the mentorship of a playwriting teaching artist, and the works will be directed by professional directors and performed by student actors. The Playwriting Project is also being facilitated by the Seattle Rep education staff at Mercer Island High School (Mercer Island) and The Center School (Seattle), with performances slated for Spring 2014.
Learn more about the Seattle Rep's playwriting projects here.
Photo by Melissa Flower; Courtesy of The Seattle Rep
His melodies have swirled gorgeously around mermaids, beauties, beasts, killer plants, and fast-talking genies. With a mantel filled with Oscars, Grammys, Tony Awards and more, Alan Menken's award-winning music has ranged from Broadway to film and back again. Now a special evening will celebrate the legendary Broadway and film composer's achievements while presenting him with the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre at the 22nd Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala to be held Monday, December 9, 2013 at The Hudson Theatre (145 West 44th Street).
In addition, that same night, the York Theatre Company Founder's Award will be presented to York Chairman of the Board W. David McCoy, to honor his significant long-term contributions to the theatre and his lifelong commitment to sustaining the arts.
Menken is a multiple award-winning American musical theatre and film composer -- learn more about his career and the Hammerstein gala here.
Alan Menken Photo Credit: Lisa Crosby
SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark, the Broadway spectacular that made headlines during its web-crawling run from beginning to end, has announced that the production is moving to Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, after it closes on Broadway. After more than three years on Broadway, the show will play its final performance at the Foxwoods Theatre on January 4, 2014, then transition to performances in Vegas. Despite its often beleaguered production history, SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark is currently the 16th highest grossing Broadway production of all time, having taken in more than $200 million at the box office. The show has been seen by approximately two million fans, and will have played 1,268 performances by the time it takes its final bow at the Foxwoods Theatre.
Photo courtesy of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark
At its 29th Annual Awards ceremony on November 18, 2013, The Casting Society of America (CSA) announced the winners of the organization's 29th Annual Artios Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Casting, given in 22 categories including film, television and theater. The winners were announced at awards ceremonies held simultaneously at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles and at XL Nightclub, Cabaret & Lounge in New York.
Presented annually, the awards are given to CSA members using the criteria of originality, creativity and contribution of casting to the overall quality of a project. Named for the Greek word meaning "perfectly fitted," the Artios Awards were first given in 1985 to honor excellence in casting and was held at the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel attended by 500 industry leaders. The first New York awards were first given in 1988.
Among the night's big winners were Mary Vernieu, Lindsay Graham, and Diane Heery (Location Casting) for Silver Linings Playbook (Big Budget Feature - Comedy), Lora Kennedy for Argo (Big Budget Feature - Drama), Douglas Aibel, and Henry Russell Bergstein (Associate) for Moonrise Kingdom (Feature - Studio or Independent - Comedy), Daniel Swee for his casting work on Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (New York Broadway Theatre - Comedy), and many more.
Silver Linings Playbook poster © The Weinstein Company
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences got two big early Christmas presents, as the organization announced this week that it received separate $10 million gifts from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. In recognition of these gifts, the two main galleries on the lobby floor of the Academy Museum will be named for Katzenberg and Spielberg - The Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery and The Spielberg Family Gallery.
"Steven and Jeffrey share a passion for moviemaking and philanthropy," said Academy Museum Campaign Chair Bob Iger. "With these incredibly generous gifts, they are combining the two, moving us closer to our goal of building a museum to preserve the history of motion pictures and inspire the next generation of filmmakers." The Academy launched the Museum's $300 million capital campaign in 2012 and has already secured more than half of the campaign's goal in commitments. The campaign is co-chaired by Annette Bening and Tom Hanks
You have to wonder, though, if upon receiving the gift, the Academy wasn't tempted to quip: "We're gonna need a bigger museum." Learn more about the Academy gifts, and get the official statements from Spielberg and more, here.
Photo courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The DirectorFest 2013 performances will take place on Thursday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m., Friday, December 13 at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, December 14 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 15 at 3:00 p.m.
Tickets to this year's DirectorFest are priced at $18 and may be purchased by visiting www.dramaleague.org, or by calling (212) 244-9494. Every performance includes all four plays, which include two world premieres and two rarely-seen works by important and iconic playwrights.
Photo courtesy of The Drama League and DirectorFest
So often, the secret to a superb production lies in simply casting just the right person for the role -- and luckily, the casting director can help to make sure that happens. The Casting Society of America (CSA) has announced the nominees and presenters for the organization's New York 29th Annual Artios Awards, which will celebrate outstanding achievement in casting in 22 categories spanning stage and screen.
The bi-coastal awards ceremonies will take place simultaneously on Monday, November 18, 2013 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel (9876 Wilshire Blvd.) in Los Angeles and at XL Nightclub, Cabaret & Lounge (512 West 42nd Street) in New York City.
With more than 500 members, the CSA has representation in the United States, Canada, Europe, England, Australia, and South Africa. The NYC awards ceremony will be hosted by Harvey Fierstein with participating award presenters Uzo Aduba, Keegan Allen, Hank Azaria, Betsy Brandt, Danielle Brooks, Josh Charles, Gabe Ebert, Katie Finneran, Richard Kind, Zosia Mamet, Hannah Nordberg, Billy Porter, Carrie Preston, David Rasche, Condola Rashad, Corey Stoll, Daniel Sunjata, Aaron Tveit, Samara Wiley, among others.
Photo: Harvey Fierstein as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. © Joan Marcus
The National Endowment for the Arts has released its 'Highlights from the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts' -- an initial summation of arts participation trends based on exhaustive surveys conducted by the organization in 2012. Examining the ways in which Americans take part in the arts throughout the year, the NEA's report shows that the disappointing downward trend in arts participation continues, in an initial summary version of the organization's findings (a more complete version will be released in 2014).
With results based on the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), the nation's largest population survey of arts participation trends, the report takes a look at how Americans engage with the arts, with the NEA partnering up with the United States Census Bureau (six times since 1982) to conduct the SPPA. The 2012 survey asked a nationally representative sample of adults ages 18 and older if they had participated in five broad categories of arts activity in the past year: attending, reading, learning, making/sharing art, and consuming art via electronic media.
For the 2012 survey, the NEA laudably doubled the sample size in order ask more questions and discover new patterns of arts engagement. The NEA also developed the new questions through dialogues with researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in the arts. More expansive than its predecessors, the survey set out to capture more art forms, which also enabled the organization to analyze more arts participants across a wider variety of pursuits.
The report's results are disappointing for but not surprising, especially for those in the performing arts: While nearly half of the nation's adults (49 percent or 115 million) attended at least one type of visual or performing arts activity, musical play attendance saw the first significant drop since the 1985 SPPA (a 9 percent rate of decline from 2008 to 2012), and non-musical play attendance fell at a 12 percent rate over the same period. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of American adults (71 percent or 167 million) accessed art via electronic media, including TV, radio, handheld or mobile devices, the Internet, and DVDs, CDs, tapes, or records.
To me, this heralds a continued and very clear message that arts organizations must continue to make strong use of the Internet and tools such as streaming video in appealing to their audiences and filling seats. Catch them on the 'Net -- then entice them to the venue itself. Get thee to the Interwebs!
Image: Highlights Report: 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, Courtesy of The National Endowment for the Arts
Over at the Artful Manager, columnist Andrew Taylor takes a typically insightful look at the question of capital -- or, more precisely -- how to define it, as applied to the world of the arts nonprofit organization.
As Taylor notes in his post, which is well worth a read in its entirety, capital in the private business sector is a thing that can be defined, followed and quantified in fairly specific terms.
....But among nonprofit organizations, funders, and regulators, capital is a significantly different critter that we call by the same name. There is no 'ownership,' really, because nonprofits aren't owned by anyone (their assets are managed in the public trust). The return on capital isn't usually money but mission (although there's some dispute about that distinction). And many of the capital 'assets' that nonprofits hold behave more like liabilities (collections of art, historic buildings, and such, that cost money over time rather than generate it).
What's your take? Are arts organizations exempt from the usual expectations when it comes to capital?
Photo courtesy of Flickr user nytvf (Creative Commons)