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Performing Arts: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Stage Makeup 101
A basic guide to applying stage makeup, from start to finish.
Avoid These 5 Stage Makeup Mistakes
A list of common mistakes to avoid when applying stage makeup.
20 Essential Fundraising Ideas
For theatres, dance companies, symphonies, and more, here are 20 unique and creative approaches for bringing in the moolah.
15 Steps to Better Auditions -- and Better...
A step by step guide to holding a better, more streamlined audition process -- and one that will get better results.
The 10 Things Stage Managers Must Know
A few holy commandments on how a good stage manager can become even better.
Top Stage Makeup Vendors and Suppliers
A helpful look at several top stage makeup leaders and how to use their products, contact or follow them in social media, and (most importantly) where to buy their products!
What You Need for the Perfect Stage Makeup Kit
A look at the ideal elements of any good stage kit.
Useful Forms for Stage Managers (from Sign-in...
Some highly useful forms for stage managers, with instant access for printing through PDF format -- starting with an easy Rehearsal Sign-in Sheet.
A useful form to use when holding auditions
A comprehensive, easy and helpful form for you to use in gathering information from potential performers when holding auditions.
That Hair! That Face! The Art of the Hair and...
A look at the work of theatrical hair and makeup designers and artists.
Best Apps for Theater Stage Production
A look at some helpful and even essential mobile applications for use in theatre tech and performing arts production. Second in a series. Page 2.
Standard Stage Crew Attire
A comprehensive look at what to wear when working on a theatrical or stage crew.
17 Theatre Tech Apps for Lighting Designers
A helpful and comprehensive list of mobile apps now available for lighting designers and others in lighting for stage, screen and the performing arts.
5 Audition Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make
Five easy tips on what not to do when auditioning for your next show.
The Stage Manager’s Checklist, Part 1:...
A look at the stage manager's checklist, on the basic items needed to run the rehearsal and production process smoothly.
Forms for Props Masters
Props lists can be useful for set designers, props masters, and others in stage tech, enabling them to organize, track and maintain props. The forms here can actually be downloaded and printed in PDF for use in any performing arts situation.
New York City Prop Shops - Prop Shops in the...
A quick and comprehensive guide to some of the top 'prop shops' and set design suppliers in the New York City area.
Apps for Stage and Performing Arts Designers
An overview of several terrific apps to assist, inspire and support designers in the performing arts.
Stage Lighting Then and Now
Stage lighting is too-often an underappreciated art for theatregoers. Not only does light illuminate the action you’re watching, it also directly affects the emotion and and subtext of a scene. Here's a quick look at the basic elements of stage lighting.
Scenic Design 101: How to Create a Scale Model
A good scenic design scale model is a way to get a feel for the way the space looks, and to previsualize the ways the performers will potentially move about within that space. Here's how to create one from scratch.
Lighting and Sound Cues Form
An easy to use and comprehensive expanded blank form for immediate use in jotting down lighting and sound cues in one place during the tech/rehearsal process. Another great tool for lighting or sound designers, or for design students still learning their craft.
Art Meets Tech: The Role of the Lighting Designer
The lighting designer has one of the most difficult yet rewarding jobs in any production, as he must not only paint the stage with light, but be at ease with the worlds of design, drafting (or CAD), lamps, gels and accessories, and light boards and other equipment.
Basic Costume Plot Form
A helpful blank Costume Plot form, designed for use in printing and note-taking for costume designers, or as a template.
Dressing the Character: The Role of the Costume...
A look at the role and process of the Costume Designer in the creation process of a show, as well as an examination of the way costume designers can bring forth the inner life of a character in his or her external costume onstage.
Choosing the Right Graphics Tablet
An overview of graphics tablets and their uses for performing arts designers, along with a comparison chart of leading models and their features and prices.
Wash
A definition of a wash, a commonly used term in stage lighting design.
Fashionable Apps for Costume Designers
A comprehensive and helpful look at some timely apps for portable devices that will assist costume designers in their tasks no matter where they go!
5 Timeless Stage Effects Still in Use Today
An article on five timeless stage effects that have been in use for centuries: trap door, weather, stage blood, turntable or trebuchet, and flying devices.
The Stage Manager’s Checklist, Part 3:...
A look at the stage manager's checklist -- here, you'll find a list of the basic items needed to be kept on hand, to keep the rehearsal and production process running smoothly.
Promoting Your Performances – in the...
Whether you're a theatre, a dance troupe, an opera house, or a symphony, here's how to effectively promote your performances -- to the news, as well as on social media.
The Stage Manager’s Checklist, Part 2:...
A look at the stage manager's checklist, on the portable items you should bring with you to rehearsal and performance on a constant basis.
The Perfect Press Section: 10 Basic Elements...
A look at the ten essential elements to any performing arts Press Section, and that will enable you to maximize your contacts and results with your press list.
How to Run a Light Board
A series of simple and informative instructions for how to learn and run a light board during the creation of a show or live performance.
Finding a Job in the Performing Arts
A comprehensive look at where to seek out the best tech, design, and administrative jobs listings for the performing arts world, from theatre, to opera, dance, and more.
5 Essential Stagecraft and Stage Tech Websites
From TCG and USITT, to some links that may surprise you, here's a review of five essential web resources on stage tech and stagecraft for those in the performing arts -- as well as an overview of how to maximize, utilize, and contact them.
Top 10 Box Office Software Solutions
An 'at a glance' review of Vendini TicketAgent box office software.
Expanded Lighting Cue Sheet Form
An easy to use and comprehensive expanded blank form for immediate use in jotting down lighting cues, lantern numbers, and much more. A great tool for lighting designers or lighting design students still learning their craft.
'Face Off' Winner Rayce Bird Flies High
An interview with Rayce Bird, the winner of Season Two of the Syfy TV show
What, exactly, is 'art direction?'
Who actually receives the Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction? And what do they do?
'Black Swan' Ballet Interview With NYC Ballerina
Interview with ballerina and ballet trainer Mary Helen Bowers about training Natalie Portman for her Academy Award-winning role as a ballerina in the trippy Darren Aronofsky thriller Black Swan, and the controversy with body double Sarah Lane.
From Gaffers Tape to Gobos: Stagecraft and Tech...
Does your heart beat a little faster at the thought of a fabulous array of artful GOBOs? Could you spend hours arguing the pros and cons of the latest super-digitized light boards? Are you still searching for the perfect flashlight?If so, here are some must-hit sites for stage techs and those who love them.
Barn Door
A definition of a Barn Door, a commonly used element in controlling the intensity and direction of stage lighting.
Bringing in the Money: 11 Fundraising...
A look at eleven tangible actions and approaches to help you bring in more money for your group or organization, even in troubled times.
Graphics Tablets for Designers
A look at graphics tablets and their unique uses for performing arts designers.
5 Tips for Increasing Audiences
When it comes to increasing audiences, it's important to stay motivated, attentive, and -- most of all -- creative! With that in mind, here are just a few new brainstorms and approaches that could be truly transformative when it comes to filling those seats.
From Shakespeare to 'Tangled' -- a Conversation...
An interview with artist and designer Douglas Rogers.
5 Tips for Saving Money on Productions
It’s no secret that the economic challenges of the past few years have been tough on those in the performing arts. Smaller audiences, dwindling box-office profits, fewer grants, and (worse) fewer volunteers can make it more challenging than ever to bring your productions to life. But don’t give up! There are ways to plan a satisfying season while still saving money on your productions.
Types of Stage Blood
A look at the different types of stage blood applications, and their uses.
'Face Off' Finalist Laura Tyler Interview
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7 Social Rules for Arts Fundraisers
Seven rules to help you stay focused, positive, and confident when it comes to asking your patrons for money. (Rule one? Stop apologizing for asking.)
Performance Report Form
The Performance Report is a useful and valuable form for documenting notable occurrences, absences or events during each performance of your show.
Field Templates Give Lighting Designers an Edge
A review of the Field Templates line of lighting templates.
Essential Websites for Costume Designers
A review of four superb websites that will both fascinate and inform costume design enthusiasts as well as students and professionals.
The Prop's the Thing for Eric Hart: Part 1 of 3
Part one of a three-part interview with Props Master and Artisan Eric Hart, creator of Prop Agenda, on his career in props -- and his advice to other aspiring props professionals.
RJ Haddy Talks Life After 'Face Off' (Part 1)
Originally from Charleston , West Virginia, “Face Off” Season 2 runner-up RJ Haddy earned his spot on
Book
: The stage manager's annotated prompt script. When a performer says she is "on book," she is still memorizing
Promoting Your Performances
Whether you're a theatre, a dance troupe, an opera house, or a symphony, here's how to effectively promote your performances -- to the news, as well as on social media. Page 2.
Dry Tech
A rehearsal in which the tech and lighting crew run the show from beginning to end in an abbreviated form consisting solely of scene changes and tech progressions, without the presence of the performers.
Anatomy of a Set Designer
A look at the work of the Set Designer, or Scenic Designer, and the vital role the set designer plays in the creation and staging of a performance, from theater to ballet and beyond.
From Scythes to Jagerclaws: Behind the Props of...
Get the inside scoop on GRIMM’s design process in part one of a two-part interview with the show's prop master, Drew Pinniger -- from the fairytale weapons, to ancient monster sketches and the mysteries of Aunt Marie’s trailer.
Talking Props with Eric Hart: Part 3 of 3
Part three of a three-part interview with Props Master and Artisan Eric Hart, creator of Prop Agenda, and on staff at The Public Theater in New York.
Flood
Definition 1: To open or increase a beam of light, typically a Fresnel. 2: A light with a bright, broad beam, often used to light a cyclorama.
Sons of Anarchy
Performing Arts. Page 24.
Broadway League Awards Education and Community...
The Broadway League recently awarded coveted New York Education Grants to the Broadway productions of 'Act One,' 'Matilda the Musical,' and 'Violet.'
RJ Haddy Talks Life After 'Face Off' (Part 2)
I recently interviewed 'Face Off' Season 2 finalist RJ Haddy here . Following is part two of my interview
Trick Riding
Performing Arts. Page 7.
The Cool Decadence of Clothes on Film
Chris Laverty is the editor of 'Clothes on Film,' another must website for costume designers or aficionados. Page 3.
NBC Offers Free eBook with 'Grimm: The...
The free new enhanced eBook, 'Grimm: The Essential Guide,' is now available on Apple's iBookstore in iTunes for iPad, and the non-enhanced edition will soon be available on Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet.
Creating the World of 'Cavalia' Onstage
An interview with Cavalia creator and Artistic Director Normand Latourelle about the creation, staging, production, and challenges of the show.
‘Face Off’ Returns in August with...
'Face Off' returns on Syfy for its fifth season on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 9 p.m., and for the first time will feature returning contestants for a shot at redemption.
Catching Up with 'Face Off' Finalist Ian Cromer
An interview with 'Face Off' contestant and finalist Ian Cromer, about his experiences during Season Two of the competitive Syfy TV show, which pits makeup effects professionals against one another in a series of stage and effects makeup challenges.
Sky-High Set Design: A Q&A with Designer David...
Catch Me If You Can is a big, bright blast of a show -- the Tony award-winning Broadway hit based on
Board
Slang term for the panel or control desk where the lighting and electronics are run.
Exploring the Life of the Costume Designer with...
A snapshot of The Costumer's Blog as one of four essential websites for costume designers. Page 2.
Bringing in the Money - Using Tangible Goals...
A look at eleven tangible actions and approaches to help you bring in more money for your group or organization, even in troubled times. Page 2.
The Temple of Akator
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 17.
How to Safely Move Scenery and Other Heavy...
If you follow these simple approaches and you -- and those you work backstage with -- will minimize your risk of injury and stay safe while moving objects onstage and off.
Great Expectations (Assorted)
Performing Arts. Page 10.
American Theatre Wing Announces 2014 Theatre...
The American Theatre Wing has announced the recipients of its 2014 National Theatre Company Grants.
Once Upon a Time
Performing Arts. Page 21.
Once Upon a Time (Detail)
Performing Arts. Page 20.
Smash
Performing Arts. Page 25.
Once Upon a Time (Fairy)
Performing Arts. Page 22.
FringeNYC Festival Encore Series Returns Sept....
FringeNYC Festival Encore Series Returns Sept. 9-26 with an array of some of the 2011 Festival's most popular offerings.
Saito's Castle
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 20.
Rehearsal Report Form
A helpful form for keeping track of your rehearsal process.
Once Upon a Time (Assorted)
Performing Arts. Page 19.
Saito's Castle Concept Sketch
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 18.
Akator Temple (Entrance)
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 16.
Staying Safe on a Stage Crew
Working on a stage crew can be fun, but it's also an environment that can be dangerous if care isn't taken. Follow these helpful tips to stay safe.
Sing Along with 'Frozen' in Theatres this Fall
Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre has announced the presentation of a special engagement of Disney’s “Frozen” in an exciting sing-along version to take place from Aug. 22 – Sept. 7, 2014.
Stage Crew Application Form
The Stage Crew Application Form is a useful and important form to use when hiring prospective crew members for your production.
Drafting: The Unsung Skill
Want to design for lighting, sets, costumes, and more? Take my advice -- and learn to draft.
The Designs of Guy Hendrix Dyas
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.'
Cold Reading
A cold reading scenario is when the script or other content is read aloud without reading or knowledge beforehand. Typically used in audition scenarios and as a precursor to the start of the rehearsal process.
Inside the Castle ('Inception')
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 21.
Great Graphics and Video with Corel Software...
Corel's VideoStudio X7 provides a fast and easy way to create a broad range of professional-quality videos for performing artists, regardless of editing proficiency, and CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7 ensures the quick creation of any graphics required, as well.
American Horror Story
Performing Arts. Page 13.
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Performing Arts. Page 9.
Great Expectations
Performing Arts. Page 11.
Planning the Show: A Checklist for Designers
Planning the show is easy if you use this handy checklist of questions and definitions every designer should ask when approaching an upcoming production.
Boardwalk Empire
Performing Arts. Page 23.
Curtain
(1) The start or end of the show performance; (2) The actual fabric curtain that rises or falls before the stage, signifying the beginning or the end of the show.
The Mirror Queen's Throne
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 6.
Essential Resources for Women in the Performing...
A comprehensive and highly useful list of essential links, organizations and resources for women in the performing arts, from creation and production, to research, tech and more!
Downton Abbey (Detail)
Performing Arts. Page 8.
SMI Instructors and Approaches
The MACE 2012 Stage Management Intensive (SMI) will help stage managers achieve safer stage combat, and will take place at Pheasant Run Resort, from January 3-5, 2012. Page 2.
Scene Partner Helps Performers Get Off Book
The Scene Partner app helps actors, writers and others to learn their lines more quickly and easily.
Blackout
(1) A term for the condition in which there is zero stage lighting, and in which work backstage is accomplished under blue lighting only. Emergency lights and exit signs, however, remain on. (2) The actual act of turning off the stage lighting.
Marbaden Village (Overview)
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 2.
Designing 'Inception'
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 19.
Carrousel 2
Performing Arts. Page 13.
Lighting Design Organizations and Resources
To assist lighting designers and those studying lighting design, here's a handy list of helpful organizations and resources for lighting designers, both in the United States, and abroad.
Grid
The high, suspended scaffolding or structures from which the lanterns for stage lighting are hung, or which can also hold the components of the flying system.
FX
The standard stage shorthand or written abbreviation for 'effects.' Used to refer to stage effects, or written in shorthand as 'SFX' for sound effects.
More Top Tech Theatre Tweets
Are you working in the performing arts? As Part Two of my ongoing series, here's a list of even more essential performing arts Tweeps to follow, from opera and performing arts organizations, to creatives, writers and performers - as well as other accounts you should be following in 2012!
Stage Write Review: Making Life Easier for...
One terrific new app that takes full advantage of the iPad platform for stage techs and creatives is Stage Write, which enables any stage manager, director or choreographer to use an iPad in order to block and choreograph onstage in real-time, and then document that process in one seamless app.
Gel
The slang term for the colored filter used in stage lighting.
From "Dracula" to "Mirror Mirror"
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Karlstadt Color Elevation
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 3.
Stage Lighting Essentials from On Stage...
An in-depth and insightful interview with On Stage Lighting founder Rob Sayer, on the business and craft of onstage lighting.
Performing Arts Unions and Organizations
A helpful list of unions and organizations supporting artists, designers, craftspersons, and technicians throughout the performing arts.
Director Steven Spielberg and Production...
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 15.
Anatomy of a Torture Chamber
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 5.
Marbaden Village Church Sketch
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 4.
Concept Sketch, Cavaldi's Carriage
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 10.
The Puppets of 'War Horse'
A photo gallery spotlighting the puppet horses created by the Handspring Puppet Company for the National Theatre productions of WAR HORSE, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford with the Handspring Puppet Company, directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris.
BO
(1) In blocking, the abbreviation for Blackout. (2) Also a general industry abbreviation for Box Office.
Blocking
The process of planning the movement and placement of the actors in a scene. Blocking is created by the director, and then recorded in the script by the stage manager.
The Prop Master's Checklist
A helpful checklist for Prop Masters to provide them with the organizational resources for props excellence.
Arabians
Performing Arts. Page 17.
Downton Abbey (Assorted)
Performing Arts. Page 6.
Talking Ink and Clay with S3 'Face Off'...
An in-depth interview with 'Face Off' Season 3 Finalist Derek Garcia on his experiences while competing on Syfy's hit Makeup FX competition reality show.
Sets on Film: The Art Direction of 'Alice'
An analysis of the production and art design for 'Alice in Wonderland' one of the five Academy Award nominees in 2011 for Best Art Direction.
Pan Am
Performing Arts. Page 12.
Sophisticated Audio Production on the Desktop...
For composers seeking a turnkey DAW, or Digital Audio Workstation, FL Studio 11 offers three powerful software options that combine power with affordability.
Costume Supply Shops in Los Angeles
A look at some notable costume supply shops and workshops in Los Angeles, which can be incredible resources for costume designers, offering everything from sewing and crafting supplies, to abundant material.
KÀ Lighting and Special Effects
KÀ’s artists both onstage and behind the stage meet an extraordinary number of challenges in order to bring the show to life on a nightly basis. Here's a detailed look at the technical facts and specs behind the show’s staggering production process. Page 2.
6TH Annual National August Wilson Monologue...
The 5th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition will take place on Monday, May 5th at 7 p.m. at the August Wilson Theatre (245 West 52nd Street, New York).
The White Queen
An analysis of the production and art design for 'Alice in Wonderland' one of the five Academy Award nominees in 2011 for Best Art Direction. Page 12.
"Have at Thee!" Seminar Teaches Safer Stage...
The MACE 2012 Stage Management Intensive (SMI) will help stage managers achieve safer stage combat, and will take place at Pheasant Run Resort, from January 3-5, 2012.
Pretty Little Liars
Performing Arts. Page 17.
Gaff
To use gaffer's tape to accomplish a variety of tasks, from attaching or securing an item, to fixing or repairing, protecting or sealing, and more.
The Duties of a Prop Master
A useful overview of the duties of the successful Prop Master on a stage, film or television production.
Backstage
The area behind the stage for the cast and crew that is out of sight of the audience.
Third Annual Student Lighting Design Competitio...
Entries are now being accepted for the iSquint.net and 'Stage Directions' Student Lighting Design Competition (SLDC), sponsored by Nemetschek Vectorworks, City Theatrical and Field Template.
'Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark' Litigation Settled
Julie Taymor, Glen Berger and 8 Legged Productions LLC (Producer of 'Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark') recently announced that the pending litigation between them has been settled by mutual agreement of all parties.
The Daily Planet
A gallery of concept art and sketches by movie production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, from such films as 'The Brothers Grimm,' 'Superman Returns,' 'X2: X-Men United,' and 'Inception.' . Page 14.
NYMF Seeks Interns
The New York Musical Theatre Festival offers internships in a variety of fields allowing interns to learn about not-for-profit theatre through active participation in a small, open-office environment, and is accepting applications on an ongoing basis.
Image Gallery: 'The Outstanding Art of...
The 2012 FIDM exhibit celebrating "The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" shines the spotlight

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