Monday, August 31, 2009

Live Streaming, what does it mean for you?

This one's for you actors.

Recently I included a post that mentioned this super cool thing that The Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater was launching called LIPLO (live in person, live online, aka selling tickets to see live streaming from a live performance in the comfort of your own home). The idea was to create new forms of revenue, and create an online buzz (read revolution) loud enough to land butts in seats well into the future.

Unfortunately it seems it will not be so this time around. While the theater managed to get rights from the author, and the television network that owns the movie version, they were unable to get results from Actor's Equity and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Sigh.

I know this isn't the first struggle where unions have butted heads with businesses over the history of well unions, but I find it disappointing nonetheless. Here we have a bold new strategy that, if successful, would greatly benefit the entire performing arts community (including the ACTORS and TELEVISION AND RADIO ARTISTS), yet it's caught up in the red tape of bureaucracy. I guess I can't blame them, the unions need to be cautious when opening up their contracts to radical new terms like these, but isn't it time? Hasn't the performing arts world dragged it's heels long enough, resisting moves for progress?

Now you know how I feel about it, what do you think? Will live streaming performances save the performing arts from financial ruin?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Theater in the Park

One of the best things about summer is the plethora of activities that take place in the great outdoors. Everything from yoga classes, to poetry slams, to concerts and Shakespeare can be found in the city's parks.

Shakespeare in the Park is obviously the most iconic and well known of the theaters under the stars, but there are a number of less known theater events found out of doors.

I was pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago when I came across live theater in front of the Old Stone House in Brooklyn. Nothing like a little Hamlet to spice up your evening run. Check out what's going on there tonite!

Another Borough favorite is the Queens Theater in the Park. They recently joined forces with Museum of the Moving Image to present a film series as well. Neat.

Do you have any "in the park" events you'd like to share?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Care and Artists

If you haven't been in a coma the past few months, you know that there has been some serious debate about health care reform going on. It seems to me that no matter what I do, I cannot escape the conversation. From my experience with the U.S. health care system (across several states with individual private insurance, employer subsidized insurance, and just plain uninsured) there are more than a few kinks to work out. It's not a perfect system. Is it downright awful? I don't know. From what I've been told by friends from countries with state health insurance, those programs too have a few kinks and are not perfect. Shocking, right? There is no perfect system.
Where does this leave me? As a theater professional, I know that many of us will face underemployment, or employment without benefits through much of our careers. Will a public health care system benefit artists in this country?

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Theater of the future – live from Pittsburgh | off-stage right

Theater of the future – live from Pittsburgh | off-stage right

So I've been following a fabulous blog called Off-Stage Right written by an incredibly smart and insightful theater manager, Jodi Schoenbrun Carter. Clearly, if you are reading this, you've gotten on the social media bandwagon and you realize the potential and imminent influence that it will have on our society. Let's take this post for example.

Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater created a completely new concept "Live and in person and live and online" in which they are going to broadcast, via the internet, live theater performances. The implications of this are huge. This expands your audience, creates lively discussion, and will revolutionize the casting process, just to name a few.

I found this article on a blog I follow, whose updates come straight to me via iGoogle in my RSS feed. It's not a blog written by some web tech, or even a journalist. It's a blog written by a theater professional. We have taken the power of communication into our own hands. I am passing it on to you, and you may pass it on to someone else. The possibilities are endless!