18th May 2021
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TheatreArtLife Celebrates 3 Years: Our Top 10 Articles Since Launch!

TheatreArtLife Celebrates
By Anna Robb

April 28, 2020 is TheatreArtLife’s 3rd Year Anniversary. What a ride it has been! Thank you to all the subscribers, social media followers, webinar attendees and supporters of our site. We are wishing you all the best for your individual careers, shows and companies as we navigate the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

As we hit this three year milestone, we thought we would take a look back at the top 10 most popular articles since we launched. Here they are:

No. 10

Stage Managers and Human Reaction Time by Mary Barnett

TheatreArtLife Celebrates

When I was first learning how to “be” a stage manager, I learned how to properly record blocking, how to lay out spike tape, and the best way to distribute a schedule.  Nothing prepared me for having a direct impact on the physical well-being of my performers.

No. 9

Lighting Programmers: Let’s Talk About Their Rights by Guest Contributor

Programming lighting for a big show takes time. It requires several days of long hours being chained to a console smashing buttons, flipping faders and twisting knobs. There are endless tweaks and teases that will haunt our creative conscious right up until doors. If given three days and twelve hours to program a show, we will take three days and thirteen hours whenever possible.

No. 8

In Appreciation of Followspot Operators by Michael Cassera

TheatreArtLife Celebrates

The thing is, followspot operation is often looked down upon as the “easy gig,” and in some venues or shows that may be true. But I guarantee those shows could be better. It could take a good show and turn it into a great show, and the audience probably wouldn’t know why. The reality is that followspot operation is an art.

No. 7

Hamilton Lines, The Top 10 by Mena Buscetto

Hamilton is that once-in-a-lifetime show that comes around and continues to astound Broadway fans, history buffs, music enthusiasts and the everyman alike. After its record-breaking 16 Tony Award nominations and subsequent 11 wins, the bloodbath-esque process of scoring a ticket, and the triple platinum status of the cast album, it would be a challenge to find someone who isn’t obsessed with, or at least appreciates the brilliance of Lin Manuel Miranda’s revolutionary (don’t mind the pun) Broadway sensation.

No. 6

16 Essential Items For An Entertainment Technician by Tom Warneke

What are the essential items for an entertainment technician? I was on a job site last week and we were mid-show. The bands were changing over onstage and we were getting into the final stages of the night when all of a sudden one of the network racks started beeping incessantly. The headliner was next and we were under the ten-minute mark. Time pressure builds and the beeping won’t stop.

No. 5

The Overlooked Characteristics of Great Stage Managers by Melanie Selwood

When someone asks what makes a good stage manager, our answers are usually along the lines of organised, hard working, good humoured, tough, good with people. There are a few skills, though, that are less discussed – generosity, passion, persistence, consistency and care. All the great stage managers I have encountered have all of these. They are ‘soft skills’ – difficult to learn at university but can be fostered within oneself.

No. 4

10 Tips For Great Theatrical Photos by Tom Fairchild

Tom Fairchild is a travel and portrait photographer who also specializes in capturing events and stage performances. Live theatre and events are some of the most difficult and challenging environments to be a photographer. In theatrical photography, subject items are dark, things move quickly and lighting is a challenge but here are ten tips to help you take great theatrical photos.

No. 3

Gig Cancellations due to Coronavirus: Survival Tips for Freelancers by Melissa Bondar

A few days ago, I came across this tweet and thought, “we are all pretty screwed if the freelancers who never mention money are now worrying about money”.

No. 2

How Has Technology Changed Theatre? 4 Ways by Pieter Huyer

TheatreArtLife Celebrates

Theatre has always combined separate artistic mediums to create cohesive story lines and narratives. Artists devise novel uses for everyday and non-conventional objects as a means of expression, and the component pieces that are employed in theatrical settings help stimulate creativity. Likewise, the informational digital age has created a myriad of theatrical possibilities for producers of the performing arts, and automation and digital tech advancements have become standard to functioning theatres. How has technology changed theatre?

No. 1

Overworked Staff and Performing Arts: Let’s Not Pretend We’re Okay by Josh Loar

TheatreArtLife Celebrates

A person on a production team is huddled in an out of the way corner of a theater or a concert hall. Maybe, if they’re lucky, they are inside their own office, or more likely, they’ve simply found a spot where no one seems to be congregated for the moment, and where they will be less visible than in the main performance space. Maybe it’s a rack or equipment room, a costume storage room, or any other of a myriad small spaces. This person is often in low light, positioned as if they are hiding. Their posture is crumpled. Possibly, just possibly, there are quiet tears being shed.


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