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The Digest of Arts, Culture and Ideas
Updated: 8 min 51 sec ago

Founder Of Australia’s Top Shakespeare Company To Retire

October 17, 2014 - 4:02am

John Bell, 75, who established Bell Shakespeare in 1990, will step down at the end of 2015.

Actress Misty Upham, 32. Found Dead In Washington State Woods

October 17, 2014 - 3:55am

The Native American performer, known for her roles in the films Frozen River, August: Osage County, and Django Unchained, had gone missing earlier this month.

Soprano Anita Cerquetti, 83

October 17, 2014 - 3:47am

“[The] gifted Italian soprano … rose to instant fame in 1958 when she was called on to substitute for the mythic and sometimes mystifying Maria Callas in one of opera’s most dramatic episodes, and three years later surprised people again by ending her own career.”

Now There’s Even A Prize For Roman Catholic Lit ($25,000, No Less)

October 17, 2014 - 3:40am

The George W. Hunt Prize, sponsored by the Jesuit magazine America and Yale’s St. Thomas More Chapel, stipulates that nominees “should be familiar with the Roman Catholic tradition … [and] be a person of sound moral character and reputation and must not have published works that are manifestly atheistic or morally offensive.” (Good luck to the jurors on hashing that out.)

How Does A Choreographer Go About Updating One Of Jerome Robbins’s Greatest Works?

October 17, 2014 - 3:26am

It’s a tough job bringing On the Town into the 21st century, especially for a high-profile Broadway revival, but Joshua Bergasse took it on.

Al Pacino Will Be Doing More Mamet On Broadway

October 17, 2014 - 3:18am

Following on the huge commercial success of the 2012 Broadway revival of Glengarry Glen Ross that starred Pacino, David Mamet has wriiten a new play for the actor: China Doll. (The playwright says his new work “is better than oral sex.”)

Rossen Milanov Adds Another Music Directorship To His Portfolio

October 17, 2014 - 2:46am

The 49-year-old Bulgarian, who was appointed to the Columbus Symphony in Ohio last month, will lead the Chautauqua Symphony in western New York State, effective immediately. (Milanov also directs two orchestras in New Jersey and one in Spain.)

How Many Online Video Ads Are Too Many? Or Too Few?

October 17, 2014 - 2:35am

Is the problem how often those damned ads for Prius or Geico or Viking River Cruises interrupt the stream you’re trying to watch? Or is it that those same damned ads play over and over? (Which would be because there aren’t enough different ads in rotation.)

Heroes: They Act First, Think Later

October 17, 2014 - 2:30am

“People who perform heroic acts seem to do so instinctively, risking their lives to help someone else without giving the consequences much conscious thought.”

Animals Can Also Be Heroes, Of Course

October 17, 2014 - 2:25am

Sure, we know about dogs who’ve rescued people and the cat that chased a dog away from a toddler, but seals, hippos, and rats are among the many animals who’ve been observed displaying altruistic behavior. (Especially rats, some of whom have learned to locate land mines.)

How Much Will Artists Be Paid Under The New W.A.G.E. Certification Program?

October 17, 2014 - 2:20am

“Last Friday, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (aka W.A.G.E.) announced that they will be rolling out their new W.A.G.E. Certification program, which promises to be a ‘paradigm-shifting model for the remuneration of artistic labor’.” Hrag Vartanian finds out just what wage rates W.A.G.E. has in mind.

Edward Villella Gives Ice Dancing A Spin

October 17, 2014 - 2:16am

No, not as a skater. (Our Eddie is 78, after all.) Dick Button – no doubt with an assist from Villella’s wife, once a champion skater herself – convinced him to try choreographing serious ice ballets. (And by the way, Villella says, “I will never work for a board again and I will never raise money again. It’s a beautiful freedom.”)

Did Jesus Save The Klingons, Too? How Human Religions Would Cope With Extraterrestrial Beings

October 17, 2014 - 2:11am

(And yes, “Did Jesus Save the Klingons?” is an actual Scientific American headline.)

Top Posts From AJBlogs 10.16.14

October 17, 2014 - 12:31am

Chinese President Lectures Artists On What Their Role Should Be

October 16, 2014 - 2:00pm

“Artists should not be “slaves” to the market or “lose themselves in the tide of market economy”, Mr Xi told them. Nor should they “go astray while answering the question of whom to serve, otherwise their works will lack vitality”, he warned.”

Paris’ Picasso Museum Is About To Reopen. Here Are Pictures

October 16, 2014 - 1:56pm

“After a renovation marred by delays, infighting and controversy the Picasso Museum in Paris is due to open on the anniversary of the artist’s birth on 25 October.”

National Gallery Of Australia Gets A New Director

October 16, 2014 - 1:53pm

“Gerard Vaughan previously spent 13 years as director of the National Gallery of Victoria, leaving the role two years ago. He was also previously the director of the British Museum development trust and held an arts role at Oxford University.”

Netflix Is Going To Change The Movie Business? Not So Fast, Says Time-Warner

October 16, 2014 - 1:50pm

“Netflix looked like a lightweight yesterday. It may have revolutionized streaming. It may have ambitions to upend tired business models with digital age know-how. But it forgot that you never bring a knife to a gunfight.”

Is TV As We Know It About To End?

October 16, 2014 - 1:42pm

“If content providers continue to launch their own platforms, as HBO and CBS have done, the future of internet TV will not just be unbundled. It will be deeply fragmented. That could threaten the very companies that pioneered this space to begin with—and make it more difficult and more expensive to get everything you want to watch.”

Is Reading E-Books To Your Kids Reading Time Or Screen Time?

October 16, 2014 - 1:20pm

“There’s the possibility for e-books to become the TV babysitters of this generation,” he said. “We don’t want parents to say, ‘There’s no reason for me to sit here and turn pages and tell my child how to read the word, because my iPad can do it.’ ”