Thursday, February 22, 2018

Net Neutral Burger

Confused about what "Net Neutrality" even means?  Or why it's important to You?

Burger King (brilliantly) explains:

This is important stuff people!  Go bug your government about it, huh?

Find your Representative HERE.
Find your Senator HERE.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Presidents' Day and The Royale

Presidents ain't Kings.

All I'm sayin'.

I think fair use of mostly public domain images (thanks Wikimedia!)

Meanwhile, at Kitchen Dog Theater, my set for The Royale is being built:

The newly stained floor - photo by Jeremy Escobar

Friday, February 2, 2018

Catching Up... and Getting Ahead

Well, it's been the usual nuts around here.  

At the moment I'm frantically trying to catch up on construction drawings for WaterTower Theater's production of Bread, a new play by Regina Taylor.  (Decisions got a little delayed, as they tend to on premiers, but we're cooking now.)

I've got a couple shows on the boards:  This Random World at Circle Theater and The Gazebo at Mainstage Irving Las Colinas.  Check 'em out!  Coming up soon is The Royale at Kitchen Dog Theater.  

Above and below: The Gazebo by Main Stage Irving Las Colinas
Sketch and photo by Clare Floyd DeVries

Outside of theater I've been doing a little reading:  dipping into the newest translation of Don Quixote (very lively) and a collection Famous Speeches (less so), and just finishing The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt.  Fascinating!  Hard to describe... more or less a look at the philosophical basis for a moral and happy life merged with related recent science.  Sounds dull?  Not so!

TV and film? I've been enjoying the latest Star Wars and the shows The Crown and The Good Place.

But how about my latest and most terrible hobby you ask?  (No, if you have sense you run because that hobby is Politics.  Yeesh.)


If you're not yet registered to vote... go sign up today!

Texas' primaries start March 6th.  And this year in Texas there are actual CHOICES!  So go pick someone you like, huh?  Primaries are important.

Look at the Dallas News' Voters' Guide for who all will be on your primary ballot.  Having actual choices means that you'll have to do a little homework in order to vote intelligently.


Let me recommend one candidate for your consideration:

Beto O'Roarke

Here's why I like him enough to advocate for him:  

1)  He's running against Senator Ted Cruz.
2)  Beto refuses to accept PAC money.  Believes in term limits.
3)  He's eager, enthusiastic, and tireless.  He's been driving ALL over the state in his pickup, meeting with regular people, talking with them.  He's 45 but seems younger, partly because he's tech-savvy... and younger, tech-savvier opinions in the Senate can only be a plus.
4)  Beto has experience as US Representative for El Paso (so with real knowledge of border issues - did I mention he's fluent in Spanish?)
5)  He's pro-veterans in a practical get-them-help- kinda way.  I like the practicality.
6)  He believes in - and practises - bi-partisanship.  I don't care what party he belongs to, but he believes in the things I like about the Democratic party... like health care.
7)  Beto seems like a genuinely good guy.  Nice family.  Appealing.  All that electability stuff. 
8)  Plus he was once a punk rocker.  Not sure why that appeals to me... maybe because that's unstuffy? 

First bumper sticker I've ever put on my car.

Please vote.  Your country needs you.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Big Fish

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I've been CRAZY busy.  Between the holidays, visitors, and deadlines there's just been no time (or energy) to blog.  But here's a little of what I've been up to...

Big Fish for Junior Players.

A lovely, very successful, show.

Junior Players' Big Fish  A stylized Alabama river bank, which framed the show.
Schematic design sketch by Clare Floyd DeVries

Junior Players' Big Fish. Photo by DiAnn L'Roy

Among the time intensive parts of this show were creating the abstract "Spanish moss"... made from string and drinking straws and beads... and hours and hours of stringin'.  Thank goodness for volunteers!  Thank you, thank you!

Here's a closer look:

Very hard to capture them on film, but in the theater these lacy dingle-dangles caught the light and added a lot of atmosphere.  (They also helped lower the apparent height of the proscenium, which helped better scale it to the young performers.  This is a HUGE stage.  The proscenium is 30' high and, what, 60' wide?  Immense.  Very nice facility though - my first design at the Moody Performance Hall in Dallas' Arts District.)

So, a few more looks:

Big Fish - sketch for "The War" scene

Hard to catch on film is... well, really, any of the larger setting around the actors.  Photographers naturally concentrate on faces, but I assure you, there's some pretty spiffy bunting hanging there above those faces.  See what I mean?  

(The bunting you can't hardly see was painted at about 10:30 at night - past my bedtime -  so their style is, um, loose.  While other things were painted on the venue's loading dock on the coldest day Dallas has seen for a while.  My volunteers and I were blue... and that was before we spilled the bucket of blue paint.)

Big Fish - this photo and the following ones are  by DiAnn L'Roy

Photos are great, but they just don't - can't - give the whole experience. 

Of course, sketches can't really show the experience either... they just try.

Big Thanks due to the many volunteers (especially my beaders n' painters!), to the TD!, to the amazing directors and other designers (costumes! lights!  wow!), to the incredible Junior Players organization, and most of all to the talented and hard-working actors.  A wonderful show.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Please Call Your Representatives (Again)

Well, they're trying to mess up the internet again.

The FCC plans to change the rules that keep the internet neutral, to let your internet provider or ISP:

1) Charge you more for faster service.  (Meaning poorer or thriftier people get crummier service.  

ADDENDUM: Oops! they do this already, when your service slows after you reach your phone's data cap.  I miss-typed.  But what may now happen is a sort of airline-ification of your internet service... Want streaming?  Extra.  Want access to the cloud?  Extra?  Want knees or oxygen with that?  You get the idea.  Oh, did you want You Tube with your internet?)

What's for sure is that ISPs will:

2)  Charge businesses, websites, and streaming services etc. more to reach you.  (Meaning poorer, newer, start-up, and niche guys can't compete with richer, more established, mainstream ones.  That favorite viral video not on Netflix?  That weird genre comic?  That unpopular opinion?  Sloooooow to loooooad.)

3)  "Fast" and "slow" lanes (AKA decent versus crummy service) add up to de facto censorship.  

Not political censorship necessarily, but, for instance, you might have a bad connection when ordering pizza from Dominos... and a strangely good connection to Pizza Hut.  So you'll start ordering more Pizza Hut.  If your internet provider just happens to get kickbacks from them...?  Pure coincidence!

That's the obviously profitable commercial censorship, that profit motives will determine what you can or cannot see online.  But with all these dark money PACs around it's only a matter of time (think seconds) before some ISP is paid to speed up one political party's ads or trash talk.  Heck, if a Koch Brother or a Soros own a big percent of an internet corp. they might even tilt that scale for free.  Your news and then your political and social views will be warped by what Big Internet Brother wants you to see.


The internet is the conduit through which most of our lives now travel - do we want a filter to collect more money for our ISPs clogging it up?  

Polluting it?


Call your representatives in Congress.  Explain this stupidity to them!  Because your protest is the only thing possibly stopping this.  You got less than two days.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


A short post.  It's been a while since I've blogged, mostly due to a glut of deadlines and turkey and, well, of pumpkin pie too.  

But today's news requires note:

Someone I know has been fired for sexual harassment.

At this post-Weinstein moment in America some men are now being held to account for long-time bad behavior.  This particular man is - or was - in the DFW theater world.  I've worked with him.  Never saw anything untoward... but then I'm not his target audience, being old enough to be his mother. But lots of stories are bubbling up.  Many young actresses were mistreated.  The accusations seem undeniable.


Why do some men use power to harass women or other men or even children in this way?  Are any women creating comparable messes of power and sex?  Why hurt others in such a way?  Why risk career and reputation?  

But then, until now, it just hasn't been much of a risk has it?

For me the most sickening chicken coming home to roost is that, though I never saw or heard a hint of this behavior from this man, I could instantly - instantly! - see it as true.  

Part of me just sighed...   

Sure.  It fits. 

Because the guy had a preening self-regard that just radiated.  I didn't guess at that ego acting out in this way (in hindsight, duh), but I never trusted him to have my back professionally.  Or to act from abstract fairness or such...  He just didn't seem the type.  

But this type?  Well, I would have expected him to be smarter is all.  He is very clever and talented.  Plus big ego.  That I noticed.  If he also had virtue or nobility of character or kindness I never noticed...   

And isn't that a sad and dishonorable thing.  

New Year's Resolution: to live in such a way that, if evil things are ever reported of me, no one says, "Sure.  It fits."

And can that resolution start today please?  In a year when... (picking just the latest outrage), a major political party backs an accused child molester, maybe we all need to start behaving ourselves better.  Agreed?

ADDENDUM:  Is this post fair?  What about presumption of innocence?  The question troubles me.  I haven't met the witnesses or heard the evidence but one theater has and fired him because of it.  Several others have fired him from directing jobs.  Or suspended him from membership until this is investigated.  Am I just piling on?  Yes, I suppose I am.  I believe the women.  The reported facts just sound so likely.  And, knowing the man a little, I just can't put my own experience up in defense.  So...  I hope I'm not being unjust.

ADDENDUM #2:  Having read further into this matter, I am now sure I have been fair... indeed too kind.  

The accusations, while probably not criminal, are vile and involve very young women - college and perhaps even high school students - who were either under his authority as a director or a mentor or to some degree under his power as one who could recommend or hire actors.  Some he contacted out of the blue using confidential information from head shots!  (Betraying both the women and his employer, DTC...  And what about them, huh?  What did they know?)  Read more HERE at TheaterJones if you need details.

So how was I too kind?  By calling him "Him" not by name:

Lee Trull

Tell you what, disowning a theater company member for disgraceful conduct kinda puts a damper on the holiday party.