Don’t stop the music

first_imgYou never know when inspiration may strike, or why.Just ask Stephen Schwartz. Years ago, the famous lyricist and composer, known for his hit musicals “Godspell” and “Pippin,” was on a snorkeling trip when a friend told him about a book with an interesting spin on the classic “The Wizard of Oz.”“I just thought that’s the best idea I’ve ever heard in my life, and I have to get back to the mainland and get the rights, and I don’t know why,” said Schwartz. Ultimately, he turned the Gregory Maguire novel that turns the story on its head, telling it from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West, into the Broadway megahit musical “Wicked.”Schwartz participated in a conversation on Tuesday (Nov. 30) at Club Oberon along with Diane Paulus, artistic director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.). The discussion, one of a longtime A.R.T. series involving performers, directors, producers, Harvard scholars, and the public, is in step with Paulus’ mission to “expand the boundaries of theater.”In retrospect, Schwartz realized that his connection to “Wicked” involved his identification with the main character, the notion of being an outcast, and the vilification of people in society. But at the time, he told the crowd, he simply envisioned it “on the stage.”Similar to inspirations for his other works, Schwartz said, “in some strange way I can see the whole thing right away.”Paulus agreed with that assessment of the creative process. “I think that’s what I feel when I get work. It’s like sense of the potential of it as a theatrical event,” she said.Together the pair said they sensed the possibilities for “The Blue Flower,” an upcoming production at the A.R.T. The avant-garde tale of love, art, and war is described as a “fusion of Kurt Weil and country-western music.”Schwartz, a consultant for the show, brought it to Paulus’ attention a number of years ago. She called the unique score, with its sense of passion and intelligence, “by far the most exciting music I had heard in years.” The new production, she added, is “exactly right” for the A.R.T. and its mission. “It takes music and theater and storytelling and is pushing the boundaries.”For Paulus and Schwartz, music is an integral part of the theatrical experience. They bristled at the notion offered by some critics that serious theater doesn’t include a score.“For me, the theater is music,” said Paulus. “When you are doing theater,” she added, “you want to take on every possible means of the theatrical event, and for that, music is at the core.”During their talk, they also offered tips to up-and-coming directors and producers in the audience. Paulus said her early experience directing opera and her training as a pianist helped to infuse in her own work a profound connection to music and its importance in storytelling.“What’s so great about an opera or a musical is you have the music, you have double the information giving you signals. … If you have studied an instrument or you can learn about music, it just empowers you.”When it comes to feedback, in essence, the harshest and most general criticisms are the most helpful, said Schwartz. Comments like “I was bored in that scene,” or “You lost me in the whole second half of the second act,” he said, tell you succinctly “what your problem is.”The best way to learn is to write and put on shows, added Schwartz — to work on shows in “any capacity.” He encouraged students interested in the theater to take advantage of Harvard’s “incredibly creative environment.”last_img read more


Supreme Court amends IOTA rule

first_imgSupreme Court amends IOTA rule Mark D. Killian Managing Editor The Florida Supreme Court has amended Bar rules to open the IOTA program to financial institutions other than banks and require those holding the trust accounts to pay interest rates or dividends commensurate with those offered to their non-IOTA depositors.“Not only does this amendment have the unanimous endorsement of the [Bar] Board of Governors, but nearly all of the comments received have been overwhelmingly in favor of the purpose behind the amendments,” the unanimous court said in its June 14 opinion amending Rules 5-1.1(e). Case no. SC01-851.The Florida Bar Foundation sought the amendment as a way to increase IOTA revenues by broadening the types of institutions that may participate in IOTA. Florida Bar Foundation President A. Hamilton Cooke said the new provision has the potential to double the money generated by the IOTA program and includes language that requires any institution that wants to handle IOTA accounts to offer the same market rate of interest or dividends on products available to non-IOTA depositors with comparable balances. “We are extremely pleased by the court’s action,” Cooke said. “Of course, the real beneficiaries are the individuals and families served by IOTA legal aid grantees. The Foundation will work directly with banks and savings and loan associations, which currently hold IOTA accounts, to implement the new rule. July 1, 2001 Managing Editor Regular News Supreme Court amends IOTA rulecenter_img “The Florida Banker’s Association was very helpful in this whole process, and we look forward to working cooperatively with our bank and savings and loan association partners, and to a smooth transition,” he added. “We also expect to meet very shortly with investment companies to familiarize them with the IOTA program and the fact that IOTA programs in several other large states have expressed interest in securing similar rule amendments.”Under the plan, the Foundation, not the lawyer, will be responsible for initiating steps to implement the new rule and for monitoring usage of banks’ and financial services companies’ existing products available to non-IOTA depositors, in order to determine compliance with the IOTA rule.In accordance with the Foundation’s request, the court made the amendment effective July 14.“However, those institutions currently holding IOTA accounts that elect to participate in IOTA under the new rule shall be provided six months to comply with the new eligibility requirements,” the court said. “The Foundation shall be charged with the responsibility of determining the initial and continuing eligibility of banks, savings and loan associations, and investment companies to hold IOTA accounts in accordance with the criteria set forth in the rule.”The old rule permitted only banks or authorized savings and loan associations to participate in IOTA. Under the new amendments, open-end investment companies will be allowed to qualify as eligible institutions in which IOTA accounts may be established. The amendment also allows the use of government money market funds for IOTA funds; however, only money market funds that are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and are comprised solely of United States government securities, are permitted for use in the IOTA program. The court also said only those money market funds with a total asset value of at least $250 million would be eligible to participate.Foundation Executive Director Jane Curran said the rule change means financial services companies such as Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch will be able to hold IOTA accounts.Under the current program, Curran said, total IOTA revenue will amount to about $11 million this year, and has been steadily falling since the mid-1990s as interest rates have waned and bank service charges have risen. At its peak, IOTA was generating about $19 million a year for legal aid, administration of justice, and law student assistance programs. Due to the combination of low interest rates and high services changes, the Foundation has been forced to reduce grants by 15 percent over the past two years.The court also said in light of the concerns expressed in the comment of the Florida Bankers Association, the final rule was clarified to reflect the intent that there be interest parity between IOTA accounts and non-IOTA accounts held in the same financial institution.“The Foundation recognizes, however, that the interest rates offered are not based on account balance alone,” the court said.“We adopt the FBA’s suggested revisions to proposed subdivision (e)(5)(A) and add proposed subdivision (B) to the rule,” the court said. “The Foundation has indicated it has no objection to the FBA’s suggested revisions. We thank the FBA for its assistance, cooperation and constructive suggestions.”As part of the plan, the Foundation also said it will independently work with banks and financial services companies to develop appropriate products which are in compliance with the IOTA rule.That would include providing them computer and technical support needed to remit IOTA earnings to the Foundation and conduct the required reporting.More information about how the new IOTA rule will operate can be found on the Bar’s website at A. Hamilton Cooke last_img read more


Hapag-Lloyd, ONE to Join TradeLens

first_imgGerman container shipping major Hapag-Lloyd and Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (ONE) will join the blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform TradeLens, jointly developed by Maersk and IBM.The world’s fifth and sixth largest carriers, respectively, join CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, both of which recently revealed that they are becoming part of TradeLens. With these additions, the scope of the platform now extends to more than half of the world’s ocean container cargo.“Expanding digital collaboration is critical to the evolution of the container shipping industry,” said Martin Gnass, Managing Director Information Technology at Hapag-Lloyd.“TradeLens has made significant progress in launching a much-needed transformation in the industry, including its partnership model. Now, with five of the world’s six largest carriers committed to the platform, not to mention many other ecosystem participants, we can collectively accelerate that transformation to provide greater trust, transparency and collaboration across supply chains and help promote global trade.”The addition of these two global carriers will help drive further adoption of TradeLens around the world now that TradeLens customers have access to major carriers in all three leading global vessel sharing alliances on the platform, Maersk explained.Hapag-Lloyd and ONE will each operate a blockchain node, participate in consensus to validate transactions, host data, and assume a critical role of acting as Trust Anchors, or validators, for the network. Both companies will be represented on the TradeLens Advisory Board, which will include members across the supply chain to advise on standards for neutrality and openness.last_img read more


Arsenal investigating Lacazette over balloon incident

first_imgRelatedPosts Runarsson joins Arsenal on four-year deal Arsenal, Wolves want Michael Olise Akpom pens Middlesbrough loan deal Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette is being investigated by the club after a video emerged online where he is seen inhaling gas from a balloon, according to media reports on Sunday.The video, circulated online, showed the 28-year-old French striker appearing to inhale from the balloon and sitting back as his eyes close. “This is a private matter which we are taking seriously. It will be handled internally,” the club said in a statement.The incident comes after several of the club’s players were warned in December 2018 for inhaling gas from balloons, believed to be nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”.That was after CCTV footage of a private party at a club in August emerged.Reuters/NAN.Tags: Alexander LacazetteArsenalBalooncctvLaughing Gaslast_img read more


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