Not so much a how-to-direct book but reflections on a long career directing plays. Presented in the form of aphorisms, apercu, questions, maxims, dialogues and miniature essays aimed at the vocational rather than the career director. Usher emphasizes the reality of life as a theatre director. Directing vocationally is a state of mind, an attitude to life, a philosophical adventure. Reflections on Directing: A Miscellany is about survival: how to remain creative in good times and bad; how to remain alive as a director in any circumstance. Commenting extensively on the process of acting, Shakespeare and the classics, working with writers and designers, directing techniques, the trials and tribulations of working with others, the book is an aid to reflection for readers. Includes maxims such as: 'Only direct if you can do nothing else.' 'Directors: People with incurable cases of writer's block.' 'Direct plays whose authors know more than you do.'
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The two decades between 1913 and 1933 saw an unprecedented boom in Russian theatre culture, ignited by the avant-garde movement sweeping through the art world. As artistic, literary and musical traditions underwent a shattering transformation against the backdrop of the First World War and the Russian Revolutions, artists from many different creative disciplines converged on Russian theatre to produce a remarkable flowering of radical, visionary and experimental design for performance. Such artists included Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko, Sergei Eisenstein, Vladimir Tatlin, Alexandra Exter, El Lissitzky, Liubov Popova and Varvara Stepanova. This book, published alongside a major exhibition at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, in association with the Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum in Moscow, opens with nine essays by experts from Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Then follows over 150 sumptuously reproduced, full-colour set and costume designs from leading artists and designers of the period, many of which have never been published before. Edited by John E. Bowlt, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Southern California, the result is an astonishing record of a period of creative innovation that redefined not only what was possible in theatre and the avant-garde, but in wider artistic practices too. It will be of interest both to theatregoers and art historians, as well as current and future designers seeking inspiration for their own work.
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David Barnett invites readers, students and theatre-makers to discover new ways of apprehending and making use of Brecht in this clear and accessible study of Brecht's theories and practices. The book analyses how Brecht's ideas can come alive in rehearsal and performance, and reveals just how carefully Brecht realized his vision of a politicized, interventionist theatre. What emerges is a nuanced understanding of Brecht's concepts, his work with actors and his approaches to directing. The reader is encouraged to engage with his method which sought to 'make theatre politically', in order to appreciate the innovations he introduced into his stagecraft. Barnett provides many examples of how Brecht's ideas can be staged, and the final chapter takes a closer look at two very different plays: one written by Brecht and one by a playwright with no acknowledged connection to Brecht. Through an interrogation of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and Patrick Marber's Closer, Barnett asks how a Brechtian approach can enliven and illuminate production.
Fear and embarrassment prevent frank and meaningful communication on the topic of sex. Participatory theatre can break the uncomfortable silence, and with over 700 performances across Canada, Jane Heather's award-winning play Are We There Yet? has been an effective tool for teaching teen sexuality since 1998. The play and accompanying educational program were the subject of a major impact assessment where researchers from many disciplines examined how and why theatre can make change. This comprehensive, well-organized volume by two leading experts in community-based theatre offers a rich diversity of material and analysis. Theatre, Teens, Sex Ed will be a valuable resource for academics, practitioners, and specialist readerships in the fields of theatre, sex education, sociology, and public health. The play appears in the volume and is available separately as a reproducible PDF. A video production of examples of theatrical participation is included on a pocketed DVD. Contributors: Shaniff Esmail, Brenda Munro, Tracy L. Bear, James McKinnon, and the Are We There Yet? Community-University Research Alliance. Jan Selman is Professor in the Department of Drama at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She directs contemporary and original theatrical work. Jane Heather is a playwright and Associate Professor in the Department of Drama at the University of Alberta. Both have worked extensively creating theatre for change in collaboration with communities.
'Ah! The Fringe! I can't think of a more delightful way of putting my liver, bank account, relationship, complexion, and mental stability under the greatest strain they've ever known!' Mel Giedroyc It is the world's largest arts festival, attracting everyone from student first-timers to Hollywood stars. Thrilling, inspiring and bewildering in equal measure, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe can make you a star or break your bank. So what is the secret of making it work for you? The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide draws on the experiences of the festival's leading figures - their disasters as well as their triumphs - to take you step by step through the process of making your show a success in the Scottish capital. From choosing a venue to keeping on top of the budget, from sorting out accommodation to securing the best press coverage, from generating word of mouth to making the most of a hit, this unique practical guide for performers, directors and producers helps you get your show the audience it deserves. Among those sharing their expert advice are playwright Simon Stephens, comedian Phil Nichol, actor Siobhan Redmond, producer Guy Masterson, Tiger Lillies front manMartyn Jacques, theatre critic Lyn Gardner, Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award director Nica Burns, as well as the directors of all the major Fringe venues, top press officers, international promoters and insiders from the Fringe Society itself. The foreword is written by playwright Mark Ravenhill.
"All of us in the arts field are hungry to improve our skills in arts management. The grim tenor of the times makes this witty and fun guide even more valuable to us all!" Ben Cameron, Former Executive Director, Theater Communications Group "Dr. Jim Volz knows how to organize, how to manage, how to motivate, how to assign priorities. In short, he knows how to get the job done." Abe J. Bassett, Former Dean, Indiana University/Purdue University Jim Volz is one of America's leading theatre consultants with over three decades of work with theatre, dance, music, museum and arts center management. Now, Jim Volz brings his expertise to anyone who works in arts management, from novices to middle managers to executive directors. How to Run a Theater is a unique, dynamic, and savvy guide to building an arts institution that works. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience, here is practical advice on a variety of management skills: Financial Management; Personnel Management; Fundraising Development; Board of Trustees Communications; and Marketing & Audience Development. This new edition is thoroughly updated and revised and now includes a Board of Trustee Contract, new budget exercise with ticket income formulae and the use of social networking for marketing and fundraising.
Feeling despondent about the acting profession? Been out of work for longer than you care to remember? Starting to resent the injustices of the job and the success of other actors? If so, An Attitude for Acting will inspire you to break out of the cycle of despondency and start to view yourself as a creative and autonomous individual who is valuable and employable.
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"Technical Drawing for Stage Design" explains the importance of drawing in the design process, revealing how the initial two-dimensional drawing is a crucial building block in creating the scale model that in turn will develop into the stage set - that will transport the audience into another world.
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"Stage Management: The Essential Handbook" is aimed at students, graduates and all aspirants to stage management, amateur or professional, whether the production is on a large or small scale. Complete with charts and helpful checklists, it takes the reader through a typical production week by week.
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"She is the most wonderfully inventive and brilliantly talented designer" Dame Judi Dench on Clancy. Deirdre Clancy is one of the most experienced and accomplished costume designers in the business. In this book, she gives her inside knowledge of designing for stage and screen, which includes television, film, theatre and opera. She includes a brief illustrated history of costume design - from the Greeks to Lady Gaga - an invaluable guide for students and current designers. Part Two takes the reader through the design process: how you go about doing it, and the different strands of costume design - from contemporary clothes through to period costume, how to communicate with the audience, designing on paper and with Photoshop or on an iPad and how to share and communicate your ideas and well as mood boards and collages for inspiration. Part Three is about the world of costume design - what it involves and how to get into the field, who does what and the differences between working for stage and screen productions. Clancy advises on budgets and improvisation and covers all the practicalities and behind-the-scenes tips. Part Four looks at period costume from the Dark Ages up to the twentieth century, encompassing authenticity and feasibility. Finally, Part Five looks at individual case studies in depth, including opera and Shakespeare productions. Packed with great drawings and case studies, this is an essential book for any student or professional costume designer looking for additional inside advice. Whether you are a designer for the stage or screen, this book has something new for you with advice from one of the best in the business.
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In 1971, Michael Blakemore joined the National Theatre as Associate Director under Laurence Olivier. The National, still based at the Old Vic, was at a moment of transition awaiting the move to its vast new home on the South Bank. Relying on generous subsidy, it would need an extensive network of supporters in high places. Olivier, a scrupulous and brilliant autocrat from a previous generation, was not the man to deal with these political ramifications. His tenure began to unravel and, behind his back, Peter Hall was appointed to replace him in 1973. As in other aspects of British life, the ethos of public service, which Olivier espoused, was in retreat. Having staged eight productions for the National, Blakemore found himself increasingly uncomfortable under Hall's regime. Stage Blood is the candid and at times painfully funny story of the events that led to his dramatic exit in 1976. He recalls the theatrical triumphs and flops, his volatile relationship with Olivier including directing him in Long Day's Journey into Night, the extravagant dinners in Hall's Barbican flat with Harold Pinter, Jonathan Miller and the other associates, the opening of the new building, and Blakemore's brave and misrepresented decision to speak out. He would not return to the National for fifteen years.
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In the world of Fringe (or Off-Off Broadway) theatre, a strong debate has been raging for years - when you're producing a low/no-budget production, how on earth can you make it happen and still treat everyone involved in an open, honest and ethical manner? Where do you stand with profit-share productions when you can't afford to pay Union minimums? Open Book Theatre Management, along with its free online resources of instructional budget spreadsheets, is the first book ever to show you exactly how to mount a theatre production without losing either your integrity or your shirt. It is aimed at actors, directors and producers in the early stages of their careers; drama schools; and further and higher education establishments. The methodologies outlined in the book are transferable across all countries in which arts funding is difficult to secure. The time for going to the Establishment with the begging bowl is over. There need be no more excuses. The author will even show you how to start your own theatre company for only a tenner???
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Unbuttoned: The Art and Artists of Theatrical Costume Design documents the creative journey of costume creation from concept to performance. Each chapter provides an overview of the process, including designing and shopping; draping, cutting, dyeing, and painting; and beading, sewing, and creating embellishments and accessories. This book features interviews with practitioners from Broadway and regional theatres to opera and ballet companies, offering valuable insights into the costume design profession. Exceptional behind-the-scenes photography illustrates top costume designers and craftspeople at work, along with gorgeous costumes in progress.
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The voice traverses Beckett's work in its entirety, defining its space and its structure. Emanating from an indeterminate source situated outside the narrators and characters, while permeating the very words they utter, it proves to be incessant. It can alternatively be violently intrusive, or embody a calming presence. Literary creation will be charged with transforming the mortification it inflicts into a vivifying relationship to language. In the exploration undertaken here, Lacanian psychoanalysis offers the means to approach the voice's multiple and fundamentally paradoxical facets with regards to language that founds the subject's vital relation to existence. Far from seeking to impose a rigid and purely abstract framework, this study aims to highlight the singularity and complexity of Beckett's work, and to outline a potentially vast field of investigation.
You had to decide to let yourself be turned upside down, you had to accept to see the idea you had forged about yourself progressively shatter. In the summer of 1969, at 19 years old, Didier Mouturat gave up on college, shattering his parents hopes that he follow a safe and conventional course. Fresh from the wild Parisian student revolt of 1968, with its street battles and slogans, he set out to find a life that would be truly alive, deciding to be a classical actor. When he met Cyrille Dives, however, the universe of masks quietly turned his world upside down. This book describes Mouturats apprenticeship to a unique theater artist. In the 1970s and early 80s, Dives created a theater of masks, a Western parallel to Japanese Noh. Dives was a true bohemian artist, a sculptor of masks, a painter and theatrical director. Cyrille Dives was also a spiritual master. Mouturats apprenticeship encompassed everything from walking in a way that brings a mask to life to cultivating a beginners mind. Slowly and subtly, the theater apprenticeship became an encounter with the deeper truth of his own being. I am speaking of an intimate, progressive discovery that we are not masters of our own being that it is only the result of a system of reactions that tyrannize us. Mouturat becomes Divess right-hand man, helping establish a theater and a school of masks. That work is evident here in enchanting illustrations, as well as words. Yet as translated by the scholar and author Roger Lipsey, Mouturat also offers a pithy chronicle of a search for meaning and inner being.
Opera is nowadays performed worldwide. But as an art form it is little understood by performers and audiences alike. The Crafty Art of Opera wants to change that. Here, Michael Hampe brings glimpses of the director's work to a wider audience, uncovering the many techniques and rules that should inform an opera's staging: the need for singers to know their orchestra, the importance of space around singers, the gestures of languages, what we all can learn from Mozart, and the primacy of sense over effect, to name but a few. He shows how stories, through music, become tangible and real.BR> Packed with many anecdotes from the author's luminous career, this book is dedicated to opera-lovers who want to understand 'how it is done'; to opera-makers who want to better understand their craft; and, last but not least, to those who loathe opera, in order to prove them wrong. Eminently readable, it brings both insight and wit from a life spent in opera as director and teacher. MICHAEL HAMPE is an internationally acclaimed opera stage director. The Crafty Art of Opera was published in German as Opernschule.
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The town of Port Talbot has long been seen (quite literally) as synonymous with the steel industry. Yet it also has another claim to fame as the actors' capital of Wales. It has produced a remarkable number of actors since the inter-war years. Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins and Michael Sheen head the glittering cast but there are many others including early stars such as Ronald Lewis and Ivor Emmanuel, more recent figures like Rob Brydon and Di Botcher as well as a cluster of exciting young actorsstarting to make their names in the West End and on the big and small screen.This book suggests explanations for this phenomenon. Its author is a historical biographer who hails from Port Talbot and has done extensive research including numerous interviews. It explores the provision of educational and cultural facilities for young people over the years and demonstrates a commitment to drama that is deeply embedded in the town's history.It tells in some depth the stories of the super-stars but in a novel way, focusing on how they emerged and on those who nurtured their talent, presenting the actors as part of a tradition that was set in motion even before Richard Burton began to make his mark. It surveys the careers of fifty actors from Port Talbot and it considers what its most famous stars have put back into their community, culminating in the spectacular three-day event of Easter 2011 when Michael Sheen resurrected Port Talbot's pride and hopes through the immersive theatrical experience of The Passion.Written at a time of mixed fortunes for actors when funding for training is threatened yet opportunities for theatre and film work are expanding within Wales, this book puts centre-stage a town, its actors and those who guide them and so offers a new kind of cultural history. Such an approach also raises wider questions about the importance of the arts and of drama in particular to the wellbeing of communities.
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In this volume of the Good Audition Guides, you'll find fifty fantastic speeches for women, all written since the year 2000, by some of our most exciting dramatic voices. Playwrights featured in Contemporary Monologues for Women include Mike Bartlett, Alexi Kaye Campbell, Caryl Churchill, Helen Edmundson, debbie tucker green, Ella Hickson, Lucy Kirkwood, Rona Munro, Joanna Murray-Smith and Enda Walsh, and the plays themselves were premiered at the very best theatres across the UK including the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Bush, Soho and Hampstead Theatres, Manchester Royal Exchange, the Traverse in Edinburgh, the Abbey in Dublin, and many on the stages of the Royal Court. Drawing on her experience as an actor, director and teacher at several leading drama schools, Trilby James prefaces each speech with a thorough introduction including the vital information you need to place the piece in context (the who, what, when, where and why) and suggestions about how to perform the scene to its maximum effect (including the character's objectives and keywords). Contemporary Monologues for Women also features an introduction on the whole process of selecting and preparing your speech, and approaching the audition itself. The result is the most comprehensive and useful contemporary monologue book now available.
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In this volume of the Good Audition Guides, you'll find fifty fantastic speeches for men, all written since the year 2000, by some of our most exciting dramatic voices. Playwrights featured in Contemporary Monologues for Men include Howard Brenton, Jez Butterworth, Alexi Kaye Campbell, Caryl Churchill, Ariel Dorfman, Ella Hickson, Lucy Kirkwood, Bruce Norris, Jack Thorne and Enda Walsh, and the plays themselves were premiered at the very best theatres across the UK including the National Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse, the Bush and the Young Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange, Birmingham Rep, the Traverse in Edinburgh, and many on the stages of the Royal Court. Drawing on her experience as an actor, director and teacher at several leading drama schools, Trilby James prefaces each speech with a thorough introduction including the vital information you need to place the piece in context (the who, what, when, where and why) and suggestions about how to perform the scene to its maximum effect (including the character's objectives and keywords). Contemporary Monologues for Men also features an introduction on the whole process of selecting and preparing your speech, and approaching the audition itself. The result is the most comprehensive and useful contemporary monologue book now available.
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Bertolt Brecht's silent Kattrin in Mother Courage, or the disability performance lessons of his Peachum in The Threepenny Opera; Tennessee Williams' limping Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and hard-of-hearing Bodey in A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur; Samuel Beckett's blind Hamm and his physically disabled parents Nagg and Nell in Endgame - these and many further examples attest to disability's critical place in modern drama. This Companion explores how disability performance studies and theatre practice provoke new debate about the place of disability in these works. The book traces the local and international processes and tensions at play in disability theatre, and offers a critical investigation of the challenges its aesthetics pose to mainstream and traditional practice. The book's first part surveys disability theatre's primary principles, critical terms, internal debates and key challenges to theatre practice. Examining specific disability theatre productions of modern drama, it also suggests how disability has been re-envisaged and embodied on stage. In the book's second part, leading disability studies scholars and disability theatre practitioners analyse and creatively re-imagine modern drama, demonstrating how disability aesthetics press practitioners and scholars to rethink these works in generative, valuable and timely ways.
Over the past decades there has been a resurgence of interest in Chekhov's acting technique. The original publishers of his fundamental text, To the Actor, removed most of the author's references to Rudolf Steiner, but recent studies acknowledge Chekhov's personal interest in anthroposophy as the source of his artistic inspiration. Dawn Langman explores the fundamentals of Chekhov's psycho-physical technique and the metaphysical principles on which it is based. She examines this technique in relation to the specific challenges and gifts provided by the actor's constitution of body, soul and spirit, and in the context of the canon of great poetic and dramatic texts - illuminated by Steiner's insights into humanity's evolving consciousness. The Art of Acting lays the foundation for the second and third books in her series, in which Langman explores Rudolf Steiner's art of speech and its integration with Michael Chekhov's methodology. Together, these books offer a contemporary, spiritually-enlivened path of development for the actor, in which the combined insights of Steiner and Chekhov lead to new possibilities for the performing arts.
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A revised and updated edition of Bella Merlin's essential guide to Stanislavsky. The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit collects together for the first time the terms and ideas developed by Stanislavsky throughout his career. It is organised into three sections: Actor-Training, Rehearsal Processes and Performance Practices. Key terms are explained and defined as they naturally occur in this process. They are illustrated with examples from both his own work and that of other practitioners. Each stage of the process is explored with sequences of practical exercises designed to help today's actors and students become thoroughly familiar with the tools in Stanislavsky's toolkit. 'Bella Merlin magically converts her extensive knowledge into real-world practice and on-the-floor technique. This new edition is a necessary and lively resource for any theatre practitioner.' David Chambers, Professor of Directing, Yale School of Drama 'One of the essential books about acting for both professionals and students - brings new clarity to unlocking what Stanislavsky means for actors today.' Michael Earley, Principal, Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance
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British theatre is booming. But where do these beautiful buildings and exciting plays come from? And when did the story start? To find out we time travel back to the age of the first Queen Elizabeth in the sixteenth century, four hundred years ago when there was not a single theatre in the land. In the company of a series of well-characterised fictional guides, the eight chapters of the book explore how British theatre began, grew up and developed from the 1550s to the 1950s. The Time-Traveller's Guide to British Theatre tells the story of the movers and shakers, the buildings, the playwrights, the plays and the audiences that make British theatre what it is today. It covers all the great names - from Shakespeare to Terence Rattigan, by way of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw - and the classic plays, many of which are still revived today, visits the venues and tells their dramatic stories. It is an accessible, journalistic account of this subject which, while based firmly on extensive research and historical accuracy, describes five centuries of British creativity in an interesting and relevant way. It is celebratory in tone, journalistic in style and accurate in content.
- RRP £9.99
In 2005, a group of Afghan actors endeavored to create an unusual dramatic performance--one that would bring theater to a region wounded after years of war with the Taliban and offer hope for healing. "A Night in the Emperor's Garden" is the captivating account of their resulting play and a rich exploration of the region's culture. In preparation, for five months, the group tirelessly reworked Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost" into their own Dari language while the members brought their own experiences to the interpretation. One actor was a police detective and widow determined to create images of strong women. Another had trained at Kabul University before fleeing to Pakistan as a refugee. A third had played the title role in the acclaimed film "Osama," yet was a beggar who could barely read and write. Joined by a French actress who served as director and several other enthusiasts, these actors performed before royalty and street vendors alike for one night amid the ruins of a magnificent garden laid out five centuries earlier by Emperor Babur. For the first time in thirty years, men and women stood on stage together as they worked toward a new era in Afghanistan. Qais Akbar Omar and Stephen Landrigan, both involved in the production, have captured its exuberance and optimism along with the actors' joys and sorrows in the decade following the play. Revealing a side of Afghanistan largely unknown to outsiders, "A Night in the Emperor's Garden" tells the magical story of an artistic achievement with universal appeal.
- RRP £14.99
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