Spreading the Acting Bug to Scriptwriting!

Spreading the Acting Bug to Scriptwriting!

In my blog series, Spreading the Acting Bug, I’ve talked about my experiences working as a theatre teacher for young ones, marketing theatre classes in a non-profit atmosphere, and helping teachers find the right monologue books for actively auditioning kids.

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Noisy High School Students and Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints

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In college, I found that the strongest productions I took part in were the ones that started with exercises in architecture, special awareness, tempo, and topography, key elements to Anne Bogart’s philosophy of Viewpoint Composition. The reason why I enjoyed

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Creative Drama For The Classroom: Line Games

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Pocket Lines: Pulled it Right Out of Their… Pocket The first lines acting game requires a great deal of preparation from the teacher beforehand. As the teacher, you must compile a variety of numerous different brief lines that might be

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Understanding Drama Through Script Writing: Three Exercises

There are various methods you can use to help students better understand a play.

There are many different ways in which instructors of all levels can help students better understand a play. Many times classroom instruction involves discussion, reading aloud, and writing a formal essay about some theme, character, or other aspect of the

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Three Quick Playwriting Exercises that Get Results

Getting students writing quickly can garner solid results and development.

If you’re teaching playwriting, you may be frustrated or perhaps a bit anxiety ridden about ensuring your writers can actually create scripts. In other words, many who teach playwriting for the first time find that they have difficulty in getting

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Public Speaking and Theatrical Techniques

When speaking keeping your audience interested is essential.

Many of us assume that powerful public speakers are simply born with a natural talent for effective presenting. While it is true that some people are better oral communicators than others, anyone can draw on theatrical techniques to improve their

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The Actor’s Dilemma: What Young Actors Need to Learn- Part One

The cast list is up!

If you teach acting on any level and it is related to production and casting plays, then you know that when the cast list goes up there’s bound to be elation, disappointment, anger, and jealously, as well as many other

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Theatre History: A Discussion of Challenges and Remedies, Part II

An active theatre history class can stimulate discovery and discussion.

  In Part I of our three-part series on teaching theatre history, we considered some of the basic challenges that are involved in bringing and delivering what can be a very daunting curriculum to students. There are a lot of

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Theatrical Training and Professionalism: The Power of Being Actively Curious

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There’s something to be said for being curious, especially in an artistic profession such as theatre. By “curious” I mean not just wanting to know something, but being driven to find the answer, no matter what roadblocks arise. Perhaps its

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Theatre: It’s the Human Element

Understanding the human element in a play or musical is key to finding meaning.

Theatre is an art. Although theatre is an art, it’s an art that thrives on connecting directly and immediately with audiences on various levels, including intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. However, at times, it seems as though the theatre intimidates students,

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Theatre Students have to Be Open to New Ideas and Failure

How good are you? How good do you want to be?

Too often high school and college theatre students want the answers now. In other words, they want to know if they are any good at what they do, when they will finally be accomplished, and what the secrets to success

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Theatre History: A Discussion of Challenges and Remedies, Part I

Can you connect your students to theatre history?

In teaching theatre history on the university level to undergraduates, we’re often challenged by feeling the need to relay a mountain of facts that students tend to fairly boring, overwhelming, and inconsequential. Along with the historical information are our primary

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Teaching Directing: Two Different Approaches and Finding a Balance, Part II

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In Part I, of Teaching Directing: Two Different Approaches and Finding a Balance, we focused on the benefits of having directing students work from the outside in. That is, focusing on text, directing skills and techniques, and proper interpretation of

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Of Mice and Men: Discussion Topics for the Classroom, Part 3

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< Theme of Powerlessness The characters in Of Mice and Men are powerless due to various circumstances. For instance, Lennie, although he is employed as a ranch hand due to his physical strength, he is powerless because of his mental

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Of Mice and Men: Discussion Topics for the Classroom, Part 1

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The renowned story Of Mice and Men, based on the 1937 novel by John Steinbeck, is returning to the Broadway stage in April 2014. Of Mice and Men (which is required reading in many schools) is based on Steinbeck’s own

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Teaching Directing: Two Different Approaches and Finding a Balance

Director insights are essential, but where should they come from?

There are various ways to teach directing to students. (That is, if directing is really something that you can actually “teach.”) Directing tends to be filled with challenges, as the stage director has to understand a script in its entirety,

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The Fantasticks: History and Themes for Classroom Discussion, Part 3

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Romantic Fantasy in Moonlight, Cold Reality in Daylight Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt named Act I of The Fantasticks “In the Moonlight” (due to its romantic mood) and Act II “In the Sun,” which is where the audience witnesses what

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The Fantasticks: History and Themes for Classroom Discussion, Part 2

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The Process Tom Jones collaborated with J. Donald Robb on a musical adaptation of Les Romanesques from 1954 to 1956 as Harvey Schmidt was in the Korean War at the time. They originally titled the musical Joy Comes to Dead

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Importance of the Voice in Musical Theatre, Part 1

Confidence ia important for singers.

It is essential for students to learn the importance of the voice on stage. If singers cannot be heard by the audience, what is the point of having any listeners? Yes, it is a huge accomplishment to be able to

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Teachers Can Help Student Actors Create a Positive Self-Image

Hairspray offers insights into body issues.

Over the years, I’ve found that many student actors at the high school and college levels have a very difficult time with their self-image, especially in terms of their physicality. Exactly what they are troubled by depends upon the individual.

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Teaching Commedia dell’ Arte, Part II

Students exploring Commedia dell’ Arte.

Character Walks Since Commedia Dell’ Arte is a physical theatrical art form, it is essential and fun to have students experiment with various ways of moving their bodies. Have the students walk around the classroom as a character of their

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The Fantasticks: Topics for Classroom Discussion, Part One

Rostand wrote Romanesques; his most famous play is Cyrano de Bergerac.

A Timeless Musical The world’s longest running musical, The Fantasticks (written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt), opened off-Broadway in 1954. It all began with the 1894 French play, Les Romanesques by Edmond Rostand, which was essentially the story of

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Teaching Tips: Making Classroom Literature Active and Fun

A bored classroom can be deadly.

When I was in school, I remember enjoying my Literature and English classes the most, but I especially looked forward to the classes where the teachers allowed us students to be involved creatively. Some teachers had us take turns reading

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Teaching Commedia Dell’ Arte, Part I

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Benefits for Students Commedia dell’ Arte is an older theatre style, but it allows students the opportunity to be innovative. Commedia dell’ Arte teaches kids physical discipline, spontaneous use of their imagination, and the ability to think on their feet.

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Teaching Character Education Through Children’s Literature

Probably not the best way to "teach" kids about character.

What is Character Education? Character education is a term used to describe the educating of children in a way that will help them foster the skills necessary to be morally, non-bullying, healthy, successful, and socially acceptable human beings.    

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Auditioning for Musical Theatre, Part One: Teaching Auditioning

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Learning Through the Experience Auditioning for musical theatre can be more stressful and exhausting than preparing for a job interview. In college, I took several audition and musical theatre classes where they did their best to help prepare students for

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Big Fish The Musical: Themes for Classroom Discussion

Lessons learned, teaching Big Fish the Musical

Fathers and Sons, Mothers and Daughters, Parents and Children Based on the 1998 novel by Daniel Wallace, Big Fish The Musical is about a former traveling salesman (Edward Bloom) from the South who has a passion for storytelling. His son,

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Stanislavski Method: Magic If and Illusion of the First Time

In a long run, actors have to keep their performances fresh and in creating their characters they must discover as much as possible about them.

In teaching acting two important concepts that are connected to the Stanislavski method or system are the Magic If and the actors need to create the Illusion of the First Time. Understanding the Magic If can help an actor make

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Acting Styles: The Importance of Having Student Actors Go Beyond Realism

Dame Judi Dench utilizing style.

If you’re a teacher or director working with young actors in high school or an undergraduate college program, then chances are your actors are primarily familiar with scripts that focus overall on realism. If they do know plays that demand

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Teaching Acting: Using Stanislavski’s Three Questions

Three actors playing their objective (Death of a Salesman).

In teaching acting or working with student actors on a show there are some basic techniques that should be stressed in regards to how to create a character that is actively engaged on stage at all times. An important technique

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Broadway Study Guides and the Class Trip

Study guides can shed light.

If you’re a teacher taking a class to see a Broadway musical or play, you may want to utilize a study guide. Broadway study guides can be helpful to teachers. There are a range of study guides available for free

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