Projections on Stage Part I: How do I make them brighter?

The Butter Gun I’m not saying I do, but I am not saying that I do not.   In my home, on my breakfast table, I may,  or I may not have a gun that shoots butter.   If I did have

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Browser-Based Light Labs

Demonstrating theatrical lighting in an educational environment takes a lot of setup.  I have some standard lectures where I take my entire class down to one of our theatres and spend the class powering different instruments on and off while

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Teaching Students to “Look It Up”

Teaching Students to “Look It Up”

How much do you remember of your high school vocabulary lessons? You would write down your word lists, find the parts of speech, the definitions, and put each word into a sentence. This educational tool would help young students to

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The Next-Generation Lightlab for Dance and Proscenium

In 2002, I created a set of browser-based light labs. These demonstrated the principals of lighting design, as well as creating an accessible place where people can experiment with light. There are some pros and cons to a browser-based lab.

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Accessing Broadway: Learning experiences that bring life and light to the world of theatre.

Broadway Educators is hosted and maintained by All Tickets, Inc., which specializes in group experiences and educational theatre experiences in New York City. One of the services offered by All Tickets, Inc. is access to a huge range of workshops

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The Drama Machine

Behold, The Drama Machine.  This is an interactive application that demonstrates the variables that we always deal with in production.  It randomly combines factors: Script, Director’s Concept, Venue, Budget, and Time. It churns out the circumstances for a hypothetical production

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

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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What is a Career in the Professional Theatre?

Students in high school and even in college are often confused as to what a career in the theatre really means? Although it is hard to believe, many still think that to have a professional theatre career you must go

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Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a true arts complex, offering performances in a range of disciplines including music, dance and theatre. The Center, which is also a rich resource for theatre historians, offers daily tours that include special group

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Directing Actors: Creating Contagious Confidence in Performers

Acting is not an easy job and just about any actor, no matter what their level of training and accomplishment may be, has insecurities that can undermine their success. One of the things that a director can do is instill

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Teachers Can Help Student Actors Create a Positive Self-Image

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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Script Analysis Basics for Students: Understanding the Play and Plot, Part Two

In Part One of this four-part series, we defined formalist script analysis and discussed the importance of utilizing this interpretative too in preparing for production. It is an essential tool for directors and other artists, such as designers and actors,

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Script Analysis Basics for Students: Understanding the Play, Part One

Formalist script analysis for production is an important skill for directors, designers, and actors to master. Although each approaches analysis a little differently, there are foundation elements that everyone in the theatre shares when it comes to analyzing a script

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What Every Student Actor Needs to Know About Being Professional

If you’re a student actor who is serious about being a professional, there are a few things of which you must be aware to succeed. Actually, there are more than a few, but this blog will offer you 5 basic,

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Auditioning for Musical Theatre, Part Two: Material Choices, Type, Accompanists

Know Your Limits Actors should use material at which they excel. If you are auditioning at nine or ten in the morning, be sure you can hit your money notes. If not, choose a different song for that morning. Auditions

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Auditioning for Musical Theatre, Part One: Teaching Auditioning

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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Creative Drama for the Classroom: Side Coaching Actors

Why Side Coaching? Side coaching is the process of giving directions to actors while they are playing a scene. Acting students love side coaching, becomes it forces them to think on their toes. They have to instantly take on whatever

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Reader’s Theatre in the Classroom: Part I, The Basics

What It Is Reader’s Theatre is a fun approach for developing reading confidence in children. It engages kids to engage in oral reading by reading characters in scripts that has been developed from a short story or novel. It is

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Teaching Lessons in Scenic Design: Art from Nothing

I am positive that every scenic designer in the U.S. reading this blog understands the drill: Carefully read the script. Discuss it with the director. Do your research. Take time to conceptualize. Repeat. The process involves engaging in these steps

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Theatre History II Mini-Assignments

This second grouping of theatre history Mini-Assignment covers the period staring at the English Restoration and goes through to the present and the future. These exercises from Sharon Paquette are creative, insightful and fun. View or download the exercises here: Theatre History

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Haiku Creative Assignment

This exercise offers students an innovative way to respond to a production they have seen by creating a haiku. It helps them focus on production specifics and create an intelligent reaction. This is appropriate for college and high school students.

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Design: Experimental Design

  In what is the last of 10 exercises on design aesthetics, professor Rostampour allows for a wide range of experimentation. Students “will experiment with deconstructing a natural phenomenon, an insect.” They then utilize the insect’s form and reconstruct it,

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Design: Progression, a 3D Storyboard

There’s a lot of room for creativity in what is the ninth of 10 design aesthetics exercises from lighting and set design professor Fereshteh Rostampour . Students create a three-dimensional storyboard based on the theme “Progression.” Design process, use of material,

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Design: Mask Design & Creation

Design: Mask Design & Creation

In what is the eighth of 10 exercises focusing on design aesthetics from Associate Professor Rostampour, students design a character mask based on one of the following- Kabuki, ancient Greek, African, Commedia dell´Arte, or virtual game character/anime. They must also

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