This article follows Part III in this series, Projections on Stage Part III: Choices about Screens Projections on stage can be more than just a big square image behind the actors. They can be broken up, spread around, and appear
Much of what we see is the result of complex processes happening in our brains. I had a discussion online yesterday with someone who thought that projectors might be used to darken a screen down by projecting black at it.
This is part three of a series. The previous part is Projections on Stage Part II: Making Good Use of Ordinary Projectors Anything that reflects light – even just a little bit – can be a screen. The bigger question
We use lots of different cables in the theatre. We have speaker cables, microphone cables, and electrical cables. We use DMX cables, ethernet, DVI, extension cords, VGA, HDMI, and displayport cables. Every single one of these has one thing in
This is part two of a series. The first part is Projections on Stage Part I: How do I make them brighter? Design the set around the screens It is easy to think of projections as being just the background behind
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
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
Whether they’re tap dancing, doing a move across the floor, or able to do a million pirouettes in a row, dancing feet are a beautiful thing. As long as they’re doing the right choreography and the student understands their weight
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
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.
Whether you teach voice lessons, acting classes, or musical ensembles… you’ve seen it. The blank stare as your student is performing. They go on complete auto-pilot and are clearly not thinking about the words they’re singing or saying. There are
When I started teaching acting classes, I knew I’d need to be able to start each class with some basic knowledge. The hard part about that is that I have some students who come back to take the same acting
In the spring of 2014, I was working as a guest designer at Auburn, University in Alabama. As a part of a fairly casual conversation during a work-call onstage, an undergraduate set-design student by the name of Sarah asked me
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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,
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
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,
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.
It’s essential that actors understand subtext, including what it is, how it works and how to identify and analyze it. Here is an exercise designed to do just that. You may download the exercise here: Acting subtext exercise. What is Subtext?
Focus: When saying “I love you” has a devastating effect. In this exercise, playwrights create a scene with two characters in which one tells the other that they love them. The statement of love should in some way have a
Paper Masks This particular lesson plan can be used in various classroom settings. Some teachers may opt to use it in an elementary Social Studies class when teaching a unit on Ancient Greece as actors in Greek Theatre wore masks.
When using this exercise be sure to reference this blog post. Tempo How slowly or quickly something occurs, which can be physical, vocal, or internal. I ask a brave student to volunteer for this one, and in a whisper ask
In utilizing this exercise be sure to read this post. Shape This is literally how you shape your body, as well as the shapes you create onstage using the environment around you and other bodies. At this point, I will
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
I found inspiration for the following Reader’s Theatre activity at www.readwritethink.org. Visit this site to discover ways in which you can expand the following activity, for links, and even more Reader’s Theatre ideas to use in the classroom! Reading Rock
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
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
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
Theatre history can be a daunting subject to teach due to the fact that it is expansive, often loaded with facts and many of the classic plays can be difficult to comprehend when read. Here are 8 Mini-Assignments for a
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.
This Collage Creative exercise is geared towards college students but it is also appropriate for those in high school. This is an innovative way to elicit responses to a theatre production. It allows students to create focused responses in a creative
Here are about a dozen theatre activities for various ages. They are easy to do, fun and focus on creativity, collaboration, improvozation and self expression. Great for theatre classes, camps and workshops. Download the PDF of these activities here Copy
Many solid acting exercises are simply an extension of or associated with everyday life. That’s certainly the case with the Three Entrances activity in this blog which was inspired by Uta Hagen’s Three Entrances acting exercise. Here’s a considered