The Importance of Planning and Setting Goals for Theatre Students

If you’re a theatre student studying at a college or a conservatory, there are certain keys that will help you achieve success in becoming a professional in the field. How do you become a working theatre professional? The same way

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Theatre: It’s the Human Element

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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An Actor Must Prepare: A Checklist for Student Actors

If you’re an actor who is new to the stage, and you get cast in a show, you may start rehearsals feeling very unprepared. Often when this happens, an actor will show up for rehearsal and as the day progresses

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Theatre Students have to Be Open to New Ideas and Failure

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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Long Island Kindergarten Show Cancelled for College Prep Test: Why This Makes No Sense

It was reported by many news sources, and it made headlines when the principal of the Harley Avenue Elementary School in Elmwood, which is located on Long Island, cancelled the annual kindergarten variety show. Why was it shutdown? This was

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

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

< 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

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

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

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

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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Theatre Training: Knowledge, Education, and Making the Grade

How important are grades when it comes to getting into a college or university in order to pursue theatre training? If you’re a high school student who is a C-minus student but amazingly talented will there be a lot of

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Importance of the Voice in Musical Theatre, Part 1

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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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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Teaching Commedia dell’ Arte, Part II

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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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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The Fantasticks: Topics for Classroom Discussion, Part One

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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Directing the New Play: Some Tips on Working with Playwrights

Directing a new work for the stage can be an exciting, interesting, and overwhelming experience. There are specific challenges that come with the new play process that simply are not associated with established works. The fact is the first time

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Teaching Tips: Making Classroom Literature Active and Fun

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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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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Do You Need a Big Show to Give Students a Rewarding Theatre Experience?

In this article, we’ll focus on theatre training and working with students of just about any age. The title of this piece is a clear indication of the question at hand. Should doing a big show, one with a lot

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Teaching Commedia Dell’ Arte, Part I

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

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 Four, It’s an Art

Attend Theatre Conferences New York City is the primary hub for musical theatre auditions, but actors can also attend various theatre conferences around the country and audition for numerous professional theatre companies at one time. The various theatre conferences work

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University Training: A Theatre Student’s Checklist for Finding the Right Program

It’s that time of year for high school seniors interested in theatre who are looking to find the right college. College application time! If you are a high school student interested in the theatre or a drama teacher or guidance

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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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Advice for Theatre Directors: It’s Not Broadway, Part II

Be Understanding of the Need to Explore In Part I of this two-part series, we looked at how theatre directors working with kids on a show may have unreasonable expectations and how those expectations may work against their production. In

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Stage Directing: Allowing Actors to Use Physical/ Emotional Distance

If you direct students at any level, community members, and/or professionals, you want to give them all the power they possibly can possess on stage. However, many times directors undercut their actors without realizing they are doing so. Often this

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Advice for Camp and School Theatre Directors: It’s Not Broadway, Part 1

A Summer Learning Opportunity This summer, I took on the role of Theatre Director at a summer camp. My task was to direct two musicals in a limited amount of time. The kids were wonderful, but the one thing I

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