What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

It's summer!  There's still time to catch a show at your favorite summer theatre!
It’s summer! There’s still time to catch a show at your favorite summer theatre!

Whether you are a theatre student in high school or college, a teacher of theatre or English or an educator that uses theatre, or a professional working in the business, the summer is a great time to improve skills, work on projects, and develop new methods and techniques. So what did you do with your time this summer? Here are some things you could have done. If you haven’t done any of these things, there’s still some time. Take advantage of the final few weeks.

Read Some New Plays

Reading or even re-reading plays is entertaining, thought provoking, and relaxing.
Reading or even re-reading plays is entertaining, thought provoking, and relaxing.

The summer is a fantastic time to read, and if you’re in the theatre or interested in it, the primary source material is found in play scripts. Read some of the classics by Aristophanes, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, Menander, Plautus, Terrence, Jonson, Shakespeare, and others, new works by any host of playwrights, and modern classics.

A few of the American classics that should be on your reading list are:

  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • Beyond the Horizon
  • The Children’s Hour
  • You Can’t Take It with You
  • Zoo Story
  • Dutchman
  • The Time of Your Life
  • Machinal
  • Trifles
  • Waiting for Lefty
  • Long Days Journey Into Night
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • Death of a Salesman
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • The Crucible

Take a Workshop or Class

Challenge yourself by taking a workshop.
Challenge yourself by taking a workshop.

Is there some new area you would like to investigate or experience, a new technique or methodology you would enjoy learning, or a new process or skill you’d find challenging. It’s great to get engaged in a class or workshop that offers you experience and knowledge that you can utilize and share throughout the rest of the year.

Summer Theatre

Going to summer theatre, volunteering, interning, or getting paid to work at one are all on the list. Going to a new or different place where you can see and engage other professionals, students, and teachers can be a wonderful way to recharge your creative batteries and learn. Many summer theatres are in resort areas away from the madding crowd. The ability to connect with nature while at a theatre makes the summer theatre scene very special.

Update Your Resume and/or Website

What new skills might you put on your resume?
What new skills might you put on your resume?

You know that you need to do it: get your latest projects, achievements, and awards on your resume and website, but you constantly put it off. There’s no time like the summer to do this. Pour yourself an iced tea, lemonade, or iced coffee and hunker down with your site and/or resume and make all of that new, impressive information available to those who want to know more about you.

Make Five New Contacts

The summer is an ideal time to make new contacts at those workshops, classes, and summer theatres at which you’ve been working or that you have been attending. If you connect with someone professionally make sure that you add them to your contacts by getting their email, becoming a Facebook friend, adding them to your LinkedIn account, and/or following them on Twitter. Also, try to stay in touch with them every three to six months, asking them what they are up to and sharing your latest projects and achievements with them.

Get Away from It All

Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Finally, and this is important, take some time in the summer to simply get away from everything and do something relaxing. Get out of the theatre for a while, center yourself, and enjoy a hobby, trip, or visits with friends. It’s the summer, and those lazy, hazy days don’t last forever.

Hopefully, you’ve used your time wisely this summer. If you feel you have not, there’s always next year. Bookmark this page and review it next March in order to get all of your ducks in a row for June, July, and August. Hope you’ve had a truly productive and fun summer.