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Category: Theatre Education

person wearing headset smiles while surrounded by students
Theatre Education

The production manager

By Mike Lawler A reliable way to determine what theatre professionals actually do is to ask them how they respond when their second cousin from Peoria approaches them at a

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stage curtain
Theatre Education

The technical director

By Mike Lawler “The title technical director,” says Drew Campbell, head of the M.F.A. program in theatrical technology at the University of Texas at Austin, “is a very squirrelly term.

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A person writing at a desk using a writing utensil to mark up a piece of paper
Theatre Education

Working on the engine

The actor’s homework: marking and naming the beats By Jon Jory I know your secret. You did a great job in the audition. You got the part. Then you went

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Two women sword fighting on stage.
Theatre Education

A vicious ballet

Teaching stage violence to student actors By Elizabeth Cobbe For as long as you’ve been teaching, you’ve had in your mind that perfect play to direct—a Shakespearean tragedy, say. Maybe

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lighting rig
Theatre Education

An inspector calls

There are many reasons for this. Sometimes it’s because nobody in the school really understands the rigging system. Or maybe we trust that the system seems to work okay and

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a character pulls the rope of one of three large bells on the stage
Theatre Education

Architects of the stage

By Mike Lawler In many ways, the theatrical scene designer is much like a conventional architect. Like the architect, the designer must be adept at visualizing that which does not

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two people look excitedly at flyers on a billboard
Theatre Education

Choices

Sorting out the differences among undergraduate theatre programs If you’re a high school senior who expects to be studying theatre in college at this time a year from now, you

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a young person describing her portfolio to a college representative
Theatre Education

The portfolio

by Steve Nelson Design and Production students who have their sights set on A-list theatre schools or scholarship dollars have to audition, too. But their audition is more like show-and-tell.

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A page of sheet music for a song.
Theatre Education

Telling a story in three songs

A musical theatre exercise By Maureen Johnson Last year, by the end of the first quarter, my theatre classes had completed their first major project—an evening of short plays. They

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a student focuses a theatrical lighting fixture
Theatre Education

Lighting the gym

By Jennifer Womack and Steve Nelson If you and your students work in a modern, well-equipped theatre, lighting is probably as much a part of a production as any other

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A group of actors sitting in a circle with two standing in front, having a conversation.
Theatre Education

Listening and reacting

Telling a story through actions By Bruce Miller No matter how often I tell my students that acting is about telling the story of the play, too many of them

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Microphone on microphone stand
Theatre Education

Coaching vocal athletes

Taking care of young voices By Wendy DeLeo LeBorgne and Rocco Dal Vera Imagine this scenario for a minute: tech week for the spring musical is in full swing and

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bright hazy stage light beam shines up
Theatre Education

The illuminators

By Mike Lawler The actors might wear their own clothes and put on a show in an existing space with no modification. They might shout at the top of their

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Papers depicting the skeletal view of a human spine on a clipboard.
Theatre Education

Alignment

Stand better, sound better By Antonio Ocampo-Guzman “I can’t hear you!” the director is saying. “You’re mumbling!” And later, “Send your voice to the back of the house!” If you’ve

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a crowd stands and applauds a performance
Theatre Education

Taking care of business

By Mike Lawler Take a moment to think about the last time you visited a theatre to see a show. How did the adventure unfold? First, you probably phoned the

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neon light that says "breathe"
Theatre Education

Breath

By Judylee Vivier We inhale our first breath the moment we are born and embrace life; we exhale our last breath in the moment of death. Breathing is the source

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Five students sitting in desks in a classroom.
Theatre Education

Respect, create, learn

Setting the stage in a new theatre classroom By Gai Jones In my forty years of teaching theatre, I’ve discovered that the first few weeks of any class really set

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classroom of students watching instructor work with another student
Theatre Education

How to tell the truth

An acting game that teaches lying for the stage By Bruce Miller Harold Clurman, the great director and theatre critic, once referred to good acting as “lies like truth.” He

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a white wooden stool on carpet in front of a blue wall
Theatre Education

The prop shop

By Mike Lawler In one sense props is a shortened version of the slang noun propers—which means, basically, respect. For a classic example of its use, just have a listen

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Three students collaborate as they work from both sides of a white board
Theatre Education

Would you eat them for a scene?

Sam-I-am in acting class By Bruce Miller The students in my B.F.A. acting program spend hours every day for four years developing their craft. Yet I still find that many

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Two actors sitting on chairs in front of a house set on stage.
Theatre Education

Character is action: Part 3

The third is a series on how to use the tools of acting By Bruce Miller During the course of your education you’ve probably heard your teachers say countless times,

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Four women participating in a dance class
Theatre Education

Gotta dance

Working with a cast that has two left feet By Lisa Mulcahy Picture this: you’ve finally chosen the perfect musical for your drama department’s spring show. You have it all

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girl with lights
Theatre Education

Lights, and…go

In an article in our January 2009 issue, Scott C. Parker described the fundamental objectives of the lighting designer’s work and guided readers through the designer’s process of script analysis

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a student displays her portfolio. examples of wigs are set up on the table.
Theatre Education

Hair

By Mike Lawler When you walk into the wig shop of American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, Ralph Holcomb seems out of place. If it weren’t for the intent

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