creative dramatics, drama education, youth theatre

The Drama Exercise to Jazz Up Your Class and Impress Your Parents

Are you needing an exercise for your students and parents to participate together?  Here’s a new lesson plan for your drama classroom using tableau as the springboard.

I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Vacation-Tableau-3431865?aref=kayx2rtcVacation Tableau Ad (2)

drama education, theatre, youth theatre

Like Halloween? Then You’ll Enjoy This

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/theater/shakespeare-theater-company-costume-sale.html?emc=edit_nn_20170926&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=78695717&te=1&_r=0

Tomorrow, it’s October! Yippee! 

October is one of my most favorite months–the leaves begin to change to scarlet and gold, pumpkins are everywhere, the air is crisp. 

When our daughters were children, we had a rule: you couldn’t talk about Halloween until September 1st. No drawing pictures of what your costume should be, negotiating for some extravagant costume piece, and NO buying Halloween candy. 

Recently,  I ran on to an article in the New York Times about the Royal Shakespeare Company’s costume sale. Wow, that would have been a neat thing to see. I was in England in August and visited Stratford in Avon where the sale was held. If only I had visited a bit later…

Read on. 

Ball Gowns, Lace Ruffs and Fairy Wings: Theater History for Sale

By Holly Williams

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, England — Have you ever wanted to step into the shoes of a great Shakespearean actor? Over the weekend, shoppers here in Shakespeare’s birthplace, which is also the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, had a chance to walk away with a piece of theatrical history, as the legendary company held a sale of 15,000 costumes and other items.

By the time the sale opened at 9 a.m. Saturday, a line snaked down the street; the first fans had arrived at 5 p.m. the previous day, camping out to secure a spot. Such patience was rewarded, and customers emerged clutching treasures, from the sublime — period ball gowns, lace ruffs, fairy wings — to the ridiculous — gold lamé lion tails and grotesque pig suits.
The Royal Shakespeare Company has the largest costume department in British theater, and it employs 30 members of staff, including experts in armor and millinery. The sale was raising money for the company’s Stitch in Time campaign, to renovate its costume workshop and to finance specialist apprenticeships. Around a third of its stock — items too worn or too specific to be reused — was on sale at bargain prices: from 50 pence, or 67 cents, for a fan to 30 pounds, or roughly $40, for a velvet cloak.

The life-span of Royal Shakespeare Company costumes, recycled across productions and for up to 100 performances, is among what makes them special, and every item has a sewn-in label identifying the actor who wore it last, and in which show. Beady-eyed rummagers could pick up Anita Dobson’s grubby underskirt from “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” or Joanna Vanderham’s silver gown from “Othello.” One happy shopper claimed to have found a dress worn by Jane Asher.

It can be bittersweet, however. “What makes this so emotional for someone like me — I put on my first R.S.C. costume in 1966 — are the name tags,” said the British actor Patrick Stewart, who fronted the Stitch in Time campaign. “I already found one item worn by a dear friend of mine, long gone.”

Indeed, among the armor, I came across a breastplate with “Tim Pigott-Smith” written on a label; the British actor died in April.

Even stars of Mr. Stewart’s caliber are not immune to feeling awe when taking on the mantle (at times literally) of acting giants. “I was once given a jacket which I did not really like,” Mr. Stewart said, adding that he had then seen from the label that it had been worn by Paul Scofield, a British actor who died in 2008.

“So of course I wore it,” he said. “Although it had to be cut down, because Paul was a much taller actor than I was, in every sense.”

Performers often highlight how vital costumes are, and by trying on a vast crinoline (used in the “Tempest”) and an absurdly heavy cloak (“Henry VIII”), I can understand why: They completely change the way you move and hold yourself.
“There were times when the costume had a significant impact on the work I would do on that character,” Mr. Stewart said, recalling the transformative effect of a luxurious pale gray three-piece suit worn for a modern-dress “Merchant of Venice” in 2011 — “which I should have stolen because it fitted me so well.”
I unearthed a kitsch, frothy wedding dress from the same production, worn by Susannah Fielding as Portia. Indeed, a whole rail of wedding dresses were available to make wedding days extra special — once they’ve had a good clean, at least.

Outside, members of the public emerged enchanted with their hauls. Jenkin Van Zyl, whose parents drove up from London so that he could fill their car, went on quite a spree: “I only wear theater costumes,” he said. “So I just came to top up, but I didn’t realize how cheap and amazing the sale was going to be. I spent £800.”
Shelley Bolderson from Cambridge, England, also wears costumes in her daily life. She said she had been delighted to find a coat made from pages of a book, created for the dancing satyrs in the 2009 production of “The Winter’s Tale.”

“I just hope it won’t dissolve in the rain,” she said.

The sale is also a godsend for amateur theater groups. Miriam Davies, from Stamford, England, is a costume designer for a company specializing in Shakespeare.
“You can’t really miss something like this,” she said. “Having R.S.C. costumes is a special thing — it’s history.”

acting, community theatre, directing experiences, youth theatre

Ten Audition Secrets From a Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m readying for the upcoming auditions for my next directing project, Beauty and the Beast with a wonderful company Theatre Lawrence. Previously, I blogged a list of secrets to a good audition. So, I brought this one out of the moth balls for you!

You knew this subject was coming, didn’t you? It only seems natural to speak about how I make decisions about casting someone in a play.

Remember, these are only my opinions. Someone else will have a different viewpoint, obviously.
Here is my advice (and secrets) to landing the part:

1. Arrive on time for the auditions and stay until they are finished. If you arrive late or are in a rush to leave early, it implies that the production is not that important to you.

2. Dress appropriately for the audition. If you are auditioning for a musical and there are going to be dance auditions, either bring the right shoe wear or wear them. There is nothing more distracting to a director than observing someone flop around in the wrong shoes as they attempt to dance or move about the stage. And ladies, you hair needs to be swept back away from your face and controlled with a bobby pin or something.

3. Read the script prior to auditions. Now reading the script ahead of time does not guarantee you a part in the production, but most scripts are very well written (that’s why they are produced) and worth your time to read. Or at least watch a movie version of the play or musical if there is one available. My guess is some people don’t read the entire script before auditioning because they don’t want to commit their free time because if they aren’t cast, it feels like they have wasted their time. One hasn’t wasted their time. They have enriched it.

I try to be patient with people who haven’t read the script ahead of time, but secretly nothing is more frustrating than having someone say to me, “So, what’s this play about?” I don’t have the time to explain the story to them nor do I think it is my job to do so.

4. Pay attention during the auditions. If the auditions aren’t closed and you are able to observe them, watch other actors. You never know when a director might call you up to read with someone and if you pay attention you are ready to go.

Ten secrets to a great audition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. A director doesn’t need to know if you have a cold or don’t feel well, or whatever the excuse might be at the moment. So, don’t announce your maladies–just audition confidently. A director will ask the actor to call backs if he thinks he needs to hear the actor once the cold or illness is over.

6. If you mark on your audition sheet that you will accept any role you are offered, please tell the truth. Nothing is more frustrating than taking the time to cast someone and afterward they announce they won’t accept the role you gave them (since the person wanted another one instead.) Tacky! And, if the accused auditions for another one of the director’s plays, chances are the actor won’t even be considered them based on their past actions.

7. If you mark on your audition sheet that you have no conflicts, then a director expects you to have no conflicts! Avoiding informing the director of a few conflicts and spinning that you have none then coming back later with a litany of conflicts does nothing for the actor’s relationship with the director. Better to tell the truth and let the director work around the conflicts if he thinks he can do so. An actor’s behavior gets around in a theater community very quickly, so just be honest and up front.

8. Sometimes a director will put out the word that they are looking for a particular age actor for a role. It is not wise to try and make yourself up to look half your age if you aren’t really able to convince your best friend of your age change. If your friend thinks you look silly trying to be twenty-five when you are fifty-five, then believe them. Audition for a play that suits your age range.

If you are an adult, you can usually appear ten years either direction of your age. Children and teen agers are a bit different in this regard. Personally, I am more likely to cast someone who is taller and thirteen to play a sixteen year old than a short thirteen year old to play a ten year old.

9. No matter what, always finish your audition with a thank you and get the heck off the stage. An actor trying to make conversation with the director can come across as a desperate attempt for attention. If the director initiates the conversation, then I think it is safe to chat a moment with him or her. But I wouldn’t begin the conversation. Directors are usually considering many things during auditions, so it’s best not to interrupt them.

10. Be confident in your audition. If you audition with others and someone does something that is comical (and the director reacts by laughing), it does not mean you must do the same thing if you read the same part. Be yourself. Be clever and memorable, but don’t behave in such a manner that you make others feel uncomfortable by your audition. In other words, keep your clothes on, keep your mouth clean and be polite.

10. The biggest secret to auditions? Listen to what the director asks of you. I am more likely to cast someone who honestly tries to do what I ask of him (such as lowering the pitch of his voice, trying an unusual laugh or reaction), than someone who has a preconceived vision of the character and can not or will not budge from that idea. Also, I really don’t like it when an actor just imitates someone else portraying the role–either someone else at the auditions or someone they have seen portray the role in the film version, for example. Generally, if I don’t think the inflexible person can adapt themselves to my needs, then I can’t cast them. Simple as that.

I hope this helps you. I would love to answer any other questions you might have about auditions, so send them on. P.S.  If you’d like to audition for Beauty and the Beast, go here for information http://www.theatrelawrence.com/index.html

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborrahBaldwin.net

drama education, Reading Literacy, youth theatre

Some “Hoppy” News For Peter Rabbit

http://variety.com/2017/film/news/peter-rabbit-movie-trailer-james-corden-1202565619/

Oh my, James Corden is the voice of Peter Rabbit in a new film! 

Read on…

Everyone’s favorite rambunctious rabbit finds new life as a party animal in the first trailer for the live-action/animated comedy “Peter Rabbit.”

The film stars James Corden as the the titular mischievous bunny whose feud with Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) escalates as they rival for the affections of the animal lover who lives next door (Rose Byrne). The film also stars Sam Neill and features the voices of Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daisy Ridley as his triplets Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail.

The trailer shows Peter and his furry friends raiding Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden and trashing his home in a wild party, then frantically dispersing when the farmer returns home unexpectedly. The critter exudes so much charm that even a fox who previously tried to eat him is a welcome party guest.

The movie is based on the character from Beatrix Potter’s children’s book series. Peter Rabbit first appeared in “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” in 1902 and the series has since sold more than 150 million copies worldwide in 35 languages.

The film is directed by Will Gluck who also wrote the screenplay with Rob Lieber. Gluck’s previous directing work includes “Easy A,” “Friends With Benefits,” and the 2014 remake of “Annie.” Lieber has previously written the screenplay for “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

“Peter Rabbit” hits theaters on Feb. 9, 2018.
Staff Writer

Matt Fernandez

Staff Writer

@matt_fern

 

  

 

arts education, drama education, Uncategorized, youth theatre

Kamishibai Storytelling Unit– Engaging and Unique for Your Students

 

Are you looking for an oral communication unit for your students? Check out my Kamishibai Storytelling unit on teacherspayteachers.com

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kamishibai-Storytelling-The-Paper-Drama-326037

creative dramatics, drama education, Uncategorized, youth theatre

What are Super Hero Postcard Stories? 

Another lesson plan is up! 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Storytelling-Super-Hero-Post-Card-Stories-3238578

arts education, creative dramatics, theatre, Uncategorized, youth theatre

Incredible: My Teacherspayteachers.com store is Open

This is amazing for me. I have been trying to get this accomplished for several years. Finally, my brain wouldn’t let go of the idea until I did it. My store is up and open on Teacherspayteachers.com. Check it out will you?

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Dramamommaspeaks
There will be MANY more products available, so keep a look out for them and follow me!

New Jig Saw Puzzle Cover

Super Heros Cover jpg

 

Bumbling Bea
Book Reviews, play reading, Uncategorized, youth theatre

Important News: Final Friday Stage Reading Event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am excited to share there will be a stage reading of Act one, scene one of Bumbling Bea, the Play at Lawrence’s Final Friday on June 30! The event will be held at Greenhouse Culture Church  in Lawrence, KS from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Copies of the book version of Bumbling Bea will be available to purchase as well. I’d love to have you attend. 😊

Here is the scene which will be performed this evening.

Announcing: Bumbling Bea The Play –Act one, Scene one

Amazon.com, Book giveaway, middle grades, performing arts, Uncategorized, youth theatre

Amazon Giveaway Contest for Bumbling Bea

Want to win a FREE copy of Bumbling Bea? You know what to do. 

Feel free to share–

https://www.amazon.com/gp/f.html?C=RNOTE2AA1ZDP&K=A1DW9XF3DSAWYI&R=K2XT297SKMHA&T=C&U=https%3A%2F%2Fgiveaway.amazon.com%2Fp%2F07667fe1e1af6964%3Fref_%3Dpe_1771210_134854370&A=GCQTVLPLIPKNMNPRMPFEA1SGVKAA&H=KSQEA72V3CWT6D6RBQPUOIDCL5IA&ref_=pe_1771210_134854370

Book giveaway, Uncategorized, youth theatre

Give Away for Bumbling Bea

EXTENSION: Our Bumbling Bea Giveaway is running for one more week! 

Get in on the opportunity to WIN your copy of the new Bumbling Bea, 2nd edition! Click the link below to enter today!
https://gleam.io/4p9Oq/bumbling-bea-2nd-edition-giveaway
#bumblingbea2 #secondedition #bestsellingbook