Blocking

Awesome Stage Manager

Blockingis keeping track of the actors’ movements across the stage. Now, this may look a bit intimidating, but I will show you how I write down blocking. It may not be the best method for you. You will have to scour the internets for samples and templates and examples until you find or amalgamate a system that works for you. The first thing you must know is left and right, down and up.

These directions are universal. Everyone at any theatre in the U.S. should understand UR is Up Stage Right, C is Center, DL is Down Stage Left, etc. Those are the easy ones.

You also need a short hand for the Characters. I usually take the first two letters (or consonants) and circle them. It distinguishes them from the other letter symbols. For Example, CH is a circle is Charles, VN in a circle is Vinnie, and…

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Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in it.

–   Meryl Streep

How this group of playwrights is fighting sexism on Broadway

Absolutely love this project!!!

Fortune

Hollywood isn’t the only place where women writers and directors are underrepresented. The best current tallies put the share of women-written plays produced in American theater last year at about 24%—and that includes dead writers. Sixty-eight percent of the Broadway audience is female, but in the 2013-14 season there wasn’t a single new play on the Great White Way written by a woman.

One group of advocates has come up with a solution so simple it seems hard to believe it could work: A list of the most recommended un- (or under-) produced plays by women, nominated by people who read plays for a living.

On June 21, the Kilroys, a Los Angeles-based collective of thirteen playwrights and producers, published their second annual “The List”—53 plays by women or trans playwrights, based on a survey of 321 professional artistic directors, literary managers, professors, producers, directors, and dramaturgs. (Their…

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Albus Dumbledore: Time-Turner

30 seconds – Male – Dramatic – written by Steve Knoles – as seen in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Mysterious thing, time. Powerful, and when meddled with, dangerous. Sirius Black is in the topmost cell of the dark tower. You know the laws, Miss Granger. You must not be seen, and you would do well, I feel, to return before this last chime. If not, the consequences are too ghastly to discuss. If you succeed tonight, more than one innocent life may be spared. Three turns, should do it, I think. Oh, by the way. When in doubt, I find retracing my steps to be a wise place to begin. Good luck.

Getting over stage fright

You were standing in the wings. The curtain started to rise. The spotlight came on. Your legs were shaking as you walked on stage. You opened your mouth to say your line and … nothing.

Stage fright. We’ve all had it before. How do you overcome stage fright? One word: confidence.

Confidence is key to being a good performer. Confidence gives you the ability to stand up in front of a group, however big or small, and present something; whether it be a song, a dance, a play or even (shiver) an English oral. But how do you become confident?

  • Know what you’re talking about. If you have to give a speech on To Kill A Mockingbird, make sure you’ve read the book and understand what it’s about. If you have to say lines in a play, make sure you know them. You’ll find that half the fear of performing goes away when you know you won’t forget what to do.
  • Practice. Practice. Practice. I can’t stress this enough. It makes a world of difference. Practice until you’re so comfortable doing it that if someone came into the room at any given time and asked you to recite your lines or whatever you’re doing, you could do it.
  • Most of the time, people won’t be judging you. When performing in a group context i.e. a recital, or a class where everyone has to prepare a speech, remember that most of the time, people won’t be thinking about you. Chances are they’ll be too busy thinking about themselves and stressing about their own performance.
  • Forget the audience. I’m serious. Before you go onstage, get yourself into a frame of mind where the audience isn’t even there. Just forget they exist. Try not to look at them; look at a point above them. And if you can’t forget them, just try not to think about them. Avoid thoughts like “they probably thought that sucked”. Just think about yourself!

Because …

For this game you need two or more people.

For more than two: split them into two groups (preferably no more than 6 in each group; you don’t even have to split them if you don’t want to). Then give the first group a sentence starter such as:

  • I can’t wear that dress because …
  • I hate winter because …
  • I didn’t do my homework because …
  • I’m afraid of people because …
  • I was arrested because …
  • I don’t like lions because …

They must line up on one side of the stage. The first person rushes in and says the sentence starter, finishing it with an excuse that they improvise. ie. “I can’t wear that dress because … it’s made of Siberian tiger hair and I’m allergic to Siberian tigers.”

Then that person runs off. The next person quickly comes in and says the same sentence starter with a different improvised ending. This continues. If you are in two groups, the winner is whichever team can say the most excuses that A) make sense (to a degree) B) without hesitating and C) are consistent (more than 5 seconds between two players means the team must stop).

If you have a second team, they should get a different sentence starter so they don’t just reel off what the first team said.

If you are playing with two people, you throw excuses back and forth until one of you hesitates.

Late for Work

For this game you need at least 3 people: the late person, the boss and the co-worker (there can be two of these if necessary). Send the late person out of the room while the boss and the co-worker/s think of a reason that the late person is late. For ideas, consult the list at the bottom of this post.

Once you’ve selected an idea, let the late person in. The boss must ask them why they are late for work, and the co-worker/s must act out the reason they thought of earlier behind the boss. At any time, the boss may turn around and ask the co-worker/s what they are doing, in which case they must make up an excuse explaining why they are bouncing around like a kangaroo.

Ideas:

  • My car was hijacked by kangaroos
  • I was kidnapped by the Easter Bunny
  • My dog ate my car
  • I couldn’t find my shoes
  • My alarm clock went missing – my dog ate it

Matchmaker

Matchmaker is played with 4-5 people + an audience (if necessary). Person 1 must get up and leave the room. They are the Bachelor. The rest must think of a strange personality trait or quirk (think Whose Line Is It Anyway?) for each person. They are the contestants. When the Bachelor comes in, they ask 2-4 questions of each character and then tries to guess their trait.