Teaching Drama

Links Craig Likes – 8/21/11

Here are some recent articles / videos / links from around the ‘net that I think you’ll like.

What I Would do if I Were an Actor

The Backstage Blog has a column called Secret Agent Man, which is penned by (I think) an anonymous theatrical agent. They recently wrote a blog post entitled What I Would do if I Were an Actor. There’s a lot of good advice in there and I think it’s a good resource to share with students thinking about acting professionally.

Interpretative Dance

Here’s a great mashup of improv and charades. They call it Interpretative Dance, I call it Imprades on Steroids Set to Music.

The game is set-up like a standard game of charades except the guessers wear headphones that prevent them from hearing anything. Then a song is played and the actor has to mime/interpret all of the lyrics to the song in real time!

I wonder how this would work in a high school. It is way harder than it looks – and it looks hard. If you decide to give it a try, let us know how it goes!

The video is from an English improv show called Fast and Loose.

Stephen Sondheim Takes Issue With Plan for Revamped ‘Porgy and Bess’ – NYTimes.com

An upcoming Broadway Revival of Porgy and Bess is causing quite a bit of controversy. According to the New York Times, “Director Diane Paulus and the playwright Suzan-Lori Parks have added new scenes, punched up some dialogue, invented biographical details and most radically added a more upbeat ending.”

Stephen Sondheim weighed in with this vivid defence of the original writers. Here’s my favourite quote, in response to the actress Audra McDonald’s notion that Bess is “often more of a plot device than a full-blooded character.”

She’s always full-blooded when she’s acted full-bloodedly, as she was by, among others, Clamma Dale and Leontyne Price.

Reminds me of the story of Olivier telling Dustin Hoffman to, “Try acting, dear boy” on the set of Marathon Man.

Sondheim Lyrics on Twitter

Speaking of Stephen Sondheim, if you love the lyrics of Stephen Sondheim, then you’ll want to follow @sondheimlyrics on Twitter. It’s a very low-volume stream, usually one or two lyrics a day.

Improv For Alzheimer’s

Lastly, I quite enjoyed this NPR story about the use of improv with Alzheimer’s patients.

About the author

Craig Mason