Spotlight: E-News from Theatrefolk

Issue 84: What’s New At Theatrefolk?

This month we’ve got interviews and article about our brand new plays. Sometimes the best way to learn about a play is to hear what the playwright has to say. Where did the idea come from? What struggles occurred during the writing process?

Don’t miss out on the downloadable Lesson Plan at the end of the newsletter.

October, 2013
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Issue 83: Just Breathe! Breathing exercises for student actors.

It is a common belief that we breathe with our lungs alone, but in point of fact, the work of breathing is done by the whole body. The lungs play a passive role in the respiratory process. Their expansion is produced by an enlargement, mostly downward, of the thoracic cavity and they collapse when that cavity is reduced. Proper breathing involves the muscles of the head, neck, thorax, and abdomen. It can be shown that chronic tension in any part of the body's musculature interferes with the natural respiratory movements.
Alexander Lowen, The Voice of the Body

That’s a pretty fancy way of saying that breathing is more than just the inhale and the exhale. This is especially true for actors. Exercises, tips, and a video.

September, 2013
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Issue 82: Molière‎ and 17th Century French Theatre

This month we continue our trek through Theatre History with French 17th century playwright Molière‎ and his writing.

August, 2013
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Issue 81: Best Playwriting Exercises

This month we've got a best of, playwriting excises pulled from the Theatrefolk archives – past newsletters, past blog posts, all combined in one tidy package. All the exercises are practical so you and your students can put to pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) right away. Who wants to read dense text while the sun shines? Not me!

June, 2013
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Issue 80: What's New At Theatrefolk? May, 2013

This month we have an indepth look at the new plays in the Theatrefolk catalogue. From parody to personification to Poe we've got it all. Plus, an adaptation lesson plan to do with your class.

May, 2013
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Issue 79: Romeo and Juliet Analysis and Exercise: Part Three

This month we conclude our extensive look at Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It's time to dive into the language of the play. How do we find character clues in the way a character speaks? How do we cross the barrier to understanding Shakespeare's language? All this and more.

April, 2013
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Issue 78: Romeo and Juliet Analysis and Exercise: Part Two

All right, I did it again. I went too long, came up with too many exercises, and thought up too many questions. For the first time ever, I'm doing a three part newsletter. There is just too much to think about with this play, and this isn't even one of the histories! This month we continue our analysis and exercise exploration of Romeo and Juliet and focus on character. Next month, we'll end with language and a compare and contrast exercise.

March, 2013
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Issue 77: Romeo and Juliet Analysis and Exercise: Part One

When I look back at what I've done in the past for the Spotlight newsletters, my favourite ones are the Analysis and Exercise issues. I love script analysis. It was always my favourite part of acting (more so than the actual performing itself, which made me come to grips with the fact that I am not an actor).

This time when I reviewed which plays I've done for the newsletter, I realized I have never done an in-depth look at a Shakespeare play! Time to rectify that. This is Part One of an analysis and exercises issue for this often studied play, often performed in high schools – Romeo and Juliet. There is so much with work with here, we're going to split the topic up over two newsletters – this month we'll look at themes and go through the play act by act and then next month we'll focus on character and language.

February, 2013
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Issue 76: Why So Emotional? A guide for highly charged scenes.

This month we will be looking at how to conquer the emotionally charged scene to make it an enjoyable experience for both the audience and the actors.

January, 2013
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Issue 75: The Two Person Scene

This month we've got an exercise issue that focuses on the two person scene, the duet, the two-hander, the conversation. One person talking to another.

Direct Conflict. It's the bedrock of theatre and the place from which action grows. If you can create theatre with two people, you can do it with three and so on. These scenes can be somewhat daunting. There are no bells and whistles to hide behind. No extra person to draw into the mix. It is action and reaction. We'll start with improv, move on to scenework, and end with some playwriting exercises for writing your own two person scene.

November, 2012
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