From the publisher...

A.S. Waterman

October 2008


Getting It Right

For many of us, the year begins in the fall. It's a time for new beginnings, with multiple auditions, season premieres and lots of exciting new plans. Many of those plans will come to fruition and even glory. And others ... well, those are the ones that help us live and learn.

TheatreLouisville hopes that all of our theatres will rise to new heights this season — and with that in mind, I'd like to depart from my usual editorial format and recommend some resources that may help theatre groups avoid some pitfalls and smooth out their path to success.

The Printed Page — Or Not
Two publications, Stage Directions and DramaBiz magazines, contain a wealth of success stories, helpful hints and lessons others have learned. I have yet to pick up a single issue of DramaBiz without learning at least two new things that have helped me streamline processes, solve a troublesome problem or discover a cost-saving shortcut.

The online versions (at stage-directions.com/ and dramabiz.com/, respectively) are absolutely free. The printed magazines, which I find much more interesting to read, with their outstanding photography and grouped articles, are free also, if you don't mind filling out "preference" cards a few times a year. It's a small price to pay for such a valuable resource.

It's the Period ... Period!
I'll bet you've never put on a pre-1990s play without having someone tell you that something in your actors' period costumes, body language or manner was wrong. Sure, you tried your best, but there's just no easy resource to help you get it right ... right? Well, now there is.

Using the Stanislavsky System: A Practical Guide to Character Creation and Period Styles is a treasure trove of information on how men and women dressed, moved, spoke and behaved in bygone eras. A 2008 release authored by Robert Blumenthal (Limelight Editions, 384 pages, ISBN 978-0-87910-356-9), this volume should be on the bookshelf of every director, producer and actor. Now that there's an easy way to get it right, there's very little excuse for getting it wrong, especially at the modest price of U.S. $19.95.

Don't Cry — Laugh
We all have our classic "stage blunder" story. In my own theatre group, it's last year's production in which an actor sat down and went right through the caning of a rocking chair. Other favorites include a telephone ringing at stage right with the sound panned stage left, the line flub "a fresh of breath air" and a production of Morning's at Seven in which a character accused her sister of having an affair with the sister of her own husband instead of the husband of her own sister.

Probably, the most important resource we all have is our sense of humor, and we should make liberal use of it. Sometimes, when the bottom falls out, it is a good thing.

Okay, Now Break a Leg
As we rev up toward the holiday season and our busiest time of year, let's all do what we can to get it right, as well as to enjoy every minute of it. Here's to a great new season for all of us.

 

— A.S. Waterman

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Copyright © 2008 A.S. Waterman. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Artwork and text are copyright © 2006 and 2016 A.S. Waterman.
All rights reserved.