Fri, Oct 1st @ 5.30 P.M: The NEW BUSINESS OF ACTING. Interactive discussion & Q&A. FREE at The Drama Book Shop
The New Business of Acting: How to Build a Career in a Changing Landscape
By Brad Lemack
The Drama Book Shop Blog posts reviews, our choices of play of the week, information on new and interesting performing arts books -- and anything else we find of interest. Please feel free to contact Allen L. Hubby at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas.
The New Business of Acting: How to Build a Career in a Changing Landscape
By Brad Lemack
A FREE casting symposium, sponsored by Breakdown Services, designed to help actors prepare for the upcoming audition season and launch Nancy Bishop's new book, SECRETS FROM THE CASTING COUCH. Some of New York's top casting directors (TBA) will help simplify the audition process by breaking it down for you, the actor. Don't miss out on this essential educational experience.
More information on the casting panel to follow!
To receive information about the free ticket (for yourself only), email:
Due to the limited seating, it is important that you reserve a seat only if you are confirming your attendance.
About the book:
Why is it that so many good actors don't perform well at castings? Secrets from the Casting Couch gives practical advice for actors, written from a casting director's point of view, teaching the craft of film casting in front of camera. It shows how actors can work with today's internet technologies to get cast and features advice and actual exercises that achieve results in the casting studio. Emmy-award nominated casting director Nancy Bishop C.SA., has developed a successful approach through many years experience of working in the casting studio. The author also runs internationally recognised master classes throughout Europe and the US and is the head of the Prague Film School Acting Department.
"Any actor who is serious about his or her career should read this book"--Matthew Stillman, Producer: Casino Royale, Wanted, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
"As a director, casting a movie can be a terrifying process. Put the wrong actor in your project and you're sunk. How do you find the right person? if you're working with Nancy Bishop you know you're in good, accomplished hands, whether you're a director or an actor. "--Neil Burger, Director of The Illusionist
Secrets From the Casting Couch
by Nancy Bishop
Thurber will sign copies of her plays, published by Dramatists Play Service. Peter Maloney, Kristin Griffith, and other actors from her current production at the Atlantic Theater will read from "Bottom of the World" as well as other works by Thurber. The Director Caitriona McLaughlin will also be in attendance
About the Author:
Lucy Thurber is the author of eight plays: Where We're Born, Ashville, Scarcity, Killers and Other Family, Stay Monstrosity, Dillingham City and Bottom of the World. The Atlantic Theater opened its 2007-2008 season with Scarcity. Rattlestick Theater has produced three of her plays and produced a critically acclaimed revival of Killers and Other Family in 2009. Scarcity was published in the December 2007 issue of American Theatre, and acting editions of her plays are published by Dramatists Play Service. A member of New Dramatists, 13P, MCC Playwrights Coalition and the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, she was also the recipient of the 200-2001 Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, The Contemporary American Theatre Festival, and is developing a new musical with Bigheart Productions, Lear DeBessonet and The Citizen's Band. Lucy currently teaches writing at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College.
About Bottom of the World:
Bottom of the World tells the story of Abby, heartbroken over the sudden death of her sister, Kate, whose star was just beginning to rise in the literary world. Abby delves into the world of Kate's novel in an attempt to deal with her grief and move on. As the lines blur between the fictional world and her own reality, Abby attempts to make sense of life and death in this funny and poignant play.
Thurber's plays available for purchase include:
Killers & Other Family
Dramatists Play Service, 2008
Dramatists Play Service, 2008
Dramatists Play Service, 2008
Where We're Born
Dramatists Play Service, 2008
Call to Order! (212) 944-0595 x3
Bruce Kimmel will read & sign copies of his new book: There's Mel, There's Woody and There's You: My Life in the Slow LaneBruce Kimmel is an actor, writer, director, composer, and two-time Grammy Award-nominated record producer. Kimmel wrote, directed and starred in the critically acclaimed cult movie hit, "The First Nudie Musical" co-starred Stephen Nathan, Cindy Williams and featured Ron Howard as well as a host of other instantly recognizable actors of the time. He also co-created (with David Wechter) the story for the hit film, "The Faculty", directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Salma Hayek, Josh Hartnett and Elijah Wood. As an actor, Kimmel guest-starred on most of the long-running television shows of the 1970s and 80s, including "The Partridge Family" (recurring), "Happy Days," "Laverne and Shirley," "MASH," "Alice," and many others. After seeing the first cut of his nudie musical, a high-powered executive at Paramount called Kimmel and said "Bruce, there's Mel (Brooks), there's Woody (Allen) and there's you;" hence the title for his current book about his journey in entertainment during that time.
Since 1993, Kimmel has been one of the leading producers of theatre music, having produced over 180 albums. He was nominated for a Grammy for producing the revival cast album of "Hello, Dolly!" and his album with jazz pianist Fred Hersch, I Never Told You, was also nominated for a Grammy. He has produced solo albums for Petula Clark, Helen Reddy, Jason Graae, Liz Callaway, Christiane Noll, Rebecca Luker, Brent Barrett, Sally Mayes, Judy Kaye, Judy Kuhn and many others. Kimmel's label, Kritzerland (www.kritzerland.com) regularly releases Broadway music and soundtracks.
"Bruce Kimmel takes you into his confidence (and into his heart) as your first-person tour guide on the thrill ride of his acting career, with several of this planet's most ridiculous and unimaginable decades as backdrop for his story. His careening and caroming adventures move at a breathtaking pace and, as ever, Kimmel's endearing, self-effacing tone evokes Saroyan and Salinger, even as his book is populated with more familiar names than a fruitcake has raisins. Daft, deft, constantly touching and ultimately moving, our hero's effort to find his life, his love, and his "light" makes for a rare showbiz story that trades in tinsel and glitter for tenderness and hope."-- RUPERT HOLMES, Tony and Edgar award-winning playwright and novelist
A two-hour workshop for singers and those looking to develop singing skills. Author and technique developer, Sally Morgan shares 25+ yrs of expertise and experience.
About the Author:
Sally Morgan has been performing her job successfully for 25+ years and is the author of the cutting edge vocal technique, Sing Like You Speak: The Morganix Method, singer, speaker, actress and vocal trainer. Sally's infectious energy and laser precise expertise make her a sought after speaker who challenges her audiences to become vocally empowered and professionally polished. Sally's clients appear on Broadway stages, Off-Broadway, Regional Theater, Major Label Recordings, national television and radio, in Federal Courts, and the U.S. Senate.
About the Book:
Sing Like You Speak: The Morganix Method, is a cutting edge step-by-step guide to developing healthy, organic contemporary vocal technique. Sing Like You Speak is a well-organized, structured approach to learning how to sing Simply and Naturally, divided into theory and practicum. A comprehensive vocal training program, it is the product of 30 years of training, research, teaching, and performing; compiled logically to make singing simple and natural. Sing Like You Speak was developed with a sensitive eye on the latest medical, acoustical, musical and therapeutic research.
• Simple, Natural, Organic
• Find Your Signature Sound in Record Time
• Knock 'em Dead without Killing Your Voice
• Sing Effortlessly
Sing Like You Speak
Sally Morgan, 2006
121++ Pages & 4CDs
Call to Order! (212) 944-0595 x3
by Sam Peter Jackson
Popular news anchor Geoffrey Hammond has been caught by the paparazzi in his car in a compromising situation with Jamie. Jamie is not Geoff's boyfriend, or his newly ex-wife, but a teenage boy. This happens in the middle of the night while on a publicity tour for his new book, and Geoff had fired his publicist Larry one scene prior. Now, in the middle of the night, Geoff has only one person he can turn to for help: Larry.
Sam Peter Jackson’s Public Property is a tense and hilarious tale of celebrity stupidity, sabotage and misplaced trust. With the press at the door surging for a break, ready to crucify Geoff for child molestation and moral corruption, you can still empathize with him, a credit to Mr. Jackson’s writing for not making the overt bad guy totally unlikable; clueless, yes, but not unlikable.
Larry, although much abused in the first few scenes, takes over with a huge power shift when Geoff arrives and although you side with Larry in the first scene, power does corrupt. There is another kind of power that only the innocent can handle, and although it's up to you to decide how pure Jamie's intentions are, he's the only one who can get off sans public derision.
With twists and turns, sacrifices and secrets withheld, Public Property will surprise you even to the end in a wild unexpected finale that only celebrities, the media and the adoring never-satiated gossip crazed public can relate to. Public Property played the West End in 2010, and would be a great selection for regional theatres and small professional theatres across the US.
3M: Geoff 40’s - 50’s; Larry 30’s - 40’s; Jamie 16;
Monologues / Scenes: Fantastic scenes for two or three, several good monologues for each role.
Reviewed by Adam
Staff member, Matt Alspaugh runs a LATE NIGHT OPEN MIC at The Drama Book Shop every Monday night at 9:00 p.m.! Read below for more info on this great weekly night of comedy!
Why Cry when you could laugh? Come watch some of New York's top up and coming stand up comics, performing at the world famous Drama Book Shop.
Stand Up Comics = 6 mins for $5
Audience = FREE
Autumn in NYC Theaters
by Tony Vellela
So you're planning to take in a few shows this fall. So you'll be getting to your theatres by subway, bus, train, car, taxi, bicycle, unicycle or shank's mare [for anyone not on the AARP mailing list, that means 'walking'].
So here's an overview of what to look forward to, and possibly order tickets for now.
Any musical that features the creative talents of John Kander and the late Fred Ebb, and boasts direction and choreography by Susan Stroman, earns a place on the 'must-see' list. "The Scottsboro Boys," which also has a book by David Thompson, chronicles the fates of nine young black men accused of raping two white women in 1931. The alleged crimes took place aboard a freight train headed for Memphis. The piece began its life last season at off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre, and sold-out performances prompted its move Uptown. The final work of one of musical theatre's few truly great writing teams, it promises to become another Kander & Ebb classic.
A different kind of classic could help bridge the gap when two people are looking for a night out, and one of them favors spending it in a theatre, while the other is more at home in a stadium. In the football world, NFL Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi ranks as a classic example of how one man can inspire young men to give their all on the gridiron. The winning team at the Super Bowl is awarded the Lombardi Trophy. Based on the David Maraniss biography 'When Pride Still Mattered,' the new play "Lombardi" provides Dan Lauria with the role of a lifetime, as he growls, snarls, cajoles, shames and cheers on his guys, driving them on to victory after victory.
Driving Miss Daisy
Hoke returns to the boards to drive Miss Daisy once again, when Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones retell the Pulitzer Prize-winning saga of a fiercely independent Jewish retired schoolteacher and the fiercely understanding chauffeur her caring son hires, to carry her in that shiny new 1948 Packard, to errands around Atlanta. Having seen this touching tale told off Broadway [with Dana Ivey in the tiny Playwrights Horizons black box, on the night Katharine Hepburn was there to scope out the role], and all the way up to its Oscar-winning incarnation with Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman, it will take real star power to make it fresh. It's safe to say that this team, aided by the inimitable Boyd Gaines as Daisy's son Boolie, qualify.
Time Stands Still
Also making a return engagement is last season's "Time Stands Still," by Donald Margulies. This is a gripping and moving examination of how a committed battlefield photojournalist struggles with her own personal battles, when she takes a local Iraqi translator into her bed as well as her assignments. The revelation sets off an emotional IUD back at home, when she returns injured and scarred, and does not know how to handle the offers of assistance from her longtime boyfriend. Laura Linney's multi-dimensional performance will again by supported by holdover cast members Eric Bogosian and Brian d'Arcy James, with Christina Ricci replacing the focus-grabbing Alicia Silverstone.
The Pitmen Paiters
A new entry imported from London that has not grabbed much buzz focus to date, "The Pitmen Painters" unveils the moving, true story of Northumberland miners from early in the last century who learned to channel their pent-up frustrations and feelings on canvas. And lest you think this could be a dicey story to deliver a real theatrical punch, look no further than the resume of its author, Lee Hall. You remember Hall - he wrote the book for "Billy Elliott."
A Little Night Music
Of course, there's also the re-revival of "A Little Night Music," wherein Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch have taken over the roles of that naughty, gaudy, bawdy, sporty mother-daughter team. The production, which opened last season with Catherine Zeta-Jones [a questionable Tony winner] and Angela Lansbury [a notable Tony icon] at the top of the cast list, was listless, almost fading before your eyes. This new duo sparks up the proceedings enough to warrant a possible second look. Both of these dames have the wry sense of humor, and the vinegar in their bloodstreams that these roles require. And when Bernadette sings 'Send In the Clowns,' you'll think to yourself, somebody damn well better send IN those G-D CLOWNS! This lady MEANS it!
25th Anniversary of The Normal Heart
This column doesn't normally mention one-night-only events. But a 25th anniversary staged reading of Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart" merits an exception. With a cast that includes John Benjamin Hickey, Victor Garber and Patrick Wilson, and Joel Grey in the director's chair, the October 18 production, at the Walter Kerr Theatre, benefits the Actors Fund and Friends in Deed, both devoted to HIV/AIDS care for those who cannot afford it. Information is available at www.oandmco.com.
A Letter to Elia
And finally, a tribute film from Martin Scorsese titled "A Letter to Elia" reviews Kazan's almost peerless stage and film career, which shaped the talents, fortunes and lives of some of the last century's greatest playwrights and actors. PBS will show the documentary as part of its 'American Masters' series, slated in most markets for October 4, with a theatrical release also in the planning stage.
TONY VELLELA wrote and produced the PBS series 'Character Studies.' His award-winning play "Admissions" is published by Playscripts. Vellela teaches at HB Studio, does private coaching sessions, and has served as a theatre journalist and critic for dozens of publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Dramatics, Theatre Week and Parade Magazine.
Join author Eric Bentley, one of the greatest drama critics in theater history, to celebrate the reprint of the fourth edition of his definitive work The Playwright As Thinker. The event will also be a celebration of Eric's 94th birthday!About the Author:
Saturday, September 4, 2010
11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Our Labor Day Hours
Monday, September 6, 2010
11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.
Happy Labor Day!
by Sarah Ruhl
Named one of the "Ten Best Plays of 2008" by The New Yorker
“It’s a different kind of morality play . . . an often wondrous work . . . with [Ruhl’s] own special lyrical blend of poetry, humor and grace.”--Frank Rizzo, Variety
Passion Play is Sarah Ruhl’s “biggest, most ambitious effort yet” (The New York Times), a three-and-a-half hour intimate epic, plunging the depths of the timely intersection of politics and religion. Ruhl dramatizes a community of players rehearsing their annual staging of the Easter Passion in three different eras: 1575 northern England, just before Queen Elizabeth outlaws the ritual; 1934 Oberammergua, Bavaria, as Hitler is rising to power; and Spearfish, South Dakota, from the time of Vietnam through Reagan’s presidency. In each period, the players grapple in different ways with the transformative nature of art, and politics are never far in the background, as Queen Elizabeth, Hitler, and Reagan each appear, played by a single commanding actor.
Sarah Ruhl’s plays include Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Eurydice, and The Clean House, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has been widely produced both throughout the country and internationally, and she is the recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.
About the Author
Sarah Ruhl received the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2004 for her play "The Clean House," which has been produced at Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia, South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Her play Eurydice has been produced at Madison Repertory Theatre and Berkeley Repertory
by Rachel Axler
"Creepy and funny. Precise and imaginative. Parenthood never looked weirder or more terrifying than it does in Smudge"--Rachel Saltz, The New York Times
"The mysterious newborn in Rachel Axler’s smart, piquant Smudge is not lovable-looking... In some sense, Axler’s dark comedy is a horror story: a parent’s nightmare rendered with sometimes lyrical surrealism.... A meditation on ambiguity and ambivalence, Smudge also illustrates ambition: a parent’s, thwarted, and a playwright’s, achieved."--Adam Feldman, Time Out New York
"Smudge is filled with laughs, due to Rachel Axler's tart way with quips, director Pam MacKinnon's brisk, unsentimental touch, and the ability of both Greg Keller and Cassie Beck to make their characters real and complex."- Jennifer Farrar, Associated Press "An ambitious play, one that ponders such big questions as how to communicate and what it means to be alive. A play that sticks with you, both for its laughs and for its message."--Julia Furay, CurtainUp
"It’s a testament to Rachel Axler’s excellent writing and a marvellous cast that this dark sci-fi comedy actually works. In its weird way, the play gets to the heart of the matter: most of us, when we’re young, look forward to happy, normal lives—2.5 kids, a picket fence, all the flotsam and jetsam of the American dream—but end up with much more difficult realities."--The New Yorker
A dark comedy about the changing face of the American family and the limits of love and cheesecake, as a hopeful young couple gives birth to a smudge, written by two-time Emmy Award winner Rachel Axler.
COLBY – Late twenties. Female. Married to Nick.
NICHOLAS – Late twenties. Male. Married to Colby.
PETE – Mid-thirties. Male. Nick’s older brother.
Dark Comedy. Interior. 2 m, 1 f. Acting Edition. $9.95.
by Sarah Treem
“Roy, is this a dream?
A dream, a story, high school, insanity. It’s hard to tell sometimes, isn’t it?”
A high school Homecoming dance in the south. In the bathroom Gretchen Black, the most popular girl in school, lights a cigarette and asks the mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all. The mirror shows her a horrible witch instead of her own reflection. Gretchen puts the cigarette out in her armpit and the witch disappears. Moments later a mysterious new girl named Rose White arrives at Homecoming. She has no hips or chest to speak of, but her skin shines white as snow and her lips are as red as the rose. She’s after Gretchen’s boyfriend, Badger Biers. In this dark comedy, based on Snow White, ten teenagers love, lose, betray and revenge each other over one autumnal weekend in a kingdom far, far away. It is a precarious landscape where magic lurks behind make-up, mirrors and memories.
GRETCHEN BLACK — 17, Most popular girl in school.
BADGER BIERS — 17, Gretchen’s boyfriend. Most popular boy in school.Captain of the football team.
COSTEN LYONS — 18, Badger’s best friend. Richest boy in school.
LIBBY SUNDAY — 17, Gretchen’s new best friend. Hoyt’s ex-girlfriend.
Valedictorian. On scholarship.
HOYT MONROE — 18, Tortured teenage artist. Libby’s ex-boyfriend.
LAUREL BUCHANAN — 16, Hoyt’s best friend. President of the drama club. Costen’s second cousin.
HONEY — 15, Stage manager in the drama club. Nerd.
DONNIE — 17, Actor in the drama club. Ronnie’s best friend.
RONNIE — 17 Actor in the drama club. Donnie’s best friend.
ROSE WHITE — 16, New girl. This is a boy’s part.
Dramatic Comedy. 5m, 5f. Acting Edition. $9.95
Happy Days - A New Musical
Book by Garry Marshall, Music and Lyrics by Paul Williams
"A family show...and it brings back a cast of characters loved by millions of fans."--TalkingBroadway.com
Goodbye gray skies, hello blue! Happy days are here again with Richie, Potsie, Ralph Malph and the unforgettable “king of cool” Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli. Based on the hit Paramount Pictures television series, Happy Days, A New Musical reintroduces one of America’s best loved families, the Cunninghams -- yes, Howard, Marion and Joanie are here too -- to a whole new generation of kids and parents. The famed drive-in malt shop and number one hangout, Arnold’s, is in danger of demolition. So the gang teams up to save it with a dance contest and a TV-worthy wrestling match. Even Pinky Tuscadero, Fonzie’s childhood sweetheart, returns to help and -- lo and behold! -- they rekindle their old flame.
Happy Days, A New Musical, with amazing music from Oscar-winner Paul Williams and a book by the TV series original creator Garry Marshall, is perfect for regional theatres to perform. High schools can also perform the show with any number of cast members they wish. This show is so versatile it can be done with a full orchestra, just a piano, or even instrumental tracks. Return to the days of 1959 Milwaukee complete with varsity sweaters, hula hoops and jukebox sock-hoppin’ fun. This perfectly family friendly musical will have you rockin’ and rollin’ all week long!
Musical. 10m, 7f, Cast can be expanded for large groups. Acting Edition. $9.95.
Palestine, New Mexico
by Richard Montoya
”Outrageous imagery and serious subtext … a gallery of pungent and often moving character portraits...”--Bob Verini, Variety
”Richard Montoya [is] up to some of [his] old tricks… mixing satire, farce, plain silliness, pathos and tragedy...”--Jay Reiner, The Hollywood Reporter
Rumors, Secrets, Sand and Blood. U.S. Army Captain Catherine Siler journeys to the New Mexico reservation home of Private First Class Raymond Birdsong on a search for answers. The questionable circumstances surrounding Ray’s death in Afghanistan create a crisis of conscience for the captain giving her no choice but to re-examine her own life along the way.
Richard Montoya and Culture Clash, L.A.’s premiere Chicano performance group, return with a play about America’s constantly shifting political landscape exploring loss, identity and the notion of occupied homelands. Palestine, New Mexico promises to be an inherently theatrical work that mixes humor and cold fact to unforgettable and galvanizing effect.
Drama. 7m, 6f. Acting Edition. $9.95
The Secret Garden, Spring Version
Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman, Music by Lucy Simon Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The long-awaited new 70-minute version of the beloved musical is as beautiful and spirited as the original in just half the time. Adapted by Marsha Norman from her Tony-award winning book, it tells the story of Mary Lennox, orphaned in India, who returns to Yorkshire to live with an embittered, reclusive uncle and his invalid son. On the estate, she discovers a locked garden filled with magic, a boy who talks to birds, and a cousin she brings back to health by putting him to work in the garden. The original chorus of ghosts has been replaced with a chorus of Readers, who sit onstage and watch the musical unfold before their eyes, singing in most scenes, and even participating as desired in the storm scene at the end of the first act, and the frolic in the Night Garden. Lucy Simon’s music, some of the most beautiful ever written for Broadway, has made this tale of regeneration a favorite for almost 20 years. This new "Spring Version" promises to be a treasure for children and adults.
8m, 7f, 1f child, 1m child, Readers (chorus) as many as you want. Unit Set. Acting Edition. $9.95.
by David Foley
Camille Dargus has fought her way up from humble beginnings to a glittering Manhattan lifestyle. She has beauty, brains, wealth, and a successful career as a jewelry designer for the leading lights of New York society. She also has a penchant for attractive young men. One night at a society gala she meets Billy, a handsome young waiter, and brings him back to her Soho apartment. But there's more to Billy than meets the eye, and Camille finds herself held hostage at gunpoint by a man who seems frighteningly familiar with the past Camille has struggled to forget. Over the course of one explosive night, Camille must use all her wits and cunning to save her life--and to prevent the dark secrets of her past from destroying everything she's worked for.
Full of twists and turns, bluffs and double bluffs, this brilliantly intricate thriller will be one step ahead of you all the way! Nominated for a 2008 Edgar Award
Murder Mystery/Thriller. Interior. 2m, 1f. Acting Edition. $9.95