Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thurs, January 28, 2010. 6:30 PM: THE DOCTOR IS IN - FREE at The Drama Book Shop

FREE 15-minute private career consultations with Actress/Coach Annie Chadwick

Whether you are a seasoned professional, a wide-eyed beginner, or lost in the actor maze, 15 minutes with Annie Chadwick can help you identify a career focus for the next 6 months, insight into making your marketing tools more effective and innovative self-promotional techniques.

For Limited Reservations, please call the Drama Book Shop at 212.944.0595 - Walk-ins are encouraged!


***‘The Doctor Is In' is a new monthly Drama Book Shop event that coincides with our free wine & cheese night. Come enjoy and move your career to the next level!***

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wed, Jan 27, 2010, 6:30 p.m: The Simon Studio Drama Book Shop Cinema & Theatre Festival

The Simon Studio/Drama Book Shop Cinema & Theatre Festival proudly celebrates the 200th birthday of EDGAR ALLEN POE Readings from Poe's work (audience invited to participate) plus a special staged reading presentation of The Other Jack (a.k.a. The Big Hit,) a new play about the turbulent life and psyche of Jack Ruby, by Erwin Pally, directed by Roger Hendricks Simon and featuring members of the Professional Lab of THE SIMON STUDIO. Admission free/Donations accepted for the John Palmore Scholarship Fund.

For Reservations: 212-841-0204




Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thurs, Jan 28, 6:00 PM: FREE Headshot Clinic with Ellis Gaskell at The Drama Book Shop

FREE Headshot Clinic with Ellis Gaskell

How Good is Your Headshot?

Headshots are a critical tool for forging an actor’s career. Find out if yours works well at a free “Headshot Clinic” at the Drama Book Shop. A panel headed by Ellis Gaskell, author of “The Actor’s Guide: How To Get The Best Headshot” will discuss why a headshot counts as a 'two-second interview.'

Panelists will also offer critiques of participants' headshots so please feel free to bring yours along.

The Drama Book Shop is located at 250 W. 40th St.

The "Headshot Clinic" is free. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

The Actor’s Guide: How To Get The Best Headshot
by Ellis Gaskell
Break a Leg Books, 2008
Paper: $15.95

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

POW! (Play Of The Week)

Love Song
by John Kolvenbach

"I saw all this Living. …through my peephole I watched them skipping down the hall, and I wondered what kind of shoes they wore to want things so much… I didn’t understand them, playing hopscotch and writing formulas, building ships from kits and taking walks…They scared me, Harry…"

Play of the Week is hard. Throughout the year hundreds of new plays from publishers around the world land first at the Drama Book Shop. Every month dozens of new titles overflow our celebrated wall of new plays. We’re also home to thousands of plays written over millennia. An entire art form wraps around our walls. To choose one can induce paralysis.

This is your lucky week. In his astonishing play, Love Song, John Kolvenbach investigates the subject of love through two couples and a waiter. The central character is Beane, an exile from life who lives alone with a cup and a spoon in a dim studio apartment where the walls are literally closing in. He’s the despair of his strident but loving older sister, Joan, and her too rational husband, Harry, who’ve amassed the trappings and attendant neuroses of successful professionals. Beane works in government—in a toll booth. One night he arrives home to be waylaid by Molly, a violent young woman whose bent for destruction attacks Beane’s defenses at fake gunpoint. As she attempts to kick- box Beane into sex and love, she’s like the life force on steroids. Molly plunges Beane, Joan and Harry into hilarious turmoil and chaos. These are characters you’d follow to the end of the earth.

Playwriting is hard. Yet Kolvenbach makes it appear effortless. He uses the elements of stagecraft with tremendous skill to create a world as authentic as it is fantastic. He shows rather than tells. The play unfolds with intense theatricality—the magical things that only theatre can do. A light cue can scare you to death. Simple objects reveal great complexity—a wine glass, turkey sandwich, stolen hotel bathrobe, take on layers of meaning, and at times, poetry.

Love is hard. The play is rich with meaning and the cultural provenance of the author’s unique imagination. Images abound from the Bible to Beckett and back. Love Song reveals almost infinite kinds of love—of siblings, couples, pets, strangers, self, life. Love begets tyranny, grace, lust, joy and loss. It lays siege to the senses and the self. Beane awakens to sensations and words he’s never before imagined—food, smells, water, light, heat, suffering, savagery. And love creates a river of language that surges forth when Beane finally discovers something worth articulation. Without an ounce of sentimentality, Kolvenbach’s razor wit and lack of cynicism combine to lacerate the heart.

To reveal the ending would be a felony. But who is Molly? Is she real? What must Beane sacrifice to join the human race? Love Song will hold you captive and leave you shaken. Hell may be other people but it’s not as deep as the hell that’s empty.

Cast: 2 men, 2 women. Beane and Molly, 20s; Joan and Harry, 30s, Harry doubles as the waiter.

Scenes/Monologues: Hilarious, touching, career-making scenes and monologues. Scenes: Joan, Harry and Beane; Beane and Molly; Beane and Joan; Joan and Harry. Monologues: Joan, Beane, Molly.

Recommended by: Helen

Friday, January 15, 2010

Intermission Talk

Intermission Talk

Spend the Holidays

with Will Shakespeare

by Tony Vellela

So you missed Jude Law in "Hamlet." Pity - it was a riveting production, worthy of being filmed by HBO or PBS or ... I guess those are the only options, even though there are about two hundred million cable channels. After seeing this great play, I decided to star in my own [slightly updated] Shakespeare production, "Two Gentlemen IN Verona."

During a recent trip to Italy, my photographer Simone Martelli and I spent some time soaking in the aura of Will Shakespeare's fantasized home away from home - Italia. While this city's name appears in the title of the Two Gents comedy, it is the most famous love story of all time - "Romeo & Juliet" - that lives here.

Simone Martelli, photographer

Yes, they are fictional characters in a play, but evidence exists that they are based on young lovers from the fifteenth century whose tragic romance evolved into a much-beloved folk tale of its day. Many Shakespeare scholars refer to Arthur Brooke's 1562 moralistic narrative poem "The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet" as the Bard's source, but Veronese locals filled us in on the real scoop. About thirty years earlier [1531], a short novel by Luigi Da Porto gave the kids their first names, and the following year a Veronese poet named Matteo Bandello expanded on the same story. It was translated into French and then into English, which may be how the scribe heard the word. These incarnations placed some blame on the doomed lovers, for being hasty and impulsive and rash and all the other kinds of behavior that moralistic adults think teens should be punished for. Shakespeare's lovers, however, do not fit into the traditional patterns of tragedy - their fate is visited on them because of exterior events beyond their control. But you knew that.

This you may not know, unless you've also been there. When approaching 23 Via Cappelo, you will see that the short arched street-level underpass is plastered with notes affixed to its walls, messages of thanks to Juliet for sharing with the world her tale of love. This three-story stone building, which features the Cappello family crest inside the tiny courtyard, was the home of that real-life family, and operated as an inn. Their political 'rivals' in the 13th and 14th centuries were the San Bonifacio family, and the story goes that R & J were in truth, young members of these clans. The San Bonifacios were kin to the Montagues, who were loyal to la Scala familia [yes, THAT Scala, as in La Scala Opera House].

Inside 23, a quaint museum houses cultural and historical artifacts connected to young Julia, called Giulietta [like Masina, who was born nearby, outside of Bologna]. And on the side of the building, a balcony juts over the courtyard from the second floor, providing today's [doomed?] young lovers the best photo op of their lives.

Yes, they died - the Shakespeare girl and the Cappelo girl - and a short walk away, the tomb where the Verona lass laid in state is kept below ground in an earthen dimly-lit crypt at the Capucine convent. You can take pictures, but you can't do it lying down, and you can't touch. We may have Lord Byron to thank for that - he reportedly stole a chunk of marble from the tomb because he was so enamored with Verona.

Even in Byron's day, the well-preserved Arena, one of Italy's best surviving Roman amphitheatres, hosted crowd-pleasing performances, and from July through September of every year, opera events continue to be held. If you stand at the rear of the stage area, and your friend sits off to the side, in the uppermost row of seating, he will hear you, unless the twentieth-century roadway behind you drowns you out. However, a trip inside the rooms above the Arena will acquaint you with the details of this marvelous piece of antiquity, its walls and display cases replete with drawings, sketches, sculptures and other fascinating examples of life among the ruins, before they were.

Veronese in the know will tell you that tourism connected to Shakespeare is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it dates back at least to the 1700s, when Grand Tours guided the literari with the wherewithal, to hit the road on excursions that brought the locales of the fictional favorites to life - a much earlier version of those bus tours that point out the exteriors of the New York places where Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer hung out. Today, visitors can do much more than pound the fabled pavements, although that alone is worth the trip, where you can savor the feel, the colors, the sounds and the atmosphere of Fair Verona. Locals will eagerly direct you to a side street or alleyway, where you can settle comfortably in at a family-owned trattoria or taverna, serving traditional fare such as roast leg of wild boar, pumpkin soup served in a bowl scooped from half a loaf of brown bread, pear cake and toasted barley coffee, that the feuding families would have partaken. Perhaps strolling minstrels strumming lyrical melodies and harmonies on their girondas would have tempered tempers.

On Book

And if creating harmony with a loved one is on your wish list for the coming holidays, up to and including Valentine's Day, consider a Shakespeare gift. If you feel shaky about Shakespeare, there's Cynthia Greenwood's "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Shakespeare Plays," a compendium to launch anyone into the world of the Old Globe.

For those more at home on the lit-up side of the footlights, John Basil's "Will Power: How to Act Shakespeare in 21 Days" walks you briskly from day one of rehearsal through opening night, with stops along the way to explore definitions, pronunciations, punctuations and recommendations. The Royal Shakespeare Company's complete collection of his plays serves as a worthy companion.

And different versions of the individual playscripts offer different special features. The Arden volumes are heavy on detailed information and notes, sometimes taking up more than half of every page, to make absolutely sure you understand every little thing. The Folger versions are often thought to be the best acting texts. And compilations of soliloquies and monologues ordered by gender provide any actor of any age with audition material that has survived through the ages.

Finally, former RSC artistic director and chief executive Adrian Noble will introduce his newest work, "How To Do Shakespeare" at a special event at the Drama Bookshop on Tuesday, January 12 from 5 to 7 PM. His credentials include a prior stint at the Bristol Old Vic, and he will discuss technique, performance styles, Shakespearean language and the place of wit and humor in the timeless canon.


TONY VELLELA wrote and produced the PBS series about theatre, "Character Studies." His award-winning play "Admissions" has been published by Playscripts. His feature reporting has appeared in dozens of publications, including the Christian Science Monitor, Parade, Reader's Digest, USA Today and Rolling Stone. Mr. Vellela is on the faculty of HB Studio in New York City.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sun, Jan 17th: How to Build and Maintain an Acting Career in NYC with Actress and Career Coach Annie Chadwick at The Drama Book Shop

Time: Sunday, Jan 17th, 2010. 2:00 pm
Location: The Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018
Title of Event: How to Begin an Acting Career in NYC with Actress and Career Coach, Annie Chadwick

Whether you are a seasoned professional, a wide-eyed beginner or lost in the actor maze, Annie Chadwick's motivational career building workshop will give you: the vision to create your own unique theatrical career; no nonsense business strategies; innovative self-promotional techniques and the most current industry trends.

  • Have you just finished an acting training program and are ready to begin seeking work
  • Have you recently moved to NYC and need a plan to introduce your talent to the Big Apple?
  • Are you returning to acting or just starting after working in the business world?
  • Has your career stalled and you need fresh innovative tools to move to the next level?

In this 2 hour workshop, Annie will meet with you briefly before the workshop to review your picture/resume and help you target an area of concentration for the next 6 months.  In the actual workshop you will get handouts with current marketing tools and a clear, step-by-step path to evolve your acting career in NYC.

The Workshop will cover:

Marketing Tools and Strategies
Are your marketing tools a current representation of your talent?
This is one of the most important parts of building a career and introducing your talent to the industry. Learn the most current trends in effective Pictures, Resumes, Cover Letters and Postcard content, Website, Reels, Email Submissions, Industry Mailings and Personal Appearance. Get specific letter writing skills and tips to make your cover letters, postcards, follow-ups and submissions more targeted. Are emails, faxing, website promotion the way of the future?

Learn the most effective ways to introduce yourself to the industry agents, personal managers, casting directors, showcases, seminars.
Film/TV and theatre opportunities are greater than ever in NYC. Learn how a talented actor can get auditions without representation and start developing a legit career. Get information on how to self-submit and get your own Film/TV auditions from Online Casting Opportunities and Trade publications. Learn what TV/Film projects are shooting in NYC and who is doing the casting. For theatre projects you will get specific tips on how to find out six months in advance what's being produced before casting notices go out; the best ways to get auditions, target and identify the roles you are most right for; and how to see the latest NYC Off-Broadway theatre for free.

Classes, Coaches, and Resources
Training for artists never ends. Get recommendation of on-going classes and coaches that will help you get noticed in the very competitive NYC market. We'll also go on a tour of the Drama Book Shop with a list of resources that are essential to keeping-up with the latest projects and acting techniques.

For more information on Up-to-Date Theatricals and Annie Chadwick, visit:

The cost of this workshop is $50, payable on the day of the workshop. For reservations call 212-265-0260, or the Drama Book Shop at (212) 944-0595 (option 3) during regular business hours.

Annie just worked with director P.J. Hogan on the new Jerry Bruckheimer film, CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC, playing John Lithgow's wife, Mrs. Edgar West.

Workshop Reviews
"I came to Annie's workshop hoping to at least get some decent info for $50. What I came away with was not only worth the price, but much more than I had hoped for. Annie is genuine, goes out of her way to not only make you feel special, but to really give you that extra individualized attention, which is completely unexpected but absolutely appreciated. Her workshop was not only chalked full of relevant and useful information, but she added something that I did not expect to find there...hope and inspiration. What a truly fabulous workshop! I highly recommend it to anyone who is beginning their career or feeling like they are at a stalemate here in New York!"--Krista, NYC actress/singer/musician

"I took your career-building workshop yesterday. I wanted to drop you a line to say how thankful I was for your advice, attention, and for all the wonderful information you gave us. It was so awesome! I was so energized and excited after the meeting that I felt hopeful I could indeed pursue this career on a professional level. I feel like I have a clear-cut focus for how to approach the next six months and I feel awash in relief! Where to put your time, money and energy in your acting career feels so overwhelming, so it was nice to get some solid, practical advice. Thank you again."--Jennifer, NYC actress

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Tues, Jan 12, 2010, at 5:00 p.m: World Renowned Director, Adrian Noble on HOW TO DO SHAKESPE at The Drama Book Shop

World Renowned Director, Adrian Noble: HOW TO DO SHAKESPEARE
FREE Reading, Talk and Q&A, Followed by a Book Signing

"Adrian Noble vigorously highlights the extraordinary rhythmic, linguistic patterns Shakespeare gives the speaker. Any actor will find this book invaluable. For any student of Shakespeare it should be essential." From the Foreword by Ralph Fiennes

Adrian Noble has worked on Shakespeare with everyone from oscar-nominated actors to groups of schoolchildren. Here he draws on several decades of top-level directing experience to shed new light on how to bring some of theatre’s seminal texts to life.

He shows you how to approach the perennial issues of performing Shakespeare, including:
  • wordplay – using colour and playing plain, wit and comedy, making language muscular
  • building a character – different strategies, using the text, Stanislavski and Shakespeare
  • shape and structure – headlining a speech, playing soliloquys, determining a speech’s purpose and letting the verse empower you
  • dialogue – building tension, sharing responsibility and ’passing the ball’.

This guided tour of Shakespeare’s complex but unfailingly rewarding work stunningly combines instruction and inspiration.

About the Author
Adrian Noble was the artistic director and chief executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company between 1990 and 2003, having previously served as Associate Director for nine years. He has also held key positions at the Bristol Old Vic and the Manchester Royal Exchange. He regularly works in Theatre and Opera in Canada, France and the USA as well as the UK and has received over 20 Olivier Award nominations during his career.

How to do Shakespeare
By Adrian Noble
Foreword by Ralph Fiennes.
Routledge, 2010
Paper: $26.95

Monday, January 04, 2010

Mon, Jan 11, from 5:50 p.m. to 7:30 p.m: FREE Performance Clinic at The Drama Book Shop.

Author/Director/Teacher Karen Kohlhaas Gives Monologue Talk and Performance Clinic

Bring monologues both to perform for feedback, and also for material choice advice.

Karen Kohlhaas will see and give feedback on your monologues, and also discuss what actors should consider when choosing audition material, at Drama Book Shop on Monday January 11th from 5:30-7pm (but latecomers are welcome!). She will also sign copies of her books, THE MONOLOGUE AUDITION, and HOW TO CHOOSE A MONOLOGUE FOR ANY AUDITION, and DVD, THE MONOLOGUE AUDITION VIDEO, all available at Drama Book Shop.

About the Author:
KAREN KOHLHAAS is an Off Broadway theater director and a founding member of the Atlantic Theater Company. She is a senior teacher at the Atlantic Acting School. Directing credits include the world premiere of Annie Baker’s play Body Awareness (Atlantic), 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, (St. Luke's Theatre, National Tour), Harold Pinter's The Hothouse (Atlantic), Keith Reddin’s Synergy (Alley Theatre) and Frame 312 (Atlantic); David Mamet's Boston Marriage (Public Theater) and The Water Engine (Atlantic); Kate Moira Ryan’s OTMA (Atlantic); three productions of An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein in New York (Atlantic) and Sydney (Practical Theatre Co.), and plays for Naked Angels, New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Culture Project and more. She is the author of The Monologue Audition: A Practical Guide for Actors, How to Choose a Monologue for Any Audition, The Monologue Audition Teacher’s Manual, and director/writer/co-producer of the DVD, The Monologue Audition Video. Her short films have been seen in festivals in the U.S. and internationally. She maintains a website for actors, www.monologueaudition.com.

The Monologue Audition: A Practical Guide for Actors, How to Choose a Monologue for Any Audition
by Karen Kohlhaas with a Foreword by David Mamet
Limelight Editions, 2004
Paper: $ 16.99

How to Choose a Monologue for Any Audition
by Karen Kohlhaas
Big and Slow, Inc., 2009
Paper: $15

The Monologue Audition DVD
Big and Slow, 2006
DVD: $35.00