Tuesday, March 30, 2010

POW! (Play Of The Week)

Each week our staff recommends a play that's new, interesting, or just flat-out fantastic. We aim to encourage dialogue and broaden your horizons, so we frequently try to choose plays of which you may not be aware.

Order a copy, read it, then e-mail us and let us know what you think: info@dramabookshop.com.

by Noah Haidle

You don't need to know much about the astrological phenomenon of Saturn “returning” to appreciate the beauty of this play. The title serves simply as a means of looking at a man at three pivotal points in his life--every Saturn Return. (It takes Saturn roughly 30 years to orbit the sun; in astrology, this phenomenon is called a Saturn Return. It is believed that at this time you will get a major dose of karma.)

But Saturn Returns by Noah Haidle doesn't deal with karma as much as it deals with Gustin's relationships to the women in his life and his inability to change. The play is nostalgic without being sentimental. One empathizes with Gustin as he continues to make the same mistakes and refuses to let go. In Gustin, we see a little of ourselves. The play continually asks, " if only...?"

What stayed with me while reading Saturn Returns was how beautifully constructed it was. I grew to care for each person (and each stage of Gustin’s life) with such intensity. There was never a moment when the play was not vivid and fully imagined in my mind. But the real treat for me was that after going down this road and becoming emotionally invested in the characters, Haidle delivered a stunning ending. There is nothing worse than a play with a lackluster finish. I often feel that the playwright just didn't know how to wrap things up, put on a pretty tied-up bow, or simply stopped writing altogether. With an ending that could be seen as sentimental to some, Saturn Returns offers the audience solace and closure. It allows you to exhale and appreciate the story as a whole.

Saturn Returns seemed to come and go quickly when produced at Lincoln Center in 2008. Perhaps because it took a year-and-a-half to be published, this play seems to have fallen off the radar. It is a perfect play for the Regional Market. With its small cast, unit set, and intimate setting, it would be a marvelous addition to any theatre company's season.

Cast: 3M, 1W
Wonderful scenes for a man and a woman.

Review by Abigail Hardin

Saturn Returns
Dramatists Play Service, 2010
Acting Edition: $8.95

Noah Haidle

Noah Haidle’s plays have been or will be produced at South Coast Repertory, The Long Wharf Theater, The Goodman Theater, The Woolly Mammoth Theatre, The Huntington Theater and The Roundabout Theatre Company. Haidle is currently working on a new play commission from The Goodman Theater and a screenplay for Scott Rudin Productions. He is a graduate of Princeton University and The Juilliard School, where he was a Lila Acheson Wallace playwright-in-residence. He is the recipient of three Lincoln Center Le Compte Du Nouy Awards, the 2005 Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights and an NEA/TCG theater residency grant.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mon, March 29. 5 PM to 7 PM: The Science of Acting Workshop (FREE) at The Drama Book Shop

"The biggest thing to hit acting since the Method"

What is good acting? How do you create believable characters? How can an actor understand a character if they do not understand themselves? Why, if so many people want to act well, so few do?

This 2 hour workshop will cover all the essential elements of The Science of Acting on the tail of the recent publication of the book that describes the technique in detail (The Science of Acting by Sam Kogan, edited by Helen Kogan).

The Academy of the Science of Acting & Directing (ASAD) is one of the world's leading drama training establishments. It is also the only drama school in the UK and possibly the world, with a ground-breaking and highly acclaimed book published on the acting technique it founded, and continues to develop. All of our courses offer the most complete training for the acting and directing profession. Tonight will give you a background and overview of the entire technique as well as a taster of the many subjects that will be covered in the forthcoming NY and LA Summer schools.

By the end of the workshop you will have the knowledge and tools to - not only answer the above questions (and many more) - but to be able to approach any character (from an acorn to Shakespeare) for film, theater, television, audition....with confidence.

The Science of Acting
by Sam Kogan, ed. by Helen Kogan
Routledge, 2009
List Price: $33.95

POW! (Play Of The Week)

The Retreat from Moscow
by William Nicholson

A painfully honest look at a marriage in crisis, this 2004 Tony nominee for Best Play focuses on Edward, a schoolteacher in his 50s, his wife Alice, also in her 50s, and their son, Jamie, 30.

Edward is one sort of stereotypical husband: taciturn to a fault and unable to comfortably express either what he feels or what he wants. The far more vocal Alice believes she has had to deal with Edward long enough; when she confronts him (not for the first time), secrets are revealed and people are hurt--including their son--in ways she could not have imagined.

Retreat is about love, hatred, betrayal, sacrifice and the role that each can play in a decades-long marriage once the near-inevitable ennui sets in. William Nicholson captures all the details of this profoundly troubled relationship, including all the little psychic stab wounds a husband and wife can inflict on one other. In the process, he gives actors a virtual smorgasbord of scenes and monologues to choose from.

Cast: 2M, 1W

Monologues from both Edward and Alice. Great confrontation scenes between Edward and Alice... as well as scenes between each parent and Jamie.

Recommended by: Stu

Monday, March 22, 2010

Friday, March 26, through Sunday, March 28, 2010: A 24/7 marathon celebration of Tennessee Williams’ 99th Birthday!

Friday, March 26, through Sunday, March 28, 2010
LAByrinth Theatre Company
A 24/7 marathon celebration of
Tennessee Williams’ 99th Birthday!

In collaboration with LAByrinth Theater Company(Co-Artistic Directors Stephen Adly Guirgis, MimiO’Donnell, and Yul Vázquez), we will celebrate the legendary playwright Tennessee Williams with TENN99, a one-of-a-kind, three-day weekend event, a non-stop, 24/7 marathon celebration of his works. The event will run day and night, all weekend long at The Cherry Lane Theater’s ‘Cherry Pit.’ All are welcome; admission s free. A partial list of participants includes: Leslie Bibb, Ellen Burstyn, Bobby Cannavale, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jesse L. Martin, Ana Ortiz, Sam Rockwell, John Patrick Shanley, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Yul Vázquez (all subject to continuing availability). The complete roster of participating celebrity guests and Company Members will be announced shortly.

For additional information, call LAByrinth at (212) 513-1080 or visit www.LABtheater.org or www.dramabookshop.com.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thurs, March 25. 6:00 PM: From Winning the Vote to Directing on Broadway(FREE). Book event and lecture with Pamela Corbin, Anne & Lucy Martin

Time: Thursday, March 25, 2010 6 PM to 8 PM
Location: The Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018
Title of Event: From Winning the Vote to Directing on Broadway(FREE). Book event and lecture with Pamela Corbin, Anne & Lucy Martin

Cobrin, Bogart & Martin will discuss women’s impact on New York theatrical culture from the 1920s through today. A reading of the one-act play “The Woman of It” (1914) written by actress and activist Mary Shaw, (who starred in the infamous 1905 production Mrs. Warren’s Profession, in which the actors were arrested for indecency), provides an excellent example of how women utilized performance to reflect and shape their sociopolitical world. Theatre served as a political platform during a time when women had no legal political voice. From Winning the Vote to Directing on Broadway examines how women shaped theater and how theater shaped women during the most explosive time in American women’s history: from pre-enfranchisement through 1920, when women won the right to vote. Pamela Cobrin is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department and Director of the Writing and Speaking Programs at Barnard College. Anne Bogart is the Artistic Director of SITI Company, which she founded in 1992 with Japanese director, Tadashi Suzuki. She is also Professor at Columbia University where she runs the graduate directing program. Her books include And then, You Act; Conversations with Anne; A Director Prepares; and Viewpoints. Lucy Martin, veteran of Broadway, Off-Broadway and Television (Children of a Lesser God, The Sisters Rosensweig, last season’s Hedda Gabler, 6 years on The Edge of Night), is a member of the second of three generations of actors.

From Winning the Vote to Directing on Broadway
By Pamela Cobrin
University of Delaware Press, 2009: $54.50

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mon, March 22 @ 10:00 AM: The Headshot Marathon Returns--at a Reduced "Recession" Cost

The Headshot Marathon Returns--at a Reduced "Recession" Cost

Affordable, Quality Headshots by a Top New York Photographer--Satisfaction Guaranteed

In collaboration with Barry Burns Photography, working professionally in New York for more than 40 years, the Drama Book Shop is hosting a marathon day of digital shooting.

Cost: $150.00 (plus tax) for a one-hour session, for which you will receive an 8" x 10" print and a disc containing that shot. Additional prints and touch-ups are available at reasonable prices.

Make-up artist Satoko Ichinose will be available for an additional fee. Visit her website at www.satokomakeup.com

You may also take advantage of the talents of clothes stylist Judy Peluclette, who will help you select the perfect outfits for the parts you'll be auditioning for.

Please call The DRAMA BOOK SHOP at 212 944-0595, to schedule an appointment (Monday through Saturday, 11 to 7)

Fri, March 19 @ 6:00 PM: How to be a Savvy Actor (FREE) at The Drama Book Shop

Get Inside Tips from the Authors of The Savvy Actor Career Manual!

The Savvy Actor Career Manual, list Price $79.95. Only $39.95 for those attending the seminar.

Ever read an acting career book but never got specific direction on how to make it work for your talent, goals, and dream? Get specific, personal career tips and tools at this launch event for The Savvy Actor Career Manual, the most comprehensive acting career guide available! Authors and actors Jodie Bentley and Kevin Urban will share their inspiration for the manual and walk you through the seven essential elements of a successful professional acting career.

The Savvy Actor® founders Jodie Bentley and Kevin Urban have taken their combined 20+ years of experience in acting, marketing, branding, and sales, to create the first and only guide that puts every career tool the actor needs in one place.

The Savvy Actor Career Manual goes beyond career books to give you a step-by-step guide to every element the professional actor needs to turn their talent into a money-making career. It cuts to the core of what really works, based on actor-tested techniques for making an impact in the industry. Get all the business tools they didn't teach you in school, including goals, long-term career vision, marketing, branding, networking, getting representation, managing finances, automating your office, and more.

"The Savvy Actor Career Manual is a valuable tool for anyone looking to be a professional, working actor. Jodie and Kevin combine their extensive performing experience and business know-how to help actors succeed in a most competitive field. They help performers set realistic goals and marketing plans that work. I have been a casting director for 15 years would highly recommend this manual to actors looking to take their career to the next level." --Jamibeth Margolis, CSA Casting Director

"I'm a huge supporter of The Savvy Actor and the dead-on coaching provided by Jodie & Kevin. The Savvy Actor Manual is a valuable resource to any actor out there." --Jillian Sanders, Jr. Agent, Don Buchwald and Associates

"The Savvy Actor Manual has helped me clear the clutter from my craft as a performer by focusing on career, life, and financial goals and developing my specific brand. I am empowered, organized, and now consider myself not only an actor but a businessperson!" --Jaye Maynard, Actor

The Savvy Actor Career Manual
The Savvy Actor LLC, 2010
140 pages including over 60 worksheets plus links to online files to help you manage your career.

List Price $79.95
Event Price, only $39.95

Friday, March 12, 2010

Drama Book Shop Staff News

The Drama Book Shop's Research Assistant, Sean Avolio, has just released a new music video: ALL UP IN MY CANDY. It is on YouTube now and will be on iTunes within a few weeks.

Congratulations Sean!

[Ok, shameless plug: the All Up in My Candy vidoe marks my first stab as an Executive Producer, but the song and video are really good and I am not really much of a "pop" music fan! --Allen Hubby, Vice President and Co-owner, The Drama Book Shop.]

Thursday, March 11, 2010

POW! Play of the Week: ALMOST BLUE by Keith Reddin

Each week a member of the Drama Book Shop staff recommends one play that's new, interesting, or just flat-out fantastic. We aim to encourage dialogue and broaden your horizons, so we frequently try to choose plays of which you may not be aware.

Order a copy, read it, then let us know what you think.

Almost Blue by Keith Reddin

An unknown yet brilliant gentleman (or gentlewoman) once said, "It's more fun to be bad then to be good." Truer words were never spoken. Whether you are an actor, writer, or just a regular old Joe who wandered in off the street, we all root for the bad guy (at least in our art). If you disagree then I ask you to take note at the characters/roles that won the last two Oscars for Best Supporting Actor: A psychotic, serial killing clown with a lavish taste for the theatrical in his terrorism; and a cold blooded yet cheerful Nazi colonel more frightening then the Terminator and Hitler put together. And yet, with everything we have to judge them against, characters like these make for great entertainment. Why? Because they make the choice to be who they are.

Almost Blue is a stage noir about characters who aren't exactly the type of people your mother would have been proud to have over for dinner. Our lead character, Phil, is a newly released ex-con who spends his days and nights drinking away his "freedom" in a seedy rooming house. (Think Humphrey Bogart meets Barney from the Simpsons). Blue, an elderly gentleman who lives below Phil and writes pornographic greeting cards. Liz, the femme fatale who's loyalty seems to change depending on which guy she's talking to. And Steve, Liz's ex-boyfriend and Steve's ex-cell mate who's known to have a bit of a violent streak in him. What makes these characters interact so well is their need for personal connection. That need to connect with any given stranger because that person in the mirror has become the greatest stranger of all. It is Phil's need to "do the right thing. At least before I'm completely worthless" that that ties him to the motives of all the other characters.

In a noir tale, it is often the most conflicted and morally lost individual who holds all the power; the power to make a choice. All of the characters try to tempt Phil into going along with their plan of how to continue on the road of life when the pavement suddenly turns to gravel. Blue vies for Phil's friendship, Steve looks for Phil's muscle, and Liz looks for the good man she claims is still alive. Or perhaps they're simply looking to Phil for something else. Something in him that he's trying ever so desperately to drown out.

Almost Blue is a great character piece for actors in there 30s-50s with a twist ending worth the read alone. Men, great scene work between Phil and Blue as well as Phil and Steve. Women, great monologue for Liz pg 37-38 as well as scene work with Phil.

Cast: 3M, 1W

Review by: Matt Alspaugh

Almost Blue
by Keith Reddin
Acting Edtion, $8.95

Please call 212 944-0595 to order.

Previous selections can be found on the Drama Book Shop website

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sun, March 14th: How to Build and Maintain an Acting Career in NYC with Actress and Career Coach Annie Chadwick at The Drama Book Shop

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

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Intermission Talk for March 3, 2010

by Tony Vellela

It's No "Lie of the Mind"
that "Time Stands Still"

While it may not exactly take a village to present a good play, it does indeed require the creative collaboration of loads of people. That's what you get at the Friedman Theatre, where the Manhattan Theatre Club's production of the new Donald Margulies play "Time Stands Still" marks the gifted playwright's first Broadway exposure. Known for crafting successful off-Broadway works, such as "Dinner With Friends" and "The Model Apartment," Margulies once again pens characters who live with a universal range of human dilemmas, set inside a confined domestic space. And he has director Daniel Sullivan and an insightful cast headed by Laura Linney to thank for enhancing his written text as it springs to life on the boards.

Linney, a world-class war photojournalist, has just returned, scarred but not discouraged, from a brutal assignment in Iraq. She refuses to have her zeal weakened because she needs crutches to get around the airy loft she shares with her lover of nine years, Brian d'Arcy Janes. Her resolve isn't weakened because the left side of her face and body have been torn up by shrapnel when her jeep was bombed. Her lover, a writer, was with her on the assignment. They were separated when he left the field, after witnessing at very very close range another explosion, which ripped apart the faces and brains of young children and women. Traumatic shell-shock resulted in his departure to a safe zone hospital. She chose, on his urging, to stay behind and record the devastation.

Her former boyfriend and still-current editor [Eric Bogosian] comes by, uninvited, just hours after she arrives home, and he brings with him his much much younger new girlfriend, the engaging Alicia Silverstone. Colliding views of what each person wants in the next [and they hope, finally final] stage of their relationship lives emerge, and the deft dialogue-writing and situation manipulation by Margulies keep the play from sliding into predictable patterns.

Here's where this invaluable collaboration comes into 'play.' On the page, Margulies' playwriting shows attention to actor process - he indicates where someone's speech can be interrupted without causing any loss of important information when that speech is cut off. The inconvenient conundrums [conundra?] and critical conflicts each of the principals faces may not be entirely earned, but they have been put out there for the actors and directors to use by a playwright who has a sharp ear for how people, different kinds of people, speak and whisper, shout, question and admonish. Then, these four brilliant actors infuse all of it with some of the best ensemble performances on the boards now. And Dan Sullivan's light-touch [in a good way] direction opens the cast to the type of instant, emotional and physical responses that acting teachers dream of seeing in their scene study sessions. From "The Heidi Chronicles" to "Rabbit Hole," and dozens of others along the way, Sullivan always leaves room for ways that liberate the actors to become the characters. And in Linney and Silverstone, he has ladies who are a pair of firsts among equals. It's no surprise that Laura Linney delivers on every aspect of this woman's despair - even how she masks the pain she constantly bears, because of her lacerations. Her longtime companion suspects and then has it confirmed, that she fell in love with their local guide, who was killed in their jeep bombing. Now, her editor wants to rescue her from becoming another kind of cripple - homebound and separated from taking the images they both believe can alert the world to the injustices and immoralities of man-made and natural disasters. The men are trying to pull her into their versions of her past where their role in her life will be re-established. Instead, Linney pulls out all the pieces of their motives, shoots them full of holes, and lets us share all of the battles.

But it is Alicia Silverstone's nuanced performance that stays with us. Her seemingly vapid and IQ-challenged events planner, with no apparent socially redeeming accomplishments, emerges as someone with far greater instinctual connections to the humanity the others believe they better represent. Far from "Clueless," she reveals a young woman who knows her soul and knows how to bring it into her daily life with no apologies. It's a performance that will likely be rewarded with a nomination, and possibly earn a win, because we expect to laugh at her, and wind up laughing with her. Good stuff.

And a final note about the collaboration thing - after the words end, Linney reminds her now-former lover to take his bike helmet before he cycles out of her life [not in the script], and then Linney the photographer eases her way center stage and points the camera at us as the lights go down. Not in the script, but it stays in our mind, as the spot-on action of someone who believes her mission is to watch, and record others.

Director Ethan Hawke has taken a revered but rather unwieldy script, Sam Shepard's "A Lie of the Mind," and managed to make it manageable - and then some. Judicious cuts, restructuring the action down from three acts to two, and gathering together another world-class ensemble have resulted in one of the most captivating theatrical events of the year.

This is a tuuufff [tough] play. Rough play. A quarter century ago, this piece about two New West families inter-twined by marriage, exploded onto the scene, at the now-closed Promenade Theatre on the Upper West Side, directed by the author. The history between the young, gentle wife Beth [the extraordinary Marin Ireland] and her volatile, unhinged husband Jake [a hot-wired Alessandro Nivola] has been written in bruises and blood - hers. At the moment we meet Jake, he is crying into a pay phone to his brother Frankie [Josh Hamilton], that he has killed Beth.

The Good News is that he did not kill her. The Bad News is that he has caused her severe brain damage - she has been hospitalized, cannot speak at all clearly, and can barely stand up. In terms of gunshot injuries, battered bodies, splintered psyches, endless lies, rampant greed, oblivious cruelties, crude behavior and savage outbursts, it is all downhill from there. Except, miraculously, for Beth, who makes slow, almost imperceptible advances in her various crippling conditions.

Overall, the condition of these people, which also include Beth's parents and brother [Keith Carradine and Laurie Metcalf, and Frank Whaley] , and Jake and Frankie's mother and sister [Karen Young and Maggie Siff], resembles broken, cheap statuary that has been clumsily glued back together, with all the cracks showing. Dysfunctional would be a hundred steps Up. And seen today, Shepard's outlandish, symbols-laden plot lines and justifications lose their shock value less than an hour in, but it's fair to say that Realism/Naturalism has never been his objective. He has become one of the most respected Father/Son Issues playwrights of the last half century, and while "Lie of the Mind' does not initially appear to be headed down that well-traveled road, that's where we are led - you can lead an audience to new intellectual territory, but you can't make them think - so it's back to the old familiar trenches. The spell-binding depictions impress in large measure because of Hawke's fiercely intelligent decisions, keeping the explosive emotional peaks within accessible boundaries for an audience that can become weary from the jagged plot points. His scalpel-precise handling of some very blunt moments prevents laughter at circumstances, places and language that, twenty-five years after being created, have become stereotypical, familiar "types" and situations. A director who has been, for more than two decades, a working, versatile actor, knows what will and will not work.

What also works is the brilliant design work. Jeff Croiter's lighting choices should be required viewing for aspiring lighting designers. And Derek McLane, the New Group's apparent resident set designer, has encased the entire stage in cast-off jumble [as the Brits call it], the detritus of lives unlived - cracked furniture, tavern beer signs, rusty tools, broken toys, joyless lamps. Like their once and future owners, they echo times when life meant seeking and getting things, at the cost of losing the love of others.

Amid all this goings-on - a set of individual stories that collide with each other, an atmosphere that sucks you into a surreal funhouse world, and a display of stellar performances that keep your eyebrows in a permanently raised position - it is, like in the Margulies play, two women who rise above it all. As Beth's mother, Laurie Metcalf assuages her daughter's pain with the instinctive caring of a natural mother, demonstrating that this is an actor who could do almost anything, given the opportunity. Offer her an Ibsen play, someone.

And Marin Ireland's Beth lands like a dart aimed squarely at your forehead. She navigates physical battering, mental dislocation, emotional vandalism and memory loss with the skill of a perfect ten ice dancer on sharpened skates, doing it all on thin ice. Ireland's Beth could rival Helen Keller as a classic hopeless case, rescued in this case by her own internal conviction that love heals all. She's a knockout.

On Book

Sam Shepard's long and controversial writing career included a few notable stops at New York's Public Theatre. For a truly kaleidoscopic series of revelations about that uber-influential institution, indulge yourself with "Free for All: Joe Papp, and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told." This history/biography, compiled by Kenneth Turan, with Joseph Papp listed as its co-author [a relationship that almost sank the entire years-long process], traces the exhausting, confrontational and inspiring years that gave birth to New York's Shakespeare Festival and the Public Theater. Papp's widow, Gail Merrifield Papp, helped Turan rescue this chronicle that covers everything from church basement productions and free Shakespeare in parks, through battles with urban planner/killer Robert Moses, gliding through the discoveries or showcasing of dozens of talent stars such as George C. Scott and Meryl Streep, milestones "Hair" and "A Chorus Line," and into the era of Tony Kushner, Savion Glover, and Elaine Stritch - a golden legacy made real through the commentaries of more than forty people who were there. This is a story of collaborations - the good, the bad and the endlessly dissected.

Donald Margulies has finally made it to Broadway, with his complex and masterful "Time Stands Still." If you are not yet familiar with his work, pick up copies of any of his plays, but look particularly for "Dinner with Friends," "The Model Apartment," "The Loman Family Picnic" and "Collected Stories." And, look for "Collected Stories" when it receives its Broadway premiere later this season.


TONY VELLELA wrote and produced the PBS series about theatre, 'Character Studies.' His award-winning play "Admissions," which was directed in three separate productions by veteran director Austin Pendleton, is published by Playscripts. His theatre journalism has appeared in dozens of publications, including Dramatics, The Christian Science Monitor, Parade, and Saturday Review. He teaches at HB Studio, and does private coaching.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Thurs, March 4 @ 6:00 PM: MASTER YOUR DOMAIN (FREE) at The Drama Book Shop

Master Your Domain (FREE)

Come hear web site professionals Shannon Brown, Jon Ecklund and Annie Chadwick in a panel discussion on the current trends in web site and reel design.

Straight from her monthly Show Business Strategies column, Annie Chadwick leads this free workshop on how to "Master Your Domain." Domain name, that is. "as the internet has become more integrated into our lives, having a web presence is now a vital component in the actor's arsenal." It's no longer a luxury to have a web site with reels, it is now an absolute necessity.

In this hour and a half workshop you will get tips on how you can create an effective web presence with the marketing materials you already have at whatever stage you are with your career. There is no need to wait until you "have enough footage." Also learn how you can create your own professional reel that shows your uniqueness and gives a taste of what you do best.

Workshop topics will include:

•Domains & hosting

•Effective site design

•Using email efficiently

•Some social networking tips

•Creating your own reels

•Search Engines - Where to begin

Bonus - this workshop coincides with the Drama Book Shop's wine and cheese night! Come enjoy and learn how to move your career to the next level. For more info on the panel please visit: www.AnnieChadwick.com, www.Shannon-Brown.com, and www.dreamoutloudmedia.com