Sunday, May 30, 2010

In Observance Of Memorial Day, Drama Book Shop Will Be Closed on Monday, May 31st, 2010.

Thurs, June 3 @ 6:00 P.M: Ruth Wolff: Reading, Talk, Q&A and a Book Signing FREE at The Drama Book Shop

Notable Women and a Few Equally Notable Men: Nine plays

Ruth Wolff is a playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include The Abdication, Sarah in America, The Second Mrs. Wilson, Empress of China, The Golem (off-Broadway) and her most recent play, Aviators. Her films include The Abdication (Warner Bros., Liv Ullmann, Peter Finch) and The Incredible Sarah (Glenda Jackson). Wolff is the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Playwriting Fellowship.

"I love The Abdication play and I loved acting in the film. Ruth Wolff has written a treasure trove of extraordinary roles for actresses. I hope this book will find many readers." --Liv Ullmann

"Ruth Wolff has written delicious roles of passion, depth and intelligence. Her commitment to the great men and women of history makes these plays a rewarding playground for actors and audiences alike." --Frank Langella

Notable Women and a Few Equally Notable Men: Nine plays
by Ruth Wolff
Broadway Play Publishing, 2010
Paper: $34.95

In Observance Of Memorial Day, Drama Book Shop Will Be Closed on Monday, May 31st, 2010.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Autographed Copies of RED & Time Stands Still. Get them while they're in stock!

We have limited quantities of autographed copies of both RED by John Logan & Time stands Still by Donald Margulies. Call now to order your copies over the phone - (212) 944-0595 x 3.

PLEASE NOTE: There are many (if not most) items in the store that you won't find on our website. If you don't find what you're looking for, please call the Drama Book Shop at 212-944-0595 (option 3) to order.

Monday—Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

(Thursdays until 8:00 p.m., complimentary wine & cheese begining at 6:00 p.m.

Phone orders welcome weekdays beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Intermission Talk for May 15, 2010

Collected Stories, La Cage aux Folles, Promises, Promises, The Addams Family and a truly Great Master, Monet
by Tony Vellela

Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan, at a time when they were not speaking to each other, both told me the same thing: 75% of whether a production will succeed depends on casting. Now, I've heard the same sentiment attributed to others, and it's possible that neither of these theatre giants came up with these wise words on their own. But there it is, and currently on the Great White Way eight times a week, the truth of those words can be clearly seen.

On the positive side, Donald Margulies' "Collected Stories" glows and bristles in all the right places because Linda Lavin knows what to do and how to do it, to make her character work. On the negative side, Kelsey Grammer in "La Cage Aux Folles," and Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenowith in "Promises, Promises," (for different reasons), manage to steer those revivals off-course, altering the charm that their characters, as written, possess.

Ruth Steiner, in the Margulies play, has convinced herself that the life she has constructed, as a successful and highly-regarded short story writer, and NYU professor, provides all she needs. Year after year, she chooses a student to work as her assistant, handling scheduling, some household chores, and basic secretarial tasks. When we first meet her, she is just choosing a student whose class compositions show promise and insight. Lisa, as performed unremarkably by Sarah Paulson, toadies her way into Ruth's life, evolving from the bumbling heroine-worshipper to the heiress-apparent. She finally publishes a first novel, in which she appears to have leeched, and barely disguised, basic circumstances of the youthful history and unresolved emotions of her trusting mentor. Lisa parrots back what Ruth taught her, that a good writer must write about a subject that moves her, and that she must give expression to the circumstances of those with no voice. Ruth points out that, not only is Ruth a person WITH a voice, a writer, but that Lisa's 'subject' is in fact Ruth's life. "You have stolen my life!" Ruth says, when all the chips are finally on the table. And like the professor in David Mamet's hopelessly flawed "Oleanna," or John Proctor in Miller's brilliant "The Crucible," Ruth wants the destiny of her identity left to her alone.

Margulies is a master weaver of lives, which are set in fairly conventional situations. When this play was first produced off-Broadway, with the legendary Uta Hagen as Ruth, the tale had a different resonance, as Hagen depicted Ruth with an already-hardened vision of the rest of her life, and a settled reconciliation with the decisions that she made. That was a defensible interpretation. With Lavin, this Ruth can be seen as having real regret when she confesses that she wishes that she had found a man who met her standards, to father children for her. Lavin's work, together with Margulies' craft, makes "Collected Stories" a rewarding, gratifying theatrical experience. Do not miss it.

You can certainly miss "Promises, Promises," a sixties musical from Neil Simon [book], Burt Bacharach [music] and Hal David [lyrics], based on the screenplay for the 1960 multi-Oscar winner "The Apartment." That Best Picture picture effervesced with wit, winking at the 'boys will be boys' prevailing attitude on Mad Ave. Men's working-late liaisons. Billy Wilder and his longtime writing partner I. A. L. Diamond, concocted the premise: an enterprising, single, eager beaver (Chuck) uses his most valuable resource, a studio apartment he makes available for his various bosses to use when the wild calls, to enhance his career prospects. When he discovers that the company cafeteria waitress he's been pining for (Fran), has been warming his very sheets with his very boss, clashes of conscience, sentiment and cynicism circle around him like vultures in a Peckinpah pic. So, okay - the picture had Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and the Wilder directorial golden touch. Why describe the movie in such detail? Because it was a true product of its time, an era when sex, unlike little children a hundred years earlier, was not seen but was heard about. It was 1960.

The original musical premiered on December 1, 1968, and took place in that year. Result? Bacharach's score echoed what was on the radio. Michael Bennett's choreography featured the all-elbows-flapping, all-knees-jerking style that filled nightclubs and frat houses. And everybody loved it, including me.

Revive it? Why? Another casualty of the rush to mimic the "Mad Men" craze? The original musical starred the youngish Jerry Orbach and the even younger Jill O'Hara [Google for credits], and both the musical and the movie relied on having the sorta nebbish-y Chuck rescue the kinda vulnerable Fran from her battered emotions. Sean Hayes just doesn't measure up to the vocal demands of this show [Orbach, remember, had already created the El Gallo role in "The Fantasticks," starred in "Threepenny Opera," was ... well, he was a singer]. And O'Hara could become the confused, hapless girl-kid who needed a strong hand to keep her from falling on her face, or into bed. Despite all her tremendous gifts, vulnerability is not something Chenowith projects. She may be considered this generation's Ethel Merman - another Broadway powerhouse never known for portraying vulnerable women. So the balance is off - kinda sorta backwards. [The only redeeming element is the ten or twelve minutes when Katie Finneran as a booze-bolstered pick-up channels a sober Joan Cusack character in two hilarious scene-ettes.] To put it another way - this show is 2010's "Bye, Bye, Birdie" revival.

Paring down and tarting up "La Cage aux Folles" was/is a refreshing idea. We get to see the real seediness that makes this transvestite nightclub such a threat to conservative 'family values' types in the south of France, circa 1970s. This concept was imported from London's daring Menier Chocolate Factory, and stars Douglas Hodge as Albin, stage name Zaza, the 'female' half of the performing team that have been together for decades. They have even raised the son of 'butch' partner Georges' once-only hetero romp twenty years ago. Hodge shines. Sorry to say, Kelsey Grammer, as the manager-partner Georges, who runs their club, does not. Once again, casting someone whose name can be read in big letters on the marquee, but who cannot really sing, deflates some of the joy from this rollicking production.

This is a Jerry Herman show, [music & lyrics], and it is the show that he had, unknowingly I'll venture, been auditioning for, for all the years that led up to it, with megahits such as "Mame" and "Hello, Dolly!" laying the foundation for story and songs. Zaza is Dolly is Mame. The club features a chorus of down-at-heel chorines in jocks and bangle beads, working as hard, and displaying as little talent, as the ladies in the Kit Kat Klub line. Candidates for a slot in RuPaul's Drag Race they are not. The original show, in its 1983 world, memorialized the rapidly-growing numbers of AIDS victims, with its message of bold defiance of convention, intolerance and condescension. The Act One closer "I Am What I Am" still resonates as a bold, defiant Gay Rights anthem.

Grammer, like so many straight men playing gay roles, gives it 110% of the gossamer mannerisms, the light-in-the-loafers, heavy-lidded posturing that is akin to sober actors tripping over their shoelaces when playing drunks. And not even all the liquor in the La Cage club can keep you from realizing that off-key is off-key.

Overall, it is a production that creates new interpretations that liberate Harvey Fierstein's fairly conventional libretto from the overdressed, spangles-on-steroids previous versions, and is a tribute to director Terry Johnson, who got little support in the way of avoiding the predictable from choreographer Lynn Page. It's also another opportunity to see ravishing Christine Andreas, outrageous Robin de Jesus and enthralling Veanna Cox in supporting roles. And Hodge, in his less antic moments, when he is not channeling Dame Edna, displays a tender sweetness that reveals why Georges would have fallen in love with the high-spirited lad who dreamed of one day kicking up his heels, center stage.

In "La Cage," Georges' son wants to marry the daughter of an ultra right-wing pol, and invites them for a meet-and-greet dinner, that goes bad, then good. That same exact premise has been shamelessly appropriated by "The Addams Family." There's very little good to say about this box office blockbuster that boasts an advance on the strength of Nathan Lane's rep, Bebe Neuwirth's sheen and the ever-enduring attraction of the Charles Addams ghoulish cartoon family. If you've never seen Nathan, he once again unleashes those unruly eyebrows. Beyond that, it's a train wreck in a blizzard at midnight. Put another way, it's the 2010 version of "Young Frankenstein."

Aside: great musicals can come from cartoon characters, such as "L'il Abner," "Thurber Carnival," "Annie," and the perennial "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." All it takes is original thinking, and a dose of creativity.

And despite the unfortunate need by others to define her in terms of her father, sister and niece, the remarkable Lynn Redgrave, who passed away last week, was indeed a creative original. When we first met eighteen years ago, she was planning ways to celebrate turning fifty, eager to meet new challenges with verve and nerve. The years that followed would have defeated most others, but Lynn forged ahead. Along with her dazzling list of impressive credits [starting with her stunning performances early on, in the films "Georgy Girl" and "Smashing Time," and up to recent roles, from the acerbic Joann at the Kennedy Center, in "Company" to the laconic housekeeper in the film "Gods and Monsters"], she launched into a new career, as a playwright. It started with "Shakespeare For My Father," part tribute, part eulogy, for her dad Michael, patriarch of the royal Redgraves, Britain's acting family version of our Barrymores. It was, she often said, an act of desperation, because she was not getting offered good roles, so she decided to write a part only she could play - herself. In recent days, many many people have also attested to Lynn's ability to make you feel like you were a close friend, however infrequently you spent time together. Like all those others, I will miss her greatly.

If, like me, you have also not [yet] seen "Red," consider spending a fascinating ninety minutes at the Gagosian Gallery to experience a once-only exhibition of a timeless master. Titled "Claude Monet: Late Work," the gallery has gathered paintings and sketches from three continents to present this moving homage, that combines priceless examples from two periods from his later life, the first as he was rendering fine, delicate depictions at the dawn of the last century, and the second from his post-1914 period, as he moved into a more bold, assertive style.

While each painting can stand alone in its beauty, the gallery has painstakingly assembled and displayed together, those that belong to a series of evolving visions, adjusted perspectives and changing conditions. Examples of the evolution of creative genius from both periods grip one's imagination and attest to the brilliance of Monet's iconoclastic vitality. Two of his most beloved subjects, the lily pond and the Japanese bridge, both of which he installed on his country estate in Giverny, France, reveal how perceptions are 'colored' by so many elements that remain largely esoteric even to ourselves. The gallery, at 522 west 21st street, is open to the public, for free. Details are available at

One of the most memorable paintings is "L'All ee de Rosiers," 1920-22, on loan from the Musee Marmatton Monet, Paris, which pulls you in to a child's secret tunnel of overhanging blossoms, but makes no promise that you will find your way out again. And from time to time, don't we all want to get lost in such a world, almost hoping we won't ever escape?

On Book

Lynn Redgrave's two stunning plays based in part on her life, "Shakespeare for My Father," (acting edition, $8.95) and "Nightingale," offer excellent examples of how a solo show for a woman of a certain age can be compelling, challenging and inspiring. And to learn some of what she learned from her legendary dad, there's "The Actor's Ways and Means," by Sir Michael Redgrave.

With a foreword by John Lahr and a preface by Martin Scorsese, "Kazan on Directing" pulls back the asbestos curtain to reveal how the Great Gadg delivered some of the American theatre's greatest works, honoring the intentions [for the most part] of the mid twentieth century's most significant playwrights - Miller, Williams, Inge. Editor Robert Cornfield collected script notes, journal entries, commentaries to writers and others, and letter excerpts, to make this a fascinating study of his creative mind, at work, at play, and all too often, at war with itself.

TONY VELLELA wrote and produced the PBS series about theatre "Character Studies." His award-winning play "Admissions," produced three times in New York, all directed by Austin Pendleton, is published by Playscripts. He has also written several other plays and musicals, three books, teaches at HB Studio, and conducts private coaching sessions. His documentary "Test of Time" was a CableAce Award-winner.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fri, May 21 @ 5 P.M: John Logan: RED (7 Tony Award nominations, including Best Play). Discussion and Book Signing (FREE) at The Drama Book Shop

Logan will talk about his history as a writer, about how Red came to be and take questions from the audience. A book signing will follow.

John Logan has written 14 plays including Never the Sinner, Hauptmann: Speaking in Tongues; Scorched Earth and Riverview. His new adaptation of Ibsen's The Master Builder appeared on the West End in 2003. He is a member of the Victory Gardens Theatre Playwright Ensemble. Logan's work as a screenwriter includes Sweeney Todd (Golden Globe award); The Aviator (Oscar, Golden Globe and WGA nominations); Gladiator (Oscar, Golden Globe and WGA nominations); The Last Samurai; Any Given Sunday, and RKO 281 (WGA award, Emmy nomination).

About RED:
Master American expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that follow, Rothko works feverishly with his young assistant, Ken, in his studio on the Bowery. But when Ken gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing.

Raw and provocative, with groundbreaking performances, Red is a searing portrait of an artist's ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting.

About the Broadway Production:
Starring Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne, and directed by Michael Gandage, RED is playing on Broadway, at the Golden Theater, through June 27. The production received 7 Tony Award nominations, the most of any new play this season

Red: A New Play
by John Logan

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thurs, May 20 @ 6 P.M: Book Party for Eric Lane's Heart of the City. Wine and Cheese Reception and Book Signing (Free) @ The Drama Book Shop

Join us for a wine and cheese reception to celebrate Playscripts' publication of Heart of the City. Cast members from the play's off-Broadway premiere, Scott Kerns and Martin LaPlatney, will join actresses Jenny Gammello and Susan Greenhill to read selections from the script. Meet award-winning playwright/editor Eric Lane, who will be on hand to sign copies of his new play.

Eric Lane is a playwright, book editor and filmmaker. His works have been performed in the U.S., Europe and China. Plays include Heart of the City (Theatre at 30th St.), Ride (W.H.A.T.), Times of War (A.T.F.), Cater-Waiter (HERE) and Dancing on Checkers' Grave, which starred Jennifer Aniston. With Nina Shengold, Eric has edited a dozen contemporary play anthologies for Vintage and Penguin Books. Honors include a Writer's Guild Award, the La MaMa Playwright Award and the Berrilla Kerr Award. Eric is an honors graduate of Brown University and artistic director of Orange Thoughts Productions, a not-for profit theater and film company in NYC.

About the Play:
A mismatched romance on a Brooklyn subway, an unexpected date, a couple struggling to have a baby, an artist re-discovering his passion: these stories and more are artfully woven together to create a tapestry of humor, love, sorrow, and romance. Through a series of short scenes, Heart of the City is a valentine to the joys and challenges of contemporary life that will take you on a dazzling ride through the trials and triumphs of the heart.


"Buoyed by its palpably benign worldview. Unlike many social mosaics, it does not, for once, amount to a blunt condemnation of urban existence. How refreshing." --Andy Webster, The New York Times

"Eric Lane writes a play like a magic lantern. Ingmar Bergman's magic lantern. Real people crisscross everywhere, like beating hearts, behind the characters in Heart of the City. The whole play jolts into life, like an unforeseen synthesizing burst of electricity." --Jerry Tallmer, The Villager

"There are moments of insight, compassion, and wisdom -- and they're all illuminated by the energetic cast." --TheaterMania

Heart of the City
Playscripts, 2010.
Acting Edition: $8.99
(Please call to order: 212 944-0595)

Melissa Miller and Scott Kerns in Heart of the City, produced by Fern Kershon & Orange Thoughts Productions at the Theatre at 30th Street, New York City (2009). Photo: Jeramy Peay

Wed, May 19 @ 5 P.M: Theresa Rebeck and Friends Introduce the Playwrights in an Hour Series at The Drama Book Shop

Panel Discussion and Cocktail Reception (Free)

Theresa Rebeck, the subject of one of the IN AN HOUR books, Alexis Greene, the writer of the Theresa Rebeck book, Christopher Baker the writer of the MOLIERE IN AN HOUR book, and others (TBA) discuss the relevance and role of playwrights in America today.

About the Series:
PLAYWRIGHTS IN AN HOUR is a series of 27 titles that focuses on the most produced, studied and published playwrights ranging from the ancient Greeks, such as Aristophanes (the Woody Allen of the classical world, to contemporary playwrights including Theresa Rebeck, Sam Shepard, Sarah Ruhl and Tom Stoppard. Each book is under 100 pages and within it's pages are "all that you need to know" about the playwright and their work and includes: Succint introductions by renowned scholars, writers and teachers; An "In a Minute" page, which identifies important world and personal events in the playwright's life; A complete listings of the playwright’s work; A list of the playwright’s contemporaries in all fields; Excerpts from the playwright’s significant works; An extensive bibliography grouped according to type of reader; An index of the main essay.

Read the rave review of PLAYWRIGHTS IN AN HOUR in the LA Times: A new cheatsheet for theater buffs.

Playwrights in An Hour
In an Hour Books, 2010
Paper: $10.00

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mon, May 17 @ 5 P.M: Donald Margulies: Reading, Discussion and Book Signing (FREE) at The Drama Book Shop

Pulitzer Prize winner Margulies will read from and discuss his two plays currently running on Broadway: Time Stands Still (2010 Tony Best Play nominee) and Collected Stories. A book signing will follow.

In Time Stands Still, Margulies once again uncovers the layers of a relationship—this time, between a photojournalist and foreign correspondent, once addicted to the adrenaline of documenting the atrocities of war and now grounded in the couple’s Brooklyn loft. Collected Stories is currently running on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Donald Margulies received the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Dinner with Friends, which has been produced across the U.S. and around the world. His other plays include Sight Unseen (OBIE Award for Best New American Play); Shipwrecked!; Brooklyn Boy; Collected Stories; God of Vengeance, based on the Yiddish classic; among many others.

The event is FREE. First come, first seated. If you are unable to attend and would like to pre-order signed copies, please call 212 944-0595 (option 3) during regular business hours.

Time Stands Still
Paper: $13.95

Collected Stories: A Play
Paper: $11.95

Also by Donald Margulies, available from TCG Books:
Brooklyn Boy
Dinner with Friends
God of Vengeance,
Adapted from Sholom Asch
Luna Park: Selected Short Plays and Monologues
Sight Unseen
and Other Plays

Seen & Heard at The Drama Book Shop

Playwright Rob Ackerman holds a copy of the May 2010 edition of Dramatics magazine, which features his play VOLLEYGIRLS (Acting Edition, $9.95).

Rob was at the Drama Book Shop to visit shop sales associate Neil Stewart. He picked up copies of FARRAGUT NORTH by Beau Willimon (Acting edition: $8.95), RADIO FREE EMERSON by Paul Grellong (Acting Edition: $8.95), RED by John Logan and the 2010 Tony Best Play nominated TIME STANDS STILL by Donald Margulies.

Other plays by Robert Ackerman include: Disconnect (Acting Edition: $8.95) and Tabletop (Acting Edition: $8.95)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Seen & Heard at the Drama Book Shop: May 11, 2010

Seen and Heard at The Drama Book Shop: May 11, 2010

Timothy Wersan
Drama Book Shop alumnus, Timothy Wersan, dropped by this afternoon (looking like he stepped out of the pages of an Italian fashion magazine) to invite us to see him in FRANKLIN. He says the play is"fresh and very good" (high praise, coming from him), and that he is proud of his work.

POW! (Play Of The Week)

by Sheila Callaghan

Scab n. A crust discharged from and covering a healing wound.

We know that patience and time provide the proper poultice for a healing wound. Yet whether it's a gash to the heart or a scrape of the knee, the painful relief of ripping off a scab brings temporary satisfaction. Unfortunately, while this orgasmic pleasure may feel good in the moment, in truth it only leads to future scars. These wounds and their repair are the subject of Sheila Callaghan’s darkly comic and honestly poetic Scab, an intriguing foray into love, loss, and who I slept with.

As the play opens, we met Anima, a self described ‘sorta classy sorta trashy’ specialist and SoCal theatre grad student. She has just returned from her physically abusive father’s funeral and been unceremoniously dumped by her ‘skinny erudite-looking’ boyfriend Alan, an older grad student who has ‘penetrated nineteen women, not including you, with my average sized penis.’ These events have left her wheezing and paralyzed on her apartment floor, when we are introduced to her new roommate, Christa.

Perky and James Taylor-loving, Christa studies ‘the conflict of women in bohemian circles at the turn of the century in France.’ Her camcorder constantly recording, she and Anima are polar opposites. Christa is ordered; Anima is not. Christa studies history; Anima doesn’t go to class. Christa likes Anne Geddes; Anima wonders ‘…who the fuck thinks sticking a kid in cabbage is cute?’ And thus the stage is set for a tale of love (both burgeoning and unrequited), secrets (both of the past and the present), and Jack Daniels (both straight and straight).

Christa gradually becomes the belle of the ball, winning the envy and admiration of her grad school cohorts and faculty, and the hearts and hungers of Anima and Alan. As these two vie for Christa’s affections, scabs are picked, wounds reopened, and loyalties punctured. We learn the depth of love and self-loathing, and also how deep rock bottom must sometimes be before we can truly learn the care and patience needed to heal.

Scab is full of rich imagery and lyric language. Its hyper-realistic style (complete with a talking Virgin Mary statue and a plant named Susan) is full of terrific scenes and monologues. Callaghan always pushes the bounds of theatre, and again adds a play worthy of reading and production to her blossoming canon. So grab a copy, and whether you pick at it slowly or rip it quick, this Scab is sure to satisfy.

Cast: 4F, 1M

Great scenes (F/F, F/M), monologues (early 20’s F/M, 40’s F) Reviewed by Ben

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thurs, May 13th @ 6 P.M: 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

Friday, May 07, 2010

After the 40th Street Transformer Explosion: Day 4.

The Drama Book Shop is Still Open!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mon, May 10 @ 5 P.M: FREE workshop and book signing with The Monologue Detective, Prudence Wright Holmes at The Drama Book Shop

Prudence Wright Holmes will lead a workshop for aspiring actors and sign copies of her new book, Monologue Mastery.

Whether you’re looking to start your acting career or are simply trying to expand your toolbox of auditioning tricks, The Monologue Detective’s workshop will help you select the monologue that fits you best, perform that monologue, and even learn audition etiquette. Bring your monologue to the workshop for individual advice and pick up a copy of Monologue Mastery, which Prudence Wright Holmes will be happy to sign for you.

Prudence Wright Holmes, also known as "The Monologue Detective," is a veteran actor and teacher who has been coaching actors for more than 25 years. Her extensive acting credits include the film Sister Act and the original off-Broadway casts of Godspell and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You. She comes from Bexley, OH, and lives in New York City.

Monologue Mastery: How to Find and Perform the Perfect Monologue is a manual and workbook for the beginning actor as well as the seasoned professional. It addresses in specific detail every phase of monologue preparation from selection to performance. It covers in great detail the three most important phases of monologue selection and performance: how to find great little-known monologues, how to find monologues that fit you perfectly, and how to act the monologue brilliantly and capture the auditors' attention. Monologue Mastery is easy reading, full of entertaining anecdotes, and intensely practical, providing a step-by-step approach to doing monologues in a very concise manner. Monologue Mastery is a handbook that actors will rely on for years to come. HIGHLIGHTS: A workbook that gives specific exercises to help the actor discover his/her type and to learn how to rehearse and prepare his/her monologue.

Monologue Mastery: How to Find and Perform the Perfect Monologue
By Prudence Wright Holmes, Prudence Wright Holmes
Paper. $14.99

Mon, May 10 @ 7 P.M: Fights for Shakespeare: Demonstration, Q&A and Book Signing (FREE) at The Drama Book Shop

Internationally known fight director B.H. Barry deconstructs the fights in Romeo and Juliet!

On Wednesday, April 21st, 2010, B.H. Barry was awarded A Tony for Excellence in the Theatre!

B.H. Barry will talk about his book, B.H. Barry Fights for Shakespeare, Book One, Romeo and Juliet; and what it is to be a fight director, and how to create a fight scene. There will also be a demonstration of stage combat followed by a Q&A, book signing, and a wine & cheese reception!

Internationally known fight director B.H. Barry has, over the last fifty years, created fights in America and in Europe for television, ballet, film, opera, Broadway and Off-Broadway, and for regional theatres. He has taught at all the major drama schools in England: The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, L. A. M. D. A., and Central school of Speech and Drama. He became the fight director for the Royal Shakespeare theatre in the 1970s. He then traveled to America to teach at Yale, Juilliard, NYU, Temple, Carnegie Mellon, Circle in the Square and many other drama programs. Credits include, Broadway: “Crazy for You” “Kiss Me Kate” “City off Angels” “Big River” “Moon Over Buffalo” and “I’m Not Rappaport;” Off-Broadway (notably): ”Extremities” “Oleanna” and many productions for Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival; Film: “Glory” “The Addams Family” “Macbeth” and “Mulan.” His work has been seen in nearly all areas of the entertainment industry: From Franco Zeffelli’s opera version of “Carmen,” to Rudolf Nureyev’s ballet “Romeo and Juliet,” to stunt coordinator for the soap opera “All my Children.” Barry was awarded an Obie and Drama desk for Consistent Excellence in stage fighting, and is in the running for an Emmy on daytime television.

B.H. Barry Fights for Shakespeare, Book One, Romeo and Juliet, is the first in a series of booklets that will deconstruct the fights in Shakespeare’s plays. This book is designed to help actors, directors, fight directors and designers to create fights and action for Shakespeare’s play of “Romeo and Juliet.”

B.H. Barry Fights for Shakespeare, Book One, Romeo and Juliet
by, and published by, B.H. Barry, 2010.
111 pages. Paper: $16.98

Please call the Drama Book Shop to order: 212 944-0595

Monday, May 03, 2010

West 40th Street Is Closed Due to Transformer Fire.

An underground fire caused flames to shoot out of at least two manholes on West 40th Street between 7th Ave and 8th Ave.

Firefighters were called to 218 West 40th Street near Seventh Avenue about 1:40 p.m. where an underground transformer was believed to have burst into flames, causing the manholes to blow off and catch fire in front of the building.

No injuries have been reported.

High levels of carbon monoxide were being investigated by the FDNY in nearby buildings. Buildings affected by the fire were being evacuated as a precaution.

Witnessed reported to CBS 2 feeling the ground rumble when the fire broke out.

A Con Edison spokesman says smoking underground electric cables caused the fire. No power outages have been reported.

Thurs, May 6 @ 6 P.M: Outrageous Fortune The Life and Times of the New American Play: Reading, Q & A session and wine & cheese reception (FREE)

Todd London and Ben Pesner, authors of Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play, along with TDF’s executive director, Victoria Bailey, will read from, and take questions about the year’s most talked about study.

Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play looks at the lives and livelihoods of American playwrights today and at the realities of new-play production from the perspective of both playwrights and not-for-profit theatre. The study, drawing on years of comprehensive research, reveals a collaboration in crisis between the people who write plays and those who produce them. Outrageous Fortune makes clear the urgent need for new conversations and practices if the American play is to flourish.

Outrageous Fortune has been the most blogged about book of the season:

"If you have any serious interest in playwrights or statistics, it is a must-read." --Theresa Rebeck, The Guardian

"What the authors do with this book is start a conversation on where we have been and where we need to go. And that is a conversation long overdue." --Timothy Braun, CultureBot

"Most revealing in this a kind of artistic red state/blue state divide of perceptions between theater producers and playwrights, who have clearly been relegated to outsider status, and whose opportunities for production and income have imploded." --Steve Leigh Morris, L.A. Weekly

"A serious, important, and fairly damning study about the state of new play development and the experience of being a playwright in America today." --Rebecca Novick, Theatre Bay Area

"Outrageous Fortune breaks new ground by inviting both playwrights and artistic directors to explain their respective sides of the story, diagnosing a profound disconnect while suggesting possible ways forward." --Isaac Butler, writer/editor of Parabasis

About the participants:

TODD LONDON is in his fourteenth season as the artistic director of New Dramatists, the nation’s oldest center for the support and development of playwrights, where he has worked closely with more than a hundred of America’s finest playwrights and advocated nationally and internationally for hundreds more. In 2009, he was the first recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s Visionary Leadership Award "for his work to advance the theatre field." A former managing editor of American Theatre magazine and the author of The Artistic Home, he has written, edited, and/or contributed to eleven books. London won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for his essays in American Theatre and a Milestone Award for his first novel, The World’s Room. Under his leadership, New Dramatists received both a special Tony Honor and the Ross Wetzsteon Award from the Village Voice Obies. He currently serves on the faculty of Yale University School of Drama.

BEN PESNER has been writing about the theatre since 1987. Currently the manager of creative services at The Broadway League, he is also content producer of For the Tonys, he has scripted numerous special events, and edited the Tony Awards Songbook. A former editor of the Dramatists Guild Quarterly and literary manager of Young Playwrights Inc., his extensive involvement in the not-for-profit theatre community has included associations with Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Circle Rep, and Lincoln Center Theater, among others. He has authored and edited numerous publications for theatres, service organizations, and charitable foundations, and has written for American Theatre, Playbill, and other magazines.

VICTORIA BAILEY is executive director of Theatre Development Fund (TDF), the largest not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts in the country. She was instrumental in the execution of TDF’s Playwrights Project, a comprehensive study of the lives of American playwrights and the production of new American Plays. The Project culminated in Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play written by Todd London with Ben Pesner and Zannie Giraud Voss, which was published in December 2009 and has stimulated national conversations about this critical issue.Prior to her appointment at TDF in 2001, she had a nearly 20-year association with the Manhattan Theatre Club, first as business manager, then as general manager. While at MTC, Ms. Bailey managed close to 200 plays, both on and Off Broadway

THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND has played a unique role in strengthening live theatre and dance in New York City for the past 40 years. This not-for-profit service organization’s programs have filled over 76 million seats at discount prices (with theatre lovers who would normally not be able to attend live performance) and returned nearly 2 billion dollars in revenue to thousands of theatre, dance and music productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, voucher, access and education programs as well as its Costume Collection, help to make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone.

Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play
by Todd London with Ben Pesner and Zannie Giraud Voss
Published by Theatre Development Fund, 2009
Paper: $14.95

Please call the Drama Book Shop to order: 212 944-00595

Drama Book Shop
250 W 40th St
New York, New York 10018-1511