Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thurs, May 19 @ 6 P.M: FREE. Discussion of Stagecraft: Stanislavsky and External Acting Techniques by Robert Blumenfeld at The Drama Book Shop

Robert Blumenfeld: Talk, Reading, Q & A Session, and Book Signing (FREE)

Robert Blumenfeld—actor, dialect coach, and writer—will discuss his new book Stagecraft, read selections from it, and answer questions from the audience. Then, he will go upstairs, autograph copies of his books, and talk with anyone who wishes as he sits at the autograph table. Stagecraft and other Blumenfeld titles will be available for purchase.

About the Author:
Robert Blumenfeld has recorded more than 325 books and acted in regional and New York theater. He is the author of Accents, Acting with the Voice, Tools and Techniques for Character Interpretation, Using the Stanislavsky System, Blumenfeld’s Dictionary of Acting and Show Business, and Blumenfeld’s Dictionary of Musical Theater—all published by Limelight Editions.

Stagecraft: Stanislavsky and External Acting Techniques: A Companion to Using the Stanislavsky System
By Robert Blumenfeld
Paper. $19.99

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Wonder and Arcadia Lands in Drama Book Shop Window!

Thurs, May 12 @ 6 P.M: Shorter, Faster Funnier! Readings, Performance and Book Party (FREE) at The Drama Book Shop

Reading performance, wine & cheese reception and book signing celebrating the publication of Shorter, Faster, Funnier: Comic Plays and Monologues, a vintage anthology edited by Eric Lane & Nina Shengold.

Shorter, Faster, Funnier: Comic Plays and Monologues
By Eric Lane, Nina Shengold
Paper. $16.95

POW! (Play Of The Week)

The Pride
By Alexi Kaye Campbell

It is 1958. Philip is married to Sylvia, who is illustrating Oliver’s most recent children’s book. There is a frisson between Philip and Oliver when they first meet as they skirt around what cannot be explicitly said.

It is 2008. Fed up with his inscrutable infidelity, Philip leaves Oliver, alone and drowning his sorrows in role-play and scotch. Oliver enlists Sylvia, who introduced them, to counteract his loneliness.

The Pride is a gorgeously-drawn elliptical play that alternates between two very distinct time periods and the lives of three characters whose fate is written by their eras. As the play continues, we realize that these characters share the same names and are shadows of one another. Philip, Oliver and Sylvia are all fighting for what they hope will be an easier life than the one they have known. The actions that they take in 1958 mirror, affect and illustrate those that take place in 2008. Campbell’s brilliantly funny dialogue and perceptive observations bring the characters to life. As it explores fate, love, fidelity and forgiveness, The Pride asks questions about contemporary life (gay and straight), but doesn’t presume to answer any of them concretely.

Filled with strong scenes and monologues for men and women in their 30s (though equally appropriate for 20s or 40s!), The Pride is a great play for actors and directors looking for material and playwrights looking for some strong contemporary writing to be inspired by.

3M, 1W (doubling)

Recommended by Kate

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Tues, May 10 @ 6.00 P.M: FREE READING: MCC Theater presents excerpts from Michael Weller’s trio of plays at The Drama Book Shop

FREE READING: MCC Theater presents excerpts from Michael Weller’s trio of plays about modern marriage, “Do Not Disturb”, “Fifty Words,” and “Side Effects.”

In anticipation of MCC Theater’s world premiere production of Michael Weller’s “Side Effects,” four actors will read scenes from Weller’s three loosely-related plays on modern marriage: “Do Not Disturb,” MCC’s previously produced “Fifty Words,” and the upcoming “Side Effects.” Weller and David Auburn will answer audience questions after the reading, and Weller will sign copies of his plays.

MICHAEL WELLER (Playwright) studied music composition at Brandeis University with Irving Fine, Harold Shapiro and Martin Boykin, then worked as a jazz pianist before taking his graduate degree in theater at the University of Manchester, England. His best known are Moonchildren, Fishing, Loose Ends and Spoils of War. His films include Hair and Ragtime (for Milos Forman) and Lost Angels (for Hugh Hudson) and a teleplay of his Broadway drama “Spoils of War,” starring Kate Nelligan. He co-founded (with Angelina Fiordelissi and Suzanne Brinkley) and serves now as supervising mentor of the Mentor Project of the Cherry Lane Theatre, currently in its tenth season. Dr. Zhivago (from the novel by Boris Pasternak, for which he wrote the book) - Des McAnuff to direct, Lucy Simon music, Amy Powers and Michael Korie lyrics – will open in London’s West End in 2009 prior to its Broadway premiere. He is currently writing the book for a Broadway musical “Rumors” about the making of Fleetwood Mac’s two legendary breakthrough albums, to be directed by Taylor Hackford. His work has received an Academy Award nomination, an N.A.A.C.P. Outstanding Contribution Award, Critics Outer Circle Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant and a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, and has been honored by The Broken Watch Theatre Company which gave their playhouse his name. He is on the counsel of the Writer’s Guild Fund, and the Dramatists Guild of America.

DAVID AUBURN (Director) Recent directing credits include A Delicate Balance (Berkshire Theatre Festival), Zayd Dohrn's Sick (BTF), and work at The Juilliard School and Lincoln Center Director's Lab. Plays include Proof (MTC/Broadway), An Upset and Amateurs (EST Marathon) and The Journals of Mihail Sebastian (Keen Co.). Films include The Girl in the Park (writer/director).

About the Play:
MCC Theater’s 2008 hit Fifty Words (with acclaimed performances by Norbert Leo Butz and Elizabeth Marvel) culminated in one desperate phone call. Side Effects is the story of what happened on the other end of the line, expertly plotted by playwright Michael Weller, who is noted for Loose Ends and Moonchildren, a seminal work for the American stage. Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning writer-director, David Auburn (Proof, The New York Idea), will direct Joely Richardson ("Nip/Tuck," "The Tudors") and Cotter Smith (Kin, Next Fall) in this harrowing and unique journey.

Hugh and Lindy’s marriage seems picture-perfect, a beacon in their microcosmic Midwestern world of dinner parties and fundraisers. But, behind closed doors - doors they can barely keep shut - they’re falling apart, and Hugh’s rising political star is suddenly imperiled.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Mon, May 9 @ 5.30 P.M: Book signing for award-winning costume designer Carrie Robbins at The Drama Book Shop

Join Ms. Robbins and authors Annie and Barry Cleveland to chat about their new book, The Designs of Carrie Robbins.

Over the course of her career, so far, Carrie Robbins has designed thirty-two Broadway productions and another thirty-eight for Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway. Her regional theatre and opera assignments have taken her coast to coast and border to border to design for many of the hallmark resident companies, including the Guthrie, Arena Stage, Alley Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Kennedy Center, American Conservatory Theatre, and many more. She survived the whirlwind pace of one of television’s longest running, and quirkiest shows, Saturday Night Live. Her award winning uniform designs were showcased at two of the iconic destination dining experiences in Manhattan, the Rainbow Room and Windows on the World. And, she is now well on her way to leaving her mark as a playwright.

The Designs of Carrie Robbins, which was released March 9, 2011, is published by USITT in cooperation with Broadway Press. It’s the seventh title in USITT”s ongoing series documenting the work of America’s best theatrical designers. Others in the series include Ming Cho Lee, Tharon Musser, Willa Kim, Abe Jacob, and Jules Fisher. In 2010, Late and Great: American Designers 1960–2010 was published to celebrate USITT’s fiftieth anniversary. It’s a collection of essays on twenty-five designers who are no longer with us and were active during USITT’s first fifty years.

“This monograph by the Clevelands thoroughly demonstrates what incredible energy it must take to be Carrie Robbins.” --Laura Crow, in her review, published in Theatre Design & Technology, Spring 2010.

The Designs of Carrie Robbins
By Annie O. Cleveland and M. Barrett Cleveland
Published by USITT in cooperation with Broadway Press, 2011
Paper: $35.00

Monday, May 02, 2011

Fri, May 6 @ 9.30 P.M: Free tweetup! Drama Book Shop, New Victory Theatre and 2amt

The New Victory Theatre, The Drama Book Shop and 2amt are hosting a tweetup on Friday, May 6th.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise? If a play is performed in front of a different audience than usual, does it change?

The Drama Book Shop.

Recipient of the 2011 Tony Honor of Excellence in the Theatre!

Fri, May 6 @ 5.00 P.M: Off-Off Broadway Reunion! at The Drama Book Shop

New book by Christopher Olsen about Off-Off Broadway in the 1970s brings back veterans from a vibrant era of theatre experimentation to discuss their experiences.

A panel discussion of a cross-section of theatre practitioners from Off-Off Broadway during the 1970s (Up to six). Playwright Robert Heide will host the event and the invitees (not yet confirmed) may include playwrights Terence McNally and Paul Foster, director Margaret Lewitan, director/actress Crystal Field, director Mical Whitaker, playwright Robert Patrick, and director/actor Chris Martin. Following the discussion, Christopher Olsen will be signing copies of his new book, “Off-Off Broadway-The Second Wave: 1968-1980.”

About the Author:
Christopher Olsen is a theatre professor at the University of Puerto Rico campus in San Juan. He began his career as an actor and after graduating from drama school in London, England, he began working in theatres both in England and the US. He moved to New York in 1976 and performed in numerous Off-Off Broadway theatres including starting his own theatre, Actors Alley. He returned to university in the 1980s and eventually received a Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism from the University of Maryland-College Park. He has written numerous articles and has taught theatre and directed productions at a number of universities including Johns Hopkins, Temple University, York College, and Virginia State University.

About the Book: Off-Off Broadway-The Second Wave: 1968-1980
The book provides the reader with a glimpse into the terrain of what was called Off-Off Broadway during the 1970s in New York. The author has chosen to focus on a 12-year period beginning in 1968, a tumultuous year of political and social upheaval, as a starting point when the number of small theatres in New York increased from 50 or 60 to over 300 by 1975. Based mostly on interviews with theatre practitioners from the era, the book is divided into chapters focusing on different types of theatres – from theatres featuring new work to theatres devoted to classical revivals to the Black Theatre Alliance. The purpose of this book is to tell the stories of a range of theatre artists who reflected the artistic impulses of the Off-Off Broadway community. Most of the people described in the pages of the book never became famous yet produced a huge body of work that most practitioners today would envy. The book also contains over 30 photographs, provides a list of productions for the profiled theatres, and an appendix of over 300 theatre companies and related organizations. The book contains a forward by playwright Robert Patrick, considered by many as the foremost spokesperson for Off-Off Broadway today.

Off-Off Broadway: The Second Wave: 1968-1980
By Christopher Olsen
Paper. $19.95