Training resources for theatre professionals: April 6
Published by Bloomsbury and subtitled ‘Using the Alexander Technique to Create Unforgettable Performances’, Bill Connington’s book offers over 100 exercises, accessibly presented, to help actors to move more freely and naturally, to breath and speak in a more relaxed way and therefore to play characters more effectively and do better in auditions. The book also lists links to online video tutorials. It’s good value at £14.99.
School – taster day in Dorset
Dorset School of Acting (pictured, top), based in The Lighthouse, Poole, is running a Drama school for a day event on April 18 from 10am to 4pm. The idea is for interested, potential students to find out what drama school life involves. There are classes and a question and answer session. The cost is £5 per participant for the day.
Playtext – Chekhov shorts
Much less well known that his great masterpieces are vaudevilles which date from the playwright’s impoverished 20s. Chekhov always dismissed them as mere money spinners but in fact The Bear, The Proposal, A Tragic Figure, The Wedding, Swansong and On the Evils of Tobacco – translated and introduced here by Stephen Mulrine and published by Nick Hern Books – are all little gems. Most have small casts which makes them affordable to do on a small scale. The Wedding has 12 parts plus non-speaking roles so it would suit a drama class. On the Evils of Tobacco is a dramatic monologue which cries out to be used, in part, in drama school graduate showcases. Read these playlets and use them.
Workshops – art and medicine
Performing Medicine is a series of workshops at various London venues from April 7 to July 1. Leading artists and arts organisations are involved and the project is funded by the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. The idea is to explore identity, hospital experience, communication, sensory awareness, anatomy and stress management through art and workshop leaders include Peggy Shaw, Barbara Houseman and Lucinda Jarrett. Plenty here for both actors and medical professionals. Prices range from £10-£35 per event.