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Essential resources for theatre professionals: December 1

Mush and Me
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Each week, Susan Elkin scours the market of learning resources to find the best books, apps, websites… just about anything, in fact, that can help students, performers and other theatremakers hone their craft. This week there’s an apps, a play text, a website with audition tips and a service to help you build your own dance school app.

Website – Complete Auditions Guide

Richard Evans became a casting director in 1989 after 10 years on the road as an actor. He works with many drama schools and knows the industry inside out. The second, enlarged, edition of his book Auditions: the Complete Guide was published earlier this year (and I reviewed it). Now Evans has a free website which includes audition tips (both for roles or drama schools), an article about getting motivated, tips about musical theatre and, dear to my own heart because I see so many weak ones, tips on how to do a good showcase. Naturally the website refers to the book and Evans clearly hopes you’ll buy it, but actually you could learn a great deal to start you off from the website alone.

App – LineLearner v6

Unknown-51Peter Allday’s LineLearner, which I first featured in September, has been completely rewritten and updated. It still enables you to learn lines by pre-recording the script with gaps and without the time-honoured fallback of having to prevail upon your partner or long-suffering relative/friend to read it with you. Among other improvements, the new version for iPad includes allowing you to record stage directions, to group scenes by day (to match filming schedules) and the ability to share scripts.

Play text – Mush and Me

One of nine sparky new titles just sent to me by Oberon Books from their Modern Plays series, Mush and Me by Karla Crome is a two-handed love story between a Jew and a Muslim. It would make a fine script for two young actors – in training or early in their careers – to work on and learn from. And it would be good to see some more productions. Also tucked away within it are some tasty duologues which might work in a drama school showcase – and it’s always good to have new material with which to freshen those.

tim-nobleApp creation – Purestar Dance Apps

Apps are a way of life now but few of us have the expertise to design our own. Yet if you’re running a dance academy a personalised app could be a useful marketing tool. Enter Purestar and Tim Noble who will design an app for you using your content – timetables, workshops, competitions, festivals, shows, special offers and so on. It takes about two weeks to design and Purestar will publish it on your behalf for Apple and Android. You can update content yourself, or if you want to add more radical improvements it will take 10-20 days for changes to be designed. Well worth a look if you want to get your dance school better known.

Read more training columns from Susan Elkin

The Stage Awards 2015

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