Just off the Press

  • Speak Up!  Speak Out!

    Speak Up! Speak Out!

    Have you ever been afraid to speak in public?   If so, you are not alone.  Most people find speaking in public terrifying!  But it doesn't have to scare you any longer. Whether you are: a business or sales person making a  presentation a motivational speaker delivering an address a club member giving a report a politician speaking out against an injustice an attorney making a legal argument or someone making an introduction, an announcement or a toast this book is for you!  New York and Hollywood acting and speech coach Kathryn Bild gives you an assortment of acting techniques, tips and exercises that will quell your nerves, wow your audiences, and help you feel more in control in all of your public presentations from now on ! View on Amazon Read More »
  • Translating Shakespeare: A Guidebook for Young Actors

    Translating Shakespeare: A Guidebook for Young Actors

    For actors both young and old, the prospect of preparing to perform a Shakespearean role can be intimidating...even terrifying!   Translating Shakespeare seeks to make the actor's preparatory work on the Bard's plays both stimulating and fun by de-mystifying the experience.  It offers step-by-step explanations of the fundamental processes involved in creative preparation: comparing edited texts, analyzing verse rhythms, idenifying antitheses, and most importantly, helping the actor to find his or her won personal key to unlock the plays' contexts and circumstances in an inspiring way. Offering many specific examples from the plays in each chapter to illustrate the topics covered, the book concludes with detailed approaches to six Shakespearean scenes, applying all of the work covered in earlier chapters to a practical rehearsal approach. Read More »
  • The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2014

    The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2014

    In The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2014 you will find fifty terrific new ten-minute plays, all successfully produced during the 2013-2014 theatrical season. They are written in a variety of styles. Some are realistic; some comic; and some are dramatic. Included in this volume is a comprehensive list of theatres which do ten-minute plays. View on Amazon Read More »
  • The Best Stage Monologues 2014

    The Best Stage Monologues 2014

    The Best Stage Monologues 2014 (The Best Women's Stage Monologues and The Best Men's Stage Monologues) are from the 2013-2014 theatrical season are presented in two essential books!  Here, you will find a rich and varied selection of monologues from plays - most are for younger performers (teens through thirties), but there are also some excellent pieces for older men and women.  Some of the monologues are by playwrights familiar to you, such as Don Nigro, Jane Martin or Theresa Rebeck.  Others are by exciting up-and-comers! View The Best Men's Stage Monologueson Amazon View The Best Women's Stage Monologues on Amazon Read More »
  • Monologues for Latino/a Actors

    Monologues for Latino/a Actors

    Monologues for Latino/a Actors, A Resource Guide to Contemporary Latino/a Playwrights for Actors and Teachers.  This book is organized a little differently than most published collections of monologues.  Each chapter is arranged in several sections: "About the Playwright," "LIst of Plays," "Playwright Information," "Performing the Monologues," "The Monologues." View on Amazon Read More »

Hot News

Marsha Norman's 1982 Pulitzer Prize winning play, 'NIGHT, MOTHER was the first Broadway show written by a woman with a cast of only woman.

She has won numerous awards, including a Tony for the book of The Secret Garden and a Peabody award for her writing on the HBO series In Treatment..

You can read more about this trailblazing talent on her website or at the Dramatist Guild of America.

See this groundbreaking play at CoHo October 17- November 8, 2014. Click for tickets Click here to check out director and co-producer Gavin Hoffman's Blog and follow the 'NIGHT, MOTHER rehearsal process! Around Town
For 19 years, CoHo Productions has pioneered artist led co-production as a model of creating theatre. Each season, CoHo solicits scripts and project proposals from Portland's community of theatre professionals and selects three to produce in partnership at CoHo Theatre in Northwest Portland. The artistic vision is democratic, reflecting the tastes of the Portland theatre community. Seasons are diverse and unpredictable; the sole quality nurtured and insisted on is excellence.
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5 days ago

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Play Hits the Road; He Hits the Bank

Christopher Durang's 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' Heads to Regional Theaters


For the playwright Christopher Durang, the view beyond the Hudson is looking very attractive these days. “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” his American comedic riff on Chekhovian themes, will be produced in 27 theaters around the country in the coming season. That puts it at the head of the annual Top 10 list of most performed plays, not including Shakespeare or holiday shows, compiled by American Theater magazine.
The explosion of productions extends a recent hot streak for Mr. Durang, a dealer in dark comedy who has been a presence on the American theatrical scene since the late 1970s. After making the leap from Off Broadway to Broadway, “Vanya and Sonia” won the 2013 Tony Award for best play, paid back its investors less than three months after opening and then entered into a lucrative second life. Propelled by its Tony, it was produced by 11 regional theaters around the United States.
Certainly, Mr. Durang has had more than his share of successes, most of them in Off Broadway theaters. But plays, unlike musicals, rarely go on tour, a potential bonanza for writers in that genre. It’s in the regional theaters that playwrights like Mr. Durang can extract the full financial value from their plays.
“I feel very lucky, like I’ve won the lottery,” Mr. Durang said, speaking on the telephone after teaching a theater class at Princeton. Already he can tell the difference: Thanks to the Broadway run and the advances that have come from licensing the play, he said, “the last year was the most money I have ever made.”
That was as specific as he would get about finances. He was a little fuzzy about the play, too, which starred Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce on Broadway. Mr. Durang said that he had “no ready answer” to explain why it had become a presenter’s darling.
“It may be the fact that the ending is hopeful, or at least not dark,” he said. “I am not purposely trying to be commercial, but in my later years, the world seems so upsetting that I want the relief of something working out. You go out of the theater feeling a little relieved that the worst things didn’t happen to the characters.”
David Ira Goldstein, the artistic director of the Arizona Theater Company, which is currently presenting “Vanya and Sonia” at the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson and will take it to the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix on Oct. 9, has his own theory.
“A lot of regional theaters have a long history with Durang, going back to ‘Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You’ and ‘Beyond Therapy,’ ” he said. “We have been doing him for 30 years.”
Humor helped. The three plays that finished behind Mr. Durang also have comic elements. They are John Patrick Shanley’s “Outside Mullingar,” which has 10 productions in the coming season; Joshua Harmon’s “Bad Jews”; and Jon Robin Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities,” both with eight.
Other factors, Mr. Goldstein said, added to the allure. The play became available just as most regional theaters were putting together their calendars. It is easy to present, with just six actors, and a single set.
“It was a combination of good timing, a good play — a very produceable play — and a playwright with whom audiences have a happy history,” Mr. Goldstein said.
That combination enticed the Denver Center Theater Company, which has never put on a play by Mr. Durang, to secure the rights to “Vanya and Sonia,” which opens at the Ricketson Theater in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 10.
“If sales and advances are any indication, we are going to be boffo,” said Kent Thompson, the company’s artistic director. “We are way above goal.” Multiplied by dozens of productions, the proceeds should put Mr. Durang in clover. Typically, a play that wins the top Tony Award or the Pulitzer Prize can command an extra percentage point or two when royalties are negotiated, ensuring the playwright between 8 and 11 percent of the gross. With 38 productions in two seasons, the cash can pile up.
This season, which starts on Wednesday, it looks as if men will be collecting most of the money. Last season, women held down six of the 10 positions in the most-produced list, which tracks plays at more than 400 theaters. This time there are two: Nina Raine, for “Tribes,” and Amy Herzog, for “4000 Miles.”
Mr. Durang is vague on what his windfall might mean — “I don’t know how this changes my life,” he said — and seems to have a tight rein on his expectations.
“Since January, I have not been getting as many checks, because they gave such large advances last year,” Mr. Durang said, worry creeping into his voice. “I have a room that needs to be fixed, and I am wondering, will I have the money?”
He paused, then said, “I think I will have the money.”
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2 weeks ago

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Carol Rocamora reviews
the New York and London stages.
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