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Carita Drew

helsinkiläinen teatteriohjaaja

Books have helped me to master the craft of directing. I am still constantly reading new books about acting, directing, and writing. I am still learning. I have gathered a list of books, which I have read more than once. These were inspirational books for me and I keep coming back to them to get guidance. These may not work for you, so read carefully and see if it's something you would be interested in. Buy books, lots of books - they will help you through your career in theatre. The links will direct you to Amazon. 

 

 

Different every night: Freeing the actor by Mike Alfreds

This is one of my favourite theatre books, because it is a practical guide to directing. I use this book almost always when I am rehearsing, to remind myself how to awaken my imagination when analysing the text, how to construct rehearsals, and find particular exercises.  The most useful part for me in this book has been ‘Strand three: the world of the play, discovering new worlds’. It gives you tools to investigate the text and find detailed world for the show. This part always expands my vision for the whole performance – I find the rhythm, costumes, set, subtext, acting style, sound, etc. He asks you to have a closer look on accents, time, text in relation to its subtext, characters’ use of words, the look of the text on page, etc.

“The language of a text must offer clues as to the sort of world its speaker inhabit: not so much what it is saying (for the moment), but in what form it is saying it.”

I highly recommend this to directors. Also actors would benefit from this as it deals quite a lot on working with text and character development. 345 pages of worth reading.

 

Chapters

1.Introductions

- Curriculum vitae

- The primacy of the actor

- Permanent training

2. Concepts

- Process v. results

- Want! Do! Feel!

3. Preparation

- The purpose of preparation

- Preparing the text

- Preparing the rehearsals

- Casting

4. The Work: rehearsal, production, performance

- Rehearsal: some basic principles

- Strand one: the text

- Strand two: character

- Strand three: the world of the play

- Bringing the strands together

- Production

- Performance

5. Unclogging the work

6. Coda: summing up

 

Click here to view and buy the book:

https://amzn.to/2YkGiW8

 

Directing in Musical Theatre: An Essential Guide by Joe Deer

This is definitely the best book on directing musicals. He really makes you analyze the text properly before you start rehearsing, or before you even meet your designer team; read and listen to the music many, many times, think what is the spirit of your musical, do any strong staging images stand out, what is the worldview in the story, think whose story the musical is, examine the music and find key changes, which might reveal character change, etc. The book also gives a guideline on timetables - timetables are very important in musicals! You need a lot of time for dance and singing rehearsals. After you have done all the groundwork from text analysis to timetables and start rehearsals, you have the difficult task of staging your musical - it is a whole lot different than in plain drama. Joe Deer gives you support and tips on how to stage. I highly recommend this book. 206 pages of wise words.

 

Chapters

Introduction

Phase 1: Conception

Chapter 1: Preparing for collaboration

Chapter 2: Imagining the chorus

 

Phase 2: Collaboration

Chapter 3: Collaborative partners

Chapter 4: Directing the design

 

Phase 3: Rehearsal

Chapter 5: Auditions

Chapter 6: Staging and coaching

 

Phase 4: Production

Chapter 7: Moving into the theatre

 

Phase 5: Performance

Chapter 8: Shaping the production

Chapter 9: Etcetera - and all the rest

 

Click here to view and buy the book:

https://amzn.to/2XUcEaL