Play-acting: A Guide to Theatre Workshops - by Luke Dixon


 

Play-Acting is an inspired book of theatrical beginnings-jumping-off points for actors, teachers, and directors. Drawing upon his thirty years of designing and leading theater workshops, Luke Dixon goes to the heart of contemporary theater practice.

Whether drawing upon Japanese butoh, Shakespearean verse, or African rhythms, these thirty-two workshops cover a wide range of activities-voice warm-ups, body work, the exploration of theatrical space, life games, dreamtime, sense and chakras, working with the spine, and much, much more.

More than a collection of exercises, Play-Acting is constructed to take the user on a journey from learning about the anatomy of the individual actor's body to the performance of narrative by a group of actors. With tips on what you might expect to experience as an actor, teacher, or director, along with ideas on how to exploit the unexpected in performance, Play-Acting is a book to be read again and again.

A clear, incisive and inspirational book.

John Fox, Welfare State International

 

A great book for performing arts students or for teachers or fledgling directors new to devising…a very useful addition to performing arts libraries.

Total Theatre Magazine

 

I find this book packed with information and ideas, an enormous support in the classroom.

Clare Davidson, Director and Professor of Acting College of Santa Fe

 

Luke's book manages to be a pleasant, wit and very useful reading for theatre practitioners. It's an important material for actors, directors, drama students and everyone who wants to get a taste on the process of getting on the stage. Whatever the country or language he is doing it.

Ramiro Silveira, Director, Poa Em Cena Brazil

 

This book is an effective introduction to theatre interaction in which technical accuracy promotes individual inventiveness.

Eugenio Barba

 

An excellent book with an international accent; it is original, stimulating and packed with new ideas for students, actors and directors. I fully recommend it to all.

Leon Rubin, Director, director trainer, Professor of Drama and Theatre Arts at Middlesex University, England.

US Edition:

English Edition:

   
   

Playwriting: A Practical Guide - by Noel Greig


     
 

What makes a story work? Playwriting offers a practical guide to the creation of text for live performance, and contains a wealth of exercises for all individuals and groups involved in making theatre. It can be used in a range of contexts: either as a step-by-step guide to the creation of an individual play, as a handy resource for a teacher or workshop leader, or as a stimulus for the group-devised play. The result of Noel Greig's thirty years' experience as a playwright, actor, director and teacher, Playwriting is the ideal handbook for anyone who engages with playwriting and is ultimately concerned with creating a story and bringing it to life on the stage.

     

     
     

The Forbidden Lesson

A play for young people - Bilingual edition; English and Albanian


 
 

The Forbidden Lesson resulted from a playwrights’ workshop organized in 2004 by the Center for Children’s Theatre Development in Prishtina, Kosovo, one of theatre nomad’s collaborators on Faraway Nearby. The text forThe Forbidden Lesson is the result of collaboration between five young playwrights with the final montage of the text created by Jeton Neziraj and Doruntina Basha. The play itself is about the need that young people have for knowledge and honesty from their parents and teachers,  knowledge that the older generation is often reluctant, or too afraid to share.  This is the forbidden lessonof the title. The play is about sexuality and taboo. Parents in Kosovo don’t talk to their children about sexuality, or, more often, when they do, they try to deceive them, because it is considered a “shameful world” about which children should not know.  The Forbidden Lesson, in a poetic approach, explores the intimate world of children and youth and its clash with adult prejudices.  The Forbidden Lesson was performed for the first time at the Dodona Theatre in Prishtina, on September 30th 2004. 

£5 Book available direct from theatre nomad

 
 

 

At Break of Day - by Noel Greig


     
  At Break of Day is the story of two soldiers who make an epic journey home after a long war, encountering many different people on the way. Events become more and more dreamlike, indeed nightmarish, taking them not just along the road home but through a whole century and its conflicts. Along the way they quarrel, make up, quote Shakespeare, fight, comfort each other, joke, escape from prison, and betray each other. One of them records his thoughts in a notebook. Interwoven with the story of the soldiers is that of a young woman who has made her own journey to a distant land, to discover what happened to her great-grandfather. He disappeared after a long-distant war and she searches the battered notebook that once belonged to him for clues. The play presents an absurd universe where time and place shift alarmingly and which is haunted by the echoes of great disasters and great hopes, great poetry and great sorrow.
     

     
     

Tambora – Songs from a Xhosa Township


     
  Tambora is the name of an African drum. Songs, dances and rhythms are essential to Xhosan life and music is integral to who we are. Our group is composed of Xhosan women who live in New Brighton Township, outside Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Some of us are studying at the University of Port Elizabeth, some at the Technikon and some work at jobs. Tambora is our real life.'

£10

CD available direct from theatre nomad

     
     

Woza Mama

Grahamstown and Great Mongeham women's photographs of their lives


     
  'This Project involved two groups of women, one from the township of Grahamstown, South Africa and the other from Great Mongeham, Kent, England. Each woman was given a disposable camera, kindly donated by Kodak, and asked to make a portrait of their lives during a period of two to fourteen days. I then collaged each woman's photographs onto an A2 board.
The result is an extraordinary insight into their daily lives. This is especially important for the women in Grahamstown as most of them had never used a camera before. It is also important for everyone to feel that photographs can be of the most mundane things or experiences, and yet may be the most relevant to our lives. Generally we have a record of life made up of special events and people dressed-up and behaving their best rather than about the ordinary moments of our lives. This has been a wonderful experience and I hope that for the women it has gone some way for them to show their life in photographs.

'This Project involved two groups of women, one from the township of Grahamstown, South Africa and the other from Great Mongeham, Kent, England. Each woman was given a disposable camera, kindly donated by Kodak, and asked to make a portrait of their lives during a period of two to fourteen days. I then collaged each woman's photographs onto an A2 board.

The result is an extraordinary insight into their daily lives. This is especially important for the women in Grahamstown as most of them had never used a camera before. It is also important for everyone to feel that photographs can be of the most mundane things or experiences, and yet may be the most relevant to our lives. Generally we have a record of life made up of special events and people dressed-up and behaving their best rather than about the ordinary moments of our lives. This has been a wonderful experience and I hope that for the women it has gone some way for them to show their life in photographs.

The idea for this project came about in South Africa in 1999, when I was taking photographs for Theatre Nomad from Deal, Kent at the Grahamstown Festival. Gill Maylam took me into a township where she had helped set up an arts project called Umthathi (this is the Xhosa word for sneeze wood, which is the symbol of strength and protection) and here met some of the women. Afterwards I realised I wanted to take more photographs but also what seemed more interesting would be for the women to take photographs of their own daily experiences. I became interested in the idea of involving a group of women in a village in Kent to do the same project and then to exhibit all the work together along with the portraits I had taken.'

£5 Book available direct from theatre nomad

 
 

SOUTH AFRICAN THEATRE IN THE MELTING POT:

Trends and Developments at the Turn of the Millennium - by Rolf Solberg


     
 

A collection of interviews with South African playwrights examining the way South African theatre has adapted to the social and political situation in South Africa since 1994. Includes interviews with Brett Bailey, Antjie Krog, William Kentridge, Duma Ka Ndlovu, Reza de Wet, Walter Chakela, Miki Flockmann, Thuleni Mtshali, and Lesego Rampolokeng.

£15 Book available direct from theatre nomad

     
     

War in Times of Love


     
  This play is unique. When I travelled from England to Kosovo with Chloe Gillgallon and Debbie Yearsley from theatre nomad, we had little idea of what an extraordinary journey we would be beginning. In Pristina we meet up with Arta Seljimi and Anisa Ismaili from Kosovo and the four women and myself began an exploration of ideas and experiences through workshops, improvisations, discussions and storytelling. We started with an empty page and Jeton Neziraj our writer scribbled on it every day. Soon the tabula rasa was richly covered in thoughts and ideas which Jeton began to shape into this play. We played with the things that the four women had in common and the other things - culture, language, experience - that separated them. Every day was punctuated by the making of tea; a ritual that symbolised our similarities and our differences. Back in London some months later, the team continued to work on the piece, this time with an embryonic script from Jeton which we continued to develop in the very different environment that was London. The play has continued to grow. An audience in the port Dover on the English coast saw the first performance. There were actors and directors, Kosovan refugees and Albanian speaking aid workers, children and old people who all saw the play and whose comments and responses added to its development.

To an outsider, it seems as if Jeton is single-handedly creating a Kosovar theatre in a tiny country that has experienced so much in so short a space of time. I am proud to have been able to have a small part in the the birth of this new national theatre. This play, born out of a particular place at a particular time yet with mythic resonance, is a testament to the blooming theatre cultural of Europe's newest country.

Luke Dixon
 

£5 Book available direct from theatre nomad

 
 

Good Audition Guides:

Shakespeare Monologues for Men and Shakespeare Monologues for Women

-by Luke Dixon


     
 

Helping you select and perform the audition piece that is best suited to your performing skills.
Luke’s Good Audition Guides to Shakespeare contain a range of fresh monologues, all prefaced with a summary of the vital information you need to place the piece in context and to perform it to maximum effect in your own unique way.
Each volume also carries a user-friendly introduction on the whole process of auditioning.
Shakespeare Monologues for Men contains 50 monologues drawn from across the Shakespeare canon. Each speech is prefaced with an easy-to-use guide to Who is speaking, Where, When and To Whom, What has just happened in the play and What to think about as you work on them. In fact, everything the actor needs to know before embarking on the audition!

'sound practical advice for anyone attending an audition'
- Teaching Drama Magazine on the Good Audition Guides


Available Here