Open Forum

Books for Seniors

  • 1.  Books for Seniors

    Posted 20 days ago
    Hi all,

    It's that time of year that I hate- Awards Season. We spend almost 4 years trying to keep an even playing field in theater activities, and then we need to select a Senior to receive a department award. So I am looking for recommendations for a book to present at the awards assembly. The recipient is a serious theater kid who's taken three years of classes and performed in both plays and musicals in principal and ensemble roles. I generally buy something more entertaining than educational. I want the recipient to actually look at the book occasionally rather than just putting it on a shelf to collect dust. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    ------------------------------
    Michael Bergman
    Teacher/Director
    He/Him/His pronouns
    The Potomac School
    McLean, VA
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Books for Seniors

    Posted 19 days ago

    Try Razzle Dazzle or Singular Sensation, both very entertaining looks at recent Broadway history, show by show.





  • 3.  RE: Books for Seniors

    Posted 19 days ago
    If the student is going to pursue theatre in some form beyond high school, may I suggest Actions: The Actor's Thesaurus by Marina Caldarone and Maggie Lloyd-Williams. It's so fun and useful!!

    ------------------------------
    Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
    Theatre Department Coordinator
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  • 4.  RE: Books for Seniors

    Posted 19 days ago
    I've given  few performer's journals with a nice pen, and the kids have always appreciated them. This is the only one I can find now...from the UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Performers-Journal-Perfect-Performer-Compacted/dp/B07Z2WCTLJ

    --
    Hillary Bogers, MEd
    she/her/hers
    Theatre Director
    Jack Britt High School
    910-429-2800

    In Cumberland County Schools we practice and require the three W's: 
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  • 5.  RE: Books for Seniors

    Posted 19 days ago
    In the past I've tried to find a book (or two) that suit the students' specific interests (playwrighting, acting, directing, film, Shakespeare, etc.). This year I asked the student's mom what her daughter might enjoy. She recommended a scrapbook of her years at school (in the theatre program) might be the most treasured gift for her sentimental daughter. I contacted the two photographers we use for our productions and asked them for photos of specific shows. I asked her best friend if she had any photos she could share with me. Two backstage shots were incredible and I had no idea they existed. I had her friend take a photo of this student with me (she lied and said she needed shots of teachers interacting with students for a Psychology project). I then made an 8 x 8 book on Shutterfly - 20 pages of photos and text. It cost $24. If you have the time and resources, it was pretty cool to create.

    Best wishes,
    Rob





  • 6.  RE: Books for Seniors

    Posted 14 days ago
    That is such an incredibly thoughtful gift!

    ------------------------------
    Samantha McCarthy-Lurie
    California Educational Theatre Association
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Books for Seniors

    Posted 18 days ago
    Hello!
    There are so many great options out there. I personally love AT THIS THEATRE as a great read for the theatre lover. My personal favorite is THE SHUBERTS PRESENT: 100 YEARS OF AMERICAN THEATRE. Is a beautiful book. I have even cut a few pics out for framing. Good luck. I think it's a lovey gift idea.
    Best,
    Garry

    ------------------------------
    Garry Tiller
    Theatre Arts Teaching Artist
    Sidwell Friends
    Washington, DC
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Books for Seniors

    Posted 17 days ago
    If your prize-deserving student is a tech kid, their own copy of the Backstage Handbook is a great resource to own.
    If they are considering following in your footsteps and teaching drama, Real-World Theatre Education would be a great choice.

    ------------------------------
    Douglas "Chip" Rome
    Theatre Consultant
    Educational Stages
    Burke VA
    http://EducationalStages.com
    https://bit.ly/RWTEOview
    https://bit.ly/eTeachTech
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Books for Seniors

    Posted 8 days ago
    Hi! I know of a great little book for anyone interested in the painting aspects of tech theatre. It's called "Painting for Performance" by Sean O'Skea. It's beautiful, to the point with some nice dry humor mixed in. Very accessible to anyone with an interest in this area. Available through Amazon.

    ------------------------------
    [Rachel] [Keebler]
    [Director, Owner]
    [Cobalt Studios]
    [White Lake] [NY]
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Books for Seniors

    Posted 14 days ago
    Michael,

    Thanks for asking this question, which I'll use it as an excuse to mention my three favorite gift books for young playwrights.

    My favorite playwriting book is David Ball's Backwards and Forwards, which is indispensable but so drab it's maybe not ideal as a graduation gift. It would be like giving an ironing board for an anniversary.

    Within the last year I read and loved The Secret Life of the American Musical, by Jack Viertel, which manages to be both a history of the golden age of musicals and an explanation of how the shows are put together. By explaining, for example, what an eleven o'clock number is, Viertal gives a paradigm for what a protagonist might be feeling at any point in a story.

    But my favorite theatre book is easily Moss Hart's autobiography, Act One, back in print after a hiatus. If you haven't read it, snag a copy for yourself and one for the library. Hart's story of growing up poor and breaking into theatre is warm and hopeful and amused by everything, especially himself; it's the perfect book for sending a young person into the world with.

    ------------------------------
    Stephen Gregg
    Playwright
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Books for Seniors

    Posted 14 days ago
    Thank you, everyone, for your ideas and suggestions. I now have a list of things to add to our theatre library and will hopefully find, among them, the perfect, meaningful gift for this senior. (Because of the changes to our productions this year, I have some extra money left over in my budget. I am going to buy copies of Act One for all of my seniors! I've had a copy in my personal library at home for about 40 years!)

    On a slightly unrelated note, I wholeheartedly recommend Sarah Ruhl's book of short essays, 100 Essays I Don't Have Time To Write: On Umbrellas and Sword Fight, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children, and Theatre. While it's not exclusively a theatre book, it is so thoughtful and engaging. And Ruhl's writing is highly entertaining, even in its most profound moments.


    ------------------------------
    Michael Bergman
    Teacher/Director
    He/Him/His pronouns
    The Potomac School
    McLean, VA
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Books for Seniors

    Posted 7 days ago

    Hi. 

    I like No Caution! A step-by-step guide to preparing auditions for Universities, Colleges, Conservatories, and Beyond. It's super accessible for high school students, and it's available on Amazon. 

    All the best. 

    Erik



    ------------------------------
    Erik Stein
    Casting Director/Recruitment Coordinator
    PCPA Pacific Conservatory Theatre

    Author of No Caution! A step-by-step guide to preparing auditions for Universities, Colleges, Conservatories, and Beyond!

    Available on Amazon.com and other online booksellers
    ------------------------------