The Young Actor's Book of Improvisation: Dramatic Situations from Shakespeare to Spielberg (Vol 1)

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9780325000480: The Young Actor's Book of Improvisation: Dramatic Situations from Shakespeare to Spielberg (Vol 1)

With over two hundred dramatic situations, this volume is by far the most extensive sourcebook available for nurturing young actors' improvisational work. The range is vast. Sandra Caruso includes everything from beloved classics to folk and fairy tales to modern realism and contemporary stories, facilitating improvisational work of equal variety. Additionally, the book structures situations in such a way that children work in greater depth than theatre games usually require. Teachers, parents, directors, and producers can focus on actors' development, helping children release interesting and unexpected shades of characterization and uncover unexplored psychological depths.

While many books on creative drama are geared to a younger age group, this book is divided into two volumes to address a broad range of students, from childhood to adolescence. The material has increasing degrees of complexity and can be used with any young actor, whatever his or her level of experience.

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About the Author:

Sandra Caruso has studied under such theatre notables as Sanford Meidner, Lee Strasberg, and Uta Hagen. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she teachers acting at UCLA's School of Theatre, Film, and Television.

Susan Kosoff is founder, producer, and frequent director of Boston's Wheelock Family Theatre. She is also chair of the arts and sciences department and professor of theatre arts and education at Wheelock College.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7 Up-Drawing on a wide variety of material, the authors have compiled dozens of scenarios organized within the themes of "Climactic Moment/Discovery," "Confrontation/Conflict," "Fantasy," "Relationship," "Solo Moment," "Special Problems," "Subtext," and "Unusual Circumstances." Sources for the improvisations run the gamut from The Children's Hour to the Mambo Kings. However, the book's diversity, which is its greatest strength, also makes it necessary to sound a note of caution. Not all of the selections are appropriate for the intended audience. Subjects such as teen pregnancy, homosexuality, prostitution, adultery, suicide, AIDS, and drug use are all covered. While it is true that these topics have been the subjects of countless YA novels, there is a difference between reading a book privately and acting out a part in front of one's peers. Some students may feel uncomfortable with certain parts, and younger teens may not have the level of sophistication that many of the improvisations require. This is a rich resource, but it is one from which drama teachers will have to pick and choose.
Marilyn Heath, Greenwood High School, SC
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Sandra Caruso; Susan Kosoff
Published by Heinemann Drama (1998)
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Caruso, Sandra, Kosoff, Susan
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