Break a Leg!: The Kid's Guide to Acting and Stagecraft

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9780761125907: Break a Leg!: The Kid's Guide to Acting and Stagecraft

A complete drama course for kids in a book. BREAK A LEG! teaches budding thespians everything they need to know about stagecraft and the production of performances, in home or out.

Illustrated throughout with informative how-to and candid shots of young working actors, BREAK A LEG! is as comprehensive as it is high-spirited. There are sections on body preparation, including warm-ups, stretches, and breathing exercises. Theater games, improv, miming, and other fun ways to develop technique. Important acting skills, such as voice projection, crying on command, learning accents, and staging falls and fights without getting hurt. Theperformance: analyzing scripts, building a character, what to expect from rehearsals, and overcoming stagefright. A backstage look at blocking, lighting, and other technical aspects of theater production. And for the fun of costumes and make-up, a 16-page color insert. In addition, it covers legends and lore (Why is Macbeth cursed? Why do we say "break a leg"?) and offers dozens of must-see movie recommendations. Plus, for the ambitious, talented, and just plain curious, there's advice on how to make a career of it all, with tips on agents and auditions and getting jobs in theater, film, TV, and radio.

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About the Author:

Lisa Friedman is currently the dance writer for Microsoft's New York Sidewalk. A former dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, she also served as founding editor of the award-winning quarterly Dance Ink and author of First Lessons in Ballet and an adjunct professor at New York University. She is also a contributing editor at Elleand a journalist who writes about the performing arts for various publications. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York, just a short cab ride from the Great White Way!

From School Library Journal:

Gr 4-10-An informative, how-to guide on the essentials of acting and stage production. This theater-course-in-a-book has sections on body preparation and exercises, theater games and other techniques, acting skills such as accents and stage fighting, analyzing scripts, rehearsals, and overcoming stagefright. It also takes a look backstage with chapters on stage managing, light, sound, and costume design, and advice on doing your own costumes and makeup. And for readers who devour all this information with interest, there's a chapter on acting as a career, with tips on headshots; agents; auditioning; and getting jobs in theater, film, television, and radio. Also included are appendixes with lists of resources, Web sites, and selected monologues and scenes. While the title implies that this book is for children, photos include depictions of teens and adults. This guide is truly chock-full of information, so much so that it at times seems too crowded with photos, inserts, illustrations and diagrams, sidebars with definitions, young actors' quotes, and informative asides on topics such as green rooms and improv troupes. Even so, if you need one book to introduce students to the theater, this is a good choice.
Betty S. Evans, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Dowdle, Mary, Friedman, Lise
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Dowdle, Mary; Friedman, Lise
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