Playing A Part

Grishka has grown up in the closed world of a puppet theater in Russia, but now that world seems to be falling apart–his best friend needs an operation, financial difficulties are forcing people out, his homosexual friend Sam, the jester, is leaving for Holland and Grishka no longer knows what role he himself is playing.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume VII, Issue 3

Shakespeare and Macbeth

Blending historical research and contemporary literary criticism, this fascinating look at one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays explains how the playwright conceived and wrote Macbeth and brings to life a production of the play.

Curtain Up!

Young Amaya is auditioning for a role in a professional play. Although she longs to perform, she is about to learn how much team effort and hard work is involved.As the reader follows her progress from a nervous hopeful at an audition through the fittings for costumes, the rehearsals, the memory work, and even stage fright, Dirk McLean introduces the many people and jobs involved in staging a play. A glossary provides descriptions of terms like casting, choreography, and blocking. Written by an author with extensive firsthand theater experience, this is a must-have resource for young children who are performers. And for those who only dream of a career on stage, it is entertaining to share Amaya’s journey and to feel the thrill of a peek behind the scenes.

The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard

A comic romp through Shakespeare’s London featuring an intrepid little boy, a friendly bear, and-in the role of dastardly villain-the Bard himself. What happens when a boy bursts through the curtain of a deserted theatre and onto the world’s most famous stage? He lands on the Bard himself and the chase is on-through the streets of Shakespeare’s London. This is a rare and inventive visual feast-a runaway story about a curious boy, a magic cloak, a grumpy bard, a captive bear and a baron bound for the chopping block. It is also a richly illustrated, dramatic and very funny tale of adventure and friendship.

Wombat Divine

Wombat loves everything about Christmas–especially the Nativity play. He’s wanted to be in it for as long as he can remember. At last he’s old enough to try out. But at the auditions, the first part goes to someone else. So does the next. And the next … Will there be a part left for Wombat?

Munsch at Play Act 2: Eight More Stage Adaptations

This book presents simple stage adaptations, suitable for school use, of eight stories along with staging suggestions and ideas for easily obtainable sets, props, and costumes.

Wonderland

She’s back. Jude’s childhood friend sexy, daring Stella returns to their stifling hometown, and life will never be the same again. Sixteen-year-old Jude has to get out of tiny Churchtown. She has to escape her outcast status and her pathetic dad, who hasn’t gotten past her mother’s death. The one bright light is drama, her way out, if only she can get into the Lab, a prestigious program in London. Then Stella, Jude’s childhood best friend, swaggers in after years away. With bold and magnetic Stella by her side, Jude knows she’s capable of anything. But Stella’s influence extends well beyond the theater. Soon Stella’s wild and dangerous streak begins to cause trouble for Jude yet Jude can’t bring herself to abandon Stella and the attention she’s always craved. And besides, now that Stella’s back, there’s no stopping her. In Jude’s dark and tangled story, British author Joanna Nadin plumbs the aftermath of loss and the consequences of becoming the person you always wished you were.

Alamo Wars

alamoJosephine “Miss Mac” McKeever had taught English and Theatre Arts at Rosemont Middle School for so long that her colleagues sometimes joked that she would die in the classroom. So when she does just that, students, teachers, and administrators are stunned. After getting over the initial shock of losing their colleague, the staff agrees that they need to do something very special to acknowledge Miss Mac’s fifty-one years of dedication to the students at Rosemont and suggest naming the school’s auditorium after her. When Mrs. Frymire, her long-time colleague and friend, discovers a play written by Miss Mac years before, she knows that it would be the perfect memorial to present the play, Thirteen Days to Glory: The Battle of the Alamo, in the school’s auditorium named after her friend. But the teachers quickly learn that presenting a play isn’t as easy as Miss Mac had always made it seem, and soon the entire school community is in an uproar as conflicts related to the play emerge. Seventh-grader and Golden Gloves boxer Marco Diaz is, at first, excited to be chosen to play Jim Bowie, the brave Texan who defended the Alamo against Santa Anna’s Mexican Army. But his friend Raquel, an undocumented immigrant, calls him a sell-out because she believes the play makes heroes out of the people who stole her ancestors’ land. And Sandy Martinez, Miss Mac’s much younger replacement, finds the Mexican characters’ dialogue not only politically incorrect but downright offensive. Miss Mac’s friends, though, are adamantly opposed to making changes. Ms. Martinez also tries to convince them that giving certain students plum roles in exchange for their parents’ contributions is wrong, but ends up leaving the production in frustration. Meanwhile, rehearsals only serve to increase the tension between Marco’s friend Izzy Pena and the school bully Billy Ray Cansler. And it’s only a matter of time before Billy Ray corners Izzy when Marco isn’t around to protect him. Weary from struggling with disruptive kids, teachers and kids dropping out of the play, and parents with unreasonable expectations, everyone begins to wonder if they should just give up and cancel the production. Is it too much to expect everyone to work together to pay homage to a long-time friend and teacher?

Pretty Things

Brie is in love with Lancôme Juicy Tubes, Louis Vuitton accessories, and Charlie, her gay best friend. Charlie is in love with 1960s pop art, 1980s teen movies, and serial heart breaker Walker. Walker has only ever been in love with his VW Bug, until he meets Daisy. And Daisy is too busy hating everyone to know what love is. Friendships shift and relationship melodrama rules during a summer theater production of The Taming of the Shrew as Brie, Charlie, Walker and Daisy fall in and out of love and hate with each other. Their four voices alternate throughout the narrative, revealing the delicious inside scoop on each player’s secret thoughts and exposing the real person inside, which is always more than the exterior reveals.