Magazine article Stage Directions

Problem Solvers

Magazine article Stage Directions

Problem Solvers

Article excerpt

All phases of theater, from acting to directing to behind the scenes, are explored in this bevy of books.

Once again, we present some new how-to resources on a wide variety of theaterrelated topics.


The departure of an executive director, no matter what the reason, is a significant event. How the departure is managed and how the next executive director is hired and welcomed will determine the success of the organization for many years to come. In Losing Your Executive Director Without Losing Your Way: The Nonproflt's Guide to Executive Turnover, Carol Weisman and Richard I. Goldbaum explain how to make this transition a positive event. In particular, the authors show how boards can bridge the gap between executive directors and use the transition period as a strategic opportunity. Step-by-step, the book takes the reader through the process of smoothing the way from one leader to another. There is a lot of solid information packed into the book's 158 pages, aided by clear-cut examples and a particularly helpful index. [ISBN 0-7879-6371-2, $30, Jossey-Bass]

How Theater Managers Manage by Tess Collins is designed primarily for new theater managers. It covers a wide variety of topics, including budgeting, gross potentials and ticket prices, show contracts, settlements, working with unions and creating emergency and security procedures. Also included are sample budgets as well as building and performance forms. Collins herself has worked in theater management for more than 25 years. However, what really makes this book memorable is how she brings together the stories, values and experiences of many other seasoned theater managers. Through them, we get the sense of a common thread that, for want of a better term, might be called managerial imagination. [ISBN 0-8108-4683-7, $24.95, Scarecrow Press]

Acting & Directing

"I'm not really qualified." That's the first thing Arthur Strimling says he usually hears from people who want to start an intergenerational theater. His response: "You're right. Go ahead anyway." He knows of what he speaks. For more than a decade, Strimling has been bringing generations together for acting workshops and performances that confront and transcend the stereotypes of age and aging. His Roots & Branches Theater is internationally recognized for its work, and in his new book,Roots & Branches: Creating Intergenerational Theater; Strimling passes on his process for mining the wisdom, experience, energy, daring and passion of elder and young actors for productions that speak to all generations. The book includes exercises, warm-ups, storytelling techniques and a great deal of practical advice and helpful insight into physical, cultural and other differences between old and young, and how to bridge them. [ISBN 0-32500-5079, $18.95, Heinemann]

More than 20 years of directing, teaching and participating in improvisation has led Mick Napier to question why and how scenes work-or don't work-and what one must do in order for a scene to be successful. …

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