Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays)


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Places to play are hard to find in Portland these days and places to prepare even harder. It will be nice not to have to hop from one spot to another each rehearsal as I'd originally imagined. Having a room where the small library of concordances and editions of each play can be left along with a chest of props and cups for tea is going to take a lot of stress out of the marathon that is rehearsing two plays in repertory while also maintaining full time employment outside of the arts.

Even though one may have seen both several times over, the two plays together spark a different understanding as the two reverberate within one another: Malvolio's imprisonment and Hamlet's suspected madness; Viola's loss of her brother, Sebastian, and Laertes' loss of his sister, Ophelia, the strong widows, Olivia and Gertrude. Opening night is sixty three nights away. The two texts are cut and thirteen actors are at hand. And what is this directress doing today? Driving the seventy eight or so miles from Portland to the beach for a working retreat of sorts.

And then there is the matter of turning my daydreams into tangible decisions that the designers and actors can latch onto as they explore the undiscovered country, the court of Denmark, and the coast of Illyria. No where better to document daydreams than on the road and along the shore. As a friend of mine puts it there are three b's to creativity: the bed, the bath, and the bus. On a final note there are a few numbers I left out at top. Salt and Sage has thirty seven days left on our first crowd funding campaign and four thousand nine hundred and eighty nine dollars to raise.

You can click the button below to learn more. Thank you in advance! Francis Wheatley. Helena and Count Bertram before the King of France. Folger Shakespeare Library Why two plays? Why these two plays? The two plays call to one another in the figure of a central female protagonist pursuing an unrequited love, determined to make a heaven of hell. They even share a name: Helena. One could argue that this parallel, though striking, is insignificant.

After all, Shakespeare repeated names throughout the canon, and unrequited affection is one of the basic building blocks of romantic plot. Sympathizing with Demetrius and Bertram, how can one love Helena? Both characters are charming in the fervor of their passions and keenness of their intellects. Neither means to harm anyone and both set out within the confines of their circumstances to set things right. Feeling firm in the conviction that the two plays shared a spine, my imagination turned to what it meant for Shakespeare to have returned to this examination of unrequited love.

In pursuit of that question, enamored of both plays and their inhabitants, I find myself in rehearsals for both plays. Juggling the two has turned out to be one of the most joyous experiences I have ever had in the theater. The joy of directing two plays in rep is that it transforms the experience from that of directing a cast to directing a company.

The investment is different as all actors step into leading and supporting roles. The multiplicity of scenes and combinations of partners means almost everyone takes a turn with almost everyone else, as opposed to the pattern of most plays where an actor gets to the end of rehearsal and realizes they have only played with about half the ensemble. And then there is the infinite reward of exploring each play in its own right and in its relation to the other.

We have two and a half more weeks of rehearsal to refine this madness for your pleasure, then three weeks of performances to share. Hope to see you there! Louis Rhead. Midsummer night's dream, Helena pursues Demetrius. Folger Shakespeare Library. The double bed trick of the sub plot ends with both the wives pregnant after having the best sex of their lives. Apparently, their husbands perform better when they think they are cheating on them.

Meanwhile, embedded stage directions point to the Countess using oral sex as the means of persuasion when asking her fourth lover to avenge her. The puns turn darker when the Countess faces beheading for her part in the murder of her second lover. She is one of four characters who face execution as a consequence for crimes committed or supposedly committed to cover up their own deviances from the sexual mores of the day.

All that sex and death makes for one wild ride: the play alternates from the truly tragic to riotously ridiculous and back. I am so hungry to stage it! If you are at all free on Saturday, please join us at 2pm at The Backdoor Theater for what I am sure will be a good time.

Special chapters offer strategies for dealing with difficult actors, working with producers and taking on the job of an Artistic Director. This unique book offers a complete course in how to do any accent and also gives you the tools to navigate your way through a specific accent. The authors share the processes that they, as specialist dialect coaches, have developed, to give you the insight, tools and confidence to work with accents.

The downloadable resource pack allows you to access detailed exercises and sample sentences — giving you the sounds you need to get your accent skills going! A really practical and fun guide to accent training. I recommend it to all actors and voice teachers. Shakespeare tells the actor when to go fast and when to go slow; when to pause, when to come in on cue; when to accent a word. His text is full of such clues; he heard the lines as he wrote them. This is a new edition for a new generation — compact and concise with the facts, the way modern students and actors need it.

The pay-off of the book according to Sir Peter is simple — it will make you a better actor! It is her manifesto for a return to the words themselves: for moving away from an over-conceptualised, over-literal view of language and rediscovering the meaning in its sounds and rhythms. At the heart of this book is a concise, practical guide for directors in rehearsal, setting out work strategies that help bring out both the shape and the details within all kinds of text — whether verse or prose, seventeenth-century or contemporary.


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The Oberon Glossary of Theatrical Terms includes explanations of over 1, technical, backstage, acting, musical, dance and showbusiness terms in common usage. Completely revised and updated, this concise glossary explains all theatre jargon. A must-have addition to the bookshelves of all theatre and performing arts aficionados. His Tales of an Actor speak with a bracing honesty of experience in the theatre with which all actors are familiar, but which few have dared to articulate.

He is a pioneer. His views are both caustic and invigorating… I hope they will be read by anyone interested in the theatre and in the work of actors. Harry is a dedicated actor, often out of work, rejected and desperate for opportunities to practise his art.

Brief moments of success only serve to increase his thirst for fulfilment. Eleven experienced actors who have made a living, a life, in theatre, television and film, share their process, comment on their experiences and consider their role as theatre artists within the broader spectrum of Art and Culture. A book that actors can mine for tips on craftsmanship and the business. A book that reveals to directors which approaches enable actors and which block them.

A book that calls the UK industry to attention: actors should be embraced as primary creators along with the writer, director and designer of any production. A clutch of wonderful minds provoked, represent the important ongoing conversation about stories, skill and life. Auditions, showcases, workshops, training, examinations: if you are looking for a piece to impress or to hone your acting skills, Oberon Books has an extensive list of monologue and duologue collections, as well as a diverse range of one-man and one-woman plays.

Actors are required to perform monologues regularly throughout their career: preparing for drama school entry, showcasing skills for agents or auditioning for a role. These monologues contain a diverse range of quirky and memorable characters that cross cultural and historical boundaries. So I think many people are going to be grateful to voice coach Catherine Weate who has assembled and edited two further books of modern monologues.

Although his mainstream career has recently included major work for the RSC and the National, the five new pieces collected here show just how close playwright and director Neil Bartlett has stayed to the radical queer cultural roots that first brought him to prominence in the early s.

See also: Solo Voices: Monologues on page These solo pieces are written for younger audiences but their originality and strength make them suitable for any age. Each play displays a formal inventiveness and a philosophical playfulness that make them stand alone as brilliant examples of contemporary theatre. A drama teacher might use one of these plays — or part of one — as a piece of solo practical work for GCSE or A level Tracey Gordon, the 67 bus, friendship, sex, UK garage, school, music, teachers, friendship, periods, emergency contraceptive, arse and tits, friendship, raves, tampons, white boys, God, money.

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Aaron, Candice, sex and Connor Jones. Chewing Gum Dreams is a one-woman play that recalls those last days of innocence before adulthood. Her play tackles some difficult themes, including sexual assault, violence, and underachievement across generations…a serious new talent. Behold the newest nobody of the funniest century yet. Listen closely or drift off uncontrollably, as he speaks to you directly about the notion of home, about the notion of the world.

All of it delivered with the authority that is the special province of the unsure and the unhomed, which is a word he made up accidentally. The marvel of Mr. A T-shirt is something most people have. It is a common denominator like a pair of blue jeans or a pair of Converse All Stars. From Fringe First winner Inua Ellams, comes a story about two foster brothers building a global T-shirt brand.

On their journey from a market in Nigeria to a sweatshop in China, Matthew and Muhammed discover the consequences of success. The play tackles capitalism and exploitation, as well as sectarianism and homophobia in modern-day Nigeria.


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  7. During the night he looks back at his short but joyful past growing up in rural Devon: his exciting first days at school; the accident in the forest that killed his father; his adventures with Molly, the love of his life; and the battles and injustices of war that brought him to the front line. This edition includes introductory essays by Michael Morpurgo, theatre director Mark Leipacher, and an essay from Simon Reade, adaptor and director of this stage adaptation of Private Peaceful.

    Meet Chloe, 21, from Leytonstone. She likes the simple things in life: cherry sambuca, hairbrush-inthe-mirror karaoke with Rihanna and winding her dad up.

    Fighting fit from sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the Old Vic New Voices Edinburgh Season , you are invited ringside, for an adrenaline-fuelled, noholes-barred one-woman show unafraid to document the blood, the sweat…and all the tears. The writing is fully alive. Liverpool, Greg is thirteen. He has just started secondary school. He earns pocket money sweeping up hair in a barbers. Girls are aliens.

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    Liverpool FC are everything. Edinburgh, Greg has an extraordinary story to tell you. Bottleneck is a vibrant coming-of-age story about becoming a man through adventures both big and small. It is about a notorious city; Liverpool. How the outside world views it. And how it views the outside world. Sue Mengers is a woman whose time is passing. The glory days are fading. How does a powerful woman face a treacherously shifting landscape? Nothing makes much sense to him, and his heart belongs to a classmate who barely knows he exists.

    Wound Man is an unconventional superhero, sprung from the pages of a medieval medical textbook, with an alarming assortment of weapons sticking out from every part of his body. A funny and touching story about two unlikely friends and the adventures they share. Fergus has lived in England for almost seven years. A one-man show written and performed by Fergus Evans, fusing animation, storytelling, and spoken word that crosses the boundaries between performance art and theatre. A collection of nearly 50 scenes for two actors. The scenes are arranged according to gender suitability with background information about the plays from which they are taken.

    These volumes both collect over forty speeches from some of the finest plays of the last twenty years. Bringing together specially selected speeches by essential modern dramatists. Useful for amateurs, students, and professional actors alike, participating in acting classes, contests, auditions and rehearsals. Arranged according to age suitability — Teens, Twenties, Thirties, Forty plus — with the plays and individual speeches set in their dramatic and performance context. These verbatim monologues are drawn from conversations Robin Soans has had or overheard, or are edited versions of interviews he has conducted in the course of research for his plays Mixed Up North, Talking to Terrorists, Life After Scandal.

    Subjects range from people who have held high office to those who have blown them up; from those who live in large country houses to others whose home is two blankets and a pile of leaves in the corner of a disused garage. Howard Barker is an internationally renowned dramatist, whose first plays were performed at the Royal Court and by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Since his work has been presented by his own company The Wrestling School. Writing of himself in the third person and in the historic tense, Barker's alter-ego Eduardo Houth achieves a fluency and an uncommon measure of objectivity, though objectivity is scarcely the sole intention.

    The result is a unique exercise in self-description, partisan but without the shrill selfjustification so common in a mere autobiography. Focusing on different aspects of what Barker has called the Theatre of Catastrophe, an international range of academics offer illuminating interpretations of his work. She began writing drama in the early s. Tanika has written extensively for theatre, radio, film and television.

    Tanika was awarded an MBE in Dennis Kelly is an internationally acclaimed writer with his plays performed in over thirty countries. Highly recommended. As this collection clearly shows, Wade certainly has. The Oberon Modern Playwrights series showcases the most prominent authors of our time, and includes collections of plays grouped thematically.

    OCt Jun Gupta offers a fresh perspective on race relations, generational divide and sexual politics. They have all lost their jobs. In retaliation, they defiantly produce, devise and perform award-winning plays with the support of artists around the world. As anyone who saw Being Harold Pinter will know, they make their points through an exuberant inventiveness…remarkable. Like many of the richest moments in theater, this one involves very simple elements: black ink, a long roll of brown paper and a naked woman. Ukaegbu PB E Since his debut in Agboluaje has become one of the most prolific of the third generation of Black British playwrights.

    He writes comfortably in iambic pentameter, sweeping Wagnerian phrases or heightened nineteenth-century prose. Roll it from your eyes to your tongue, like tears, and relish, as I do, the ever-so fruity yet slightly salty content. The plays chart the political history of the Nuclear Bomb and its proliferation from to the present day.

    These playwrights ride, however, in no slipstream of the identifiably Irish play. Here, the enterprise of playwriting itself is being re-imagined. Here, above all else, is a commitment to becoming in the theatre. Some of the best new writing from contemporary American playwrights.

    Each play is introduced by critically acclaimed writers themselves. The Possibilities are disturbing short plays set in various times and cultures. Amajuba is a moving tapestry of different personal perspectives on growing up under Apartheid. He Left Quietly is the harrowing. Afghanistan continues to be an important focus of British, European and American foreign policy. The Great Game: Afghanistan features an extraordinary sequence of short plays, which attempt to broaden our understanding of the explosive history of Western involvement in Afghanistan.

    Sixty-Six Books is a fresh interpretation of the King James Version of the Bible KJV for the new millennium, celebrating and challenging the traditions and achievements of this great work on the occasion of its th anniversary. The curators of this project have gathered together a formidable and inspiring line-up of the best established and emerging writing talent to create a new book of the KJV, speaking back to the KJV with untrammelled inventiveness of the imagination.

    Hamlet, Part II answers a question about Hamlet that has plagued scholars, readers and playgoers for over four hundred years: What happened next? Prince Lear tackles yet another conundrum: What happened just before the start of King Lear, setting in motion the improbable events of Act I, scene 1? It is the Jubilee! One has to battle a society who deems her a secondclass citizen, the other forges an astonishing entanglement with the ageing Queen Victoria who finds herself enchanted by stories of an India she rules but has never seen.

    In her fierce determination to stay true to herself, she alienates the authorities and faces incarceration. Her younger lover Carpeta is approached to take over and seizes the assignment for himself. Centre of a whaling industry that transformed blubber into the oils and candles that lit the world. He enrols under Ahab, Captain of the Pequod — a man bent on destroying the white whale that lost him his leg. Glasgow, the s. Martha and Amie are old neighbours, trapped in their decaying tenement and cut off from family and friends. Over the course of a single month, these unlikely roommates infuriate, bewilder, and ultimately connect.

    Not available for sale outside the UK. Strepsiades lives in Greece. He has a son and he has debt. The latter being a direct result of the former. And horses. Socrates has an Academy. He teaches students to question, think for themselves. Will Socrates reform the prodigal son? Will the creditors come knocking on their door? Socrates and his Clouds is a funny, naughty, vital exploration of the ways in which education and morality define a society in crisis.

    The genre of Aristophanic comedy fused with the tradition of the comic strip and enriched with philosophical debate; a new, potentially explosive cocktail. Socrates is alive and well and coming to a cloud near you Five Stars and Cloud Nine! Everyone rallied and we finished but Dennis was not well served. The last time I saw a recording it still had a boom in shot!

    ‘Bound about with the ring’: popular stage invisibility

    There are no villains in this tale. I imagine senior engineers believed they were correcting poor planning decisions made by their junior staff. Certainly wrong judgements were made by young programme makers swept on a tide of enthusiasm both for the play itself and for the sheer joy of walking into a big empty box and making magic. Reactions to the production were mixed.

    They loved Son of Man so much, they had played it so often, that their 1 Inch Video reel to reel recording had worn out. Could they please buy a new copy? The situation was resolved discreetly. It shows Potter in typically combative mood as he contemplates four decades of television since the birth of the BBC. Our thanks go to William Ham Bevan who brought the article to light. Dennis Potter, prize-winning author of the Nigel Barton plays and the controversial Son of Man , looks back on forty years. For TV is both the wonder and the disgrace of our times. A magic paintbox and a dreary bore.

    A window on the universe and just another humdrum, pap-fed domestic appliance. Licensed like a dog, a mad dog, it squats in the corner of the living room, a wall-eyed beast which sicks up the world on to our nylon carpets. You can put on your slippers, sink into your favourite armchair, sip a nice hot cup of tea, and watch a man being burnt to death. In a minute or two a row of teeth will smile at you, mouthing a reassuring bromide.

    Or you can switch channels and sweep into the sweeter world of the commercials: striped toothpaste, coloured toilet rolls and extra-mileage ingredients, the hip-hip-happy moods of what is called, by Act of Parliament, a natural break. Every night of the week, every week of the year, the pictures go swirling by — a ship breaking its back on the rocks, a bomber dropping napalm on Asian peasants, tea with the Queen, a Hollywood cowboy sprawled on a plastic rock, spangled dancing girls, football from South America, an assassin weeping in the death cell, a pub in a Lancashire backstreet or an American hopping on the moon.

    By the time you have drained your tea you can have zoomed along a quarter of a million miles, or have been bored and irritated enough to bite a chunk out of the china. Our children take the technical marvels for granted. They are not in the least bit astonished by the sight of a toothbrush floating in a capsule half way to the moon. As far as they are concerned, water comes out of the tap, gas out of the cooker, and pictures out of the TV set.

    An ordinary sort of machine. Something to pass the time when it is raining. But years ago, on a very boozy Christmas day, I had a tipsy uncle who was so overcome by the sight of the Queen delivering her stilted seasonal message that he hiccupped, lurched forward to the set, kissed the flickering image with two resounding smacks and, unable to stop his momentum, cut his lip badly on the little table which carried the TV and Her Majesty. It is about the only time I have seen anyone so physically moved by something pumping out of the telly.

    Sunday marks 80 years since the birth of Dennis Potter. Like many a s hysteric, I can lay claim to having been titillated by the work of Dennis Potter long before I had actually seen any of it. In fairness, that was probably all the TV filth a year-old in s Stockport could handle without imploding. It was experimental but it was impossible to imagine the story being told in a better way. And like all great ideas, you were left wondering why nobody had thought to do it before. Reading this collection does make me think that he would have been a tough mate to have. The cruel and witheringly precise humour that we see Philip Marlow exercise in The Singing Detective is very much present in both his views on television and his views on himself.

    He seemed not to recognize that simultaneously being a practising dramatist and a drama critic was problematic in any way, or, being Potter, relished the fact. Just as his best drama simultaneously provided a critical and often musical analysis of the drama as it unfolded, so his non-fiction often reads as a dramatic monologue disguised as analysis. The musical rhythm of his dialogue and the savage put downs are all present and correct in his prose style.

    Here he is reviewing a adaptation of War and Peace and taking on his familiar anti-realist position. He opens with an anecdote about a recent stay in hospital in which he found himself sharing a ward with:. We all knew as a matter of course that these cunning brown bastards were only there to draw social security payments, an argument which temporarily wavered when one of them so miscalculated his ruse that he actually went so far as to die. Most rewarding of all for the Potter geek, it is recognisably the blueprint for a moment in The Singing Detective where Ali — the Pakistani in the next bed to Philip Marlow — turns the expectation of racist abuse into a moment of shared hilarity between Marlow and himself at the expense of a liberal young houseman.

    With his eye for absurdity and precision of language, how I would have loved to have read Dennis Potter on the likes of Iain Duncan Smith or Nigel Farage. Indeed, Farage, with his strained combination of fake bonhomie and victimized suburban bluster, could almost be a character invented by Potter — and played by Denholm Elliott. Naturalism, as Dennis was keen to remind us throughout his career, was just one way and a flawed way at that of writing television drama, but it had, partly through soaps and long running series like Z Cars , become the most familiar and dominant form by the time Pennies from Heaven burst on to our screen.

    Watching it now it reads as a largely naturalistic drama with music. The only time it really steps out of its realist framework is during the song sequences and during the encounters with the mystical Accordion Man. The Singing Detective then used the Pennies from Heaven template as its starting point to gloriously and triumphantly deconstruct the whole way in which we tell stories.

    The towering achievement of The Singing Detective was to be simultaneously formally adventurous A man in bed with a skin disease is writing or rewriting a detective novel, reminiscing about a traumatic childhood, peopling the film adaptation of his detective novel with characters that may or may not be characters from that troubled childhood. He is simultaneously being ripped off by his agent or wife or both for the film rights to the story he is writing.

    Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays) Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays)
    Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays) Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays)
    Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays) Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays)
    Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays) Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays)
    Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays) Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays)
    Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays) Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays)
    Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays) Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays)
    Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays) Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays)

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