Musicals!

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Overview

Musicals! is an illustrated sourcebook for total theatre training, emphasizing the director's role in the three main building blocks for mounting a performance: preparation, production, and performance. Boland and Argentini provide a comprehensive step-by-step theatre primer which will prove invaluable to musical directors, teachers, administrators, students, and actors. After the initial decisions are made, specific guidelines in preparing the stage picture, holding auditions and casting, and running the gamut of rehearsals are provided. Lighting, costumes, creating sets and scenery, and safety precautions are also discussed. The musical number and choreography are analyzed and defined, and advice on how to use color and solve multiple scene problems is given. With opening night approaching, a checklist of what must be done is enumerated and explained. The authors provide tips on publicity, running the box office, as well as the do's and don'ts of mounting the show and its final strike. Includes a glossary of theatrical terms, a selected bibliography, and recommended sources for scenic drops, costumes, and lighting equipment.

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Editorial Reviews

Amateur Stage
...this superb book addresses every aspect of musical theatre...a key resource for all of those concerned with the staging of a musical on every scale from a school production to a major staging at a large capacity...theatre. It provides comprehensive step-by-step guidance for musical directors and choreographers, teachers, administrators, actors and students...presented in a clear, concise format with loads of illustrations, this book...is quite a find and a super addition to your library.
Berkshire Eagle
...invest in this book, which, as the playwright William Gibson says in the foreword 'should be in every high school and college library.' And public library I might add...remarkably complete...
Professional Reviews
...a unique and valuable addition to any school or public library's drama section...an excellent resource for the first-time director as well as young adults who have an interest in theatre, but little experience, and want to learn more...a fine way to raise the curtain for the first scene in a directing career.
School Library Association
The book has an accessible upbeat feel to the text which is dotted with inspirational quotes to enthuse and energize the prospective director into action.
Stage Directions
For those in need of a primer, this comes highly recommended.
Amateur Stage
...this superb book addresses every aspect of musical theatre...a key resource for all of those concerned with the staging of a musical on every scale from a school production to a major staging at a large capacity...theatre. It provides comprehensive step-by-step guidance for musical directors and choreographers, teachers, administrators, actors and students...presented in a clear, concise format with loads of illustrations, this book...is quite a find and a super addition to your library..
School Library Association
The book has an accessible upbeat feel to the text which is dotted with inspirational quotes to enthuse and energise the prospective director into action..
VOYA - William S. Simms
From acting to upstaging and from Anything Goes to West Side Story, this title provides a broad introduction to the art of directing musical theatre. Musicals! is designed to answer two questions for the first-time director: "How do I mount a musical production from the very first step to the last?" and "Will I be able to do it?" The authors answer the former question by efficiently directing the reader through the basic stages of theatre production. Although the latter question can only be answered by the individual, the authors' encouragement, enthusiasm, and sound advice will certainly help anyone feel as though they could direct Broadway's next big hit. Several very good books exist on directing school and community theatre productions and this can be included among them. In particular, this book has two strengths that make it a unique and valuable addition to any school or public library's drama section. First, it presents information in a straightforward and reader-friendly style. This makes it an excellent resource for the first-time director as well as young adults who have an interest in theatre, but little experience, and want to learn more. Second, the book is genre-specific and addresses the unique challenges of mounting the musical production, such as the various types of show songs and the function of songs in a musical. Reading Musicals! is a fine way to raise the curtain for the first scene in a directing career. Index. Illus. Photos. Charts. Biblio. Further Reading. Appendix.
Library Journal
Boland, a community college theater educator with 27 years of experience teaching and directing musicals, and Argentini, a playwright, actor, and freelance writer, have parlayed their 35-year friendship and considerable theatrical expertise into a handbook for novice directors of the musical. This illustrated nuts-and-bolts compendium includes 22 chapters divided among three major sections addressing preparation, production, and performance. Through accessible prose and a you-can-do-it tone, the authors provide an overview of preproduction planning, auditioning and casting, blocking, stage composition, rehearsals, and choreography, as well as the more technical layers of set design, costumes, and lights. A glossary and selected bibliography are also included. An appropriate acquisition for introductory guidance to musicals at the school and community theater levels; for a more intermediate guide, try Elaine and Deborah Novak's Staging Musical Theater: A Complete Guide for Directors, Choreographers, and Producers (LJ 8/96).Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L, Tex.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810833234
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 7/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 230
  • Sales rank: 1,048,347
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Boland (M.F.A., Boston University) is professor emeritus of Fine Arts and Theatre at Berkshire Community College in Massachusetts. Paul M. Argentini is a playwright, novelist, screenwriter, quondam director and actor, and free-lance writer.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Illustrations Part 2 Foreword Part 3 Preface Part 4 Acknowledgments Part 5 Introduction Part 6 I PREPARATION Chapter 7 1. Is it Theatre? Part 8 The Seamless Flow Part 9 The Nature of Song Part 10 Why the Song? Part 11 The Joy of Talent Chapter 12 2. Get a Script! Part 13 List of Licensors Part 14 The Royalty Fee Part 15 The Rental Fee Chapter 16 3. Making Choices Part 17 Musical Choices Part 18 Types of Musicals Part 19 Choosing a Show Chapter 20 4. Planning the Production Part 21 Order Your Show Part 22 Timeline Part 23 Production Notes Chapter 24 5. The Theatre— A Seeing Place Part 25 The Proscenium Stage Part 26 A Bird's-eye View Part 27 The Stage Plot Part 28 Blocking Defined Part 29 Blocking Exercies Part 30 II PRODUCTION Chapter 31 6. The Prompt Book Part 32 Make One Part 33 The Floor Plan Part 34 Major Notations Part 35 Cues Part 36 Warnings Chapter 37 7. Beat the Script! Part 38 Purpose of the Beat Part 39 Identifying the Beat Part 40 Study the Beats Chapter 41 8. Blocking and Motivation Part 42 Indirect Actions Part 43 What is Blocking? Part 44 Pre-blocking Part 45 Blocking Part 46 Over-blocking Part 47 The Inner Meaning Part 48 Ten Fundamental Stage Actions Part 49 Weight of Stage Areas Part 50 Blocking Examples Chapter 51 9. The Stage Picture Part 52 Visual Arrangements Part 53 Five Concepts Part 54 Weight and Balance Part 55 Variety Part 56 Unity and Variety Part 57 Application Chapter 58 10. Auditions and Casting Part 59 Tryouts Part 60 Double-casting Part 61 Readings Chapter 62 11. Beginning Rehearsals Part 63 First Rehearsal Part 64 The Sing-along Part 65 Ask Questions Now Chapter 66 12. Learning Blocking Part 67 Summer Stock Blocking Part 68 Repetory Blocking Part 69 Traditional Blocking Chapter 70 13. Conducting Rehearsals Part 71 Give the Blocking Part 72 Step-by-step Part 73 Rehearsing Song Sequences Part 74 Attention to Detail Chapter 75 14. Rehearsal Techniques Chapter 76 Stay Fresh Part 77 The Musical Moment Part 78 Focus Part 79 The Vision of the Show Part 80 Seeing it Happen Part 81 The Difference Chapter 82 15. The Musical Number Part 83 The Purpose of a Song Part 84 Technology and Innovation Part 85 Defining the Show Songs Part 86 The Atmosphere Song Part 87 The Character Song Part 88 The Plot Song Part 89 The Soliloquy Part 90 The Tempo Song Chapter 91 16 Choreography Part 92 Dancing Adds Meaning Part 93 Looking Good! Part 94 Theme and Style Part 95 Relevant Dancing Part 96 Essential or Atmosphere? Part 97 Authenticity Part 98 Do it Well Chapter 99 17 Setting the Stage Part 100 Inspiration Part 101 Overdoing Part 102 The Aesthetics Part 103 Basic Approaches Part 104 Suggestions for Using the Basic Approaches Part 105 Arena Staging Part 106 List of Suppliers Part 107 Using Color Part 108 General Principles Part 109 The Future Chapter 110 18. The Costumes Part 111 The Process Part 112 Borrowing Part 113 Renting Part 114 Costuming Realities Part 115 Professional Hints Part 116 Makeup Chapter 117 19. Lighting the Show Part 118 Characteristics of Light Part 119 Lighting Instruments Part 120 Techniques Part 121 Characterisitcs of Color Part 122 Gels Part 123 The Cue Sheet Part 124 III THE PERFORMANCE Chapter 125 20. Small Things Count Part 126 What Constitutes a performance? Part 127 Run-throughs Part 128 Notes Part 129 Costume Parade Part 130 Cue-to-Cue Part 131 Technical Rehearsal Part 132 Dress Rehearsals Part 133 The Stage Manager Part 134 Opening Cues Part 135 Little Oversights—Big Trouble Part 136 Superstitions Part 137 Curtain Calls Chapter 138 21. Getting the Word Out Part 139 Possible Methods Part 140 The Box Office Chapter 141 22. Mounting the Show Part 142 Dos and Don'ts Part 143 Safety Part 144 Strike! Part 145 Appendix: "Musicals! The Perfect Medicine!" Part 146 Selected Reading List Part 147 Glossary Part 148 Index Chapter 149 About the Authors

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