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High School

Book/Play Recommendations


These are excellent books that Natalie uses frequently:

Acting One – by Robert Cohen

"This book is expressly intended for the beginning acting student. The twenty-four lessons comprise basic material for what could be a one-year or two-year course in acting fundamentals." - Preface

Natalie’s Comments: "I have used this book for the past six years as a basis for my Drama One students. It is excellent!"


Encyclopedia of Acting Techniques – John Perry

"Illustrated instruction, examples and advice for improving acting techniques and stage presence – from tragedy to comedy, epic to farce." - Cover

Natalie’s Comments: "For Advanced Drama and Drama One students alike, this book provides wonderful warm-up exercises and acting techniques. It has color photographs of real actors performing the different exercises to show exactly what the text means. Very effective."


Theatrical Design and Production – J. Michael Gillette

"An introduction to scene design and construction, lighting, sound, costume, and makeup." – Inside Cover

Natalie’s Comments: "This 557 pages book I use as my drama bible. Everything you need to know about scene design, makeup, lighting, sound, costuming, etc., can be found in this great text. It also has an excellent glossary with very detailed definitions and explanations of drama terms."

Backwards & Forward: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays – David Ball

"Using Hamlet as illustration, Ball assures a familiar base for illustrating script-reading techniques as well as examples of the kinds of misinterpretation readers can fall prey to by ignoring the craft of the playwright. Of immense utility to those who want to put plays on the stage (actors, directors, designers, production specialists) Backwards and Forwards is also a fine playwriting manual because the structures it describes are the primary tools of the playwright." – Back Cover

Natalie’s Comments: "Great resource for any director. Students and instructors will refer to this book many times. I use this book to instruct one semester of my Advanced Drama three year curriculum."


Shakescenes: Shakespeare for Two – Edited by John Russell Brown

"Thirty-five scenes from Sharkespeare for Two Women / One Man and One Woman / Two Men in newly-edited texts for performance. Shakescenes includes:

Natalie’s Comments: "This book is a must for Advanced Drama students. Not only does it provide the scenes, but it also gives rehearsal advice."


Great Scenes from the World Theater – Edited by James L. Steffensen, Jr.

Currently out of print, but will find a used copy through their network of used bookstores and email the price.

Natalie’s Comments: "This book is a mainstay for all of my Drama One classes. Almost all of the scenes are appropriate for drama at the high school level."


Plays in One Act – Edited by Daniel Halpern

"This outstanding collection of forty-three modern one-act plays and monologues showcases a stunning and diverse array of the most important voices in theater today – from acknowledged American masters such as Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller to the contemporary voices of John Guare, Sam Shepard, and Edward Albee, from the new talents of Carol S. Lashof and Perry Souchuk to established writers working outside their traditional genres, including Eudora Welty, Joyce Carol Oates, and Richard Ford. Also featuring the best in British play writing – Tom Stoppard, David Hare, and John Osborne – as well as the international voices of Vaclav Havel and Kobo Abe, Plays in One Act is a dazzling collection sure to be a standard reference for anyone interested in contemporary drama." – Back Cover

Natalie’s Comments: "This book is a good source for small scenes. Be sure to screen over content for appropriateness."


24 Favorite One Act Plays – Edited by Bennett Cerf & Van H. Cartmell

Natalie’s Comments: "This book is a good source for small scenes. It has several well-known playwrights, for example, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Miller, Oscar Wilde, and Tennessee Williams. Be sure to screen over content for appropriateness."


Playing Scenes – Gerald Lee Ratliff

"A sourcebook of 48 great scenes from contemporary and classical theatre and how to play them. Includes seven chapters with performance hints and exercises: Classical, Shakespearean, ‘Period’, Modern, Absurd, Contemporary, and ‘Audition’ Scenes." – Back Cover

Natalie’s Comments: "This book provides small scenes as well as monologues from playwrights such as Edward Albee, Samuel Beckett, Anton Chekov, Shakespeare, and Sophocles. Be sure to screen over content for appropriateness."


Waiting for Lefty and Other Plays – Clifford Odets

"Clifford Odets is considered the most gifted American social protest dramatist of the thirties and certainly one of America’s great playwrights. Odets was born in Philadelphia in 1906 and raised in the Bronx, New York. After joining the Group Theatre in 1931, he wrote his six best and most famous plays, included in this volume." – Back Cover

Natalie’s Comments: "Six full-length plays. I have used several excerpts from the plays for my Advanced Drama classes."


21 Short Plays – Lanford Wilson

Natalie’s Comments: "Several of the plays are good but be careful because a few have content that are not appropriate for the high school level."


222 Monologues, 2 Minutes & Under – Edited by Jocelyn A. Beard

"The Ultimate Audition Book." - Cover

Natalie’s Comments: "Superb resource for class monologues! However, a few monologues contain content that is not appropriate for the high school level."


The Best Stage Scenes of 1993 – Edited by Jocelyn A. Beard

"51 great audition pieces for men and women from the 1993 theatrical season." - Cover

Natalie’s Comments: "Stage scenes I use in my Advanced Drama classes for two to three actors. Be sure to check content for appropriateness."


Contemporary Scenes for Student Actors – Edited by Michael Schulman and Eva Mekler

"More than 80 scenes by major modern playwrights for two men, two women, one man and one woman." – Cover

"This collection of contemporary scenes provides the student actor, as well as the professional and nonprofessional auditioner, with material from some of the best plays ever written. Accommodating a wide variety of acting styles, from naturalistic to poetic to highly stylized, spanning a range of ages and a variety of locales, and incorporating excerpts of various lengths, each selection contains critical information on characters, setting, and background to give a clear sense of what the play is about." – Back Cover

Natalie’s Comments: "Terrific resource for Advanced Drama student scenes from such playwrights as Woody Allen, Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, and Tennessee Williams. Again, be sure to check content for appropriateness."


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