Best products from r/Theatre

We found 38 comments on r/Theatre discussing the most recommended products. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 134 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top comments mentioning products on r/Theatre:

u/rising_moon · 1 pointr/Theatre

Warm-ups, Games, Exercises:

This largely depends on who you are working with, but I stay away from requiring actors to do group exercises. The more experienced and professional they are, the more likely they are to resent group exercises. Experienced actors often have their own warm-ups they do before they even arrive in the rehearsal room, or that they show up early to do and feel like their time is wasted with group warm-ups. However, group warm ups can be very good if you have new actors in your cast, because they do not know HOW to warm themselves up, and it's a good way to encourage them to get in their bodies and voices without singling out the new actors. Just be prepared for some push-back.

Getting off-book:

Generally you can request that people be off book at anytime as long as you announce it early. Shy away from announcing an off-book date less than 2 weeks before the actual off-book date, which means that if you want them to come in on day-one off-book that you need to be sending e-mails 2 weeks before you begin rehearsal, at the very least. That said, it's generally accepted that if you don't give an off-book date that people should be mostly off-book during scene work and totally off-book when you start doing run throughs. Because you have three months, I would encourage you not to put the off book date too early. In fact, encourage your actors to have scripts in hand. This will help them grapple with the language on a deeper level. Also, have an off-book date (which means no books in hands, but they can still call line) and have a no-calling-line date, too (this should be much later in the process, perhaps during tech.


I think this will come down to good planning in your blocking. Find the elements that don't change from space to space (for instance, there's always a stage left and stage right entrance in every space) and do most of your blocking around that. When you're rehearsing, tape out or flesh out somehow the dimensions of different spaces that you'll be in each time - so the actors can get a feel for how each space might be different. If possible, make time to do a dress rehearsal in the space before you perform in it. Or if that's not possible because of budget or because of scheduling, make sure that you make time for your actors to walk through the space at least to get a feel for it.

Initial Sessions:

Depending on the group, I would avoid giving the actors homework. They'll have their own ideas about what kind of homework is valuable. But having a discussion about the play and doing table work is a great way to start it off. First rehearsal should be a short discussion about the play and a first read-through of the script. Then table work is usually reading the play with full-cast scene-by-scene and at the end of every scene stopping and inviting questions or responses about the scene. Because it's Shakespeare there will be a lot of questions about what a word or phrase means. While you don't have to have all the answers, you should come very prepared to explain the meaning of things, or have references readily available that you can read from. But encourage broader discussion too about theme or character, or scansion.

Minor Roles:

Absolutely do not call them to every rehearsal. They are not playing a principal role and should not be expected to show up to as many rehearsals as principals. Respect the time of minor roles by only calling them when you're working on their scene or even their french scene, but make sure that they are integrated into the cast as a whole by having regular all-calls for the cast where you do something meaningful as a group (table work, stumble throughs, dance choreography, etc)

Individual Work:

Yep, this is absolutely the status quo and is the most respectful use of people's time.

Technical Stuff:

Stage management should be there before day one. They can help you organize scheduling, and often can help you even during casting. They should be in the room every rehearsal taking blocking notes for the actors and for your reference and making notes for designers as well. (A lot of these notes will likely be props notes, for example: "Props: we're adding a handheld lantern to Act I Scene 2"). These notes can be e-mailed out to actors and designers as a rehearsal report at the end of every rehearsal. You should know who is designing from day one, but they don't need to be involved that early, necessarily. Ideally, you will have had a chat with your scenic and costume designer weeks before day 1 of rehearsal and they will be prepared to give a presentation to the actors with their scenic model, renderings, and costume illustrations, but this is not always necessary and is more the professional model than the typical community theatre model. Depending on the technical ambition of your show and your resources available, you may not even need to give a presentation to actors, but remember that you cannot start blocking until you have an idea of the set so scenic sketches should be acquired ASAP.

It's typical for all of the designers to be present at your first stumble through of the show (this might be very early on depending on how you set it up) and also customary for them to be present during the first read-through. This will help them to get an idea of where you're taking the show, and will help the scenic and lighting designer get an idea of how you're using the physical space. This is an important part of their process and if they cannot make it to the first stumble through, find another early run-through that they can attend. You should be meeting with them regularly throughout and they will probably have a better idea than you about what their milestones are and what dates those milestones will be due (costume fittings, light plots, costume parade, etc). As a new theatrical director, rely on your designers to inform your process a lot.

Apart from the first stumble through and the first read, often designers do not need to come to rehearsal until tech week, or just before tech week in order to prepare for tech week. (For example, a good experienced lighting designer will show up 2 or 3 days before tech week to write down where they think lighting cues will go in their scripts. They may even start programming earlier than tech week).

Books, Resources:

Do you have any books about this kind of stuff that you think could be useful? I've got several on the artistic side of things, but nothing about how to organise rehearsal, measuring progress, case studies, and other questions mentioned above.

You should get and read through a Stage Management book. This will answer a lot of questions you have about etiquette and about scheduling. My all time favorite stage management book is this one and another good book is this one. You should also get Notes on Directing and Tips: Ideas for Directors. This two directing books are my favorite because they are not long winded explanations about the theory of theatre - they are practical, very short snippets of advice and that you can take piece-meal. Another great book for Shakespeare is Mastering Shakespeare by Scott Kaiser. This is a great book about the actors process with Shakespeare, so as a director it might not seem super helpful, but it really and truly is, especially if you're new to the theatrical process - understanding how the theatrical actors process is different than films is very important. Another very good series on acting Shakespeare is the series that BBC aired called Playing Shakespeare by Jon Barton and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Here's a link to youtube, they have almost the full series online. I'd recommend particularly the video I linked to on Verse and another video they have on Rehearsing Shakespeare.

u/_apunyhuman_ · 2 pointsr/Theatre

Hey there,

In addition to acting, I work with theatrical ad and marketing agencies. My first big advice to you is to find the hook to the piece and build your marketing around that. you should do this whether you have a $10K campaign or a $0 campaign - know how to sell your show.

Two examples:

Good: Stomp is a series of vignettes of people creating rhythm & music from found objects. The hook is, "What will they use to make a song with Next!" Their ad campaign is people using trashcan lids as cymbals, but (in the beginning) there was a lot of demonstration stuff too - TV spots, Guest appearances, etc. (Stomp on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Space Ghost Coast to Coast). They don't do that much stuff anymore because they imprinted their brand pretty well. (Another good example is Blue Man Group - you know the hook - 3 blue guys do some stuff, maybe with the audience - but you have to go to find out exactly what)

Bad: The Encounter on Broadway. Look, I'm not going to debate the merits of the show (I loved it) but the advertising campaign sucked. The banner ads were black screens imploring you to listen to it with your headphones on.... and if you did, you got Simon McBurney talking to you for 20 seconds about how he can make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end all while pull quotes appeared on the banner. We have no idea what the story is about - and the other elements can't pull on their own. Complicite is not Steppenwolf, Simon McBurney is not Hugh Jackman. For the average theater goer, what was there to get me interested?

So once you know the angle of the ad campaign how do you get it out? Here is my recommendation - if you have a $200 budget for advertising, then pay your actors $200 more rather than buy 20,000 banner impressions on Time Out Los Angeles. Yes, it's cool to get the screenshots - but nobody is going to see your banner, let alone click on it. In fact, if you have less than $5000 you aren't going to see much of a return from a traditional multi platform media spend. I would say, if you need to buy something, go for social media targeted ad campaigns like facebook ads - because they are cheap and at least they will go to the right people. But ask yourself, when is the last time you clicked on a Facebook ad?

For small shows, nothing works better than word-of-mouth. Get people in those seats, even if it is friends and family to begin with. But make them your brand advocates. Have a $5 friends and family night at the top of the run and make a direct plea at the top of curtain to get them to help you out. Amanda Palmer wrote a book about this - don't be afraid to ask for help, be specific, "Hi, we need your help. Please, after the the show, go home and post on social media about this show, score us on Show-score and invite your friends. If you come back and bring two friends we'll comp your ticket."

You aren't connected to the theater community in Los Angeles and you just moved there so you have no friends and family near by? Here is a chance to get to know people. You have a show? Invite people to see it: critics, reporters, artistic directors of other theaters, etc. For example, Playbill now has a dedicated reporter in LA, covering LA theater - contact that guy (Patrick Pizzolarusso)! FOR GOD'S SAKE, LEARN HOW TO WRITE A GOOD PRESS RELEASE.

If you know no one, and you have some money, look for theatrical PR people. I would argue that - for a fledgling theater company - a good PR person with a decent rolodex is worth more than any advertising can get.

Lastly, if your show has a issue based theme, e.g., it's a show about a former soldiers and how they are dealing with PTSD, then do some outreach to non-profit groups who work with those that issue. They are often in the same boat, i.e., underfunded and looking for ways to raise awareness. You can help each other, you have a show dealing with their issue and they have lists of qualified, interested theater goers. What's more, there might be ways for the theater company itself to get involved on a personal level doing classes and workshops, etc.

That's all I got. But congratulations for making a show. You did it. You have art. Apply to festivals and find a way to bring that shit around the world. Who cares if 4 people see it in LA, take it to Adelaide, to South Africa, to Prague. If nothing else, you see the world.

TL;DR unless you are independently wealthy, or have a slew of producers

i don't know if show-score is in LA yet, but if they are...

u/TSpange · 5 pointsr/Theatre

Go ahead and pick up one of these

In the mean time, I'll open up my copy and tell you what Blumenfeld has to say about Cockney. But before that, let me just stress this: You can read all of the phonetics and rules that you want, but at the end of the day, the thing that is going to help you the most is listening to a native speaker. Michael Caine has been a giant help to me. So sit yourself down, watch The Dark Knight trilogy and pay attention to Alfred.

As for what Blumenfeld has to say:

  • The jaws are held loosley with the lips a bit forward. Drop your jaw and say "ah" which will give you the general position of the accent.

  • The accent is non-rhotic, meaning that the final R or the R before another consonant are not pronounced. E.G. "shoogah" instead of "shoogar" for sugar or "tah-tid" instead of "tar-tid" for tarted.

  • H is often not pronounced at the beginning of a word. So hand, how and hat become 'and, 'ow, and 'at.

  • The g in -ing is often dropped. I.E. Runnin' instead of running.
  • The glottal stop is an important stereotype to the accent. It's the absence of vocalization that is used during a "tt" sound. You'd know the sound if you heard it. It's hard to explain the sound through type.
  • Voiced TH (where you use your voice to make the sound) is often replaced by a V. "Together" becomes "tuhgevah." if it's at the beginning of the word it is either replaced by a 'd' or dropped all together. So that can sometimes become either "dat" or "at"
  • Voiceless TH (Where you have your tongue between your teeth and push air out) is substituted with an "F". This is a pretty indicative Cockney trait that will instantly say to the audience "HEY. THIS IS COCKNEY"
  • Now for the vowel sounds. The vowel 'A' in father is a pure open vowel just like in British Received Pronounciation.
  • The 'ay' sound shifts to 'I'. So day and brain sound more like "die" and "brine"
  • The 'I' sound becomes 'oy' so 'I am', 'night', and 'fine' become "oy am" "noyt" and "foyn" But don't make it sound too open or your going to start to sound Australian.
  • The "O" sound in "home" becomes "Ow" So "I know that bloke" becomes "Oy now dat blowk"
  • The final L in a word can often become "oo" Table becomes "tayboo" Even though he's not quite cockney, this is really obvious in Ricky Gervais' accent. He says 'people' a lot and that will always sound like 'peepoo'

    That's a general rundown of the phonetics. There's more to be learned obviously. Now for tips.

  • Go through parts of the script and rewrite it phonetically using these rules.
  • A funny joke people like to make about Cockney is that when Michael Caine tries to say his name, he sounds like he's saying "my cocaine".
  • Seriously. Listen to native speakers.
  • Don't get too caught up in the accent. Still put all your focus on acting and being truthful to the character. Make it another aspect of the character instead of letting it define the character. We've all seen productions where an actor is clearly doing an accent and it's so distracting that you can't pay attention to anything.
  • Definitely buy that book on Accents. It's my baby <3
  • Most importantly, break a leg! Cockney is always fun and fellow actors are ALWAYS willing to be silly and talk in cockney for days. My fellow actors and I have done it for hours on end.
u/theangryfix · 9 pointsr/Theatre

I'll try to respond to each item:
Rehearsal Time: 3, 4, or 5 nights a week is reasonable. As long as you don't have every actor called to every rehearsal. (I'll discuss this more later.)
Schedule: Plan out what you are going to work at every rehearsal. For example, on Monday we are working Act I Scenes 1-2. Call only the actors that are in those scenes. Work those scenes, run those scenes move on. If I have a long enough rehearsal process I like to plan in 30 minutes to 1 hour of rehearsal for every minute of show.
Warm-ups and Exercises: I'm a firm believer that these are activities that actors should take care of before rehearsal begins. Sometimes you'll encounter an activity or an exercise that will help with a scene or a moment in the show, then, by all means, work it into the rehearsal
Off Book: An expectation that I have for my actors is that the third time I run a scene, they are off book. They may not have a scene memorized at the start of rehearsal, but if you're using your rehearsal time well, they will have it memorized by the end. You can also set official off-book dates. With Shakespeare I would do it by Act. Let's say that I'm going to block and work Act I over 1 week. Well, the final rehearsal that week would be the official off-book date for Act I.
Staging: Venue size shouldn't matter too much. If your actors are comfortable in what they are doing, then they'll be able to adjust. If you can secure them a bit of time to work in each venue before hand that would be ideal. Just enough time for them to work their spacing and to move around the space and get comfortable.
Initial Sessions: I like to have a brief discussion with my cast, introduce the designers and stage manager, review the production calendar, and then do a table read. It's ideal if your designers are at the table read, but I know that doesn't happen all the time. Discuss your ideas about the characters, but don't dictate exactly what you want. As for character research, that is part of the actor's job description. Rehearsal is a place for the actor to try out the work they've done on their own. The director is there to shape what the actor brings, not to dictate what is seen.
Minor Roles: Call them when needed. Invite them to come to sit in at any rehearsal, but only call them when you need them. There's nothing worse than feeling like someone is wasting your time.
Individual Work: (See Above)
Technical Work: Preferably before you've even auditioned. You should have production meetings before you ever start working with actors, get everyone on the same page. Invite them to the table read.
Books and Resources: [Stage Management] ( [Tips: Ideas for Directors] (
Hearts and Minds: Don't waste their time. Be well prepared for every rehearsal. Do your director homework. Study, analyze, and plan. If you don't have an answer to an actor's question, find it as soon as you leave that night. Have an answer for them the next day before you even start rehearsal.
Actor Wishlist: This is strictly my opinion, feel free to ignore it. Don't give a line reading. Nothing more humiliating as an actor than for a director to have to give you a line reading.

That's how I work. I would absolutely kill for a 3 month rehearsal process.

u/BeardedForHerPleasur · 24 pointsr/Theatre

Get a really nice binder for your stage bible. Pay a little more. You'll be happy when halfway through tech the rings aren't completely mis-alligned and have pages falling out.

Get actual plastic tab dividers for the scenes and such, rather than post-its.

I also highly recommend those little round hole reinforcement stickers that you put on all the page holes. Yes, you will hate your life applying them to all three holes on every page, but you will thank yourself when you don't accidentally tear out the page while flipping angrily through the script after your actor just missed two pages of dialog. A slightly cheaper option is to use scotch tape as shown here.

Also, a small reading light that can clip onto the back of the binder. That way you don't have to fumble with a flashlight backstage. Rechargables are better so you don't have to worry about finding batteries.

Get a first aid kit. You may think this isn't your job, but in reality it will be. Standard kit should be fine. I'd highly recommend adding a few heat packs and ace bandages. Being a dance-heavy show, you want to be prepared for rolled ankles. Also tampons. Great for unexpected emergencies, as well as the best possible thing for bloody noses caused by a stray elbow.

Be reasonable, but be strict. Make your actors fear you. /s

But for real, make sure they know just how much shit they're in if the fuck around with the prop table. Deal with attendance issues individually, not in front of the group. Make it clear that cast drama/romance issues do not belong onstage, backstage, or really anywhere in proximity to the stage.

I'd highly recommend setting up a private cast/crew FB group and have a cast only, crew only, and combined group chat for quick communication. Do not ever rely on the assumption that anyone got your email. It's frustrating, I know, but your life will be easier if you make that assumption.

Finally, make yourself available as a go-between between for cast/crew members to other cast/crew members. Actors can be afraid to directly confront a director or other actor to discuss important issues. Crew can not want to directly order an actor around or tell a director why what they want isn't logical.

You are the facilitator. You make the whole thing happen. You are the one that actually gets the performance on the stage. You don't get a curtain call, but that's okay. Have fun. Break a leg.

u/Charlemun · 2 pointsr/Theatre

There is a fantastic play by Liz Flahive, who wrote a play called From Up Here. Which is basiclly about a boy who has to deal with his high school life after he wrote a hit list against his classmates. I know it sounds edgy and some of it is. But the play is honest and has a heart. Some really great scenes in there and some really adult scenes too. Choose wisely.
Any questions let me know!

u/BwayBoy95 · 1 pointr/Theatre

If you’ve been a production manager and assistant director, stage management would be a good fit for you. There are many SMs in theatre that are also PMs. Community theatre is always an excellent way to get into theatre!

I fell into stage management in college and I haven’t looked back. Starting as a production assistant for assistant stage manager for a show is an excellent way to learn the ropes. It’s all about trial and error, and the more you do it, the more you will make all the duties your own. You will learn very quickly what works for you and what doesn’t.

There is an absolutely wonderful book called “The Backstage Guide to Stage Management”. It’s very informative and the author throws in funny and realistic experiences. backstage guide to stage management

u/PhillipBrandon · 13 pointsr/Theatre

I love the Sondheim productions from the 80s

>Sunday in the Park with George

>Into the Woods

>Sweeney Todd

But I'm also pretty fond of the Donny Osmond
> Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat

which was produced for recording, and not just a filmed stage production, but still manages to feel very theatrical.

For a bit of variety, I'll throw in
> Pippin

> Kiss Me Kate

I don't remember if Kiss Me Kate was a theatrical production or a sound-stage, I think I've seen a couple of versions of that, but it's really good.

The Great Performances recordings of productions are always fantastic, but sometimes hard to track down.

u/laliw · 9 pointsr/Theatre

To give you a few examples of great contemporary writers :

  • England : Lucy Kirkwood's Chimerica, a great political play

  • Sweden : Khemiri's Invasion! and I call my brothers, intelligent and funny plays.

  • France : Michel Vinaver's Overboard is one of french's theatre masterpiece of the last 50 years.

  • Norway : Jon Foss, for example with Autumn Dream, write poetic and understated masterpieces.

  • Japan : Oriza Hirata (People of Seoul) is one of their great modern playwright, but I'm not sure he's translated into english.
u/LouisIV · 2 pointsr/Theatre

If you're taking the improv route, you may want to try The Second City Almanac of Improvisation or the Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual. Both really great improv 'guides'.

If your friend hasn't read Truth in Comedy, that's a serious must for any comedic performer.

u/iiredsoxii · 2 pointsr/Theatre

I am a director and I was given this book a long time ago. At first, I didn't know what to make of someone giving me a book about directing, but it really is great.

It is now my go to gift to get for new directors.

u/BobBeaney · 1 pointr/Theatre

I think for the ordinary schmoe (like me, for instance) "contact the SM and ask for access" for a video recording of a play isn't really a practical option.

But there are some excellent productions recorded on DVDs, available commercially. I have a few :

The American Film Theatre Collection


Sunday in the Park with George

FWIW I heartily recommend them all.

u/cquinn1 · 1 pointr/Theatre

If she wants to Stage Manage professionally you should look into a light weight headset. I just got one for my birthday and I love it. Mine is from Production Advantage, but other places sell them too. This is what I got:

Another good thing for a theatre technician is The Backstage Handbook:

u/theatremints · 4 pointsr/Theatre

I second the recommendation for Jory's book, and I really like Notes on Directing too.

u/OldHob · 3 pointsr/Theatre

Tips: Ideas for Directors

Harold Clurman: On Directing

Bill Ball: A Sense of Direction

Anne Bogart: A Director Prepares

u/[deleted] · 8 pointsr/Theatre

Two books:

A Sense of Direction by William Ball

Tips: Ideas for Directors by Jon Jory

Everything else you will learn from practice.