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At Play: Teaching Teenagers Theater

At Play: Teaching Teenagers Theater
Your Price: $22.95 CDN
Author: Elizabeth Swados
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 273
Pub. Date: 2006
ISBN-10: 0571211208
ISBN-13: 9780571211203

About the Book:

Young people and improvisational theater should be a natural combination—so why do we so rarely find this combo in today's classrooms? According to Elizabeth Swados — playwright, director, composer, poet, author of children's books and of an acclaimed family memoir – improvisational theater is the perfect creative outlet for junior-high and high-school students ... if only they can be given the tools and the guidance to make the most of this natural yet rigorous art form.

Drawing on her own experience teaching inner-city children in the groundbreaking musical Runaways and in teaching the techniques of improv theater in schools around the country, as well as on her own background in experimental theater, Swados provides a step-by-step guide to bringing out the natural creativity and enthusiasm key to young people creating – and enjoying – improvisational theater. Covering the basics – from freeing the imagination to learning about how to work with an ensemble, from how to master different forms of movement and sound to how to create different kinds of characters – At Play: Teaching Teenagers Theater is the book for teachers and students eager to learn how to express fully the creative talent that all children are born with.

What people say:

"Liz Swados has changed the lives of countless young people, and has changed the way all of us in the field think about making theater. Liz makes theater that matters; her fierce optimism that the world can be changed, by kids and by art, infuses this book as it does all her work. We are lucky to have her among us." — Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater

"Liz Swados is clear about the kind of theater she wants to create with young people. Theater has to connect to the heart, to what's authentic, but often buried and covered over by cliché and stereotypical thinking. To accomplish her kind of theater, Swados has created a comprehensive pedagogical system, which she describes in clear, often poetic yet immensely practical terms in her book, At Play: Teaching Teenagers Theater. She presents sets of teaching exercises, each of which is prefaced by deeply principled views on both theater and the world within which teenagers struggle. She is explicit about what each set is meant to accomplish for teacher and student alike. The end result is an extraordinarily valuable teaching manual for anyone who aspires to be an effective theater arts teacher. Liz's consistently brilliant work is the best evidence of the success of her approach." — Mary Schmidt Campbell, Dean, Tisch School of the Arts and Associate Provost of the Arts, NYU

About the Author:

Elizabeth Swados (1951-2016) was an American composer, writer, and director who fashioned a unique style of socially engaged musical theatre, drawing on a global menu of musical styles and a street-level engagement with the politics of the dispossessed. Over the course of her storied career, she composed, wrote, and directed over 30 theater pieces and won five Tony nominations, three Obie Awards, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Ford grant, the Helen Hayes Award, a Lila Acheson Wallace grant, PEN Citation, and others.

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