Your book has some damn good ideas - things that I had never really thought of. Nanago SHS

Are you involved with staging concerts, plays and/or musicals? Well Staging Successful Shows is the book for you. 108 A4 pages crammed with ideas, tips, templates and timetables to help make your job easier and more successful. For the beginner there are tips on getting started and practical activities to build your confidence. There's even a free mini musical and a free pennyweight play.

Chapters on selecting a show, choosing/recruiting helpers, administrative bloopers [and how to avoid them], a rehearsal schedule, running rehearsals, rehearsal camps, safety, warming up, auditions, understudies, technical stuff [lighting, special effects, scenery, make-up], the duties of the director, musical director and choreographer, advertising, ticket and programme design, promotion, front-of-house and more.

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Staging Successful Shows    Music Games    Drama Games    Performance Poetry    How to Write Plays    How to Write Online  The Schoolboy Sherlock Holmes

Chapter 14 is entitled "Why Didn't I Think Of That?" and contains 88 tips, ideas and solutions for the theatre director and concert impresario. Here are just three of those 88 tips.

Seamless connections. Here's the scene. The actor says the line. The music starts. Eight or maybe sixteen bars later the singer sings. This might be boring. If the script says something like MUSIC BEGINS then start the music there. If it means dialogue over the music, fine. The show should flow. Go from dialogue to music and back to dialogue without a break. A seamless connection.

Video early. Video the show 4 to 6 weeks before you open. Use this to find ways to improve your directing. Use it to show the performers how they can improve.

Crossword. Devise a crossword puzzle and give it to the cast once the show has begun. All the answers are connected to the show - the lyrics, characters, performers, etc. In the dressing rooms, the actors are madly trying to solve the puzzle. Make some clues fairly difficult. After all, the answers are the things they should know backwards. Maybe a prize for the first correct answer. First prize, a tour of the orchestra pit. Second prize, two tours!

Staging Successful Shows is full of practical, sensible, helpful advice. It's the book you'll refer to over and over. There's even a showbiz dictionary to help you learn a bit of theatrical jargon. If you want to make your life easier and more enjoyable, Staging Successful Shows is for you. Comes as a hardcopy or an eBook version. Click
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Play It Again, Ham and Drama Skits 'n Tips
Music and Drama Games

Two very popular books which compliment one another.

Play It Again, Ham - now in its 2nd edition - is a 36 page A5 book crammed with fifty plus music games. Most games have an extension or second game so there's nearly 100 activities for you to explore. The games are divided into three sections - Easy, Not-So-Easy and Difficult. The Easy games can be played by anyone but the Difficult games will really test your skills and knowledge.

You need some very little equipment. simple items. An audio tape with brief musical selections although live music is obviously ideal. Some flash cards and blindfolds will come in handy. And that's it. Just add enthusiasm and you're away. The games are fun, great for school camps and allow you to introduce all sorts of musical skills and concepts. You can use the games in your classroom at any time.

Drama Skits 'n Tips is a 20 page A5 gold mine. It's full of drama activities for your class or rehearsal room. There are warm-up activities for the body and voice and many fun and challenging drama games to develop memory, language, expression and a passion for drama. And there are three, free short plays - a radio play, a puppet play and a pennyweight play. As with Play It Again, Ham you need few props for Skits. The activities are terrific for school camps. Drama Skits 'n Tips and Play It Again, Ham are a perfect double act!

Staging Successful Shows

Poetry in Motion

Poetry can be fun. Poetry can be performed. Poetry In Motion is a 36 A4 page book of poems which involve drama. The poems are spoken and, at the same time, acted. Lots of comedy too. There are helpful notes on getting started and on using each poem. Some themes are singing frogs, Halloween, dentists, accents, siblings, queues, limericks, tongue twisters and rock bands.

There are  different ways to perform each poem. The poems introduce a terrific range of words and give your performers a simple way to participate in mime. You can add music. The poems make great concert items - short 'n sweet and are ideal for classroom activities. It's a drama actvity meets a literature lesson and the result is fun and more fun. Here are some short samples of part of some of the poems.

Singing Frogs

I once found a frog living close by a creek
His swimming was graceful, his body was sleek
He fancied himself, this frog wasn't meek
And boy could he sing.
(Frog sings)


Tongue Twisters

Chappy was a happy hippy
A happy chippy chap.
He'd hippy-hoppy to the shoppee
Flippy-floppy flap.

Limericks

There was a weight-lifter called Nero
With muscles like that, he's a hero.
Big biceps, this star
Tried to bench press a car
No wonder his I.Q, is zero.
______________________________

Each poem is followed by a section called What Might You Do? Here you find all sorts of ideas on discussing the poem and on the all-important performance. This is user-friendly material. You can present a poem in a short time and get almost instant results. These performance poems make great warm-up activities before rehearsals for your play or musical.

What Might You Do?
[An example of actvities you can try with each performance poem]

Tongue twisters can be fun. The story or meaning of the words is sometimes [often? always?] irrelevant or perhaps not important. The key is the correct pronunciation and at a lively trot. So aim to use these poems in a fun way, make them pure enjoyment.

What is alliteration? It is used in tongue twisters. Where else is it used? Find some examples from your local newspapers.

You could have a different poet read each tongue twister. You could split each tongue twister by having a small group read one line at a time. To make it more fun [and more difficult] you could have the tongue-twister read one word at a time i.e. first person speaks first word, second person second word and so on. You can even read the tongue-twister one syllable at a time. Now that can be fun. It's not just speaking at the right time, it's keeping the tempo that's important.

There is a marvellous word game using syllabes in singing and speaking in the book Play It Again, Ham published by Fox Plays.

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Step by step instructions on writing a play dealing with plot, dialogue, characters, genre, clangers, editing, markets, marketing, script presentation, audiences, resources and definitions. Has many quizzes and tips throughout. Written by a prolific playwright and composer with sales of his plays in some 50 countries. Has free offer of answering readers' questions regarding their playwriting.
Chapters include The Basic Rules, Genre Please, Plot, plots and more plots, Characters, Dialogue, Clangers,  Polish, Young and Old, Presentation, Getting Performed, Marketing and The Finale.
For sale as an eBook, How to Write and Sell Your Own Plays is crammed with down-to-earth information to encourage and educate.

This e-book is a must for both beginning and advanced playwrights, whether you want your plays performed locally or internationally, and even if you want to perform them yourself. It includes samples of plays, play ideas, tips on every stage of writing and marketing a play, and even details about how you can make people beg to perform your plays, while you make money! It is full of tips, examples, plot layouts, character development tips, mini tests and exercises to improve your writing and re-writing. There are even proven ways to know whether your dialogue will "work" in a play script. After the writing process, this eBook will, as it promises, help you sell your plays as well. Lucy Myers

For the true beginning playwright, did you know that a play (or script) has basically three parts - character ID, dialogue and stage directions? Simple, I like that. I've already printed out my copy of Cenarth Fox's How to Write and Sell Your Plays. I've even started doing the exercises Cenarth recommends! After completing the eBook I expect to have written not just another school play, but a fantastic school play. Bill Frederick

Cenarth Fox is a playwright who has an incredible insight into the characters he writes about and his research is obviously so thorough. He has had great success with his plays. Curtain Up

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Reviews

By Cenarth Fox

How to Write and Sell Your Plays

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The Schoolboy Sherlock Holmes

Five books about a young boy and a young girl who become Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in modern-day adventures.
Full details under
Sherlock.

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Writing online is a worldwide activity. Writers now have a huge market in which to make money. But while anyone can be published online, do writers make any money? Of course some don't want to be paid. But for those who do, how do they find work and what sort of pay can they expect and actually earn? Like most trades, online writing has plenty of happy business partnerships but sadly, some unhappy ones too. There are ways to improve your chances of finding well-paid online writing work. There are traps and scams to avoid. In this book an experienced and successful online writer tells it like it is, warts and all. There are many links to helpful sites, many practical tips to improve your employment prospects and a free hotline email address for your questions and issues.  An eBook with a wealth of information.

How to Make Money Writing Online

By Cenarth Fox

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