Monday, June 13, 2011

9 Books for Summer Drama Fun

Want to add a little drama to your summer days? Put on some plays! Your plays can be straight out of your head, ones someone else has written or a combination of both. Here are some books to get you started. In case your library system doesn’t carry some of these books, I’ve added the library call numbers so you can browse for summer drama.
12 Fabulously Funny Fairy Tale Plays by Justin McCory Martin [J 822]
The author has taken well-known fairy tales and given them a new twist. The titles give a pretty good idea of what to expect: Spiderella, Rafunzel, The Emperor’s New Hair, Slurping Beauty and 7 more.
The Jumbo Book of Drama by Deborah Dunleavy, illustrated by Jane Kurisu [J 812]
This book has many ideas to get your creative drama ideas started. There aren't many scripts, just countless ideas for creating your own plays and other bits of drama. Some of the chapters are: Magic, Clowning Around (really fun ideas), Puppets and Puppetry, Comedy and Tragedy.
Hansel and Gretel by Moira Butterfield [J 812.54] (sorry, no link available)
The story of Hansel and Gretel is the only play presented in this book. There are directions for each stage of the production, from choosing parts to creating props and costumes to actually putting on the play. A script is included.
Fifty Fabulous Fables by Suzanne I Barchers [J 812.54]
Did you know that Aesop was a slave in Greece and wrote his fables around 550 B.C.? That’s over 2,500 years ago! I love knowing this fact. This book is filled with fables that Aesop wrote, rewritten as short plays. The plays are written for 2-4 players and at 4 different reading levels.
On Stage: Theater Games and Activities for Kids by Lisa Bany-Winters [J 792]
Although there are a few scripts in this book, it is mostly filled with games and activities to get players thinking like actors and play-writers. There are all kinds of games that promote silly pretending, working together to create ideas, pantomime, creating characters, costume making and lots of others.
Putting on a Play by Paul Dubois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender [J 792]
This small book covers all aspects of play production (casting, scripts, makeup…) and then suggests different topics such as pirates, princesses, the circus, explorers… Each topic gives suggestions for costumes, props and 3 different storylines.
Tadpole Tales and Other Terrific Treats for Readers Theatre by Anthony D. Fredericks [J 372.67]
The plays written for readers theater are designed to be performed by actors who simply read the script for the audience. Sound boring? Not at all. Although the actors aren’t moving around the stage, they are free to put all their acting skills into the reading. Since you don’t have to memorize your lines, you tend to be much less nervous. There are plays for different reading levels. There's at least one other book in this series.
Cool Makeup: How to Stage Your Very Own Show by KarenLatchana Kenney [J 808.2]
There are 6 books in this series. The other books cover costumes, production, scripts & acting, sets & props, and special effects. Each book packs in a bunch of information but is very reader-friendly: it's colorful, with great illustrations and clear text. This makeup book gives directions for mustaches and beards, animals, wounds and other simple but effective illusions.
Wham! It’s a Poetry Jam by Sara Holbrook [J792.028]
I know this book isn’t about plays but it is about drama and performance. The author is a poet who encourages you to perform with your own and others’ poems. She shows how to use voice, rhythm, attitude, movement and other techniques to perform poetry solo or in a group. Just right for summer fun!
I hope you have a dramatic summer! Let me about it in the Comments box!

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