A couple of weeks back, we put up a post on acting tips and excercises for eye contact. The source of the post was a great site called Theatrefolk.com, which not only has a blog containing some excellent theatre tips, but also is a source of plays that are written specifically for student performers at the High School and Middle School level. The plays are original and "age appropriate without being "kiddy" and have modest technical requirements. Theatrefolk is a great place to find plays for your school or younger acting classes, and has a number of handy resources throughout the site -- even a section for Free Stuff.
First and foremost, the site is easy to navigate and decent on the eyes, which makes for a good browsing experience -- something that is hit or miss with theatre sites. If you are looking for plays, you can easily get to the browse and order pages, or download (or be mailed) a catalogue for later viewing, offline. Every play has a free sample option so that that you can read a bit of it before you buy, and can be downloaded as a printable PDF, or sent to you as a book. Photocopy and Video-recording Licenses are also available for most plays -- which is something many people forget about.
The plays are, as mentioned, written or adapted to be appropriate for high school or middle school performers, but are not just for beginner actors. There are also plays for advanced drama classes with flexible casting and challenging structure, Shakespeare cuttings, musicals that don't require you to work with an orchestra, and more.
Theatrefolk is a Canadian company based in Crystal Beach, Ontario, and is the brainchild of Lindsay Price (playwright) and Craig Mason (actor). They started out as a production company that would write and perform their plays. This eventually evolved into a publishing company, and now is a niche focused source for plays that are written by Lindsay Price and other playwrights. The cost of plays vary, and for some, the added licenses for photocopying and video-recording may seem steep, but I found them to be pretty competitive, overall. Plays (outside of PDF downloads) are shipped via regular or expedited mail, and, while the focus is on Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, they can be shipped to most countries in the world. They accept MasterCard, Visa, Purchase Orders, and cheques -- though the last two are for North American schools or institutions only (and no personal cheques).
If you're not in the play-shopping mood, however, Theatrefolk also hosts some books and an online workshop on playwriting, a whole host of free resources that help with monologues and scenes (not just tips -- actual monologues and two-person/group scenes), acting, directing, playwriting, costumes, and technical needs. There is even a section on Shakspearean insults and a bit of theatre history (specifically about Sophocles). The free theatre resources are mostly pdf downloads, but there is also an entire section of tips that are in video form on YouTube.
Finally, if you are digging on the free information, then be sure to check out their blog. Many of the posts contain great tips and other useful information on theatre, playwriting, and more, and the others still make for a fun read.
Check out our other profiled sites and theatre blogs!
Thu, December 15, 2011
by Terry Fox Theatre filed under