(Dan Meyer’s article Appeared on Playbill, 9/3.)

Check out these reads before heading to class this semester.

Now that the school year is here, it’s time for students to put down their summer beach reads and get back into their academic reading lists. To help narrow down the many choices for incoming theatre majors, Playbill has selected thirteen books essential for any budding artist.

Head to the (virtual) book store or library with these titles below, arranged in alphabetical order.

An Actor Prepares
By Constantin Stanislavsky
Originally written in the 1930s, this is the one of the first modern day books on performance, and it remains crucial for students to this day. Using a system the performer-director developed on his own, Stanislavsky provides a primer on training, preparation, and technique. Republished in 2011 by Read Books.

The Art and Craft of Playwriting
By Jeffrey Hatcher
Featuring interviews with American playwrights Lee Blessing, Marsha Norman, and José Rivera, Hatcher examines what it takes to make a well-written story in the theatre today from character development and setting up a scene to building suspense and getting a character across the stage. Republished in 2000 from Writer’s Digest Books.

The Director’s Craft: A Handbook for the Theatre
By Katie Mitchell
A step-by-step guide on directing perfect for beginners or those looking for a refresher, Mitchell explains how to helm stage works with a steady hand. In addition, the book looks at challenges directors often face and provides some solutions. Published in 2008 by Routledge.

A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theatre
By Anne Bogart
In this look at theatre directing, Bogart presents seven aspects of storytelling that can be considered both a partner and an obstacle to success: violence, memory, terror, eroticism, stereotype, embarrassment, and resistance. Published in 2001 by Routledge.

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