Plays for Physical Theatre II: Six plays for young adults, with production notes
22/11/2010 - 20/12/2010
Six physical theatre plays which will appeal to those studying theatre at senior secondary and tertiary levels. Extensive production notes are included.
Angie Farrow is a senior lecturer at Massey University, New Zealand, specialising in drama and creative processes. She has written numerous plays for theatre and radio in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
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A very practical and valuable resource for drama teachers and makers of theatre
Review by Robert Gilbert 30th Nov 2010
Angie Farrow is a multi award-winning theatre practitioner and educator. To her vast collection of teaching awards, she can add for 2010: the Massey University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, the Manawatu campus Lecturer of the Year, and the National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award.
She is a celebrated playwright, having won the Sunday Times Playwriting Award, a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival, the Minolta Playwriting Award, and recently winning NZ Playmarket recognition for two plays, Falling and Lifetime, both of which feature in Plays for Physical Theatre II: Six plays for young adults, with production notes.
Falling and Lifetime have gone on to take a slew of awards at the popular Short and Sweet theatre festivals. Lifetime recently won no less than four awards, including Best Play, at the Singapore Short and Sweet Theatre Festival.
An award-winning educator and writer, and award-winning plays: impeccable ingredients, then, for a more than useful handbook on what can sometimes be seen as a formidable theatre form – physical theatre.
Plays for Physical Theatre II builds on Angie’s earlier collection, Plays for Physical Theatre: Three plays for young adults with notes for their production, which was written as a response to the needs of the then new NCEA syllabus as well as for tertiary drama students. Both works provide detailed guidance in playwriting and play production and each goes quite some way to demystifying the creative processes of physical theatre.
Plays for Physical Theatre II provides greater choice than the first volume, in that it offers three short plays and three, longer, one-act plays. Each play is a gem. Each play has been carefully crafted and polished, and each play is preceded by exhaustive production notes, catalysts for rehearsals and advice on themes, metaphors, characterisation, and use of space. Angie skilfully retells the process and thinking behind the creation of her plays before documenting the production process of the first staging. Far from being prescriptive, she sensitively invites new interpretation through this deftly woven anthology.
There are plenty of production photos to give the reader visual clues and Plays for Physical Theatre II features extremely useful side-boxes to quickly and simply expand on theatre terminology such as Neuroplasticity, Narrative, Tableaux or Mythic, making the work accessible to both younger drama students and the more experienced.
Plays for Physical Theatre II is more than a fascinating window into the world of creativity; it is an essential teaching tool and a very practical and valuable resource for drama teachers and makers of theatre.
(Robert Gilbert is Head of Drama at Aranui High School)
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