All stories by Kerry Hishon on BroadwayStars

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Getting Other Departments Involved in Your Production by Kerry Hishon

Creating a theatrical production is a group effort. For every student who appears onstage, there are even more students, staff members, and volunteers who help breathe life into the producti…

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

How to Effectively Communicate with Rental Sources by Kerry Hishon

Real talk: Teachers, it is likely you won’t have every item on your props, costume, and set wishlists for the show. It is also unlikely that you are staging your show with an unlimited bud…

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

5 Tips for Teamwork: Collaborating with Your Musical Director & Choreographer by Kerry Hishon

Producing a musical is a big job – the cast sizes are generally bigger, the costs to produce the show are usually higher, and of course the artistic staff team is bigger. In addition to th…

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

3 More Tips for Keeping Your Voice Healthy by Kerry Hishon

In our recent post 3 Tips for Keeping Your Voice Healthy, we discussed three ways for students to focus on vocal health and vocal hygiene, working from the inside out (focusing on good healt…

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Can You Hear Me Now? A Peer-Led Volume Exercise by Kerry Hishon

Isn’t it funny how some students are loud and enthusiastic during break time, but once they’re onstage, their voices seem to disappear? No, you haven’t lost your hearing – it’s one…

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Exploring Different Voices Using Puppets, Masks, and Props by Kerry Hishon

Student actors often find it challenging to create a character with a unique-sounding voice – that is, to make their character not sound just like they do themselves. Whether students are …

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

3 Tips for Keeping Your Voice Healthy by Kerry Hishon

Vocal health and hygiene are crucial for drama students. Whether students are working on monologues, group scenes, or musical numbers, having a healthy voice is a must. It’s important for …

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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Exercise: Same Lines, Different Meanings by Kerry Hishon

One of the exciting aspects of rehearsal is experimenting with the text of the script and figuring out what the characters are saying and how they should say it. Each approach to the text wi…

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Practice How You’d Like to Perform by Kerry Hishon

Teachers and directors – have you ever watched a run of your show, noticed a particular student, and wondered, “Now where did that performance come from?!” I’m talking about the stud…

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dancing in the Drama Classroom: 3 Ways to Get Started by Kerry Hishon

For those students who love dancing, simply mentioning the word “dance” gets them up on their feet and immediately moving. For other students, the idea of pirouettes, step-touches, and f…

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Stage Combat 101: Before You Even Begin by Kerry Hishon

Stage combat is always one of the most eagerly anticipated lessons in drama class. Stage combat is fun to do and it’s a great workout. And when it’s done well it looks spectacular onstag…

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

3 Fitness Tips for Drama Students by Kerry Hishon

Fitness? Hey, this is supposed to be drama class, not gym class! I’m not a jock! I’m terrible at sports! Are you telling me I need to lose weight? Fitness is so important for drama stude…

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Exercise: Approaching Random Tasks in Character by Kerry Hishon

A common question that is asked of student actors when they’re analyzing their character is: “What was your character doing before this scene?” Or “What is your character going to do…

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

What’s Your Character’s Signature Gesture? by Kerry Hishon

What is a signature gesture? It’s a nonverbal, repeated movement your character is known for, that you perform in a particular way that is unique and identifiable. Common, well-known gestu…

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Why You Need to Rehearse in Your Character’s Shoes by Kerry Hishon

There are so many approaches to developing a character and making them fascinating and engaging. Some methods are more analytical, some are emotional, and some are physical. In this case, th…

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Exercise: Thinking of Your Character as an Animal by Kerry Hishon

What do the musicals The Little Mermaid, Honk!, and Cats all have in common? They’re all shows that feature actors playing animals. It’s a lot of fun to play non-human characters, but th…

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Reflection: Looking Back and Looking Forward by Kerry Hishon

After a production closes, reflecting on your process and thinking about the future are the natural next steps. They’re definitely an important part of the process, for you as a teacher an…

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Great Storage Struggle: What to Do With All That Stuff by Kerry Hishon

After a show closes, there is often a ton of stuff left over – set pieces and flats, furniture, costume items, props, makeup and hair products… the list goes on and on! Ideally, your sch…

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

How to Deal with Post-Show Blues by Kerry Hishon

Once a show has finished, the “post-show blues” often hit students. This can have a number of symptoms, including obsessively quoting lines and song lyrics from the show, starting every …

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Four Tips for an Effective Strike by Kerry Hishon

Once the final performance of a show is completed, what comes next? It’s time to tear down the set, clean the theatre from top to bottom, and return the space back to its regular, unadorne…

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

How to Be a Great Audience Member by Kerry Hishon

I’m a stickler for theatre etiquette, and that includes being great audience members. No matter what performance you are watching, whether it be a classroom presentation, a school show, or…

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dealing With Emergencies: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Kerry Hishon

In my nearly ten years as a youth theatre director, I have experienced what seems like every emergency situation under the sun. From misplaced costume items and broken props, to skipping CDs…

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Dealing With Nerves by Kerry Hishon

Performing onstage with friends, family, peers, and even strangers watching can be extremely nerve-wracking. Putting yourself out there, being vulnerable, and taking risks onstage takes a lo…

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Creating Pre-Show Routines and Rituals by Kerry Hishon

Creating pre-show rituals and routines is so helpful for students. It clears their minds and gets them into their “theatre brains” – the mindset needed to leave their personal issues a…

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Creating Atmosphere Using Music by Kerry Hishon

When creating a theatrical piece, it’s important to engage as many of the five senses as possible, including sound. It’s easy when you’re working on a musical; the sounds of the show a…

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Running List: What It Is and Why You Need It by Kerry Hishon

An organized backstage is a calm backstage, and a running list can help keep things running smoothly during a production. What is a running list? It’s a scene-by-scene breakdown of scene c…

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tips & Tricks for a Less Stressed Tech Week by Kerry Hishon

Tech week…the phrase alone can send shivers down the spine of the most calm and unflappable theatre professionals. Tech week has the reputation of being long and taxing. But it doesn’t h…

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Backstage Blues: How to Deal With a Messy Cast by Kerry Hishon

Cleaning up anybody else’s mess is no fun. Cleaning up a messy backstage after a show is especially disheartening – it takes away any good feelings that were cultivated during a good per…

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Using One Item to Show Character by Kerry Hishon

Sometimes we get caught up in all the bells and whistles of a theatrical production. Sumptuous sets, elaborate costumes, piles of props, mountains of furniture – they’re all wonderful, b…

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

How Costumes Affect Your Character by Kerry Hishon

Costumes are such a fabulous part of theatre – they help tell the story, they help actors get into character, and they immediately tell the audience something about what’s going on. For …

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

5 Props Challenges and How to Overcome Them by Kerry Hishon

Props can add so much to a production, but they can also be challenging to work with. Here are five common props challenges, rapid-fire style, with suggestions about how to deal with them! 1…

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