All stories by Susan Elkin on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Do we really need quotas to achieve casting inclusivity? by Susan Elkin

The point – and it’s a major one – is that the actor, irrespective of all other considerations, must be the best possible interpreter of the role for the work in question.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

How learning a musical instrument can boost your acting career by Susan Elkin

Maybe you played recorder at school, or piano is on your CV, but all you can remember is Chopsticks. As ever more

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Lots of writing careers in theatre by Susan Elkin

Why aren’t we telling young people about the writing and writing-related careers which drive our industry?

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Is US drama training a realistic option for British students? by Susan Elkin

America, the land of opportunity… but is that the case when it comes to studying for a career in the performing arts?

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

How do you train to be an actor-musician? by Susan Elkin

Casting directors are increasingly demanding a diversity of skills from graduates. Susan Elkin talks to heads of courses at a selection of

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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

‘You have the information. Just get on with it’: Play writing books by Susan Elkin

I am gradually amassing quite a pile of books about writing plays. Collecting and reading them is probably a displacement/procrastination activity. One of these days I really am (or so I kee…

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

How to choose the right drama school for a technical theatre career by Susan Elkin

There is a huge range of roles available for those who want to work in technical theatre. Susan Elkin speaks to course

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

How to choose your three-year drama course by Susan Elkin

The Federation of Drama Schools’ membership includes 20 of the UK’s foremost training institutions. But what makes the offering at one school

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Monday, June 17, 2019

‘We’re relaxed but not that relaxed’: Hearing the show by Susan Elkin

So by all means let’s go on running relaxed performances for people who need them but at the same time we shouldn’t lose sight of the need to promote co-operative, compliant, appropriate…

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Suffering for art? No thanks, let’s say goodbye to tatty, cramped venues by Susan Elkin

Let’s stop smilingly pretending that tatty, cramped dives with dreadful lavatories are more artistically expressive than venues which conform to modern standards.

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Monday, June 3, 2019

Honoured to watch the build up of careers by Susan Elkin

One of the greatest pleasures of being an education journalist with a foot in the performing arts camp is meeting young actors at the start of their careers and then watching them develop.

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Sunday, May 26, 2019

‘Cheerful, unpatronising kindness’: Disability access in a brave new world by Susan Elkin

I’ve always known that theatres are nice places and that most theatre people are wonderful but I’m currently seeing that confirmed in a completely new way.

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Monday, May 20, 2019

When the programme is also the playtext by Susan Elkin

As a theatre critic/interested person, I really like it when the theatre programme I’m issued with is also the text of the new play I’m seeing.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Suspension of the Guildford Two by Susan Elkin

Guildford School of Acting has just axed (“not recruiting for 2019/20”) two courses: BA Hons Theatre and Performance and BA Hons Dance. Many students and alumni who think highly of these…

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

‘Can you have too much of a good thing?’: Sex, plays and casting by Susan Elkin

Anything which makes me think about these plays in a new way is a bonus. I also want actors – irrespective of their sex – to have maximum opportunities.

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Monday, April 15, 2019

‘It’s probably a case of nothing ventured nothing gained’: How about Susan Elkin as playwright? by Susan Elkin

For a start you need dramatic talent, flair and an ear for dialogue as well as ideas and a good vocabulary to write a play. And I’m still not sure. But, as always it’s probably a case of…

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Here comes the summer (school): training for all ages and abilities by Susan Elkin

From ages 4 to 94, whether aspiring to be an actor, director, opera singer or dancer, if you want to study Greek

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Monday, March 25, 2019

Audition fees: it’s scandalous discrimination by Susan Elkin

Drama school audition fees are a scandal. They are immoral and unfair. Drama aspirants should not be punished for their passion.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Open air theatre: mad but delightful by Susan Elkin

The open air season will soon be upon us. “If winter comes, can spring be far behind? as Shelley puts it. And no one does open air theatre with more hopeful enthusiasm than the lovably daf…

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How do you train to be a theatre director? by Susan Elkin

While there are myriad ways to become a theatre director, as any professional will tell you, if you are looking for specific

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Let’s be clear about foundation courses by Susan Elkin

I’ve thought and written a lot about performing arts foundation courses lately. It’s the time of year when students are looking at possible options for September and course providers are…

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: 100 Acting Exercises For 8-18 Year Olds by Susan Elkin

If you work with under-18s developing performance skills (along with confidence and all those other useful transferables) then Samantha Marsden’s new book is likely to be very helpful.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Hurrah for pub theatres by Susan Elkin

Let’s hear it for pub theatres. Unheard of when I was a London teenager in the 1960s, there are now over 70 of them across the capital and they’re beginning to mushroom in other big citi…

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

How to become a stage manager by Susan Elkin

Should you take a full degree or just top up an existing qualification? Susan Elkin finds out why the quality of the

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Monday, February 11, 2019

‘Audiences still come to listen’: Let’s make sure plays remain audible by Susan Elkin

I’ve seen several plays recently (no names no pack drill) in which I have missed an occasional line. There is nothing, I repeat nothing, wrong with my hearing.

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Monday, February 4, 2019

Do you keep your theatre programmes? by Susan Elkin

So what do you do with theatre programmes aka playbills (in the USA)? They make nice souvenirs of an evening out but what if you’re in the theatre working three or four times a week? You…

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The dead Mockingbird debacle by Susan Elkin

To Kill a Mockingbird. Oh dear. The production which originated at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park in 2015 before touring nationwide including to the Barbican, is now dead. It was due …

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How a foundation course can be your stepping stone to drama school by Susan Elkin

For school leavers who have their minds set on a career in the performing arts but are not ready for the transition

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Monday, January 21, 2019

Reviewing student shows – or not… by Susan Elkin

Surely it’s part of good, thorough training to prepare students for the critical world by letting them experience it before they graduate – even if you invite in only those critics you c…

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

What to ask before choosing a postgraduate theatre course by Susan Elkin

A daunting array of options are available for further training. Susan Elkin asks course leaders across the country for their best advice

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Monday, January 14, 2019

How not to alienate critics by Susan Elkin

Theatre critics have diaries bubbling with commitments. There’s some sort of press night or performance almost every day and often more than one. Clashes are surprisingly common. Getting t…

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue