All stories by Susan Elkin on BroadwayStars

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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Monday, January 7, 2019

Drama school is excellent preparation for any sort of career by Susan Elkin

Parents often tell me they’re worried about offspring who want to train for a professional performing arts career. They fret about future uncertainty, especially unemployment. My advice to…

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Saturday, December 29, 2018

Lies, damned lies & advertorial by Susan Elkin

Yes, I know we’re in a fiercely competitive industry. Everyone trying to make a living in it has to do everything possible to promote themselves and their wares. Social networking might ha…

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Come on critics, it’s a play not a funeral by Susan Elkin

I often see top “A team” critics looking miserably impassive as if they’d rather be anywhere but in the theatre. Is there some code of practice that I’m not party to which requires y…

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

How to fill out the perfect UCAS application for a drama course by Susan Elkin

As the deadline for UCAS applications approaches, Susan Elkin speaks to the tutors who will be receiving them to find out what

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas shows and all who sail in them by Susan Elkin

This year, for the first time in decades, I decided that I’d choose my own Christmas shows and arrange to review them rather than waiting for editors to impose them on me. And I’m having…

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Monday, December 3, 2018

An open letter to Joanna Lumley – about lavatories by Susan Elkin

Joanna Lumley, given all your aforementioned useful qualities, you could get attention from lots of influential blokes and get this thing off the ground in a way that I can’t. How about a …

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Learning about the craft of theatre by Susan Elkin

Theatrecraft, the annual careers fair, which I attended last week, is doing a fine job by getting around a thousand young people through the door every time.

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Monday, November 19, 2018

‘The idea is to find people with real potential’: Accessible vocational training at Lyric Hammersmith by Susan Elkin

It isn’t every day I stumble across a strong new vocational training opportunity which is almost free to the participants. I refer to the Lyric Ensemble which piloted in the 2017/18 academ…

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What are T levels and what will they mean for theatre? by Susan Elkin

New two-year technical programmes are planned to equip young people for employment. Susan Elkin gauges opinion on how the courses will work,

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Monday, November 12, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Practical advice on auditions, sound, light & precarity by Susan Elkin

Three new practical how-to books have landed on my desk along with one rather more academic title.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Surprises that derive from the spice of life by Susan Elkin

I think variety is the best thing about my life and work. In the last two weeks, I’ve seen a children’s show at Chichester, amateur takes on Our Country’s Good and Follies, three youth…

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Monday, October 29, 2018

‘If it’s show “business” then we need to be more businesslike’: Audiences deserve punctuality by Susan Elkin

Every effort should be made for every show to start on time. Shows run late far too often and I reckon that’s usually avoidable.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rule-bound schools are hard to work in by Susan Elkin

I used to love visiting schools. Having taught for many years in secondary schools myself and visited, in various capacities, literally hundreds since I became first a part-time and then a f…

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How important are drama school buildings? by Susan Elkin

As a number of institutions get set to unveil state-of-the-art facilities, Susan Elkin speaks to school principals about the value of well-appointed

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Can the National Student Survey help you pick your drama training? by Susan Elkin

Ranking institutions according to levels of student satisfaction, the annual survey often appears to exclude high-performing drama schools. Teaching staff from around

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