For theatre... online, non-professional, amateur
Directing Online in a Weir-d Sort of Way

Directing Online in a Weir-d Sort of Way

by Ian Higham. Ian Higham has been a member of Putney Theatre Company for over thirty years. During that time, he has directed more than forty productions, and served as Artistic Director between 2012 and 2015. He is also Sales Manager at Nick Hern Books.

A year ago, when theatres closed, the production I was then working on had just had its tech. We’re still waiting to have our dress rehearsal. But amateur theatres, like their professional counterparts, have proved resilient in the face of a crisis, keeping members active and involved, and raising funds to maintain their venues. Putney Theatre Company – a brilliant amateur company that I’ve worked with for over thirty years now – has spent the past year organising monologues and readings over Zoom, doing outdoor performances, socially distanced live rehearsed readings and even a full production on stage when we could. One of our biggest successes, however, enabling members to act and the theatre to keep connected with our audience, has been in producing licensed one-off performances online.

It was our Artistic Director who came up with the idea of producing Conor McPherson’s haunting and emotional play The Weir in this format. The play was one that had been on my to-do list for some time, though I’d always imagined it live on stage. But as we talked it through, it became increasingly obvious that this was a production that really could work online. A single set, five characters and five cracking monologues… it seemed the right play to point a laptop camera at.

One of the great joys of Conor’s writing is the sense of an entire world he creates by bringing together five people in just one room. The play is set in a small bar in rural Ireland – County Leitrim, to be precise – and takes place over the course of one evening. From the get-go I decided that I really didn’t want the production to look like a business Zoom meeting, with five people on screen talking to camera all the time. It seemed obvious that with the characters gathered round a bar, a single camera should focus on each one, capturing everything their character says. As the dialogue develops it becomes quite reactive – it’s a script where characters listen and then respond. So, although I’d lose some of the physical reactions from characters as others were talking, I knew that by essentially using ‘speaker view’ (to slip into Zoom vocab for a moment), I could focus the audience on each actor when necessary. This would give them equal weight and build a sense of intimacy that seemed to me to be inherent in the play, and vitally important to any production. With our own social lives stunted by lockdown, I wanted as much as I could to make the audience feel that they were there in the pub, sharing a drink with Jack, Brendan, Jim, Finbar and Valerie.

Over five weeks, working a few evenings a week and over Sunday afternoons, we began to put the play together. As each character entered the scene, they took their seat at the bar and, so long as each actor – in reality stuck in their own room – knew exactly where everyone else was (to their left or right, across the bar, and so on), they could talk to each other rather than to the camera. For the audience at home, watching on their laptop or TV, this created a sense that they were watching people interacting in the same space. To aid this further, I bought on eBay a job lot of framed Victorian prints that had been destined for a pub, and distributed them to each actor at home. With these up on their walls, the sense of being in one place was subtly enhanced, and the sense of being in Conor’s world was created.

In fact, eBay became the go-to for all our props – and with the actors spread across different locations in London, these all had to be doubled up. If Brendan the barman filled and put down a pit of Guinness, I wanted to be sure that Jack picked up an identical glass. It sounds simple but there is a lot of drinking going on in the play! So we had to put in cues, finding the right point in a character’s line for them to put a glass down and the right point for the other character to pick it up. With over thirty different glasses of Guinness, Harp, Irish whiskey and white wine passing back and forth, it became a highly choreographed alcoholic ballet that took some organisation and brought a whole different skill to directing.

Working online also requires a different skill from the actors. In live theatre, you inhabit a world together that hopefully seems as utterly real and believable to the actor as to the audience. Stuck in a small room in front of a laptop, it’s really difficult to recreate that and connect with the other characters. To help overcome this, I felt it was important that everybody attended as many rehearsals as possible as a company. It’s a big ask over five weeks – especially when a character isn’t even in a scene and people are already in a stressful situation – but working together like this meant that we built a sense of community. Our actors didn’t just come along and do their own thing, which I felt could be a bit of trap in this situation, making it far too easy to drift out when not onscreen. We worked on the principle that though they might not be seen, it was important to the production that each actor worked even harder than usual at fully inhabiting their role at all times. They had to really listen to each other so that they knew exactly what they were thinking, exactly how to react even off-camera and, most importantly, to know exactly how to respond to what was happening in the play when it came to their turn onscreen. Gradually, despite the distance, a real sense of being a company developed, and the friendships and relationships that Conor so brilliantly creates in his writing began to come to life, even over a small screen.

The other fantastic thing about Conor’s work is his ability to write big, gripping, emotional monologues. The Weir is steeped in the Irish tradition of storytelling, and there are five stories told in this play. The first is a tale of the fairy road, the kind of traditional Irish story that outsiders love to hear. The second and third, told as alcohol loosens tongues, are more personal encounters with the supernatural, strange events that are explained away by fever or a flight of fancy. The fourth is a devastating story of the loss of a child and a genuine belief in a supernatural event that cannot be so easily explained. And then, finally, we get a different kind of ghost story: a tale of regret, one that looks to the past and acknowledges a deep sense of loss and yearning, an emotion that comes unexpectedly but that has, it becomes clear, been present throughout the play.

These were the only scenes that we worked on individually with the actors, and it was fascinating to see how working on Zoom one-on-one, without any other distraction, really helped to focus on the writing and dig deep into the reason and meaning of each story. When we then got together it became clear how each of the monologues is a step towards the other, an opening or an allowance for each story to be told as the evening unfolds. We may have been broken up as a group while working on the monologues, but in really focusing on them, and understanding how they are related, we built up to a coming-together of the characters that then flowed through the play and the production – giving it a richness and emotional connection that, I hope, managed to reach beyond the small screen.

Strangely, I’ve rarely been so nervous before a performance as I was before The Weir. While working together it really felt as if we were creating something special, but we were such a small and fragmented group that it was hard to know if the feeling we had tried so hard to create – of being together in one space – would carry through to the audience. In the end, the brilliance of Conor’s writing, the talent of the actors and their belief in the world we created, shone through and for that one night we had a terrific success. The audience reaction was certainly amazing; with many people saying how they felt that they had been in Brendan’s small bar for the evening, and had really connected with the characters and the way they talked to each other so naturally. Better still, it was an evening that not only raised much-needed funds for the theatre, but one that gave members of PTC an opportunity to do what they love.

And that is the main reason I’d recommend doing a play online. It might not be entirely the same as live theatre, but it can be special – and with thought, commitment, and great writing, you can really recreate the thrill of making theatre, building a story and a world on screen to share with an audience until we are all able to get up in front of them again live on stage.

ONE STEP BEYOND! No.2 – Miller Centre Theatre Company

ONE STEP BEYOND! No.2 – Miller Centre Theatre Company

If your society has done something special, gone the extra mile or perhaps one step beyond! then please let us know and you too could be featured in Sardines.

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The Pen is Mightier Than the S-Word

by Keith Orton

The Miller Centre Theatre in Caterham, Surrey

Coming out of our third lockdown feels like a good time to reflect upon some of the positive things that have come out of this pandemic for amateur theatre and specifically the Miller Centre Theatre Company. The S-word in the title refers to the shutdown. Like most Little Theatre Groups, we had to shut our doors in March last year, forcing us to look for ways of keeping morale and momentum up for our actors and our audiences. I found myself as part of this ‘want’ to keep going.

After leaving full-time employment as a senior lecturer at Central School of Speech and Drama in 2011 I was able to consider aspects of my theatre profile that had, as yet, been unfulfilled. One of these aspects was playwriting. I had dabbled years ago but gave it up to pursue theatre design as my career. Then, sometime around 2011 I stumbled across the Miller Centre Theatre [Caterham, Surrey] and became a member. Initially this was to carry on with my design work and to tread the boards again, but I also began to rediscover my interest in writing. This was nurtured through attending several courses at City Lit in Central London. Keen to share my experience and to develop new writing within the company we set up a small playwriting group which met twice a month. It had started to develop nicely and we were beginning to test some of our writing through play-readings, both within our little group and by casting our actors in more open readings. No-one knew what was on the horizon for the theatre, or how important this group was about to become.

As soon as the first lockdown was announced theatre members quickly agreed to the idea of writing and filming their own monologues. These would be open to all members whether they had previous writing experience or not. I put myself forward to lead this; helping members develop their writing, providing feedback, casting and organising post-production work to get the monologues ready for release. At the time this was full of unknowns. Would there be a decent take-up? Would our actors be able to direct and film themselves using a variety of home devices such as phones and laptops? Would any be worth publishing?

An email went out and scripts started to come in. First a few, mainly from the writing group, then more people caught on to the idea that they could write something and the concept snowballed. We started publishing them on our website and our YouTube channel in the middle of April 2020 and they went out every three days till the end of June. Fifty monologues on the theme of ‘Keeping in Touch’. I know on a personal level, this was what got me through the isolation of lockdown. I think for a lot of people it was cathartic; either a way to release inner feelings or as a form of escapism. Most importantly, it raised the profile of the Miller Centre Theatre. More of the local community got to know who we are and an ever-increasing numbers of members became interested in writing.

There was a follow-up series that ran from August to January when another forty pieces of new writing were made under the heading of Miller Shorts. This time around, as social distancing rules changed over last summer, we encouraged members to write duologues as well as monologues. Most of the duologues were recorded as Zoom pieces, whilst some took the opportunity of using exterior locations. Although most were still single-actor pieces, the editing and locations became more creative as we became more proficient with equipment and what we could achieve. There would have been more in this series but the third lockdown made the recording of several quite impossible.

Like a lot of amateur theatres we were left with an almost finished set on our stage and the strong possibility that this might have to be dismantled and stored for future use. There had been a huge amount of effort put into the build and painting and we were keen to enable it to be utilised in case the production had to be completely cancelled. So, the idea of writing pieces that could use the set as the stimulus came about. These were penned just before we were given the green light to open up in November last year. We were all geared up to film these pieces that month, but unfortunately only managed the one before we were once again shutdown.

Looking to the future, we are hoping to recommence productions. This would include finally staging The Beauty Queen of Leenane in June (sorry Chichester) on the set that now has genuine dust to add to the aesthetics of the piece. We will also finish filming the new writing pieces for that set to be published after the production has been on. After that, we are making plans for a full season starting in September provided all goes well with us all coming out of lockdown.

What has been overwhelming is the quality and scope of the writing that has been produced and, with new pieces in the pipeline we will soon pass the total of one hundred! As we move back to running the playwriting group, we are looking forward to a growing membership. Alongside the physical meetings we are looking to run a Zoom version for those writers who aren’t so local or mobile. We are also going to play with filming as a means of testing new writing in its development rather than as a final product. So our new filming skills will be re-employed.

As part of the theatre’s commitment to new writing on 17 July we are holding our first ‘New Writing Night’ in the main theatre with an invited audience. Three new works have been chosen. With directors and casts found, discussions with writers and rehearsals are due to start in June. Nights like these will give the writers the opportunity to hear their work and provide aid and encouragement in their play’s development.

It would be great to think that other amateur theatres up and down the country can consider themselves as homes for new writing and I’m sure some already do or are considering this. In these approaching cash-strapped times it will become increasingly hard for professional productions to find the money and backing for new untested work. We, in amateur theatre, have the talent and the facilities to enable us to take up that challenge and become recognised for the role we can play in the post-pandemic world of theatre.




Our regular up-to-date selection of recently published books as well as new or re-released plays and musicals, many of which are now available for amateur performance. As a result of the pandemic some licensors are now offering special online-performance arrangements, so please get in touch with the appropriate company to find out more.


F: ConcordShows | T: @ConcordUKShows


SENSE AND SENSIBILITY by Jane Austen, Emma Whipday, Brian McMahon

Full-length dramatic comedy | F5, M5 | 16th Century | 978 0 573 70684 4 | £10.99 paperback

Sisters Marianne (a hopeless romantic) and Elinor (a stoic realist) experience the pitfalls of society, the generosity of new friends, and the passion of unexpected love in this funny and poignant adaptation of Jane Austen’s exquisite early work.

When Mr. Dashwood dies, he leaves behind him a fine estate – but the law dictates that this must go to his eldest son, John, leaving his wife and daughters bereft. The Dashwood women must learn to embrace a new life, for better or for worse. Sisters Marianne (a hopeless romantic) and Elinor (a stoic realist) experience the pitfalls of society, the generosity of new friends, and the passion of unexpected love in this funny and poignant adaptation of Jane Austen’s exquisite early work. Battling vicious gossip, painful secrets, and the well-meaning interference of would-be matchmaker Mrs. Jennings, the Dashwood sisters learn the importance of both sense and sensibility.


ALLEGRO by Music by Richard Rodgers | Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Full-length musical comedy | F5, M6 | 1900-1930s | DIGLIB0000004 | £4.00 perusal/rental

This ensemble musical chronicles nearly four decades in the life of an Everyman, Joseph Taylor, Jr., from cradle through a mid-life discovery of who he is and what his life is truly about. The first musical to be staged by a director who was also the choreographer (the legendary Agnes de Mille), the unique structural format allows the saga to whisk us from Joe’s birth through his childhood, from college dorm to marriage altar, and on to his career; from the tranquility of his small Midwestern hometown to the hectic din of big city life, in a series of vignettes and musical sequences dazzling in their simplicity and stunning in their impact. Ahead of its time theatrically, Allegro remains timeless in its appeal.

Allegro opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre on October 10, 1947, featuring John Battles as Joseph Taylor, Jr., Annamary Dickey as Marjorie Taylor, William Ching as Dr. Joseph Taylor, Roberta Jonay as Jennie Brinker, Lisa Kirk as Emily, and John Conte as Charlie Townsend.

WINNER! Three 1947 Donaldson Awards, for Best Book, Best Lyrics and Best Score
NOMINEE: Seven 2005 Helen Hayes Awards
WINNER! Two 2005 Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Resident Musical and Outstanding Director

CAROUSEL by Music by Richard Rodgers | Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Full-length musical drama | F5, M5 | 19th Century | DIGLIB0000007 | £4.00 perusal/rental

In a Maine coastal village toward the end of the 19th century, the swaggering, carefree carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, captivates and marries the gentle millworker, Julie Jordan. Billy loses his job just as he learns that Julie is pregnant and, desperately intent upon providing a decent life for his family, he is coerced into being an accomplice to a robbery. Caught in the act and facing the certainty of prison, he takes his own life and is sent ‘up there.’ Billy is allowed to return to earth for one day fifteen years later, and he encounters the daughter he never knew. She is a lonely, friendless teenager, her father’s reputation as a thief and bully having haunted her throughout her young life. How Billy instills in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to the power of love.

After tryouts in New Haven and Boston, Carousel opened at Broadway’s Majestic Theatre on April 19, 1945, where it ran for 890 performances. The original Broadway cast featured John Raitt as Billy, Jan Clayton as Julie, and Jean Darling as Carrie. Winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award as Best Musical of 1945, Carousel went on to a two-year national tour, as well as countless productions throughout the world. In 1950, Carousel premiered at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where it played for 566 performances, and in 1956 the motion picture version, starring Gordon MacRae as Billy and Shirley Jones as Julie, was released.

In March 1994, Carousel marked its first return to Broadway since the original run, playing for a year at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. This Carousel received a record-setting five Tony Awards (the most of any show that season), including Best Revival of a Musical. A Japanese production played extended engagements in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka in 1995, and a U.S. National Tour visited over 40 cities from February of 1996 through May of 1997, and starred Broadway stars to be Patrick Wilson, Sarah Uriarte Berry and Jennifer Laura Thompson. In 2002, Carnegie Hall hosted a concert performance with Hugh Jackman, Audra McDonald, Philip Bosco, Blythe Danner, John Raitt, Norbert Leo Butz, Jason Danieley, Judy Kaye and Lauren Ward.

In April 2018, Carousel returned to Broadway starring Joshua Henry, Jessie Mueller, Renée Fleming, Lindsey Mendez and Alexander Gemignani.

Winner! 1993 Olivier Award, Best Musical Revival
Winner! Five 1994 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical
Winner! Three 1994 Drama Desk Awards
Nominee: Seven 1994 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical Revival
Winner! Two 2018 Tony Awards
Nominee: Eleven 2018 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical
Winner! Five 2018 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Orchestrations
Nominee: Twelve 2018 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical Revival

ME AND JULIET by Music by Richard Rodgers | Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Full-length musical comedy | F14, M9 | 1950s | DIGLIB0000014 | £4.00 perusal/rental

This show-within-a-show follows the romance between a chorus girl and an assistant stage manager leading to their secret marriage. Their happy union is threatened by the electrician who still carries a torch for the girl and, in a drunken rage, tries to kill them both. A contrasting romance involves the stage manager, whose credo never to fall for a girl in a show he’s working on is complicated when a dancer he’s been wooing is suddenly thrown into the cast of ‘Me and Juliet.’ Informed by rich insights into the world of Broadway-how jobs are gotten and lost, the inside tricks of the trade and the pitfalls of backstage romances – Me and Juliet is an innovative, irresistible show that consistently delivers both musically and dramatically.

Me and Juliet opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre on May 28, 1953, featuring Isabel Bigley, Bill Hayes and Joan McCracken.

PIPE DREAM by Music by Richard Rodgers | Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Full-length musical comedy | F10, M17 | 1950s | DIGLIB0000016 | £4.00 perusal/rental

From the pages of Steinbeck, the drifters and dropouts along Cannery Row spring to life in this uncommon story of love and hope. When Suzy, a homeless girl, is picked up for stealing food, she’s taken in by Fauna, the big-hearted Madam of the Bear Flag Café (which is no café at all). Here she meets Doc, a carefree marine biologist, and soon romance is in the air. Rodgers & Hammerstein struck a new tone with Pipe Dream: warm and highly personal. It illuminates Rodgers & Hammerstein’s benevolence for outcasts who are infinitely capable of every emotion and longing felt by the more fortunate members of society. As sung by Doc at the top of the show, the soulful message is simple: “It takes all kinds of people to make up a world.” Is there a better one?

The seventh musical by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Pipe Dream premiered on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on November 30, 1955. The original cast featured Helen Traubel, William Johnson and Judy Tyler.

Nominee: Nine 1956 Tony Awards, Including Best Musical
Winner! 1956 Tony Award



DREAMGIRLS by Henry Krieger, Tom Eyen

Full-length musical drama | F4, M4 | 1970s, 1960s | DIGLIB0000139 | £4.00 perusal/rental

“Dreamgirls is a show about a time in American musical history when rhythm and blues blended with other styles of popular music creating a new American sound. Act One is set in the fabulous sixties – a time when we were still screaming at Elvis and listening to the Beatles, but were dancing to the new beat of countless girl and boy groups like The Supremes, The Marvelettes, The Temptations and The Shirelles. Dreamgirls is not just about the singing and the dancing and the performing. The play is also about the behind-the-scenes reality of the entertainment industry – the business part of show business that made possible this cultural phenomenon. Act Two shows the creation and the arrival of disco – though the word is never used in the script. The subject matter of this play deals with a musical contribution to America of such importance that only now – decades later – are we beginning to understand.” – Michael Bennett

Dreamgirls opened on Broadway on December 20, 1981 at the Imperial Theatre, where it played for 1521 performances. The original cast included Jennifer Holliday, Loretta Devine, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Ben Harney. In 1987, a Broadway revival starring Lillias White ran for 177 performances at the Ambassador Theatre. On September 24, 2001, a “One Night Only” concert performance was staged at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, featuring Audra McDonald, Lillias White, Heather Headley, and Norm Lewis. The show made its London premiere at The Savoy Theatre in December 2016, with Amber Riley appearing as Effie White; running through January 12, 2019.

Winner! Six 1982 Tony Awards, including Best Book
Nominee: Thirteen 1982 Tony Awards, including Best Musical
Winner! Four 1982 Drama Desk Awards
Nominee: Ten 1982 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical
Winner! 1982 Theatre World Award (Jennifer Holliday)

HAIR by Gerome Ragni, James Rado, Galt MacDermot

Full-length musical | F4, M5 | New York City. 1968 | DIGLIB0000168 | £4.00 perusal/rental

The American tribal love rock musical Hair celebrates the sixties counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, bell-bottomed, beaded and fringed glory. To an infectiously energetic rock beat, the show wows audiences with songs like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning, Starshine,” “Hair,” “I Got Life,” and “Let The Sun Shine.” Exploring ideas of identity, community, global responsibility and peace, Hair remains relevant as ever as it examines what it means to be a young person in a changing world.

Hair debuted Off-Broadway at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater on October 17, 1967. The show was an instant sensation, moving to a second venue and playing 144 performances. On April 29, 1968 Hair opened on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre, starring James Rado, Gerome Ragni, Lynn Kellogg and Melba Moore. Breaking all theatre conventions, the show made national headlines and played for 1,750 performances. A 1977 Broadway revival starred Randall Easterbrook, Michael Holt, Ellen Foley and Iris Rosenkrantz. In 2009, Hair returned to Broadway and played for 519 performances at the Al Hirshfeld Theatre, starring Gavin Creel, Will Swenson, Caissie Levy and Sasha Allen.

Winner! 1968 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music
Nominee: Two 1969 Tony Awards, including Best Musical
Winner! 2009 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical
Nominee: Eight 2009 Tony Awards
Winner! 2009 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical

SNOOPY!!! (LONDON VERSION) by Charles M. Schulz, Warren Lockhart, Arthur Whitelaw, Michael L. Grace, Larry Grossman, Hal Hackady

Full-length musical comedy | F3, M3 F/M1 | Present Day, 1970s | DIGLIB0000272 | £4.00 perusal/rental

Based on the beloved Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz, Snoopy!!! sparkles with wit and warmth as it depicts life as seen through the eyes of Schulz’s unforgettable characters. Musical numbers include “Just One Person,” “Poor Sweet Baby,” “Don’t Be Anything Less (Than Everything You Can Be),” “Edgar Allen Poe” and “Daisy Hill.”

This London Version of Snoopy!!! includes all the songs from the Original Version, plus four more: “Hurry Up, Face,” “Mother’s Day,” “Dime A Dozen,” and “When Do The Good Things Start?”

Snoopy!!! premiered on December 9, 1975 at the Little Fox Theatre in San Francisco, California. Directed by Arthur Whitelaw, the cast featured Don Potter in the title role, James Gleason as Charlie Brown, Janell Pulis as Lucy, Cathy Cahn as Woodstock, Jimmy Dodge as Linus, Randi Kallan as Sally and Pamela Myers as Peppermint Patty. In 1982, the musical was produced Off-Broadway at the Lamb’s Theatre featuring David Garrison as Snoopy, Terry Kerwin as Charlie Brown, Stephen Fenning as Linus, Kay Cole as Lucy, Cathy Cahn as Woodstock, and Vicki Lewis as Peppermint Patty. The London Version opened at the West End Duchess Theatre on September 20, 1983 and played for 479 performances, starring Teddy Kempner as Snoopy.

YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (REVISED) by Charles M. Schulz, Clark Gesner, Michael Mayer, Andrew Lippa

Full-length musical comedy | F2, M4 | Contemporary, Present Day | DIGLIB0000002 | £0.00 perusal/rental

Happiness is great musical theatre! With charm, wit, and heart, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown explores life through the eyes of Charlie Brown and his friends in the Peanuts gang. This revue of songs and vignettes, based on the beloved Charles Schulz comic strip, is the ideal first show for those who would like to do a musical. Musical numbers include “My Blanket and Me,” “The Kite,” “The Baseball Game,” “Little Known Facts,” “Suppertime,” and “Happiness.” Guaranteed to please audiences of all ages!

NOTE: You are not required to perform the entire show! You may, at your option, perform your choice of scenes from the show, provided that the total running time for your performance (without intermission) is no less than 45 minutes. Under no circumstances may you add any dialogue, music, or vocal material to the show or combine versions. In the event that you do exercise this option, you do not need to notify us, and the quotation will not change.

All Tams-Witmark shows other than You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised or Original) must be performed in their entirety.

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown opened on March 7, 1967 and played for 1,597 performances in New York at the theatre 80 St. Marks with Gary Burghoff in the title role. This version was revived on Broadway in 1971 and played for 32 performances at the John Golden Theatre. A new version, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised), was presented on Broadway in 1999 and played for 149 performances at the Ambassador Theatre with Tony Award-winning performances by Roger Bart as Snoopy and Kristin Chenoweth as Sally.

Winner! Two 1967 Drama Desk-Vernon Rice Awards for Director and Performer
Winner! 1967 Outer Critics Circle Award for Production
Winner! Three 1999 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Winner! Two 1999 Tony Awards® for Best Actress and Featured Actor
Nominee: Two 1999 Tony Awards® for Best Revival and Best Director of a Musical



NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT (HIGH SCHOOL EDITION) by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Joe DiPietro, Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse

Full-length musical comedy | F5, M5 | 1920s | DIGLIB0000224 | £4.00 perusal/rental

A hilarious new screwball comedy, Nice Work If You Can Get It pokes fun at the Prohibition era in a clash of elegant socialites and boorish bootleggers, all set to the glorious songs of George and Ira Gershwin. Highlights from the score include “Fascinating Rhythm,” “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off,” “Someone To Watch Over Me,” “Sweet and Low Down,” “Delishious” and the title song.
Nice Work If You Can Get It opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre, April 24, 2012, and played for 478 performances starring Matthew Broderick and Kellie O’Hara as Jimmy and Billie.

Winner! Two 2012 Tony Awards
Nominee: Ten 2012 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical
Winner! Three 2012 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Book of a Musical


Full-length musical comedy | F11, M9, F/M10 | 1980s | DIG0000000055 | £4.00 perusal/rental

It’s the tail end of the big, bad 1980s in Hollywood, and the party has been raging hard. Aqua Net, Lycra and Heavy Metal flow freely at one of the Sunset Strip’s last legendary venues, a place where legendary rocker Stacee Jaxx takes the stage and groupies line up for their chance at an autograph. Amidst the madness, aspiring rock star (and resident toilet cleaner) Drew longs to take the stage as the next big thing (and longs for small-town girl Sherri, fresh off the bus from Kansas with stars in her eyes). But the rock ‘n’ roll fairy tale is about to end when German developers sweep into town with plans to turn the fabled Strip into just another capitalist strip mall. Can Drew, Sherri and the gang save the strip – and themselves – before it’s too late? Only the music of hit bands Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and more can hold the answer.

Rock of Ages: High School Edition takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos and sporting even bigger hair! This Tony Award -nominated Broadway musical features the hits of bands including Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister and others.

Rock of Ages opened on Broadway on April 7, 2009 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where it played for 2,328 performances. At the time of its closing, Rock of Ages was the 29th longest-running show in Broadway history.

(For the Original Version)
Nominee: Five 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical
Nominee: Two Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical

THE SECRET GARDEN, SPRING VERSION by Marsha Norman, Lucy Simon, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Full-length musical drama | F7, M8, Boy1, Girl1 | Contemporary, 1900-1910. Colonial India & Misselthwaite Manor in England | 978 0 573 69759 3 | £10.99 paperback

The long-awaited new 70-minute version of the beloved musical, The Secret Garden, is as beautiful and spirited as the original in just half the time.

This new “Spring Version” promises to be a treasure for children and adults!

THE SECRET GARDEN first appeared at the St. James Theater. Directed by Susan H. Schulman.

THE WIZARD OF OZ (YOUNG PERFORMERS’ EDITION) by L. Frank Baum. Harold Arlen. E.Y. Harburg. Herbert Stothart

Full-length musical comedy | F5, M5, F/M10 | Contemporary, Present Day, 1930s. The Gale farmhouse in Kansas and various locations in the Land of Oz | DIGLIB0000067 | £0.00 perusal/rental

This Young Performers’ Edition is a one-hour adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, specially tailored for school-aged actors. The materials have been prepared to help your school or organisation mount the best possible production and to give your young cast and crew an exciting and rewarding experience.

The MGM film The Wizard of Oz, based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel, premiered Graumoan’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on August 15, 1939. The Royal Shakespeare Company presented a live stage adaptation of the film at the Barbican Centre in London in 1987. In 2011, this one-hour adaptation of the RSC version was designed in conjunction with iTheatrics.

Winner! 1940 Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song (“Over The Rainbow”)
Winner! 1940 Academy Award for Best Music, Original Score


The Crowood Press

01672 520320
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UNARMED STAGE COMBAT by Philip d’Orleans

Theatre book | 978 1 785 00785 9 | £20.00

Stage combat is a constantly evolving craft, responsive to the growing demands of an ever changing industry and an ever more perceptive audience. Experienced fight director, teacher and examiner Philip d’Orleans shows how to respond to this challenge through innovative techniques and original choreography. Unarmed Stage Combat explores the fundamental performance principles of violence on stage, before a dedicated series of chapters focus on over forty specific unarmed combat techniques, including non-contact slaps, punches, kicks and chokes as well as controlled contact and the illusion of falling. Each technique is beautifully illustrated with step-by-step photos and detailed practical guidance through the preparation, action and reaction to the movement, as well as the key safety principles, common pitfalls and staging variables.

Packed with a career’s worth of industry experience, this is far more than a simple book on technique – this is a master class in how to create a unique fight performance, allowing performers to reach their full fight potential, safely. Key coverage includes:

  • Acting while you fight – maintaining an authentic character
  • How staging and sightlines affect choice of technique
  • Vocal choreography and how to perform it safely
  • A detailed examination of pain
  • Knapping
  • Fighting for camera

Philip d’Orleans is a Master Teacher with the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat. As well as his role of Physical Skills instructor at RADA, he also teaches at a number of other UK drama schools and is a fight examiner with the BASSC, Stage Combat Deutschland and the Irish Dramatic Combat Academy. Philip has choreographer fights for the RSC, the ROH, and the West End, as well as many other theatres throughout the UK and internationally.


Nick Hern Books

T: 020 8749 4953
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AMSTERDAM by Maya Arad Yasur. Translated by Eran Edry

Full-length Play | minimum 3 performers | Flexible staging | 978 1 848 42889 8 | epub £9.99 (£7.99 direct from publisher)

An Israeli violinist. Living in her trendy canal-side Amsterdam apartment. Nine months pregnant. One day a mysterious unpaid gas bill from 1944 arrives. It awakens unsettling feelings of collective identity, foreignness and alienation. Stories of a devastating past are compellingly reconstructed to try and make sense of the present. An intense, enigmatic play with dialogue not assigned to any characters – giving it great flexibility for casting.

“A fascinating, multilayered play’ The Stage

SEEDS by Mel Pennant

Full-length Play | F2 | Contemporary, simple staging | 978 1 848 42945 1 | epub £9.99 (£7.99 direct from publisher)

It’s Michael Thomas’s birthday. A cake sits in his mother Evelyn’s living room, its candles burning undisturbed. On the fifteenth anniversary of Michael’s fatal stabbing, Jackie wants to clear her conscience, whilst Evelyn’s got a big speech to deliver. Are some things better left unsaid? This emotional play explores the human story behind a tragedy, through the eyes of those left behind: two mothers united in sorrow, and sharing the hardship of protecting their sons – one in life, and one in death.

“seeds pushes at the limits of maternal love, asking how far a mother would go to protect her son” Guardian


Full-length Play | F4, M2 | Contemporary, set in an American high school | 978 1 848 42872 0 | epub £9.99 (£7.99 direct from publisher)

A darkly comic, smashed-up retelling of Richard III, Shakespeare’s classic tale about the lust for power, Teenage Dick reimagines the most famous disabled character of all time as an American high-school outsider in junior year: the deepest winter of his discontent. Picked on because of his disability (as well as his sometimes creepily Shakespearean way of speaking), Richard is determined to have his revenge and make his name by becoming president of the senior class. But like all teenagers, and all despots, he is faced with the hardest question of all: is it better to be loved, or feared?

“A smart, probing play… sinks a cunning, shining dagger into an author who’s buried in centuries of history and glory” Time Out


Full-length Play | F4 | 1970s and 1980s Leeds | 978 1 848 42886 7 | epub £9.99 (£7.99 direct from publisher)

A powerful play about the community affected by the Yorkshire Ripper. Between the years of 1975 and 1980, the women of Leeds lived in fear. With no clue as to who was responsible for the sustained attacks and murders across the city, the authorities urged women to stay at home. From the fear and fury, a steadfast solidarity arose, birthing the Reclaim the Night movement and echoing down the generations to this day.

“A heated play with a panoramic sense of empathy… surprisingly funny and full of fury… a raw, emotive depiction of a generation overshadowed by these murders” Guardian


Music Theatre International (Europe)

T: 020 7580 2827
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Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Glenn Slater. Book by Doug Wright. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film that was produced by Howard Ashman & John Musker. Originally Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.

Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs including ‘Under the Sea,’ ‘Kiss the Girl,’ and ‘Part of Your World.’

Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above and bargains with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull, and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid offers a fantastic creative opportunity for rich costumes and sets, and the chance to perform some of the best-known songs from the past thirty years.


Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Book by Peter Parnell.

Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre Dame showcases the film’s Academy Award-nominated score, as well as new songs by Menken and Schwartz. Peter Parnell’s new book embraces story theatre and features verbatim passages from Hugo’s gothic novel.

The musical begins as the bells of Notre Dame sound through the famed cathedral in fifteenth-century Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer who longs to be ‘Out There,’ observes all of Paris reveling in the Feast of Fools. Held captive by his devious caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, he escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, though – the handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies – and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all.

A sweeping score and powerful story make The Hunchback of Notre Dame an instant classic. Audiences will be swept away by the magic of this truly unforgettable musical.


Book by Debbie Isitt. Music and Lyrics by Debbie Isitt, Nicky Ager

Your favourite festive film is now a major new musical adapted for the stage by the creator of the much-loved films.

Every child in every school has one Christmas wish, to star in a Nativity, and at St Bernadette’s School they’re attempting to mount a musical version! Only trouble is teacher Mr Maddens has promised that a Hollywood producer is coming to see the show to turn it into a film. Join him, his teaching assistant the crazy Mr Poppy, hilarious children and a whole lot of sparkle and shine as they struggle to make everyone’s Christmas wish come true.

Feel-good, funny and full of yuletide joy, Nativity! The Musical features all of the favourite sing-a-long hits from the films including Sparkle and Shine, Nazareth, One Night One Moment, She’s the Brightest Star and a whole host of new songs filled with the spirit of Christmas!


Book, music and lyrics by Lionel Bart.

Consider yourself at home with the Broadway Junior version of Lionel Bart’s classic musical based on Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist. The Tony and Olivier Award- winning show is one of the few musicals to win an Academy Award for Best Picture and is widely hailed as a true theatrical masterpiece by actors and audience members alike.

The streets of Victorian England come to life as Oliver, a malnourished orphan in a workhouse, becomes the neglected apprentice of an undertaker. Oliver escapes to London and finds acceptance amongst a group of petty thieves and pickpockets led by the elderly Fagin. When Oliver is captured for a theft that he did not commit, the benevolent victim, Mr. Brownlow takes him in. Fearing the safety of his hideout, Fagin employs the sinister Bill Sikes and the sympathetic Nancy to kidnap him back, threatening Oliver’s chances of discovering the true love of a family.

Oliver! JR. is full of classic songs like ‘Consider Yourself’, ‘Food Glorious Food’, and ‘Oom-Pah-Pah’, and perfectly showcases the talents of a large ensemble cast.


Bloomsbury – Methuen Drama

T: 01256 302699
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THE DUCHESS OF MALFI by John Webster, edited by Karen Britland

Full-length play | 978 1 474 29567 3 | £8.09 (incl. 10% discount)

The Duchess of Malfi is a classroom favourite, with its heroine standing out as one of the most compelling female characters on the early modern stage. Webster’s macabre masterpiece examines the familial bonds that bind the widowed Duchess to her over-controlling brothers, foregrounding the intricate networks of connection that link people to each other and to their environments. Progressively breaking down the distinction between insides and outsides, humans and animals, the play reminds us that we are not so very different from all the other creatures on the earth.