Biral, Robert L. “Contemporary Drama: A Unit in Boundary-Breaking.” Drama—Curriculum Units by Fellows of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, 1980, vol. 3.
This is a curriculum unit developed 13 years ago but it nonetheless remains applicable today. It has been very helpful to me in the classroom over the past year.
Cassady, Marshall. “Characters in Action—A Guide to Playwriting.” Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984.
This is a brief but thorough book that covers the basics of play construction. He relates the basic guidelines to elements of theatre and drama.
Courtney, Richard. “The Dramatic Curriculum.” New York: Drama Book Specialists, 1980.
An excellent book for teachers that argues that our imagination and the dramatic actions that result are the key ways we live and learn. The book examines this process from perspectives of philosophy, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. For such a slender volume, it delivers a great deal. It proposes that we re-think the nature of education and provides ways in which we may begin to implement curriculum through the use of drama. Highly recommended.
Egri, Lajos. “The Art of Dramatic Writing.” New York: Simon & Schuster, 1946.
Despite its publication date, Egri’s book remains a helpful guide to the playwright. It is a book filled with good sense and numerous examples.
Goleman, Daniel, and Kaufman, Paul, and Ray, Michael. “The Creative Spirit.” New York: Dutton, 1992.
The book is a group of essays that examine and promote the nature of creativity.
Grotowski, Jerzy. “Towards a Poor Theatre.” New York: Clarion Books, 1968.
This is an important book that describes exercises and methods for actors that involves a complete mental and corporeal commitment for the actor.
Hunter, Latoya. “The Diary of Latoya Hunter—My First Year in Junior High.” New York: Crown Publishers, 1992.
Written by a thirteen-year-old girl, the book chronicles the life of a girl going to school in one of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods.
Ibsen, Henrik. tr. by James McFarlane, “An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, Rosmersholm.” Cary, NC: Oxford University Press, 1988.
“An Enemy of the People” is the drama of Dr. Stockman who finds microbes in a town’s therapeutic baths.
Linklater, Kristin. “Freeing the Natural Voice.” New York: Drama Book Publishers, 1976.
This book provides detailed exercises in deep relaxation, alignment, and the use of the voice.
Johnstone, Keith, “IMPRO—Improvisation and Theatre,” New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1979.
This is a madcap book that provides exercises and discusses the nature of drama, imagination, ensemble acting, and natural responses on the stage. Highly recommended.
Meyers, W. “Scorpions,” New York: Harper Collins, 1990.
This is a book about teenage life in Harlem. It is the story of one boy, his friends and family the pressures of a gang.
Packard, William, “The Art of the Playwright,” New York: Paragon House Publishers, 1987.
This is a book for both the apprentice and the experienced playwright. It is a thorough and stimulating book for the playwright.
Sophocles. tr. by Elizabeth Wyckoff. “Sophocles I: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone.” Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956.
This is Sophocles’ play of the young woman who defies the law forbidding the burial of her brother and must pay with her life.
Spolin, Viola. “Improvisation for the Theater.” Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1963.
———. “Theater Games for Rehearsal.” Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1985.
Spolin’s books are a primary source for theatre improvisation games and exercises. These books, especially the first one, have influenced two generations of theatre artists.