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Summer Reading - books for all ages.
Featured Resource

Drama Team Handbook


Drama Team Handbook

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Publisher: InterVarsity Press

Author: Alison Siewert

List Price: Softcover: $15.00

Ages: 15-18 Years

Reviewed By: Jean Hall

Put together by Alison Siewert and a team of energetic, God-honoring writers, this Drama Team Handbook contains articles on drama ministry, from apologetics to nuts and bolts.

The book is divided into six major parts, beginning with a discussion of drama and its uses. Is drama Biblical in the first place? Does it fit with worship? Can it be used for evangelism? And once you've established the proper place for the use of drama, how do you build a "performance team"?

The next part deals with an important underpinning of drama: the script. How do you find scripts? How, when there's nothing that expresses exactly what you wish to say, do you write a script? Topics addressed include building a team of writers, the skill of storytelling, the importance of context, how to write dialogue, using humor, and infusing your work with Scripture truth.

But what do you do with the script? It can't just lie there. People are needed to bring the words to life! For this, you need actors. "Part 3: Acting" starts with a discussion of acting, as well as whether acting is an appropriate activity for Christians. From this philosophical grounding, we move to the practicalities involved in acting, including exercises for actors and plenty of advice from voices of experience.

But if you have only a script and actors, you're still risking chaos and confusion. A master hand is needed, someone who can step outside the picture, look at it from the perspective of the audience, manage the action - or perhaps a better word is "direct." And so you'll read about the "servant director" (an excellent way of looking at the job - and rings very true from my experience), preparation, rehearsals, working with actors, blocking, props and sets, and evaluating performances afterwards, a very important part of the whole process.

Appendices include Bible studies designed to help drama teams center their attention on the most important part, a discussion of drama and discipleship, working with the theater community, and an appendix aimed at pastors and leaders about working with drama teams - a discussion of effective drama versus "bad" drama.

A page of "Resources for Drama Teams" includes books, websites, and suggestions, and more than a dozen scripts are included in the last part of the book. These can be used "as is" or adapted, or can serve as examples for writers who are working on scripts of their own. For even more scripts, see Drama Team Sketchbook by the same author. (Please see the related review.)

A small section entitled "About the Writers" was enlightening to read, for they are identified only as "and others" on the cover of the book. Yet here is a group of talented, experienced people with a passion for the Gospel and for their art. Each bio includes an e-mail address, if the reader would like to get in touch with them, perhaps to find out more about staging God-honoring drama.

The writing flows, well organized and full of energy. Though there is a cast of writers, everything "hangs together" nicely. Side-bars on related topics are sprinkled through the book. Besides chapters with step-by-step instruction, there are recorded conversations that explore topics more in-depth than you'd see from just one person's perspective, and yet there is a unity of spirit very evident. Reading this book, I felt as if I were in a room filled with energetic, creative people, and I was energized and encouraged, and also stirred to deeper thought on matters I really hadn't paid much attention to in the past.

If you are considering a drama ministry in your church, or in your homeschool group, or even if you're not sure that using drama to tell the Gospel is Biblical and you'd like to hear thoughtful arguments on the side of drama, this Drama Team Handbook is a great starting place.
More Information
Available From: InterVarsity Press
Address: P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
Phone: 630.734.4000
Other Notes:
Purchase Now From the Eclectic Homeschool Resource Center
Jean Hall
Jean Hall, a Christian home educator with three daughters, enjoys writing stories and music. Her family's interests include reading together, art, gardening, volkswalking and pets: two cats and a Giant Schnauzer.
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