Is Performing in the Theatre a Good Form of Exercise?

Is Performing in the Theatre a Good Form of ExerciseThere is a common notion that exercise can only be done within the four walls of a gym, training centre or a sports facility. But actually, exercise can be expressed in many different ways: from taking a stroll in a park, shopping at a grocery or even cleaning your house. Engaging in any physical activity is a form of exercise. The intensity will just depend on the activity. For example, lifting weights is more physically intense than sweeping the floor.

So what about theatre? Is it a good form of exercise? Definitely.

Hollywood star Hugh Jackman himself thinks so. In an interview with the Huffington Post, he admitted that theatre helped him lose weight. “Take up musical theater. Then do a 2-2 1/2-hour one-man show,” the Wolverine star said. He further added that dancing helped him find his natural weight, which resulted to shedding off a lot of pounds.

Engaging in theatre already demands a certain level of physical movement. The intensity of physical activity may vary depending on what kind of performance is being executed. In Jackman’s case, dancing became the physical activity. Some would see this as physical theatre.

Physical theatre is a term that “highlights the physical aspects of performance.” Usually, the body becomes the medium of expression and thus may be subjected to a lot of rigorous training. Ballet for example demands a lot of physical movement, form, flexibility, and discipline. Rehearsals alone can be quite exhausting for ballet dancers.

Dance theatre or in German, tanztheatre, is another form of theatre that involves a lot of physical activity. Dance Magazine describes this as a combination of “dance, speaking, singing and chanting, conventional theatre and the use of props, set, audio equipment, and costumes in one amalgam. It is performed by trained dancers. Usually there is no narrative plot; instead, specific situations, fears, and human conflicts are presented.”

Theatre is also used indirectly to promote physical activity and good health. In a study done by the Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy, theatre was successfully used as a means to convey health messages to low-income African American adolescents in adopting a healthy lifestyle.

So for anyone who wants to get involved in theatre, do expect to have some good exercise. It will not only help you stay fit but also keep your audience entertained.

If  you plan on joining the theatre though, it is important to remember that you should also exercise during your free time. This is ensure that you have enough stamina during rehearsals and most importantly, during performance nights. It doesn’t have to be much but a few minutes on an elliptical machine should do be enough to build your endurance. Don’t worry, not all exercise equipment are expensive. In fact, a good number of the top ellipticals today are very affordable. Just make sure to do your research so you know where to get the best deal.

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How Actors Keep Their Energy Levels High When Performing on Stage

ballet-don-quijote-895062_640Actors’ bodies are the canvases from which their artistic juices flows to the stage. They frame gestures to evoke emotions for their viewers and give life to the written text from the screenplay writers.

Given the rigorous demands of the industry, how do these actors stay on top of their game? Here are some insider tidbits from the theater industry on what makes actors more enduring than Energizer bunnies.

1. They rehearse to condition themselves.

Films have shooting schedules and stage performances have their very strict rehearsal schedules. This is where most of the energy management magic for actors begins. The demands from actors at a physical level are managed more easily by the repetition of the lines and the execution of crafting a scene with the other characters. This is where they get to pace themselves and their energies before the actual live performances.

2. They master balance and timing.

Most actors are excellent multitaskers and are masters of how they manage their time. The immense concentration required from each performance demands that there are no distractions from other aspects of the actor’s life. This focus helps them retain their energies instead of squandering it elsewhere.

3. They earmark relaxation and recovery time.

In between performances, actors have their own respective methods of relaxing or recovering from the exhaustion of a full-blown performance on stage. Some take vacations, and conduct rituals that get them in the zone, while others do simple things like breathing exercises or meditation.

4. They drink lots of water.

Acting and athleticism draw a lot of parallels with each other. As such, part of an actor’s energy management lies in his or her food and drink intake. Drinking enough fluids facilitates the nutrients more easily. Of course, the water needs to be clean and must be infused with the right mineral to be able to provide the body what it needs. There are many types of water softeners and all of which offer different nutrients and minerals through their processes. Make sure to do your research so you’ll end up buying the right one.

5. They find the right process for the right situation.

Finding proper solutions to execute a scene or portray an emotion without expending too much energy on one scene and losing touch on another is an art that can only be mastered by intuition and experience. Good actors are able to distribute their energies throughout the performance.

6. They take good care of their bodies.

Most actors have a workout schedule outside of performances and rehearsals to help them stay in shape for the task at hand.

In reality, acting on stage or in other forms of media is not as easy as it looks. The real professional actors make it look like it’s a piece of cake to convey real life on stage, but the insiders know that more than keeping energies high, it takes a lot of work, skill, and commitment to have an unforgettable stage performance.

 

What kind of audio equipment is used in the theatre?

Even though the overwhelming majority of people that attend the viewings at theaters – either screened movies or light entertainment – usually zero right in on the visual entertainment they are enjoying, the audio setup can quite literally make or break a performance or showing.

This is why theaters take their investment in top-quality audio systems – including DJ tools and equipment – so seriously!

The odds are pretty good that you may not have even noticed the quality of the sound equipment in your local theater, and that’s by design. The best sound equipment is only going to improve the performance or the showing while remaining “invisible” – it’s bad sound equipment or faulty sound equipment in a theater that you notice!

Here are just some of the critical elements that most theaters have as part of their audio equipment set up!

Powerful and integrated speaker systems

Because theaters are always designed with acoustics in mind it doesn’t take nearly as many speakers as you may think to fill a theater with sound – but that doesn’t mean that there are only four or five speakers driving the experience the way that they would in your living room!

No, you are usually going to find theaters deploying at least 10 different speakers (and sometimes far more than that) to provide the kind of quality sound experience necessary. These speakers are almost always integrated with one another to produce rich sound throughout the theater, though there may be “solo” speakers set up for specific situations or specific sound effects.

A quality PA system

Theaters that specialize in live productions are always going to have quality PA system elements built into the heart of their audio equipment.

Performers will almost always be “mic’d up” for sound, and even those that are able to project their voice naturally usually take advantage of this technology to make sure that even those in the “cheap seats” get the same experience as close sitting right up front.

These PA systems are quite different than the ones you’ll find in commercial setups, and they have almost always been run through a variety of professional sound filters to make sure that they produce EXACTLY the kind of sound that the performer was hoping for.

Acoustic materials throughout

This is one element of quality theater are will put that a lot of people overlook, and it’s because these materials are designed to be as invisible as humanly possible.

As we mentioned above, all theaters are constructed with acoustics in mind. Not only are the design of these theaters tailored to funnel sound throughout the theater itself, but the materials used are also chosen to either in advance the acoustics or to “deaden” the sound that would otherwise interfere with the performance.

There is a reason why the walls of theaters are lined with fabric like material, and it isn’t because of any design aesthetic. It’s to improve the acoustics of the theater itself, and a major part of all theater audio equipment deployments.

Also read: How do Stage Actors Relax after Performances?

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How do Stage Actors Relax after Performances?

How do Stage Actors Relax after PerformancesStage actors work hard. They need to be “on” every single time that they take to the stage and they also need to memorize a lot of material. In addition, they have to ensure that they are there for other actors by emoting and responding according to the script and according to instructions from their directors and producers. In addition, they need to make the characters that they play their own. Critics are everywhere, so there is quite a bit of pressure on these types of performers.

It’s actually pretty stressful being a stage actor and this is why a lot of actors need serious downtime after performances. However, they are typically filled with adrenaline after performances are over and this means that they need to give themselves time to “come down” before they are able to rest.

For example, if a Broadway or West End actor or actress gets tons of applause and ovations after a performance, this may pump up adrenaline for an hour or two after show time. Conversely, a bad performance may create feelings of stress and low self-esteem. With live theatre, anything can happen and it’s important to sympathize with actors, although the best tend to be richly rewarded for their talent, drive and skill.

Some Actors Will Socialize

Some actors spend time with fans and friends backstage after performances. They may have a drink, such as champagne, before heading back to their hotels or homes. Then, it’s time for bed.

Many Actors Want to Rest

It’s really important that stage actors have comfortable beds, as unwinding may be a struggle for them. When their beds are supportive and cozy, it will be easier for them to fall asleep and get the deep and healing rest that they need.

The truth is that everyone needs comfortable beds. Sometimes, low-quality mattresses contribute to an array of sleep difficulties, from restless legs to insomnia to backaches. These days, actors invest in great mattresses, such as memory foam designs, which support their spines beautifully and keep them from moving around too much in the night.

If you have trouble sleeping, your mattress may be the problem and it’s worth shopping around for a design with more features and the highest standards of quality. It’s possible to get good deals on comfortable mattresses online.

On the other hand, there are actors who prefer to wind down with a glass of wine and a good book. Many of them save up to buy a massage chair for their homes so they wouldn’t have to go elsewhere for a good back rub.

At the end of the day, actors use charm and emotion in order to captivate audiences. Once the final curtain call is done, they need to recharge their batteries.

Also read: The Whos Who On The National Stage

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The Whos Who On The National Stage

The National Stage

The lead cast of the Amazing Spider-Man Andrew Garfield is all set to appear on the National Theatre stage in the seminal drama, Angels in America in the year 2017. The South Bank institution announced the return of Garfield. Some of the other announcements include Tamsin Greig taking on a female role of Malvoila in the Twelfth Night. It is likely to make it in 2017 directed by Simon Godwin. The buzz is that Simon will also direct Antony and Cleopatra in 2018, starring Ralph Fiennes.

Some of the other big castings for the National Theatre stage include Elizabeth McGovern from Downton Abbey starting with Ben Miles in Sunset At the Villa Thalia happening in June. Lucian Msamati will take the role of Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, a classic. It will run in the Oliver from October. Another major debut to watch out for is the Ivo van Hove’s directorial debut. Olivier Award winner, A View From the Bridge will come up with a recreated version of Hedda Gabler. It will run at the Lyttelton. It was showcased at Amsterdam, London and New York last year.

Sally Cookson’s Peter Pan will make it to the Olivier. National Theatre will feature some newcomers as well. Robert Icke will wield the megaphone for David Hare’s play The Red Barn happening at Lyttelton. At Dorfman, Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour of Lee Hall will be played. The highlight will be the new musical, Guide To The War On Cancer played by Alexander Zeldin, Nina Raine and Lucy Kirkwood. The Sunday performances are the ones to watch out for!

Also Read Mark Curry Is Part Of Wicked Now

Mark Curry Is Part Of Wicked Now

Mark Curry

Mark Curry, the former Blue Peter presenter will make it to the Wicked, a popular London musical to take the role of The Wicked this spring. From 25 March, the start will be part of the company along with Savannah Stevenson and Emma Hatton. From 12 to 24 March, Sean Keams will be taking up the role of Doctor Dillamond. The musical is based on Gregory Maguire’s novel that talks about a unique friendship between sorcery students fulfilling different destinies of The Good Glinda and Wicked Witch of the West. It is one of the international best sellers that spoke of a life-changing relationship.

Mark Curry is a successful television and TV star, and he is well known for his Blue Peter show that made him popular (1986-1990). Curry’s role as the Oz has earned him accolades from far and wide. Moreover, it got him great recognition as a performer. He has some credits to his name. He has seen in the And Then There Were None at the UK tour. Some of his impeccable talents were displayed at the Southwark Playhouse and the Menier Chocolate Factory. The good news is to 29 April 2017, Wicked will be extended at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.

If you are craving to watch the Olivier Award-winning show, it is time to book your tickets now. Moreover, if you are looking for a discount promotion, it’s time to head to London Theatre. Go ahead and book for performance till 12, February. Watch out for the show and do not waste time in making a booking.

Also Read The Bodyguard At The Dominion Theatre Post April

The Bodyguard At The Dominion Theatre Post April

Dominion Theatre

Beverly Knight is all set to bring The Bodyguard, the musical sensation to the Dominion Theatre, West End this summer. Knight will adapt the same role she played at Adelphi Theatre in 2013, that of Rachel Marron. It will be a six-month season for the production that will also star Rachel John playing Nicki Marron. The season will close on 7 January 2017. The show will be directed by Thea Sharrock depicting the story of 1992 Oscar Nominated Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. It is a story about popular singer Rachel Marron and her Secret Service Agent Frank Farmer and how he break the rule and falls in love.

The musical was first launched in 2012 at London. The role of Rachel Marron was created by Heather Headley. In the year 2013, Knight took over the role. It may be noted that this was her maiden venture into the musical theatre. The role became so successful that singer Coulda Shoulda Woulda created Memphis, a musical where she made an appearance with John. Knight has now joined the club of Alex Andreas, Mark Holden, Dominic Taylor, Glen Fox and the Mathew States. The role of titular protector is waiting.

Currently, The War of The Worlds is running at the Dominion and will go on until 30 April. Following this, The Bodyguard will be showcased. Right now the musical group is touring the UK. The leads right now are Alexandra Burke and Zoe Birkett. They will hold the roles till it enters Dominion post-April.

Also Read Runaway Hit The Railway Children Extended

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Runaway Hit The Railway Children Extended

Runaway Hit The Railway Children Extended

The runaway hit The Railway Children has been extended until 30 October following the huge response from the audience. The Olivier Award-winning show will continue at the King’s Cross Theatre. The show was earlier booked till 10 April. It is a classical children’s story by E Nesbit and has a railway inspired set that has attracted family crowd. It may be noted that the show has been extended for the fourth time going to prove its popularity following the premier that happened in December 2014.

The family hit was first showcased in Waterloo in the year 2010. It was at this time the Mike Kenny’s adaptation received the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment. The demand has brought the play back to King’s Cross Theatre. The novelty of the show is that audiences were allowed to sit on the platform that was built on both the sides of the railway track running a live steam locomotive positioned at the centre of the stage. The play is directed by Damian Cruden, depicting the tale of three siblings, Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis, whose lives take a new direction after the disappearance of their father. The siblings along with their mother move to Yorkshire and life changes forever with a new friendship in the form of a railway porter, Perks.

The cast includes Caroline Harker, Matt Jessup, Sophie Ablett and Beth Lilly playing the family and Shaun Williamson of EastEnders, Mr Perks. The tickets are available for booking till 12 February. There are annual discounts also available.

Rabbit Hole Review

Rabbit Hole Review

Despite a play of sorrow, the Rabbit Hole won accolades for its effort in bringing out the grief of a young couple who are on the verge of losing their child. The play made to the Broadway in 2006. The writer David Lindsay-Abaire won Pulitzer Prize in 2007. It was later made into a film in 2010 starring Nicole Kidman. The play was a big challenge for UK stages because it was not only an emotional subject but also the subject was in the backdrop of New York State. It is one of the reasons why talented British actors speak with foreign accent despite the story does not require it. Though, the accent has come to mixed reviews as it turns out to be a distraction most of the times.

The stress of accent on one side and the bland design and muted characterisation makes the production unsentimental and uncomfortable. The play is of emotional genre making it more uncomfortable while watching it in the UK despite the sets talks of New York. The story revolves around Becca and Howie, who lost their son Danny in an accident. After that what happens in their life is depicted in the play. Becca comes to know that her younger sister is pregnant, and it turns out to be an emotional challenge for her. Meanwhile, Becca does not want to compare the experience of her mother losing a son to suicide at the age of 30.

On the contrary, Howie is trying hard to get his marriage back by attending bereavement classes. Jason is the person responsible for the accident of young Danny and his reactions are mixed. The writing is schematic, and the production is well performed except for the first act that was rushed not giving scope to feel the pain in the words. The play is not entirely emotional and serious. There are laugh and wits here and there to make the play watching experience interesting. Overall the writing is sensible and can attract the crowd that are looking for some serious drama. Despite being distant, this play has some material making it a worthy watch.

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Weald Review

Weald Review

The play talks about the growing suicide rates in the UK. The statistic that 2014 saw 4,600 male suicide cases in the UK is cited in the play by Daniel Foxsmith. Do not come to a conclusion that suicide is the main theme of the Snuff Box production but it talks about the emotional battles waged by men. The play revolves around two men Jim and Sam. Jim, a 25-year-old comes to the rural stables for work and Sam; a middle-aged man accepts his company, and the two together have a great time, playing darts, taking care of the horses and laughing at the neighbours solar panels.

The stage is set in the twenty-first century and is a perfect depiction of how the two feel worthless. Jim left a girl pregnant in London and Sam was abandoned by his wife for not able to produce children. The role of Jim is depicted by Dan Parr and despite his best try, he is unable to portray the worthlessness in his character. David Crellin plays the role of Sam and is unfit for the farmer but prefers reading local history. It may be a little weird to note interest in history for a local horse raiser. They make a fantastic pair, not to forget that one is vulnerable without the other. Their father-son dynamics is worth a watch.

But the violent climax is totally uncalled for the script that was so balanced. The violence at the climax comes as a surprise to the audience despite the tempered script. Sam moves into verbosity and the final scenes hardly blend with the initial scenes. The play talks about complex emotions and painful subjects but, unfortunately, the duo was unable to manage with the fluency expected for the role.

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