All posts by Cindi Calhoun

Cindi Calhoun is a theatre teacher, actor, director, vocal coach, costume designer and seamstress, and writer based near Phoenix, Arizona.

College Auditions: Preparing to Shine

As a high school teacher, I worked with a lot of students to help them prepare for their college and scholarship auditions. And sitting in on audition committees helped shape my perspective even more. While auditioning for colleges is very similar to any other audition, this moment isn’t for a job, but for a mutual investment for the next two to four years. There are some really important things to remember before stepping into that audition room.

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Shakespeare’s History Plays: Unraveling the Kings

While many English or Theatre teachers (myself included) embrace William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I actually really enjoy the history plays. Richard III is one of my favorite plays to teach because of the intriguing villain, dynamic poetry, and fascinating characters. However, in order for my students to make sense of it, I realized I had to make sense of the English history Shakespeare was using to write Richard III. In that endeavor, I tumbled down a rabbit hole and into a quagmire of complex English history mired in international and civil wars.

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Tips for First-Time Directors: Managing the Production

Directing Les Misérables

Congratulations! You’re directing your first show and are probably feeling a little overwhelmed right now — which is totally normal. Whether you are directing at a school or with a community theater, all directors have the same starting point: choosing the show. Selecting the show requires considering many factors, including people, time frame, budget. And then, after the show is chosen, you now have many things to consider before auditions even start, and all of these things can be broken down into two categories: aesthetics and logistics.

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4 Tips for Responsible Performance Adjudication

Performance adjudication is an important component of classroom assessments, thespian events and festivals, and high school awards competitions. Performers and directors revel in the compliments and bristle at the criticisms. Adjudicator comments can vary widely, even for the same show. Responsible adjudication, especially when dealing with students, is vital. Students are still in the process of learning, and as adjudicators, our job is to give feedback that will teach.  If you are an adjudicator, follow these four guidelines to ensure that you do your job correctly and help students improve.

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News, thoughts, opinions and advice for the performing arts community.