Friday, 6 February 2009
How to Produce Your Own Theatre Show by John Pyka
How to Produce your Own theatre show is a very good example of self publishing. For 25 US Dollars you will receive a PDF emailed to your inbox immediately! This PDF is 27 pages of information written by Mr. Pyka and an additional 6 pages of Press Releases, Contracts, Riders, etc. Followed by 3 pages of ads for Mr. Pyka's other books and booking opportunities.
Reading this PDF I was very excited to get to know some of the real gritty details of working a theatre show, but I didn't receive any of those. Instead I got a lot of common knowledge to any theatre enthusiast. This book lacks the type of depth and clarity I would love to see in a book on producing theatre shows. Don't get me wrong, there are a handful of wonderful insights in this PDF but surely the price and the information could have been a bit more balanced. This 'Book' is shorter than many sets of lecture notes. Those lecture notes might cost between 10-20 dollars tops. Also we are greeted with a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. For 25 dollars, and 26 pages of information, there shouldn't be any errors, spelling or otherwise.
Much of the book is made up of definitions, explanations for some common theatre terms, stages types, etc.
What a black box theatre is like, how a thrust stage changes your performance and choice of material. All information that could be readily obtained with a few google searches or a coffee with an actor. Quite honestly, I am disappointed. Very disappointed. While I don't question Mr Pyka's ability to put on a spectacular show, lecture, etc. I do question his ability to release a PDF with such a high price tag for the information you would be receiving.
I can not recommend this book, but I can point you towards another. For more information regarding touring with a show and the agent/producer/talent buyer relationship please see this book: Booking Performance Tours: Marketing and Acquiring Live Arts and Entertainment it is under 20 dollars and many more pages than 26 with a very extensive appendix section containing riders, contracts, and other forms for all stages of the booking process. Also for those new to theatre, take a look at This Book for under 15 dollars.
For those who would like to read Mr Pyka's book you can find it here for 25 dollars. You've been warned!