Curtain Up! A Book for Young Performers

Curtain Up! A Book for Young Performers

By Andrea Belcham

A review of Curtain Up! A Book For Young Performers by Dirk Mclean

Published on October 1, 2010

Curtain Up! A Book For Young Performers
Dirk Mclean
Illustrated by France Brassard

Tundra Books
$19.99
hardcover
40pp
978-0-88776-899-6

Curtain Up! takes its audience behind the scenes of a professional dramatic production by tracing a young girl’s journey after she lands the lead role in a play about a birthday party in a park. In “Act I,” there is much for Amaya to learn, including how a set and costumes are constructed, and what the various crew members do. She also has to work with a choreographer on her dance steps, and memorize her lines.
By “Act II,” Amaya feels “like part of the team,” yet she still has to concentrate on getting her lines right. Despite the challenges and the long wait between audition and final performance, Amaya never loses her elation at participating in a musical. Author McLean, an accomplished actor himself, has crafted a delightful introduction for aspiring performers, even sharing a few tips on delivering believable dialogue and battling last-minute nervousness. Brassard’s sensitive watercolour illustrations capture candid moments in Amaya’s life as a bona fide actress. Curtain Up! also includes a “Cast of Characters,” which defines the roles of those who help produce a play, and an equally useful glossary of terms unique to the stage. mRb

Andrea Belcham lives in Saint-Lazare, where many of her best neighbours are trees.

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