In 1950 the Ivanhoes were a stable family living in the oil town of Bakersfield, California. An oil geologist father with a secure job at Standard Oil and a wide circle of friends. Then calamity struck! Their teenage son was sent to Juvenile Hall for stealing. Overcome by shame, unable to face their friends, the family moved. From job to job, from country to country, uncertainty and frugality ruled their lives for decades. An arrest in Moscow by the KGB. In Poland, a fight for restitution of a stolen suitcase. Such events colored their travels. When the gypsy wonderers finally decided to retum to California, the author, with little money and no hotel reservations but lots of moxie, travels alone to Tehran, Bangkok, Manila, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Vancouver. "Rocks in Her Head" is an unembellished personal story told with humor, sincerity and candor as the author describes her dynamic life of travel and determination in diverse lands. "What a trip! You'll love every page, every mile Helen Smart takes you in her charming and yes, very wise true story remaking her family's lives" Laird Koenig
Noah Davis (March 1804-April 7, 1867) was born into slavery in Virginia. He purchased his own freedom for $500. Davis purchased freedom for his wife and their two youngest children in 1851, and several years later for another daughter and son who were in danger of being sold. When their other three enslaved children faced the auction block in 1858, Davis again toured the North to raise money and succeeded in freeing his daughter. Hoping to earn enough money to free his two sons and to provide funds for his struggling church, he published his memoirs, A Narrative of the Life of Rev. Noah Davis, a Colored Man (1859). In the Narrative, Davis described his life in slavery, his religious conversion, his efforts to secure his family's freedom, and his work as a minister. Davis's health soon began to fail, possibly as a consequence of having worked tirelessly for almost fifteen years to raise more than $4,000 to rescue most of his family from slavery.
Keith Johnstone entered the Royal Court Theatre as a new playwright in 1956: a decade later he emerged as a groundbreaking director and teacher of improvisation. His decisive bookImpro (1979), described Johnstone's unique system of training: weaving together theories and techniques to encourage spontaneous, collaborative creation using the intuition and imagination of the actors. Johnstone has since become world-renowned, inspiring theatre greats and beginners alike; and his work continues to influence practice within and beyond the traditional theatre.
Theresa Robbins Dudeck is the first author to rigorously examine Johnstone's life and career using a combination of archival documents - many from Johnstone's personal collection - participant observation, and interviews with Johnstone, his colleagues and former students.
Keith Johnstone: A Critical Biography is a fascinating journey through the physical spaces that have served as Johnstone's transformative classrooms, and into the conceptual spaces which inform his radical pedagogy and approach to artistic work.
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