“Improvising Tactical Choices Based on Status or “Who’s Driving the Dramatic Action Bus?”

Chapter: Objectives, Obstacles, and Tactics in Practice

Valerie Clayman Pye, Hillary Haft Bucs, eds. Routledge, New York, 2019

Giebel takes students through a series of exercises that combine the collaborative and imaginative work of Viola Spolin with Keith Johnstone’s concept of status to explore the conflict shifts within dramatic structure. The exercise’s goal is to help students transition from improvisation to text analysis through the process of identifying the status shifts in beat changes. Defining beats through status explorations allows students to improvise moment-to-moment tactical choices, build collaboration, and infuse improvisational play into their out-of-class rehearsal process.”

“Significant Action: A Unifying Approach to the Art of Acting”


David Krasner, ed. St. Martins Press, New York, 2000.

FARM HALL and the German Atomic Project of World War II: A Dramatic History 

by David Cassidy, Springer, New York, 2017

Written by noted biographer and Hofstra University Physics faculty member David C. Cassidy, the play FARM HALL is based on the actual 1945 transcripts of conversations of 10 captive German scientists held off the continent in an MI-6 safe house near Cambridge.  Eight of the captives were the leading German fission scientists, while two others, Otto Hahn and Max von Laue, would be important for the postwar reconstruction of German science. These top-secret reports remained classified until 1992.  FARM HALL takes us back to 1945. Germany is in defeat and the atomic bombs are on their way to Japan.  As secret microphones record the conversations of the captive nuclear scientists, the play explores their reactions to the news of the atomic bombs. How will these famous scientists explain to themselves and to the world their failure? How will they come to terms with the horror of the Third Reich, their work for such a regime, and their behavior? Dr. Cassidy is also the author of  Uncertainty : the Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg, which was the basis for the play COPENHAGEN. For more information on Dr. Cassidy’s books please visit: 



by Matthew Hahn, Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, London, 2017

Written by playwright and director Matthew Hahn developed in South Africa and centering on the “Robben Island Bible” a copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare owned by South African Sonny Venkatrathnam. A political prisoner on Robben Island during the 1970s, Venkatratham smuggled his copy of the Complete Works into the prison by persuading his warders that it was a religious Hindu text. He then surreptitiously passed the book to a number of his fellow political prisoners in their single cells. Over a period of four or five years, each of them signed and dated his favorite passage. The ‘Bible’ contains thirty-two signatures, including Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, and other luminaries in the struggle for a democratic South Africa. THE ROBBEN ISLAND SHAKESPEARE intertwines the chosen Shakespearean texts with the interviews of these men, who signed passages within the text that they found particularly moving, meaningful and profound. The play provides fascinating insight into the minds, thinking and soul of those political prisoners who fought for the transformation of South Africa. It also speaks to the power of Shakespeare’s resonance with the human spirit regardless of place or time. Published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2017.  For more information about the play, please visit:  


THE SMOKING DIARY by Loretta Dillon

“If you think smoking is your last vice…” The Smoking Diary by Loretta Dillon (Stone Cold Guilty: the People vs. Scott Peterson) is a one-woman romantic comedy that chronicles the adventures of Renee, a forty-something single mom from Cleveland, OH who is exploring the internet dating jungle with unfortunate but comical results. When she meets Paul online, she believes him to be an ideal match. Paul suggests meeting in New York, but only if Renee is a non-smoker.  Determined to impress him, Renee struggles with quitting a lifelong smoking habit.  Premiered Off-Broadway at the ATA Chernuchin Theater in 2009 featuring Katherine Alt Keener as Renee.  Marci Skolnik, stage manager.  Available on Amazon.com