As a behind-the-scenes theatre professional myself, I always enjoy seeing anything that turns the spotlight in on those who, like me, tend to stay in the background. I’ve learned that it takes a gret deal of education to let people know, even adults and those who know me fairly well, that it takes a great many people to support the artistic talent.
This book looks at many different professions that are attached to what it takes to put on a show. Author Kevin Sylvester does a good job of highlighting a variety of professions. Some of those given the spotlight here are areas that even in other, related books, often not given notice. Long-haul truckers and venue managers, to name two, specifically. But of course, these ARE professions that are necessary to most shows!
Even at my age, I learned a thing or two, but there were also times that I raised my eyebrows and thought, “Really? This person does that work?”
The book seems definitely aimed at a younger reading audience. I think late elementary school to early high school, though even older students with no background in the arts might find it useful for research purposes. The narrative is a bit simplistic and the highlighted jobs are discussed in the very broadest of terms. This is fine, as the purpose of the book seems to be to bring about an awareness that there is a lot that goes in to supporting the on-stage artist.
This is the type of book you expect to find (and should find) in a school or public library.
Looking for a good book? This has just the right amount of information about jobs in the arts for a young reader.
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Showtime: Meet the People Behind the Scenes
author: Kevin Sylvester
publisher: Annick Press
paperback, 84 pages