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Jump to the Theatre Collection. For nearly half a century, the directors of Creative Educational Systems have been collecting the best and most useful books in education and the arts for the purpose of sharing the knowledge gained therefrom with the wider community.

As an associate, CES is now privileged to share its private reference collections with you.

The very special books below are the best, most inspiring, and most practical volumes we have discovered in virtually every area of the theatre experience.

It is from the principles, processes and techniques in these books that we have written, directed, designed and produced plays for thousands of children and adults for over 50 years. Everything you need to produce the highest quality of theatre is here!

Most titles are available for sale at where you can also find many of them as used books in good shape for a fraction of the list price. To read more about each book, or to place an order for a book, click on the book's title.

The Theatre Collection:

Topics: Producing, Playwriting, Directing, Acting, Costumes, Scenery, Props, Stage Management


Allensworth, Carl, with Dorothy Allensworth and Clayton Rawson.
The Complete Play Production Handbook, rev. ed. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1982.

Creative Educational Systems Producing the School Play. East Brunswick, NJ: Dovehaven Press, 2000.

Ommanney, Katherine Anne and Harry H. Schanker. The Stage and the School, fifth ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982.


Asher, Sandy. Where Do You Get Your Ideas? Helping Young Writers Begin. New York: Walker and Company, 1987.

Cassaday, Marsh. Playwriting Step-by-Step. San Jose, CA: Resource Publications, 1984.

Egri, Lajos. The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972.


Bartow, Arthur. The Director's Voice: Twenty-One Interviews. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1990.

Boal, Augusto. Theatre of the Opressed. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1985.

Catron, Louis E. The Director's Vision: Play Direction from Analysis to Production. Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1989.

Cole, Toby and Helen Chinoy. Directors on Directing. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1963.

Dean, Alexander and L. Karra. The Fundamentals of Play Directing, fifth ed., New York: Holt , Rinehart, & Winston, 1989.

Grotowski, Jersey. Towards a Poor Theatre. Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis, Inc. 2002.


Boleslavsky, Richard. Acting: The First Six Lessons. New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1975.

Cole, Toby and Helen Chinoy. Actors on Acting. New York: Three Rivers Press. 1970.

Stanislavsky, Constantin. An Actor Prepares. Trans. by Elizabeth Reynolds Hapgood. New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1989.

Stanislavsky, Constantin. Creating A Role. New York, NY. Routedge /Theatre Arts Books. 1961

Stanislavsky, Constantin. Building A Character. New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1994.


Brook, Peter. The Empty Space. New York: Atheneum, 1978.

Burris-Meyer, Harold and Edward Cole. Scenery for the Theatre, second ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 1972.

Jones, Robert Edmond. The Dramatic Imagination. New York: Theatre Arts, 1956.

Parker, W. Oren and Harvey K. Smith. Scene Design and Stage Lighting, sixth ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1990.


Asher, Jane. Jane Asher's Costume Book. Menlo Park, California: Open Chain Publishing, Inc., 1991.

Barton, Lucy. Historic Costume for the Stage, renewal ed. Boston: Walter H. Baker Co., 1963.

Holkeboer, Katherine Strand. Costume Construction. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1989.

Holkeboer, Katherine Strand. Patterns for Theatrical Costumes: Garments, Trims and Accessories from Ancient Egypt to 1915. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1984.

Ingham, Rosemary and Elizabeth Covey. The Costumer's Handbook: How to Make All Kinds of Costumes. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1980.


Corey, Irene. The Face is a Canvas. New Orleans: Anchorage Press, 1990.

Corey, Irene. The Mask of Reality: An Approach to Design for the Theatre. Anchorage, KY: Anchorage Press, 1968.

Corson, Richard. Stage Makeup, eighth ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1981.


Govier, Jacquie. Create Your Own Stage Props. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1984.

James, Thurston. The Prop Builder's Mask-Making Handbook. Whitehall, VA: Betterway Publications, Inc., 1990.

James, Thurston. The Theatre Props Handbook. Studio City, CA.: Players Press, 2000.

Stage Management:

Gruver, Ben. Revised by Frank Hamilton. The Stage Manager's Handbook. New York: The Drama Book Shop, 1972.

Kelly, Thomas A. The Back Stage Guide to Stage Management. New York: Back Stage Books, 1991.

Williamson, Walter. Behind the Scenes: The Unseen People Who Make Theatre Work. New York: Walker and Company, 1987.