Gift suggestions for the theatre-lover geek on your list

A Christmas card from 1870
Image via Wikipedia

We had to weigh into this one. There are Christmas gift suggestions all over the place right now, but this one is just for you dear Greenroom habitués. You probably haven’t finished your shopping, and most of these can be bought online, some even emailed. Check for delivery times, but do it soon.

Here’s our list of suggestions:

Subscriptions or Tickets
Probably the most obvious. Contact your local theatre company and buy a ticket. Most single ticket sales should be open to catch the Christmas rush. Click the Greenroom poster wall on the home page to go directly to the company’s website. Include a promissory note with your ticket – ‘good for one drink at the bar’.

iPhone and iPad Applications:
You can gift all of these if you wish. Just make sure your lucky person has the right hardware first. Go to the iTunes store or just Google.

  • Shakespeare Pro
  • Good Reader (for storing your scripts and readings)

There are plenty of good, free apps like Rehearsal and Hollywood Helper/Broadway Buddy and the Shakespeare-lite version, all of which are free. You can’t gift these though … just tell a friend in the drop down menu beside each app in the iTunes Store.

Audible Books
audible.com is a terrific resource with plenty of plays, biographies, and interviews with actors, directors and other arty types (these are free) available for download. If you are feeling really, really generous, what about buying a cheap mp3 player and filling it with some goodies – a geek Christmas stocking. Alternatively give them an Audible gift card so they can select their own.

Theatre Videos
Always a favourite. There are lots available out there. But check this list for inspiration:  37 Flicks that Theatre Lovers Should Know put together by Howard Sherman of the American Theatre Wing recently. Greenroom favourites include: Slings and Arrows; Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing; Shakespeare in Love; In the Bleak Mid Winter (Branagh again) and Vanya on 42nd Street.
For theatre documentaries also check out  Howard’s list of 13 Docos That Theatre Lovers Should Know.  It doesn’t include In the Company of Actors which is based on the STC’s production of Hedda Gabler directed by Robin Nevin with Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett. The ABC Shop is a good place to browse, as is Dymocks for SBS screened arts-related videos.

Books
Where to begin? There are so many bios, autobios, playscripts, casebooks on productions and so on, that it’s hard to make any kind of recommendation. Can we just say that, if you want to browse in general or for something in particular, the admirable Book Depository based in the UK is the best online bookshop by far in our experience. They have an extensive catalogue, an easy-to-browse website, great customer service – they send you a little ‘Thank you ever so much for your order’ note when you place it – not kidding. Here’s the clincher though, the Book Depository provides free shipping worldwide. They discount their books too. How do they do it? Delivery time is round 10 days so you don’t have long.

Say Thanks!
And if you enjoyed yourself this year at the theatre, why not send a thank you Christmas email wish – even a hand-written card – to the companies that brought you pleasure. It’s that time of year!

Got any further suggestions to add? Please put them in the comments below. Seasonal cheers!