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Cut the Lights (Orca Limelights)

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Briar has a vision for the one-act play she's been chosen to direct at her performing arts high school. She's going to create a masterpiece. If only everyone involved in the production shared her vision. Her leading lady is gifted but troubled, her leading man has a crush on the leading lady, her stage manager doesn't have a clue, and her best friend, who wrote the play, i ...more
Kindle Edition, 136 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Orca Book Publishers
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3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gem-br, august
Cut the Lights was a predictable read. The characters were okay, but I didn't really care for the play part of the storyline. I guess I got kind of bored with the directing/acting and just wish it would have been a bit more deep? I know these books aren't meant to be deep, but that is what I wanted. I did like what the MC did at the end of the book -- it was thoughtful.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read. It was cute how each new location started with a mini stage direction, setting the scene for the reader. The ending was good, though I did expect it.
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's not a bad story, but all of the characters are flat. Even Briar, the main character, is one dimensional.
Jade Martinez
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cut the lights is an amazing book for anyone of any gender or age especially if you love the theatre. I love how Karen describes Briar's love for directing. I really enjoy this book and it makes me want to involved in the theatre. I couldn't put this book down it was so addicting, I wanted it to last longer. I wished that this book had more pages because it's really short. I felt that the author didn't go into much detail, she seemed fast to the point which isn't bad. I give it a four-star ratin ...more
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Jessica | Bookish Serendipity
This review appeared on
This fall, I attended a Young Voices Conference for teen writers and artists. One of the presenters was Karen Krossing, who taught a workshop on Character Development. I really enjoyed her advice and handouts (I still have them!) so when I saw Cut The Lights at the bookstore, I had to purchase it.

At the time of the Character Development workshop, I had not read any of Ms. Krossing's novels so I could not fully appreciate her mastering of the topi
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teen Briar is excited for her directing debut of a one-act play that is supposed to be part of her performing high school’s theater festival. Briar is so focused on her vision of the production that she’s quick to reject suggestions for improvement, even if they come from her best friend who wrote the play.

Briar’s narrow-minded concentration does not inspire nor motivate the actors or stage manager which leads to more conflict than she ever imagined. Maybe directing is not as easy as she first
Joséphine (Word Revel)
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Initial thoughts: I quite enjoyed Cut the Lights. So much is evident about accidentally starting and finishing it in one go. Lol. That is, I was planning which books I might want to read during Bout of Books come January. After reading three chapters, I realized how short Cut the Lights is (ebooks, y'know!) and felt like I was almost done anyway, so I read the remaining fifteen chapters.

Cut the Lights was short and simply written but for a novella, it did manage to pack s
Terri Christie
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This adorable novel let's us follow Briar, an aspiring director, through her first play. Even though she is in grade 10 she knows what her vision is and wants to obtain it no matter what. Even with others around her offering to aide and advise her she is too stubborn to take it and her play and her actors suffer for it. Go figure a teenager thinking they know best! It is great to see her start to take her job as director to heart and when she starts to do what is best for the play.... Even when ...more
Nov 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll actually try to keep this review short -- just like the book itself.

Characters? Meh. Didn't really sympathize. We didn't know any of them long enough to really form an attachment. And the development the author tried to put in felt false, because it was all told, with little evidence given to back it up.

Plot? Simple. Short. Direct. But it seemed to go by too quickly -- trying to cover too much time in as many pages.

Voice? Nothing special. A bit dull, maybe.

The length really bothered me,
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WIIA: Can a girl who dreams of becoming an director, really director a play for her school? And what about her cast...which has there own problems?

Pros: This was a sweet book. One of those books that teaches a lesson.

Cons: Hmm...Nothing off the top of my head..maybe boring at times? Or redundant?

Iffy: This is not a Christian book so it openly (more than a Christian book would) shares the problems of the world. Such as boyfriend\girlfriend dilemma Small spoiler coming: The director has one cas
Oct 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel provides insight into the challenges involved in the production of a high school level one-act play by a young girl whose parents do not approve of her career aspirations. The main character is fleshed out nicely in terms of emotions and motivations, and the others are likeable, if a little flat. It is a very good middle grade novel with nothing that is age inappropriate and with a modicum of plot uncertainty and angst amongst the characters that will appeal to pre-teen and teen girls ...more
Pat Bourke
Cut the Lights is for every teen who's ever wondered what it's like behind the scenes. Briar, future director, gets a chance to direct her best friend's play, but the cast has issues and nothing goes the way she plans. As focused and driven as she is, Briar has to learn what directing really means when you're working with people who bring their ideas (and their flaws) to the task of creating theatre. A super book for drama geeks (and wannabes).
Catrina R
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-reviewers
This book is about a determined high school aged director named Briar. It is hard to direct when two of your actors don't get along, and another is not excited about his part. Briar struggles to keep his play going, even though it seemed as if EVERYTHING had gone wrong, especially after Sonata, his best actor, has a breakdown due to stress. I like all of the surprising turns of events. This is an amazing book. No matter what, Briar, the show must go on!
Patricia McCowan
This is an engaging, intelligent and true-to-life story of Briar, a student director at an arts high school, who is determined to put on the best show she can. Readers curious about the world of theater will love all the insider details about rehearsals and how to deal with actors who don't always make the process easy!
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wish it was longer. I know it's a weird comment for a novella but it's true. I would have liked to see what Karen Krossing would have done if she made it longer and fleshed out the characters. What would Briar have done if there were different kinds of setbacks? That kind of thing.
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good story, but the execution failed to grab me. The narrator frustrated me -- it was painful to see her attitude in the first half of the book. I think if I was younger, I might have appreciated this one more.
Caroline Mcphail-Lambert
Great little story about teen students struggling to learn and grow at a performing arts high school.

As the would-be directors learn from their teacher, "'A successful director empowers actors to create great art as a team.'" (pg 56)
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
A determined young woman with a dream and a vision. She definitely beats to her own drum.
My favorite line was right in the beginning Briar says "Trends Are For Followers". An nice quick read with heart. Absolutely sweet.

I won this book through goodreads.
Apr 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Please save your time and not read this. There is no character developments and I wish I could somehow get back the time I wasted reading it
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I only read the orca books to catch up on my reading challenge. I think I'm done doing that now. They were fine when I was younger but now they completely bore me.
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Karen Krossing is addicted to stories. She began to create stories when she was eight, and she continued this habit by writing poetry in high school. By then she was hooked on books, so she studied English at university then became a book editor and a copywriter. Today, Karen writes novels and short stories for children and teens. She also encourages new writers through workshops for kids, teens a ...more
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