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The Director

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Melissa Vaughan-Kleppel

on 28 December 2016

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Transcript of The Director


Core concept – the director's determination of the most important of the many images, ideas, and emotions that should emerge in the play.
High concept – the director's unique perspective for production
The interest of the Director
The interest of the intended audience
The capability of the director/producer to acquire, conceptualize, and produce the play.
Play Selection
Auditions actors
Cold readings
Call backs
Director/Designer Collaberation
Communicates ideas about the production, begins a conversation with all of the designers
Production meeting throughout the design process
The director is always expanding and clarifying his vision for the designers
May include inspiration pieces/photos/boards
Designers will also provide groundplans, drawings, photos
Staging - Stage business
Coordinating - coalescing all of the details for the performance including the design, the acting, the mood, etc.
Actor Coaching
Leads discussions, improv, research
Helps the actors stay on track with the "core concept" or story
Helps to create craft "excellence" and artistry
Gives the actors a careful balance of guidance and freedom
Staging - Blocking
The Director
Concerned with all artistic aspects of production
Decides upon interpretation of script and production concept to shape staging
Core Concept
High Concept
Casts and rehearses the performers
Works with the designers
Integrates all elements into a finished production
The Script
The starting point for most productions. The director figures out the "spine" of the play.
Initial questions:
What is the basic story?
What translation is best?
How might the play's events and their arrangement affect a live audience?
Should the script be cut?
What is the significance of the play's time and setting? Should these be altered?
Analyzing and Studying the Script
Read the play several times to become familiar with
overall qualities
structural patterns
Divide the play into
segments or units (BEATS)
defined by entrances/exits or major changes in character motivation
emotional reactions
inspired by script
Define the
through line
of actions that hold the play together and determines it's overall thrust
Note scenic, costume, and lighting requirements
Analyzing and Studying the Script Cont.
Consult sources beyond the script to:
Understand the author's point of view
Explore the cultureal environment and context
Read what critics and reviewers have written about the play and about previous productions
Analyzing and Study the Script
The director may distill his/her interpretation of the pay into a
production concept
Production concept

= a short statement that conveys the director's vision for the production
Production concept is an

organizational tool
for the production team
Three Common Approaches
The director serves the playwright
The script is transferred as literally as possible from page-to-stage
Retain time and place specified in the script
Follow the playwright's staging precriptions closely
The director's goal is to capture the spirit of the script
May depart from playwright's specifications
Most common approach
Usually indentifies a metaphore, analogy, dominant theme, or set of conventions that will shape the production
Scripts are seen as raw material that the director feels free to reshape as needed
The director is the principal creative force
At its most extreme, it eliminates the playwright altogether.
The Director/Designer Relationship
The production's focus should be clear to all
The director must relate any specific demands to designers, such as:
Shape of set
Specific mood lighting
Garments with specific features
After initial meetings, designers must be allowed time to conceive their designs
The Director/Designer Relationship
Designs are then considered and various questions are explored:
Do the designs project the production concept adequately?
Do they fit the play's action, mood, theme, and style?
How do the lighting, costume, scenic, and sound designs complement each other?
Can designs be achieved within budget, personnel, and time constraints?
Designs are approved and then executed.
Working with Actors
Director's supervise rehearsals, ideally working collaboratively with actors to give life to the play
Throughout the process, directors assess the work of the actor and make suggestions for improvement
Directors who work effectively with actors are:
Tactful and understanding
Critics, Teachers, and Friends
Sensitive listeners and observers
Stage images
Visual composition:
Creates beautiful stage pictures
Forms images that convey situation emotional content, and character relationships.
Each moment of performanance
An image bearing a message
Devices for Composition and Emphasis

Position of performers on stage, height, stage areas, spatial relationships, contrast, visual focus, and through costume, lighting and scenery.
Thrust and Arena:
Height, spatial relationships, contrast, visual focus, and through costume, lighting and scenery
Difficult to compose visual images that are expressive from every point of view
Focus on constructing images from a variety of angles throughout the performance
Movement, Gesture and Business
Dominant impression of performance is
: flow, change, development
Functions of movement:
by catching the eye and directing attention
scenes to climax, provides contrast, establishes
May be indicative of dramatic
3 Main Types of Movement
Movement from place to place = blocking
Gesture = gesture, facial expression, bodily attitude (body language)
Business = physical activities such as arranging flowers, dueling
The medium for speech, song, or nonverbal vocal sound
Voice and Speech
The Director's 4 main concerns
1 -
should be

2 -
Vocal qualities
should be
appropriate to character

3 -
should not only be
appropriate to character, but also to
situation and

4 -
should vary appropriately in
accordance with
changing dynamics
of action

The role of imagination
Generally, scenery, costume, lighting, and props are not available until the final days of the rehearsal period; rehearsal space is seldom the actual performance space
Rehearsal space
Usually a large room
Ground plan of set taped out onto the floor; multiple sets indicated with various colors of tape
Temporary props and rehearsal costumes used
1 - Usually devoted to
discussing the
2 - Usually devoted to
= establishing
each performer's movements from place to
place and each performer's bodily position at
each moment.
3 - Usually devoted to
deepening the actor's
of the lines and blocking.
4 - Usually dedicated to
ensemble playing
shaping the action
for overall effect
5 - Final phase =
integrates all elements of the
When the production opens, director's job ends
The Director's Assistants
The director may have several assistants who:
Take notes during rehearsal
Attend production meetings
Serve as a liaison with designers
Coach actors and rehears scenes with performers
Production Stage Manager:
Most indispensable assistant
Runs the show at each performance
Compiles the prompt book during the rehearsal process, which becomes the blueprint for the performance
Full transcript