Theatrical Directing for the Educator
This course is designed to provide participants the tools and background information needed to direct a play at the high school level. The course consists of six sessions plus an orientation during which participants will actively participate in the multiple tasks needed for directing a play. Each participant will complete multiple projects based on a script provided. Participants will actively create and explore the meaning(s) of multiple concepts within the provided curriculum, which was designed to be implemented by the participants.
This is an introductory course for teachers with or without theatrical knowledge. Participants must have access to computers. Although not a requirement, high speed internet will enhance the requirements for the project(s). Participants should be proficient in browsing the internet and navigating multiple tabs in an open window. Participants may wish to download GoogleSketch Up (a free download) to use to draw and design for their project. Microsoft Office is also recommended. Participants without access to Microsoft Office should download Open Office documents (a free download from Microsoft) to enable them the read and send word documents throughout this course.
This workshop will enable participants to:
Define their role as a high school director/teacher
Identify the roles students are able to play in the production process.
Develop tools for the production process.
Create imaginative sets to highlight action on stage.
Distinguish between a high quality and low quality script.
Implement a theatrical production in their school
Assessment and Course Requirements
Each session includes readings, activities, and a discussion assignment, which participants are required to complete. High-quality, active participation in the online discussions is vital to the understanding and completion of the course. Additionally, participants will interpret scene study and design a set for a play which participants will choose from a list. Weekly submission of individual project components will be reviewed and feedback will be provided at midterm and on the final project.
As a final product, participants will design a set for a play which they will choose from two scripts provided. Throughout the course, participants will interpret the play and apply creative thought to the overall production as if they were going to implement this play for performance at their school.
Participants will be evaluated on the frequency and quality of their discussion board participation. Participants are required to post responses to discussion topics. Postings that begin new threads will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality. Postings that respond to other participants will be evaluated on relevance and the degree to which they extend the discussion. Participants are to read all original messages by course colleagues and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session.
Session 1: The role of the director in an educational setting is more than just directing. It also entails producer, set designer, set foreman, lighting designer, sound designer, and anything else students are unable to complete. Or are you unwilling to give students the chance to learn life- long skills?
Session 2: Knowing your audience is paramount to a successful theatre program. Your audience primarily consists of student family members and friends of the students. Misunderstanding your audience could potentially show the director and administration in a negative light if misunderstood. In addition, continually producing and performing weak scripts are not a challenge to students. Therefore, the location of a quality script will provide substance and quality characters for your students.
Session 3: Preproduction is only useful if it leads to organization. Without this process, the rehearsal process will contain added work and stress for the director.
Session 4: Every director wants the budget of a Broadway play for their sets and other technical needs, however, what a director wants versus the needs of a play are usually vastly different. This week will provide the steps for deciding what you need instead of what you want.
Session 5: The words provided by the playwright are only useful if the director has a complete understanding of the subtleties and nuances of the script, plot, and the characters. Therefore it is vital that a director prepare for the rehearsal process by way of a detailed script analysis.
Session 6: The stage has ways to create tension, strength, power, focus and many other concepts that affect the audience subliminally. Using these techniques may assist the director in obtaining the complete desired effect.