The Director and the Theatre

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The Director and theIntroduction to TheatreCollege of the Desert The Modern Theatre Director Functions of a Director .
Artistic Managerial A Director decides on Interpretation of script Casts actors.
Works with other theatre artists in designing the production Rehearses actors Coordinates all elements into a finished performance A new question has developed Should directors be interpretive rather than creative artists .
To interpret the script or fashion their own work of art using the script as a basis Values of a Director Ability to focus the production into a cohesive whole Dangers of a Director Director s concept may distort the script or diffuse attention to the wrong things.
Directing is still evolving The Modern Theatre Director Director s skills In the past a manager or theatre owner organized everything butnot really artistic unity .
In Greek and Medieval Theatre a businessman or civic or religiousleader organized everything the goal was efficiency not artistic Organization What a director manages Human relations with designers actors etc Decision making with a willingness to change .
Professional business manager publicity director etc to all whodo individual jobs Non professional director often does it all Artistic Functions of a DirectorScript Selection.
Professional directors either approve of scripts or are matched by theproducer s But most try to do the things they like best Non professionals do what they like usually doing what they dislikemight ruin the production Idea and spectacle are the most common elements to excite directors .
Must learn to know what you do best and improve on others chooseplays you can do well The master metaphor or directorial concept a concept ordirectorial image To sort out the random ideas into a pattern of sorts draw connections give theatrical life to those that seem possible .
Concept of production needs to imply rational and thoughtful ideas Artistic Functions of a DirectorAnalysis of the Script This helps the director to understand the play to make director s consciousness capable of staging the play Depends on your point of view about directing .
The worshipful vs unorthodox approach to the script Worshipful approach Director s job is NOT to create theatre but to cause the script play to create exciting theatre Can become boring and empty letting the text do the work or it can thrill us with the brilliance of getting thetext s strong points across .
Unorthodox approach Director s job is to interpret the text in order to make a theatrical entity of the entire production for theaudience to make good theatre exciting Director s responsibility is to the MEANING of the performance of which the script is only a part Can lead to offensive or meaningless productions or innovative and truly exciting ones .
Bowdlerizing a play Refers to deleting or changing parts of a script removing socially unacceptable or sexually offensive parts ofthe script This term comes from Thomas Bowdler who published the Family Shakespeare with sexual innuendos andreferences left out and turning sad endings into happy ones .
Artistic Functions of a Director Analysis and interpretation of the script would also include The pattern of the play its major elements structure How do the characters function in the play What are the demands on the actor .
What are the technical demands requirements sound lights costume sets The context of the play often this is a factor Biography of the playwright s life Playwright s canon of work other stuff Period play written.
Period play takes place Critical response to play and earlier productions Old plays are often updated new plays often need a different combination of techniques Tone and impact of the play The play s intended effects director s ideas can be placed on them .
Relative importance of elements Which elements are the most important Pick elements that the script gives theatrical life to Spectacle and sound can be most clearly manipulated can add to play Character idea story usually integral to the play itself .
Director interprets and helps actors achieve characterization clearly Artistic Functions of a DirectorEnvironment of the Play A director must look at a play s Given circumstances what are the necessary elements Updating the production from it s original intent.
Can often make a strong statement or clarify an idea Examples Julius Caesar in Nazi Germany Hamlet in Nicaragua As You Like It in a 60 s commune Mood of environment is also important Does it rain is it a warm summer is there a hurricane tension Idea Inconsistent.
While the idea may appeal to directors at first other values need to be gotten achieved Seldom are plays written about an idea Other elements shape the production Ideas need to be embedded in entire performance when the ideas stand out it can ruin performance Design oversight and Inspiration.
Production meetings To coordinate managerial efficiency Concept meetings To coordinate artistic elements Director helps to get ideas across to designers without restricting with interpretations .
Hal Prince a very famous director producer said The worst thing that can happen is to get back from artists exactly what you ask for Director brings all different interpretations of different designers into a single focus Unity and Variety variety within unity sought Artistic Functions of a DirectorCoach Actors.
Stanislavsky s influence has led to collaboration between the director and actors That can lead to dependency Actors and directors should be aware to not to let actor be too controlled Collaboration coaching Advises inspires encourages .
Helps actor see other dimensions Both actor and director are engaged in mutual creative enterprise The Actor Director relationship can be seen in a number of ways The director as parent authoritarian Guru visionary.
Therapist trust me Seducer emotional attachment Playground Director fun and creative Green Thumb let s grow little planning Lump vague.
Mixture of above is probably best Preparation and adaptability necessary Less actor coaching as performance approaches Artistic Functions of a DirectorStaging the Play.
Directors have to figure out Where should actors characters go so that the focus in the right place Focus arrangement of stage picture so as to direct audience s attention to the appropriate character object or event Blocking where actors go on stage Called blocking because early directors conveyed staging instructions by drawing a grid on stage floor and labeling each stage position or block Remember stage positions and body positions .
Stage business detailed handling of props specific actions such as answering telephones or turning on a lamp Visual composition and picturization Physical movement of characters onstage Movement pace rhythm Visual punctuation marks emphasis motivations relationships all conveyed through movement pace rhythm.
Body language symbolic values Achieving focus By body position the actor who is most full front will have the focus By stage area central areas have most focus By level actor on highest level .
By plane farthest downstage By contrast actor who is apart from group sitting while rest of cast is standing By movement moving actor will have more focus From late 19th century the proscenium picture frame box set fourth wall realism have exploited stage s potential for displaying pictures Not as easy on thrust or arena .
Mood and rhythm can be conveyed through movement angular round movements jerky smooth etc Progression the rate at which things happen speed and emotional intensity and energy Setting up of rhythms Managerial Director as Scheduling.
Casting American Director Alan Schneider said style is casting casting is half the work Rehearsals Read through Read through play actors and director discuss character and vision of the play discuss play show designs General rehearsals.
Rehearse in parts Scenes with particular characters French scene entrance or exit of a character Scenes between curtains or blackouts Remember many contemporary stages do not have or do not use curtains .
Run throughs of acts or the whole play sections Technical rehearsals Dress rehearsals like an actual performance sometimes for an audience of selected invited people Previews also called tryouts usually primarily for the professional theatre so the director and actorscan work out some of the rough spots before opening it officially often previews are out of town before.
coming to New York Opening night in most professional theatre the director s job is then over Usually goes on to another job and the Stage Manager takes over any directing responsibilities such as brush uprehearsals The Stage Manager.
Stage managers typically provide practical and organizational support to thedirector actors designers stage crew and technicians throughout the production They also are the director s representative during performances making sure thatthe production runs smoothly The role of the stage manager is especially important to the director in rehearsals .
The stage manager records the director s decisions about blocking and notes for the actors keepingtrack of logistical and scheduling details and communicating what goes on in rehearsals to the rest ofthe team This enables the director to concentrate his or her full attention on directing Stage managers have several key responsibilities and tasks to perform in eachphase of a production including .
Scheduling and running rehearsals Communicating the director s wishes to designers and crafts people Coordinating the work of the stage crew Calling cues and possibly actors entrances during performance Overseeing the entire show each time it is performed.
The Stage Manager In conjunction with the director the stage manager determines the scheduling of all rehearsals and makes sureeveryone involved is notified of rehearsal times meetings costume wig fittings and coaching sessions During the rehearsal phase stage managers also Mark out the dimensions of the set on the floor of the rehearsal hall.
Make sure rehearsal props and furnishings are available for the actors Attend all rehearsals Notify the designers and crafts people of changes made in rehearsal In rehearsals the stage manager also records all blocking plus all the light sound and set change cues in amaster copy of the script called the prompt book .
The information in the prompt book also allows the stage manager to run the technical rehearsals calling eachtechnical cue in turn to determine precisely how it needs to be timed to coordinate with the onstage action The stage manager and the technical director also work out a smooth and efficient plan for the stage crew tofollow during set changes Furniture and prop plans for complicated sets are drawn up by the stage manager and technical designer to.
show exactly where the furniture and props are to be positioned on stage at the beginning of each scene andsometimes in the wings Once the show opens the director s work is essentially complete Now it s the stage manager s job to makesure that every aspect of the production runs just as the director intended time after time until the production The Stage Manager.
Assistant Stage Manager Often needed in larger productions when the stage manager is out in thehouse the ASM is often stationed justoffstage to facilitate communication.
between the stage manager crew andactors as well as ensuring safety The ASM often helps with complex setchanges quick changes offstage orpreparing the stage for performance .
The Dramaturg Over the past three decades the role of the dramaturg has expanded in the United States and Canada alongside theincreasing importance of contemporary playwriting Working in theatres and playwrights organizations in colleges and universities and on a project by project basis dramaturgs .
Contextualize the world of a play Establish connections among the text actors and audienceThe Modern Theatre Director. Director’s skills: In the past, a manager or theatre owner organized everything, but not really "artistic" unity. In Greek and Medieval Theatre – a businessman or civic or religious leader organized everything – the goal was efficiency, not artistic unity

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