Directing: Laws, Rules, Principles

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THR 332 Directing Theatre
Anatoly Antohin
SPRING, 2009 Wed. 2.15 - 5.15 pm
Green Room Theatre UAF
Office Hrs: by appointment [ ]
Phone: 474-5253

This course will be focused on the art (science) of stage direction -- a brief history of its development, functions of the director, and components of the theatre arts. Specific areas to be studied are script analysis, composition, working with actors, and organizing a production. The student will direct two scenes and a number of shorter performance assignments dealing with focus, movement, and prop. There are two prompt books (for midterm and final exams), scene analyses, rehearsal schedules, and one written critique of a UAF Spring productions viewed in performance. Two tests on Dramatic and Performance theory.

* Course Goals Stage Directing is to focus on scene work drawn from classic (midterm) and contemporary plays (final exams). By sharpening skills and gaining confidence with contemporary, representational material, the intent is to create a firm foundation for the experience in Directing.

* Student Learning Outcomes -- this course demands a team playing, ensemble, interactive commitment, practical applications of dramatic theory, knowledge of art, design and technical theatre.

TEXTS: The Director's Eye by John Ahart

Directors on DIRECTING & DIRECTING ACTORS by Judith Weston (recommend)

The following plays are also your required reading Tragedy -- HAMLET, Shakespeare * Comedy -- Inspector General, Gogol or/and Twelfth Night * Drama -- Three Sisters, Chekhov * Waiting for Godot, Beckett
Please read all plays right away as they will be used as examples throughout the course.

Working with students in THR 221 Intermediate Acting.

ATTENDANCE: Each student will be allowed one absence without penalty. After one, each subsequent non-excused absence will result in lowering the final grade for the course by 5%.

Attendance/participation & discussion 20% Performance projects (scenes): Midterm and Final exams 20% + 30%
Written assignments + Prompt Book 10%
Class Projects 10%
Tests 5% + 5%

ALL ASSIGNMENTS (written or performed) WILL BE SUBMITTED ON TIME OR PENALIZED 5% FOR EACH LATE DAY. LATE WORK FROM DIRECTORS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. All written assignments, unless otherwise noted, are to be typed double-spaced, emailed or posted.


-a silent scene
-a period assignment
-a movement assignment

First Scene: a short scene from Hamlet, Inspector General or Three Sisters directed with the Intermediate Acting students (THR 221) for the Midterm. Second Scene: final project


-a scene analysis

-1 play critique from a directorial standpoint

-a promptbook, including analysis of scene, play, characters,

rehearsal schedule, ground-plan, graphs, prop/light/costume

plots, rehearsal diaries, etc.

PRODUCTIONS CRITIQUE REQUIRED: You are required to see the shows of the Spring season, select one for your directorial analysis. You are required to write one critique which must be submitted before the discussion in class. (see a critique checklist/format in THR 331 Master File).


Week 1 : Intro, History, Functions. Spectatorship and directing. Theory: Begin Script Analysis. Review Aristotle's "Poetics". Idea(s) into Concept. Textbook: part I.

Week 2: Discussion/Script Analysis. Scene Graphs. ABC of Dramatic Composition. Textbook: part III.

Week 3: Text and Subtext: Dramatic and Performance Composition. Focus Scenes Due/Begin Blocking. Theory: Stanislavsky and Meyerhold. Method Acting (Realism) and Scenometrics. Textbook: V.

Week 4: Movement and Blocking. Objective and Obstacle. `Silent Scene'-- visualization and physicalization. Textbook: IV.

Week 5: Time and Space. Working with Actors: Acting Areas. Dramatic Theory Test. Textbook: VII.

Week 6: FIRST ROUND OF SCENES. First Prompt Book Due.

Week 7: Discussion of the Scenes presented. Written Responses Due. Midterm Exam/ with 221 Actors.

Week 8: "Theatre UAF show" Discussion. Design/Lighting/Sound concepts. Assignments for Final Scenes. Basic Semiotics for Directors.

Week 9: Rehearsal Techniques; Actors -- medium and tools. Textbook: I.

Week 10: Discuss FINAL SCENES concepts. Genre. Style.

Week 11: Director's choices. Theory Test.

Week 12: Final scenes production tasks. Director's Check-list.

Week 13: Rehearsal process. Presentation, Viewing, Feedback.

Week 14: Tech/Dress run -- final scenes.

Lab Theatre. Final Exam. Together with THR 221 Intermediate Acting. Prompt Books Due.

EXTRA CREDIT For anyone who wants it, you may report on any book related to theatre directing in a written fashion. Glossary and lists of Recommended reading are in the Familiarize yourself with the Intermediate Acting course (THR 221).

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