archives :


«Actors work to all intents starts after the premier. I believe that a performance is never ready in premier. And that is not because we didn’t have the time to, but because it matures only in front of the audience». Meyerhold This class is no longer offered -- you have to take Senior Thesis (Directing One-Act) instead.

Use the notes and class syllabus as guidelines.

Directors' Forum

Film Directing


THR331 Fundamentals of Directing has to give you the basic understanding of the profession and the process. Next step is discovering yourself, your style, your preferences. Usually, that is what any graduate school is for. Without YOU being present in the show, you can't become a director. It starts with your interpretation, your choices...

From "understanding" to your "vision"!


I teach two directing classes: stage and film. To put it simply, primary motion (in front of camera) is mise-en-scene (staging); secondary motion (camera) is "film making."


In Theatre Studies, the Workshop is the place where theatre practice becomes part of the academic work... The workshop derives from the Brechtian idea of the theatre, and especially the rehearsal room, as a laboratory, that is, a space of experimentation, discovery, trial and era, the posing of hypotheses and their modification.

Chekhov Anton Chekhov

* 3 Sisters: showcase *
* Uncle Vanya
* Cherry Orchard
* Seagull
* one-acts

Read "Chekhov Pages" in -- start with "mini-Chekhov" (one-acts).

* [ Archive Page ]


Thank God I'm an atheist. - Luis Bunuel


Meyerhold @ Work *
Vsevolod Meyerhold
"One particularly attractive aspect of my job is that I get to teach -- and learn -- acting, play direction, and playwriting, both in classes and while directing productions. These three arts are, I’ve discovered, remarkably similar, although with different jargon. For example, the actor creates a detailed character biography, a technique which is (or ought be) in the playwright’s toolbox, too. The director echoes (let us hope) the playwright’s concern for conflict, structure, and rhythm — indeed, for telling the basic overall story. The playwright’s solid focus on motivations and objectives is (or should be) matched by the actors and directors. Each theatre artist connects with the other. Or should." Catron
"Every challenge we face can be solved by a dream." -David Schwartz

great directors *

play writing


The lab is truly a lab. The focus is on the process and not product... One Acts "Small Chekhov" *

Theatre Today types *

Performability versus Readability theatre-semio

2005: The purpose of my online production books was to assist myself, cast and crew during pre-production and rehearsal periods. After the show is over I use webpages for my classes: directing, acting, drama.

Script Analysis

Theatre Books Master Page *

Tao Te Ching:
Giving birth and nourishing,
making without possessing,
expecting nothing in return.
To grow, yet not to control:
This is the mysterious virtue.

Of course, this page is a notes vault : see more notes on directing class/forum pages and in my TheatreBlog @

Also, notes (pages) in Theatre Theory @

Advanced Directing, Spring'99

«The theater, which is in no thing, but makes use of everything -- gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness -- rediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations. To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theatre». Artaud
"Theatre is not a mirror but a magnifying glass." Mayakovsky
See THR470 Film Directing, which is the most advanced class in directing we have at UAF. Take this class ONLY after you had the Fundamentals of Direction. Without understanding of Mise-en-scene and floor plan basics, it will be difficult to move on with the more complex subjects like genre.

Also, please, get the Dramatic Literature and Playscript Analysis classes done.

"Directing" requires many skills -- you have to work with the script and actors, designers (set, costume, light, sound). You have to know enough about each profession to understand thier views of the material. In my experience "directors" can be found only at the end of your undergraduate studies. And, of course, you have to direct. A lot.

This is the last directing class before your graduation, if you plan to go to grad school, it's your last chance to learn directing. Do yourself a favor, go through our class page, click on subject, you'll know in advance what is ahead.
Select your scenes immediately; if you don't know what you want, ask -- I'll assign scenes to you.

Also, go to Fundamentals of Directing and see what you know and what you don't about the basics.

If you didn't take Acting class with me, check Fundamentals of Acting.

If you never had Dramatic Literature, we are in trouble. Directing requires some (good) knowledge of dramatic structure, you have to spend some time learning it.

If you never took any of my classes, go to HomeWork page. and make an appointment, please.

A must -- check acting class syllabus Advanced Acting, you will be working with them. You should know what they know (and more).

For film basics -- Film-North website. We'll start doing film projects right away, because we have to have our movies by Valentine Day!

Questions? Problems? Email.

DIRECTING SENIOR THESIS -- subscribe yourself to Directors' Forum and read archives. ADVANCED DIRECTING is a practical learning, you have to DIRECT!
Also, check Final Project (Pomo 3 Sisters) for Thr 435: Mini-Show.

Spring 2005

Thinking Like a Director: A Practical Handbook


It's amazing to watch the reactions of actors and directors, when I have seminars for the Advanced Acting and Advanced Directing classes together. I can't believe it! Like they were listening to two different lectures! Amazing is what the two groups get and what they ignore! There are some tape-recorded sessions, but I have no time to get to it.

So, I began to watch their eyes. When I talk about "acting areas" they all listen, but when I talk about how those areas are define by the set and the light, directors start writing it down -- and the light in actors' eyes gets dimmed. What? Are they made out of different flesh? Sometimes, I get mad and scream that all their acting would be different, if I will throw red light on their faces. The whole meaning of their monologues would be different! What if I will put the sound... They, the actors, are surprised that I got crazy, and feel guilty, while the directors take notes. Actors? Yes, yeah, the red light -- directors: yes, yes, the red light and the strange sound!

What does it mean? I didn't read the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" -- and I do not know what planets the actors and directors do come from. What I know, it's not the same planet. Maybe even from the same universe! I go to my office, I stare at the computer that can't help me. I go to my car. Jesus, they have to understand each other!

Well, here is the answer. They don't have to.

Next: ?

From RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, UK): "1. The main focus of this term will be on exploring the acting process from the point of view of the actor. This will involve participation in some of the acting classes. The second point of focus will be on the technical aspects of Theatre and Stage Management. The students will spend time with each department within the Graduate Diploma in Theatre Technical Arts (Lighting and Sound, Property Making, Wardrobe, Scenic Art, Construction and Stage Management). The student will learn stage management team roles, blocking notation and the way a production team operates. Each student will be attached to one of the Academy's public productions during the second half of the term, attend all production meetings and technical rehearsals.
Students will be assessed on both their common skills (eg time management, working on their own initiative and working as part of a team), as well as their technical skills (the student's understanding of the technical requirements of the production role they have undertaken).

Term 2: The focus of the second term will be 'pre-production'. The student will undertake an extensive research project on the business side of theatre and production. This will cover funding, policy, planning, contracting and publicity and will include short attachments (of not less than a week) in production companies relevant to the student's research: Press and Development departments of larger theatres; Casting Directors' offices and Actors' Agencies etc.

Term 3: This term includes an attachment to a professional theatre company for the duration of one show, from pre-production through to first night. There will be a requirement to keep a director's workbook of approximately 5,000 words attached to this.

* Serious intent to proceed with theatre direction as a career choice.
* Knowledge of the range of structure and working practice of the director in professional theatre gained through experience or research."

Approaches to Directing (Short History of Directing Overview)

The beginning of modern directing is commonly associated with the Meiningen Players, a German acting troupe organized in 1874 by George II, duke of Saxe-Meiningen. Under the direction of Ludwig Chronegk, the group worked as a unit, setting an influential example of effective ensemble playing. Leading realistic directors of the late 19th cent. included André Antoine in France, Otto Brahm in Germany, and Constantin Stanislavsky in Russia. The most innovative of these was probably Stanislavsky, who stressed ensemble acting and the importance of actors' absolute identification with their roles.

Almost as soon as realism gained ascendancy, various antirealistic theatrical movements developed, beginning with Paul Fort's Théâtre d'Art (1890). The theories of Adolphe Appia in Germany and Edward Gordon Craig in England encouraged European directors to experiment with symbolic settings. Even conservative directors such as Harley Granville-Barker and Jacques Copeau soon realized that a realistic setting was not essential to the true rendering of a play's meaning.

In addition to producing increased artistic possibilities for directors, the rise of antirealism made the director's practical task of coordinating scene design, lighting, and acting even more essential. A director who experimented successfully with both realism and antirealism was the German Max Reinhardt. Noted for his extravagant productions, he tried to remove the barrier between actors and audience by projecting the stage into the audience and scattering actors among the spectators.

During the 1920s there were several important antirealist directors working in Germany and the Soviet Union, notably Vsevolod Meyerhold, Alexander Tairov, and Erwin Piscator. A disciple of Reinhardt, Piscator worked with the playwright Bertolt Brecht, whose theories have greatly influenced 20th-century theater. In order to emphasize the social and intellectual content of Brecht's plays, Piscator utilized stylized settings and mechanical devices such as motion pictures. Brecht wished to insure the intellectual receptiveness of his audience by making it continually aware that it was watching a play, not reality. To this end he and Piscator took the opposite of the Stanislavsky technique and schooled their actors to alienate themselves from their roles.

During the 19th and early 20th cent., the American theater was dominated by directors specializing in elaborate surface realism, with David Belasco as their prototype. A break from that tendency was made by the Group Theatre (1931–41), with Cheryl Crawford, Lee Strasberg, and Harold Clurman directing plays of social significance and promulgating Stanislavsky's theories of acting. Strasberg's Actors' Studio has produced several generations of theater and film actors devoted to the Stanislavsky technique. Enormous emotional expressiveness was also elicited by José Quintero in his direction of actors at New York's Circle in the Square and in Poland by Jerzy Grotowski in his sparely experimental productions at Wroc³aw's Polish Laboratory Theatre.

During the 1950s and 60s the emergence of the theater of the absurd and the theater of cruelty granted directors more scope than ever. Many directors, among them Peter Brook, began incorporating music, acrobatics, dance, film, and mime into their productions, whether the plays being performed were by Beckett, Stoppard, or Shakespeare. Theatrical happenings and the orgiastic productions of Julian Beck's Living Theater—replete with audience participation—may be viewed either as giving the director unlimited freedom or as eliminating his function altogether.

The director was commonly of prime importance in the theatrical productions of the late 20th cent. In the Brooks tradition, a number of directors, including America's Peter Sellars, Germany's Peter Stein, France's Ariane Mnouchine, and Poland's Tadeusz Kantor, put their individual and innovative creative stamps on classical and contemporary works. A wide range of approaches and preoccupations characterized late 20th-century directors, including the social concerns of such figures as Brazil's Augusto Boal and Russia's Lev Dodin; the experimentalism of such writer-directors as America's Robert Wilson and Maria Irene Fornes, Canada's Robert Lepage, and Japan's Shuji Terayama; and the varied techniques of such other prominent directors as Jonathan Miller (Great Britain), Yukio Ninagawa (Japan), Lluís Pasqual (Spain), and Julie Taymore (United States).

THR331 = Introduction to Theatre Directing!

Believe it or not, I (didn't) have a page on acting in Stagematrix! Go to Acting Directories!

Fundamentals of Play Directing

The Director's Eye: A Comprehensive Textbook for Directors and Actors

Virtual Theatre w/Anatoly * GODOT.06: Doing Beckett => main stage Theatre UAF Spring 2006 * FOUR CORNERSTONES: Oedipus * Hamlet * 3 Sisters * Godot