2008 : doc.google.com Stagematrix (files) + google base?

... 2009 :

Functions: Artistic and Managerial

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 The phone woke me up, but I recognized his voice right away.
"Anatoly, sorry to call so late, but I am sick and tired of this team-teaching. Let me deal with the directing class by myself. And if you would let this old fool teach directing, I am writing about you to the university administration!"
And Meyerhold hanged the phone.


Director & Directing

There will be four mini-tests on terminology after each part, and the final exam (including the scenes open for the public).

Everything about Method Acting in ACTING directory. Also, see the Theatre Biomechanics

Script Analysis Directory & DramLit


Featured Pages: Film Directing

I use INTRO page as an entrance in all my directories *

We start with COMEDY scenes! Mikado or 12th night

THR121 Fundamentals of Acting is required (or my "special permission" -- contact me first), check the terms you need to know (use the glossary or/and tests pages).

Spring 2002: Directors on Directiing, A Source Book of the Modern Theatre (textbook), latest ed.

Director is a strange profession. Director must know a little about everything and everything about directing.

Directing is a strange process. Until the last century theatre survived without it. Then came the technological revolution -- electric lighting, sound, special effects, and -- this new things, the movies. That was the end of realism for theatre and its reborn for its own lingwuistic forms, which we call THEATRICALITY. In order to compose the text in THEATRE LANGUAGE we need theatre poets. Yes, this is how they, the directors, came on stage and took over.

[the pages will be updated before, during and after I teach the class]

* Acting I : BioMethod

* Acting II : Biomechanics

* Acting III : Method

** Stage Directions : Stagematrix

** Film Directing : Filmmaking for Actors

** Playscript Analysis : Grammar of Drama

from glossary.txt :
"A key element of a theater production is the work of the director: the person who rehearses the performers and coordinates their actions to make certain that they interpret the text appropriately, intelligently, and excitingly."

* Plays put together this way usually have a minimum of 4 scenes to a maximum of about 10 in Act I. Since Act II is invariably shorter, it will often have at least one Scene less than the first Act.

* With each new scene, you're giving yourself the chance to begin what's almost a new play with the same characters. That's not really what you're doing, but the freedom you probably felt as you began Act I -- coming from all the conflict waiting to be released -- can be partially recreated by the use of this short scene structure.

* The Point of Attack is that first thing the audience will see or hear as the play begins. And it's one of the few decisions you face in this business that can make or break a great idea for a play.

'... I wasn't thinking in terms of cinema, but in terms of Shakespeare. He was never bothered by the fourth wall and realism, a thing I'm always trying to bust out of. He had scenes that lasted one page, two pages, a few lines here and a few lines there. He could move from place to place at will, and cover a lot of time. I think it's a model for how stories can be told again.' -- Octavio Solis

how to use google.com/group/directing:

* first, read webpages!

* link to directing list/forum on every page (bottom)

* send your request - why do you want to subscribe (moderated group)

* read the archives, familarize yourself with the group pages

* post your bio/resume

* shot wishlist (plays you want to direct)

* read the instructions (if in class)



"I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won't contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you. That's what gives the theater meaning: when it becomes a social act." Orson Welles


Meyerhold, who put into practice the idea of the director as the author of the production, was led by the main artistic task. He had a profound knowledge of not just the particular play but all the works of the dramatist, like Gogol, for example. When he directed "The Inspector General" in 1926, it was based on all Gogol's works and he discovered all of Gogol through this play. The real director illustrates the genius of a play and creates his own new world; even interpretation is not enough, he composes a new reality. (see director page, or NYT )

Since the ebook is written online, it always will have this chaotic, eclectic character ("open structure," scientifically speaking). Besides, if I am to let Meyerhold to act and speak for himself, it will get more messy. Well, director reads! Director acts!.. No, I can't resist -- the man was silenced for so long. I think that he is more bitter now than before Stalin shot him. Look, after all we shouldn't kill people for directing plays no matter how good or bad they do it. What did you say? Excuse me, Master wants to say something. Yes, please, speak in Russian. If they won't understand you, I translate or something. Don't worry, they understand Russian, they understand me. What language do you think I speak? It's only looks like English...

Sorry, we will find the way to communicate...

This book is about directing and I have to make it straight -- director is everything! Plays, actors, designers -- nothing! You are the cook, the rest is cooking!

Directing is my favorite subject. But when I direct, I have no time for teaching. In fact, most of the time I have no time, when I teach directing.

When I studied it in Moscow, we had this class every day and one day of the week was dedicated to the master-class on directing. It went for five years... Well, the webpages are to help me and you to save time in classroom, which is for practice, not lecturing.

StageMatrix (Meyerhold) is a "scientific" approach to directing. Secrets? No, knowledge. Can a director construct a stage sentence? Can we write this stage poetry? But of course!

We can and we should! Ballet does it with movement, symphony -- with music. What is this director's language and what is the art of directing?

Anatoly, didn't you say "science" before?

Yes, I did.

Art and science.

Art is the most serious science.

There is no art without science! (De Vinci, could say it)

If they tell you that there is no theory of directing, don't trust them. Look, it's only one century out of 25 hundrend year of recorded drama! Directing is a young muse, so new, that she has no name.

[The original intro page is gone with theGlobe, but the purpose of this directory is the same -- to support THR331 Fundamentals of Directing class I teach (next time -- Spring 2002).]

There are four subdirectories, four subjects: Directing Text, Directing Actor, Directing Space and Time and Directing the Public. Usually, the textbooks for directors talk about how to work with actors, cast, crew... my aum is different, I want to talk about how director works with himself. Or herself (did I tell you that director, like all artists, has no gender, yes, like an angel). The Directing Self -- yes, yes, don't smile, there is such a thing as Director' Soul! If you are a director, you know what I mean.

Directing is a practical profession, but the paradox is that director doesn't need theatre; stage is only to try his visions. Like a piano -- to express the music you hear already. (Once a musician said to Pagannini: Maestro, you wrote such complex piece, it's impossible to play on violine. Who give a damn about your violine, answered Master).

When you direct actor, use Stanislavsky, but first direct the public (part IV) -- that's Meyerhold. Actors are the most poweful tools of director, but in order to direct them, you have to direct time and space of the show around them. Use the script, follow it (if it's a good play). If the palyscript isn't bood, make it better through staging, you can do it; you are a director!

Stanislavsky thought that, if actor will die in his character, the character will die in the audience, in the minds and hearts of spectators, becoming their memory and experience. The public would LIVE the drama, but, you friendsm to die is a difficult business... Yes, of course, director should die in actors, the play within the show... but how? What if this miracle (dying) doesn't take place?

Well, then you simply die one day, we all do and it's sad. Die within your show -- and you will live!

To die in your actors (set, play, scenery, light, many pleasant deaths) is a strange death. Like "dying" in your children. Director is an artist and art is about love. Director is a master of loving... strangers. Yes, strange, strange business. You have to know how they, the strangers, will love the characters (and actors behind the characters), the story, the spectacle of it! If a poet writes without seeing his readers, in theatre you know them, you can hear -- do they like it or not. And theatre public is brutal like children; the moment they lose interest, they become those strangers again, the crowd... The miracle dies and the shows too, of course. And you, director, want to die. Literaly.

Let have a straight talk, friends, public is stupid. They have no theatre degrees, they haven't read the play, they do not know what you have in mind... Not only they are stupid, they are arrogant! Not knowing anything, they dare to judge everything! They think that they are critics! You see, how easy to manipulate and control such idiots?

They are not your friends, director. The only way to beat them is to make them love you (your show). To make them fall madly in love with you. This is the subject of this course.

Yes, I mean it, madly. Because if you are in right mind, how can you forget that this is theatre, not the real life? Here is where the public stupidity helps (Stanislavsky calls it "suspention of disbelief" or "majic if"). Oh, sweet children! Look how they love movie stars! You can do it too, director, to star your actors! I guess, I am saying that you have to fall in love with your actors and your actors must fall in love with you. The actors are stupid too, you can do it. But first, you have to be stupid enough to fall in love with the play (part I). Listen, if you are that stupid that can fall in love with some fictional creatures, you have a chance to make them real, yo become a director. You must make them more real than than real people! The character has to be bigger than actor, playing it! You see, love does make us stupid and makes us do stupid things, like theatre. And this is good. This is the secret of the miracle.

Play must die in the show, you musar die in the text... Lets learn this "dying" business. Lets kearn directing, shall we?

[Use the scenes from the SHOWS directory.]






This is the basic organization of this etextbook: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4: the four parts we have to cover in one semester.

Director is in the middle of everything and it can get messy, especially if you don't do you home work. Director must know something about everything and everything about directing. You need to know what writers and actors know, because you do not write and do not act. You have to understand both. You have to understand them, when they don't understand each other. How?

Yes, this magic "concept"! That's how you become a match-maker, bringing so many with their visions of the play into ONE show. One soul. Do you do the same with the hundrends of strangers, the public? You have to ORGANIZE it... Conductor? Yes,, conductor, too. And more. Listen, you won't be there, on stage. You have to BUILD it so well, that the structure will work even without you being present. You are the Creator. Yes, that one, onipotent, the invisible. And yes, friend, you have only six days to rehearse. All right, I will give you six weeks... Spring 2005: Oedipus

Show's "Seven Ages":

I. Selection of the script

II. Analysis and Concept

III. Preproduction -- designers

IV. Casting

V. Table Period

VI. Rehearsals

VII. Tech

... Preview -- and New (Real) Life!

Directing is moving outwards (making more and more people involved), and moving inwards (getting deeper and deeper in the essense of the story, the spectacle)...


StageMatrix = the Art of Mise-en-Scene

elements of theater:
1) Performers
2) Audience
3) Director
4) Theater Space
5) Design Aspects (scenery, costume, lighting, and sound)
6) Text (which includes focus, purpose, point of view, dramatic structure, and dramatic characters)


For reviews. What is it? Matrix? Metrics? Metrix? -- Organized data, in short.

[ work with THR221 Intermediate Acting ]


How to "edit" the show? The director's cuts in "stage texts." This time I want to introduce film techniques into stage directing. Film Directing teaches to break the action into small parts (shots) and could serve as a tool in determining the beats of action.

PS. I am paranoid with the fear of repeating myself and therefore I have to send you to Conceptualization page @ Film-Forth (in film it's even more important). In Directing IDEA (Aristotle, Structure, see 200X File in Aesthetics), becomes the first and most import principle! More so, the last sixth principle, SPECTACLE, becomes #1!

Next: Part I: Plays
Again -- Artistic Functions: Script Selection Analysis/Interpretation of the Script Coordinate the Production Design Coaching the Actors Staging the Play

Managerial Functions

Two: Playscript Analysis
Method Acting
The right way to do it is to have several different books: Director & Text, Director & Actors, Director & Designs...
theatrelinks directing

@2001-2005 film-north *


Every time I teach THR331 Stage Directing I update the pages. Every time I do it, I mess them up. New topics, new ideas, new organisation, new layout...

Nevertheless, the photos still have no captions, and references are missing, the apparatus is not fully developed (appendix, biblio, books pages). I have to live with it (complaining in Notes), and you have to get use to the changing content of this directory.

Spring 2005: many new images, new production to connect (Oedipus) and Acting II (Intermediate) to incorporate into the work of the student-directors. Of course, there are many cyber-students, who were waiting to this class to be offered...

I try to place as many quotations as possible, relevant, of course. Maybe, too many. Not enough my commentaries to go with it. There are many great directors were in the last, 20th century, I want them to speak...

[ to be continued ]

The theory is rather simple and could be easealy taught. The applications of it are difficult. Here you have to know the rules and how to use them. Reading is easier than writing. You can't write without knowing how to read. The next level -- how to write poetry on stage...

Two pages in Theatre Theory -- director and directing -- about this new profession (one hundrend years). Since I can't touch the "metaphysics" of directions in my classes, I moved the subject of this phenomena to The Book of Spectator, but spectator-as-director is only a part (maybe the main one) of spectatorship. I afraind that I can't get deeper, unless I am to begin the introduction of POMO (postmodern) terminology. And here is the problem: I do not have pages on the use of PM theories for theatre. You can see htmlgear with the POMO terms, but no guidelines for applications (not even in this "theory" directory). Perhaps, this is another reason, why I can't work on Virtual Theatre pages: practical use of the new mediums (live performance, film, webcast). Well, nevertheless, we have to move on...

From Director's Page in Acting Directory @ Theatre w/Anatoly

Often I find myself in a position of a trainer. Of course, actors are insecure, even the most arrogant ones. How else? How do you know that it is right whatever you do? You're in, you don't see yourself. You only have a feeling -- yes, yes, but....

I leave this situation with a thought that each actor has to learn how to be his or her own couch and trainer. It does take skill of self-evaluation, critical observation, living a separate non-actor's existance. One tool I always adviocate -- Actor's Journals (you it from your classes). You have to record your state of mind, your progress, your goals -- you have to talk to yourself!

Another -- developing a little director sitting inside you with his voice and his talk. It takes a journey into other lands -- general understanding of the script ourtside of your role, understanding designers, even the ideas behind the lighting plot. Yes, it will help you to remember the laws of the acting areas. You will remember that once established your positions can't be change -- and you better be sure that you are where you want your character to be.

Directors love actors who meet them half way; we are digging the channel from two opposite sides, friends. We have to develp macro-action (director) which coinsides with the micro-actions (actor). Actor has to welcome the limitations imposed by the text, directions, design, etc -- only than you have YOUR ACTOR's SPACE for development of your role. Do you know where this space starts and ends?

Consider the reverse order; think that spectator directs you -- and you only the tool in directing of the other components of the show (form of the dramatic experience).
[ from Theatre Theory pages ]
Glossary: Exposition is giving us information about the past -- about what happened before your Point of Attack. Since the Point of Attack in most contemporary plays comes very late in the game, there's a premium on weaving in enough information about what's happened before that so we can get our bearings. [First scene HAMLET]

The Exposition Rule: Just give us what we need to know, when we need to know it.

Structure of Plays

Part I (Play), II (Actor) and III (Stage) must be introduced together at first!

Session Content (Floor Plan and "Script into Actor's Text")

A. Basic stage directions 1. Explain that stage directions arc direction given from the actor's point of view. 2. Stage right Stage left 3. Explain that Upstage and Down stage are called this because of the raked stage that was used in earlier centuries.

B. Stage area layout -- Explain that the stage is usually broken into nine different areas: Down stage Upstage CenterUp rightUp left RightLeftDown rightDown left

C. Body positions 1. Apply to the actor as he/she faces the audience. 2. There are five basic positions. a. One Quarter: The body is a quarter turn from the audience. Most frequently used when two actor's "share" a scene. It allows theaudience to see them easily. This is done by placing the upstage light parallel to the apron of the stage and the downstage foot turned toward the audience. b. Full Front: The actor faces directly front. This is used to deliver important lines. c. Profile: Two actors face each other with upstage foot advanced slightly toward center. This is used for intense scenes like arguing. It can be used for comic effect also. d. Three Quarter: The actor turns away from the audience so all they see is one quarter of their face. This is used when it is necessary to"give" a scene to another actor on stage. It is also used to look at another actor who is upstage so they may "take" the scene. e. Full Back: The actor turns his back to the audience. This is used only for special cases.

D. Stage directions and body positions worksheet. 1.Hand out worksheet. 2. The purpose of this worksheet is to allow students to plot six stage crosses. They must indicate to what area of the stage they are goingand what body position they will end up in when they reach that area. 3. They begin by drawing the first body position in the stage area they are going to begin in. They can do this by drawing feet (like theexample) or by writing which body position they are going to do. 4. They do this six times. 5. They will have to present their plots to the class when they are done.

REFLECTION: Why is it important to understand stage directions? Why are the body positions important? How do we READ them?

EVALUATION: Were students able to plot stage crosses on paper effectively so another could understand the instructions. Were students able to present their stage crosses correctly? Did the other students see and recognize the Stage area and the body position?

IMPROV (in class)?

Stage Directions (handle)

Directors scene

In this scene each player will be supplying the other players actions in the form of stage directions. Each time a player supplies a line the other player in the scene will supply that player's action in the form of a stage direction.

This scene is good for ensuring that players that don't give themselves activities on stage are endowed with them. The usual form goes like this. Player one says, "hello there Jill." Player two immediately follows with, "she said running her fingers through her hair." Player one then runs her fingers through her hair in response to the stage direction. This continues through out the entire scene. There is obvious potential for massive pimping. "she said doing an interpretive dance." If that becomes necessary in a scene then try and leave it until the end.

Absurd stage directions, endowing physical traits, or emotions.

Stage direction are given by players offstage, who may or may not be able to see the players on-stage.

go to Part I. Play


Formal Elements

a) stage directions.

b) division into acts and scenes

c) dialogue, formally introduced by each character's name.

d) performance in a specific building, a theatre, which contains a stage, curtains, footlights and seats for an audience

e) the action is compressed in time since a play usually takes about 2-3 hours.

f) Drama is classified as: