Student Director Homework

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 3.51.04 PMCongrats! You are going to direct a one-act play! We are scheduled for auditions February 6th, which seems a million years away, but will be here before you know it. The following must be presented to your fellow directors, officers, and sponsor before auditions. All must be either typed or hand-written. Yes, it’s homework…but a director’s job is to know everything about the script.

  • Get three ring binder and some dividers. I have some if you don’t.
  • Read your play at least three times from beginning to end without stopping.
  • After three times, start taking some notes: what is this play really about?
  • By the time you are done with your homework, you should be able to
    • tell someone the story of your script [from beginning to end in order]
    • identify the protagonist [who’s story is this anyway?]
    • acknowledge the antagonist
    • describe what your production concept is
  • In your prompt book you should have the following:
    • Script taped/glued/photocopied into the center of blank paper–only one side [this allows you plenty of space for notes and blocking]
    • ALL blocking must be written in the margins of the page
    • A drawing of your set design—what is the absolute minimum you need for this setting? Where will your actors be if/when they aren’t onstage? Will they enter from the house?
    • An explanation of or drawings of your costume design ideas—what will each of your characters wear? Where will you get it? It’s easiest if things can be pulled from our own shop.
    • A list of all set and hand props [make all actors bring their own hand props as soon as you are done blocking]
    • Character motivation, objectives, and beats should also be noted in your script as well as the climax of the scene. What do you know about each character’s backstory?
    • One sentence summary of every character [get this to me early so I can create the audition and character information sheet for all interested actors.]
    • Any research on the time period—include any dialogue or stage directions that reference any of the following: Economics, Social Class, Political, Art/Architecture, Religion)
    • A list of any word/concept you don’t understand must be looked up—your actors might decide to be lazy, but directors can’t afford it!
    • Dramatic Structure of your play: exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution.
  • Once you have cast, you must insert the following in your prompt book:
    • A copy of your individualized Parent Letter/Theatre Contract [any changes you wish to make must be discussed with sponsor prior to handing it out to actors]
    • Program notes–title, author, characters and actors, a paragraph of Director’s Notes
    • Rehearsal schedule, being mindful of the rehearsal process–what you want to accomplish each day [include when actors should be off book, what props do they need, when is tech…]
    • Tech cues must be written in the margins (lights, sound, prop shifts, scene shifts–exactly what comes off and what goes on and who moves what—now you know why you needed so much space…)

While this may seem overwhelming, it’s important to break down your fears, the script and your process so you are ready for your actors. We will meet weekly to review your process. Break a leg!

 



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  1. Reason what you should take a theatre class is because it’s really fun, easy, and can just really be yourself in theatre. Also you can meet a lot of new people in there so you can make new friends and do acts and projects with them which will make your year taking theatre worth it.

    Alex G. Period 6

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