Teaching Directing

I’m very happy so far with the Introduction to Theatre class I’m teaching. It’s truly in my zone of proximal development as a teacher, in that I’m always confident I know what I’m doing to a point, and yet also always taking a step outside my comfort zone as well. It’s exciting because the class asks that of the students as well, so we’re truly on a journey together. The students seem to be having a good time!

This month we will be focusing a portion of our class time on Directing. These are community college students, and while some of them have had acting experiences in high school and elsewhere I don’t think any of the group has ever directed before. One of the ways I’m going to introduce Directing is by putting the students in groups and having each take turns directing an Open Scene. These are most often (in my experience) used as Acting exercises but I have always felt that they were even more useful as a source of Directing practice. I did this when I was at the LaMaMa Umbria International Director’s Symposium in 2000 and it worked well as a jumping off point for a range of discussions about directing with a diverse group of experienced directors, so it should be interesting to see how it works here.

Question for the World: How would you teach Directing? Share your favorite activities!


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