Synopses & Reviews
Every director, from the beginner to the most experienced, will find in this book invaluable information to make their direction more effective. Following a general overview of the director's role, the book focuses on how the director shapes and guides a production - from preproduction meetings to curtain calls. Veteran directors and actors in community, regional, and academic theatre offer their expertise on a range of topics, including:
- selecting the right play
- things to look for in an audition
- criticizing effectively
- basics of directing a musical
- staging a big show with a small cast
- blocking tips
- managing rehearsal and schedules
- and much more.
Directors may be an unseen presence in stage productions, but their influence is everywhere to be seen - and heard. Stage Directions Guide to Directing
provides welcome support to directors charged with unlocking the full potential of their productions.
Every director, from the beginner to the most experienced, will find in this book invaluable information to make their direction more effective.
About the Author
Neil Offen served as Editor of Stage Directions magazine for nearly five years, beginning in 1994. Neil brings to his work decades of journalistic experience and a lifelong love of theatre in all its facets.Stephen Peithman is Editor-in-Chief of Stage Directions magazine, which he cofounded in 1988. Stephen brings to his work decades of journalistic experience and a lifelong love of theatre in all its facets.
Table of Contents
Part I - PREPRODUCTION
1 - Ten Steps for Picking the Right Play; What to Look for Before You Decide 2 - Finding the Right Play for You; How to Use Play Catalogues to Guide the Way 3 - Thirteen Reasons Not to Pick a Show; A Baker's Dozen of Common Traps 4 - Seven Reasons Not to Attempt the Classics; ...And All the Reasons Why We Should, Anyway, Dale Lyles 5 - How to Read a Script; Ten Ways to Judge Whether a Play is Right for You, Jim De Young 6 - Is It Legal to Change the Script? 7 - Photocopying Plays; Publishers Explain What's Legal and What Isn't
Part II - FIRST STEPS
8 - Getting It All Together; How to Work with Your Production Team 9 - Off to a Good Start; Set the Ground Rules Early-and Stick to Them 10 - Great Expectations; A Successful Opening Night Begins with the First Rehearsal, Nancianne Pfister 11 - Make Time Work for You; How to Keep on Top of things Throughout the Rehearsal Period 12 - Off Book, On Target; Offstage Readers During Rehearsal Get Actors Out of the Script and Into the Play, Sue Wurster
Part III - STAGING THE PLAY
13 - Using the Framing Device; Here's How to Bring the Action Full Circle 14 - The Case For Delayed Blocking; Sometimes a Different Approach Can Be Useful, Michael Kanter 15 - When to Block Out of Sequence; Flexibility Sometimes Is More Important Than Strict Order 16 - Ahead of the Crowd; How to Handle Large Groups on Stage
Part IV - ACTOR AND DIRECTOR
17 - A Matter of Style; How You Direct Depends on the Play and the Actors 18 - Play the Intention, Not the Line; Why the Script Is Only Twenty Percent of a Successful Performance 19 - Succeeding With Difficult Actors; Recognizing the Types Is Step One 20 - Working With Inexperienced Actors; It's Difficult, but Potentially Rewarding 21 - The Tortoise and the Hare; With Experienced Actors, Different Strokes for Different Folks 22 - Helping Them Be Heard; Projection Is a Special Challenge for Many Actors, Diane Crews 23 - Triumphing Over Mumblers; Practical Tips to Help Your Actors Project to the Last Row in the Theater, Sarah Anne Starr 24 - Past Tense; Advice and Exercises to Help Actors Rid Themselves of Nervousness, Sarah Anne Starr 25 - Avoiding Personality Conflicts; How to Keep the Communication Lines Open
Part V - GENERAL CONCERNS
27 - A Chemistry Lesson; Sometimes Being a Good Director Means Being a Good Manager 28 - Lighten Up; Seven Ideas for Boosting Morale 29 - Onstage and Backstage Behavior; Etiquette, Schmetiquette-It All Boils Down to One Thing 30 - Dealing With Bad Reviews; Helping Actors Deal with-and Learn from-Criticism
Part VI - DIRECTING THE MUSICAL
31 - Song and Dance; The Eight Basics of Directing the Musical 32 - Get a Move On; In Musicals, Pacing Is Key 33 - Step-Kick-Turn; How One Non-Choreographer Coped, Stephen Peithman 34 - Big Show, Small Cast; Turn a Challenge into an Advantage by Rethinking Your Artistic Concept, Scott Miller
Part VII - SPECIAL CHALLENGES
35 - Staying Focused Under Fire; Actors in a Controversial Play Need the Support of the Director 36 - You Want to Do a Play About What?; A Firsthand Experience in High School Theater, Jerome McDonough 37 - Hold For Laughter; Effective Comedy Needs Work to Seem Effortless, Nancianne Pfister 38 - Who's in Charge Here?; Codirecting Challenges Two Leaders to Share a Vision-Here's How to Make It Work, Nancianne Pfister 39 - When You're Asked to Take Over a Show; Take a Deep Breath and Plunge In-After You've Thought It Through 40 - The Student Director; Lead a Little, Lead a Lot-Which Works Best? 41 - Putting on the Dog; Canine Actors Can Be a Joy-If You Know How to Select and Direct Them, Mary Johnson 42 - Let the Good Crimes Roll; An Interactive Murder Mystery Requires Preparation and Planning, Lori Myers 43 - The Cutting Edge; The Pitfalls-and Secrets-of Editing a Script for Competition 44 - The Final Picture; How to Stage an Effective Curtain Call 45 - Did You Know?