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With Stage Directing: A Director's Itinerary, the student of theatrical directing now has a step-by-step guide to directing a production, from choosing a play to opening night. Unlike other directing textbooks, this practical guidebook provides instruction on how to organize the work of the director through the practical challenges of the directorial process (e.g., organizing a budget spreadsheet, writing casting notices, setting up an audition space, etc.). In Stage Directing, the process of directing a production takes the form of twenty-one chapters, which contain helpful examples and tried-and-true exercises, as well as information on how to organize the director's documents into a director's production notebook.
Michael Wainstein is the Chair of the Department of Performing Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design. He has directed almost two hundred productions at theatres in the United States and Europe. Wainstein was the Artistic Director of companies such as the Firehouse Center for the Arts, The Naples Dinner Theatre, The Lincoln Playhouse, and others. He has worked at The Buxton Festival, The Academy Theatre, The Blowing Rock Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Chicago Opera Theatre, Cincinnati Opera, and The Chautauqua Conservatory Theatre.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments and Photo Credits
PART I: First Things First
Chapter 1: A brief history of directing
Chapter 2: Choosing a play and securing a performance license
Chapter 3: Budgeting
Chapter 4: Reading the play
Chapter 5: Interpreting the Script
Chapter 6: Research
Chapter 7: Concept
PART II: Written word to three-dimensional world
Chapter 8: The Visual Collaboration
Chapter 9: Casting
PART III: Rehearsals
Chapter 10: Preparing for Rehearsals
Chapter 11: The First Rehearsal and Table Work
Chapter 12: Staging Rehearsals
Chapter 13: Blocking in different stage configurations
PART IV: Rehearsing a Musical
Chapter 14: Initial Rehearsals of a Musical
Chapter 15: Staging Musical Scenes
PART V: Rehearsals Continue
Chapter 16: Listen to your Inner Voice and Directing the Moments
Chapter 17: Working with actors
Chapter 18: Solving Problems
Chapter 19: Stumble-throughs, Work-throughs, and Run-throughs
Chapter 20: Technical Rehearsals and Adding Elements
PART VI: Opening the Show
Chapter 21: Final Dress to Opening Night
Appendix 1: Genre and Playing Style
Appendix 2: Script Analysis Case Study—The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
Appendix 3: Sample Rehearsal Schedules
Appendix 4: Master Schedule of Production Deadlines
Appendix 5: Contracts
In this book, I have endeavored to create a step-by-step guide for the student director. There are already many books that offer an experienced director’s point of view on the art of dramatic interpretation or the craft of working with actors. Although these perspectives can be valuable, they are secondary. For what use is a groundbreaking dramatic interpretation if a faulty rehearsal schedule, poor casting notice, or mismanaged budget sinks the production before the curtains ever even open?
Everything a director needs to know about successfully navigating these practical concerns is provided in this book. Because of the great responsibility that comes with being a director—from upholding the playwright’s work, to ensuring the actors deliver convincing performances, to satisfying an audience and guaranteeing a profitable production—being detailed and organized are essential. For this reason, keeping a director’s production notebook is important for the student director. It allows the director to organize his or her notes, budgets, analysis, research, schedules, designs, cast information, blocking, etc. in one, easy-to-reference place.