History of Directing: Traditions and Experiments (DRA2252.01)

Jean Randich

We will work semi-chronologically from the late 19th to the early 21st century, examining how the “director” emerged as a seminal force in the experimental theater. Parallel movements in film will be considered, but our focus remains on live performance. We will read historic manifestos, critical responses, and examine videos and visual research. We may read contemporary case studies to explore how current directors work collaboratively to subvert theatrical conventions. We will consider the relationship of the director to the “text,” (written, physical, visual, aural), to actor training, to the ensemble and collaboration, and to design and technology. We will look at practitioners at the core of the western tradition, as well as global directors who are expanding the field. Students will deliver oral presentations and lead discussions examining a theater/performance artist’s theory and practice. In addition, we will conduct in-class experiential exercises invoked in various directorial approaches. Each student will make a final short (3 minute) original video (low tech iPhone video is fine) inspired by the work of one or more of the artists we will study.

Learning Outcomes:
Learning how theater evolved from an aural form in which the playwright was the sole author to an audiovisual form in which a director also authors a performance.
Studying how history and culture contribute to a mode of theater that responds to a historical moment in a particular culture.
Learning to open oneself to a variety of ideas of theater, aesthetic movements, directorial devices, and contrasting directorial styles.
Learning the vocabulary of the stage, and the rehearsal process.
Gaining an understanding of the history of directing and how one can make new work.
Students are invited to study and write about theater and film artists who inspire them.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Corequisites: A drama lab is required.
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 10:30AM - 12:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Drama , Four Credit , Fully In-Person
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