You are a director.

You don’t need to father the play. Your role in the making  of a play is to help the play to see the light of the day.  This is a task similar to a task of a doctor or nurse- you need to let the process of birth develop by itself. Stand aside, observe and assist if your help is needed.

Film Production Notes Director's RoleDirect the creation process without  too much intrusiveness.

You are a narrator.

Tell the story in a persuasive and interesting manner. If there is something that holds the story back and doesn’t allow it to flow, find what it is and exclude it.

There are cases of thinly narrated stories saved by the scenery, but the strong plays demand a strong storyline.

You need to hold your audience’s attention rapt. Keep in mind that the audience comes to theatre to see something persuasive, powerful; something they can respond and relate to.

Involve the audience.

Make your audience a part of a play. It is always a challenge, but it gives life to a play. An involved audience can connect to a play in a more direct and honest way.

You can look for inspiration in avant- garde and experimental theatre. It doesn’t have to be radical, but even a small audience’s participation can change its perception of a play.

Play with a key.

You don’t have to deliver the story on a plate. You should play with hints and insinuations. In a certain level, you should keep the play open for the possibility to take a turn in a believable way. The point is not to ”play the audience”- the point is to allow the audience to be an interested collaborator.

Not everyone can be pleased.

There are many ways to fail, but one certain method is trying to satisfy everybody’s taste. Not only it is impossible, but it also compromises your authenticity.

You should listen to your critique in order to see a different perspective or improve your technical errors, but stay true to your vision.

Focus.

It is normal to have certain gaps between the way you envisioned the play in your head and the way it finally came out on the stage. Important thing is to keep the focus on essential points of your vision and let go of details that would waste your time, budget and energy.

You are not a one-man band.

Cooperate with other artists in a play. This is closely related to point 15. Allow others to express their talent and ideas to make the best of a play. It is a mutual project and it requires a mutual effort.

Have answers.

You are not alone in the play, but you definitely need to have all the technicalities off the way and you need to be well prepared. Knowledge and vigorousness are an important part of a director’s role. The play will reflect these characteristics, or lack of them.

Be patient.

Patience and assertiveness are also essential director’s characteristics. Without it, actors and others working on the play will be as frustrated as you are, left without straight direction. You need to know how to communicate your ideas in a healthy way, and more than once.

Play is just a play.

Of course your job and your vision is important to you, but don’t give it (or yourself, for that matter) too much of importance. Don’t dwell on things that went wrong or didn’t happen the way you expected them to go. Give yourself a break and move forward learning from the experience.

 

You are not a play-writer

Of course your job and your vision is important to you, but don’t give it (or yourself, for that matter) too much of importance. Don’t dwell on things that went wrong or didn’t happen the way you expected them to go. Give yourself a break and move forward learning from the experience.

Avoid changing the script. Of course everything in a play is open to change, but you shouldn’t insist on controlling every single thing.

You are at work.

Keep yourself from wasting your and everybody else’s time. This means you have to focus on the work. Express directions in a concise and clear way. Avoid rambling and diffusion of any kind.

Get off the stage.

Restrain your ego and put yourself in a right place. Paraphrasing John Kennedy’s speech; ask yourself not what can the people you work with and audience give to you, but rather what you can give to them.

Don’t be afraid to lead.

You have to know what you want, and you must express it clearly. If you are confused or if you hesitate, it will waste the time and energy of everybody involved in a play. If you emit confidence, you will reassure others that you know where all the work is directed.