How to Become a Professional Stage Director

The theater consists of a number of career options: an actor, scenographer, dramaturg, light designer, costume designer, choreographer, stage manager, stage director etc.
The theater consists of a number of career options: an actor, scenographer, dramaturg, light designer, costume designer, choreographer, stage manager, stage director etc. | Source

The theater art could be your cup of tea if you have passion for it. Sometimes theater is taken for granted and considered an easy to be achieved career. Nevertheless, theater is not an easy vocation as some people believe. You need strong passion, incessant dedication and renunciation. Absence of any of these three might lead you in an abyss of depression.

The theater consists of a number of career options: an actor, scenographer, dramaturg, light designer, costume designer, choreographer, stage manager, stage director etc. The profession of the stage director has been one of the charismatic yet challenging professions apart from all options within the realm of theater.

Here are some tips for those who want to become a professional stage or theater director.

The profession of the stage director is one of the charismatic yet challenging professions.
The profession of the stage director is one of the charismatic yet challenging professions. | Source

Explore and hone your artistic potentiality

Everyone possesses the artistic potentiality, but only the person who explores and hones the potentiality can bring himself/herself in the realm of artistic endeavors. You can join the university or diploma courses on theater/theater direction or you can work under the tutelage of established theater directors. Wherever you take formal degree from or whoever you work under, you have to read a lot of books and moreover you have to incessantly observe the nature and have to learn from it.

Best Drama Schools in Australia

  • National Institute of Dramatic Arts
  • The National Theater Drama School
  • Actors Center Australia
  • Victorian College of the Arts
  • Adelaide College of the Art
  • Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

Study the traditions but develop your own interest and approach

Read a lot and know about the principle or the traditions of the theater. Besides reading books you have to travel a lot and broaden your view about what constitutes good theater by seeing and observing different kinds of traditions and cultures. A particular principle or tradition hardly fits with the time and the space or the locale of your production. So never try to be strict follower of a particular school, approach or principle, develop your own interest and approach with due respect to the traditions you are influenced with.

Given a choice, what will you choose?

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Select the best script; the best for your interest and best for the prospective audience

Professional stage directors do not necessarily be dependent on the plays written for the stage. They can adapt the script from stories, poems, epics or novels; sometimes they can create devised plays as well. But, either written or devised one, you need a script to rely on, to play on and to create something out of it. The script determines the success of your theatrical endeavor, so invest sufficient time and energy to select the best script to go well with your interest and the interest of the prospective audience.

The selection of the best script does not guarantee the success of the stage director.A a theater director,  you have to think about how you can transform it from page to stage.
The selection of the best script does not guarantee the success of the stage director.A a theater director, you have to think about how you can transform it from page to stage. | Source

Read to understand the essence and redesign the text to go well with your interpretation

The selection of the best script does not guarantee the success: you have to understand the essence of the text and you have to think about how you can transform it from page to stage. You have to remain loyal to the essence of the text, but it is not necessary to stick on the lines; you have to redesign it to go well with your interpretation and design.

Your role as a stage director is to select the appropriate script and design it for the performance
Your role as a stage director is to select the appropriate script and design it for the performance | Source

Best Drama Schools in the United Kingdom

  • London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, London
  • Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London
  • Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
  • Oxford School of Drama
  • Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
  • Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London

Don’t go for the best in the world but be selective to choose the best for the script, to go well with your design

Each step is equally challenging in the process of producing a play. The real challenge comes after designing the play when you have to cast the actors, hire the technical team and choose other components. The way is easy; choose the best one. However, be cautious: don’t ever choose the best in the world but only the best for the script and the design. Your ability can be best judged from the way you choose the text, design it, cast the actors, hire the technical team and transform the text from page to stage.

Getting Ready for rehearsals
Getting Ready for rehearsals | Source

Let the actors explore a number of possibilities and choose the best out of many

Trying to mould the actors according to your will may limit their potentiality. The best way is you have to let them explore a number of possibilities and have to choose the best of out of many. You have to respect your actors’ talent, and also encourage them to explore their potentialities.

The theater art could be your cup of tea if you have passion for it.
The theater art could be your cup of tea if you have passion for it. | Source

Be the first to see your creation and make necessary appropriations

Your role as a stage director is to select the appropriate script and design it for the performance; choose, actors, technical team and other components that suit the script. While rehearsing, your role is to select the best options out of many options/possibilities the actors or the technical team offer.

You will create a piece of art/play assembling the bests to go well with your design and interpretation. Be the first to see your piece of creation and make necessary modifications or appropriations before you let the audience watch it.

Give the finishing touch first, and then let the audience see and evaluate your piece of art. You will have no right to impose your thought on them after you make you play public. You have to say through the art/theater production itself whatever you want to say.

A scene from Nepali Musical titled Dreams of Peach Blossoms
A scene from Nepali Musical titled Dreams of Peach Blossoms | Source

Best International Drama Schools

Nepal

Theater Village

Aarohan-Gurukul

Actor's Studio

India

National School of Drama, India

Denmark

Odin Theater, Denmark

Norway

Norwegian Theatre Academy

New Zealand

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School

Canada

National Theatre School of Canada

Canadian College of Performing Arts

South Africa

University of Cape Town

Best Drama Schools in the United States

  • Yale School of Drama
  • New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts
  • New York Film Academy
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
  • The Actors Studio, Pace University, New York City
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts
  • ACT, San Francisco
  • Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute
  • Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts
  • The Academy for Classical Acting
  • Beverly Hills Playhouse Acting School
  • Boston Conservatory: Music, Dance, Theater
  • Boston University, School of Theater
  • Michelle Danner Acting School
  • Elizabeth Mestnik Acting School
  • Illinois Theater Center Drama School
  • California Institute of the Arts, School of Theater
  • The Meisner Technique School of Acting
  • University of the Arts Philadelphia, PA
  • University of California at Los Angeles
  • University of Southern California: School of Dramatic Arts

© 2013 Vinaya Ghimire

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16 comments

artsandlearning profile image

artsandlearning 2 years ago from 1518 Brookhollow Drive, Suite 15, Santa Ana, CA, 92705

This article is very marvelous for those who want to become a stage director, which consists of a number of career options: an actor, scenographer, dramaturge, light designer, costume designer, choreographer, stage manager, stage director etc.

http://www.artsandlearning.org/


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Vinaya...What an exciting field to explore! I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to direct a live stage play! Especially, a Musical. I recently saw "Harmony," live, on stage, at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta Georgia. I was totally mesmerized from beginning to end. All of the music was written by Barry Manilow. He and his collaborator worked 5 years on this show and are now bringing it to theatres in major cities, hoping it will make it to Broadway. IMO, it certainly should make it!....UP+++


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal Author

Eddy

Vellur

Thanks for reading and appreciating this hub.

Cheers


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

So very interesting Vinaya and voted up for sure.

Eddy.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 3 years ago from Dubai

A great guide to becoming a stage director. Interesting and an informative hub,


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal Author

Thank you very much for reading and commenting on this hub.

Billy

Faith

Carrie

Always Exploring

Audrey

Agusfanani

DDE

Karim

Ignugent

Themla

I could not reply individually, forgive me.

Have a great Sunday.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

A very useful information for those who want to be a stage director. Thanks for sharing this excellent hub. I enjoyed reading it. Voted up and shared.


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 3 years ago

Interesting. It is really very useful even for those teachers who will have a small play in the school. They can get some pointers. :-)


karim remix profile image

karim remix 3 years ago

hey haha good thinking ...


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

How to Become a Professional Stage Director, sound advice here a useful and interesting hub.


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 3 years ago from Indonesia

A hub with rich of information and anyone who wants to be successful as a stage director should read this. Thank you for this well written, informative hub.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

I think directing must be so complex--really--so much easier to perform--a really informative hub Vinaya!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

Are you thinking about becomming a director? If so, i want to be Sam Elliott's leading lady, and please make it a love scene..Hee Hee..Great article..Voted up and away..


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 3 years ago from Northeast United States

Being a director sounds like rewarding :) Its funny because when you write stories you become a jack of all trades :) You become an actor because you have to become the character you write about; you direct by setting up the scenes, what style to use to tell your story; what music or mood to use etc; Producer...you finance your own work etc. Even costume designer because you dress all the characters too. If you try really hard you become a stunt double and special effects expert too! (Just kiddin). Thank you for this informative hub :) Have a wonderful week.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Very insightful hub here and I can see how it would not be an easy choice of a career! One surely must be oh so creative to do well in such a profession.

Always love your photos.

Excellent as always.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

Have a great weekend,

Faith Reaper


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Filled with useful and valuable information. I don't think I could ever be a director; I don't have the vision necessary, but for anyone thinking about it, this is a treasure chest of great information. Well done Vinaya!

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