How to Become a Professional Stage Director
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Best International Drama Schools
National School of Drama, India
Odin Theater, Denmark
Norwegian Theatre Academy
Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School
National Theatre School of Canada
Canadian College of Performing Arts
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