As a theater major at Skidmore a student may chose to concentrate in the area of directing. This concentration includes learning analytical skills and various directorial theories which are combined with practical application in studio work and in production. In addition, students who concentrate in directing may have experiences working with departmental directors, guest artists, and may elect to accomplish an internship or a professional field experience at a LORT (League of Resident theaters) associated theater. The department has access to various LORT theaters and to excellent programs in theater for a term off-campus, e.g., in England with the British American Dramatic Academy or at the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Center in Waterford, Connecticut.
Directing Students will want to fully explore the Workshop program. Senior directing students who have
completed advanced Directing
served as assistant director to a faculty director
directed at least one workshop
may be invited to submit a proposal to direct a studio production during the spring of the senior year.
A director is responsible for the
inspiration behind a concept that elevates a play from a textual or
non-textual existence to a live experience. The director works collaboratively
to fulfill this vision or concept with composers, choreographers, designers,
and actors. Much of the creative aspect of directing is inherent in
the individual. Usually, this creative energy is the force which inspires
one to want to direct. At Skidmore, the creative aspects of directing
are fostered and inspired through a liberal arts education, through
role models, and actual directorial experience. In addition, directing
requires many skills from the broad areas of analysis, research, and
communication, to the more specific skill oriented areas of casting,
staging theories, challenges with actors, organization of rehearsal
time, understanding blueprints, understanding dramatic structure, understanding
theater language and audience expectations, etc.
A theater director must possess a basic core of skills and both specific and general knowledge on a wide variety of subjects:
- Specific training in directorial skills
- Training in acting
- Training in design, techical theater and stage management
- Theater history (American and world) and American and world dramatic literature
- Art history
- Knowledge and sensibility about development of humankind through history, literature, political science, sociology, philosophy, biology, etc.
- A foreign language
- Ability to read and understand music
- Research skills in the library and beyond
- Familiarity with, or experience in all the arts (dance, music, opera, etc.)
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Familiarity with contemporary issues in American and world theater
- Thorough understanding of dramatic forms, structures, and theories
- A solid knowledge of and sensitivity to all other areas of the theater.
Dedication, discipline, patience,
and fortitude are necessary for a career in directing, and, of course,
so is a passion for the theater!
There are several excellent
graduate programs in directing throughout the country as well as some
solid conservatory programs. After graduation, some students may elect
to find an internship. It is important for directing students to speak
with the directing faculty in the spring of their junior year to begin
research on plans for the year after graduation from Skidmore.
All directing concentrations
students should seek out an appropriate theater faculty to guide them
through course selections and planning. Frequent
meetings with the advisor should occur to discuss the student's goals
and on-going work.
- The following required
concentration courses (18)
- TH 1O4 INTRODUCTION TO ACTING (3)
- TH 2O3 INTERMEDIATE ACTING (3)
- TH 2O4 INTERMEDIATE ACTING (3)
- TH 240 INTERMEDIATE DIRECTING (3)
- TH 343D COLLABORATIONS: SPECIAL STUDIES IN DIRECTING AND ACTING (3)
- TH 333 THE DIRECTOR AS COLLABORATIVE ARTISTS (3)
- Other strongly recommended
theater electives (semester hours as desired or possible)
- TH 238 COSTUME DESIGN (3)
- TH 341 THE AMERICAN THEATER: CRITICAL ISSUES (3)
- TH 325 PLAYWRITING (3)
- TH 371, 372 INDEPENDENT STUDY
- TH 299, 399 PROFESSIONAL INTERNSHIP (3, 6 or 9)
- TH 303 ACTING STYLES
- TH 228 STAGE LIGHTING
- TH 375 ADVANCED DIRECTING PRACTICUM (3)
- OR TH 376 SENIOR PROJECT
for the Directing Student
to being fully prepared for studio work within a course, it is the
responsibility of directing students to advance their work as director
by assisting faculty or guest directors on productions, directing
in the student workshop program, directing or assisting with opera
workshop, and by proposing work for TH 375 - Advanced Directing Practicum
to the faculty.
Although the real excitement of a liberal arts education is discovery, and many courses at Skidmore are potentially inspirational and useful for a directing student, the department believes that the careful selection of pertinent courses will be particularly valuable for the undergraduate directing student and suggests that the student review the catalogue descriptions carefully and discuss selections with advisors and the directing faculty.
Directing students should
seek experiences during summer months which will amplify their work
at Skidmore. If financially possible, students will gain a great deal
by travel and/or through an internship in a summer theater.
Many students need to work during the summer. Our advice then is to find jobs which are close to a theater and find a way to volunteer for the theater when you are not at your place of employment.
It is imperative that students work closely with the faculty in seeking out information for summer work in theater and work or study beyond graduation from Skidmore.