Senior Project in Directing (THEA 45500)
Senior Directing Projects are open to all senior theatre arts majors. These productions are intended to provide the student director with the opportunity for practical application of skills, theories, and experience acquired in the course of his/her theatre training. Persons who wish to be considered for a directing project must have completed Directing 1 or 2 or must be concurrently enrolled in Directing 2 (substantial experience may be substituted for Directing 2).
Students who meet the above criteria should submit a proposal to the chair of the theatre arts department before mid-term of the spring semester preceding the year in which the project may take place. Proposals for the 2013-2014 academic year are due Monday, March 18, 2013. No late applications will be accepted. The chair will initiate the approval process through consultation with appropriate members of the faculty, staff, and curriculum committee.
The proposal must include the following information and materials:
- A written statement of purpose including information as to why the student wishes to undertake the project and why the piece proposed is of interest to the student.
- Formulation of the director’s approach or concept.
- A copy of the script for the project.
- List of furniture, props, etc. required for the production, if any.
- Casting requirements.
- Proposed ground plan.
- The intended performance space and its availability for performance/rehearsal.
- Preferred choice of faculty supervisor.
- Royalty costs.
- In the case of musical projects: suggested musical director, choreographer.
- Costume plot.
- Directors of accepted projects will receive credit under THEA 45500, Senior Project in Directing. The entire production process from initiation of the proposal to striking the actual production is the sole responsibility of the director. The director may secure a volunteer assistant. If the director chooses to do so, the faculty project advisor must be informed of the choice.
- Contact the coordinator of theatre operations to secure permission for performance and royalty information, which should be documented by written correspondence with the publisher, writer, or agent. The department will pay royalties for approved projects
- Student directors will cast their productions by participating in the departmental season casting meetings. Faculty directed productions will have priority in casting.
- The student director will provide the chair, coordinator of theatre operations, technical director, and project advisor with a complete rehearsal schedule. The schedule will be developed and performance dates set in consultation with the faculty supervisor, the design/tech faculty, and the department’s coordinator of theatre operations. The approved schedule will be strictly observed.
- Student directors will return rehearsal/performance spaces to their pre-rehearsal condition. Studio 2 serves as a classroom, and it must be returned to that condition after all rehearsals and performances.
One-act plays are highly recommended for these projects, although cuttings or acts from longer plays will be considered. Short musical scenes or revues are also acceptable. WORK MAY NOT EXCEED ONE HOUR OF PLAYING TIME. It is highly desirable that the director selects a small project with a suitable age range.
It is suggested that original plays should be work-shopped as readings at least two times before they are submitted for production.
In student directed projects the emphasis will be upon the directors and their work with the actors in creating a work of dramatic art and NOT upon the technical/design aspects of the production. These productions will take place under rigorously controlled conditions in order to provide equitable production circumstances for all approved projects.
Approved projects will:
- Be assigned a faculty supervisor. Students may request an advisor through the department chair.
- Be scheduled for open auditions
- Be scheduled into an appropriate rehearsal and performance space.
- Have royalty expenses paid by the department out of each production’s budget.
- Be provided with simple one-page programs.
- Be provided with appropriate publicity by the department.
- Be allowed the use of working props from stock to the degree possible.
- Be performed in what is generally understood to be rehearsal clothing, or costumes acquired through the project’s budget.
- Be provided with some appropriate technical support which will vary with the needs of a specific production, but will be minimal in scope.
- Possibly be assigned stage managers, designers, and/or technicians by the design/technical faculty.
- Be graded primarily on the director’s work with the actors and the script.
Directors May Not Do Any of the Following Without Permission [faculty]
- Cast without open auditions. [director of theatre]
- Submit any unauthorized publicity materials to any source. [manager of audience development and special projects]
- Build or cause to be built, paint or cause to be painted, any set or set pieces. [technical director]
- Utilize props solely as set dressing. [scene shop supervisor]
- Build or cause to be built any costumes. [costume shop manager]
- Rehearse outside of scheduled established periods. [director of theatre]
- Use lighting equipment without approval. [technical supervisor]
- Use sound equipment or seek assistance from a student sound technician or designer. [sound designer]
- Attach students to specific production duties. [director of theatre]
The director of theatre may, with just cause, terminate any directing project without notice. Among other reasons just cause may occur if the project:
- violates any production guideline
- fails to meet the normal and usual obligations assumed by a director
- is conducted in such a way as to reflect poorly on the department
- conflicts with production needs for the mainstage season
- exceeds time limits for rehearsals and performance
- is detrimental to the classwork of anyone involved on the production
No later than one week following closing of the production the student director will submit the following materials to the faculty supervisor:
- Prompt book
- Post-production self evaluation.
- Final ground plan, prop list, and costume plot.
- Photographs, while not required, would be appreciated.
The student director shall return or cause to be returned all props, furniture, costumes, or other equipment used in accordance with these guidelines. The space, including lighting equipment, rehearsal furniture, and seating, should be returned to its proper setting. This shall be accomplished within 48 hours after the close of the production.
By following these guidelines we can assure that all students approved for projects will be working within the same context and that undue demands will not be placed upon our production capacity.