Directing Program Coordinator:
Welcome to the Region 8 Student Directing Programs. In the spirit of encouraging the next generation of stage directors, we have expanded the opportunities for those interested in pursuing directing at the Festival. For the SDC Student Directing Fellowship, we are looking for experienced directors who will bring a scene from their home institution for presentation at the Festival. We also offer observerships for student directors who are interested in learning about the new play development process. Finally, we will be presenting a range of workshops with directing professionals to expand directorial education.
Please take a look around our website, and the national website to see which program may be a good fit for you. If you have any questions after you have read the materials, please direct them to Jennifer Holmes, email@example.com.
Nominated by the individual institutions, students who have demonstrated success in direction. The institution must have entered either an associate or participating production in Festival 51 (Regional Festivals in January/February, 2018). One student director from each region will be selected to participate at the national festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC each April. This award includes travel, lodging and per diem expenses, as well as attendance at KCACTF National Festival workshops and performances.
SDC Directing Fellowship
A faculty mentor from the student’s school is required to fill out the online form to start the nomination process. Once the nomination process has been started by the faculty member, the director will be emailed a questionnaire which they are required to submit and will determine their eligibility to participate. Nominations and questionnaires are due by January 15. Please send the questionnaire to Jennifer Holmes, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preliminary and Final presentation of a rehearsed, nationally selected scene. On the first day of the regional festival the nominee will turn in a prepared prompt book and director’s statement that reflects their analysis of the scene. Directors are required to observe all scenes and participate in responses as scheduled. The number of participating student directors will be limited to a maximum of 16 at the preliminary round, and a maximum of 6 at the Interview/Final rounds.
Directors will be evaluated through the preliminary scene presentation, interview process, written materials, and final presentation.
All regional student directing candidates must present a scene at festival from the following list: 2018, Festival 50 Scenes.
What are the respondents looking for in the prepared scenes?
- Storytelling. Does the scene have a dramatic arc? Can we clearly follow the action of the scene? Does the scene begin and end with purpose? Is there a unity of approach and execution of artistic choices?
- Staging and use of space/ground plan. Is the space thoughtfully and imaginatively used to tell the story of the scene? Does the staging help clarify the story or does it impose something on the scene? Does the director understand the fundamentals of staging?
- Theatricality. Does the director solve the challenges presented by the scene in an inventive and purposeful way?
- Casting. Was the scene well cast?
- Actor Coaching. Are character relationships clear and compelling? Are the actors/characters in the same dramatic world?
- Communication, collaboration and understanding. Is there evidence of collaboration and communication within the company? Is there evidence of clear dramaturgy regarding the playwright, the play, and the nature of the scene?
Other Considerations for Evaluation
- Does the Prompt Book reflect the director’s work and understanding of the scene?
- Does the Director’s Statement reflect a clear, articulate explanation of the director’s vision?
- How effectively did the director communicate a coherent and compelling vision of the play and scene in the interview, rehearsal, and performance aspects of the process?
- Did the director demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of how to realize a unified vision of the play and scene?
- Does the Director’s work demonstrate an understanding of the play and scene?
- How well does the director communicate their ideas?
- How successfully does the director incorporate the feedback received in order to further develop the scene?
Additional Information (Cont.)
Presentation of Scenes
Directors are encouraged and expected to assist their actors in setting up and striking the set for their scene in the preliminary round. Directors may opt not to assist the actors for the final presentation. Set up and strike for scenes should be rehearsed and happen quickly, with respect for preceding and following scenes. Each director will introduce themselves, their scene, and their actors. Introductions should be made without reference to school. It is suggested that you rehearse the introduction with your actors giving them a signal to begin the piece. Directors are required to observe all scenes and attend all response sessions. If possible, a short amount of time will be arranged for the directors prior to the preliminary scene so that they (and their actors) can walk the space. No rehearsing is allowed at this time, but vocal checks for volume may be performed. If possible, rehearsal time will be arranged in the performance space at festival between the preliminary and final presentations to allow directors to incorporate feedback. If it is not possible to arrange formal rehearsal time for all of the participants, or if the director cannot attend the arranged rehearsal time because of conflicts, the director will be responsible for rehearsing their scene on their own. Rehearsal time may be observed and evaluated by respondents.
Interview questions may include discussions about the director’s scene at festival, previous directing experiences, future goals in the field, prompt book and other written materials.
(Note: The name of your school and contact information should only be included on the Contact Information page. Your name only should be included on all other materials.) Students nominated to participate in the SDC Student Directing Event are required to bring the following materials to the regional festival:
- Prompt Book and Director’s Statement (Due on the first day of festival)
- Current Resume (Due at the interview)
- Other Supporting Materials – Optional (Due at the interview)
- Prompt Book (Required)
Those nominated to present scenes are required to present a detailed prompt book. Failure to provide the Prompt Book, including the prepared Director’s Statement, on the first day of festival (time and place to be announced) will result in disqualification. The Prompt Book is an important factor in deciding who will advance to the interview and final round of presentations. The Prompt Book will also be reviewed as part of the interview phase of the process. The Prompt Book is the director’s way of presenting their vision and point-of-view on the scene and play they have selected. The Prompt Book should reflect the dramaturgical and academic approach to the subject of directing. It should contain essential elements that articulate the process of selecting, researching, preparing, visualizing, analyzing, designing, rehearsing, and fine-tuning the text.
The Prompt Book Should Include
- Contact Information (This page will be seen by the coordinator only)
- Nominee’s Name, School, Current Email Address, Cell Phone Number
- Faculty Advisor’s Name, Email Address
- Name of Play/Scene Being Presented
- Actors Names
- Director’s Statement (a written statement that reflects analysis of the scene – see below)
- Visual Materials (ground plan, blocking diagrams, etc.)
- Critical Materials (dramaturgical research, text, language, character analysis, etc.)
- Working Script (for the text with notes, breakdown, analysis, edits, etc.)
Director’s Statement (Required)
Questions to consider when writing the Director’s Statement
- Your directing philosophy and goals as a director.
- Why did you choose this particular scene/play?
- What are you trying to achieve with your directing approach to this scene?
- How would you present a fully produced version of your play?
- What are your strengths and challenges as a director, and in regards to this particular project?
- Current Resume (Required) A current resume focused on directing and theatre-related activities
Additional Materials (Optional)
You may bring one additional Production Notebook or Portfolio to the interview. These Additional Materials should be representative of your work on previous productions as a director, and will be returned after the final presentation of scenes. Be selective and choose quality over quantity. Suggestions for Additional Materials:
- Production Script, Journal, Notes, Blocking, Scene Breakdown
- Production Photographs, Research Images
- Directing Statements, Character Analysis
- Research or Dramaturgical Materials
- Design Process, Research, Notes (Set, Costume, Lights, Make-up, Props)
- Videos, dvds, tape recordings or other audio-visual materials will not be accepted.
There will be no technical rehearsals for these scenes. There is no technical support for these scenes.
The following block furniture will be supplied at festival:
- 1 table – small square
- 4 chairs
- 4 cubes
- 1 Free-standing door
- 1 futon or bed option
There will be no light cues. Lighting for the stage will be preset as a wash and cannot be changed. There will not be any lights up or down. Costumes, Props The director is responsible for any costume pieces, set dressing and hand props needed for their presentation. Sound The director is allowed to use sound. However, there are no tech rehearsals. There will not be a sound board operator. If the director elects to use sound, the director must supply a sound source (boom box). If the director elects to use sound, the director may not operate the sound. No directors will be allowed to operate the sound. Actors or other students may operate the sound. Any additional questions can be directed to Jennifer Holmes, email@example.com.
Student Directing Observership of New Plays
- Deadline for Application is January 15, although early application is suggested since pre-festival involvement is encouraged.
- No faculty recommendation is necessary for the Observership.
- Follow the Student Directing Observership Overview and Guidelines
- Fill out the Student Directing Questionnaire and send to Jennifer Holmes, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Once questionnaires have been received, you will receive an email from the Student Directing Coordinator confirming your participation in the Student Directing Fellowship.
Festival 51 Scenes
SDC List of Scenes for 2019
1. Breath, Boom by Kia Corthron Dramatist’s play service, Inc. Scenes 5 & 6, p. 20-26. Beginning with Shondra: “What makes me mad?”; ending with Prix’s line “Jump.” 3 women
2. Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang. TCG Group, Inc. p. 66-70. Beginning with DHH: “Marcus, do you remember the Chinese concept of ‘face’?’ to end of play. 2 men, 1 woman + others who play multiple roles.
3. The Drunken City by Adam Bock. Samuel French. P. 37-41. Beginning with Marnie: “Let’s get out of here….” To Melissa: “Ok ok. OK!” 3 men,3 women
4. The Moors by Jen Silverman. In American Theatre vol. 34 No. 6 July/August 2017. P. 56-58. Beginning with Emilie: “There you are!” to Agatha: “You shall enjoy it all immensely.” 3 women
5. The Baltimore Waltz by Paula Vogel. Dramatist’s Play Service, p. 42-47. Beginning with Scene 25 Carl: “And as she lay in the bed, sleepless, it swept over her…” to end of scene 28 Harry Lime: “Dance with me my beloved, my sweet.”
6. Loose Knit by Teresa Rebeck. (publisher name goes here) P. 45-50. Start with Liz: “Wow, Gina, this is – you been knitting a lot lately, huh?” to Gina: “I thought I did. I don’t know, I forgot.” 5 women
7. Vinegar Tom by Caryl Churchill. In Churchill: Plays One, Routledge, p. 145-151. Beginning with Susan: “Don’t always talk of men.” to end of song “Give me back my body. I can see myself.” 4 women, 2 men
8. Polaroid Stories by Naomi Iizuka.(publisher name goes here) p. 57-61. Beginning with Persephone: “Man, shut up” to Persephone: “…tell me all about that shit, I’m all ears.” 2 men, 1 woman.
9. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. (publisher name goes here) p. 62 – 66 Beginning with Merriman: “Shall I lay the tea here as usual, Miss?” to Gwendolyn: “You will call me sister, will you not?” 2 women, 3 men.
10. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennesee Williams. New Directions Paperback. P. 32-38. Beginning with Brick: “Give me my crutch.” To Mae: “Intermission is over!” 2 women, 1 man.
11. Grown-Ass Louis by Bruce Walsh. Pdf. Whole play. 4 men, 1 woman. Contact Gregg Henry GHenry@kennedy-center.org for a copy of this play.