Directing Program Coordinator:
Glendale Community College
Welcome to the Region 8 Student Directing Program. 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 Initiative, we are looking for experienced directors who will bring a scene from their home institution for presentation at the Festival. Finally, we will be presenting a range of workshops with directing professionals to expand directorial education.
If you have any questions after you have read the materials, please direct them to David Seitz, Directing Program Coordinator.
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.
The participant must be a bona fide student during the qualifying year of the regional festival. For example, for Festival 55 in 2023, the participant must have been a bona fide student during 2022. The participant must submit the Questionnaire for SDC Directing Initiative 2023 which may determine their eligibility to
Preliminary and Final presentation of a rehearsed, nationally selected scene, consisting of student actors. 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.
Respondents: The number of respondents is determined by Regional leadership. The respondents are skilled directors who have a strong track record of responding to directing and are out-of-region colleagues or local professionals who are not affiliated with regional institutions. They will respond to the rounds of presentations, will participate in the interview round, and will decide which student director will attend the events in Washington DC. At least one member of the respondent team must be an SDC member.
All regional student directing candidates must present a scene at Festival from the following list:
SDC Scene Selections 2022 and 2023 [click on Play Title to access the scene.]
If more than one director participates from the same institution, the directors are discouraged from sharing actors for their projects and the directors are prohibited from acting in each other’s scenes.
Preliminary round is a closed round. All of the candidates (directors only) are required to attend all of the first round presentations. Teachers/mentors who are the nominators-of-record for the student director are encouraged but not required to attend. Other than for the scene in which they are performing, actors are not allowed in the room. After the presentation the respondent(s) will react to the work in front of the closed gathering of directors and teachers/mentors.
Presentation of scene in a round open to the public. A final round of presentations will consist of up to six (6) selected scenes. The final round will occur at least two days following the preliminary round to allow the director and actors to work on the scene based on feedback from the preliminary round. Limited rehearsal space may be provided. Teachers/mentors may advise the student directors during these rehearsals. A response session will follow the final round, and will include the scene directors, and may include teacher/mentors, actors and audience.
● Directors will be evaluated through the preliminary scene presentation, interview process, written materials, and final presentation. Written materials consist of a prepared director’s prompt book for the scene.
● The director’s prompt book will be handed to the Directing Coordinator for the region prior to the preliminary round and will be returned to the student director at the final round.
Prompt Book Guidelines
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 next section)
○ 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)
The director’s written statement provides the personal, analytical, and intuitive framework for the scene. It is a combination of script analysis, research, creativity, and personal connection to the text. The statement should address the themes, images and specific lines of text that guide the director’s work, including the context of the scene, where/how the scene fits into the play. Directors are encouraged to consider non-traditional casting for any of the scenes selected as can be supported by your concept.
Questions to consider when writing the Director’s Statement:
● What are 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 Résumé (Required) A current résumé focused on directing and theatre-related activities
Additional Information/Final Details
Please contact David Seitz firstname.lastname@example.org with your scenic requests. Kindly limit these requests to the simplest version: acting blocks, chairs, etc. and be prepared to adjust to what is available.
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.
The director is responsible for any costume pieces, set dressing and hand props needed for their presentation.
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 (i.e. MP3 player and external speaker). No directors will be allowed to operate the sound. Actors or other students may operate the sound.
Any additional questions can be directed to David Seitz, email@example.com.
Festival 55 Scenes
SDC Scene Selections 2022 and 2023
All entrants for the 2022 and 2023 Regional Festivals will prepare one from the list of thirteen scenes below, selected by the 2020 and 2021 SDC Fellows.
Monsters We Create by Georgina Escobar (New Play Exchange)
“Monsters We Create is a story of love and hope tied together with a strikingly poignant call to action. The playwright uses Latinx Futurity and Sci-Fem sensibilities to bring us the perseverance and creativity of the border region. This work feels like a comic book about my home. It is a much needed, more complete look at “Vox Populi” the voice of the people.” – Sarah Curtis, 2021 Region 6 SDC Fellow
Chasing Gods (Choose Scene 1 or Scene 2) by Paris Crayton III (New Play Exchange)
“Set in 2016, three weeks after the Pulse nightclub shooting, Chasing Gods asks how an African American Baptist family with different ideas about faith and religion find love and aim to come together when tragedy, religion, and death create divides between their own personal morals and identities. Through love and pain, they strive to find each other in a wilderness of divisions. They, like America, are lost and don’t know how to be found. I had read an earlier iteration of this play and have seen some intriguing rewrites in this draft that further demonstrate to me the talent of Paris as a playwright and theater artist. This play also sheds light onto the human spectrum during and after trauma. There are so many opportunities to explore humanity through this piece and I am so excited to see it on its feet. Although the horror of Pulse shattered our world five years ago, discrimination continues in many forms against members of the LGBTQ+ community. This play cracks open a discussion and exploration at the center of this world, 5 years ago, from a perspective we may not expect: the family of a pastor who’s controversial words further shook the community in Orlando.” – Rainah Gregory, Region 4 2021 SDC Fellow
Significant Other by Joshua Harmon (Concord Theatricals)
“I wanted to submit a scene from Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other, specifically the second of three bachelorette parties. The scene presents Jordan, a gay man, struggling with the societal expectations of marriage through the wedding’s (and subsequent changing relationships) of his three best friends. This scene presents the unique challenge of overlapping dialogue at the end, and Jordan’s reaction to it all.” – Matthew Pezzulich, Region 2 2021 SDC Fellow
Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu (Concord Theatricals)
“This contemporary riff on Waiting for Godot replaces the use of black trauma with black miracles. Moses and Kitch decide that the only way off the block is to “pass over” through death. Before killing each other, an officer stops the men to abuse them. Moses performs a miracle that expels the officer’s plague from his body.” – Isabel Rodriguez, Region 8 2020 SDC Co-Fellow
Snow in Midsummer by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig (Bloomsbury Publishing)
“This modern adaptation of a Chinese classic play explores society’s betrayal to women and its desensitization to death. Dou Yi is sentenced to death the next day, and during her passionate speech where she places a curse on her village, Dou Yi is fatally shot by an impatient officer. The scene ends with officers and civilians surrounding her dead body, joking about marrying women, cooking food, and climate change.” – Isabel Rodriguez, Region 8 2020 SDC Co-Fellow
Doctor Voynich and Her Children (Choose Scene 1 or Scene 2) by Leanna Keyes (Bloomsbury Publishing, The Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays)
“This ‘prediction’ is set in America years after reproductive health care has been made illegal. Doctor Voynich and her apprentice Fade travel the countryside in a converted ambulance dispensing harmless herbs by day and providing family planning services by night. Fade tries to help local youth Hannah complete her abortion, using forbidden knowledge from an ancient manuscript, before her mother and the sheriff can nail them for the ‘attempted murder of an unborn person.’ This play about mothers and daughters is poetic, sexy, vulgar, queer, and a little too real. Doctor Voynich and Her Children provides an excellent opportunity for young directors who are eager to tackle a bold and exposed script. The two scenes included feature unique challenges for creating an environment and tone of the overall post-apocalyptic world while finding nuanced moments of hope and connection. There is lots of space in this script for an ambitious director to explore and stage their own creative ideas and make a powerful statement about love, authority, and bodily autonomy.” – Erin White, Region 7 2021 SDC Fellow
Sanctuary City by Martyna Majok (New Play Exchange)
“Sanctuary City is a play that asks us what we’re willing to sacrifice for someone we love. Simultaneously, it offers a beautiful study of intersectionality. This scene selection, arguably the climax of the play, is chilling for me to read because I empathize with each character immensely. Martyna Majok’s ability to write authentic, vulnerable relationships through dramatic action steeped in humor is exactly the reason an emerging director should explore this piece. The way she writes and formats this script offers directors and actors many opportunities for unique, inspired choices.” – Oliver Mayes, Region 5 2020 SDC Fellow
querencia by Benjamin Benne (New Play Exchange)
“querencia is a queer Latinx coming-of-age story, written with care and brutal honesty by Benne. The beauty and magic of finding oneself is sprinkled throughout the framework of the piece, so is the (mental, at times physical) jarring reality of what it means to come out in a Latinx household. The characters and their reactions are so tangible to the Latinx experience, at times I felt like I was at my Tia’s house listening to her and my mother chismear.” – Ana Zambrana, Region 2020 SDC Fellow
The Sea Gals by Maiya Corral (script acquired for
restricted use for SDC only from Kelly Quinnett by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org)
“I want to give ownership of Chekhov’s canon back to those who have never had it.” – Maiya Corral, Region 7 SDC Fellow Alum
She Kills Monsters by Qui Ngyuen (Concord Theatricals)
“This play is so much fun! It embraces and celebrates diversity in all its forms within the text and descriptions and allows for lots of creative expression by way of casting, staging, costumes, music, etc. It would certainly be a challenge for directors who choose it, but would give them the opportunity to show off their own unique voice and style.” – Caity Petterson, Region 8 2020 SDC Co-Fellow
Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage (Dramatist Play Service)
“I’ve had the gift of reading and seeing this play performed live, and it is beautiful in its sentiment as well as in its full-of-life, complex characters, heartbreaking storyline, and simply in the compassion it must evoke in its audiences. This particular section gives the director an opportunity to explore intimacy and tension, emotional height and depth, and nuanced, complex conflict.” – Caity Petterson, Region 8 2020 SDC Co-Fellow