Director must die in his actors!

(directors' quotes page) Directing, Director
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* THR331 * Directing: Laws, Rules, Principles * Topics : Stage Event = Subjective Time + Dramatic Space * *

TOPICS: drama + comedy + postmodern + time + space + show + spectacle + audience + theory + public +
In the most basic terms, the director is a production's primary storyteller. A play has only one plot (including subplots), but it contains many potential stories. The interpretation of the primary characters largely determines the story, so in effect, every production of the same play will inevitably tell a different tale. One of the most important functions a director fulfills is determining, with the actors and designers, which story to tell and how to tell it coherently. --Michael Bloom
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Broadway tickets at TickCo. Get the best available Mary Poppins tickets as well as tickets to Wicked and Disney's High School Musical tickets.

Stage Directing Theory
Directing Theory: pre-text, text and super-text
2007: blocking * textbook * *
Acting One
Fundamentals : BioMethod
Required *
Mise en scene

What directors must do and what they shouldn't do!

Director as Spectator

Script Analysis Directory & DramLit


Featured Pages: Film Directing SCENES for classes:

3 Sisters (drama)

Hamlet (tragedy)

Mikado (comedy) or 12th Night or The Importance of Being Earnest or Inspector General or ...

See Theatre Theory Directory

Concept and Vision: what's the difference?

Sister-page DIRECT @ THR w/Anatoly

Use Dictionary and 200X Files for terminology!

Read DoD (Directors on Directing): Nemirovich-Danchenko "The Three Faces of the Director" (p. 119)

1. Actor and Teacher
2. Mirror
3. Organizer

Stanislavsky: Director = Artist, Teacher, Organizer

[ Product of Industrial Age and Realism? ]

Director, who makes visible the Invisible

Must die in his actors?

Must die in the text of the play?

Must die in the design? Must die in his show...

When director becomes visible, bad theatre begins. Same with acting, lighting. We must see only the character, forgetting the actor!

We shouldn't even remember that the show was directed!

Text must die in the show...

I recommend you read the pages on film directing to understand the art of mise-en-scene. You see, camera is simply emphasizes th drama; it come to the CU (as a "flying spectator") to lokk deeper into actor's eyes, flies away to give the sense of the enviroment on MS or LS. In the only page on "acting for the camera" I write about applications of the Biomechanics for the camera acting (partner in every scene = audience)!

2003 new: 2004 * 2006-2007 *


Artaud's First Manifesto:
Theatre requires expression in space ("the only real expression")
art and speech are linked
"theatre will not be given its specific powers of action until it is given its language" (page 55).
we need to get rid of "the subjugation of the theatre to the text, and to recover the notion of a kind of unique language half-way between gesture and thought" (page 55).
theatre extends speech beyond words—it develops in space.
this is the realm of intonation and pronunciation
but the visual language of objects, movements, attitudes and gestures also work here.
the combinations of all of these create an 'alphabet' out of the signs.
Virtual Theatre
Next directing class (updates) in 2005 *


Evaluation of Directing:
Play/Production: _______
Director's Name:


Visual Elements:



Names of Principle Actors and Characters:

Supporting Actors & Characters:

Evaluating the Designs:
Scene Designer/Set:


Vsevolod Meyerhold (1874-1940)– a "dictatorial style."


Theatre must be a function —i.e.. something localized and precise.
"The theatre will never find itself again—i.e., constitute a means of true illusion, except by furnishing the spectator with the truthful precipitates of dreams" (page 57).
Theatre must:
examine all aspects of the objective and descriptive external world.
examine all aspects of the internal world (i.e. the metaphysical)

Artaud, THE THEMES: he profound links which artists make between thought and action used to interpret the whole spectacle don't concern the spectator who is usually not interested. "But still they must be there; and that concerns us" (page 59).

THE SPECTACLE: every spectacle has a physical and objective element perceptible to everyone.
Examples: cries, groans, apparitions, all theatricalities, beautiful costumes, lighting, beautiful voices, etc.

Vsevolod Meyerhold


Director is making too many choices to be free. He is married to the play, to the cast, specific stage... All is left is follow your own choices. Director is a slave of directions...

What is the major purpose of an educational theatre?

To provide students with experience in acting, stage management, scene painting... and to expose the community to "good" drama.

* great directors * 20th century (a few mostly Russians):







“The theatre must not forever rely upon having a play to perform, but must in time perform pieces of its own art” (144)." Gordon Craig *

Script Analysis

Theatre Books Master Page *

The is nothing but -- msc. sum of director's functions!

DRAMA -- 3 Sisters Notes: 3sisPR 1scene 2scene Andrey Andrey2 Doctor Masha Vershinin Vershinin2 Vershinin3 prod.notes (for monologue study: script - actor - director)

Stage vs. Film (where?) Primary motion and secondary motion. Directing for Camera vs. Directing Camera! (Screen Page?)

2006 and 2007 ...

Directing Index * Part I * Part II * Part III * Part IV * Part V *
* Thr w/Anatoly * 200 Aesthetics * Acting * Script * Books * Film Directing * Theatre Theory * Write * Spectator * Classes * Plays * Students * Virtual Theatre * FILM-NORTH * BioMechanics * SHOWS * Bookmark vTheatre! METHOD Acting for Directors * HAMLET * Mailing List * Anatoly's Blog *

* Virtual Theatre * *

Stage Director

I thought that Meyerhold will be the master-teacher in this class, but he is very busy with biomechanics, acting II class I teach more often. I even reoriented the course, calling it "Stagematix: Directing for Actors" -- well, because I feel that actors need understandting of director's mindset more that directors. Besides, THR331 Fundamentals of Directing is the basics on stage directions.


The best short answer I have is The Book of Spectator.

Director is the soul of spectator.

Of course, different directors represent different public, but all of them represent the theatre revolution of the 20th century, when the audience took over the stage...

How different the production process from the past, when playwrights, managers and lead-actors were "directing" shows?

Very different. Drama ruled the western stage for centuries. Not anymore. No more...

I. How to establish the genre? Comedy, first. What is Comical?

II. Style (and your style). What is it?

III. Dramatic Composition and Mise-en-Scene: Director as Playwright

IV. Visual Composition (working with designers, space and time): Director - Artist

V. Subjective Time and the Show's Chronotope: Chronotop of the Spectator's Experience.

VI. Public, Audience, Spectator

Between the Text and Actors: Character Analysis (see Acting Directory: Method, or Biomechanics)

[ see film directing pages @ ]

Space and Time: Stage Event
Working with the SUBJECTIVE time. POV and subjective space. DRAMATIC space-time: chronotope. More in Film Directing

Directing, Acting, Thr w/Anatoly

Part I: Plays
Part II: Actors
Part III: Stage
Part IV: Public
Part V: Hamlet, showcase

In Class

Comedy: Scenes from 12th Night. Olivia and Viola first scene. Or Taming of the Shrew *

What is your Hamlet scene (midterm)? Must post to the List.

Making Scenes

Vsevolod Meyerhold had a hot temper, he was difficult, but he was Master (I'll call him "Master" from now on, for simplicity). I want to let you hear the dialogues Master and I have during the classes I teach:

MASTER: Ask them, if they read my books.
ANATOLY: They didn't, Master.
MASTER: Not a single one?
ANATOLY: Sorry. But I assigned them to read your "The Theater Theatrical" in the textbook, pages 164-184 (Directors on Directing)...
MASTER: What else is that book? Anybody I know?
ANATOLY: Stanislavsky, of course. Vakhtangov, Okhlopkov...
MASTER: What is this moron doing in the same book with me?

[ to be continued ]
2004 & After

projects: Oedipus 2005

new: Taming of the Shrew 2004

missing: film acting

directing wish list (short):



Virtual Theatre: Directing, Acting, Drama, Theory

playsChekhov, Ibsen, Shakespeare

Class One Act: Proposal Chekhov

ReadSpeaker AudioFeed - Podcast of this blog

1. play


2. actor(s) <-- DIRECTOR --> 3. stage (designers)


4. public

Here are again the four parts: director & script, director & actor, director & space, director & public

Hamlet = showcase *

... Actors, Producers, and Directors * U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

Actors endure long periods of unemployment, intense competition for roles, and frequent rejections in auditions.
Formal training through a university or acting conservatory is typical; however, many actors, producers, and directors find work on the basis of their experience and talent alone.
Because earnings for actors are erratic, many supplement their incomes by holding jobs in other fields.

In 2002, actors, producers, and directors held about 139,000 jobs, primarily in motion picture and video, performing arts, and broadcast industries. Because many others were between jobs, the total number of actors, producers, and directors available for work was higher. Employment in the theater, and other performing arts companies, is cyclical—higher in the fall and spring seasons—and concentrated in New York and other major cities with large commercial houses for musicals and touring productions. Also, many cities support established professional regional theaters that operate on a seasonal or year-round basis. About one fourth of actors, producers, and directors are self-employed.

... Median annual earnings of salaried actors were $23,470 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $15,320 and $53,320. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $13,330, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $106,360.

... According to Equity, the minimum weekly salary for actors in Broadway productions as of June 30, 2003 was $1,354. Actors in Off-Broadway theaters received minimums ranging from $479 to $557 a week as of October 27, 2003, depending on the seating capacity of the theater. Regional theaters that operate under an Equity agreement pay actors $531 to $800 per week. For touring productions, actors receive an additional $111 per day for living expenses ($117 per day in larger, higher cost cities).

Some well-known actors—stars—earn well above the minimum; their salaries are many times the figures cited, creating the false impression that all actors are highly paid. For example, of the nearly 100,000 SAG members, only about 50 might be considered stars. The average income that SAG members earn from acting—less than $5,000 a year—is low because employment is erratic. Therefore, most actors must supplement their incomes by holding jobs in other occupations.

** Median annual earnings of salaried producers and directors were $46,240 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $31,990 and $70,910. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,300, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $119,760. Median annual earnings were $56,090 in motion picture and video industries and $38,480 in radio and television broadcasting.

Many stage directors belong to the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC), and film and television directors belong to the Directors Guild of America. Earnings of stage directors vary greatly. According to the SSDC, summer theaters offer compensation, including “royalties” (based on the number of performances), usually ranging from $2,500 to $8,000 for a 3- to 4-week run. Directing a production at a dinner theater generally will pay less than directing one at a summer theater, but has more potential for generating income from royalties. Regional theaters may hire directors for longer periods, increasing compensation accordingly. The highest-paid directors work on Broadway and commonly earn $50,000 per show. However, they also receive payment in the form of royalties—a negotiated percentage of gross box office receipts—that can exceed their contract fee for long-running box office successes.

Stage producers seldom get a set fee; instead, they get a percentage of a show’s earnings or ticket sales.

For general information about theater arts and a list of accredited college-level programs, contact: National Association of Schools of Theater, 11250 Roger Bacon Dr., Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190. Internet:

Also, on profession *


Director's responsibilities: text, actors, stage (designers). Once I wrote a paper "24hour Actor" -- but this around the clock artistic existing even more true for directors (or any artist).


Floor plans: "9 squares" (use for your scene). Big and Bigger -- laughter. Mikado, Importance of Being Earnest, Inspector General.

[ back to our Hamlet showcase directory ]


To use Dangerous Liaisons for showcasing? Or Don Juan for directors? Drama and tragic comedy. No, thanks. Stay with Shakespeare, if it's stage directions.
Director as Spectator. The concept of spectatorship. [back to Title] Acting-Monologue

KEY concepts to talk in class:

ACTION -- The Law of the inner justification: motivation. WHY

Logic and Common Sense as the baseline in directing

"Fight with the Text" (Stage Languages -- and stage sentences): subtext and counter-text (examples from your scene -- homework)

New Profession: write in your journals, why director emerged in the history of theatre so late.

[ the joint directing-acting classes : Spring 2003 -- Acting One and Acting Two together with the directing class! ]

(Where is the form I give to the class on the first day? Director's resume at the end of the semester? Do not let them into Film directing unless they take Stage Directing! Can I find a week in Stagematrix for the camera work?)

Spring 2003: better use of the textbook (see Amazon in the right table) [ What is the difference between film and stage directing? ]

@2001-2003 film-north *

Agents make money by getting an actor work. The standard commission of 10% of the actor's earnings is normally deducted directly from the paycheck. In order to get an agent, an actor must interview. For example, an actor interested in doing commercials should seek an agent who specializes in them. Some agencies are exclusively for commercials, other large theatrical agencies (meaning film & television) have commercial departments. There are publications such as Lawrence Parke's The Agencies (available for about $10 at Samuel French bookstore, 7623 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood) which describe each agency and its specialization. Agents must be both licensed by the state and franchised by the unions. A list of franchised agencies is available from acting unions such as SAG, the Screen Actors Guild, at (213) 954-1600 or online at

Casting: Actors are selected to play roles through a process called casting. It occurs in several phases including a review of head shots and resumés, interviews, auditions, and callbacks. For famous actors, casting may only involve negotiations with talent agents and personal managers. Casting may be open or closed, union or non-union, and on the professional level is usually announced only in the trade papers. Open casting implies that anyone can try out, unless it is a union project in which case only those who are members will be heard. Closed casting implies that only a select group will be considered, such as in the case of a stage acting company which casts from among its members, or a university that limits casting to theatre majors only.
In a sense, commercials are closed cast because they are conducted directly through agents and not publicly announced. To do casting work most efficiently, some form of sifting is usually employed. For example, some actors may be eliminated purely on the basis of their picture and resumé, others are washed out in an interview, and those that survive are invited to actually read for a part. When an audition does not employ any presifting, and all comers are heard, it is often referred to as a cattle-call. In most cases the actors who are most suited for roles are given a callback, which means they are invited to read again to help those doing the casting to make up their minds. At a callback one actor is often reading against others, meaning that they are being compared. One of the things that a director is looking for in a callback is the actor's ability to take direction. This means being able to change some aspect of the reading in response to specific coaching. For instance, the director may say: "Can you do that scene again as though you are proud of yourself?" An audition may be public or private. In a public setting everyone who is auditioning is in the same room serving as an audience to the readings. In a private audition, actors are read individually, often against actors hired just to read the other parts.

Directing (quotes):

"The essence of cinema does not lie in the images, but in the relation between the images!" Eisenstein, 1926

"Images ought not to signify ideas, but rather to construct and motivate them..." Eisenstein

"...outside of agitation, the cinema does not exist." Montage of Cine-Attractions

"One learns by teaching others. Pedagogy is transitive. Or it isn't pedagogy" Augusto Boal

Directing is the art of manipulation. Directing is the science of control. Anatoly

You direct or you are directed. Anatoly

Directing is imposing the slavery. The rest is freedom. A

Direct, follow or get lost. From the Greeks

Directing is a thought. AA

"I am often asked why I don't pass on to young people what I have accomplished over the years. Actually, I would like very much to do so. Ninety-nine percent of those who worked as my assistant directors have now become directors in their own right. But I don't think any of them took the trouble to learn the most important things." Akira Kurosawa

The worse choice is not making one. Anatoly

"The role of director encompasses the coaching of the actors, the cinematography, the sound recording, the art direction, the music, the editing and the dubbing and sound-mixing. Although these can be thought of as separate occupations, I do not regard them as independent. I see them all melting together under the heading of direction." Kurosawa

"With a good script a good director can produce a masterpiece; with the same script a mediocre director can make a passable film. But with a bad script even a good director can't possibly make a good film. For truly cinematic expression, the camera and the microphone must be able to cross both fire and water. That is what makes a real movie. The script must be something that has the power to do this." Kurosawa

Method Acting for Directors:

Fall 2005: mini-chekhov main stage *

«The Method was all build up by the media into something it's not. I started the Actors Studio. That was my idea. I got Lee Strasberg in- a born teacher. Lee formulated The Method. But all really good actors live by their spiritual content. It's about when the emotion is real and not simulated. Brando - that's real thing. He wouldn't say he worked with The Method.» (Elia Kazan, Photoplay, August 1983)

"Don't shout like that. When actors are shouting they can't variegate their voice. When I was young I worked with Constantine Sergejievich (Stanislavski). He believed I was loudmouth and forced me to speak softer. But I didn't understand and subverted myself..." - Meyerhold

"Actors work to all intents starts after the premier. I believe that a performance is never ready in premier. And that is not because we didn't have the time to, but because it matures only in front of the audience." - Meyerhold

"Films are never completed. They're only abandoned." -- George Lucas

"There are no rules in film-making. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness." -- Frank Capra

"Comedy is tragedy in long shot." -- Charlie Chaplin

"The main thing about directing is: photograph the people's eyes." -- John Ford

"If a person can tell me the idea [of a film] in twenty-five words or less, it's going to make a pretty good movie. I like ideas, especially movie ideas, that you can hold in your hand." -- Steven Spielberg

"Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater." -- Roman Polanski

"In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director." -- Alfred Hitchcock

"I write scripts to serve as skeletons awaiting the flesh and sinew of images." -- Ingmar Bergman

"... every work has its own style." Peter Brook, Empty Space, 15

"Arthaud applied is Arthaud betraied." Peter Brook, Empty Space, 54

new: (total directing) - bookmark!

"The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working." - Ernest Newman

"He who works with his hands is a labourer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist." ~ Francis of Assisi

new 2003 domain *

The director is simply the audience.... His job is to preside over accidents. --Orson Welles


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