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Director's Toolbox 1: Teaching Students to Direct

Created by James Van Leishout

In this course, James Van Leishout explores why students should direct, and covers the first two tools in the director’s toolbox: self and the script. What background should every director have? Why should they learn to love research? What should happen in the first four reads of a script?
With every step along the way, there will be exercises and activities your student directors can take on before they step into the rehearsal process.

8 Modules
2 hours, 12 minutes
3 Credit Hours

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Introduction 5:17 FREE PREVIEW
This lesson introduces the course and lays out the details for lessons 2-8.
Lesson 2: Why Students Should Direct 17:22 FREE PREVIEW
This lesson discusses why students should direct in more detail and introduces the tools of self and script.
Lesson 3: The Tool of Self 17:19
This lesson examines a director's training by answering three questions. One, why a student director needs to be a student of their own craft? Two, why a student needs to be culturally literate, especially in theatre, as well as the arts, politics and history, and science and technology? Three, how to help the student director develop a love of research through a nimble mind and an insatiable curiosity?
Lesson 4: The First Read 23:10
Lesson 4 covers the first read of the play, the gestalt and first impressions. Students read the play to garner a sense of the whole play. Students should record their first impressions in the script.
Lesson 5: The Second Read 27:15
In the second read, students will identify the elements of the play, i.e., plot, character, theme, language, music and spectacle. Play structure will be discussed as part of the plot element.
Lesson 6: The Third Read 20:35
The third read takes a closer look at the recurring themes, allusions, motifs and symbols, which lead to a unifying vision, metaphor or concept.
Lesson 7: The Fourth Read 15:25
Lesson 07 covers the fourth read, which applies the proverbial Procrustean bed and creates a battle plan.
Lesson 8: Recap 5:57
Lesson 08 reviews the course and looks at the next course (Director's Toolbox 2).

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Standards Addressed

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