Take a Deeper Dive into Theatre Directing

Updated: Aug 21

Are students pre-occupied with the look of a scene? Focused on the big ideas and taking the bird’s-eye view? These are your directors-in-the-making. Share “Notes to a Young Director” Parts 1, 2, and 3 to give them a boost and access to candid ideas on creativity, collaboration, and professional tips to help get a young director started off in the right direction.

Part 1:  How Does a Young Director Get Their Start? 

Part 2:  Setting Up the Room

Part 3: On Being the New(ish) Artistic Director

A group of 2,300+ theatre directors were asked what the best books on directing are. These are the results.  We have highlighted the books we think are essential for all theatre folk! 


#1 - The Empty Space by Peter Brook #2 - A Director Prepares by Anne Bogart #3 - Backwards & Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays by David Ball and Michael Langham #4 - A Sense of Direction: Some Observations on the Art of Directing by William Ball #5 - The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition by Anne Bogart & Tina Landau #6 - Towards a Poor Theatre by Jerzy Grotowski #7 - Notes on Directing: 130 Lessons in Leadership from the Director's Chair by Frank Hauser & Russell Reich #8 - Tips: Ideas for Directors by Jon Jory #9 - Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal #10 - The Director's Craft: A Handbook for the Theatre by Katie Mitchell #11 - The Theatre and Its Double by Antonin Artaud #12 - Brecht on Theatre by Bertolt Brecht #13 - Play Directing: Analysis, Communication, and Style by Francis Hodge #14 - How To Read A Play: Script Analysis for Directors by Damon Kiely #15 - Directors on Directing edited by Toby Cole and Helen Krich-Chinoy #16 - On Directing by Harold Clurman #17 - Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp #18 - Craig on Theatre by Edward Gordon Craig #19 - Fundamentals of Play Directing by Alexander Dean and Lawrence Carra #20 - Experimental Theatre: From Stanislavski to Peter Brook by James Roose-Evans


Other recommended books: To The Director by Michael Chekhov; An Event in Space: JoAnne Akalaitis in Rehearsal; Thinking Like a Director by Michael Bloom; Meyerhold on Theatre by Vsevolod Meyerhold; The Vakhtangov Sourcebook by Yevgeny Vakhtangov; Unbalancing Acts: Foundations for a Theatre by Richard Foreman; Directors in Rehearsal by Susan Letzler Cole; Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film & Television by Judith Weston; The Directorial Image: The Play And The Director by Frank Alonzo McMullan; The Simple Stage: Its Origins in the Modern American Theater (Contributions in Drama and Theatre Studies) by Arthur Feinsod; Staging Modern Playwrights: From Director's Concept to Performance by Sidney Homan; The Director's Eye: A Comprehensive Textbook for Directors and Actors by John Ahart; Directing for the Stage: A Workshop Guide of Creative Exercises and Projects by Terry John Converse; On Film-making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director by Alexander Mackendrick and Paul Cronin; Sitting In a Dark Theatre - How to Direct a Play and Not Lose Your Mind by Nicole Dominguez Appleby; Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky; 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell; Creating Life Onstage by Marshall Mason; Words Into Action: Finding the Life of the Play by William Gaskill; Directing Plays, Directing People: A Collaborative Art by Mary B. Robinson; and The Theatrical Image by James H Clay.

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