Director’s Tools

“Director’s Tools” is a series of workshops & master classes that take on different topics about the craft of directing.  Each workshop is geared towards direct application of all ideas presented and include tips and tools for directors to incorporate into their own process.  I can also modify these workshops to become online conversations/workshops. Would you like a class on a different topic?  Fill out the form below and we’ll start the conversation!

Space.  It’s the foundation for all of our story-telling as directors: where things happen, the distance between characters, where that table is placed, the location of the big moment.  Space is at the core of our work as visual story-tellers of the play.  Yes, we must understand the text and meaning of the play, but that understanding must translate into a clear and compelling stage composition that supports the playwright’s story and the goals of the characters.

This workshop will focus on:

  • Staging for proscenium theaters
  • Dissecting the stage to discover meaning-making through spacial choices
  • Exploring options for storytelling through space

Participants will:

  • Watch, from the audience’s perspective, basic uses of space • Engage in discussions about staging choices and possibilities
  • Bring in questions and/or experiments to try, discuss, and learn

Have a great idea you’d like an actor to try?  Need to coach an actor to make a different choice?  Want to give critical feedback without the risk of offending an actor?  Of course you do!  It’s our job as directors to push, probe, and give feedback to actors to clearly tell the story of the play.  Successful directors find ways of working with actors to elicit the best performance from each actor, which takes a skilled approach to communication.  We’ll explore different approaches and tactics to create a supportive artistic environment that keeps the play at the center of the process.

This workshop will focus on:

  • Approaches and tactics to communicating effectively with actors
  • Defining language that creates supportive rehearsal process that results in a clear performance
  • Avoiding common communication mis-steps between directors and actors

Participants will:

  • Watch a demonstration of effective communication tactics
  • Engage in discussion about different topics & approaches of communication
  • Apply tactics with other participants and feedback on their experience

Describing your theatrical vision of a play can be challenging.  However, compelling theatricality through your design and production elements will lead to a successful production – so it is not a challenge we can avoid.  Design and tech, even when simple, play a huge role in the theatrical experience and a successful production depends on your ability to communicate and help create a theatrical world that supports the play.  Otherwise a light or sound cue is only functional rather than exciting and a prop or costume is adequate but helping tell the story.   The theatrical language is one of qualities and adjectives that are descriptive.  Theatricality creates excitement and interest in your audience and hooks them into the world you are creating.

This workshop will focus on:

  • Discovering theatrical language using specific examples from past productions
  • Exploring different ways of talking about a specific design elements and ideas

Participants will:

  • Watch examples of using theatrical language from past productions
  • Engage in discussion about different approaches to creating compelling theatricality with personal successes & failures
  • Apply using a theatrical language with other participants based on a selected moment of a play

How do “Director’s Tools” Workshops Work?

  1. We’ll start with a conversation about your needs and goals for the workshop as well as determining if you’d like a single session in a Master Class format or a multiple-session workshop.  After our first conversation I’ll send you a proposal that will include goals, learning materials, workshop logistics, and pricing.
  2. After we’ve agreed on the workshop details, I’ll send you learning materials to give your students prior to the workshop.
  3. On the day of the workshop, we’ll connect before your students arrive so we can start right on time and make the most of our time together.  Your students will leave with clear action-steps and other tools to assist them in furthering the conversations we started.
  4. After the workshop we can have a follow-up call to talk about the session and any questions that might have come-up later.  I’m committed to providing accessible learning that students will be able to continue to explore after our time together.

Start the Conversation

I can also modify these workshops to become online conversations/workshops. Would you like a class on a different topic? Our first conversation is on the house and you will not be under any financial obligation until we have agreed on all of the details. Which Director’s Tools workshop are you interested in? Reach out to me at for a quick response!