module specification

SM5056 - Directing 1 (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Directing 1
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 20%   Presentation 10 minutes
Practical Examination 50%   Workshop 20 minutes
Coursework 30%   Essay 1,500-2,000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module functions as an introduction to skills and concepts behind directing both in theory and practice. Students will study key directing practitioners. They will be introduced to the role and function of the director, focusing on the relationship with the performer. They will study and apply basic directing techniques and explore and analyse the directorial process. Much of the work will be text based, using a set text as a starting point.

Module aims

• To examine critically and to problematise the process of directing.
• To provide a practical and theoretical understanding of the role of the director in a cultural and historical context.
• To introduce and explore and apply basic directorial skills.
• To encourage students to pursue individual research into the role of the director based on the methodologies of selected practitioners


This module will be a research and practice based approach to investigating the methodologies of selected directors/practitioners. The module will facilitate the application of appropriate contemporary theoretical approaches to an analysis of the role and function of the director, focusing on their relationship with the performer. The work done in class will centre round a selected text in order to give the module a specific focus for research activities.

Students will be given opportunities to apply ideas and concepts in practice in a series of staff and student led workshops.

Learning and teaching

Tutor and student-led workshops, lectures and seminars. Student led work will be evaluated by peers and lecturer. These will include introduction of key material in lectures and assessed student presentations. Students will be expected to undertake fieldwork in the form of attendance at productions.

Learning outcomes

On completing this module students will be able to:

• understand, evaluate and articulate in oral and visual presentation and written documentation, an understanding of the role and function of the director in a cultural and historical context.
• to work collaboratively and take a leadership role when appropriate.
• to plan and deliver a workshop and rehearsal based on a short scene from a selected text. 
• analyse a text from a director’s perspective using a range of theoretical and directorial approaches.
• work collaboratively in a group and take a leadership role when appropriate and to respond to the needs of others.

Assessment strategy

This module functions as a foundation for Directing 2. Assessment is weighted equally between theory and practice placing an emphasis on the need for a theoretical context for the practical work.

  1. Presentation: 20% (10 minutes)
    The presentations develop and enable oral communication skills and develop and assess independent research skills. Students are encouraged to use a range of media. This presentation focusses on their response to working on a set text and they are required to demonstrate an intellectual and aesthetic engagement with the text from a director’s viewpoint.
  2. Workshop Assessment: 50% (20 minutes)
    Students are required to prepare a rehearsal exercise that helps unlock the text. The exercise must have a specific aim and objective and they must plan and deliver this, working with students from the group. A plan of the outline will be handed in at the end of the exercise and the workshop will be open to discussion with staff and peers.
  3. Essay: 30% (1500-2000 words)
    This will be an analysis of the set text director’s perspective.  Using critical theory and research as a starting point they will be required to write about how they can put theory into practice both in terms of process and product.


Barba, E. 2010. On Directing and Dramaturgy Routledge
Bartow, A. 1988. The Directors Voice Theatre Communications Group
Braun, E. 1982. The Director and the Stage Methuen
Brook, P. 1983. The Empty Space Penguin
Delgado, M. & Heritage, P. 1996. In Contact With the Gods? Directors Talk Theatre M U Press
Delgado M. M. & Rebellato eds., 2010. Contemporary European Directors Routledge
Letzler Cole S 1992. Directors in Rehearsal Routledge
Luckhurst, M. & Giannachi, G. 1999. On Directing Faber and Faber
Mitchell, K. 2009. The Director’s Craft Routledge
Mitter, S. 1992. Systems of Rehearsal Rouledge
Mitter, S. and Shevtsova, M. eds., 2005. Fifty Key Theatre Directors Routledge 
Shepherd, S. 2012. Direction: Readings in Theatre Practice Palgrave Macmillan
Zarrilli, P. B. 2009. Psychophysical Acting: An Intercultural Approach after Stanislavski Routledge