Directors perform a number of very important functions in today’s director driven theatre. They are the arbiter of how the story will be told to an audience, receiving and assimilating the creative efforts of actors and designers into a mix that reinforces their concept or vision of how the script should come to life for an audience. In rehearsals, they stage the actor’s movements and give them the moments in the script these movements should occur. They also help the actors discover who their characters are, their purpose for being in a scene, what they want from the other characters and how they’ll go about getting it. The director understands the script’s primary conflicts and how all the characters factor into it – whose side they’re on, who they teamup with to get what they want, and who or what their greatest obstacles to victory are.
Part One: Write about THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST OR DEATH OF A SALESMAN – Pick any scene in the play, identify it in some way that would be clear to me, then write about the character relationships, what they want from each other and the ways they try to get what they want in both dialogue and action.
Part Two: Analyze the comedy or the drama of the scene. What is funny or dramatic about this scene? Does the comedy or drama require a certain pace or rhythm? Is it physical comedy or tragic drama? Are there operative words that would need to be heightened or deadened to be funny or dramatic? Give five examples of key or operative words or phrases in the scene you chose that should be funny or dramatic if delivered and acted correctly.
Part Three: Pick any fifteen lines in succession in the script and “cut/paste” them into a theatre script like format (if unsure, look at your copy of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST to see how a script is structured). Then, under each line type in italics the staging you would give your actors. With your staging, you must tell the story of the play “in actions” – while being true to the character relationships and adding to the drama or humor of the scene when appropriate.