Directing Methodologies

Subject DRAM60024 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Southbank - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 76 hours
Total Time Commitment:

140 hours total time commitment

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Alyson Campbell


Tanya Gerstle

Subject Overview:

Directing Methodologies addresses knowledge and techniques specific to the discipline of directing for performance. Through skills classes and seminars the subject explores the role of the director as part of a creative team, defining the skills, qualities and processes that are essential to the practising professional director. The subject involves a series of practical workshops and seminar sessions with guest industry speakers concerned with different aspects of the role of the director, particularly in relation to the performer and to dramatic text. Areas of skill development include poetic research, creative exploration from text, journaling, text selection and analysis and the early stages of preparation for rehearsal and production. Directing Methodologies in semester 1 leads directly onto Applied Directing in semester 2. It will include:

1. Introduction to Directing (9 hours)

A seminar-based introduction to Directing considering the role and position of the director in contemporary theatre practice and students’ current thinking and creative aims for the coming year.

2. Nexus of Creative Practice and Research (50 hours)

Taking a text as a provocation, a series of workshops will explore practical creative approaches to researching and generating a vision for a project. This short introduction looks at the nexus between the director and researcher in creative methods and leadership roles. It involves traditional Asian and contemporary practices and kinaesthetic states and processes.

3. Seminars – Directing Methodologies and Reflective Practice (18 hours)

A series of practical seminars involving guest speakers and existing staff looking at major 20 th Century directing methodologies. It will focus on the role of critical reflection, processes with performers, dramaturgical analysis and compositional ideas in contemporary practice.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Begin to articulate a directing philosophy that has at its base the qualities of creativity and experimentation;
  • Understand the role of the director within the construct of a theatrical production, particularly the preparatory research and creative development stages.
  • Explore ways of connecting imaginatively with dramatic texts;
  • Articulate a vision for a production for different audiences (such as funding bodies, potential collaborators);
  • Create and maintain a creative journal;
  • Demonstrate a practical and theoretical understanding of ways of generating performance from text;
  • Develop a productive working method for the process of creative collaboration;
  • Demonstrate the ability to connect imagery and action
  • Identify creative potential in a playtext, along with its suitability for to fit within the parameters of specific production situations.
  • Actively participate in creative and pragmatic discussions;
  • Document, reflect upon and evaluate their own and others’ creative process;
  • Exhibit willingness and ability to engage in constructive peer discourse;
  • Reflect on their own work through processes of discussion, journal-keeping and reflective writing.
  • Critical discussions and practical project tasks (skill engagement, class participation, in-class presentation of practice/research) - Ongoing, up until Week 6 (60%)

  • Written work (2250 words) - Mid-Semester: Week 8 (40%)

  • Minimum 80% attendance - Hurdle Requirement
Prescribed Texts:

Barba, E. (1985) ‘The Nature of Dramaturgy: Describing Actions at Work’, New Theatre Quarterly, 1 (1), pp 75-78.

Bogart, A. and Landau, T. (2005) The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition. New York: Theatre Communications Group.

Fuchs, E. (2004) ‘E.F.’s Visit to a Small Planet: Some questions to ask a play,’ Theater, 34 (2), pp. 4-9

Schneider, R and Gabrielle Cody (eds.) (2002) Re:direction ATheoretical and Practical Guide. London and New York: Routledge.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Upon completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Create and organise aesthetic material
  • Use a range of research tools and methodologies
  • Solve problems
  • Lead others in the skills of problem solving
  • Interpret and analyse
  • Develop the capacity for critical thinking
  • Work as a leader showing initiative and openness
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Performance Creation
Master of Directing for Performance
Postgraduate Diploma in Performance Creation

Download PDF version.