The Theater Director's Primer (Paperback)

The Theater Director's Primer By Gary Cohen Cover Image

The Theater Director's Primer (Paperback)


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While actors may be the heartbeat of a theatrical performance, the director is its soul. Whether you're directing a comedy or a drama, under a marquee or under an oak tree, as the director, you're responsible for coordinating and scheduling every aspect of the show, and you're the one who gives it its energy, professionalism, and sense of purpose.

In The Theater Director's Primer, you'll find a pragmatic vision of directing that helps you set a standard of high quality from preproduction to first rehearsal to opening night. Gary P. Cohen takes you through every step of directing, sharing lessons from thirty-five years of experience in settings ranging from high school auditoriums to one of the largest summer stock theaters in the United States. He gives you sage advice for staging any production, including how to:

  • research a show
  • develop and refine its concept
  • adapt its script to fit a space and work with a stage manager
  • cast actors and tease out their best performances
  • schedule preproduction duties, rehearsals, and tech weeks
  • get along with a producer
  • keep a show fresh during an extended run.
In addition, Cohen details how to build a directing career with tips on how to find and secure a directing job and specifics about working at each type and level of theater.

Whether you are a first-time director at a community theater, an English teacher directing the high school musical, a guest artist at a university, or a seasoned professional working regionally, The Theater Director's Primer will provide the insight and practical knowledge you need to create a successful show that will please the participants, the producers, the audience, and, most important, you.

Gary P. Cohen is the producing director of Plays-in-the-Park, a respected summer theater in New Jersey, where he has directed more than fifty plays and musicals. In the early 1970s he founded a 100-seat semiprofessional theater, where he honed his craft before joining Plays-in-the-Park in the 1980s. He is the author of The Community Theater Handbook (Heinemann, 2003).
Product Details ISBN: 9780325007274
ISBN-10: 0325007276
Publisher: Heinemann Drama
Publication Date: July 27th, 2005
Pages: 128
Language: English