Assignment: Write (in a separate document and then cut and paste here) a 3 – 6 page paper, typed and 1.5 or double-spaced. Advanced and 319 Directors, lean towards a 6 page paper. Paper topic is your directing proposal for a production for the play you would like to direct. Even for the scene book, the proposal should be for the whole play, not just the scene you are directing for class. Please include:
- What you believe to be the playwright’s intent, what he is trying to express or communicate through this play.
- Your Concept, how you ideally would like to interpret the play.
- Include what you would see as the “Spine” of the play. Use your final spine from your iterations/drafts in the spine section of this site.
- Flesh out the main idea of the spine and how it is connected to the given circumstances in your play. This is what we call the overall concept.
- Include relevant themes, metaphors and ideas you would like to explore.
- Why you want to direct this play, what significance it holds for you as well as for an audience. Why is it important?
In reading this paper, I am looking for disciplinary depth. A proposal paper in theatre is different than other kids of papers. Directing Concept Papers require attention in the following areas:
Choices. Make your spine the main through line of your paper. It is your ‘argument’. Yes you have to choose. No you can’t have lots of main ideas. If you have many ideas you would like to explore, pick one and then see how all the others can connect and support the main idea. These other ideas will then become themes and will make up the body of your paper. As long as you remember to always tie them back to the main idea. We need to follow the thread of your idea from beginning to end. Too many ideas (a bush) are not as strong as a one main idea that branches out (a tree). So if in other classes having lots of ideas showed how much you know, that will not necessarily help you here.
Less is more. In other classes you might be tempted to show how much you researched by including all your sources in the paper. Unless the quotes you use don’t clearly support your main idea, they are not useful here. Only cite sources that support your main idea.
Don’t be your own expert. Although you don’t want to include quotes extraneous to the main idea of your concept or your supporting themes, you do want to include citations and evidence supporting your main ideas. Don’t bank on your opinions being the only convincing evidence in your paper. Use sources.
Don’t Summarize the Play. This is not a book report. You do not need to give us a summary of the play, assume we have read the play. Your job is to interpret it for us.
Careful Attention to Language. The main job of a director is to communicate. Communicate to an audience. Communicate to designers. Communicate to actors. Strong and articulate thoughts, ideas and words communicate best. That’s why how you articulate in this paper is just as important as what you articulate. Beware of overly casual or informal tone or vocabulary. Lean towards professional. Avoid overly flowery language, seek to be specific and succinct. Avoid generalizations and too many ideas at once. Let clarity be your goal. Read your paper aloud to test the clarity of your ideas. Initial pitfalls will generally reveal themselves in a reading aloud.