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Thr 367 Fundamentals of Directing


COURSE# 97-367, Spring 2015

DATE AND TIME:   Tue/Thur: 9:40 am – 11:10 am


OFFICE HOURS:  Tue/Thur:  11:30-1:00, or by appointment

PHONE:  424-7050, EMAIL:

TEXT: Stage Directing, The First Experiences, 2nd edition, by Jim Patterson.
Supplemental Text: God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton; Dramatists Play Service, Inc.


  1. The student will learn basic directing techniques:  rudimentary blocking, play analysis, given circumstances, dialogue, rhythms, beats or units of action, and theme/idea.
  2. The student will identify and understand dramatic action, its purpose and the playwright’s intent.
  3. Introduction to the principles behind the elements of form, and the student will gain a basic knowledge of working with designers, actors, and technicians.
  4. The student will be exposed to a variety of rehearsal techniques including warm-up exercises, improvisation techniques, and acting exercises.  Basic rehearsal scheduling, casting and communication issues will be introduced.
  5. The student will establish an effective working ensemble for rehearsal, performance, and develop a stimulating and creative working environment.
  6. The student will be able to read a play, recognize its structure, and form an opinion or point of view to articulate the story.


In addition to the text, Stage Directing, you must purchase a copy of God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton.  God of Carnage will serve as a reference throughout the semester.  You will create a prompt book for this play.  The prompt book will contain all blocking and technical notes for the play.  In addition, you will submit designs for costumes, scenery, a floor plan, and lighting and sound notes in your prompt book.  A separate list of prompt book requirements will be given to you in class.  You will cast and direct a wordless scene for class with music and/or sound, details of specific requirements will be given to you in class.

You will be required to attend two UW Oshkosh productions:  The Boy Inside and O Pioneers.  You will be required to write a 3-5 page critical analysis of the directing of each production.  Critical analysis papers are due the Tuesday immediately following the close of the production.  Analysis papers are to be word processed in black ink, double-spaced, and are graded for both content and clarity; including grammar usage, spelling, and general writing skills.  Late papers will have one letter grade deducted from the total grade for every day the paper is overdue.

You will be required to take quizzes on readings form assigned chapters and on the play, God of Carnage.

The student is required to select, cast, and direct a final 10 minute play, and turn in a prompt book for that play.  The student will participate in discussion of readings from the text and in-class exercises.


Quizzes on chapters from text – 3 quizzes at 50 pts. each = 150 points
Critical Analysis for The Boy Inside and O Pioneers, 50 pts. each = 100 points
Wordless Scene – 50 points
Prompt Book for God of Carnage – 100 points
Prompt Book for final 10 minute scene – 100 points
10 minute scene – 100 points

TOTAL 600 points


There are no exceptions to this rule.


The total points for the class equal 600 and the grading scale is based on a “percentage of points” system, which translates to letter grades as follows:

Letter Grade




100 – 93

600 – 558


92.9 – 90

557 – 540


89.9 – 87

539 – 522


86.9 – 83

521 – 598


82.9 – 80

497 – 480


79.9 – 77

479 – 462


76.9 – 73

461 – 438


72.9 – 70

437 – 420


69.9 – 67

419 – 402


66.9 – 63

401 – 378


62.9 – 60

377 – 360


Less than 60

Less than 360



Feb. 12, Chapters 1&2 – quiz and discussion

Feb. 19, God of Carnage – quiz and discussion

Feb. 24, The Boy Inside – Critical Analysis due

Feb. 26, Chapters 3&4 – quiz and discussion

March 3, Wordless Scene performance

March 31, Prompt Book for God of Carnage due

April 7, Chapters 5&6 – quiz and discussion

April 9, Auditions for 10 minute scenes (tentative)

May 7, 12, and 14:  10 minute scene performances and prompt books for 10 minute scenes due.


Attendance is mandatory.  Students are expected to attend class and to be on time.   Everyone is allowed 3 absences for whatever reason:  sickness, emergency, etc.  For every unexcused absence beyond the 3 allowed absences, the end of semester grade will be lowered one grade level.  If you are sick, call or email the Professor BEFORE class begins.  Each unexcused absence will result in a 25 point deduction from the total semester points.  If you are late more than 3 times, a 25 point deduction will be taken from the total semester points.  If you are habitually late to class, points will be subtracted from the total semester points earned at the discretion of the Professor.  If there are questionable weather conditions, the Professor will follow the recommendations as recorded on the UW Oshkosh Weather line, (920-424-0000), and/or as announced on local television, radio, and UWO website.


ALL electronic devices must be turned off.  If you need to be contacted in case of an emergency, then give the phone numbers of the theatre office (424-7042) and /or campus security to the appropriate people and they will contact you.

Academic honesty and integrity is expected at all times.  Plagiarism or other cheating will result in zero on the assignment and appropriate official steps will be taken.

Papers will be graded on successful completion of criteria, grammar usage, spelling and standard writing skills.  Back-to-back pages are acceptable.  Papers need to be turned in on time, which is at the beginning of the class on the due date.

Treat everyone with respect.  Harassment of any form will not be tolerated, racial or sexual.  Use good judgment and appropriate behavior in class and in rehearsal.

Students are expected to rehearse outside of class time.

Students are expected to participate in class discussions and exercises.


by Alderson, James M last modified Feb 03, 2015 08:54 AM