2nd Edition

The Art and Practice of Directing for Theatre

By Paul B. Crook Copyright 2025
    256 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The formation and communication of vision is one of the primary responsibilities of a director, before ever getting to the nuts and bolts of the process. The Art and Practice of Directing for Theatre Second Edition helps the young director learn how to discover, harness, and meld the two.

    Providing both apractical and theoretical foundation for directors, this book explores how to craft an artistic vision for a production, and sparks inspiration in directors to put their learning into practice. This new edition is fully revised to address changes in theatre since the Covid pandemic, new technology, intimacy direction, and inclusive practices. It features:

    • Guidance through day-to-day aspects of directing, including a director’s skillset and tools, script analysis, and rehearsal structure.
    • Advice on collaborating with production teams and actors, building communication skills and tools, and integrating digital media into these practices.
    • Discussion questions and practical worksheets covering script analysis, blocking, and planning rehearsals.
    • Updated references to reflect the changes in the theatre community and profession since the original writing.
    • Updated examples of studies and technology.

    This book is written for students in Theatre Directing courses, along with new and aspiring theatrical directors.

    The Art and Practice of Directing for Theatre Second Edition includes access to downloadable worksheets, available at www.routledge.com/9781032619514.

    Part 1: What Is a Director?  1. Purpose of a Director  2. Skills Directors Need  3. The Director’s “Rules”
     Part 2: Preparation  4. Approaching a Script  5. Auditions and Casting  6. Technology and Social Media
     Part 3: Planning and Organization  7. The Rehearsal Calendar  8. Scheduling Rehearsals
    Part 4: The Director in Rehearsal  9. Table Work and Blocking  10. Working and Running  11. Techs and Dresses  Part 5: Opening Night and Beyond  12. It’s open...what Now?  13. The Director’s Portfolio


    Paul B. Crook is the Executive Director of the Etherredge Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, on the campus of the University of South Carolina Aiken, where he additionally serves as a Professor of Theatre. With over 20 years as a director, actor, and educator, Paul has worked in theatres across the country, from New Mexico to Ohio. He spent several years as the Associate Artistic Director of the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, in Durant, OK, and was the Artistic Director of the B & B Theatre, in Ruston, LA, a small, professional company he started with his wife, Mary Fran. As an arts educator, prior to his arrival at USCA, Paul served as the Directing and Acting Professor at Louisiana Tech University, Director of Theatre at Andrew College, and was on the faculty of Shelton State Community College. Paul and Mary Fran have four delightful children and one delightful daughter-in-law: George (his wife, Abbi), CeCe, Bryant Ford, and Mary Ellis.