2nd Edition

The Director as Collaborator

By Robert Knopf Copyright 2017
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Director as Collaborator teaches essential directing skills while emphasizing how directors and theater productions benefit from collaboration. Good collaboration occurs when the director shares responsibility for the artistic creation with the entire production team, including actors, designers, stage managers, and technical staff. Leadership does not preclude collaboration; in theater, these concepts can and should be complementary. Students will develop their abilities by directing short scenes and plays and by participating in group exercises.

    New to the second edition:

    • updated interviews, exercises, forms, and appendices
    • new chapter on technology including digital research, previsualization and drafting programs, and web-sharing sites
    • new chapter on devised and ensemble-based works
    • new chapter on immersive theater, including material and exercises on environmental staging and audience–performer interaction




    What Is Collaboration?

    The Core Action

    The Responsibilities of Collaboration

    Fundamental Techniques

    Supplemental Reading

    1 Collaboration and Leadership

    Balancing Leadership and Collaboration

    Supplemental Reading

    2 Core Action

    Story and Plot

    Exercise Critique

    Action Analysis

    Script Analysis

    Key Terms

    Supplemental Reading

    3 Collaboration in Rehearsal

    The First Scene Collaboration


    Sample Rehearsal Schedule

    Rehearsal Observations

    Videotaping Rehearsals

    Supplemental Reading

    4 Directing Elements

    Textual Elements


    Actions and Objectives

    Shifts and Key Moments



    Relationship and Status


    Visceral Elements

    Tempo and Rhythm

    Sound and Mood

    Visual Composition


    Stage Configurations




    Integrating Directing Elements

    Script Analysis

    Dramaturgy Checklist

    5 Design Collaboration

    Core Action Statements

    Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen

    The Baltimore Waltz by Paula Vogel

    The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter

    Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

    Design Timetable

    Key Terms

    Supplemental Reading

    6 Other Collaborators


    Readings and Staged Readings


    Music Directors and Choreographers

    Key Terms

    7 Collaboration and Technology

    Technology as a Tool for Collaboration

    Technologists and Technical Directors

    8 Devised and Immersive Theaters

    Devised Theatre

    Immersive Theatre

    9 Auditions and Casting

    Casting the One-Act Plays

    Audition Goals

    Supplemental Reading

    APPENDIX A Forms

    Project Proposal Form

    Sample Audition Notice

    Audition Form

    Sample Callback Form

    Sample Cast List

    Rehearsal Observation Form

    Producing Checklist

    Program Information

    Poster Information

    Course Outline

    APPENDIX B Glossary of Key Terms

    APPENDIX C Bibliography of One-Act Plays

    APPENDIX D Selected Bibliography







    Theater History and Theory





    Robert Knopf is Professor of Theater at the University of Buffalo. A theater director and scholar, he is the author of The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton (Princeton University Press, 1999). For Yale University Press, he co-edited Theater of the Avant-Garde, 1950-2000 (2011), and edited Theater and Film (2004), and Theater of the Avant-Garde, 1890-1950 (2015). For the stage, he has directed at Circle-in-the-Square Downtown, Cherry Lane Studio, Paradise Factory, Circle Rep Lab, and historic Town Hall, all in New York City. He served as dramaturg for the National Public Radio series The Archaeology of Lost Voices, for which he adapted and directed the docudrama Hidden Dragon. Prior to his current teaching position, he taught at Purdue University and the University of Michigan, where he was Director of Graduate Studies in Theater.