Directing as a Journey: A Personal Investigation of How and Why to Direct a Play
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Play directing is a personal art. While this thesis begins by making objective suggestions about how to direct a play, the majority of the document views directing through a personal rather than objective lens. This thesis principally explores how and why I directed Neil Simon's The Dinner Party. To answer these questions of how and why, I outline the journey I took to direct this play; my journey can be an analogy by which other directors can understand their own journeys. ln what follows, I conclude that I chose to direct a play in order to better serve the education systems in which I will work as a teacher in the coming years. I also conclude that I specifically chose to direct The Dinner Party because the most important parts of my life are reflected in this play. This thesis details many discoveries, both about the nature of directing and about my life. The main argument is that while life informs directing, directing also infonns life. In other words, completing this project improved both my understanding of directing techniques as well as my understanding of my own life and experiences. The goal of finding unity, both in one's life and in a play, is a theme in this thesis project. As a director, I must actively pursue unity in myself, in my technical and artistic work on a play, and between myself and my work on a play. This argument regarding unity is the fruit of my directing journey and adds to existing scholarship on play directing.