Preparation

The two directors are expected to choose a section from the original play script being considered that week or to use one of the excerpts from modern adaptations provided in the module reader. The approach they are required to adopt in their direction will be issued by the module convenor on the module’s Web CT news board by 12 noon on the Monday of the lecture week.

When choosing a section of script, directors should be concerned primarily with its potential for performance, the length of time it takes to perform, and whether it allows them to explore the approach issued by the module convenor. It will not always be necessary to use all of your group in the performance: some plays may not contain parts for everyone in your group.

Most directors choose a single, continuous section from the script. However, you are not obliged to do so. You may choose to jump between scenes, or to cut lines as you see fit. This approach would obviously require you to reproduce the edited script in the instructions you send to your group. If you decide to reproduce the script in this way it will not count towards the 1,500 word limit for your instructions.

The timing of the piece is very important. Directors should carry out a timed read through of the section to be presented before the workshop. They should also calculate the amount of time taken up by silence/movement etc. It is essential that the performance does not over-run the five minutes allotted. If it does so, the tutor will have to intervene and stop the performance so that all groups have an equal opportunity to present their work. You will not be penalised for a shorter performance (within reason!). A short, well thought-through, three-minute piece would be preferable to an under-prepared epic which will inevitably be cut short half way through.

The first hour of the workshop is dedicated to rehearsal time. If it is clear during this hour that you have underestimated the amount of time the section will take, you should take the opportunity to cut it short.

When planning the performance presentation, you should bear in mind that any member of your group could be ill and unable to attend the workshop. You will need to consider strategies for dealing with this situation, so that your performance can still go ahead. You may have to ask another member of the group to step in or even participate in the performance yourself if necessary.