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The Directors Lab - Techniques, Methods, and Conversations About All Things Theatre

The Directors Lab

Techniques, Methods, and Conversations About All Things Theatre

Edited by Evan Tsitsias
Subjects: Nonfiction / Essays, Theatre Studies, Theatre Direction & Production
Imprint: Playwrights Canada Press
Paperback : 9780369100511, 440 pages, December 2019
Ebook (PDF) : 9780369100528, 250 pages, December 2019

Table of contents


Foreword By Anne Cattaneo

The Lab

Opening Remarks by Evan Tsitsias

Breakout Session

Three Vital Questions for a Director

Master Class

Heightened Language and the Art of Listening: Director as Guide by Jeannette Lambermont-Morey

Breakout Session

To Table Work or Not to Table Work

In Conversation with Directors

The Art of Adaptation: Peter Hinton Interviewed by Elif Işıközlü

Yvette Nolan Interviewed by Nancy McAlear

Akram Khan Interviewed by Elif Işıközlü

Master Class

Dramaturgy and New Play Development by Andrea Romaldi

Breakout Session

How to Speak to Actors

In Conversation with Playwright-Directors

Daniel MacIvor Interviewed by Briana Brown

Judith Thompson and Kat Sandler Interviewed by Richard Beaune

The Rules of the Game/Breaking the Rules: Morris Panych and Ken MacDonald Interviewed by Heather Cant

Brad Fraser Interviewed by Peter Pasyk

Master Class

Retreating to/Re-treating from “Irreconcilable Space”: Canadian Theatre Workers and the Project of Conciliation by Jill Carter

Breakout Session

A Lesson in Creative Disruption: A Note for Directors from a BIPOC Creator by Joseph Recinos

In Conversation with Artistic Directors

Curating Festivals: Josephine Ridge and Naomi Campbell Interviewed by Allegra Fulton and Heather Cant

Richard Rose Interviewed by Allegra Fulton

Master Class

Collaborating and Co-directing from the World Wide Lab

Great Things Happen When You Least Expect by Chang Nai Wen

The Pedagogy of Co-directing: Training the Next Generation of Theatre Directors Using the World Wide Lab (WWL) Model by Annie G. Levy

In Conversation with Musical Theatre Directors

The Revolution of Musical Theatre: Vincent de Tourdonnet Interviewed by Shelly Meichenbaum and Tracy Michailidis

The Manual

1. Inspiration

2. Entrance to the Piece

3. Hiring Your Team

From the Designer’s Perspective with Adam Spencer

4. Prep Work

5. After You’ve Hired/Assembled the Team

6. Casting

7. First Day of Rehearsal

8. Building an Ensemble

From the Designer’s Perspective

9. Getting the Cast on Its Feet

10. Scene Work

11. Monologues

12. Rehearsals

Into the Darkness/Technical Rehearsals—From the Designer’s Perspective

13. Technical Rehearsals

14. Previews

15. Opening Night

16. After the Storm

17. Keeping Yourself Inspired

From the Movement-Based Director’s Perspective with Allyson McMackon

Closing Remarks


About the Contributors

About the Editor


After spending ten years in international Directors Lab programs—first in New York and Chicago, then co-founding Directors Lab North in Toronto—Evan Tsitsias has amassed an extensive amount of advice, examples, and notes that prove essential reading for theatre creators and artists across disciplines. Combined with master classes and interviews with established, emerging, and mid-career directors, this manual is an artistic, logistic, and pedagogical exploration into the mechanics of theatre creation through the lens of a director. With so much useful material, readers become honorary “labbies,” ready to leave their own mark on the theatrical landscape. The book includes a foreword by Anne Cattaneo and writing and interviews from Peter Hinton, Akram Khan, Daniel MacIvor, Morris Panych, Andrea Romaldi, Kat Sandler, Judith Thompson, Vincent de Tourdonnet, and many more.


Tsitsias has assembled a crucial volume of knowledge on the craft of directing.

- TDR (The Drama Review)

Tsitsias's text shapes an intellectual space for artists, especially directors, across the country to find collaborators to pair with in the still-thriving new works scene. [...] Directors reading the text are likely to be inspired by the details advice interviewees provide regarding their success directing new works.

- Shadow Zimmerman