Daily Dojo

Guidelines . . .

Theatre Director, playwright and Boston Blogger The Mirror up to Nature left a comment about Guidelines on my post Playwright As An Adult Who Can Chew Bubble Gum, Walk & Do Other Things, Too a couple days ago that I felt was due even more notice so I present it for the Dojo here (the emphasis are mine) . . .

I am a playwright, and a director.

I am currently directing a play for a new play festival. The following was included in the guidelines sent out to directors and to playwrights in the festival:

VERY IMPORTANT, READ THIS CAREFULLY: A focus of the festival and a hallmark of our success have been to highlight the work of local playwrights of extraordinary talent.

They are welcome to come to rehearsal and you should contact them early in the process to have a dialogue about their piece. Normally this tends to be informative and intriguing. However, you may hold some rehearsal without them if you feel you need some time alone with actors.

The roles of playwright and director are held with deep respect at our Company.

THIS CANNOT BE STATED MORE EMPHATICALLY.

Playwrights should not direct actors, do line-readings, mandate blocking, etc.

By the same token, directors should never change a line or stage direction in the script without permission of the playwright, and should not seek to alter the overall message or appeal of the play in any way.

We treat Playwrights with the utmost respect and kindness. If a conflict arises at any time, please contact me immediately so that we can clarify parameters and clear the air with professionalism.

Theatre is by nature a collaborative and nurturing art, however, it should also be treated as a professional one with clear roles for all involved, so that everyone is respected.

I have had a good experience so far with the playwright.

These are great guidelines for directing new work. I’d recommend them for everyone . . . that and this.

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