Over the course of May 2017 - February 2018, I examined the role of a theatre director in the development of a new play. The play that I directed was written by Brandon Adam, and is titled Nice Jewish X. We developed the play using three different forms of performances as guideposts and opportunities for feedback. The three forms of performance were a closed cold reading, a rehearsed open reading, and a fully staged and produced production. Over the course of this process, I worked closely with the playwright and helped facilitate his creative process, as well as explored what I could bring to a piece that was still in constant flux as I worked with actors and designers to bring the piece to life. Each draft of the play, and each step of the process, allowed me to explore how best to work with the playwright while working toward obtaining the most successful final product.
Most of my results came from looking back at the process in retrospect. I went through my notes and examined the experiences of myself and the rest of the production team. From this investigation I have been able to discern that the director’s role in the development process is one of facilitation of the process, similarly to that of a midwife. The director is meant to usher the play into the world, however it is not their job to create the story or to do the work of the playwright. I find that in my own experience of this process I was mostly successful in this, but I can see the examples of my own oversight and lack of decision making that held the play back from developing even further.
Mullins, Andrew, "The Director's Role in the Development of a New Play" (2018). Honors College Theses. 195.