BA Drama / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Directors Project

Course unit fact file
Unit code DRAM30412
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Drama
Available as a free choice unit? No


Please note that this unit is delivered on-campus only and is therefore not available to remote learners

This module provides students with an opportunity to learn about and practice different approaches to directing text for theatre and performance. Students will work through workshops, discussions, observed rehearsals and supervision sessions towards a practical assessment of a short directed performance of a play excerpt. Written assessment involves critical reflection on the process of practice throughout the module.


Pre-requisite units


Any L1 Drama Study or Practical core option

Any L2 Drama Study core option - Practitioners in Context 1; Practitioners in Context 2; Screen, Culture and Society

At least one 20 credit L2 Drama practical course

Co-requisite units






  • To explore the role of the theatre director in the realisation of text-based performance
  • To prepare students for professional practice in directing and stage management
  • To develop student’s abilities to investigate practical methods and critical perspectives in theatre practice, with a focus on theatre directing

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of a variety of working approaches to directing for theatre and performance
  • Work with dramatic texts from a number of different traditions, specifically focusing on textual analysis and the process of taking a text from page to stage
  • Work in a team to produce a short piece of theatre, in collaboration with their peer group and with technical staff
  • Consider the relationship between the director, the actor, the text and the performance stage
  • Evaluate and apply a process of critical enquiry to the effectiveness of their working process and final presentation outcomes.


Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the various relationships possible between text, actor, theatrical space and spectator
  • Develop an understanding of, and critically engage with and make use of in their own reflective practice, distinct kinds of writing about directing (including writing by professional directors, researchers, reviewers, and actors as well as critical writing about theatre practice
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of key aspects of practical and intellectual approaches to directing and theatre production


Practical skills

  • Articulate an understanding of and make use of a range of directing techniques in making theatre production
  • Develop an interpretation of text/performance into a coherent theatrical performance
  • Demonstrate awareness and apply professional standards and industry practices in the area of theatre directing
  • Work collegially and productively with technical and administrative staff in an arts centre in order to realise theatre production
  • Offer constructive feedback to peers and revise their own approach in response to feedback


Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Advanced interpersonal communication and team-working skills
  • Critical thinking skills and creative group-work practice skills (problem-solving, thinking innovatively, drawing on creative approaches of others, evaluating arguments, giving and receiving feedback, time-keeping)
  • Using effective leadership and group-work skills to solve complex problems
  • Performing with confidence and precision for specific audiences/contexts, making use of diverse creative approaches and media


Employability skills

Group/team working
¿ Ability to work independently and as part of a group to conceive, plan, undertake and evaluate original, well-developed projects that involve complex and unpredictable scenarios ¿ Ability to work independently and as part of a group to solve problems arising from engaging with challenging and unpredictable scenarios ¿ Advanced skills in group-work, leadership, reflexivity, planning and project management ¿ Understanding of and adherence to industry-level professional and ethical standards in practical work
¿ Ability to develop informed critique of professional practice (own and others), drawing on understanding of high quality standards ¿ Development of a professional identity and skills/knowledge base to inform further professional practice, training and learning

Assessment methods

Practice portfolio (including preparation, rehearsal and performance of excerpt) 60%
Reflective Essay 40%
Initial presentation on a theatre director and feedback on rehearsal workshops (throughout the module) NA (formative)


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Directed piece rehearsals - written


Reflective essay – written


Pitch and rehearsal – oral


Formative feedback points throughout the process, via dedicated tutorial hours and in-class sessions



Recommended reading

Eugenio Barba, On Directing and DramaturgyBurning The House (Routledge, 2010)


Russ Hope, Getting Directions: A Fly-on-the-Wall Guide for Emerging Theatre Directors (NHB 2013)


Paulette Marty, Contemporary Women Stage Directors: Conversations on Craft (Methuen, 2019)


Katie Mitchell The Director’s Craft: A Handbook for the Theatre (Routledge, 2008)


Avra Sidiropoulou, Directions for Directing: Theatre and Method (Routledge, 2019)


Di Trevis, Being a Director: A Life in Theatre (Routledge, 2012)


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 220
Independent study hours
Independent study 180

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Katharine Dorney Unit coordinator

Return to course details