This thesis addresses the problem of how theatre directors might be trained and developed to fit them for the contemporary performing arts. At the core of the study is an online survey of, and a number of face-to face interviews with, current professional Australian directors. The findings are analysed alongside research from the existing literature in an attempt to arrive at an informed and up-to-date set of recommendations for future training regimes. Directors come to their vocation by many pathways. The majority have not emerged from formal ‘director training’ but from other roles in the performing arts: acting, writing, stage management; from informal ‘self-taught’ environments such as student theatre or ‘the fringe’; or from other art forms entirely (renowned director, Robert Wilson, is an architect and painter by training). As this research will show, even in the last ten years when director training has been increasingly available at drama schools and universities, a large number of successful directors have not taken this route into the profession. These factors mean that not only is the skill set of a theatre director hard to define, but the way that skill set is acquired and honed is also opaque. At the centre of the problem is the question of whether the skills of the director can be taught or whether they can only be nurtured by providing opportunities, resources and stimulus. Moulding or unwrapping? This investigation tests these questions and attempts to develop insights and recommendations that will help inform director-training regimes in Australia and enrich the ways in which those seeking to enter the profession can frame their journey
Submission note: "A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts [to the] School of Humanities, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora"
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