The John Wells Directing Program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study the art, craft, and history of directing in breadth and depth.
While honing their creative skills in classrooms, workshops, and full studio productions, students are provided with a variety of hands-on opportunities to explore techniques of directing for the stage, digital platforms and beyond. Rigorous coursework develops creativity, intellectual curiosity, discipline, vision, strong communication skills and individual leadership qualities.
The John Wells Directing Program undergraduate curriculum focuses on the practice, theory, and discipline of directing for those pursuing a career in theater and beyond.
The broad scope of the directing curriculum encourages the students to interact with all theatrical disciplines. In addition to core directing classes, students will develop visual sophistication and a broader understanding of how design elements combine in practical production situations.
Stage management skills are also studied and practiced. Theater history, criticism, playwriting, play development and theater management classes introduce students to the wide range of knowledge necessary for directing. Classes include scene work with actors, video and television production, new media and ensemble creation. Students expand their knowledge by taking several electives and have the option of pursuing a minor outside the School of Drama.
Students of the School of Drama John Wells Directing Program Option have the opportunity to participate in projects across all theatrical disciplines, including choreographic presentations, scene work with actors, studio productions, and camera and video work.
Undergraduate director training culminates with a senior year capstone production or project. Capstone productions are fully supported by a team of student designers, technicians and managers within the School of Drama. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in the Tepper Semester in association with Syracuse University for a semester-long program in New York City that includes weekly theater visits, professional mentoring and assisting/observing opportunities when possible. Additionally, study abroad programs can also be pursued but require departmental approval.
All School of Drama students have to opportunities to participate in the following:
Dance/Light is a performance opportunity for students across all disciplines to collaborate in the creation of original dance and movement pieces.
A festival of independent student work, Playground is the annual School of Drama three-day performance festival showcasing independent, student-produced work across multiple disciplines.
VISITING ARTISTS PROGRAM
The Visiting Artists Program brings distinguished national and international guests on campus to work with students across all disciplines. Recently, guests have also collaborated with students via digital platforms.
The School of Drama Showcase presentations in New York and Los Angeles are designed to give all graduating students from all disciplines the opportunity to meet with and present work to leading arts and entertainment professionals. When conditions warrant, this Showcase may be augmented by virtual online networking events.
- Zach Morris (BFA 1999), Bessie Award-winning director, choreographer, and Co-Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects
Undergraduate Directing Curriculum
The John Wells Directing Program provides students with a professional training that prepares graduates to enter the competitive field of theatrical directing.