What does a theatre director do exactly?

Theatre director (noun); A creative collaborator, guide and conduit between a writer*, production team and performers and an audience.

*or not if the work is devised.

Who the director is informs the outcome to an extent, just as any other creative and production team member influences a show.

How the director works, who they cast, how they communicate, how they brief, manage people, run rehearsals, steer marketing and shape the final production for people is perhaps more important than who.

The role is as important as the person.

Joe Sproulle and Lisa Howard in Sing Something Simple (Dark Horse, national tour 2)

There’s a highly positive drive for change in UK theatre to recruit theatre directors from under-represented demographics.

Disability-led work is thriving but actors with moderate learning disabilities struggle to lead and manage projects- and many trained actors don’t want to, they want to focus on acting as the hard-learned theatre craft it is-  and this is where integrated theatre (= casts and companies of creatives with and without learning disabilities) offers genuine equality for these performers.

People with moderate learning disabilities without literacy or verbal skills are barred from leadership roles in theatre.

But…

Actors with moderate learning disabilities aren’t barred from playing leading roles in general audience facing work when working in integrated casts with the Silent Approach.

 

The Silent Approach is a non-verbal rehearsal room method which supports actors with and without learning disabilities, in integrated general audience facing productions. Its proven, tried and tested in national touring, TV and film and its being shared widely via the Separate Doors project.

Separate Doors 3 aims to encourage theatre directors to increase the representation of people with learning disabilities in general audience, text based and venue theatre.

The project offers key tools for directors to make working with actors with learning disabilities as desirable and creatively expanding as it can be including casting/working with creative enablers and supporters/financial considerations, rehearsal room processes/ ensemble development/communication tips, management during the run and language and targets for marketing and promotion.

Get in touch and be a part of Separate Doors 3 at www.separatedoors.org

(We’re working with theatre makers and playwrights too…More soon…)

Vanessa Brooks and Dark Horse actors- Young Vic Silent Approach master class