NUTS productions thrive on the skill, vision and dedication of its director. If this responsibility is right up your alley, then you came to the right place.
It all starts with an idea, and as you think more and more about it, the idea begins to move from a passing thought to an obsession. You wrestle with how to best go forward; sketching sets, envisaging lighting, embodying characters and most importantly, working with actors.
Ultimately, you come to the conclusion that you are ready to give it your all, and spearhead your dream to the rest of the world.
From theoretically penning down your ideas and vision in a proposal, to working with a team and cast to produce it, directing offers you the opportunity to create realities beyond the norm.
NUTS allows directors extreme artistic malleability, giving you the opportunity to shape your ideas with financial and artistic backing.
What does directing entail?
Directors in NUTS are expected to be able to manage a cast and crew, however small or large. It is their duty to ensure that all those involved understand the task at hand, and are given the ability to complete these tasks and have room to move beyond.
You are given an unique opportunity to guide your cast towards self-realisation and confidence in performing their characters to an audience.
You are given the chance to have people work for you in terms of designing, publicising and maintaining sound financial standings for your play.
You are the first port of call for creative decisions, and are responsible for ensuring that your vision is communicable and substantive.
Directing requires patience, dedication, discipline and, most importantly, a great deal of energy. Take risks, be bold and prepare for sleepless nights. But trust us, the journey is well worth the toil.
Proposing a play
All NUTS productions run on a proposal system, which means that before you can sink your teeth into directing, you have to convince NUTS first!
Finding a production team which you are comfortable with, talented and can rely on is paramount, as at the end of the day, they are the ones keeping everything afloat.
The director's main contribution to the proposal is the Director's Concept and Benefit to NUTS sections. Here they outline exactly what their vision is for the chosen play, and how it will benefit audiences and NUTters alike.
As a director, you need to work with the producer in order to cast the actors most suited to their roles.
NUTS prides itself on holding open auditions to all genders, races and sexual orientations.
For the auditions, a director needs to organise audition slots, and allow appropriate time for the actor to showcase their talent. Cold reads, theatresports, focus exercises, monologues, etc.
Casting is often one of the hardest parts as a director, as you have to condense a large number of talented people to a small group which you believe can best portray the characters. However, making early decisions, albeit difficult, will only strengthen your show.
Working with Actors
The most unique part of directing is the relationship between yourself and your actors.
Maintaining both a social and professional relationship with your cast allows work to be done, whilst also not getting too serious. There needs to be a balance; NUTS is a society which can foster meaningful friendships, and the director primarily creates this environment.
Organising adequate rehearsal times for scenes, monologues and difficult scene transitions is paramount.
Establishing a consistent process in which you rehearse is recommended. Setting up expectations is a sure way to getting the best out of everybody, including yourself.
Stretching, breathing exercises, focus and energy games will ensure that your rehearsals are safe, and filled with the skills and energy required for a production.
Allowing your actors to have a say in their rehearsal times is crucial to ensuring you get the best out of your cast.
Working With A Production Team
It is important to understand that your production team, made up of a producer, stage manager, lead designer, publicist, set designer, lighting designer and sound designer, are all accountable to yourself, and vice versa.
Your production can only be successful if your team understand their roles and the tasks at hand.
Communication is the number one attribute a director needs to ensure a smooth production.
Being readily contactable, and sharing any new ideas or concerns early with your production team will reduce unnecessary issues in the future. It is quite easy to lose track of time and message your set designer at 3am, waking them to a missed call about moving a shrub, but remember; not everything needs to be done ASAP.
Working as a team, delegating tasks, and getting to know each other personally will establish the trust needed for producing one cracker of a show. Remember, these people are the ones who specialise in a particular area, and are the ones who are working hard to turn your ideas into reality.