Directing at Oberlin
A liberal arts school, like Oberlin, is the perfect learning environment for the aspiring stage director. In addition to courses in Theater, students can study a wide range of disciplines which will enrich their own personal interpretive and artistic abilities. Directing concentrators are especially encouraged to take cognate courses in Art History, Musicology, Psychology (esp. Personality), Dramatic Literature and Cinema Studies. Directing concentrators are extremely self-motivated and often begin directing projects on campus in their first year. There are numerous opportunities for this. There are multiple extra-curricular student theater organizations on campus. Students can also submit proposals to the Theater & Dance Program to produce curricular projects, usually presented in the Hall Annex, Little Theater, or Warner Main Space. The Theater faculty appreciate the central importance of student-student collaboration and initiative to the vibrancy of our program. Teachers are extremely supportive of student-directed work, and available as advisors, facilitators and avid audience members. For generations, Oberlin directors have gone on to prestigious graduate schools, and successful careers in the field. Many have launched their own theater companies.
The directing sequence is fully integrated with the other disciplines within the Theater curriculum, especially Acting. At the intro level, students must first take Acting 1: Fundamentals as a prerequisite for enrollment in Directing 1: Fundamentals. Students are then encouraged to take as many tech and design courses as possible, but most especially Intro to Design, and Stage Management. After successful completion of Acting 2: Scene Study, students may enroll in Directing 2: Rehearsal Techniques, a small-enrollment intensive tutorial course, which culminates in the direction of a one-act play. There are additional performance and theoretical electives, to supplement directing majors' study of the field, including: Acting 3, Stage Combat, Physical Performance, Choreography (Dance) and Non-Literary Theater. Directing 3: Directing Projects consists of on one-on-one mentoring during the supervision of the direction of a full length production. Many student directors are Honors candidates in their senior year, their Little Theater production serves as their culminating thesis project. Students concentrating in Directing are also strongly encouraged to participate in Oberlin's "Creativity and Leadership Program" , which provides courses and internships designed to develop entrepreneurial skills. Through this program, students can also apply for substantial start-up funds for Winter Term or post-graduation projects.