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Directing Sociopolitical Theatre

Storytelling for the 21st Century

June 24–July 15, 2021

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Directing Sociopolitical Theatre

Storytelling for the 21st Century

June 24–July 15, 2021

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A Roundabout TheatreLab workshop by Jess McLeod.

How and where can theatre effect change?  What stories should you be telling?  Director Jess McLeod will lead participants through a four-week course focusing on some of today’s most topical questions for directors.  Engaging with sociopolitical work in a variety of forms, each week will ask participants to consider the director’s role and responsibilities in interrogating and reimagining the world through theatre.

Note: While you don’t need to be a professional director to enjoy this workshop, it is best suited to folks who have some experience directing before.  If you are looking for a class to introduce you to the craft of directing for the first time, this class might not be the best fit for you.

All sessions to be conducted via Zoom.

Week 1: Revivals

June 24, 6–8pm EST

Everyone loves a smart revival.  We’ll examine a few interpretations of canonical plays/musicals and discuss how the present can recontextualize the past, how far you can (or should) push a text without breaking it, and directorial point-of-view. 

Week 2: New Work

July 1, 6–8pm EST

Supporting playwrights from page to production always requires care, skill and vision, but especially when they’re tackling sociopolitical issues.  How can you support radical vision and dangerous ideas with staging and design?  What goes into building a safe room for challenging conversations and culturally responsible work? 

Week 3: Community Engagement

July 8, 6–8pm EST

Theatre dignifies those who get to take center stage.  More and more arts organizations are developing programs that support communities of color and members of other historically excluded groups in making theatre with the help of professional artists.  We’ll discuss the unique responsibilities and joys of guiding nonprofessional storytellers in telling their stories their way.

Week 4: Creating & Connecting Across Platforms

July 15, 6–8pm EST

What theatre, directing and art in general have inspired you this past year?  How are our form and craft innovating and evolving to meet the technological and sociopolitical needs of the times?  How can directors dream big and stay nimble as the industry starts to return?  How can theatre build and heal beyond the fourth wall? 

Directing Sociopolitical Theatre Instructor

Jess McLeod