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Directing Track

The Directing track prepares students to be accomplished storytellers and collaborators through a curriculum that emphasizes multidisciplinary training and experiential learning.

In addition to taking a full-year foundational Collaboration course in which students explore collaborative processes and hone critical thinking and communication skills, directors study acting, design, theatre history, text analysis, devised theatre-making, and various approaches to directing play scripts.

Every directing course focuses on making work. Introduction to Directing is a project-based class that introduces key theatrical storytelling tools and encourages students to explore their passions, preoccupations, sources of inspiration, and aesthetic tastes – the foundation of directorial voice and vision. As a capstone project, each student conceives and stages an original 5-10 minute story that is shared with an invited audience at the end of the semester. Page to Stage enables students to develop and bring to life a production approach. This class culminates in an evening of staged scenes for an invited audience. In the upper level Directing Production Workshop classes, students stage full productions for public performance as part of the studio season. Directing majors are guaranteed two full productions, with the possibility of also staging a new play by a Fordham playwriting student. Additionally, this program allows the option of a semester abroad; internships are also available and encouraged.

Directing students have many opportunities to collaborate with theatre professionals, both within and outside the classroom. Our faculty is comprised of working artists who bring a wide range of experience and a depth of vision to their coursework. Guest directors serve as mentors on all student directed projects, meeting one-on-one with the mentee, attending rehearsal and giving feedback, seeing a performance, and participating in critique of the work. Outside of the classroom, directing students assist guest directors on mainstage and studio productions. Over the years we have had some of the country’s most exciting up-and-coming as well as established directors work with our students, often forging strong relationships that help bridge their transition from school to career. See the Visiting Artists page for a list of some of these names.

Our directing students pursue a wide variety of career paths. Many of our graduates go on to be directors, writers, or producers of theatre, film, television, and web series. Several create their own theatre and film companies. Some migrate to careers in design, education, publicity, and arts management. We train our students to be well-rounded, articulate, creative thinkers whose strong collaborative, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills open doors wide to a world of professional opportunities. Go to the Alumni page to see what some of our recent grads are doing.

Learning Goals

Successful graduates of the Directing track:

  • Effectively collaborate with other theatre artists to translate ideas into concrete theatrical expression. This means being able to articulate a clear point of view to guide a production while also inviting collaborators - both designers and actors - to come up with independent ideas that shape the ultimate vision for production.

  • Skillfully deploy theatrical languages – space, spatial relationship, movement, light, sound, words, gestures, objects – to communicate intended meanings to an audience powerfully and clearly (a majority of the audience gets the production’s intended messages).

  • Know how to dig deeply into a dramatic text and extract a textually founded as well as personally meaningful guiding impulse for production.

  • Coherently and elegantly summarize artistic intentions both in writing and discussion.

  • Demonstrate the ability to critically examine their own work as well as the work of others, both the work of their peers and that of seminal theatre artists past and present.

  • Successfully handle producing and administrative responsibilities, including creating and managing a budget and planning a rehearsal schedule

Track Requirements

(13 courses, 48 credits)

Foundation courses required of all theatre tracks:
THEA2080 Collaboration I
THEA2090 Collaboration II
THEA2011 Text Analysis
THEA2000 Theatre History I: Mythos
THEA2100 Theatre History II: Modernity
THEA2200 Theatre History III: Postmodernism and the Present

Directing track required
THEA 2010 Acting I
THEA 2700 Acting II
THEA2070 Theatre Design
THEA 2045 Introduction to Directing
THEA 3205 Page to Stage
THEA 4510 Directing Production Workshop I
THEA 4520 Directing Production Workshop II

Recommended Theatre elective courses
Set Design, Set Design II, Costume Design, Costume Design II, Lighting Design, Lighting Design II, Sound Design, Sound Design II, Projection Design, Projection Design II, Stage Management, Stage Management II, Theatre Management, Stage Make Up and Hair

Recommended Interdisciplinary elective courses
VART1055 Figure Drawing I
VART1124 Photography I
VART1135 Visual Thinking I
VART1265 Film Video I
VART2185 Photography II
VART1180 Painting I
ARHI1100 Art History Intro
MUSC1100 Intro to Music

Sample Program

Freshman Year

Fall Spring
ENGL 1102 Composition II 3 ENGL/CLAS 2000 Texts & Contexts (EP2) 3
THEO 1000 Faith/Critical Reason 3 PHIL 1000 Philosophy of Human Nature 3
Foreign Language 1 5 Foreign Language 2 3
THEA 2010 Acting I 4 THEA 2700 Acting II 4
THEA 2080 Collaboration I 4 THEA 2090 Collaboration II 4
Total Credits 19 Total Credits 17

Sophomore Year

Fall Spring
MT/C 3 Physical Science 3
PHIL 3000 Philosophical Ethics 3 THEO: Sacred Texts & Traditions 3
Foreign Language 3 3 Foreign Language 4 3
THEA 2011 Text Analysis 3 Social Science 3
THEA 2045 Intro to Directing 4 THEA 3205 Page to Stage 4
Total Credits 16 Total Credits 16

Junior Year

Fall Spring
HIST 1000 Understanding Historical Change 3 Advanced Disc: History or Social Science 4
Social Science 3 Elective or EP3 Course 3
Life Science 3

THEA 2070 Theatre Design 3 THEA 4510 Directing Production Workshop I 3
THEA 2000 Theatre History I 4 THEA 2002 Theatre History II 4
Total Credits 16 Total Credits 14

Senior Year

Fall Spring
Interdisciplinary Seminar 4 Advanced Disc: History or Social Science 4
THEA 2200 Theatre History III 4 Elective 3
THEA 4520 Directing Production Workshop II 3 Senior Values Seminar (EP4) 4
Elective 3 Elective 3
Total Credits 14 Total Credits 14

Total Program Credits: 126
Theatre majors satisfy Advanced Literature by completing 3 semesters of Theatre History. Each semester, one section of Theatre History has an EP3 designation.

NOTE: Pluralism and Globalism attributes can be fulfilled through core, major, or elective courses.
Foreign Language: Students must complete the exit level in their chosen language.

Study Abroad

Students in Directing have opportunities to study abroad. Those who choose a full semester of study have pursued programs in London, Scotland, Moscow, Prague, Dublin, Bali, and Semester at Sea. For students interested in a shorter program, there are other options available: a two-week design or acting intensive at the Moscow Art Theatre during winter break or the Devised Theatre Intensive with Bard College in Berlin.

Visiting Artists

At Fordham, our location allows us to bring some of the top directors in New York into our classrooms as guest speakers, mentors, and workshop leaders, as well as directors of studio and mainstage productions. Notable directors and guest artists from related fields who have worked with us:

Annie Dorsen
Annie Kaufman
David Esbjornson
Maria Mileaf
Joanna Settle
Gia Forakis
Rachel Dickstein
Steve Cosson
Ralph Pena
May Adrales
Pirronne Yousefzadeh
Stephen Fried
Tony Speciale
Niegel Smith
Laura Savia
Alicia House
Eliza Baldi
Nicole Kempskie
Susanna Gellert
Kim Weild
Dmity Troyanovsky
Kristjan Thor
Moritz von Stuelpnagel
Per Brahe
Christopher Bayes
Kip Fagan
Steven Skybell
Evan Cabnet
Daniella Topol
Melissa Kievman
Suzanne Agins
Michael Barakiva

Alumni

Our alumni have gone on to make careers in theatre, film, TV, and other related fields. Here are some of our alums.

John Bezark – freelance Philadelphia-based theatre director, filmmaker, and aspiring interactive and game designer.

Nicole Brodeur – Development Director and Executive Producer of Story Pirates. http://nicoleabrodeur.com

Tim Chaffee – Filmmaker, director and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. http://timchaffee.net

Jordana De La Cruz – Freelance director and Special Projects Coordinator and Park Avenue Armory.

Rebecca Etzine – Freelance director and Artistic Director of Cradle Theatre Company as well as a teaching artist with WHEDco (Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation) in the South Bronx. http://Rebeccaetzine.com

Greg Foro – Co-Artistic Director of BAMA Theatre Company and Associate Professor of Drama at San Joaquin Delta College.

Peter Gil-Sheriden – Director and Playwright whose work has been produced by Cherry Lane Theatre, developed at Sundance Institute and New York Theatre Workshop, and was named the winner of The Smith Prize from National New Play Network for outstanding political work. Currently serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Playwriting & Screenwriting at Indiana University’s MFA Playwriting Program.

Morgan Gould – Writer/Director and Artistic Director of Morgan Gould & Friends. Directing Off-Broadway & the Ensemble Studio Theatre in April 2016 and currently pursuing an MFA Playwriting Program at Brooklyn College. http://www.morgangouldandfriends.com

Mike Kimmel – NYC based Director/Writer. Recent work includes the conception and book for The Last Goodbye, which played at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, and Songbird, which premiered in Fall 2015 Off-Broadway.

Anna Lag (Aurora Lagatutta) – Freelance Dance/Theatre performance artist whose work has toured internationally. Currently based in San Diego. http://auroralag.com

Jonathan Lisecki – freelance director, writer, and actor whose independent film GAYBY was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

James Presson – Freelance Writer/Director and Director/Founder of Less Than Rent Theatre Company. Currently working as a writer for HBO. http://www.jamespresson.com

Aaron Rhyne – New York City based video artist and projection designer. His designs have been seen in stage productions around the world, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, Carnegie Hall, and leading U.S. regional theaters. He received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Projection Design for his work on A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. http://aaronrhyne.com

Holly-Anne Ruggiero – Freelance Director/Writer/Producer/Teacher. She has worked on Broadway and Off-Broadway since 2000 and is now the Lead Producer of two theatrical production companies based in New York and New Orleans. http://www.hollyanneruggiero.com

Alex Randrup – NYC based theatre director.

Dave Ruttura – NYC based theatre director. Currently serving as the Associate/Resident Director at School of Rock.

Theatre - Directing