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Reevaluating the Director’s Education

http://howlround.com/how-can-we-foster-the-voices-of-early-career-directors

In my last blog post, I touched upon the topic of education as it related to Exit Strategy by Ike Holter in a Village Voice article. In this post, I’m not straying far from the topic of education. Over the past couple semesters I’d been exposed to directing and had taken an interest in directing, not fully comprehending what directing truly was. I took a few classes and tried my hand at the directing opportunities that appeared on my radar. That’s the extent of my training as a director: a few classes and two directing opportunities.

This is precisely what this article in HowlRound centers around: the education of young directors and the challenges they face in finding opportunities to exercise their craft within the theater community. It was written by a recent college graduate who is not too far off from where I am at this point in my life. He provided insight into the challenges of merely finding opportunities to continue directing post graduation and how overwhelmingly few avenues he had to exercise his craft: “No correlation: The two variables being studied have no apparent relationship. For example, the career of an early director and the actions they take to find work.”

As someone who potentially wants to pursue directing at some point, it was an article that was fairly informative. “How do we create an environment where, like with young actors and playwrights, we can still learn our craft, but outside of the educational model?” is one of the questions he asks at the end of the article and it really makes me consider what obligations theaters have in creating spaces that allow young directors to continue their education. This article really brings forth the challenges associated with graduating with a fine arts degree and not having the experience or the resume that would constitute being hired by theaters. The author states “But I think there is value in listening to and nurturing the young directing voices in our field, especially when they probably still identify (or want to identify) as a student, as I know I do.” So where do young directors, ready to pursue their craft find spaces that allow them to fail and learn and grow as artists, because that’s a process that doesn’t materialize as a result of graduation but rather experience? I wonder what responsibility communities have in creating these spaces of employment and learning for young artists that depend on their craft to pay their bills.

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