Workshop to help stage a show from scratch

January 8, 2023 BY

Behind the scenes: Megan J Riedl directing Ballarat National Theatre's cast of Mr Bennet's Bride. Photo: LIANA SKEWES

UP-and coming or experienced theatrical directors are invited to hone their craft in Creswick’s Courthouse Theatre this summer.

A directors’ bootcamp, or two-day workshop, is being run out of the Creswick Theatre Company in January, with the first session all about building the world of a play from scratch, and the second looking at the more practical, operational and inter-personal side of directing.

“The initial session on the 14th of January will look at how you analyse a script, how to think about what the show will look like, who’s there, what actors you’ll need, and the time, place, setting and themes of the story,” said workshop leader Megan J Riedl.

“We’ll have a break, with some homework to create a vision board of material we’re inspired by, and come back on Saturday the 28th, with a session about the practical stuff; running auditions, the process of casting, and working with actors.”

Riedl has experience in directing community and independent theatre across the state and said to be a director is to practice a craft of its own, with a unique and specific skillset.

“Often actors, writers or technical people behind the scenes are keen to create a show and launch into that directing role without thinking about it, but not everyone who can do those things can direct,” she said.

“It’s a lot. You’re responsible for the entire vision of the show, for building a creative vision, and for the people and culture.

“As a director, your job is to make sure everybody is safe, having a great time, learning, and making a great piece of theatre, because that’s what community and independent theatre is all about.

“There’s not that many of us around, so I’d like to help increase the amount of folks locally that can have that skillset to direct theatrical productions, or assist those who are already directors to develop a project.”

Up to 12 people can take part in the bootcamp, whether they’re senior high school students, adult beginners, or experienced directors. Book at meganjriedl.com/directors-bootcamp.