The John Wells Directing Program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study the heritage of directing in breadth and depth.
While honing their creative skills in classrooms, workshops, and full studio productions, students are provided with a variety of hands-on opportunities to explore techniques of directing for stage and camera. Rigorous coursework develops creativity, intellectual curiosity, and individual leadership qualities.
The John Wells Directing Program undergraduate curriculum focuses on the practice, theory, and discipline of directing for those pursuing a career in theater, film or television.
The broad scope of the directing curriculum encourages the students to interact with all theatrical disciplines. In addition to core directing classes, students will develop visual sophistication and a broader understanding of how design elements combine in practical production situations.
Stage management skills are also studied and practiced. Theater history, criticism, playwriting, play development and theater management classes introduce students to the wide range of knowledge necessary for directing. Classes include scene work with actors, video and television production, new media and ensemble creation. Students expand their knowledge by taking several electives and pursuing a minor outside the School of Drama.
Students of the School of Drama John Wells Directing Program Option participate in projects across all theatrical disciplines, including choreographic presentations, scene work with actors, studio productions, and camera and video work.
All directors have the opportunity to direct a thesis production in their senior year. Thesis productions are fully supported by designers, technicians and managers within the School of Drama. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in the Tepper Semester in association with Syracuse University for a semester-long program in New York City that includes weekly theater visits and professional mentoring opportunities.
All School of Drama students have to opportunities to participate in the following:
Dance/Light is a performance opportunity for students across all disciplines to collaborate in the creation of original dance and movement pieces.
A Festival of Independent Student Work: Playground is the annual School of Drama three-day performance festival showcasing independent, student-produced work across multiple disciplines.
VISITING ARTISTS PROGRAM
The Visiting Artists Program brings distinguished national and international guests on to campus to work with students across all disciplines.
The School of Drama Showcase presentations in Pittsburgh, New York, and Los Angeles are designed to give all graduating students from all disciplines the opportunity to meet with and present work to leading arts and entertainment professionals.
- Zach Morris (BFA 1999), Bessie Award-winning director, choreographer, and Co-Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects
Undergraduate Directing Curriculum
The John Wells Directing Program provides students with a professional training that prepares graduates to enter the competitive field of theatrical directing.