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Why Study Directing?
Explore centuries of technique. Discover your artistic voice. Learn to analyze texts, make conceptual choices, guide actors in the rehearsal process, and collaborate to create. The art of direction is much more than blocking — it’s understanding the world of your characters and bringing authentic, human stories to life.
Many college and university theatre departments do not offer an opportunity to study Directing until the graduate level, but at MMC our Directing concentration is a vital part of our program.
Through direct work with actors, designers, stage managers, and playwrights, you’ll develop your artistic finesse not only in the classroom, but also through Directing Projects presented each semester in our Box Theatre and Playwriting Projects written by our Writing for the Stage students, both part of the Directing curriculum. Experiences as assistant directors for faculty and guest-directed productions offer the opportunity to learn and gain practical knowledge.
Why Study Directing at MMC?
Our curriculum prepares you for the wide range of drama and life experience presented in the professional theatre. You will read a wide diversity of playwrights and discover the many styles of theatre during their years of study. Our Theatre Arts and Directing curriculum gives you the hands-on experience that jumpstarts your professional career while also educating you to be a global citizen and contributor to society. Our liberal arts curriculum prepares our students to be articulate individuals and expressive artists. Marymount Manhattan’s Theatre Arts Faculty represent a wide variety of professional experiences and connections, and students are able to foster close personal relationships with the faculty through our small class sizes. Finally, you’ll develop initiative, ownership, agency, and responsibility throughout your education, preparing you to manage your own professional careers beyond college.
What You’ll Learn in the Directing Concentration
- Utilize script analysis to understand the world of the play (its style, tone, theme, and theatricality) and apply that analysis to creating an interpretive vision for the play
- Articulate a vision for the play and work with others in a collaborative process.
- Conduct dramaturgical research for a production of a play and apply that research to the directing process.
- Demonstrate basic facility with directing contemporary plays, including the responsibilities of choosing material, conducting appropriate research, visualizing a production, pre-production planning, creating a prompt book, casting, and rehearsal skills.
- Participate in an effective actor/director relationship.
- Demonstrate the ability to collaborate with other theatre artists.
Theatre Histories I & II
Elements of Directing
Shakespeare, the Stage, & Humanity
Advanced Studies in Drama and Theatre
Theatre Elective (from list of courses TBD)
Acting: Process & Technique
Acting: Beginning Scene Study
Theatre Production: Main Stage
Dramatic Forms & Genres
Design for Directors & Choreographers, or Digital Sound Workshop, or Costume Design I, or Lighting Design I, or Scenic Design I
I feel lucky to have had the support from the professors at MMC who have continued to serve as mentors post-graduation and my incredible support system of friends who I met during my time at MMC. The Communication and Media Arts department provided me with a foundation of media skills, research experience, and internship opportunities have prepared me for my next step.Sarah Rosenthal ’18
Class of 2018, Communication Arts and Theatre Arts with a concentration in Directing
Graduate Studies, Harvard University
I started at MMC as a B.F.A. acting major, but soon realized that I was really a director at heart. The flexibility of the Theatre program...allowed me to study directing AND acting, as well as musical theatre and new play development, giving me the tools to begin my directing career right out of school.Tom Wojtunik ’02
2002, Major in Acting and Directing
Former Artistic Director, Astoria Performing Arts Center
MMC allowed me to become a well-rounded theater artist. I was able to take courses in every aspect of theater, plus the liberal arts, and without that, I would not be running two theater companies today. The skills I learned at MMC have given me the confidence that’s necessary to succeed in theatre.Leigh Berenis ’13
2013, Major in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Directing
Executive Director, Saratoga Children’s Theatre and Spa City Theatre
Careers and Outcomes
Theatre Arts alumni work on Broadway, off-Broadway, in film, television, and digital media, and at regional theaters across the United States. Many of our alumni go on to graduate schools such as Yale School of Drama, The Juilliard School, New York University Tisch, Carnegie-Mellon University, and universities in the United Kingdom.
Top College Program
Each year, the team at OnStage Blog announces the best performing arts schools for the coming year based on research by theatre educators, students, alumni, and parents—the people who really know what’s important in theatre education. MMC made the cut and was praised for our impressive master classes and lectures.