Undergraduate Directing Program

Undergraduate Directing Program

The School of Drama accepts two highly motivated directors into each class, who become the self-identified leaders of their ensemble. While you will train alongside the actors and take many of the same core acting classes, the directing track contains its own robust curriculum encompassing all aspects of the directing craft.

First Year

Directing students begin their training with a full year of Directing Theory courses, encompassing visual language and styles as well as a conceptual production book. Each semester, you will direct a 10-minute play as part of our 10-minute play festival. You will lead all aspects of your production, including casting, rehearsing, designing and producing. As directors all need experience collaborating with designers and technicians, the student directors will take an Intro to Stage Management course in the School of Design and Production. You will also take many of the same courses as those in the Acting program in order to give actors and directors a shared vocabulary and experience, and to deepen your understanding of the craft.

Second Year

The robust directing curriculum continues with advanced theory courses. Design courses begin encompassing lighting, scenic and costume elements. Rehearsal and Performance credits begin as each semester you will be expected to assist a faculty or guest director on a mainstage production. You will direct a 10-minute play each semester and be tasked with producing the Directing Festival itself.

Third Year

The Directing Practicum course begins wherein the student director is solving theatrical problems on their feet with our 3rd year Acting students. These encompass assignments such as stage the first moment of a play, stage a transition, create a musical interlude, etc. The directing students also take a course on styles as well as a Devised Theater course tailored to the director. Directing assignments gain in scope and the first semester you will be tasked with directing a one-act play. Second semester you will be tasked with identifying a contemporary short story to adapt, word-for-word, and stage as a work of Story Theater.

Fourth Year

Your fourth year will focus on your Directing Thesis – a fully produced play that serves as a highlight within our mainstage season. Whichever semester your mainstage is not programmed, you will direct and help produce another full-length production within Keys to the Kingdom. Keys to the Kingdom is an essential piece of the senior class experience – it is an entire season that is programmed, produced, directed, acted and often written or devised by students. These stripped-down, low-budget productions serve to get our students thinking more front-footed and self-generative in terms of their careers. 


Due to the comprehensive training of the Directing Program, graduates have been able to start careers in a wide variety of positions. Whether they are directing or acting, drama directing program graduates can be found working on Broadway and off-Broadway performances, in regional theaters and in film and television.

Related Program